Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rummy adj.1

[rum adj.]

1. odd, peculiar, bizarre; thus rummily adv.

[UK]Old Song in N&Q Ser. 7 IX 97: Although a rummy codger, Now list to what I say.
[UK]Dickens ‘A Passage in the Life of Mr. Watkins Tottle’ in Slater Dickens’ Journalism I (1994) 433: Vy, it’s one of the rummiest rigs you ever heard on.
[Ire] ‘Coat Of Other Days’ Dublin Comic Songster 247: My four-and-nine looks rather rummy, / Exposed to Sol’s bright rays.
[UK]Sam Sly 17 Mar. 3/3: ‘I say, Jem, there's a rummy-looking bloke.’ ‘Oh, vot a slasher’.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 174: I don’t want to ask any old dowager I happen to fall in with at a tea-fight [...] whether she’s well up in the naughty tales and rummy nuisances that we have to pass no end of our years in getting by heart.
[UK]Lancaster Gaz. 24 Oct. 5/6: An elderly gentleman who has his own ideas [...] is a rummy old cove.
[UK] ‘A Night in a London Workhouse’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 137: Oh my, what a rummy go.
[UK]J. Greenwood Night in a Workhouse 15: Why, you are a rummy chap!
[Aus]Gympie Times (Qld) 11 jan. 3/6: If he meets an eccentric man he calls him a ‘rummy old cove’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 104: All the fun consisted in Caseley calling the judge ‘old bloak’ and the counsel ‘rummy codgers.’.
[UK]‘F. Anstey’ Vice Versa (1931) 158: There’s young Tom on the box; don’t his ears stick out rummily?
[UK]Leicester Chron. 21 June 12/2: Here’s a rummy go! Just look at that!
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Spooks of Long Gully’ in Roderick (1972) 248: He never heard nothing, but he saw some ‘rummy’ things.
[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 9: ‘T’ings is lookin’ awful rummy’.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 215: This is about the rummiest commission that I ever undertook.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 13 Mar. 11/3: I’m Hartmann whose rummy old rig / All gutter-bred larrikins gig.
[UK]Marvel 23 Dec. 665: ‘Rummy go!’ muttered Kippers.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 1 Jan. 8/3: Rummy coves as gets a living / In some ways what’s werry queer.
[Ind]P.C. Wren Dew & Mildew 417: ‘It’s rummy, say what one will’.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 10 July 4/2: Jack MacG. is a lad with rummy ideas. He even runs down ‘Sport’ .
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 474: I soon got to know a surprising lot of people, and they were the rummiest birds you can imagine.
[UK]A.A. Milne Dover Road in Three Plays (1922) Act I: Dashed rummy sort of hotel!
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 90: The thought of strolling with this rummy specimen undeniably gave me a most unpleasant sinking feeling.
[UK]Whizzbang Comics 82: Rummy, that’s what I call it.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 62: That’s a rummy mob she gets round her.
[US]A. Maupin Further Tales of the City (1984) 62: This sweet, but rummy society matron.

2. first-rate, excellent, thus as adv. excellently, properly.

[UK]Pierce Egan’s Wkly Courier 22 Mar. 4/1: ‘Let’s do the thing rummy; put on the stoppers — give your red rags a holiday’.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Heart of London II i: Cracksmen, buzmen, scampsmen, we [...] On the spice gloak high toby / We frisk so rummy, / And ramp so plummy.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 51: They were, indeed, nothing else but rummy ones.
[UK] ‘Slashing Costermonger’ in Cuckold’s Nest 10: I’m called by all the mots around, / The slashing costermonger, / The rummy costermonger.
[UK]Egan ‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 142: Saying —look, marm, when next you split, / I’ll finish you with a rummy hit!
[UK] ‘When We Went Out A Shooting’ in Rambler’s Flash Songster 37: A rummy parody on ‘When we went out a Gipseying.’.
[UK]Besant & Rice Son of Vulcan II 324: How much? It’s a rummy ramp – but how much?
[UK] ‘’Arry on Angling’ in Punch 30 July 45/1: It’s one of the rummiest sights.

In derivatives

rumminess (n.) (also rumness)

oddness, eccentricity.

[UK]Dickens Our Mutual Friend (1994) 447: What you may call the Fates ordered him into it again. Which is rumness, ain’t it?
F. Usher Strange Love 294: Indeed! wherein consisted the greater rumminess ?
E. Phillpotts Human Boy 172: His story about Guy Fawkes’ Night at Dunston’s is worth knowing, because it shows the rumminess of Nubby Tomkins.
[UK]Sheffield Wkly Teleg. 15 June 19/3: He had nodded earnestly when his twin mentioned the rumminess of love at first sight.
G. Alexander Prince Cinderella 46: Malory, with the perfection of butler’s blindness alike to our new guest’s shabby coat and the rumminess of the aforesaid luggage, took the wheel.
[UK]P.G. Woodhouse Right Ho, Jeeves (2007) 33: ‘Jeeves,’ I said, ‘a V-shaped rumminess has manifested itself from the direction of Worcestershire.’.