Green’s Dictionary of Slang

smasher n.1

[smash v.2 (1)]
(UK Und.)

1. (also bit(t) smasher) one who makes or passes counterfeit money.

[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 6 Apr. 443/2: Q. Were you not taken up on suspicion of being a smasher? – A. I do not know the meaning of the word. Q. Upon your oath, do not you go about with a bag, and cry ‘any bad shillings’? – A. No. [...] Q. You would be surprized, if I were to tell you a smasher means a putter off of bad money?
[UK]Globe (London) 30 Dec. 4/2: Smasher [...] He had in his possession [...] a great number of counterfeit shillings and [...] one woman [...] proved that she had taken a bad sixpence off him.
[UK]Chester Chron. 29 Jan. 3/5: These were noble sentiments [...] sentiments to which every smasher, trapper, kidlayer, ring-dropper [...] and forger of bank-notes present, would heartily subscribe .
[UK]Flash Dict. n.p.: bitt smasher an utterer of base coins.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.
[UK]Reading Mercury 30 Aug. 3/4: The ‘thimble-rig gentry,’ ‘smashers,’ and pick-pockets were likewise numerous.
[UK]Paul Pry 20 Sept. 178/4: ITSEY JOSEPH—a flash publican [...] and formerly an old smasher, was [...] tried with a man named David Mendez, for selling and uttering base coin .
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 288: He combined many callings [...] horse-slaughterer, private distiller, and smasher.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 132/1: Smashers passers of bad money.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 21 Mar. 3/3: [heading] THE KING OF THE SMASHERS.—George Poulton, an expiree, who [...] was tried a short time back for passing a bad half-crown on Mr. Lowater, was fully committed to take his trial.
Working Man’s Friend I 26/2: One night it may be his lot to have as a bedfellow a smasher, another night a street-beggar, or a pickpocket, or a dry-land sailor, or a begging-letter imposter.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 414/2: Those who lived there were beggars, thieves, smashers, coiners [...] and prostitutes. [Ibid.] IV 26: dependents of thieves [...] 2. ‘Smashers,’ or utterers of base coin or forged notes.
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 175: The acknowledged haunts of ‘smashers,’ burglars, thieves, and forgers.
[Aus]Eve. News (Sydney) 3 Dec. 4/2: The saintly smirk and the look of benevolence with which some white-chokered old ‘smasher’ jingled into the collecting plate the ‘counterfeit presentment’ of liberality.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple II 254: Old Dumps, the converted smasher.
[UK]A. Griffiths Chronicles of Newgate 548: The lowest among criminals except, perhaps, the ‘smashers,’ or those who passed the counterfeit money.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 28 Oct. 4/8: He is one of a suspected gang of counterfeiters and well-known ‘smashers’.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 239: Scribblers of prose and verse, budding medicos, artists upon stone [...] one or two City bounders, and as it happened, a smasher.
[UK]O.C. Malvery Soul Market 289: The woman was in touch with a gang of coiners, and bought supplies from the ‘smashers,’ as the men are called who act as agents for the coiners.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 268: A smasher, let me tell you, then, is a coiner – a yob that manufactures spurious money.
[Aus]E. Pugh in Advertiser (Adelaide) 12 Apr. 24/8: ‘Smasher’ means a maker of bad coin.
[UK]R.T. Hopkins Life and Death at the Old Bailey 63: The following crook’s words and phrases date from the days of the old Old Bailey: [...] passer of bad money – smasher.

2. in fig. use, one who commits a libel.

[UK]Thackeray Pendennis I 305: Our notorious contemporary, the Day, engages smashers out of doors to utter forgeries against individuals, and calls in auxiliary cut-throats to murder the reputation of those who offend him.

3. a receiver of stolen goods.

[UK]C. Humphreys Great Pearl Robbery 60: One of the first steps[...] is to close all known avenues by which the goods might be disposed of to a ‘smasher’, that is, a receiver of stolen property .

4. a receiver who specializes in buying and recycling stolen money.

[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 163: When a crook finds himself in possession of Bank of England notes for a large amount he takes them to the smasher, who is a money changer in effect.