Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blowen n.

also bloan
[according to George Borrow f. Rom. beluñi, ‘a sister in debauchery’. Hotten (1867) notes Ger. Bluhen, bloom, and Buhlen, sweetheart, but adds ‘the street term ... may mean one whose reputation has been ‘blown on’, or damaged’]

1. a woman, spec. a prostitute.

[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia I i: What ogling there will be between thee and the blowens!
[UK]J. Sheppard Sheppard in Egypt 21: Then to the Sable Spectre in Accents mild, / The Cause requests, who had his Arm beguil’d, / Bl-w-n in Transport crys W--d, W--d, W--d.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Blowen. the Mistress of a Gentleman of the Scamp.
[Ire] ‘The Irish Robber’s Adventure’ Irish Songster 3: My bloan she cries and tears her hair.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 134: his blowen, a female ballad-singer, now joins him.
[UK] ‘A Pickpocket’s Song’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 20: I and my blowen to the gaff / Straightway did repair.
[UK] Song No. 19 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: The Blowens all adozine [?] him and say he is the Pippin O.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: blowen. A mistress or whore of a gentleman of the scamp. The blowen kidded the swell into a snoozing ken, and shook him of his dummee and thimble; the girl inveigled the gentleman into a brothel and robbed him of his pocket book and watch.
[UK] ‘Pickpocket’s Chaunt’ (trans. of ‘En roulant de vergne en vergne’ in Vidocq 1829) IV 259: As from ken to ken I was going, / Doing a bit on the prigging lay / Who should I meet, but a jolly blowen.
[UK] ‘The Spring Bedstead’ in Knowing Chaunter 18: And the blowen so alert, / Had nibbled all my money.
[UK] ‘Sarah’s A Blowen’ in Nobby Songster 18: Young Sarah’s a blowen: / Vot does the thing neat; / She’s kept by a Gent, / Who hundreds has spent, / On Sarah the blowen.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 25 July 1/3: Marian Silver, a dashing blowen, charged a private knight of Lombardy named Smith with having illegally disposed of a gold ring which she had left as security for a bob he had advanced.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London II (2nd series) 276: I went straight away to my blowen – that’s Pig-faced Polly, as she’s called.
[UK]Yokel’s Preceptor 3: By private blowens, we mean those apparently modest women, who, notwithstanding their being blessed with honest, hard working husbands, do a little pleasant whoredom on the sly. Two ladies of this description reside in Back-hill, Clerkenwell; the house is situated at the corner of a gateway opposite Hatton Garden, and has a very convenient back door by which a gallant can make a safe exit, should the husband arrive unexpectedly.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 44/1: He had had a quarrel with his ‘blowen,’ and she was on the point of ‘turning him up’.
Bury & Norwich Post (Suffolk) 1 Feb. 2/6: The stalwart, flaunting, audacious ‘blowen’ who holds a foolish ‘fast’ man [...] while her pal knocks him on the head and rifles his pockets.
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Deacon Brodie III tab.V i: Did I insult the blowen?
[UK]H. Baumann ‘Sl. Ditty’ Londinismen (2nd edn) vi: So from hartful young dodgers, / From waxy old codgers, / From the blowens we got / Soon to know wot is wot.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 154: They will have money in their pockets [...] and ‘fags’ between their lips, and maybe a Cockney blowen on their arm.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]R. Todasco Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Dirty Words.

2. as blowen of the ken, a landlady, a ‘mistress of the house’.

[UK] ‘Flash Lang.’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 18: Mistress of the house, blowen of the ken.

3. (UK Und.) the pretended wife of a shoplifter.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: blowen. The pretended wife of a bully, or shop lifter.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.

4. a mistress.

[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 30: ‘I ’as heard as ’ow Judith was once blowen to a great lord!’ said Dummie.