1. a prostitute; esp. as naughty dicky-bird.
|Annals of Sporting 1 June 403: [He] hearkened to the Syren’s voice, accompanied by the naughty dicky-birds’ tattoo at the glaze of his roost.|
|‘George Barnwell’ in Universal Songster I 19/1: Now as soon as he’d shut the shop up, / He vent to this naughty dicky bird, / And ven he vent home the next morning, / Blow me if he could speak a vord.|
|Crim.-Con. Gaz. 12 Oct. 239/1: What could have been the similarity between the two characters [...] it was not his intimacy with dickey birds.|
|Sam Sly 7 Apr. 2/2: Master Jack Cut—sh, the hopeful son of the pork butcher [...] not visit a certain tavern in the Strand so often, in search of dicky birds, they will be your ruin.|
2. a louse.
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] dickies n. head lice [...] dickie head n. child suffering from head lice.|
3. a small bird; a chicken or goose.
|Sporting Mag. Mar. XXIII 304/1: [heading] On Dicky Birds, Wasps, And The Like.|
|Creevey Papers (1948) 179: She is like one of her gold and silver musical dickey birds. [...] She begins to sing at eleven o’clock.letter 23 Jan. in Gore|
|Comic Almanack Feb. 79: The Cockney Sportsman grounds his arms, / And dicky birds are free from harms.|
|‘The Horticultural Wife’ Dublin Comic Songster 22: A cherry that’s left for the dicky birds to pick.|
|Swell’s Night Guide 64: She went ramp cranky [...] The pretty little dickey-birds all flew to pot. / She pison’d the old man’s ass, and smashed his hat, / Kicked out the dog; and, then, she shot the cat.|
|Ask Mamma 269: I have been at the chasse of de small dicky-bird – tom-tit – cock-robin.|
|Wadsley Jack 11: She sed to me ’a I wor a dear, ducky, darling dickey-bird.|
|Wilds of London (1881) 27: Any dicky-bird of mine will pine and die if the smallest quantity of tainted matter is allowed to remain in his house.|
|Fifty ‘Bab’ Ballads 71: My wife (in other matters sane) / Pretends that I’m a Dicky bird! / She makes me sing, ‘Too-whit, too-wee!’.‘Baines Carew, Gentleman’|
|Martha and I 251: I asked straight for a goose. [...] ‘Yes; prime ’uns,’ was the reply. ‘Here, Bill,’—to an assistant—‘chuck up a dicky for this toff.’.|
|[perf. Vesta Victoria] Now I have to call him Father [lyrics] I used to be as happy as the dickies on the trees.|
|Voice of the City (1915) 179: Member of the famous ‘Dickey-bird’ octette.‘The Rathskeller & the Rose’ in|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 109: Ho! the sky’s as blue as blazes, an’ the sun is shinin’ bright, / An’ the dicky birds is singin’ over’ead.‘The Game’|
|Human Side of Crook and Convict Life 87: Wish ter ’eaven ’E’d take it inter ’Is ’ead ter send a little dicky-bird down ere wif sommat tasty fer me!|
|letter Apr. in Paige (1971) 245: The toodle oot of the dicky bird.|
|Pigeon Pie 138: Bring your Bow-wow, your Puss-puss, your Dickie-bird.|
|Teachers (1962) 42: A little dicky-bird must have told me.|
|Mott the Hoople 9: There is a sound more endearing than the burble of a dickeybird.|
|All in! All in! 81: Two little dickie-birds / Sitting on the wall. / One named Peter, / The other named Paul.|
|Indep. Rev. 23 June 12: Use of shingle or mirrors which might confuse dickie birds.|
4. a professional singer.
|DSUE (8th edn) 305/1: from ca. 1870.|
5. (US, also bird) an informer, a betrayer.
|Autobiog. of a Thief 193: I was tipped off to you by a Dicky Bird (stool pigeon) damn him!|
|Timber Wolves 239: ‘I’d give a tidy bit to know who put you on to this game,’ he said finally. ‘A little dicky-bird.’.|
|Sudden Takes the Trail 245: ‘How did yu know I’d gone a-tall?’ ‘Oh, dicky-birds tell tales.’ ‘Yeah, dirty dickie-birds.’.|
|Who Live In Shadow (1960) 139: They’ll all chirp. All junkies are potential birds.|
6. the penis [bird n.3 (1)].
|Chopper From The Inside 55: I was the president of the Van Gogh club until Garry David cut his penis off [...] When the dicky birds start hitting the pavement I thought it was time to resign.|
|Chopper 4 104: I don’t mind that I had my ears hacked off, but the dickie bird stays where it is.|