Green’s Dictionary of Slang

St Giles n.

the criminal slum, in the parish of St Giles, at the junction of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, London, destroyed when New Oxford Street was cut through in 1847; used in combs. below.

In compounds

St Giles’s bird (n.)

(UK und.) a criminal.

[US]Merry Fellow’s Companion 28: A St Giles’s bird appeared as an evidence before [Lord Mansfield] [...] and so confounded his lordship with slang [etc].
St Giles’s breed (n.) (also Giles’s breed, St Giles’s, St Giles’s company, St Giles’s order)

criminals as a class.

[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 163: This second German Princess being one of St. Giles’s Breed, who is better to hang than to feed.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Gile’s or St. Gile’s breed, fat, ragged, and saucy; Newton and Dyot Streets, the grand head-quarters of most of the thieves and pickpockets about London, are in St. Gile’s parish.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Salisbury & Winchester Jrnl 8 June 3: I’m a Hackney Coachman of the true St Giles breed.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries & Miseries of NY 29: The bull- doggish look about his eyes and mouth — the thick, short neck — the broad round shoulders and full chest, proclaim him to be what he is, — an Englishman of the real St. Giles's order.
[UK]T. Beames Rookeries of London 19: In common parlance, St. Giles’s and Billingsgate are types – the one, of the lowest conditions under which human life is possible, – the other, of the lowest point to which the English language can descend.
[UK]Bradford Obs. 18 Mar. 4/3: As choice a set of birds of the Whitechapel and St Giles breed as might be found.
[UK]W. Besant Orange Girl II 104: Is it one of the St. Giles’s company?
St Giles’s Greek (n.) [Greek n. (2)]

slang, cant.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue iii: The Vulgar Tongue consists of two parts: the first is the Cant Language, called sometimes Pedlar’s French, or St. Giles’s Greek.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 4 Mar. 3/2: We are desired to publish the following intercepted Letter to the Informer of the Robbery at Magdalen College written [...] by one of the Gang, in the Language which they call St Giles’s Greek.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. XIII 164/1: [heading] St Giles’s Greek.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: St. Giles’s Greek; the cant language, called also Slang, Pedlars’ French, and Flash.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry I iv: Flash, my young friend, or slang, as others call it, is the classical language of the Holy Land; in other words, St. Giles’s greek.
[Aus]P. Cunningham New South Wales II 59: A number of slang phrases current in St Giles’ Greek bid fair to become legitimized in the dictionary of this colony.
[UK] ‘All England Now are Slanging It’ Museum of Mirth 39/2: All the universities / Have buried the dead languages [...] to study prime St. Giles’s Greek and bark out rum dog Latin.
[Aus]North. Star (Yorks) 4 Sept. 6/2: All the eloquence of the purlieus of St Giles, or what is termed by the learned in flash, ‘St Giles Greek’.
[UK]N&Q VII 25 June 617/2: I do not of course mean the vile argot, or St Giles’ Greek prevalent among housebreakers and pickpockets.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 25 July 6/5: You can scratch down bets on horses you do not understand, and gabble in St Giles Greek about ‘making books’.
[UK]Era 20 Mar. 10/3: That very ‘fly’ individual Bob Logic, so well versed in what he terms ‘St Giles’s Greek’.
[Aus]W.K. Hancock Australian 292: Many words have come from the aborigines, some have worked upwards from ‘St Giles’ Greek’.