Green’s Dictionary of Slang

chats n.1

also chates, chattes, chatts, cheats
[cheat n.]

(UK Und.) the gallows.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 84: chattes, the gallowes.
[UK]Tyde taryeth no Man in Collier (1863) II 47: But, cosen Cutpurse, if ought thou do get, / I pray thee let me haue part of thy cheate. / I meane not of thy hanging fare, / But of thy purse, and filched share.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching A2: [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd) J3: We may happen on the Harmans, and cly the Iarke, or to the quire ken, and scowre quire crampings, and so to trymming on the chetes.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 37: Chates, the Gallowes: here he mistakes both the simple word, because he found it printed, not knowing the true originall thereof, and also in the compound; as for Chates it should be Cheates, which word is vsed generally for things, as Tip me that Cheate, Giue me that thing: so that if you will make a word for the Gallous, you must put thereto this word Treyning, which signifies hanging; and so Treyning Cheate is as much to say, hanging things, or the Gallous, and not Chates.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: Else trine me on the cheats – hang me.
[UK]Dekker O per se O ‘Canting Song’ O2: Bein darkmans then, bouse, mort, and ken / the bien coue’s bingd a wast; / On chates to trine, by Rome-coves dine / for his long lib at last.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O3: [To] Deuse-a-vile didst runne, else the Chates had thee undone.
[UK]T. Randolph Hey for Honesty III i: By these good stampers, upper and nether duds; I’le nip from Ruffmans of the Harmanbeck, Though glimmer’d in the fambles, I cly the chates.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 48: Chats, The Gallows.
[UK] ‘Canting Song’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 23: [as cit. 1612].
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Chates, the Gallows.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 200: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Fielding Life of Jonathan Wild (1784) IV 258: See what your laziness is come to – to the cheat, for thither will you go now, that’s infallible.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict.
[UK] Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Chates, the gallows, (cant).
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 4 Mar. 3/2: Tho’ thou hast scapt the chates for this bout, I may see thee a babe in the wood before tis over: and so the ruffin cly thee.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Chatts [...] according to the canting academy, the Gallows.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd edn, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785 & 1796 (2)].
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 18: CHATTS [...] formerly the gallows.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. [as cit. 1859].
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 313/2: chats, la potence.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).