Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cony-catching adj.

also coney-catching, conny-, cunny-
[conycatch v. (1)]

1. pertaining to confidence trickery.

[UK]Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor I i: Your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
[UK]Dekker Honest Whore Pt 1 III iii: Thou wert honest at fiue, and now th’art a Puncke at fifteene: thou wert yesterday a simple whore, and now th’art a cunning Conny-catching Baggage to day.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe IV i: Your Norfolke tumblers are but zanyes to connicatching punckes.
[UK]J. Melton Astrologaster 51: All the cunnycatching Knaues about London.
[UK]J. Mabbe (trans.) Life of Guzman Pt I Bk II 112: I began [...] exercising all your Cony-catching trickes, knavish prankes, fine feates with sleight of hand.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Taylors Revenge’ in Works (1869) II 147: But this is written, that it may appeare. / That I from cony-catching tricks am cleare.
[UK]The Wandering Jew 22: All this I know too, and neither am skilled, nor professe I any of these cunny-catching Sciences.
[UK]Black Dog of Newgate in Griffiths (1884) 78: The stranger [...] said they were coney-catching knaves.

2. in a non-criminal sense, deceitful, mendacious.

[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 107: Thou lying Coney-catching Knave.