Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pad n.1

[Du. pad, and OHG pfad, the cant equivalent of the SE path]

1. (UK Und.) the road.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 86: Nowe bynge we a waste to the hygh pad the ruffmanes is by.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching n.p.: [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: The Canters Dictionary Pad, a Way.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: I am no such nipping Christian, but a maunderer upon the pad.
J. Taylor Crabree Lectures 189: A Cove and a Mort Whidling together as they budged upon the Pad.
[UK]Dekker Canters Dict. Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Pad, way.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Pad The High-way.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK] ‘Rolling Blossom’ in Festival of Anacreon in Wardroper Lovers, Rakers and Rogues (1995) 180: [I] grieve to leave my dear town pad.
[UK]J. Walker Pronouncing Dict. 377/1: Pad, The road, a footpath.
H. Lemoine ‘Education’ in Attic Misc. 116: For Dick had beat the hoof upon the pad.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK] ‘Sonnets for the Fancy’ Egan Boxiana III 622: [as 1791].
[UK] ‘The Song of the Young Prig’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 172: The cleanest angler on the pad, / In daylight or the darkey.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/2: A spicey moll [...] to whom he swears [...] ‘that should she think proper to become his “jo-man” ’ (left handed wife), she shall never be minus ‘the first scran (food) on the pad, and plenty of lush (drink) when she wants it ’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 15/2: The nigger had followed the pad used by hundreds of niggers, all barefooted.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Aug. 15/1: We dumped our ’Tilders in the bar to take a little rest, / For that ole pad was long an’ ’ot we’d trodden from the West.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 68: This narrow muddy track through the humid jungle [...] I soon knew why it was described as a native pad centuries old.

2. a villain’s female companion.

[UK]J. Taylor ‘A Brood of Cormorants’ in Works (1869) III 8: Spakes the braue canting tongue, lyes with his dell, / Or pad, or doxi, or his bonny Nell.

3. (UK Und.) a highway robber, a footpad (but not a mounted highwayman).

[UK]New Brawle 12: [of a pickpocket] Out thosed base Pad, thou Prigger of Cullies, thou Shop-lift.
‘Peter Aretine’ Strange Newes title: Also the mad flights [...] used by the Wandring-Whore, her Bawds, Mobs, Panders, Pads and Trulls for the drawing of young Hectors.
[UK]J. Wilson Cheats I i: I was t’other night upon the randan, and who should I meet with but our old gang, some of St. Nicholas’ clerks? Pad was the word.
[UK]C. Cotton Compleat Gamester 6: Shoals of Huffs, Hectors, Setters, Gilts, Pads, Biters, Divers, Lifters, Filers, Budgies, Droppers, Crossbyters, etc., and these may all pass under the general and common apellation of Rooks.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 67: If you are five or six in Company [...] do not huddle together; this will conduce much to your safety: for by this means the Pads will be afraid to assault you.
[UK]Congreve Love for Love I i: There’s Trapland the scrivener, with two suspicious fellows like lawful pads, that would knock a man down with pocket-tipstaves.
[UK]Farquhar Beaux’ Strategem II ii: D’ye know of any gentlemen o’ the pad on this road!
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: Pad The High-way and a Robber thereon.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]J. Messink Choice of Harlequin I viii: Ye scamps, ye pads, ye divers, and all upon the lay .
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK] ‘The Rolling Kiddy’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) 234: While he is by a brother pad hanging by the fatal cord.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 35: Where all your high pedestrian pads, / That have been up and out all night.
[UK]Byron Don Juan canto XI line 80: ‘Damn your eyes! your money or your life!’ These freeborn sounds proceeded from four pads, In ambush laid.
[UK] ‘Ye Scamps, Ye Pads, Ye Divers’ Regular Thing, and No Mistake 62: [as cit. 1781–2].
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 118: Pad, a highwayman who robs on foot.
[UK]W.S. Gilbert ‘Emily, John, James, & I’ Fifty ‘Bab’ Ballads 256: On sharpers and pickpockets, swindlers and pads.

4. a prostitute.

E. S—cy Country Gentleman’s Vade Mecum 105: A Race Whore or a Pad Strumpet [...] will stand you in five times as much in a Year’s keeping, as a Race Horse and a Pad together, nay than a whole stable of Racers.

5. an easy-paced horse.

[UK] ‘The Citizen’s Vindication’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 278: Besides, the bonny City Lads like Gentlemen do go, / While countrey Bumkins ride on Pads, say nothing but gee ho!
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: A Pad, an easy Pacing Horse.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I:8 22: Mounted on Hunters, Pads, and Tits.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 13: On Long-tails, on Bob-tails, on Trotters and Pacers, / On Pads, Hawkers, Hunters, on Higlers and Ravers.
[UK]Sterne Tristram Shandy (1949) 50: I keep a couple of pads myself, upon which, in their turns [...] I frequently ride out and take the air.
[UK]Banquet of Wit 30: He had bought her a fine pad, which soon after gave her a fall that broke her neck.
[UK]J. Walker Pronouncing Dict. Pad, [...] an easy-paced horse.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr Poor Gentleman III i: What’s the name of the black pad I purchased [...] at Tunbridge?
[UK]Lytton My Novel (1884–5) I Bk IV 282: The pad stopped, and put down both ears with the air of a pad who has made up her mind to bait.
Tennyson Lady of Shalott Pt ii: An abbot on an ambling pad.

6. a tramp.

[UK]Foote Knights in Works (1799) I 70: Peter Ugly, the blind pad, fell into a saw-pit.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Sl. Dict.

7. (UK Und.) highway robbery.

[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 139: ’Tis that makes Gentlemen of the Pad, as I am, wear a Tyburn Tippet, or old Storey’s Cap on some Country Gallows.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[Ire] ‘De Kilmainham Minit’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 6: And when dat he mill’d a fat slap, / He me-ri-ly melted de winner, / To snack wid de boys of de Pad.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Deacon Brodie I tab.II i: He’s a light hand on the pad, has Jemmy, and leaves his mark.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

8. a walk.

[UK]H. Brandon Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 164/1: Pad – a walk.
[UK]‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue.
[Ire]S.H. Bell Erin’s Orange Lily 132: ‘Come on in, the two of ye.’ ‘Ach, now Alec, we wouldn’t like to do that! I was just out on my pad wi’ James Orr here.’ .

9. (Aus.) a foot.

[Aus]I.L. Idriess One Wet Season 68: How about his hoofs?’ asked the Swamp Hog dubiously. [...] ‘You know he’s got pads like a camel. I’ll ram ’em into a pair of girl’s shoes somehow.’.

In derivatives

paddist (n.)

(Scot.) a highwayman.

[UK]Annand Mysterium Pietatis 85: A paddist or highwayman, attempting to spoil a preacher, ordering him to stand [F&H].
Jamieson Etymological Dict. of Scottish Lang. 185/1: paddist, s. A foot-pad, one who robs on foot [...] This, I suspect, originally denoted a highwayman of whateverdescription.

In compounds

pad book (n.)

a list of information useful to beggars, e.g. of friendly individuals (such as alms-givers or criminal accomplices), characters of local police, etc.

[UK]Kendal Mercury 24 Jan. 6/1: The ‘pad book’ or beggar’s directory. This is a record [...] of the names of the most benevolent individuals in the neighbourhood — the names and addresses of police [...] the residences of ‘fences’ and the keepers of ‘sweating cribs’.
pad-nag (n.)

a horse.

J. Crowne Country Wit III iii: Horses? my feet are my pad-nags.
[UK] ‘The Old Mans wish’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy I 16: An easie Pad-Nag to ride out a Mile.

In phrases

on the pad (also on the padroul)

1. going out to commit a robbery, usu. on the highway.

[UK]Head Art of Wheedling 205: When he intends to go on the Pad, then Inns some time before are the chief places whither he resorts, to get information.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Goes upon the Pad, or a Padding, c. Robbs upon the High-way.
[UK]J. Carrick Account of Robberies 7: Smith and Campbell having been out on the Pad by themselves, quarrelled about dividing the Spoil.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c 365: She marry’d one Humphry Jackson, a Butcher, who was taught to leave off his Trade and go upon the Pad.
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account 26 Mar. 28/2: He was known by the Name of Capt. Flash, [...] and making a better Appearance than his Brethren of the Whip, generally speaking, did; and no Wonder, because for these two Years past he has been upon the Pad, and as active as any of them all, about the Town, and Neighbourhood of Islington.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[Ire] ‘Luke Caffrey’s Ghost’ in Chap Book Songs 4: Oh! she was my own heart’s delight, / For her on the padroul I scamper’d.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[US] ‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Matsell Vocabulum 101: Only nine months on the pad, and to be up for Scragging!
Wkly Caucasian (Lexington, MS) 28 may 2/2: Fletcher ‘Melish’ on the pad again. The mail-stage robbed [...] on Thursday.

2. living as a tramp.

[UK]Jonson Staple of News II i: A very canter, I, sir, one that maunds Upon the pad.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Prisoner at Large 29: I take the road [...] I go on the pad! Oh Lord!
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor (1968) I 416/2: Her husband was on the pad in the country .
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Oct. 13/2: Thus we set across the ranges grim, like patriots long banished, / And we humped the lonely road to Sydney city ‘on our pad.’.
stand pad (v.) (also sit pad) [SE stand/SE sit ]

to beg at the roadside, usu. with a small piece of paper attached to one’s jacket, declaring ‘I am hungry’; also displaying deformities or handicaps.

[UK]Edinburgh Rev. July 485: Whenever cadgers stand or sit, either in towns or by the roadside, to beg, they call it sitting or standing pad ; and this often proves a very profitable method. Some of them affect blindness : whilst others represent themselves as unable to follow any employment, in consequence of being subject to fits.
[Ire]Freeman’s Jrnl 16 Feb. 4/5: This is called standing pad with a fakement. It is a wet weather dodge, and isn’t so good as screeving.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 93: SITTING PAD, sitting on the pavement in a begging position. [Ibid.] 101: ‘to stand pad’, to beg on the curb with a small piece of paper pinned on the breast.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor IV 24: Ashamed Beggars, or those who ‘stand pad with a fakement’ (remain stationary, holding a written placard), and pretend to hide their faces. [Ibid.] 425/1: Many white beggars, fortunate enough to possess a flattish or turned-up nose, dyed themselves black and ‘stood pad’ as real Africans.
[US]G.A. Brine letter Apr. 12 in Ribton-Turner (1887) n.p.: I obtained three children [...] to ‘stand pad’ with me from seven o’clock until twelve p.m. on a Saturday.
[UK]Dundee Courier 20 Oct. 7/5: In one of the main streets I stood ‘pad’ with my hat off.
[UK]W. Newton Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 20: The next is a game or ‘Graft,’ worked by cripples and blind people. They call it ‘Standing Pad’.
[UK]W.H. Davies Beggars 214: I have seen an exceptional navvy that had the impudence to stand pad in a crowded market-place.