1. one who has no money, i.e. who is lit. ‘worthless’.
|Swell’s Night Guide 67: ‘Totty Crap,’ and ‘Bob Shicer,’ (two cadgers).|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 7/2: I have been ‘barbered’ by some one while I was asleep, and every bloody ‘mag’ in my ‘kick’ is ‘namassed’ and left me a complete ‘shiser’.|
2. nothing, something worthless; also attrib.
|Melbourne Courier 2 July 3/4: The prisoner pressed them to drink, but he refused to serve them with any, and conceiving all was not right, he took Watson’s money amounting, to 18s 9d from him, the moment he did so the prisoner said to another man, (his mate,) ‘that the bloke had napped it; it is a shiser.’ .|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 22 Aug. 2/4: A second perusal of the paragraph shows no publican’s name is mentioned according to ‘the scale,’ the hostlerie was little better than a shicer.|
|Rural and City Life n.p.: [F]or his lot if he would take a bill, which he declined doing lest the bill should turn out a ‘shicer’ .|
|Sun (Kalgoorlie) 12 Feb. 7/4: There’s a good deal of snorting down here over the Australian Eleven. All sporting chaps agree that it’s a ‘shyser’ team, and the ashes will stay on the other side this trip .|
|Coo-oo-ee 203: ‘The case is a ‘shicer’ already,’ replied Jack .|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 71: Live stock would not include so many ‘shicers’ if one were wary of ‘shysters’.|
3. (UK Und.) a prostitute.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 57/2: Ladies and gentlemen, ‘guns’ and ‘gunesses,’ likewise ‘shisers’ — ahem! (Here Duffy glanced towards the ‘shakes’).|
4. a worthless, idle person.
|Swell’s Night Guide 61: The shiser thinks to bounce us by flashing a shofel quid. [Ibid.] 77: If I’d been your mother, I’d a buked you in the logging gag. There, bag your nut, you shicer.|
|Vulgar Tongue 30: Skycer n. A mean, sponging fellow .|
|Hobart Town Dly Mercury 9 Apr. 2/4: Dr. Wilson moved an amendment ‘That Dr. Mackay was not a fit and proper person; but that he was a “shicer” - not fit to represent anybody.’ .|
|Adelaide Obs. (SA) 26 May 5/1: We [...] would gladly see suec words as ‘loafer,’ ‘dollop,’ ‘stuck up,’ ‘shicer,’ &c, excluded from the colonial vocabulary.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 11/1: As for the ‘shiser’ who left us we cared little about him. [Ibid.] 48/2: They no more ’bout ‘crackin’’ nor a dumm shizer like ’im.|
|Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 263: Isaac Hart, alias Shicer, was a good-natured and happy-go-lucky German Jew.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 4 July 20/1: Nine years after, / In June of eighty-five, / Never a farthing having sent her, / Back to Victoria comes this ‘shicer,’ / There a claim for divorce to enter, / Because she had been unfaithful!!|
|Bird O’ Freedom (Sydney) 11 June 4/2: The Boss had him removed, and threatened him with dismissal as he was being bundled into a cab; but Billy called the Boss an old ‘shyser,’ and wound up by saying: ‘Who keeps yor blumin rag alive eksep pore little Billy, the most poplir writer in Horsestraylia’.|
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 133: SHICER: a two-faced or unreliable person, a sneak or informer, or one who goes back on his promises.|
|In the Blood 260: You’re a damned good plucked un, Toby! [...] an’ ye’re no shicer.|
|Watchman (Sydney) 2 July 7/1: ‘Yo’ see I went down with that half hundred of potatoes to Simpson’s. When I gets there a bloomin shicer in top boots an’ regular sportin’ trim wuz shootin’ necks off bottles of beer for the crowd to drink’.|
|Aus. Felix (1971) 18: ‘A reg-lar ol’ shicer!’ was the unanimous opinion.|
|Capricornia (1939) 364: What you cobberin’ up with that yeller shisser for?|
|Muncie Eve. Press (IN) 7 Feb. 3/4: ‘Shyster’ is a variant if ‘shicer,’ a meaningless person, or a person of little worth.|
|Lingo 142: By the 1890s shicer had come to mean a criminal type of person, surviving into the present as shyster.|
5. (Aus., also shyster) a worthless or worked-out mine.
|Geelong Advertiser (Vic.) 25 June 2/4: Her Majesty’s good English is in great danger of going out of use at the gold fields [...] For example, a thief is dubbed a ‘fossicker,’ a bad hole a ‘schisser,’ and a man taking off his coat to work is said to be ‘shaping’ .|
|Adelaide Times 26 Apr. 2/6: The following day it was proved, in digging phraseology, to be a ‘shyser,’ and before evening the place was again entirely deserted.|
|Mt Alexander Mail (Vic.) 28 Sept. 2/3: I understand that the ground is patchy but heavy. Hitherto few schisers have been sunk, and the general opinion is that this great gold field will soon unite itself with Creswick Creek.|
|Argus (Melbourne) 19 Jan. 6/1: 220 feet digging is no plaything just now, with the prospect of a schicer at such depths .|
|Aus. Sketches 135: A claim without gold is termed a ‘shicer.’.|
|Illus. Sydney News 21 Jan. n.p.: ‘The Digger.’ The ne’er-do-wells... are... the first to rush to a new field, scrape it of its surface gold and then too lazy to seek further by deep sinking denounce the rush as a shicer [F&H].|
|Argus (Melbourne) 10 Mar. 4/7: There are plenty of creeks in this country that have only so far been scratched – a hole sunk here and there and abandoned. No luck, no perseverance; and so the place has been set down as a duffer, or, as the old diggers’ more expressive term had it, a ‘shicer.’.|
|(ref. to 1850s) Truth (Brisbane) 14 Jan. 10/5: ‘[A]mid a hurricane of voices clearly rose the ominous words, ‘Go back; go back! Shicer, Shicer!’ [...] ‘Shicer’ is digger-slang analogous to ‘duffer’.|
|Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] SHICER – Unproductive mine; a trickster.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 250: Bottoming their shicers at Bendigo or Mount Alexander, burying the digger murdered by the bushrangers.|
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 66: Shyster, a worthless mine.|
|Lingo 142: Some terms were taken over from gold-fields slang. One such was shicer (from British slang for someone considered worthless) and applied in Australia to a worthless mine.|
6. a cheat, one who does not pay their debts.
|Swell’s Night Guide 61: The shiser thinks to bounce us by flashing a shofel quid.|
|Mt Alexander Mail (Vic.) 21 May 7/5: Now sir, if you call me a fellow again, you vagabone [sic] shyser, I’ll let you see.|
|Sporting Times 22 May 3/4: Strike me pink if I didn’t do in eight pound six at the Shicers’ Club larst night.|
|Austral Eng. 416/1: Shicer (2) A man who does not pay his debts of honour.|
|see sense 3.|
|Truth (Melbourne) 11 Nov. 4/6: Borax at a shilling a teaspoonful ought to be a pretty profitable game, but if the mugs knew what they were buying the shampoo shicer would not do much of a trade .|
|see sense 5.|
|Crooks of the Und. 227: In those days I was a ‘shicer’ (welsher).|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 1 Mar. 13/2: ‘I ’ate this Mussolini!’ - / Breathes a fellow in the tram, / ‘An’ I sez to my wife Rene / He’s a shyser and a sham!’.|
|Southern Record & Advertiser (Candelo, NSW) 18 Dec. 2/3: That the man who sneaks out of his debts is a ‘shicer,’ and no amount of jolly good fellowship can alter the fact that he is a ‘shicer’ .|
|Signs of Crime 200: Shicer (sheister) A cheat or ‘welsher’.|
|Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] Catch today’s pollies doing that [i.e. paying for personal expenses] Rorters and shicers to a man.|
7. (Aus.) a duplicitous politician who promises but rarely delivers .
|Bird O’ Freedom (Sydney) 2 Sept. 3/3: Strykes me that pore Billy iz az fit fur poli-it-ickle lyphe as the shycers whu livs an travvles on the gob.|
|Broadford Courier (Vic.) 25 Feb. 5/3: Of course we should not expect hon. members to descend to the slang of the streets, although we do remember to have heard one hon. gentleman refer to another as a ‘shycer’ .|
|Dly News (Perth) 1 Feb. 4/4: ‘The public man who leads a party on to victory, and then is not prepared to take office is a shyser’.|
|Truth (Brisbane) 14 Jan. 10/5: I have heard the word ‘shicer’ used on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. [...] Respectable members on the Government benches objected [...] pointing out that it was merely an evasion of a word where the ‘c’ was represented by a ‘t’ .|
8. (Aus.) a criminal, thus attrib.
|Truth (Brisbane) 7 June 1/3: That tricky twicer and sanctified shicer, and boodling, Bible-banging bankrupt, and cronk Congregational cadger, and parishioners’ pelf-purloining parson of Pitt street, Trickster Tremayne Dunstan.|
|Truth (Sydney) 25 May 11/3: How she gets ’em [i.e. underage girls] I don’t know, Sir, / [...] / But she’s probably connected / With some shicer furrin crew.|
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
|Cumberland Argus (Sydney) 11 June 9/3: Forty or fifty years back the word ‘shyster’ was freely used in denunciation of a crook, but the old hands expressed it as ‘shicer.’ To be called a ‘shicer’ was to be cast to the depths of degradation .|
9. (UK Und.) a dishonest race course bookmaker .
|Soul Market 290: A racecourse swindler or welsher is spoken of as a ‘shiser’.|
|Sydney Sportsman 23 Nov. 5/5: I notice in your paper, ‘Truth,’ dated 13th November, a letter, ‘Shortel the Shicer.’ You are quite right in what you say, on my wager, I can only speak for myself, as the bet £6 to £l on Lord Cardigan on Melbourne Cup of 1903, was correct, and I never got one penny of that money, and I never expect to get it now.|
|Crooks of the Und. 67: I frequented race tracks with other race-course crooks, and very soon became an expert ‘shyser’.|
(Aus.) a bet one cannot lose.
|Mirror (Perth) 7 Oct. 3/5: Harry Dunston, of Midland Railway fame, has invented the original shyser bet. He never loses.|