Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bousing-ken n.

also boosing ken, booze ken, boozen-ken, boozing-can, boozing-ken, boozing-kin, bouseing-ken, bouzing-kan, bouzing-ken, bowsing-ken, bowzing-ken, ken boozie
[bouse v. + ken n.1 (1)]

1. (UK Und.) an ale-house; latterly a public house.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 59: Yf their women haue any thing about them [...] they [...] sell it out right, for bene bowse at their bowsing ken.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching Ch. 13: [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd) C3: To the Bowsin Ken (that was to say the Tap-house) and there to pawne it [his best garment] for so much strong Ale, as could be ventur’d vpon it.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 59: They be merry in euery Bousing Ken or Alehouse.
[UK]Song of the Beggar in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 14: Still doe I cry, good your Worship good sir, / Bestow one small Denire, Sir / And bravely at the bousing Ken / Ile bouse it all in Beere, Sir.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Beggar’s Bush II i: When last in conference at the bouzing-ken, / The other day, we sate about our dead prince.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O2: In a Bowsing Ken weele cast. There (if Loure we want) Ile Mill a Gage, or Nip for thee a Boung.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew II ii: Sir, I can lay my function by / And talk as wild and wantonly / As Tom or Tib, or Jack, or Jill, / When they at bowsing ken do swill.
[UK]T. Randolph Hey for Honesty III i: By lusty doxies, there’s not a quire cove, Nobler than I in all the bousing kens That are ’twixt Hockly-i’-th’-hole and Islington.
[UK]A Beggar I’ll Be in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 27: But when in a poor Boozing-Can we do bib it, / We stand more in dread of the Stocks than the Gibbet.
[UK]T. Jordan ‘A Canting Rogue Paralled with a Phanatick’ in A Royal Arbor 71: A Tinker and his Doxy in a den / Of Filchers, which they call the bowsing ken.
[UK]‘L.B.’ New Academy of Complements 213: At the Bouzing-ken, / I’le spend it all in Beer, Sir.
[UK]Of the Budge in Head (1674) 12: Then every man to the Boozing Ken / And there to fence his hog.
[UK]‘The Vagabond ’ in Ebsworth Merry Drollery Compleat (1875) 205: And bravely then at the bouking [sic] Ken / I’ll bouze it all in beera.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy II 40: We e’en turn’d our selves into the Smoaky Boozing-Ken amongst them. [Ibid.] VII 173: Beyond these were a parcel of Scandalous Boosing-Kens.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 181: He fell sick of a filching Fever, for which the Doctor of the Tripple-Tree applied the powerful Cordial of Hemp to his Jugular Vein, so that the strength of Application not being allayed in time, cast him into a dead Sleep, and for ever spoiled his drinking at the Boozing-ken.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 187: The Footmen were gone to drink at some adjacent Boozing-Kin.
[UK]C. Hitchin Regulator 19: A Boosing-Ken, alias an Ale-House.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy III 101: For when in a poor Bouzing-kan we do bib it, / We stand more in dread of the Stocks, than the Gibbet.
[UK]J. Harper ‘Frisky Moll’s Song’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 41: I Frisky Moll, with my Rum Coll, / Wou’d Grub in a Bowzing Ken; / But ere for the Scran he had tipt the Cole, / The Harman he came in.
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 30: Bouseing-Ken, Alehouse.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 376: The Footmen were gone to drink at some adjacent Boozing-Ken, or Alehouse.
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account 31 July [Internet] [I] conveyed him in our Way to a small § Boozing and Fence Ken, where we drank several Drams [...] § A publick House.
[UK] ‘The Jolly Beggar’ in Tom-Tit Pt 2 2: When in a Boozing ken we do bib it.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 15: An Alehouse – Boozen-ken.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘A Cant Song’ Muses Delight 177: Away she went laughing, I hik’d after Moll [...] And away we went to the ken boozie.
[UK](con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in Groom (1999) xxvi: A Boozing Ken An Alehouse.
[UK]G. Parker ? ‘The Sandman’s Wedding’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 64: Come wed, my dear, and let’s agree, / Then of the booze-ken you’ll be free.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 27: Many of the words used by the Canting Beggars in Beaumont and Fletcher, and the Gipsies in Ben Jonon’s Masque, are still to be heard among the Gnostics of Dyot-street and Tothill-fields. To prig is still to steal; bouzing-ken, an alehouse; cove a fellow.
[UK] ‘Boby and His Mary’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 94: In Dyot-street a booze-ken stood, / Oft sought by foot-pads weary.
[US]Commercial Advertiser (N.Y.) 1 Feb. 2/3: After roystering at the Theatre, they broomed to a neighboring bousing ken.
[UK]Lytton Pelham III 295: Zounds, Bess [...] what cull’s this? Is this a bowsing ken for every cove to shove his trunk in?
[UK]Vidocq Memoirs (trans. W. McGinn) II 159: Three months ago [...] Blignon and I were blowing a cloud quietly in a boozing ken of the Rue Planche-Mibray.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 3: You knows you has only stepped from my boosing ken to another.
[UK] ‘Othello’ Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 22: He dropt it in Cassio’s snoozing ken – / And so nicely contrived a plan, / For Othy to meet them in a boozing ken.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 140: An out and out boozing ken where Long Jemmy and rest on us have had many a roaring night.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Aug. 2/6: The prisoner had taken French leave [...] for the more pleasant occupation of whetting his whistle at a neighbouring boozing ken.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 24 Jan. 6/2: He hurries to the ‘boozing ken’ to regale himself with two-penceworth of ‘blue ruin’.
[UK]Vanity Fair (N.Y.) 9 Nov. 216: He’s fly enough to shut up every boozing ken.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 20/2: It was a dancing hall at night, a ‘boozing ken’ at all times, and a resort for the higher class of travelling ‘guns’.
[US]G.P. Burnham Memoirs of the US Secret Service 99: He too was a constant frequenter of the tap-room and the ‘boozing-ken’.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 2 Dec. 6/6: Here’s a boozing ken, we’ll have a shant or two of bivvy.
[UK]J. Caminada Detective Life I 12: The ‘Rag and Louse,’ or some other equally notorious ‘boozing ken’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 13: The house he’s talking about [...] ain’t no tavern. It’s a boozin’ ken for crimps and thieves.
[UK] ‘The Buccaneers’ Seven Seas Sept. in Lomax & Lomax Amer. Ballads and Folk Songs (1934) n.p.: And there they lay, all good, dead men, / Like break o’ day in a boozin’ ken.
[US]Ade Old-Time Saloon 27: For every one de luxe establishments there were a thousand boozing kens all of the same conventional pattern.

2. (US Und.) a coffee-house.

[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 316/1: Boozing Ken, a coffee-house.