1. a social gathering, a party.
|Pretty Gentleman 15: [note] Drums, Kettle-Drums, Drum-Majors, Routs, Hurries, Riots, Tumults, and Helter-Skelters, the several Appellations by which the modern Assemblies are aptly characterized and distinguished.|
|Lame Lover in Works (1799) II 79: I shall be even with Miss for telling master about and concerning my drums.|
|Estate of Culross Coal Workings 53: It either is, or should be toneish, Scots Coals and Wax Tapers forming two of the indispensably necessary attendants of Drums, Routs, and Squeezes.|
|General Bounce (1891) 3: One of those great solemnities which novelists call ‘a rout,’ but which people in real life [...] designate ‘a drum.’.|
|Sl. Dict. 151: Drum old slang for a ball or rout; afterwards called a hop.|
|Mohawks II 235: Dazzling in white satin and white velvet [...] Lady Judith Topsparkle appeared at Lady Townley’s drum, which was an assemblage of all the best people in town.|
|Fort Worth Gaz. (TX) 1 July 5/6: Mr Paul had done de handshake wid every mug in de drum.|
|Nocturnal Meeting 123: When i give a drum or a dance I get in outsiders to help.|
2. a casino.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 96/1: We left, and next bent our steps to Faulkner’s ‘drum,’ which was then alongside the Alhambra. On giving the pass-word to the porter [...] we were admitted.|
3. a saloon, a drinking house, a speakeasy, a nightclub.
|Vocabulum 28: Drum, a drinking-place.|
|Night Side of N.Y. 34: Pugilistic ‘drums’ [...] in which beetle-browed characters congregate by day and night to [...] discuss topics of the ‘ring’.|
|Memoirs of the US Secret Service 80: Come to the ‘break o’ day drum’ in B--- Street.|
|Barman & Barmaid 12 July 3/1: [She] little thinks that the [...] hidden portion of her anatomy is being handed about all the swell drums of the West-end.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 19 June 3/2: He would thou re-enter his ‘drum’ [i.e. public house] and lavishly treat himself to another ‘ thrumsworth’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Sept. 9/2: It was no wonder then that, on Thursday evening last, a large crowd of enthusiasts fairly rushed the local Thespian ‘drum,’ and appropriated every seat.|
|Truth (Sydney) 18 Mar. 2/6: At least once dancing ‘drum’ was found where ‘tanglefoot’ was kept on tap in a zinc bucket.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 6 Feb. 1/3: Men who ‘10 minutes’ ago were ‘bottle-o’ merchants [...] For them the language of the ‘drum’ passes muster as cleverness.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 120: In this hospitable drum we were ensconced one night.|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 91: ‘Well, it’s a bit quiet in the drum’.|
|N.Z. Truth 26 Jan. 6/1: [headline] A Dirty Drum [...] Another den of inquity has just been squashed out of existence.|
|‘Votes fer Wimmin’ 20 Sept. [synd. col.] I heard Plunk Peters talkin’ down in Kerry’s drum one night.|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 278: Larrouy’s — just one drum in a city that had a number.‘The Big Knockover’|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 204: I will not be slaving in Johnny Oakley’s dirty little drum for thirty bobs a week.‘Broadway Financier’ in|
|Runyon à la Carte 131: Everybody calls her Barbecue since she opens this drum.|
|Joyful Condemned 284: There’s all these little crims in the swi-game and the S.P. betting, the night-clubs, the drums, all getting cheeky.|
4. a brothel.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 59/1: How she came there she could not tell, neither could she obtain any information from the old hag that kept the ‘drum’.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 3: Drum - House of ill repute.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 22 Feb. 2/3: What a rosy time the soiled doves must have if the drum is run by a ‘thrap,’ but [...] the police never go near a brothel, except on duty — oh, no.|
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 64: DRUM: a brothel or assignation house; a disorderly house or one devoted to drinking, gambling and debauchery.|
|Truth (Sydney) 30 Sept. 5/5: I don't want to shock yer readers / By describing of her drum; / Us koves in the Public Service / Has to keep them there things mum.|
|Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms 🌐 DRUM — A brothel.|
|Courtship of Uncle Henry 25: Went off looking for women got a taxi and set off for Mother Dwyer’s drum.|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 273: This place has the rep. for being one of the safest drums in the town.|
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiv 4/3: drum: A very poor type of domicile, A brothel.|
|(con. 1941) Gunner 266: A couple of my blokes are still in the drums.|
|Lingo 45: A cab and drum were terms for a brothel – cab molls, or just molls were those who worked in them.|
5. a house, a home.
|Swell’s Night Guide iii: The [...] cracksman, who would screw a drum.|
|Great World of London I 5: Splodger, will you [...] blow your yard of tripe of nosey-me-knacker, while we have a touch of the broads with some other heaps of coke at my drum.|
|Unsentimental Journeys 204: ‘Where shall we go?’ ‘Oh! to the old drum, I suppose.’.|
|Dick Temple II 224: Call it what you like [...] drum, crib, owse, or whichever.|
|Illus. Police News 1 Oct. 4/1: They took a stroll towards Kensington-gardens, when Head said, ‘What do yon think of those “drums” there?’ The witness answered that he did not think much of them.|
|Police! 321: A thieves’ abode or rendezvous ... Drum.|
|Illus. Police News 15 July 4/2: Why at my old drum I’ve seen a dozen on ’em [...] kicking up the devil’s delight.|
|Houndsditch Day by Day 104: He mayn’t live in the middle of St James’s Park [...] but — go and see ‘his little drum, and tell him what you think about it’.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 jan. 3/6: It’s a story of a gell, as / In a fortune teller’s drum, / Hooked a parson.|
|Boss 32: He said the Dead Rabbit was a drum for crooks!|
|Sporting Times 26 Feb. 1/4: I fear that when I got back to my own domestic drum / I betrayed some symptons of inebriation.‘Happy, Though Worried’|
|Everybody’s Oct. 🌐 We’ll drain this drum when we get damn good and ready.‘West Goes South’ in|
|Gilt Kid 23: Got a bit of stuff hanging around her drum she has. Red stuff, jewellery, furs and the ready. She keeps the dough under the carpet in her bedroom.|
|None But the Lonely Heart 295: ‘Doing your drum?’ the greyhaired copper says. [...] ‘They’ll search your house.’.|
|Und. Nights 22: It would have been too dodgy swagging gear into Bella’s drum at 3 a.m.|
|Burglar to the Nobility 161: I took a big house in Ewell [...] just the sort of drum I’d screwed in the old days.|
|Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 118: A clapped-out, three-storey drum, with a crumbling balcony.|
|🎵 Cockney live in a drum while we live in a yard.‘Cockney Translation’|
|Modern English : drum (n): Apartment.|
|Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 94: I was going to live in it when I first bought the drum. I saw myself as a country squire.|
|Observer Rev. 22 Aug. 7: The drummers of the title are thieves, drums being the houses they rob.|
|Guardian 23 Jan. 6: If they are creeping a ‘drum’ (house), aware that residents are asleep upstairs, they will confine activities to downstairs.|
|Viva La Madness 32: A huge drum — six bedder, swimming pool, tennis courts.|
6. a travelling salesman’s stall.
|Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 216: Charley closed his drum up in despair.|
7. a prison cell, a prison.
|‘The Jargon of Thieves’ in Derry Jrnl 8 Sept. 6/5: A cell is a ‘drum’.|
|Marvel XIV:364 Oct. 15: Ye’ve gotten me again into the infernal drum (roundhouse).|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
|Truth (Sydney) 19 Mar. 12/3: Them officials in the booby, They are glad to see them come; / Any change — it’s all the same sir, / When they gets ’em In that drum.|
|Keys to Crookdom 403: Drum. A prison cell.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Scarperer (1966) 78: It looks to me like you geezers, the Scarperer and all, thought that I might take a powder and not pay you on the odds for taking me out of that drum.|
|,||(ref. to c.1900) DAS.|
|Go-Boy! 46: The Dick would busy himself shaking down the drums for hidden contraband.|
|Prison Sl. 6: Drum A prison cell. (Archaic: shebang).|
8. (US) a place, a town.
|🎵 With a dashing little chum, from another little drum / Up to town I toddled.[perf. Charles Godfrey] ‘Giddy Little Curate’|
|Yes Man’s Land 10: Cheez — what a town! [...] wouldn’t this be a great drum to get married and settle down in, Marty?|
9. (Aus./US) a room.
|Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xx: Honest, I never saw such a drum. A great big room with a real bed instead of those shelve things and off of the room a bath [etc.].|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 9: She was thinking of her lazy silvery moon, the ducks and geese, and the cost for the use of the drum in the cracker joint she operated from.|
10. (US tramp) a safe.
|Prison Community (1940) 331/2: drum, n. An old-fashioned vault with the safe (keyster) within.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 797: drum – A safe.|
11. (US prison) a criminal’s hide-out.
|World’s Toughest Prison 797: drum – A crook’s hangout or den.|
(Aus.) a club room.
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 25: Drum-stick, a club-room.|
|Sioux City Jrnl (IA) 1 Sept. 8/4: If this business keeps on we’ll soon have a sporting drum every other dlor [...] Who has a poker layout, a faro table and a lot of ‘chips’ to sell?|
(UK Und.) to burgle a house.
|Seven Curses of London 87: To commit burglary – crack a case, or break a drum.|
|Aus. and Homeward 334: Some of their slang may be interesting [...] burglary is breaking a drum.|
to go off with stolen property.
|Vulgar Tongue (1857) 162: To Speel the drum to run away with the stolen property.‘Dict. Flash or Cant Lang.’ in ‘Ducange Anglicus’|
|Mysteries of London III 71/2: If you should pinch a lob or plan — / A sneezer or a randlesman — / Or work the bulls and couters rum — / Or go the jump and speel the drum.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 223: Speel on the Drum to be off to the country.|
|Melbourne Punch ‘The Lay of the Lags’ 14 Mar. 1/1: So my tulips, shake the shiners, / Speel the drum and fake away.|
|Sl. Dict. 303: Speel to run away, make off; ‘speel the drum,’ to go off with stolen property. North.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 78: Speel the Drum, to go with the stolen property.|
(UK Und.) a public house (mainly) frequented by non-criminal customers.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 42/1: We had no where else to go, unless it was into a ‘square drum’ and of course there we would be taken notice of.|