Green’s Dictionary of Slang

conycatch v.

also cony, cunnycatch
[cony n. (3)/cony n. (2a)]

1. to ensnare in a confidence tric; thus conycatching, swindling, cheating.

[UK]H. Chettle Kind-Harts Dreame F4: The whole towne talks of the cunning man, that indeed had onely connycatcht his Host.
[UK]‘A Libell against some Graye’s Inn gentlemen’ in May & Bryson Verse Libel 283: For as they say , / A cunycatching raskall you can play.
[UK]J. Day Blind Beggar of Bednall-Green Act III: Look not on me, / Till you have found those that have Cony-catch’t you. [Ibid.] Act IV: Well on this condition you’ll teach me to cony, I am content to lye for you.
[UK]Dekker Honest Whore Pt 1 I ii: Why sister do you thinke Ile cunni-catch you, when you are my coosen?
[UK]J. Harington Epigrams III No. 36: Thus her good wit, their cunning ouer-matcht, / Were not these conycatchers conycatcht?
[UK]R. Brome City Wit IV ii: Truly, truly, I am Conycatch’d.
[UK]Tinker of Turvey 8: Some that knew you had but weake eyes haue fool’d you, out-fac’d you, and Cunny-catch’d you.
[UK]R. Brathwait Age for Apes 128: If I grant Protection to another To Conicatch, or to defeat his brother, My shallow Sconce is run on no such Shelfe As to neglect Protection for my selfe.
[UK]R. Nares Gloss. (1888) I 189: To cony-catch. To deceive a simple person; to cheat or impose; a cony, or rabbit, being considered a very simple animal. [...] a collective society of sharpers was called a warren, and their dupes rabbit-suckers (that is, young rabbits) [...] At times the gang were bird-catchers, and their prey a gull.
[US]E. Dahlberg Olive of Minerva 143: How is it possible for a dowd to conycatch a seer simply because she has a cranny between her legs?

2. to go out whoring or womanizing; thus cony-catching n., whoring.

[UK]Dekker Shoemakers’ Holiday IV iv: I came hither of purpose with shooes to sir Rogers worship, whilst Rose his daughter be coniecatcht by Hauns.
[UK]J. Cook Greenes Tu Quoque Scene xix: Tis scarce honest dealing for any man to Conny-catch another mans wife.
[UK]T. Nabbes Microcosmus Act V: I have coney-catcht many a poulterers wife, and she hath pluckt my feathers: what I got by the back I spent on the belly.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 11 9 Aug. 102: A Fiddling Fellow of this Town, accompanied with a brace of young Tormentors [...] being merrily disposed to learn the Art of Coney-catching, contrived to go a Ferritting with a Gun in a Gentle-mans Warren.
[UK]N. Ward London-Spy XI 264: Being almost Drunk, their Brains ran on Coney-Catching, and they must needs ... beg the Ladies good Company.
[UK]A. Crowley Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden 31: He was [...] but a worn-out reprobate, a fellow of Fumbler’s Hall, a mere butterfingers at coney-catching!