Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ridge n.

[the term vanished in the UK during the 19C but reappeared in Aus. in the mid-20C+]

1. (also rige) gold, thus money, a guinea.

implied in ridge cully
[UK]C. Hitchin Regulator 19: Ridge, alias Gold.
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account 8 Nov. [Internet] [...] promising him a Ridge or two (a Guinea or two) to get the Watch out of the Pawnbroker’s Hands.
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account 31 July [Internet] We began to examine the Contents of his Pockets, and found upwards of 15 * Ridges [...] * Guineas.
[UK]Select Trials at Old Bailey (1742) IV 348: They got to the Biding (or Place where they divide the Booty) [...] they examined the Contents of their Booties, which was three Bungs, with Lowers (Purses), in each Lower there were ten Ridges.
[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 30: If they napp the Bit, they cry pike; then we go and fisk the Bit, and dink the empty Bit, for fear it should be found, and fisk the Blunt, and gee if none is quare; to prevent a Rapp; it is a Bit of Rige or Wage.
[UK]Bloody Register III 171: [as cit. 1741].
[UK](con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in Groom (1999) xxix: Ridge Gold.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Whole Art of Thieving [as cit. 1753].
[UK] ‘Flash Lang.’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 18: Gold in plate of any sort, ridge.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 178: My thimble of ridge, and my driz kemesa; / All my togs were so niblike and splash.
[UK]Metropolitan Mag. XIV Sept. 333: We were both of one age and fly; resolved to get a cly full of ridge.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 121: Ridge, gold outside of a watch or other article.
[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 316/2: Ridge, gold.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]C.G. Gordon Crooks of the Und. 89: If the ‘screwsman’ with [...] ‘ridge,’ (gold and silver) is dissatisfied with the price offered, he is quite at liberty to take it elsewhere.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 177/2: Ridge. (Obsolete) Any gold coin.

2. (UK/US Und.) coins, rather than notes.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 21/2: Our luck turned out to be two ten-pound notes — a five and nine ‘quid’ in ‘ridge’, besides about thirty shillings in ‘wedge,’ (silver).
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 305: ridge. Metal money.
[US]W.T. Vollmann You Bright and Risen Angels (1988) 314: All their radical friends [...] have coughed up the final ridge.

In compounds

ridge cully (n.) [cully n.1 (5)]

(UK Und.) a goldsmith.

[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 52: Ridge-cully, a Goldsmith.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Ridgcully A Goldsmith.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 17: Goldsmith – Ridgcully.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.