St Hugh’s bones n.
1. (also bones of St Hugh) shoemaker’s tools.
|Shoemakers’ Holiday I iv: Maister, for my life yonders a brother of the Gentle Craft, if he beare not saint Hughes bones, I’ll forfeit my bones.|
|Shoo-maker, a Gentleman Act V: All our working Tooles are cald Saint Hugh’s bones.|
|‘A Hymne to the Gentle Craft’ in Rump Poems and Songs (1662) ii 152: Crispin and he were nere of kin, / The gentle Craft have a noble Twin, / But he’d give Sir Hughs bones to save his skin.|
|Proverbs (2nd edn) 91: The gentle craft of S. Hughs bones.|
|‘The Couragous English Boys’ in Bagford Ballads (1878) I 382: The Bones of St. Hugh they do now bid adieu, / As having a far greater work now to do.|
|Pue’s Occurrences (Dublin) 24 Jan. 1/3: Many thousand Pairs of Shoes has been Lost even to Ready Money Customers [...] So very great is the insolence of these inferior Crispins, that St Hugh’s Bones lie quiet for Days.|
|London City Press 13 Oct. 3/4: St Hugh’s Bones was another sign of the gentle craft. St Hugh [...] on the point of his martyrdom [...] bequeathed his bones [...] to some shoemakers with whom he had worked.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Elbow shaker, a gamester, one who rattles Sir Hugh’s bones, i.e. the dice.|
|‘Modern Dict.’ in Sporting Mag. May XVIII 100/1: [as cit. 1785].|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 101: bones, dice: also called St. Hugh’s bones.|
|Sl. Dict. 91: Bones, to rattle the bones, to place at dice.|