Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Cri, the n.


1. the Criterion (bar, restaurant and theatre) at Piccadilly Circus, London, W1, which was ultra-fashionable in the late 19C and revamped in the 1990s.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Pooty Women’ in Punch 21 Sept. in P. Marks (2006) 149: There’s Bessie Bolair of the ‘Cri’.
[UK]Cremorne I 17: Do you see that painted lady / She as wanders round the ‘Cri’.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Influence and Conviction’ Sporting Times 25 Jan. 1/2: Suppose that you and I have been imbibing at the Cri., / With additional refreshment at Romano’s, / And are subsequently found, very muchly ‘on the bound’.
N. Gould Racecourse and Battlefield 81: We will celebrate my appointment in real good style. Where shall it be – the Troc, the Cri, the Princes, or the Club?
[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 153: What do you say to a sherry and curacoa at the Cri.
[US]E. Wittmann ‘Clipped Words’ in DN IV:ii 133: Cri. The Criterion.
[UK]Kipling ‘The United Idolaters’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 143: They knew Dick had a giddy naval uncle who took him to the Pavilion and the Cri.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1962) 29: Come on down to the Cri and we’ll pinch the barmaid’s bum.
[UK]J. Orton Diaries (1986) 11 Feb. 84: Kenneth and I went down to the Cri to see the cast of Loot.

2. the Criterion Music Hall, Perth WA.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 2 Dec. 4/8: The buxom young belle at the Cri. / Whose calf is her chiefest allurance.