Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bene adj.

also bane, ben, been, bien
[Lat. bonus and Fr. bon, good]

[mid-16C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) good; it can be conjugated as benar, better and benat, best.

In derivatives

benely (adv.)

[mid-17C] (UK und.) well.

In compounds

bene bouse (n.) (also ben bouse, bene bowse, bien bowse) [bouse n.]

[mid-16C–mid 19C] drink, lit. good liquor; thus bene-bowsy, tipsy (with good drink).

bene cove (n.) [cove n. (1)] (UK Und.)

1. [17C–mid-19C] (also bene cofe) a friend, lit. ‘a good fellow’; thus in cant, a fellow criminal.

2. [mid-19C] a tramp.

bene cull (n.) (also ben cull) [cull n.1 (4)]

[19C] a good fellow, a friend.

bene darkmans [darkmans n.; Partridge in DU suggests ‘ca. 1560 or even earlier. Not dictionaried, however, until 1698 (B.E.)’]

[mid-16C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) good night.

bene mort (n.) (also bien mort) [bene adj. + mort n.]

[17C–mid-19C] a pretty woman.