Green’s Dictionary of Slang

commodity n.

[SE commodity, something available for sale or trade; in both senses the woman and/or her body are seen as no more than pieces of merchandise; thus Ward, The London Spy (1698): ‘Strumpets in the Streets were grown a scarce Commodity’]

1. a prostitute.

[UK]Greene Notable Discovery of Coosnage 37: The Bawd, if a man, an Apple squire The whoore, a Commoditie / The whoore house, a Trugging place.
[UK]Dekker Honest Whore Pt 1 I i: Heeres a coile for a dead commoditie, sfoote women when they are aliue are but dead commodities.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Faithful Friends I ii: This tiffeny Trader, wants Customers, I thrust em together; this greasie Cittizen, would put off some mustie Comodetie that some young heire would halfe hang himselfe to take vpp.
[UK]T. Killigrew Princess I i: They are the prettiest kind of commodities, these women, that a man can deal in.
[UK]J. Howell Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ (1907) 187: T. T. drank your health yesternight, and wished you could send him a handsome Venetian Courtesan inclos’d in a Letter, he would willingly be at the charge of the postage, which he thinkes would not be much for such a light commodity.
[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) II v: No partners in such commodities: your factor that takes up maidenheads, ’tis upon his own account.
[Ire]Head Art of Wheedling 111: By these Artifices he assuredly helps her [...] and is well satisfied for dealing with such rotten Commodities.
[UK]Behn Rover II i: Blunt. Whoring’s established here by virtue of the Inquisition—Come let’s be gone, I’m sure we’re no Chapmen for this Commodity.
[UK]T. Betterton Match in Newgate I ii: That Trade is most worshipful that sells the best Commodities.
J. Crowne Eng. Friar Epilogue: ’Tis treason now French interest to advance: And French commodities are all by law Doom’d to be burnt.
Constables Hue and Cry 5: She seldome puts a Commodity into any Customers hand, but what has been try’d before.
[UK]St James’s Register 5: [I am an] Admirer of an English Commodity.
[UK]The Tricks of the Town Laid Open (4 edn) 65: The Play-house [...] is the most proper Place for her [i.e. a bawd] to put off her damag’d Commodities.
Reed Register-Office II: Palm some of your freshest Commodities on him for one [i.e. a supposed virgin].
[[Aus]J. Byrell (con. 1959) Up the Cross 115: She [i.e. a prostitute] was a very well-fancied commodity when it came to dead horse].

2. (also French commodity) the female genitals.

[UK]Appius and Virginia in Farmer (1908) 24: What raging seas would I not plough To her commodity.
[UK]Shakespeare Henry VI Pt 2 IV vii: When shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities upon our bills?
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe IV i: Fetherstone and my Lady Greensheild are rid to barter away their light commodities in Ware.
[UK]Massinger Virgin-Martyr II i: We must confess, I took too much out of the pot; and he of t’other hollow commodity.
[UK]Glapthorne Hollander II i: How kind they [i.e. married whores] will be to a gentleman that comes to deale for their commodities, they will use him and it were their owne husbands.
H. Neville Parliament of Ladies 5: The said Ladyes [...] have leave to sell, give away, or otherwise dispose of their french commodities, without paying Excise or custome.
[UK]H. Nevile Newes from the New Exchange 14: [It] may chance to spoile the Trade of all Stallions in Pension, by teaching the rest of the Ladies how to prize their Commodities.
W. Wright ‘Preparative to a Pacification’ in Carpenter Verse in English from Tudor & Stuart Eng. (2003) 317: Of pleasant sports and mery-trix a many / [...] /To Friday Market, where then may be sold / Private Commodities, both Young and Old.
A Strange and True Conference 7: The spanish mode of shaving off all the wenches hairs of their Commodities.
[UK] ‘The German Princess’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1893) VII:1 65: But when to this prize he began to draw near / he found he had bought his Commoditie dear.
[UK]Whores Rhetorick 111: As in other Trades, they that are richest, are ever thought to be furnished with the best Commodities, have most Customers, and sell their Ware at the dearest rates. [Ibid.] 114: Let her Frenchifie her Commodities, or, (to avoid ribbaldry) her Merchandize, not with that Country Pox, but with hard names, and Je ne sçaiquois.
[Ire]‘A Cruel & Bloody declaration’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng in 18C Ireland (1998) 39: A base Pox’d Pick-pocket Harlet: / Nullus nunc Anglus, Will buy her Commodities.
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 31 May n.p.: The Prisoner brought him a brisk young Girl, who presently had the Impudence to pull up her Coats, and laying her hand upon her Belly said, Here's that that will do you good, a Commodity for you, if you’ll pay for it.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy VI 122: [They] were so Importunate with us to have some dealings with them, that we had much ado to forbear handling their Commodities.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 25: That wheesing, sickly shew, with his Breeches full of the prices of male and female commodities [...] is the Devil’s broker.
[UK]J. Spinke Quackery Unmask’d 12: Excellent Medicines ... to straiten a Woman’s Comm-dity.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy V 69: And for a Supply that our trade may increase, / For wanton Commodity it will grow less.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 187: These [...] were very fond in the large Quantity of that Commodity which they discovered in our Princess.
[UK]Dialogue between a Married Lady and a Maid III: He opened the Slit of my Commodity, and conveyed the Head of the Engine to it.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 31: A tight, good humoured sensible wench, who knows very well how to box her compass; well trimmed aloft, and well sheathed alow, with a good commodity under her hatches.
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 28 Feb. 85/2: I asked him what he would give me; he said nothing ’till he had seen my commodity; the landlady being willing to take money bid me show him, which I did.
[UK]Memoirs of [...] Jane D****s 86: An intention to make the Frenchyfied noblemen pay dear for her foreign commodities.
Joaks upon Joaks 20: She burned with a candle those parts which modesty allows me not to name [...] The King fell into a great passion, which [Nell’s] wit soon appeased, by telling him that there was a late act of parliament that all French commodities should be burnt.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Commodity, a woman’s commodity; the private parts of a modest woman, and the public parts of a prostitute.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 27: Her commodity, like those sold by inch of candle, is always knock’d down to the highest bidder.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Toasts’ in New Cockalorum Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) II 30: May our members stand stiff to the commodities of great Britain.
[UK]‘Black Ey’d Sal’ in Facetious Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 271: I carry no commodities / But what are fit for use — / Then have it, sir, and take my word, / You’ll find it full of juice.
Peeping Tom 1 2/1: She yet endeavoured to conceal herbosom with one hand, and her small commodity with the other.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 181: Marchandise, f. 1. The female pudendum; ‘the commodity’.
[US]E. Field ‘A French Crisis’ in Facetiae Americana 19: What shall I term that slimy pit-like orifice of sin, / [...] / A- tuppence, twitchet, coney, commodity or nock.
[US]D. Lypchuk ‘A dirty little story’ in eye mag. 8 July 🌐 He thought she was a real bit of all right, a bunch of calico, a commodity, a freak mommy fawn.

3. the penis.

[UK]New Brawle 6: [D]oth not the courtesy of the Wife many times utterher Husbands ill Commoditie, or unsaleable Ware.
[UK]D. Gunston (ed.) Jemmy Twitcher’s Jests 33: I dreamt it was freighted with a certain commodity you men wear about you [...] Some were large, some small, and some of the middle size.