1. a woman, usu. a promiscuous one.
|Roaring Girle II ii: She is loose in nothing but in mirth; Would all Molls were no worse!|
|Chaste Maid in Cheapside II ii: This Lent will fat the whoresons up with sweetbreads / And lard their whores with lamb-stones; what their golls / Can clutch goes presently to their Molls and Dolls.|
|Mercurius Fumigosus 24 8–15 Nov. 203: When Moll must kneel to her maid Jone.|
|‘Lovers’ Session’ in Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 177: Harry Wharton fresh reeking from Norfolk’s lewd Moll.|
|Comical Hist. of Don Quixote Pt 3 III i: Doll, Sue, Bess, and Moll, with Hodge.|
|Humours of a Coffee-House 30 July 27: Love Moll, and let her not Controul: / What if she Whine, Shed Tears, and Frown / Laugh at her Folly.|
|Beggar’s Opera I i: Black Moll hath sent word her Tryal comes on in the Afternoon.|
|Discoveries (1774) 37: I stall at the Jegger to nap the Slangs from the Cull or Moll; that is take [...] I stop at the Door to take the Things from the Man or Woman.|
|Disappointment I iii: A Room in Moll Placket’s house.|
|Gentleman’s Bottle-Companion 55: Bet Wymes of Wedderby the pride, / By baliffs yet untam’d, / Bespoke Moll Fulgame by her side, / With lust and rage inflam’d.|
|‘The Potato Man’ in Musa Pedestris (1896) 54: A moll I keep that sells fine fruit / There’s no one brings more cly.|
|Whole Art of Thieving [as cit. 1753].|
|‘Miscellaneous’ Fancy I IV 101: So down to Cateaton-street went she, accompanied by [...] as many Long-alley Lads of the Village and their Molls, as could turn out of their dabs at that early hour.|
|‘A Rum-Un to Look At’ in Libertine’s Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 135: Oh I have got a moll, / And I calls her leary Poll.|
|Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 164/1: Moll – a girl.|
|Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/1: There’s a tidy swarm of maunderers (beggars) and molls on the chanting lark (singing) [...] sharpers (razor-grinders), and crocusses (quack doctors).|
|Tasmanian Colonist 19 Sept. 2/4: O’Brien said he got the note from the ‘moll,’ meaning [Mary] Nugent.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Criminal Life (NY) 19 Dec. n.p.: Lize Bemis [...] is a rough Mary Ann, and rather partial to a Green moll. He man left her on account of her too free talk about doughnuts.|
|Black-Eyed Beauty 30: How much will you put in my way to stop me going to tell your old man of your visits to such a veteran moll as Matty?|
|Dundee Courier (Scot.) 6 May 7/3: The moll along of us tells fortunes.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 174: Likewise you molls that flash your bubs / For swells to spot and stand you sam.‘Villon’s Good-Night’ in Farmer|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. Moll, a woman: .|
|Powers That Prey 24: Giving them amusing accounts of how the ‘Molls dove out o’ the windows’ in their haste to give him room.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 10 July 1/6: I wouldn’t like my jockey to [...] give the money market away to a lot of molls.|
|N.Z. Truth 26 Jan. 6/3: The man Blue and the moll McEwan [...] were placed in the dock.|
|Types From City Streets 54: It was a moll, yer know. She was a swell-looking lass.|
|🌐 Went for a walk over to Estaires, struck a good joint plenty of molls but very hard to find.diary 21 May|
|White Moll 13: The vernacular of the underworld where men called their women by no more gracious names than ‘molls’ and ‘skirts’.|
|Gangster Girl 48: He’s got this Schuyder moll — s’ciety, dough, class, fam’ly an’ woozy about him.|
|Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: Queen Sue was the toughest moll that ever pulled a gat this side of Hades.‘Snowbound’ in|
|in These Are My People (1957) 73: Charles II gave that old moll, Sara Jennings, to the Duke of Marlborough and she became the Duchess of Marlborough.|
|Riverslake 197: You’ll be on the hard road if the Bastard catches you doddering round the kitchen like a sick moll.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 100: I was a yegg and one of the toughest of yeggs / was ever poled in the latter soup / till I met a moll with the face of a doll / that put my head in a loop.|
|Salute to the Great McCarthy 171: You and your Moll. She’ll be [...] writing notes. McCarthy’s Whore [...] Screwer of Loose Women.|
|Puberty Blues 78: A moll was just a lump of meat with a hole in it — and that’s how they were treated.|
|Godson 131: He’d been given the complete and utter blurt [...] The dirty, poxy low moll.|
|London Fields 69: There are molls for all men, and vice versa.|
|Lockie Leonard, Legend (1998) 179: I can’t believe her. What a moll.|
|Chopper 4 76: From what I’ve seen, half the toss up molls in Australia live in Tassie.|
|Old Scores [ebook] That fucken bitch. That freckle-faced moll. If she says a fucken word.|
2. a prostitute [now survives only in Aus. use].
|Father Hubburd’s Tales in Works VIII 78: They should be none of these common Molls neither, but discontented and unfortunate gentle-women [...] and they, poor squalls, with a little money, which cannot hold out long without some comings in.|
|Match in Newgate I ii: Moll, thou hast an honest Calling of Bawding.|
|Democritus III 18: In [...] came Mol Prate-apace, a common Harlot, for a Glass of Usquebaugh.|
|‘Strephon & Chloe’ Medley (1749) 110: Miss Moll the jade will burn it blue.|
|Life and Character of Moll King 18: Mother Haywood, well known in Covent Garden [...] used very often in the Night Time, to pay a Moll a Visit, but her chief Errant was to look after her Girls.|
|Nancy Dawson’s Jests 36: Ye brimstones of Drury and Exeter-street / Ye frows of the town, and ye molls of the Fleet.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Sporting Mag. Nov. III 105/2: Full thirty years the nymph had been / A vot’ry of the Cyprian Queen [...] And Moll’s an honest woman!|
|Flash (N.Y.) 10 July 1/2: Moll Quiff — What do you mean by writing to me in that style, you India rubber harlot? What do I know about your George’s and your Jem’s, and your Dick’s, and your Harry’s. I believe you lay off with a thousand of ’em.|
|Wkly Varieties (Boston, MA) 3 Sept. 6/2: Brown, keeper of a shebang, No. — Union street, is deserving of five years [...] for allowing such a drunken set of thieving molls to frequent his ken.|
|Age (Melbourne) 4 July 5/3: [T]he female prisoner [...] told the detectives jauntily that she did not rob men herself, but received the spoil from her ‘molls’.|
|N.-Y. After Dark 32: I ’spose she’s had a break with the old moll, and is after a new house.|
|Leaves from a Prison Diary I 151: Little Dickey from the New Cut. 10 and a ticket. Put away by a moll (sold by an unfortunate).|
|‘The Captain of the Push’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 187: Would you have a ‘moll’ to keep yer — like to swear off work for good?|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 24 Oct. 1/5: We haven’t got a man on the staff who can tell [...] what moll is going to rob Robert Ellis.|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 71: Frum shadder inter shadder, up the street, / A prowlin’ moll sneaks by, wiv eyes all ’ate.‘In Spadger’s Lane’|
|Main Stem 194: Chi [...] It’s de hobo’s pararrdize. Free slum from de privates; de Molls is softer-hearter’n hell. I could find a dozen whores to keep me.|
|Paradise Flow 250: Every moll in the district knows Big Anton.|
|Big Smoke 152: You broken down old moll, you’d be no use to a dog, let alone a man!|
|‘The Fall’ in Life (1976) 80: She was a brown-skin moll like a Chinese doll, / Walking up and down in sin.et al.|
|Address: Kings Cross 122: ‘You trollop, you bitch, you rotten, empty-headed little moll’.|
|(con. 1930s) Loner 45: ‘She a moll,’ Mario insisted [...] ‘She make wida quid.’.|
|Real Thing 167: You, you fuckin’ moll. Get up.|
|One Night Out Stealing 43: Not like a Tavi moll who’s all wrong timing and harsh kisses and untender touch.|
|Goodoo Goodoo 115: ‘Shit! You fuckin’ moll,’ he howled.|
|Lingo 45: A cab and drum were terms for a brothel – cab molls, or just molls were those who worked in them.|
3. a girlfriend; esp. in gangster’s moll, a gangster’s female companion.
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 120: Molls — are the female companions of low thieves, at bed, board, and business.|
|Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 246: Lots of the blades and their molls were locked up by the officers.|
|‘Ax My Eye’ Dublin Comic Songster 101: I keeps a rousling tousling / Moll, full fat and finely shaped.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 5/1: One of the ‘guns’ [...] had brought his ‘moll’ with him to show her off before the ‘meet’.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 28 Sept. n.p.: Allan Taylor’s ‘moll’ and Tommy McIntyre [...] were ‘pinched’ for the ‘dip’ week before last.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 242: I never had nothin’ to do with any ‘moll’ who couldn’t cut her own grass.|
|Colfax Chron. (Grant Parish, LA) 21 Aug. 2/3: He goes into a jewelry store with a confederate (usually his moll).|
|Dundee Courier 18 Aug. 7/4: A moll keeps a cove clean and decent.|
|Tramping with Tramps 241: Each moocher had his Judy (wife), and each little kid had his Moll (sister).|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 16 Sept. 4/7: ‘Never be tempted ter fall like that pore creetchure Lady Isserbel,’ sez me old woman ter me moll.|
|Wretches of Povertyville 191: Nearly every one of the professional criminals has his ‘Moll’ or female companion with whom he has a furnished room or flat.|
|‘The Lily of St Leonards’ in Roderick (1972) 802: My ole moll’s good enough for me.|
|New York Day by Day 12 Oct. [synd. col.] Each [gambler] has his Moll – or girl.|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 297: Whoever this gunman’s moll was, she [...] had learned her stuff well.‘The Big Knockover’|
|Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.:‘Snowbound’ in|
|Nottingham Eve. Post 24 July 8/1: The girl in the red dress was a Dillinger moll who double-crossed him.|
|Other Half 60: How am I to know you ain’t some guy’s Moll? I don’t want my block knocked off, get me?|
|We Are the Public Enemies 9: His moll was part Indian and a professional blues singer.|
|In For Life 45: Carl’s young girlfriend [...] was a far cry from the gunman’s moll type.|
|Down by the Dockside 189: I am now the complete gunman’s moll.|
|Inside the Und. 98: It is easy enough to condemn some of these more authentic ‘Moll’ figures.|
|Lily on the Dustbin 41: To some Australians ‘moll’ has an affectionate connotation very puzzling to non-Australians [...] This usage is akin to the way Australian males intend words like ‘bastard’ or ‘bugger’ to be terms of friendship and acceptance.|
|You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 33: The bike’s moll had jumped up, and grabbing a Coke bottle, smashed it against the counter.|
|in That Was Business, This Is Personal 13: All the women, all the gangsters’ molls, they were all done up to the nines.|
|Guardian G2 23 Feb. 12: Terry, this wannabe jazzer’s moll, is a lovely paradox.|
|Rubdown [ebook] Was this the ‘old moll’ Ling wanted Neville to leave?|
4. (UK Und.) a landlady, a proprietress, the ‘lady of the house’; usu. ext. as moll of the crib, moll of the drum.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 35/2: As for the ‘moll’ of the ‘crib,’ I was all right with her, for I had used the house every time I had been in Dover. [Ibid.] 62/2: The trio was made up with the ‘moll of the drum,’ Maria (or as she called herself for shortness) ’Ria Hogg. [Ibid.] 132/1: The wine was brought, uncorked, and paid for, after which the ‘moll’ of the ‘drum’ disappeared.|
5. (US) an effeminate male homosexual.
|[||Auction 14: Heer’s Effeminate J—s [...] Pray take notice of his Allablaster Cheeks, for which the Vlugar [sic] have Nicknam’d him Washing Moll].|
|Drag (1997) Act II: Where are you molls calling from?|
|Scarlet Pansy 147: Fairies with their sailors or marines or rough trade; tante’s (aunties) with their good looking clerks or chorus molls.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 137: moll 1. hard as nails queen.|
6. (S.Afr.) a female Teddy Boy.
|Crime in S. Afr. 74: The jobless ducktails and the high-kicking molls who foregather there. [Ibid.] 75: It was not uncommon to find the ducktails and their molls locked in passionate embraces.|
7. (Aus.) an unpleasant woman.
|Thrill City [ebook] I didn’t say it [i.e. a sarcastic retort]; no need to be a moll. She was a nice lady.|
8. see molly n.1 (1)
1. followed or accompanied by a woman.
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 38/2: Ere many minutes the two London ‘swell mobs’ [...] were promenading the streets of Dover ‘molled up’ to their hearts’ content.|
|Sl. Dict. 227: Molled followed, or accompanied by a woman. When a costermonger sees a friend walking with a woman he does not know, he says on the first opportunity afterwards, ‘I see yer the other night when yer was molled up and too proud to speak.’.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 6: Molled - Followed or accompanied by a girl. Example: ‘I see yer the other night when yer was Molled up and too proud to speak’.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 49: Molled, accompanied by a woman.|
2. sleeping with a woman other than one’s wife; thus moll it up v.
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 97: You molled it up with Brick-dust Sall / And went to live with her in quod!‘Flashey Joe’ in Farmer|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 310/2: There is a great many furnished cribs, let to needys (nightly lodgers) that are ‘molled up,’ [that is to say, associated with women in the sleeping-rooms].|
(UK Und.) pertaining to women.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 38/1: He was now about played out, and a ‘shiser’ in the ‘molling’ line.|
1. (UK/US Und./police, also dame buzzer, moll buzzard, moll worker) a pickpocket or a beggar who specializes in women as victims; thus moll-buzzing, moll-whizzing n. and adj., purse- or bag-snatching; by ext., any minor thief; buzz a moll v.
|Vocabulum 55: moll buzzer A thief that devotes himself to picking the pockets of women.|
|Brooklyn Eagle 9 Apr. 12: He was what is termed in police parlance a ‘moll buzzer,’ or in other words a thief to [sic] operate among females.|
|Thirty Years a Detective 50: Pick-pockets who operate on ladies [...] are called ‘Moll-buzzers’.|
|Emporia Dly Repub. (KS) 28 Apr. 3/2: A moll-buzzer is a pickpocket who makes a speciality of robbing women’.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 49: Moll Buzzer, one who thieves from the pockets of women.|
|Sandburrs 8: She hooks up wit’ Billy, d’ moll-buzzard.‘Mulberry Mary’|
|Powers That Prey 225: Her gift for mathematics made it clear that ‘Moll-buzzing’ was much more remunerative than sleeping in cellars.|
|Argus (Melbourne) 20 Sept. 6/4: The pickpocket himself is [...] a tail buzzer, when he operates on a fashionable crowd in frock coats, a moll buzzer when he steals from women .|
|Under Groove 7: A man who hasn't a soul above moll-buzzing is hopeless.|
|Mr. Jackson 181: He ain’t nawtin’ but a cheap panhandlin’ moll buzzer.|
|Types from City Streets 316: Moll-buzzers like me had a soft snap of it, for women kept their leathers in a big open pocket in the back of their dresses.|
|Buffalo Courier (NY) 8 Sept. 67/4: ‘Moll-buzzing’ in those days wa extremely easy because [...] women wore great hoop skirts.|
|AS VIII:3 (1933) 29/2: MOLL-BUZZARD. Purse-snatcher or, by extension, other petty larcenist; usually opprobrious.‘Prison Dict.’ in|
|Keys to Crookdom 48: Moll-buzzing is one of the easiest games for the dip.|
|Beggars of Life 198: A moll buzzer taught me in Boston. She worked wit’ a gang o’ dips.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 130: Moll Worker. – See ‘moll buzzer.’.|
|Gangland Stories Feb. 🌐 Be careful of what you eat, you moll-buzzing, cheap grafter —.‘Facing the Mob’ in|
|Rough Stuff 19: Working with the mob on what they call ‘moll-buzzing’ (picking women’s pockets, or bag snatching).|
|Und. Speaks n.p.: Dame buzzer, a pickpocket who specializes in robbing women.|
|Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 7: Moll whizzing (or buzzing): Steal from womens pockets or handbags.|
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 149: The shopping districts are the spots where moll-buzzers do their best work.|
|They Drive by Night 203: Wide boys looked out for a chance to nick a wallet or buzz a moll.|
|Neon Wilderness (1986) 74: ’R you one of them Chicago Av’noo moll-buzzers?|
|‘I Was a Pickpocket’ in Men of the Und. 75: We operated [...] entirely upon women, and were consequently known technically as ‘moll-buzzers’ — or ‘flies’ that ‘buzz’ about women.|
|Police Headquarters (1956) 235: The two moll buzzers will apologize profusely as they jostle the woman.|
|On the Yard (2002) 227: The mimeographed lists of underworld slang [...] lexicons still defining such almost forgotten usages as ‘stool pigeon,’ ‘snowbird,’ ‘copacetic,’ and ‘moll buzzer’.|
|Crnal Close-Out n.p.: The ‘moll-buzzing’ went on also [...] Vesper and Marcy stuck to the rest room and lipstick-under-the-partition gimmick to lift purses, but now and then they merely walked off with them when a busy shopper put hers down in order to examine merchandise more closely.|
2. (US Und.) a female thief, pickpocket or beggar.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 130: Moll Buzzer. – [...] a store thief.|
|Night Side of N.Y. 40: A midnight descent has just been made upon a ‘moll crib’ as he calls the ‘boarding house’ of the portly dame.|
a female pickpocket.
|Pall Mall Gaz. 13 Nov. 5/2: He urged his supposed daughter to become his accomplice in crime — to be a moll-hook.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Feb. 22/3: It can only be worked with the assistance of a first-class mollhook (female thief), such as may be enlisted off the Haymarket or Waterloo-place at midnight.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
(UK Und.) a female pickpocket.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 53/2: These were the worthies I was obliged to pass the time with during Joe’s ‘palling-in’ with the little ‘moll-knuck’ from the Dials.|
a handbag; a market basket.
|Poverty, Mendicity and Crime; Report 164/1: Mollsack, reticule.in Miles|
|Mysteries of London III 66/1: He buzzed a bloak and a shakestetr of a yank and a skin. His jomer Mutton-Face Sal, with her moll sack queering a raclan, stalled.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 63: mollsack a reticule, or market basket.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 6: Mollsack - Reticule.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. [as 1882].|
|M. K.I’ll Soldier no More (1958) 181: Pretty faces [...] peered shyly into the street. ‘Looks like a moll-shop,’ said Connolly [OED].|
|Book of Naughty Nomenclature 🌐 Brothel Moll shop. Molly shop (male).|
|🌐 How else could I come to terms with that time I picked up those genital warts in that Bangkok moll shop?‘Gold, Frankincense & A Funhouse Myrrh’ 25 Mar. Elwinshumor.com|
see slavey n.
a pickpocket who specialises in female targets; usu. female.
|Ragged School Mag. Dec. 294: [of a boy] Our profession was ‘moll tulers’ (or ladies’ pickpockets).|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 52/1: This was said by a lashy little piece, who had been about the first regular ‘moll-tool’ that had turned out from the Dials. [Ibid.] 70/2: We saw her go ashore and, in company with our ‘molley,’ who carried her seed bag, adle along the pier.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 49: [M]oll tooler, a female pickpocket.|
(Irish prison) ‘a fictitious name for a Broom which is brought in as a symbol to signify it will sweep all before it and that there must be no Denial’.
|Verse in Eng. in 18C Ireland (1998) 261: In came John Moor to ask the Penny-Pot / [...] / If this be once denied, up comes Moll-Whip.‘Humours of the Black Dog’ in A. Carpenter|
(US Und.) a female pickpocket.
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.|
|DAUL 139/2: Moll-whiz. (Very rare) A female pickpocket.et al.|
1. a pickpocket who specializes in robbing female victims.
|Wretches of Povertyville 205: The pickpockets whose ‘graft’ or dishonest work is to rob women are called ‘moll buzzers’ or ‘moll wires.’.|
2. a female pickpocket.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 76/1: It was with difficulty that we prevailed upon the ‘moll-wire’ to enter the ‘close’ [...] but at last she consented.|
see moll buzzer
to run away from one’s mistress.
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 2: Bury a Moll - To run away from a mistress.|
|Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 29: Balancer sa largue [...] To get rid of a mistress; ‘to bury a moll’.|
1. noisy, verbose.
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
2. in a state of confusion.
|Pagan Game (1969) 164: Shagging about like an old moll at a christening.|
(UK Und.) a girl or woman of the Underworld.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 157/2: I had seen so much incontinence among the ‘molls of the cross’ that I, for one, had little or no faith in them.|
a proverbial phr. defining the misfortunes as ‘broke the [chamber-] pot, bes[hi]t the bed and cut her a[r]se’ (Grose, 1785).
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Moll’s three Misfortunes: Broke the Pot, Beshit the bed & Cut her A[rs]e.|
a prostitute who specializes in stripping and adopting sexually arousing positions before her customer; cites at 1787 refer to a man and woman adept in different sexual positions.
|Catalogue of Jilts, cracks, prostitutes, night-walkers [...] and others of the linnen-lifting tribe 1: 7. Posture Moll, a plump brown Woman, but so very well known, (that as Nicolas Culpeper says of some Herbes and Plants) she needs no description; the usual price of her Raree-show is 00l. 02s. 06d.|
|London-Bawd (1705) 147: You shall see a Jolly Crew of Active Dames, which will perform such lecherous Agilities [...] by Madam Creswel, Posture Moll, the Countess of Alsatia, or any other German Rope-dancer whatever.|
|[||Harlot’s Progress 27: Kitt would propose — such Postures Play, / As those who understood the Lay].|
|[||Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 43: She is very fond of a cleaver young fellow, especially if he be an able posture-maker, for she is passionately fond of that same dish only dressed in a different manner].|
|[||Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 85: She is an able pasture [sic] maker, is up to every movement in the art of giving pleasure.|
an honest woman.
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 79: Square Moll, an honest woman.|