Green’s Dictionary of Slang

prancer n.

also prauncer
[SE prancer, a mettlesome, spirited horse]
(UK Und.)

1. a horse.

implied in prigger of prancers under prigger n.1
[UK]Second Part of Conny-Catching in Grosart (1881–3) X 76: [They] doe take an especiall and perfect view where Prankers or horses be, that are of worth.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching A3(b): Hee pryg a prauncer, he byng a wast into the darkemans.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London G1: The horse is called a Prancer.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 40: Prauncer an horse.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Beggar’s Bush V ii: Higgen hath prigged the prancers in his day.
[UK]Tinker of Turvey 5: Purblind he was and hardly could he iudge [...] to buy a Prancer.
[UK]Wandering Jew 66: I have seen fine fellows on their prauncers ride by mee.
[UK]W. Winstanley New Help To Discourse 132: Prigger of Prancers, are Horse-stealers, for to Prig in the Canting language signifies to steal; and Prancer signifies a Horse.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Prancer, an Horse.
[UK]Pagan Prince 32: He saw a comly person mounted upon a stately Prancer.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 194: The Prancer drew the Quere Cove at the cropping of the Rottam through the Rum pads of the Rum-vill.
[UK]W. King York Spy 5: A Horse-Mountebank stumbled along upon his Hide-bound Prancer.
[UK] ‘Frisky Moll’s Song’ J. Thurmond Harlequin Sheppard 22: From Priggs that snaffle the Prancers strong, / To you of the Peter Lay, / I pray now listen a while to my song.
[UK]Pope Mother Gin 29: I two prancers snaffled.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 115: Horse A Prancer.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Morris et al. ‘The Humours of London’ Festival of Anacreon (1810) 65: Hughes and Astley beat the rounds upon their nimble prancers.
[UK]G. Hangar Life, Adventures and Opinions II 60: Your flash-man, is following his occupation, scampering on his prancer upon the high tober.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 612: The queer fancy lads, who had hired hacks from the livery-stable keepers, were kicking up a dust, and here and there rolling from their prancers in their native soil.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 186: Forth to the heath is the scampsman gone, / His matchless cherry-black prancer riding.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. I 36: I prigged two prancers.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 317/1: prancer, cheval.
[UK]Liverpool Mercury 2 Dec. 3/1: A thief in cant language would term a horse a ‘prancer’ or a ‘prad’ while in slang a man of fashion would speak of it as a ‘bit of blood’ or a ‘spanker’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Feb. 7/1: For many years, the old ’un not only put up his cash to swell the racing funds of the colony, but he kept a string of flyers himself as well, and was no mean judge of a prancer, either.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Jan. 1/3: Then, having permitted the prancers in front to proceed in safety, he let her head go.

2. a highwayman.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 919/1: C17.

3. a horse thief.

[UK]R. Copland Hye way to the Spyttel House Eiii: His watch shall feng a prounces nobchete.
[UK]‘L.B.’ New Academy of Complements 205: The fifteenth a Prancer, whose courage is small, / If they catch him Horse coursing he’s noozed for all.
[UK]‘Black Procession’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 39: [as cit. 1671].
[UK] ‘The Bowman Prigg’s Farewell’ in Wardroper (1995) 283: Here’s health to the beauman prigs, / From the rum pad down to the prancer.
[UK] ‘Thief-Catcher’s Prophecy’ in W.H. Logan Pedlar’s Pack of Ballads 143: [as cit. 1671].

In compounds

prancer’s nab (n.) (also prancer’s nob, ...poll) [nab n.1 (1)/nob n.1 (1)/SE poll, head]

(UK Und.) a horse’s head seal, when used for counterfeiting documents.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Prancers-nab c. a Horse’s Head used in a Sham-Seal to such a Pass.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
prancer’s poll (n.)

(UK Und.) a horse’s head, usu. in ref. to the popular public house name, ‘The Nag’s Head’.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Prancers-poll [...] the Sign of the Nag’s Head.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: [...] at the sign of the prancer’s poll, i.e. the nag’s head.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: At the sign of the prancer’s poll, i.e. the nag’s head.