Green’s Dictionary of Slang

prad n.

also praddle, pred
[Du. paard, a horse; ult. Lat. paraveredus, which gives the SE palfrey, a riding horse as opposed to a war-horse]

1. (20C use Aus./N.Z. only) a horse.

[UK]Hell Upon Earth 6: Prad, a Horse.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 294: Snaffle Biters [...] who make it their principal Business to steal Horses, talk what rare Prads and Gallopers they had met with in their Time.
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 112: Is there good Hay for the Horses, Is there rum Strummel for the Prads.
[UK]J.Poulter Discoveries (1774) 20: Burk will show you where you may buss a Couple of Prads, and fence them at Abingdon Gaff; that is, Burk, will show you a Couple of Horses that you may steal, and sell them at Abingdon Fair.
‘On Newgate Steps Jack Chance was Found’ [lyrics] To pad the hoof he [scorned] to tramp, / So he hired a prad and he went on the scamp.
[UK] ‘Another Highway-man’s Song’ Confessions of Thomas Mount 20: I’ll sport as good a pred away / As any boy in town. [Ibid.] ‘Mount’s Flash Song upon himself’ 22: Of coves with praddles / Of kens with daddles.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 26/1: Met Bob Blunderbuss and Bob Bounce, going about on their prads.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 8: And long before daylight gigs, rattlers, and prads, / Were in motion for Mousley, brimful of the Lads.
[UK] ‘The Stage-Coachman’s Lament’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 201: Farewell to my four iron greys, / And the rest of the prads that I drive!
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 273: He’s in the gig, a-minding the prad.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 19 Mar. n.p.: Miss Ellen’s prad bolted.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 125: Over the water we’ll flare; / Coaches and prads, lasses and lads.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 16 Sept. 3/3: Having borrowed his prad, a spicy little animal of the cob kind, [...] returning it to its legitimate owner, minus the pig skin.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 351: Lots of prads, Frenchy, if we want them.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 123/1: The ‘prad’ was secured, and his nose-bag put on, in which was a good feed of oats to keep him occupied.
[US]N.S. Dodge ‘Vagrants & Vagrancy’ in Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) 6 Sept. 308: To a vagrant, a horse is a prad; to a man of fashion, a spanker. The former is cant, the latter slang.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Oct. 8/4: Spud is possessed of more humorous eccentricities than any other prad his size and weight, and it pleases him more than he can tell to have people stand around and applaud while he shows off his accomplishments.
[Aus]K. Mackay Out Back 118: Captain Scarlet stole my boss’s best prad, and the sooner he’s lagged the better.
[Aus]W.T. Goodge ‘Great Aus. Slanguage’ in Baker Aus. Lang. (1945) 117: And a bosom friend’s a cobber, / And a horse a prad or moke.
[Aus]G. Seagram Bushman All 19: It was you as took the flamin’ prads.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Got-A-Fag’ Backblock Ballads 30: Boss, I’ve got a nag – / Risin’ four – good prad he’s counted. Better shove me in the mounted.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 Dec. 18/3: A prad that to all intents and purposes had as much chance as a hailstone in hell.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson Shearer’s Colt 222: We have taken a house near Epsom with stables at the back, and we are going to get Bill the Gunner to train a few prads for us.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[UK]Egan Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. 201: In the Prad department at Smithfield [...] you may pick and choose, please your eye and suit your pocket.

In compounds

prad borrower (n.)

(UK Und.) one who steals a horse, but (sometimes) returns him.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 88: A Horse being put to grass, the Prad-Borrowers came in the night, and gelt the horse. In about a month [...] one of them returned and stole him.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 316/2: prad borrower, voleur de chevaux.
prad chewer (n.)

(UK und.) a horse thief.

[UK]Public Ledger 12 Nov. 3/3: Horse and cattle stealers Prad-chewers.
[UK]Era (London) 12 Nov. 8/3: [O]ur fighting contributor [...] has thus poetically classed them:- [...] grabbers (6), shop-bouncers (7), prad-chewers (8), bit-makers (9).
prad layer (n.)

one who steals baggage from horses, taking advantage of the darkness to cut the bindings.

[UK]J. Hall Memoirs (1714) 5: Prad-Layers, Such as cut bags from behind Horses as People ride along in the Dark.
prad’s backman (n.)

a horse-rider.

[UK]Metropolitan Mag. XIV Sept. 333: We then cross the country into Surrey and were very soon prad’s backmen. My pal [...] bought himself an out-and-out filly.