1. a man, a person, used both negatively, e.g. a nasty-looking beggar, and positively or affectionately, e.g. you’re a funny beggar.
2. a thing, an object, a creature.
SE in slang uses
[19C–1900s] in card-playing, the lower cards, marked two–ten.
[mid-19C+] an enthusiast, one who is keen on, e.g. a beggar for work, a beggar to argue.
[late 18C–early 19C] a publican.
[late 18C–early 19C] a popular toast, i.e. ‘may your prick and purse never fail you’ (Grose, 1785).
[late 16C] stones.
[mid-late 18C] stones.
[late 16C–18C] used in phrs. such as go home by beggar’s bush to imply that one is ruined.
[1940s–50s] (UK prison) a sentence of 90 days’ imprisonment, commonly that meted out for vagrancy.
[late 17C] corduroy, cotton velvet.
[1940s] (US) chicken fat.
[mid-19C] particles of lint and similar household dirt that gather behind or beneath sofas, tables or beds (often following the shaking of an eiderdown).
1. [late 19C+] money.
2. [1930s+] Bass ale.
see devil-on-the-coals under devil n.
[1960s] (US) a Native American.
[late 18C–early 19C] ‘a jocular reproach to a proud man’ (Grose, 1785).
[mid–late 19C] to drink beer after spirits.
[1940s] to be impoverished.