Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rum adj.

also rome
[most prob. from SE Rome (and indeed could be spelled ‘rome’ until the 18C), which, as a city, meant glory and grandeur. Other origins include the Romany rom, a male gypsy, or the Turkish Röm, a gypsy, many of whom passed through the Ottoman Empire. Reversing the process, the Lat. Roma (Rome) is cognate with the Teutonic root hruod (fame) (as found in the names Roger and Roderick) which appears in the German Ruhm (fame)]
(orig. UK Und.)

1. excellent, first-rate.

[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O3: Canke and Dommerar thou could’st play, or Rum Maunder in one day.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canters Dict.’ in Eng. Villainies (9th edn) n.p.: Rome Gallant.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 14 30 Aug–6 Sept. 120: The PY-WOMEN in, next Bartholmow-Faire, from Bawde to Whore, and from Whore to Mob, and from Mob to Mort have such Rum trading, that Sodom and Gomorrah are now as empty of traders, as great Bedlam is of honesty.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum, gallant, Fine, Rich, best or excellent.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 195: Tout thro’ the Wicker, and see where the Gully pikes with the Gentry-mort, whose Muns is the rummest I ever touched before .
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) II [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account of the Malefactors executed at Tyburn 18th March 1740 part II 7: In what Part of the Meeting set the rummest Froes.
[UK]Life and Character of Moll King 12: We had ne’er a Queer Cull, a Buttock, or a Porpus, amongst them, but all as Rum and as Quiddish as ever Jonathan sent to be great Merchants in Virginia. [Ibid.] 24: Rum or Quiddish, Good-natur’d.
[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 30: Come let us pike, we shall napp a rum Bit; that is [...] Come, let us go, we shall take a good Bit.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]G. Parker View of Society I 48: Blow me up (says he) if I have had a fellow with such rum toggys cross my company these many a day.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. I 160/1: He loved his bottle, and was rum when mellow.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr Poor Gentleman IV ii: The neighbours tell every body what a rum jockey you are.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 16: When they saw what a rum knack of shifting he had – / An old trick of his youth.
[UK]T. Jones ‘The True Bottom’d Boxer’ in Egan Bk of Sports (1832) 74/1: Spring’s the boy for rum going and coming it.
[US]Durivage & Burnham Stray Subjects (1848) 109: The rum old boss, her father, swore / He’d gin her out of hand / Two hundred cash – and also treat / To number 9’s men stand.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 83: RUM [...] was formerly a much used prefix, signifying fine, good, gallant, or valuable.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].
[US]L.H. Bagg Four Years at Yale 47: Rum, good, excellent, bully.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 278: That pony’s a rum ’un, and can jump his own height easy.
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 6: rum a. [Early mod. E. rom; supposed to be of Gipsy origin, cf Gipsy rom, a husband, Rommani, a Gipsy, prob. from Hind. dom, a man of low caste, from Skt. domba, a man of a low caste who make their living by singing and dancing] Clever, droll. ‘He’s a rum one.’.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.

2. odd, peculiar, strange; thus rumly, rummily adv., oddly.

[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 155: Well said, ulysses, cries the king, / (A little touch’d tho’ with the sting / Of this rum speech).
[UK]R. Tomlinson Sl. Pastoral 11: What kiddy’s so rum as to get himself scragged.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 204: [as cit. 1772].
[UK] ‘Dustman’s Delight’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) 86: It’s [i.e. the ballad] of a rum codger, who thought himself wise.
[UK]J. Poole Hamlet Travestie I i: ‘You’re a rum kind of ghost,’ said Horatio.
[UK] ‘Sale of a Wife’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 40: At length a rum old cobbler did give a dreadful bawl.
[UK]‘Thomas Brown’ Fudge Family in England 6: Certainly ne’er did a queerer or rummer set / Throw, for th’ amusement of Christians, a summerset.
[UK]Wilts. Indep. 4 Feb. 4/1: ‘What a rum old covey is Hairy-faced Dick!’.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. III 59: The Count, eh? A rum count the old covey must make!
[UK]Norfolk Chron. 1 Sept. 3/3: Her daughter Ann [...] had been going on very ‘rumly’ [...] she had several children by different men [and] she was now penniless.
[US]O.W. Holmes Autocrat of the Breakfast Table 300: The young fellow called John [...] said it was ‘rum’ to hear me ‘pitchin’ into fellers’ for ‘goin’ it in the slang line,’ when I used all the flash words myself.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 15/2: That was the rummest bargain I ever made.
[UK]Notts. Guardian 4 Apr. 7/1: It’s a rum world, sir — a rum world! and the more I sees of it, the more conwinced I am that no kind of reform will be worth a button.
Morn. Appeal (Carson City, NE) 3 may 2/3: Some rum old cove, or bum, has torn the same asunder, stealing our news.
[UK]J. Hatton Cruel London I 111: Yes, by Jove! it’s the rummest go out!
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 1: What a rum thing it is that a man should have a laugh in him when he’s only got twenty-nine more days to live.
[UK]Coventry Eve. Teleg. 1 Sept. 4/4: Thou’st a rum cove to tache folks the road to heaven when thou do’s na know the road to Owdham.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 243: I declare, you’re the rummest pair of fellows I’ve ever seen.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 209: Gee! this is a rum go, Duke!
[UK]Leigh & Powell [perf. Marie Lloyd] Tiddley-om-pom [lyrics] In the Land of King Alfonso / They’re somewhat / Of a rum lot.
[UK]Marvel 3 Mar. 10: We have dropped on a rum show this journey, Jack.
[UK]Film Fun 24 Apr. 20: Ben was painting a rum old face on the near side of the tent.
[UK]Dundee Courier 30 Sept. 12/2: The Rolls had become a mere speck on the horizon. ‘There’s a rum cove,’ spat Wally.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 118: I found a hide pegged out above his claim. When I found another it looked pretty rum.
[UK]Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 11: F19 tells Mary she’d spent the afternoon in a pub... Inv. asks what it was like, she answers ‘Proper rum.’.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 328: They’re all a bloody rum lot.
[UK]I. Fleming For Your Eyes Only (1962) 17: Seven o’clock in the morning’s a rum time for a hold-up.
[UK]‘Hergé’ Tintin and the Land of Black Gold 13: That’s rum!
[UK]T. Paulin ‘Martello’ in Liberty Tree 51: There’s a rum history to blame.
[UK]M. Dibdin Dying of the Light 86: No wonder he was a bit rum, stuck out here in the middle of nowhere.
[UK]Indep. 20 Mar. 20: Rum coves, this lot, aren’t they?

3. illicit, illegal, criminal.

[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 131: Rum slum — Gammon — queer talk or action, in which some fraudulent intentions are discoverable or suspected.

4. drunk, tipsy.

[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 137: Now Bill was vastly fond of gin, / And brandy too, they say; / And when he did the game begin, / It made him rum all day.

Pertaining to excellence

In derivatives

rumly (adv.) (also romley, rumely)

1. nimbly.

[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all n.p.: The quire coues are budgd to the bowsing ken, / As Romely as a ball.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: He drew the Cull’s Tayle rumly, c. he whipt away the Gentleman’s Sword cleverly.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: He drew the cull’s tail rumly; he snatched away the gentleman’s sword cleverly.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. VIII 252/2: Gemmen, if you do not come it rumly, I shall be dish’d.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 12 July 4/3: The hon. member remchauinarked how rumly the Thames twisted about town.

2. (also rumpsie, rumsie) excellently; well.

[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 39: Your prat whids Romely, you fart lustily.
[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 191: Mort. Ile tell thee queere Cove, thou must maund at the Gigger for Pannum and Casum, or a cheat of queere bowse, or Kacklen Cheate, and whid rumpsie.
[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 193: Mort. [...] And if thou want lower, budge to the next Vile, and there nip a Bung, or cloy a Culley; then budge to the bowsing Ken, and boose rumsie and beanely.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 36: Most part of the night we spent in Boozing, pecking rumly or wapping.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 29: We concluded to booz it rumly.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rumly, bravely, cleaverly, delicately, &c.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 194: The cully slams Flash rumly [The Fellow Cants very well].
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 118: He drinks well He sucks his Muns rumly.
[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 43: Wid rumley; speak well.
[UK]Bloody Register III 170: The next exploit Jenny went upon was, Slanging the gentry mort rumly with a sham Kinchin (that is, cutting well the woman big with child).
[UK]Whole Art of Thieving [as cit. 1753].
[UK] ‘The Dustman’s Delight’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) 87: The queer cull was done rumly.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 57: Thus rumly floor’d, the kind ACESTES ran, / And pitying rais’d from earth the game old man.
[UK]T. Moore ‘The Milling Match’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 86: Thus rumly floor’d, the kind Ascestes ran.

3. honestly.

see sense 1.

4. bravely.

see sense 1.
[UK] ‘Come All You Buffers Gay’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 52: Come all you buffers gay, / That rumly do pad the city.
rummish (adv.)

fashionably, smartly.

[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 24 Aug. 271/1: I saw the once ragged and dirty Louisa Hastings, dressed out quite rummish.

In compounds

rum beak (n.) [beak n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) a corruptible magistrate.

[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 152: A ‘rum-beak,’ a mild justice of the peace.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 3: Beak, rum, a justice who will do anything for money.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 97: Beak, rum, a justice who will do any thing for money. [Ibid.] 122: Rum beak, sensible justice.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
rum bite (n.) [bite n.1 ]

1. (UK Und.) a clever trick, a cunning ploy.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum-bite c. a cleaver Cheat, a neat Trick.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. a clever fraud or confidence trickster.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
rum-bleating cheat (n.) [bleating cheat under bleat v.]

(UK Und.) a very fat wether or castrated ram.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum-bleating-cheat a very fat Weather.
[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]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum blowen (n.) (also rum blower, rum blowing) [blowen n. (1)/blower n.1 ]

(UK Und.) a good-looking woman, esp. an attractive mistress or kept woman.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum blower, c. a very Handsom Mistress, kept by a particular Man.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum blower, a handsome wench (cant).
[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 293: Rum blowen signifies a gentlewoman.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 14 Apr. 4/3: The sight of a petticoat caught our friend’s eye, and [...] he was partial to the ogles of a ‘rum blowing’.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford III 245: You said, says you, ‘That ’ere voman is a rum blowen.’ So she vas, Meester Pepper!
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 28: Rum blowing – a handsome girl.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
[US] ‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Matsell Vocabulum 100: Bell’s a rum blowen, and you only patter because your ogle’s as green as the Emerald Isle.
rum bluffer (n.) [bluffer n.1 ]

(UK Und.) an honest, jovial, accommodating alehouse-keeper or publican.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US] ‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Matsell Vocabulum 98: Ho! there, my rum-bluffer; send me a nipperkin of white velvet.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 14 Sept. n.p.: She called on Rooney, the ‘rum bluffer’ of the ‘lush drum’ [...] to ‘part the cole,’ which he did.
rum bob (n.) (UK Und.)

1. a sharp, fly trick [bob v.1 (1)].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

2. (also bob) a neat, short wig [SE bobbed hair].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum bob [...] a pretty short Wig.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]G. Parker Humorous Sketches 155: The Colonel now his voice bestows, To Chorus bears a bob.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Jan. VII 222/2: And many a Jasey, Grizzie, Bob, and Scratch, / With this regard, pomatum turn aside, / And lose the name of powder.
[UK] ‘The Wig Gallery’ in Jovial Songster 31: A bob the knowing head shall thatch.

3. a smart young apprentice [bob n.2 ].

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

4. a shop till.

[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant n.p.: Rum bobb a shop-till.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
rum booze (n.) (also rum boose, rum bose, rum bouze, rum bowse, rum bues, rome...) [booze n. (1)]

good drink, esp. good wine; thus rum boozing ken, a tavern.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 83: Rome bouse wyne.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd edn) J3: This bowse is as good as Rome bowse.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 40: Roome bowsin ken, a Tauerne.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: A gage of ben rom-bouse / In a bousing ken of Rom-vile.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew II i: This Bowse is better than Rum-bowse, / It sets the Gan a-gigling.
[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk II 228: [note] Piot. A common cant word used by French clowns and other tippling companions; it signifies rum-booze, as our gypsies call good-guzzle, and comes from [...] bibo.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 36: All their cry was now for Rum-booz (i.e.) for Good Liquor.
[UK] ‘The Rogues . . . Praise of his Stroling Mort’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 20: Rom booz thou shalt booz thy fill.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Rome bowse, Wine.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum booze c. Wine, also very good or strong Drink.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 186: Whilst the Whip-jack, as the most competent Judge, is imployed to fetch Rum-booze, or strong Drink, from the next Village with ready Money, out of the publick Stock.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 203: [...] The cull tipt us a hog, which we melted in rumbowse, i.e., the gentleman changed us a shilling which we spent in strong drink.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 111: Good Drink, Rum Bues or Suck.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 21: Buffler, fill a Cagg of Rumbooze.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum booze. Wine, or any other good liquor. (cant).
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) rum booze wine or any other liquor.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant n.p.: rum boose wine, or any liquor .
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 257: Every man shall [...] drink off a double dose of rum booze. [note] Rum booze – Flip made of white or port wine, the yolk of eggs, sugar and nutmeg.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. [as cit. a.1790].
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 76: rumbose Wine or any kind of good drink.
rum-boozing welts (n.) [SE welt, a ridge or raised portion]

(UK Und.) bunches of grapes.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 16: A Cluster of Grapes – Rum boozing Welts.
[UK] in B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum booze. [...] Rum boozing welts; bunches of grapes. (cant).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
rum bub (n.) [bub n.1 ]

excellent liquor.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Bub, Drink. Rum-bub, very good Tip.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 203: Bub, drink. Rum-bub, very good tipple.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
rum bubber (n.) [bubber n.1 (3)]

a thief who specializes in stealing silver tankards from taverns.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-bubber c. a cleaver or dextrous Fellow at Stealing Silver-Tankards (formerly) from Public Houses.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
rum bung (n.) [bung n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) a full purse.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
rum chant (n.) (also rum chaunt) [chant n. (1)]

(UK Und.) a song.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 108: Men who can spint out a long yarn, tell a tough story, and tip you a rum chant.
[UK] ‘The Song of the Young Prig’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 172: But my rum chants ne’er fail, sirs, / The dubsman’s senses to engage.
[UK]H. Smith Gale Middleton 1 160: You rank spoon! you von’t be twisted no sooner acause a mouse knows how to throw off a rum chaunt.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 184: I know you can throw off a rum chant.
rum clout (n.) [clout n.1 (1); defs at a.1790, 1809 follow 1848]

(UK Und.) a handkerchief made of silk or other high-quality material.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum clout c. a Silk, fine Cambrick, or Holland Handkerchief. [Ibid.] Rum-wiper, c. as Rum clout.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum clout, A fine silk, cambric, or holland handkerchief (cant). [Ibid.] Rum wiper. see rum clout.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 123: Rum clout, handkerchief.
rum cole (n.) (also rum gelt, rum ghelt, rum gilt) [cole n. (1)/gelt n.] (UK Und.)

1. new money.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum-cole c. new Money, or Medals, curiously Coyn’d. [Ibid.] B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum ghelt, c. as Rum-cole.
[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 n.p.: Rum cole New money, or medals, (cant). [Ibid.] Rum ghelt see rum cole (cant).
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 28: Rum ghelt, or rum cole – new money.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

2. ‘Medals, curiously Coyn’d’ (B.E.), presumably counterfeit.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
see sense 1.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
rum-cove (n.) (also rome cove) [cove n. (1); lit. a ‘good man’]

1. (UK Und.) a leading beggar, whether through strength or intelligence.

[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ O per se O O2: Bein darkmans then, bouse, mort, and ken / the bien coue’s bingd a wast; / On chates to trine, by Rome-coves dine / for his long lib at last.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 45: You Mawnders all, stow what you stall, / to Rome coves watch so quire.

2. a rich man.

[UK]Dekker Jests to Make you Merrie in Grosart Works (1886) II 308: A rum coves bung (so called in their canting use of speech) (and as much to say in ours, a rich chuffes purse) .
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all n.p.: Roome Coue a Gentleman.
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 113: A rich Man A rum Cove.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘A Cant Song’ Muses Delight 177: As I derick’d along to doss on my kin / Young Molly the fro-file I touted, / She’d nail’d a rum cove of tilter and nob, / But in filing his tatler was routed.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 3 Jan. 3/6: A butcher, a ‘rum cove,’ offered to back the Ulverston poet.
[UK]Newcastle Guardian 23 July 8/1: That rum cove d’ye twig [...] It is the Earl-King with his Book and his School.

3. a successful villain.

[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 42: For all the Rome coues are budgd a beake / And the quire coues tippe the lowre.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 45: Ye Maunders all, stow what you stall, To Rome Coves what so squire.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Rome coves.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 196: [as cit. 1665].
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 293: rum cove a gentleman.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Annals of Sporting 1 Mar. 175: Rum-coves from the Holy Land sporting their cash.
[Ire]Tipperary Free Press 23 Aug. 3/1: Was not I, a very rum cove, when I speech’d at the Meeting to-day? / For there the spoonies [...] Gulp’d down, like fun, each whopping lie.
[UK]H. Baumann Londinismen (2nd edn) V: Rum coves that relieve us / Of chinkers and pieces, / Is gin’rally lagged, / Or, wuss luck, gits scragged.

4. (UK Und.) the hangman.

[UK]Dekker ‘O per se O’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 13: Bein [sic] darkmans then, bouse, mort, and ken / the bien cove’s bingd awast; / On chates to trine, by Rome-coves dine / for his long lib at last.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 46: [as cit. 1612].
[UK] ‘Canting Song’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 23: [as cit. 1612].
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 196: [as cit. 1612].
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 206: As the prancer drew the queer cove, at the cropping of the rotan, the rum pads of the Rumvile, and was flogged by the rum-cove, i.e., the rogue was dragged at the cart’s tail through the chief streets of London and was soundly whipped by the hangman.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict.

5. (UK Und.) a good-natured landlord.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rum cove a good landlord.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: He ’peers to be a rum cove.

6. an attractive man.

[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 293: Rum cove signifies a gentleman.

7. (UK und.) an admirable, trustworthy individual.

[UK]‘The Jargon of Thieves’ in Derry Jrnl 8 Sept. 6/6: A ‘rum cove’ would be a smart and true friend .
rum covey (n.)

1. an attractive man.

[UK] ‘A Chaunt by Slapped-up Kate and Dubber Daff’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 46: There’s fifty rum coveys have tipt me soft patter / And slang’d me ‘the tuliping she.’.

2. a sharp fellow.

[UK]W.J. Neale Paul Periwinkle 203: He’s rather a rum covey, that ashore. If he should smell a rat---.

3. (Und.) a trustworthy, admirable individual.

[Ire]Cork Examiner 5 July 1/5: A man, gentlemen, whom I have [...] ther honour of calling friend [...] ‘rum covey,’ ‘truepenny and chum’.
rum cull (n.) (also rome cull, rum cully) [cull n.1 /cully n.1 ; note mid-19C theatrical jargon rum cull, the manager] (UK Und.)

1. a gullible, rich fool, open to fraud.

[UK]Dekker Eng. Villainies (9th edn) n.p.: Rome-Culle a Rich foole.
[UK]New Brawle 11: Go, go ye Bulking Roague you, go to your fellow Pick-pockets sirrah, go Pinch the Rum Culle again of the Coale.
[UK]Catterpillers of this Nation Anatomized 37: This Dammee Captain by his Wit, Sword, and Baskethilt-Oathes; the two Iast he makes use of to frighten Rum-Cullies out of their cash.
[UK]Wandring Whore III 6: They got him into a pimping house, telling them they had got a rum-cully.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 179: Rum-cully A rich Coxcomb.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-cull c. a rich Fool, that can be easily Bit, or Cheated by any body, also one that is very generous and kind to a Mistress.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 234: Then those who [...] are a little Deficient in the Pocket, begin to exclaim against the Pulpit Cacklers, for not exciting the Rum-cullies to more Charity.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 19: A rich Fool – Rum-cully.
[UK] ‘Come All You Buffers Gay’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 52: If after a rum cull you pad / Pray follow him brave and bold.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: rum cull a rich fool, easily cheated, particularly by his mistress.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 58: I stalled into a gospel crib last night, and pinched the rum cull of a cotton vipe and medza croon.
[UK]Yokel’s Preceptor 31: Rum Cul, Master, or head man.
[UK]Sporting Times 29 Jan. 2/2: It is [...] quite safe to write of a foolish person [...] as a ‘rum cull’.

2. a man who is very generous to his mistress.

see sense 1.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
see sense 1.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

3. (also rum coll) an intimate friend; a good man.

[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 228: When the Mauts and Rum Culls have recruited our Store, / We’ll return to our Boozing. O Pity the Poor.
[UK]J. Harper Frisky Moll’s Song in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 41: I Frisky Moll, with my Rum Coll, / Wou’d Grub in a Bowzing Ken; / But ere for the Scran he had tipt the Cole, / The Harman he came in.
[UK]Fielding Tom Jones (1959) 281: You do not know the town, nor can distinguish a rum cull from a queer one.
[UK]C. Selby London by Night I ii: What’s in the wind, my rum cull?
‘Botany Bay’ in Goodwin et al. Anth. of Aus. Lit. (1990) 247: Farewell to Old England for ever, Farewell to my rum culls as well .
[UK]Illus. Police News 13 Aug. 12/1: ‘There you are, Harry, my rum cull’.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988).

4. (UK Und., also rum cull of the casey) the owner or manager of a lodging–house, or a low drinking place .

[UK]New Sprees of London 3: Nanty palary the rumcull of the Casey is green to the fakements.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 65: The donna of the ken, or rum cull, pipes his togging and palaries the shallow cove: – ‘Ve hasn’t got no pad room to-night sir,’ said the gorger. [Ibid.] 74: This is a lush ken in the neighbourhood of Southwark. The Rum Cul – a downey card, is patronised by the leary and slang schools, in winter, his long room, or ‘slanging lumber’ is the scene of many choice spree and downey movements.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/1: The host, or ‘rum-cull,’ is frequently a cross cove (thief,) who is conversant with villainy.

In compounds

rum degen (n.) (also ram dagen, rum job, rum tilter, rum tol) [degen n./SE jab/tilter n./tol n.1 ]

(UK Und.) a sword with a silver hilt or a hilt or blade inlaid with silver.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-degen c. a Silver-hilted or inlaid Sword. [Ibid.] Rum tol, c. [...] Rum tilter, c. as Rum Degen.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum degen, a handsome sword (cant). [Ibid.] Rum tol, (cant) see rum degen. [Ibid.] Rum tilter, see rum degen.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 28: Rum job, or rum dagen – a handsome sword.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
rum diver (n.) [diver n. (3); definitions in a.1790, 1809, 1848 erroneously suggest a ‘female pickpocket’]

(UK Und.) an accomplished pickpocket.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 204: [...] The cove’s a rum diver, i.e., the fellow is a clever pickpocket.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: rum-diver a compleat, or clever Pick-pocket. The same with Files or Bung-nippers.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum doxy (n.) (also rum dell) [doxy n. (2)/dell n.]

(UK Und.) a beautiful woman or attractive whore.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum doxy, c. a Beautiful Woman, or light Lady [...] Rum dell, c. as Rum doxy.
[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 n.p.: Rum doxy. A fine wench. (cant). [Ibid.] Rum dell see rum doxy.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 28: Rum doxy – fine made wench.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK](con. 1870s) Eve. Post 26 Nov. 6/3: The rum doxies tricked out in their betterest cloaks / Fix their pretty rum peepers on all the rum gloaks.
rum drag (n.) (also rum dragger) [drag v.1 (1a)]

(UK Und.) a thief who poses as a drunkard and persuades a carter to let him lead his horse while he gets some sleep; the ‘drunkard’ then re-addresses the parcels that are on the wagon, which will therefore be delivered to houses where his confederates can collect them .

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 151: Rum Drag. The Rum Dragger generally follows broad-wheel waggons on horseback, and counterfeits drunkenness [...] says, in a drunken tone, that he will give the Waggoner half-a-crown if he will lead his horse, and let him get half an hour’s sleep in his waggon. [...] He then takes off the directions from the trunks and parcels, and puts on others addressed to fictitious personages represented by his confederates who claim them on arrival.
rum drawers (n.) [drawers n.]

(UK Und.) stockings made of silk or some similar quality material.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-drawers c. Silk Stockings, or very fine Worsted Hose.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rum drawers silk or other fine stockings.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
rum dropper (n.) [SE drops of liquor] (UK Und.)

1. (also dropper) a vintner.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 293: Who [...] us’d to met in a Body at the afore-mentioned Rum Dropers, their cant for a Vintner, that they might drown all Thoughts of Shame.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 14 Apr. 4/3: Stop, said the ‘rum dropper’ of the Woodman, don’t be too sure.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.

2. a landlord.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 997/1: mid-C.17–18.
rum duke (n.) [generic use of SE duke] (UK Und.)

1. a notably handsome man.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum duke c. a jolly handsom Man.
[UK]Farquhar Recruiting Officer II iii: You are a justice of the peace, and you are a king, and I am a duke, and a rum duke, a’n’t I?
[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.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

2. a tough villain who is sent by a bankrupted individual to guard their possessions, while they leave home and take refuge from arrest in a criminal rookery.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-dukes, c. the boldest or stoutest Fellows (lately) amongst the Alsatians, Minters, Savoyards, &c. Sent for to remove and guard the Goods of such Bankrupts as intend to take Sanctuary in those Places.
[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 n.p.: Rum duke [...] the boldest and stoutest fellows lately among the Alsatians, Minters, Savoyards, and other inhabitants of privileged districts, sent to remove and guard the goods of such bankrupts as intended to take sanctuary in those places. (cant).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
rum fun (n.) [fun n.2 ]

(UK Und.) a clever trick, a cunning fraud.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-fun c. a cleaver Cheat, or sharp Trick.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum gagger (n.) [gagger n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) a confidence trickster who raises money on the basis of telling fraudulent tales of supposed suffering at sea, at the hands of the pirates of the Barbary Coast and so on.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: rum gaggers cheats who tell wonderful stories of their sufferings at sea, or when taken by the Algerines, (cant).
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/2: Here the mud larks — rumgaggers and naval heroes.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 14 Feb. 3/3: The ‘shallow coves, or rum gaggers’ bear a near relation to the mud-larks. But these gentlemen cadge [...] presenting themslves to society almost in a state of nakedness —an old shirt and a pair of old drawers is generally all the clothing they think prudent to wear.
rum gill (n.) [gill n.1 (2)]

(UK Und.) a well-off man who thus presents a target for robbery.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rum gill a gentleman who appears to have money that is meant to be robbed.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 172: Our own respective names, as High Pads and Low Pads, Rum Gills and Queer Gills, [etc.].
[UK]R.B. Peake Devil In London I iii: What a rum gill you are!
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 122: Rum gill, a gentleman who appears to have plenty of money.
[UK]‘A Harassing Painsworth’ in Yates & Brough (eds) Our Miscellany 28: Listen! all you high pads and low pads, rum gills and queer gills, patricos, palliards, priggers, whipjacks, and jackmen, from the arch rogue to the needy mizzler.
rum glimmer (n.) (also rum glimmar, rum glymmar, rum glymmer) [glimmer n. (1)]

(UK Und.) the head of the link-boys, who were employed to carry a link to light passengers along the street.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 178: Rum-glimmar King of the Link-boys.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-glymmar, c. King or Chief of the Link-boies.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 17: King of the Link-boys – Rum-glimmer.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum glymmer. King or chief of the link-boys. (cant).
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum gutlers (n.) (also rum gutters) [SE guzzle] (UK Und.)

1. Canary wine.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) n.p.: Rum-gutlers Canary Wine. As Rum-hopper, tip us presently a Bouncing cheat of Rum gutlers; Drawer fill us presently a bottle of the best Canary.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum gutlers c. Canary-Wine.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 293: Who [...] us’d to meet in a Body at the afore-mentioned Rum Dropers, their cant for a Vintner, that they might drown all Thoughts of Shame, or Dread of Punishment [...] over their Rum-Gutlers.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 122: Rum gutters, cape wine.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.

2. good eating.

[UK]New Canting Dict.
rum hopper (n.) [SE hopper, one who moves quickly and efficiently, who ‘hops to it’]

(UK Und.) someone who draws ale or wine at a tavern.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-hopper, tip us . . .a Boozing-cheat of Rum-gutlers . . .Drawer, fill us . . .a Bottle of the best Canary.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 194: Rum-hooper, [sic] tip us presently a Boosing-cheat of Rum gutlers [Drawer, fill us presently a Bottle of the best Canary].
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 16: A Drawer of Wine – Rum-hooper [sic].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

In compounds

rum ken (n.) [ken n.1 (1)]

1. (UK Und.) a large, substantial house.

[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 114: A brave stately House A Rum Ken.
[UK]J. Fielding Thieving Detected 25: I’ve several rum kins [sic] for you to do upon the ‘Sneak.’.

2. (UK Und.) a well-known criminal public house or brothel.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 267: From a rum ken we bundled.
[UK]H. Baumann ‘Sl. Ditty’ in Londinismen (2nd edn) vi: Tell ye ’ow? Wy, in rum kens, / In flash cribs and slum dens, / I’ the alleys and courts, / ’Mong the doocedest sorts.
rum kicks (n.) [kicks n.1 ]

(UK Und.) breeches that have been adorned with silver or gold embroidery.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-kicks c. Silver or Gold Brocade Breeches, or very rich with Gold or Silver Galoon.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum kiddy (n.) (also rum kid) [kiddy n. (1)]

(UK Und.) a popular, successful young thief.

[US]Merry Fellow’s Companion 28: ‘[S]eeing as how he was a rum kid, I was one upon his tibby’.
[UK]J. Miller Complete Jest Book 262: He was a rum kid. I was one upon his tibby.
[UK]Dundee Courier 4 Nov. 8/1: I saw he was a rum kiddy so I gave him one on the tibby, and held him till the rozzer came up.
rum mizzler (n.) (also mizzler) [mizzle v. (1)]

1. (UK Und.) someone who is clever at escaping difficult situations, whether physically or through words; thus tip someone the rum mizzle, to give someone the slip.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 176: Rum-mizzlers. Fellows who are clever in making their escape.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 192: When they make their escape from the constable, I tipt him the rum mizzle.
[Ire]Cork Examiner 15 Mar. 4/5: Resembling a pick-pocket and being remanded [...] till your friends can [...] prove you are not Flash jack, alias Bunkem, alias the Mizzler, alias Jockey Wide O, alias Slippery Joe [...] alias Conkey Dick.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 2 Sept. 6/5: He is both game and downy, and has escaped out of queerer streets than that. He is as clever a rum mizzler as ever I knew.

2. a general derog. term.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 115/2: This gave Joe the opportunity of [...] sending in a real sockdologer at the back of the ear of the sturdy ‘mizzler.’.
[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ in Temple Bar Mag. Nov. 536: ‘What do you mean by ‘snow-dropping?’ I asked ‘O!’ said he, ‘that’s a poor game. It means lifting clothes off the bleaching line, or hedges. Needy mizzlers, mumpers, shallow-blokes, and flats may carry it on.’.
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 308: If [...] they hear you spoken of in familiar terms by some low blackguard or needy mizzler, your new friends would be very likely to cut you.
rum mort (n.) (also rome mort, rum mot) [mort n. was orig. coined for Elizabeth I]

1. (UK Und.) a queen.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 84: Rome mort the Quene.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: The Canters Dictionary Rome-mort, a Queene.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 40: Roome mort a Queene or Gentlewoman.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canters Dict.’ Eng. Villainies (8th edn).
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Rome Mort, the Queen.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: rum mort c. a Queen.
[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.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. a great lady; an attractive woman.

[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 40: see sense 1.
[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 7: And for the Roome morts [...] they are of the sorts that loue true sports.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-mort c. a [...] great Lady.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn).
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 34: Rum Mort, fine Woman.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 14: A Handsome Wench – Rum Mort.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] ‘A Chaunt by Slapped-up Kate and Dubber Daff’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 46: But of all the rum mots, that I’ve chaff’d with, or kiss’d, / Dimber Polly’s the biddy for me.

3. a prostitute.

[UK]Catterpillers of this Nation Anatomized 2: The Hector or Knight of the Blade, with his Rum-Mort or Doxie.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 36: A health went round to the Prince of Maunders [...] a third to the Marquess of Doxy Dells and Rum morts.
[title] The Rum-Mort’s Praise of Her Faithless Maunder.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK] ‘Smith’s Frolic’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 61: Rum mots at each corner in clusters you’ll see / Drest, powder’d and painted as fine as may be.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 122: Rum mot, a woman of the town.

4. a rich woman.

[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 113: A rich Woman A rum Mort.
rum nab (n.) [nab n.1 (3)]

(UK Und.) a well-made, fashionable hat, a beaver hat.

[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia II ii: A rum nab. It’s a beaver of £5.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-nab c. a Beaver, or very good Hat.
[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.
rum nantz (n.) [nantz n.]

(UK Und.) the best quality French brandy.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-nantz c. true French Brandy.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum ogles (n.) [ogles n.; cit. 1823b prob. a misprint]

(UK Und.) bright, clear eyes.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Ogling, The Gentry-mort has rum Ogles, that Lady has charming black Eyes.
[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]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 129: ‘Rum oglen’ (query, ‘ogled-one?’) bright, piercing eyes.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
rum one (n.)

see separate entry.

rum pad (n.) [pad n.1 ] (UK Und.)

1. (also rom pad, rome pad) the highway.

[UK]Dekker O per se O N4: To Fib a Coues Quarrons in the Rome pad for his Loure in his bung that is to say [...] to beate a man by the high-way for the money in his purse.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O3: Now my Kinchin cove is gone, by the Rome-Pad Maundred none.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canters Dict.’ in Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 52: Rom-pad, The High-way.
[UK] ‘A Wenches Complaint for . . . her Lusty Rogue’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 16: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Rome pad, High way.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-pad The Highway.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 194: [as cit. 1612].
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 205: [as cit. 1612].
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Pall Mall Gaz. 20 Nov. 3/2: The men, thieves and wastrels all [...] poached a pilfered, now and then going out upon the ‘rum pad’ and robbing some defenceless cottager’s wife.

2. a highwayman.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum Pad , c. a daring or stout High-way-man.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 17: A Highway-man – Rum-pad.
[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](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 57: With them the best Rumpads of England are not to be named that same day!
rum padder (n.) (also rom-padder, rome-padder) [padder n.1 ]

1. a horse.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict.

2. (UK Und.) a highwayman.

[UK]Dekker Eng. Villainies (9th edn) n.p.: Rome-padders Highwaymen.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 52: Rom-padders, High-way-men.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-padders, the better sort of Highway-men well Mounted and Armed.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit (5th edn) 194: Five Rum-padders are rubbed in the Darkman out of the Whit .
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 114: High-way Man A rum Padder.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum padders, Highwaymen well mounted and armed (cant).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 281: I always thought them Rum-padders [...] rum fellows.
[UK]‘A Harassing Painsworth’ in Yates & Brough (eds) Our Miscellany 28: I bear a private message to the downiest of downy birds, the rummest of rum padders, the leariest of leary coves.
rum patter (n.) [patter n. (3)]

(UK Und.) criminal slang, cant.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 180: Gammon and Patter. Jaw talk, etc. A fellow that speaks well, they say he gammons well, or he has a great deal of rum patter.
rum peck (n.) [peck n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) good food.

[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 191: Mort. [R]ather then want Rum-peck, or Beane boose, mill the Cacklers, coy the Quack, or Duds.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: The Gentry Cove tipt us rum Peck and rum Guttlers, till we were all Bowsy, the Gentleman gave us so much good Victuals, and Canary, that we were all Damn’d Drunk.
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 111: Good Victuals, Rum Peck.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry II vi: Now, your honours, here’s the rum peck, here’s the supper.
rum peeper (n.) [peeper n. (2)]

1. (UK Und.) a silver mounted looking glass.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-peepers c. a Silver Looking-glass.
[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]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

2. in pl., bright eyes.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rum peepers [...] or bright eyes.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK](con. 1870s) Eve. Post 26 Nov. 6/3: The rum doxies tricked out in their betterest cloaks / Fix their pretty rum peepers on all the rum gloaks.
rum prancer (n.) [prancer n. (1)]

(UK Und.) a beautiful, well-made horse.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-prancer a very beautiful Horse.
[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]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum quids (n.) (also rum quidds) [quid n.] (UK Und.)

1. a large amount of stolen money, or a share thereof.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-quidds c. a great Booty, or large Snack.
[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.

2. a ‘good’, i.e. not counterfeit guinea.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rum quidds guineas.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum ruff peck (n.) [ruff peck n.; Westphalia ham was considered to be of the best quality]

(UK Und.) Westphalia ham.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-ruff-peck c. Westphalia-Ham.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 122: Rum rufe peck, Westphalia ham.
rum snooze (n.) [snooze n. (1)]

(UK Und.) a sleep induced by alcohol.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 142: If any of us was to come in by ourselves and should happen to take a rum snooze, you’d snitch upon us, and soon have the traps and fix us, in putting a lap-feeder in our sack, that you or your blowen had prig’d yourselves, though we should stand the frisk for it.
rum snoozer (n.)

1. (UK Und.) one who falls asleep in a tavern and is robbed.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 124: Rum Snoosers. If a man who has happened to be out late and fearful of not getting in at home, and desirous of seeing Life, should stroll into a night-house, he ought to be very careful lest he should fall asleep in any of those places; for if he should, he may be certain of a large piece of paper being fastened to his hat, and set fire to. Awakened by the cry of fire, he struggles with it, and endeavours to extinguish the flames that have seized on his wig or hair, which are burned, perhaps destroyed by the fire. Exasperated by this injury, he offers half a guinea if anybody will inform him who has used him thus; somebody naps the bit, and tells him that such a Coachman had done it, that he was just ran upstairs, and that his coach had such a number. He runs up in search of the Coachman, but there is no such person; and when he returns, the man who had gotten his money has run away, and the Landlord charges the Watch with him for raising a riot in his house; so the night finishes in a Round-house.

2. one who sleeps soundly.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Rum-snoozer. A sound sleeper.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 173: a person that sleeps soundly is called a Rum Snoozer. If he shams sleep to listen to conversation, then they say he is a Queer Rooster.
rum squeeze (n.) [SE squeeze] (UK Und.)

1. a good measure of drink distributed among the fiddlers at a wedding or similar event [a few drops squeezed out].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-squeeze c. much Wine or good Liquor given among the Fidlers.
[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]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.

2. a crush at the theatre; its members are susceptible to pickpockets [a crush].

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 159: Rum squeeze at the spell. A kind of harvest for pick-pockets. When the king goes to the play, and there is an over-flow of the house, the Spell is cant for the theatre.
[UK]G. Hangar Life, Adventures and Opinions II 60: Various impositions, practised daily on the unwary [...] such as [...] a rum squeeze at the spell.
[UK]‘Rowling Joey & Moll Blabbermums’ in Corinthian in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 43: There being a rum squeeze at the spell last darkey, I was wipe prigging.
rum strum (n.)

1. a pretty young strumpet [strum n.2 ].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

2. a long wig [strum n.1 ].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-strum, c. a long Wig.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
rum swag (n.) [swag n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) a shop full of expensive goods and thus worth robbing.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum Swag, c. full of rich Goods.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 167: Swag (the) — a store of money [...] ‘Rum swag’ — a good deal of it.
[UK] ‘Slap-Up Cracksman’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 43: Rum swag, if luck, if not, why nix.
rum topping (n.) [SE topping]

(UK Und.) a first-rate or brand-new wig.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-topping c. a rich commode or Head-dress.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 204: [...] Click the rum-topping, i.e., snatch the woman’s head-dress.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: rum-topping a rich Head-dress.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
rum twang (n.)

(UK Und.) a silver stock buckle.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 141: The balloon business now, is the the best that’s going, they are so intent when it ascends, that I verily believe, I could unbuckle his squeeze clout, and nap his rum twang.
Rum ville (n.)

see separate entry.

Pertaining to eccentricity

In derivatives

rummish (adj.)

odd, unsatisfactory.

[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 27 Apr. 4/5: I thought he was a rummish sort of a customer.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 21 Apr. 3/6: Ald. Gregory said he was a rummish friend to make him drunk.
[UK]Hants. Advertiser 13 May 3/2: His little boy took up the shilling and said it was a rummish one [...] a bad shilling.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 116: He had a rummish cove of a governor.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Mar. 3/1: Jem: How goes it with you? Jack: Rather rummish.
Shefield Indep. 19 Nov. 6/5: It being a ‘rummish’ plan, she (prosecutrix) thought it best to go quietly away.
[UK]Sherborne Mercury (Dorset) 1 Dec. 4/6: He replied that he only did it for a ‘lark.’ Complainant replied that it was a ‘rummish’ sort of a lark.
[UK]Leeds Times 17 Nov. 6/6: Theer’s some rummish tales tell’d abaht lawyers.
[UK]Derbyshire Times 28 July 6/3: They tell me as there’s been rummish doin’s up there of late.
[UK]Leeds Times 23 July 3/7: They all remembered old friend Noah bustling into the ark with relatives and animals and birds [...] It was a rummish mix.

In compounds

rum beggar (n.)

(US Und.) the lowest rank of street beggar.

[US]N.Y. Times 27 Jan. Sun. Mag. 4: The ‘rum beggars’ of the east side – the lowest of the professional mendicants – are found in a cheap lodging house on Mulberry Street.
rum bug (n.) [bug n.1 (1)]

(Aus.) an important (or self-important) person.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 11/2: Yet when he used to call in town – / Oh, Bob, you are a rum bug – / You’d say, ‘Oh, let him wait all day, / The fossilised old humbug!’.
rum cove (n.)

an odd or eccentric character.

[UK]R. Barham ‘Hamilton Tighe’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1840) 158: And the neighbours say, as they see him look sick, / ‘What a rum old cove is Hairy-faced Dick!’.
[UK]Cornish Teleg. 27 July n.p.: ‘Oh father, oh father! that rum cove d’ye twig? [...] he knows I’m a Prig!
Lord Palmerston He is a Clever Man (ballad) i: He’s a rum cove, fol de riddle I do [...] Lord Palmerston is a funny old chap.
[UK]Hants Advertiser 7 Oct. 1/3: ‘He is a “rum cove” [...] to deal with’.
[UK]Dundee Courier 3 Mar. 7/2: ‘Allus though Skipper a rum cove. But this ’ere’s the rummest go of all’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Colonial Reformer I 129: You’re a rum cove to go talking and preaching to a chap with a revolver at your head.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Wheels’ in Punch 7 May 217/1: Rum cove that old Clerk o’ the Weather; seems somehow to take a delight / In mucking Bank ’Oliday biz.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 51: He’s a rum cove, he’s fairly done me.
Montgomery Echo 8 Mar. 2/4: ‘Well,’ said the boy,’ thou’rt a rum cove to tache the folks the road to heaven, when thou’na know the road to Owdham!’.
[UK]Framlingham Wkly News 25 Feb. 1/3: ‘Well, yer a rum cove.’ observed one of the men.
[UK]J. Agate Gemel in London 132: ‘Rum cove!’ said Rubicon aloud.
rum duke (n.)

an odd, eccentric, showy man.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Duke, or rum duke, a queer unaccountable fellow.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 129: If he is not surrounded by Duchesses, I will bet a trifle, he will run against some rum Dukes!
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
rum maund (n.) (also rum mawnd, rum maunder, rum maundy) [maund n. (2)]

(UK Und.) a beggar who poses as more stupid than they really are to encourage donations.

[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O3: Canke and Dommerar thou could’st play, or Rum Maunder in one day.
[UK] ‘A Wenches Complaint for . . . her Lusty Rogue’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 17: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Rum Maunder, a Beggar Fool, flavering Fool.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rum-mawn’d, one that Counterfeits himself a Fool.
[UK]‘Rum-Mort’s Praise of Her Faithless Maunder’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 36: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rum mawnd One that counterfeits a fool (cant).
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 28: Rum maundy – fellows who counterfeit the fool, going about the streets in order to obtain charity.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
rum one (n.)

see separate entry.

rum touch (n.) [sense 2 + SE touch, with the implication of someone against whom one brushes up]

an odd, eccentric person; a strange affair.

[UK]T. Creevey letter 21 Jan. in Gore Creevey Papers (1948) 15: It was to meet Brogden and Col. Porter, two cursed rum touches that he has persuaded to vote with him and to desert Fox.
S. Grildrig Miniature (2nd edn) II 9: The last whom I shall mention is an Odd Fellow, or according to the language of the day, ‘a rum touch’. [Ibid.] 10: Whereas many young fellows with ugly faces [...] have [...] attempted to sustain the character of a Rum Touch, and have [...] failed most miserably, notice is hereby given [etc.] .
[UK]Peterhead Sentinel 6 May 3/3: The footman surveyed Miss Wickerwill again [...] ‘A rum touch,’ said the footman below his breath [...] ‘a very rum touch’.