Green’s Dictionary of Slang

slum n.3

[ety. unknown]

1. (UK Und.) a bundle of banknotes.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. a dollar.

Hooley’s Opera House Songster 32: ‘So I’ll go and jump a bounty, / And have a little spree.’ / Joe went and put his name down, / And got three hundred ‘slums’, / And then skedaddled and ran away.

3. (also slump) cheap or counterfeit jewellery, typically that sold illegally by street vendors.

[US]F.H. Tillotson How I Became a Detective 88: ‘Slum’ is bad jewelry.
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 77: slum [...] jewelry of any description, but lately reduced in scope of meaning to include only the less valuable kinds of jewelry [...] ‘He’s got a bale of slum for sloughings.’.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 10 Jan. 10/5: He do think they’re chunks of slum, / For the gems was in the rough.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 418: Slum. Plated jewelry.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Broadway Financier’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 208: The jewellery Silk brings around is nothing much but slum.
[US]S. Sterling ‘Ten Carats of Lead’ in Black Mask Stories (2010) 223/2: They haven’t taken any of [...] the cheap ‘slum’ that’s used to catch the eye of the passerby.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 198/2: Slum. [...] 3. Jewelry, in general; imitation jewelry.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 110: Some louse put the heist on your ‘slum’.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 132: junk jewelry [...] slum (fr carnival sl = kewpie dolls, trinkets given as prizes in concession stands).
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 48: slump A piece of cheap jewelry [...] ‘Those rings ain’t real, man, they’re hook, they’re slump.’.
[US]J. Maple Crime Fighter 60: [S]he answered the door wearing a nightgown and another three diamonds, then asked why he’d bother locking her up for ‘slum’ When he told her each ring was worth about $30,000, she gasped.

4. stolen jewellery.

[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 335/2: slum, n. Plunder, loot.
[US]‘Goat’ Laven Rough Stuff 61: I asked him where I could drop some slum (sell stolen jewelry).

5. the virtually worthless prizes offered at fairs, carnivals etc.

[US]F. Brown Dead Ringer 121: Twenty gross of the outfits of slum he pitches in the side-show, and some other magic stuff.
[UK]D.P. Mannix Sword-Swallower 63: Slum means prizes—kewpie dolls, [...] plaster statues and stuff.
[US] W.L. Alderson ‘Carnie Talk’ in AS XXVIII:2 118: slum, n. Carnival goods sold or given as prizes in connection with a game.
[US]J. Scarne Complete Guide to Gambling.
[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 Slum — Ultra-cheap prizes, like a single toy soldier, bought in bulk.

6. attrib. use of sense 5.

[US]R. Mulvey ‘Pitchman’s Cant’ in AS XVII:1 Pt 2 Apr. 93/1: slum layout. A stand where small prizes are awarded in the game of chance. The big prizes which are a part of the frame-up are not given away.
[US] ‘I’ll Gyp You Every Time’ in C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 180: Slum skillo is a game which may be operated almost the same as the wheels.

In compounds

slum hustler (n.) [hustler n. (4)]

(UK Und.) one who sells cheap jewellery or clothing, pretending to the gullible buyer that it is stolen property; thus slum hustle, the trick itself.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 198/2: Slum-hustler. One who traffics in cheap or imitation jewelry.
[US]D. Dressler Parole Chief 76: The suit wasn’t stolen and the salesman was a ‘slum hustler,’ a type of confidence man. [Ibid.] 227: It’s a forgery [...] I sold it to him in a Slum Hustle.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 275: I contacted a [...] slum hustler down on his luck.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 203: I’m Fish Rusconi the Macaroni. I’m a slum hustler (sells fake gold), I’m the man.
slum joint (n.) [joint n. (3b)]

(US Und.) a jewellery store.

[US]F.H. Tillotson How I Became a Detective 95: Slum joint – Jewelry store.
[US]Mencken Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 579: In the East a jewelry-store is a slum-joint, whereas in the West it is an ice-house.
[US]J.E. Dadswell Hey, Sucker 97: slum joint ... concession featuring inexpensive merchandise.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 198/2: Slum-joint. A jewelry store.
slum-worker (n.)

(US Und.) one who sells cheap or imitation jewellery as its expensive equivalent.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 199/1: Slum-worker. A specialist in selling cheap jewelry as genuine valuable pieces.