Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rantum scantum n.

[SE rantum-scantum, chaos, a disorderly situation]

1. (also rantie-tantie) sexual intercourse.

[UK]Bridges Homer Travestie (1764) I 116: Jove and his queen have had their quantum, And now have ceas’d their rantum-scantum.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] ‘Wap and Row’ in Burns Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 80: And I myself a thumpin quine / And try’d the rantie-tantie O.
[UK]Norfolk Chron. 20 July 4/3: We shall be obliged to any of our readers for definitions of the following:— rantum-scantum [...] hoity-toity.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

2. a noisy argument.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 143: Rantum Scantum — a mutual blow-up with hard names.

In phrases

play at rantum-scantum (v.) (also play rantum, tanty-ranty)

to have sexual intercourse.

Dryden Tempest Act IV: I found her an hour ago under an Elder-tree [...] singing Tory, Rory and Rantum Scantum, with her own natural Brother.
[UK]T. Duffet Psyche Debauch’d IV iii: When I have supp’d with Margaret Trantum, / With goodly thing you may play Rantum.
Did you ever see such Damned stuff? n.p.: Rantum-skantum is the word, And Nonsense shall ensue.
A. Ramsay Lucky Spence’s Last Advice [ballad] Wi well crish'd Loofs I hae been Canty; / [...] / To try the auld Game Taunty Ranty,.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 57: Juno and he have had their quantum, / And play no more at rantum-scantum.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Rantum Scantum. Playing at Rantum Scantum; making the Beast with two Backs.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) .
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1788].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.