Glossary

Of obsolete words, or words used in an obsolete sense

Aconiton

A deadly poison prepared from the plant Aconitum napellus (monkshood or wolfsbane)

Affiance

Absolute confidence or trust.

Affying

Trusting

Alla revolto

Carried upside down, with the hilt below the point

Alopecia

Baldness caused by illness

Ambuscado

Ambush

Amerced; amerciament

Fined; a fine

Amort

Dejected, vexed

Angel

A gold coin worth 10 shillings

Artificial

Artful, clever

Bait

Food

Baited

Fed

Bandore

A musical instrument resembling a guitar, used as a bass accompaniment

Basil

An iron ring fastened around the ankle of a prisoner

Belswagger

A swaggering pimp or bully

Bewray

To betray, expose

Bilbo blade

A sword made in Bilbao, in Spain

Blackjack

A leather drinking vessel

Blind

Secluded, out of the way

Bombast

Cotton, or cotton-wool used for padding out clothes.

Bowed

Of a coin, bent; such a coin was given as a token of affection

Brack:

A flaw in the weaving of cloth

Braves

Boastful or threatening behaviour

Brazil

An exceptionally hard wood

Brisk

To dress finely

Bruit

Something spoken of widely

Caliver

A kind of harquebus or musket

Cap-case

A travelling bag

Caterpillar

An extortioner, one who preys on others.

Cates

provisions

Cautels

Tricks, deceits

Cly

To take, seize

Cocker

To spoil or pamper a child

Cole

A swindler

Commodity

Benefit

Compter

A small prison run by the sheriff, used to hold debtors and petty offenders.

Contemn

To despise

Copesmate

A colleague or accomplice, especially of a thief or swindler

Cowshard

A pat of cow-dung

Crome

A hook

Cross

A small coin, which had a cross stamped on the reverse side

Cullion

A low-class scoundrel or ruffian

Cushionet

a pin-cushion

Cuttle-bung

a knife for cutting purses

Decipher

To show

Delay

Occupy, use up

Descant

To discourse, make a statement

Dicker

A package of ten hides

Drab

A whore

Drift

A course of action

Dump

A state of bewilderment or depression

Exigent

A summons to attend court under pain of outlawry.

Fadge

Suitable

Fairing

A gift or free sample

Featly

Neatly, elegantly

Figging

Thieving

Flax-wife

A woman who makes a living by preparing or spinning flax into linen thread.

Foins

Marten fur

Forfend

Prevent, avoid

Frump

A derisive snort.

Garded

(Of garments) with ornamented fringes or hems

Gauds

Flashy finery of any kind

Gins

Equipment

Gird

A jibe or sarcastic crack at someone

Gittern

A musical instrument resembling a guitar.

Gran

A rustic or yokel

Hackster

A prostitute or thief (or both).

Haggard

A wild and untameable hawk, also used of an unbiddable woman.

Handsel

A small gift of money

Headboroughs

Local police or watchmen

Hippocras

Spiced wine

Hippocras

Spiced wine

Holp

Helped

Huff-snuff

A hectoring braggart

Imbolish

To steal, make off with

Incestuous

Adulterous or immoral

Jet

Prance or swagger

Lamback

A heavy blow

Lask

Diarrhoea.

Leese

Lose

Legerdemain

Nimbleness or skill with the hands

Leman

A lover or mistress

Levatum

Comforting

List

To want or desire to do something

Mark

Thirteen shillings and four pence i.e. two-thirds of a pound.

Marshal-man

An official of the royal court or of the Mayor of London, whose function it was to walk ahead of the coach in procession in order to clear the way

Mate

Used contemptuously for a man

Meuse

An opening or gap in a fence or hedge through which a. hare can escape when pursued

Mithridate

An antidote to all poisons

Mouthfair

Handsome

Mutiny

A dispute or quarrel

Nappy Ale

Strong, well flavoured ale

Nick

To hammer up the bottom of a metal container so as to reduce the amount it will hold

Noble

A gold coin worth (in Greene's day) ten shillings

Nonage

Childhood

Oeillade

An amorous glance or ogle

Ordinary

An eating-house where a set meal could be had at a fixed price; the meal itself

Pair

A pack of cards

Palliard

A beggar or vagabond

Pelf

Money or possessions, regarded as the root of all evil.

Penny-father

A miser

Pillow-bere

a pillow case

Placket

A pocket on the inside of a skirt or petticoat.

Poignado

A dagger

Pottle

Half a gallon

Prank

To show oneself off

Pranker

Thieves' slang for a lively horse

Provant

Soldier's rations

Quean

A whore

Quittanced

Cancelled, discharged

Several

Exclusive

Shells

Money

Sholt

A cur dog

Shore

A curve shot

Shot

The bill

Shruff dust

Powdered cinders.

Sice

The six on a die.

Simple

A medicinal herb

Sir-reverence

An expression used before, or instead of, a word or words considered offensive.

Sith

Since

Smoke

To detect, find out

Snout-fair

Pretty

Soldados

Soldiers of fortune.

Spanish pip

Syphilis

Speed of

To succeed in obtaining.

Speeder

One who is successful in love

Stade

A kind of cloth

Stale, stall

A decoy; something (or someone) who distracts the attention of a victim

Stanchel

The upright of a window-frame.

Starting-hole

Literally, a hole in which a hunted animal can hide; metaphorically, a loophole, or "get-out."

Surfling water

A liquid cosmetic

Swinge

To beat someone with a club

Tabling Houses

Taverns or houses where backgammon was played

Term

A session of the law courts

Termer

A litigant in court

Toy

A lively tune or song

Traffic

A whore

Train

A deceitful trick

Treacher

A treacherous person

Trug

A whore

Trugging-house

A brothel

Twilted

Sewn in

Vent

Sale

Vent

The business of selling a commodity

Veny

A thrust or wound in fencing

Verse

To swindle

Virginals

A musical instrument resembling a small piano

Wehee

The sound of a whinnying horse

Yarking up

Preparing

Younker

A young man

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