This selection from New York Police Chief George Matsell’s Vocabulum, or the Rogue’s Lexicon, a collection of criminal slang, is amazing. It’s available here in its entirety. Here are some words for you. See if you can work them into conversation tomorrow.
Altitudes: A state of drunkenness; being high.
Ambidexter: One who befriends both sides; a lawyer who takes fees from both parties in a suit.
Bag of nails: Everything in confusion.
Billy Noodle: A soft fellow that believes the girls are all in love with him.
Blue-plum: A bullet; “Surfeit the bloke with blue-plum,” shoot him.
Bread-bag: The stomach. [Also: Middle-piece; Victualling Office.]
Bun: A fellow that can not be shaken off.
Chatty feeder: A spoon. [Also, Feeders: Silver spoons or forks. “Nap the feeders,” steal the spoons. Smash-feeder: A silver spoon.]
Cutty-eyed: To look out of the corner of the eyes; to look suspicious; to leer; to look askance. “The copper cutty-eyed us,” the officer looked suspicious at us.
Daisyville: The country.
Dry up: Be silent; stop that.
And that’s just A through D of the excerpt.