"fork *up*" (July 1837), and other slang

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Mon Mar 1 03:21:49 UTC 2010

> "tip us the rhino" -- Not in OED as
> phrase.  rhino 1.  "Money. (Often ready rhino.)".  1688 and thereafter.

Rhino for money first comes in recorded in Thomas Shadwell's _Squire of
Alsatia_ (presumably the 1688 reference).  "Tip" would I'd guess be a bit
later, meaning "give".  But there would be an overlap in time when the two
terms would be used.

Actually, I'm wrong on "tip", come to think of it -- it comes into "Of the
Budge" (often miscalled "The Budg and Snudge Song") about 1673 --

And when we come to the Nubbing-cheat
  For running on the Budge,
There stands Jack Ketch, that son of a bitch,
  Who owes us all a grudge;
For when that he hath nubbed us,
  And our friends tips him no cole,
He takes his Chive and cuts us down,
  And tips us into the hole.

-- "tips him no cole" would translate as "gives him no money".    But
somehow "tip us the rhino" doesn't quite ring true.  "Tip us the ready" I
could live with, but while "tip" is definitely actual late 17thC+ cant,
widely attested, "rhino" always sounds a little literary to me.

> "post the poney" -- OED 1819 [not 17898], s.v.
> post, v.4:  J. H. VAUX New Vocab. Flash Lang. in
> Mem., Post or post the poney, to stake, or lay
> down the money.  [No other quotations.]

I wouldn't put this past being something made up by the execrable Vaux.
Sounds like a variant of "pony up", meaning to hand over money or pay a debt
or reckoning.

But the whole set of examples, if they date from 1920, reads like a melange
of slang and cant garnered from various periods and almost certainly books.
Deeply phoney.

Robin (who's still away from his books at the moment.)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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