Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 210

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Money Droppers

This is defined by Grose as “cheats who drop money, which they pretend to find just before some country lad; and by way of giving him a share of their good luck, entice him into a public house, where they and their confederates cheat or rob him of what money he has about him”. This form of confidence trick continues to this day, although I’m not sure that the cheats limit themselves to country lads. The phrase was in use between the mid seventeenth and early twentieth centuries, also sometimes referred to as “gold droppers”.