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The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bat

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Bat (Noctilio albiventris?) in flight over swi...
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– 1. a prostitute who only goes out on the street at night (in the way that bats appear at dusk); a low prostitute; 2. to be, or to work as, a prostitute.


  • Barrère, Albert and Charles G. Leland. A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant. [London]: The Ballantyne Press, 1889.
  • Grose, Francis and Egan Pierce. Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Revised and Corrected. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1823.
  • Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, the Rogue’s Lexicon.. New York: George W. Matsell, 1859.
  • Partridge, Eric. A Dictionary of the Underworld. New York: Bonanza Books, 1961.

Note: See “Cant: The Language of the Underworld” to learn more about the background of the American Malefactor’s Dictionary.

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