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The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: barnacles

Barnacles (Chthamalus stellatus) and Limpets (...
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– 1. a good booty (as in “things worth sticking to”); 2. a pair of spectacles (a possible corruption of binoculi); 3. handcuffs.


  • London Antiquary, A [Hotten, John Camden]. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words. 2nd ed. London: John Camden Hotten, 1860.
  • 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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