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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Canticon
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 1997 17:34:25 

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

At 12:44 AM 7/1/97 GMT, you wrote:

>Re: Cant, as a matter of fact, Talon compiled a list of cant terms
>used in THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN and I'm still working my way through
>it using the OED, which so far has nearly all of them.

	Good. My memory has not completely gone. (At 47, you never know...). I
knew I remembered a post on this, but could not find it.
	So, the good old OED has them. I could have guessed that, but at 47....

  But I'm
>always happy to take up an offer for help, so here's a few I haven't
>been able to find in the OED:
>Abram - mad; naked. As I dimly recall, the first is the one that fits.

>beggar's root - "rooting" is stealing. Rooting implies that several men
are going out on robbery bent.

>hornbuss ["buss" most likely = "kiss"] - buss may mean "steal." Horn is
the nose, in the dictionary. I thought it might mean to kiss the penis when
I first read it. It might mean to blow one's nose. I cannot recall the

>ice [pre-1969, USA] - noun: diamonds; verb: imprison

>iron (you're for ~) - iron can be money or courage; but an iron house is a
prison. My guess is that Wolfe is using iron as prison, but I don't recall
the context.

>jump (full of ~; he's ~ for religion) A jump is an act of theft in which
the thief takes advantage of an open door or window for a quickie. Thus, it
seems to be used in the lupine underworld for "energy, energetic."

>kate ["lockpick"] - a pick-lock or skeleton key.

>larger ["more importantly"] - no entry.

>lay [OED has ten pages devoted to "lay"; in Vironese cant it is used
>in at least five ways, four of which I think I've found]
>  --breakin' ~.   Breaking is burgling, from "breaking in". A lay is a
place where a theft can be committed.

>lily - a lily is a credulous person, a born sucker. I took it in Wolfe to
mean "believable."

>nanny nipper - a nanny is a brothel.  A nipper is a cutpurse or
pickpocket; to nip or to nipper is to arrest. No listing for the two
together, so you'll have to find it elsewhere or make a guess from context.
>Thanks in advance!

Yer welcuhm. Ifn you have more, lemme know, and that's lily.


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