The canting academy, or, The devils cabinet opened wherein is shewn the mysterious and villanous practices of that wicked crew, commonly known by the names of hectors, trapanners, gilts, &c. : to which is added a compleat canting-dictionary, both of old words, and such as are now most in use : with several new catches and songs, compos'd by the choisest wits of the age ...
Head, Richard, 1637?-1686?
Page  58

A Character or Description of the Roguish Professors of that mysterious and Diabolical Gibberish called Cant∣ing.

UNdoubtedly there were Rogues and Villains before ever this speech was invented, for whilst the world was in swadling cloaths, we read of men that acted very horrid and vile pranks, such as for their infamy are so registred, as never to be for∣gotten whilst the world indures; and since evil example is more prevalent then good Precept, who knows but the wicked seeds of their lewd acti∣ons have been transimitted to posterity, by which means we have such an infinite increase of all man∣ner of Villany, the Actors whereof I verily believe are much more notorious then heretofore, show∣ing much more ingenuity in their Roguery than in imes past.

I shall begin to speak of the first I have read of, which were the Founders or first publick Professors of Canting, and I find their names male, thus re∣corded.

  • An Ʋpright Man
  • A Ruffler
  • An Angler
  • A Rogue
  • A Prigger of Prancers
  • A Palliard
  • Page  59
  • A Frater
  • A Quire Bird
  • Mumpers
  • Ben-Feakers
  • An Abram Man
  • A Whip-Jack
  • A Patrico
  • An Irish Toyl
  • A Swigman
  • A Kinchin Cove
  • Clapperdogeons

Of all which according to the best light I have received, I shall endeavour to give you an account; the first that falls in my way, is