From Middle English glimme (“radiance; shining brightness”); of uncertain further origin, likely from Old Norse [Term?]. Apparently ultimately from Proto-Germanic *glim-. Compare Norwegian glim (dialect) and Old Swedish glim, glimma.
glim (plural glims)
- (obsolete) brightness; splendour
- (archaic, slang) A light; a candle; a lantern; a fire.
- (archaic, slang) An eye.
- (archaic, slang) A pair of glasses or spectacles.
- (archaic, slang) A look; a glimpse.
- (archaic, slang) Gonorrhea
- (archaic, slang) Fake documents claiming the loss of property by fire (for use in begging).
1851, Mayhew, Henry, “Of the 'Screevers,' or Writers of Begging-Letters and Petitions”, in London Labour and the London Poor, volume 1, page 312:
- Tayler Tom lent me a shillin wish I send inklosed and yu must porn sumthing for anuther shilling and get Joe the Loryer to rite a fake for William not a glim (loss by fire) but a brakd say as e ad a hors fell downe with the mad staggurs an broke all is plates and dishes an we are starvin you can sa that the children is got the mesuls […]
- (eye): glimflashy (“angry”)
- (obsolete) To brand on the hand.
1714, Memoirs of the Right Villainous John Hall:
- Profligate women were glimm'd for that villany.
- (dated, slang) To illuminate.
- (dated, slang) To see; to observe.
1918, West, Tommy, The Long, Long Trail in the World of Sport:
- About 9 o'clock he showed up and he knew me the moment he glimmed me.
1943 December 11, “Pipes for Pitchmen”, in Billboard, page 55:
- Heibers further states he glimmed the following on Maxwell Street on a Sunday morning […]
- Farmer, John Stephen (1893) Slang and Its Analogues, volume 3, pages 153–155