harman-beck

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

harman-beck (plural harman-becks)

  1. (obsolete, thieves' cant) A policeman.
    • 1610, “The Maunderer's Wooing”, in Farmer, John Stephen, editor, Musa Pedestris, published 1896, page 8:
      But O ben Coue what if we be clyd, / Long we cannot foist & nip at last we shall be spyed, / If that we be spied, O then begins our woe, / With the Harman beake out and alas, / To Wittington we goe.
    • 1612, Dekker, Thomas, “A Canting Song”, in Lanthorne and Candle-light[1]:
      The Ruffin cly the nab of the Harman beck, / If we mawnd Pannam, lap, or Ruff pecke,
    • 1652, Brome, Richard, A Jovial Crew[2], act 2:
      Here, safe in our Skipper, let's cly off our Peck, / And bowse in defiance o' th' Harman-beck.

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