- showy, smart, knowing; a word with various meanings. A person is said to be dressed FLASH when his garb is showy, and after a fashion, but without taste. A person is said to be FLASH when he apes the appearance or manners of his betters, or when he is trying to be superior to his friends and relations. FLASH also means “fast,” roguish, and sometimes infers counterfeit or deceptive—and this, perhaps, is its general signification. As it is used by those who best understand it nowadays, the word means that which is not what it appears to be—anything spurious, as jewellery and shoddy clothes. “FLASH, my young friend, or slang, as others call it, is the classical language of the Holy Land; in other words, St. Giles’s Greek.”—_Tom and Jerry_, by Moncreiff. Vulgar language was first termed FLASH in the year 1718, by Hitchin, author of “_The Regulator of Thieves, &c., with account of flash words_.” “FLASH” is sometimes exchangeable with “fancy.” “My FLASH man’s in quod, And I’m the gal that’s willin, So I’ll turn out to-night, And earn an honest shillin’. “Tooral, looral la, What are wealth’s possessions? Bless the man we love, And blow the b---- Sessions.”—_Lyra Flagitiosa._
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