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Adam Tiler



Adam Tiler (plural Adam Tilers)

  1. (idiomatic, archaic, thieves' cant and slang) A pickpocket's accomplice; the person who takes the goods a pickpocket steals and leaves with them.
    • 1823, Tales of my Father, and my Friends, printed for T. and G. Underwood, Fleet Street, and Macredie, Skelly, and Co., Edinburgh; page 90–91:
      "In the same way as I got this," showing a handful of silver, "by turning autem diver, or, if you like it better, my Adam tiler."
      "I do not understand you, Billy!"
      "Why, an autem diver is a pickpocket who practises in a church, and an Adam tiler his associate, who receives his booty [...]"
    • 1934, Brian Penton, Landtakers: The Story of an Epoch:
      He waved his hand. "Well, you know how these sods gas. Most likely there's nothing in it. It's a cert Gursey sank dead on the gutter at the Flat. It'd be hard to prove he was Jem's Adam Tiler."
    • 1940 (2009 edition), Georgette Heyer, The Corinthian, page 112:
      "In Mr Yarde's picturesque but somewhat obscure language, he — er — tipped the cole to Adam Tiler. Have I that right?'
      'How the d-devil should I know?' snapped Brandon.
      'You must forgive me. You seem to me to be so familiar with — er — thieves and — er — swashbucklers, that I assumed that you were conversant also with thieving cant.'
    • 2007, S. Thomas Russell, Under Enemy Colors:
      “And do you know what an Adam Tiler does?” Wickham looked a bit embarrassed. “Is he employed in the repair of roofs, sir?”
      “An Adam Tiler is the associate of a Fork, better known as a pickpocket.”
    • 2007, Ronnie Blackwell, Spite, page 154:
      “Then Sue lifted his passkey as he turned to go back to the office.”
      “Lifted?” I said. “So now you've got the lingo down? Next you'll be telling me about marks, nippers, and Adam Tilers.” The Adam Tiler bit brought a puzzled look from even Sue.
      “Oh, oh, I was the misdirection,” Narlene blurted. “I sort of let my pareo slip off of my shoulder at just the right time.”