Possibly a blend of damme +‎ boy.


damber (plural dambers)

  1. (obsolete, Britain, thieves' cant) A rascal; a dishonest person; a man belonging to a criminal gang.
    • 1994, Scott, Amanda, Dangerous Illusions, →ISBN:
      Happen we seen there was a damber in the ruffmans, and since we'd no yen t' deck the chates, we'd ha' binged a wast but for the rhino we was promised.
    • 2010, Berne, Eric, What Do You Say After You Say Hello?, →ISBN:
      The gallows laugh is the dying man's joke, or famous last words. As already noted, the crowds of spectators at Tyburn or Newgate hangings in the eighteenth century used to admire people who died laughing: 'I was the capper, see,' says Daniel Then. 'We had the cull all set up and then something went wrong. The others got away but I got nabbed, ha ha ha!' And 'Ha, ha ha,' roars the crowd in appreciation of the jest as the trap is sprung, 'the damber died game.'


Derived termsEdit


  • [Francis Grose] (1785) , “Damber”, in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 2nd edition, London: Printed for S. Hooper, [], OCLC 1179630700.
  • “damber” in Albert Barrère and Charles G[odfrey] Leland, compilers and editors, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant, volume I (A–K), Edinburgh: The Ballantyne Press, 1889–1890, page 293.
  • Farmer, John Stephen (1891) Slang and Its Analogues[1], volume 2, page 249
  • Eric Partridge, The Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang. Routledge, 1973. →ISBN.