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Backslang for four.



rouf (plural roufs)

  1. (costermongers) The number four.
    • 1851, Mayhew, Henry, “Gambling of Costermongers”, in London Labour and the London Poor[1], volume 1, page 17:
      The betting also began to shift. "Sixpence Ned wins!" cried three or four; "Sixpence he loses!" answered another; "Done!" and up went the halfpence. "Half-a-crown Joe loses!"—"Here you are," answered Joe, but he lost again. "I'll try you a 'gen'" (shilling) said a coster; "And a 'rouf yenap'" (fourpence), added the other. "Say a 'exes'" (sixpence).—"Done!" and the betting continued, till the ground was spotted with silver and halfpence.
    • 1978, Ayers, Rose, The Street Sparrows:
      "Give me two gen, then, and take the whole bloody tol. I've walked me teef orf afore rouf this mornin', and wot 'ave I got? Two bloody yenneps! I ask yer."
    • 2011, Lyall, Ian, The Street-Smart Trader, Harriman House Limited, ISBN 9780857191007, page 11:
      Then the horse trading would begin with the words, from the jobber, of: "What's your size?" [] The broker might reply with the word rouf (a 4,000 share trade, which was a very small order); a score (20,000); a monkey (half a million); or a gorilla (one million shares - a very big order).
    1. (crime) A prison sentence of four years.
    2. (obsolete, money) Four shillings.
    3. (money) Four pounds sterling.
      • 2014, Eldridge, David, Market Boy, A&C Black, ISBN 9781408141519, page 48:
        I don't want a cockle – I don't want a neuf – I don't want a fat lady or a nevis – I don't want an exis, a flim or a rouf – or a carpet or bottle – These green flip-flops are a phunt a pair! And they've all got to go!
    4. (gambling) Odds of four to one.

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  • (file)


rouf m (plural roufs)

  1. (nautical) deckhouse

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