Victorian Slang of the Week – Fly the Kite

If you google it, it seems there are a huge number of meanings for the slang term “Fly the kite”. There’s two on this page of The Slang Dictionary – the first refers to obtaining money on (usually worthless) cheques.

The second is the one that fascinates me, though:
“Fly the kite”, To evacuate from a window – term used in padding-kens, or low lodging houses”

Erm. So your, shall we say, number one is the string and you, up there at the window, are the kite. I presume your average low lodging house wasn’t exactly well equipped with privies, and maybe even chamber pots were too luxurious for these dives?


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