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H -


A sideshow performer who claims to be half-woman, half-man.


A game of skill that caters to young and old alike; small prizes.


Silver money; coins.


One who is stubborn or prone to anger.

Have the X, To

A concessionaire who has contracted for the exclusive privilege to operate a game or for the exclusive use of a prize item.

Head of the Store

The joint operator who thinks he is boss and hopes to get the first count of his game.


The health inspector.


Trouble with people who are not carnies. Can be with the law or with people incensed over their losses on the games. Most of the "heat" in the "good ol' days" was generated by the games, the AT SHOWS or the "strong" dancing girls.

Heavy Blacksmithing

The act of taking care of an old and buxom widow with money.


A low-grade PITCHMAN; a SHILL.

Heel, To; or Heel the Joint, To

To walk out without paying. This expression applies to people who take advantage of situations to walk out of restaurants or hotels without paying their bills.

Heist, To

1. To raise or lift something while using actions that make it seem much heavier than it actually is.

2. To stage a stick-up.




A piece of outdoor-show advertising paper printed on coloured newsprint. The herald was designed to be given to a person directly, placed in automobiles or front doors, or mailed to box numbers.

Hey, Rube

1. CLEM's little brother.

2. A fight between carnival workers and townspeople when the townspeople believe they have been cheated or because they dislike the attitudes and actions of the carnival outsiders. Never actually used by carnies, this is a term for the media.

High-school Animals

Trained animals.

High Striker

A long vertical timber with a bell on the top of it. A weight which travels on a track fastened to the face side of the timber may be propelled upward by the player striking a hinged lever device with a wooden maul.

Hip Kick

The rear trouser pocket.


Holdout, often referred to as Harry Oliver, a term used when operating a game of questionable merit, in which legitimately won prizes might not be handed over.




Cheap, sugary candy, cheap souvenirs, any cheap useless items such as is sold at carnival booths.


A ring.


Generally any round stall, but specifically a game in which the player has to ring his prize with a hoop.

Hootchie Cootchie

A mildly lascivious form of dance exhibition in which a woman sways or rotates her hips and body.

Hop Scotcher

One who jumps from one show to another.

Horse Irons

The rods on which roundabout horses are suspended.

Horse Opera

A show using horses.

Hose, To

To trim.


Something that has been stolen is "hot".

Hotter 'n a Pistol

Used mostly in reference to concessions that have caused complaints.

Hot Wagon

The transformer wagon.

Hymn Hustler

A sky pilot or minister.


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