Home  |  Info  |  Contact 

Home » Info » Dictionary »

P -

Pale Meat

An anemic hamburger.


This can be either advertising for the show or passes. You never say you have "papered the town" when you have put up advertising paper. You say you have "billed the town." A "papered town" has a disproportionate number of passes given out. A "papered house" means almost all of the patrons are there on free passes.

Paper Hanger

One who passes counterfeit money.


A legal adjuster or fixer. One who settles complaints.


A fall guy or one who is set up to take blame or to have something put over on him.

Peep Show

A supposedly private or surreptitious view, usually through a hole in the wall or tent, of nude women or lewd scenes. Once this was a traditional part of small carnivals.


A percentage game, that is, a gambling or gaming wheel where the game keeps an average percentage of the take.

P.C. Dealer

Wheel operators.

Peek the Poke, To

To see what kind of bills some MARK is carrying.


A peddler, street vendor, or auctioneer of cheap or imitation jewellery.

Physic Man

A medicine pitchman.

Pickled Punks

Babies, usually deformed, in bottles, also referred to as "cough-up skeletons," which are exhibited in embryo shows.

Pie Car

The snack bar on a show train . The dining car where all meet en route.

Pig Iron

The riding devices . More particularly the heavy flat type of ride.


A business or social type of conversation.


A small canvas enclosure in which acts are performed or where animals, human oddities, snakes and other reptiles are exhibited. The spectators stand around the four sides of the pit and look down into it. A pit show with one pit is a SINGLE-O, one with ten pits is a TEN-IN-ONE.


A sales concession where merchandise is sold outright after a sales man has given a demonstration.


A person who operates a PITCH concession. The candy salesmen in "gal" shows are "candy pitchmen." A pitchman who works on an elevated platform is a "high pitchman." Pitchmen use the word KEYSTER for the small case many of them worked from.

Pitch Till You Win

Eating places where you eat all you want.

Plant Show

A coloured minstrel show or plantation show.


A lien , writ, or legal attachment.

Platform Show

A small "single-a" attraction presented on an elevated platform under a small canvas top.

Play, To

To show an engagement in town or at a fair.

Playa Bloomer, To

To do no business on a date. This might also be to "playa blank."

Play the Streets, To

To set up on the streets and sidewalks for an engagement.

Pling, To

To ask for donations; to mooch.


A good date.


Cheap merchandise.


Stuffed toys.


A pocketbook.

Poke a Tip

To give a free show or free gifts to attract a crowd.


A labouring man who steers wagons being loaded or unloaded from railway flat cars.

Power Wagons

Electrical generators or transformers.

Pratt Cooler

The blower in a funhouse that lifts skirts .

Pratt Out

To push someone out of a TIP or play by shoving him with one's buttock; to beat someone by short-changing them.


The permission to operate; a set fee, usually based on the front footage of the concession.

Privilege Car

A dining car on a show train which has slot machines and games for the show people only, often the PIECAR.

Pudding Wagon

The frozen custard truck.


Publicity stories that glorify a performer's ability or experiences.


Swing-ride seats on chains that rotate on the ends of sweeps.


A small town or rural community; a rustic place; a town in the sticks. PunIc A boy or girl associated with the show.

Punk Day

A day during which children are admitted to a carnival or circus free; children's day.

Punk Mark

A town boy or girl. Punk.


A worker who chases under-age kids from in front of a gaming concession while the play is on.

Put Him on the Send

To get more money from someone.

Put on the B

"B" meaning BITE. To ask for money in summer this will be considered a loan, in winter, when times are tougher, it's a donation.

Put on the Hype

To increase prices over and above normal, as was often done by hotels during fair week.


[ Back to Top ]