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R -


Any kind of concession at a carnival of questionable character.


Cheap, dirty, rundown, and/or crooked carnivals.

Railroad Show

A show which travels by railroad on its own train consisting of flatcars and sleeping cars.




A train.


A train hand.


A licence to do business, especially for holding a road show or selling pitchman's merchandise.

Reading a Shirt

Hunting for "seam squirrels" or fleas.

Real Estate

Concession space. The buyer "owns" only the silt on top of the ground; by another year that will wash or blow away and he'll have to buy more "real estate."

Red Light, To

To push a person off or out of a moving railroad train; to kill someone by so doing.

Red One

A winner; so named from red numbers, winners on FLAT-STORE CHARTS.

Rehashing Tickets

To become a partner in a show or a ride without an investment by not handing out a ticket when money is received, pocketing that money, then selling that ticket again.


Selling tickets for another turn to persons already on rides.


A rustic, a rube, or hick.

Rib, To

To taunt.

Ride the White Horse, To

To be glorified in a publicity story.

Riding Master

One who controls or owns a ride.

Right-hand Side

The preferred location for early opening shows that cater to children and the family trade.

Ring the Bell, To

To succeed, to meet with approval, or to make a hit with someone.

Road Smart

Street wise or able to look after oneself while on the road, travelling amongst strangers. Also known as having a smart-money education. Post-graduates often sleep in suckers' barns, having been too smart for their own good.

Robbing Boxes

An office AGENT who gathers up money from ticket boxes and takes it to the office.


A pistol.

Roll Down

A concession in which numbered or coloured balls roll down a runway; often the operator controls the success of the player.


A low-paid helper on a ride.


A working man.

Roughneck's Delight

A girl who KIPS only with working men.

Rounding Board or Roundings

On a wheel game, a continuous label to the spinning frame; in architectural terms, a fascia which forms the rim of the wheel. The "roundings" refers to the complete assembly including rounding boards, dropper, and, in more elaborate machines, the upper component, the dome.

Round 'Un

Any circular JOINT or stall.

Roust, To

To chase away.


A noun meaning the list of towns and events played each season; a verb meaning the laying-out of a season's play dates.

Route Cards

Cards listing the show's play dates in advance.

Rubber Vags

Those who live in house trailers.


A term only used by the circus meaning a resident of any town or city in which the circus is showing; hence a member of the public, a townsman.


The move between show dates or towns.

Running Boards

Wooden platforms in front of concessions or JOINTS.

Running a G off the Top

To be paid a percentage of the gross.




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