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Old 09-29-2016, 09:11 AM
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Was this a bit of a seedy pub?

Poking around on google books, I found some old underworld slang dictionaries that list "smash" as a verb meaning to pass counterfeit coins. A smasher was therefore someone who passed fake coins, and was later extended to someone who passed either fake coins or bills. One of several examples given in one book is "pitch a snide or smash a rag". Another book goes into more detail on snide pitching, which is passing counterfeit coins. So apparently he could have been called a snide pitcher as well.

Passing bad bank notes was also called smashing queer screens.

Most of the examples are late 1800s.