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Old 09-29-2016, 09:42 AM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
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.
Another data point to this is that in the US anyway, the type of paper money is printed on is called "rag paper." It's hard to imagine that a bill counterfeiter would call himself a "rag smasher," though, because it sounds like that might have been a little too transparent to people at the time. Maybe he did something like preparing checks or promissory notes for banks, and he was making a joke about it.