For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
This is an old criminal slang word for a ring, especially a cheap, base-metal ring used in scams as a gold ring. There is no doubt that it derives from Irish fáinne. Cassidy was not the first to suggest this, or to suggest that fawney is the origin of phoney.