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 obsolete slang term meaning to box. There is also another word, which seems to be a different item and is treated as such by slang dictionaries, which means to housebreak or burgle. The term for to box is probably derived from the English term mill, as in to grind up or powder something, while the housebreaking term is supposedly of Romani origin (I am no expert on Romani and I cannot vouch for this having any validity.) Cassidy’s claim that it derives from the Irish milleadh meaning to destroy is far less likely than the English word mill, as in to grind. It is hard to see why the Irish word mill would be used for boxing or fighting when the Irish word does not have this meaning.