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Obacht! Diebe!

Once upon a time in England …

“TWO UPON TEN,” or “TWO PUN’ TEN,” an expression used by assistants to each other, in shops, when a customer of suspected honesty makes his appearance. This phrase refers to “two eyes upon ten fingers,” shortened as a money term to “TWO PUN’ TEN.” When a supposed thief is present, one shopman asks the other if that TWO PUN’ (pound) TEN matter was ever settled. The man knows at once what is meant, and keeps a careful watch upon the person being served. If it is not convenient to speak, a piece of paper is handed to the same assistant, bearing the to him very significant amount of

Slang Dictionary;
the vulgar words, street phrases,
and “fast” expressions of
high and low
Many with their etymology,
and a few with their history traced.
John Camden Hotten, Piccadilly.
(11. Tsd.)