Ringing the change
RINGING THE CHANGE, crim. law. A trick practised by a criminal, by which, on
receiving a good piece of money in payment of an article, he pretends it is
not good, and, changing it, returns to the buyer a counterfeit one, as in
the following case: The prosecutor having bargained with the prisoner, who
was selling fruit about the streets, to have five apricot's for sixpence,
gave him a good shilling to change. The prisoner put the shilling into his
mouth, as if to bite it in order to try its goodness, and returning a
shilling to the prosecutor, told him it was a bad one. The prosecutor gave
him another good shilling which he also affected to bite, and then returned
another shilling, saying it was a bad one. The prosecutor gave him another
good shilling with which he practised this trick a third time the shillings
returned by him being in every respect, bad. 2 Leach, 64.
2. This was held to be an uttering of false money. 1 Russ. on Cr. 114.