1794, "recklessly daring person, one who fears nothing and will attempt anything," from dare (v.) + devil (n.). The devil might refer to the person, or the sense might be "one who dares the devil." For the formation, compare scarecrow, killjoy, dreadnought, pickpocket (n.), cut-throat, also fear-babe a 16c. word for "something that frightens children;" kill-devil "bad rum," sell-soul "one who sells his soul" (1670s).
As an adjective, "characteristic of a daredevil, reckless," by 1832. Related: Daredevilism; daredeviltry.
"small boy," 1859, originally specifically one who does errands and chores for a gang of workmen (1851), perhaps from the canting sense "pickpocket, one who 'pinches' other people's property" (1530s; see nip (v.)). Nippers "pincer-like tool with cutting jaws," used by metal-workers, wire-drawers, etc., is from 1540s.
CHEESE IT. Be silent, be quiet, don't do it. Cheese it, the coves are fly; be silent, the people understand our discourse. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
"drunkard," 1890, from earlier slang meaning "liquor" (1790, especially in phrase lush ken "alehouse"), of obscure origin; perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from a word in Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon). It also was a verb, "to drink heavily" (1811).
LUSHEY. Drunk. The rolling kiddeys had a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Hence also Lushington humorous generic name for a tippler (1823). It was an actual surname.
female proper name, shortened form of Mollie, Molly, itself a familiar of Mary. Used from c. 1600 for "prostitute," but in low slang by early 19c. it also meant "female companion not bound by ties of marriage, but often a life-mate" [Century Dictionary]. It became a general word for "woman" in old underworld slang, for instance Moll-buzzer "pickpocket who specializes in women;" Moll-tooler "female pick-pocket." U.S. sense of "a gangster's girlfriend" is by 1923.