Rope-walk

[barristers' slang]. Old Bailey practice. Thus, “Gone into the rope-walk” means, he has taken up practice in the Old Bailey. (See Ropes.)

The ways of London low life are called “ropes” and to know the ropes means to be au fait with the fait of all sorts of dodges. (See Ropes.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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