The Dancing Men


The dancing men is the name given to a cipher used in the Sherlock Holmes book of the same name. It is a monoalphabetic substitution cipher using little men displayed with legs and arms dancing.

The Dancing Men script is a secret alphabet used by a gang of American criminals in the Sherlock Holmes short story "The Adventure of the Dancing Men", which appears in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, A Collection of Holmes Adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Information about the script within the story is limited, and it appears that there is no connection between the postures of the men and the letters they stand for, and in the original illustrations few of the symbols are consistent from one message to another.

In the short story of Sherlock Holmes 'The Adventures of the Dancing Men' , Sherlock Holmes shows Watson a paper with a drawing of little dancing men. A man called Mr Cubitt sent it to him. Later, Mr Cubitt visits Holmes and he tells him his wife, Elsie, receives notes with dancing men on them. Elsie is very afraid of that drawing. He wants Holmes to find out its meaning.

This turns out to be a secret code. 

Below you will find the alphabet of these dancing men.
Men with a flag denote the last letter of a word.

Mr Cubbit has found six messages of coded letters drawn in the form of dancing men.

The dancing men on the outside of the Museum of London : Come here at once.


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