Friday, 20 November 2015

An Encounter With A Scoundrel's Dictionary.

Slang used in the 18th Century...

Languages are fascinating to say the least and none more so than English. At least that is the case for me. To imagine the conversations going on a few hundred years ago and of course the relevant modern words of the time being banded about is just so very intriguing. A friend of mine sent me several books and one of them is the Scoundrel's Dictionary.

A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume 1: 1567-1784

Anyway, I thought I would write a few of these scoundrel's expressions of the 18th Century. Their slang.

Barrel Fever
...he died of the barrel fever; he killed himself by drinking.
Batchelor's Fare
...Bread and cheese and kisses.
Cockney
...A nickname given to the citizens of London, or persons born within the sound of Bow Bell, derived from the following story;-A citizen of London being in the country, and hearing a horse neigh, exclaimed, Lord! how that horse laughs! A bystander informed him that the noise was called neighing. The next morning, when the cock crowed, the citizen, to show he had not forgotten what was told him, cried out, Do you hear how the cock neighs?
Curtain Lecture
...A woman who scolds her husband when in bed, is said to read him a curtain lecture.
Gull
...A simple credulous fellow, easily cheated.
Lawful Blanket
...A wife.
Live Stock
...Lice or fleas.
Marriage Music
...The squalling and crying of children.
Nit Squeeger, I.E. Squeezer
...A hair-dresser.
Scandal Broth
...Tea.

Biggi