English slang 235 years ago…

addle-plot = spoilsport

ale draper= publican

apple dumplin shop = big breasts (also Cupid’s kettle drums)

babes in the wood = criminals sitting in the docks

balderdash= adulterated wine

basket making = sexual intercourse (also docking)

betwattled = gobsmacked

Buckinger’s foot = female sex organ (also doodlesack, gigg, madge, notch)

Captain Queernabs= shabby man

catch fart = footman or valet who walks closely behind his employer

cat sticks = thin legs

corney-faced = facial carbuncles or pimples caused by drinking (also grog blossom)

cully= fool

dandyprat = insignificant man

dilberries= residue on dirty bottom (also fartleberries)

dishclout = dirty woman

double bagger = ugly woman

elbow shaker = gambler

fiddle faddle = stuff and nonsense

flap dragon = pox

flash the hash= to vomit

flaybottomist = teacher

flibble = effeminate man (also tony, twiddle poop)

gilflurt = proud minx

gollumpus= large clumsy man

inexpressibles = breeches

hanktelo = idiot

hell cat= scolder or termagent

hoddy doddy = short, clumsy person (also all arse and no body)

hopper arsed= someone with a backsde so large it juts out to the rear

jackanapes = ugly man

Jerry Sneak = hen-pecked husband

jolter head= stupid man or large head

laced mutton = prostitute (also hedge whore, mackeral)

ladybird= lewd woman

lobcock= dull man or large, flaccid penis

mopsey = dowdy or homely woman

muckworm= miser

mumping = deceitful

mutton monger = womaniser

nazy = drunk

nincompoop = cuckold

Norfolk dumpling = short, fat person

nutmegs= testicles (also bawbles, gingamabobs,  toys)

plug tall = male sexual organ

polishing the dolphin = self-abuse (also  boxing the Jesuit)

quean = slut or strumpet

queer as Dick’s hatband = out of order

sad dog = debauched man

sosse brangle = slatternly wench

sporting blubber = showing off too much cleavage

spraining an ankle = getting pregnant

toad eater= poor female relation

totty- headed = giddy, hair-brained

tryg = ordinary, sorry woman

vice-admiral of the narrow seas = drinker who urinates in others’ shoes (as one does…)

whiddler = informer

yankey= rural lout

zouch = slovenly fellow

This is unshamedly ripped off  from Roland White’s  ‘Golden Age of the Dandyprat’  in yesterday’s Sunday Times News Review section. This itself is a glorified plug for Lobocks and Farltleberries: 18th Century Insults to Confound Your Foes by Francis Grose. There are also references to the ‘A New Dictionary of Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew’ by ‘BE, Gent’, now avaialable as the First English Dictionary of Slang, 1699. ‘BE’s’ tome itself has some humdinger it appears, such as:

arsworm = rather puny man

bundletail = short, fat woman

fizzle = to break wind in a quiet, half-hearted sort of way

grumbletonian = person constantly dissatisfied with life

The English language is truly a wonderful thing!

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 3:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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