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159120.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:57 am Reply with quote

A while go on Gabbly, dot recommended a book by Francis Grose called The Vulgar Tongue which no smegging bookshop in the whole of Chorley seems to have. I forgot about it then saw The Scoundrel's Dictionary in the second hand book shop behind the bus station ( I bloody love that place). When I got it home I found it was based on the aforementioned book. :D Yay! It's a dictionary of 18th-century slang. The words and the definitions are brilliant, so I thought I'd share a selection with you:

Beef Eater
A yeoman of the guards instituted by Henry VII. Their office was to stand near the bouffet, or cupboard, thence called Bouffetiers, since corrupted to Beef Eaters. Others suppose they obtained this name from the size of their persons and the easiness of their duty, as having scarcely more to do than eat the king's beef.

Beggar's Bullets
Stones. The beggar's bullets began to fly, i.e. they began to throw stones.

Said to be the name of a Danish general, who so terrified his opponent Foh, that he caused him to bewray himself. Whence, when we smell a stink, it is customary to exclaim Foh! i.e. I smell a general Foh. He cannot say Boh to a goose; i.e. he is a cowardly or sheepish fellow. There is a story related of the celebrated Ben Jonson, who always dressed very plain, that, being introduced to the presence of a nobleman, the peer, struck by his homely appearance and awkward manner, exclimed, as if in doubt, "you Ben Jonson! why you look as if you could not say Boh to a goose!" "Boh!" replied the wit.

A man and woman sleeping in the same bed, he with his small clothes, and she with her petticoats on; an expedient practised in America on the scarcity of beds, where, on such an occasion, husbands and parents frequently permitted travellers to bundle with their wives and daughters. This custom is now abolished. But it is common practice in Wales among sweethearts.

Butcher's Dog
To be like a butcher's dog, i.e. lie by the beef without touching it: a simile often applicable to maried men.

Butter and Eggs Trot
A kind of short jog trot, such as used by women going to market, with butter and eggs. She looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, yet I warrant you cheese would choke her*; a saying of demure looking women of suspected character.

A nickname given to the citizens of London, or persons born within the sounds 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 he had told him, cried out, Do you hear how the cock neighs?

Costard Monger
A dealer in fruit, particularly apples.

Double Jugg
A man's backside.

Farting Crackers, Inexpressables, Kick

To beat. Fib the cove's quarron in the rumpad, for the lour in his bung; beat the fellow in th highway, for the money in his purse. A fib is also a tiny lie.

1.Knowing. Understanding another's meaning. The swell was flash, so I could no draw his fogle; the gentleman saw what I was about, and therefore I could not pick his pocket of his silk handkerchief. To patter flash; to speak the slang language.
2.To show ostentiously. To flash one's ivory; to laugh and show one's teeth. Don't flash your ivory, but shut your potato-trap, and keep your guts warm; the devil loves hot tripes.

A lazy fat woman. An old fussock; a frowsy old woman.

To shake, towzle, or tumble about.

Sick of the mulligrubs with eating chopped hay; low spirited, having an imaginary sickness.

An inscription on the visiting cards of our modern fine gentlemen, signifying they they have called pour prendre conge, i.e. "to take leave." This has of late been ridiculed by cards insribed D.I.O i.e. "Damme, I'm off."

A chamber-pot, or member-mug.
Is it so wrong to chuckle at that?

An effeminate looking fellow.

*I've always wanted to know what that means. Hurrah.

159154.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:54 am Reply with quote

Excellent stuff. Thanks for that, swot. :)

159156.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:58 am Reply with quote

'Twas my pleasure. :)

159448.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:52 pm Reply with quote

Fabulous, swot :-)

160326.  Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:34 am Reply with quote


I got a couple of books from my shop in last month's spree (first wages and all) called Pedant's Revolt and Pedant's Return which are also marvellous. There's a bit about why Easter is called Easter which I'll quote for you now because it's quite timely.

The Eight-Century chronicler Bede, in De Ratione Temporum, claimed that the word 'Easter' came form the Anglo-Saxon godess of spring and fertility, Eostre or Eostrae. The Enyclopaedia Britannica disputes this notion, stating that: 'Given the detrmination with which Christians combated all forms of paganism, this appears a rather dubious presumption.' Rather, it is widely believed the 'the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis'.
If you can't see the connection that's because it hinges on a mistranslation.
German scholar J. Knoblech [stop giggling at the back] explains: 'Among Latin-speaking Christians, the week beginning with the Feast of the Resurrection was known as hebdomada alba [white week], since the newly-baptized Christians were accustomed to wear their white baptismal robes throughout that week. Sometimes the week was referred to simply as albae [white].'
According to Knoblech, when the word was translated into German, it was mistaken for the plural of alba meaning 'dawn', and so the 'white' connection was forgetten: 'They accordingly rendered it as Eostarum, which os Old High German for "dawn".' And thus came the word 'Easter' in English.

160397.  Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:38 am Reply with quote

I've read the whole post now, swot, and it was QI. Am I allowed to giggle childishly now?

160785.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:37 am Reply with quote

If you must.

160811.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:15 am Reply with quote

Yay. Knoblech -

<giggles childishly>

Ah, that's better.

761405.  Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:00 pm Reply with quote

I picked this up from a friend on Facebook, and thought I'd share it here:


Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt and underline the ones you’ve seen the movies of.

Some of these I have read the book and seen a movie version, so I have both bolded and underlined the title. I'm not quite sure why The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe deserves entry both as itself and as part of the Chronicles of Narnia. You will note the absence on my reading list of heavyweight Russian and French authors...

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

761429.  Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:57 pm Reply with quote

I've read 23, and part-read 4.

Spud McLaren
761452.  Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:03 pm Reply with quote

25 completed, 2 started but never finished, on Bleak House at the moment.

I read Crime & Punishment and On The Road when in my early 20s, or maybe in my very late teens. I tried recently to re-read them - bloody hell, they were hard work. I must've been a lot more intelligent (or determined) back then.

761530.  Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:12 am Reply with quote

Why have the posts before Jenny's been deleted and the ones from 2003 been left?

EDIT: It's because I was tired.

Last edited by zomgmouse on Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

761558.  Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:41 am Reply with quote

They haven't.

In fact, when Jenny posted that list she revived a thread which had been dormant for rather a long time. The similar thread with which you may be confusing it is What are you reading today ?

761657.  Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:02 pm Reply with quote

I revived the old thread because I didn't want the topic to get mixed up with 'What are you reading today?'

761665.  Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:11 pm Reply with quote

*facepalm* whoops.


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