Vulgarity N through Z

…continued from yesterday

The following words and phrases have been picked from the second half of A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, published in 1787, for your amusement and use.

Nicknackatory:  a toy shop

Nick ninny:  a simpleton

Old Roger:  the devil

Oliver’s skull:  a chamber pot

Peppered:  infected with the venereal disease

Queer rooster:  an informer who pretends to be sleeping, and thereby overhears the conversation of thieves in night cellars

Rabbit catcher:  a midwife

Roast meat clothes:  Sunday clothes

Scotch fiddle:  the itch (Scrubado has the same definition)

Slush bucket:  one who eats much greasy food

Smicket:  a woman’s smock or shift

Stallion:  a man kept by an old lady for secret services

Stewed Quaker:  burned rum with a piece of butter, an American remedy for a cold

Timber toe:  a man with a wooden leg

Uphills:  false dice that run high

Wife in water colours:  a mistress or concubine

There you have it. Thirty-three words and phrases from the days S’s looked like F’s.

Now go out there and confuse your friends and colleagues with your new vulgar tongue.

2 Comments

Filed under All Things Wordish, Reading

2 responses to “Vulgarity N through Z

  1. Jo

    Must say I was particularly struck with “joining giblets.” Will bring a whole new meaning to Thanksgiving prep.

  2. dave

    You are, I hope, familiar with John Barth’s novel, _The Sot-Weed Factor_, set in 17th-century Maryland. It contains a wonderful six-page shouting match between two women, one French, and the other English. I have never seen so many vulgar terms in one place, all referring to the lack of feminine virtue.

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