More Historical Slang


I have a two-volume dictionary set, weighty tomes, of historical slang I’ve been leafing through this winter. You may have caught my first post with such goodies as Flesh-tailor and Frog-salad. In the interests of broadening, and maybe debasing, our vocabularies, here are a few more with which to shock and delight your friends.

Pontius Pilate: A pawn broker (1785)

Splatter-Face: A broad-faced man or woman (1861)

Mince-Pies: The eyes (1892)

Marinated: Transported over the sea (1785)

Lap-Ful: A lover or husband

Spicy: Racy or smutty (1844)

Spoffskins: A prostitute

A Fancy Piece: A thief’s woman (1877)

Upper-Storey: The head or brain (1751)

Vardy: An opinion

Vealy: Immature, green (1864)

Way-Bit: A considerable though indefinite addition to a mile (1611)

The Crack: The general craze of the moment

Cranberry-Eye: Bloodshot eye resulting from alcoholism

To be Docked Smack Smooth: Castrated

Hen-Fruit: Eggs

Rifle: To grope or possess a woman

Snipe: A thin person or child

Slap-Sauce: A hanger-on, a toady

Words referring to women and their, ahem, charms: Mary Jane, Miraculous-cairn, School of Venus, Splice, Coyote, Crinoline, East Virtue, Rosebud, Pit of Darkness, Plover, Pin cushion, Phoenix Nest, The Novelty.

Next time we’ll cover men and their charms…..

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