I have far too much fun going through books like the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue and others to write these posts…I hope you find them equally amusing!
Quirks and Quillets: Tricks and devices. “Lady Bertha’s dressmaker is most accomplished in quirks and quillets to make her clients look like debutantes rather than dowagers.”
To cry beef: To give the alarm. “Esmeralda’s attempt to elope with that dreadful fortune-hunter was foiled when her maid cried beef to Lord Greatpurse.”
Hulver-headed: Having a hard, impenetrable head; stubborn. “Papa can be so hulver-headed over things like letting me go shopping at the Burlington Arcade with Esmeralda!”
Sauce box: A bold or forward person. “That Susan is such a sauce box that she invited herself to go driving with Sir Francis, just as he was inviting me!”
Bobbish: Smart, clever, spruce. “My great-uncle Francis looked so bobbish at the theatre last night that I swear all the dowagers had their opera glasses turned on him rather than on the stage.”
Fallalls: Women’s ornaments, like ribbons or jewelry. “My younger sister Letitia professes a complete disdain for what she calls fallalls and folderols, but guess who I caught rummaging around in my dressing table this morning?”
Barrel-fever: to be drunk. “He told his tutor that he had to stay in bed because of the flu after he came home last night, but we know that Freddy’s real illness was barrel-fever.”