Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Such Language! Part 11

We haven’t done one of these in a while, have we? Have fun!!

Snaffle: to steal. (“Did you hear all the commotion this morning? My little brother Nigel snuck into the kitchen and snaffled a plate of tarts that were supposed to be served at Grandmama’s card party tonight.”)

Tooth-music: the sound of chewing. (“No doubt Cook found him from the obnoxiously loud tooth-music Nigel was making; I do wish the lad would learn to chew with his mouth closed!”)

Ride a horse foaled by an acorn: to be hanged, as gibbets were, of course, made from wood. (“After she found him with the empty plate, Cook told Nigel that one day he would ride a horse foaled by an acorn if he persisted in his life of crime.”)

Kitchen physic: good food. (“Nigel replied that he was desperately in need of a good kitchen physic and would only take the best medicine, which immediately made Cook forgive him.”)

Within ames ace: to come very close. (“I had to hand it to Nigel for coming up with such a good wheedle on short notice, but still came within ames ace of wanting to throw up.”)

Betwattled: surprised, confounded, out of one’s senses. (“Uncle Homer was quite betwattled when he laid eyes on Aunt Lucy’s new bonnet…and was even more betwattled when he saw the milliner’s bill.”)

Ape leader: an old maid. (“Did you hear that Cousin Lucinda is now working at the Royal Zoological Gardens in the monkey house? She said that if no one wanted to marry her, she might as well be an ape leader in earnest.”)

Bookkeeper: one who doesn’t return borrowed books. (“I shan’t lend Agnes my new copy of Pride and Prejudice by A Lady, even though she begged me; she is a dreadful bookkeeper and still has my copy of A Lady’s first book, Sense and Sensibility.”)


Liviania said...

"Tooth-music" is the perfect word for meals with my niece and nephew.

We're working on manners. Slowly.

Marissa Doyle said...

Heh. I like that one too, Liviania--it's so evocative. There are a lot more in the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue like that...alas, most of them are indeed vulgar and completely inappropriate for this venue!

Cara King said...

Ah, the perfect saying for a book plate: "Please don't be a bookkeeper! For if you snaffle this book, as a thief you will ride a horse foaled by an acorn!"