Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Such Language! Part 19

Another installment of colorful verbal shenanigans from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Enjoy!

Hatches: Under the hatches; in trouble, distress, or debt. (As usual, my brother Thomas returned from university well under the hatches; you don’t want to know what he owes his tailor alone!)

Inlaid:  Well inlaid; in easy circumstances, rich or well to pass. (Thomas often bemoans the fact that he isn’t as well inlaid as his best friend Cecil.)

Varment: (Whip and Cambridge.) Natty, dashing. He is quite varment, he is quite the go. He sports a varment hat, coat, &c.; he is dressed like a gentleman Jehu. (Part of why Thomas owes his tailor so much is his insistence on dressing in the most varment of togs.)

Jehu: To drive jehu-like; to drive furiously: from a king of Israel of that name, who was a famous charioteer, and mentioned as such in the Bible. (He fancies himself quite the jehu as a result, but this is definitely a case of the clothes not making the man.)

Owl in an ivy bush, anyone?
Owl in an ivy bush:  He looks like an owl in an ivy bush; frequently said of a person with a large frizzled wig, or a woman whose hair is dressed a-la-blowze. (My Aunt Lucinda gets so wrapped up in her water-color painting of dramatic scenery that she never notices how she comes home looking like an owl in an ivy bush.)

Paper scull:  a thin-scull’d foolish fellow. (Reggie may be the handsomest young man in London; ‘tis a pity he’s such a paper scull.)

Buffle-headed: Confused, stupid. (Buffle-headed as he can be, though, he’s always kind to dogs and old ladies.)

Disguised:  drunk. (Unfortunately, when disguised he does tend to tip his hat to dogs and pat old ladies on the head.)

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