Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Such Language! Part 14

More vocabulary shenanigans!

As in a previous “Such Language” post, instead of giving an illustrating sentence for each word, I’m listing the full definitions as provided in The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, just because they're so much fun as they are. Enjoy!

P.P.C.: An inscription on the visiting cards of our modern fine gentleman, signifying that they have called pour prendre conge, i.e. ‘to take leave,’ This has of late been ridiculed by cards inscribed D.I.O. i.e. ‘Damme, I’m off.’

Devil’s Daughter: It is said of one who has a termagant for his wife, that he has married the Devil’s daughter, and lives with the old folks.

To shew the lions and tombs: To point out the particular curiosities of any place, to act the ciceroni: an allusion to Westminster Abbey and the Tower [of London], where the tombs and lions are shewn. A lion is also a name given by the gownsmen of Oxford to an inhabitant or visitor. It is a standing joke among the city wits to send boys and country folks, on the first of April, to the Tower-ditch, to see the lions washed.

Punch: A liquor called by foreigners Contradiction, from its being composed of spirits to make it strong, water to make it weak, lemon juice to make it sour, and sugar to make it sweet.

Scraping: A mode of expressing dislike to a person, or sermon, practiced at Oxford by the students, in scraping their feet against the ground during the preachment; frequently done to testify their disapprobation of a proctor who has been, as they think, too rigorous.

Seven-sided Animal: A one-eyed man or woman, each having a right side and a left side, a fore side and a back side, an outside, an inside, and a blind side.

Ungrateful man: A parson, who at least once a week abuses his best benefactor, i.e. the devil. ☺


Victoria said...

Your entry about Contradiction (a punch) reminds me that my dad said the same thing about that unique American beverage, iced tea. He said, "First they heat it to make it hot, then they pour it over ice to make it cold, they put sugar in to sweeten it, then lemon in to make it tangy, then they say 'Here's to you' and drink it themselves."

Marissa Doyle said...

Oh, that's wonderful, Victoria! I especially like the last bit about "here's to you!"