Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Such Language! Part 21

Oh, the Rabelaisian buffet that is the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue! What’s your favorite word or phrase this time? I’m personally torn between Friday face and cow-handed, though betwattled is just lovely.

Friday-face: A dismal countenance. (My sisters have been wearing Friday faces ever since Papa declared they could only invite fifty gentlemen to their ball next month.)

Fubsey: plump. (Aunt Sophronia is as fubsey as a sofa...and as comfortable and welcoming.)

Nazy: Drunken. (Did you hear about how Farmer Skintle’s goats broke into his cider barrels and got thoroughly nazy?)

Mace: to swindle or cheat. (Lord Lootbury was delighted to help fund a new gaming hell...but less pleased when his partners maced him by absconding with his bank draft.)

Dog in a doublet: A daring, resolute fellow. (My cousin Jerome rather fancies himself the veriest dog in a doublet, but I expect his knees were knocking together as he went to call on Lady Louisa yesterday.)

Cow-handed: Awkward. (Jerome may look like a modern Adonis, but his proposal to Lady Louisa was so thoroughly cow-handed that it’s a wonder she accepted him.)

Betwattled: Surprised, confounded, out of one’s senses. (The fact that she accepted him might explain why he was betwattled enough to ride off for home in quite the wrong direction.)

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