Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Such Language! Part 23

Oh, the Rabelaisian banquet that is the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue! Here’s a sampling of some of the less salty words that might amuse you:

Clanker:  A great lie. (Don’t try to tell a clanker like that to Mama; she can sniff out the tiniest lie at fifty paces.)

Tears of the tankard: The drippings of liquor on a man’s waistcoat. (My younger brother Robert came home from his club insisting that he hadn’t had a drop to drink, but he was sporting quite a display of tankard tears.)

Juniper lecture: A round scolding bout. (Mama gave him quite the juniper lecture for his clumsy clanker.)

Looby:  A awkward, ignorant fellow. (Robert is a good boy at heart, but he can be the veriest looby at times.)

Trap sticks: Thin legs, gambs; from the sticks with which boys play at trap-ball. (Old Sir Matthew always wears padded stockings to cover up his trap sticks and make the ladies think he still sports a fine calf.)

Jessamy: A smart jimmy fellow, a fopling. (Of course, he’s been wearing them for the last sixty years, ever since he was a young jessamy just out on the town.)

Bienly: Excellently. (Our governess is teaching us to speak French most bienly; I am quite fluent already, don’t you think?)

What’s your favorite word or phrase this time?  I'm rather taken with tears of the tankard myself. ☺

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