Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Such Language! Part 25

More lexigraphic levity and laughter, courtesy of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Enjoy!

Bottle-headed: Void of wit. (I was so tongue-tied when introduced to that handsome young earl at Almack’s last night that I could scarce utter a word, and I’m sure he thinks me completely bottle-witted.)

Trap sticks: Thin legs, gambs: from the sticks with which boys play at trap-ball. (Uncle Simon’s tailor is so skilled at making trousers that he can even make uncle’s trap sticks look shapely and muscular.)

Clunch: An awkward clownish fellow. (My new horse is such a clunch that I don’t dare ride him in Rotten Row, lest my friends all mistake him for a circus pony.)

Scaly: Mean, sordid. (Great-aunt Agatha’s tips are so scaly that there’s not a single crossing-sweeper in London who’ll sweep a way for her.)

Long Meg: A jeering name for a very tall woman: from one famous in story, called Long Meg of Westminster. (My statuesque friend Alice complains that the worst part of being such a Long Meg is that her dresses need an extra half-yard of fabric and therefore cost more than everyone else’s.)

Gilly Gaupus:  A Scotch term for a tall, awkward fellow. (Fortunately, Alice’s betrothed, Lord Maclathy, is not only himself a Gilly Gaupus, but also a very wealthy man.)

Laid up in lavender: Pawned. (This is the seventeenth time my brother’s watch-chain and fobs have been laid up in lavender; I think he’s run out of friends to help him retrieve them.)

1 comment:

Evelyn said...

This is, of course, not cockney slang. Or is it? Never heard of such. It only goes to prove that you learn something new everyday. One other side thought: I'd love to hear how you say Gilly Gaupus!
Evelyn, The Castle Lady