Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Such Language! Part 28

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

Mouth: a silly fellow. A dupe. To stand mouth; i.e. to be duped. Sir Archibald is such a mouth that he believed my little sister’s claim that she’s engaged to the Duke of Wellington.

Oak: A rich man; a man of good substance and credit. I have no use for empty titles; I’ll take an oak over a spendthrift viscount any day.

Elbow-shaker: A gamester, one who rattles Saint Hugh’s bones, i.e. the dice. Aunt Amelia might want to be more vigilant about the people my cousin Sarah associates with at parties; rumor has it that Sally has become quite the elbow-shaker, and will have to pawn her earrings to cover her losses.

Baker-knee’d: One whose knees knock together in walking, as if kneading dough. My brother Thomas is glad that knee-breeches are no longer worn at town parties, as he is ferociously baker-knee’d.

Queen Street: A man governed by his wife, is said to live in Queen Street, or at the sign of the Queen’s Head. His friends tease Papa about living in Queen Street, but he is very happy to have Mama take care of all the fussy and boring bits of life.

Smoky: Curious, suspicious, inquisitive. My little sister’s angelically blank expression when discussion at dinner turned to diary-keeping was decidedly smoky.

Willow: Poor, and of no reputation. To wear the willow; to be abandoned by a lover or mistress. Henry has been wearing the willow since Georgiana met the young Duke of Flatpurse, but I suspect it will be Georgiana’s turn next as the Duke was seen taking Miss Plumpocket riding in Hyde Park.  

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