The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
is a treasure-trove
of late eighteenth-century
/early nineteenth-century English slang
. Francis Grose
wrote the first edition in 1785. A very interesting facet of this book is how so many slang words have survived
with their meanings basically intact
from that time. But be warned, the explanations are clearly from that time period and so can be somewhat difficult to interpret at times. Here are a few excerpts I found enjoyable.
To Box the Jesuit, and Get Cock Roaches:
A sea term for masturbation; a crime, it is said, much practiced by the reverend fathers of that society.
The private parts of a woman. Ham Carvel, a jealous old doctor, dreamed that the Devil gave him a ring, which, so long as he had it on his finger, would prevent his being made a cuckold: waking he found he had got his finger the Lord knows where. See Rabelais, and the Prior's versification of the story.
A strong-smelling fart
The dried gut of a sheep, worn by men in the act of coition, to prevent venereal infection; said to have been invented by one colonel Cundum. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of the name of Philips, at the Green Canister, in Half-moon-street, in the Strand. That good lady having acquired a fortune, retired from business; but learning that the town was not well served by her successors, she, out of a patriotic zeal for the public welfare, returned to her occupation; of which she gave notice by divers hand-bills, in circulation of the year 1776. condom
Old hat; a woman's privities: because frequently felt.
Kiss Mine Arse:
An offer, as Fielding observes, very frequently made, but never, as he could learn, literally accepted. A kiss mine ass
fellow: a sycophant
To lie together.
A large relaxed penis; also a dull inanimate fellow.
A woman's commodity.
The mob: a sort of opposite to nobility
A woman's commodity
A police officer. A China street pig; a Bow-street officer. Floor the pig and bolt; knock down the officer and run away.
A man's penis
The pot calls the kettle black
arse; one rogue
exclaims against another.
; also a soldier's trull
An odd, out-of-the-way fellow.
. To smell a rat; to suspect some intended trick, or unfair design.
Saint Geoffrey's Day:
Never, there being no saint of that name; to-morrow-come-never, when two Sundays come together.
. A female screw; a common prostitute
. He is but bad shag
; he is no woman's man
Shitting through the Teeth: Vomiting
address to one vomiting
: “Hark ye, friend, have you got a padlock on your arse
, that you shite
through your teeth?”
, a turd
To take a slice; To intrigue, particularly with a married woman
, because a slice off a cut loaf is not missed.
or dilberry creek. The fundament
A tight waistcoat, with long sleeves coming over the hand, having strings for binding them behind the back of the wearer: these waistcoats are used in madhouses for the management of lunatics when outrageous. straight jacket
Mr Thingstable; Mr Constable
: a ludicrous
affectation of delicacy in avoiding the first syllable in the title of that officer, which has some similarity to an indecent
There were four turds for dinner: stir turd, hold turd, tread turd, and mussturd: to wit, a hog's face, feet and chitterlings
, with mustard. He will never shite
on a seaman
's turd; i.e. he will never make a good seaman
) A jordan
, or pot de chambre
. A Mr Richard Twiss having in his "Travels" given a very unfavourable description of the Irish character, the inhabitants of Dublin, by way of revenge, thought proper to christen the utensil by his name- suffice to say that the baptismal
rites were not wanting at the ceremony. On a nephew of this gentleman the following epigram
was made by a friend of ours:
Perish the country, yet my name/Shall ne'er be in story forgot,/But still the more increase in fame/ The more the country goes to pot
A young thief
, who in time will ripen into fruit borne by the deadly never-green.
The blowen was nutts upon the kiddey because he is well-hung
; the girl
is pleased with the youth because his genitals