Slang is a poor man’s poetry. - John Moore
Thanks to my sister I have to admit I started my wish list for Santa already. She emailed me an article from the Wall Street Journal about The First English Dictionary of Slang, 1699, and now I feel I must own the actual book.
I’m aware that each generation develops their own slang. I wrote a blog about modern slang phrases added to the Urban Dictionary. I don’t write historical fiction. Working any of the words or phrases into a contemporary novel would be challenging. However, none of these logical things dampen my desire to add it to my collection of reference books.
Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew was uncovered and recently republished under the new name. Canting, by the way, was the language of thieves and ruffians. The book was to educate the upper London classes in case they found themselves in the ‘wrong’ parts of town. Or perhaps, so that those rich enough to have servants could understand them. The dictionary also includes military slang and colloquialisms.
A few of the words you’ll find are:
Anglers - Cheats, petty Thieves, who have a Stick with a hook at the end, with which they pluck things out of Windows, Grates, &c. also those that draw in People to be cheated.
Blind-man’s-holiday - when it is too dark to see to work.
Blobber-lippd - means having lips that are very thick, hanging down, or turning over
Cackling-farts - Eggs.
Chouter - to talk pertly, and sometimes angrily
Conveniency – wife; also a mistress
Fubbs –a fond word for children
Fuddle – an excellent tipple
Grumbletonians -Malecontents, out of Humour with the Government, for want of a Place, or having lost one.
Rum-bluffer – an excellent host
Rum-bung – a full purse
Another interesting and rather ironic tidbit I got from my internet research of the book is that there is no agreed etymology for the word “slang.” I think I’ll have to make this a topic for another blog.
Before closing, I’d like to thank Stephen Tremp of Breakthrough Blogs for the Supernova Award for simply hosting him during his virtual book tour which was a pleasure for me to do. If you missed his post on Promoting and Marketing, you can find it here.
For any booklovers on your Christmas list, I’d also like to mention that personalized signed copies of The Ride will be available this holiday season for only $20.00. Simply email me at email@example.com for details.
Are there any reference books you hope Santa brings you this year?
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next week.
Tags: John Moore, The First English Dictionary of Slang , canting, slang, Stephen Tremp, The Ride,