Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Such Language! Part 7

Time for a fresh batch of old slang, from that wonderful compendium, The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Quidnunc: An inquisitive gossip or newsmonger. (“Miss Wheedell is such a dreadful quidnunc, but I do enjoy it when she comes to tea!”)

Crack a whid: Tell a tale. (“My brother Harry cracked such a whid about giving all his pocket money to poor orphans that Grandmother gave him £5 when he went back to school…but who knows? Maybe all those poor racehorses lost their parents at an early age.”)

Ear-wigging: Pestering with private confidences, pleas, or admonitions. (“I simply will not go driving with Euphemia, no matter how handsome her phaeton, for she will only ear-wig me constantly about introducing her to Harry’s friend Lord Narcissumthorpe.”)

Grumbletonian: A discontented person; one who is always complaining at one thing or another. (“Uncle Homer was a dreadful grumbletonian until Aunt Lucy hired a new cook, and now he’s gentle as a lamb now that he’s no longer constantly bilious.”)

Jerrycummumble: To shake, towzle, or tumble about. (“Jane drove us so quickly down the Lady’s Mile that my new bonnet was completely jerrycummumbled.”)

Circumbendibus: To move in a roundabout way, or tell a meandering story. (“But even though Uncle Homer is in a better frame of mind, he still tells dreadfully circumbendibus anecdotes at dinner.”)

To milk the pigeon: To endeavor at impossibilities. (“George is attempting to grow two inches before the Duchess of Snobbish’s ball next month by hanging from his knees from an apple tree for five hours every day, even though Papa told him not to trying milking the pigeon.”)

7 comments:

QNPoohBear said...

Those are great! There really is no slang like old slang. Thanks for sharing!

The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Oh, that was very amusing, and informitive!!
Thank you!! :-D
Blessings, Linnie

Marissa Doyle said...

Glad you enjoyed them!

kiperoo said...

This is totally awesome--love it! This is the kind of stuff that makes me love your blog, which is why I'm passing on to you the "Irresistibly Sweet" Blog Award! http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/sweet/
Keep it coming!

Marissa Doyle said...

Thanks so much, Kip!! Mmm, strawberries...

Anonymous said...

Funny stuff! I only just discovered your blog. I have bookmarked it and will visit regularly from now on. Thanks for all the research and effort you are putting into it -- it's a joy to read!

Marissa Doyle said...

Thanks, Anon--delighted that you found us!