Urban Dictionary vs. Victorian Slang

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Urban Dictionary vs. Victorian Slang

Post by dillon »

IMHO, the Urban Dictionary, which defined terms for us like “cunty”, “gaint”, and “twatwaffle,” has nothing on Victorian slang so far as meaningful usage goes. Here are some Victorian examples from the mid-Nineteenth Century:

“Gigglemug” – always smiling.

“B--ch the Pot” – pour the tea.

“Got the Morbs” – temporary sadness, depression.

“Tight as a boiled owl” – drunk.

“Poked-up” – embarrassed.

“Sauce-box” – one’s mouth.

“Cupid’s kettle-drums” – female breasts.

“Not up to dick” – feeling unwell.

There are many expressions and words attributed to Charles Dickens, although it now seems he merely repeated some of these rather than invented them. My personal favorite is “Flummoxed” – meaning confused, bewildered, or stupefied. The word was first seen in print in 1832, but it seems to have been in use in the North Midlands prior to that.

And here are a few others:

“Marplot” - A meddlesome, though well-meaning, person who unwittingly spoils the plans of others.

“Sassigassity” - audacity with attitude.

“Connubialities” - a polite euphemism for marital arguments.

“Jog-Trotty” – boring, from “jog-trot,” the slow steady plod of a horse.

“Ugsome” – already in use before Dickens, meaning horrible and frightening, from the old Norse ugga, meaning “to dread.”

“Slangular” – one’s verbal character, tending toward the frequent use of slang.

“Cag-Maggers” – from cagmag, an old word depicting rotten meat, the term refers to unscrupulous butchers marketing fetid product. Before you regard this word as useless in modern times, recall that the President of the United States used to sell steaks through the mail.
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Re: Urban Dictionary vs. Victorian Slang

Post by r.m.anderson »

At the very least this is all that much the better than describing everything with one four letter word and everyone here knows that one !
I had an A$$ociate/acquaintance that every other word was laced with the 4 letter word.
Imagine the mayhem that I could wreck on the SC staff with such literary architecture - of course it would be banned as well as myself !
I now have very limited listening engagements with said acquaintance.
Oxford has not done much of job of keeping current - but Webster's is doing a fairly good job.
I would be loath to have some of the more recent stuff put into print - bad enough for the spoken word !
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !

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Re: Urban Dictionary vs. Victorian Slang

Post by FranTastic444 »

Flummoxed is a word that I use to this day (I try to introduce this word along with fortnight to every new Client I visit). Interesting that you say it is of North Midlands origin. I grew up in the West Midlands where there are a number of local words and phrases that have been used over the years - some of which have stayed local and others have got wider use. For example, round the Wrekin is a phrase that is well known in Central England but is little used outside the area. Then there is the debate about other names for a bread role (we would say cob). For many years I referred to fizzy soft drink as 'pop'

I've just remembered this quiz, which I took some time back. It was pretty much spot-on in ascertaining where I had been raised in the UK.


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