Entries under “H” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)

The following definitions are from the “H” section of Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811).

HABERDASHER OF PRONOUNS. A schoolmaster, or
usher.

HACKNEY WRITER. One who writes for attornies or
booksellers.

HACKUM. Captain Hackum; a bravo, a slasher.

HAD’EM. He has been at Had’em, and came home by Clapham; said of one who has caught the venereal disease.

HAIR SPLITTER. A man’s yard.

HALBERT. A weapon carried by a serjeant of foot. To get a halbert; to be appointed a serjeant. To be brought to the halberts; to be flogged a la militaire: soldiers of the infantry, when flogged, being commonly tied to three halberts, set up in a triangle, with a fourth fastened across them. He carries the halbert in his face; a saying of one promoted from a serjeant to a commission officer.

HALF A HOG. Sixpence.

HALF SEAS OVER. Almost drunk.

HAMLET. A high constable. Cant.

HAMS, or HAMCASES Breeches. Continue reading “Entries under “H” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)”

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Entries under “G” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)

The following definitions are from the “G” section of Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811).

GAB, or GOB. The mouth. Gift of the gab; a facility of speech, nimble tongued eloquence. To blow the gab; to confess, or peach.

GAB, or GOB, STRING. A bridle.

GABBY. A foolish fellow.

GAD-SO. An exclamation said to be derived from the
Italian word cazzo.

GAFF. A fair. The drop coves maced the joskins at the
gaff; the ring-droppers cheated the countryman at the fair.

TO GAFF. To game by tossing up halfpence.

GAG. An instrument used chiefly by housebreakers and thieves, for propping open the mouth of a person robbed, thereby to prevent his calling out for assistance.

GAGE. A quart pot, or a pint; also a pipe. CANT.

GAGE, or FOGUS. A pipe of tobacco.

GAGGERS. High and Low. Cheats, who by sham pretences, and wonderful stories of their sufferings, impose on the credulity of well meaning people. See RUM GAGGER.

GALIMAUFREY. A hodgepodge made up of the remnants
and scraps of the larder.

GALL. His gall is not yet broken; a saying used in prisons
of a man just brought in, who appears dejected.

GALLEY. Building the galley; a game formerly used at sea, in order to put a trick upon a landsman, or fresh-water sailor. It being agreed to play at that game, one sailor personates the builder, and another the merchant or contractor: the builder first begins by laying the keel, which consists of a number of men laid all along on their backs, one after another, that is, head to foot; he next puts in the ribs or knees, by making a number of men sit feet to feet, at right angles to, and on each side of, the keel: he now fixing on the person intended to be the object of the joke, observes he is a fierce-looking fellow, and fit for the lion; he accordingly places him at the head, his arms being held or locked in by the two persons next to him, representing the ribs. After several other dispositions, the builder delivers over the galley to the contractor as complete: but he, among other faults and objections, observes the lion is not gilt, on which the builder or one of his assistants, runs to the head, and dipping a mop in the excrement, thrusts it into the face of the lion.

GALLEY FOIST. A city barge, used formerly on the lord
mayor’s day, when he was sworn in at Westminster.

GALLIED. Hurried, vexed, over-fatigued, perhaps like a
galley slave.

GALLIGASKINS. Breeches. Continue reading “Entries under “G” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)”

Entries under “F” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)

The following definitions are from the “F” section of Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811).

FACE-MAKING. Begetting children. To face it out; to persist in a falsity. No face but his own: a saying of one who has no money in his pocket or no court cards in his hand.

FACER. A bumper, a glass filled so full as to leave no room for the lip. Also a violent blow on the face.

FADGE. It won’t fadge; it won’t do. A farthing.

TO FAG. To beat. Fag the bloss; beat the wench; Cant.
A fag also means a boy of an inferior form or class, who
acts as a servant to one of a superior, who is said to fag him,
he is my fag; whence, perhaps, fagged out, for jaded or tired.
To stand a good fag; not to be soon tired.

FAGGER. A little boy put in at a window to rob the house.

FAGGOT. A man hired at a muster to appear as a soldier. To faggot in the canting sense, means to bind: an allusion to the faggots made up by the woodmen, which are all bound. Faggot the culls; bind the men.

FAITHFUL. One of the faithful; a taylor who gives long credit. His faith has made him unwhole; i.e. trusting too much, broke him. Continue reading “Entries under “F” from Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)”

The sound of pommelling on a sofa in Ulysses by James Joyce

From Wye’s Dictionary of Improbably Words.

Book Acquired, 1.12.2012

 

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In the post from the kind people at Picador, The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (I want to type “Leviathan,” of course). Publisher’s description:

How does one talk about love? Is it even possible to describe something at once utterly mundane and wholly transcendent, that has the power to consume our lives completely, while making us feel part of something infinitely larger than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this age-old problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’sThe Lover’s Dictionary constructs the story of a relationship as a dictionary. Through these sharp entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of coupledom, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.