Tip us your Daddle

booksSnippets 130. Francis Grose (1731-1791) was a noted antiquarian who wrote a series of books about medieval antiquities. Financial difficulties inspired him to branch out into other areas of writing, and in 1785 his A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was published. Slang was a good choice of topic, as it would be entertaining and have a wide appeal. However, it stands as a useful record of the language in the 18th Century beyond the formal language studied by lexicographers. Previously we looked at some selected terms from letters A, B and C, so let’s continue with some examples beginnning with D, E and F, chosen (in the spirit of the original publication) for entertainment value as much as anything.

Daddles: hands. Tip us your daddle; give me your hand.

Dandy Prat: an insignificant or trifling fellow.

Day Lights: eyes.

Death Hunter: an undertaker.

Dingable: anything considered worthless.

Dog in a Doublet: a daring, resolute fellow.

Domino Box (to open the): to open the mouth.

Double Jugg: a man’s backside.

Dowse on the Chops: a blow in the face.

Drop in the Eye: almost drunk.

Dub the Jigger: open the door.

Dumplin: a short thick man or woman.

Dunghill: a coward.

Dustman: to let the dustman get hold of you; to fall asleep.

Execution Day: washing day.

Face-making: begetting children.

Faithful: one of the faithful; a tailor who gives long credit.

Famgrasp: to shake hands.

Fart Catcher: a valet or footman, from his walking behind his master or mistress.

Feeder: a spoon.

Fibbing Gloak: a pugilist.

Fice, or Foyse: a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears.

Fizzle: an escape backward.

Flash of Lighning: a glass of gin.

Flyers: shoes.

Fogle: a handkerchief.

Fogle Hunter: a pickpocket.

Freshman: one just entered a member of university.

Fubsey: plump.

Note the inclusion of “freshman” as slang – not an American invention, but a term first used in Cambridge over 500 years ago.


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