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Manly Slang from the nineteenth Century

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With our archives now 3,500+ articles deep, we’ve determined to republish a basic piece every Friday to assist our newer readers uncover among the finest, evergreen gems from the previous. This text was initially revealed in March 2010.

Whereas writing our first e-book, The Artwork of Manliness: Traditional Expertise and Manners for the Trendy Man, we determined to throw just a few old-time nineteenth century slang phrases into the textual content only for enjoyable. Whereas scouring previous dictionaries for some virile phrases and phrases that may match into the e-book, we got here throughout many others that had been past superior however didn’t make the minimize. Right here’s a glossary of a few of our favorites (with their unique definitions) that had been tossed about on the streets and saloons again within the day. These colourful expressions in all probability received’t ever come again into widespread parlance, however they’re an actual hoot to learn by way of.

The Artwork of Manliness Dictionary of Manly nineteenth Century Vernacular

Admiral of the Crimson: An individual whose very crimson face evinces a passion for robust potations.

All-overish: Neither sick nor properly; the premonitory signs of sickness. Additionally the sensation which comes over a person at a essential second, say simply when he’s about to “pop the query.” Generally that is referred to as, “feeling all-over alike, and touching nowhere.”

Anointing: A great beating. A case for the applying of salve.

Barking-Iron, or Barker: A pistol. Time period utilized by footpads and thieves typically.

Bellows: The lungs. Bellowser, a blow within the “wind,” or pit of the abdomen, taking one’s breath away.

Bellows to Mend: An individual out of breath; particularly a pugilist is alleged to be “bellows to fix” when winded.

Blind Monkeys: An imaginary assortment on the Zoological Gardens, that are alleged to obtain care and a spotlight from individuals fitted by nature for such workplace and for little else. An idle and ineffective particular person is usually advised that he’s solely match to guide the blind monkeys to evacuate.

Blinker: A blackened eye. Additionally a tough blow within the eye.

Bone Field: The mouth. Shut your bone field; shut your mouth.

Bully Entice: A courageous man with a light or effeminate look, by whom the bullies are ceaselessly taken in.

Bunch Of Fives: The fist. Pugilistic.

Cat-heads: A girl’s breasts. Sea phrase.

Chilly Espresso: Misfortune; typically assorted to chilly gruel. An disagreeable return for a proffered kindness is typically referred to as chilly espresso.

Colt’s Tooth: Aged individuals of juvenile tastes are mentioned to have a colt’s tooth, i.e., a need to shed their enamel as soon as extra, to reside life over once more.

Crab: To forestall the perfection or execution of any meant matter of enterprise, by saying something offensive or disagreeable, is named crabbing it, or throwing a crab.

Cabinet Love: Pretended like to the cook dinner, or some other particular person, for the sake of a meal.

Reduce: To resign acquaintance with anybody is to chop him. There are a number of species of the “minimize,” such because the minimize direct, the minimize oblique, the minimize chic, the minimize infernal, and so forth. The minimize direct is to begin throughout the road, on the strategy of the obnoxious particular person, with the intention to keep away from him. The minimize oblique is to look one other method, and cross with out showing to look at him. The minimize chic is to admire the highest of King’s Faculty Chapel, or the fantastic thing about the passing clouds, ’til he’s minimize of sight. The minimize infernal is to research the association of your shoe-strings, for a similar objective.

Sprint-fire: Vigor, manliness.

Draw the Lengthy Bow: To inform extravagant tales, to magnify overmuch; similar as “throw the hatchet.” From the extraordinarily great tales which was advised of the Norman archers, and extra subsequently of Indians’ talent with the tomahawk.

Drumsticks: Legs.

Earth Tub: A grave.

Eternity Field: A coffin.

Fart Catcher: A valet or footman, from his strolling behind his grasp or mistress.

Firing a Gun: Introducing a narrative by head and shoulders. A person, wanting to inform a selected story, mentioned to the corporate, “Hark, did you not hear a gun? However now we’re speaking of a gun, I’ll let you know the story of 1.”

Fimble-Famble: A lame, prevaricating excuse.

Fizzing: First-rate, superb, glorious; synonymous with “gorgeous.”

Flag of Misery: Any overt signal of poverty; the top of an individual’s shirt when it protrudes by way of his trousers.

Floorer: A blow sufficiently robust to knock a person down, or carry him to the ground. Typically utilized in reference to sudden and ugly information.

Flying Mess: To be “in flying mess” is a soldier’s phrase for being hungry and having to mess the place he can.

Observe-me-lads: Curls hanging over a woman’s shoulder.

Gentleman of 4 Outs: When a vulgar, blustering fellow asserts that he’s a gentleman, the retort typically is, “Sure, a gentleman of 4 outs,” that’s, with out wit, with out cash, with out credit score, and with out manners.

Go By the Floor: A brief particular person, man or girl.

Gullyfluff: The waste — coagulated mud, crumbs, and hair — which accumulates imperceptibly within the pockets of schoolboys.

Gunpowder: An previous girl.

Half-mourning: To have a black eye from a blow. As distinguished from “whole-mourning,” two black eyes.

Heavy Moist: Malt liquor — as a result of the extra a person drinks of it, the heavier and extra silly he turns into.

Hobbadehoy: A youth who has ceased to treat himself as a boy, and isn’t but considered a person.

Hogmagundy: The method by which the inhabitants is elevated.

Holy Water: “He loves him because the Satan likes holy water”; i.e. hates him mortally.

Honor Brilliant: An asseveration which implies actually, “by my honor, which is brilliant and unsullied.” It’s typically nonetheless additional curtailed to “honor!” solely.

How’s Your Poor Toes: An idiotic road cry with no which means, a lot in vogue just a few years again.

Hugger-mugger: Underhand, sneaking. Additionally, “in a state of hugger-mugger” means to be muddled.

Job’s Turkey: “As poor as Job’s turkey” — as skinny and as badly fed as that ill-conditioned and imaginary fowl.

Preserve a Pig: An Oxford College phrase, which implies to have a lodger. A person whose rooms comprise two bedchambers has typically, when his faculty is full, to permit the usage of one in every of them to a freshman, who is named underneath these circumstances a pig. The unique occupier is then mentioned to “hold a pig.”

Ladder: “Can’t see a gap in a ladder,” mentioned of anybody who’s intoxicated. It was as soon as mentioned {that a} man was by no means correctly drunk till he couldn’t lie down with out holding, couldn’t see a gap by way of a ladder, or went to the pump to gentle his pipe.

Lay Down the Knife and Fork: To die. Evaluate “pegging-out,” “hopping the twig,” and comparable flippancies.

Monkey With a Lengthy Tail: A mortgage.

Month of Sundays: An indefinite interval, a very long time.

Muckender: A pocket handkerchief, snottinger.

Nostril-ender: A straight blow delivered full on the nasal promontory.

Nostril within the Manger: To place one’s nostril within the manger, to take a seat all the way down to eat. To “placed on the nose-bag” is to eat hurriedly, or to eat whereas persevering with at work.

O’clock: “Like one o’clock” — a favourite comparability with the decrease orders, implying briskness; in any other case “like winkin’.” “To know what’s o’clock” is to be wide-awake, sharp, and skilled.

Off One’s Chump: To be loopy is to be off one’s chump; that is assorted by the phrase “chumpy.” A gentle sort of lunatic can be mentioned to be “off his head,” which implies after all precisely the identical as the primary phrase.

Off the Horn: A time period utilized in reference to very exhausting steak.

Out of Print: Slang made use of by booksellers. In talking of any particular person that’s lifeless, they observe, “he’s out of print.”

Perpendicular: A lunch taken standing-up at a tavern bar. It’s common to name it lunch, typically because the perpendicular could take the place of dinner.

Pocket: To place up with. A person who doesn’t resent an affront is alleged to pocket it.

Pot-hunter: A person who provides his time as much as rowing or punting, or any form of match with the intention to win the “pewters” that are given as prizes. The time period is now a lot utilized in aquatic and athletic circles, and is utilized, in a derogatory sense, to males of fine high quality who enter themselves in small races they’re virtually certain to win, and thus deprive the juniors of small trophies which must be above the eye of champions, although beneficial to newcomers. Additionally an unwelcome visitor, who manages to be simply in meal time.

Rain Napper: Umbrella.

Rib: Spouse.

Rumbumptious: Haughty, pugilistic.

Rusty Guts: A blunt, tough, previous fellow.

Saucebox: A pert younger particular person, in low life additionally signifies the mouth.

Noticed Your Timber: “Be off!” equal to “minimize your stick.” Sometimes assorted, with mock refinement, to “amputate your mahogany.”

Scandal-water: Tea; from previous maids’ tea events being typically a spotlight for scandal.

Shake the Elbow: A roundabout expression for dice-playing. To “criminal the elbow” is an Americanism for “to drink.”

Sit-upons: Trousers.

Smeller: The nostril; “a blow on the smeller” is usually to be present in pugilistic data.

Sneeze-lurker: A thief who throws snuff in an individual’s face, after which robs him.

Sneezer: A pocket handkerchief.

Snooze-case: Pillow case.

Snotter, or Wipe-hauler: A pickpocket whose chief fancy is for gents’s pocket handkerchiefs.

Sober-water: A jocular allusion to the makes use of of soda water.

Tail Down: To get the tail down typically means to lose braveness. When an expert at any sport loses coronary heart in a match he’s mentioned to get his tail down. “His tail was fairly down, and it was throughout.” The origin is apparent.

Tune the Previous Cow Died Of: An epithet for any ill-played or discordant piece of music.



Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1823

The Slang Dictionary, 1874

Slang and Its Analogues Previous and Current, 1891

Dictionary of Americanisms, 1877

The publish Manly Slang from the nineteenth Century appeared first on The Artwork of Manliness.

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