I think it was Neil Gaiman who recommended it on his blog years ago, but I was going through my wishlist on Amazon when I came across this book.
A used copy wasn’t very much. Not the 1.95 that appears on the cover but something like 3 or 4 dollar. I started browsing through early this morning and decided to share some gems with you. Warning, some of them are indeed, as the title says, vulgar but in a strange archaic way. Some of them are still kind of gross.
Apple Dumplin Shop – a woman’s bosom
Banbury story of a cock and a bull – a round about, nonsensical story.
Barrel Fever – he died of barrel fever; he killed himself drinking.
Cackling Farts – Eggs.
Covey – A collection of whores. What a fine covey here is, if the devil would but throw his net!
Death’s head upon a mop stick – A poor miserable, emaciated fellow.
Dicked in the nob – Silly. Crazed.
Eternity Box – Coffin.
To Flash the Hash – To vomit.
Frenchified – Infected with the venereal disease. (Even in the 18th Century France was the butt of jokes.)
Gap Stopper – A whoremaster. (So many of these words are about prostitution in some way. I haven’t even touch the precipice of how many words there are about whores.
Hobberdehoy – Half a man and a half a boy; a lad between both.
Jerrycummumble – To shake, towzle, or tumble about.
Indorser – A sodomite.
King’s Pictures – Coin, money.
Laced Mutton – A prostitute. (That one is especially vulgar.)
Line of the Old Author – A dram of brandy.
Member Mug – A chamber pot.
Nimgimmer – A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cured venereal disease.
Occupy – To occupy a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her.
I think that’s enough. Going through this now I am getting a theme of 18th century England slang. It involved a lot of words for having sex, prostitutes, brothels and venereal disease. I mean what I posted here was just me going in alphabetical order randomly picking words by placing my finger on the page, and I still got words along the sex with prostitutes and spread of diseases theme. Maybe P – Z is just filled with words about how happy they are in 18th Century England, but I doubt it.