In the documentary. Misery Loves Comedy, actor, comedian, creator and director Kevin Pollak asks his fellow comedians do you have to be miserable to be funny?
Somes gems from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
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.