For well over twenty years since I first started my infatuation with the Regency Era, I have maintained a lexicon to help me decipher Georgette Heyer (follow the link to Frederica, my favorite of her books), and others. Then as I began to write in the genre in the years 2000, I put more emphasis on it.
I have seen a few others on the web, but I have not seen any as complete as the one maintained at Regency Assembly Press that I have contributed to.
Today is the letter U. Did you know that an Ungrateful Man is a Parson? Or exactly who is an Upright Man?
With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research there, with not only the Lexicon, but the Timelines, lives of the Prime Ministers, Dance Instruction and Regency Era Money, it is a growing resource for all Regency readers and writers. I urge everyone to have a look as it continues to grow.
I also provide here the next letter of the alphabet to entice you to visit that page. Or even bookmark it for when you need to look up a particular Regency term.
- Uncle–Mine uncle’s; a necessary house. He is gone to visit his uncle; saying of one who leaves his wife soon after marriage. It likewise means a pawnbroker’s: goods pawned are frequently said to be at mine uncle’s, or laid up in lavender.
- Understrapper–An inferior in any office, or department.
- Under Dubber–A turnkey.
- Under The Hatches–Without funds; in debt.
- Unfortunate Gentlemen–The horse guards, who thus named themselves in Germany, where a general officer seeing them very awkward in bundling up their forage, asked what the devil they were; to which some of them answered, unfortunate gentlemen.
- Unfortunate Women–Prostitutes: so termed by the virtuous and compassionate of their own sex.
- Ungrateful Man–A parson, who at least once a week abuses his best benefactor, i.e. the devil.
- Unguentum Aureum–A bribe.
- Unicorn–A coach drawn by three horses. Driving Term, drive a vehicle with 3 horses, 1 in front of 2 others.
- Unlicked Cub–A rude uncouth young fellow.
- Unrigged–Undressed, or stripped. Unrig the drab; strip the wench.
- Untruss–To untruss a point; to let down one’s breeches in order to ease one’s self. Breeches were formerly tied with points, which till lately were distributed to the boys every Whit Monday by the churchwardens of most of the parishes in London, under the denomination of tags: these tags were worsteds of different colours twisted up to a size somewhat thicker than packthread, and tagged at both ends with tin. Laces were at the same given to the girls.
- Untwisted–Undone, ruined, done up.
- Unwashed Bawdry–Rank bawdry.
- Up To Their Gossip–To be a match for one who attempts to cheat or deceive; to be on a footing, or in the secret. I’ll be up with him; I will repay him in kind.
- Uphills–False dice that run high. Loaded dice the roll high numbers.
- Upper Benjamin–A great coat. (Cant)
- Upper Orders–The highest level of society.
- Upper Story, or Garret–Figuratively used to signify the head. His upper story or garrets are unfurnished; i.e. he is an empty or foolish fellow.
- Upping Block–[Called in some counties a leaping stock, in others a jossing block.] Steps for mounting a horse. He sits like a toad on a jossing block; said of one who sits ungracefully on horseback.
- Uppish–Testy, apt to take offence.
- Upright–Go upright; a word used by shoemakers, taylors and their servants, when any money is given to make them drink, and signifies, Bring it all out in liquor, though the donor intended less, and expects change, or some of his money, to be returned. Three-penny upright. See Threepenny Upright,
- Upright Man–An upright man signifies the chief or principal of a crew. The vilest, stoutest rogue in the pack is generally chosen to this post, and has the sole right to the first night’s lodging with the dells, who afterwards are used in common among the whole fraternity. He carries a short truncheon in his hand, which he calls his filchman, and has a larger share than ordinary in whatsoever is gotten in the society. He often travels in company with thirty or forty males and females, abram men, and others, over whom he presides arbitrarily. Sometimes the women and children who are unable to travel, or fatigued, are by turns carried in panniers by an ass, or two, or by some poor jades procured for that purpose.
- Upstarts–Persons lately raised to honours and riches from mean stations.
- Urchin–A child, a little fellow; also a hedgehog.
- Urinal of the Planets–Ireland: so called from the frequent rains in that island.
- Used Up–Killed: a military saying, originating from a message sent by the late General Guise, on the expedition at Carthagena, where he desired the commander in chief to order him some more grenadiers, for those he had were all used up.