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 V. Have you ever given your Vardy? Or do you have any idea what exactly Vessels of Paper are?
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.
- Vagaries–Frolics, wild rambles.
- Vail–Tips given to the servants at the manor home in which the tipper guested at.
- Vain-Glorious, or Ostentatious Man–One who boasts without reason, or, as the canters say, pisses more than he drinks.
- Valentine–The first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on St. Valentine’s day, the 14th of February, when it is said every bird chuses his mate for the ensuing year.
- To Vamp–To pawn any thing. I’ll vamp it, and tip you the cole: I’ll pawn it, and give you the money. Also to refit, new dress, or rub up old hats, shoes or other wearing apparel; likewise to put new feet to old boots. Applied more particularly to a quack bookseller.
- Van–Madam Van; see Madam.
- Vandyke–Named after the painter Anthony Van Dyke (1599-1641), a style of collar or trimming with a dentate (i.e–sawtooth) border in lace or fabric.
- Van-Neck–Miss or Mrs. Van-Neck; a woman with large breasts; a bushel bubby.
- Vardy–To give one’s vardy; i.e. verdict or opinion.
- Varlets–Now rogues and rascals, formerly yeoman’s servants.
- Varment–(Whip and Cambridge.) Natty, dashing. He is quite varment, he is quite the go. He sports a varment hat, coat, &c.; he is dressed like a gentleman Jehu.
- Vaulting School–A bawdy-house; also an academy where vaulting and other manly exercises are taught.
- Vauxhall Gardens–A pleasure garden across the Thames from fashionable London that offered a variety of entertainments including music, dancing and elaborate fireworks displays–There were also numerous dark walks suitable for assignations.
- Velvet–To tip the velvet; to put one’s tongue into a woman’s mouth. To be upon velvet; to have the best of a bet or match. To the little gentleman in velvet, i. e. the mole that threw up the hill that caused Crop (King William’s horse) to stumble; a toast frequently drank by the tories and catholics in Ireland.
- Venerable Monosyllable–Pudendum muliebre.
- Venus’s Curse–The venereal disease.
- Vessels of Paper–Half a quarter of a sheet.
- Vicar of Bray–See Bray.
- Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas–A drunken man that pisses under the table into his companions’ shoes.
- Victualling Office–The stomach.
- Vincent’s Law–The art of cheating at cards, composed of the following associates: bankers, those who play booty; the gripe, he that betteth; and the person cheated, who is styled the vincent; the gains acquired, termage.
- Vinegar–A name given to the person who with a whip in his hand, and a hat held before his eye, keeps the ring clear, at boxing-matches and cudgel-playing; also, in cant terms, a cloak.
- Vingt-Et-Un–The card game known as “21” or blackjack, where the object is to take cards until one is as close as possible to 21 without going over–From the French meaning twenty-one.
- Vixen–A termagant; also a she fox, who, when she has cubs, is remarkably fierce.
- Vouchers–Vouchers were required to gain admittance to Almack’s Assembly Rooms–They could only be given out by one of the Patronesses.
- To Vowel–A gamester who does not immediately pay his losings, is said to vowel the winner, by repeating the vowels I.O.U. or perhaps from giving his note for the money according to the Irish form, where the acknowledgment of the debt is expressed by the letters I.O.U. which, the sum and name of the debtor being added, is deemed a sufficient security among gentlemen.
- Vowels–Papers indicating a debt that is owed–From the Term I.O.U.