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Regency Research

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 Q. Did you know that a Queer Bung is an Empty Purse? And that a Quaking Cheat is an animal? (Look in the list to see which one.)

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-20-08-45.jpg 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.

  • Quack–An ungraduated ignorant pretender to skill in physic, a vender of nostrums.
  • Quack-Salver–A mountebank: a seller of salves.
  • Quacking Cheat–A duck.
  • Quadrille–A dance in square formation for four couples that usually has five parts or movements.
  • Quag–Abbreviation of quagmire; marshy moorish around.
  • Quail-Pipe–A woman’s tongue; also a device to take birds of that name by imitating their call. Quail pipe boots; boots resembling a quail pipe, from the number of plaits; they were much worn in the reign of Charles II.
  • Quakers–A religious sect so called from their agitations in preaching.
  • Quaking Cheat–A calf or sheep.
  • Quality–The upper class of society.
  • Quandary–To be in a quandary: to be puzzled. Also one so over-gorged, as to be doubtful which he should do first, sh—e or spew. Some derive the term quandary from the French phrase qu’en dirai je? what shall I say of it? others from an Italian word signifying a conjuror’s circle.
  • Quarrel-Picker–A glazier: from the small squares in casements, called Carreux, vulgarly quarrels.
  • Quarromes, or Quarron–A body. (Cant)
  • Quarter Day–The day at the end of each quarter during the year when rents were due and allowances were received.
  • Quartered–Divided into four parts; to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, is the sentence on traitors and rebels. Persons receiving part of the salary of an office from the holder of it, by virtue of an agreement with the donor, are said to be quartered on him. Soldiers billetted on a publican are likewise said to be quartered on him.
  • To Quash–To suppress, annul or overthrow; vulgarly pronounced squash: they squashed the indictment.
  • Quean–A slut, or worthless woman, a strumpet.
  • Queen Dick–To the tune of the life and death of Queen Dick. That happened in the reign of Queen Dick; i.e., never.
  • Queen Street–A mart governed by his wife, is said to live in Queen street, or at the sign of the Queen’s Head.
  • Queer, or Quire–Base, roguish, bad, naught or worthless. How queerly the cull touts; how roguishly the fellow looks. It also means odd, uncommon. (Cant)
  • Queer as Dick’s Hatband–Out of order, without knowing one’s disease. Ill-looking, faint looking.
  • To Queer–To puzzle or confound. I have queered the old full bottom; i.e. I have puzzled the judge. To queer one’s ogles among bruisers; to darken one’s day lights.
  • Queer Bail–Insolvent sharpers, who make a profession of bailing persons arrested: they are generally styled Jew bail, from that branch of business being chiefly carried on by the sons of Judah. The lowest sort of these, who borrow or hire clothes to appear in, are called Mounters, from their mounting particular dresses suitable to the occasion. (Cant)
  • Queer Birds–Rogues relieved from prison, and returned to their old trade.
  • Queer Bit-Makers–Coiners. (Cant)
  • Queer Bitch–An odd, out-of-the-way fellow.
  • Queer Bluffer–The master of a public-house the resort of rogues and sharpers, a cut-throat inn or alehouse keeper.
  • Queer Bung–An empty purse.
  • Queer Checkers–Among strolling players, door-keepers who defraud the company, by falsely checking the number of people in the house.
  • Queer Cole Fencer–A putter off, or utterer, of bad money.
  • Queer Cole Maker–A maker of bad money.
  • Queer Cove–A rogue. (Cant)
  • Queer Cuffin–A justice of the peace; also a churl.
  • Queer Degen–An ordinary sword, brass or iron hilted.
  • Queer In The Attic–Peculiar or crazy.
  • Queer Ken–A prison. (Cant)
  • Queer Kicks–A bad pair of breeches.
  • Queer Mort–A diseased strumpet. (Cant)
  • Queer Nab–A felt hat, or other bad hat.
  • Queer Plungers–Cheats who throw themselves into the water, in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each; and the supposed drowned persons, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket.
  • Queer Prancer–A bad, worn-out, foundered horse; also a cowardly or faint-hearted horse-stealer.
  • Queer Rooster–An informer that pretends to be sleeping, and thereby overhears the conversation of thieves in night cellars.
  • Queer Street–Wrong. Improper. Contrary to one’s wish. It is queer street, a cant phrase, to signify that it is wrong or different to our wish. To be of doubtful solvency–To be one marked in a tradesman’s ledger with a quære (inquire), meaning, make inquiries about this customer
  • Queer Wedges–Large buckles.
  • Quitam–Aquitam horse; one that will both carry and draw. Law Wit.
  • To Quibble–To make subtle distinctions; also to play upon words.
  • Quick and Nimble–More like a bear than a squirrel. Jeeringly said to any one moving sluggishly on a business or errand that requires dispatch.
  • Quid–The quantity of tobacco put into the mouth at one time. To quid tobacco; to chew tobacco. Quid est hoc? hoc est quid; a guinea. Half a quid; half a guinea. The swell tipped me fifty quid for the prad; the gentleman gave fifty pounds for the horse.
  • Quid–A guinea. 1 pound 1 shilling. (approx $2100)
  • Quids–Cash, money. Can you tip me any quids? can you lend me some money?
  • Quiffing–Rogering. See To Roger.
  • Quidnunc–A politician: from a character of that name in the farce of the Upholsterer.
  • Quill–An autked by a hempen quinsey; hanged.
  • Quipps–Girds, taunts, jests.
  • Quire, or Choir Bird–A complete rogue, one that has sung in different choirs or cages, i.e. gaols. (Cant)
  • Quirks and Quillets–Tricks and devices. Quirks in law; subtle distinctions and evasions.
  • Quiz–A strange-looking fellow, an odd dog. Oxford.
  • Quizzing Glass–A monocle dangling from a neck chain or ribbon, worn as a fashionable accessory by both men and women.
  • Quod–Newgate, or any other prison. The dab’s in quod; the poor rogue is in prison.
  • Quota–Snack, share, part, proportion, or dividend. Tip me my quota; give me part of the winnings, booty, or plunder. (Cant)
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Regency Research

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 P. Did you know that Pannam is Bread? And that Pharoah does not refer to those Egyptian Guys?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-19-08-45.jpg 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.

  • P’S–To mind one’s P’s and Q’s; to be attentive to the main chance.
  • P.P.C–An inscription on the visiting cards of our modern fine gentleman, signifying that they have called Pour Prendre Conge, i.e. ‘to take leave,’ This has of late been ridiculed by cards inscribed D.I.O. i.e. ‘Damme, I’m off.’
  • Packet–A false report.
  • Packthread–To talk packthread; to use indecent language well wrapt up.
  • Pad–The highway, or a robber thereon; also a bed. Footpads; foot robbers. To go out upon the pad; to go out in order to commit a robbery.
  • Pad Borrowers–Horse stealers.
  • To Pad the Hoof–See To Beat the Hoof.
  • Paddington Fair Day–An execution day, Tyburn being in the parish or neighbourhood of Paddington. To dance the Paddington frisk; to be hanged.
  • Paddy–The general name for an Irishman: being the abbreviation of Patrick, the name of the tutelar saint of that island.
  • Painter–I’ll cut your painter for you; I’ll send you off; the painter being the ropfe that holds the boat fast to the ship. Sea Term.
  • Pair of Wings–Oars. (Cant)
  • To Palaver–To flatter: originally an African word for a treaty, talk, or conference.
  • Palliards–Those whose fathers were clapperdogens, or beggars born, and who themselves follow the same trade: the female sort beg with a number of children, borrowing them, if they have not a sufficient number of their own, and making them cry by pinching in order to excite charity; the males make artificial sores on different parts of their bodies, to move compassion.
  • Pall–A companion. One who generally accompanies another, or who commit robberies together.
  • Pam–The knave of clubs.
  • Pannam–Bread.
  • Pannier Man–A servant belonging to the Temple and Gray’s Inn, whose office is to announce the dinner. This in the Temple, is done by blowing a horn; and in Gray’s Inn proclaiming the word Manger, Manger, Manger, in each of the three courts.
  • Panny–A house. To do a panny: to rob a house. See the Sessions Papers. Probably, panny originally meant the butler’s pantry, where the knives and forks, spoons, &c. are usually kept The pigs frisked my panney, and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house, and seized my picklock keys. (Cant)
  • Pantaloons–In reference to male fashion, pantaloons are close-fitting tights or leggings that end just below the calf–They were typically worn with boots, as in the picture at right showing Hessians.
  • Panter–A hart: that animal is, in the Psalms, said to pant after the fresh water-brooks. Also the human heart, which frequently pants in time of danger. (Cant)
  • Pantile Shop–A presbyterian, or other dissenting meeting house, frequently covered with pantiles: called also a cock-pit.
  • Pantler–A butler.
  • Pap–Bread sauce; also the food of infants. His mouth is full of pap; he is still a baby.
  • Paper Scull–A thin-scull’d foolish fellow.
  • Paphians–Women of easy virtue.
  • Papler–Milk pottage.
  • Parell–Whites of eggs, bay salt, milk, and pump water, beat together, and poured into a vessel of wine to prevent its fretting.
  • Parenthesis–To put a man’s nose into a parenthesis: to pull it, the fingers and thumb answering the hooks or crochets. A wooden parenthesis; the pillory. An iron parenthesis; a prison.
  • Parings–The chippings of money. (Cant)
  • Parish Bull–A parson.
  • Parish–His stockings are of two parishes; i.e. they are not fellows.
  • Parish Soldier–A jeering name for a militiaman: from substitutes being frequently hired by the parish from which one of its inhabitants is drawn.
  • Park Pailing–Teeth.
  • Parson–A guide post, hand or finger post by the road side for directing travellers: compared to a parson, because, like him, it sets people in the right way. See Guide Post. He that would have luck in horse-flesh, must kiss a parson’s wife.
  • Parson’s Journeyman–A curate.
  • Parson’s Mousetrap–Married.
  • Parson Plmer–A jocular name, or term of reproach, to one who stops the circulation of the glass by preaching over his liquor; as it is said was done by a parson of that name whose cellar was under his pulpit.
  • Parti–A person considered as a matrimonial match–From the French meaning party or match.
  • Partial–Inclining more to one side than the other, crooked, all o’ one hugh.
  • Parting Company–Falling off horse.
  • Pass Bank–The place for playing at passage, cut into the ground almost like a cock-pit. Also the stock or fund.
  • Passage–A camp game with three dice: doublets, making up ten or more, to pass or win; any other chances lose.
  • Pat–Apposite, or to the purpose.
  • Pate–The head. Carroty-pated; red-haired.
  • Patrico, or Pater-Cove–The fifteenth rank of the canting tribe; strolling priests that marry people under a hedge, without gospel or common prayer book: the couple standing on each side of a dead beast, are bid to live together till death them does part; so shaking hands, the wedding is ended. Also any minister or parson.
  • Patroness Of Almack’s–One of the society ladies who could give vouchers to hopefuls Seeking entree into the hallowed halls of Almack’s–The patronesses were: Lady Castlereagh; Lady Cowper; Mrs–Drummond Burrell; Princess Esterhazy; Countess Lieven; Lady Jersey, and Lady Sefton.
  • Pattens–Ladies footwear for inclement weather, worn over a normal shoe, to elevate her a couple of inches above the mud or slush.
  • Pattering–The maundering or pert replies of servants; also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be cheated. Pattering of prayers; the confused sound of a number of persons praying together.
  • To Patter–To talk. To patter flash; to speak flash, or the language used by thieves. How the blowen lushes jackey, and patters flash; how the wench drinks gin, and talks flash.
  • Paviour’s Workshop–The street.
  • To Paum–To conceal in the hand. To paum a die: to hide a die in the palm of the hand. He paums; he cheats. Don’t pretend to paum that upon me.
  • Paunch–The belly. Some think paunch was the original name of that facetious prince of puppets, now called Mr. Punch, as he is always represented with a very prominent belly: though the common opinion is, that both the name and character were taken from a celebrated Italian comedian, called Polichenello.
  • Paw–A hand or foot; look at his dirty paws. Fore paw; the hand. Hind paw; the foot. To paw; to touch or handle clumsily.
  • Paw Paw Tricks–Naughty tricks: an expression used by nurses, &c. to children.
  • To Pay–To smear over. To pay the bottom of a ship or boat; to smear it over with pitch: The devil to pay, and no pitch hot or ready. Sea Term.—Also to beat: as, I will pay you as Paul paid the Ephesians, over the face and eyes, and all your d—-d jaws. To pay away; to fight manfully, also to eat voraciously. To pay through the nose: to pay an extravagant price.
  • To Peach–To impeach: called also to blow the gab, squeak, or turn stag.
  • Peak–Any kind of lace.
  • Peal–To ring a peal in a man’s ears; to scold at him: his wife rang him such a peal!
  • Pear Makig–Taking bounties from several regiments and immediately deserting. The cove was fined in the steel for pear making; the fellow was imprisoned in the house of correction for taking bounties from different regiments.
  • Peccavi–To cry peccavi; to acknowledge one’s self in an error, to own a fault: from the Latin Peccavi, I have sinned.
  • Peck–Victuals. Peck and booze; victuals and drink.
  • Peckish–Hungry.
  • Peculiar–Woman of easy virtue. A mistress.
  • Ped–A basket. (Cant)
  • Pedlar’s French–The cant language. Pedlar’s pony; a walking-stick.
  • To Peel–To strip: allusion to the taking off the coat or rind of an orange or apple.
  • Peeper–A spying glass; also a looking-glass. Track up the dancers, and pike with the peeper; whip up stairs, and run off with the looking-glass. (Cant)
  • Peepers–Eyes. Single peeper, a one-eyed man.
  • Peeping Tom–A nick name for a curious prying fellow; derived from an old legendary tale, told of a taylor of Coventry, who, when Godiva countess of Chester rode at noon quite naked through that town, in order to procure certain immunities for the inhabitants, (notwithstanding the rest of the people shut up their houses) shly peeped out of his window, for which he was miraculously struck blind. His figure, peeping out of a window, is still kept up in remembrance of the transaction.
  • Peep-Of-Day Boy–Someone always involved in kicking up larks etc.
  • Peepy–Drowsy.
  • To Peer–To look about, to be circumspect.
  • Peery–Inquisitive, suspicious. The cull’s peery; that fellow suspects something. There’s a peery, tis snitch we are observed, there’s nothing to be done.
  • Peg–Old Peg; poor hard Suffolk or Yorkshire cheese. A peg is also a blow with a straightarm: a term used by the professors of gymnastic arts. A peg in the day-light, the victualling office, or the haltering-place; a blow in the eye, stomach, or under the ear.
  • Peg Trantum’s–Gone to Peg Trantum’s; dead.
  • Pego–The penis of man or beast.
  • Pelisse–A coat with armholes or sleeves worn by ladies over their dresses, buttoning up the front, usually either full or three-quarter length.
  • Pell-Mell–Tumultuously, helter skelter, jumbled together.
  • Pelt–A heat, chafe, or passion; as, What a pelt he was in! Pelt is also the skin of several beasts.
  • Penance Board–The pillory.
  • Penny-Pence, (approx $8).
  • Penny-Wise and Pound Foolish–Saving in small matters, and extravagant in great.
  • Pennyworth–An equivalent. A good pennyworth; cheap bargain.
  • Penthouse Nab–A broad brimmed hat.
  • Peppered–Infected with the venereal disease.
  • Peppery–Warm, passionate.
  • Perkin–Water cyder.
  • Perriwinkle–A wig.
  • Persuaders–Spurs. The kiddey clapped his persuaders to his prad but the traps boned him; the highwayman spurred his horse hard, but the officers seized him.
  • Pet–In a pet; in a passion or miff.
  • Peter–A portmanteau or cloke-bag. Biter of peters; one that makes it a trade to steal boxes and trunks from behind stage coaches or out of waggons. To rob Peter to pay Paul; to borrow of one man to pay another: styled also manoeuvring the apostles.
  • Peter Gunner–will kill all the birds that died last summer. A piece of wit commonly thrown out at a person walking through a street or village near London, with a gun in his hand.
  • Peter Lay–The department of stealing portmanteaus, trunks, &c.
  • Peter Lug–Who is Peter Lug? who lets the glass stand at his door, or before him.
  • Petticoat Hold–One who has an estate during his wife’s life, called the apron-string hold.
  • Petticoat Pensioner–One kept by a woman forsecret services.
  • Pettish–Passionate.
  • Petty Fogger–A little dirty attorney, ready to undertake any litigious or bad cause: it is derived from the French words petit vogue, of small credit, or little reputation.
  • Phaeton–A light, four-wheeled carriage with open sides, with or without a top, with one or two seats, drawn by one or two horses–A high-perch phaeton was a particularly dashing vehicle–From the Greek myth of Phaëthon, who tried to drive the chariot of his father the Sun and nearly destroyed the earth.
  • Pharoah–Strong malt liquor.
  • Philistines–Bailiffs, or officers of justice; also drunkards.
  • Phiz–Face.
  • Phoenix-Men–Firemen belonging to an insurance office, which gave a badge charged with a phoenix: these men were called likewise firedrakes.
  • Phos Bottle–A bottle of phosphorus: used by housebreakers to light their lanthorns. Ding the phos; throw away the bottle of phosphorus.
  • Phrase of Paper–Half a quarter of a sheet. See Vessel, Physog.
  • Physog–The face. A vulgar abbreviation of physiognomy.
  • Phyz–The face. Rum phyz; an odd face or countenance.
  • Pianoforte–An early incarnation of the piano, developed in about 1730–Keyboard instruments prior to that time could be played with precision but without variation of volume–The pianoforte allowed more versatility by producing notes at different volumes depending on the amount of force used to press the keys–It could be played softly (piano) or loudly (forte) — the full Italian Term for the original instrument was gravicèmbalo col piano e forte (literally harpsicord with soft and loud)–
  • Picaroon–A pirate; also a sharper.
  • Pickaniny–A young child, an infant. Negro Term.
  • Pickaxe–Driving Term, refers to five horses drawing a carriage, three in front, and two behind as wheelers.
  • Picking–Pilfering, petty larceny.
  • Picking–An arch waggish fellow. In pickle, or in the pickling tub; in a salivation. There are rods in brine, or pickle, for him; a punishment awaits him, or is prepared for him. Pickle herring; the zany or merry andrew of a mountebank. See Jack Pudding.
  • Pickt Hatch–To go to the manor of pickt hatch, a cant name for some part of the town noted for bawdy houses in Shakespeare’s time, and used by him in that sense.
  • Pickthank–A tale-bearer or mischief maker.
  • Picture Frame–The sheriff’s picture frame; the gallows or pillory.
  • To Piddle–To make water: a childish expression; as, Mammy, I want to piddle. Piddling also means trifling, or doing any thing in a small degree: perhaps from peddling.
  • Piece–A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. Hence the (Cambridge) toast, May we never have a Piece (peace) that will injure the constitution. Piece likewise means at Cambridge a close or spot of ground adjacent to any of the colleges, as Clare-hall Piece, &c. The spot of ground before King’s College formerly belonged to Clare-hall. While Clare Piece belonged to King’s, the master of Clare-hall proposed a swop, which being refused by the provost of King’s, he erected before their gates a temple of Cloacina. It will be unnecessary to say that his arguments were soon acceded to.
  • Pig–A police officer. A China street pig; a Bow-street officer. Floor the pig and bolt; knock down the officer and run away.
  • Pig–Sixpence, a sow’s baby. Pig-widgeon; a simpleton. To pig together; to lie or sleep together, two or more in a bed. Cold pig; a jocular punishment inflicted by the maid seryants, or other females of the house, on persons lying over long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes, and leaving them to pig or lie in the cold. To buy a pig in a poke; to purchase any thing without seeing. Pig’s eyes; small eyes. Pigsnyes; the same: a vulgar term of endearment to a woman. He can have boiled pig at home; a mark of being master of his own house: an allusion to a well known poem and story. Brandy is Latin for pig and goose; an apology for drinking a dram after either.
  • Pig-Headed–Obstinate.
  • Pig Running–A piece of game frequently practiced at fairs, wakes, &c. A large pig, whose tail is cut short, and both soaped and greased, being turned out, is hunted by the young men and boys, and becomes the property of him who can catch and hold him by the tail, above the height of his head.
  • Pigeon–A weak silly fellow easily imposed on. To pigeon; to cheat. To milk the pigeon; to attempt impossibilities, to be put to shifts for want of money. To fly a blue pigeon; to steal lead off a church.
  • Pigeons–Sharpers, who, during the drawing of the lottery, wait ready mounted near Guildhall, and, as soon as the first two or three numbers are drawn, which they receive from a confederate on a card, ride with them full speed to some distant insurance office, before fixed on, where there is another of the gang, commonly a decent looking woman, who takes care to be at the office before the hour of drawing: to her he secretly gives the number, which she insures for a considerable sum: thus biting the biter.
  • Pigeon’s Milk–Boys and novices are frequently sent on the first of April to buy pigeons milk.
  • To Pike–To run away. Pike off; run away.
  • Pilgrim’s Salve–A sirreverence, human excrement.
  • Pill, or Peele Garlick–Said originally to mean one whose skin or hair had fallen off from some disease, chiefly the venereal one; but now commonly used by persons speaking of themselves: as, there stood poor pill garlick: i.e. there stood I.
  • Pillaloo–The Irish cry or howl at funerals.
  • Pimp–A male procurer, or cock bawd; also a small faggot used about London for lighting fires, named from introducing the fire to the coals.
  • Pimp Whiskin–A top trader in pimping.
  • Pimple–The head.
  • Pin–In or to a merry pin; almost drunk: an allusion to a sort of tankard, formerly used in the north, having silver pegs or pins set at equal distances from the top to the bottom: by the rules of good fellowship, every person drinking out of one of these tankards, was to swallow the quantity contained between two pins; if he drank more or less, he was to continue drinking till he ended at a pin: by this means persons unaccustomed to measure their draughts were obliged to drink the whole tankard. Hence when a person was a little elevated with liquor, he was said to have drunk to a merry pin.
  • Pin Basket–The youngest child.
  • Pin Money–An allowance settled on a married woman for her pocket expences.
  • Pinch–At a pinch; on an exigency.
  • Pinch–To go into a tradesman’s shop under the pretence of purchasing rings or other light articles, and while examining them to shift some up the sleeve of the coat. Also to ask for change for a guinea, and when the silver is received, to change some of the good shillings for bad ones; then suddenly pretending to recollect that you had sufficient silver to pay the bill, ask for the guinea again, and return the change, by which means several bad shillings are passed.
  • To Pinch on the Parson’s Side–To defraud the parson of his tithe.
  • Pinchers–Rogues who, in changing money, by dexterity of hand frequently secrete two or three shillings out of the change of a guinea. This species of roguery is called the pinch, or pinching lay.
  • To Pink–To stab or wound with a small sword: probably derived from the holes formerly cut in both men and women’s clothes, called pinking. Pink of the fashion; the top of the mode. To pink and wink; frequently winking the eyes through a weakness in them.
  • Pinking-Dindee–A sweater or mohawk. Irish.
  • Pink Of The Ton–Also Pink of Fashion–The Term is generally applied only to males and refers to a man at the height of fashion–A dandy.
  • Pinkest Of The Pinks–A very fashionable man.
  • Pins–Legs. Queer pins; ill shapen legs.
  • Piper–A broken winded horse.
  • Piscinarians–A club or brotherhood, AD 1743.
  • Piss–He will piss when he can’t whistle; he will be hanged. He shall not piss my money against the wall; he shall not have my money to spend in liquor.
  • He who once a good name gets,
  • May piss a bed, and say he sweats.
  • Piss-Burned–Discoloured: commonly applied to a discoloured grey wig.
  • Piss Maker–A great drinker, one much given to liquor.
  • Piss Pot Hall–A house at Clapton, near Hackney, built by a potter chiefly out of the profits of chamber pots, in the bottom of which the portrait of Dr. Sacheverel was depicted.
  • Piss Prophet–A physician who judges of the diseases of his patients solely by the inspection of their urine.
  • Piss-Proud–Having a false erection. That old fellow thought he had an erection, but his—was only piss-proud; said of any old fellow who marries a young wife.
  • Pissing Down any One’s Back–Flattering him.
  • Pissing Pins and Needles–To have a gonorrhea.
  • Pit–A watch fob. He drew a rare thimble from the swell’s pit. He took a handsome watch from the gentleman’s fob.
  • Pit–To lay pit and boxes into one; an operation in midwifery or copulation, whereby the division between the anus and vagina is cut through, broken, and demolished: a simile borrowed from the playhouse, when, for the benefit of some favourite player, the pit and boxes are laid together. The pit is also the hole under the gallows, where poor rogues unable to pay the fees are buried.
  • Pitt’s Picture–A window stopt up on the inside, to save the tax imposed in that gentleman’s administration. Party Wit
  • Pit-a-Pat–The palpitation of the heart: as, my heart went pit-a-pat. Pintledy-pantledy; the same.
  • Pitch-Kettled–Stuck fast, confounded.
  • Pitcher–The miraculous pitcher, that holds water with the mouth downwards: a woman’s commodity. She has crack’d her pitcher or pipkin; she has lost her maidenhead.
  • Pitching the Gammon–Lying.
  • Pizzy Club–A society held, A. D, 1744, at the sign of the Tower, on Tower Hill: president, Don Pizzaro.
  • Plaister of Warm Guts–One warm belly’dapped to another; a receipt frequently prescribed for different disorders.
  • Plant–The place in the house of the fence where stolen goods are secreted. Any place where stolen goods are concealed.
  • To Plant–To lay, place, or hide. Plant your wids and stow them; be careful what you say, or let slip. Also to bury, as, he was planted by the parson.
  • Plant A Facer–To hit someone in the face.
  • Plate–Money, silver, prize. He is in for the plate; he has won the Keat, i.e. is infected with the venereal disorder: a simile drawn from hofse-racing. When the plate fleet comes in; when money comes to hand.
  • Platter-Faced–Broad-faced.
  • Play–To play booty; to play with an intention to lose. To play the whole game; to cheat. To play least in sight; to hide, or keep out of the way. To play the devil; to be guilty of some great irregularity or mismanagement.
  • Pluck–Courage. He wants pluck: he is a coward. Against the pluck; against the inclination. Pluck the Ribbon; ring the bell. To pluck a crow with one; to settle a dispute, to reprove one for some past transgression. To pluck a rose; an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden. To pluck also signifies to deny a degree to a candidate at one of the universities, on account of insufficiency. The three first books of Euclid, and as far as Quadratic Equations in Algebra, will save a man from being plucked. These unfortunate fellows are designated by many opprobrious appellations, such as the twelve apostles, the legion of honor, wise men of the East, &c.
  • Pluck To The Backbone–Brave.
  • Plug Tail–A man’s penis.
  • Plum–100,000 pounds, approximately $200 million dollars.
  • Plumb–An hundred thousand pounds.
  • Plume Yourself On Something–To be proud of it.
  • Plummy–It is all plummy; i.e. all is right, or as it ought to be.
  • Plump–Fat, full, fleshy. Plump in the pocket; full in the pocket. To plump; to strike, or shoot. I’ll give you a plump in the bread basket, or the victualling office: I’ll give you a blow in the stomach. Plump his peepers, or day-lights; give him a blow in the eyes. He pulled out his pops and plumped him; he drew out his pistols and shot him. A plumper; a single vote at an election. Plump also means directly, or exactly; as, it fell plump upon him: it fell directly upon him.
  • Plump Currant–I am not plump currant; I am out of sorts.
  • Plumper–Lie.
  • Plumpers–Contrivances said to be formerly worn by old maids, for filling out a pair of shrivelled cheeks.
  • Plyer–A crutch; also a trader.
  • Pocket–A flat, slitted pouch or bag worn beneath the dress, tied around the waist with tapes–Generally about 12″ or more long–They were accessed via a pocket slit in the side seam of a skirt–
  • Pockets To Let–Broke; without money. 
  • Pogy–Drunk.
  • Point–To stretch a point; to exceed some usual limit, to take a great stride. Breeches were usually tied up with points, a kind of short laces, formerly given away by the churchwardens at Whitsuntide, under the denomination of tags: by taking a great stride these were stretched.
  • Poisoned–Big with child: that wench is poisoned, see how her belly is swelled. Poison-pated: red-haired.
  • Poke–A blow with the fist: I’ll lend you a poke. A poke likewise means a sack: whence, to buy a pig in a poke, i.e. to buy any thing without seeing or properly examining it.
  • Poker–A sword. Fore pokers; aces and kings at cards. To burn your poker; to catch the venereal disease.
  • Pole–He is like a rope-dancer’s polo, lead at both ends; a saying of a stupid sluggish fellow.
  • Pollish–To polish the king’s iron with one’s eyebrows; to be in gaol, and look through the iron grated windows. To polish a bone; to eat a meal. Come and polish a bone with me; come and eat a dinner or supper with me.
  • Poll–The head, jolly nob, napper, or knowledge box; also a wig.
  • Polt–A blow. Lend him a polt in the muns; give him a knock in the face.
  • To Pommel–To beat: originally confined to beating with the hilt of a sword, the knob being, from its similarity to a small apple, called pomelle; in Spanish it is still called the apple of the sword. As the clenched fist likewise somewhat resembles an apple, perhaps that might occasion the term pommelling to be applied to fisty-cuffs.
  • Pomp–To save one’s pomp at whist, is to score five before the adversaries are up, or win the game: originally derived from pimp, which is Welsh for five; and should be, I have saved my pimp.
  • Pompaginis–Aqua pompaginis; pump water. See AQUA.
  • Pompkin–A man or woman of Boston in America: from, the number of pompkins raised and eaten by the people of that country. Pompkinshire; Boston and its dependencies.
  • Poney–Money. Post the poney; lay down the money.
  • Pon Rep–Polite exclamation.
  • Pontius Pilate–A pawnbroker. Pontius Pilate’s guards, the first regiment of foot, or Royal Scots: so intitled from their supposed great antiquity. Pontius Pilate’s counsellor; one who like him can say, Non invenio causam, I can find no cause. Also (Cambridge) a Mr. Shepherd of Trinity College; who disputing with a brother parson on the comparative rapidity with which they read the liturgy, offered to give him as far as Pontius Pilate in the Belief.
  • Pony–£25
  • Pope–A figure burned annually every fifth of November, in memory of the gunpowder plot, which is said to have been carried on by the papists.
  • Pope’s Nose–The rump of a turkey.
  • Pops–Pistols. Popshop: a pawnbroker’s shop. To pop; to pawn: also to shoot. I popped my tatler; I pawned my watch. I popt the cull; I shot the man. His means are two pops and a galloper; that is, he is a highwayman.
  • Poplers–Pottage. (Cant)
  • Pork–To cry pork; to give intelligence to the undertaker of a funeral; metaphor borrowed from the raven, whose note sounds like the word pork. Ravens are said to smell carrion at a distance.
  • Porker–A hog: also a Jew.
  • Porridge–Keep your breath to cool your porridge; i. e. held your tongue.
  • Porridge Island–An alley leading from St. Martin’s church-yard to Round-court, chiefly inhabited by cooks, who cut off ready-dressed meat of all sorts, and also sell soup.
  • Posey, or Poesy–A nosegay. I shall see you ride backwards up Holborn-hill, with a book in one hand, and a posey in t’other; i.e. I shall see you go to be hanged. Malefactors who piqued themselves on being properly equipped for that occasion, had always a nosegay to smell to, and a prayer book, although they could not read.
  • Posse Mobilitatis–The mob.
  • Post Chaise–The post chaise or traveling chariot was a small carriage pulled by two or four horses, and was owned or hired by those wishing to travel privately, that is not on a large public conveyance like a stage coach or mail coach–Hired post chaises were most often traveling chariots that had been discarded by gentlemen
  • Post Master General–The prime minister, who has the patronage of all posts and places.
  • Post Nointer–A house painter, who occasionally paints or anoints posts. Knight of the post; a false evidence, one ready to swear any thing for hire. From post to pillar; backwards and forwards.
  • Postilion of the Gospel–A parson who hurries over the service.
  • Pot–The pot calls the kettle black a-se; one rogue exclaims against another.
  • Pot–On the pot; i.e. at stool.
  • Pot Converts–Proselytes to the Romish church, made by the distribution of victuals and money.
  • Pot Hunter–One who hunts more tor the sake of the prey than the sport. Pot valiant; courageous from drink. Potwallopers: persons entitled to vote in certain boroughs by having boiled a pot there.
  • Potatoe Trap–The mouth. Shut your potatoe trap and give your tongue a holiday; i.e. be silent. Irish Wit.
  • Pothooks and Handeks–A scrawl, bad writing.
  • Pot-Wabblers–Persons entitled to vote for members of parliament in certain boroughs, from having boiled their pots therein. These boroughs are called pot-wabbling boroughs.
  • Poulain–A bubo. French.
  • Poulterer–A person that guts letters; i.e. opens them and secretes the money. The kiddey was topped for the poultry rig; the young fellow was hanged for secreting a letter and taking out the contents.
  • Pound–20 shillings, a screen, (approx $2000).
  • Pound–To beat. How the milling cove pounded the cull for being nuts on his blowen; how the boxer beat the fellow for taking liberties with his mistress.
  • Pound–A prison. See Lob’s Pound. Pounded; imprisoned. Shut up in the parson’s pound; married. Powder
  • Powder Monkey–A boy on board a ship of war, whose business is to fetch powder from the magazine.
  • Powdering Tub–The same as pickling tub. See Pickling Tub.
  • Prad Lay–Cutting bags from behind horses. (Cant)
  • Prad–A horse. The swell flashes a rum prad: the e gentleman sports a fine horse.
  • Prancer–A horse. Prancer’s nab.; a horse’s head, used as a seal to a counterfeit pass. At the sign of the prancer’s poll, i.e. the nag’s head.
  • Prate Roast–A talkative boy.
  • Prating Cheat–The tongue.
  • Pratts–Buttocks; also a tinder box. (Cant)
  • Prattle Broth–Tea. See Chatter Broth, Scandal Broth, &c.
  • Prattling Box–The pulpit.
  • Pray–She prays with her knees upwards; said of a woman much given to gallantry and intrigue. At her last prayers; saying of an old maid.
  • Preadamite Quacabites–This great and laudable society (as they termed themselves) held their grand chapter at the Coal-hole.
  • Prick–The virile member.
  • Prick-Eared–A prick-eared fellow; one whose ears are longer than his hair: an appellation frequently given to puritans, who considered long hair as the mark of the whore of Babylon.
  • Pricklouse–A taylor.
  • Priest-Craft–The art of awing the laity, managing their consciences, and diving into their pockets.
  • Priest-Linked–Married.
  • Priest-Ridden–Governed by a priest, or priests.
  • Prig–A thief, a cheat: also a conceited coxcomical fellow.
  • Prig Napper–A thief taker.
  • Priggers–Thieves in general. Priggers of prancers; horse stealers. Priggers of cacklers: robbers of hen-roosts.
  • Prigging–Riding; also lying with a woman.
  • Prigstar–A rival in love.
  • Prime–Bang up. Quite the thing. Excellent. Well done. She’s a prime piece; she is very skilful in the venereal act. Prime post. She’s a prime article.
  • Prime Articles–Women of easy virtue.
  • Prime Bit Of Blood–Fine piece of horseflesh–
  • Priminaky–I had like to be brought into a priminary; i.e. into trouble; from Premunire.
  • Prince Prig–A king of the gypsies; also the head thief or receiver general.
  • Princes–When the majesty of the people was a favourite terra in the House of Commons, a celebrated wit, seeing chimney sweepers dancing on a May-day, styled them the young princes.
  • Princod–A pincushion. Scotch—Also a round plump man or woman.
  • Princox–A pert, lively, forward fellow.
  • Princum Prancum–Mrs. Princum Prancum; a nice, precise, formal madam.
  • Prinking–Dressing over nicely: prinked up as if he came out of a bandbox, or fit to sit upon a cupboard’s head.
  • Print–All in print, quite neat or exact, set, screwed up. Quite in print; set in a formal manner.
  • Priscian–To break Priscian’s head; to write or speak false grammar. Priscian was a famous grammarian, who flourished at Constantinople in the year 525; and who was so devoted to his favourite study, that to speak false Latin in his company, was as disagreeable to him as to break his head.
  • Prittle Prattle–Insignificant talk: generally applied to women and children.
  • Prog–Provision. Rum prog; choice provision. To prog; to be on the hunt for provision: called in the military term to forage.
  • Props–Crutches.
  • Properly Shot In The Neck–Drunk–
  • Property–To make a property of any one; to make him a conveniency, tool, or cat’s paw; to use him as one’s own.
  • Proud–Desirous of copulation. A proud bitch; a bitch at heat, or desirous of a dog.
  • Provender–He from whom any money is taken on the highway: perhaps provider, or provider. (Cant)
  • Prophet–The prophet; the Cock at Temple Bar: so called, in 1788, by the bucks of the town of the inferior order.
  • Prunella–Mr. Prunella; a parson: parson’s gowns being frequently made of prunella.
  • To Pry–To examine minutely into a matter or business. A prying fellow; a man of impertinent curiosity, apt to peep and inquire into other men’s secrets.
  • Public Man–A bankrupt.
  • Public Ledger–A prostitute: because, like that paper, she is open to all parties.
  • Pucker–All in a pucker; in a dishabille. Also in a fright; as, she was in a terrible pucker.
  • Pucker Water–Water impregnated with alum, or other astringents, used by old experienced traders to counterfeit virginity.
  • Puddings–The guts: I’ll let out your puddings.
  • Pudding-Header Fellow–A stupid fellow, one whose brains are all in confusion.
  • Pudding-House–Stomach.
  • Pudding Sleeves–A parson.
  • Pudding Time–In good time, or at the beginning of a meal: pudding formerly making the first dish. To give the crows a pudding; to die. You must eat some cold pudding, to settle your love.
  • Puff, or Puffer–One who bids at auctions, not with an intent to buy, but only to raise the price of the lot; for which purpose many are hired by the proprietor of the goods on sale.
  • Puff Guts–A fat man.
  • Puffing–Bidding at an auction, as above; also praising any thing above its merits, from interested motives. The art of puffing is at present greatly practised, and essentially necessary in all trades, professions, and callings. To puff and blow; to be out of breath.
  • Pug–A Dutch pug; a kind of lap-dog, formerly much in vogue; also a general name for a monkey.
  • Pug Carpenteter–An inferior carpenter, one employed only in small jobs.
  • Pug Drink–Watered cyder.
  • Pugnosed, or Pugified–A person with a snub or turned up nose.
  • Pully Hawly–To have a game at pully hawly; to romp with women.
  • Pull–To be pulled; to be arrested by a police officer. To have a pull is to have an advantage; generally where a person has some superiority at a game of chance or skill.
  • Pump–A thin shoe. To pump; to endeavour to draw a secret from any one without his perceiving it. Your pump is good, but your sucker is dry; said by one to a person who is attempting to pump him. Pumping was also a punishment for bailiffs who attempted to act in privileged places, such as the Mint, Temple, &c. It is also a piece of discipline administered to a pickpocket caught in the fact, when there is no pond at hand. To pump ship; to make water, and sometimes to vomit. Sea Phrase.
  • Pump Room–The room at a watering place where one drank the curative mineral waters and gossiped–The most famous is in Bath.
  • Pump Water–He was christened in pump water; commonly said of a person that has a red face.
  • Punch–A liquor called by foreigners Contradiction, from its being composed of spirits to make it strong, water to make it weak, lemon juice to make it sour, and sugar to make it sweet. Punch is also the name of the prince of puppets, the chief wit and support of a puppet-show. To punch it, is a cant term for running away. Punchable; old passable money, AD 1695. A girl that is ripe for man is called a punchable wench. Cobler’s Punch. Urine with a cinder in it.
  • Punk–A whore; also a soldier’s trull. See Trull.
  • Puny–Weak. A puny child; a weak little child. A puny stomach; a weak stomach. Puny, or puisne judge; the last made judge.
  • Pupil Mongers–Persons at the universities who make it their business to instruct and superintend a number of pupils.
  • Puppy–An affected or conceited coxcomb.
  • Purblind–Dim-sighted.
  • Purl–Ale in which wormwood has been infused, or ale and bitters drunk warm.
  • Purl Royal–Canary wine; with a dash of tincture of wormwood.
  • Purse-Pinched–Have little money.
  • Purse Proud–One that is vain of his riches.
  • Pursenets–Goods taken up at thrice their value, by young spendthrifts, upon trust.
  • Purser’s Pump–A bassoon: from its likeness to a syphon, called a purser’s pump.
  • Pursy, or Pursive–Short-breathed, or foggy, from being over fat.
  • Pushing School–A fencing school; also a brothel.
  • Put–A country put; an ignorant awkward clown. To put upon any one; to attempt to impose on him, or to make him the but of the company.
  • Puzzle-Cause–A lawyer who has a confused understanding.
  • Puzzle-Text–An ignorant blundering parson.

Read Full Post »

Regency Research

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 O. Did you know that you would not be glad to get the Oil of Gladness? And that Old Pegg does not refer to anyone named Margaret?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-18-09-25.jpg 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.

  • O Be Joyful–I’ll make you sing O be joyful on the other side of your mouth; a threat, implying the party threatened will be made to cry. To sing O be easy; to appear contented when one has cause to complain, and dare not.
  • Oaf–A silly fellow.
  • Oafish–Simple.
  • Oak–A rich man, a man of good substance and credit. To sport oak; to shut the outward door of a student’s room at college.
  • An Oaken Towel–an oaken cudgel. To rub a man down with an oaken towel; to beat him.
  • Oats–He has sowed his wild oats; he is staid, or sober, having left off his wild tricks.
  • Oaths–The favourite oaths of the thieves of the present day are, “God strike me blind!” “I wish my bloody eyes may drop out if it is not true!” “So help me God!” “Bloody end to me!”
  • Oar–To put in one’s oar; to intermeddle, or give an opinion unasked: as, To be sure, you must put in your oar!
  • Obstropulous–Vulgar misnomer of Obstreperous: as, I was going my rounds, and found this here gemman very obstropulous, whereof I comprehended him as an auspicious parson.
  • Occupy–To occupy a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her.
  • Oddfellows–A convivial society; the introduction to the most noble grand, arrayed in royal robes, is well worth seeing at the price of becoming a member.
  • Odds Plut and Her Nails–A Welch oath, frequently mentioned in a jocular manner by persons, it is hoped, ignorant of its meaning; which is, By God’s blood, and the nails with which he was nailed to the cross.
  • Odd-Come-Shortly’s–I’ll do it one of these odd-come-shortly’s; I will do it some time or another.
  • Office–To give the office; to give information, or make signs to the officers to take a thief.
  • Ogles–Eyes. Rum ogles; fine eyes.
  • Oil of Barley, or Barley Broth–Strong beer.
  • Oil of Gladness–I will anoint you with the oil of gladness; ironically spoken for, I will beat you.
  • Oil of Stirrip–A dose the cobler gives his wife whenever she is obstropulous.
  • Oi Poaaoi–(Cambridge.) The many; the multitude; who take degrees without being entitled for an honor. All that is Required, are three books of Euclid, and as far as Quadratic Equation’s in Algebra. See Plucked.
  • Old–Ugly. (Cant)
  • Old Dog at It–Expert, accustomed.
  • Old Hand–Knowing or expert in any business.
  • Old Harry–A composition used by vintners to adulterate their wines; also the nick-name for the devil.
  • Old Ding–See Hat-Old Hat.
  • Old Doss–Bridewell.
  • Old Mr. Gory–A piece of gold.
  • Old Nick–The Devil: from Neken, the evil spirit of the north.
  • Old One–The Devil. Likewise an expression of quizzical familiarity, as “how d’ye do, Old One?”
  • Old Pegg–Poor Yorkshire cheese, made of skimmed milk.
  • Old Poger–The Devil.
  • Old Stager–One accustomed to business, one who knows mankind.
  • Old Toast–A brisk old fellow. (Cant)
  • Old Tom–Gin.
  • Oliver’s Scull–A chamber pot.
  • Olli Compolli–The name of one of the principal rogues of the canting crew. (Cant)
  • Omnium Gatherum–The whole together: jocular imitation of law Latin.
  • On Dit–French phrase meaning, “It is said” or “One says”–In Regency slang, it meant gossip, eg “the latest on dit.”
  • One in Ten–A parson: an allusion to his tithes.
  • One of Us, or One of My Cousins–A woman of the town, a harlot.
  • Onion–A seal. Onion hunters, a class of young thieves who are on the look out for gentlemen who wear their seals suspended on a ribbon, which they cut, and thus secure the seals or other trinkets suspended to the watch.
  • On The Cut–On a drinking binge.
  • On The Shelf–Beyond marriageable age; no longer wanted–Used in reference to a spinster, never a man who, one assumes was always wanted, regardless of age.
  • Open Arse–A medlar. See Medlar.
  • Optime–The senior and junior optimes are the second and last classes of Cambridge honors conferred on taking a degree. That of wranglers is the first. The last junior optime is called the Wooden Spoon.
  • Organ–A pipe. Will you cock your organ? will you smoke your pipe?
  • Original–A lady with a unique style.
  • Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy–Somebody explained these terms by saying, the first was a man who had a doxy of his own, the second a person who made use of the doxy of another man.
  • Oschives–Bone-handled knives. (Cant)
  • Ostler–Oatstealer.
  • Ottomy–The vulgar word for a skeleton.
  • Ottomised–To be ottomised; to be dissected. You’ll be scragged, ottomised, and grin in a glass case: you’ll be hanged, anatomised, and your skeleton kept in a glass case at Surgeons’ Hall.
  • Oven–A great mouth; the old woman would never have looked for her daughter in the oven, had she not been there herself.
  • Overseer–A man standing in the pillory, is, from his elevated situation, said to be made an overseer.
  • Out at Heels, or Out at Elbows–In declining circumstances.
  • Outrun the Constable–A man who has lived above his means, or income, is said to have outrun the constable.
  • Outs–A gentleman of three outs. See Gentleman.
  • Owl–To catch the; a trick practised upon ignorant country boobies, who are decoyed into a barn under pretence of catching an owl, where, after divers preliminaries, the joke ends in their having a pail of water poured upon their heads.
  • Owl in an Ivy Bush–He looks like an owl in an ivy bush; frequently said of a person with a large frizzled wig, or a woman whose hair is dressed a-la-blowze.
  • Owlers–Those who smuggle wool over to France.
  • Ox House–He must go through the ox house to bed; a saying of an old fellow who marries a young girl.
  • Oyes–Corruption of oyez, proclaimed by the crier of all courts of justice.
  • Oyster–A gob of thick phlegm, spit by a consumptive man; in law Latin, Unum Viridum Gobbum

Read Full Post »

Regency Research

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 N. Did you know that a toy shop was a Nicknackatory or do you know what a Nocky Boy is?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-17-07-43.jpg 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.

  • Nab, or Nab Cheat–A hat. Penthouse nab; a large hat.
  • To Nab–To seize, or catch unawares. To nab the teaze; to be privately whipped. To nab the stoop; to stand in the pillory. To nab the rust; a jockey term for a horse that becomes restive. To nab the snow: to steal linen left out to bleach or dry. (Cant)
  • To Nab Girder, or Nob Girder–A bridle.
  • Nabob–A very rich man, especially one who acquired his fortune in India. From the Hindustani word “nawab,” Term for a ruler in the Mogul Empire.
  • Nack–To have a nack; to be ready at any thing, to have a turn-for it.
  • Nacky–Ingenious.
  • Nailed–Secured, fixed. He offered me a decus, and I nailed him; he offered me a crown, and I struck or fixed him.
  • Nankeen–A corruption of “Nanking.” A yellowish brown sturdy cotton fabric used for men’s work breeches or children’s play clothes.
  • Nanny House–A brothel.
  • To Nap–To cheat at dice by securing one chance. Also to catch the venereal disease. You’ve napt it; you are infected.
  • Napping–To take any one napping; i.e. to come upon him unexpectedly, to find him asleep: as, He caught him napping, as Morse caught his mare.
  • Napper–The head; also a cheat or thief.
  • Napper of Naps–A sheep stealer. (Cant)
  • Nappy Ale–Strong ale.
  • Nask, or Naskin–A prison or bridewell. The new nask; Clerkenwell bridewell. Tothil-fields nask; the bridewell at Tothil-fields. (Cant)
  • Nation–An abbreviation of damnation: a vulgar term used in Kent, Sussex, and the adjacent counties, for very. Nation good; very good. A nation long way; a very long way.
  • Natty Lads–Young thieves or pickpockets. (Cant)
  • Natural–A mistress, a child; also an idiot. A natural son or daughter; a love or merry-begotten child, a bastard.
  • Navy Office–The Fleet prison. Commander of the Fleet; the warden of the Fleet prison.
  • Nay Word–A bye-word, proverb.
  • Nazakene Foretop–The foretop of a wig made in imitation of Christ’s head of hair, as represented by the painters and sculptors.
  • Nazy–Drunken. Nazy cove or mort; a drunken rogue or harlot. Nazy nabs; drunken coxcombs.
  • Neb, or Nib–The bill of a bird, and the slit of a pen. Figuratively, the face and mouth of a woman; as, She holds up her neb: she holds up her mouth to be kissed.
  • Neck-Or-Nothing Young Blood Of The Fancy–A very sporty young nobleman.
  • Neck Stamper–The boy who collects the pots belonging to an alehouse, sent out with beer to private houses.
  • Neck Verse–Formerly the persons claiming the benefit of clergy were obliged to read a verse in a Latin manuscript psalter: this saving them from the gallows, was termed their neck verse: it was the first verse of the fifty first psalm, Miserere mei.
  • Neck Weed–Hemp.
  • Needle Point–A sharper.
  • Negligee–A woman’s undressed gown, Vulgarly termed a neggledigee.
  • Negroe–A black-a-moor: figuratively used for a slave. I’ll be no man’s negro; I will be no man’s slave.
  • Negroe’s Heads–Brown leaves delivered to the ships in ordinary.
  • Nescio–He sports a Nescio; he pretends not to understand any thing. After the senate house examination for degrees, the students proceed to the schools, to be questioned by the proctor. According to custom immemorial the answers Must be Nescio. The following is a translated specimen:
  • Question–What is your name?—Answer–I do not know.  
  • Question–What is the name of this university?— Answer–I do not know.   
  • Question–Who was your father?–Answer–I do not know.    
  • This last is probably the only true answer of the three!
  • Nettled–Teized, provoked, out of temper. He or she has pissed on a nettle; said of one who is peevish or out of temper.
  • Never A Feather To Fly With–To have no money.
  • New College Students–Golden scholars, silver bachelors, and leaden masters.
  • New Drop–The scaffold used at Newgate for hanging of criminals; which dropping down, leaves them suspended. By this improvement, the use of that vulgar vehicle, a cart, is entirely left off.
  • New Light–One of the new light; a methodist.
  • Newgate Bird–A thief or sharper, frequently caged in Newgate.
  • Newgate Prison–The main prison in London, attached to the Old Bailey, where public executions took place.
  • Newgate Solicitor–A petty fogging and roguish attorney, who attends the gaols to assist villains in evading justice.
  • Newman’s Lift–The gallows.
  • Newman’s Tea Gardens–Newgate.
  • Newman’s Hotel–Newgate.
  • To Nick–To win at dice, to hit the mark just in the nick of time, or at the critical moment.
  • Nick–Old nick; the Devil.
  • Nickname–A name given in ridicule or contempt: from the French nom de niqne. Niqne is a movement of the head to mark a contempt for any person or thing.
  • Nick Ninny–A simpleton.
  • Kickin, Nikey or Nizey–A soft simple fellow; also a diminutive of Isaac.
  • Nicknacks–Toys, baubles, or curiosities.
  • Nicknackatory–A toyshop.
  • Nickumpoop, or Nincumpoop–A foolish fellow; also one who never saw his wife’s ****.
  • Niffynaffy Fellow–A trifler.
  • Nig–The clippings of money. Nigging; clipping. Nigler, a clipper. (Cant)
  • Niggling–Cutting awkwardly, trifling; also accompanying with a woman.
  • Night Magistrate–A constable.
  • Nightingale–A soldier who, as the term is, sings out at the halberts–It is a point of honour in some regiments, among the grenadiers, never to cry out, become nightingales, whilst under the discipline of the cat of nine tails; to avoid which, they chew a bullet.
  • Nightman–One whose business it is to empty necessary houses in London, which is always done in the night; the operation is called a wedding. See Edding.
  • Nigmenog–A very silly fellow.
  • To Nim–To steal or pilfer: from the German nemen, to take. Nim a togeman; steal a cloak.
  • Nimgimmer–A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the venereal disease.
  • Nine Lives–Cats are said to have nine lives, and women ten cats lives.
  • Ninny, or Ninnyhammer–A simpleton.
  • Nip–A cheat. Bung nipper; a cutpurse.
  • Nip Cheese–A nick name for the purser of a ship: from those gentlemen being supposed sometimes to nip, or diminish, the allowance of the seamen, in that and every other article. It is also applied to stingy persons in general.
  • Nipperkin–A small measure.
  • Nipps–The sheers used in clipping money.
  • Nit Squeeger, i.e. Squeezer–A hair-dresser.
  • Nix–Nothing.
  • No Catchy no Havy–If I am not caught, I cannot be hurt. Negro saying.
  • Nob–A king. A man of rank.
  • Nob–The head.
  • Nobthatcher–A peruke-maker.
  • Nock–The breech; from Nock, a notch.
  • Nocky Boy–A dull simple fellow.
  • Nod–He is gone to the land of nod; he is asleep.
  • Noddle–The head.
  • Noddy–A simpleton or fool. Also a kind of low cart, with a seat before it for the driver, used in and about Dublin, in the manner of a hackney coach: the fare is just half that of a coach, for the same distance; so that for sixpence one may have a set down, as it is called, of a mile and half, and frequently a tumble down into the bargain: it is called a noddy from the nutation of its head. Knave noddy; the old-fashioned name for the knave of trumps.
  • Noisy Dog Racket–Stealing brass knockers from doors.
  • Nokes–A ninny, or fool. John-a-Nokes and Tom-a-Stiles; two honest peaceable gentlemen, repeatedly set together by the ears by lawyers of different denominations: two fictitious names formerly used in law proceedings, but now very seldom, having for several years past been supplanted by two other honest peaceable gentlemen, namely, John Doe and Richard Roe.
  • Noll–Old Noll; Oliver Cromwell.
  • Non-Con–A nonconformist, presbyterian, or any other dissenter.
  • None-Such–One that is unequalled: frequently applied ironically. There is none such as he.
  • Nonsense–Melting butter in a wig.
  • Noozed–Married, hanged.
  • Nope–A blow: as, I took him a nope on the costard.
  • Norfolk Capon–A red herring.
  • Norfolk Dumpling–A nick name, or term of jocular reproach to a Norfolk man; dumplings being a favourite food in that county.
  • North Allertons–Spurs; that place, like Rippon, being famous for making them.
  • Northumberland–Lord Northumberland’s arms; a black eye: so called in the last century.
  • Norway Neckcloth–The pillory, usually made of Norway fir.
  • Nose–As plain as the nose on your face; evidently to be seen. He is led by the nose; he is governed. To follow one’s nose; to go strait forward. To put one’s nose out of joint; to rival one in the favour of any person. To make a bridge of any one’s nose; to pass by him in drinking. To nose a stink; to smell it. He cut off his nose to be revenged of his face; said of one who, to be revenged on his neighbour, has materially injured himself.
  • Nose–A man who informs or turns king’s evidence.
  • To Nose–To give evidence. To inform. His pall nosed and he was twisted for a crack; his confederate turned king’s evidence, and he was hanged for burglary.
  • To Nose–To bully.
  • Nose Bag–A bag fastened to the horse’s head, in which the soldiers of the cavalry put the oats given to their horses: whence the saying, I see the hose bag in his face; i.e. he has been a private man, or rode private.
  • Nose Gent–A nun.
  • Nostrum–A medicine prepared by particular persons only, a quack medicine.
  • Not A Mean Bit Yet–Still attractive.
  • Notch–The private parts of a woman.
  • Note–He changed his note; he told another sort of a story.
  • Not Give A Tinker’s Damn–Not care.
  • Notoriously Picksome–Fussy.
  • Nous-Box–The head.
  • Nozzle–The nose of a man or woman.
  • Nub–The neck; also coition.
  • Nubbing–Hanging. Nubbing cheat: the gallows. Nubbing cove; the hangman. Nubbing ken; the sessions house.
  • Nug–An endearing word: as, My dear nug; my dear love.
  • Nugging Dress–An out-of-the-way old-fashioned dress, or rather a loose kind of dress, denoting a courtesan.
  • Nugging-House–A brothel.
  • To Null–To beat: as, He nulled him heartily.
  • Numbers–To consult the book of numbers: a term used in the House of Commons, when, instead of answering or confuting a pressing argument, the minister calls for a division, i.e. puts the matter to the vote.
  • Numbscull–A stupid fellow.
  • Numms–A sham collar, to be worn over a dirty shirt.
  • Nunnery–A bawdy house.
  • To Nurse–To cheat: as, they nursed him out of it. An estate in the hands of trustees, for the payment of bdebts, is said to be at nurse.
  • Nuts–It was nuts for them; i.e. it was very agreeable to them.
  • Nuts–Fond; pleased. She’s nuts upon her cull; she’s pleased with her cully. The cove’s nutting the blowen; the man is trying to please the girl.
  • Nutcrackers–The pillory: as, The cull peeped through the nutcrackers.
  • Nutmegs–Testicles.
  • Nyp, or Nip–A half pint, a nip of ale: whence the nipperkin, a small vessel.
  • Nyp Shop–The Peacock in Gray’s Inn Lane, where Burton ale is sold in nyps.
  • Nypper–A cut-purse: so called by one Wotton, who in the year 1585 kept an academy for the education and perfection of pickpockets and cut-purses: his school was near Billingsgate, London. As in the dress of ancient times many people wore their purses at their girdles, cutting them was a branch of the light-fingered art, which is now lost, though the name remains. Maitland, from Stow, gives the following account of this Wotton: This man was a gentleman born, and sometime a merchant of good credit, but fallen by time into decay: he kept an alehouse near Smart’s Key, near Billingsgate, afterwards for some misdemeanor put down. He reared up a new trade of life, and in the same house he procured all the cut-purses about the city, to repair to his house; there was a school-house set up to learn young boys to cut purses: two devices were hung up; one was a pocket, and another was a purse; the pocket had in it certain counters, and was hung about with hawks bells, and over the top did hang a little sacring bell. The purse had silver in it; and he that could take out a counter, without noise of any of the bells, was adjudged a judicial Nypper: according to their terms of art, a Foyster was a pick-pocket; a Nypper was a pick purse, or cut-purse.

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Regency Research

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 M. Did you know that your Marrowbones are your Knees? Or that Moon Men are Gypsies?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-16-09-42.jpg 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.

  • Maccaroni–An Italian paste made of flour and eggs. Also a fop: which name arose from a club, called the Maccaroni Club, instituted by some of the most dressy travelled gentlemen about town, who led the fashions; whence a man foppishly dressed, was supposed a member of that club, and by contraction styled a Maccaroni.
  • Mace Cove–A swindler, a sharper, a cheat. On the mace; to live by swindling.
  • Machines–Mrs. Phillips’s ware. See Cundum.
  • Mackerel–A bawd: from the French maquerel. Mackerel-backed; long-backed.
  • Mad Tom, or Tom of Bedlam–otherwise an Abram Man. A rogue that counterfeits madness. (Cant)
  • Madam–A kept madam; a kept mistress.
  • Madam Ran–A whore. (Cant)
  • Made–Stolen. (Cant)
  • Madge–The private parts of a woman.
  • Madge Culls–Sodomites. (Cant)
  • Magg–A halfpenny.
  • Maggot Boiler–A tallow-chandler.
  • Maggot In One’s Head–A strange notion or whim.
  • Maggotty–Whimsical, capricious.
  • Magnum Bonum–A bottle containing two quarts of wine. See Scotch Pint.
  • Mahometan Gruel–Coffee: because formerly used chiefly by the Turks.
  • Maiden Sessions–A sessions where none of the prisoners are capitally convicted.
  • Mail Coach–Coaches with regular routes and schedules that carried both mail and passengers around the country.
  • Make–A halfpenny. (Cant)
  • Make A Cake Of Oneself–Make a fool of oneself–Possibly from “half-baked.”
  • Make A May Game Of Someone–Fool someone.
  • Make A Mull Of Something–To make a mess of it.
  • Make An Offer–Propose marriage.
  • Make Weight–A small candle: a term applied to a little slender man.
  • Making Indentures–Drinking.
  • Malingeror–A military term for one who, under pretence of sickness, evades his duty.
  • Malkin, or Maulkin–A general name for a cat; also a parcel of rags fastened to the end of a stick, to clean an oven; also a figure set up in a garden to scare the birds; likewise an awkward woman. The cove’s so scaly, he’d spice a malkin of his jazey: the fellow is so mean, that he would rob a scare-crow of his old wig.
  • Malkintrash–One in a dismal garb.
  • Malmsey Nose–A red pimpled snout, rich in carbuncles and rubies.
  • Man of the Town–A rake, a debauchee.
  • Man of the Turg–A horse racer, or jockey.
  • Manoeuvring the Apostles–Robbing Peter to pay Paul, i.e. borrowing of one man to pay another.
  • Man Trap–A woman’s commodity.
  • Man of the World–A knowing man.
  • Man–(Cambridge.) Any undergraduate from fifteen to thirty. As a man of Emanuel—a young member of Emanuel.
  • Mantle–A short cloak.
  • Mantua-Maker–A dressmaker–A mantua is an old type of gown, no longer worn in Regency times.
  • Manufacture–Liquors prepared from materials of English growth.
  • Mare’s Nest–He has found a mare’s nest, and is laughing at the eggs; said of one who laughs without any apparent cause.
  • Margery Prater–A hen. (Cant)
  • Marine Officer–An empty bottle: marine officers being held useless by the seamen. Sea Wit.
  • Marplot–A spoil sport.
  • Marriage Mart–A Term used for the London Season, when young ladies would Seek mates.
  • Marriage Music–The squalling and crying of children.
  • Married–Persons chained or handcuffed together, in order to be conveyed to gaol, or on board the lighters for transportation, are in the cant language said to be married together.
  • Marrowbones–The knees. To bring any one down on his marrow bones; to make him beg pardon on his knees: some derive this from Mary’s bones, i.e. the bones bent in honour of the Virgin Mary; but this seems rather far-fetched. Marrow bones and cleavers; principal instruments in the band of rough music: these are generally performed on by butchers, on marriages, elections, riding skimmington, and other public or joyous occasions.
  • Martinet–A military term for a strict disciplinarian: from the name of a French general, famous for restoring military discipline to the French army. He first disciplined the French infantry, and regulated their method of encampment: he was killed at the siege of Doesbourg in the year 1672.
  • Mason’s Maund–A sham sore above the elbow, to counterfeit a broken arm by a fall from a scaffold.
  • Master of the Mint–A gardener.
  • Master of the Rolls–A baker.
  • Master of the Wardrobe–One who pawns his clothes to purchase liquor.
  • Matrimonial Peace-Maker–The sugar-stick, or arbor vitae.
  • Maudlin Drunk–Crying drunk: perhaps from Mary Magdalene, called Maudlin, who is always painted in tears.
  • Mauled–Extremely drunk, or soundly beaten.
  • Maundering Broth–Scolding.
  • Maunding–Asking or begging. (Cant)
  • Mawkes–A vulgar slattern.
  • Mawkish–Sentimental.
  • Mawley–A hand. Tip us your mawley; shake hands. with me. Fam the mawley; shake hands.
  • Maw-Wallop–A filthy composition, sufficient to provoke vomiting.
  • Max–Gin.
  • May Bees–May bees don’t fly all the year long; an answer to any one who prefaces a proposition with, It may be.
  • Mayfair–The most desirable residential neighborhood in Regency London–Its unofficial boundaries are Picadilly on the south, Oxford on the north, Park Lane on the west, and Regent Street on the east–It includes Berkeley Square, Grosvenor Square, and Hanover Square.
  • Mealy-Mouthed–Over-modest or backward in speech.
  • Medlar–A fruit, vulgarly called an open a-se; of which it is more truly than delicately said, that it is never ripe till it is as rotten as a turd, and then it is not worth a fart.
  • Meg–Half Penny, (approx $4)
  • Mellow–Almost drunk.
  • Melting Moments–A fat man and woman in the amorous congress.
  • To Melt–To spend. Will you melt a borde? will you spend a shilling? The cull melted a couple of decusses upon us; the gentleman spent a couple of crowns upon us. (Cant)
  • Member Mug–A chamber pot.
  • Men of Straw–Hired bail, so called from having straw stuck in their shoes to distinguish them.
  • Men of Kent–Men born east of the river Medway, who are said to have met the Conqueror in a body, each carrying a green bough in his hand, the whole appearing like a moving wood; and thereby obtaining a confirmation of their ancient privileges. The inhabitants of Kent are divided into Kentish men and men of Kent. Also a society held at the Fountain Tavern, Bartholomew Lane, A.D. 1743.
  • Merkin–Counterfeit hair for women’s privy parts. See Bailey’s Dict.
  • Merry Andrew, or Mr. Merryman–The jack pudding, jester, or zany of a mountebank, usually dressed in a party-coloured coat.
  • Merry Arse Christian–A whore.
  • Merry-Begotten–A bastard.
  • Mess John–A Scotch presbyterian teacher or parson.
  • Messmate–One who eats at the same mess, companion or comrade.
  • Mettle–The semen. To fetch mettle; the act of self pollution. Mettle is also figuratively used for courage.
  • Mettlesome–Bold, courageous.
  • Michael–Hip, Michael, your head’s on fire. See Hyp.
  • Midshipman’s Watch and Chain–A sheep’s heart and pluck.
  • Miff–i.e–To get into a miff or bad mood.
  • Milch Cow–One who is easily tricked out of his property; a term used by gaolers, for prisoners who have money and bleed freely.
  • Milk and Water–Both ends of the busk.
  • To Milk the Pigeon–To endeavour at impossibilities.
  • Milling Cove–A boxer. How the milling cove served the cull out; how the boxer beat the fellow.
  • Mill–A chisel.
  • To Mill–To rob; also to break, beat out, or kill. I’ll mill your glaze; I’ll beat out your eye. To mill a bleating cheat; to kill a sheep. To mill a ken; to rob a house. To mill doll; to beat hemp in bridewell. (Cant)
  • Mill–A boxing match–The Term can also be used to refer to a less formal bout, i.e–a barroom brawl or fist-fight.
  • Mill Lay–To force open the doors of houses in order to rob them.
  • Miller–A murderer.
  • Mine Arse on a Bandnox–An answer to the offer of any thing inadequate to the purpose for which it is wanted, just as a bandbox would be if used for a seat.
  • Mine Uncle’s–A pawnbroker’s shop; also a necessary house. Carried to my uncle’s; pawned. New-married men are also said to go to their uncle’s, when they leave their wives soon after the honey moon.
  • Minikin–A little man or woman: also the smallest sort of pin.
  • Minor Clergy–Young chimney sweepers.
  • Mint–Gold. A mint of money; common phrase for a large sum.
  • Mischief–A man loaded with mischief, i.e. a man with his wife on his back.
  • Mish–A shirt, smock, or sheet. (Cant)
  • Mish Topper–A coat, or petticoat.
  • Miss–A miss or kept mistress; a harlot.
  • Missish–Squeamish, prim, prudish, ie behavior befitting a young miss.
  • Miss Laycock–The monosyllable.
  • Mite–A nick name for a cheesemonger: from the small insect of that name found in cheese.
  • Mite–1/8th of a penny, (approx $1).
  • Mitts–Also mittens–Gloves with open fingers and thumbs–Though gloves were removed during meals, mitts could be worn for informal meals like tea.
  • Mix Metal–A silversmith.
  • Moabites–Bailiffs, or Philistines.
  • Mob; or Mab–A wench, or harlot.
  • Mobility–The mob: a sort of opposite to nobility.
  • Modiste–A dressmaker–From the French “mode” meaning style.
  • Mohair–A man in the civil line, a townsman, or tradesman: a military term, from the mohair buttons worn by persons of those descriptions, or any others not in the army, the buttons of military men being always of metal: this is generally used as a term of contempt, meaning a bourgeois, tradesman, or mechanic.
  • Moiety–Half, but vulgarly used to signify a share or portion: as, He will come in for a small moiety.
  • Moll–A whore.
  • Moll Peatly’s Gig–A rogering bout.
  • Moll Thompson’s Mark–i.e. empty: as, Take away this bottle, it has Moll Thompson’s mark upon it.
  • Molly–A Miss Molly; an effeminate fellow, a sodomite.
  • Monday–Saint Monday. See Saint.
  • Money–Mite 1/8th of a penny, Farthing 1/4th of a penny, Ha’penny 1/2 of a penny, Penny, Tuppence 2 pennies, Thrupence 3 pence, Groat 4 pence, Tanner 6 pence, Shilling 12 pence, Florin 2 shillings, Half-crown 2 1/2 shillings, Crown 5 shillings, Pound 20 shillings, Guinea 1 pound 1 shilling
  • Money–A girl’s private parts, commonly applied to little children: as, Take care, Miss, or you will shew your money.
  • Money Droppers–Cheats who drop money, which they pretend to find just before some country lad; and by way of giving him a share of their good luck, entice him into a public house, where they and their confederates cheat or rob him of what money he has about him.
  • Mongrel–A hanger on among cheats, a spunger; also a child whose father and mother are of different countries.
  • Monks and Friars–Terms used by printers: monks are sheets where the letters are blotted, or printed too black; friars, those letters where the ink has failed touching the type, which are therefore white or faint.
  • Monkey–To suck the monkey; to suck or draw wine, or any other liquor, privately out of a cask, by means of a straw, or small tube. Monkey’s allowance; more kicks than halfpence. Who put that monkey on horseback without tying his legs? vulgar wit on a bad horseman.
  • Monkey–£500
  • Monosyllable–A woman’s commodity.
  • Mooncurser–A link-boy: link-boys are said to curse the moon, because it renders their assistance unnecessary; these gentry frequently, under colour of lighting passengers over kennels, or through dark passages, assist in robbing them. (Cant)
  • Moon-Eyed Hen–A squinting wench.
  • Moon Men–Gypsies.
  • Moon Rakers–Wiltshire men: because it is said that some men of that county, seeing the reflection of the moon in a pond, endeavoured to pull it out with a rake.
  • Moonshine–A matter or mouthful of moonshine; a trifle, nothing. The white brandy smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, and the gin in the north of Yorkshire, are also called moonshine.
  • Mop–A kind of annual fair in the west of England, where farmers usually hire their servants.
  • To Mop Up–To drink up. To empty a glass or pot.
  • Moped–Stupid, melancholy for want of society.
  • Mopsey–A dowdy, or homely woman.
  • Mopsqueezer–A maid servant, particularly a housemaid.
  • Mopusses–Money.
  • More Hair Than Wit–Not very smart.
  • Morglag–A brown bill, or kind of halbert, formerly carried by watchmen; corruption of More, great or broad, and Glave, blade.
  • Morning Drop–The gallows. He napped the king’s pardon and escaped the morning drop; he was pardoned, and was not hanged.
  • Morris–Come, morris off; dance off, or get you gone. allusion to morris, i.e. Morisco, or Moorish dancing.
  • Mort–A woman or wench; also a yeoman’s daughter. To be taken all-a mort; to be confounded, surprised, or motionless through fear.
  • Moses–To stand Moses: a man is said to stand Moses when he has another man’s bastard child fathered upon him, and he is obliged by the parish to maintain it.
  • Moss–A cant term for lead, because both are found on the tops of buildings.
  • Mossy Face–The mother of all saints.
  • Mot–A girl, or wench. See Mort.
  • Mother, or the Mother–A bawd. Mother abbess: the same. Mother midnight; a midwife. Mother in law’s bit; a small piece, mothers in law being supposed not apt to overload the stomachs of their husband’s children.
  • Mother of all Saints–The Monosyllable.
  • Mother of all Souls–The same. Irish.
  • Mother of St. Patrick–The same. Irish.
  • Mother of the Maids–A bawd.
  • Mouchets–Small patches worn by ladies: from the French word mouches.
  • Moveables–Rings, watches, or any toys of value.
  • Mouse–To speak like a mouse in a cheese; i.e. faintly or indistinctly.
  • Mousetrap–The parson’s mousetrap; the state of matrimony.
  • Mouth–A noisy fellow. Mouth half cocked; one gaping and staring at every thing he sees. To make any one laugh on the wrong, or t’other side of his mouth; to make him cry or grieve.
  • Mouth–A silly fellow. A dupe. To stand mouth; i.e. to be duped.
  • To Mow–A Scotch word for the act of copulation.
  • Mow Heater–A drover: from their frequent sleeping on hay mows. (Cant)
  • Mower–A cow.
  • Muck–Money; also dung.
  • Muckworm–A miser.
  • Muckinder–A child’s handkerchief tied to the side.
  • Mud–A fool, or thick-sculled fellow; also, among printers the same as dung among journeymen taylors. See Dung.
  • Mud Lark–A fellow who goes about by the water side picking up coals, nails, or other articles in the mud. Also a duck.
  • Muff–The private parts of a woman. To the well wearing of your muff, mort; to the happy consummation of your marriage, girl; a health.
  • Muffling Cheat–A napkin.
  • Muggletonians–The sect or disciples of Lodowick Muggleton.
  • Mulligrubs–Sick of the mulligrubs with eating chopped hay: low-spirited, having an imaginary sickness.
  • Mum–An interjection directing silence. Mum for that; I shall be silent as to that. As mute as Mumchance, who was hanged for saying nothing; a friendly reproach to any one who seems low-spirited and silent.
  • Mumchance–An ancient game like hazard, played with dice: probably so named from the silence observed in playing at it.
  • Mum Glass–The monument erected on Fish-street Hill, London, in memory of the great fire in 1666.
  • Mumble a Sparrow–A cruel sport practised at wakes and fairs, in the following manner: A cock sparrow whose wings are clipped, is put into the crown of a hat; a man having his arms tied behind him, attempts to bite off the sparrow’s head, but is generally obliged to desist, by the many pecks and pinches he receives from the enraged bird.
  • Mummer–The mouth.
  • Mumpers–Originally beggars of the genteel kind, but since used for beggars in general.
  • Mumpers Hall–An alehouse where beggars are harboured.
  • Mundungus–Bad or rank tobacco: from mondongo, a Spanish word signifying tripes, or the uncleaned entrails of a beast, full of filth.
  • Mung–To beg.
  • Muns–The face, or rather the mouth: from the German word Mund, the mouth. Toute his muns; look at his face.
  • Munster Plums–Potatoes. Irish.
  • Munster Heifer–An Irish woman. A woman with thick legs is said to be like a Munster heifer; i.e. beef to the heels.
  • Murder–He looked like God’s revenge against murder; he looked angrily.
  • Murphies–Potatoes.
  • Mushroom–A person or family suddenly raised to riches and eminence: an allusion to that fungus, which starts up in a night.
  • Music–The watch-word among highwaymen, signifying the person is a friend, and must pass unmolested. Music is also an Irish term, in tossing up, to express the harp side, or reverse, of a farthing or halfpenny, opposed to the head.
  • Mute–An undertaker’s servant, who stands at the door of a person lying in state: so named from being supposed mute with grief.
  • Mutton-Headed–Stupid.
  • Mutton Monger–A man addicted to wenching.
  • Mutton–In her mutton, i.e. having carnal knowledge of a woman.
  • Muzzle–A beard.
  • Muzzler–A violent blow on the mouth. The milling cove tipped the cull a muzzler; the boxer gave the fellow a blow on the mouth.
  • Mynt–See Mint.
  • Myrmidons–The constable’s assistants, watchmen.

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Regency Research

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 L. Did you know that a Light House is a man with a fiery red nose? Or that Leg Shackled is to be married?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-15-09-10.jpg 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.

  • Laced Mutton–A prostitute.
  • Lacing–Beating. I’ll lace your jacket handsomely.
  • Ladder–To go up the ladder to rest; to be hanged.
  • Lady–A crooked or hump-backed woman.
  • Lady of Easy Virtue–A woman of the town, an impure, a prostitute.
  • Lady-Bird–Woman of easy virtue. Light or lewd women.
  • Lady Dacre’s Wine–Gin.
  • Lag–A man transported. The cove was lagged for a drag. The man was transported for stealing something out of a waggon.
  • Lag Fever–A term of ridicule applied to men who being under sentence of transportation, pretend illness, to avoid being sent from gaol to the hulks.
  • To Lag–To drop behind, to keep back. Lag last; the last of a company.
  • Lage–Water. (Cant)
  • Lage of Duds–A buck of linen.
  • Laid on the Shelf, or Laid ip in Lavender–Pawned.
  • To Lamb, or Lambaste–To beat. Lamb pye; a beating: from lambo.
  • Lamb’s Wool–Apples roasted and put into strong ale.
  • Lambskin Men–The judges: from their robes lined and bordered with ermine.
  • Lamp–An eye. The cove has a queer lamp. The man has a blind or squinting eye.
  • Land–How lies the land? How stands the reckoning? Who has any land in Appleby? a question asked the man at whose door the glass stands long, or who does not ciculate it in due time.
  • Land A Facer–Punch in the face.
  • Landau–A four-wheeled carriage with two inside seats facing each other and a top made in two parts that could be folded back–Named after Landau, the German town where it was first made.
  • Land Lopers, or Land Lubbers–Vagabonds lurking about the country who subsist by pilfering.
  • Land Pirates–Highwaymen.
  • Lank Sleeve–The empty sleeve of a one armed man. A fellow with a lank sleeve; a man who has lost an arm.
  • Lansprisado–One who has only two-pence in his pocket. Also a lance, or deputy corporal; that is, one doing the duty without the pay of a corporal. Formerly a lancier, or horseman, who being dismounted by the death of his horse, served in the foot, by the title of lansprisado, or lancepesato, a broken lance.
  • Lanthorn-Jawed–Thin-visaged: from their cheeksbeing almost transparent. Or else, lenten jawed; i.e. having the jaws of one emaciated by a too rigid observation of Lent. Dark lanthorn; a servant or agent at court, who receives a bribe for his principal or master.
  • Lap–Butter-milk or whey. (Cant)
  • Lappets–Two long strips of material, most often lace, that hang down from the top of the head–They can be extensions of a cap band–Lappets were a required element of female court dress–
  • Lark–A boat.
  • Lark–A piece of merriment. People playing together jocosely.
  • Larry Dugan’s Eye Water–Blacking: Larry Dugan was a famous shoe-black at Dublin.
  • Latch–Let in.
  • Lathy–Thin, slender. A lathy wench; a girl almost as slender as a lath.
  • Latitat–A nick-name for an attorney; from the name of a writ.
  • Lavender–Laid up in lavender; pawned.
  • Laudanum–A tincture of opium used as a painkiller and sedative–A few drops were taken in a glass of wine or other beverage–It was widely used for a variety of ailments, by both adults and children.
  • Laugh–To laugh on the wrong side of the mouth; to cry. I’ll make him laugh on the wrong (or t’other) side of his mouth.
  • Launch–The delivery, or labour, of a pregnant woman; a crying out or groaning.
  • Law–To give law to a hare; a sporting term, signifying to give the animal a chance of escaping, by not setting on the dogs till the hare is at some distance; it is also more figuratively used for giving any one a chance of succeeding in a scheme or project.
  • Lawful Blanket–A wife.
  • Lawks–Vulgar exclamation.
  • Lay–Enterprize, pursuit, or attempt: to be sick of the lay. It also means a hazard or chance: he stands a queer lay; i.e. he is in danger. (Cant)
  • Laystall–A dunghill about London, on which the soil brought from necessary houses is emptied; or, in more technical terms, where the old gold collected at weddings by the Tom t—d man, is stored.
  • Lazy–As lazy as Ludman’s dog, who leaned against the wall to bark. As lazy as the tinker, who laid down his budget to fart.
  • Lazy Man’s Load–Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time.
  • Lazybones–An instrument like a pair of tongs, for old or very fat people to take any thing from the ground without stooping.
  • Leading Strings–Strips of fabric on children’s clothes to hold onto them and help them walk–“Since I was in leading strings” = “Since I was a child.”
  • Leaf–To go off with the fall of the leaf; to be hanged: criminals in Dublin being turned off from the outside of the prison by the falling of a board, propped up, and moving on a hinge, like the leaf of a table. Irish term.
  • To Leak–To make water.
  • Leaky–Apt to blab; one who cannot keep a secret is said to be leaky.
  • Leaping Over the Sword–An ancient ceremonial said to constitute a military marriage. A sword being laid down on the ground, the parties to be married joined hands, when the corporal or sergeant of the company repeated these words:

    • Leap rogue, and jump whore,
  • And then you are married for evermore.
  • Whereupon the happy couple jumped hand in hand over the sword, the drum beating a ruffle; and the parties were ever after considered as man and wife.
  • Least in Sight–To play least in sight; to hide, keep out of the way, or make one’s self scarce.
  • Leather–To lose leather; to be galled with riding on horseback, or, as the Scotch express it, to be saddle sick. To leather also meant to beat, perhaps originally with a strap: I’ll leather you to your heart’s content. Leather-headed; stupid. Leathern conveniency; term used by quakers for a stage-coach.
  • Leech–Doctor.
  • Leery–On one’s guard. See Perry.
  • Left-Handed Wife–A concubine; an allusion to an ancient German custom, according to which, when a man married his concubine, or a woman greatly his inferior, he gave her his left hand.
  • Leg–To make a leg; to bow. To give leg-bail and land security; to run away. To fight at the leg; to take unfair advantages: it being held unfair by back-sword players to strike at the leg. To break a leg; a woman who has had a bastard, is said to have broken a leg.
  • Leggers–Sham leggers; cheats who pretend to sell smuggled goods, but in reality only deal in old shop-keepers or damaged goods.
  • Leg-Shackled–Married.
  • Lenten Fare–Spare diet.
  • Letch–A whim of the amorous kind, out of the common way.
  • Levite–A priest or parson.
  • To Lib–To lie together. (Cant)
  • Libbege–A bed. (Cant)
  • Libben–A private dwelling-house. (Cant)
  • Libken–A house to lie in. (Cant)
  • To Lick–To beat; also to wash, or to paint slightly over. I’ll give you a good lick o’ the chops; I’ll give you a good stroke or blow on the face. Jack tumbled into a cow t—d, and nastied his best clothes, for which his father stept up, and licked him neatly.—I’ll lick you! the dovetail to which is, If you lick me all over, you won’t miss—.
  • Lickspittle–A parasite, or talebearer.
  • Lift–To give one a lift; to assist. A good hand at a dead lift; a good hand upon an emergency. To lift one’s hand to one’s head; to drink to excess, or to drink drams. To lift or raise one’s elbow; the same.
  • Lift–See Shoplifter.
  • Lifter–A crutch.
  • Lig–A bed. See Lib.
  • Light Bob–A soldier of the light infantry company.
  • Light-Fingered–Thievish, apt to pilfer.
  • Light-Heeled–Swift in running. A light-heeled wench; one who is apt, by the flying up of her heels, to fall flat on her back, a willing wench.
  • Light House–A man with a red fiery nose.
  • Light O’ Love–Mistress.
  • Light-Skirts–Women of easy virtue.
  • Light Troops–Lice; the light troops are in full march; the lice are crawling about.
  • Lightmans–The day. (Cant)
  • Lightning–Gin. A flash of lightning; a glass of gin.
  • Likeness–A phrase used by thieves when the officers or turnkeys are examining their countenance. As the traps are taking our likeness; the officers are attentively observing us.
  • Liliputian–A diminutive man or woman: from Gulliver’s Travels, written by Dean Swift, where an imaginary kingdom of dwarfs of that name is described.
  • Lily White–A chimney-sweeper.
  • Lily Shallow–(Whip Slang) A white driving hat.
  • Limbs–Duke of limbs; a tall awkward fellow.
  • Limb of the Law–An inferior or pettyfogging attorney.
  • Limbo–A prison, confinement.
  • To Line–A term for the act of coition between dog and bitch.
  • Line of the Old Author–A dram of brandy.
  • Line–To get a man into a line, i.e. to divert his attention by a ridiculous or absurd story. To humbug.
  • Lingo–Language. An outlandish lingo; a foreign tongue. The parlezvous lingo; the French language.
  • Linen Armourers–Taylors.
  • Linen Draper–A fabric merchant–
  • Lion–To tip the lion; to squeeze the nose of the party tipped, flat to his face with the thumb. To shew the lions and tombs; to point out the particular curiosities of any place, to act the ciceroni: an allusion to Westminster Abbey, and the Tower, where the tombs and lions are shewn. A lion is also a name given by the gownsmen of Oxford to an inhabitant or visitor. It is a standing joke among the city wits to send boys and country folks, on the first of April, to the Tower-ditch, to see the lions washed.
  • Liquor–To liquor one’s boots; to drink before a journey: among Roman Catholics, to administer the extreme unction.
  • Little Barbary–Wapping.
  • Little Breeches–A familiar appellation used to a little boy.
  • Little Clergyman–A young chimney-sweeper.
  • Little Ease–A small dark cell in Guildhall, London, where disorderly apprentices are confined by the city chamberlain: it is called Little Ease from its being so low that a lad cannot stand upright in it.
  • Little Season–A smaller version of the Season, when London society attended a variety of entertainments–The Little Season took place from September to mid-November–See also Season.
  • Little Snakesman–A little boy who gets into a house through the sink-hole, and then opens the door for his accomplices: he is so called, from writhing and twisting like a snake, in order to work himself through the narrow passage.
  • Live Lumber–A term used by sailors, to signify all landsmen on board their ships.
  • Live Stock–Lice or fleas.
  • Loaf–To be in bad loaf, to be in a disagreeable situation, or in trouble.
  • Lob–A till in a tradesman’s shop. To frisk a lob; to rob a till. See Flash Panney.
  • Lob–Going on the lob; going into a shop to get change for gold, and secreting some of the change.
  • Lob’s Pound–A prison. Dr. Grey, in his notes on Hudibras, explains it to allude to one Doctor Lob, a dissenting preacher, who used to hold forth when conventicles were prohibited, and had made himself a retreat by means of a trap door at the bottom of his pulpit. Once being pursued by the officers of justice, they followed him through divers subterraneous passages, till they got into a dark cell, from whence they could not find their way out, but calling to some of their companions, swore they had got into Lob’s Pound.
  • Lobcock–A large relaxed penis: also a dull inanimate fellow.
  • Lobkin–A house to lie in: also a lodging.
  • Loblolley Boy–A nick name for the surgeon’s servant on board a man of war, sometimes for the surgeon himself: from the water gruel prescribed to the sick, which is called loblolley.
  • Lobonian Society–A society which met at Lob Hall, at the King and Queen, Norton Falgate, by order of Lob the great.
  • Lobscouse–A dish much eaten at sea, composed of salt beef, biscuit and onions, well peppered, and stewed together.
  • Lobster–A nick name for a soldier, from the colour of his clothes. To boil one’s lobster, for a churchman to become a soldier: lobsters, which are of a bluish black, being made red by boiling. I will not make a lobster kettle of my ****, a reply frequently made by the nymphs of the Point at Portsmouth, when requested by a soldier to grant him a favour.
  • Lock–A scheme, a mode. I must fight that lock; I must try that scheme.
  • Lock–Character. He stood a queer lock; he bore but an indifferent character. A lock is also a buyer of stolen goods, as well as the receptacle for them.
  • Lock Hospital–An hospital for venereal patients.
  • Lock Up House–A spunging house; a public house kept by sheriff’s officers, to which they convey the persons they have arrested, where they practise every species of imposition and extortion with impunity. Also houses kept by agents or crimps, who enlist, or rather trepan, men to serve the East India or African company as soldiers.
  • Lockeram-Jawed–Thin-faced, or lanthorn-jawed. See Lanthron Jawed.
  • Locksmith’s Daughter–A key.
  • Loggerhead–A blockhead, or stupid fellow. We three loggerheads be: a sentence frequently written under two heads, and the reader by repeating it makes himself the third. A loggerhead is also a double-headed, or bar shot of iron. To go to loggerheads; to fall to fighting.
  • Loll–Mother’s loll; a favourite child, the mother’s darling,
  • Loll Tongue–He has been playing a game at loll tongue; he has been salivated.
  • Lollipops–Sweet lozenges purchased by children.
  • To Lollop–To lean with one’s elbows on a table.
  • Lollpoop–A lazy, idle drone.
  • Lombard Fever–Sick of the lombard fever; i.e. of the idles.
  • Long One–A hare; a term used by poachers.
  • Long–Great. A long price; a great price.
  • Long Gallery–Throwing, or rather trundling, the dice the whole length of the board.
  • Long Meg–A jeering name for a very tall woman: from one famous in story, called Long Meg of Westminster, who was a notorious woman from the time of Henry VIII about whom a number of ballads and stories were written.
  • Long Shanks–A long-legged person.
  • Long Stomach–A voracious appetite.
  • Long Tongued–Loquacious, not able to keep a secret. He is as long-tongued as Granny: Granny was an idiot who could lick her own eye. See Granny.
  • Long-Einded–A long-winded parson; one who preached long, tedious sermons. A long-winded paymaster; one who takes long credit.
  • Loo–For the good of the loo; for the benefit of the company or community. A card game in which players who fail to take a trick pay forfeits into a pool.
  • Looby–An awkward, ignorant fellow.
  • Looking as if one Could Not Help It–Looking like a simpleton, or as if one could not say boh! to a goose.
  • Looking-Glass–A chamber pot, jordan, or member mug.
  • Loon, or Lout–A country bumkin, or clown.
  • Loonslate–Thirteen pence halfpenny.
  • Loophole–An opening, or means of escape. To find a loophole in an act of parliament; i.e. a method of evading it.
  • Loose Fish–An unreliable sort.
  • Lop-Sided–Uneven, having one side larger or heavier than the other: boys’ paper kites are often said to be lop-sided.
  • To Lope–To leap, to run away. He loped down the dancers; he ran down stairs.
  • Lord–A crooked or hump-backed man. These unhappy people afford great scope for vulgar raillery; such as, ‘Did you come straight from home? if so, you have got confoundedly bent by the way.’ ‘Don’t abuse the gemman,’ adds a by-stander, ‘he has been grossly insulted already; don’t you see his back’s up?’ Or someone asks him if the show is behind; ‘because I see,’ adds he, ‘you have the drum at your back.’ Another piece of vulgar wit is let loose on a deformed person: If met by a party of soldiers on their march, one of them observes that that gentleman is on his march too, for he has got his knapsack at his back. It is said in the British Apollo, that the title of lord was first given to deformed persons in the reign of Richard III. from several persons labouring under that misfortune being created peers by him; but it is more probably derived from the Greek word [Greek: lordos], crooked.
  • Kouse–A gentleman’s companion. He will never louse a grey head of his own; he will never live to be old.
  • Love Begotten Child–A bastard.
  • Lounge–A loitering place, or gossiping shop.
  • Louse Bag–A black bag worn to the hair or wig.
  • Louse House–The round house, cage, or any other place of confinement.
  • Louse Ladder–A stitch fallen in a stocking.
  • Louse Land–Scotland.
  • Louse Trap–A small toothed comb.
  • Lout–A clumsy stupid fellow.
  • Lowing Rig–Stealing oxen or cows.
  • Low Pad–A footpad.
  • Low Tide, or Low Water–When there is no money in a man’s pocket.
  • Lowre–Money. (Cant)
  • Lubber–An awkward fellow: a name given by sailors to landsmen.
  • Lick, or Good Luck–To tread in a surreverence, to be bewrayed: an allusion to the proverb, Shitten luck is good luck.
  • Lud–Polite exclamation.
  • Lud’s Bulwark–Ludgate prison.
  • Lugs–Ears or wattles. See Wattles.
  • Lullaby Cheat–An infant. (Cant)
  • Lullies–Wet linen. (Cant)
  • Lully Triggers–Thieves who steal wet linen. (Cant)
  • Lumb–Too much.
  • Lumber–Live lumber; soldiers or passengers on board a ship are so called by the sailors.
  • Lumber Troop–A club or society of citizens of London.
  • Lumber House–A house appropriated by thieves for the reception of their stolen property.
  • To Lump–To beat; also to include a number of articles under one head.
  • To Lump the Lighter–To be transported.
  • Lumpers–Persons who contract to unload ships; also thieves who lurk about wharfs to pilfer goods from ships, lighters, &c.
  • Lumpimg–Great. A lumping penny worth; a great quantity for the money, a bargain. He has’got a lumping penny-worth; frequently said of a man who marries a fat woman.
  • Lun–Harlequin.
  • Lurch–To be left in the lurch; to be abandoned by one’s confederates or party, to be left in a scrape.
  • Lurched–Those who lose a game of whist, without scoring five, are said to be lurched.
  • Lurcher–A lurcher of the law; a bum bailiff, or his setter.
  • Lurries–Money, watches, rings, or other moveablcs.
  • Lush–Strong beer.
  • To Lush–To drink.
  • Lushey–Drunk. The rolling kiddeys hud a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk.
  • Lye–Chamber lye; urine.

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Regency History

Often in my research I keep needing to find who was leading the government and do this through every book. I thought that having the list handy would be good, and then turning it into a research webpage even better. Here is the list. After I post a few more Timeline years and write some more, I will work on the web page with notes about each PM.

The last PM I am doing of the Regency Era (which we define as from the first Madness of George III to the Coronation of Victoria) is Robert Peel, and I am hosting a page devoted to him and then all our period PMs at Regency Assembly Press. That page is here.

Prime Ministers of England

William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 04/02/1783
12/19/1783
Whig
William Pitt the Younger 12/19/1783
03/14/1801
Tory
Henry Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth, “The Doctor” 03/14/1801
05/10/1804
Tory
William Pitt the Younger 05/10/1804
01/23/1806
Tory
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville 02/11/1806
03/31/1807
Whig
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 03/31/1807
10/04/1809
Tory*
Spencer Perceval 10/04/1809
05/11/1812
Tory
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool 06/08/1812
04/09/1827
Tory
George Canning 04/10/1827
08/08/1827
Tory
Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich 08/31/1827
01/21/1828
Tory
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 01/22/1828
11/16/1830
Tory
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey 11/22/1830
07/16/1834
Whig
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 07/16/1834
11/14/1834
Whig
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 11/14/1834
12/10/1834
Tory
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet 12/10/1834
04/18/1835
Conservative
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 04/18/1835
08/30/1841
Whig
Tory* (Tory government, PM a Whig)

Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet

“Orange Peel”

Born 02/15/1788 Bury, Lancashire

Died 07/02/1850 London

Major Acts:

His major acts were when he served his second term in the Victorian Era, the Factory Act and Importation Act.

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Robert Peel’s period in government – as prime minister and in other offices – was a milestone for social reform. Landmark legislation cut working hours for women and children, created cheap and regular rail services, and reorganized the policing of London, changing society in radical ways.

The other achievement for which he is known – repealing the Corn Laws in 1846 – split his party, but earned him lasting popular fame as a humanitarian gesture.

Robert Peel was the son of a wealthy Lancashire cotton mill owner who was also Member of Parliament for Tamworth. It was a new-money background which some in his party would later use to goad him.

Peel’s father was extremely ambitious for him, grooming him for politics and buying him his Commons seat. It is claimed that he told his son ‘Bob, you dog, if you do not become prime minister some day I’ll disinherit you’.

He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he excelled, gaining a double first.

Just one year later, in 1809, Peel was elected MP for Cashel, Tipperary, though he was to represent many constituencies during his career, including that of Oxford University.

Considered an arch-unionist, and at that time opposed to Catholic emancipation, he was nicknamed “Orange Peel”.

In 1822 he became Home Secretary after voluntarily resigning his position in Ireland in 1817. During his time, he introduced a number of important reforms of British criminal law.

His changes to the penal code resulted in around 100 fewer crimes being punished by death. He also reformed the gaol system with payment for jailers and education for the inmates. He retained the post of Home Secretary under Wellington in 1828.

Shocking turnaround

During this time Peel was persuaded of the case for Catholic emancipation after twenty years of opposition to it, and pushed the Catholic Emancipation Bill through Parliament, arguing that civil strife was a greater danger. His turnabout on the matter shocked his supporters.

As Home Secretary Peel also created the Metropolitan Police in 1829, leading to the nicknames of “Bobby” (which still endures) and “Peeler” for London’s police officers. On Earl Grey’s resignation in 1834, Peel refused King William IV’s invitation to form a government.

However, he did accept a second request the following year. He lost no time in calling fresh elections, in the hope of winning a large majority.

But the majority Peel won in the election was small, and a number of defeats in Parliament led to his resignation in April.

Peel became PM for the second time in June 1841. It was a time of economic strife, with many out of work and Britain’s international trade suffering. Peel, though never an ideological free trader, took steps to liberalise trade, which created the conditions for a strong recovery.

Peel also passed some groundbreaking legislation.

For example, the Mines Act of 1842 forbade the employment of women and children underground and The Factory Act 1844 limited working hours for children and women in factories.

Failed harvests

In 1845, Peel faced the defining challenge of his career. Failed harvests led much of the population to call for the repeal of the 30-year-old Corn Laws that forbade the import of cheap foreign grain. The crisis was triggered by the Irish potato famine. Unable to send sufficient food to Ireland to stem the famine, Peel eventually decided the Corn Laws must be repealed out of humanity.

But land-owners saw the attempt as an attack on them, and fiercely protested in the House of Commons. Peel’s Conservative Party would not support him, and the debate lasted for five months.

Eventually, in June 1846, the Corn Laws were repealed. However, on the very same day Peel was defeated on another bill, and resigned for the final time.

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“There seem to me to be very few facts, at least ascertainable facts, in politics.”

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First Ministry Under William IV

12/10/1834                        04/18/1835

OFFICE
NAME
TERM
First Lord of the Treasury,

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Leader of the House of Commons
Sir Robert Peel, Bt
December 34–April 1835
Lord Chancellor
The Lord Lyndhurst
December 34–April 1835
Lord President of the Council
The Earl of Rosslyn
December 34–April 1835
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Wharncliffe
December 34–April 1835
Home Secretary
Henry Goulburn
December 34–April 1835
Foreign Secretary

Leader of the House of Lords

The Duke of Wellington
December 34–April 1835
Secretary of State for War & the Colonies
The Earl of Aberdeen
December 34–April 1835
First Lord of the Admiralty
The Earl de Grey
December 34–April 1835
Master-General of the Ordnance
Sir George Murray
December 34–April 1835
President of the Board of Trade

Master of the Mint

Alexander Baring
December 34–April 1835
President of the Board of Control
The Earl of Ellenborough
December 34–April 1835
Paymaster of the Forces
Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bt
December 34–April 1835
Secretary at War
John Charles Herries
December 34–April 1835

Peel’s Second Ministry was during the time of Victoria.

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Family

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        Peel married Julia, youngest daughter of General Sir John Floyd, 1st Baronet, in 1820. They had five sons and two daughters. Four of his sons gained distinction in their own right.

        His eldest son Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Baronet, served as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1861 to 1865. His second son Sir Frederick Peel was a politician and railway commissioner. His third son Sir William Peel was a naval commander and recipient of the Victoria Cross. His fifth son Arthur Wellesley Peel was Speaker of the House of Commons and created Viscount Peel in 1895.

        His daughter Julia married the 6th Earl of Jersey. Julia, Lady Peel, died in 1859. Some of his direct descendants now reside in South Africa, the Australian states of Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, and in various parts of the United States and Canada.

The Writing Life

My current writing project, a Fantasy, the third part of my trilogy on the son of Duke. It is the third in what I started when I left college. I finished the second part about 2 years ago, and so now I will wrap it up and reedit it all. It is tentatively titles, Crown in Jeopardy, the third book in the Born to Grace tale.

It opens with our hero setting up a trap for the enemies.

Chapter 2: Cynwal’s Folly (Conclusion)

Caradoc swung again and let the tip of his sword fall to the level where the man’s neck was. He extended his arm enough so that three inches of blade crossed across the man. It was enough to cut past any defenses and draw blood. His throat separated. He was dead and had not known it, even as the hand that used to grip his shield rose to clasp itself about his torn and bloodied neck. With his shield, Caradoc extended his arm fast into the man who was not concentrating on the fight. It made him lose his balance, and the enemy fell then to the ground, his horse free, scurried away from the battle.

Then, as if he did not have enough to worry about with a battle all around him, he felt a fire lance sizzle by his left shoulder. Another man had been riding towards him to attack. That man was blown out of his saddle by the fire lance. Clearly one of the Magus, and most likely William, was being helpful. Two of the bodyguards that served under Jamus took place in front of Caradoc. And then more men were charging them. He and those with him, were intentionally targets for Cynwal to rally against. Caradoc wanted the enemy Clanrex to send as many men to attack as he could.

It would allow the real mission of Avram and General Frederick the best chance to succeed.

The attackers were increasing there assault. “Back lord,”

“Please Caradoc, behind us.” More of his men were circling near to protect him.

Cynwal and his men were forcing their way closer. And a few fire lances, when there seemed to be a clear shot, came forth. “Very well, I shall move back a few paces.” Caradoc said, but he was not sure that anyone heard him. It was quite noisy.

“MacLaughlin! I’ll kill you!” he heard a shout and knew that was Cynwal. The man had three others between them, but he led from the front of his men. Just as Caradoc had led when he chased Hyfaidd. When Hyfaidd had taken Clarisse.

“Come Clanrex. Come forth and kill me. Or I shall see you dead! I have already killed your murderous fool of a son. Do you think I would not kill the imbecile of a father!” Caradoc shouted. He wished he had William or another Magus invoking a spell to make his words heard above the din.

“I will kill you!” the Clanrex shouted.

Caradoc just stood in his stirrups. “I. Killed. Hyfaidd!” That last must have heard for more than fifty feet for heads turned his way. Men had to have heard. “MacLaughlin!” he shouted and the men near took up the answering cry.

And then when it was repeated again, thousands once more shouted it. That did not sit well with the Clanrex who tried to get to Caradoc

Damn, he thought. His guards and soldiers were not going to let the Clanrex through, and he was fighting very competently. Soon Caradoc knew that the men the Clanrex battles would fall. Most were not as good as the Clanrex, or of himself.

There!

There was a moment that he could spur his horse and charge straight at the man.

His men did not see it, but he could do so if it came again. Caradoc looked to see Jamus, only to find that his chief bodyguard was busy with the men of Cynwal.

“I shall kill,” Cynwall was shouting as he traded blows with men of Caradoc’s guard. Then Caradoc saw the break he needed and spurred his horse, bringing his sword around to the right and falling down to the rear side of his horse using his wrist to get momentum. He was attempting to bring his sword in a large circle, like a windmill. As he neared Cynwal he wanted the sword to be snapping up quickly and then pass over the head of his own horse.

He had practiced such a move countless times. For he had been riding even longer than he had been using a sword, and once he was allowed to use a sword as a squire, he had practiced all forms of combat from the saddle, as well as upon his feet on the ground. The enemy had trouble seeing where the sword was coming from when a rider held it below and to the backside of a horse.

They might guess, but Caradoc also used his shield to hide his intentions as well. How quickly he would snap his wrist up and over was the critical part of the attack. And in this fight, as all were different, how well distracted Cynwal was by anger and the other men that faced him were also important. Caradoc had to contend with wedging his horse between one of the guardsmen who traded blows with Cynwal and the Clanrex. Another of his guardsmen was on Cynwal’s other side.

“Robert, the right!” he called and hoped Robert understood to move his horse a foot or two. The horse would when he sensed another rider approach, but should Robert move as well, then it would be better for Caradoc’s attack. Robert would give him the room to finish the maneuver with the sword. That was to be crucial.

Cynwal had men though as well trying to support the attack. More men at this part of the field then Caradoc. Men who would become, he hoped and expected, disheartened if the saw the Clanrex fall. And the Clanrex had thrown most precautions from him when he sought to attack Caradoc forcefully.

Passion did not have much place on the battlefield. It was detrimental. You lost focus as anger clouded your mind. It caused mistakes. Caradoc knew all this, and was sure that Cynwal knew it as well.

Yet the man was blinded by his desire to kill Caradoc. And as Caradoc closed he forget that there was man on his own right. Jamus, was not in the mood to allow Caradoc to risk his life either.

So as Caradoc came within range of the Clanrex, that man rose in his saddle to place his shield towards Caradoc and defend against the sword that Caradoc was swinging. Cynwal also moved his sword trying to deflect a swing of Jamus, the Clanrex trying to move his sight between the two men, and still worried for the other bodyguard of Caradoc’s was close as well. Robert had tried to hook the man’s shield with his own, which would give Caradoc a better chance to hit him.

But Jamus was the one who got to take advantage of all that was happening. He had not swung at Cynwal, but thrust, the point of his blade finding the links of chainmail below the breastplate the Clanrex wore. The sharp point and edge separated the links of the chain as Jamus jabbed with as much force as he surely could muster. That was what Caradoc would do if he had such an opportunity.

Not that his own attack was a diversion. He guided his hand and by extension his sword, with all the momentum that the swing would bring. He aimed to crest over the Clanrex’s shield, which Robert had jostled lower. With the speed and weight of the sword that he was swinging, Caradoc knew that he would cause damage against the Clanrex’s head. That was Caradoc’s intention.

Jamus though scored well with his jab into the guts of the Clanrex. Cynwal let out a howl even before Caradoc’s sword began to reach where the Clanrex had his head. Though once the man responded to the deadly pain of Jamus’ thrust, his time was finished. Caradoc’s blade his the helmet of the man, lower than he had expected and still dragged through the swing, to slash into the front of the helmet but trended to the lower right side of his neck. An inch or more cutting into the neck and severing the veins there.

One of which carried blood to the brain. The Clanrex took a few seconds to die and fall from his saddle, but he was dead the moment that Caradoc’s blade had severed the vein. He was dead the moment Robert had pulled his shield away to give Caradoc better access. Cynwal was dead the moment he had Jamus’ sword thrust into his guts and cut apart his stomach and intestines.

Cynwal was dead when he allowed the mere presence of Caradoc upon the battlefield to disorient himself and lose sight of what he should concentrate on in a fight. He allowed vengeance to rule him. Not the actions of a commander, or clanrex.

His nearest men saw the death unfold and some were overwrought, while others found renewed zeal to continue the fight. Caradoc, not needing Jamus to tell him, fell back to the protection of his guards. He might, Caradoc suspected, not take another swing, but with those who wanted revenge for the Clanrex’s death, he had to be vigilant. The danger might even have increased because now the enemy fought totally offensively.

When they had a clanrex to protect, they were fighting a defensive battle to protect the man. Little good did that do.

Another man did break trough the ring of guards and Caradoc quickly brought his shield up. But he needn’t have worried. A fire lance flashed out from the camp walls and the man was incinerated, pretty much. Erupting in flames all over caused all men to scream. He had yet to see a man hit by a fire lance and the pain it brought to not be phased by it. No man could withstand such heat.

The incursion towards the enemy that Caradoc had led may have been the smallest of the groups he had sent forth from the camp, and had attracted the greatest number of the enemy, but it was also the one group that had the most Magus and magic protecting it. The enemy should have realized that the reason they had done so poorly, from the very beginning of Hyfaidds taking of Clarisse months before, was that they had a disadvantage with magic.

Especially once Miriam and William had destroyed the minds of several of the Magus amongst those of Powys. They may have been near equals to begin, but by the end of the first day, Northmarch had more than three times the power of Powys, and as the fighting continued, things continued in Northmarch’s favor. Now, William and the scouts also, felt that Powys could muster less than a handful of full Magus. Less than five. If even two were here with the Clanrex, the Magus that William had brought kept them from casting any spells that damaged the men of Northmarch.

Guildmaster Cairn had not said that any man or woman now who was employed by one of the traitorous nobles who had started these terrible wars in the north, were proscribed. He had made it known that he, and those of the Guild of Northmarch, would very much think long and hard about such Magus’ and their future affiliation with the guild when next those Magus needed support of the guild. Archmagus Dripennis and Indulf were said to be looking to start their own Guild, or wrest control from Cairn.

Caradoc noticed, then that Avram had brought his troops out and around and now were harrying the back lines that Caradoc faced. They were going to crush what remained of Cynwal’s personal command. Turning in his saddle, he could see where General Frederick had his men. They were taking prisoners, and those who still fought on the other side of the camp, the enemy was losing terribly.

They had not expected so many to have been snuck about their lands. They had not suspected that another advantage to having more Magus was that one could do so.

“You are a clan chieftain?” Caradoc said to one of the leaders left of the Powys army. Two thousand wounded or dead amongst them. One of which was the Clanrex. Caradoc stood over the body of Cynwal, while across from him knelt all the leaders of what remained of the army of their enemy.

“Yes, MacLaughlin.” The man did not want to parlay. He had little choice.

“This is the law. Not a choice. Not a negotiation. This is how it will be. All Chieftains will stand forfeit until all blood of Cynwal is dead. I think that is three cousins and one uncle. If the women are barren, then they may go forth freely. If they have a child in their belly, we shall wait, and if a male child the babe shall be killed. It seems the only way to satisfy this blood feud.

“Then, your children, you chiefs, shall be held as hostage to ensure your good faith. I think you will give it. But I am unsure. You shall not gather your men ever in groups that shall exceed one hundred. You shall not fight for borders, cattle, horses, or sheep. You shall bring all matters to a magistrate of Northmarch. You shall not pull your swords or knives for a duel. You do so, and a magistrate of Northmarch finds it an offense, you shall lose your right hand. Do it again, you shall lose the left or your head.

“We can live in peace. The family of Cynwal did not wish it and you all paid a terrible price. Then you raided south and acted as Reavers instead of Warriors. This is why you are to be watched. Prove that you would adopt peace and not war with we your neighbors and we shall allow you more freedoms. Force us to war with you once more, and there will be no terms. Your hostages will be executed. The next time we battle you and take you as prisoner, we will behead you. If you force us north once more into your lands, we will kill all we encounter, just as you have done this last year. Do you understand this?”

“It is too harsh!” The chieftain said.

Caradoc looked at the man, then brought up some spit. “Yeah, when I left Duchess Amanda the Vaters of Aer had totaled the number of children, not the adults that you had killed these last months, but just the children that you of Powys had killed because they were on their farms or in their villages. As they always have been during your wars on these lands. Some of them, no doubt, related to you and yours. As I was saying the number of children that had been killed by your soldiers. More than six hundred children.

“You will know that we just took the right hand of the men who stayed on their farms these past days. Not their heads as you did. Not their wives heads, as you did, not their children.

“Say that I am being harsh once more that I hear of it, and I shall not only take your tongue so that you may not speak to me of a lie that you will not claim credit for your own acts of being harsh. I will take your eyes, since you wish to be blind to the acts that you have done. I shall take your ears since you do not want to hear the truth. I will take your nose that you may not smell this odor of death that you have dealt so many times in the name of your clanrex, clan, and lands. I shall take your hands so you may not write lies about your not being involved in the horrors agains the children of Northmarch. I will take your balls that you may not have any more children, and I will stab through the heart until they are dead in my arms the children you have already had, and any children that they have had so that none who carry your tainted lying deceitful blood shall walk this world. Then, I think, then you might be right in thinking I was being harsh.”

Caradoc knew all the clan leaders and chiefs before him had heard. He raised his voice and saw that William aided him with the spell that would make all on the battlefield hear. “For too long the chieftains of Powys have not been happy with their lot. The Clanrex the least happy. For too long they have found the need to raid south, to war south. That shall no longer be tolerated. This time your serfs have suffered most. Think you that I could take the right hand of every man here as we did the serfs. But we do not. We say go live your lives in peace. Your leaders shall give us their children as surety that they shall not wage war against us, or against each other. The lands here, in Powys are difficult. Yet they are filled with beauty. You could turn them to a paradise should you work the land, instead of battle over them. I tell you chiefs that we shall be harsh should your minds stray to war instead of focus upon peace. The next time we of Northmarch must lift sword and shield to defend ourselves, make no mistake, it will be the last time.” Caradoc now looked about and slowly stepped in a circle so that he could see as many of the prisoners as it was possible, and they could see him.

“We shall let you go this day. The line of the Clanrex is finished and there will no longer be such in Powys. No clan should think to elevate one man to that position, for it will bring war. Only the line of the Clanrex shall be further punished. Unless we come back. Then no man, nor boy shall be allowed to live. No grandser shall survive. A male shall be killed in these lands. Your women, though there be no slavery in Northmarch, shall be made an exception and they all will be made slaves. The merest babe, to the oldest granddame. All will be enslaved. The land shall be sowed with salt. The trees and brush shall be burned. The villages and towns shall be raised. The castles shall be destroyed by flame and magic. Powys will be remembered. It will be remembered as the breeding ground and resting ground of those who sought death against those who offered peace and reaped death for such thoughts. If you want to have a life of peace for your sons, and their sons, then return to your homes, crofts and villages and think no more of war!”

He then turned back to the one chief and signaled to William to stop sending his voice to all. “That is harsh. Now call your clansmen to battle and see who would come, for should you do so, I, my sons, there sons, will come and then as I have said, Powys will become memory.” Caradoc turned away and went to his tent. Now he could take off his boots and most of his armor. He could wash his feet and try and cool down. Then, the day after the next, for it would take time to parole the enemy, and round up messengers to send for the children who would be hostages. Then he would go south and rejoin Edward. There were still many other enemies to defeat. Fortunately, Powys would not bother them, he thought, ever again.

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