Gammerstang has adopted , looked up 6814 words, created 18 lists, listed 6549 words, written 1410 comments, added 6 tags, and loved 95 words.

Comments by Gammerstang

  • - On February 22, 1719, a strange socioeconomic ritual was reenacted. According to Alice Morse Earle's Stagecoach and Tavern Days (1900), an odd American custom known as a "shift marriage," which absolved a widow of any previous debts incurred by her dead husband, was carefully observed at a certain crossroad. Justice George Hazard explained that a widow from South Kingston, Rhode Island, was remarried "after she had gone four times across the highway in only her shift with hair low, and no other clothing." Hazard also recorded that a scantily clad Narragansett widow was wed at midnight, "where four roads meet." This risqué practice, which was apparently honored by creditors as well, was carried on sporadically through much of the 18th century in New England and Pennsylvania.

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - Household stuff. The word is used to denote an entire collection, like "bag and baggage." From Welsh gweddill, remnants. Welsh gweddilio is to leave a remnant, and gweddw is a widow, or left person. Gweddill is therefore connected with the root of widow, which seems to exist in most European languages. --G.C. Lewis's Glossary of Provincial Words Used in Herefordshire, 1839

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A glutinous substance extracted from the inner bark of the holly, used for catching birds. The bark is bruised, boiled with water till very soft, and placed in pits to ferment. After two or three weeks, a curious viscid mass is found in the place of the soft bark; this is boiled with a quantity of water and evaporated to a proper consistence. It is spread on twigs or wire netting. Birds are often drawn to the sticky perches by the treacherous singing of a decoy. --T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia, 1871

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) He that can write and reade, and sometime speake Latin. He useth these skills to make counterfaite licences which they call gybes, and sets to seales, in their language falsified documents called jarks. --John Awdelay's Fraternitye of Vagabondes, 1561 (2) Yea, the jarkman is so cunning sometimes that he can speake Latine, which learning of his lifts him up to advancement. By that means he becomes Clarke of their Hall, and his office is to make counterfeit licenses, to which he puts seales, and those are termed jarkes. --Thomas Dekker's The Belman of London, 1608 (3) Jark was rogues' cant for a seal, whence also a license of the Bethlehem Hospital "Bedlam" to beg. --Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1870

    April 22, 2018

  • (verb) - (1) To swindle--the coney, or rabbit, being considered a very simple animal. --John Phin's Shakespeare Cyclopædia and New Glossary, 1902 (2) It has been shown, from Dekker's English Villanies 1632, that the system of swindling was carried to a great length in the 17th century involving a collective society of sharpers, called a warren, and their dupes, rabbit-suckers--that is, young rabbits, or conies. --Robert Nares's Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) A term used facetiously for a party --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940 (2) "I sat in the corner like a homely girl at a kissing-bee, and had nothing to say." --W.F. Drannan's Thirty-one Years on the Plains and in the Mountains, 1900

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - The distressing cry of persons under surgical operations. --Robert Hooper's Compendious Medical Dictionary, 1798

    April 22, 2018

  • (adjective) - Black, dirty. From blatch, soot or dirt; to smirch with black. --J. Drummond Robertson's Glossary of Dialect & Archaic Words Used in the County of Gloucester, 1890

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A journalist; from diurnal, relating to a day; happening every day. --Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - Mole; from Old Teutonic mold, earth, and worpon to throw up. --Nathan Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

    April 22, 2018

  • (adjective) - Fast asleep is never used. Vale of Gloucestershire. --J. Drummond Robertson's Glossary of Dialect & Archaic Words Used in the County of Gloucester, 1890

    April 22, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Rash to an extreme, in allusion to March being the rutting time of hares, when they are very excitable. Mad as a March hare, as mad as a hare in the rutting season, when they are wild, flighty and strange. --Rev. James Stormonth's Dictionary of the English Language, 1884 (2) Keep him darke, He will run March mad else. --John Fletcher's Mad Lover, 1647

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - An old word for an ominous message. --John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

    April 22, 2018

  • (verb) - To beat up a Congressman. In allusion to a beating administered by Sam Houston to Representative William Stanberry April 13, 1832. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - The equivalent of grass-widow--a married woman whose husband is away for any extended period. The expression dates from the period of California "gold fever," when many men went west, leaving their families behind. --Sylva Clapin's New Dictionary of Americanisms, 1902

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A healthy child born in the 19th century theatrical profession. --Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 1951

    April 22, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - The small, worthless apples which are left hanging on the trees after the crop has been gathered; Worcestershire. Scriggins, apples left on a tree after the ingathering; Gloucestershire. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A census-taker; humorous. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    April 22, 2018

  • (verb) - To rub, polish. Our parents and grandparents polished their furniture with a homemade mixture of beer, treacle, vinegar, &c. --Edward Gepp's Essex Dialect Dictionary, 1923

    April 22, 2018

  • Feast Day of St. Cuthbert, who was invoked to ward of nautical misfortune. Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors (1567) told readers of "freshwater mariners" known as "whipjackes"--phony beggars whose vessels were, as Harman explained it, wrecked far inland at the "Playne of Salisbery." He cautioned, "These kynde of caterpillers counterfet great losses on the sea. These wyll runne about the country wyth a counterfet lycence, fayning either shypwracke or spoyle by pyrates neare the coaste of Cornwall or Devonshyre, and lande at some haven towne there, having a large and formall wrytinge with the names and seales of suche men of worshyppe, at the least foure or five, as dwelleth neare the place where they fayne their landinge. And neare to those shires wyll they not begge untyll they come into Wylshyre, Hamshyre, Barkeshyre, Oxfordshyre, Middelsex, and so to London, and downe by the ryver to seeke for their shyppe and goods that they never hade; then passe they into Kent, demaunding almes to bring them home."

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A false paper carried by an imposter, giving an account of a dreadful shipwreck. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A pickpocket; also applied to fingers, no doubt for a similar reason. To dive is to pick pockets. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

    April 22, 2018

  • (adverb/adjective) - Towards death or the grave. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - A witch-finder who discovered witches by pricking them with a wooden bodkin or pin looking for the "witch-mark." Witch-score, the mark made with a sharp instrument on the forehead of a supposed witch to render her harmless. --Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary, 1911

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - Doggerel verse; from the lines formerly engraved on knife blades. Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (1596). --Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - In Lancashire we find the term gyst-ale, which seems to be one of the corruptions of disguising, as applied to mumming. Gyst-ale, or guising, was celebrated in Eccles England with much rustic splendor at the termination of the marling field-dunging season when the villagers, with a "king" at their head, walked in procession with garlands, to which silver plate was attached, which was contributed by the principal gentry in the neighbourhood. --R.T. Hampson's Dates, Charters, and Customs of the Middle Ages, 1841

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - The hand of a clock. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - Composition in rhyme; poetry. --John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

    April 22, 2018

  • (adjective) - A strange synonym for "the real thing," the very essence of an argument. Also applied to any subject thought worthy of superlative praise. --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    April 22, 2018

  • noun) - The removal of rats in a body from any place they have formerly occupied. Western Scotland. --John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

    April 22, 2018

  • (noun) - Blunk of weather, a fit of squally, tempestuous weather. --William Marshall's Provincialisms of East Norfolk, 1787

    April 22, 2018

  • Western slang: Sleeping with a prostitute

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang: Buddy

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang: Sleeping with a prostitute

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang: Derogatory term for homosexual men

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang: Prostitute

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang: Prostitute

    April 5, 2018

  • Western slang for "Hurrah!"

    April 5, 2018

  • dialectal, British

    : confused, dazed

    April 5, 2018

  • īnferant. third-person plural present active subjunctive of īnferō

    April 5, 2018

  • In Irish and Scottish folklore, the Sluagh (Irish pronunciation: sɫuə, Scottish Gaelic: slˠ̪uaɣ, modern Irish spelling Slua, English: "horde, crowd") were the spirits of the restless dead.

    April 3, 2018

  • Etymology 1

    From Proto-Germanic *wazjaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *wes-. Cognate with Old Saxon werian, Old High German werien, Old Norse verja.

    Verb

    werian

    to wear

    April 3, 2018

  • The Catherine Wheel, also known as the Breaking Wheel, was one of the most widely used torture devices during the medieval times in Europe. It was used to execute criminals and other accused people since the times of antiquity, although its use became more widespread during the medieval times.

    April 3, 2018

  • pross in British. (prɒz), prossie or prozzie (ˈprɒzɪ) slang. a prostitute. Collins English Dictionary.

    April 3, 2018

  • Gannin mad, mentally. -Geordie Dictionary : M-Q

    Selected words from Tyneside and the North East

    April 3, 2018

  • of, relating to, or characteristic of the demigod Triton; of, relating to, or characteristic of tritons.

    April 3, 2018

  • Apart from causality, beyond causality

    March 26, 2018

  • The power to infect existence.

    March 26, 2018

  • (noun) - A custom was formerly in vogue of rising early on Easter-day to see the sun "dance," the superstitious believing the sun really did dance on that day. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    March 16, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) A young sodomite. --John Farmer's Vocabula Amatoria: A French-English Glossary of Words, Phrases, and Allusions Occurring in the Works of Rabelais, Voltaire, Molière, and Others, 1896 (2) From Latin corbita, a large ship for traffic, French corvette. --Hensleigh Wedgwood's Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878

    March 16, 2018

  • (pronoun) - A courtier will say, "Let him do it himself," but the Cockney has it, "Let him do it his-self." Here the latter comes nearest to the truth, though both he and courtier are wrong, for the grammatical construction should be, "Let he do it his-self," or by a transposition of words, better and more energetically arranged, "Let he his-self do it." It must be allowed that the Londoner does not use this compounded pronoun in the mode before us from any sense of conviction. He has fortunately stumbled upon a part of the truth which the courtier has overleaped, as the nominative in the singular number is my-self, and not me-self. --Samuel Pegge's Anecdotes of the English Language, c. 1803

    March 16, 2018

  • ADJ.

    pert. to theft; related to or consisting in stealing ...1742-3 rare

    March 16, 2018

  • to make a great noise ...1656 obs

    March 16, 2018

  • the act of impenetrating or the state of being impenetrated.

    March 8, 2018

  • (noun) - A moocher. Many city people visit their backwoods cousins only when strawberries are ripe to get enough free berries for a year's supply of jam. Ozarks. --Vance Randolph's and George Wilson's Down in the Holler, 1953

    February 18, 2018

  • (noun) - Peasant, shepherd. --Herbert Coleridge's Dictionary of the First, or Oldest Words in the English Language, 1863

    February 18, 2018

  • (verb) - (1) To calculate, reckon. --Walter Skeat's Student's Pastime, 1896 (2) Shortened from calcule. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893 (3) He began to calke how the sonne was in Gemini. --Stephen Hawes' Pastime of Pleasure, 1509

    February 18, 2018

  • (adjective) - Imaginary; drawn or painted in the air. --William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1854

    February 13, 2018

  • (noun) - By summer's story, Shakespeare seems to have meant some gay fiction. --Edmond Malone's Plays of William Shakespeare, 1778

    February 13, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Spectacles. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

    February 13, 2018

  • (adjective) - Dismal, gloomy, distressful; from Anglo-Saxon dreorig, sorrowful, Icelandic dreyrigr, gory. --Rev. James Stormonth's Dictionary of the English Language, 1884

    February 13, 2018

  • (verb) - To inherit the whole property; to get possession of the whole of anything; Eastern England. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 13, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - (1) To sprinkle or splash water upon. --C. Clough Robinson's Dialect of Leeds, 1862 (2) A splash of rain or mud. --Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

    February 13, 2018

  • (noun) - Refuse, trash, as the smallest kind of potatoes, not fully grown, are called "mere drabloch." The same is applied to bad butcher-meat. Teutonic drabbe is rendered dregs, Belgium drabbig, muddy. Thus the term might be borrowed from liquors. --John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

    February 13, 2018

  • (adjective) - Encircled by the sea. --Richard Coxe's New Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, 1813

    February 13, 2018

  • (verb) - Noting a family resemblance; usually applied in the case of children to parents or other ancestors. We speak of seeing the "Folger look." --William Macy's Nantucket Scrap Basket, c. 1916

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) A diversion common enough at country wakes and fairs. The performance requires a large circle enclosed with ropes, which is occupied by as many persons as are permitted to play. All of these except one, who is the jingler, have their eyes blinded with handkerchiefs. The eyes of the jingler are not covered, but he holds a small bell in each hand, which he is obliged to keep ringing incessantly, so long as the play continues, which is commonly about twenty minutes, but sometimes is extended to half an hour. --Joseph Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, 1801 (2) His object was to elude the pursuit of his companions, and he won the prize if he was still free when the play ceased. It was an amusing sight to see the men trying to catch the jingler, running into each other's arms and catching every one but the right one. --Peter Ditchfield's Old English Sports, 1891

    February 12, 2018

  • (verb) - To be as a child when walking. --Walter Skeat's Glossary of Devonshire Words, 1896

    February 12, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Persons begging with sham licenses, pretending losses by fire. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 12, 2018

  • (verb) - Quarreling, or contending with a loud voice. Raising a wrow is exciting a quarrel and confusion in the streets. From wrawe, angry. --Robert Willan's List of Ancient Words of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1814

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - A loquacious person; a gossip. --Michael Traynor's English Dialect of Donegal, 1953

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - Rustle; any slight sound, as of a mouse. --Appleton Morgan's Study in the Warwickshire Dialect, 1900

    February 12, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Married. --B.E.'s New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew, 1699 (2) Noozed, married, hanged. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - A train of several cars which left St. John's on the eve of the 24th of May with trouters for the various ponds of their choice, dropping them off wherever they wished along the railway line and picking them up the following night to bring them back with their catches, hangovers, fly-bites, chills, etc. Newfoundland. --D.W. Prowse's Newfoundland Guide Book, 1911

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - A boundary mark in an unenclosed field. It is often a low post, thence called a dool-post; from Anglo-Saxon dælan. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

    February 12, 2018

  • (verb/adjective) - (1) To knock with a dull sound, as with the fist in the back or ribs. Stupid, dizzy, or giddy, from an affection of the brain; said especially of sheep. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897 (2) To stupefy. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830 (3) Stupefied. Dunt sheep, one that mopes about from a disorder in his head; Norfolk. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) One who habitually saunters about. From dander, to stroll, wander; to trifle, misspend one's time. To talk in a rambling, incoherent way. --Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905 (2) On the dander, on a drinking spree. --Michael Traynor's English Dialect of Donegal, 1953

    February 12, 2018

  • (noun) - This side of the grave. "The schoolmaster hain't got a friend on the flat side of the grave." --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun/verb) - The act of wasting time in bad company; immodest conduct; explained as denoting immodest behavior in Ayrshire. The latter part of the word is obviously from the verb to taigle, to detain, to hinder. Shall we suppose that the term is formed from the idea of a servant being hindered, or pretending to be so, in seeking for eggs? --John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb) - To kill, destroy. Evidently from guillotine. --Thomas Darlington's Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A young turkey, fit for the table but not fully grown--a turkey-poult. In Scottish, pout is a young partridge or moor-fowl. From French poulet, a pullet. --Edward Moor's Suffolk Words and Phrases, 1823

    February 11, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Loaded dice are called high and low men, or high and low fulhams, by Ben Jonson and other writers of his time, either because they were made at Fulham in London's West End or from that place being the resort of sharpers. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 11, 2018

  • False or feigned sophistication.

    February 11, 2018

  • (interjection) - An interjection. This is a word, like others of the same class, the precise meaning of which is not easy to define. --James Jennings' Dialect of Somersetshire, 1869

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb) - To treat and exhibit as an object of interest. Originally to take visitors to see the lions formerly kept at the Tower of London. Hence lion-hunter, one given to lionizing people, popularized by Dickens in Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hunter in Pickwick Papers. --Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - The art of secret writing, characters, or cyphers known only to persons that correspond with one another. Steganographist, an artist in private writing. --Nathan Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb) - I'll do it, and chance the ducks, meaning "I'll do it and take my chances," is in reference to a boat's crew arrayed in clean white jumpers or "ducks" ready for inspection when it is discovered that some duty involving the possible soiling of their garments has been neglected. They accordingly say, "We must do it, and chance the ducks"--that is, run the risk of our ducks being splashed. --A. Wallace's Popular Sayings Dissected, 1895

    February 11, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Legitimate blows given in certain games. --G.F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) A salve which was supposed to cure the wound, being applied to the weapon that made it. --Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755 (2) The direction, "Bind the wound and grease the nail," is still common when a wound has been given with a rusty nail. Sir Kenelm Digby says the salve is sympathetic, and quotes several instances to prove that "as the sword is treated, the wound inflicted by it feels similar. Thus, if the instrument is kept wet the wound will feel cool; if held to the fire it will feel hot." --Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1887

    (noun) - A salve which was supposed to cure the wound, being applied to the weapon that made it.

    --Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

    February 11, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - When two brothers marry two sisters, the children are known as double cousins. Such relationships are very common in the Ozarks, and are considered somehow significant. In referring to each other these people seldom say simply, "He's my cousin," but rather, "We're double cousins." The word cousin may indicate very distant relationship, but own cousin always means first cousin. --Vance Randolph's and George Wilson's Down in the Holler, 1953

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - Nimbleness, agility; 1400s. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - The human skin. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - A capital punishment inflicted on a malefactor on the seashore by laying him bound on the sands till the next full tide carried him away. From Norman falese, sands, rocks, cliffs. --John Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1839

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - (1) To bewitch by a certain evil influence of the eye. --Nathan Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1749 (2) Reginald Scot, in his Discovery of Witchcraft 1584 telleth us that our English people in Ireland were much given to this idolatry in Queen Elizabeth's time insomuch that, there being a disease amongst their cattle that grew blind, they did commonly execute people for it, calling them eye-biting witches. --Thomas Ady's Candle in the Dark; or, A Treatise Concerning the Nature of Witches and Witchcraft, 1656

    (verb) - To bewitch an animal with the evil eye. Northern England. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 11, 2018

  • (adverb) - To come home by the villages, to be drunk; a provincial expression. If, on the other hand, one comes home by the fields, one has no opportunity for drinking. --Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

    February 11, 2018

  • (adjective) - Superstitiously afraid. This is the word of which eerie is a later form. The Anglo-Saxon form is earh. Aberdeenshire. --Walter Skeat's Student's Pastime, 1896

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A policy practised by a nation or party in politics of dabbling in minor acts in a hostile manner while they are unable to deal with the larger issues. It was first applied in 1898 to the policy of France in reference to the conflicting colonial interests of that country and Great Britain. The Times quoted this as "a policy of pin-pricks," which forthwith became a political phrase. --J.B. Lippincott's Everyday Phrases Explained, 1913

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A rude, violent person, who pulls others about; whence the common name for a dog who is a good ratter. --Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A calfskin stuffed with straw in the rude similitude of a calf, similar enough to deceive the imperfect perception organs of a cow. At milking time the tulchan, with head duly bent, was set as if to suck. The fond cow, looking round, fancied that her calf was busy and that all was right, and so gave her milk freely, which the cunning maid was straining in white abundance into the pail all the while. King James's Scotch bishops were, by the Scotch people, derisively called "tulchan bishops." --Thomas Carlyle's Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 1845

    February 11, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Almost choked or stifled. --T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia, 1871 (2) Quackle, to interrupt breathing; to suffocate; to choke. East Anglia. --Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A medicine good for the headache. --Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - In rhetoric, imitation of the voice or gestures of another. --Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - Properly, a locked-up chamber in which articles of dress, stores, etc. are kept; by extension, a privy. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A young or small child; a brat. Often used depreciatively, and formerly as a synonym of bastard. Possibly a corruption of German bänkling, bastard, from bank, bench, i.e. a child begotten on a bench, and not in the marriage bed; 1500s-1800s. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - An additional dish to the regular dinner. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A volley of abusive language; indistinct drawling utterance. --Georgina Jackson's Shropshire Word-Book, 1879

    February 11, 2018

  • (adjective) - Of doubtful quality; questionable. --Francis Robinson's Glossary of Whitby, 1855

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb) - (1) To sleep. In the old pugilistic days, a man knocked down, or "out of time," was said to be "sent to dorse." But whether because he was senseless, or because he lay on his back, is not known, though most likely the latter. Formerly spelt dorse; from Gaelic dosal, slumber. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887 (2) To dorse with a woman signifies to sleep with her. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - A means of livelihood; a working for one's bread. From "gain-bread." --C.A.M. Fennell's Stanford Dictionary of Anglicised Words and Phrases, 1964

    February 11, 2018

  • (verb) - A whimsical corruption of the word concur, substituting dog for cur as equivalent. --Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

    February 11, 2018

  • (adjective) - Furious or mad. We yet retain in some parts of England the word wodnes for furiousness or madness. --Richard Verstegan's Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 1605

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) Plague, pestilence; from Old English manncwealm; c. 900-1300s. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908 (2) Slaughter of men; from Robert of Gloucester. --Herbert Coleridge's Dictionary of the Oldest Words in the English Language, 1863

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - Force; rush; violence. --Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

    February 11, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) Sometimes a real horse, sometimes the figure of one cut out and carried by the sportsman. It being found that wild fowl, which would take alarm at the appearance of a man, would remain quiet when they saw only a horse approaching, advantage was taken of it, for the shooter to conceal himself behind a real or artificial horse to get within shot of his game. --Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859 (2) To supply the want of a stalking-horse you may make one of pieces of old canvas, which you must form into the shape of an old horse, with the head bending downwards, as if he grazed. --Gervase Markham's English Husbandman, 1615

    February 11, 2018

  • Old word for ewe.

    February 9, 2018

  • (adjective) - Anciently, when a person was placed in a coffin, he was said to be "chested." Chaucer has, "He is now dead and nailed in his chest." In the heading of the 50th chapter of Genesis, the word is used in reference to Joseph, of whom it is said, "He dieth and is chested." --Eliezer Edwards' Words, Facts, and Phrases, 1882

    February 9, 2018

  • (adjective) - In secrecy; hid, as from creditors. --William Marshall's Provincialisms of East Yorkshire, 1788

    February 9, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - The pieces running up between the fingers of gloves. --Angelina Parker's Supplement to the Oxfordshire Glossary, 1881

    February 9, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) The toes of a man who turns his feet inward. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887 (2) The toes of a man who walks duck-footed. --John Farmer's and W.E. Henley's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890-1904

    February 9, 2018

  • (interjection) - A word of command to horses in a team meaning "go to the left." This was horse-language in the 14th century of Chaucer. Heit scot and Heit broc are names still given to cart-horses. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

    February 8, 2018

  • (noun) - The pillory. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 8, 2018

  • (verb) - When a person gets the worst of a bargain, he is said to have "bought the rabbit." From an old story about a man selling a cat to a foreigner for a rabbit. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

    February 8, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - To parboil. A slight boiling. If meat seems likely to be tainted before it can be dressed, the cook must "give it a plow" to check the progress of decay and, if possible, keep it a little while at stand. In John Ray's South and East Country Words 1674 the same word is written play. He speaks of a "playing heat," and says that in Norfolk it is pronounced plaw. It may be from some French term of cookery, in books not easily accessible, or it may have descended to us from Anglo-Saxon pleoh danger. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

    February 8, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) In the North of England and in Scotland, a midwife is called a howdy, or howdy-wife. I take howdy to be a diminutive of how, and to be derived from this almost obsolete opinion of old women. I once heard an etymology of howdy to the following effect: "How d'ye"--midwives being great gossipers. --John Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities, 1813 (2) Brand sneers at the derivation from "'how d'ye'--midwives being great gossipers," but I think that which he supplies is far more ridiculous. I have not been fortunate enough to discover any original to my satisfaction, but I may perhaps be permitted to observe, in defence of what has been so much ridiculed, that "how d'ye" is a natural enough salutation to a sick woman from the midwife, who, by the way, is called in German die Wehmutter, or "oh dear mother." --John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

    February 8, 2018

  • (noun/verb) - In Law, the receiving of a person into friendly custody who otherwise must have gone to prison. It differs from bail because a person is, in this case, to be at large from the day of his being mainprised. --Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - This expression (from French, lit de justice) literally denoted the seat or throne upon which the King of France was accustomed to sit when personally present in Parliament, and from this original meaning the expression came, in course of time, to signify the Parliament itself. Under the ancient monarchy of France, a bed of justice denoted a solemn session of the king in Parliament. According to the principle of the old French constitution the authority of the Parliament, being derived entirely from the crown, ceased when the king was present. Consequently, all ordinances enrolled at a bed of justice were acts of the royal will, and of more authority than decisions of Parliament. --William Walsh's Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities, 1900

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A round, hollow metallic ball having a neck with a slender pipe opening to the ball which, being partly filled with water and laid on the fire, the steam or vapourous air is forced out with great noise and violence. It is used to blow the fire, and in Italy as a cure for smoky chimneys. --John Coxe's Medical Dictionary, 1817

    February 7, 2018

  • l (adjective) - Cruel by being too virtuous. --John Phin's Shakespeare Cyclopædia and New Glossary, 1902

    February 7, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - The garments or linen worn next to the skin. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - Sympathetic powder (Pulvis sympatheticus) of Sir Kenelm Digby, was composed of calcined sulphate of iron, prepared in a particular manner. It was long supposed to be able to cure a wound if applied to the weapon that inflicted it, or even to a portion of the bloody clothes. --Robley Dunglison's Dictionary of Medical Science, 1844

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - Squeamish, ready to be sick at the sight of food. --Francis Robinson's Glossary of Yorkshire Words and Phrases, 1855

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To put ginger up a horse's fundament, and formerly a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well. A forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer's servant who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. --Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - Miserly; covetous. --G.F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A doctor who buys bodies from grave-riflers. --Eric Partidge's Dictionary of the Underworld, 1950

    February 7, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Body, arms, back. --A.V. Judges' Elizabethan Underworld, 1930

    February 7, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - The sun's rays, as they sometimes appear in showery weather, popularly believed to suck up the water from the earth into the sun, there to be converted into rain, and held to be a sign of coming showers. --Georgina Jackson's Shropshire Word-Book, 1879

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A scarecrow. --F.T. Dinsdale's Glossary of Provincial Words Used in Teesdale in the County of Durham, 1849

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A little extempore bed by a fireside for a sick person. --Samuel Pegge's Alphabet of Kenticisms, 1736

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A greenish oil obtained from earthworms, used as a remedy for earache. --William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889-1891

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - Applied to a couple whose banns of marriage have been proclaimed three times in church. Also axed-out. --Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Affected with weakness of nerves. The word seems to be a corruption of nervous, and therefore cut out of its proper place, but in point of fact, the word nervous is a mere modern abuse. Mr. Pegge recommends nervish to be substituted for nervous, to signify weakness of the nerves. And by all means, let it be put down to our credit that we have anticipated his recommendation by many years. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830 (2) To preserve a distinction when we speak of such a man, and of the disorder by which his strength is impaired, we should rather say a nervish man, and a nervish disorder, which termination conforms with similar words, such as waspish, devilish, feverish--all expressive of bad qualities or disordered habits. --Samuel Pegge's Anecdotes of the English Language, 1844

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A young upstart. --Edward Slow's Glossary of Wiltshire Words, Used by the Peasantry in the Neighborhood of Salisbury, c. 1900

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - Male genital organ. Central Pennsylvania. --Harold Wentworth's American Dialect Dictionary, 1944

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To splice two pieces of wood together. From Jutland Danish at skarre ved, to join two pieces together. --Rev. M.C.F. Morris's Yorkshire Folk-Talk, 1892

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - To take Dutch leave, to desert without official permission. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Shaped like a breast or teat. --W. Tarton's Medical Glossary in Which the Various Branches of Medicine are Deduced from Their Original Languages, 1802 (2) Related to mammifer, an animal which has breasts or paps to suckle its young; from Latin mamma, a breast, and fero, to bear. --Robert Hunter's Encyclopædic Dictionary, 1894

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A small cushion or pillow. In surgery, a small olive-shaped mass of lint used for plugging deep wounds; diminutive of pulvinus, cushion. --Sydenham Society's Lexicon of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1897

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To climb up the bole trunk of a tree by the muscular action of the arms, thighs, and legs. --Robert Willan's List of Ancient Words of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1814

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - The lower gut of a deer. --John Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To tie a handkerchief around a man's arm to designate that he is to play the part of a female at a dance where there are not enough ladies to go around. He is then said to dance "lady fashion," and his reward is being allowed to set with the ladies between dances. This privilege, however, quite often makes him feel as out of place as a cow on a front porch. --Ramon Adams' Western Words: A Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp, and Trail, 1946

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A beverage compounded of buffalo gall and water in the proportion of a gill to a pint, the medicinal virtue of which was thought to have been in an exact ratio to its filthy taste. --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To startle; to confuse. Also used as an adjective for confounded. --John Farmer and W.E. Henley's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890-1904

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - The drinking glasses of the Middle Ages, made at Venice, were said to break into shivers if poison were put into them. Venice glass, from its excellency, became a synonym for perfection. --Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A term of ridicule for a citizen. In Henry VIII's time, flat round caps were the height of fashion but, as usual, when their date was worn out, they became ridiculous. Citizens of London continued to wear them long after they were generally disused, and were often satirized for it. --Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

    February 7, 2018

  • (interjection/adjective) - An expression of intimacy. To be hail-fellow with anyone, to be on such a footing as to greet him with "hail-fellow" at meeting. --Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To laugh, or rather to have a countenance expressive of laughter, without laughing out. From Icelandic flyra. --John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun/verb) - (1) A person who entraps or decoys others into actions or positions which may be to his advantage and to their ruin or loss. Also applied to an animal. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1926 (2) A snare; from Trapani, a part of Italy where our ships, being insidiously invited on the reign of Queen Elizabeth, were unjustly detained. --Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To smart violently, as a burn or recent wound. --William Marshall's Provincialisms of East Yorkshire, 1788

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A company of people, especially a disorderly or vulgar crowd; a mob, rabble; Scotland, Ireland, and Northumberland. --Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - The shirt of a railroad boomer laborer was often given this title because as an itinerant worker he traveled light and supposedly wore the same shirt for thousands of miles. --Marjorie Tallman's Dictionary of American Folklore, 1959

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - A white hat with a black mourning hatband, probably because a butcher would rather not wear a black hat. White hats and black bands have, however, become genteel ever since the late Prince Consort Albert patronized them. --John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - That species of intimidation practised by masters on their servants, when the latter are compelled to vote as their masters please. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective) - Well done, especially an article of food. --Maurice Weseen's Dictionary of American Slang, 1902

    February 7, 2018

  • (interjection) - (1) A word used in expressions of surprise, chiefly by older people. "What the farrups are ye at?" --Alfred Easther's Glossary of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883 (2) Ferrups, an exclamation of mild imprecation, especially in the phrase, "by the ferrups!" Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Derwentwater. --Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective/adverb) - Cheerful; in good spirits; friendly; hospitable. As an adverb, cheerfully. Renfrewshire, Kirkcudbright. --Mairi Robinson's Concise Scots Dictionary, 1985

    February 7, 2018

  • (adjective/adverb) - Out of harness and the working habit. A horse has the collar slipped over its neck when put to work. --Trench Johnson's Phrases and Names: Their Origins and Meanings, 1906

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb) - To swoon. --Walter Skeat's Glossary of Devonshire Words, 1896

    February 7, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) In Papal times in Britain, it was considered an act of ill-luck for a newly-married couple to retire for the night until the bridal bed had been blessed. --Edwin and Mona Radford's Encyclopædia of Superstitions, 1949 (2) The pride of the clergy and the bigotry of the laity was such that newly-married people were made to wait till midnight after the marriage day before they would pronounce a benediction, unless they were handsomely paid for it, and the couple durst not undress without it, on pain of excommunication. --Francis Blomefield's Topographical History of Norfolk, c. 1752

    February 7, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - The act of exhaling a mouthful of smoke and then inhaling it through the nose. Considered ultrasophisticated by teenagers. --Harold Wentworth's Dictionary of American Slang, 1960

    February 7, 2018

  • Said of a stream when full to the brim. --A. Porson's Quaint Words and Sayings of South Worcestershire, 1875

    February 6, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - (1) Small fragments of very thin things, as of dry leaves or dust of tobacco; from Norwegian flus, Swedish flisa, a scale, fragment. --Hensleigh Wedgwood's Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878 (2) Very small flakes in bottled liquors. --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

    February 6, 2018

  • (verb) - To shuffle cards. --John Farmer and W.E. Henley's Slang and Its Analogues, 1904

    February 6, 2018

  • (adjective) - Entirely right. --Maurice Weseen's Dictionary of American Slang, 1934

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - In a canal, an overfall or weir. --Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A dull-witted pedant; a foolish pretender to learning; from Nicholas Dorbellus (c. 1400-1475), a professor of scholastic philosophy at Poitiers, and a follower of Duns Scotus, whose name gave us dunce. --Joseph Shipley's Dictionary of Early English, 1955

    February 6, 2018

  • (verb) - To pilfer stealthfully. It seems to combine the meanings of English slang crib and Cheshire creem, to hide. --Thomas Darlington's The Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

    February 6, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Fireworks. --J. Drummond Robertson's Glossary of Archaic Gloucestershire Words, 1890

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - The weight formerly used in the navy, by which the purser--an officer appointed by the lords of the admirality to take charge of the provisions and slops of a ship of war, and to see that they were carefully distributed--retained an eighth for "waste," and the men received only seven-eighths of what was supplied by the government. --Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word-Book, 1867

    February 6, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - Remnants of food; broken meat; remains of a feast. --Rev. M.C.F. Morris's Yorkshire Folk-Talk, 1892

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - Drunkard's nose, a nose with "grog blossoms" or a "copper nose," such as is possessed by an "admiral of the red." --Albert Barrère's Argot and Slang Dictionary, 1911

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - For cutting of meat, persons of rank kept a carver, who was designated the scissor, or carptor. --Eliezer Edwards' Words, Facts, and Phrases, 1882

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A small child or diminutive person. Fairies were formerly called urchins. --Thomas Sternberg's Dialect and Folk-Lore of Northamptonshire, 1851

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - Gentry. --Granville Leveson-Gower's Glossary of Surrey Words, 1893

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A trick; a hoax; a swindle. --Francis Taylor's Folk-Speech of South Lancashire, 1901

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - As much as can be grasped with the foot. --Noah Webster's New International Dictionary, 1952

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A Londoner; Chaucer. --James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - This word, as far as I know, only occurs in the two following phrases. "As hard as a brazzil," is an expression of frequent occurrence to denote any kind of unusual hardness. If, for example, the bread is overbaked it is said to be baked "as hard as a brazzil," or if the housewife cannot break her Bath brick a cake of abrasive clay used for household polishing easily, she exclaims, "It's as hard as a brazzil." The other expression is "as fond as a brazzil." Here the word brazzil probably means a low, impudent girl, in which sense it is sometimes used still. -- Rev. M.C.F. Morris's Yorkshire Folk-Talk, 1892

    February 6, 2018

  • (adjective) - As sound as a fish; thoroughly sound or healthy; early 1200s-1600. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A lecture; a rustic word from lere, learning, lesson, lore. --Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

    February 6, 2018

  • (verb/noun) - To vex; to be in a feaze is to be in a state of excitement; still commonly colloquial in the States, especially in Virginia and the South. It was used formerly in the same sense as tease, as in teasing wool, but more particularly applied to curry-combing. "I'll pheeze you," says Christophoro Sly in The Taming of the Shrew meaning that he will vex the worthy hostess by staying--like teasel burrs in wool. Another authority regards it as derived from the Anglo-Saxon fysan, used to denote the rapid and noisy movement of water, and from which we get the modern fizz. --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - Mock modesty of the Western states requires that a male turkey should be so called. --James Bartlett's Dictionary of Americanisms, 1877

    February 6, 2018

  • (adjective) - Wild; excited. --Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A mixture intended to revive flat beer. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - Dry, withering weather. The wind, when such prevails, blows out of the east and northeast, just as it blew on the prophet Jonah when it withered his gourd. --John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

    February 6, 2018

  • (adjective) - (1) Surfeited. --J.F. Palmer's Devonshire Dialect Glossary, 1837 (2) Given to gluttony, overeating, &c. --James Barclay's Complete and Universal Dictionary of the English Language, 1848 The word is related to Latin crapula, which meant excessive eating and imbibing, along with the unpleasant aftereffects. Crapula was itself adapted from a Greek forerunner.

    February 6, 2018

  • (verb) - An admonition to one inclined to exaggerate or use explosive language. The allusion is to beer. "A pint of beer, Miss, and draw it mild." --Edwin Radford's Encyclopædia of Phrases and Origins, 1945

    February 6, 2018

  • (pl. noun) - A term for specie, or money. It would appear to have some connection with Dutch spaunde, "chips," slang for money; and there is a word oolik, bad, wretched. The term probably originated in New York in perversion of these words. This term has become common among English turfites. --Albert Barrère's Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant, 1889

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) One who keeps a knick-knackatory; a dealer in knick-knacks. Knick-knackery, knick-knacks collectively. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908 (2) Nicknackitorian, a dealer in all manner of curiosities, such as Egyptian mummies, Indian implements, antique shields, helmets, &c. --London's Annual Register, 1802

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - A female American; a woman of American birth. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    February 6, 2018

  • (noun) - (1) A light flaw which suddenly careens a vessel and passes off. --Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word-Book, 1867 (2) This phrase for a little wind, hardly sufficient for moving a sailing ship, arises from the following legend: Eric, King of Sweden, was so familiar with evil spirits that whichever way he turned his cap the wind would blow. Hence, his cap was said to be full of wind. --Edwin Radford's Encyclopædia of Phrases and Origins, 1945

    February 6, 2018

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