Gammerstang commented on the word eald
(noun) - (1) Old age; pure Saxon. Chaucer has elde, and Shakespeare eld.
--John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825
(2) Eld, used collectively for aged persons. The Merry Wives of Windsor.
--C.H. Herford's Notes on the Works of Shakespeare, 1902
January 22, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word according to Cocker
(adjective/adverb) - According to Cocker is equivalent to "sure to be right." In the days of the Stuarts lived a man, Edward Cocker. In his day and a long time after, his work on arithmetic was in general use in this country, and regarded as a standard of accuracy.
--A. Wallace's Popular Sayings Dissected, 1895
Gammerstang commented on the word brother of the buskin
(noun) - An actor, from the buskins peculiar high-heeled boots worn by tragedy actors in ancient times.
--Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922
Gammerstang commented on the word sackering
(verb) - Telling false tales of distress. Sackerin' Sam was a well known beggar of Dalton.
--Rev. Alfred Easther's Glossary of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883
Gammerstang commented on the word superchery
(noun) - (1) Deceit; cheating; an old word of French origin.
--Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850
(2) Foul play; an injurie, wrong, affront, bravado.
--Randle Cotgrave's Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, 1611
Gammerstang commented on the word drent
(adjective) - Drowned; from Scottish drencean; 1300s-1500s.
--William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832
Gammerstang commented on the word Winchester goose
(noun) - (1) Swelling in the groin caused by venereal disease.
--C.T. Onions' Oxford Shakespeare Glossary, 1911
(2) The French for it, according to Cotgrave, was clapoir, a botch in the groyne . . . It is thought to have originated from the circumstance of the public stews at Bankside in Southwark London, being under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester. Hence, Ben Jonson calls it, "The Wincestrian goose, bred on the Southwark Bank in time of popery, when Venus there maintain'd her mystery."
--Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859
(3) Then ther's a Goose that breeds at Winchester,
And of all Geese, my mind is least to her.
--John "The Water Poet" Taylor, c. 1630
January 21, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word probang
(2) Provang, a whalebone instrument used for cleansing the stomach.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855
Gammerstang commented on the word prigge
(verb) - To filche; to steale.
--John Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616
Gammerstang commented on the word boonwork
(noun) - (1) Work done by the tenant for his landlord, the remains of socage, which now generally consists in a day or two's work with a horse and cart, drawing coals, materials, &c. In former times, many other various things were added. The tenant kept a cock for his landlord in cock-fighting days, and a dog. The landlord's pig and geese were turned into the tenant's fields after the crops were removed. A tenant also brought his landlord every year a cheese or a goose. In short, it was a sort of barter in times when the exchangeable medium of goods, money, was not plentiful, in fact very scarce, and the purchase of commodities had to be subvented in other ways.
--Edgerton Leigh's Glossary of the Dialect of Cheshire, 1877
(2) Hence booning, rendering service to a neighbour.
--Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905
Gammerstang commented on the word hoppety-hick
(adjective) - Spoken of a person whose gait exhibits a sort of hopping movement followed by a kicking or swinging motion of one leg.
--G.F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896
Gammerstang commented on the word sublunary
(adjective) - (1) Anything under the orb of the moon.
--Thomas Dyche's New General English Dictionary, 1740
(2) Lying between the orbit of the moon and the earth; hence, subject to the moon's influence. Belonging to this world; mundane; temporal; ephemeral.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914
Gammerstang commented on the word nether stocks
(pl. noun) - Stockings covering the legs and feet. In the ninth century, persons of rank wore them as high as the middle of the thigh, but in the lower classes they only reached to the calf and hence were called nether stocks.
Gammerstang commented on the word carroty
(adjective) - (1) Annoyed, angry, after a scolding or a mishap. Quick temper is supposed to go with red hair.
--Edward Gepp's Essex Dialect Dictionary, 1923
(2) Spoken of red hair on account of its resemblance in colour to carrots.
--Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755
(3) A shock of untidy carroty hair . . .
--W.S. Maugham's Creatures of Circumstance, 1947
Gammerstang commented on the word fourteen hundred
(interjection) - The cry uttered on the London Stock Exchange when the presence of a stranger is detected. It is supposed to be derived from the fact that the number of members of the exchange was, for long, limited to 1399.
Gammerstang commented on the word mooncalf
(noun) - An old name for a false conception or a fœtus imperfectly formed . . . supposed to be occasioned by the influence of the moon. Trinculo supposes Caliban to be a mooncalf in The Tempest (Act II, Scene 2), saying, "I hid me under a dead mooncalf's gaberdine." Sometimes used as a term of reproach to signify a living monster, lumpish, stupid, and heavy.
Gammerstang commented on the word gregarian
(adjective) - (1) Of the common sort; ordinary; related to gregarius belonging to a herd.
--William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1854
(2) Of a soldier, common, a private. Gregarianism, the practice of collecting in flocks or companies.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901
Gammerstang commented on the word anteloquy
(noun) - (1) A preface, or the first turn in speaking.
--Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656
(2) A terme which stage-players use, by them called their cue.
--Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1623
Gammerstang commented on the word zouch
(noun) - An ungenteel man; a bookseller.
--John Awdeley's Fraternitye of Vacabondes, 1565
January 20, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word bibibles
(pl. noun) - Food of liquid kind; an innovation formed on the model of edibles, which has little to recommend it, save its vulgarity.
--John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889
Gammerstang commented on the word barring-out
(noun) - The breaking up of a school at the great holidays when the boys within bar the door against the master. Northern England.
--Samuel Pegge's Supplement to Grose's Provincial Glossary, 1814
Gammerstang commented on the word melsh-dick
(noun) - (1) A wood-demon who is supposed to guard over unripe nuts. "Melsh Dick'll catch thee lad," was a common threat used to frighten children going nutting.
(2) A sylvan goblin, the protector of hazelnuts from the depredations of mischievous boys.
January 19, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word chop-dollar
(noun) - A dollar, chopped or stamped with a private mark as a guarantee of its genuineness. Dollars similarly marked had currency in England in the first quarter of the last 18th century, and one of the present writers can recollect this occasional occurrence in Scotland in his childhood. The word chap is adopted in Malay with meanings of self-impression, stamp (to seal or stamp) though there is, as Mr. Walter Skeat points out, a pure native word tera, or tra, and chop has acquired the specific sense of a passport or license.
--Col. Henry Yule's Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words, 1886
Gammerstang commented on the word led-will
(adjective) - Whatever led will may mean now, it doubtless once meant the same as will led, a phrase which occurs in a specimen of the Norfolk dialect. Will led is said to mean demented, but the original sense was bewildered. Will, in this sense, has no immediate connexion with will in the sense of "inclination," but represents the Scandinavian form of the English wild, which often had the sense of "astray, bewildered, at a loss," and the like.
--Walter Skeat's Student's Pastime, 1896
Gammerstang commented on the word weaponsalve
(noun) - A salve which was supposed to cure the wound, being applied to the weapon that made it.
Gammerstang commented on the word London lion
(noun) - An expression derived from the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London ere the metropolis rejoiced in a Zoological Gardens, when travelling menageries were unheard of. Country visitors in town for a few days never failed at that period to feast their eyes upon a real live lion, and on returning to their homes boasted of having seen the "London Lion."
--Trench Johnson's Phrases and Names: Their Origins and Meanings, 1906
Gammerstang commented on the word dungow-dash
(noun) - When the clouds threaten hail or rain it is said, "There is a deal of dungow-dash to come down." From dung, filth.
--Roger Wilbraham's Glossary of Some Words Used in Cheshire, 1826
Gammerstang commented on the word dinket
(verb) - To dandle bounce on the knee, play with a baby.
--J. Drummond Robertson's Glossary of Archaic Gloucestershire Words, 1890
Gammerstang commented on the word language of horses
(noun) - So France's Charles V nicknamed the German tongue.
--Henry Reddall's Fact, Fancy, and Fable, 1889
Gammerstang commented on the word dilligrout
(noun) - A kind of pottage of which a mess was offered to the kings of England on their coronation day by the lord of the manor at Addington in Surrey, being the "service" by which that manor was held.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897
Gammerstang commented on the word Huntsman's Moon
October's full moon was nicknamed the "huntsman's moon" by Celtic tribes and called the "blood moon" in medieval England, as it signaled the beginning of hunting season. Eliezer Edwards' Words, Facts, and Phrases, (1882) explained the name: "Sportsmen do not hunt by moonlight. The obvious meaning therefore is hunter's month--the crop being harvested, there is nothing to interfere with the sport of the hunter."
The anonymous English book of etiquette, Manners and Rules of Good Society (1901), offered this fine point of hunting behavior: "It is difficult to make a would-be sportsman comprehend the strict etiquette maintained between the owners of manors; that is to say, he would think nothing of crossing the boundary of his host's manor, gun in hand, if he felt inclined to follow a bird or hare he had wounded, oblivious of the fact that in the first place the greatest punctiliousness is observed between gentlemen in the matter of trespassing on each other's land when out shooting. Unless the greatest intimacy existed, a sportsman would hardly venture to pick up his dead bird if it had fallen on a neighbour's manor, and would on no account look for a wounded bird, but for a dead one only."
Gammerstang commented on the word hunt at force
(verb) - To run the game down with dogs, in opposition to shooting it.
Gammerstang commented on the word game-leg
(noun) - (1) A sore or wounded leg. It is likely to be from Italian gamba, qualified by some adjective now lost, perhaps through the blunder of someone ignorant of that language . . . The term belongs to the leg only. Nobody ever had a game arm, hand, or even foot.
--Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830
(2) From game, lame, crooked, deformed, disabled, injured, sore; hence gam-legged, having crooked legs; West Yorkshire.
Gammerstang commented on the word make buttons
(verb) - To make buttons means to look sorry and sad perhaps because button-making is a sorry occupation. Not to have all one's buttons, to be deficient in intellect.
--John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887
Gammerstang commented on the word linen-armourer
(noun) - Originally, a maker of adjuncts to armour; it became a jocular term for tailor.
--A.V. Judges' Elizabethan Underworld, 1930
Gammerstang commented on the word noaharchaic
(adjective) - Extremely old-fashioned; much out of date.
--Maurice Weseen's Dictionary of American Slang, 1934
Gammerstang commented on the word churchwarden
Dog-flogging Day (October 18th)
On this date in York, England, any dogs found in the streets were once subject to being whipped in commemoration of the 18th-century swallowing of consecrated wafers by a dog in the cathedral. Beginning in the 16th century, many English churches employed churchwardens, or beadles, who not only supervised the sometimes unruly canines that traditionally accompanied their owners to church but were often charged with keeping parishioners awaking during services.
Edward Peacock's Glossary of Lincolnshire (1877) added, "In Northorpe Church until about seventy years ago, there was a small pew on the south side just within the charnel arch known as Hall Dog-pew, in which the dogs that had followed the author's grandfather and family to church were imprisoned during divine service."
Gammerstang commented on the word dog-flogger
(noun) - A parish official whose duties consisted in expelling any dog . . . which might intrude into the church during the performance of any service. The office usually joined with that of the sexton and pew-opener. The short, stout dog-whip was a regular part of the dog-whipper's equipment. In one Derby church, the office has existed down to the year 1861 and has become almost hereditary in one family.
--J.C. Atkinson's Forty Years in a Moorland Parish, 1891
Gammerstang commented on the word tift
(noun) - (1) Anything as it ought to be; a poet's muse is in tift when she sings well.
--John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824
(2) Condition, plight, humour; in tift, in proper capacity for doing anything. It might be used to denote eagerness to engage in any business.
--John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808
(3) A slight fit of ill-humour or offendedness; a petty quarrel.
(4) Tifted up, cleansed and put into order.
--Francis Robinson's Whitby Glossary, 1876
Gammerstang commented on the word bumwhush
(noun) - (1) Ruin, obscurity, annihilation.
(2) When anything has made a noise for some time, and it is then quashed, it is said to have "gone to the bumwhush." This is too often the way with people of great popularity--they have their day then go to the bumwhush.
Gammerstang commented on the word turkey on one's back
(adjective) - A drunken man is sometimes said to have a "turkey on his back," perhaps the allusion to his having won one at a raffle in a drinking-place.
--James Bartlett's Dictionary of Americanisms, 1877
Gammerstang commented on the word catso
(noun) - One who obtains money or goods by fraud. Catzerie is the offence.
Gammerstang commented on the word willgill
(noun) - A very expressive name for an hermaphrodite, to which it exactly answers, will being for the man and gill (with g soft) for Gillian or Juliana, on the woman's part.
--Samuel Pegge's Alphabet of Kenticisms, 1736
Gammerstang commented on the word stamfish
(verb) - To talk in a way not generally understood.
--George Matsell's Vocabulum, or The Rogue's Lexicon, 1859
Gammerstang commented on the word isagogical
(adjective) - Introductory; from Greek eis, in, and ago, to lead.
Gammerstang commented on the word octogamie
(noun) - Marrying eight times. Latin octo eight, and Old French gamie marriage.
--Alois Brandl's Glossary of Middle English Literature, 1949
Gammerstang commented on the word gubernate
Gammerstang commented on the word callerin o' the blade
(noun) - A slight rain by which the blades of grass are cooled and refreshed.
Gammerstang commented on the word dollydaw
(noun) - One foolishly indulged.
--Walter Skeat's Glossary of Devonshire Words, 1896
Gammerstang commented on the word dowlk
(noun) - A word of doubtful etymology, but signifying the downy plumage of a bird.
Gammerstang commented on the word canny
(adjective) - (1) A genuine Newcastle word applied to the beauty of form, as of manners and morals, but most particularly used to describe those mild and affectionate dispositions which render the persons agreeable in the domestic state.
(2) Knowing, sagacious, judicious, prudent; wary, cautious; skillful, clever, lucky; careful, frugal; endowed with occult or magical powers.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893
Gammerstang commented on the word pedlar's French
(noun) - (1) The jargon used by thieves, tramps, etc.
(2) Frenchman, any man, of any country, who cannot speak English, as anyone who does not understand East Anglian is a shireman.
Gammerstang commented on the word syllab
(verb) - To divide words into syllables, specially in teaching a child to read.
--Mairi Robinson's Concise Scots Dictionary, 1985
Gammerstang commented on the word screelpoke
(noun) - A name bestowed on a crying child; from screed, to cry in a shrieking manner.
--C. Clough Robinson's Glossary of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876
Gammerstang commented on the word lubberland
(noun) - A slang term anciently applied to London - substituted for Cocaigne by the poets and wits of the 16th century. Lud's Town, a name sometimes anciently given to London was so called after Lud, a mythical king of England. "And on the gates of Lud's Town set your heads." Shakespeare's Cymbeline.
Gammerstang commented on the word teratology
(noun) - (1) Affectation of false sublimity.
(2) Teratology is when bold writers, fond of the sublime, intermix something great and prodigious in everything they write, whether there be foundation for it in reason or not, that this is call'd bombast.
--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1727
(3) A discourse of prodigies and wonders.
--Edward Phillips' New World of English Words, 1678
(4) A marvellous tale, or collection of such tales.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1919
Gammerstang commented on the word save reverence
(verb) - (1) A kind of apologetical apostrophe, when anything was said that might be thought filthy or indecent. It was contracted into sa'reverence, and thence corrupted into sir- or sur-reverence, which in one instance became the substitute for the word which it introduced, as, "I trod in a sa'reverence."
(2) Used apologetically in introducing some remark that might offend the hearer. "Who, saving your reverence, is the divell himselfe." Merchant of Venice.
--Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914
(3) A native woman of Devon, in describing something not particularly delicate, apologized with the phrase, "saving your reverence." This is not uncommon in the country, "saving your presence" being sometimes substituted. It occurs in Romeo and Juliet and is of great antiquity, being found in Mandeville's Travels.
Gammerstang commented on the word inbread
(noun) - The extra loaf or loaves allowed by a baker in each dozen; creating a "baker's-dozen".
Gammerstang commented on the word signaturist
(noun) - One who holds the "doctrine of signatures" . . . by which it was formerly supposed a plant's nature or medicinal use was pointed out.
--Joseph Worcester's Dictionary of the English Language, 1881
Gammerstang commented on the word laver
(verb) - To wash. It was anciently 13th century the custom for guests to wash before sitting down to meals, and it seems that the signal for this ablution was given by sounding a trumpet.
Gammerstang commented on the word tripudiation
Tripudist, one given to "tripudiating."
Gammerstang commented on the word penny wedding
(noun) - A rural wedding to which all are invited but expected to bring contributions, the smallest, that of a child, being a penny.
Gammerstang commented on the word circumlocution office
(noun) - The term circumlocution office carries with it the same idea as "red tape." It was originated by Dickens in Little Dorrit as a skit on the dilatoriness of government offices in transacting business. It was an office where business was habitually muddled up and delayed by high-salaried officials who shirked duties by passing them on to other departments, who in turn passed them elsewhere.
--J.B. Lippincott's Everyday Phrases Explained, 1913
Gammerstang commented on the word arg
(verb) - To quarrel; argisome, quarrelsome.
--Thomas Sternberg's Dialect and Folk-Lore of Northamptonshire, 1851
Gammerstang commented on the word eventriqueness
(noun) - Corpulence; formed on Latin ventrem, belly.
Gammerstang commented on the word clouder
(noun) - (1) An obsolete variant of cludder, a crowd, heap, cluster. Clouder is probably the same word as clutter, and is evidently the proper term for "a lot of cats."
--C.E. Hare's Language of Field and Sport, 1939
(2) Cludder, cluther, a large quantity, or mass of anything, gathered together.
--John Atkinson's Cleveland Yorkshire Glossary, 1868
Gammerstang commented on the word tutty
(adjective) - Cross, irritable.
Gammerstang commented on the word vigesimation
(noun) - (1) The act of putting to death every twentieth man. Related to decimate.
Gammerstang commented on the word seldshown
(adjective) - Rarely shown or exhibited; from Saxon seld; Shakespeare.
--Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
Gammerstang commented on the word sand-knocker
(noun) - (1) A sand-grinder.
(2) This occupation was formerly much more common in Lancashire than now, sand being more frequently used, not only for the purpose of cleaning but as a kind of ornament, and to preserve cleanliness. After a floor had been washed, to "sand" it by scrubbing with loose sand was almost the universal custom.
--J.H. Nodal's Glossary of the Lancashire Dialect, 1882
Gammerstang commented on the word inkhorn
(noun) - It was the custom for persons much employed in writing to carry ink, pens, &c. in a horn. Hence inkhorn terms, studied expressions that savour of the inkhorn. A very favorite expression, for a time.
Gammerstang commented on the word bees in the brain
(noun) - People, after they have been fou, feel as they are returning to their wits again, a buzzing and singin' in the head, which are called bees o' the brain. Also, when they are getting intoxicated they feel these fanciful insects.
Gammerstang commented on the word beeregar
(noun) - Sour beer . . . formed by acetous fermentation; from French aigre, sour.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888
Gammerstang commented on the word moble
(verb) - To dress grossly or inelegantly. Sometimes written mable, perhaps by a ludicrous allusion to the French je m'habille I get dressed.
Gammerstang commented on the word goffen
(verb) - (1) To laugh idiotically; hence, goffeny, a fool, silly person. Yorkshire.
(2) Goister, to laugh loudly.
--Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900
Gammerstang commented on the word crauky
(adjective) - Merry, sportive. "How crauky the boy is!"
--Rev. R.E.G. Cole's Glossary of Southwest Lincolnshire, 1886
Gammerstang commented on the word roky
Possessing or characterized by rokes . . . smoke, steam, vapour, mist, fog, drizzling rain.
Gammerstang commented on the word trolmydames
Trollmydames \Troll"my*dames`\, n. F. trou-madame pigeon holes. The game of nineholes. Written also trolmydames. Obs.
Gammerstang commented on the word barla-fumble
(noun) - A call for a truce by one who has fallen in play; improperly for "fall, tumble."
Gammerstang commented on the word gruffins
(pl. noun) - Used of a cow who, when she lifts her back is said to "hump her gruffins."
--Thomas Darlington's Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887
Gammerstang commented on the word furmenty
(noun) - A thick pottage made of whole wheat hulled, steeped, and boiled in milk.
Gammerstang commented on the word momblishness
(noun) - (1) Talk, muttering. Of Teutonic mummelen; old word.
--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749
(2) Explained as "muttering talk." Error for moublienies, in "ne moubliemies," forget-me-nots, about 1500. Momble, mumble.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, List of Spurious Words, 1933
(3) "Ne momblysnesse and souenesse," no mumbling talk nor noisy sound.
--Charles Richardson's New Dictionary of the English Language, 1836-1837
The passage, "Ne momblysnesse and souenesse," found in a 1532 edition of Chaucer's works, was perhaps the origin of the long-lived confusion about this faux word. As late as 1889, William Whitney carelessly included momblishness in his Century Dictionary as the same "muttering talk" of his predecessors, citing an early 1731 edition of Bailey's dictionary as the source.
Gammerstang commented on the word scurryfunge
(noun) - A hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time she knocks on the door.
--John Gould's Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, and Wazzats, 1975
Gammerstang commented on the word hunch-weather
(noun) - Cold weather which makes men hunch up their shoulders, and animals contract their limbs and look as if they were hunch-backed.
Gammerstang commented on the word key-cold
(adjective) - (1) As cold as a key, on account of the coldness of the metal of which it is composed; a key was anciently employed to stop any slight bleeding. The epithet is common to many old writers.
--Rev. Alexander Dyce's Glossary to the Works of Shakespeare, 1902
Gammerstang commented on the word Jeffrey God's Fo
(noun) - He that wil sweare & maintain oathes. This is such a lying knave that none wil beleve him, for the more he sweareth, ye les is to be beleved.
--John Awdeley's Fraternitye of Vagabondes, 1565
Gammerstang commented on the word hummums
(pl. noun) - Sweating places, or baths.
Gammerstang commented on the word mogigraphia
(noun) - (1) Term for difficult or cramped writing.
--Robert Mayne's Expository Lexicon of the Terms . . . of Medicine and General Science, 1853-1860
(2) Writer's cramp now graphospasm; also in anglicized form, mogigraphy; hence, mogigraphic. From Greek mogi, with toil and pain, used in a few modern Latin pathological terms, as mogilalia, mogilalism, stammering, and mogiphonia, "a difficulty in producing loud vocal sounds with the larynx, ordinary speech remaining," from the Sydenham Society Lexicon.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908
Gammerstang commented on the word toozle
(verb) - (1) To pull about, especially applied to any rough dalliance with a female.
(2) Touzly, ruffled, shaggy. In the phrase, "to touzle one's top," to make one's hair stand on end.
--Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905
January 18, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word opentyde
once ran from this day, the Feast of Epiphany, through Ash Wednesday, when marriages commonly took place in Britain. They were frowned on during Lent, especially on March 19, and were all but forbidden during the Christmas season, from late November until Epiphany. June nuptials remained in vogue and were blessed by the Church, but those during the "lusty month of May" were condemned as a holdover from pagan times, as this couplet reminds us:
Married in May, and kirked dressed in green,
Both bride and groom won't long be seen.
John Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities (1813) noted: "There was formerly a custom in the North of England, which will be thought to have bordered very closely upon indecency, and strongly marks the grossness of manners that prevailed among our ancestors. It was for the young men . . . to strive immediately after the ceremony to see who could first pluck off the Bride's Garters from her legs. This was done before the very altar . . . Whoever were so fortunate as to be victors in this . . . contest, during which the bride was often obliged to scream out, and was very frequently thrown down, bore the garters about the church in triumph."
Gammerstang commented on the word married all o'er
(adjective) - Said of women who after their marriage . . . become . . . miserable-looking.
--Georgina Jackson's Shropshire Word-Book, 1879
Gammerstang commented on the word bag of nails
(noun) - American theives' cant. Confusion; topsy-turveydom; from "baccanals."
--John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890
Gammerstang commented on the word catchpule
(noun) - (1) The game of tennis. Evidently from Belgian kaatspel, as the ball used in tennis is called kaatsbal, and the chace or limits of the game kaats. Old French cace signifies chace, and cache incursion.
(2) During the reign of France's Charles V palm play, which may properly enough be denominated hand-tennis, was exceedingly fashionable in France, being played by the nobility for large sums of money.
--Joseph Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, 1801
Gammerstang commented on the word winbrow
(noun) - (1) An eyebrow. Adaptation of Middle Low German winbrâ, corresponding to Old High German wintbrâwe and German wimper, eyelash; formed of wint wind, and brow; 1400s-1600s.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928
(2) Blacke-hair'd, broad-ey'd, his hairy win-browes meet.
--Thomas Heywood's Great Britaines Troy, 1609
Gammerstang commented on the word eggs for money
You're welcome alexz! I still have a lot more to go through.
January 17, 2018
Gammerstang commented on the word play dikkop
(verb) - To try to deceive, as plovers do by feigning a broken wing when one approaches their eggs or young. A term of reproach meaning numbskull. From Dutch dik, thick, and kop, head.
--Charles Pettman's Africanderisms: A Glossary of South African Colloquial Words and Phrases, 1913
Gammerstang commented on the word scissors-and-paste
(noun) - Extracts; "padding": as distinguished from original work.
--John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1903
Gammerstang commented on the word tree-geese
(pl. noun) - A name given to barnacles, from their supposed metamorphosis into geese.
Gammerstang commented on the word gone to Texas
(adjective) - An American expression for one who has decamped, leaving debts behind. It was, and is, no unusual thing for a man to display this notice - perhaps only the initials "G.T.T." on his door for the callers after he has absconded.
Gammerstang commented on the word post-fix
(noun/verb) - A letter appended to the end of another word; a suffix, an affix. To add a word, syllable, or letter at the end of another word.
--Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895
Gammerstang commented on the word nizzle
(verb) - (1) To be slightly intoxicated, to be the worse for liquor; to be unsteady; usually in past participle nizzled. Nizzle-toppin, an actively-inclined but weak-minded person; mid-Yorkshire.
(2) Neezled, little drunk or intoxicated.
--Walter Skeat's Glossary of North of England Words, 1873
Gammerstang commented on the word beats the Dutch
(adjective) - Something extraordinary. "That beats the Dutch and the Dutch beats the Devil" is the superlative.
--James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891
Gammerstang commented on the word sport ivory
(verb) - If someone smiled, he sported ivory.
--Morris Marples's University Slang, 1950
Gammerstang commented on the word googer
(noun) - The devil.
--Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879
Gammerstang commented on the word resurrection man
a person who exhumes and steals dead bodies, especially for dissection; body snatcher. Origin of resurrectionist. 1770-1780. First recorded in 1770-80; resurrection + -ist.
Gammerstang commented on the word death hunter
(noun) - (1) An undertaker, one who furnishes the necessary articles for funerals. Carrion hunter, an undertaker, called also a cold cook.
--Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796
(2) One who furnishes a newspaper with reports of deaths; a vendor of dying speeches or confessions.
Gammerstang commented on the word doggo
(adjective/adverb) - In hiding; desiring to be left alone; "lying doggo."
--Harold Wentworth's Dictionary of American Slang, 1960
Gammerstang commented on the word wolf's head
(noun) - (1) An outlaw, meaning a person who might be killed with inpugnity, like a wolf.
--Thomas Tayler's Law Glossary, 1856
(2) Originally found in the phrase "to cry wolf's head."
Gammerstang commented on the word expugn
(verb) - Apparently a blend of expunge and impugn.
--Louise Pound's "Second Word List from Nebraska," c.1916
Gammerstang commented on the word illiack passion
(noun) - (1) Wind in the small guts.
--Elisha Coles' English Dictionary, 1713
(2) A kind of nervous colick, whose seat is the ileum, whereby that gut is twisted.
--John Walker's Dictionary of the English Language, 1835
(3) A dangerous disease consisting in the expulsion of feculent matter by the mouth, accompanied with a swelling of the lower ventricle, an intense pain, and a total constipation.
Gammerstang commented on the word babies-in-the-eyes
(pl. noun) - (1) The miniature reflection of himself which a person sees in the pupil of another's eye on looking closely into it. Our old poets make it an employment of lovers to look for them in each other's eyes.
(2) Love in the expression of the eyes - the little babe Cupid, and hence the conceit, originating from the reflection of the onlooker in the pupil of another's eyes.
--Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898
(3) Bird of the eye, the little refracted image on the retina. In many languages there is an endearing term of this kind. The Greeks call it the girl or virgin; and our ancestors talked of the "baby in the eye."
Gammerstang commented on the word bensle
(noun) - A bleak, cold place. A place where the frost wind finds easy admittance. Also a person with a saucy air - as much thinking that he does not care a damn for the world . . . He passes the poor with a sneer, and capsizes the infirm with a laugh - his bosom is a bleak place, a bensle - cold unfeeling blasts whistle round his frozen heart.
Gammerstang commented on the word stirrup-cup
(noun) - (1) Or stirrup-dram also stirrup-glass, a glass of ardent spirits, or draught of ale, given by the landlord of an inn to his guest when about to depart on horseback.
--John Jamieson's Supplement to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1825
(2) Tib Mumps will be out wi' the stirrup-dram in a gliffing.
--Sir Walter Scott's Guy Mannering, 1815
(3) In the north of the Highlands called "cup at the door."
Gammerstang commented on the word heroologist
One who writes or discourses on heroes. From heroology, also herology, a history of, or treatise on, heroes. Heroological, pertaining to the history of heroes; heroogony, generation of heroes.
Gammerstang commented on the word vis
(noun) - (1) If the stay of the guest exceeds a week, it should be called "a visitation." If it includes a dining, or a tea-drinking, or evening-spending, it may be termed "a visit," while a mere call can be mentioned as "a vis."
--Eliza Leslie's Behaviour Book, 1859
(2) If you cannot make me a visit, at least make me a vis, if you can.
--Charles Southey's Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 1844
Gammerstang commented on the word jackleg
(noun) - (1) A lawyer whose record would not be regarded in a desirable light; this term is equivalent to black-leg.
(2) An incompetent or unskilled or unprincipled person; frequently used of lawyers and preachers.
Gammerstang commented on the word mistresspiece
(noun) - (1) A feminine masterpiece; after masterpiece. Compare French maîtresse pièce, the principle piece of a work; 1640s to early 1900s.
(2) Rosamund . . . being the mistress-piece of beauty in that Age.
--Thomas Fuller's History of the Worthies of England, 1662
Gammerstang commented on the word inkhorn terms
(pl. noun) - Pedantic expressions which "smell of the lamp."
Gammerstang commented on the word woolward
(adverb/adjective) - To go woolward was to wear woollen next to the skin as a penance. "Wolward and wetshod went I forth" William Langland's Piers Plowman, c.1399.
--William Toone's Glossary and Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832
Gammerstang commented on the word gantelope
(noun) - (1) This punishment, which is called running the gantlet, is seldom inflicted except for crimes as will excite a general antipathy amongst the seamen, as on some occasions the culprit would pass without receiving a single blow, particularly in cases of mutiny or sedition.
--William Falconer's Universal Dictionary of the Marine, 1771
(2) From Ghent and Dutch loopen, to run, because the punishment was first inflicted in that place.
Gammerstang commented on the word puckfyst
(adjective) - Thirsty. The puckfyst is a dried toadstool. Hence, "A feels puckfyst" means I feel as dry as a dried toadstool.
--Appleton Morgan's Study in the Warwickshire Dialect, 1900
Gammerstang commented on the word sinkings
(pl. noun) - Toothache and neuralgia. From Dutch zinkings, rheumatism.
Gammerstang commented on the word pig's whisper
(noun) - (1) A very short space of time.
--Jon Bee's Slang: A Dictionary, 1823
(2) Synonymous with "cockstride," cock's tread.
--John Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887
(3) You'll find yourself in bed in something less than a pig's whisper.
--Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, 1837
Gammerstang commented on the word gormed
a euph. for god-damned adj.; thus gorm v, to damn.
Gammerstang commented on the word bezonter
(verb) - (1) An expletive denoting surprise. "Bezonter me! but aw'm fair gormed."
--Robert Holland's Glossary of Words Used in . . . Cheshire, 1886
(2) Also written bezounter and bezountee.
Gammerstang commented on the word mopple
(verb/noun) - (1) To confuse. Halliwell says moppil is a mistake or blunder.
--Rev. Alfred Easther's Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883
(2) A state of disorder.
(3) Of an overgrown hedge, "In such a mopple."
--Francis Havergal's Herefordshire Words and Phrases, 1887
Gammerstang commented on the word chilver
(noun) - Mutton of a maiden sheep; Gloucestershire.
Gammerstang commented on the word spretched
(adjective) - Cracked. Eggs which have been set upon are said to have become spretched a day or two before the liberation of the chicken is effected. Lincolnshire.
Gammerstang commented on the word up to the hub
(adverb) - A proverbial expression in America signifying "to the utmost." The allusion is to a vehicle sunk in the mud to the hub, which is as far as it can go.
Gammerstang commented on the word cruddy-butter
The Arabs press curds and butter together to store in vats, and the Scots have Crowdie or Cruddy Butter.
Gammerstang commented on the word devil's smiles
are deceptive glimpses of sunlight between dark clouds. The word itself is derived from OE 'deofol', and ultimately, via the Latin 'diabolus', from the Greek 'diabolos', which originally meant an accuser or slanderer, from the corresponding verb meaning literally to throw across.
Gammerstang commented on the word mucksluff
An overcoat put on to cover the defects of one's underclothing.
Gammerstang commented on the word limia
is a genus of livebearing fishes belonging to the Cyprinodontiform family Poeciliidae.
Gammerstang commented on the word chiromantically
chiromantic. : of or relating to chiromancy or chiromancers.
Gammerstang commented on the word porphyroferous
Possibly porphyr- L. fr Gr. porphyra, purple fish, murex, purple
Prefixes meaning purple, dark red. & ferous
-ferous; suffix: -iferous having, bearing, or containing (a specified thing).
Gammerstang commented on the word quignogs
An old Cornish word for pipedreams, or ridiculous thoughts or ideas.
Gammerstang commented on the word shilling-dreadful
In the 1880s, the alliterative shilling shocker — also called a shilling dreadful — began to appear for a type of more substantial short sensational novel, often by writers of some ability (Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was placed in this category when it first came out).
Gammerstang commented on the word skewboglish
(Lincolnshire) a horse that is apt to be shy
Gammerstang commented on the word chatillionte
(adjective) - Delightful, amusing. From French chatouiller, to tickle, to provoke with delight.
Gammerstang commented on the word chitterie-chatterie
(noun) - (1) A piece of bread eaten immediately after bathing.
--Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary, 1911
(2) From chitter, to shiver; to tremble. Hence, boys are wont to call that bit of bread which they preserve for eating after bathing a chittering-piece.
Gammerstang commented on the word postlude
(noun) - A concluding piece or movement played at the end of an oratorio or the like; formed on post, and ludus, play, on analogy of prelude, interlude.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909
Gammerstang commented on the word crosspatch
(noun) - Patch was at one time a term of contempt. It did not . . . necessarily mean a fool, but signified what we now mean by a contemptible fellow. Shakespeare has A Midsummer Night's Dream: "A crew of patches, base mechanicals." Crosspatch is the only remnant of the word. It is very expressive of a cross, ill-tempered, disagreeable person.
--Eliezer Edwards' Dictionary of Words, Facts, and Phrases, 1882
Gammerstang commented on the word sloven's year
A wonderfully prosperous season, when even the bad farmer has good crops
Gammerstang commented on the word slughorne
Alternative form of slughorn. (obsolete) A battle cry.
Gammerstang commented on the word slut-grate
s. Grating in the hearth, through which the ashes fall, leaving the cinders.
Gammerstang commented on the word tarans
That children dying unbaptized (called Tarans) wandered in woods and solitudes, lamenting their hard fate, and were often seen. It cannot be doubted, that many of these stories concerning apparitions, tarans, &c., came out of the cloisters of Monks and Friars, or were the invention of designing Priests, who deluded the world with their stories of Purgatory and Limbics Infantum. - The History of the Province of Moray: Comprising the Counties of Elgin and Nairn, the Greater Part of the County of Inverness and a Portion of the County of Banff,--all Called the Province of Moray Before There was a Division Into Counties, Volume 3
Gammerstang commented on the word thwankin
adj. A term applied to clouds which mix together in thick and gloomy succession
Gammerstang commented on the word yeth-hounds
...The mysterious lady Frau Bertha is ever attended by troops of unbaptized children, and she takes them with her when the joins the wild huntsman, and sweeps with him and his wild pack across the wintry sky. In North Devon the local name is "Yeth hounds". heath and heathen being both "Yeth" in the North Devon dialect (...) and the belief seems to be that their unbaptized children's spirits, having no admittance into Paradise, unite in a pack of "Heathen" or "Yeth" hounds, and hunt the Evil One to home they ascribe their unhappy condition. These Yeth Hounds or Wisht Hounds were well known in west country folk lore. - The Blessed and the Damned: Sinful Women and Unbaptised Children in Irish Folklore by Anne O'Connor
Gammerstang commented on the word hunt a tavern fox
To get drunk.
Gammerstang commented on the word gapesnest
(n) a strange sight fit only to be stared at
Gammerstang commented on the word rigmutton
(noun) - (1) A wanton wench that is ready to ride upon the men's backs, or else passively to be their rompstall. The word mutton, when applied to a woman, whether alone or as part of a compound epithet, seems always to have been opprobrious, as in Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona: "Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour." From rig, rigging, ready to bestride any inactive stallion, and give him a quickening spur.
--Frederick Elworthy's Specimens of English Dialects: Devonshire, 1879
(2) Rigmutton rumpstall, a wanton girl. West Country.
Gammerstang commented on the word nompion
(noun) - (1) A leader, a great man.
(2) One possessing more knowledge than the common people. Lancashire.
(pl. noun) - (1) In the phrase to take eggs for money, to accept an offer which one would rather refuse . . . Farmers' daughters would go to market, taking with them a basket of eggs. If one bought something worth . . . three shillings, fourpence, she would pay the three shillings and say - "will you take eggs for the rest of the money?" If the shopman weakly consented, he received the value of the fourpence in eggs, usually . . . at the rate of four or five a penny. But the strong-minded shopman would refuse. Eggs were even used to pay interest for money.
(2) A proverbial expression, when a person was either awed by threats or overreached by subtlety, to give money upon a trifling or fictitious consideration.
(3) Mine honest friend, will you take eggs for money?
--William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, 1611
Gammerstang commented on the word campanology
(noun) - A discourse on bells or bell-ringing; from Italian campana, bell.
--James Donald's Chambers' Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, 1877
Gammerstang commented on the word blacksmith's daughter
(noun) - A lock or key to a door or gate, a padlock.
--J. Robertson's Glossary of Dialect and Archaic Words Used in . . . Gloucester, 1890
Gammerstang commented on the word fantaisiste
fanciful, kooky, entertainer.
Gammerstang commented on the word Englishable
(adjective) - (1) That may be rendered into English.
--John Ogilvie's Imperial Dictionary, 1865
(2) Capable of being translated into, or expressed in, English.
Gammerstang commented on the word bittock
(noun) - If you ask a Scotchman the distance to any place he will reply, after asking you in return where you came from, that it is so many miles and a bittock.
Gammerstang commented on the word blasphematour
(noun) - A blasphemer; from French blasphémateur. Blasphemeress, a woman who blasphemes; from Old French blasphemeresse. Blasphement, blasphemy.
Gammerstang commented on the word hortyard
(noun) - A garden or orchard.
Gammerstang commented on the word woofits
(pl. noun) - The unpleasant aftereffects of overindulgence, especially drinking.
--Lester Berrey's American Thesaurus of Slang, 1942
Gammerstang commented on the word kazzardly
(adjective) - Unlucky . . . Perhaps corrupted from hazard.
--William Holloway's Dictionary of Provincialisms, 1838
Gammerstang commented on the word Welchman's hose
(noun) - (1) Equivalent to the breeches of a Highlander, or the dress of a naked Pict; upon the presumption that Welchmen wear no hose.
--Thomas Fielding's Select Proverbs of All Nations, 1824
(2) In phrases like "to make a Welshman's hose of" and "to make like a Welshman's hose," to stretch or wrest the meaning of a word, sentence, etc.
Gammerstang commented on the word close-stool
(noun) - A chamber utensil enclosed in a stool or box.
Gammerstang commented on the word basket of chips
(noun) - A metaphor for a pleasant experience, perhaps because a supply of chips gives promise of a good fire.
--Richard Thornton's American Glossary, 1912
Gammerstang commented on the word viduity
(noun) - Widowhood; from Latin viduus.
Gammerstang commented on the word churching mice
(pl. noun) - Murmuring in an undertone; Shropshire.
Gammerstang commented on the word debacchation
From debacchate, to revile one after the manner of drunkards.
Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1623
Gammerstang commented on the word grincheur
(noun) - A young thief; from grinche, a thief . . . Other varieties of the tribe of thieving malefactors go by the appellations of chevalier de la grippe, limousineur, voleur de bonjour, droguiste, &c. The English brethren are denominated: prig, cracksman, crossman, sneaksman, moucher, hooker, flash cove, bug-hunter, cross-cove, buz-faker, stook-hauler, toy-getter, prop-nailer, area-sneak, lob-sneak, lully-prigger, thimble-twister, conveyancer, pudding-snammer, beak-hunter, ziff, buttock-and-file, poll-thief, little snakesman, mill-ben, cove on the cross, flashman and, formerly a good fellow, a bridle-cull.
--Albert Barrère's Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant, 1889
Gammerstang commented on the word square dinkham
(adjective) - True, straightforward, correct.
--Edward Fraser's Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases, 1925
Gammerstang commented on the word jeoparty-trot
(noun) - A quick motion, between running and walking when one, on account of fear or weakness, is not able to run at full speed. The term seems to have had its origin from the flight of those who, living in a country subject to many inroads and depredations, were often obliged to escape from their enemies, while in consequence of hot pursuit their lives were in jeopardy every moment.
Gammerstang commented on the word screwed in
(adjective) - A practical joke was to secure someone's door from the outside with long coffin-screws. The victim was said to be screwed in or screwed up. Hence, screwed up came to mean defeated, baffled, incapable of retaliation. Oxford.
--Morris Marples' University Slang, 1950
Gammerstang commented on the word drumsler
(noun) - A drummer. A form corrupted from drumslager . . . Dutch trommelslager.
Gammerstang commented on the word shruff
(noun) - (1) Light rubbish wood; a perquisite to hedgers. Norfolk and Suffolk.
--Samuel Pegge's Supplemental Glossary, c.1800
(2) Refuse, esp. for burning; light refuse wood, cinders, etc. used for fuel.
(3) Shruffe, the undergrowth of the swamps; shruffey meadowe, shruffey upland. Dedham Records, 1659-1660.
--George Krapp's English Language in America, 1925
Gammerstang commented on the word weather-wiseacre
(noun) - (1) A weather prophet.
(2) By the colour or hue of the scaum atmospheric haze do watherwiseakers guess about coming weather.
(3) From wiseacre, a wise or learned person; a sage.
Gammerstang commented on the word biwrixle
(verb) - To change, transform.
Gammerstang commented on the word cheveril
(noun) - Kid leather. Hence, a very flexible conscience was called a chevril conscience. From French cheveril, goat.
Gammerstang commented on the word stand mute
(verb) - A prisoner is said to stand mute when, being arraigned for treason or felony, he either makes no answer, or answers foreign to the purpose. Anciently, a mute was taken back to prison, placed in a dark dungeon, naked, on his back, on the bare ground, and a great weight of iron placed on his body . . . By statute 12 George III, judgment is awarded against mutes, in the same manner as if they were convicted or confessed. A man refusing to plead was condemned and executed . . . on a charge of burglary, at Wells, 1792.
--Joseph Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, 1841
Gammerstang commented on the word cheap-jack
(noun) - (1) A travelling hawker, who sells by Dutch auction, i.e., reduces the price of his wares until he finds a purchaser. From Anglo-Saxon chepe, a market. Sometimes cheap-John.
(2) Cheap-jackery, that which is characteristic of a cheap-jack.
Gammerstang commented on the word panshard
(noun) - (1) A passion, a rage. In a panshard, in a rage, out of temper. Pansheet, a state of excitement, confusion, sudden passion. Panshite in West Yorkshire.
(2) You have no need to get into a panshard.
--John Wise's New Forest: Its History and Its Scenery, 1883
Gammerstang commented on the word quill-driver
(noun) - (1) A scrivener, a clerk; satirical phrase similar to "steel bar driver," a tailor.
(2) A clerk, scribe, or hackney writer. Brother of the quill, an author.
Gammerstang commented on the word bosky
(adjective) - Elated with liquor.
--William Cope's Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, 1883
Gammerstang commented on the word cadge
(verb/noun) - A whining beggar is a cadger. "On the cadge" is applied to the regular "rounders" who wander from town to town telling in each place a pitiful story of distress. In Scotland a cadger is an itinerant peddler of fish.
Gammerstang commented on the word veriloquy
(noun) - The true expression of a word; the etymology or right meaning of a word.
Gammerstang commented on the word glacerium
(noun) - A skating-rink with ice artificially produced, as in aquarium, vivarium.
Gammerstang commented on the word gall of bitterness
(noun) - The bitterest grief; extreme affliction. The ancients taught that grief and joy were subject to the gall, affection to the heart, knowledge to the kidneys, anger to the bile one of the four humors of the body, and courage or timidity to the liver. The gall of bitterness, like the heart of hearts, means the bitter centre of bitterness, as the heart of hearts means the innermost recesses of the heart of affections.
Gammerstang commented on the word thumb-bucka
(noun) - A thick slice of bread on which butter is spread with the thumb.
--Sidney Addy's Glossary of Words Used in Sheffield, 1888
Gammerstang commented on the word alehoof
so called by the Saxons because a chief ingredient in their malt-liquor instead of hops.
--Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775
Gammerstang commented on the word equivoke
(noun) - An ambiguous expression; a quibble; from Latin œquivocus, ambiguous.
--Joseph Worcester's Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language, 1881
Gammerstang commented on the word faffering
(adjective) - (1) Of the wind, blowing with cold chilly gusts.
--G. Story's Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 1982
(2) Faff, to blow in sudden gusts; Scotland, English North Country. Hence faffment, nonsense, balderdash; Lancashire.
Gammerstang commented on the word tide
(noun) - Time or season; the divisions of the 24 hours. From an ancient book in the old German dialect, Speygel der Leyen, or the Mirrour of Laymen, it appears that the 24 hours were divided into prime, tierce, sext, none, vesper, fall of night, and metten (nightly mass). Our ancestors also had certain divisions of the artificial day, as undertide, &c.
Gammerstang commented on the word chair-days
(pl. noun) - (1) Old age, spent to a considerable extent resting in a chair.
(2) In thy Reverence, and thy Chaire-dayes, thus to die in Ruffian battel.
--William Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, 1593
(3) Drooping chair, chair fit for old age; 1 Henry VI.
--C. Herford's Works of Shakespeare, 1902
Gammerstang commented on the word pourquoi story
A pourquoi story ("pourquoi" means "why" in French), also known as an origin story, pourquoi tale or an etiological tale, is a fictional narrative that explains why something is the way it is, for example why a snake has no legs, or why a tiger has stripes. Many legends and folk tales are pourquoi stories.
Gammerstang commented on the word clashmaclavers
(pl. noun) - Low, idle, scandalous tales.
Gammerstang commented on the word hochle
(verb) - To tumble lewdly with women in open day.
Gammerstang commented on the word calenture
(noun) - (1) A distemper peculiar to sailors in hot climates wherein they imagine the sea to be green fields, and they throw themselves into it if not restrained.
(2) A species of furious delirium to which sailors are subject in the torrid zone; a kind of phrenitis, the attack of which comes on suddenly after a broiling day.
--Robley Dunglison's Dictionary of Medical Science, 1844
(3) From French calenture, heat; from Latin caleo, to be hot.
--John Ridpath's Home Reference Library, 1898
Gammerstang commented on the word bouffage
(noun) - (1) A satisfying meal; adopted from Old French bouffage defined in its original sense by Cotgrave below. "His inwards and flesh remaining could make no bouffage, but a light bit for the grave." Letter of Sir Thomas Browne, 1672.
(2) Any meat that, eaten greedily, fils the mouth, and makes the cheeks to swell; cheeke-puffing meat.
Gammerstang commented on the word cucking-stool
(noun) - (1) A chair in which an offender was placed to be hooted at or pelted by the mob; or it might be used for ducking its occupant; from Icelandic kuka, to ease oneself, and kukr, dung.
--Charles Annandale's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897
(2) An instrument of punishment formerly in use for scolds, disorderly women, fraudulent tradespeople, etc.
Gammerstang commented on the word kilted
(adjective) - The participle kilted is sometimes used metaphorically to denote language that borders upon indecency. Derived from kilt, to lift up the petticoats or clothes to avoid wetting them when going on foot. From this verb comes kilt, the English or Saxon name for the most conspicuous portion of the Highlander garb, called by the Highlanders themselves the fillibeg, or little coat.
--Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874
Gammerstang commented on the word gowk's-storm
(noun) - A storm consisting of several days of tempestuous weather, believed by the peasantry to take place periodically about the beginning of April, at the time that the gowk, or cuckoo, visits this country. Metaphorically used to denote an evil or obstruction which is only of short duration.
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