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Archive for November, 2012

From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Quartereen: a farthing. Gibraltar term, Ital., Quattrino

 

(I like it! But I couldn’t find any more info on it.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

 

Elizabeth I of England, the Armada Portrait, W...

Elizabeth I of England, the Armada Portrait, Woburn Abbey (George Gower, ca 1588). Other versions of the Armada portrait are by different artists. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Queen Bess: the Queen of Clubs, perhaps because that queen, history says, was of a swarthy complexion. North Hants. See Gentleman’s Magazine for 179, p.141.

 

 

 

(Ha! What fun. Queen Bess refers to Queen Elizabeth I of course. I wonder what the other queens in the deck are called.)

 

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

 

Victoria Sovereign

Victoria Sovereign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James: a sovereign, or twenty shillings.

 

 

(Hmmm the sovereign got its name from having a picture of the current sovereign on it at the time of mint. However, none of those sovereigns were named James.  There were a bunch of Georges, a William, a Victoria an Edward and an Elizabeth. So where does James come in? They are made of 22 Karat gold bullion and on Ebay they are currently going $400 at the cheapest.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Paddy, Pat, or Paddy Whack: an Irishman.

I’m Paddy Whack, from Bally hack,
Not long ago turned soldier,
In storm and sack, in front attack,
None other can be bolder.
Irish Song.

 

 

(Fun song!)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Padding Kens, or Cribs: tramps’ and boy’s lodging houses.

 

 

(What do you know, crib has come back again, with a slightly different meaning.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Pall: to detect.

(Wellll, I found lots of definitions of the word Pall but none of them mean to detect. Here are some of the others:

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

PALL, n. [L. pallium.]
1. A cloke; a mantle of state.
2. The mantle of an archbishop.
3. The cloth thrown over a dead body at funerals.
PALL, n. In heraldry, a figure like the Greek.
PALL, v.t. To cloke; to cover or invest.
PALL, v.i. [Gr. old.]
1. To become vapid; to lose strength, life, spirit or taste; to become insipid; as, the liquor palls.
Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in the eye and palls upon the sense.
PALL, v.t. To make vapid or insipid.
Reason and reflection–blunt the edge of the keenest desires, and pall all his enjoyments.
1. To make spiritless; to dispirit; to depress.
The more we raise our love,
The more we pall and cool and kill his ardor.
2. To weaken; to impair; as, to pall fortune.
3. To cloy; as the palled appetite.

I also found this:

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Pall: A companion. One who generally accompanies another, or who commit robberies together.

So I’m not sure where the whole “detect” comes from.)

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LADY BLADE is my as yet unpublished YA historical adventure novel. This excerpt is from the ending of Chapter two. Francesca DiCesare is the daughter of Italy’s most illustrious fencing Maestro and Achilles is her horse.

Francesca turned Achilles right, away from the road. He shook his head and headed back toward home. Francesca knew he was tired and wanted his stable and his oats. She rubbed his neck, her voice quavering, “I know. Breakfast will have to wait.” She realized that she had no idea when, where, or how either of them would ever eat again, much less sleep or live. She started to curl into a ball, but stopped herself and straightened. Words floated to the surface of her mind. Fugitive. Criminal. Hunted. Hanged. They were terrifying words, but she refused to give in. She needed to think. What was she to do? Where was she to go? Was there nowhere safe?

Papa’s words came to her, To England, Cesca. Reverend Falk, Covington. He’ll take you to Billy. Billy will watch over you.

There was somewhere safe, if she could get there. She turned Achilles to the right and let him walk. She bent flat against her thigh, her cheek lying against Achilles’ neck, as much for his warmth, for she felt chilled to the bone, as to avoid the low branches. She let him pick his way through the thicket.

They emerged onto a field of knee-high wheat. And there it was. Her breath caught in her throat and a fresh wave of pain and longing swept through her chest. A half mile away, perched high on a hill, was home, Salle DiCesare, the world-famous fencing school where, until this morning, Papa taught young noblemen the art and science of the sword.

The villa’s tan stones and terracotta roof glowed in the morning sun. A stone wall wound gracefully around it like a ribbon of gold. She could just glimpse the fuchsia of the bougainvillea that covered the south wall of the main courtyard.

Achilles neighed and she patted his neck. She ached to gallop across the fields and rush through the main gate. She wanted to throw herself on her bed, close her eyes, and wait to wake up from this nightmare. But she couldn’t. The Salle’s iron gates were irrevocably closed to her.

Besides, she knew the soldiers would expect her to run home. She was only eighteen, and a girl, after all. They would expect her to be frightened and confused. She hoped they would spend hours searching the Salle for her, while she slipped away.

She could see things were working in her favor. The soldiers had regained the road and were galloping toward the Salle.

Francesca turned Achilles in the opposite direction, away from her friends, her family, from her world. It was just the two of them now. She and Achilles would head south across country until they met the road west to the port of Livorno and the sea.

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Copy of a Photograph of Charles Dickens

Copy of a Photograph of Charles Dickens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paddle: to go or run away. Household Words, No. 183

 

(According to Wikipedia, Household Words was an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens in the 1850s. It took its name from the line in Shakespeare‘s Henry V: “Familiar in his mouth as household words.”

Household Words was published every Wednesday from March 1850 to May 1859. Each number cost a mere tuppence, thereby ensuring a wide readership. The publication’s first edition carried a section covering the paper’s principles, entitled “A Preliminary Word”:

We aspire to live in the Household affections, and to be numbered among the Household thoughts, of our readers. We hope to be the comrade and friend of many thousands of people, of both sexes, and of all ages and conditions, on whose faces we may never look. We seek to bring to innumerable homes, from the stirring world around us, the knowledge of many social wonders, good and evil, that are not calculated to render any of us less ardently persevering in ourselves, less faithful in the progress of mankind, less thankful for the privilege of living in this summer-dawn of time.

For more info...)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Pad: “to stand Pad,” to beg with a small piece of paper pinned on the breast, inscribed “I’m starving.”

Pad: the highway

Pad: a tramp. Lincolnshire.

Pad the Hoof: to walk, not ride; “Padding the Hoof on the high toby,” tramping or walking on the high road.

“Trudge, plod away o’ the hoof.”
Merry Wives, i.,3.  Shakespeare

 

(I have to say padding the hoof on the high toby sounds like much more fun than walking the highway.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Nantee Palaver: no conversation, i.e., hold your tongue. Lingua Franca. See Palaver.

Palaver: to ask, to talk, not deceitfully, as the term usually signifies; “Palaver to the nibs for a shanty of bivvy,” ask the master for a quart of beer. In this sense used by tramps. Derived from French, Parler.

 

 

 

(Yeah, I would never have gotten “ask the master for a quart of beer” from “Palaver to the nibs for a shanty of bivvy.”)

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