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Archive for January, 2013

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


Walk The Barber
:  to lead a girl astray.

 

(Huh, I wonder where that came from. I sure wouldn’t have guessed it. What does the barber have to do with anything?)

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


Walk Into
:  to overcome, to demolish; “I’ll Walk Into his affections” ie., I will scold or thrash him. The word Drive (which see) is used in an equally curious sense in slang speech.

Drive: a term used by tradesmen in speaking of business; “he’s Driving a roaring trade,” i.e., a very good one; hence, to succeed in a bargain. ” I Drove a good bargain,” i.e., got the best end of it.

(Driving a  bargain still works but Walk Into is long gone as far as I can tell. I wonder why some last and other don’t? And again, what’s with all the thrashing of people?)

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Hi All,

Just wanted to share a new development. LADY BLADE is a finalist in the San Francisco Writers Conference contest, the Indie Publishing Contest.

The grand prize is $500 and a consultation with a literary agent who represents works in the winner’s genre. Winners will be announced February 15th.

Help me keep my fingers crossed and lets see LADY BLADE in print!

Catherine Thrush

 

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

chalks

chalks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Walk Your Chalks:  be off, or run away, spoken sharply by any one who wishes to get rid of you. See Chalks.

Chalks: “to walk one’s Chalks,” to move off, or run away. An ordeal for drunkenness used on board ship, to see whether the suspected person can walk on a chalked line without overstepping it on either side.

(Ah, so long before there were DUIs there were SUIs. Sailing Under the Influence. I imagine the punishments were much more corporeal back then. A lashing, or thrashing seems likely.)

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

Picture of a small orrery

Picture of a small orrery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Walker!
or Hookey Walker!:  an ejaculation of incredulity, said when a person is telling a story which you know to be all gammon, or false. The Saturday Reviewer’s explanation of the phrase is this: Years ago, there was a person named Walker, an aquiline-nosed Jew, who exhibited an orrery, which he called by the erudite name of Eidouranion. He was also a popular lecturer on astronomy, and often invited his pupils, telescope in hand, to take a sight at the moon and stars. The lecturer’s phrase struck his school-boy auditory, who frequently “took a sight” with that gesture of outstretched arm, and adjustment to the nose and eye, which was the first garnish of the popular saying. The next step was to assume phrase and gesture as the outward and visible mode of knowingness in general.” A correspondent, however , denies this, and states that Hookey Walker was a magistrate of dreaded acuteness and incredulity, whose hooked nose gave the title of BEAK to all his successors; and , moreover, that the gesture of applying the thumb to the nose and agitating the little finger,  as an expression of “don’t you wish you may get it? is considerably older than the story in the Saturday Review would seem to indicates. There is a third explanation of Hookey Walker in Notes and Queries, iv., 425.

(Okay, if I’m getting this straight, Walker! (said with thumb to nose)  is said of someone who thinks they know more than the do. I think.

Anywho,  an orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System in a heliocentric model.

I tried to look up the third  explanation, but this book does not include the notes. Darn.)

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

Wabble:  to move from side to side, to roll about. Johnson terms it a “low, barbarous word.”

(That’s probably where wobble comes from. And perhaps warble as well. I wonder what Johnson objected to so strenuously?)

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

 

Voker:  to talk; “can you Voker Romany?” can you speak the canting language. Latin, Vocare; Spanish, Vocear.

 

(They sure were good at mispronouncing other languages.)

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

 

Vinnied:  mildewed or sour. Devonshire.

 

(Ha! I’ll have to tell our friend Vinnie that!)

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

 

Ville or Vile:  a town or village. Pronounced phial, or vial. French

(The word may be French the pronunciation is not. The French would pronounce it more along the lines of veal.)

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

File:Waterloo the old vic 1.jpgVic.:  the Victoria Theatre, London, patronised principally by costermongers and low people; also the street abbreviation of the Christian name of her Majesty the Queen.

(They both  must have been something to see back in the day. Here’s more info about what is now called the Old Vic Theater. I think that’s the one they’re talking about. There are at least three theaters in London called the Vic.)

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