Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2013

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

 

Models on the catwalk

Models on the catwalk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death: “to dress to Death,” i.e., to the very extreme of fashion, perhaps so as to be Killing.

 

Killing: bewitching, fascination. The term is akin to the phrase “dressing to the Death.”

 

(Oh yeah. Dressed to kill. That’s a killer dress… Sometimes things don’t change much in a few hundred years. Well, I suppose the fashions do.)

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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

Dashing: showy, fast.

(Hmmm, that one has changed meaning a bit.  Here’s the current definition:

  1. (of a man) Attractive in a romantic, adventurous way.
  2. Stylish or fashionable.

Funny that the old definition seems like an insult. I wonder how the change came about. Or was is perhaps the author’s personal bias showing?)

Read Full Post »

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

Wine Bottles

Wine Bottles (Photo credit: Bayhaus)

Dead Men: the term for wine bottles after they are emptied of their contents. Old. See Marines.

Marine, or Marine Recruit: an empty bottle. This expression having once been used in the presence of an officer of marines, he was at first inclined to take it as an insult, until someone adroitly appeased his wrath by remarking that no offense could be meant, as all that it could possibly imply was “one who had done his duty, and was ready to do it again.”

(Semper Fi!)

Read Full Post »

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

Book of Hours, f.80v, (184 x 133 mm), 15th cen...

Photo credit: National Library NZ on The Commons

Dead Lurk: entering a dwelling-house during divine services.

(It does take a special sort of person to rob people’s houses while they’re at church. I wonder if that’s what people prayed for – to not have their house robbed while they were saying their prayers.)

Read Full Post »

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

Dead Horse: “to draw the Dead Horse,” Dead Horse work, working for wages already paid; also any thankless or unassisted service.

(That poor Dead Horse, thankless work and a beating…)

Read Full Post »

Well, I just came out of the closet.

 

Renovation

Renovation (Photo credit: HatM)

 

No, not the closet. Our hall closet to be precise, where we hang our coats and umbrellas. I’m remodeling it. Why? First of all, boy howdy did it need it. Secondly, we don’t have the cashola to remodel our office which is what I’d really like to do. And most importantly, remodeling is what I do while my subconscious is busy working out the solutions to writing problems that  have me stumped.

 

So I’ve put in a new floor –  left over cork from our kitchen project instead of the cracked and broken vinyl fake-red-brick – I’ve painted the closet a crisp white instead of the grungy battleship gray and I’m redoing all the moldings.

 

The closet is coming together. My story isn’t. What’s up, subconscious? Get with the program. I need solutions or I’ll… I’ll…

 

So, how do you discipline a lazy subconscious?

 

I suppose there’s always the linen closet.

 

Sigh.

 

Read Full Post »

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

Dead Alive: stupid, dull.

(I’ve felt that way on occasion. Usually after getting “drunk as David’s Sow.”)

Read Full Post »

English: Davy Jones, sea devil described by To...

English: Davy Jones, sea devil described by Tobias Smollett in The adventures of Peregrine Pickle, London 1751, illustrated by George Cruikshank in 1832. Polski: Davy Jones, morski potwór wg opisu Tobias’a Smolletta w książce Przygody Peregryna Pikla, Londyn 1751, zilustrowany przez George’a Cruikshanka w 1832. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Davy’s Locker or Davy Jones’ Locker: the sea, the common receptacle for all things thrown overboard; -a nautical phrase for death, the other world.

(Of course, we all know that one, but it’s interesting to hear it in words from the 1800s. He also failed to mention it was a term among sailors for the devil.

Here is what some others have said:

The earliest known reference of the negative connotation of Davy Jones occurs in the Four Years Voyages of Capt. George Roberts, by the author Daniel Defoe, published in 1726 in London.

Some of Loe’s Company said, They would look out some things, and give me along with me when I was going away; but Ruffel told them, they should not, for he would toss them all into Davy Jones’s Locker if they did.
—Daniel Defoe[5]

An early description of Davy Jones occurs in Tobias Smollett‘s The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, published in 1751:[4]

This same Davy Jones, according to sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is often seen in various shapes, perching among the rigging on the eve of hurricanes:, ship-wrecks, and other disasters to which sea-faring life is exposed, warning the devoted wretch of death and woe.
—Tobias Smollett[4]

In the story Jones is described as having saucer eyes, three rows of teeth, horns, a tail, and blue smoke coming from his nostrils.)

Read Full Post »

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

Eyes

Eyes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daylights: eyes; “to darken his daylights,” to give a person black eyes.

(I love this one. So apropos. I had to use it in my book, Lady Blade.)

Read Full Post »

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

Davy: “on my Davy,” on my affidavit, of which it is a vulgar corruption. Latterly Davy has become synonymous in street language with the name of the Deity; “so help me Davy,” slang rendering of the conclusion of the oath usually exacted of witnesses.

(I get the first one, but the second is a bit of a stretch.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: