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Archive for August, 2013

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

English: Everyone take a drink

English: Everyone take a drink (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neck: to swallow

Neck-Oil: drink of any kind.

(Very graphic. So to “neck your max” would be to swallow your gin.)

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

A Deeper Love: The Best of Aretha Franklin

A Deeper Love: The Best of Aretha Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Natural: an idiot, a simpleton.

(Ha, That meaning has changed just a skosh. These days Natural tends to be a good thing – as opposed to over processed and toxic. If you’re a Natural at something that generally now means that you have talent. And this definition certainly changes the meaning of Aretha Franklin’s song  “A Natural Woman.” )

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

Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency

Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Needful: money, cash.

(I like it. Next time I need to borrow a few bucks I’ll explain that I’m a bit short on the Needful.)

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Hi Friends,

Well, in the two weeks that my short story has been up on Wattpad it’s already gotten over 60 reads! Great news. It also got 4 votes, although I don’t really understand what the voting is all about. Still, I’ll take it.

If you haven’t read the story yet I do believe it is my best so far – and it’s free! So if you like pirates, tall ships and mayhem, here’s the link:

My Brave Girl

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

Yosemite Sam

Yosemite Sam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nation: very, or exceedingly. Corruption of Damnation.

(Wasn’t it Yosemite Sam who always said “Tarnation!” I always got a kick out of that.

I do wish the author would have used it in a sentence for us. It seems more like an exclamation to me. (But that might just be because of Yosemite.) Perhaps it was used along the lines of: We’re in for a Nation big heap o’ trouble.)

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

English: View of downtown Montreal. Français :...

English: View of downtown Montreal. Français : Vue du centre de Montréal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nary One: provincial for Ne’er A One, neither.

(Hmm, the second one seems equally as provincial to me, but both are fun. Nary one of ’em would be used today.

I assume they mean this definition of provincial:

Of or characteristic of people from the provinces; not fashionable or sophisticated.

Doesn’t seem true today – at least of any of the provinces I’ve been to. I was in Montreal two months ago and was very impressed.)

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

Child nose

Child nose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nark: a person in the pay of the police; a common informer; one who gets his living by laying traps for publicans, &c.

Nark: to watch, or look after, “Nark the titter;” watch the girl.

(I had no idea it went so far back. Interesting how one meaning can blend into another.  It is also surprising how many old slang words had possible Hindu origins.  Looking up the etymology, I found this:

nark
1859, “to act as a police informer” (v.); 1860, “police informer” (n.), probably from Romany nak “nose,” from Hindi nak, from Sanskrit nakra, which probably is related to Sanskrit nasa “nose” (see nose (n.)). Sense and spelling tending to merge with etymologically unrelated narc (q.v.).
narc (n.)
1967 (earlier narco, 1960), American English slang, shortened form of narcotics agent. Had been used 1955 for narcotics hospital, 1958 for narcotics addict. Sense and spelling tending to merge with older but unrelated nark (q.v.).
I suppose the “nose” part comes from an informer sticking his nose in other people’s business, so to speak.)

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

Oatmeal

Oatmeal (Photo credit: desegura89)

Mealy-Mouthed: plausible, deceitful.

(I get the sense that it meant telling people what they wanted to hear instead of the truth. I looked up the etymology and found this:

mealy-mouthed (adj.)
“afraid to say what one really thinks,” 1570s; first element perhaps from Old English milisc “sweet,” from Proto-Germanic *meduz “honey” (see mead (n.1)), which suits the sense, but if the Old English word did not survive long enough to be the source of this, perhaps the first element is from meal (n.2) on notion of the “softness” of ground flour (cf. Middle English melishe (adj.) “friable, loose,” used of soils).)

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

fishy grin

fishy grin (Photo credit: Kalense Kid)

Maw: the mouth; “hold your Maw,” cease talking.

(I have always enjoyed this one. Such a primal sound to it.

I looked up the etymology and the original meaning was the mouth, jaws, throat or stomach of some voracious beast. Given that, I guessing that Maw had an undertone of  insult – comparing the person to a beast.)

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

William Hogarth's engraving Gin Lane, as repro...

William Hogarth’s engraving Gin Lane, as reproduced by Samuel Davenport for his 1807 collection of Hogarth’s works. A response to the Gin Craze that hit London in the 18th century, and was blamed for public drunkenness and numerous social problems. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Max: gin; Max-upon-tick, gin obtained upon credit.

(I read once that during one period of London history, the water from the Thames was so deadly to drink that men, women, and children drank gin instead. Thank God for the man who invented sewage systems.)

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