Archive for February, 2014

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

Bull_and_bearBear: one who contracts to deliver or sell a certain quantity of stock in the public funds on the forthcoming day at the stated place, but who does not possess it, trusting to a decline in public securities to enable him to fulfill the agreement and realize a profit. See Bull. both words are slang terms on the Stock Exchange and are frequently used in the business columns of newspapers.

“He who sells that of which he is not possessed is proverbially said to sell the skin before he has caught the Bear. It was the practice of stock-jobbers, in the year 1720, to enter into a contract for transferring South Sea Stock at a future time for a certain price; but he who contracted to sell had frequently no stock to transfer, nor did he who bought intend to receive any in consequence of his bargain; the seller was, therefore called a Bear in allusion to the proverb, and the buyer a Bull, perhaps only as a similar distinction. The contract was merely a wager, to be determined by the rise or fall of stock; if it rose, the seller paid the difference to the buyer, proportioned to the sum determined by the same computation to the seller.” Dr. Warlon on Pope.

(Ha! Selling the skin before he has caught the bear. That’s great! So that’s where it comes from. I always wondered.

And imagine that, stockbrokers gambling. I’m sure that doesn’t ever happen these days…)

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

121JackBK-Black-Mens-Deluxe-Pirate-Boots-largeBeater-Cases: boots; Nearly obsolete.

(Makes sense, feet were called beaters. I imagine because you beat the pavement with them.)

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

I think that's called dead-beat, or maybe dog-tired.

I think that’s called dead-beat, or maybe dog-tired.

Beat or Beat-Hollow: to surpass or excel.

Beat: the allotted range traversed by a policeman on duty.

Beat-Out, Dead-Beat: tired or fagged.

(I love Beat-Hollow. That’s exactly how someone feels after being surpassed or excelled. All your previous victories seem hollow after someone beats you. I remember that feeling from my fencing days. Not that I didn’t beat a number of other people hollow, but I remember those who beat me better. Funny how the losses stay with you more than the victories. I need to work on changing that. :-))

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Versatile Blogger AwardI want to extend my thanks to Medieval Otaku of Aquila et Infans for nominating Lady Blade Blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Be sure to check out their site as he and his partner in crime have interesting posts on writers and writing.

Here is a short list of the rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So here goes. Blogs that are interesting and informative and that tickle my fancy. My list of nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Growing Great Writers from the Ground Up
  2. We Didn’t Come Here for the Grass
  3. The Old Foodie
  4. Know San Jose
  5. Interesting Literature – Yeah, that
  6. Parmenion Books
  7. Indie Authors and Books
  8. Blood Red Pencil
  9. Novel Rocket
  10. English Historical Fiction Authors
  11. Passages to the Past
  12. Writer’s First Aid
  13. Ja Konrath Blog
  14. Book Banter
  15. YA Highway

Okay, seven things about me in no particular order…

1. I was a competitive sport fencer for over ten years. It’s been a number of years since I wielded my foil, but I always play around with the idea of going back to it. Some day. The fencing Maestro in Lady Blade is based on my own fencing Maestro, John DeCesare.

italy-22. My husband Tom and I spent part of our honeymoon in Tuscany, Italy and I fell in love with the landscape and the decor. Hence, not only did I set the beginning of Lady Blade in Tuscany, I redecorated our house in a sort of “Tuscany meets Napa Valley” style. Lots of warm colors and dark wood moldings. It may not be a Tuscan villa, but it’s our little bit of heaven. (Or it will be ours in 30 years when the mortgage is paid off.)

3. I am a belly-dancer. I especially love sword dancing. Which means, not only can I beat most people with a sword, I can dance with it balanced on my head afterwards. (or before, I’m not particular.)

Map of Silidor Valley on Kickstarter4. Tom and I recently did our first Kickstarter. It was a great success, we reached well over 200% of the funding we asked for. I have a degree in art and I drew a map of Silicon Valley done in Lord of the Rings style. You can see the Kickstarter here –  including a video of Tom and me talking about the project. (We both hate seeing ourselves on film!) The map is now on sale on our website, Urban Realms and on Amazon. Currently I’m working on a map of Columbus Ohio for one of our backers, and we’ve got a new Kickstarter in the works. I’m not saying what that is since I don’t want to jinx it.

newurbanrealms5. Tom and I recently started a business selling Dungeons and Dragons related art and stuff called Urban Realms. (I did all the web design as well as creating most of the products.) Tom’s been a gamer for close to 30 years. I’ve been gaming for about 15 years. Some of my favorite characters to play; Bruinhilda, a tough-as-nails female Dwarf, Sapphire, a stealthy human thief with a penchant for long thin blades, Felazeal, a gay bard with a flair for the dramatic, and The Wall, (based on the Tick) who’s dense, both mentally and physically and who’s battle cry is, “Evil doer, you face, the Wall!”

6. I love power tools. I do a lot of work on our house including designing and building built-in cabinets and seating, remodeling most of our bathroom, and re-plastering all the walls. I own and use on a semi-regular basis a table saw, router, saws-all, miter, circular and saber saws, drill press, dremel, orbital sander… Okay, you get the idea. My pet peeve; when I go to Home Depot with my husband and the guy in the tool coral insists on talking to Tom instead of me. (He’s more of a car guy.)

Quest of the Faes

Catherine’s first book

7. I was a glass artist for over 15 years. I worked mostly in fused glass, firing it my kiln. I had a line of jewelry, sun-catchers, and yard sculptures called The Goddess Collection based of 15 goddess from around the world. You can still see my artwork at Bella Lumina.com. I closed down my business to go back to writing. I wrote my first book when I was eighteen. It is available on Amazon as well. It’s called Quest of the Faes. (Okay, that’s sort of two things.)

Probably a lot more than you ever wanted to know, but them’s the rules. 🙂

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



Beargered: to be drunk.

(Sure, why not. Not exactly sure if I’ve got that pronunciation right. Bear-ger-d?)

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



Beans: money; “a haddock of Beans,” a purse of money; formerly Bean meant a guinea; French, Biexs, property; also used as a synonym for Brick, which see.

Brick: A “jolly good fellow;” “a regular Brick,” a staunch fellow.

I bonnetted Whewell, when we gave the Rads their gruel,
And taught them to eshew all their addresses to the Quean.
If again they try it on, why to floor them I’ll make one,
Spite of Peeler or of Don, like a Brick and a Bean.

                                The Jolly Bachelors, Cambridge, 1810

(I love “a haddock of Beans!” The point of slang was to confuse those not in-the-know. Who of the uninitiated would guess that it means a purse of money? Brilliant!

I have heard the term “old bean” as a form of friendly address. Not sure I get the poem though. Seems like the speaker is saying he’ll knock his friends to the ground if they try to say something that will get them in trouble, like a true friend. I could be wrong there. Any thoughts?

“Bean” also happened to be one of my nicknames as a child. It was however a shortened form of “String Bean” and referred more to my great length and lack of width than my jolliness.)

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

Prey of the beak-hunter.

Prey of the beak-hunter.

Beak-Hunter: a stealer of poultry.

(I got to use this one in Lady Blade. Carter, the ship’s boy, an orphan of 11 explains to Francesca in crystal-clear slang how he survived when his family all died in an influenza outbreak. Another pirate, Willy, translates.


            Carter shrugged her hand off. “My brother was blewed up in the big-house, but I tipped my boom toward the docks.”
            Francesca looked to Willy again for a translation.
            “‘Is brother died in a work-house but Carter ran away ta the docks.”
            “Didn’t I just say ‘at?” said Carter shaking his head.
            “Go on,” said Francesca.
            “Well, I beak-hunted an’ cabbaged when I got banded, ‘til I ran afoul a pack of bludgers.”
            “‘E stole chickens and pilfered when ‘e was hungry, ‘til ‘e ran inta a gang a’ cutthroats,” said Willy.
            Carter frowned, exasperated. “‘At’s what I said!” He looked at Francesca. “Don’t they teach ya Italians how ta talk?”)

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

The Blind-Beak.

The Blind-Beak.

Beak: a magistrate, judge, or policeman; “baffling the Beak,” to get remanded. Ancient cant, Beck. Saxon, Beag, a necklace or gold collar emblem of authority. Sir John Fielding was called the Blind-Beak in the last century. Query, if connected with the Italian Becco, which means a (bird’s) beak, and also a blockhead.

(The Blind-Beak could recognize three thousand criminals by the sound of their voice. That’s pretty impressive.

Sir John Fielding (16 September 1721 – 4 September 1780) was a notable English magistrate and social reformer of the 18th century. He was also the younger half-brother of novelist, playwright and chief magistrate Henry Fielding. Despite being blinded in a navy accident at the age of 19, John set up his own business and, in his spare time, studied law with Henry.

Appointed Henry’s personal assistant in 1750, John helped him to root out corruption and improve the competence of those engaged in administering justice in London. They formed the first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. Through the regular circulation of a ‘police gazette’ containing descriptions of known criminals, Fielding also established the basis for the first police criminal records department.

When Henry died in 1754, John was appointed magistrate at Bow Street in his place, becoming renowned as the “Blind Beak”, and allegedly being able to recognize three thousand criminals by the sounds of their voices. He also continued to develop his ideas on crime prevention and youth employment, helping to found the Asylum for Orphan Girls in Lambeth in 1758. He was knighted in 1761.)

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

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar

Bazaar: a shop or counter. Gipsey and Hindoo, a market.

(I love how many Gipsy words have made it into our language. Makes me feel downright Bohemian.

I wonder when the “proper” spelling of some of these words changed and when they became  “official” instead of slang. )

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

nightontownlimoBatter: “on the Batter,” literally “on the streets,” or given up to roistering and debauchery.

(I haven’t been given up to roistering in such a long time. I could use a night on the Batter. 🙂

Gives new meaning to the old baseball patter, “batter, batter, batter up!”)

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