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Archive for August, 2014

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

The doc and his loblolly boy working on a patient.

The doc and his loblolly boy working on a patient.

Loblolly: gruel. Old: used by Markham as a sea term for grit gruel, or hasty pudding.

Loblolly Boy: a derisive term for a surgeon’s mate in the navy.

(Hmmm, seems like you’d want to stay on the good side of anyone who might eventually be helping the doctor operate on you.

In my book, one of the main characters Carter, is an orphan who works as the doctor’s loblolly boy. I hate to imagine the horrible wounds they’d have to deal with during and after a pirate battle.)

 

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

Some gammy lowr.

Some gammy lowr.

Loaver: money. See Lour.

Lour or Lowr: money; “gammy Lowr,” bad money. Ancient cant, and Gipsy.

(Funny that Loaver and Lowr are long gone, but gammy has hung around. I wonder what makes some words last and other fall out of use.)

 

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

A new-fangled lob.

A new-fangled lob.

Lob: a till, or money drawer.

(So, Lowr in the Lob would be money in the till. And Jumping the Lob would be robbing the till. I like it!)

 

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

All they need is some sailor's duds.

All they need is some sailor’s duds.

Loafer: a lazy vagabond. Generally considered an Americanism. Loper, or Loafer, however, was in general use as a cant term in the early part of the last century. Landloper, was  a vagabond who begged in the attire of a sailor; and the sea phrase, Land Lubber, was doubtless synonymous. See the Times, 3rd November, 1859. for a reference to Loafer.

(Aha! So that’s where Land Lubber came from! Such a great insult among sailors! I got to use that one a couple of times in my book. 🙂 )

 

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

yuck.

yuck.

Live-Stock: vermin of the insect kind.

(Ewww. I assume they’re talking about personal ones – lice, fleas… I’d really hate to have a good head of Live-Stock!)

 

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

He might be a little too little.

He might be a little too little.

Little Snakesman: a little thief, who is generally passed through a small aperture to open any door to let in the rest of the gang.

(Not a job that I’d want. What if you got stuck? Then you just wait around for the police to drag you out and haul you off?)

 

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

Is that groundhog in liquor?

Is that groundhog in liquor?

Liquor or Liquor Up: to drink drams. Americanism. In Liquor, tipsy, or drunk.

(Yup, we still use Liquored Up but people would probably look at you funny if you said In Liquor.

I’m guessing drams are the equivalent of our shots.)

 

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

They don't look Italian...

They don’t look Italian…

Lingo: talk, or language. Slang is termed Lingo amongst the lower orders. Italian, Lingua.

(Would not have guessed it was that old, or that it came from the Italian. That’s kinda cool. I thought it came from the hippies. :-))

 

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

She might have a bit of bounce.

She might have a bit of bounce.

Lip: bounce, impudence; “come, none o’ yer Lip!”

(Yup, still means the same today. I like the term “bounce,” for impudence. I’m gonna have to use that one.)

 

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

A little before my time.

A little before my time.

Line: calling, trade, profession; “what Line are you in?” “the building Line.”

(Well, what do ya know. I would have guessed that one was much more recent. )

 

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