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Archive for January, 2015

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

He looks like a whippersnapper to me.

He looks like a whipper-snapper to me.

Whipper-Snapper: a waspish, diminutive person.

(Waspish, as in someone who is easily irritated and ready to sting you. I found this definition:

readily expressing anger or irritation.
“he had a waspish tongue”
I suppose a whip snapped at you does sting a lot like a wasp does.)

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

I wonder what was going through that elephant's mind.

I wonder what was going through that elephant’s mind.

Whip: to “Whip anything up,” to take it up quickly; from the method of hoisting heavy goods or horses on board ship by a Whip, or running tackle, from the yard-arm. Generally used to express anything dishonestly taken L’Estange and Johnson.

(Interesting. We do still whip things up, I had no idea it was a nautical term.

Now I think I’ll go whip up some breakfast – though there will be no block and tackle involved.)

 

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

The lot of the common lot.

Wheedle: to entice by soft words. “This word cannot be found to derive itself from any other, and therefore is looked upon as wholly invented by the Canters.” Triumph of Wit, 1705.

(I’m assuming that by Canters they mean the people who spoke slang, the low, vulgar, common lot – my sort of people.)

 

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

Yup, the little girl does look pretty annoyed.

Yup, the little girl does look pretty annoyed.

Wherret, or Worrit: to scold, trouble, or annoy. Old English.

(I take it this is from the point of view of the scoldee, not the scolder.)

 

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

Whids, whids, whids.

Whids, whids, whids.

Whids: words. Old Gipsy cant.

(As in, never trust a politician’s Whids. Works for me.)

 

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

Well, what-do-ya-know.

Well, what-do-ya-know.

Whale: “very like a Whale in a teacup,” said of anything that is very improbable; taken from a speech of Polonious in Hamlet.

(Improbable indeed. Seems like a lot of people were familiar with The Bard’s work back then.)

 

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

That's one Whacking mouse.

That’s one Whacking mouse.

Whacking: large, fine, or strong.

(Hmmm, have not heard it as a compliment before. They used Thumping in the same way.)

 

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

I'd say that one made it into common usage.

I’d say that one made it into common usage.

Whack: to beat.

Whack or Whacking: a blow or thrashing.

(That one still works. I use it all the time. Well, maybe not ALL the time.)

 

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

Tibbing Out: going out of bounds. Charterhouse.

The Charterhouse in 1770.

The Charterhouse in 1770.

(Do they mean during a game? It was a school at one time. Perhaps they mean either a game or places that students were not allowed to go.

I looked up Charterhouse and found this:

The London Charterhouse is a historic complex of buildings in Smithfield, London dating back to the 14th century. It occupies land to the north of Charterhouse Square. The Charterhouse began as (and takes its name from) a Carthusian priory, founded in 1371 and dissolved in 1537. Substantial fragments remain from this monastic period, but the site was largely rebuilt after 1545 as a large courtyard house. Thus, today it “conveys a vivid impression of the type of large rambling 16th century mansion that once existed all round London” (Pevsner: The Buildings of England).[1] The Charterhouse was further altered and extended after 1611, when it became an almshouse and school, endowed by Thomas Sutton. The almshouse (a home for gentlemen pensioners) still occupies the site today under the name Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse. The Charterhouse Square campus of Queen Mary University of London is situated on the north-east of the Square, occupying the former school lands.)

 

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

Looks tidy to me!

Looks tidy to me!

Tidy: tolerably, or pretty well; “how did you get on to-day?” “Oh, Tidy.” Saxon.

(Makes sense, I’ve always heard of a Tidy sum of money and it seemed tolerably good to me.)

 

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