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Archive for March, 2015

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

What do you know, a Chattry-feeder flower.

What do you know, a Chattry-feeder flower.

Chattry-Feeder: a spoon.

(This is the way it’s spelled in the book. I’m not sure if it’s a typo and it should be Chatty-Feeder or if Chattry is a slang word as well. I can’t find anything definitive, so your guess is as good as mine.)

 

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

She looks like a little Chatter Basket.

She looks like a little Chatter Basket.

Chatter Basket: common term for a prattling child amongst nurses.

Chatter-box: an incessant talker or chatterer.

(I suppose a Chatter Basket is cuter than a Chatter-box.)

 

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

It appears their opinions of Beadles was not real high.

It appears their opinions of Beadles was not real high.

Charley: a watchman, a beadle.

(Beadle was a new term for me. Here’s what I found:

bea·dle

a ceremonial officer of a church, college, or similar institution.
  • Scottish
    a church officer assisting the minister.
  • historical
    a minor parish officer dealing with petty offenders.

In other words, someone to avoid if you’re planning to misbehave.)

 

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

Is there a buzzer aboard?

Is there a buzzer aboard?

Chariot-buzzing: picking pockets in an omnibus.

(Well, it’s easy to see where the term “bus” comes from.

I can see how no one would notice. Those things must have been less than smooth rides, especially on top.

Looks like a lot of work for those poor horses!)

 

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

I did not realize there was a manifesto.

I did not realize there was a manifesto.

Chap: a fellow, a boy; “a low Chap,” a low fellow, abbreviation of Chap-man, a huckster. Used by Byron in his Critical Remarks.

(Ah, the beginning of a verbal institution. Chap quickly became ubiquitous. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster calls pretty much everyone of the male persuasion an Old Chap.

And now we have Chappie.)

 

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

Ooops. He missed the line altogether.

Ooops. He missed the line altogether.

Chalks: “to walk one’s Chalks,” to move off, or run away. An ordeal for drunkenness used on board ship, to see whether the suspected person can walk on a chalked line without overstepping it on either side.

(Apparently cops weren’t the first ones to make folks walk straight lines. Of course, the deck would be pitching at sea, which would add a degree of difficulty. I wonder if they made sailors touch their noses?)

 

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

Rules I can live with.

Rules I can live with.

Chalkout or chalk down: mark out a line of conduct or action; to make a rule, order. Phrase derived from the Workshop.

(Well, we still “chalk up points,” and “chalk things down to experience.” So much better than “dry erase up points” or “dry erase it down to experience.”)

 

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

The Nun's Rules

The Nun’s Rule

Chaff: to gammon, joke, quiz, or praise ironically. Chaffbone, the jaw-bone. Yorkshire. Chaff, jesting. In Anglo Saxon, Ceaf is chaff; and Ceafl, bill, beak, or jaw. In the “Ancren Riwle,” A.D. 1221, ceafle is used in the sense of idle discourse.

(Chaff has definitely gone the way of the dodo.

I looked up the Ancren Riwle and found this:

Ancren Riwle

(äng`krĕn rē`o͞olə) or

Ancrene Wisse

(äng`krĕnə wĭs`ə) [Mid. Eng.,=anchoresses’ rule], English tract written c.1200 by an anonymous English churchman for the instruction of three young ladies about to become religious recluses. The work, important as a sample of early Middle English prose, is a charming mixture of realism and humor, didacticism and tenderness. It is also important for its depiction of the manners and customs of the time. French and Latin versions of the work are also extant.

What do you know, you can still read the Ancren Riwle here.)

 

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

That bemused squirrel might actually be amusing.

A bemused squirrel might actually be amusing.

Bemuse: to fuddle one’s self with drink, “Bemusing himself with beer,” &c. Sala’s Gas-light and Day-light, p. 308.

(I love the word fuddle. Not one you hear often. The definition seems to have remained the same:

fud·dle
ˈfədl/
verb
verb: fuddle; 3rd person present: fuddles; past tense: fuddled; past participle: fuddled; gerund or present participle: fuddling
  1. 1.
    confuse or stupefy (someone), especially with alcohol.
    “my head was aching and my brain seemed fuddled”
    • archaic
      go on a drinking bout.
noun
noun: fuddle
  1. 1.
    a state of confusion or intoxication.
    “through the fuddle of wine he heard some of the conversation”

Most people think they’re amusing once they’re fuddled or bemused. Only occasionally is it true.)

 

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

Wow. That one's really out of breath.

Wow. That one’s really out of breath.

Bellows-to-mend: out of breath.

(Makes perfect sense. Lungs were called Bellows, and a broken bellows has to be pumped quickly too.)

 

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