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Archive for April, 2015

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

That was a great dodge. I love that movie!

That was a great dodge. I love that movie!

Dodge: a cunning trick. “Dodge, that homely but expressive phrase.” Sir Hugh Cairns on the Reform Bill, 2nd March, 1859. Anglo Saxon, Deogian, to colour, to conceal. The Tidy Dodge, as it is called by street-folk, consists in dressing up a family clean and tidy, and parading the streets to excite compassion and obtain alms. A correspondent suggests that the verb Dodge may have been formed (like wench from wink) from Dog, i.e., to double quickly and unexpectedly, as in coursing.

(Yup, still works, though I’m not sure the Tidy Dodge would still be effective. These days we seem to want people asking for a handout to look like they need it. Then again, I don’t believe they had homeowners insurance back then, so if your house burned down, you might need the alms.

Interesting derivation.)

 

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

Anyone currently underwater on their mortgage knows how it feels to be dipped.

Anyone currently underwater on their mortgage knows how it feels to be dipped.

Dipped: mortgaged. Household Words, No. 183.

(Dipped in what, is the question. Debt perhaps?)

 

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

I don't think that's what they mean.

I don’t think that’s what they mean by “doctoring the books.”

Doctor: to adulterate or drug liquor; also to falsify accounts. See Cook.

(What do you know. I would not have guessed the term goes back that far.)

 

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

You can Do it too.

You can Do it too.

Do: this useful and industrious verb has for many years done service as a slang term. To Do a person is to cheat him. Sometimes another tense is employed, such as “I Done him,” meaning I cheated or “paid him out;” Done brown, cheated thoroughly, befooled; Done over, upset, cheated, knocked down, ruined; Done up, used up, finished, or quieted. Done also means convicted, or sentenced; so does Done for. To Do a person in pugilism is to excel him in fisticuffs. Humphreys, who fought Mendoza, a Jew, wrote this laconic note to his supporter “Sir, I have Done the Jew, and am in good health.” Rich. Humphries.” Tourists use the expression “I have Done France and Italy,“ meaning I have completely explored those countries.

(What a useful little word. Most of those would still work, though I think there’d be some head-scratching if you used Done brown.)

 

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

Going diving...

Going diving…

Dive: to pick pockets.

Divers: pickpockets.

(Makes sense. They do dive their hands into pockets and purses.)

 

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

Poor little guy. Even beavers get the dithers.

Poor little guy. Even beavers get the Dithers.

Dithers: nervous or cold shiverings. “It gave me the Dithers.”

(I think that beats “it gave me the chills” hands down.)

 

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

Looking a little DISHABBILLY

Looking a little Dishabbilly

Dishabbilly: the ridiculous corruption of the French, Deshabille, amongst fashionably affected, but ignorant “stuck-up” people.

(Our author is showing some personal rancor there.

A quick translation of Deshabille came up with “Stripped” which could have a number of meanings. Looking further I found this:

British Dictionary definitions for deshabille

deshabille

noun

1.

the state of being partly or carelessly dressed
2.

(archaic) clothes worn in such a state

Word
Origin
C17: from French déshabillé undressed, from dés- dis- 1 + habiller to dress;

So I wonder if this is where “shabbily” comes from. It seems to have a similar meaning.)

 

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

Yup, it's been done brown and dished.

Yup, it’s been done brown and dished.

Dish: to stop, to do away with, to suppress; Dished, done for, floored, beaten, or silenced. A correspondent suggests that meat is usually Done brown before being Dished, and conceives that the latter term may have arisen as the natural sequence of the former.

(That one has changed a bit. Now we dish on someone instead of dishing them. But I suppose the root is the same – serving something up.)

 

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

Not very well disguised...

Not very well disguised…

Disguised: intoxicated. Household Words, No 183.

(It is sometimes tough to recognize mild-mannered friends when they’ve had a few too many.)

 

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

So, why are they dinging money into the bin?

So, why are they dinging money into the bin?

Ding: to strike; to throw away, or get rid of anything; to pass to a confederate.

(As in “Ding me a cup ‘a grog” or “Ding that chicken bone over the side.”)

 

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