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Archive for May, 2015

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

Oooo, shiney.

Oooo, shiney.

Goldfinch: a sovereign.

(Perfect. The gold part is easy to see, and they were probably hard to catch and flew out of your hands in no time. Not to mention that the goldfinch was the prettiest songbird in England.

Sovereigns were worth one pound or twenty shillings.)

 

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

Yup, she's gonna Flip him.

Yup, she’s gonna Flip him.

Flip: corruption of Fillip, a light blow.

(Okay, I can see how you get Flip from Fillip, but why is Fillip a light blow? Is that like a light punch in the arm? How about using it in a sentence. Would you say “He Flipped the board into place,” or “She gave him a Flip on the ear?”)

 

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

I'll bet he's giving the kids some flim-flams.

I’ll bet he’s giving the kids some flim-flams.

Flim flams: idle stories. —Beaumont and Fletcher.

(I love idle stories. I am a writer after all.

BTW, Beaumont and Fletcher were English dramatists, who collaborated in their writing during the reign of James I  of England 1603-1625.)

 

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

Wish I knew the steps...

Wish I knew the steps…

Flip-flaps: a peculiar rollicking dance indulged in by costermongers when merry or excited better described, perhaps, as the Double Shuffle, danced with an air of abandon.

(Sounds like lots of fun to me!

Costermongers were street sellers of just about anything.)

 

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

I would have been very well-behaved.

I would have been very well-behaved.

Flick or Flig: to whip by striking, and drawing the lash back at the same time, which causes a stinging blow.

(Flig is long gone, but Flick has made it into standard English.

Whipping aboard ships was standard punishment for misbehavior, so I guess they had ample chance to come up with slang terms.)

 

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You can still get it. But you have to look pretty hard.

You can still get it. But you have to look pretty hard.

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

Flimsy: the thin prepared copying paper used by newspaper reporters and “penny-a-liners” for making several copies at once, thus enabling them to supply different papers with the same article without loss of time. —Printers’ term.

(Hmm, wonder what the “correct” name was and how it was made at the time. It reminds me of the old carbon paper I used to use for copying. Now there’s something that’s nearly gone the way of the dodo.

I found this for “penny-a-liners”:

penny-a-liner (plural penny-a-liners)

  1. (derogatory, dated) One who supplies writing to public journals for a set fee per line of text; a poor writer for hire; a hack.)

 

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

I don't get it.

I don’t get it.

Flint: an operative who works for a “society” master, i.e., for full wages.

(Okay folks, this one’s a head-scratcher. I’ve got absolutely no idea what this means. Any thoughts?)

 

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

Looks pretty flimsy to me.

Looks pretty flimsy to me.

Flimsies: bank notes.

(Well, yes, compared to coins, they were.)

 

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

Did that duck just Flimp her?

Did that duck just Flimp her?

Flimp: to hustle, or rob.

(What a lovely little word. As in, “I Flimped the flatties,” or robbed the yokels.)

 

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

They could be a pair of Flatties.

They could be a pair of Flatties.

Flatties: rustic, or uninitiated people.

(Not to be confused with Flats, who were a fools, or silly or “soft” people. I guess Flats live in town and Flatties live in the country?)

 

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