Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘nautical’

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

A nymph musician.

A nymph musician.

Nymph of the pave: (French, Pave) a street-walker, a girl of the town.

(Dollymop, Shakester… The slang book includes ten terms for Nymphs of the pave. I’m pretty sure we have more terms today.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

That's not nutty at all.

That’s not nutty at all.

Nut: to be “off one’s nut,” to be in liquor, or “All mops and brooms.”

Nuts: to be Nuts upon anything or person is to be pleased with or fond of it; a self-satisfied man is said to be Nuts upon himself. Nutted, taken in by a man who professed to be Nuts upon you.

Nutty: amorous.

(The first one changed, the second one remained the same, and the third got lost altogether. I wonder why that is. What makes some slang last and other slang fade away?)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Looks like business is booming.

Looks like business is booming.

Nurse: a curious term lately applied to competition in omnibuses. Two omnibuses are placed on the road to Nurse, or oppose, each opposition “buss,” one before, the other behind. Of course, the central or Nursed buss has very little chance, unless it happens to be a favourite with the public.

Nurse: to cheat, or swindle; trustees are said to Nurse property, i.e., gradually eat it up themselves.

(So I’m guessing the omnibuses were privately owned or there wouldn’t be much point in putting the nursed bus out of business. That’s one way to get rid of the competition.)

 

Read Full Post »

We’re finishing up a great run on Kickstarter! We’re at 186% of our goal.

On Kickstarter Now!

On Kickstarter Now!

Only three days left to get all the spendiferous Pirate Words of the Day in one place, categorized, and with illustrations – and at an introductory price!

A New Look at Old Words

This book is a useful guide for writers, and fun for anyone who loves old words (or talking like a pirate).

This is not a book of the namby-pamby, hoity-toity words one would expect to hear in the London drawing-rooms of the 1600s through 1800s. This is the street slang, the flash patter of seamen, street-sellers, Gypsies and thieves. As Carl Sandburg once said, “Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.”

A few of my favorite words to give you the flavor:

DIMBER DAMBER: very pretty; a clever rogue who excels his fellows; chief of a gang. Old cant in the latter sense. ─English Rogue.

KILKENNY CAT: a popular simile for a voracious or desperate animal or person, from the story of the two cats in that county, who are said to have fought and bitten each other until a small portion of the tail of one of them alone remained.

LITTLE SNAKES-MAN: a little thief, who is generally passed through a small aperture to open any door to let in the rest of the gang.

SUCK THE MONKEY: to rob a cask of liquor by inserting a straw through a gimlet hole, and sucking a portion of the contents.

KISS-ME-QUICK: the name given to the very small bonnets worn by females since 1850.

BY THE HOLY POKER AND THE TUMBLING TOM!: an Irish oath.

Once the Kickstarter ends we’ll be selling the book for $23.00, but you can pre-order a signed copy on Kickstarter for $20.00. We plan to have books shipped well in time for Christmas, so now’s the time to get gifts for the word nerds in your life.

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

He looks like he's noddling pretty hard.

He looks like he’s noodling pretty hard with that nuddikin of his.

Nuddikin: the head.

(I like it! I wonder if this is related to the term noggin. I had a teacher who always told us to use our noggins.

One mention of the term I saw suggested it was related to noodleken. That makes some sense, I’ve heard the head called a noodle and I’ve heard of noodling something – thinking about it. A ken in slang was a house of some kind. So I suppose your nuddikin might be your thinking house.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Me and my nub.

Me and my nub.

Nub: a husband.

(I don’t think I want to know where that one comes from. 🙂

I was going to say I have a wonderful nub, but that just sounds terrible.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Things to nouse.

Do you have the nouse.

Nouse: comprehension, perception. —Old, apparently from the Greek, νους

(I do wish John Camden Hotten had used that one in a sentence. I’m having trouble imagining how it was used. I did find this:

Nouse: know-how; practical skills
She was self-reliant and had the nouse to get the job done.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

A bit of Nose Em.

A bit of nose em.

Nose em or Fogus: tobacco.

Noser: a bloody or contused nose. —Pugilistic.

(Smoking was big business in the 1800s. There are twelve slang words for smoking paraphernalia included in A New Look at Old Words. A bit surprising. I would have expected more.

Violence, on the other hand, seems to have been pandemic. I’m guessing a noser was a regular occurrence. There are eighty-eight words for striking or beating someone or something – starting with anointing, and ending with a wipe. That’s more than any other category in the book. Plus there’s another thirty-two words for getting the better of someone. It’s easy to see what was on people’s minds.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

An actual nose-bag.

An actual nose-bag.

Nose-bags: visitors at watering places, and houses of refreshment, who carry their own victuals. —Term applied by waiters.

(I love that one! I worked as a waitress for a number of years right out of college so I completely understand the sentiment. Waiters aren’t likely to get any tips from people who bring their own food.)

 

Read Full Post »

From A New Look at Old Words originally found in the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

"On the nose?"

“On the nose?”

Nose: a thief who turns informer, or Queen’s evidence; a spy or watch; “on the Nose,” on the look out.

Nose: “to pay through the nose,” to pay an extravagant price.

(I wonder why the second one has lasted but the first one has not. I also wondered where the second one came from. I found this possible – and disturbing derivation: 

Possibly it alludes to the Danish nose tax, imposed in Ireland in the 9th century, whereby delinquent taxpayers were punished by having their noses slit.

I would not want to see that tax man coming.)

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: