Posted in Book Talk

Classic cursing: a cure for all boredom

I absolutely love words, and I love learning about the way words morph over time. One of the most fun ways to see that is to look at the curses and slang used in each period. It reveals what was common, important, and valued at that time. It is also wildly hilarious, and I very well may end up reading this whole dictionary of insults and slang. It’s called “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” and it can give you a slew of new-again comebacks from 1785.

I feel like this could be great fun for a higher-level English class; maybe something at a college level while studying 18th century literature? You know, for research, to better understand stories like

Some of my favs from this:
birds of a feather: rogues of the same gang (is that where the phrase came from!?)
to blow the grounsils: to – er- lie with a woman on the floor
gollumpus: a large and clumsy fellow
mettlesome: bold, courageous (presumably this has turned into meddlesome, or someone who bothers in others’ business)
ruffles: handcuffs

Fantastic name. ♥
One of the sources for the words found in the collection; sounds like a good read!
complete with handwritten notes, language of origin, and notes on when a word is specific to “Canting” or the language used by thieves and scoundrels


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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