The Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue: do you know your 'abbess' from your 'elbow shaker'?
It was a runaway success when published in 1811 by soldier Francis Grose, but now the Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue can be viewed online. Here is our round up of the best words:
ABBESS: Mistress of a brothel.
BABES IN THE WOOD: Criminals in stocks or pillory.
BOB TAIL: Lewd woman. Also an impotent man or a eunuch.
BREAD AND BUTTER FASHION: One upon the other. "John and his maid were caught lying bread and butter fashion."
COLD PIG: Punishment inflicted on "sluggards" who lie too long in bed — pulling off all the bedclothes and throwing cold water on them.
DOCK: Lie with a woman.
DUGS: Woman's breasts.
ELBOW SHAKER: A dice player.
FLASH THE HASH: Vomit.
GLAZIER: Someone who breaks windows to steal goods for sale.
GOSPEL SHOP: Church.
HEMPEN WIDOW: One whose husband was hanged.
HOYDON: Romping girl.
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