by Emily May
Reading: Under Your Spell by Lois Greiman
Listening to: Satie
Watching: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3
Making me smile: I have finally finished writing my next Regency!
It's not surprising that I've been thinking about weddings and marriages recently, given all the excitement of the royal wedding! I had a quick flick through one of my favourite Regency reference books -- The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue -- and found some amusing Regency slang associated with marriage that I'd like to share with you.
First up is this one: 'to read a curtain lecture' ... which means the scolding given by a wife to her husband when they're in bed. I can just imagine Wickham saying 'For heaven's sake, Lydia, don't read me another curtain lecture!'
Then there's this gem: 'to have a colt's tooth in one's head' .. which refers to an older man who marries a young girl. I wonder whether anyone said it about Colonel Brandon when he married Marianne? 'Lucky Brandon! Has a colt's tooth in his head.' Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
And I love this one: 'To cuckold the Parson' ... which means to have sex with one's future wife before the marriage. Exactly what Wickham did with Lydia! (And exactly what all of my heroines have done, come to think of it. Shameless creatures!)
And finally, here's a wee test for those of you who read Regencies: Which of the following phrases do you think means ‘to be married’?
a) to be leg-shackled
b) to fall into the Parson’s mousetrap
c) to be riveted
d) to be a tenant for life
e) all of the above
If you picked 'e', you were right!
But enough about Regency marriage slang. Tell me, did you watch the royal wedding?
(All images are from the BBC productions of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. If you haven't watched them, do!)