Last month I shared some of the Regency slang that was used to describe brothels, the people who frequented them, and the activities that went on in them. This month, I'd like to share some amusing Regency slang that has purely to do with men, their sexual activities, and their anatomy. As before, these terms are all taken from that marvellous resource, The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
Let's start with some anatomical slang...
bawbles, nutmegs, tallywags, thingumbobs, twiddle-diddles, and whirlygigs -- were all words for ... yes, you guessed correctly: testicles!
the matrimonial peacemaker, Man Thomas, pego, silent flute, sugar stick, and whore pipe were all slang for (in the words of the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue) a man's 'virile member'
a rantallion -- is a man whose 'shot pouch is longer than the barrel of his piece' [a lovely bit of euphemism!]
a fancy man, petticoat pensioner, or stallion -- was a man kept by a woman for 'secret services'
to be a back door usher, backgammon player, or gentleman of the back door -- to be a sodomite
to navigate the windward passage -- to be a sodomite
And to finish...
to fetch mettle -- the 'act of self-pollution' [mettle being Regency slang for semen]
-snorts and dies- The imagination Regency England had!ReplyDelete
Amusing, isn't it Marlena? Some of the slang really makes me laugh. Twiddle-diddles and whirlygigs??? I shall join you in a snort!ReplyDelete
LOL - some more goodies there Emily. Couldn't really see my hero 'fetch mettling' in a love scene BWGReplyDelete
As a historical novel author, I got quite a kick out of reading this post! And as the personal servant of 12 rescue kitties, I love the theme of your blog as well. I’m glad Marlena Cassidy referred me to your site and am glad to be a follower .ReplyDelete
Nutmegs, rantallions and sugar sticks sound like the ingredients for a particularly delicious dessert .ReplyDelete
These are so much fun! Thanks, Em.
LOL, Em. These are so funny. Will people be lauging at our expressions in another hundred years?ReplyDelete
I love these posts Emily. The Regency slang is so descriptive. I was thinking that the references for sodomites haven't changed too much, have they?ReplyDelete
And Michelle Douglas's comment nearly made me snort my tea!!!
I hadn't come across a lot of these terms. Interesting. I believe in learning something new every day. Guess what I learned today? :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for a Sunday night chuckle Emily.ReplyDelete
Michelle Douglas I love how your mind works.
To fetch mettle is a good one, isn't it, Mel? I'd love to see you try to get it into a love scene!ReplyDelete
Michelle Fayard, it's lovely to have you join us here on LoveCats! I'm glad you enjoyed this post -- I love the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue -- there's so much fabulous language in it. 12 cats! Lucky you!ReplyDelete
Michelle, you just about made me choke on my drink! A delicious dessert ... not!ReplyDelete
Hi Sue -- I reckon they will. Language is always evolving, isn't it? What sounds cool today will no doubt be laughable in another century or two!ReplyDelete
Hi Cath -- glad you enjoy the Regency slang posts! You're right, some of the sodomy slang is quite recognisable today. I particularly love the 'navigating the windward passage' phrase!ReplyDelete
Hi J.L. -- it's nice to see you here on LoveCats. The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is chock full of interesting words and phrases (some of them far too vulgar for me to post here). I definitely learned a lot reading it. I'm glad I could pass some of it on!ReplyDelete
Glad you had a chuckle, Kaelee. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Now, see, Em, if I'm ever lost for a new and particularly visual word to describe a 'member', you are so the person I'm going to! Love the spewing industrial chimney pic. =)ReplyDelete
LOL Emily. I couldn't stop laughing at the slangs they used for testicles...OMG...hehehe. This was a very fascinating post!ReplyDelete
If you manage to use one of those words for a 'member', Robbie, I shall be in utter awe! I'm wondering how I can sneak one into my current manuscript. Maybe as a joke...?ReplyDelete
Glad you like the 'pollution' photo -- I searched long and hard for it!
The testicle ones are the best ones, aren't they, Sonali? How can you keep a straight face while discussing whirlygigs or tallywags or twiddle-diddles? They are so NOT sexy!ReplyDelete
Love them, Emily! And loving this whole series you've been doing of Regency slang.ReplyDelete
Michelle D, your mind is a fascinating place!
Michelle F, 12 rescue kitties? What a fun place your house must be!
Glad you like them, Rachel. Regency slang is fun! And I totally agree -- Michelle F's house must be such a fun place with all those cats! (And as for Michelle D's mind ... hmmm.)ReplyDelete
These are so good I really enjoy the laugh
Brilliant, Emily! I love your slang blogs - that dictionary is an education!ReplyDelete
Actually one of these words seems to have lived on and morphed into a term that's really handy for a forgetful moment... thingumbob must be the beginnings of thingamabob or thingummy...
Glad they made you laugh, Helen!ReplyDelete
Hi Sharon -- yeah, the dictionary IS an education. I've learned a lot about the Regency -- the sort of things you don't learn from reading Jane Austen! I wonder what Jane would have thought if she'd ever been given the opportunity to read it???ReplyDelete