Dirty words of 1811


37 Responses to “Dirty words of 1811”

  1. Grahamers2002 says:

    I always new there was something naughty about Disney’s “The Apple Dumplin Gang!”

  2. JIMWICh says:

    We’re are so blanket hornpiped!

  3. fortenbras says:

    I think you’ll find that in this case vulgar means vernacular. It’s a slang dictionary.

    • Lupus_Yonderboy says:

      Yes and no – it is first and foremost a canting (slang) dictionary (the “Vulgar” tongue being non-proper English as spoken by the canting crew, St. Giles’ Greek, etc.), but it’s pretty vulgar in a more traditional sense as well.

  4. Lobster says:

     It’s true what they say, we really do move at a faster pace than our forefathers.  I don’t have the time to use such long insults.

  5. Christopher says:

    Even if I hadn’t taken years of Latin “quicunque vult” would sound dirty to me.

  6. drongo says:

    Oh no! I love the music of Al Duvall, and his song Admiral Of the Narrow Seas is a favourite of mine, but I always assumed it was a love song! I always thought it was a poetic sexual metaphor, not vomiting in someones lap!

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      Al Duvall is made of pure awesome.  Here’s something I wrote in 2009:

      I just had to investigate Al Duvall’s line “surrender to the admiral, of the narrow seas”.  I believe it means surrender to George Bush the Elder.

      The Narrow Sea is the English Channel.  The Admiral thereof would be Edward Montagu, who brought Charles II back from Holland in the Restoration of 1660.  He was also Knight of the Garter, Earl of Sandwich, and Vice-Admiral of the kingdom.

      BUT, more importantly, in the slang of British Tars:

      admiral of the narrow seas:  One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him.
      –The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose.

      THUS, meaning, George Herbert Walker Bush, who famously vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister (who in turn had to apologize) a diplomatic feat unequaled until Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face and made him apologize on national TV.

  7. Mordicai says:

    Shut up, what?  This has to be a joke, this is too perfect.  Man, my Planescape campaign is going to love these.

  8. TooGoodToCheck says:

    BAKERS DOZEN. Fourteen; that number of rolls being allowed to the purchasers of a dozen.

    I had no idea that the baker’s dozen had been devalued at some point in the last 200 years. Weird.

    • Christopher says:

       As I understand it the origin of the baker’s dozen was to prevent people from feeling like they were being cheated by bakers. The extra was added as a sign of good faith.

      And yet it turns out those bakers are still cheating us. The next time I go into a doughnut shop you’d better bet I’m demanding a good old fashioned baker’s dozen!

  9. blueelm says:

    English people still sound this way I think.

  10. Donald Petersen says:


    At least as pithy as today’s “Roughing Up The Suspect.”

    And I’ve fallen hard for The Amorous Congress.  Oh, the images conjured thereby…

  11. Melinda9 says:

    When I was a kid, shortsheeting was still also called a pie bed.

  12. PrettyBoyTim says:

    TO BOX THE JESUIT – compare with today’s ‘Bash the Bishop’…

    In fact when I saw that, I did wonder if someone was pranking Gutenberg…

  13. We had that book when I was a kid. My favorite entry which meant ‘vomit,’ if memory serves,’ was ‘to sh-t through the teeth.’

  14. David Llopis says:

    Are we being pranked again? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grunge_speak

  15. Aloisius says:

    Vulgar does not mean dirty in this sense, but rather the vernacular pertaining to the common man. In other words this is a dictionary of slang, not dirty words. In fact, there are few dirty words as far as I can tell.

    I do like this though:

    BING. To go. Cant. Bing avast; get you gone. Binged avast in a darkmans; stole away in the night. Bing we to Rumeville: shall we go to London?

    I wonder if Microsoft knew this when they chose bing.com?

    • Lupus_Yonderboy says:

      There’s still plenty of true “vulgarity” here as well, but you’re correct – it is mostly a dictionary of the canting language (“St. Giles’ Greek”).  I’ve owned this book for years and still read it on a regular basis (it’s pretty often by go-to book for bedtime reading because I can pick it up and stop at any point and it’s still entertaining).

  16. irksome says:

    “Guily of Onanism”, as in failed to impregnate my brother’s widow as directed by God?

    Yeah, as charged. Thankfully.

  17. Teller says:

    Coffee house.
    That is cold-blooded. But fonny.

  18. BlackPanda says:

    Harsh realm. lol :)

  19. Daen de Leon says:

    Might I direct the assembled gentlemen and gentlewomen to Roger’s Profanisaurus?

    tramps’ truffles n. Discarded chips [fries]. 
    full English breakfast n. A very untidy vagina that is frankly too much to face first thing in the morning. 
    pyroflatulate v. To light one’s farts. See also afterburner, blue streak. 
    Campbell’s condensed n. A small volume, double-strength fart which, when diluted with air, can feed a whole room. 
    curtain call n. A return to the lavatory for an encore dump. A second sitting. 

    And so on.

  20. wrybread says:

    Can we please have a NSFW warning on this post?

  21. pjcamp says:

    Box the Jesuit. Hah! That’s gotta make a comeback.

  22. Lupus_Yonderboy says:

    I’ve had this book for years (as I commented to someone else’s comment it’s my go-to book for bedtime reading because I can pick it up and stop at any point and it’s still entertaining) and one of my favorite things about are the bits of slang still in common usage.  I love seeing a snapshot of what people were actually speaking hundreds of years ago and seeing what’s changed, what’s gotten left behind and what’s still current (and seeing what the wife thinks about the stuff that’s still current).  I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the history or evolution of English, it’s a really fun read.

  23. snagglepuss says:

    Ah do believe ah’m feelin’ faint at the unleashing of all of this vulgarness.

    And I’m stealing every one of those fuckers, too.

  24. Sarah Russo says:



  25. alissa mower clough says:

    And people thought “jumping the broom” was a native African practise!

  26. Arnie Perlstein says:

    Jane Austen wrote the following in Mansfield Park 3 years after Grose published his Dictionary. She invented her own refined form of filthy sexual innuendo:

    “Do you know anything of my cousin’s captain?” said Edmund; “Captain Marshall? You have a large acquaintance in the navy, I conclude?”

    “Among admirals, large enough; but,” with an air of grandeur, “we know very little of the inferior ranks. Post-captains may be very good sort of men, but they do not belong to us. Of various admirals I could tell you a great deal: of them and their flags, and the gradation of their pay, and their bickerings and jealousies. But, in general, I can assure you that they are all passed over, and all very ill used. Certainly, my home at my uncle’s brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. Of Rears and Vices I saw enough. Now do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat.”

    Edmund again felt grave, and only replied, “It is a noble profession.”


  27. Arnie Perlstein says:

    Okie dokie.


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