Dern tootin', Reese! (Vanity Fair)
"Steamin -- one of our hundred thousand words for being drunk." Actor Gerard Butler teaches us many colorful examples of Scottish slang. Read the rest
Burgess's fascination with slang extended well past Nadsat, the synthetic Russo-English dialect he invented for A Clockwork Orange; his autobiography mentions in passing that he'd begun work on a dictionary of slang but gave it up: "I’ve done A and B and find that a good deal of A and B is out of date or has to be added to, and I could envisage the future as being totally tied up with such a dictionary." Read the rest
Illustration for New York Times Magazine by National Lampoon art director and freelance illustrator Michael Gross. Foreground figures depict, left to right, secondhand hip slang, outdated hip slang, and bona fide up-to-date hip slang.
On Project Gutenberg, the 1811 edition of Francis Grose's "Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue," a compleat look at all the dirty cussin' of the early 1800s. It was produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team, who clearly have admirably filthy minds. Some of my favorites:
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ACCOUNTS. To cast up one's accounts; to vomit.
ADMIRAL OF THE NARROW SEAS. One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him. SEA PHRASE.
AMBASSADOR OF MOROCCO. A Shoemaker. (See Mrs. Clarke's Examination.)
APE LEADER. An old maid; their punishment after death, for neglecting increase and multiply, will be, it is said, leading apes in hell.
APPLE DUMPLIN SHOP. A woman's bosom.
APPLE-PYE BED. A bed made apple-pye fashion, like what is called a turnover apple-pye, where the sheets are so doubled as to prevent any one from getting at his length between them: a common trick played by frolicsome country lasses on their sweethearts, male relations, or visitors.
ATHANASIAN WENCH, or QUICUNQUE VULT. A forward girl, ready to oblige every man that shall ask her.
BAG OF NAILS. He squints like a bag of nails; i. e. his eyes are directed as many ways as the points of a bag of nails. The old BAG OF NAILS at Pimlico; originally the BACCHANALS.
BAYARD OF TEN TOES. To ride bayard of ten toes, is to walk on foot. Bayard was a horse famous in old romances,
BLANKET HORNPIPE. The amorous congress.
BODY OF DIVINITY BOUND IN BLACK CALF.