You Called Him What?: Some Regency name-calling

I love slang and strange turns-of-phrase, especially when it comes to swears and name calling. Now, courtesy of Mr. Southey and “Letters from England,” I have a fun post for today with some English Regency slang. Can’t be sure how much he’s just having fun, and how much truth there was in it, but hey, it’s all good. 🙂

“horse” (see Southey, p314): “employed in combination to signify any thing large and coarse, as in horse-beans, horse-chestnut, horse-radish.”

Horse godmother – a woman of masculine appearance

Jolly dog – great compliment and name for a man from his companions

honest dog – name for a man when he adds other good qualities to good naturedness

sad dog – a male reprobate

dog – a term of endearment by an Englishman for his child; also what he calls a misbehaving servant

puppy – term of contempt for a coxcomb or vain, flighty man

bitch – the worst name for a woman

spaniel – flatterer

bull-dog – a ruffian

ugly hound – an man who looks terrible

whelp, cur, mongrel – terms of contempt and reproach for young men

pug – a young woman with an upturned nose

So, know any “spaniels” or “honest dogs”? 🙂

What are some of your favorite slang terms that would appear very unusual to an outsider – perhaps indecipherable? Historical or current, it’s all good. Do share. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. And hey, before you go, why not sign up to follow the blog? You don’t want to miss anything.

Have a good one!

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