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Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms from the 1700 and 1800s – Letter S (Sq-Sz)

By Geri Walton | January 17, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter S, from Sq to Sz, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.

Phrenology: A Head’s Bumps and Indentations

By Geri Walton | January 16, 2014

Originally known as cranioscopy, phrenology was a revolutionary pseudoscience that determined personality and the development of mental and moral faculties based on the external shape of the skull and its size. Franz Joseph Gall, a German physiologist, neuroanatomist, and pioneer in mental functions in the brain, discovered this in 1796 when he examined people’s heads…

Climbing Boys of the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 14, 2014

A climbing boy, also known as a chimney sweep, was an occupation some children performed during the 1700 and 1800s. Climbing boys were frequently orphans and as young as three years old. Small size was a requirement for chimney sweeps, and for that reason many climbing boys outgrew their job by the time they were…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms of the 1700 and 1800s-Letter S (Si-Sp)

By Geri Walton | January 13, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter S, from Si-Sp, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.

Hackney Coaches or Cabs: Their History

By Geri Walton | January 10, 2014

Hackney coaches, which were the idea of a man named Captain Bailey, were originally one-horse chaises. The term was once believed to have been derived from the French word “haquenée” but is now thought to have originated from the London village of “Hackney.” Eventually, nobility began to rent out their outdated and unneeded coaches, often…

Costermongers – the Street Sellers of London

By Geri Walton | January 9, 2014

One of the most prolific jobs in London in the 1800s was a street seller. Among these street sellers were costermongers — people who sold fruits, vegetables, and meats. Costermongers acquired their name from medieval costards — large ribbed pippin apples—and mongers, which means seller. In the 1860s, according to The Dictionary of Victorian London,…

Mudlarks or River Finders of the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 7, 2014

During the 1700 and 1800s, if a child or a street urchin was unskilled it didn’t mean begging was the only option they had to survive. Being a mudlark allowed children, similar to adults, to make a living. Mudlarks scrounged and scavenged the rivers, such as the Thames, at low tide and they were sometimes…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms of the 1700 and 1800s – Letter S (Sa-Sh)

By Geri Walton | January 6, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter S, from Sa to Sh, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations

By Geri Walton | January 3, 2014

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition was also referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition, as that was the name of temporary structure where the exhibition was housed. The exhibition was an international event (essentially a world’s fair) and the first in a series of popular…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms of the 1700 and 1800s – Letter R

By Geri Walton | January 2, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter R and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.