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Climbing Boys of the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 14, 2014

A climbing boy, usually apprenticed to a chimney sweep (although sometimes they were called 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 climbing boys. For that reason many outgrew their job…

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 Eventually, nobility began to rent out their outdated and unneeded coaches, often…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.

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

By Geri Walton | December 20, 2013

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

Pickpockets and Pickpocketing in the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | December 18, 2013

In the 1700 and 1800s times were hard. Orphans, street children, or the very poor sometimes became apprenticed to men who dabbled in the art of pickpocketing. Two well-known, but fictional pickpockets, Fagin and The Artful Dodger, were made famous in Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. Similar to Dickens’ characters, young pickpockets needed to be…