Tagged with regency cant

Regency Lexicon: Swell

If you asked a person on the street the meaning of swell, they might mention a puffed up injury or as an expression like “Gee, that’s swell!” But Reg Rom readers would recognize an alternative definition, referring to a Pink of the Pink. The meaning “wealthy, elegant person” is first recorded 1786; hence the adj. … Continue reading

Regency Customs: The Cut

“For one person to look directly at another and not acknowledge the other’s bow is such a breach of civility that only an unforgivable misdemeanor can warrant the rebuke. Nor without the gravest cause may a lady “cut” a gentleman. But there are no circumstances under which a gentleman may “cut” any woman who, even … Continue reading

Regency Lexicon: fudge

Oh fudge.  Now, we know you as an alternative curse word or a delicious chocolatey treat. But back in the Regency era, a fudge would be a falsehood. Here is a little etymological breakdown of the word: “put together clumsily or dishonestly,” 1610s, perhaps an alteration of fadge “make suit, fit” (1570s), of unknown origin. … Continue reading

Regency Lexicon: Mawkish

mawk·ish (môksh) adj. 1. Excessively and objectionably sentimental. 2. Sickening or insipid in taste.  Sense of “sickly sentimental” is first recorded 1702. [From Middle English mawke, maggot, variant of magot; see maggot.] mag·got (mgt) n. 1. The legless, soft-bodied, wormlike larva of any of various flies of the order Diptera, often found in decaying matter. 2. Slang … Continue reading

Regency Words: Breaking Down the Lexicon

I am a bit of an etymology buff.  Words are like a comfort food for me–and semantics a deliciously warm bubble bath. So in this new year, I have decided to start yet another new category of Regency history. A word (or expression) of the week broken down into contemporary speak. So please leave comments … Continue reading