Tagged with regency lexicon

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 Words: Monkey and money

When a gentleman said he bet a monkey, what did he mean? 500 pounds, of course. A gentleman close to the River Tick might have only afforded a pony (25 pounds sterling…which later, through rhyming slang, became macaroni). Although no one is quite sure where the term monkey (in reference to $500) came from, there … 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