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1811 Dictionary Of The...
Francis Grose
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1811 Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary Of Buckish Slang, University Wit, And Pickpocket Eloquence

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The knees. To bring any one down on his marrow bones; to make him beg pardon on his knees: some derive this from Mary's bones, i.e. the bones bent in honor of the Virgin Mary; but this seems rather far- fetched. Marrow bones and cleavers; principal instruments in the band of rough music: these are generally performed on by butchers, on marriages, elections, riding skimming ...more
Published January 1st 1984 by Bibliophile Books (first published January 1st 1785)
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Robin Hobb
I received this indispensable addition to my reference shelf as a gift from my friend Sean Glenn. I still owe him!
This dictionary has furnished me with incredible insights into English as she was spoken, and given me wonderful bits of slang and cant to scatter throughout my novels. It is an enjoyable read by itself, and often I've gone to look up one word, and crawled out of the book two hours later. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
Sarah Tipper
Word nerds will love this book. I could go back to 1811 and be very rude now that I've read it. I expect I'll be using the word 'fundament' instead of bottom right here in the present and should I need to refer to what differentiates males from females I'm spoilt for choice now. If you want to add some creativity to your swearing you'd benefit from reading this book.
Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue No, that’s not good enough. The title page of the original (a facsimile is included in this edition) is much more informative as well as entertaining, and is worth reproducing, after a fashion.

Lexicon Balatronicum
Compiled originally by Captain Grose.

ASSISTED BY Hell-Fire Dick, an
Maggie Stewart-Grant
May 10, 2010 Maggie Stewart-Grant rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historians, anthropologists, linguists, English literature afficionados and writers.
Recommended to Maggie by: Shaun McLaughlin (inadvertantly)
What a fun read! Most dictionaries are dry reading, but this is akin to going through the Urban Dictionary online. I laughed out loud in many places. The words were hilarious, but moreso the descriptions. For anyone who likes to read and learn about antiquated behaviours and the origins of some unusual phrases still in use today, this is worth the time.
I downloaded this for research into the period for the magic pirate novel and ended up reading if from beginning to end rather than dipping in. If you know the terms you can look up their meaning. As most dictionaries, it's in alphabetical order, however it doesn't work backwards. To someone looking back from the distance of 200 years the terms are mind-boggling and often hilarious, occasionally, jaw-droppingly literal. ('WINDWARD PASSAGE. One who uses or navigates the windward passage; a sodomi ...more
John Sutherland
This, often-scatological dictionary (Covent Garden Nun; Abbess; Pilgrim's salve; Balum rancum; Beast with two backs, etc.) and its earthy expressions, many undoubtedly familiar to Shakespeare and Chaucer, broadens the scope of anyone's English, and sometimes in directions one would rather not go. It is NOT for the faint hearted, so be warned. Some expressions will also confound most readers for a while and may never be understood (one such is 'monosyllable') However, in my own writings, some of ...more
Lance Schaubert
Nothing so fully captures the dialect of pirates, scalawags, cheapskates and conmen as this dictionary. It is the "urban dictionary" of the 18th century and is worth a gander for anyone writing anything set in this time.
Jenny Schmenny
"Buckish Slang and Pickpocket Eloquence?" Originally printed in 1785 and full of gems like:

flogging cully: A debilitated lecher (commonly an old one), whose torpid powers require stimulating by flagellation.

jibber the kibber: A method of deceiving seamen, by fixing a candle and lantern round the neck of a horse, one of whose fore feet is tied up; this at night has the appearance of a ship's light. ships bearing towards it, run on shore, and being wrecked, are plundered by the inhabitants. This
Jennifer Erwin
It's a dictionary, but it's pretty cool to see words that I've picked up from historical novels and realize that I'd been reading and understanding them correctly. Also interesting to see words that are still in use today.
Steve Mitchell
As this book is essentially a dictionary, it does not really make for good reading from cover to cover. However, as a historical reference book that gives an insight into what was considered to be slang and expletives in 1785 and exhibits how the English language has evolved it is excellent. This book is actually a facsimile of a first edition of Captain Francis Grose’s book that any pre-teen schoolboy would have given his right arm for: a dictionary of rude words!
Thank goodness Captain Grose decided to collect these slang terms and colloaquialisms into a dictionary; they might have been lost forever otherwise. As Alistair Williams says in the introduction, 'they present us with a fascinating window on the lives of ordinary people at the end of the eighteenth century...Grose captures a bawdy culture alive with its own rich language.'
Sally Michelle
This book is just a fun, fabulous read. Absolutely silly. Having been first published in 1785 (I think...? Now I feel like I should go check...) this book has seriously delightful slang from the era.

An improvement could be made if their was a Table of Contents or Index.
Kilian Metcalf
If you are writing a Regency romance, I don't see how you can do without this resource. It was fun to read from A-Z and very interesting to see how many expressions still hold their original meaning and have made the transition from slang to mainstream.

I downloaded it on a whim and it is now part of a devilish exercise of whit and mayhem I have planned for October. This book seriously would have come I handy during a few of
My research projects during senior year and my grad studies!

Sarah Jacquie
FUNNY! Although thanks to my nerdy reading of old novels or history seeking I've heard a good sample of these words, but for every one I knew there are about 20 I don't. Total treasure, even their vulgar words were more elegant in speech.
Ok, so I didn't actually read this cover-to-cover. I do read bits of it quite often, however, finding it a very useful tool when researching the Regency underworld. I found it to be quite entertaining, as well. :o)
I expected this to be a tool I would use briefly and only occasionally, but it's hard not to get sucked in for an hour or more at a time. Recommended for those interested in language, history, and old pop culture.
Lee Rowan
May 25, 2010 Lee Rowan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: language lovers
Very useful for a writer of historical fiction - EXCEPT that it really needs an index. Fun to browse but frustrating when you would like to find a word fast.
Specifically of the early 1800's. A great companion to all the wonderfully (and wickedly) written Victorian erotic novels and historical classics.
Gar Ver
Jul 26, 2007 Gar Ver rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: haberdashers of pronouns
The title of the book says it all. A dictionary of vulgar slang from the streets of the early 1800s. Indispensable!
Very interesting resource of words that have mostly disappeared from modern usage.

Francis Grose. Author of Dictionary of The Vulgar Tongue


a wonderful glossary of vulgar terms to integrate into everyday life.
Peter Ferraro
More dictionary than anything, but loads of fun to flip through.
Jun 11, 2011 Cheryl marked it as waiting-2-be-read-kindle  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by:
Note: Provided free through
lot of pick-pockets back then
Jan 19, 2010 Nicole is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and Interesting
Jien is currently reading it
Jan 26, 2015
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Goodreads Librari...: The 1811 Dictionary of teh Vulgar Tongue 3 14 Jan 18, 2015 05:43PM  
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