Victorian values
August 20, 2012 4:12 PM   Subscribe


 
Death be not piss-proud...
posted by griphus at 4:16 PM on August 20, 2012


"Cockstand" is my favorite.
posted by The Whelk at 4:17 PM on August 20, 2012


I thought the state confiscated that motorcycle from you.
posted by griphus at 4:18 PM on August 20, 2012


So a gentleman would put his whore pipe into the fruitful vine when he wanted to join giblets and not fetch mettle?
posted by punkfloyd at 4:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


In my queue of books-to-read is The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality by Ronald Pearsall. I picked it up at a used bookstore; it looks equal parts interesting and dry as dust.

Reading Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue and anything by Sarah Waters will induct you into interesting sexual terms of that era!
posted by Kitteh at 4:21 PM on August 20, 2012


Wait, they can say "breasts" and "testicles" but vagina and penis are "woman's private parts" and "willy"?
posted by curious nu at 4:23 PM on August 20, 2012


oh HELL yes...
BUTTERED BUN
One lying with a woman that has just lain with another man, is said to have a buttered bun.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:24 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hooray! New Dirty Talk!
posted by Mezentian at 4:24 PM on August 20, 2012


A cockstand sounds like it ought to be furniture.

"Pardon me, dear, I seem to have lost my erection..."
"Don't be silly, darling, you've just left it on the cockstand."
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:29 PM on August 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


Actually a 270 Inverse Cockstand is what won me the gold at the 2005 X-Games.
posted by griphus at 4:30 PM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


griphus: "Actually a 270 Inverse Cockstand is what won me the gold at the 2005 X-Games."



I would think you'd win more Back Gammon tournaments that way.
posted by not_on_display at 4:33 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back Gammon tournaments that way.

You leave your pork loin out of my cock stand.
posted by The Whelk at 4:39 PM on August 20, 2012


HAT. Old hat; a woman's privities: because frequently felt.

Brilliant. Also:

GAYING INSTRUMENT. The penis.

Indeed.
posted by scratch at 4:40 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coming home just now, a turkey flew out of the woods and clearly smacked into the roof of our car.

Okay "flew" is a little big, more like "Enthusiastically leaped" but still, it spooked me.
posted by The Whelk at 4:41 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do not want to know what the whelk's comment above is a Victorian euphemism for.
posted by maxwelton at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2012 [26 favorites]


No. No. You got turkey-slapped. By a turkey.
A very drunk turkey.
posted by Mezentian at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2012


...this is the wrong thread.

Okay just pretend it was a series of Victorian sex words.
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2012 [17 favorites]


(I assume he was referring to the next thread down. But I felt the need to tie it to this thread with some modern slang. Thanks Big Brother Australia!)
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 PM on August 20, 2012


I've always been amused by the fact that Liverpool's sex workers are more likely to offer you a 'gam' (short for gamahuiche) than they are to offer you a blow job. They're also the only group that maintains the active use of backslang and bits of polari.

The oldest profession: maintaining our cultural traditions since the dawn of time.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:44 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, I was going to improve the tagging but I think this post already has the best possible "related posts" and I don't want to mess with that.
posted by Artw at 4:57 PM on August 20, 2012


(god three of them are mine, apparently I do nothing but think about Victorians getitng it on all day.)
posted by The Whelk at 4:58 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk's accidental turkey anecdote/terrifying Victorian sex slang is my FAVORITE THING TO HAPPEN ON METAFILTER now.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 4:59 PM on August 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


I remember reading The Pearl in my teens and being absolutely fascinated by the terminology. This list is missing one of my favorites: "spend". Men spend, women spend (sometimes copiously), they are spent, and their spendings can mingle.

Anyway, you can find the full run of The Pearl at the link I provided. As far as I can remember, not a single story starts with a pizza delivery. Here's the opening of the first story from the first issue.

SUB-UMBRA, OR SPORT AMONG THE SHE-NOODLES

The merry month of May has always been famous for its propitious influence over the voluptuous senses of the fairer sex. I will tell you two or three little incidents which occurred to me in May, 1878, when I went to visit my cousins in Sussex, or as I familiarly call them, the She-Noodles. ...

posted by rosebuddy at 5:04 PM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yep, I read The Pearl too. I still don't believe it is legit, I think it was written much later as a prank or hoax even if people say it is legit. Lots of talk of fundaments and John Thomas and riding St George style or some other saint if I recall.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:08 PM on August 20, 2012


Buttered Bun is still current slang in certain circles. As it were. Or at least, it was in the early 1990s. Or so I am told. (This post seems to be turning into a Spinal Tap song, so I think I'll stop now and contemplate The Whelk's own fondness for big bird slappers. which to be honest I didn't really see as part of his general life outlook. How little we know our pseudonymous correspondents.)
posted by Devonian at 5:15 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want to read these words used in context, My Secret Life is fascinating and fun reading. It's the diary of a rather vigorous Victorian gentleman. "I had luncheon, and a cock-stand again, walked round the grounds, and saw the nursemaid with the child".
posted by Nelson at 5:16 PM on August 20, 2012


FIRE SHIP. A wench who has the venereal disease

I vaguely remember my husband telling me about a song popular among the Rennies he knows on this theme.
posted by immlass at 5:17 PM on August 20, 2012


nooo! the site is down. however, my friends are probably being saved from very weird text messages.
posted by sio42 at 5:32 PM on August 20, 2012


It's kind of mean to post this and then laugh up your sleeve at some of the entries while the source site is overwhelmed and I can't read them. I am forced to make up my own naughty slang terms and I'm not all that good at it.
posted by theredpen at 5:33 PM on August 20, 2012


I've decided to use everyone's username as a dirty word in the meantime. Highlights include Nelson and Devonian and rosebuddy (you don't even want to KNOW what that means now). I already used the Whelk as a slang term.
posted by theredpen at 5:35 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I too am locked out of the source, but this thread makes me want to wear a top hat with a blue ribbon around it that has text in yellow saying rude things.
posted by ifandonlyif at 5:38 PM on August 20, 2012


rosebuddy (you don't even want to KNOW what that means now)

Too late. Rosebud (NSFW?) is .... well.... ALREADY IN USE.
In ways too horrible to unsee.
posted by Mezentian at 5:46 PM on August 20, 2012


Google cache
posted by unliteral at 5:47 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a dictionary of Victorian sexual slang on a shelf at home. I must say that some of the terms are baffling a century later, some are still current, and some are deduced with a moment's thought. One that always struck me as absurdly laboured was the "eye that weeps the most when best pleased." Hard to work that into a conversation, much less into pillow talk.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:49 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll have to check out the link later but I too loved the Pearl, which was a very educational read in my youth. My personal favorite term was Priapus. In the pre-Internet & Wiki days, this was a slightly difficult word to research.

And "Sport Among the She-Noodles" is a beautiful thing. I don't think I've ever seen a better literary treatment of blueballs than this passage which describes what happens after a very lengthy bit of seduction and foreplay, thus frustrating the reader as much as the fictional gentleman and gentlelady must have been.

I stood up and prepared to take possession of the seat of love -- when, alas! a sudden shriek from Annie, her clothes dropped, all my arrangements were upset in a moment; a bull had unexpectedly appeared on the opposite side of the gate, and frightened my love by the sudden application of his cold, damp nose to her forehead. It is too much to contemplate that scene even now.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:49 PM on August 20, 2012


for shagging one of the terms is "to occupy".

i love how that is still used in movies and such when someone is having an indiscretion in an office or something and a secretary says that so-and-so is "occupied".

(also insert occupy joke here).

also "to give a green gown". haha!
posted by sio42 at 5:54 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


seeing tipping the velvet on this list gives new meaning to the movie title i saw in a list of period piece movies with great costumes on askme a while back. hmm.
posted by sio42 at 5:55 PM on August 20, 2012


Seeing said movie would have done the same!
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:02 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did Victoria really believe women didn't masturbate? Or did she believe that a woman masturbating wasn't a "crime" like a man masturbating?
posted by maxwelton at 6:15 PM on August 20, 2012


Is this getting mixed up with the Fifty Shades of Grey Generator in anyone else's head?
posted by Cocodrillo at 6:32 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is an amazing amount of nonsense about the Victorians in that post.

Yep, I read The Pearl too. I still don't believe it is legit, I think it was written much later as a prank or hoax even if people say it is legit.

Why wouldn't it be? Porn has been a lively part of the publishing industry since the 18th century, if not longer.
posted by jokeefe at 6:33 PM on August 20, 2012


Did Victoria really believe women didn't masturbate? Or did she believe that a woman masturbating wasn't a "crime" like a man masturbating?

No, of course not. Victoria had a happy and robust sex life before she was widowed, as well. Recieved ideas about Victorian "prudery" are 20th century fantasies.
posted by jokeefe at 6:34 PM on August 20, 2012


Highlights include Nelson and Devonian and rosebuddy...

A Lower Devonian Tea.
posted by ovvl at 6:34 PM on August 20, 2012


I've decided to use everyone's username as a dirty word in the meantime.
posted by theredpen at 3:35 AM on August 21 [+] [!]


Epenisterical.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:47 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


My name's already cockney slang, but I'm sure you can find some additional meaning for it.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2012


Someone please use this as the basis for something like the 50 Shades Generator.
posted by Boxenmacher at 7:09 PM on August 20, 2012


Did Victoria really believe women didn't masturbate?
Do not, upon any account, use the hand for the purpose of sexual excitation at the bride's genitals. There is but one lawful finger of love with which to approach her genitals, and this is the male organ. Even where there is a hymen whose orifice requires to be gradually enlarged in order to effect a painless entrance, the male organ, and not the finger, should be employed, lest a masturbative response be set up in the bride at the outset, which would be most unfortunate.
- Ira Craddock, The Wedding Night.
posted by unliteral at 7:13 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ida.
posted by unliteral at 7:14 PM on August 20, 2012


The Fireship.

Mind you, this is extremely tame compared to other select sea songs from this era.
posted by Miko at 7:29 PM on August 20, 2012


RANTIPOLE. A rude romping boy or girl; also a gadabout dissipated woman. To ride rantipole

What a treasure trove of sockpuppet names this is.
posted by Miko at 7:31 PM on August 20, 2012


Each one of the first five entries from the list at the bottom is taken verbatim from the 1811 Lexicon Balatronicum by Francis Grose; I'm not checking every one as I have things to do but I strongly suspect they all are.

That's pre-Victorian, being as she didn't ascend to the throne until 1837. Very pre-Victorian, really: Grose's original text dates from 1785; the edition on Gutenberg is the later 1811 update.

(I know this because I am the author of @LexBalatronicum, a Twitter bot that tweets an hourly random entry from the Gutenberg LB text.)

It's still interesting stuff, of course, but the failure to so much as mention the source of the 'full dictionary' leads me to view much of the rest of the article with suspicion.
posted by motty at 7:46 PM on August 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


Oh, that's lousy.

And that does explain the more 18th-century sound of some of the super-colorful expressions.
posted by Miko at 7:48 PM on August 20, 2012


...

crinkum-crankum?

posted by nanojath at 7:57 PM on August 20, 2012


but the failure to so much as mention the source of the 'full dictionary'
That is indeed lousy. I sent them a link to your comment.
posted by unliteral at 8:08 PM on August 20, 2012


Thingambob certainly has a different meaning from what my elderly neighbour is hollering about to her husband....


.... or maybe she really is that old
posted by larthegreat at 8:37 PM on August 20, 2012


RANTIPOLE. A rude romping boy or girl; also a gadabout dissipated woman. To ride rantipole

What a treasure trove of sockpuppet names this is.


Speaking of, I would like dibs of Mandrake Rantipole.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh! Above mentioned My Secret Life, which I aspctually used as a big reference for writing Scarlett, and from which I got this passage on the curious experience of cocksucking from a straight man.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on August 20, 2012


This list is tragically incomplete, I don't see the definitions for 'chorizo howitzer' or 'plasterer's radio' anywhere.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:36 PM on August 20, 2012


This was blatantly, word-for-word plagiarized from this source.
posted by tkfu at 3:01 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aaaand the page appears to have been pulled from the Mookychick website...
posted by motty at 3:16 AM on August 21, 2012


Carry On Up The Khyber
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:38 AM on August 21, 2012


My granddad occasionally used "to give a girl a green gown"...I knew he was an old dirty bastard, but damn
posted by jet_manifesto at 3:43 AM on August 21, 2012


Yeah, it looks like the site pulled the article completely. Apparently, they can't deal with actual popularity.
posted by Malor at 4:02 AM on August 21, 2012


Yeah, it looks like the site pulled the article completely. Apparently, they can't deal with actual popularity.

I emailed the author calling out the plagiarism, and she pulled it down in response. That seems like an appropriate response to me.
posted by tkfu at 5:06 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since I can't spy upon the secret naughty bits I shall just have to make up my own version.

Crumpet fanning
Digger pole
Eeling
Fat sauce
Gallop through the moss
Hog whole
Irish jelly
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:07 AM on August 21, 2012


This was blatantly, word-for-word plagiarized from this source.

Clearly I'm missing something as I can't see the contents of the original linked piece on the page, or subsequent linked pages (many of which 404). Can you provide a clearer link to the content that was plagiarized?
posted by TheDonF at 6:12 AM on August 21, 2012


Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell had a bit of this, with some things not mentioned in the article; a penis was a "pego", gamahuche as a term for oral sex was also used, and a man inquiring as to whether a woman was a prostitute available for hire asked for directions to "Hairy-fordshire" (a pun on Herefordshire).
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:21 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The page seems to have disappeared.
posted by digitaldraco at 9:43 AM on August 21, 2012


CHIT. An infant or baby.

Hmm, gives new and disturbing meaning to the term dangling chit.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:34 PM on August 21, 2012


Can you provide a clearer link to the content that was plagiarized?
The page seems to have disappeared.

See the Google cache.
posted by unliteral at 6:35 PM on August 21, 2012


The Fireship yt .

Different band, but that's definitely it, thanks, Miko.
posted by immlass at 7:18 PM on August 21, 2012


Yes, it's a standard and many different groups do it - not just RenFair, but sea music groups as well, so you can find lots of versions.
posted by Miko at 7:19 PM on August 21, 2012


The band we know that does it is, unsurprisingly, a band of Rennies that also does a lot of sea shanties. I'm actually not sure I've ever heard them do it, but my exposure to them wasn't primarily at faire and they had a slightly different repertoire for pub nights.
posted by immlass at 7:22 PM on August 21, 2012




The maritime songs are full of fun euphemisms which compare women and parts of their anatomy to the language of ships and sailing. So that's a whole other lexicon that was in operation in those occupational communities at the time. Like a "flash packet" was at the same time a fast-sailing, high-end cargo vessel that departed on schedule, but also a hottie.
posted by Miko at 7:51 PM on August 21, 2012


unilateral, I don't think TheDonF was looking for a cache of the page that was pulled, but rather the original material.

I don't see any sort of vocab list in tkfu's source either, can you please clarify...?
posted by Specklet at 9:56 PM on August 21, 2012


Oh! I see. It actually comes from two sources I think.
From tkfu's link:
Course Description

We in the highly sexed early 21st century often assume that the Victorians were quite a prudish lot.  We tend to think of quiet tea parties where frank discussions about anything, least of all sex, were strictly taboo.  The Victorians, it is assumed, said "white meat" instead of "breast"; Victorian women only thought of sex as a means to producing children and caged themselves from neck to foot in stiff crinoline and whalebone.  Was this true?  Were the Victorians scandalized by even the very mention of sex or of sexual desire?  How "Victorian" were their ideas about love and sex before and after marriage?  How was sexual desire thought to be divided along gender lines?  What were Victorian assumptions about female or male sexuality?  What were Victorian attitudes about  gay or lesbian desire?
From the taken down page:
Sex and the Victorians
We in the highly sexed early 21st century often assume that the Victorians were quite a prudish lot. We tend to think of quiet tea parties where frank discussions about anything, least of all sex, were strictly taboo. The Victorians, it is assumed, said "white meat" instead of "breast"; Victorian women only thought of sex as a means to producing children and caged themselves from neck to foot in stiff crinoline and whalebone. Was this true? Were the Victorians scandalized by even the very mention of sex or of sexual desire? How "Victorian" were their ideas about love and sex before and after marriage? How was sexual desire thought to be divided along gender lines? What were Victorian assumptions about female or male sexuality? What were Victorian attitudes about gay or lesbian desire?
From a Salon article (2002):
The neo-Puritanical Victorian era lasted as long as the reign of Queen Victoria did, 1837-1901; it was a time when a woman had to wear bathing garments for convention’s sake — even in the privacy of her own bath. The hems of Victorian skirts touched the floor because the sight of a woman’s limb would be shocking beyond belief. Victorians even pulled stockings over the legs of their pianos.

Famously, Victorian art critic John Ruskin had been to Venice and Paris but had no idea that women possessed a triangle of fur above their genitals. Thus on his wedding night he went into apoplectic spasms when presented with his naked wife Effie’s tuft of pubic hair.

During the mid-20th century, pornography became legal, then respectable, and Victorian Puritans were accused of hypocrisy for hiding the legs of their pianos by day, and engaging in unspeakable perversions behind the locked doors of private clubs by night.

Writer Peter Gay discovered a different crop of Victorians, however  bourgeois folk who were sexually aware, sexually active, just discreet about it. Gay’s revisionist vision of the Victorians is confirmed by an art show that originated at the Tate Museum in London, and is currently showing at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. “Exposed: The Victorian Nude” is not an exhibit of a few daguerreotypes of naked piano legs. Rather a viewer wanders among more than a hundred paintings and sculptures and photographs of naked women, men and children. This art doesn’t redeem the Victorians, exactly, but we can see proof that they were at least as sexually knowing as the average modern subscribers to HBO.
From the taken down page:
The neo-Puritanical Victorian era lasted as long as the reign of Queen Victoria did, 1837-1901; it was a time when a woman had to wear bathing garments for convention's sake - even in the privacy of her own bath. The hems of Victorian skirts touched the floor because the sight of a woman's limb would be shocking beyond belief. Victorians even pulled stockings over the legs of their pianos.

Famously, Victorian art critic John Ruskin had been to Venice and Paris but had no idea that women possessed a triangle of fur above their genitals. Thus on his wedding night he went into apoplectic spasms when presented with his naked wife Effie's tuft of pubic hair.

Writer Peter Gay discovered a different crop of Victorians, however - bourgeois folk who were sexually aware, sexually active, just discreet about it. Gay's revisionist vision of the Victorians is confirmed by an art show that originated at the Tate Museum in London. "Exposed: The Victorian Nude" is not an exhibit of a few daguerreotypes of naked piano legs. Rather, a viewer wanders among more than a hundred paintings and sculptures and photographs of naked women, men and children. We can see proof that the Victorians were at least as sexually knowing as the average modern subscribers to HBO.
posted by unliteral at 11:27 PM on August 21, 2012


And the vocabulary list comes from motty's link - Lexicon Balatronicum.
posted by unliteral at 11:30 PM on August 21, 2012


Man alive, that's brazen. I'll never get over that crap. How hard is it to say "I found this HERE and that THERE and have compiled it for your delectation?
"
posted by Miko at 5:12 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome, thanks for that, unilateral.
posted by TheDonF at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2012


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