Vulgar Song and Slang from the 19th Century and earlier
July 1, 2007 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue from 1811. Canting Dictionary (thieving slang) from 1736. Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes (1536–1896). Before you end up scragged, ottomised, and grinning in a glass case, you should learn to sing Frisky Moll's Song... and know what the heck it means:
A famble, a tattle, and two popps,
Had my Boman when he was ta’en;
But had he not bouz’d in the diddle shops,
He’d still been in Drury-Lane.

posted by Kattullus (15 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
From the very awesome website Liam's Pictures from Old Books which I posted before.
posted by Kattullus at 6:58 AM on July 1, 2007

Whore pipe.

posted by RavinDave at 7:36 AM on July 1, 2007

Very interesting... Great site... That URL (fromoldbooks) first looked to me like "from mold books" and I thought they were being clever, saying that by putting the books online they were rescuing them from mold... lol
posted by amyms at 7:36 AM on July 1, 2007

This a great post. Does living on Drury Lane make the Muffin Man a pimp?
posted by SteveTheRed at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2007

I believe Grose's monumental work was later superseded by F.A.King, Cant, as regards Cockney usage. I certainly hear this latter work cited often when visiting London and environs.
posted by Abiezer at 8:09 AM on July 1, 2007 [3 favorites]

Ooh, this could be useful... thanks, Kattullus!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:15 AM on July 1, 2007

Thanks for this useful link. BibliOdyssey is worth a look too.
posted by Alec at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2007

I like manoeuvring the apostles; also Buttock and Twang, "a common Whore, but no Pickpocket." (It's a sign of civilization to make these fine distinctions.) Great post!
posted by languagehat at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2007

Cool! I have a copy of The Vulgar Tongue- you can buy it here.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2007

Fantastic links, thank you so much. I think I'll spend the day reading these-- looking forward to it.
posted by jokeefe at 11:21 AM on July 1, 2007

Fine post. Thanks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:10 PM on July 1, 2007

A+++++ Quality FPP. Would read again.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:49 AM on July 2, 2007

Yeah! Thanks for post!
posted by pubblicitae at 5:08 AM on July 2, 2007

I know this is several days late ... but I was having trouble accessing the site and realized that a scan of the entire book is online at Google Book Search and can be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF. (Disclosure: sure, I'm a Google employee, but I still think it's neat and I needed to find out what a gull-groper was. Now I know.)
posted by massless at 9:03 AM on July 8, 2007

sure, I'm a Google employee

Can you do something about the fucking "snippet view" that's ruining my life? Thanks!
posted by languagehat at 9:38 AM on July 8, 2007

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