50 Regency Words & Phrases

Our own Widow Black of Widow Black's Coffeehouse has assembled several interesting lists and articles that she has graciously allowed me to share with you, fair reader. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. She posts these, I believe to better prepare her publick for her coming event. You may find the invitation to said event, as well as the articles in question, below.

click on invitation to enlarge

25 Regency Words & Phrases You Might Already Know...

1. Aground: stuck fast, stopped, at a loss.
2. Birds of a feather: rogues of the same gang.
3. Chap: a fellow.
4. Dumb-founded: silenced, also soundly beaten.
5. Elbow grease: labor.
6. Foul-mouthed: abusive.
7. Gambler: a sharper, a tricking gamester.
8. Hodge podge: an irregular mixture of numerous things.
9. Inching: encroaching.
10. Jack Tar: a sailor.
11. kick the bucket: to die.
12. Leak: to make water, to piss.
13. Mum: an interjection directing silence.
14. Just in the nick of time: right at the critical moment.
15. Old hand: knowing or expert in any business.
16. Partial: inclining more to one side than the other; crooked.
17. Quartered: divided into four parts.'
18. Rank: stinking, rammish, ill-flavored.
19. To smash: to break, also to kick down stairs.
20. Tit for tat: an equivalent.
21. Urchin: a child, a little fellow.
22. Valentine: the first woman or man seen by the other on St. Valentine's Day.
23. To wet ones whistle: to drink.
24. Yelp: to cry out.
25. Zany: a jester.

Collected from 'A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue', Francis Grose, 1796.

25 Regency Words & Phrases You Should Learn!

1. All-a-gog: anxious, eager, impatient.
2. Bedfordshire: I'm for Bedfordshire, ie going to bed.
3. Church Work: said of any work that advances slowly.
4. Down Hills: dice that run low.
5. Eternity Box: a coffin.
6. To Fire a Slug: to drink a dram.
7. Gentleman of Three Outs: a man without money, wit or manners.
8. Hempen Fever: a man who was hanged is said to have died the hempen fever.
9. Idea Pot: the Knowledge box; the head
10. Jackenapes: an ape; a pert, ugly little fellow
11. Knot: a crew, gang or fraternity
12. To Laugh on the Wrong Side of the Mouth: to cry
13. A Mint of Money: a large sum of gold
14. None-such: one that is unequaled; frequently applied ironically
15. Odd-come-shortly: I'll do it one of these odd-come-shortlys; I'll do it sometime or another.
16. Pell-mell: tumultuously, helter skelter, jumbled together
17. To Quash: to suppress, annul or overthrow
18. To Lie Rough: roughing it; to lie all night in one's clothes
19. Scrip: a scrap or slip of paper.1.
20. Tow Row: a grenadier.
21. Uppish: testy, apt to take offense.
22. Vain Glorious: one who boasts without reason.
23. Whids: words
24. To Look Yellow: to be jealous
25. Zounds: an exclamation, an abbreviation of God's wounds.

Collected from _A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_, Francis Grose, 1796.

(1760-1790)                                (1800-1820)

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about the Doctor of your choice!

More Dancing

More dancing at the Jane Austen Ball, Lucy and I are again on the far right.

The Battle of the Nile

HEN came the battle at the Nile, for which my friends are always desirous to have an antic-dote.

It was shouting, everyone was shouting. Smoke and fire and blood, so much blood. My shoes were filled with the sand that the mates poured on the cockpit floor. The cockpit is a space permanently partitioned off near a hatchway down which the wounded could be carried for treatment.

I remember Cuddy staggered down into the cockpit when the noise above decks had ceased. He was covered from waist to foot in blood, his buff coloured breeches completely red.

"You are undone!" says I.

Cuddy was not his jovial self that day, instead soberly says, "Tis not MY blood I wear Doctor."

The Zealous was fortunate in that she and her crew did not receive the number of casualties of the other ships of the British force.

It is a gruesome tale and not one I wish to recall.

Detail from The Destruction of 'L'Orient' at the Battle of the Nile
George Arnald, 1827, National Maritime Museum

Meet 'Cuddy'

HEN I was two and twenty years of age, in the Year of our Lord Seventeen hundred and Ninety Eight, I was accepted as a Ship's Surgeon aboard the HMS Zealous, a 74-gun ship of the line, under Captain Samuel Hood.

While aboard, that first year I met Midshipman Thomas Cuthbert... the gunroom all called him 'Cuddy'.

The gunroom? Oh yes of course, forgive me, I too was ignorant of the workings of His Majesty's Navy, and had to learn as I went along. 'Gunroom' is the Naval term for the Junior Officer's mess cabin, it's also used to refer to those that have the right to occupy that gunroom, meaning "the officers of the gunroom".

Cuddy was a most amiable fellow, well read and quite proficient as an officer. He could laugh at nigh anything. There was nothing that he could not gamble on, he must have lost three years wages over the course of our service together. And a stout lover of mirth and good liquor.

He was every bit the spitting image of Thomas Rowlandson's vision of a midshipman circa 1799, he even had the long golden locks.

Jane Austen Festival Wrapup

Sunday brought much of the same as Saturday. Fencing in the morning, style show at midday, medical demonstrations throughout... as well as the near intolerable heat.

I will include a series of inserts in my journal that will offer additional images and information from the weekend's activities.

The images of Jim & Kathy Cummings, which includes a very unusual image of myself in the Style show, as well as myself and Mr. Cushing taking our fencing exercise.

Images from the local Louisville Newspaper featuring several excellent portraits of people I know.

Jane Austen Festival Part 3

I cleaned up and got ready for the ball to be held that evening, and Miss Graham fixed Lucy's hair so as to make her more presentable.

A few hours before the ball, I was approached by Mrs. Wise and her daughter, Mrs. Wise held something in her gloved hand.

"Doctor? Doctor!" she called out to get my attention as she approached.

She handed me a small packet. It was two letters tied together in a little bundle, "These arrived for you on Monday."

I thanked her and she went on her way. I immediately recognized the handwriting... one letter was addressed to me, another to a young woman of my acquaintance employed by the estate of Mr. John Overton in Tennessee. I tucked her letter into my waistcoat pocket so as to deliver it to her at the Ball that night.

My letter from Mr. S. Merritt (click to enlarge)

I believe that perhaps Mr. Merritt had caught wind of my duel with Mr. Hazuga at Corydon over a matter of money owed me for service rendered. This may have motivated him to write the letter for fear he might get the same treatment.

Lucy listening from instructions from the dancemaster.

That night at the Ball, everyone was out in their finest. The music from the stage was excellent, and the refreshments were good and beautifully arranged. In my mourning state, it is hardly appropriate for me to attend dances or balls, but I was there in my capacity as Lucy's father, and only danced a few times, and ONLY with my Lucy (as she was in want of a partner on a few occasions).

Lucy in the line next to the rakish Mssr. LaFaux.

Misses Holmes and Shipsey attended by Mrs. Staggs.

You may spot Lucy and myself on the far right at about 2:30.

I occupied myself in the drinking of punch and gossip with Mrs, Staggs and her two young charges, Miss Holmes and Shipsey, whom Lucy had befriended.

When the night was over, Lucy had an invitation to spend the night with Mrs. Staggs and her charges, leaving me to return alone to Locust Grove, where I found several of the gentlemen drinking in the kitchen, including Mr. Cushing.

We talked until well after midnight, then decided that, due to the heat, we would sleep on the back porch of the house.

I gathered my blankets and pillow and made a spot that would be comfortable. I slept well there in my little make shift bed, not rising until the sun had begun to do so the next morning.

...to be continued.

Jane Austen Festival Part 2

The duel at half past two drew a great crowd of onlookers to the Village Green.

I bid the growing throng to not come too close for fear of being struck by a glancing shot.

Mr. Cushing, Mr. Minnis' second, loads the pistol.

Several shots were exchanged, until finally, Mr. Minnis was struck and downed. I attended him, as was my duty. Mr. Minnis shortly thereafter, succumbed to the fatal wound.

Mr. Minnis' final moments.

By three o'clock I was back in the office to give more talks about the medical profession, but as the hour wore on, I could hear the gentlemen beginning to assemble next door in the Hellfire Club. As I was engaged until four that afternoon, I took several opportunities to poke my head in the window and remind the fellows not to drink up all the beer and rum before I could arrive to sample it.

My view through the back window.

When four o'clock finally arrived, I locked up the door to the office and went around to the entrance of the Hellfire Club to find it well underway. The gents were assembled around a large table, drinking, smoking and playing cards. There was a good deal of mirth and camaraderie to be had that afternoon.

The view from inside the Hellfire Club, mine is the empty chair and the unattended hand.

I cleaned up and got ready for the ball to be held that evening, and Miss Graham fixed Lucy's hair so as to make her more presentable.

...to be continued.

Jane Austen Festival

Upon the most recent weekend, Lucy and I travelled Northward to the estate of Locust Grove, home of William and Lucy Clark Croghan. The Croghan's played host to a great festivity, tented shops upon the grounds, and a large central tent that held a style show and a number of speakers as well.

Lucy and I were installed in the middle of the long stone out building, a large fine room that suited our purpose well. Mockingbirds had built a nest in the chimney of the office some time back and when we unlocked the door for the first time, two of the babies had jumped the nest and landed in the brick floor. They were quite upset about the whole thing.

They were covered in feathers and I think they were ready to leave the nest, which was how they came to find themselves on the brick floor. But they were all locked up in the room and couldn't get out. Lucy and I caught them and put them outside under an obliging tree.

I took my fencing practice in the morning at 10:30 with mr. Cushing. He is a younger fellow and quite vigourous. As I have not fenced since my days in the Royal Navy, I found it quite a task to fend off his attacks and advances. We stopped our exercise and took great cups of water several times due to the heat.

Afterward, I unlocked the office and gave several demonstrations to the assembled visitors to the Croghan estate.

At noon, Lucy and I took tea with a lovely pair of sisters, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Johnson.

At one of the clock in the afternoon I went to the garden and took my place in the queue for the style show for the benefit of the Croghan's guests.

Later, I was out with my cages and found a fantastic beetle on the back of a woman's dress, it was large and wounded. It was a winged thing, gold and green, but its wings browned and damaged.

It was a Phyllophaga, a genus of beetles in the subfamily Melolonthinae of the family Scarabaeidae... Cotinis nitida, locally known as a 'June Bug'. The front lawn was swarming with them. They circled low to the ground.

I took him in my hand and continued my walk.

As I stood showing him off in a group of ladies and gents, my hand extended, five more examples of the very same beetle flew right into my waiting hand as if to come and rescue their friend!

Lucy, at 2 in the afternoon on Saturday, went to her dance lesson with Captain and Mrs. May, which was just as well, as I had been asked to be the attending physician at a pistol duel on the Village Green at half past two the very same afternoon.

Two fellows had been gambling at Wist in the kitchen that morning, and there were words exchanged over a matter of cheating.

...to be continued

Indiana Territory Festival in Images

See the Indiana Territory Festival from the point of view of the

The Doctor's Orders

Click on each image to enlarge.
Special thanks to Brian Allison for making these for me.

The Duel at Corydon part 2

Mr. H------- levels his weapon, making ready to fire as the militia looks on.

Mr. H-------'s pistol fails to fire, mine does not.

The militia Captain orders my arrest. I put my hands out, ready for the irons.

I'm carried away by the Corporal.

Mr. H-------'s reluctant second drags the body from the field.

Last stop before his final resting place.

The scoundrel's grieving sister lunges for the weapon of one of the guards.