Victorian Slang Pertaining to Cohabitation (Finishing School Special Extras)

1811 Slang Pertaining to Cohabitation

  • Heavy baggage ~ Women and children.
  • She wears the breeches ~ The wife governs her husband.
  • Butcher’s dog. i.e. lie by the beef without touching it ~ A simile often applicable to married men.
  • To join giblets ~ Said of a man and woman who cohabit as husband and wife, without being married.
  • He has tied a knot with his tongue, that he cannot untie with his teeth ~ He is married.
  • Noozed ~ Married, hanged.

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue 
“He always was a small man. Made smaller by his wife.”
~ Emma (2009 movie)

“If you cannot get the right kind of business partner, marry a good honest wife.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

“Why should she be rewarded for gratifying her own inclination in marrying the man of her choice? We repeat, that we cannot exactly perceive why, when the union of a couple of lovers, in many cases, adds to the happiness, honour, and glory of the married pair alone, their friends should think it a duty to levy on themselves these contributions; so often inconvenient to the givers, and not much cared for by the receivers.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

{Gail’s monthly read along for July is: Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss}


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  1. ista said:

    I love that dictionary and dip in and out of it for entertainment. I'm in a british navy re-enactment group c1806 and the dictionary gave me the perfect occupation to dress as woman and still hang about with sailors. "Bumboat: A boat attending ships to retail greens, drams, &c. commonly rowed by a woman; a kind of floating chandler's shop" Seeing as I love green veg and white rum the dictionary made me very happy

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