May 10th, 2009


reading dictionaries for fun

I'm a bit of a word geek. I have this dictionary saved to my favorites - "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" Second Edition, printed 1703. When I'm bored, it's good for a browse. Some of the terms and definitions are beyond great:

"MUFF. The private parts of a woman. To the well wearing of your muff, mort ; to the happy consummation of your marriage."

Next wedding I go to, I'm so toasting with that.

"STRUM. To have carnal knowledge of a woman; also to play badly on the harpsichord."

Something about that one just strikes me as funny.

"CLAP. A venereal taint."

That term is older than I might have imagined.

"WESTMINSTER WEDDING. A match between a whore and a rogue."

I like it!

And this little poem, found within a definition:

"All you that in your beds do lie
Turn to your wives, and occupy;
And when that you have done your best,
Turn arse to arse and get your rest."

So yes, I read dictionaries for fun ... but this one is actually pretty fascinating! It's amazing how bawdy people were three hundred years ago, when we have this perception of people in that age being so puritanical. Anyway, it's fun browsing if you're a word geek like me.
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