Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday 13

Since I'm writing a regency at the moment I am so into Regency - let me give you some Regencyisms...

This stuff is so full of character... it makes a comedy very easy going and what a rollicking little to-do I am having...

Can you guess?

1. Queer in the attic. (As Seinfeld would say, nothing wrong with that.)
2. Stick a spoon in the wall.
3. Long Meg
4. Touched in the upper works
5. Leg shackled.
6. Parson's mousetrap
7. Cut direct, cut sublime, cut infernal.
8. Cyprian
9. A mushroom.
10. Taradiddle
11. Make a cake
12. more hair than a wit
13. Maggot in the head

How'd you go? This is a reverse quiz. The more you guess the more I have to tell you to 'get a life' unless you are full of so many IQ digits - this was just the last thing you needed before you emerged as a 'know it all'.

Following is a translation for the dummies.

1. Peculiar or crazy.
2. To die. Originally meant "took up residence" from the fact that in primitive times a leather strap was often nailed to the wall near the fireplace as a place to keep items like spoons. Eventually it came to mean "die", probably because the fireplace pouch - stuff went in and never came out - (read as junk pile or third draw in the kitchen).
3. A tall woman. Long Meg was a notorious woman from Henry VIII and the subjects of ballads and stories of the time.
4. Crazy
5. Married
6. Marriage
7. Well cut direct, really would conjur up thoughts of director/movie. But to the regency people this was the ultimate insult. Look the other way - social murder. Cut surblime is to look up to Heaven. and obviously Cut infernal is look down or tie or stoop to adjust a shoe.
8. A women who gave sexual favors for payment ie., mistress or courtesan.(Aphrodite the Goddess of Love from the island of Cyprus.)
9. A sudden rise to eminence and riches as would a mushroom grow in the night.
10. A lie.
11. Make a fool of yourself. (*Half-baked)
12. Not very smart.
13. A strange notion

As a fan of how English changes it's meaning over time, language developing - this is quite a fascinating transition.


Ali Katz said...

Well, I got 1, 4 and 10. Better than expected since I don't read Regency.

Interesting, Penny... got some more?


Gina Ardito said...

The only one I hadn't heard before was #2. Thanks for the definitions though. Very interesting list!