mid victorian

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Romanticism/
Was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. The aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, and while for much of the Romantic period it was associated with liberalism and radicalism, its long-term effect on the growth of nationalism was perhaps more significant.

Victorian Slang'

-AFTERNOONIFIED
A society word meaning “smart.” Forrester demonstrates the usage: “The goods are not ‘afternoonified’ enough for me.”

-ARFARFAN’ARF
A figure of speech used to describe drunken men. “He’s very arf’arf’an’arf,” Forrester writes, “meaning he has had many ‘arfs,’” or half-pints of booze.

- BACK SLANG IT
Thieves used this term to indicate that they wanted “to go out the back way.”

-BAGS O’ MYSTERY
An 1850 term for sausages, “because no man but the maker knows what is in them. … The ‘bag’ refers to the gut which contained the chopped meat.”

- BANG UP TO THE ELEPHANT
This phrase originated in London in 1882, and means “perfect, complete, unapproachable.”

- BATTY-FANG
Low London phrase meaning “to thrash thoroughly,” possibly from the French battre a fin.

-BENJO
Nineteenth century sailor slang for “A riotous holiday, a noisy day in the streets.”

- BOW WOW MUTTON
A naval term referring to meat so bad “it might be dog flesh.”

- BRICKY
Brave or fearless. “Adroit after the manner of a brick,” Forrester writes, “said even of the other sex, ‘What a bricky girl she is.’”

- BUBBLE AROUND
A verbal attack, generally made via the press. Forrester cites The Golden Butterfly: “I will back a first-class British subject for bubbling around against all humanity.”

-BUTTER UPON BACON
Extravagance. Too much extravagance. “Are you going to put lace over the feather, isn’t that rather butter upon bacon?”

-CAT-LAP
A London society term for tea and coffee “used scornfully by drinkers of beer and strong waters … in club-life is one of the more ignominious names given to champagne by men who prefer stronger liquors.”

-CHURCH-BELL
A talkative woman.

- CHUCKABOO
A nickname given to a close friend.

- COLLIE SHANGLES
Quarrels. A term from Queen Victoria’s journal, More Leaves, published in 1884: “At five minutes to eleven rode off with Beatrice, good Sharp going with us, and having occasional collie shangles (a Scottish word for quarrels or rows, but taken from fights between dogs) with collies when we came near cottages.”

-COP A MOUSE
To get a black eye. “Cop in this sense is to catch or suffer,” Forrester writers, “while the colour of the obligation at its worst suggests the colour and size of the innocent animal named.”

- DADDLES
A delightful way to refer to your rather boring hands.

-DAMFINO
This creative cuss is a contraction of “damned if I know.”