Etiquette and a Regency Era Lexicon
|I read for research, and rarely is it from a novel.|
Making sense of "Sense and Sensibility" and other works of the Regency Era
I am surrounded by old etiquette books. I currently have 6 sitting by my nightstand and 3 sitting on my bed, next to the remote control. I have 6 or 7 on my other nightstand, and just recently moved a bookshelf out of the master bedroom entirely, so I would no longer feel like I should be on the television show, "Hoarders." I moved it into our guest room, next to the other 2 bookcases. I dare not say how many books are downstairs. Let's just assume I could open an etiquette library.
My point is, that I read "Sense and Sensibility" in full, and want to read Jane Austen's other books. I have actually read parts of them before, along with parts of other Regency Era works. Those were simply small portions though, while looking for quotes.
Now that I have decided to actually sit and read these books, I thought I should come up with a "Regency Era Dictionary" of sorts, in an effort to make sense of Jane Austen's writings, as they are filled with archaic phrases and words. The following is my list up to this point in time:
Apes leader: an old maid or a spinster
Banditti: wild outlaws, bandits
Batman: an orderly assigned to a military officer
Bluestocking: an academic female
Consumption: a wasting away, a bout of tuberculosis
|"Corinthian" can also mean "a rake."|
Coxcomb: a conceited and vain person. In origin, it meant "fool" as fools used to wear caps with bells and a piece of red cloth on top which was shaped like a cock's comb
Cry rope on someone: give them away, to tell secrets
Dilatoriness: slowness, procrastination
Dovecote: small house or box with compartments for nesting doves or pigeons
Drive unicorn: to drive a vehicle with three horses, one in front and the other 2 behind
|Lions and tigers and bears... The Exeter Exchange was most famous for the menagerie that occupied its upper floors for over 50 years, from 1773 until it was demolished in 1829.|
Foxed: tipsy, drunk
Flying one's colors: blushing
Frank: a piece of mail marked with an official signature, so that it can be mailed for free
Fudge: a false rumor
Fustian: bombast, pompous language, pretentious speech
Gammon: nonsense (noun), to deceive or lie (verb)
Green Girl: a girl who is young and inexperienced
|Glebe House, near Oxted|
Gudgeon: it derives from the name of a fish that gets easily caught and means someone who is easily duped or imposed upon
Hard by: nearby or near by
Jarvey: driver of a hackney coach
Jointure: settlement to a wife from her husband throughout her life, which will then transfer to her children
|Everyone lushing some slop.|
Moiety: one of two parts, not necessarily equal
Mohurs: 19th & 20th century gold coins used in British India
Nonpareil: a leader of fashion. Also known as a nonesuch.
|A palanquin or sedan chair.|
Palanquins: enclosed litters borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles.
Pinkest of the Pinks: a very fashionable man.
Round Game: game, as in cards, on which each plays on his or her own account.
Reticule: a woman's handbag closed with a draw string.
Snuff: a powdered, often scented, tobacco that was taken into the nose. It was usually carried around in small and decorated boxes.
|Sponging House ~ A place of temporary confinement for debtors in the United Kingdom.|
Town Tabby: an aristocratic dowager
Two-penny post: In 1801, the charge for mailing letters locally went from one pence (a penny), to two
|Wooly bandits are known to steal picnic foods from the unsuspecting.|
Whist: a card game in which two pairs of players try to take a majority of tricks, with the trump suit being determined by the last card dealt; a forerunner of bridge