Those who know me well, or at least have been around me a long time, know of my fondness for words and language. When I stumbled across this list ofVictorian slang, I instantly was drawn to it!:
Bitch the Pot
(Pour the tea)
As in: “Hurry up and bitch the pot, would you? I’m spitting feathers here.”
As in: “Don’t remember a single thing about last night. Got absolutely boiled owled.”
As in: “Did we kiss? Yes. There was no quail-pipe, though.”
As in: “Oof. Right in the tallywags.”
Other Victorian terms for testicles included: whirlygigs, trinkets, twiddle-diddles.
As in: “Sure, I dirty-puzzled around a bit at University, who didn’t?”
Cupid's Kettle Drums
As in: "Would you mind terribly if I… had a go on your Cupid’s kettle drums?”
Other Victorian terms for breasts: bubbies, coker-nuts.
As in: “Go on, it’s Friday night, get some neck oil down you.”
Dash My Wig
As in: “Dash my wig, there’s never anything worth watching on Netflix.”
As in: “You’re annoying me now. Shut your tatur-trap.”
(Tatur being short for potato).
(prowling for women)
As in: “I’m married now. My tot-hunting days are over.”
As in: “People seem to think Kate Upton is a proper bit o’ jam, but I don’t see it myself.”
Other terms for the same thing included “jampot” and “basket of oranges”.
As in: “That’s easy for you to say, vicar, up there in your cackle-tub.”
Shot into the brown
As in: “I thought victory was guaranteed, but I shot into the brown at the last minute.”
The phrase is derived from shooting. Miss the black and white target and your shot would hit the muddy (ie brown) ground instead.
As in: “Put your inexpressibles on, it’s time to get up.”
As in: “No wonder your voice is so high-pitched, what with you wearing gas-pipes like those.”
Tickle one's innards
(to have a drink)
As in: “Come on, stop moping. Let’s go out and tickle our innards.”
As in: “It’s always nice to come home to your gigglemug.”
(policeman)As in: “Leg it, chaps, the mutton shunters are coming!”
Beer and Skittles
As in: “Sure, life is all beer and skittles when you’re in your twenties, but just you wait.”
As in: “Pick up a few of them bags o’ mystery on your way home, will you?”
It’s a mocking allusion to the fact that the exact content of sausages was not always clear (still a problem to this day, in fact).
As in: “Careful how you sit. You don’t want to expose your crinkum-crankum.”
Popular alternatives included notch, money, old hat, and madge (sorry Madonna).
Sources: Passing English of the Victorian era, a Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang and Phrase, by J. Redding Ware; 1909; Routledge, London, The Public Domain Review, SusannaIves.com, Victorian London.