Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest RSS Home Blog About On Line Bibliography Grace Under Pressure Contact me! book news Buy books Amazon Book Store Jane Austen Reading Room Stories A Locket and a Promise Wholly Unconneced to Me Mrs. Drummond’s School for Girls Persuasion 200 Free ebook: Bits of Bobbin Lace Download Previews Audiobook Previews Darcy’s Decision Preview The Future Mrs. Darcy Preview All the Appearance of Goodness Preview Twelfth Night at Longbourn Preview Remember the Past Preview Bonus Chapters George and Anne Darcy’s Story The Rawlses Visit Longbourn Of Kympton Parish Deleted Scene: Admiral Bennet’s mistake Deleted Scene: Admiral Bennet interviews Wickham Deleted Scenes: Jane and Fitzwilliam Regency Life Regency Interpreter History a’la Carte Interviews Grace under Pressure « Get to know David Pilling History A’la Carte 1-10-13 » Jan 08 Confound it all! Colorful Language, Regency Life by Maria Grace Girl pulling hair, screamingConfound it all! One of the frustrations of writing historical fiction is discovering your character could not do/hear/see/say something because it had not been invented yet! Such is my plight as I just discovered my heroine could not say ‘Confound it!’ as the saying did not exist for nearly another 40 years! A few other things she could not say (and the year in which she could have said them) include: botheration – c. 1835 by gum – c. 1825 cheeky – c. 1830 cheerio – c. 1910 confound it – c. 1850 darned – c. 1815 drat – c. 1815 fancy that – c. 1834 frightfully – c. 1830 (all) right – c. 1837 right you are – c. 1865 smashing – c. 1850 But, when frustrated, as I am, she could have said any of these (and the year they made their appearance): bah –c. 1600 balderdash – c.1675 barmy — c. 1600 beastly – c. 1200 blasted – (damned) c. 1600 by (Saint) George – c. 1719, by Jove – c. 1570 by the bye – c. 18th C. criminy – c. 1700 daft – c. 1450 dang — c. 1790 darn – c. 1790 deuced (damned) — c. 1785 devilish – c. 1450 devil of a… – c. 1750, dickens (What the dickens?) – late 1600 egad — c. 1675 fiddle-de-dee – c
. 1785 fiddle faddle – from 18th C. fiddlesticks – from 17th C. gads — from 17th C., gadzooks — c. 1655 ghastly – c. 1325 golly – c. 1775 good gracious – from 18th C. goodness! – mid 19th C. gosh – c. 1760 go to the devil – from 14th C. gracious – from 18th C., gracious me – from 19th I say – from 17th C. la – from 16th C. lo and behold — by 1810 oh! – c. 1550, oh-oh — c. 173 pah — c. 1600 pish — c. 1595 pooh — c. 1600 pshaw — c. 167 rot it – 17th — 18th C. rubbish — c. 1630 son of a gun — c. 1710 tosh – (nonsense) c. 1530 What (how) the devil – from 17th C. zooks – c. 1635 zounds – c. 1600 And to make matters worse, my family looks at me like I’m nuts for caring whether or not she could have said any of these phrases. Confound it all! Resources: Dictionary.com English Through the Ages, by William Brohaugh, Writer’s Digest Books, 1998 Etymology of Expressions compiled by Joanna Waugh http://www.joannawaugh.com/Expressions.html by Maria Grace Copyright 2013, all rights reserved Share this: Twitter6 Facebook Google Pinterest StumbleUpon More Google+ Maria Grace Maria Grace Like this: Related History A'la Carte 4-3-14 History A'la Carte 4-3-14 In "BAC" History A'la Carte 12-19-13 History A'la Carte 12-19-13 In "BAC" History A'la Carte 5-1-14 History A'la Carte 5-1-14 In "BAC" Tags: Language, regency era, sayings, Slang 15 comments 1 ping Skip to comment form ↓ Joanna Waugh January 8, 2013 at 10:23 am (UTC -5) Reply Glad you found my list helpful, Maria! authormariagrace January 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm (UTC -5) Reply I did, very much. Thank you for your articles that are so helpful! lindabanche January 8, 2013 at 10:43 am (UTC -5) Reply Maria, don’t take those dates as written in stone. The dates for a word or phrase are the dates the word/phrase first appeared in print. Written language lags the spoken word. As a conservative estimate, I’d say you could have your characters use a word about 20 years before its date. Purists may scoff, but you can’t please everyone! authormariagrace January 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm (UTC -5) Reply I was thinking something like that, Linda. It’s nice to get that confirmation though! Kay January 8, 2013 at 11:56 am (UTC -5) Reply Too funny! M M Bennetts January 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm (UTC -5) Reply Captain Grose’s Dictionary of Buckish Slang is a superb source of information on what was said when from the latter half of the 18th century till 1812. Eric Partridge also has written several books on historical slang and he’s tops. I rely on those two as well as always checking everything in the Oxford English Dictionary. And that and Grose are now available on the internet, as I understand it. I often have a reverse problem–much of colloquial English dates back to the 16th century and is still in regular use, but I’ve had several readers insist that my use of these words is modern and therefore grating, or indeed invented by Richard Curtis for Four Weddings and a Funeral, for example. Ha ha. authormariagrace January 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm (UTC -5) Reply I love Grose’s dictionary and use it often. It is available in several places on line, including a pdf version and and epub. Thanks MM!
Jonathan Hopkins January 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm (UTC -5) Reply Okay (1829) then! :) cavalrytales January 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm (UTC -5) Reply Okay (1829), then! ;) Cassie Grafton January 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm (UTC -5) Reply Love this! I think my favourite run has to be: pah, pish, pooh, pshaw!!! :) I have been using the Online Etymology Dictionary but I’m keen to check out Captain Grose’s Dictionary
of Buckish Slang! Thanks for sharing. Katherine Pym January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm (UTC -5) Reply I’ve found words were used in journals/letters long before they were recorded as used. Egad is one. Sources say 1675 but I’ve seen it prior to 1660. Words must be popular, widely spoken, before it’s considered by the list makers. E.M. Powell January 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm (UTC -5) Reply Great post Maria- I would never have guessed ‘son of a gun’ was that old. Always sounds like a cowboy in a stetson to me! :) authormariagrace January 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm (UTC -5) Reply Honestly, that one surprised me too! Lisa February 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm (UTC -5) Reply I remember when I saw “The Titanic,” it bugged me a bit when the heroine (played by Kate Winslet) “flipped the bird” at the
policeman. It didn’t seem historically correct for 1912, so I tried to research when “the bird” became a gesture but couldn’t find anything at the time. Ha! Thank you for the fun information! authormariagrace February 6, 2013 at 9:54 am (UTC -5) Reply Sometimes it is hard to chase down that sort of information. I try to bookmark and copy stuff as I run into it because I know I won’t be able to find it when I need it. LOL Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Name: * Email: * Website: Message: * You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
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