Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 104

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Dining Room Post

The definition of this phrase is “a mode of stealing in houses that let lodgings, by rogues pretending to be postmen, who send up sham letters to the lodgers, and, whilst waiting in the entry for the postage, go into the first room they see open, and rob it”.

It’s perhaps no surprise to see that distraction crime has been going on in this manner for hundreds of years, but this must have been a particularly annoying crime. The dictionary was written before the introduction of the Penny Black, so the recipient of letters not only had to pay to receive the letter (hence the ‘waiting in the entry for the postage’), but they then discovered that they were robbed whilst paying for them. It’s not ideal…..