Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 127

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….


The dictionary defines this as “the name of a public house, where the Eccentrics assemble in May’s Buildings, St. Martin’s Lane”. This entry seems relatively bizarre to me, leading to more questions than answers.

Somewhat pleasingly, the Eccentrics still exist as the Eccentric Club and this was originally founded in 1781, subsequently being refounded in 1858, 1890 and 2008. They now have premises at Stratford Place in London, but they were at May’s Buildings from the late eighteenth century into the early nineteenth century. They had at this time around 40,000 members, including some of the most influential people in the country.

Unfortunately, I can’t find out anything about the Fousil public house, that seems to have been otherwise lost to history.