Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 179

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….

Knight and Barrow Pig

This is another beautiful phrase, defined by Grose as “more hog than gentleman. A saying of any low pretender to precedence”. A barrow pig is one which has been castrated and so the meaning of the phrase becomes quite self-evident, but it’s perhaps unfortunate that it didn’t seem to be widely used and it’s really only through Grose that it has been recorded. It would be quite a sophisticated insult to use today though…..