Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 215

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….

Muckworm

This is another intriguing word, defined by Grose as “a miser”. It retains that meaning today, although it can also mean someone who makes money by the overworking of others. It did also once mean a worm that lived in manure, but that usage seems to have fallen out of favour for not being very scientific.

Unfortunately, as can be seen from Google Ngram, the word has pretty much fallen out of usage over the centuries, which is a little bit of a shame.