Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 222

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….

Nigmenog

This word is defined by Grose as “a very silly fellow” and it was first being used towards the end of the seventeenth century. The phrase lingered on in usage until the mid twentieth century, at which point it seemed to become mostly obsolete. There’s a similar word which is used with more racist connotations, although that appears to have different etymological roots (although may have been a legacy of this original word that was repurposed), but might explain why this word would now be very difficult to use now and is one that will never come back into common usage.