Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Forty-Two

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

Breeches Bible

The dictionary defines this as “an edition of the BIble printed in 1598, wherein it is said that Adam and Eve sewed figleaves together, and made themselves breeches”. The first edition of this bible actually appeared in 1560, with the appropriate passage in Genesis reading:

“Then the eies of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed figge tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches”.

Today, this instead reads:

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Certainly a strange turn of phrase even for the late sixteenth century.