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….
This dictionary doesn’t often mention where words originate from, but does here and notes “a fog or fool: also a dupe to women: from the Italian word coglione, a blockhead”. It’s probably also wrong insomuch as more recent dictionaries explain that the word comes from the Old English word “cullion”, which is a despicable person. It’s a nice word though….
The word was much more frequent in the seventeenth century and it started to die out some time ago.