Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Seventy

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…..

Chatter Box

This of course remains a commonly used phrase today, but I did like the quite vivid definition given by the dictionary, which was “one whose tongue runs twelve score to the dozen, a chattering man or woman”. When the dictionary was published, this was a relatively new phrase as it had only started to be used in the 1770s. It was originally two words, but it has been corrupted down into one over the years.

I think I prefer the dictionary definition than the word it’s describing, I will definitely attempt to get the phrase “your tongue runs twelve score to the dozen” in somewhere this year.