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…..
Quite a long definition, the dictionary notes that this is defined as “meat between veal and beef, the flesh of an old calf; a military simile, drawn from the officer of that denomination, who has only the pay of lieutenant, with the rank of captain; but so is not entirely one or the other, but between both”.
It seems a rather long phrase to describe meat, a bit clunky for a butcher to have to write out on their display or for a customer to ask for. And on that basis, I also can’t find much evidence that this phrase was much used, but there’s something very precise about the term that I like. It’s perhaps a shame that Morrison’s to this day doesn’t use the phrase in their market street butchers…..