Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Thirty-Four

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…..

Bones

One of the shortest definitions provided by the dictionary so far, simply saying “dice”. The reason for the word is just as simple, as for most of human history, dice were made from animal bone. There were always alternatives such as wood, metal, antlers, stone and no doubt many more materials, but bone was likely from where it started. Dice have for centuries also been loaded, and there’s another phrase from this book on that (in about 40 days), with weights hidden inside the dice to fool the unsuspecting. I’m still impressed that King Henry VIII lost the bells of St. Paul’s Church whilst throwing his bone dice, not an ideal situation for him….