Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Twenty-One

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…..

Beau Trap

The dictionary defines this as “a loose stone in a pavement, under which water lodges, and on being trod upon, squirts it up, to the great damage of white stockings”. Since the word ‘beau’ was used to mean a foppish man, I assume this was a problem for men and women alike. I can’t imagine that the the phrase was ever much used, I can’t find much evidence of it being in common usage. It’s a nice phrase to use though, if anyone writes to their local council to complain about a damaged pavement, they should certainly include it.