Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 124

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….


You learn something new every day and I thought this word meant meaningless or insincere. The dictionary definition though is “oatmeal and water boiled to a jelly; also compliments, neither of which are over-nourishing”. Somehow now flummery has evolved into a sweet dish that is made of beaten eggs, milk and sugar. This sounds much more delicious than oatmeal and water boiled to a jelly. This new version of the word comes from Australia in the mid-twentieth century and it’s likely that the only thing it has in common with the old ‘recipe’ is its texture and consistency.