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Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 190

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….


I had thought (and this is another thing that I haven’t really given much thought to) that this was a newer word than it is, with Grose defining it as “language, an outlandish lingo; a foreign tongue. The parlezvous lingo; the French language”. The word actually seems to date from around 1700, probably from the Portuguese word ‘lingoa’ or the French ‘lingua’.

The word has remained in relatively constant usage over the last two centuries, with an upturn over the last few decades.