Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 200

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…. NB, it’s nice to reach number 200, although I’ve got a few days behind somewhere, as I should be on day 210 by now. I’ll catch up.

Mahometan Gruel

This slightly ridiculous phrase is defined by Grose as “coffee, because formerly used chiefly by the Turks”. I’d have thought it easier just to say coffee, a word which came into the English language in the sixteenth century via the Turkish word ‘kahveh’. The phrase was used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, although I’m not entirely convinced that it was widely used as it appears only infrequently in print.