Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 218

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….


A short and sweet definition for this word, simply defined by Grose as “ingenious”.

Google Ngram suggests that there was a surge in the use of the word in the early nineteenth century, but the percentage use is so low that I suspect that it’s picking up Grose’s book. I’ve wondered before whether Grose just made up words in the hope that they were more widely used, something akin to Shakespeare and the words he seemed to create. Either that or it’s some Scottish word, as it sounds Scottish….