Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 241

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….

Paviour’s Workshop

This is another definition that I can’t add much to, but is another one that I like, defined by Grose as “the street”. The phrase was in use from the late eighteenth century to the mid nineteenth century and I do wonder whether it was just easier to say ‘street’, but it makes it sound more exotic. The word ‘paviour’ has changed meaning since this phrase was in usage, as today it’s all about it being a stone that’s used in garden design. However, the old use for the word was to describe the job title of someone who laid paving stones on streets and although it’s not a common surname, that’s where that is from.

Just referring to the word ‘paviour’ on its own, this fell out of usage towards the end of the nineteenth century. The job of laying stone became less of a specialist one and the construction of almost endless new roads meant that this quite specific element of the job became less relevant.