Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Ninety-Seven

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


This dictionary doesn’t often mention where words originate from, but does here and notes “a fog or fool: also a dupe to women: from the Italian word coglione, a blockhead”. It’s probably also wrong insomuch as more recent dictionaries explain that the word comes from the Old English word “cullion”, which is a despicable person. It’s a nice word though….

The word was much more frequent in the seventeenth century and it started to die out some time ago.