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Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Six

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…..

Arsy Yarsey

This rather lovely little term used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries simply means to fall head over heels, deriving from arsy-versy used from as early as the sixteenth century which had a wider meaning of topsy turvy or back to front. I’m not sure that this term ever appeared much in print, I’m guessing that it was used more in the vernacular.