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Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Sixty-Nine

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…..


Defined as “dry or thirsty”, this is a now obsolete word for chapped, although I’ve seen people write about their “chapt lips” in error so it might go full circle. Or indeed, unless they were aware of its archaic roots and wanted it to be brought back in the mainstream.  Although chapped is more used as an adjective now, its origins are as a verb and in the US there are far more of these ‘-t’ endings than in the UK where it’s usually ‘-ed’. But not here, even the Americans like the idea of chapped, even though they also like words like learnt, spelt and spoilt to name just a few.