Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Twenty

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…..

Bayard of Ten Toes

The dictionary defines this as “to walk on foot, Bayard was a horse famous in old romances”. To be more precise, Bayard was a magical horse as it had the ability to change its size to suit the number of riders who mounted it. Bayard dates back to at least the twelfth century and Chaucer also made reference to it in the Canterbury Tales in 1286. This is another one of these phrases which seems to have been rarely used, but I like the Bayard of Ten Toes, it’s something which deserves to be brought back into usage….