Regency Cant and Expressions

Regency Expressions Collected from the Pages of Georgette Heyer

Expression Definition
'pon rep polite exclamation
a fudge false rumour
a trifle disguised slightly drunk
all the crack very fashionable
ape-drunk very drunk
bag of moonshine lot of nonsense
bamboozle trick
Banbury stories falsehoods
bandy words talk
bang up to the mark on time
barque of frailty woman of easy virtue
base<-born child illegitimate offspring
be with malt above water be drunk
beautiful stepper fine piece of horseflesh
become a tenant for life marry
befogged confused
being cupped have blood taken/let
bellows to mend with boxing term - having the wind knocked out - this may happen to a young buck who sees an attractive woman
beneath my touch not good enough
Bird of Paradise woman of easy virtue
bit of muslin woman of easy virtue
bleed very freely give lots of money
Blue Ruin gin
bluestocking academic female
blunt money
bone-setters poor quality horses
boot is quite on the other leg the situation is quite the reverse
bosky drunk
bouncer lie
brought to Point Non Plus in a situation with no options
by-blows illegitimate children
calf-clingers pantaloons
calf-love immature love of a young man
Canterbury tales lies
carte-blanche an offer by a gentleman that includes living under his protection, but not marriage
cat-lap milk - champagne if used as a joke
cattle horses
chitterlings inside parts of the pig
civil whiskers polite small talk
cleaned out has no money
cock-sure proud and confident
colour up to blush
commonplace mind dirty or vulgar mind
convenients women of easy virtue
corky bright and lively
cry rope on someone give them away, tell secrets etc
cucumberish to have no money
cut a wheedle ingratiate self with someone by lying
cut up my peace disturb me
cutting shams lying
Cythereans mistresses
damned hum false rumour, lie, trick etc
damned low water with me have no money, be in debt
dangling after hanging about, enamoured of
dibs not in tune to be in poor financial state
dicked in the nob crazy
dipping rather deep drinking quite heavily
displays to advantage fights well - boxing cant
doing it much too brown overdoing it so that it is not credible
done to a cow's thumb fatigued to the point of illness/fainting
draw someone's cork punch in the nose and cause to bleed
drawing the bustle too freely spending too much money
drive unicorn drive a vehicle with 3 horses, 1 in front of 2 others
drunk as a wheelbarrow very drunk
dudgeon bad mood
Dun territory debt
eaten Hull cheese drunk
elbow-crooker drinker
fagged to death exhausted, tired
fair gutfounded very hungry
fairly flush in the pockets quite rich
faradiddles lies
fiend seize it damn it
find oneself on the rocks to have no money, be in debt
find self at a stand to have no money
fit of the blue-devils depressed
Flash of Lightning gin
flat person, able to be tricked
fly a kite raise money
fly to the time of day wise to the ways of the world
flying one's colours blushing
foxed drunk
free-traders smugglers
Friday-faced sad looking
full of juice very rich
fustian nonsense rubbish
gabster person who talks a lot
gammon trick
gingerbread money
gobble-cock turkey (less important than a Duke)
grease someone in the fist bribe them
hadn't an ounce of steel in her not strong-willed
half-sprung tipsy, not fully drunk
hang on someone's sleeve to let self be supported financially
haven't a sixpence to scratch with have no money
havey-cavey business suspicious goings-on
Haymarket ware low class prostitutes
high in the instep haughty, proud
hobble as in to be in a hobble or a predicament
in quite deep in debt
in the suds to be in trouble
Incognitas higher class prostitutes
inexpressibles breeches
jug-bitten drunk
kick up a lark get up to mischief
knocked-up exhausted, tired
lady-bird woman of easy virtue
land a facer punch in the face
Lawks vulgar exclamation
leech doctor
leg-shackled married
light o' love mistress
light-skirts women of easy virtue
Lud polite exclamation
make a cake of oneself make a fool of self
make a May game of someone fool someone
make a mull of something to make a mess of it
make an offer propose marriage
making indentures drinking
mawkish sentimental
miff ie to get into a miff or bad mood
mill brawl, fight
neck-or-nothing young blood of the Fancy a very sporty young nobleman
never a feather to fly with to have no money
not a mean bit yet still attractive
not give a tinker's damn not care
notoriously picksome fussy
Old Tom gin
on the cut on a drinking binge
on-dit gossip
Paphians women of easy virtue
parting company falling off horse
peculiar woman of easy virtue
peep-of-day boy someone always involved in kicking up larks etc
Pinkest of the Pinks a very fashionable man
pitching the gammon lying
plant a facer punch in the face
pluck to the backbone brave
plume yourself on something to be proud of it
plumper lie
pockets to let has no money
prime articles women of easy virtue
prime bit of blood fine piece of horseflesh
properly shot in the neck drunk
pudding-house stomach
purse-pinched have little money
queer as Dick's hatband ill-looking, faint looking
raise a breeze make a fuss
raising some kind of breeze up to some mischief
rake a man who has all the vices has attracted and perhaps "ruined" many women
ready to sport one's canvas eager to fight
regular out and outer person of high spirit, awake on every suit, and with enviable abilities
ring a fine peal over someone yell at them, scold them
riveted married
rolled-up to have no money
run quite off one's legs have no money
scrape as in "devil's own scrape" or a predicament
screw not a very good horse
set up someone's bristles to make them angry
set your cap at someone aim to snare them for marriage
shamming it lying
shine everyone else down be the most attractive
shockingly loose in the haft has many vices, and little respect for proprieties
shoot the crow leave in a hurry without paying
sick as a cushion very ill
side-slips illegitimate children
slum rubbish, nonsense
Spanish coin untrue flattery
Stark Naked gin
started in the petticoat line associating with women of easy virtue, a practice frowned on at Oxford
strait-laced upholding the proprieties, prudish
stricken in years quite old
swallow one's spleen control one's anger
sweep/make a magnificent leg bow deeply, and a little theatrically
sweet-goer fine piece of horseflesh
swell of the first stare a very fashionable man
swimming in lard very rich
tap-hackled drunk
Tare an' hounds exclamation
tempting armful attractive female
the devil to pay trouble
throwing a rub in the way spoiling the plans
Thunder an' turf exclamation
tie one's garter in public do something extremely shocking
to be in the basket be in lots of trouble
toad-eaten flattered and made up to
toilette outfit
too ripe and ready by half always up to something
too smoky by half very suspicious
top-heavy drunk
Top-of-the Trees someone/thing of high esteem
top-sawyer person who handles horses superbly
trollops women of easy virtue
trotting too hard doing too much, exhausting yourself
try to break someone's shins borrow money
turn someone up sweet ingratiate self with by lying
vowels IOUs
want to pull caps with someone want to argue with them
wanton woman of easy virtue
well-inlaid rich
windmill dwindled to a nutshell to lose one's money
winged injured in the arm, usually the shoulder
wish someone at Jericho find them in the way
within ames-ace near

This site is designed by Dr Pigtails and Associates and somehow maintained by Sally Houghton