back to top

21 Victorian Slang Terms It's High Time We Revived

Dash my wig, the Victorians had a lovely way with words.

Posted on

1.

As in: "Hurry up and bitch the pot, would you? I'm spitting feathers here."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Hurry up and bitch the pot, would you? I'm spitting feathers here."

2.

As in: "Don't remember a single thing about last night. Got absolutely boiled owled."
Topical Press Agency / Getty

As in: "Don't remember a single thing about last night. Got absolutely boiled owled."

3.

As in: "Did we kiss? Yes. There was no quail-pipe, though."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Did we kiss? Yes. There was no quail-pipe, though."

4.

As in: "Oof. Right in the tallywags."Other Victorian terms for testicles included: whirlygigs, trinkets, twiddle-diddles.
Morphart Creation/Shutterstock

As in: "Oof. Right in the tallywags."

Other Victorian terms for testicles included: whirlygigs, trinkets, twiddle-diddles.

5.

As in: "Sure, I dirty-puzzled around a bit at University, who didn't?"
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Sure, I dirty-puzzled around a bit at University, who didn't?"

6.

As in: "Would you mind terribly if I... had a go on your Cupid's kettle drums?"Other Victorian terms for breasts: bubbies, coker-nuts.
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Would you mind terribly if I... had a go on your Cupid's kettle drums?"

Other Victorian terms for breasts: bubbies, coker-nuts.

7.

As in: "Go on, it's Friday night, get some neck oil down you."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Go on, it's Friday night, get some neck oil down you."

8.

As in: "Dash my wig, there's never anything worth watching on Netflix."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Dash my wig, there's never anything worth watching on Netflix."

9.

As in: "You're annoying me now. Shut your tatur-trap."(Tatur being short for potato).
Hein Nouwens/Shutterstock

As in: "You're annoying me now. Shut your tatur-trap."

(Tatur being short for potato).

10.

As in: "I'm married now. My tot-hunting days are over."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "I'm married now. My tot-hunting days are over."

11.

As in: "People seem to think Kate Upton is a proper bit o' jam, but I don't see it myself."Other terms for the same thing included "jampot" and "basket of oranges".
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "People seem to think Kate Upton is a proper bit o' jam, but I don't see it myself."

Other terms for the same thing included "jampot" and "basket of oranges".

12.

As in: "That's easy for you to say, vicar, up there in your cackle-tub."
Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "That's easy for you to say, vicar, up there in your cackle-tub."

13.

As in: "I thought victory was guaranteed, but I shot into the brown at the last minute."The phrase is derived from shooting. Miss the black and white target and your shot would hit the muddy (ie brown) ground instead.
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "I thought victory was guaranteed, but I shot into the brown at the last minute."

The phrase is derived from shooting. Miss the black and white target and your shot would hit the muddy (ie brown) ground instead.

14.

As in: "Put your inexpressibles on, it's time to get up."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Put your inexpressibles on, it's time to get up."

15.

As in: "No wonder your voice is so high-pitched, what with you wearing gas-pipes like those."
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "No wonder your voice is so high-pitched, what with you wearing gas-pipes like those."

16.

As in: "Come on, stop moping. Let's go out and tickle our innards."
Reinhold Thiele/Topical Press Agency / Getty

As in: "Come on, stop moping. Let's go out and tickle our innards."

17.

As in: "It's always nice to come home to your gigglemug."
83319180

As in: "It's always nice to come home to your gigglemug."

18.

As in: "Leg it, chaps, the mutton shunters are coming!"
Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Leg it, chaps, the mutton shunters are coming!"

19.

As in: "Sure, life is all beer and skittles when you're in your twenties, but just you wait."
Zola/Picture Post / Getty

As in: "Sure, life is all beer and skittles when you're in your twenties, but just you wait."

20.

As in: "Pick up a few of them bags o' mystery on your way home, will you?"It's a mocking allusion to the fact that the exact content of sausages was not always clear (still a problem to this day, in fact).
Chaloner Woods / Getty

As in: "Pick up a few of them bags o' mystery on your way home, will you?"

It's a mocking allusion to the fact that the exact content of sausages was not always clear (still a problem to this day, in fact).

21.

As in: "Careful how you sit. You don't want to expose your crinkum-crankum."Popular alternatives included notch, money, old hat, and madge (sorry Madonna).
Rischgitz/Hulton Archive / Getty

As in: "Careful how you sit. You don't want to expose your crinkum-crankum."

Popular alternatives included notch, money, old hat, and madge (sorry Madonna).

Sources: Passing English of the Victorian era, a Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang and Phrase, by J. Redding Ware; 1909; Routledge, London, The Public Domain Review, SusannaIves.com, Victorian London.