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Archive for July, 2008

twitten

Twitten is an old dialect word, used in both East and West Sussex, for a path or alleyway, which is still in common use. The word is also in common use in the London residential area known as Hampstead Garden Suburb.Elsewhere in the country, such alleyways are termed chares (north-east England), opes (Plymouth), jiggers (Liverpool) and snickelways (York).

Source: Wikipedia.

so with our swaggering gutter beaux clearing the way for us, we pressed deeper into that tangle of twitterns which formed the knotted core of the rookery.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon

picaro

31 July 2008 2 comments

pic·a·ro /ˈpɪkəˌroʊ, ˈpikə-/
-noun, pluralros. a rogue or vagabond.

[Origin: 1615-25; < Sp pícaro rogue]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

picaroon

pic·a·roon /ˌpɪkəˈrun/
-noun 1. a rogue, vagabond, thief, or brigand.
2. a pirate or corsair.
-verb (used without object)
3. to act or operate as a pirate or brigand.Also, pickaroon.

[Origin: 1615-25; < Sp picarón, aug. of pícaro picaro]

Source: Dictionary.com.

My plan was to pose as visiting ‘High Pickaroons’ – the cream of roguish society.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon

ruffle

SYLLABICATION: ruf·fle

PRONUNCIATION: rŭfəl

INTRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: ruf·fled, ruf·fling, ruf·fles
To behave arrogantly or roughly; swagger.

ETYMOLOGY: Middle English ruffelen, to quarrel.

OTHER FORMS: ruffler -NOUN

Source: Bartelby.com.

The gutter bloods in tattered finery, often arm in arm with their rum morts (she as covered in stained ribbon and torn lace as he), brought their goods to market, as did the govey burners, pocket nippers and a generality of rapscallions living off the scraps and leavings of the ruffler’s trade.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon

mort

n. [Etym. uncert.] A woman; a female. [Cant]

Male gypsies all, not a mort among them. –B. Jonson.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, quoted on Dictionary.com.

The gutter bloods in tattered finery, often arm in arm with their rum morts (she as covered in stained ribbon and torn lace as he), brought their goods to market, as did the govey burners, pocket nippers and a generality of rapscallions living off the scraps and leavings of the ruffler’s trade.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon

shillelagh

shil·le·lagh /ʃəˈleɪli, -lə/
-noun (esp. in Ireland) a cudgel, traditionally of blackthorn or oak.

Also, shil·la·la, shil·la·lah, shil·le·lah.

[Origin: 1670-80; < Ir Síol Éiligh town in Co. Wicklow; the adjoining forest provided wood for the clubs]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Upright men in tall beaver hats, their shillelaghs under their arms, strode in aristocratic glory, looking with disdain at the mere pudding snammers and pavement screevers who darted about them.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon

screever

screev·er /ˈskrivər/
-noun Chiefly British. an artist who draws pictures on sidewalks, as with colored chalks, earning a living from the donations of spectators and passersby.[Origin: 1875-80; earlier screeve (v.) (< Polari) < It scrivere to write (< L scrībere) + -er]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Upright men in tall beaver hats, their shillelaghs under their arms, strode in aristocratic glory, looking with disdain at the mere pudding snammers and pavement screevers who darted about them.

Source: Von Bek, ‘The City in the Autumn Stars’, Michael Moorcock.

Categories: Lexicon