Vocabulary you’ll need to survive in Victorian London
Perusing the Public Domain Review you may eventually stumble upon The London Guide & Stranger’s Safeguard against the Cheats, Swindlers, and Pickpockets (1819).
‘A comprehensive guide to help the unwitting visitor avoid falling victim to the various and nefarious crimes abound in early 19th-century London.’
The book features a useful glossary of key vocabulary to enable the intrepid traveller to avoid coming a cropper. I was interested to see many words from Latin/Greek. Some of the words you may already be familar with – perhaps because, (1) you’re a keen reader, (2) you mix in the wrong circles, (3) you used to watch the vintage BBC TV police series The Sweeney. Such as:-
Bolt (to start off), Dive (to enter the pocket), Floor (to knock down), Gob (the mouth), Grab (to snatch up), Had Up (police examination), Slang (covert language of thieves), Seedy (Shabby dress, no money), Spar (fighting demonstration) and Whop (a blow or slap).
But here are a selection you might not be as familiar with:
Do any of these tickle your fancy? Are there any that you’ll be adding to your own word arsenal? I have made a mental note of Toggery, Roost and Covess – you never know when they might come in handy.