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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Vanessa Kelly


Regency Cant: Blue Ruin and Heavy Wet

In the Regency, many upper class Bucks of the ton loved to use lower class speech--especially when talking to each other. One of the favorite pursuits for these guys was what we'd call 'slumming it.' After a fashionable high society ball, where they would be expected to perform highly stylized dances and fetch lemonade for sheltered debutantes, they might escape the restrictions of upper class life in one of the low-rent gin parlors of London's east end.

Some of the drinks available in the gin houses were:

Ball of fire: glass of brandy

Blood and thunder: port wine mixed with brandy

Blue ruin: gin

Bumper: full glass of alcohol

Flash of lightning: glass of spirits/gin

Heavy wet: porter or stout, types of beer

Drinking to excess was common. All these phrases mean 'drunk':

Boosey

In his altitudes

In his cups

Drunk as a wheelbarrow

Eaten Hull cheese

Foxed

Half-sprung

Jug-bitten

Too ripe and ready

Top-heavy

In tomorrow's post, I'll talk about Regency money problems…

4 comments:

Caffey said...

Hi Vanessa! Love to learn this with the regency, like the society rules, dresses, all that! This is so neat to learn about those names of drinks and being foxed! LOL. Loved this!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Thanks, Caffey! And thanks for following along all week!

Kammie said...

"Jug-bitten" that's funny! Have to remember that one. Enjoyed reading your posts all week.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kammie!