Etymology of Expressions by Maggi Andersen

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As THE SCANDALOUS LADY MERCY completes my Baxendale Sisters series, and I’m about to embark on a new Regency series, I’m enjoying taking time to do some research. I find it interesting to see when these expressions were first used. I’ve deleted some of the more offensive and colorful ones.

 

 

 

The following were in use during the Georgian, Regency and early Victorian periods:

ahem – c. 1765

bah –c. 1600

balderdash – c.1675

barmy — c. 1600

beastly – c. 1200

begad – c. 1600

blast your eyes — c. 1793

blasted – (damned) c. 1600

bleater — 17th – early 19th C.

blister it — c. 1840
bloody (very) –mid 17th – 18th C.

botheration – c. 1835

bravo – c. 1765

brava – c. 1805

by (Saint) George – c. 1719

by gum – c. 1825

by Jove – c. 1570

by the bye – c. 18th C.

capital – c. 1760

cheeky – c. 1830

cheerio – c. 1910

confound it – c. 1850

criminy – c. 1700

daft – c. 1450

damned — from 16th C.

damnable – from 16th C.

damnation – c. 1630

dang — c. 1790

darling (n) c. 900 (adj) c. 1510

darn – c. 1790

darned – c. 1815

dear — c. 1675

dash my wig – c. 1810

dem/demned (damn/damned) — from late 17th C.

demme (damn me) — c. 1753

deuced (damned) — c. 1785

devil a bit – after 1750

devilish – c. 1450

devil of a… – c. 1750

devil take it – from 16th C.

devil to pay – from 15th C.

dickens (What the dickens?) – late 1600

drat – c. 1815

egad — c. 1675

eureka – c. 1570

excelsior – c. 1780

fancy that – c. 1834

fiddle-de-dee – c. 1785

fiddle faddle – from 18th C.

fiddlesticks – from 17th C.

frigging (exceedingly)– c. 1820

frightfully – c. 1830

fudge – c. 1770

fun (joke) – c. 1835

fustian (bombast) — from late 18th C.

gads — from 17th C.

gadzooks — c. 1655

gammon (nonsense) – from 1825

ghastly – c. 1325

glory be – c. 1820

goody – c. 1800

golly – c. 1775

good gracious – from 18th C.

goodness! – mid 19th C.

gosh – c. 1760

go to the devil – from 14th C.

gracious – from 18th C.

gracious alive! — mid 18th C.

gracious me – from 19th

hallo — c. 1570

halloo — c. 1700

hell — c. 1600

hellfire — before 1760

honey – 19th C.

humbug – c. 1740-54

hurrah — c. 1690

huzzah — c. 1595

hurray/hooray — c. 1800

I’ll be bound – c. 1530

I say – from 17th C.

Jupiter – from 17th C.

la – from 16th C.

lawks – c, 1765

lo and behold — by 1810

lud! – ca 1720-1850

mind (note what I say) — from 1806

oh! – c. 1550

oh-oh — c. 1730

outside of enough – c.

pah — c. 1600

pish — c. 1595

pooh — c. 1600

pshaw — c. 1675

(all) right – c. 1837

right you are – c. 1865

ring a peal – 18th — mid 19th C

rot it – 17th — 18th C.

rubbish — c. 1630

shag – c. 1790

— c. 1510

sirrah – from 16th C.

smashing – c. 1850

son of a gun — c. 1710

sweetheart – c. 1290

sweetie — c. 1800

sweetikins — c. 1600

sweeting – c. 1350

tallyho – c. 1770

tosh – (nonsense) c. 1530

What (how) the devil – from 17th C.

zooks – c. 1635

zounds – c. 1600

 

I have a new release: ONE SCANDALOUS NIGHT is a short novella,  first published in the SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN anthology. Not available on Amazon yet, but you can download it for free from Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes & Noble. One Scandalous Night Cover artist: Victoria Vane.

Cheers,

Maggi

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Maggi Andersen
Maggi Andersen is an Australian author of historical romance, mysteries, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult novels. She lives in a pretty historical town with her husband, a retired lawyer. Maggi is a bird lover, she supports the RSPCA, IFAW and Youth off The Streets. Maggi's latest Regency series is The Baxendale Sisters. Book #1 Lady Honor's Debt is available on Amazon, and relevant sites.
Follow Maggi Andersen:

Maggi Andersen is an Australian author of historical romance, mysteries, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult novels. She lives in a pretty historical town with her husband, a retired lawyer. Maggi is a bird lover, she supports the RSPCA, IFAW and Youth off The Streets. Maggi's latest Regency series is The Baxendale Sisters. Book #1 Lady Honor's Debt is available on Amazon, and relevant sites.

8 Responses

  1. Thanks for this list, Maggi. As a totally vocabulary freak, I wallow in this sort of thing. 🙂

  2. Great list, Lady Maggi! Woot!!! 😉

  3. Teresa Broderick

    Fantastic list!!

  4. Maggi Andersen

    Thanks Teresa. I had to censor it a bit, lol.

  5. I love the etymology of words!