I’m pleased to welcome historical romance author Ally Broadfield today. Welcome, Ally!
Tara, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today!
Regency readers are very smart and savvy, and they notice when an author uses a word that wasn’t in use in during the period. I utilize both The Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com) and The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary to look up words to try to ensure I’m not using a word that didn’t exist at the time. One of my favorite words is “suss.” It’s quintessentially British to me, and I was sad to discover that it’s a modern word and was not around during the Regency. It came into use during the 20th century as a shortened form of “suspect.” I wish I could use it in one of my books, but I’m glad I looked it up so I didn’t make that mistake.
There were some really fun slang words and phrases that I’m hoping to work into a future book, like “Dub the jigger.” It sounds inappropriate, doesn’t it? It means “open the door.” Or “Petticoat Hold,” which refers to a man who has an estate during his wife’s life.
There is a scene in Just a Kiss where several people were unhappy with one of the characters, and I had a wonderful time researching words they could use to show their displeasure. Though I wasn’t able to use all of them, these are some of the words I considered:
Numbscull=a stupid fellow
Nick Ninny= a simpleton
I’m sure you can see a pattern here. I’m afraid you’ll have to read Just a Kiss to find out which words I used.
Just a Kiss
Blurb: Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she’ll be forced to marry her guardian’s loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn’t have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-a-kiss-ally-broadfield/1119127247
Bio: Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.
3 thoughts on “Blockheads & Petticoat Holds – A Look at Regency Slang with Ally Broadfield”
Thanks for hosting me today, Tara!
Thanks for stopping by today, Ally! Love the Regency words you’ve highlighted…they’d add color to a story in that era. I’ve heard “blockhead” for years and never realized it was Regency slang. Interesting!
Love your trailer on Youtube, Ally! And I love your dogs! I used to have two Great Pyrenees and a little Westie. Those Pyrs are super pets.