Slang Terms from Victorian Times
Arfarfanarf: If someone is described as Arfarfanarf, chances are that they are in inebriated. The word “arf” on its own was slang for a half pint of beer.
Batty fang: Batty fang was a term popular among the poor in London meaning to beat someone up.
Collie shangles: Collie shangles was a Scottish word meaning arguments or fights that can be found in Queen Victoria’s journal.
Daddles: Another word for hands.
Dimber Damber: Although it has positive connotations, there was no explicitly defined meaning for dimber damber. It was the opposite of “namby pamby.”
Door knocker: A specific style of facial hair resembling a door knocker. Similar to a goatee with no hair on the chin.
Fly rink: A person with a shaved head is sporting a fly rink.
Gal sneaker: A man who devoted most or all of his time to seducing women would be a gal sneaker.
Jam: Attractive females. Variations include “bit of jam,” “jam pot,” and “jammiest bits of jam.”
Leaky: A person referred to as leaky is a talkative drunk.
Mind the grease: While walking through a crowd, a Victorian might ask someone to excuse them or to make room, or they could say “mind the grease.”
Nanty narking: A great time, usually at a tavern. Interchangeable with “beer and skittles.”
Neck oil: Beer.
Podsnappery: Used to describe a person who is determined to ignore anything objectionable or inconvenient. Such a person acts superior to others.
Poked up: Embarassed.
Rain napper: An umbrella.
Sauce box: A mouth. Could also be called a “tatur trap.”
Shoot into the brown: When someone failed, they would shoot into the brown. The term comes from missing a target completely, hitting the dirt behind it.
Skilamalink: When dealings are referred to as skilamalink they should be avoided. These are likely held in secret and with questionable moral purpose.
Suggestionize: To suggestionize someone, you prompt that person.
Thingembobs: A common name for trousers. If they were particularly tight, they might have been called “gas pipes.”
Thuzzy-muzzy: The willful corruption of another’s enthusiasm.
Umble come stumble: Said when a concept is understood
Whooperups: Those who sing poorly and loudly.