Friday, April 11, 2008

Sexy slang

by Madelynne Ellis

Part of the fun of writing historical novels has to be researching period slang. Each era has it's own delightful set of vulgarities, many of which are virtually incomprehensible to modern readers. The following quiz is intended to "educate" and provide a bit of fun.

Please post your answers and best guesses in the comments. My favourite entry will win a copy of The Big Book of Filth by Jonathon Green.

Historical Sex Slang Quiz:

1. Which of the following are euphemisms for breasts?

Cakes, dooberry, Dutch dumplings, tallywags, blubber, berkeleys, velvet orbs, charms, poonts, whirligigs, bollocks.

2. What is burning shame?

3. What do a gentleman's usher, a master of ceremonies and a stargazer have in common?

4. What is easy mort?
a) sex with a corpse
b) a promiscuous woman
c) a snack eaten during sex

5. What's the difference between a bobtail and a trull?

6.Is someone offered you a tossed salad, what could you expect?

7. What is an indorser?
a) a male homosexual
b) a pimp
c) a randy accountant

8. What is a Tetbury portion?

9.What is a shrimper fascinated by?
a) Shrimps
b) Fishermen
c) Feet

10. What is a dry bob?

11. What is bagpiping?
a) sex with a set of bagpipes
b) sex under the armpit
c) sex with an old bag

12. What is spray starch?

13. Spot the odd one out in each of these lists:
a) honeypot, muff, sporran, kelp, wicket, rose, orange, tit, purse.

b) lobb, stalk, doodle, ranger, limb, knock, jague, pintle, tosh.

c) sard, martingale, palliardise, brangle, frisk, poop, tommimg, fugle.

d) quean, molly, trug, hoodman, sod, mandrake.

Not too difficult, eh? If you're really struggling, you might find a bit of help over at my website, which houses a list of historical sex slang terms.

Madelynne Ellis

PS: Don't forget to pop back tomorrow for the correct answers.


Kathleen Oxley said...

Fun! My guesses:

1 – whirligigs (please let it be this one!)
2 – a hickey
3 – they’re types of birth control
4 – a (sex with a corpse)
5 – one’s cut and one isn’t
6 – tongue and ass action
7 – b (pimp)
8 – early Viagra
9 – b (fishermen)
10 – a guy who can’t reach orgasm
11 – b (armpit sex)
12 – lube
13 –
a – tit
b – pintle
c – poop
d – hoodman

limecello said...

I knew I'd have no idea, so these are all of my guesses

1. dutch dumplings, blubber, velvet orbs, poonts
2. ... an erection?
3. eyes? I have *no* idea - I'm sure they're all some sort of "nickname" - like peeping tom or something.
4. b
5. beard v. no beard => or male v. female? or a cheap vs. expensive prostitute?
6. rim job [yeah I cheated]
7. a
8. ah - I know it doesn't have anything to do with food [I had to look this one up to] - ah, the "gift" that never stops giving...
9. c
10. hm, I was thinking the opposite on this one [also cheated]
11. b
12. semen?
13. a) kelp, wicket, rose, tit [all the other ones are for a specific body part, no?]
b) lobb, jague, tosh
c) poop, frisk
d) trug, hoodman
=> I'd like to know what all these words mean!

Janine Ashbless said...

And I thought a bobtail was a bunny rabbit...

My own obscure vocabulary is put to shame. Awesome, Madelynne - I hope we get the full set of answers tomorrow!

Portia Da Costa said...

Yikes, it's easy to tell that I don't write historicals... I've no idea what any of it means! What a terrible admission from a writer, eh? I will have to consult your site, Madelynne, and do some studying there.

Super quiz though. Thanks for setting it!

Nikki Magennis said...

Ooh, fun!

Here goes:

1. All of them!
2. Hmm. Thrush? : )
3. They're all medieaval sex toys.
4. b, an easy woman.
5. One eats mice and the other hides under bridges.
6. Aha! I know this one. Anal sex. Or is it rimming? Damn. Not sure.
7. Um. A pimp?
8. A teapot?
9. Feet!
10. A chin length hair cut.
11. Of course I know this one! It's our national hobby. Sex under the armpit. Ahem.
12. Sperm?
13. Oh dear. No, I have not a foggiest whisp of a clue!

Madelynne Ellis said...

Ah, Nikki... I'm crying with laughter over your answer to 8. You wicked girl. LOL

Madeline Moore said...

Yikes. Well, since I'm a member of LB I can't enter the contest, but...truth be told...even if I could, I couldn't, 'cause I have no idea about most of them.

Fun! I too will be looking forward to the answers. It sure helps, I guess, to have these historical terms to use when searching for euphemisms for genitalia, no? Perhaps we writers of contemporary erotica can crib just few...

Kate Pearce said...

OMG! I feel like I need to go and wash my mouth out with soap just from reading that awesome list!

You see this is why I offend the purists and use modern day terms for sex in my historicals, otherwise I'd be laughing too much to write.

Amazing list, Madelynne and all that research shows so beautifully in your writing.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh my goodness, popping back in tomorrow. My knowledge of slang is woefully ignorant!!!