There are probably thousands of hilarious Victorian words that have been lost to the sands of time. The British have always been particularly good at coming up with nonsense slang terms to describe everyday things.
To celebrate the millions of you living in Victorian houses (check out 16 of our favourite Victorian homes) all over the country, we’ve picked our twenty favourite long-forgotten expressions that we believe should still be used today. We’ve certainly been throwing a few of them around the Period Living office, no really, we have!
We found these brilliant phrases in Passing English of the Victorian Era by Andrew Forrester, 1909, an almost bottomless well of weird and wonderful Victorian words. Suggestionize some of these Afternoonified sayings for your Chuckaboo’s Sauce-box (that will make complete sense when you have read this list).
1. Got the morbs
MEANING: being temporary melancholy
USE: "I’ve lost all of my Twitter followers because of this depressing selfie #GotTheMorbs"
MEANING: to prompt
USE: "We suggestionize you pay attention at the back there!"
3. Collie shangles
USE: “Did you see the collie shangles between Dick and Peter about how to decorate the man cave?”
MEANING: a fancy high-society word meaning ‘smart’
USE: “The readers of Period Living are well known to be rather afternoonified”
5. Bang up to the elephant
MEANING: perfect or complete
USE: “This new house is bang up to the elephant”
MEANING: thoroughly understood
USE: “I finally umble-cum-stumbled how to upcycle this old chair”
MEANING: a riotous holiday; a noisy day in the street
USE: “The work party is going to be a right benjo this year!”
MEANING: brave or fearless
USE: “You’d have to be bricky to cancel your subscription to Period Living!”
MEANING: an habitually smiling face
USE: “He may be a bit furry but he’s got a right gigglemug”
USE: “You're kruger-spoof! I know you finished my Jaffa cakes!”
MEANING: a talkative person
USE: “My neighbour is known for being a right church-bell!”
12. Make a stuffed bird laugh
MEANING: absolutely preposterous
USE: “The thought of cancelling my subscription to Period Living would make a stuffed bird laugh”
MEANING: a nickname given to a close friend
USE: “Awww, don't you worry my little Chuckaboo”
MEANING: inferior, noisy singers
USE: “Our staff choir is a sorry bunch of whooperups”
15. Cop a mouse
MEANING: to get a black eye
USE: “I may be a rat, but carry on like that and you’re going to cop a mouse”
16. Poked up
USE: "I was right poked up by my mother-in-laws singing in Chapel on Sunday. It was atrocious!"
17. Bubble around
MEANING: a verbal attack
USE: “The builder is going to be in for a bubble around if he doesn’t get the tiling straight!”
18. Bags o’ mystery
USE: "It wasn't a mystery what happened to my husband's bag'o mystery last night. They went straight from the frying pan into the dog!”
MEANING: The mouth
USE: “Oh, you’ve got gravy all round your sauce-box from those bags o’ mystery and mash”
20. Orf chump
MEANING: no appetite
USE: “I’ve orf chump after seeing those bags o’ mystery”