Taking a Moment with a Favorite Website and some 19th Century Slang

Needing to take a “moment” the other day I went to one of my favorite websites Neatorama.com and started….well…momenting. It’s a great site to do just this, with wonderful brainfood in the way of videos and links to out of the ordinary content uploaded by friends of Neaotorama.com on a regular basis. Do you want to find a video of a napping cat responding to calls from his Japanese owner while still half asleep? This is your place. Maybe the only known video of Mark Twain? You’ll find it here too. How about pictures from deep space probes or maybe a link to the history of some of the oldest trees on the planet? Neatorama.com has this and more. I know that there are many such websites like this out there, but Neatorama is my “moment” website of choice and it will lead you to many of the others.

Anyway, as I was “momenting” at it the other day I came across a link, courtesy of Misscellania.com, about some folks writing a book called The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man. In the link they talk of the research for the book and how they came across some great old-time 19th century slang words that they were going to sprinkle into the book for fun. They came up with a quick glossary of some of the words and phrases they found that manly men of the 19th century might have uttered, possibly while passing time in saloons. Though as the link states “These colorful words and phrases probably won’t ever come back into popular parlance” I thought I’d try to find some context or instances where a few of these slang terms could be used today.

Thus my moment leads to time wasting…one of the greatest endeavors you can partake of in this world that doesn’t shine to such…

Anointing: A good beating. A case for the application of salve.
My beloved Pittsburgh Pirates have received an “anointing” in the standings for the last 17 years. My emotional fan well being has received the same “anointing.”

Bellows to Mend: A person out of breath; especially a pugilist is said to be “bellows to mend” when winded.
I was “bellows to the mend” after playing football with the J.G. on Sunday reminding me how terribly out of shape I am.

Blind Monkeys: An imaginary collection at the Zoological Gardens, which are supposed to receive care and attention from persons fitted by nature for such office and for little else. An idle and useless person is often told that he is only fit to lead the Blind Monkeys to evacuate.
You don’t even have to use this one in a sentence to know it can be another term for politicians or conservative right wing talk radio and TV hosts.

Bone Box. The mouth. Shut your bone box; shut your mouth.
How many times a day could you use this?

Bunch Of Fives. The fist.
This one would work well in tandem with “bone box” as in “…shut your “bone box” or I’ll be forced to give ya’ a “bunch of fives” ya’ baastaad!”

Cat-heads. A woman’s breasts.
Not going there without getting a “bunch of fives” from our fairer halves.

Crab. To prevent the perfection or execution of any intended matter of business, by saying any thing offensive or unpleasant, is called crabbing it, or throwing a crab;
While doing some channel surfing the other day I accidentally caught a bit of a commercial for the Kardashian’s and then landed on Fox news longer than I wanted to when I dropped the remote and it went under the couch. Talk about having a “crab” thrown at your intelligence huh?

Cut. To renounce acquaintance with any one is to cut him.
Early form of “unfriending.”

Dash-fire. Vigor, manliness.
Something I used to be full of. Refer back to me being “bellows to the mend” after playing football last Sunday.

Draw the Long Bow. To tell extravagant stories, to exaggerate overmuch; same as “throw the hatchet.
Hey, I “draw the long bow” and “throw the hatchet” every day on the air especially when talking of how I used to be full of “dash-fire.”

Drumsticks. Legs.
Refer back to me not going there where our fairer halves are concerned.

Earth Bath. A grave.
Eternity Box. A coffin.

Don’t want either of these to come back into fashion as I feel my mortality. They’re creepy.

Fart Catcher. A valet or footman, from his walking behind his master or mistress.
Now that I think about it, this could be of some use in describing some jobs I’ve had in the past. You as well I imagine, if not your current one. Some stuff rolls downhill or some stuff wafts down wind.

Fimble-Famble. A lame, prevaricating excuse.
Tiger woods and all the others out there who pull the sexual addiction card have been using some serious “fimble-famble” to try and get us to think they’re sick and show empathy while they’re in “therapy.”

Fizzing. First-rate, very good, excellent; synonymous with “stunning.
Early precursor to Snoop Dog lingo, though he would probably find a way to make it rhyme with ho’s.

Flag of Distress. The end of a person’s shirt when it protrudes through his trousers.
Just damn embarrassing to fly the “flag of distress” when leaving a public restroom isn’t it? Also just as embarrassing when the “flag of distress” is toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe.

Follow-me-lads. Curls hanging over a lady’s shoulder.
I think there’s an innuendo here that would, again, lead to me getting in trouble.

Go By The Ground. A little short person, man or woman.
Use this only if you want to get kicked in the shins.

Gullyfluff. The waste—coagulated dust, crumbs, and hair—which accumulates imperceptibly in the pockets of schoolboys.
So, finally a name for what I find in my belly button.

Hogmagundy. The process by which the population is increased.
I think this one has been sufficiently replaced by something a little more obvious and vulgar.

How’s Your Poor Feet! An idiotic street cry with no meaning, much in vogue a few years back.
Much in vogue now in and outside at Town Hall meetings.

Can’t see a hole in a Ladder. “Can’t see a hole in a Ladder,” said of any one who is intoxicated. It was once said that a man was never properly drunk until he could not see a hole through a Ladder.
I think there were a few times in college where I “couldn’t see a hole in a ladder” but I don’t remember.

Monkey with a Long Tail. A mortgage.
This could be amended to “Monkey with a Long Balloon Tail” and then it would be right back in fashion.

Muckender. A pocket handkerchief, snottinger.
“Hey honey have you seen my snottinger? You used it for what? …hey why’d you hit me?!”

Off One’s Chump. To be crazy is to be Off One’s Chump.
This one is definitely right up there with “bone box”, “bunch of fives” and “blind monkees.” Just living in this current world has us all a little “off one’s chump.”

Pocket. To put up with. A man who does not resent an affront is said to Pocket it.
Can be used in the same instance with “fart catcher.”

Rain Napper. Umbrella.
My maria has one of these and it’s Coach. The “napper” part is when she hid the price tag while i was sleeping.

Rib. A wife.
Some folks that are “off one’s chump” would applaud this when interpreting the Bible.

Scandal-water. Tea; from old maids’ tea-parties being generally a focus for scandal.
A lot of this gets drunk at bingo and church socials I would imagine.

Sit-upons. Trousers.
I like this much better than trousers, a word that has always made little sense to me. There’s nothing better or simpler than the obvious.

Sneezer. A pocket handkerchief.
Also to be used as a “muckender” and “snottinger.”

Snotter, or Wipe-hauler. A pickpocket whose chief fancy is for gentlemen’s pocket-handkerchiefs.
After “muckender” and “snottinger” this one’s just gross.

Tune the Old Cow Died of. An epithet for any ill-played or discordant piece of music.
Pearl Jam’s recent single “Breathe” and the last couple of American Idol winner songs.

So after someone, maybe cheating at cards back in that 19th century saloon, started berating me for calling him out I just might have stood up and said…
“…why don’t ya’ quit crabbing me and shut your bone box or you’ll get a bunch of fives with a nose-ender (a straight blow delivered full on the nasal promontory) that’ll put ya’ right on your sit-upons and leave ya’ with a serious blinker (a blackened eye) fella!…keep it up and I’ll call ol’ rusty guts (a blunt, rough, old fellow) over there in the corner to back me up, and he’s still rumbumptious (haughty, pugilistic) and full of dash-fire enough to not go tail Down (to lose courage) on a snotter like you.”
He’d then make a comment about my rib’s cat-heads and I’d threaten to put him in an eternity box with my barker (a pistol) and all hell would break loose.

Actually I probably wouldn’t have gotten past telling him to shut his bone box before I got a floorer (blow sufficiently strong to knock a man down) on my sit-upons ‘cause, well…I’m a wimp and these guys were hard drinking tough asses.

Until the next time I Draw the Long Bow.
Cheers,
-fb

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