Although it does not always lead to (or, to be frank, rarely leads to) gentlemanly behaviour, drink is certainly a large feature on the social landscape of the Regency Buck. To that end, today’s guide to language will focus on that controversial substance: alcohol.
And, once again courtesy of the esteemed Mr Grose, here are some of the best expressions for Regency drinking:
- Beggar Maker – An ale house keeper
- Blech – Beer
- Bene Bowse – Good beer
- Bingo – Brandy
- Blue Ruin – Gin
- Bragget – Mead and ale sweetened with honey
- Bristol Milk – Sherry
- Clear – Drunk
- Cogue – A dram or measure of any spirit
- Corned – Drunk
- Dram-a-tick – To be given a dram or measure that you’ll pay for later
- To fire a slug – to drink a measure
- Foxed – Drunk
- Heart’s Ease – Gin
- Jackey – Gin
- Lady Dacre’s Wine – Gin
- Lightening – Gin
- To lush – To drink
- To be mellow – to be almost drunk
- To mop-up – to drink up/finish up a glass
- Nazy – Drunken
- Rag Water – Gin (although this can also be used to refer to most spirits)
- Stitchback – Strong ale
Words alone aren’t really enough. To set you off to a flying start, here are some phrases you can try out on your new Buckish friends:
- “That beggar maker serves some of the best stitchback in town!”
- “Who would have thought Lady Dacre’s wine would have us so foxed so soon?”
- “Fire a slug of jackey and then we’ll be ready for the races!”
- “The bingo has made me mellow!”
If you haven’t already, you can also take a look at our first guide to Buckish slang, or some of the best Regency phrases and expressions.
However, despite all of that, please remember to drink responsibly. Also, it is the firm and considered opinion of Behind The Past that it’s better to be a gentleman than a popular man.
Grose, Francis, 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence, (London: C. Chapel, 1785, 1811).