Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Regency Words

When I started reading Regency Historicals one of the things I most loved was the language, so when I began writing them, I wanted to use that language effectively and authentically.

But mostly I loved the idea of playing with "Regency" words.

Here is a list of ten of my favorite Regency words and phrases with their definitions:
1. That is the outside of enough
I love this phrase. It is so expressive. In our modern day world we would say, "That's too much," but it doesn't quite convey the same exasperation.
2. Roundaboutation.
Another very descriptive word, meaning just what it says--talking around a subject, not getting to the point.
3. Cut line.
My hero's use this line all the time. It means "Come to the point" I know its origins are nautical, but I searched and searched and could not find a reference for it (but I still like it!).
4. Faradiddle.
I just love how this sounds on the tongue. It means a nonsense, a falsehood or lie.
5. Have your wits gone begging?
If you google this phrase, you get quotes from Georgette Heyer's books. It means, "What are you thinking?" or "Are you out of your mind?"
6. Bacon-brained.
While I'm one the subject of brains and wits. This one means foolish or stupid, but is much more fun to use.

7. Attack of the blue-devils.
I love this one. It means depression, but, again, it conveys the meaning in such a descriptive way.

8. Touched in the upper works or Queer in the attic.
Both of these mean crazy or insane.

9. Disguised.
I always use this as a "trifle disguised." It means slightly drunk.

10. Pockets to let.
Love this one, too. It means having no money. We'd say "He's broke."
What Regency words or phrases do you love (or hate)? Do you have any that you are puzzled by? I'll try to explain them if I can.

Here are some Regency Word sites:

You can still get my September book, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress at online stores and as an ebook. It was recently reviewed in the Chicago Tribune and on Long and Short Reviews. Visit me on Mondays at Risky Regencies and Thursdays at Diane's Blog. I'll be back here the third Wednesday in November. See you then!

(You'll also see this blog on eHarlequin Harlequin Historical Authors Blog)

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