A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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The earliest type of cannon. Also bumbard, boumbard. It was introduced in the late 14th century, but did not prove effective. It was usually loaded with a stone, weighing sometimes 200 pounds. Also, from the shape, a leather jug for liquor; hence, a heavy drinker (17th century) . Also, from the sound, a deep-toned wooden musical instrument, like a bassoon; bombardo. A bombardman was a pot-boy, bartender; a bombard-phrase was a loud-sounding utterance, inflated language. Shakespeare mentions the drinking jug in THE TEMPEST and in HENRY IV, PART ONE (1596) : that huge bombard of sacke. Thomas Heywood in PHILOCOTHONISTA, OR THE DRUNKARD OPENED, DISSECTED AND ANATOMIZED (1635) spoke of the great black jacks and bombards at the Court, which, when the Frenchmen first saw, they reported . . . that the Englishmen used to drink out of their bootes. (Champagne from milady's slipper?) Ben Jonson in his translation (1640) of Horace's THE ART OF POETRY said: They . . . must throw by Their bombard phrase, and foot and half-foot words. Also cp. sesquipedalian.


A protection. From the French: bonne, good + grace, grace. Specifically, a shade hanging from a woman's bonnet to protect her face from the sun and, later, a broad-brimmed hat for the same purpose. A commentator of 1617 speaks of bonegraces, now altogether out of use with us. The word was also used figuratively, as by Thomas Heywood in TROIA BRITANICA (1609): A grove through which the lake doth run, Making his boughs a bongrace from the sun. Sir Walter Scott revived the word in GUY MANNERING (1815). On the sea, a frame of old rope etc. hung over a ship to protect it "from damage of great flakes of ice" (Bailey, 1751) and other encounterings was also called a bongrace.


To agree. Accent on the second syllable; used since the 16th century. Perhaps originally a facetious substitution of the more formal dog for cur in the verb concur; John Lyly's GALLATHEA (1592) makes that juxtaposition. In Thomas Heywood's THE ROYALL KING (1637) the clown says to the bawd: Speake, shall you and I condogge together?


A corruption of fay, faith, used in exclamations and as a mild form of swearing. Also i'fegs, q.v. Sometimes in forms with -kin, a diminutive (as in odds bodkins, a corrupt euphemism for God's bodykin) . Many variants have been used, especially by the playwrights: Ben Jonson (1598, EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR) : By my fackins! (1610, THE ALCHEMIST) : How! Swear by your fac? Thomas Heywood (1600, EDWARD I, PART ONE) : No, by my feckins! Thomas Middleton: By my facks, sir! John Vanbrugh: No, by good feggings. Also faiks, faix, fecks, fags. These forms led to confusion with faex, fex, dregs, excrement (Latin faex, faecem; the plural of which, faeces, is the form that has survived in English), faeces, feces, which may also have been in the minds of the playwrights.


Pleasant to the palate, hence sweet, delightful; skilful in preparing dainties; fond of delicious fare, having a keen relish for pleasant things, especially food and love. Hence, lustful, wanton. Also liquorish (q.v.) , liccorish, licorish; in another form, lickerous, liquorous, lykerowse, likerose, and many more -- all of them variants of lecherous. From Old High German leccon (French lecher), to lick, as when one licks the lips. Shakespeare in TIMON OF ATHENS (1607) has licourish draughts and morsels unctions. The holy man, said Robert Southey in THE QUARTERLY REVIEW of 1828, had a licorish tooth. Go to, Nell, warned Thomas Heywood in EDWARD IV, PART ONE (1600) , ye may be caught, I tell ye; these be liquorish lads. Chaucer pictures a lady (in THE MILLER'S TALE, 1386) : And sikerly she hadde a likerous eye; Hoccleve called adultery (1420) this likerous dampnable errour. Francis Bacon, said Wilson in THE HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN (JAMES I; 1652), was one of those that smoothed his way to a full ripeness by liquorish and pleasing passages. Note the warning, however, In THE BOOK OF THE KNIGHT OF LA TOUR (1450) : No woman shulde ete no lycorous morcelles in the absens ... of her husbond.


(1) An early form of salad. Also selad, sallade, sallat, salette, and more; Late Latin salare, salatum, to salt; sal, salt. Used figuratively to mean something mixed, usually with pleasant implications. Shakespeare in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (1601) says: She was the sweete margerom of the sallet, or rather the hearbe of grace; and in HAMLET: There was no sallets in the lines, to make the matter savoury. By extension, to pick a salad, to do something trivial, salad days, days of green and inexperienced youth (Shakespeare, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA). (2) A light globular helmet. Probably from Latin caelata (galea) , ornamented (headpiece); caelare, caelatum, to engrave; caelum, a chisel. Shakespeare, in HENRY VI, PART TWO, says: Many a time but for a sallet, my brainpan had bene cleft with a brown bill. Thomas Heywood in EDWARD IV, PART ONE, uses it jestingly of a container: sack sold by the sallet. Also, by metonymy, the head; C. B. Stapylton in HERODIAN HIS IMPERIAL HISTORY (1652): When wine was got into his drunken sallat. The Spanish proverb has it, according to Abraham Hayward's THE ART OF DINING (1852) that it takes four persons to make a proper salad: a spendthrift for oil, a miser for vinegar, a counsellor for salt, and a madman to mix it.


Several compounds of this common word have had wide currency. (1) smellfeast. A parasite, a greedy sponger; one who learns where a feast is being prepared, and comes uninvited. Very common 1550-1700; Robert Browning in THE RING AND THE BOOK (1869) says: The smellfeasts rouse them at the hint There's cookery in a certain dwelling-place. (2) smellfungus. A faultfinder, a complaining person. This term was coined by Sterne as a nickname for Tobias Smollett, whose TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY (1766) was a constant grumble. Washington Irving in SALMAGUNDI (1808) said: Let the grumbling smellfungi . . . rail at the extravagance of the age. (3) smellsmock. A licentious man. Thomas Heywood in A MAIDENHEAD WELL LOST (1634) declared: I think you'll prove little better than a smellsmock, that can find out a pretty wench in such a corner.
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