1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
1811 DICTIONARY OF THE VULGAR TONGUE.
BUCKISH SLANG, UNIVERSITY WIT,
UNABRIDGED FROM THE ORIGINAL 1811 EDITION WITH A FOREWORD BY
COMPILED ORIGINALLY BY CAPTAIN GROSE.
AND NOW CONSIDERABLY ALTERED AND ENLARGED, WITH THE MODERN
CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS, BY A MEMBER OF THE WHIP CLUB.
ASSISTED BY HELL-FIRE DICK, AND JAMES GORDON, ESQRS. OF
CAMBRIDGE; AND WILLIAM
SOAMES, ESQ. OF THE HON. SOCIETY OF NEWMAN'S HOTEL.
The merit of Captain Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue has
been long and universally acknowledged. But its circulation was
confined almost exclusively to the lower orders of society: he
was not aware, at the time of its compilation, that our young men
of fashion would at no very distant period be as distinguished
for the vulgarity of their jargon as the inhabitants of Newgate;
and he therefore conceived it superfluous to incorporate with his
work the few examples of fashionable slang that might occur to
But our Jehus of rank have a phraseology not less peculiar to
themselves, than the disciples of Barrington: for the uninitiated
to understand their modes of expression, is as impossible as for
a Buxton to construe the Greek Testament. To sport an Upper
Benjamin, and to swear with a good grace, are qualifications
easily attainable by their cockney imitators; but without the aid
of our additional definitions, neither the cits of Fish-street,
nor the boors of Brentford would be able to attain the language
of whippism. We trust, therefore, that the whole tribe of second-