We often think of Slang as something modern and trendy, but in reality, slang has likely been around as long as language itself! In some cases, slang phrases we might consider ‘modern’ have actually been around for hundreds of years! Take ‘hang(ing) out’, for example. The phrase that is used in casual conversation today was also used back in 1811! That being said, slang words and phrases tends to fall out of favour as years go by, and are replaced by new ones. So, you might not recognise these Victorian Slang words and phrases, but they are still fun to say nonetheless!
According to British writer Andrew Forrester’s 1909 book Passing English of the Victorian era, a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase, this low class phrase means “thoroughly understood”!
This word meant secret, shady, or doubtful!
MIND THE GREASE
This phrase was used to mean ‘excuse me’, when you were trying to pass someone in the street!
DON’T SELL ME A DOG
Popular until 1870, this phrase meant ‘Don’t lie to me!’
This cute term of endearment was used a nickname for close friends!