« ZurückWeiter »
apothecaries used to make a summer excursion to Battersea, to see the medicinal herbs, called simples, which abounded in the neighbourhood, cut at the proper season. Hence, it became proverbial to tell a foolish person to go to Battersea to be cut for a simple, the equivoque being on the word simple, alias simpleton.
He has the Newcastle burr in his throat.-Northumberland. The people of Newcastle, Morpeth, and their environs, have a gut
tural pronunciation, like that called in Leicestershire warling,
none of them being able to pronounce the letter R. Hertfordshire clubs, and clouted shoon. An ancient fling at the rusticity of Hertfordshire yeomen and farmers. Club is an old term for a booby. Clouted shoon is part of the dress of a husbandman and farmer; and, as Fuller observes, being worn by the tenants, enables their landlords to wear Spanish leather boots and pumps !
He has been sworn at Highgate.- Middlesex.
when the landlord of the Horns, and other public houses, used to
you like her, or it, best. He is only fit for Ruffian's hall.—London. West Smithfield, now the horse-market, was formerly called Ruf
fian's hall, where bullies and fighters met casually, and otherwise, to try masteries with sword and buckler. “More," says Fuller, " were frighted than hurt, hurt than killed, therewith ; it being accounted unmanly to strike beneath the knee.”
He was born within the sound of Bow-bell.-London.
Bow-church. Stow informs us, a citizen, named John Dunn.
to leave off work. He has studied at Whittington's college.London.
That is, has been confined in Newgate, which was rebuilt A. D. · 1423, according to the will of Sir Richard Whittington, by his
He may remove Mort-stone.- Devonshire.
rock that blocks up the entrance into Mort's Bay in this county,
He is summoned before the mayor of Halgaver.-Cornwall.
sented, as are dirty and slovenly in their dress : where judg-
in derision than hurt of their persons. He looks as if he had lived on Tewksbury mustard.-Glou
cestershire. Tewksbury is famous for the hot and biting qualities of its mustard;
and any peevish or snappish person, or one having across, fierce,
or ill-natured countenance, is supposed to have lived upon it. He is driving his hogs over Swarston bridge.- Derbyshire. Said when a man snores in his sleep. In the West Riding of York
shire, they say, “ He is driving his pigs to market !"
If Skiddaw hath a cap,
Scruffel wots full well of that.--Cumberland. These are two high hills, one in England, and one in Scotland, so
near, that what happens to one will not be long ere it reach the other: if one be capped with clouds and mists, it will not be long ere it rains on the other. Hence, certain mutual sympathies between the two countries were deduced ; so that when Scotland, in the last century, felt its allegiance to England doubtful, and the French sent an expedition there, this saying was revived, to show the identity of interest between both nations.
If Poole was a fish-pool, and the men of Poole, fish;
Dorsetshire. When this satirical distich was written, Poole was not that place of trade and respectability it now is.
John Bull.- Passim,
blance between the useful and sturdy qualities of the people of
shire, for which they have been celebrated for centuries.
Like Banbury tinkers, that in mending one hole make three.
Measter's Yorkshire too.-Middlesex.
Founded on the well-known story of the Yorkshire hostler.
0. Oxford knives, London wives.-Oxfordshire. Ironically insinuating that their appearance exceeds their real worth;
that the Oxford knives were better to look at than to cut with, and that the London wives had more beauty and good breeding than housewifely qualities.
Paddington fair.- London.
and Fulham were built by two sisters, who had but one hammer between them, which they interchanged by throwing it across the river, on a word agreed between them; those on the Surrey side made use of the word Put-it-nigh! those on the opposi shore, Heave it full-home! whence the churches, and from them the villages, were called Put-nigh and Full-home, since corrupted to Putney and Fulham.
She hath given Lawton gate a clap.- Cheshire.
is the way to London from several parts of Cheshire. Stabbed with a Bridport dagger. -Dorsetshire. That is, hanged. A great quantity of hemp is grown about this
town; and, on account of its superior qualities, Fuller says, there was an ancient statute, now disused, that the cables for
the royal navy should be made thereabouts. St. Giles's breed ; fat, ragged, and saucy.--London. . Ragged and saucy the inhabitants of this parish still are, but their
embonpoint has vanished in “ blue rum.” Stopford law; no stake no draw.—Cheshire. Such only as contribute to the liquor are expected to drink. Ap
plied also to wagers, when, if nothing is staked or put down, nothing is allowed to be taken up.
The nun of Sion with the friar of Sheen,-London.
is a tradition, the above holy personages had a love affair, by
To take Hector's cloak.-Northumberland.
Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was defeated in the re-
The fire of London was a punishment for gluttony.-London.
It began in Pudding-lane, and ended in Pie-corner ! The Isle of Wight hath no monks, lawyers, nor foxes.
monasteries of the black monks at Carisbrook, and white ones at
Quarrer, confute one part of the saying. “Indeed," as Grose observes, “ that there should be a fertile, healthy, and pleasant spot, without monks; a rich place, without lawyers; and a country abounding with lambs, without foxes; is evidently an improbability.”
The Covent-garden ague.-London.
kept in this parish--some, it is said, are still remaining. To give one a Cornish hug.–Cornwall. A Cornish hug is a lock in the art of wrestling, peculiar to the Cor
nish men, who have always been famous for their skill in that
manly exercise. The mayor of Northampton opens oysters with his dagger. To keep them as far as possible from his nose. Northampton be
ing eighty miles from the sea, the oysters brought thither, before the improvement of turnpike roads, were generally stale.
The Vicar of Bray will be Vicar of Bray still.-Berkshire. Bray is a well-known village in Berkshire; the vivacious vicar of
which, living under Henry VIII. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, was first a papist, then a protestant; then a papist, and then a protestant again. Being taxed for a turncoat; “ Not so," said he, "for I always kept my principle; which is this, to live and die Vicar of Bray !" To this, Fuller adds a sentence, which has not yet lost its application. « Such are men now-a-days," says he," who though they cannot turn the wind, they turn their mills and set them so, that wheresoever it bloweth, their grain should certainly be grinded.”
This is the way to Beggar's-bush. --Huntingdonshire.
to poverty. Beggar's bush being a tree formerly known on the
They may claim the bacon at Dunmow.- Essex.
Dunmow, in Essex, by Lord Fitzwalter, who lived in the reign