Sunday 17 June 2012


A journalist writes to ask for my view about the recently announced demise of the Queen's English Society (QES).

I'm happy to see it go - both personally (for I was regularly attacked in the pages of its magazine for my linguistic views) and professionally (for we are no longer living in an age which accepts that a few self-appointed individuals can impose their personal linguistic tastes on everyone else). The QES claimed to be an organization that cared about standards, but its own usage - as seen for example on its website - was poor even by those standards. The letter which announced their demise contained several errors of grammar and punctuation, including the omission of commas and even of a sentence-final period! Geoff Pullum has done some excellent analysis of their grammatical infelicities here so I won't go any further into that.

I think people began to lose faith in the QES when it became apparent that much of what they were claiming was simply fantasy. They would assert, for example, that linguists like me say 'anything goes' and don't care about standards. This was simply a travesty. No linguist has ever said 'anything goes'. On the contrary, the whole basis of linguistics is to establish the rules governing language, and to define such notions as appropriateness in language variation. All linguists care about standards. All linguists care about clarity and precision. What linguists object to is the attempt by individuals to impose artificial and unauthentic rules on everyone - the kind that were repeatedly asserted in the pages of the QES magazine, and of course immediately disputed by its membership, who could never agree on such matters as whether it was right or wrong to split infinitives, end sentences with prepositions, begin sentences with 'and', and suchlike.

At its best, the QES performed a useful service, drawing attention to genuine instances of careless usage, ambiguity, and so on in the public domain. At its worst it showed a horrific intolerance of language diversity which at times bordered on racism. I'm remembering now an article in the Winter 2007 issue of their magazine, Quest. This is what was written:

'The vast variety of earthly languages is indeed an almost unmitigated curse. The fewer languages the better, and the world will be a far better place when everyone speaks the same language - or perhaps I had better be frank and say when everyone speaks English (and it will come). I think Crystal once said languages are dying at the rate of one a fortnight. If so, that's the best news I've heard in a long time, and long may it continue!'

This is the kind of extremism that gave the QES a bad name, and made some of its members uncomfortable. It ties in, of course, with its regular condemnation of non-standard usage in regional dialects. The periodical's back cover maintained that the views expressed in its pages were not necessarily those of the editor or of the Society - but in that case, we could delete 'not necessarily', as in the previous issue of Quest the editor himself had expressed the same opinions in a book review (which is what motivated the letter-writer). Talking about the views I represent on linguistic diversity, he asks 'do we really need it?' [diversity], and answers his own question with 'quite the contrary', and he goes on to say: 'when a language dies, what really is lost? Surely something is in fact gained if the speaker decides to drop, say, Karas and adopts English instead?' The ignorance of the expressive richness of other languages was truly breathtaking, but that was only to be expected from someone who affirmed 'the superior quality of the content of the English language'.

I think people got fed up with seeing endless personal opinions about what was thought to be bad usage (only rarely would we be given examples of good usage). The same tired issues surfaced over and over - most of which had been part of the prescriptive tradition of complaint for well over a century. The membership too must have sensed that it had passed its sell-by date, for they evidently didn't even care enough to stand for committee office - which is why the current committee decided to call it a day.

I'm glad it's gone. It means those of us who really care about usage will be able to get on with our job without being continually distracted by issues that are beside the point, as far as standards are concerned. The notion of clarity, for example, does indeed need explication - but clarity has very little to do with the kinds of topic that the QES focused upon. Rather, it requires reference to features of syntax (such as the way sentence weight operates) which would never be mentioned in the pages of the QES magazine. And there are many aspects of the way English is evolving which do require a properly informed public discussion, such as the character of the emerging 'new Englishes' around the world, the status of English as a global lingua franca, and the forms and functions of English on the Internet. This is the world we're living in, but it is not one that the QES seemed to like very much. It was time for it to go.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

On language in Dickens 3: names

The third theme in my talk on Dickens at the Hay Festival was the way he uses puns and sound symbolism in naming characters. It’s a familiar point, immediately recognized in Dotheboys Hall in Nicholas Nickleby; the schoolteacher McChoakumchild in Hard Times; the ‘very fervid, impassioned speaker' in Bleak House, Mr Gusher; the journalist Mr Slurk in Pickwick Papers; and in Our Mutual Friend, the ‘innocent piece of dinner-furniture’ and ‘feeble soul’ Twemlow – the most famous use of ‘tw’ beginning a proper name before Twitter.

Dickens worked at his names: he tried out Martin Sweezleden, Sweezleback, Sweezlewag, Chuzzletoe, Chuzzleboy, Chubblewig, and Chuzzlewig, before ending up with Martin Chuzzlewit.

His distinctive names often occur in clusters: in Sketches of Young Couples, we are asked:

if we happened to be acquainted 
with the Dowager Lady Snorflerer. On our replying in the negative,
 he presumed we had often met Lord Slang, or beyond all doubt, that
 we were on intimate terms with Sir Chipkins Glogwog.

He often comments on his names. In David Copperfield, David appoints a housekeeper:

Her name was Paragon. Her nature was represented to us, when we engaged her, as being feebly expressed in her name.

In Bleak House, Caddy remarks:

Young Mr Turveydrop’s name is Prince. I wish it wasn’t, because it sounds like a dog.

In Our Mutual Friend:

a youth waited in the hall who gave
 the name of Sloppy. The footman who communicated this 
intelligence made a decent pause before uttering the name, to 
express that it was forced on his reluctance by the youth in 
question, and that if the youth had had the good sense and good 
taste to inherit some other name it would have spared the feelings
of him the bearer.

In Dombey and Son, Mr Dombey can't imagine a wet-nurse with a name like Toodle and insists on calling her Richards:

an ordinary name and convenient.

Dickens loved names ending in ‘-oodle’. In Bleak House, Lord Boodle reflects on the possibility that the government should be overthrown:

the limited choice of the Crown, in the formation of a new Ministry, would lie between Lord Coodle and Sir Thomas Doodle — supposing it to be impossible for the Duke of Foodle to act with Goodle, which may be assumed to be the case in consequence of the breach arising out of that affair with Hoodle. Then, giving the Home Department and the Leadership of the House of Commons to Joodle, the Exchequer to Koodle, the Colonies to Loodle, and the Foreign Office to Moodle, what are you to do with Noodle? You can’t offer him the Presidency of the Council; that is reserved for Poodle. You can’t put him in the Woods and Forests; that is hardly good enough for Quoodle. What follows? That the country is shipwrecked, lost, and gone to pieces … because you can’t provide for Noodle!

Dickens not only finds politicians to be figures of fun, but also – judging by their names - professors. This is evident in Mudfog and Other Sketches from the names of those who attended the first meeting of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything:

Professors Snore, Doze, Wheezy, Nogo, Muff and Queerspeck.

Lawyers too. In Our Mutual Friend, Mortimer Lightwood's clerk

was apt to consider it personally disgraceful to
 himself that his master had no clients.

Mr Boffin arrives at Lighttwood’s office:

Narrator: the office door was opened by the dismal boy, whose 
appropriate name was Blight. Young Blight made a great show of fetching 
from his desk a long thin manuscript volume with a brown paper 
cover, and running his finger down the day's appointments,
Blight: Mr Aggs, Mr Baggs, Mr Caggs, Mr Daggs, Mr
 Faggs, Mr Gaggs, Mr Boffin. Yes, sir; quite right. You are a little
 before your time, sir. Mr Lightwood will be in directly. … I'll take the opportunity, if you please, of entering
 your name in our Callers' Book for the day.
Narrator: Young Blight made
 another great show of changing the volume, taking up a pen,
 sucking it, dipping it, and running over previous entries before he 
Blight: Mr Alley, Mr Balley, Mr Calley, Mr Dalley, Mr
 Falley, Mr Galley, Mr Halley, Mr Lalley, Mr Malley. And Mr

Those alphabetical sequences turn up in other places too. In Oliver Twist, the beadle Mr Bumble talks to Mrs Mann:

Bumble: The child that was half-baptized, Oliver Twist, is nine year old to-day.
Mrs Mann: Bless him!
Bumble: And notwithstanding a offered reward of ten pound, which was afterwards increased to twenty pound. Notwithstanding the most superlative, and, I may say, supernat'ral exertions on the part of this parish, we have never been able to discover who is his father, or what was his mother's settlement, name, or con-dition.
Mrs Mann: How comes he to have any name at all, then?
Bumble: I inwented it.
Mrs Mann: You, Mr. Bumble!
Bumble: I, Mrs. Mann. We name our fondlings in alphabetical order. The last was a S,- Swubble, I named him. This was a T,- Twist, I named him. The next one as comes will be Unwin, and the next Vilkins. I have got names ready made to the end of the alphabet, and all the way through it again, when we come to Z.
Mrs Mann: Why, you're quite a literary character, sir!

I give the last word to Nicholas in Nicholas Nickleby, describing Squeers, but note the generalization. ‘He is an odd-looking man… so was Doctor Johnson; all these bookworms are.’ He’s talking about me – and [to the Hay audience, but doubtless also many readers of this blog] you.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

On language in Dickens 2: characters

The second theme of my talk at this year’s Hay Festival was the way Dickens often uses linguistic features as a means of character description, or refers to language in the narrative. The examples below are in some cases adapted from the novels, to suit the dialogue style used in the talk (there were two of us on stage: myself and Hilary Crystal).

Dickens paints amazing visual portraits; but I’ve been struck by how often he refers to the voice, as in these instances:

In Our Mutual Friend, Bradley Headstone:

Grinding his words slowly out, as though they came from a rusty mill.

In Nicholas Nickleby, Ralph Nickleby:

If an iron door could be supposed to quarrel with its hinges, and to
 make a firm resolution to open with slow obstinacy, and grind them
 to powder in the process, it would emit a pleasanter sound in so
 doing, than did these words in the rough and bitter voice in which 
they were uttered by Ralph.

In Bleak House, Sir Leicester Dedlock:

His voice was rich and mellow; and he had so long been thoroughly persuaded of the weight and import to mankind of any word he said, that his words really had come to sound as if there were something in them.

This sounds like Conversation Kenge in Bleak House. Esther is the narrator:

He appeared to enjoy beyond everything the sound of his own voice. I couldn’t wonder at that, for it was mellow and full and gave great importance to every word he uttered. He listened to himself with obvious satisfaction, and sometimes gently beat time to his own music with his head, or rounded a sentence with his hand.

I especially admire Dickens’s linguistic metaphors. Mrs Pardiggle in Bleak House:

She was a formidable style of lady, with spectacles, a prominent nose, and a loud voice, who had the effect of wanting a great deal of room. Always speaking in the same demonstrative, loud, hard tone, so that her voice impressed my fancy as if it had a set of spectacles on too.

The land agent Mr Scadder in Martin Chuzzlewit:

He was a gaunt man in a huge straw hat, and a coat of green stuff. The weather being hot, he had no cravat, and wore his shirt collar wide open; so that every time he spoke something was seen to twitch and jerk up in his throat, like the little hammers in a harpsichord when the notes are struck. Perhaps it was the Truth feebly endeavouring to leap to his lips. If so, it never reached them.

Technical linguistic topics are often used. Grammar defines Mrs Merdle in Little Dorrit, who has told her husband by letter that sonething needed to be done:

In the grammar of Mrs Merdle's 
verbs on this momentous subject, there was only one mood, the 
Imperative; and that Mood had only one Tense, the Present. Mrs 
Merdle's verbs were so pressingly presented to Mr Merdle to 
conjugate, that his sluggish blood and his long coat-cuffs became 
quite agitated.

Dickens seems to have hated grammar classes, judging by the way he regularly satirizes it. Mr Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit:

Mr Pecksniff’s manner was so bland, and he nodded his head so soothingly, and showed in everything such an affable sense of his own excellence, that anybody would have been … comforted by the mere voice and presence of such a man; and though he had merely said ‘a verb must agree with its nominative case in number and person, my good friend’ … must have felt deeply grateful to him for his humanity and wisdom.

Mr Squeers makes a complete hash of grammar in Nicholas Nickleby:

Peg: Is that you?
Squeers: Ah, it’s me, and me’s the first person singular, nominative case, agreeing with the verb it’s, and governed by Squeers understood, as a acorn, a hour; but when the h is sounded, the a only is to be used, as a and, a art, a ighway. At least, if it isn't, you don't know any better. And if it is, I’ve done it accidentally.

Dictionaries, and the words they contain, receive attention too:

Squeers, describing the death of one of the boys: A candle in his bed-room on the very night he died – the best dictionary sent up for him to lay his head upon!

Squeers has a very practical view of language:

We go upon the practical mode of teaching, Nickleby; the regular education system. C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of the book, he goes and does it.

The locus classicus for words is in Little Dorrit: the Circumlocution Office, which Dickens describes as ‘the most important Department under Government’. Mr Clennam visits Mr Tite Barncacle:

Clennam: The name of Mr Tite Barnacle has been mentioned to me
 as representing some highly influential interest among his 
creditors. Am I correctly informed?
Narrator: It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, 
on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer, Mr
 Barnacle said, ‘Possibly’.

Dickens didn't like politicians much. He says in an essay:

Our honourable friend is triumphantly returned to serve in the next Parliament. He is the honourable member for Verbosity – the best represented place in England.

Pronunciation too is a character feature. Mrs General, on having heard Amy address Mr Dorrit as ‘Father’:

Papa is a preferable mode of address. Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism. You will find it serviceable, in the formation of a demeanour, if you sometimes say to yourself in company – on entering a room, for instance – Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, prunes and prism.

His characters have views about languages too. In Little Dorrit, Mr Meagles:

Narrator: never by any accident acquired any knowledge whatever of the language of any country in which he travelled.
Meagles: Anything short of speaking the language I shall be delighted to undertake.
Narrator: With an unspoken confidence that the English tongue was somehow the mother tongue of the whole world, only the people were too stupid to know it, Mr Meagles harangued innkeepers in the most voluble manner, entered into loud explanations of the most complicated sort, and utterly renounced replies in the native language of the respondents, on the ground that they were
Meagles: all bosh.

Then there’s Mr Lillyvick the tax collector in Nicholas Nickleby, having a conversation with Nicholas:

Lillyvick: What sort of language do you consider French, sir?

Nicholas: How do you mean?
Lillyvick: Do you consider it a good language, sir? A pretty language, a sensible language?
Nicholas: A pretty language, certainly; and as it has a name for everything, and admits of elegant conversation about everything, I presume it to be a sensible one.
Lillyvick [doubtfully]: I don't know. Do you call it a cheerful language, now?
Nicholas: Yes. I should say it was, certainly.
Lillyvick: It’s very much changed since my time, then. Very much. … What’s the water in French, sir?
Nicholas: L’eau.
Lillyvick (mournfully): Ah! I thought as much. Lo, eh? I don’t think anything of that language - nothing at all.

These are some of my favourites. There are of course lots of other examples, many of which are contained in the anthology Words on Words: Quotations about Language and Languages which Hilary and I compiled in 2000 (Penguin/Chicago) – and which I hope to make available online in due course (as it’s out of print). In the meantime, if readers of this blog have their own favourites, I’ll be happy to report them in the Comments section.

Monday 11 June 2012

On first recorded usages in Dickens

A correspondent writes, having heard my talk on the language of Dickens at this week’s Hay Festival, to ask if it is to be published. No. My Hay talks – I’ve been doing them for about fifteen years now - are always very informal, and they don’t ‘translate’ well into published prose. (Hay does sometimes make recordings of events available in their Archive .) But a blog post is the perfect medium to enable the data of the talk to be made available, so this and the subsequent two posts will do just that.

For my first theme, I talked about the lexical items which have their first recorded use in Dickens, as established by the OED. I wasn’t sure what to expect, when I began my search. I thought perhaps 50 or so. In fact, there are an amazing 252. I presented a small sample in the talk, but here is the complete list. They are a mixture of genuine Dickensian linguistic creations and items which reflect the world in which he lived, and the language he heard in the streets around him, and where he is simply the first person we know to have written them down. Of course, it’s always possible that further lexicological survey will find earlier instances, but this is how things stand at the moment. I’ve given them a very rough-and-ready classification, and paraphrased the entries as they appear in the OED, giving glosses for the less transparent items. The dates and locators are as used by the OED. I haven’t checked the examples for typographical accuracy, so there may be the occasional transcriptional error.

I was asked which surprised me most: I think it was probably Guinness, though I'm sure it's only a matter of time before earlier instances are found, given that the brew had been around for quite some time; failing that, dustbin. And I was asked for my favourite: I don't usually have favourites, but I love the noun use of unsoaped (see below) most of all.

Nouns turned into verbs

allowance, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxxiv. 323, I have made up my mind‥. to allowance him.‥

apron, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iii. iv. 25, I mean to apron it and towel it.

beeswax, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 17, The table-covers are never taken off, except when the leaves are turpentined and beeswaxed.

cab, 1835, Letters, ?29 Oct, Worth your while to walk or Cab so far East.

charcoal, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxxvii. 364, Because she wouldn't shut herself up in an air-tight three-pair-of stairs and charcoal herself to death.

corkscrew, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxiv. 380, Mr. Bantam corkscrewed his way through the crowd.

counter, furnish with a counter, 1843, Martin Chuzzlewit, xxvii. 324, The offices were‥. newly countered.

flannel, 1834, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 189, The second-floor front was scrubbed, and washed, and flannelled.

manslaughter, 1843, Martin Chuzzlewit, iv. 46, Those who hooked and crooked themselves into this family by getting on the blind side of some of its members before marriage, and manslaughtering them afterwards by crowing over them to that strong pitch that they were glad to die.

mantrap, 1851, Mr Nightingale’s Diary, i. 82, Which the blessed innocent has been invaygled of, and man-trapped—leastways boy-trapped.

mother-in-law, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xiv. 443, I will not‥. submit to be mother-in-lawed by Mrs. General.

mustard-poultice, 1858, Letters, 18 Aug, I got home at ½ past 10, and mustard-poulticed and barley-watered myself, tremendously.

nutcracker, 1861, Great Expectations, xxiii, Are infants to be nutcrackered into their tombs?

odd-job, 1859, Tale of Two Cities, iii. ix. 206, A gentleman like yourself wot I've had the honour of odd jobbing till I'm grey at it.

oh, 1837, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 241, All of them talking, laughing, lounging, coughing, o-ing, questioning, or groaning.

patroness, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, I. ii. xiv. 297, Why am I to be Patroned and Patronessed as if the Patrons and Patronesses treated me?

polka, 1846, Letters, 5 July, The common people waltzed and polka'd, without cessation, to the music of a band.

pompey, 1860, Great Expectations, vii, When I was old enough, I was to be apprenticed to Joe, and until I could assume that dignity I was not to be what Mrs. Joe called ‘Pompeyed’, or (as I render it) pampered.

rough-dry, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xvii. 173, The process of being washed in the night air, and rough-dried in a close closet.

ruler, 1849, David Copperfield, vii. 66, I think he was caned every day that half-year, except one holiday Monday when he was only ruler'd on both hands.

turpentine, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 17, The table-covers are never taken off, except when the leaves are turpentined and beeswaxed.

water-cart, 1851, Our Watering Place in Household Words, 2 Aug. 433/1, The great metropolis is‥so much more water-carted‥than it usually is.

whoosh, 1856, Letters, VIII. 162, The boys‥.whooshing, and crying, (after Tigerish Cat No. 2) ‘French! Here she comes!’

There are a few other examples below.

Verb turned into a noun

sell, act of betraying, 1838, Oliver Twist, II. xxvi. 100, I say,‥. what a time this would be for a sell!

Words created with suffixes

admonitorial, 1848, Dombey and Son, li. 511, Miss Tox‥.in her instruction of the Toodle family, has acquired an admonitorial tone.

apronless, bibless, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iii. iv. 27, Bibless and apronless.

bandiness, being bandy-legged, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, i. xxxvi. 298, If‥. any moral twist or bandiness could be found, Miss Sally Brass's nurse was alone to blame.

beadlehood, 1838, Oliver Twist, I. xvii. 273, Mr. Bumble‥. was in the full bloom and pride of beadleism. [Later edd. read ‘beadledom,’ and ‘beadlehood.’]

beamer, one who beams, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xxxii. 603, The form of words which that benevolent beamer generally employed‥.

boredom, 1853, Bleak House, xxviii. 277, [Her] chronic malady of boredom.

cannibalic, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxviii. 294, The fat youth gave a semi-cannibalic leer at Mr. Weller.

cellarous, like a cellar, 1856, Little Dorrit, i. xx. 173, He‥. crept forth by some underground way which emitted a cellarous smell.

cheesiness, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. l. 75, ‘How's the cream of clerkship, eh?’ ‘Why, rather sour, Sir.‥ Beginning to border upon cheesiness, in fact.’

coachfulness/coachlessness, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 1 Aug. 540/2, The Dolphin's Head, which everywhere expressed past coachfulness and present coachlessness.

complexionless, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 12 Sept. 64/2 , Four male personages‥. complexionless and eyebrowless.

conductorial, of a conductor, 1853, Letters, 17 Nov, Keep ‘Household Words’ imaginative! is the solemn and continual Conductorial Injunction.

confusingly, 1863, Letters, 17 May, He feels the school to be confusingly large for him.

connubiality, characteristic of marriage, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xx. 207, ‘Think, Sir!’ replied Mr. Weller; ‘why, I think he's the wictim o' connubiality’.

conspiratorial, 1856, Little Dorrit, i. xxv. 221, To unite [glasses] in a general conspiratorial clink.

consularity, consulship, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xv. 458, The British Consul hadn't had such a marriage in the whole of his Consularity.

convulsing, 1843, Martin Chuzzlewit, ix. 113, Gander, in a convulsing speech, gives them the health of Bailey junior.

copying, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 198, Low copying-clerks in attorneys' offices.

dissective, of dissecting, 1860, Letters, 7 Jan, The three people who write the narratives in these proofs, have a dissective property in common.

distributionist, one who advocates a system of distribution, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 76, The distributionists trembled, for their popularity was at stake.

divulgence, 1851, Our School in Household Words, 11 Oct. 51/2, The Chief ‘knew something bad of him’, and on pain of divulgence enforced Phil to be his bondsman.

drabbish, 1842, American Notes, II. ii. 56, Dressed in a dusty drabbish-coloured suit.

earthquaky, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xliv. 486, Legs shaky—head queer—round and round—earthquaky sort of feeling—very.

economizer, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. lxii. 149, Sarah's as good an economizer as any going.

effaceable, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, vi. 42, Washed off all effaceable marks of the late accident.

embowerment, 1846, Dombey and Son, viii. 72, Plants‥. of a kind peculiarly adapted to the embowerment of Mrs. Pipchin.

emetically, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 2 May 229/2, Sneaking Calais, prone behind its bar, invites emetically to despair.

essayical, like an essay, 1860, Letters, 25 Sept, Remarks‥. a little too essayical for this purpose.

fingerless, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxxi. 303, After putting on his fingerless gloves with great precision.

fluey, covered with flue, 1861, Great Expectations, xxii, I went upon 'Change, and I saw fluey men sitting there under the bills about shipping.

fluffiness, 1860, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 24 Mar. 514/1, An air of mingled fluffiness and heeltaps.

fretty, 1844, Letters, ?15–16 Sept, O'Connell's speeches are the old thing: fretty, boastful, frothy.

galvanizing, 1854, Hard Times, i. ii. 5, He seemed a galvanising apparatus, too.

gardenful, 1859, Tale of Two Cities, ii. v. 56, Like a great sunflower pushing its way at the sun from among a rank garden-full of flaring companions.

gasper, person who gasps, 1845, Letters, 27 Sept, When I think of the possible consequences—of little gaspers like Papa—‥. a chill runs through my blood.

gingerous, ginger-coloured, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. i. x. 93, Mr. Lammle takes his gingerous whiskers in his left hand, and‥. frowns furtively at his beloved, out of a thick gingerous bush.

gingery, 1853, Bleak House, xix. 184, The very learned gentleman who has cooled the natural heat of his gingery complexion in pools and fountains of law.

hunchy, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, i. v. 105, I'm a little hunchy villain and a monster, am I?

jostlement, 1859, Tale of Two Cities, ii. xii. 94, To the jostlement of all weaker people.

invalided, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xliv. 486, Mr. Pickwick cut the matter short by drawing the invalided stroller's arm through his, and leading him away.

jowled, 1861, Great Expectations, xliii, Drummle glanced at me, with an insolent triumph on his great-jowled face.

jungled, 1842, American Notes, II. iii. 84, Primeval forests‥. where the jungled ground was never trodden by a human foot.

knifer, one who uses a knife as a weapon, 1870, Edwin Drood, xxiii. 188, Jacks. And Chayner men. And hother Knifers.

meltability, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iv. vii. 225, The brittleness and meltability of wax.

melodramatically, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xiii. 129, The honourable Samuel Slumkey‥. melo-dramatically testified by gestures to the crowd, his ineffaceable obligations to the Eatanswill Gazette.

Mephistophelean, 1847, Dombey and Son, xxix. 294, The Major['s]‥. face and figure were dilated with Mephistophelean joy.

messiness, 1836, Letters, 5 Feb, I shall consequently be in great confusion and messiness.

metropolitaneously , 1852, Letters, 19 Oct, Are you never coming to town any more? Never going to drink port again, metropolitaneously, but always with Fielden?

mildewy, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 205, The damp, mildewy smell which pervades the places.

millinerial, relating to millinery, 1844, Letters, 29 Mar, Ask her to save the dress.‥ Let it never grow old, fade, shrink, or undergo millinerial alteration.

monomaniacally, obsessively, 1856, Little Dorrit, i. xxi. 186, Young Sparkler hovering about the rooms, monomaniacally seeking any sufficiently ineligible young lady.

Mormonist, 1842, American Notes, I. v. 181, I should like to try the experiment on a Mormonist or two to begin with.

narratable, 1852, Letters, 22 Nov, If you should think of any other idea, narratable by an old man.

newspapered, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xvi. 462, Mr. Dorrit, dressing-gowned and newspapered, was at his breakfast.

panner, one who pans for gold, 1853, Household Words, 3 Dec. 322/1, Here is a pan half-full of gold. As the soil and small pebbles are skilfully washed out, and the yellow metal appears glistening beneath, the panner's eyes flash back upon it.

panspermist, advocate of panspermia (germs are everywhere), 1868, All Year Round, 7 Mar. 301/1, M. Pouchet, the zealous opponent of those he calls the panspermists.

oystery, 1844, Letters, 2 Jan, I‥. opened the despatch, with a moist and oystery twinkle in my eye.

perruquerian, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 160, The shining locks of those chef-d'Ĺ“uvres of perruquerian art.

petful, peevish, 1852, First Fruits in Household Words, 15 May 190/2, Sitting with petful impatience in the parlour.

Pickwickian, 1836, Letters, 18 Feb, Believe me (in Pickwickian haste) Faithfully Yours Charles Dickens.

Podsnappery, blinkered self-satisfaction, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. i. xi. 98, These may be said to have been the articles of a faith and school which the present chapter takes the liberty of calling, after its representative man, Podsnappery.

polygamically, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 4 July 448/1, To suppose the family groups of whom the majority of emigrants were composed, polygamically possessed, would be to suppose an absurdity.

ponging, projecting, 1854, Hard Times vi, Missed his tip at the banners, too, and was loose in his ponging.

prisonous, streety, 1856, Little Dorrit, i. vi. 47, His son began‥. to be of the prison prisonous and of the street streety.

prodding, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. ii. vii. 231, Whether I gave myself up to prodding, or whether I gave myself up to scooping, I couldn't do it with that delicate touch so as not to show that I was disturbing the mounds.

prosily, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xiv. 134, The Peacock presented attractions which enabled the two friends to resist, even the invitations of the talented, though prosily inclined, Mr. Pott.

pruney, prim, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xix. 486, Notwithstanding what may be called in these pages the Pruney and Prismatic nature of the family banquet, Mr. Dorrit several times fell asleep while it was in progress.

punchy, 1843, Letters, 2 Mar, A complication of Punchy smells.

pupil-less, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iii. x. 95, Sometimes accompanied by his hopeful pupil; oftener, pupil-less.

rampacious, rampageous, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xxii. 228, A stone statue of some rampacious animal with flowing mane and tail, distantly resembling an insane cart-horse.

rulering, 1849, David Copperfield, vii. 77, Tear-blotted copy-books, canings, rulerings.

saucepanful, 1868, Holiday Romance ii, in All Year Round, 8 Feb. 206/2, The other Princes and Princesses were squeezed into a‥. corner to look at the Princess Alicia turning out the saucepan-full of broth...

seediness, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xlii. 457, A casual visitor might suppose this place to be a temple dedicated to the Genius of Seediness.

shriven, 1846, Pictures from Italy, 114, I had my foot upon the spot, where‥. the shriven prisoner was strangled.

slinking, 1841, Barnaby Rudge, xxxv. 137, His manner was smooth and humble, but very sly and slinking.

sniggerer, 1860 Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 5 May 87/1, The sniggerers tempt him to secular thoughts of marbles.

snobbish, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. lvi. 112, This form of inquiry.‥ he held to be of a disrespectful and snobbish tendency.

soupy, 1869, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 2 Jan. 109/1, The dirty table-cloths, the stuffy soupy airless atmosphere.

spectacularly, 1859, Tale of Two Cities, ii. i. 34, Then only was he permitted to be seen, spectacularly poring over large books.

spoffish, fussy, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 124, As a little spoffish man‥. entered the room.

spongeless, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 12 Sept. 62/1, My sponge being left behind at the last Hotel,‥I went, spongeless.

squashed, 1856, Little Dorrit, i. ix. 66, Such squashed hats and bonnets‥never were seen in Rag Fair.

stoutish, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 314, A stoutish man of about forty.

Suffolker, 1849, David Copperfield, xi. 117, The men generally spoke of me as.‥ ‘the young Suffolker’.

swarmer, 1844, Martin Chuzzlewit, lii. 598, ‘Oh, vermin!’ said Mr. Pecksniff. ‘Oh, bloodsuckers!‥. vermin and swarmers.’

tousled, 1847, Dombey and Son, xxv. 250 Rob the Grinder‥stood then, panting at the Captain, with a flushed and touzled air of Bed about him.

trembly, 1846, Dombey and Son, i. 5, So trembly and shakey from head to foot.

trucker, labourer who uses a truck, 1853, Down with Tide in Household Words, 5 Feb. 484/2, The Truckers‥. whose business it was to land more considerable parcels of goods than the Lumpers could manage.

wagonful, 1846, Pictures from Italy, 179, A waggon-full of madmen, screaming and tearing to the life.

waxy, angry, 1853, Bleak House, xxiv. 250, It would cheer him up more than anything, if I could make him a little waxy with me.

well-cured, 1838, Oliver Twist, I. xvii. 271, A side of streaky, well-cured bacon.

well-housed, 1838, Oliver Twist, II. xxiii. 48, It was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire and thank God they were at home.

willed, disposed of by will, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iii. ix. 80, I am the willed-away girl.

Words coined using prefixes

aglitter, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, I. ii. xvi. 312, Mr. Lammle, all a-glitter.

a-smear, 1861, Great Expectations, xx, All asmear with filth and fat.

out-sharpen, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. ii. i. 168, She would glance at the visitors‥with a look that out-sharpened all her other sharpness.

retelegraph, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, vii. 62, ‘Ale, Squeery?’ inquired the lady, winking and frowning to give him to understand that the question propounded was, whether Nicholas should have ale, and not whether he (Squeers) would take any. ‘Certainly,’ said Squeers, re-telegraphing in the same manner. ‘A glassful.’

unassertive, 1861, Great Expectations, lvii, He would sit and talk to me‥in the old unassertive protecting way.

unbear, free a horse from the bearing-rein, 1853, Bleak House, lvi. 543, Unbear him half a moment to freshen him up.

uncertificated, 1836, Bleak House, 1st Ser. II. 199, A disappointed eighth-rate actor,.‥ a retired smuggler, or an uncertificated bankrupt.

uncolonial, 1861, Great Expectations, xlv, A certain person not altogether of uncolonial pursuits.

under-sawyer, subordinate, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. i. xii. 109, There were no top-sawyers; every passenger was an under-sawyer.

undiscussible, 1860, Great Expectations, viii, She said it so finally, and in such an undiscussible way.

undistinctive, 1851, On Duty with Inspector Field, in Household Words, 14 June 270/2, As undistinctive Death will come here, one day, sleep comes now.

unhooped, 1860, Bleak House, i, Like an unhooped cask upon a pole.

unmunched, 1870, Edwin Drood, xii. 90, Even Durdles pauses‥and looks at him, with an unmunched something in his cheek.

unpensioning, 1853, Bleak House, xl. 399, An ungrateful and unpensioning country.

unprisoned, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. lii. 88, Perhaps not one of the unprisoned souls had been able...

unpromisingly, 1847, Dombey and Son, xiii. 125, Looking over his white cravat, as unpromisingly as Mr. Dombey himself could have looked.

unruffable, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxii. 339, Sam‥. obeyed all his master's behests with‥unruffable composure.

unscavengered , 1846, Pictures from Italy, 18, The undrained, unscavengered, qualities of a foreign town.

unshiplike , 1842, American Notes, I. v. 185 A sullen, cumbrous, ungraceful, unshiplike leviathan.

unsnap , 1862, Somebody’s Luggage: His Boots in All Year Round, 4 Dec. 7/1, As if nothing should ever tempt her to unsnap that snap [of the fingers].

unsoaped, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxiv. 253, The unsoaped of lpswich brought up the rear.

unsoftening, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xxx. 588, She.‥ with an unsoftening face, looked at the worked letters within.

un-swanlike, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxix. 311 Mr. Winkle.‥ was being assisted over the ice by Mr. Weller, in a very singular and un-swan-like manner.

unyielding, 1847, Dombey and Son, xl. 402, Looking upon him with neither yielding nor unyielding, liking nor hatred.

Playful coinages

deadlong, 1843, Martin Chuzzlewit, xxiv. 297, Through half the deadlong night.

-ization, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. i. xi. 107, He was not aware‥that he was driving at any ization.

ological, 1854, Hard Times, i. xv. 120, I hope you may now turn all your ological studies to good account.

red tapeworm, red tape, 1851, Dickens in Househ. Words 15 Feb. 484/1 A similar Museum could be established, for the destruction and exhibition of the Red-Tape-Worms.

spiflication, total destruction, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxvii. 262, Conjecturing‥. that smifligation and bloodshed must be‥one and the same thing.

Unexpected (i.e. I'd never have guessed these would be first recorded in Dickens)

bulgy, 1847, Dombey and Son, xxix. 290, A man with bulgy legs.

butter-fingers, 1836, Pickwick Papers, vii. 69, At every bad attempt at a catch, and every failure to stop the ball, he launched his personal displeasure at the head of the devoted individual in such denunciations as.‥ ‘Now, butter-fingers’—‘Muff’—‘Humbug’—and so forth.

clod-hopping, 1843, Martin Chuzzlewit, vii. 79, A common, paltry, low-minded, clodhopping, pipe-smoking alehouse.

devil-may-care, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xlviii. 525, He was a mighty, free and easy, roving, devil-may-care sort of person.

dolly, 1853, Bleak House, xxviii. 276, A dolly sort of beauty perhaps.

dustbin, 1847, Dombey and Son, xvii. 161, The Captain's nosegay.‥ was swept into the dust-binn next morning.

egg-box, 1854, Hard Times, i. iv. 20 That was the cot of my infancy; an old egg-box.

fairy story, 1849, David Copperfield, xix. 193, Life was more like a great fairy story, which I was just about to begin to read, than anything else.

flummox, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxii. 345, He'll be what the Italians call reg'larly flummoxed.

footlights, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 205, The foot-lights have just made their appearance.

funky, nervous, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxx. 326, [The nervous junior counsel in Bardell v. Pickwick is named ‘Mr. Phunky’.]

gran, 1863, Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings in All Year Round, 3 Dec. 11/2, And now dear Gran let me kneel down here where I have been used to say my prayers.

Guinness, 1834, Monthly Magazine, Aug. 180, A large hamper of Guinness's stout.

kibosh, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 149, ‘Hoo-roa,’ ejaculates a pot-boy in a parenthesis, ‘put the kye-bosh [later edd. read kye-bosk] on her, Mary.’

lace-up, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 98, To fit a pair of lace-up half-boots on an ideal personage.

paperchase, 1856, Scapegrace in Household Words, 26 Jan. 28/2, What leapers of brooks, what runners in paper chases!

pay-off, 1864, Our Mutual Friend, I. i. ii. 32, Twemlow received an invitation to dine at Veneerings, expressly to meet the Member, the Engineer, the Pay-off of the National Debt...

prima ballerina, 1868, All Year Round, 23 May 565/2, The prima ballerina‥. raises her left leg in the air at right angles with her body, and gently waves her arms to and fro.

rampage, 1860, Great Expectations, ii, She's been on the Ram-page this last spell, about five minutes.

ringing up, of a theatre curtain, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 205, Let us take a peep ‘behind,’ previous to the ringing up.

round the clock, 1852, Bleak House, xxv. 251, The complete equipage whirls through the Law Stationery business at wild speed, all round the clock.

scrunched, crushed, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 304, He had compromised with the parents of three scrunched children, and just ‘worked out’ his fine, for knocking down an old lady.

sharp practice, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xx. 209, ‘Dodson and Fogg—sharp practice their's—capital men of business is Dodson and Fogg, Sir.’ Mr. Pickwick admitted the sharp practice of Dodson and Fogg.

sit-down, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 264, Jemima thought we'd better have a regular sit-down supper, in the front parlour.

slow-coach, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxiii. 359, What does this allusion to the slow coach mean?‥ It may be a reference to Pickwick himself, who has‥. been a criminally slow coach during the whole of this transaction.

strop, sharpen, 1841, Barnaby Rudge, xxv. 80, The raven‥. after a long inspection of an epitaph‥would strop his beak upon the grave to which it referred.

tin-tack, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxxv. 346, A‥. parcel of tin tacks and a very large hammer.

Compound words

all-over, a feeling of nervousness from head to foot, 1870, Edwin Drood, xxiii. 180, But we're out of sorts for want of a smoke. We've got the all-overs, haven't us, deary? But this is the place to cure 'em in; this is the place where the all-overs is smoked off!

allwork, domestic work of all kinds, 1838, Oliver Twist, II. xxviii. 140, Brittles was a lad of all-work.

draggle-haired, with wet and untidy hair, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, II. iii. x. 96, Draggle-haired, seamed with jealousy and anger.

half-baptize, baptise privately, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 14, He got out of bed‥. to half-baptize a washerwoman's child in a slop-basin.

head-voice, 1850, David Copperfield, xxxvi. 377, He has a remarkable head-voice.

head-work, brainwork, 1837, Pickwick Papers, liv. 587, How the blazes you can stand the head-work you do, is a mystery to me.

looking-forward, 1837, Letters, 3 Nov, Anxious lookings-forward to the pleasure of your society.

natural-looking, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 328, Plaid tulips, and other equally natural-looking flowers.

new boy, 1847, Dombey and Son, xli. 410, Here is the table upon which he sat forlorn and strange, the ‘new boy’ of the school.

offsetting, 1857, Perils Eng. Prisoners in Household Words, 7 Dec. 30/2, The off-settings and point-currents of the stream.

off time, off duty, 1866, Mugby Junction in All Year Round, 10 Dec. 6/1, The answer to his inquiry, ‘Where's Lamps?’ was.‥ that it was his off-time.

old dear, 1836, Pickwick Papers, xiii. 126, She did no hesitate to inform him‥. that Mr. Pickwick was ‘a delightful old dear’.

party-like, suited to a party, 1832, Letters, 30 July (1965) I. 7, I give you this early notice not because there is anything formal or party like in the arrangements.

petticoat-governed, henpecked, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 175, Mr. Calton seized the hand of the petticoat-governed little man.

poll-parrot, chatter incessantly, 1865, Our Mutual Friend, I. ii. xii. 271, What are you Poll Parroting at now? Ain't you got nothing to do but‥. stand a Poll Parroting all night?

rose-pink, make up, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 208, ‘Where's that bloody officer?’ ‘Here!’ replies the officer, who has been rose-pinking for the character.

sea-going, 1848, Dombey and Son, lxii. 623, Released from sea-going, after that first long voyage with his young bride.

set piece, painting of a group, 1846, Pictures from Italy, 190, The hollow-cheeked monk‥. went down on his knees, in a corner, before this set-piece.

short-timer, child allowed to attend school less than full time, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 20 June 400/2, The Short-Timers, in a writing competition, beat the Long-Timers of a first-class National School.

Words reflecting the culture of the time

Blondin, tightrope, 1863, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 15 Aug. 588/2, An appalling accident happened at the People's Park near Birmingham‥. the enterprising Directors‥. hanging the Blondin rope as high as they possibly could hang it.

bowie-knife, 1842, American Notes, I. iii. 110, A sewing society‥. which‥. never comes to fisty cuffs or bowie-knives as sane assemblies have been known to do elsewhere.

Bramah, machine inventor, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 46, Testing the influence of their patent Bramahs over the street-door locks to which they respectively belonged.

cavatina, type of song, 1836, Library of Fiction,I. 15, The popular cavatina of ‘Bid me discourse’.

cheval-glass, type of long swinging mirror, 1836, Pickwick Papers, ii. 14, The stranger surveyed himself.‥ in a cheval glass.

clobber, type of cobbler paste, 1853, St. Crispin in Household Words, 26 Mar. 79/1, If there are crevices and breaks in an old pair of shoes‥. he insinuates into them a dose of clobber, which seems to be a mixture of ground cinders and paste.

coach-horser, one who provides horses for stagecoaches, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xlii. 463, The embarrassed coach-horser was ordered to be discharged forthwith.

coal-whipper, one who lifts coal out of a ship, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 299, At the appearance of the coal-whippers, and ballast-heavers.

commoney, type of marble, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxiii. 358, Whether he had won any alley tors or commoneys lately.

crush hat, hat that can be crushed flat, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xix. 180, Folding his crush hat to lay his elbow on.

Cuba, type of cigar, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxix. 308, He‥. emitted a fragrant odour of full-flavoured Cubas.

Denmark, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 2nd Ser. 107, A pair of Denmark satin shoes.

drysaltery, drysalter’s store, 1847, Dombey and Son, xxiii. 234, The smell of which dry-saltery impregnated the air.

hopping, hop-picking, 1860, Uncommercial Traveller in All Year Round, 16 June 234/2, The whole country-side‥. will swarm with hopping tramps.

Kensal Green, type of cemetery, 1842, Letters, 26 Apr, What would I give if the dear girl whose ashes lie in Kensal-green, had lived.

key-bugle, bugle with keys, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. II. 212, The loud notes of a key-bugle broke the monotonous stillness of the street.

Loddon, type of lily, 1882, Dickens’s Dict. Thames, 28/3, It [sc. the summer snowflake] is very abundant in the meadows by the Loddon, and hence called ‘Loddon lilies’.

mairie, town hall, 1864, Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy in All Year Round, 1 Dec. 8/2, The Major went down to the Mairie.

manty-making, dressmaking, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxi. 195, This here's the mantie-making con-sarn, a'nt it?

monkey-nut, coconut, 1857, Household Words, 17 Jan. 67/1, The tree of the monkey-nut is a palm. The rude resemblance to the face of a monkey having given a name to the nut, the likeness of the leaf to the palm of the hand gives a name to the tree.

paybox, box office, 1851, Flight in Household Words, 30 Aug. 531/2, He darts upon my luggage‥. pays certain francs for it, to a certain functionary behind a Pigeon Hole, like a pay-box at a Theatre.

psychographer, type of medium, 1854, Letters, 7 Mar, A thing called a Psycho-grapher, which writes at the dictation of spirits.

railway time, standard time used by a railway system, 1847, Dombey and Son, xv. 155, There was even railway time observed in clocks, as if the sun itself had given in.

saveloy, type of sausage, 1837, Pickwick Papers, liv. 587, Mr. Solomon Pell‥regaling himself‥. with a cold collation of an Abernethy biscuit and a saveloy.

Scheherazade, 1851, Letters, 25 Nov, My Dear Scheherazade—for I am sure your powers of narrative‥. must be good for at least a thousand nights and one.

tagliarini, egg noodles, 1846, Pictures from Italy, 49, Real Genoese dishes, such as Tagliarini...

tip-cheese, type of game, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxiii. 360, He forgets the long familiar cry of ‘knuckle down’, and at tip-cheese, or odd and even, his hand is out.

utilitarianism, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xxxvi. 347, But knockers may be muffled for other purposes than those of mere utilitarianism.

Colloquialisms and slang

allus, always, 1853, Bleak House, xlvi. 447, He wos allus willin fur to give me somethink he wos.

demnition, damnation, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, lxiv. 617, It is all up with its handsome friend, he has gone to the demnition bow-wows.

’ere, here, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xliv. 489, I'm wery much mistaken if that 'ere Jingle worn't a doin' somethin' in the vater-cart vay!

gonoph, pickpocket, 1853, Bleak House, xix. 188, He's as obstinate a young gonoph as I know.

gorm, God damn, 1849, David Copperfield, xxi. 220, Gorm the t'other one.

halloa, 1841, Barnaby Rudge, x. 290, ‘Halloa there! Hugh!’ roared John.

heavens, very, 1858, House to Let in Household Words, 7 Dec. 21/1, A shy company through its raining Heavens hard.

ickle, little, 1846, Dombey and Son, i. 5, I came down from seeing dear Fanny, and that tiddy ickle sing.

jeff, circus slang for rope, 1854, Hard Times, i. vi. 37, Tight-Jeff or Slack-Jeff, it don't much signify: it's only tight-rope and slack-rope.

lor’, Lord, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 1st Ser. I. 81, ‘Lor! how nice!’ said the youngest Miss Ivins.

lummy, first-rate, 1838, Oliver Twist, III. xlii. 122, Jack Dawkins—lummy Jack—the Dodger—the Artful Dodger.

missis, 1839, Nicholas Nickleby, xlii. 414, ‘Don't Missis me, ma'am’‥. returned Miss Squeers.

m’lud, 1853, Bleak House, i. 4, ‘Mr. Tangle,’ says the Lord High Chancellor.‥ ‘Mlud,’ says Mr. Tangle.

mo, month, 1836, Letters, ?24 Aug, 25£ per mo: after Nov. 8th.

nohows, nohow, 1848, Dombey and Son, lvi. 566, I'm gone about and adrift. Pay out a word or two respecting them adwenturs, will you! Can't I bring up, nohows?

oner, an expert, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. lviii. 121, Miss Sally's such a one-er for that.

oo, who, 1857, Little Dorrit, ii. xiii. 433, ‘I have seen some one,’ returned Baptist, ‘I have rincontrato him.’ ‘Im? Oo him?’ asked Mrs. Plornish.

participled, damned, 1862, Somebody’s Luggage in All Year Round, 4 Dec. 8 11/1, ‘But these people are’, he insisted‥. ‘so,’ Participled, ‘sentimental!’

prop, piece of jewellery, 1850, Three ‘Detective’ Anec. in Household Words, 14 Sept. 579/1, In his shirt-front there's a beautiful diamond prop,‥. a very handsome pin indeed.

puff-puff, 1856, Household Words, 28 June 559/1, The word Puff-puff, which I now apply to a train or a railway, is borrowed from my eldest daughter,‥. eighteen months of age.

sawbones, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxix. 307, ‘What! don't you know what a Sawbones is, Sir?’ enquired Mr. Weller; ‘I thought every body know'd as a Sawbones was a Surgeon.’

swarry, soiree, 1837, Pickwick Papers, xxxvi. 393, A friendly swarry, consisting of a boiled leg of mutton with the usual trimmings.

tcha, 1844, Martin Chuzzlewit, xxxvii. 435, ‘Tcha, Mr. Pinch!’ cried Charity, with sharp impatience.

toke, bread, 1843, Letters, 7 June, Now, we don't want none of your sarse—and if you bung any of them tokes of yours in this direction, you'll find your shuttlecock sent back as heavy as it came.

way, 1836, Sketches by Boz, 370, Away went the donkey‥. ‘Way-way! Wo-o-o-o-!’ cried Mr. Cymon Tuggs.

whizz-bang, 1836, Pickwick Papers, ii. 9, Fired a musket‥. rushed into wine shop‥. back again—whiz, bang.

wimick, 1850, David Copperfield, li. 518 ‘Wen Mrs. Gummidge takes to wimicking,’—our old county word for crying,—‘she's liable to be considered to be‥. peevish-like.’

woa, 1841, Old Curiosity Shop, ii. xxxviii. 3, Woa-a-a then, will you?

yaw-yaw, 1854, Hard Times, ii. ii. 147, They liked fine gentlemen.‥ They became exhausted in imitation of them; and they yaw-yawed in their speech like them.


As a footnote, here is a summary of the distribution of these items:

Pickwick Papers: 31

Sketches by Boz: 27

Letters: 24

Our Mutual Friend: 17

Household Words: 15

Dombey and Son: 15

Little Dorrit: 13

Uncommercial Traveller: 12

Nicholas Nickleby: 12

Great Expectations: 10

Bleak House: 10

Old Curiosity Shop: 8

All Year Round: 8

Martin Chuzzlewit: 7

David Copperfield: 7

Oliver Twist: 6

Hard Times: 6

Pictures from Italy: 5

American Notes: 5

Tale of Two Cities: 4

Edwin Drood: 3

Barnaby Rudge: 3

Others: 4