1900’s Swizzle + Food Slang
So many cultures are rich in food-related slang. What are some English examples from the last century?
Here’s a sampling of food and drink slang words from A Dictionary of Slang and its Analogues. Past and Present. First compiled by Editors John S. Farmer and W.E. Henley in 1903, this book was created to host words that had been rejected from the grander pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.
A seriously thick book, we’ve been dipping into Volume 7 which features slang from Stra to Z. Definitions re-phrased in our own words …
Food words for other things
A dukedom. So named after the coronet of a duke that has been decorated with 8 strawberry leaves.
A high-tipped hat. Shaped like a sugar loaf.
A good-for-nothing layabout.
Food + Drink Slang
A nautically-based term meaning rice. It’s based on a belief, apparently, that eating rice could destroy one’s eyesight.
Gin. This one is, perhaps, more self-explanatory.
A weak drink, a tiny beer, or a brew of vinegar, molasses, and water.
Mixed drinks and cocktails.
Small sandwiches that can be held and eaten between the thumb and a finger.
A bracing, strong drink.
Treacle, sugar and butter melted together in a sweetmeat.
A carrot. (See what they did there?)
Smoked herring or a ‘bloater.’
A bottle of fancy liqueur, usually hidden up and out of the way on a high shelf.
That’s the 13th bun or loaf of bread in a Baker’s Dozen.
Onion. Or, in the plural, spring onions. Or – let’s hope the menu has subtitles – stuffing made from sage and onions.
Paintings by Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958)
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