How well do you know Victorian era slang?

HISTORY

3 PLAYS

Annette

6 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

There are some Victorian-era gems that are not used by the public today and would sound odd in conversation. Test your knowledge of what these arcane​ terms really mean!

When you tell someone to shut their "sauce-box," what are you saying?

The sauce-box is the mouth. This means you can say to someone: "You have a dirty sauce-box."

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What happened when you leave the tavern​ half-rats?

To be half-rats is to be half drunk. If you're full-rats, then you have a situation on your hands.

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When someone is "not up to dick," what should you do?

Someone is not feeling well when they're not up to dick. Send them a card.

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Is it true that Casanova was a gal-sneaker?

A gal-sneaker is devoted to seduction. Or at least they were in 1870.

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When you're staring at someone's parish pick-axe, what are you looking at?

A large nose is a parish pick-axe. Never has a big schnoz sounded so cool.

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What is a Victorian word for hands?

Daddles refers to, of all things, your hands. Such a fun word for such a basic subject. Tip us your daddle!

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What happens when you cop a mouse?

Copping a mouse means getting a black eye. To cop is to catch or suffer.

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If a boozer scorns your love of cat-lap, what is he referring to?

Those how love beer and spirits are scornful of those who love cat-lap, referring to tea and coffee.

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If you want to satirically refer to enthusiasm, what would you call it?

If you refer to enthusiasm as "enthuzimuzzy," you have lost your love of the world.

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When you bemoan your fly rink, what are you referring to?

A fly rink is a bald head, circa 1875. The reason for this certainly sparks the imagination.

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If you're caught wearing gas-pipes, what are you wearing?

No one wants to wear gas-pipes. They're uncomfortable and entirely out of fashion. Take note.

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What are the jammiest bits of jam?

In 1883, perfect young females were referred to as the jammiest bits of jam. Lionel Richie would call such a woman a "brick house."

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If you're mafficking in the streets after a football game, what are you doing?

Mafficking in the streets can get you in trouble, so go maffick somewhere else.

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That preposterous thing you just said is enough to do what?

Something absolutely preposterous could make a stuffed bird laugh. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

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What does it mean when something is "nanty narking" at the tavern?

The next time you're having a blast at the pub, be sure to comment upon the nanty narking.

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What is the meaning of the term "afternoonified"?

High society used the term to refer to things that were smart, or well-presented. For instance, a desirable object in a shop window was referred​ to as "afternoonified."

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What happens when you batty-fang something?

This low London phrase refers to thrashing or beating something. It probably comes from the French 'battre'.

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If you complain of "orf chump," what is your problem?

"Orf chump" refers to having no appetite.

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When you're blushing because you're poked up, what happened?

When you're embarrassed, you're poked up. Yes, the term sounds more scandalous than it really is.

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When it rains, you better pull out which of these that refers to an umbrella?

Your rain-napper will protect you when the heavens start to pour.

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What has happened when you have smothered a parrot?

Drinking absinthe neat -- with no ice -- is smothering a parrot. This is in reference to the green color of the drink.

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What happens when you take the egg?

Taking the egg is winning. That first-prize science project of yours just took the egg.

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Who are the whooperups of the world?

Whooperups are bad, noisy singers. These days, you can find them at Karaoke bars.

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Who are the arfarfan'arfs in the corner there?

Drunken men were called arfarfan'arfs because "arfs" are half-pints of booze.

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If you're a nineteenth-century​ sailor on a benjo, what are you doing?

A benjo is a riotous holiday, or a noisy day in the streets. You don't have to be a sailor to go on a benjo.

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Who is the church-bell that you need to avoid?

A church-bell is a woman that talks too much. There are many church-bells at church.

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What are you doing when caught "kruger-spoofing"?

Kruger-spoofing is lying. Who's Kruger?

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Why is a nose-bagger so annoying?

As funny as it seems, a nose-bagger is someone who takes a day trip to the beach, but doesn't buy anything. He brings his own stuff. Kind of like the person who smuggles food into the movies.

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What is another way of describing a gigglemug?

That friendly lady who always greets you at the supermarket has a gigglemug. Smile back, if you're friendly.

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What should you do when someone wants to shake a flannin with you?

You're going to shake a flannin when you get into a fight. It's appropriate to shake a flannin at a pub -- or not.

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When someone tells you that they "umble-cum-stumble," what do they mean?

"Umble-cum-stumble" is low class, but it still sounds cool. It's a variation on "under-cum-stumble." Do you understand?

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What does it mean to be "mad as hops"?

To be mad as hops is to be excitable, and probably refers to beer hops.

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Is it a good idea to be powdering your hair on a Saturday night?

Powdering your hair is getting drunk, and it's perfectly appropriate on a Saturday night -- if you're not driving.

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When you're being called a meater, what does that mean?

A meater is a coward. This is a street term, and not very amusing.

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