Friday, July 11, 2008

Forgotten English -- couch a hogshead

couch a hogshead

To lye downe and sleepe. Peddelar's Frenche.
--Thomas Harman's A Caveat, or Warening, for Common Cursetors, 1567

To go to bed. -- B.E.'s Dictionary of the Canting Crew, 1699

Hogshead, humorously applied to the head [couch meant to lie down]. -- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Enjoy old phrases that are harmless enough but really sound like taking a B.M. ,


[From: Jeffrey Kacirk Forgotten English 2008 Calendar: A Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore]



Stu Farnham said...

Two of my recent favorites:

June 10: ambiloquy: the use of ambiguous expressions; double speaking

July 9: stultiloquy: foolish speech.

Both now enshrined on our refrigerator, held in place by my Cartman-has-an-anal-probe South Park magnet.

Bpaul said...

Excellent choices sir.

Anonymous said...

It's the earliest cant term found in English, even before Harman -- see _Coke Lorrel's Bote_ (c. 1510).


Bpaul said...

Having a hell of a time finding info on Coke Lorrel's Bote -- can you provide a link I'm interested.

Also, very cool to see something back in the archives getting comments. Welcome to the blog.


Robin said...

Just come on this -- missed your question originally. (Nearly a year ago!)

I don't think Cock Lorrel's Boat is on the web, but if you're still interested, backchannel me -- robin.hamilton3[at] -- and I'll send you a copy. I'm doing some work on couching a hogshead at this very moment.