We realize that ‘Ripper Street’ has a tendency to get, well, heavy.
So we’ve decided to take a week off and spare you from delving deeper into the the bombing, scheming and bludgeoning to remind you that the Victorian era wasn’t all gloom and doom.
There are certain words and phrases we still use today (‘lush,’ ‘flashy,’ ‘on the fly’) that we may not realize came directly from the Victorian age.
But here are a few you may not have heard of, just waiting to be brought back into the modern vernacular. Because anyone who follows fashion knows that what is old is always made new again.
We challenge you to use one of these in context and bring the classics back to the streets.
1. Bacca-pipes: Whiskers curled in small, close ringlets.
“He curled his bacca-pipes in deep apprehension while awaiting his LSAT score.”
2. Crabshells: Shoes
“These crabshells were made for walking, honey, so you better recognize.”
3. Fawny-dropping: A ruse whereby the villain pretends to find a ring (which is actually worthless) and sells it as a possibly valuable article at a low price (Safe to say, don’t do this one!).
“That antique ring appeared to be a bargain, but was more likely a result of some skillful fawny-dropping.”
4. Lavender, in: (1) To be hidden from the police, (2) to be pawned, (3) to be put away, (4) to be dead.
“That subject’s long been put in lavender, darlin’.”
5. Luggers: Earrings
“Those luggers really bring out your eyes.”
6. Huntley, to take the: Syn. To take the Cake or to take the Biscuit. Also to be most excellent, as in Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits.
“Your performance certainly takes the Huntley!”
7. Maltooler: A pickpocket who steals while riding an omnibus, esp. from women (Again, obviously, don’t do this!).
“That man must have caught me just as I was stepping off the M101. What a maltooler.”
8. Muck Snipe: A person who is “down and out”
“Pull out some change and help a muck snipe out, will ya?”
9. Out of twig: Unrecognized or in disguise
“I couldn’t find her at the party. She must have been out of twig, bro.”
10. Puckering: Speaking in a manner that is incomprehensible to a spectator.
“Spit it out, dude, stop puckering!”