Saturday, August 21, 2010

Historically Accurate Vulgarity? Sign Me Up!

My dear author Allison Pang wrote a blog post earlier this week about a hilarious--but supremely useful for some--book: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue:

Just a little nod in the direction of a great resource for world-building and historical accuracy. If you're don't own this book and you write Steam Punk, Historical fiction, Time-travel, Fantasy, whatever - you totally should.

Essentially it's a compilation of slang used by actual people, back in the day - circa 1790 to 1820. You'll find bits of peasant cant, Romany and just the conversational words used by the average everyday Joe of the moment.

And yes, some of the words *are* vulgar, but it's just so interesting to see the history of the English language and how much of it is still used today (and with the same connotations.)

The beauty of it is that the book was actually written in 1811, so copyrights don't really apply. You can find it over at the
Gutenberg Project for a quick look through electronically, or buy one of the many versions out at the book store. (If you click the link you'll find it in both hard cover and paper back, and I think it's also out for the Kindle, as well.

See the original post on her blog Borrowing Heaven, Subletting Hell
or at her author site, Heart of the Dreaming

Given that I just this week I made an offer (and won!) on a 3-book historical romance series, I think I'll be tracking down a copy of this one!

The Victorian era novels about three sexy Scotland Yard inspectors by 2010 Golden Heart winner Jillian Stone are sure to need some historically accurate vulgar language ;)

So stoked about working with Jillian on this series. It's going to kick some serious ass.


  1. Always glad to be useful. :)

    And congrats to both of you! I'm sure the books will be awesome!

  2. Love anything late Victorian and vulgar! I swear, I'm on this reference material like––now, Danielle!

  3. Aww two of my ladies in one place :) squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!