Girl Talk, Or, Our Bilingual Ancestors

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JPK Huson 1863

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girl talk wedding.jpg

" You're shaking like a blancmange my dear creepmouse. I assure you, passementerie tassles on that dress would put you in a bad box. You can't gammon me your new husband isn't a banging big-bug. I don't see him cutting his stick before the ceremony at sight of you, with or without passementerie tassles. Now don't be a mollygrub or you'll end up giving him the mitten and there will be no wedding. Hurry up the cakes, the minister just arrived. "

I'd point out some of the terms above were vulgarisms except ' vulgarism ' is archaic too. Nothing is vulgar in 2019.

Anyone referring to the new hubby that day would have been speaking of the new, bump road in front of the church, not her spouse. Tough pinning down which terms, phrases and now archaic words came into our language where. It's also crazy thinking 1861-1865, the war years, were separated from 1860or 1850 or really, 1870. 150 years later however, it's a whole, ' nother language.

Blancmange, a gelatinous dessert.
Creepmouse, term of endearment ( although generally used for children )
Passementerie tassles, seems to have been beads and wood on sticks.
gammon, to kid or fool
banging, big, amazing, important
big-bug, someone of vast important
mollygrub, crabby
give the mitten, dump one's sweetheart
Hurry up the cakes, move it.

girl talk top.jpg

These two are talking about the reception and how to keep the men sober. A gazillion terms indicating someone was drunk - a few here.
half seas over
corned
disguised


And to be disguised without one's spouse being aware, you were a jerry sneak.

Only partially tongue ( sorry ) in cheek, there's a lot of discussion about what it would be like going back in time to rub elbows with our ancestors. One thing is clear. You'd be the tourist with the 1860's-2019 translation guide in your pocket. While fascinating, being able to chat with your great great grandmother, you'd understand one word in three of her conversation.
girl talk 3.jpg

They could be French or Swiss for as well as you'd understand what they're saying to each other. Well, unless you're bilingual, too.
It may not have been helpful listening in on whispered conversations. You wouldn't understand what they said anyway.

Browse the first 3 pages of any Godey's, Demorest or heck, newspaper. Like being at Babel. Women's literature seems to require more translation than usual simply because so many articles of clothing do not exist 150 years later. Romance writers also tended to wax lyrical, novelettes ( another ) were littered with now archaic, if delightful terms.

Just fashion loses you. Rigged yourself out in fichus, clockmutches , and although a cassaque, was extremely pretty when attending a seaside fete. One's hair? Puffs, rolls and sometimes crepe- that's hair not bakeries and funeral garb.

cassaque.jpg

Told you it was pretty- cassaque!

There is ( of course ) a lot more. TBC.... wouldn't like to be a blatherskite in the first post.

girl talk 2.jpg

Whatever they were saying, love to listen in.

girl talk pink.jpg
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Mollygrub is a word my mother passed down, and used to denote the "blues", a depressed spirit.

Love it! Hadn't heard it before! Makes me wish some of these had hung around. ' Mollygrub '. I'm not sure it would be effective because who wouldn't laugh if they were called one?


If someone called me that, I'd think they were insulting me. :laugh:

Right? It's another I hadn't come across before. Found it in an 1864 edition of a book on Americanisms.
 
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Yankee Brooke

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Right? It's another I hadn't come across before. Found it in an 1864 edition of a book on Americanisms.
I had never heard a hand warmer referred to as a "muff" until I watched GWTW. I was like "Scarlett forgot her what!??!!!? That doesn't mean THAT anymore." :eek:
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I had never heard a hand warmer referred to as a "muff" until I watched GWTW. I was like "Scarlett forgot her what!??!!!? That doesn't mean THAT anymore." :eek:

SO funny! Just remembered they tried to bring those things back, gosh, maybe late 60's, early 70's? By then they were polyester ( it had been discovered so was a huge rage, we sweated our way through that ugly decade ) guessing to match the white, plastic go-go boots. And they didn't last long. Mittens or muff, so you didn't have your hands free to throw snowballs?
 

Yankee Brooke

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SO funny! Just remembered they tried to bring those things back, gosh, maybe late 60's, early 70's? By then they were polyester ( it had been discovered so was a huge rage, we sweated our way through that ugly decade ) guessing to match the white, plastic go-go boots. And they didn't last long. Mittens or muff, so you didn't have your hands free to throw snowballs?
Apparently they still have then. Amazon is selling a few. :roflmao:
 
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mofederal

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Changing times is about the only thing which changes words and language. We have a bad habit of taking old things and trying to make them new again. They should have enough sense to wait longer between fashion trends. Remember paper dresses. My old college has a collection of around 100 of them or more, a lady who was a graduate donated her whole collection of them. She had even worn some of them.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Changing times is about the only thing which changes words and language. We have a bad habit of taking old things and trying to make them new again. They should have enough sense to wait longer between fashion trends. Remember paper dresses. My old college has a collection of around 100 of them or more, a lady who was a graduate donated her whole collection of them. She had even worn some of them.


Forgot all about paper dresses! Not sure they took off ( thankfully ) because for as much publicity as they generated I never saw anyone wear one? Well. Rain. You'd be awfully limited.

Agree. You may not be aware of how quickly styles of jeans change but we girls take note- little horrified to note something called Mom Jeans are back. Not a person on the planet ever born looks well in those things, not even the 6 foot tall models weighing 18 pounds but yep, looks like an old fashion is back. OH and polyester. Like the plague, never seems to be entirely eradicated.
 
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Belle Montgomery

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Passementerie is a catch-all French term for the ribbons, trims, and tassels that adorn clothing, furniture etc. Military uniforms have it in metallic gold as well as my era riding habit in basic black scrolling. It's a an old fancy term for trimming, edging etc.
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18th century coat with passementerie trim. Source: Met Museum
 

JPK Huson 1863

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LOL!!!! What?????? Great fun post. Thank you. Creepmouse was used by my mother. She told me it meant a small child that would hide and peek around corners to see what adults were doing or talking about.

No way! It's wonderful hearing these terms are familiar to so many here. Your mother's definition makes much more sense than just ' creepmouse ' as an endearment, doesn't it?
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Passementerie is a catch-all French term for the ribbons, trims, and tassels that adorn clothing, furniture etc. Military uniforms have it in metallic gold as well as my era riding habit in basic black scrolling. It's a an old fancy term for trimming, edging etc.
View attachment 259388
18th century coat with passementerie trim. Source: Met Museum

That's what the elaborate trim we see on so many amazing garments is? Thank you! And whoa, has to have been expensive right? Someone did all that by hand, there's some patience and talent. OK- I can see where anything that astonishing would have to have an equally astonishing name. 'Passementerie' does it justice.
 

Belle Montgomery

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That's what the elaborate trim we see on so many amazing garments is? Thank you! And whoa, has to have been expensive right? Someone did all that by hand, there's some patience and talent. OK- I can see where anything that astonishing would have to have an equally astonishing name. 'Passementerie' does it justice.
Some also refer to elaborate embroidery with cording or ribbon as passementerie. Sort of like lemon merigue pie or chocolate chip cookies can be considered a "dessert" elaborate- (that's also in the eye of the beholder) trim is passementerie LOL
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