Let’s Talk About Sex, c18th Style

coupleDetail from Love & Wine (1787)

Here we have a choice selection of words relating to the amorous act, taken from Blackguardiana by James Caulfield (c.1790). As entertaining as it can be to discover those words that have fallen from use (note: kettle drums and wap) it is also interesting to consider those that are still familiar to us today (roger or screw). Can you imagine your great great (…) grandparents being so foul-mouthed?!

“BASKET MAKING, the good old trade of basket-making, copulation, or MAKING FEET FOR CHILDREN’S STOCKINGS.

BAWBELS, or BAWBLES, trinkets, a man’s testicles. Also TALLYWAGS.

CURTAIN LECTURE, a woman who scolds her husband when in bed, is said to read him a curtain lecture.

DUMB GLUTTON, a woman’s privities. Also, MANTRAP, MUFF or NOTCH.

FRENCHIFIED, infected with the venereal disease; the mort is Frenchified, the wench is infected.

GOBBLE P––K, a rampant lustful woman.

HUFFLE, to huffle, a piece of beastiality too filthy for explanation.

KETTLE DRUMS, a woman’s breasts, called by sailors chest and bedding.

LOBCOCK, a large relaxed penis, also a dull inanimate fellow.

MOW, to mow, a Scotch word for the act of copulation.

PLUG TAIL, a man’s penis. Also THOMAS.

RANTALLION, one whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis, i.e. whose shot pouch is longer than the barrel of his piece.

RIDING ST. GEORGE. the woman being uppermost in the amorous congress, that is the dragon upon St. George.

ROGER, to roger, to bull, or lie with a woman, from the name of Roger, frequently given to a bull. Also RUT, SCREW, or STRAP.

STALLION, a man kept by an old lady for secret services.

STATE, to lie in state, a man in bed with three harlots.

SWIVE, to copulate. Also WAP.”

So, which ones shall we bring back?

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Sex, c18th Style

Add yours

  1. I’ve always thought swive a good word.
    Mind you, according to Google you can now buy a heavy duty swive with brake casters, a Rear Swive and a Wall Mount Swive. Hmm.

  2. I live near Muff, County Donegal. Local artisans have just launched the Muff Liquor Company and we have a local Muff Diving Club for underwater enthusiasts. Love your posts.

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