“The swell was flash, so I could not draw his fogle.”
Swell: gentleman (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
Flash: Knowing. Understanding another’s meaning. (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Draw his fogle: pick his pocket of his silk handkerchief. (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
In other words: the gentleman knew exactly what I was doing so I could not sneak the silk handkerchief from his pocket.
“I set about kittle pitchering any tom long with a circumbendibus chestnut as soon as I see ’em.”
KITTLE PITCHERING. A jocular method of hobbling or bothering a troublesome teller of long stories: this is done by contradicting some very immaterial circumstance at the beginning of the narration, the objections to which being settled, others are immediately started to some new particular of like consequence; thus impeding, or rather not suffering him to enter into, the main story. Kittle pitchering is often practised in confederacy, one relieving the other, by which the design is rendered less obvious. (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
TOM LONG. A tiresome story teller. It is coming by Tom Long, the carrier; said of any thing that has been long expected. (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
Circumbendibus – round about; a story with no end to it (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Chestnut – an old story; an often repeated yarn. The average chestnut of the ‘dago’ fruit stand has claims to respect on account of its age, but is not desirable as an article of diet, and ancient stories are equally tiresome (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
So, to sum up: “I start immediately and humorously undermining the stories of any tiresome story teller with a round about, often repeated yarn.”
Seeing it was mizzling, the lallycooler inkslinger decided to stay in and have resurrection pie for his nooning.
Mizzling – drizzling rain (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Lallycooler – one who is pre-eminently successful in his line (daisy, dandy, darling, lullu) (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Inkslinger – a writer or editor (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Resurrection pie – a pie made of scraps or leavings (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
Nooning – an interval for rest and refreshment at midday, as in the harvest field (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
So, in other words: Since it was lightly raining, the preeminent writer decided to stay in and have remixed left-overs for his afternoon refreshment.
“He’s real blowed-in-the-glass, you’d never smoke he’d go caterwauling and end up in monkey and parrot time.”
Blowed-in-the-glass: a genuine, trustworthy individual (Wikipedia: Hobo Expressions used through 1940s)
Monkey and parrot time: a lady left her favorite bird in company with a monkey and during her absence the two animals had a fight. When she returned the monkey was wiping his scratched face and the almost featherless parrot called out, ‘we’ve been having a hell of a time.’ a general row or free fight is a ‘monkey and parrot time.’ (1891 American Slang Dictionary by James Maitland)
CATERWAULING: Going out in the night in search of intrigues, like a cat in the gutters. (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
TO SMOKE: To observe, to suspect. (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
To sum up “He’s real blowed-in-the-glass, you’d never smoke he’d go caterwauling and end up in monkey and parrot time” means “he’s a really genuine and trustworthy, you’d never suspect that he’d go out on the town all night and get into to fights.”
“I wanted to have a butcher’s so I took a Dublin packet and slapdash, a bracket-faced seven sided animal gave me a dub o’ th’ hick.”
butchers: Cockney slang meaning look. Cockney slang, or rhyming slang, was most prevalent in the East End of London. It consists of replacing a word with the beginning portion of a rhyming phrase. For example: substituting ‘look’ with ‘butcher’s hook’ but dropping the ‘hook.’ It may have risen to wide use as a way to keep outsiders from a close community (Wikipedia).
Dublin packet: turn a corner; to ‘take the dublin packet” viz run around the corner – probably a pun on doubling a corner (A dictionary of modern slang, cant, and vulgar words by John Camden Hotten)
Slapdash: Immediately, instantly, suddenly. (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
Bracket-faced: Ugly, hard-featured (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
Seven sided animal: you know this one 😉
dub o’th’hick: A lick on the head (1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose)
So, to sum up “I wanted to have a butcher’s so I took a Dublin packet and slapdash, a bracket-faced seven sided animal gave me a dub o’ th’ hick” means “I wanted to take a look so I turned a corner and suddenly an ugly one eyed man gave me a lick on the head.”
Introducing Clement Skitt’s word of the day. You may recognize Clement from Levi Levi and the Time Machine. He and his sister have since peeped into many different times and Clement has developed a healthy fascination with outdated slang. Today’s slang:
SEVEN-SIDED ANIMAL: a one-eyed man or woman, described as such because each has a right side and a left side, a fore side and a back side, an outside, an inside, and a blind side.
I don’t know if you noticed that I have a few comics listed on the site that haven’t really started yet. It’s kind of a commitment to the project. If I tell someone I’m going to do it, then I have to live up to my side of the bargain. That’s what this is, I’m going to ramble on about all these great ideas I have and that will mean that I’ll have to follow through eventually. I am actively trying to limit myself to how many running projects I have at any one time. I found that the relief and pride of getting one of them done is too good to delay by adding more commitments to the mix.
I will be finishing a couple more things before I get on with it, I mean with the other things I want to do. The other stories I want to write. Did I tell you that I usually think of my characters first and then make the story around them? Maybe they aren’t completely thought out, but they’ve got flesh. I’ve got so many stories racing through my head, gathering up so many characters, that I felt bad about abandoning them to dreamy memories. So when I drew them I had to figure out a container to put them in so they wouldn’t get lost. That container is a highschool. Yup, at some point in time they all went to school, sorta. Anyway, once I get some things scanned I’m going to start building an online (and expandable) yearbook so ya’ll can see the people who fall out of my head.
And in the midst of thinking up a highschool for all these people to live in, I figured out a great flashback story for Levi Levi. It will explain how Annie became his book-keeper/office-manager type person. And it will feature the time traveling twins Clement and Rosalie Skitt. They’re up on the characters page, but did not yet have a story of their own. Technically Levi Levi’s next chapter isn’t their story either…so I came up with one. It will be a choose your own adventure type alternative format comic – which means I can’t put it up anywhere until it’s mostly figured out and drawn. I mean, choose-your-own adventures don’t happen linearly so they can’t be doled out once a week.
And none of this has anything to do with my next huge comic idea: The 22 Lives of Marcus Trapp. This one actually requires research, so it’s slow going. Just writing about all of these makes me excited about them all over again.