Oh, how I love Regency era terms. Much of the words from the time period seem like fluff and nonsense, but understanding the meanings reveals a colorful language. A language now dead, because I don’t see anyone saying things like “raise a breeze” or “faradiddles,” but its remembered nonetheless in Regency romances. And, oh, how I wish I could approach someone I dislike and call them a “popinjay.”

One of my favorite things to include in my manuscripts are insults from the era. I have loads of fun when I have my characters hurling quip after quip at each other. And scenes with name-calling, wonderful!

Here’s a few insults from the Regency, definitions included. Feel free to borrow a few and pocket them for your next fight.

Rattleplate: A silly person, a fool.

Windsucker: A bore, someone who is very droll.

Beneath my touch: To not be considered adequate, not good enough.

Darken one’s daylights: To give a black eye.

Wish someone at Jericho: Having someone in the way.

Bag of moonshine: Nonsense. Lies.

A flat: Someone who is foolish, falls into trickery easily.

Queer as Dick’s hatband: To look ill.

A lightskirt: A prostitute, an easy woman.

Dicked in the nob: Someone who is crazy.

Peagoose: A silly person. Usually used in reference to women.

An ape leader: A spinster, an old maid, a woman beyond the age of marriage.

Whey-faced: Ugly, unattractive.

Cow-handed: Clumsy, inept, graceless.

Bumble-broth: To ruin things, to jumble a situation.

A loose fish: Someone who is untrustworthy.

Bracket-faced: Ugly, hideous, hard of feature.

Popinjays: Twits, idiots.

A vulgar mushroom: A member of the new rich.

Dandiprat: An insignificant fellow.

A tabby: Again, an old maid.

Bacon-brained: Someone who is ridiculous, silly, foolish.

A wet goose: Someone who is stupid, silly, or naïve.

A dowdy: A plain girl with no sense of fashion.

Peep-of-day boy: Someone never up to any good, a mischievous person.

Widgeon: An unintelligent woman.


3 thoughts on “You Bacon-Brained Peagoose: Regency Era Insults

  1. I love the regency period and am writing a manuscript set in that era, so I thank you kindly for the insights and will be sure to pop one or two in for good measure 🙂

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