A Selection of 19th-Century Slang

Detail from Scherzo di Follia by Pierre-Louis Pierson (1822–1913), 1863–66. Gelatin silver print from a glass negative. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Slang-whanger. Great word. Back in 1807, it was coined by the American writer Washington Irving in his satirical periodical Salmagundi to describe someone who wields words like a weapon. Not an elegant weapon, mind you — a slang-whanger does not possess a rapier wit. Rather, this person is more like a Twitter troll that won’t shut the hell up.

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Writer. Historian. Supremely sex-positive and pseudonymous. she/her

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Ellis Brooks

Ellis Brooks

Writer. Historian. Supremely sex-positive and pseudonymous. she/her