18th Century Slang That Could Be Due For A Modern Comeback

List Rules
Vote up the old-timey slang you could see yourself using in everyday conversation.

From the 18th century and well into the Victorian era of the 19th century, there were so many ways the English language was simply better. It was filled with bizarre innuendo, puns, and jokes hidden within words. Much of English slang came about simply from crooks trying to keep their conversations coded, so as to not be overheard by cops.

While slang transforms every day, with new terms regularly being added to the Oxford English Dictionary - inevitably leading to stodgy grammar aficionados freaking out about dictionaries adding words they don't deem worthy - the truth is, slang has always been an evolving and essential component of our language. In the spirit of the classic idiom, "Everything old is new again," it's time to look back at some of the most popular old slang terms, primarily from the 18th century, that have fallen out of fashion but deserve a comeback - and how we could add them fruitfully to our modern vernacular.

As chronicled in two of the most influential records of antique slang - the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose and Passing English of the Victorian Era by J. Redding Ware - get ready to feel betwattled by this afternoonified look at brilliant classic slang that just might leave you feeling dicked in the nob.


  • Dicked In The Nob

    Dicked In The Nob

    696 votes

    Definition: "Silly. Crazed."

    Use: "There's no point in reasoning with obsessed trolls on Twitter, they're all just dicked in the nob."

  • Shipwrecked


    585 votes

    Definition: Inebriated.

    Use: "We went to this pirate-themed bar downtown and, after a few hardy glasses of rum, I was definitely shipwrecked."

  • Betwattled


    481 votes

    Definition: "Surprised, confounded, out of one's senses."

    Use: "Today's lesson on quantum physics left me entirely betwattled."

  • Wake Snakes

    Wake Snakes

    402 votes

    Definition: "Provoke to the uttermost."

    Use: "I saw that political meme you posted to Instagram - you are definitely trying to wake snakes before your family reunion."

  • Gigglemug


    417 votes

    Definition: "A habitually smiling face."

    Use: "I don't know what it is about that gigglemug, but I just can't trust it."

  • Gollumpus


    458 votes

    Definition: "A large, clumsy fellow."

    Use: "He might seem intimidating, but Clyde's just a big gollumpus."