Just for fun, I’ve created the historical romance glossary below, to encompass my favorite eras: Regency, Victoria England, Scottish Highlands, New World, Frontier and Old West. I’m slowly, but surely adding definitions. Please let me know of suggestions and/or corrections.
- Almacks – Exclusive assembly rooms in London where vouchers from a Patroness was required for entry. Although a rather shabby establishment, vouchers to Almack’s were sought after by ambitious mommas.
- abigail – A lady’s maid.
assembly rooms – Halls where social events, such as dances, are held.
banns – The verbal notice of a couple’s impending marriage, given on three consecutive Sundays in the bride and/or groom’s parish church. The marriage will proceed if no one objected to their union during the readings.
barrister – An attorney who argues cases in a Court.
barouche – A four wheel carriage with a folding hood and two seats facing each other inside.
bluestocking – A lady interested in scholarly pursuits (books, art, mathematics, women’s rights, etc.).
blunt – Money.
bumblebroth – A tangled situation. See also scandalbroth.
Cabriolet – A light two wheeled carriage drawn by one horse.
cap (as in “setting one’s cap for”) – A lady’s attempt to catch a husband by putting on her most becoming cap (attitude) to attract his attention and admiration.
chit – A forward girl; saucy.
come out -
Corinthian – A man’s man, physically fit and active. He boxes, he hunts, he rides and sets the standard for young bucks. Absolute opposite of a dandy.
country dance -
cut direct -
dun territory -
four-in-hand club -
green girl -
groom – servant who handles the care and upkeep of the horses.
high in the instep -
leg-shackled – Slang term referring to marriage; often used by young bucks opposed to (or having high doubts of) the state of matrimony.
little season -
man of business -
marriage mart -
on dit -
parson’s mousetrap -
pockets to let -
post chaise -
quizzing glass -
Ratafia – A sweet cordial flavored with fruit kernels or almonds served at Almacks.
restoratives – A “cordial” (aromatic drink or liqueur) meant to revive a faint lady or calm an agitated person.
reticule – A lady’s handbag, usually having a drawstring closure.
sixes and sevens -
special license -
toad eater -
town bronze -
Vauxhall Gardens -
vouchers – Coveted invitations for admittance to exclusives rooms, such as Almacks, for socializing with the crème de la crème of society.
vowels – Promissory note issued, usually for payment of a gambling debt.
young buck -