By Leslie Dunkling
Why are audio system of English continually calling one another names? This booklet is when you are looking to discover the phrases of handle utilized in English. provided in a hugely readable shape, it offers a consultant to utilization and masses to entertain.
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Extra info for A Dictionary of Epithets and Terms of Address
B. Shaw and Thomas Hardy say of ‘blockhead’ that its use by one man to another is a duelling matter, In Smollett’s Peregrine Pickle, use of ‘impertinent scoundrel’ is enough to earn the speaker a punch on the nose. ‘Audacious saucy trollop’, used by one maid-servant to another in Fielding’s Tom Jones, leads to a switch from words to fisticuffs. Mr Stiggins, in Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, imprudently calls Mr Weller Senior ‘miserable sinner’. He is knocked to the floor for his pains. < previous page page_31 next page > < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 Name-calling in many a school playground must often end in a physical battle.
In a count of vocative occurrences in fifty sample novels, terms such as ‘old boy’, ‘old man’, ‘old chap’, ‘old fellow’, and ‘old lad’ were used 277 times. On only nine occasions was the speaker a woman. Little real research seems to have been done on the differences between male and female use of English. Any research project in this area would do well to include terms of address in the enquiry. Some terms, because of their meaning, would only normally be used by one sex. ‘Husband’ and ‘wife’, used vocatively, are such words, though their use is inspired by the sex of the hearer, not the speaker.
Second, there is what might be called the ‘Sam Weller syndrome’. This is characterized by the use of an exceptionally wide range of vocatives. Sam, who becomes Mr Pickwick’s servant in Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers , uses such terms as ‘old ‘un’, ‘governor’, ‘my patriarch’, and ‘you portable engine’ (all to Job Trotter, a young man); ‘my ancient’, ‘old codger’, ‘my Prooshan blue’, ‘corpilence’, ‘you unnatural wagabone’ (to his father); ‘young twenty stun’ (=stone), ‘young dropsy’, ‘young opium-eater’, ‘young boa-constructer’ (to a fat boy); ‘young townskip’, ‘my infant fernomenon’ (to Master Bardell), and various other terms, such as ‘young brockiley sprout’ and ‘old Strike-a-Light’ to people encountered on his travels.