Insults in the Kitchen Part 1: A better way to name things

An imaginatively foul mind and mouth is a culinary imperative. When cooking with others you must be able, nay, comfortable with calling them names; when cooking on your own you must be adept at rendering anger ineffectual so that you may flavour with clarity and chop with a cool and steady hand.

What better way to dispel your discontent and avoid prostration by uttering your sorrows to the stones – that’s Shakespeare, yes – in the form of spirited derisive remarks; by naming your cooking partner names; or, by christening your kitchen implements bastards, bitches, and biddies? What better way to live a happy life than to swear colourfully inside and out of the kitchen?

Though we at Squid Niki condone the use of your average slurry of four letter words on a regular basis and prescribe venting your rage by the release of at least 4 f-bombs per day, uttered with passion, candor, and concussive forte, we command a certain level of excellence from our readers and collaborators; and, the people we call friends. Thus we deliver to you the first instalment of Insults in the Kitchen: a list of colourfully creative ways to name your cooking partner, your implements, the ceiling above you, and the infernal tiles at your feet.

* A daily dose of articles from this list will render inanimate objects perfectly at the command of your fingertips; the use of these terms will diffuse any tense situation and dispel all misgivings your partner may have at the calling her of names.

The following terms come from an artefact that Squid and I have recently procured. Its value is immense – priceless – though to acquire it we had to part with a mere three dollars. We present to you the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence. It demarcates the candor of our forefathers and the frank eloquence of the learned blasphemer of 1785 (the year from which the original volume was compiled) and 1811 (the year in which our volume was written). We hope to re-appropriate some of the language of many years past for you and your kitchens…

And, suddenly, swearing isn’t so bad because, it’s just so good.

I shall begin with an excerpt from the preface to the 1811 version:

By an occasional reference to our pages, [you] may be initiated into all the peculiarities of language by which the man of spirit is distinguished from the man of worth. [You] may now talk bawdy before [your] papas, without the fear of detection, and abuse [your] less spirited companions, who prefer a good dinner at home to a glorious up-shot in the highway, without the hazard of cudgelling.

But we claim not merely the praise of gratifying curiosity, or affording assistance to the ambitious; we are very sure that the moral influence of the Lexicon Balatronicum will be more certain and extensive than that of any methodist sermon that has ever been delivered within the bills of mortality. We need not descant on the dangerous impressions that are made on the female mind, by the remarks that fall incidentally from the lips of the brothers or servants of a family; and we have before observed, that improper topics can with our assistance be discussed, even before the ladies, without raising a blush on the cheek of modesty. It is impossible that a female should understand the meaning of twiddle diddles, or rise from table at the mention of Buckinger’s boot. Besides, Pope assures us, that “vice to be hated needs but to be seen;” in this volume it cannot be denied, that she is seen very plainly; and a love of virtue is, therefore, the necessary result of perusing it.

We begin, from the ‘A’ section, with a few terms for a lithe tongue.

Abbess, or Lady Abbess: a bawd, the mistress of a brothel.
Abram Cove: A cant word among thieves, signifying a naked or poor man; also a lusty, strong rogue.
To Sham Abram: To pretend sickness.
Academy, or Pushing School: A brothel, et al.
Acorn: You will ride a horse foaled by an acorn, i.e. the gallows, called also the Wooden and Three-legged Mare.
Act of Parliament: A military term for small beer, five pints of which, by an act of parliament, a landlord was formerly obliged to give to each soldier gratis.
Adam’s Ale: water.
Addle Pate: An inconsiderate foolish fellow.
Admiral of the Narrow Seas: One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him.

try mixing with some swears.

Start with that ye cock robins and fecking blasted brimstones. I’m tired of copying things down. More shall follow in due course.