Regency Era Lexicon – And Then There Was “B”

Regency Era Lexicon 

Backboards – stiff, straight boards, strapped to a young lady’s back, to improve her posture

Bailey – the outside wall of a fortress or castle; the Old Bailey was the main criminal court in London

Ballast lighter – a boat the carried ballast to colliers in the Thames, who unloaded the coal

Bandbox – a box used to carry and store hats and bonnets

Banns – permission to marry; “reading of the banns” required the parish rector/vicar to read aloud the intention of the couple to marry; he must do so for three consecutive Sundays; the couple must marry within 3 months of the banns being read

Bark – a three-masted ship

Baronet – a hereditary title; the bearer of which is referred to as “Sir”

Barouche-landau – a small carriage with two rows of seats and a collapsible top; the seats faced one another

Barton – farmyard

Bathing machine – a large covered wagon attached to a horse who towed the wagon out into the water; women did not go swimming in the ocean; they would undress inside the machine and then swam or hung onto the machine’s rope within the constraints of the machine; men were separated from women because they often swam nude

Battue – large parties organized for shooting

Bedlam – the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem; an insane asylum

Being Out – being of age to be “out” in Society; ready to become a wife

Belgrave Square – a posh area of London, south of Hyde Park; less fashionable than Mayfair, however

Bender – a sixpence

Bergamot – a citrus tree; a fancy pear

Berlin – a four-wheeled carriage with a hood

Billingsgate – a large fish market in London

Bishop – the highest of three orders in the Church of England

Blackfriars – the area between Ludgate Hill and the Thame

Black pudding – a sausage made with blood spread on the outside

Blue pill – a pill to counteract the build up of bile; it was made from glycerin, honey and mercury

Bluestocking – an 18th Century woman devoted to intellectual conversation and charitable causes

Boatswain – a warrant officer between ordinary seamen and commissioned officers; he oversaw the sails and rigging upon a ship

Bond Street – a fashionable shopping area in London’s West End

Boot – where luggage was placed in coach

Bootjack – a device used to remove boots

Bow Street Runners – created by the novelist Henry Fielding and his brother John in 1750, the Runners served as detectives; they received fees and rewards for their work

Bridewell – St. Bridget’s Well in London; a house of correction

Brighton – a seaside resort in East Sussex

Bulldog – assistants to the proctors at Oxford and Cambridge; they helped to discipline rule-breaking undergraduates.

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2 Responses to Regency Era Lexicon – And Then There Was “B”

  1. Chelsea says:

    I really enjoy reading your Regency Era Lexicon posts. They are really fun as well as help improve my vocabulary and understanding for when I am reading my Regency novels.

  2. They are a good review for me, as well, Chelsea.

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