Regency Era Lexicon – Time for the Letter “H”

Haberdasher - a man who dealt with small items for sewing, such as thread, needles, buttons, ribbons, etc.

Hack – a general-purpose riding horse; not used for hunting or military purposes

Hackney Coach – one for hire; the taxicabs of the early 1800s

Ha-Ha – a landscaping technique; a dug trench or sunken fence, not easily seen unless one was close to it

Hair Ring – a ring made from the hair of one’s sweetheart

Half Crown – an English coin worth two shillings and sixpence

Half Pay – a payment which kept military men on the active list; a step toward retirement

Handsome – a term used during the period to describe women, buildings, dresses, etc. (but not men)

Ha’Penny – a halfpenny

Hardtack – biscuits for sailors

Harrow – a frame with iron teeth which broke up the earth after the plowing was completed

Harvest – the cutting of the corn crop (Note: hay was “made” rather than cut)

Hatchment – a shield bearing the coat of arms of recently deceased person; was displayed on the front of the house and then in the church

Hedgerow – a row of hedge which served as a barrier to keep cattle/sheep from moving about too freely upon the land

Heir Apparent – the heir to property, regardless of any contingencies that might occur

Heir Presumptive – the heir who would inherit if certain contingencies did not occur

Hessian boots – long boots worn by German mercenaries who fought the colonists during the American War of Independence; were popular in the early part of the 1800s

High-Lows – a type of lace up boots

Hob – beside the grate; a place to put kettles to keep them warm

Honeymoon – the honeymoon actually meant the first time a couple had marital relations (not necessarily the journey celebrating their marriage); frequently, the bride’s sister or a close friend accompanied the couple

Honourable – a title used for all members of Parliament; also a “courtesy title,” one not accompanied by any legal rights (bestowed on viscounts and barons and the younger sons of earls)

Horse Guards – the cavalry who guarded the monarch; nicknamed the “Blues”; had barracks at Whitehall

Hostler (or Ostler) – tended to the horses of travelers at inns

Housekeeper – the top ranking female servant in a household

Housewife – a small case for carrying around items such as needles and thread to mend clothing (pronounced “huzzif”)

Hulks – old ships pressed into use in 1776 as “temporary” floating prisons; not abolished until 1858

Hundred – an ancient English unit of government, being the unit next down from a shire

Hunter – a horse bred specifically for fox hunts

Huntsman – the man at a hunt who kept the dogs under control and on the scent

Hussars – a cavalryman who wore a flamboyant uniform

Hyde Park – a 388-acre park in London’s West End; was the most fashionable park of the time

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4 Responses to Regency Era Lexicon – Time for the Letter “H”

  1. Chelsea says:

    Thanks for the newest set of words, they are always interesting to learn about.

  2. Chelsea says:

    That’s cool that you came across one of them while reading, now you know more of the words you come across while reading (and so do I).

    • Chelsea, for one of my later Lexicon posts, I came across a “R” word that I did not know, which perfectly fit the situation in my new novel. It was great to have a term I could use that would explain things to a modern audience.

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