As a regular part of my blog, I’m going to decipher some of the more unusual expressions found in Clingstone. I developed my characters’ vernacular by examining 19th century dictionaries, correspondence, and civil war diaries. Some phrases were quaint, others imaginative, and still others downright odd. Several make me smile, and I can’t help but think our modern lexicon would benefit from their resurgence. A vernacular renaissance, so to speak. I’ve even provided examples reimagining them in contemporary conversations; all you need do is insert them in everyday chats, and voila! Your friends and family will instantly be baffled, but also impressed. Now go forth and share these charming colloquialisms!
Acknowledge the corn-to admit to or acknowledge a wrongdoing
Honey-fuggle-to deceive or mislead
To give him the mitten- an expression describing a girl who rejects her suitor
To give him Jesse-to thrash, to beat up