Home Arts and Leisure Hell-Born Babes and Slubbers: Ten Ways to Call Someone Wicked in Colonial Times

Hell-Born Babes and Slubbers: Ten Ways to Call Someone Wicked in Colonial Times

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Colonists coming from England had plenty of and informal and slang expressions to call someone evil. Here are ten of them:

A Hell-born Babe was a young person, lewd, graceless and possessing a naturally wicked disposition.

The Puritan Governor Interrupts the Christmas Sports Amongst Early American Settlers from Howard Pyle’s Book of The American Spirit

A Hell-hound was a wicked loner.

A Sad Dog was a wicked, debauched person.

A Shit Sack was a dastardly person.

A Slubber de Gullion was a dirty nasty fellow.

A Damber was a rascal and a Dimber Damber was the head rascal in a gang of rascals.

A Queer Cove was a rogue and Queer Topping was the act of knavery.

A Cunning Man was a man or woman who cheated people by pretending to tell their futures.

A Ruffin was a devil and a Ruffler was a notorious rogue.

And Goodyer’s Pig was someone who was never happy unless they were up to no good.

Of course if you spoke ill of someone they said you cut queer whids, but that’s a different matter.

Thanks to: Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, By Francis Grose (1785) and Villainies Discovered: OR The Devil’s Cabinet Broken Open, By Richard Head (1673).

1 comment

Leah Emerson October 7, 2017 - 9:21 pm

I love these…more…more…I only wish there were more!

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