I bring you a non-fiction book by an author whose fiction has often been featured on my blog. You’ll love this one!
Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras (Author Tool Chest) by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Back in the days of steam engines and mannerly people, a chuckaboo was one’s dear friend. This volume contains slang from the Victorian Era, as well as the Steam Era, which began before the reign of Queen Victoria, and continued into the early 1900s. It combines language from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Steam Eras because there was a great deal of overlap.
This slang dictionary also contains a sprinkling of vocabulary words of those eras, which have fallen out of use, along with some history and trivia.
While every effort was made to be as historically accurate as possible, this compilation is not meant to be a scholarly work. It is intended for fictional use and entertainment purposes.
Have fun speaking chuckaboo. You’re positively rum ti tum with the chill off! Simply hunky dory.
About the author:
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.
Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.
Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com
Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.
See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?
I discovered author Teagan Riordáin Geneviene through her blog quite a few years ago. I followed her three things stories (where she would write a serial, a chapter per week, following the suggestions left by readers), her three ingredients stories, and I discovered her longer works of fiction, which I recommend as well. She has a wonderful imagination, she can create characters and worlds that enchant, intrigue, and move readers, and she has a way of keeping the brain of the readers ticking and guiding their thoughts in unexpected directions.
Quite apart from her gift for fiction, the author has an evident love for research. When she sets her stories in a historical period (the Victorian era, the 1920s, the 1950s…), she peppers her narrative with details that bring it to life: songs of the period, inventions and discoveries of the era, styles of dress and fashion, makeup, colours, foods and drinks, recipes… You are immersed totally in the story and experience it through all your senses (yes, smells as well). I have learned about objects, historical characters, social mores and habits, transportation, and a wealth of information even about eras I thought I knew about, having read plenty of books and watched movies about the period. But you can trust Riordáin Geneviene to find some golden nugget of information you’d never heard about or the explanation for a particular saying that has always intrigued you.
One of the aspects of research I most appreciate in her stories is her use of words, expressions, turns of phrases, and jargon belonging to the location and historical age. Anybody who loves language is fascinated by how certain sayings and words came into being, and how and when became fashionable or dropped out of use. Any author who wants to write credible stories set in the past has to consider how the characters would have behaved and addressed each other. And that is why a dictionary of Slang, such as this one, is an invaluable asset and should be in any author’s tool chest.
The book is organised as a dictionary, with relevant entries for each letter, cross-references to other uses of similar words or expressions, and a short article containing relevant information about the period accompanying each new letter (related to a word beginning with that letter, of course). There are plenty of amusing expressions, notes on the dates when some of the expressions or words were first introduced, also some explanations as to why some of the most unusual terms came into being (I loved the entry about trousers. Oh, the Victorians and the legs!), and there is a sense of fancy and fun permeating the whole book.
I was surprised to discover that many expressions originating from the Victorian period were still in use (or at least I’d heard people using them, but that might be because I moved around a lot and met many people in different places and of all ages), at least in the UK. I was not surprised to discover that there were tonnes of words to refer to men and women’s genitals and to having sex (these are the Victorians we’re talking about, after all. Tell me what you don’t want to talk about openly, and I’ll tell you what you’re really thinking of). There were also many words for criminals and crimes of all sorts, prostitution, drinking, and drunkards, and a fair amount to refer, pretty humorously, to people of different social classes. There are also some true gems: words no longer in use that clearly and succinctly described feelings or thoughts that we don’t have a word for nowadays. (I love Excruciators: tight shoes, as I have suffered those more than once, and Gwenders: the numbness or tingling felt in the fingers when they’re cold.)This is a fun read, but also one that made me stop and think because language reflects so well the way people lived in that era.
The series Author Tool Chest also includes Speak Like a Flapper – Slang of the 1920s, and I hope the author will keep adding to it.
I recommend this book to all Writatives (‘one who loves or is inclined to write’) and all readers, especially those enamoured with language. It is Rum ti tum with the chill off (excellent)!
For those of you who enjoy a sample, the author shared the entries for the letter A of this book on her blog. You can check them out here.
Thanks to the author for another fun and witty book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to share with anybody who might be interested, to leave a comment, like, click, and especially, to keep safe and keep smiling. ♥