History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

13 April 2012

History Fan Fictionary

Hello from the Romantic Times Convention in Chicago! (Okay, my Chicago-bred significant other informs me that where we are doesn't count as Chicago proper, but, really, as an offshoot of O'Hare. But let's just say Chicago for simplicity's sake).

Somewhere along the way, Susanna Kearsley came up with the brilliant idea of hosting a game show-- for history nerds. Based on the British television programme, Call My Bluff, the idea was that she, Lynne Connolly, and I would come up with obscure historical words and then do our best to stump the audience with the talented Molly O'Keefe as our game show host. Two of us would share fake definitions, one would have the real one. The audience would have to decide.

All I can say is... we're all better liars than I'd realized!

Are you ready to play history fan fictionary? I can't convey the whole meat of the game (some of the-- fake!-- explanations of words grew long and elaborate and faux scholarly), but I can show you the words and our definitions. You can test yourself to see which you think are true and which are false....

-- Honeyfugle:

Lynne says: a woman who lures a man into a house of ill-repute.
Susanna says: to swindle or cheat using charm.
Lauren says: to snuggle or cuddle (with a slightly bawdy connotation).

-- Widdendream:

Lynne says: a nightmare.
Susanna says: a state of mental confusion or disturbance.
Lauren says: a honeymoon or period of connubial bliss.

-- Bartholomew Baby:

Lynne says: a china doll, bought at a fair.
Susanna says: an orphan.
Lauren says: a gaudily or tawdrily dressed person.

-- Taradiddle:

Lynne says: a man who interferes with other men on the street and at the same time picks their pockets.
Susanna says: a small piece of the sacred hill of Tara in Ireland.
Lauren says: a falsehood or lie.


Lynne says: toys or baubles.
Susanna says: drunk men whose brains have been addled by gin.
Lauren says: ginger biscuits.


Lynne says: a tall, lanky person.
Susanna says: a cadger or fish salesman.
Lauren says: a slippery or cunning individual.

I'll provide the real answers in the Comments section. How many did you get right? And what are your favorite odd historical words?


Blogger Lauren Willig said...

Here's your answer key:

Honeyfugle: to swindle.

Widdendream: a state of confusion.

Bartholomew Baby: gaudily dressed.

Taradiddle: a falsehood.

Gingumbobs: toys or baubles.

Mackarel-Back: A tall, lanky person.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Isobel Carr said...

Love this! I can spend hours flipping through The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (usually to pick out a word my editor will then excise from the book with extreme prejudice, LOL!). I love bedizened (overdressed or fussily made up) and kimbaw (to cheat) and marplot (spoil sport).

1:54 PM  

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