I'm trying to read my way through The Boy at Mugby by Charles Dickens. The story is written in an 'accented' language, and there are a few words I'm having trouble making out:

(The text excerpts are from here)

"Wicer Warsaw" as in (paragraph 6)

You should hear Our Missis give the word, “Here comes the Beast to be Fed!” and then you should see ’em indignantly skipping across the Line, from the Up to the Down, or Wicer Warsaw, and begin to pitch the stale pastry into the plates, and chuck the sawdust sangwiches under the glass covers, and get out the—ha, ha, ha!—the Sherry,—O my eye, my eye!—for your Refreshment.

"a leetel gloss hoff prarndee" as in (paragraph 7)

There was a foreigner, which having politely, with his hat off, beseeched our young ladies and Our Missis for “a leetel gloss hoff prarndee,” and having had the Line surveyed through him by all, and no other acknowledgment, was a-proceeding at last to help himself, as seems to be the custom in his own country, when Our Missis, with her hair almost a-coming un-Bandolined with rage, and her eyes omitting sparks, flew at him, cotched the decanter out of his hand, and said, “Put it down! I won’t allow that!”

Might this last one be 'a little glass of brandy'?


What I have named 'accented language' is apparently called 'eye dialect'.

  • 7
    I suspect "or Wicer Warsaw" stands for "or vice versa" (i.e. from down to up). And I think yes to the last one. Nov 15, 2018 at 11:07
  • 4
    Undoubtedly it does. Apparently in Dickens' time Londoners had the habit of confusing 'v' and 'w' sounds. Nov 15, 2018 at 12:00
  • @michael.hor257k And 'jining'? As in "A groan burst from the ladies. I not only did myself the honor of jining, but also of lengthening it out." (paragraph 31) Nov 16, 2018 at 7:26
  • 1
    I guess: joining? -- Please do not ask new questions in comments. Nov 16, 2018 at 8:06


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.