Can You Match the Victorian Slang Term to Its Definition?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Think you're bricky enough to take this quiz? Only the afternoonified will be able to figure these questions out, so it's time to test your smarts when it comes to Victorian-era slang. The era is said to have lasted the entirety of the reign of Queen Victoria, who ruled over the British Empire for a total of 64 years. She had a significant influence over her people and was loved by many around the world.

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch on the English throne until Queen Elizabeth II. Much can be said about the two monarchs, such as that both were very into buttering up the bacon and that's not always a bad thing! Middle-class and upper-class Victorians looked up to the queen for her style and grace, and they adopted interesting slang that leaves the best of us scratching our heads today. Even though the era was a little less than 200 years ago, much of our slang and language have changed since Victoria held the throne.

So, are you mad as hops to test your knowledge of Victorian slang? Then get ready to think back to the golden age by checking yourself on this quiz!

Many of us dream of this today, but in the Victorian era, "butter upon bacon" meant which of the following?

Few lived extravagant lives in this period, but one person who definitely did was Queen Victoria. She really knew how to butter up the bacon when it came to her money: She had a net worth of $500 million.


The phrase "grinning at the daisy roots" describes a person as what?

A bit of a more pleasant and a little less harsh way to describe death, this term refers to a burial of someone deceased. Now underneath the daisies, they see the roots rather than the flower above.


Which phrase is equivalent to the Victorian phrase "don't sell me a dog?"

If someone from the Victorian era caught you lying to them, they might respond with this phrase. This was a phrase that was popular for only a short period of ten years, after which it started to lose its popularity.


We've all needed an umbrella once in our lives, but what did the Victorians call this important tool?

The term "rain napper" may sound like a wacky word for umbrella, but it was a common one in the Victorian era. It specifically referred to the fact that the umbrella was there to catch the falling rain and shield you from getting wet.


Someone with no appetite would be described as what in Victorian times?

Born out of an accent, the "orf" in this case is derivative of "off." Did you know that if you add a word to the phrase, it changes the meaning entirely? "Orf his chump" instead means "to be mad."


Unfortunately, depression was something that also affected some in the past. What phrase was used for depression?

Depression can be very hard to deal with and something that the Victorians were affected by as well. If someone was described as having the morbs, then it was known that they were depressed.


If someone noticed that you were embarrassed in Victorian times, they might have described you as what?

Being poked up is not something that many people enjoy. It can easily go hand in hand with getting choked up as well. While neither are fun situations, this term shows that everyone in the past experienced this enough to have a word for it too.


If you "cop a mouse" in the Victorian era, you've gotten what?

In the book "Passing English in the Victorian Era," J. Redding Ware states that the mouse in this phrase is used to describe the color of said person's eye. However, it was probably best to avoid copping a mouse at all during this time.


We have many words for the cops that are used today, but what were the police known as in Victorian times?

Popular in the 1880s, the word "mutton" is derived from sheep. The term is not a term of endearment, but rather a more derogatory term for those in the profession. It wouldn't be uncommon to hear "Look out for the mutton shunters!" at the time.


It's not always a good thing if you're an "arfarfan'arf," but if you are, it means that you're which of the following?

Specifically, this was a term used to refer to only men who were in a drunken state. However, there were other words used for anyone drunk at the time, like the hilarious term "up the pole."


As a descriptor of someone, "fly rink" means what?

When thinking of someone who chooses to be bald, the last term to come to your head is probably "fly rink." The dictionary "Passing English of the Victorian Era" by J. Redding Ware mentions that it refers explicitly to the fact that their head is polished.


When you've reached the "dizzy age," what are you classified as?

This meaning comes from a feeling of nostalgia that an older person has in their older years while thinking back to their younger years — although even younger individuals might experience this as well.


A fun time in the Victorian era is known as what?

While having fun doesn't have to involve these two items, this saying still found popularity at the time. However, the term was used less as a "bring your own" and more as just a synonym for the word "fun."


When someone "chucks a shoulder" in the Victorian era, what have they done?

Chucking a shoulder is just another way of saying that someone turned away from you. In fact, it's most often used by a male about a female who did not care for what he had said to her or for his advances.


The town hall was better known as which of the following at this time?

The forum was something that was a popular meeting place in Ancient Rome but also a popular place in the Victorian era. The forum was where some government work took place and where citizens could hear the latest news about their area.


A "meater" was a form of insult in Victorian times. What would it be equivalent to today?

This slang term is compared to a dog who only touches meat and not an animal that is alive and breathing, according to the book, "Passing English of the Victorian Era" by J. Redding Ware. Of course, it's not a nice thing to be called nowadays or in the past, but it was used for someone that the speaker deemed a coward.


Which food was better known as "bags o' mystery" in the Victorian age?

This term poked fun at "interesting" meat and was used as a descriptor of a sausage. According to the book "Passing English of the Victorian Era" by J. Redding Ware, it was about the fact that the contents of sausage are a mystery.


We all have a mouth, and we all have a word for it. What was the word that Victorians used?

While we use phrases such as "shut your trap" today, in the Victorian era, you might have heard someone say "shut your sauce box." Both are direct and to the point, but probably not the best phrases to say to someone regardless.


Nobody wants to have a drink that tastes like this, but bad champagne took on this name. What is it?

During the Victorian era, if you took a drink of lousy champagne, then you probably would have turned to your nearest friend and let them know that it was varnish. Just don't let the bartender hear — unless you think they should know, of course.


Which body part was known as the "daddles" in the Victorian era?

Daddles are important to everyday life, so it's only natural that they would have their own name. There's no telling where the word came from, but if you go by Merriam-Webster, the word also means "fist."


A woman who knows her way around a revolver very well would be known as what?

A revolveress was a name used for any woman who used a pistol. While that's the simple definition, there's no mention of how skilled or familiar one had to be in order to be considered as one.


A person who loves to win will want to do this. Which of the following phrases was used to say "win"?

There are many ways to take the egg, especially in sports. Sports was something that the Victorians were very interested in, especially football or cricket. Both are still very popular sports to take the egg in today!


What does the word "afternoonified" — used to describe someone — mean?

Everyone has a little bit of afternoonified in them. There's some subjects that you may not be as knowledgeable in, but maybe you're afternoonified in something like math or history. If it's history, then you'll probably know a thing or two on this quiz!


What term was used by robbers in Victorian times for stealing a watch?

While it's not known why this term was the one used for a watch specifically, robbers had to be discreet at this time, as they are today. Telling a friend to "take a timepiece" just wouldn't work out as well for them. Nail a strike it is!


Keep a secret in the Victorian era and you're keeping which of the following?

There are a few different ways of using this unique slang word. If someone promises you something, you can say that you're skilamalink about them following through. In this case, it would mean that you doubt they will follow through with their promise.


If there's some "bow wow mutton" around, it's probably not wise to ingest. What is it?

While today, we might just call it "dog chow," in the Victorian era, they had a much more creative name for meat that wasn't good. But isn't it fascinating that Victorians also associated poor food with dogs? What animal is more associated with the word "bow wow" than a dog?


Church was an important part of life but was known as what during the Victorian era?

Heading down to Amen Corner is part of many people's Sunday nowadays, but it was also crucial to the Victorians. As an essential part of their lives, many of the churches during this time were redone and remodeled.


A person from the Victorian era would call what "gas-pipes?"

A walk through the streets of this era would leave many of us today hearing the term "gas-pipes." While skinny jeans weren't popular at this time as they are today, men often wore suits which could at times result in having tighter trousers.


A "gigglemug" meant that the person was doing what?

Everyone loves to walk down the street or wake up to a gigglemug. They can be used in almost any situation. Did you know that smiling is actually very good for you? It can lower your blood pressure!


Though it sounds like a name, "benjo" is something much different. Do you know its definition?

Sailors mostly used this, but there was nothing like a good benjo in the Victorian era. There's no telling what was celebrated during these awesome holidays, but were willing to bet that they were worth it!


In Victorian times, a chattering young man was known as what?

The term was more endearing than derogatory and was often used by women. Don't fear if you're someone who loves to talk; at one time, many may have referred to you as an agreeable rattle.


"Chuckaboo" refers to which of the following?

It doesn't sound like the most endearing term, but it was something that could tell you that someone thought of you as a good friend in the past. You might have even reciprocated the love that they had for you, chuckaboo!


One word defines the phrase "mad as hops," but what is it?

Living in the Victorian era might have meant that you heard something like this pretty often: "Sally down the street is mad as hops. She just got a new puppy!" Many Victorians were most likely mad as hops for day trips, which were very popular at the time.


Who might be described as a "church-bell" in the Victorian era?

If you're a talker by today's standards, then you would've been a church-bell in the past. Just as a church bell is loud when it rings and does so for a long time, a talker can be noisy and usually talks more than most.


Someone described as "bricky" in the Victorian era is what to us today?

To some, "bricky" may sound like an insult, but it was something great in the Victorian era. If you lived in this period, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to hear someone say, "John is so bricky for what he did for his children today."


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