Nehama (med_cat) wrote in 1word1day,

Friday word: Billingsgate

Billingsgate: coarsely abusive language


"Modern billingsgate betrays puerile imbecility of pundits" — headline in the Rome (GA) News-Tribune, March 4, 2006 certainly sees a lot of billingsgate in comments to newspaper articles and blog posts on most topics, on most websites...

About the Word:

Since the 14th century, Billingsgate has been the name of a fish market in London, England – a fish market at one time notorious for its merchants' vulgar language.

We find an allusion to the merchants' crude talk in 16th century British chronicler Raphael Holinshed's description of a messenger's language, which he said was "as bad a tongue ... as any oyster-wife at Billingsgate."

Tags: b, english, noun, wordsmith: med_cat

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