Word of the Day

Monday, September 02, 2002

billingsgate

\BIL-ingz-gayt; -git\ , noun;
1.
Coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language.
Quotes:
Chaney would yell at him in his own particular patois -- an unapologetic stream of billingsgate far more creative than Marine drill instructors or master rappers.
-- George Vecsey, "Learning at Temple: Se Habla Chaneyism", New York Times, March 19, 2000
Its style is an almost pure Army billingsgate that will offend many readers, although in no sense is it exaggerated: Mr. Mailer's soldiers are real persons, speaking the vernacular of human bitterness and agony.
-- David Dempsey, "The Dusty Answer of Modern War", New York Times, May 9, 1948
The campaigns of the two Roosevelts were colorful and gave the press plenty of material but, generally speaking, deft humor seems to have replaced outright billingsgate.
-- George E. Reedy, "When Vilification Was in Flower", New York Times, July 15, 1984
Origin:
Billingsgate is so called after Billingsgate, a former market in London celebrated for fish and foul language.
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