Victorian Slang That Will Make You Scratch Your Fly Rink

Friday, October 112 min read

As much as each generation would like to think they invented it, slang has been around nearly as long as language itself. Sometimes language takes a leap when a certain time period (including our modern one) has been exceptionally creative in making up new words and phrases.

The Victorian era has some of the most innovative slang of any period in linguistic history. Most of these words and phrases don’t make sense to our ears, but when you learn what some of them mean, you might want to add a few to your vocabulary.


You probably know at least one muffin-walloper (if you’re not one yourself). A "muffin-walloper" is an unmarried woman who gathers with friends to gossip. In the Victorian era, these conversations often happened over tea and cakes — hence the muffin part of the phrase. It literally refers to someone who “hits the cakes hard.” Nowadays, muffin-wallopers might meet over brunch or drinks at the end of the week.

Gas Pipes

Here’s a phrase that says some things don’t go out of style. "Gas pipes" are just a pair of very tight pants. Anyone want a pair of Victorian skinny jeans?

Fly Rink

This physical trait continues through the decades. A "fly rink" in Victorian parlance referred to a bald head. Think about it — a bald head is an open field where flies can gather (especially in the days before daily bathing was a thing).


Some gigglemugs are a delight to be around! After all, smiling is contagious, and when you have a "gigglemug" — someone who smiles a lot — in your life, you’re bound to join in yourself.


We’ve all had our fair share of podsnappery, whether it’s from ourselves or someone else. "Podsnappery" is willful ignorance from someone who refuses to acknowledge what doesn’t align with their personal views. Sometimes it’s hard to face the truth.

Got the Morbs

This phrase appeared in the 1880s, and it means you’re down in the dumps. You’ve been having a rough week, and you’re just feeling melancholy. You’ll recover, but you might just have to be alone with your "morbs" for a bit before you rejoin society.

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