A Glossary To Speaking Forsooth Part 2


Baconbrains – fat head

Backfriend – false friend

Bade – asked, commanded (I bid, he bade)

Bandy – give and take, to fight

Bane – cause of death, ‘his bane was liquor’

Bardlet, Bardling – bad or false poet

Bare-Bone – lean person

Base, Baseness – low, lowly born, animal-like, petty

Bastard – someone born out of wedlock

Baubling – trifling, no account

Baudstrot – one with a sexy walk

Bawcock – fine lusty fellow

Bawd – low person, pimp or prostitute

Bawdy – obscene, sexual, low class

Beauteous – beautiful

Bedlam – madhouse, madness

Bedswerver – adulterer, adulteress

Beef-Witted – brainless as an ox

Beetle-Headed – stupid

Befall – happen, turn out in the end, become of

Befortune – happen to

Beggary -meanness

Beguile – to charm or deceive with charm

Belswager – swaggering bully, a pimp

Bemadding – maddening

Bereft – deprived, robbed

Beshrew Me – shame on me, curse me

Beslubber – smear, daub

Bespeak – to speak to, address

Betimes – very early in the morning, quickly, soon

Betray – to give away (his face betrayed his thoughts)

Betrothed – engaged, fiancee

Betumbled – disordered

Blowen – wench

Blowze – beggar’s wench

Blubbered – swollen by weeping

Blushet – shy maiden

Bodes – foreshadows, an indicator of

Boggard, Bogshop, Boggish – privy, toilet, see Ajax

Bonoroba – showy wench, wanton (literally ‘good robe’)

Bosom – heart

Brace – a pair

Brache – female dog, ‘you son of a…’

Breast – chest, heart

By And By – immediately, directly

By My Faith! Marry! – Wow! (exclamation), see also Marry


Candlewasher – fool, one who wastes candles by reading at night without gain

Caper – leap or frisk about

Carouse – to party, have a good time, make merry, revel

Carriwithet – a bad pun

Catharan – puritan who constantly boasts of his purity

Certes – for sure, definitely

Chapman – itinerant peddler, carinie, boothie

Chatmate – close friend

Choler – wrath

Clew – rope

Clodpate – blockhead

Clumperton – silly fellow, fool, clown

Come hither – come here

Commend Me To – give my regards to

Constable – local law official

Cony – rabbit, also a woman’s private parts

Cony Catcher – con artist

Corse – corpse

Counsel – advice

Countenance – face, facial expression

Cousin – close friend, any relative

Cozener – cheater, con artist

Crack Halter – rogue or gallows bird, one who will crack the halter by which he is hanged, also Crack Rope

Crown – head

Cuckold – noun: a man whose wife cheated on him, verb: when a woman cheats, she cuckolds her husband

Cupshot, also Cupshotten – drunk, ‘in his cups’

Cutpurse – thief, pickpocket


Daft – stupid

Decree – order

Discourses – speaks

Dispatch – kill

Divers / Diverse – various

Dote On – to love dearly, sometimes to the point of spoiling a person

Doth – does

Doxy – wench, mistress

Drayer – cart driver

Drossel – slut

Drumble – inert, sluggish fellow

Dry – insipid, dull


E’en – even, evening

Enmity – hate, enemy

Enow – enough

Ere, also E’re – before


Fain – gladly, willingly (also forced or obliged)

Fair – pale, light-colored, attractive

Fare thee well – goodbye

Feign – pretend, to put on an emotion

Fie, Fie On It – darn it, to heck with it

Flag Fallen – unemployed, usually an actor

Flibbertigibbet – woman prone to gossip, or frivolous

Foe – enemy

Fool – term of endearment or pity

Forbear – stop, leave alone

Forsooth – truthfully

Forswear – to lie or cheat, renounce, deny

Fortnight – two weeks, fourteen nights

Fray – fight

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