The Slang Guide to London: Tyburn

Death-sweats, Paddington spectacles and gallows humour this week, as Jonathon Green continues his slang tour of London with a trip to Tyburn... It is an old place. A crossroads where as we know wicked deeds assemble. It had a marker: Oswulf’s stone, seemingly pre-Roman and which may have been the meeting-place ... Read More...

Phantom Libraries – Part 3: The Sealed Museum of Sir Thomas Browne

Having reviewed comical imaginary libraries from Swift to The Sims, Jonathan Law turns to stranger, more dreamlike worlds, for 'large are the treasures of oblivion'... So far, this has been mostly for laughs. The libraries invented by Rabelais, Donne, Joyce, and Swift were all uproarious things, even where the humour seemed to be laced with something ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: St Giles

Jonathon Green continues his eye-popping slang tour of London with a look at St Giles, once described as offering ‘the lowest conditions under which human life is possible’... The first time I saw the flaming mot, Was at the sign of the Porter Pot. I called for some purl, and we had it ... Read More...

The Boobrie

Is it a giant cormorant? A particularly vicious mosquito? Or something else? The Wikiworm consults this  weird Wikipedia article to get to the truth behind the fantastical boobrie... The boobrie is a mythological shapeshifting entity inhabiting the lochs of the west coast of Scotland. It commonly adopts the appearance of a gigantic ... Read More...

The Fighting Loamshires

Mr Slang raises a fourth glass of port to the famous Loamshire regiment, heroes of innumerable imaginary battles... ‘All that remains is the orderly –sergeant’s voice reading orders to the new blood in the quiet summer evening in sleepy Loamshire, with its laughing English fields and gay hedgerows spread about the ... Read More...