Cat Brooks (catbrooks) wrote in little_details,
Cat Brooks
catbrooks
little_details

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Victorian profanity

The setting is Victorian era urban England. I've searched all the regular internet spots, google'd and wikipedia'd (Victorian profanity, vulgar/coarse/etc. language + victorian era and variations thereof). What I'm trying to find is vulgar language used by young men in the Victorian era. I've found a lot about how there wasn't much profanity in the Victorian era, like how "leg" was considered sexually explicit, (the terms "lib" and "lower extremity" were substituted). Surely it wasn't nonexistant, though, especially among very casual college-aged young men.

Any sort of examples would be awesome (I'm sure there are plenty of religiously-based vulgarities), but I'm specifically looking for language associated with sex/genitals, like whether the term "balls" was in use then at all. I know it was extremely taboo to use that kind of language in the Victorian era, but the situation is very, very casual.

On a related note, how would someone in England go about getting a hold of prohibited works such as The Lustful Turk or The Autobiography of a Flea? Or any sort of lewd things such as that. I know that my character could subscribe to Sir Richard Francis Burton's publisher for a private edition of the sexually explicit One Thousand and One Nights; were there any other sorts of privately-printed books like that? My character can use any means to get a hold of something if he's interested in it, I just need to know if there was some sort of black market for this kind of thing.

ETA: I now have a huge amount of slang resources, those will keep me busy for a while! Thanks so much everyone.
Tags: 1800s (no decades given), uk: history: victorian era, ~languages: english: historical, ~victorian era
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