Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
With the publication of The Horologicon approaching, I thought I'd do a few posts of words that didn't make it in. There's a little over two thousand strange words in there, but there were, nonetheless, poor animals that didn't make it into the ark because I couldn't weave them in.
For example, in the section of office politics, I somehow failed to include catch-fart, which is defined in Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) thuslyly:
A footboy; so called from such servants commonly following close behind their master or mistress.
As many modern bosses have a catch-fart following them around, the term is still eminently usable, and eminently comprehensible after a moment's thought.