Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Angry Wife

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Loretta reports:

What do you think, Gentle Reader:  Can this marriage be saved?
~~~
From La Belle Assemblée, Vol. 3, 1807

DEFINITION OF A HUSBAND BY HIS WIFE.
THIS lady composed the following vocabulary to express the character of a husband, from her own experience, and which proves how copious our language is on that article:—He is, said she, an abhorred, abominable, acrimonious, angry, arrogant, austere, awkward, barbarous, bitter, blustering, boisterous, boorish, brawling, brutal, bullying, capricious, captious, careless, choleric, churlish, clamorous, contumelious, crabbed, cross, currish, detestable, disagreeable, discontented, disgusting, dismal, dreadful, drowsy, dry, dull, envious, execrable, fastidious, fierce, fretful, froward, frumpish, furious, grating, gross, growling, gruff, grumbling, hard-hearted, hasty, hateful, hectoring, horrid, huffish, humoursome, illiberal, ill natured, implacable, inattentive, incorrigible, inflexible, injurious, insolent, intractable, irascible, ireful, jealous, keen, loathsome, maggotty, malevolent, malicious, malignant, maundering, mischievous, morose, murmuring, nauseous, nefarious, negligent, noisy, obstinate, obstreperous, odious, offensive, opinionated, oppressive, outrageous, overbearing, passionate, peevish, pervicacious, perverse, perplexing, pettish, petulant, plaguy, quarrelsome, queasy, queer, raging, restless, rigid, rigorous, roaring, rough, rude, rugged, saucy, savage, severe, sharp, shocking, sluggish, snappish, snarling, sneaking, sour, spiteful, splenetic, squeamish, stern, stubborn, stupid, sulky, sullen, surly, suspicious, tantalizing, tart, teasing, terrible, testy, tiresome, tormenting, touchy, treacherous, troublesome, turbulent, tyrannicaI, uncomfortable, ungovernable, unpleasant, unsuitable, uppish, vexatious, violent, virulent, waspish, worrying, wrangling, wrathful, yarring, yelping dog in a manger, who neither eats himself nor will let others eat.
~~~~~~~~
Illustration:  Get out, will you, she stormed, by Arthur Ignatius Keller[1922?], courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

11 comments:

MrsT said...

nope, that marriage hasn't a change in H@#%& of being saved!

Jane O said...

Well, I wouldn't want to bet the farm on the future of that marriage, but what a useful list of negative adjectives she provides. If you don't mind, I think I will copy it for occasions when I need a new insult.
(Although I'm not sure about 'yarring.' I thought 'yar' was something complimentary one says about boats.)

LorettaChase said...

Jane O, "Yarring" had me puzzled, too. Not in my modern dictionary or my slang dictionaries. But your asking made me dig deeper, and I just found "yarr"in the OED. Turns out to be quite an old word. It means "To snarl or growl like a dog," and goes back to the 16th C. You are welcome to copy the list--I try to stick with material in the public domain for just this reason--and I certainly plan to refer to it!

Susanna Fraser said...

I'd love to see this done as an ABC book, with appropriate illustrations, though you'd have to find a way to work in X and Z...

Jane O said...

Hmmm, an ABC book. How about xenophobic for X?
For Z, would zoftig be considered insulting for a man? Or you could use zero and zilch.

(My word is 'cophagos' which sounds like it ought to be an insult.)

nightsmusic said...

Methinks the lady doth protest overmuch...

;o)

And I thought I was doing good when I call my DH a cretin!

Susan Holloway Scott said...

I think this would have had all the makings of a great Edward Gorey book....

Marilyn said...

Dear Abby would have had a hard time with this one. Very funny though..

Monica Burns said...

I'll have to memorize this and shout it at my husband they next time he ticks me off. Which is a lot. I'm half Italian. ROFL

elysemady said...

When I was four or five, my grandfather, who took great delight in remembering ridiculous rhymes and non-sense verse, taught me the following insult:

You long-legged, double-jointed, sawed-off, hammered-down, knock-kneed, pigeon-toed, lopped-ear son of a sea-cook.

I *loved* to chant it at my brother and sister whenever we got in a squabble. What could they say in reply? This lady however has me beat by a mile! That is perhaps the finest insult I have ever read. :) The marriage is toast, but her career in PR would have been a cinch.

Elyse

textilehistorIE said...

Oh dear. No. I think he has been ... brooding... on this topic too long.

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