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Curmudgeonly Slubberdegullion

We owe thanks to Nottingham lyricist and MC Louis Cypher for coining this poetic and wonderfully scathing insult.

Curmudgeon, despite its unknown origins, has survived within the English language for over 600 years, referring to a person, usually an older man, who is miserly, cantankerous and easily annoyed. The archaic Slubberdegullion meanwhile has all but disappeared into obscurity.

Dating back to the 1650’s, experts disagree on its precise origins, the first half of the word is from clearly the self explanatory English slobber, but the rest is uncertain. It’s likely derived from the 13 century French cuillon, literally meaning testicle, which was adopted as a general insult for a vile fellow, and may conceivably be linked to the Scots dialect of gullion for a quagmire or cesspool, leading to the English dialect of gullion as a wretch and emerging with slubberdegullion: a slovenly, worthless, dirty rascal. 

Not to be confused with the 1840’s Americanism slumgullion, which refers to either a cheap haphazardly made stew, or a thin, unsatisfactory beverage, such as weak tea.


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