Nugget of Knowledge: Terms of endearment


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – There are a lot of different ways to tell a person you care, but some terms have fallen out of fashion. This Valentine’s Day might be a time to bring them back.

Bughouse: This is the way early 20th century Americans said they were hopelessly in love. You were “bughouse.”

Buss: This is a very old fashioned synonym for kiss. It originated around 1570, more than 400 years ago.

Dainty Duck: This is from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Pyramus refers to his lover, Thisbe, as a “dainty duck,” another old term of endearment.

Dimber: It meant someone attractive or pretty and it was gender neutral, used to describe a man or woman in the 17th century.

Face made of a fiddle: It meant irresistibly charming, a face and smile so wonderful and attractive that it reminds you of the curves of a fiddle. It was used in the 17th century and led to the phrase “fit as a fiddle.”

Jam Tart: This comes to us from England and it means your heart. It’s Cockney slang.

Prigster: You’re a man fighting for the heart of the woman you love around 1670 or so, and you call your competitor for her hand a “prigster,” a rival in love.

RILY: Telegrams sometimes contained the acronym RILY for “Remember, I love you.” Your grandmother or great-grandmother might remember this from the mid-1940’s. It was shorthand long before we began to text.

Spoon: This is the way we said flirting in the 19th century.

Sugar Report: This came from World War II as a slang term for the letters that soldiers got from their wives and girlfriends back home

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