A short history of “Falsies”………

One of the subjects I looked at in my new book A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex was something that I was always intrigued about – Falsies These first appeared in 19th century Paris in the form of a device known as the Bust Improver, which consisted of wool pads …

Celebrity Celibates…..

Whilst researching my new book, I came across some rather odd people: Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) The inventor and futurist, who designed the first alternating current (AC) electrical supply system, also died a virgin. This extremely eccentric individual would work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm every day and …

Blankets and Noddy’s…..

It has been very stormy here for the last day or so, and as a result the pack of cards has come out to while away the evenings. Whilst playing, the thought struck me on the odd words and names describing various cards. devil’s bed-post (c.1835) the four of clubs, …

Urbanus Magnus or a Book on Manners………

As England became more prosperous in the 16th century there was a renewed focus on etiquette and manners. As befitting the influence of the renaissance this was also a time which saw a renewed interest in ‘household ordinances and serving manuals’- namely a series of Anglo-Latin courtesy poems which gave …

Stuck for a Christmas present?……

How about my new book – A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex ! Available now on https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07L88JT46 Did you know:: That women never wore knickers until the late 18th century? That Cleopatra reputedly invented the first vibrator? The rather odd history of the condom? What it means to give someone a …

A jobbernowl……

According to legal statute an idiot is an individual with an IQ of less than 20, an imbecile between 21 and 49 and a moron between 50 and 70. As you cast around for insults it may be worth remembering these categories. But then again, the English language has never …

A very short history of the Alka-Seltzer……

The Alka-Seltzer story began in the winter of 1928, when Hub Beardsley, president of the Dr. Miles Laboratories, visited the offices of a local newspaper in a small town in Indiana called Elkhart. There was a severe flu epidemic that year. Many of Beardsley’s own employees were out sick. But …

Caligula……

The appalling Roman emperor Caligula (12 – 41 AD) had a somewhat novel approach to foreplay according to the historian Suetonius in his De Vita Caesarum (121 AD). Caligula would invite attractive aristocratic couples to dine with him. Then during a pause in conversation he would sidle over to a …

Dark Cully…….

There is a magnificent book called Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue which appeared sometime in 1811. Within it are some of the most fabulous words you will ever come across. One of them is Dark Cully – which according to Mr Grose is a  married man who keeps a mistress, …