To feague or not to feague, that is the question…..


Did you know that there is an eighteenth-century English word for shoving live eels up a horse’s arse?. Here is the definition given in Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785):

FEAGUE. To feague a horse; to put ginger up a horse’s fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer’s servant, who shall show a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.

So it is pretty obvious that you should never trust an eighteenth-century horse dealer. Especially if you’re a horse….. or an eel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.