billingsgate


billingsgate
billingsgate 1670s, the kind of coarse, abusive language once used by women in the Billingsgate market on the River Thames below London Bridge.
Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand. ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1811]
The place name is O.E. Billingesgate, "gate of (a man called) Billing;" the "gate" probably being a gap in the Roman river wall. The market is mid-13c., not exclusively a fish market until late 17c.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Billingsgate — Bil lings*gate , n. 1. A market near the Billings gate in London, celebrated for fish and foul language. [1913 Webster] 2. Coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language; vituperation; ribaldry. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • billingsgate — index profanity, revilement Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • billingsgate — scurrility, vituperation, *abuse, invective, obloquy …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • billingsgate — [bil′iŋz gāt΄, bil′iŋzgit] n. [after a London fish market, notorious for foul language] foul, vulgar, abusive talk …   English World dictionary

  • Billingsgate — infobox UK place official name= Ward of Billingsgate map type= Greater London country= England region= London london borough= City of London latitude= 51.50864 longitude= 0.08205 os grid reference= TQ332806 post town= LONDON postcode area= EC… …   Wikipedia

  • Billingsgate —    This name has been variously used to designate : one of the City gates, a port or quay on the Thames, one of the principal City markets.    It seems probable, and recent discoveries tend to confirm the view, that in early times the City was… …   Dictionary of London

  • billingsgate — /bil ingz gayt / or, esp. Brit., / git/, n. coarsely or vulgarly abusive language. [1645 55; orig. the kind of speech often heard at Billingsgate, a London fish market at the gate of the same name] Syn. vituperation, vilification, invective,… …   Universalium

  • Billingsgate —    foul language    The language was once used by the women sellers of fish, rather than by the male porters, in the London market which was closed in 1982. According to Dryden , Parnassus spoke the cant of Billingsgate , and in modern use:     …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • billingsgate — noun Etymology: Billingsgate, old gate and fish market, London, England Date: 1652 coarsely abusive language Synonyms: see abuse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • billingsgate — noun profane, abusive language; coarse words You wouldnt have believed the billingsgate which poured forth from that boys mouth …   Wiktionary


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