Thursday, 21 June 2012
Some Cant from Romville
At my ken at darkmans last night I couched a hog for several hours. At lightmans, my fambles and stamps were stiff, so I awoke betimes and broke my fast not with popler, but with pammes, lay and sardines. Translation: last night at home I went to sleep for several hours. At daybreak, my hands and legs were stiff, so I woke early and breakfasted, not with porridge, but bread, butter and sardines. Reading Moll Cutpurse, a whole section is devoted to cant, a kind of slang spoken by thieves and so on in London. Some of the words are similar to Polari, and I wonder whether this was partly derived from the old cant. Anyway I have now finished Moll Cutpurse, whose character, based on the real life Mary Frith, was described by T. S. Eliot as the one precious jewel in the crown of a rather mediocre play. This seems to sum it up. Also discovered that 'Westward Ho' was the Thames lightermans cry, nothing to do with the west country. We live and learn. Romville is London by the way.