Regency Era Lexicon – We’re Up to “F”

fag – used in English public schools; denoted a younger boy who ran errands for an older student (to become “fatigued” by doing these errands)

faggot – a grouping of sticks tied together and used for fuel

fallow – farmland left temporarily unplated

faro – a gambling game; players bet on the order of the cards being turned over by the dealer

farrier – a blacksmith

A Father’s Legacy to His Daughters – a guide book by John Gregory (1774), which served as a young lady’s guide to conduct; Dr. Gregory suggested that women should hide their knowledge and wisdom to avoid appearing superior.

fellow – a member of a college at Oxford or Cambridge; constituted the governing body of the college

female education – no standard curriculum existed for women; women were instructed in penmanship, reading, basic arithmetic, homemaking; sewing, manners, dancing, art, and music

fen – an area in and around Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire; low, swampy area

fender – a protective grate to keep sparks from falling out onto the floor/carpet

fete – a large fancy party (fete champetre was a large outdoor party)

fichu – used as a head or shoulder covering by women; especially for low cut gowns

figure – an isolated dance step or a series of related steps, especially when referring to a country dance or a quadrille

fingerpost – road signs (usually at cross roads) in the shape of a finger

flagon – a container for drinking alcohol; had a spout, handle, and lid

Fleet Prison – a prison housing debtors

fly – a rented horse and carriage

Fordyce’s Sermons (or) Sermons to Young Women – by Dr. James Fordyce (1765); explained within a Christian framework how a woman must please a man in order to earn his hand in marriage; women were taught to be docile, soft, and obedient; the sermons emphasizes beauty over education; women were told to avoid exercise

foolscap – 13″ x 17″ paper; bore a watermark of a fool’s cap and bells

Foot Guards – the infantry which guarded the sovereign; there were the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, and the Grenadier Guards

footman – an indoor male servant; cleaned and trimmed the lamps, waited the meal service, and escorted the ladies of the house when the women made calls; normally wore a livery; were matched in height if more than one footman was employed in a household

franking – in reality, only members of Parliament (until 1840) could “frank” a letter, meaning to send the post for free (carrying on Parliamentary business without cost to the MP); the MP was to add his name and the date to the address; the letters were to weigh no more than one ounce; the privilege was often abused, however

freeholders – the landowners in a community

frigate – one of the smaller boats of the British Navy; used for reconnaissance, not part of the line

front – a small hairpiece worn above the forehead (usually by women)

furlong – equivalent to 660 feet; came from the phrase “furrow long”

fusiliers – infantry armed with fusils; later, fusiliers were outfitted as was all other member of the infantry, except they wore busbies

fustian – coarse cotton fabrics, such as corduroy or velveteen; usually in a dark color



About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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4 Responses to Regency Era Lexicon – We’re Up to “F”

  1. Chelsea K. says:

    Thanks for sharing all these words!

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