Regency Era Lexicon – The Letter “D”

A Regency Lexicon – And Then There Was “D”

The Daily Courant – England’s first daily newspaper; founded in 1702

Damask – a fancy silk or linen fabric used for table linen; usually had a flower design raised

“Dark Lady” – sometimes used to refer to the character of Marianne Dashwoood in “Sense and Sensibility”; it is a term Leslie Fiedler uses in “Love and Death in the American Novel”; a woman of deep feelings and sensibilities

220px-Debrett's_Baronetage00Debrett’s – an guide to the peerage; published annually

Debt of Honor – a gambling debt; not enforceable by law

Decree Nisi – a provisional divorce decree; the couple had to wait 6 months to see if the circumstances changed, only then was the decree final

Demesne – land upon which the manor house is built (as opposed to tenants’ cottages)

Derby – the greatest of the horse racing venues; pronounced “Darby”; held at Epsom Downs, which is some 15 miles outside of London

Divan – a public smoking room

Divorce – the ending of a marriage; granted only by an Act of Parliament; was very expensive, very public, and quite shameful Interior view of the Doctors' Commons, City of London
Interior view of the Doctors’ Commons, City of London

Doctors’ Commons – where the ecclesiastical and admiralty courts met; south of St. Paul’s Cathedral; marriage licenses were issued and wills written there

Don – head of a college at Oxford or Cambridge; another name for a “tutor”

Double First – the title given to the person who received first prize in both the classics and in mathematics honor exams at Oxford

Dowager – a title given to a widow of rank

Dowry – the monetary settlement the woman brings to the marriage

Drag – a private stagecoach; usually pulled by four horses

2nd Royal North British Dragoons on the Line of March 1743 by Harry Payne

2nd Royal North British Dragoons on the Line of March 1743 by Harry Payne

Dragoon – cavalrymen who rode into battle on horseback and then dismounted to fight; shot a pistol that send out a “flame” like a dragon

Drawers – long underpants; originally were two separate leggings tied together at the waist; generally knee length

Drawing Room – room used for after-dinner gatherings; usually large enough for informal dancing, a pianoforte, etc.

Dressing for Supper – Supper was a formal meal; ladies and gentlemen don their best clothing for dinner.

Dropsy – having fluid build up in the joints in such diseases as diabetes or emphysema

Ducks and Drakes – skipping stones across the surface of a river, lake, etc.

(This post went up early, and several of my followers saw it then. One of them was LordBeariOfBow. Brian assures me the correct term is “withdrawing room,” not “drawing room.” I told him in Regency novels, the “withdrawing room” was the room set aside for the ladies to see to a torn hem or their personal needs during a ball. He was kind enough to send me these links to illustrate his point. I bow to his British heritage…

Here’s some interesting links to the ……….room. the last of the 3 is the most interesting to my mind.

About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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1 Response to Regency Era Lexicon – The Letter “D”

  1. carolcork says:

    I like Ducks and Drakes. I haven’t heard that phrase before.

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