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|well she only missed making a rude pun by 70 years or so
Written by Jenny Allan
(9/30/2005 9:10 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I have also read somewhere..., penned by Emmy
Probably not. The Straight Dope says the vulgar meaning that we think of as "contemporary" came in around 1890. Possibly as an evolution of the word also meaning "everyman" and/or a type of short riding whip. (Their source on that is the OED).
Still, I'm thinking of the "rears and vices" pun in Mansfield Park as proof that JA was not above a ribald joke, or allowing a character to make a ribald joke to make a point. Had that meaning existed then, I don't think JA would have necessarily stayed away from the joke.
|History of the name Richard and the nickname Dick|
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