billingsgate was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of billingsgate in a Sentence
the intemperate billingsgate to which the staff in customer service were sometimes subjected
billingsgate Has Origins in a London Fish Market
From the time of the Roman occupation until the early 1980s, Billingsgate was a fish market in London, England, notorious for the crude language that resounded through its stalls. In fact, the fish merchants of Billingsgate were so famous for their swearing that their feats of vulgar language were recorded in British chronicler Raphael Holinshed's 1577 account of King Leir (which was probably Shakespeare's source for King Lear). In Holinshed's volume, a messenger's language is said to be "as bad a tongue … as any oyster-wife at Billingsgate hath." By the middle of the 17th century, billingsgate had become a byword for foul language.
Origin and Etymology of billingsgate
First Known Use: 1652See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of billingsgate
- scathing verbal abuse
- a torrent of vituperation
- blistering political invective
- subjected to obloquy and derision
- directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver
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