billingsgate

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the London, England fishmarket Billingsgate

"Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand." - Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1811

Noun[edit]

billingsgate

  1. profane, abusive language; coarse words
    You wouldn't have believed the billingsgate which poured forth from that boy's mouth.
    • Saintsbury
      These "flytings" consisted of alternate torrents of sheer Billingsgate poured upon each other by the combatants.

Verb[edit]

billingsgate ‎(third-person singular simple present billingsgates, present participle billingsgating, simple past and past participle billingsgated)

  1. (transitive) To use abusive language towards.
    • 1905, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (volume 177, page 99)
      On the other hand, the Englishman has the satisfaction of Billingsgating to his heart's content the highest officials: they accept objurgation with spaniel fawning.