penny dreadful

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
Black Bess; or, The Knight of the Road: A romanticized tale of Dick Turpin.

Etymology[edit]

From their low price and the lower-class British use of dreadful(sensationalized crime reporting).

Noun[edit]

penny dreadful ‎(plural penny dreadfuls)

  1. (originally pejorative, now usually historical) A cheap paperback book, particularly those concerning lurid depictions of crime in the Victorian era.
    • 1861 July 29, North American Review:
      They can read the ‘penny dreadful’, but they cannot darn their stockings or mend their shoes.
  2. (originally pejorative, now usually historical) Pulp fiction: stories written in the lurid style of the penny dreadfuls.

Usage notes[edit]

Also used attributively as an adjective.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Oxford English Dictionary, "penny, n.", 2005.