17 euphemisms for sex from the 1800s

From The Week:

While shoe-horning these phrases into conversation today might prove difficult, these 17 synonyms for sex were used often enough in 19th-century England to earn a place in the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, a book for upper-crust Britons who had no idea what the proles were talking about.

1. Amorous congress

To say two people were engaged in the amorous congress was by far the most polite option on the list, oftentimes serving as the definition for other, less discreet synonyms.

2. Basket-making

“Those two recently opened a basket-making shop.” From a method of making children’s stockings, in which knitting the heel is called basket-making.

3. Bread and butter

One on top of the other. “Rumor has it he found her bread and butter fashion with the neighbor.”

4. Brush

“Yeah, we had a brush once.” The emphasis here is on brevity; just a fling, no big deal.

5. Clicket

“They left together, so they’re probably at clicket.” This was originally used only for foxes, but became less specific as more and more phrases for doing it were needed.

6. Face-making

Aside from the obvious, this also comes from “making children,” because babies have faces.

7. Blanket hornpipe

There is probably no way to use this in seriousness or discreetly, but there you have it.

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