Victorian Slang of the Week – Lobster and Lobscouse

Lobster – either a soldier (red uniform) or a policeman (dark blue like an unboiled lobster).

Lobster before and after cooking

Lobster before and after cooking

This is also quite a Liverpool-y kind of page. There’s “lobscouse”, the local speciality dish of Liverpool still, although now just it’s just called scouse (of course). The old recipe differed a bit with the inclusion of “biscuit”, which as befits a port city, means ship’s biscuit, hard tack, made only from flour and water.

This was long before Liverpool’s love of scouse resulted in its people being known as scousers, which didn’t enter the lexicon until around the Second World War. I’ve previously posted about one Victorian nickname – Dickey Sam http://skittishlibrary.co.uk/we-are-the-dickeymen/. Here is (almost) the much better known one – “Liverpudlin”. But I can’t now find any reference to this particular spelling outside this book.

Going back to Lobsters for a minute, have a vardo at this Horrible Histories sketch that mentions this slang and much more:

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1 Response

  1. January 24, 2016

    […] I enjoy the bold use of space and sense of minimalism in this advert for Spratt’s “Meat Fibrine” Dog Cakes. Founder James Spratt invented the idea of dog biscuits, inspired by seeing dogs on Liverpool docks scoffing down hardtack – the sailors weevil-busting biscuit. (Well, that’s if the “Dicky Sams” weren’t using the hardtack to make scouse.) […]

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