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Some19th Century Colonial & Convict Era words with their meanings

Abaft – Towards the stern of a boat

Adjunct – Added or connected

Admixture – The act of mixing

Admonished – Reprimanded or cautioned

Alacrity - Cheerfulness

Amelioration – To be made better or improved

Animadversion – Harsh criticism or disapproval.

Animadvert – Disapprove most strongly

Appellation – Name or designation

Approbation – Approval or sanction

Ashlar – Hewn freestone from quarry

Assiduity – Diligence

Augmentation – To make an increase

Avocation – One’s regular occupation

Baffle – Frustrate

Bailiwick – The office or district of a bailiff

Bart. (Baronet) –Title between a Knight and a Baron

Battenment Places – Divided sleeping berths

Beadle – Church usher who keeps order during services

Bed tick – Cloth case of a mattress

Betwixt - Between

Blucher Boot - A shoe or half boot ( Coal mines)

Bond – Convict (population)

Bressumer – Shop window lintel

Burthen – Ship weight or carrying capacity

Calmon – Calendar month (abbreviation)

Calumniating – Making false statements

“Cap’d their pieces” – Prepared their guns for firing

“Cat” – Cat call or harsh whistle

Catechist – Lay religious teacher

Catechizing – To teach the Christian Catechism

Catlin – A medical instrument (surgical scalpel)

Cavilled - To raise irritating and trivial objections

“Cheese It” – Slang – i.e. “Stop” or “Lookout”

“Cheesy”­ – Slang – “Silence! Officer on the way”

Coextensive – Having the same limits

Cognisance – Having knowledge of

Columnar – Having the shape of a column

Commissariat – Store that issued provisions &c

Commutation – Substitution of a payment

Comptroller – Officer responsible for supervising

Condole – Speak sympathetically

Conjure – To Charge solemnly

Conjured – To evoke or bring to mind

Connexion – Sexual intercourse

Contiguous - Sharing an edge or boundary

Corrigendum – List of corrections

Cupping - The drawing of blood from the body

Curried – To dress a hide

Currier - person who dresses and colors leather

Cypher – Read and write numbers – i.e. mathematics

D.A.C.G. – Deputy Assistant Commissary General

“Don’t drop it” – Slang– i.e. Do not give information

Delft – Glazed earthenware (Usually white and blue)

Demy – Paper size

Depastured – Putting stock (sheep) into a paddock

Depredation – Predatory attack or raid

Depricate – Lesson the value of

Desideratum – Considered necessary or desirable

Despatch - Used usually instead of dispatch

Devolve – Transfer or delegate a duty

Devolving – Transferring responsibility

Diminution – Lessening or reduction

Disquietude – Worried unease or anxiety

Do or Do – Ditto

“Do it square” – Do an action or duty in an honest and straightforward manner

“Don’t tell the right of it”  - Do not tell the truth

D.C.G. – Deputy Commissary General

Dray - 4 wheeled horse drawn cart

Duck Frock – Three quarter length coat

“During pleasure” – a Colonial sentence

Effluxion – The passing of time

Emboldened - Encouraged

Emergence – Completion of a penal sentence

Emmιnte – Enmity, antagonism or hostility

Emoluments – Salary

Enervated – Weakened or destroyed

Enjoin – Refuse or Forbid

Epistolary – Being in the form of a letter

Equidistant – Equal distance

Ere - Previous to / before

Esquire (Esq or Esqre) – A polite title

Evincing - To constitute, show clearly, or prove

Exacerbation – Increase the severity

Exculpate – To clear from a criminal charge of guilt

Execration – Loathing

Exigencies – Pressing or urgent situations

Experimentalizing – Experimenting

Expostulated – To reason earnestly

Exudation – Oozing of blood or sweat

Extolling – Praising

Falling Gang – Gang of tree fellers or cutters

Farthing – A bronze coin, one quarter of a penny

Favor  -  Sometimes spelt that way

Feeing – To give a fee to

Feller – Convict employed cutting down trees

Fellies/Felloes – Cart wheel rim parts

Fellmongering – Removal of wool & treating skins

Fetchels – Section of a Cart (possibly the draw bar)

File Cutter – Person who sharpened saws

Flitchings – Off cuts from timber cut at saw mills

Fomentation – A warm wet covering or a hot pack

Forbearance - Abstaining from enforcing of a right

For the want of – Needing proof

Frows – Old timber – if thrown a distance would break across the grain

Gallied – Worried, Flustered, Frightened

Gig – Long fast pulling boat

Giving the lie – Telling a lie

Grain in the Shaw – Grain or wheat still with the tops

Greatcoat – a long heavy overcoat

Guinea – A coin worth 21 shillings

Gutted – Destroy the interior (building)

Habeas Corpus - a writ for removing a prisoner for trial

Half-crown – A silver-nickel coin worth 2/6

Halfpenny – A bronze coin, half the value of a penny

Halloa – A shout or call of Halloo

Harness cask – Wooden cask to hold horse gear

Herewith – Enclosed document

Heart shaken – Timber cracked through wind or frost

Heretofore – Previously

Hitherto – Before this time

House of Correction – Prisoners Barracks

Immured – To confine within a prison

Importunate – Persistently urgent

Inasmuch – In so far as

In the room of – Replaced

Incautiously – Lacking caution

Incorrigible – Incapable of being corrected or reformed

Inculpate – Blame or accuse

Indefatigable – Tireless – incapable of being fatigued

Indigent – Impoverished – reduced to poverty

Ingenuously – Openly straightforward

Inst. (Instant) – The present (month)

Intelligence – News, information or knowledge

Interstices – A small gap or space in walls or buildings

Intimation – Suggestion or announcement

Inveterate – Confirmed in a habit (eg Drunkard)

Judicature – The administration of Justice

Jumper – Rock drill

Jurisprudentially - In respect to the science or philosophy of law

Kid – A small wooden mess tub

Kip – The hide of a young beast

Knee – Curved wood used in hull of boat

Labor  -  Only spelt labour on occasions

Lime Burner – Person who works in a lime kiln

Litharge – Yellow oxide pigment

Lockfast places – Securely locked residences

Locum tenens – Replacement doctor

Long “S” – ƒs – Used in words with two s’s – (eg suceƒs)

Mandamus – A writ from a superior court to an inferior court commanding a specific thing be done

Mangel Worzel – Large yellow beet root grown as cattle feed

Manufactory – A manufacturing plant or machine)

Memorialist – Person writing a petition or statement

Messrs – Abbreviation for Messieurs (plural of Mr or Mister)

Milch Cow – A cow giving milk

Mock appellation – Wrong name or designation

Modus Medendi – “Method of (medical) treatment”

Moieties – Half shares or portions

Morbis Cordis (19th Century spelling) or Morbus Cordis (present spelling) – Medical term used to explain death from unexpected heart failure (Latin)

Multifarious – Having many different parts

Nave – Wooden hub of a wheel

Negatived – To refuse to be approved

“Nobs Priest” – A Priest only interested in the upper class

Nullity – Useless officers

Obviate – Render unnecessary

Obviated – Prevented difficulties or objections

Oftener – More often

Olefiant – Designating a colourless hydrocarbon gas

Omnibus – Four wheeled horse drawn carriage

Opprobrious – Scornful or abusive

Ordnance – Military supplies (e.g., ammunition)

Oversr - Overseer

Palaeography – Reading old handwriting

Palliate – To alleviate

Palliation – Appearing to be less grave in facial appearance

Pannican – A dish or cup (Pannikin)

Papers of Thread – Rolls of thread

Paroxysms – Sudden outburst of emotion or action

Parturition – The act of giving birth - Childbirth

Pay his addresses – To visit or court a female

Pea Jacket – Heavy woollen double breasted jacket

Pease – Plural of pea

Peculation – Obtain dishonestly

Pence – The plural of a penny (e.g. two pence = two pennies)

Penny – A bronze or copper coin – either equal to one twelfth of a shilling, or 1/240th of a pound

Pr – Per or by a particular ship

Per Annum – Per year

Per Diem – Per day

Perch – An imperial volume of the solid measure of stone

Peremptorily – Not allowing contradiction

Pernicious – Causing great harm

Perspicacity - Understanding

Phrensy – To render frantic

Pie Iron – Similar to modern Jaffle iron

Piratically – As a pirate

Pit Sawyer – Inexperienced labourer in the pit of a saw pit

Plumer Block – Metal block to hold bearings (Plummer)

P.M.O. – Principal Medical Officer

Porter - dark beer resembling light stout

Pound – A unit of currency (usually in the form of a note), equivalent to 240 pence

Prejudicious – Causing harm

Prevarication – To evade or pervert the truth

Privations – Difficulties in conducting one’s life, or one’s job

Profligable – Recklessly wasteful

Profligate – Wastrel

Promulgated – Made know by public declaration

Proximo – The next or coming (month)

Psalter – A book containing psalms

Puncheon – A 100 gallon cask

Purport – Intended meaning

Pusillanimous - Cowardly

Quire – 24 pages of paper

Rapin – Plunder – seizing property

Recapitulation – To repeat in concise form

Recreative – To refresh mentally or physically.

Remergence – The act of re-appearing

Replete – Full to satisfaction - abundantly supplied

Rejoinder – Answer to a reply

Requaint – Inform

Retort – Gas producing apparatus

Return – An official report

Reveal – The vertical face of door frame

Rewafer – Reseal (a letter)

Ripost – A sharp retort or reply

RN – Royal Navy

Rusty – Impaired, stiff or difficult

Saith – The 3rd person singular of “say”

Sanguine – Hopeful

Saque – A coat or gown

Seriatim – One after another

Scorbutus – Scurvy

Scrofula – A disease, involving swelling on the neck

Serjeant – Sergeant (higher rank from corporal or constable)

Sheave - Grooved wheel of a pulley

Shell Jackets – Military Jackets

Shew - Used commonly instead of show

Sheweth – Shows

Shewing – Showing

Shewn - Shown

Shilling – A cupronickel or silver coin worth 1/20th of a pound

Sic – “Thus” or “so” – Expression (usually expressed as [sic])

Sidings – Boards or planks

“Singing Room” – A place of ill repute where prostitutes awaited their clients

Sixpence – Six pennies, or a silver coin worth six pennies

Skilly – Thin porridge or soup

“Slant to Town” – Convict slang for a sea trip to Hobart Town

Snuffer – Candle extinguisher

Splitter – Convict employed splitting timber

Sprigs – A small tack without head used in boot making

“Square him” – Settle an account or fight him

Stipendiary – Payment

Store Sheep – Sheep destined for the store market

Strife - Conflict

Subjoined – Appended  or attached

Supt – Superintendent

Supernumerary – Exceeding the required amount or number

Surplusage – Excess

Taciturnity – Inclined to silence

Tawse – A leather strap for whipping boys

Tenor – Course of thought

Tenure – Basis of

Testimonial – A personal recommendation of a person

Testimonialist – A writer of a testimonial

Tew Iron – A small iron, used for leather

Thence – To that place

Thro’ - Through

Tine – Pointed prong or shaft of an implement or pitchfork

Told Off – Selected for or dismissed from work

Top Sawer – Experienced person on top of a saw

Treenail - Wooden peg that swells when wet, used to fasten timbers, in shipbuilding.

Ultimo – The last or previous (month)

Unwarrantably – Not justifiable

“Up soldier and at him” – Fight him

Vagabondizing – To wander about in idleness

Vamp – The front section of the upper of a shoe or boot

Venire Facia – Writ ordering a sheriff to summon a jury

Vice – In the place of

Vide – As follows or please see

Viva Voce – By word of mouth

Viz. (Videlicet) – As follows or permitted to see

VM (Visiting Magistrate) – A magistrate assigned to one region

Way Bill or Waybill – A list of goods sent by a common carrier (e.g. a ship), with directions

Welt – A strip of leather between upper and outer sole of boot

Wharfinger – One who owns or has charge of a wharf

Whence – From what place

Woodbind – Hawthorn bush or honeysuckle

Writ Public – A Latin term (? Another version of public writ)