Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guest Kiki Howell: Historical Wordsmithing

Linda Banche here. Today I welcome Kiki Howell and her latest book, the erotic Regency paranormal, Torn Asunder. Here she talks about the wonderful Regency language we fans of the genre love so much.

Welcome Kiki!

One of my favorite parts about researching Regency England is coming across new cant and common Regency phrases. The language itself, to me, lends a bit of magic to the time period even before I add in my own paranormal elements. *g*

I love playing with words. No surprise there I guess. But, no matter what I am writing, my favorite stage of the process is the rewriting where I look at each sentence, arrange the words just right to get them to come across just as I want them. When writing a historical romance set in the early eighteen-hundreds England, I also get to play with the cant in my dialogue.

I have read that most of this colorful slang came from London’s underworld, the seedier parts of town if you will, the pleasure haunts of London. Can’t tell you why I find it comical that the upper ten thousand may have adopted these words from the lower classes, but I do. It makes using it all that more rich somehow.

So, many of my favorite phrases you will find in my new novel, Torn Asunder. I have made a list of them below, some include my own thoughts in parentheses after the meaning. I promise to leave the most colorful ones out. But, I have to start with…

Inexpressibles – breeches, clothing used as undergarments at the time (This for me is a shining example of the mentality of the time, ideas of propriety and all.)

ark ruffians -- thieves, in conjunction with watermen, who rob and sometimes murder their victims, then throw them overboard (I used this one since my heroine travels by water from England to a magical island in Ireland. I found it to be so primitive and appropriate.)

to raise a breeze – to make a disturbance, get upset about something (This term is like a metaphor for yelling. I love it!)

ardent – characterized by intense feeling, zealous, vehement

banbury tale -- nonsensical story (I’m an English major, what can I say!)

flush in the pockets – well off, has money

close-fisted –stingy

black spy – devil

Bygaged - bewitched

Bumblebroth – a tangled situation (This word brings about an image in my head of a woman trying to make soup by boiling live bees. Now wouldn’t that be a terrible predicament.)

Maggot in one’s head – a silly notion (Gross, but fitting.)

Grand Alliance – a marriage (Again, I feel they hit the nail on the head here.)

Rudesby – an uncivil fellow (LOL)

Shine everyone else down - pretty

As well, there are many terms and phrases which express strong emotions which all seem so appropriate to me, like: Devilish things!, Hell and Blast!, Gads!, He’s a blasted idiot!, A sillier notion I have never heard of! and more…

Quite colorful words, and most are quite appropriate, descriptive in a very metaphorish kind of way as well. I just love it. So, I hope you will enjoy my newest novel as much as I did writing it. Fraught with scenes of explicit intimacy, romantic spells and mystical shapeshifting, Torn Asunder is a unique blending of the age of manners with sexual magic.

Torn Asunder BLURB:
Aubrey Griffen is a witch whose true reasons for coming to London soon fall to the wayside when she catches the eye of Edmund Bryant, the Marquess of Dalysbury. He seduces her into a whirlwind romance until the lies and threats of his mother force her to flee to Triaill Brimuir, a secret island of her ancestors off the coast of Ireland. Edmund goes after her only to be hit by Aubrey’s confusion and anger when she magically transforms him into an elemental beast of her own creation.

However, it is when Edmund’s lust mysteriously turns him back into a man that the couple are forced to deal with a family secret and untold of powers. Now, Edmund must learn to shift himself into the beast in order to save her in a battle of black verses white magic.

Genres: Historical (Regency), Paranormal (Witches & Shifters), Erotic Romance

Purchase at in ebook or trade paperback at Excessica Publishing or Amazon as well as many other retailers.


Tricia Schneider said...

Hi Kiki!

Love your post! One of my favorite things about reading and researching the Regency era is discovering the phrases they used. It's really like learning a new language and it's so much fun! Your book sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it!


skyla11377 said...

I love your post Kiki. I am always amazed by words and how different people use the same words in different contexts. My sister likes to accuse me of using 50 cent words on most occasions but I just think of it as embracing words in all forms....^_^. Torn Asunder was an amazing book and I am so looking forward to your next novel.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Kiki, I love those regency words, too. It amazes me that some people don't like them. I think part of the charm of a regency lies in the words.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Great post and the book TORN ASUNDER sounds intrriguing.

I love languages and the unique expressions for eras from the 17th century forward.

Thanks for sharing.

Maggi Andersen said...

You'd have to be 'in your cups' to use any of those words today, Kiki.
Interesting post.

Keena Kincaid said...

Great post, Kiki, and I love the examples of language you used. Rudesby just might be added to my modern day vocabulary.