[ilds] Red Wine! and nightingales

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Mon May 28 14:07:47 PDT 2007

On 5/28/2007 4:02 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

>Was Keats a ponce?  Probably.
One autumn I read all of Byron's marvelous correspondence.  Based on 
that bit of  indulgent scholarship, I can confirm for you, Bruce, that 
yes, Johnny Keats got himself called a ponce, or the nearest Regency 
term.  Cf. the OED:

        *pissabed, n. and adj.*

        *2. derogatory. A bed-wetter. Also as a more general term of abuse.*

        *    B. adj.    derogatory. That wets the bed; (more generally)
        despicable, contemptible. Now rare.*

        1643 in County Court Rec. Accomack-Northampton, Va. (1973) 292
        Thou pissa bedd Jade. 1675 T. DUFFETT Mock-Tempest IV. ii. 37
        She fibs, she fibs Father,..you spiteful pissabed Slut. *1820
        BYRON Let. 12 Oct. (1977) VII. 200 Johnny Keats's p--ss a bed
        poetry.* 1983 M. O'DONOGHUE Jedder's Land (1984) 31 'Dirty-arsed
        hog! Filthy, wart-nosed trash! Pissabed varmint!' She screeched
        all the wickedest words she knew.

No doubt I have just inititated a new sales spike on Amazon for 
/Jedder's Land/. 


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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