13 «For if I were to sell my belle chose, / I could go walking fresher than a rose...».
14 Another word for ‘shit’.
15 A pun on bazooms, q.v.
16 PARTRIDGE (1950) predates it to 1688.
17 Pustules caused by venereal disease.
18 «I’ll have no quarrel with virginity,/Let them be pure wheat loaves of maidenhead/And let us wives be known for barley-bread...».
19 The OED gives some quots. before the 16th c. (c1000-1480), specifying that they prob. refer to the garment (now usu. breeches).
21 This limerick is so full of words with double meaning and slang that it would have to be translated so that it might be understood even by average English people: belle, an attractive woman, or a male homosexual; gay, homosexual, male or female; here obviously a female; quean, an effeminate male, or as in the present text, a beautiful lesbian; jam, the female pudenda or, as is the case here, non-homosexual, straight; and bring out, to persuade a homosexual to admit his/her homosexuality openly.
58 Used here by Shaks. in the sense of community of people, society in general.
61 Caius College, Cambridge Univ.
62 Now greenhorn is colloq. for ‘someone who lacks experience and can be easily deceived’.
63 «Both James II and William III issued ordinances on the Coinage, demanding that silver plate of all descriptions be handed in for melting down for coinage. At the Court even the massive silver chamberpots were called in». BURFORD, p. 192.
115 Battledore was the name given to the racket, and has here an innuendo of ‘penis’.
116 Finely dressed.
117 A style of jazz piano music with a strong beat.
118 Wastes, in Pills, 18th c. (BURFORD, 122).
119 Crooked staff.
120 A pun on ‘to be fully occupied by a man’s penis’, and ‘not know what to do’.
122 Central forward whose main job is to hook the ball (to pass it).
123 (Arch.) ‘pray thee’, shortened from ‘I pray thee’.
124 Possibly a wrong spelling for flickered, ‘looked longingly at’ (obs.).
125 «Supposed to refer to Lady Anne Carnegie, later Lady Southesk, mistress to the Duke of York, later James the Second». BURFORD, p. 134.
127 «Whenever I take wine I have to think/Of Venus, for as cold engenders hail/A lecherous mouth begets a lecherous tail...».
129 «Tell me to what conclusion or in aid/ Of what were generative organs made? / (...) That they were only made for the purgation/ Of urine, little things of no avail/ Except to know a female from a male».
130 Blend of Sloane Square, London, and Lone Ranger, a well-known hero of western stories and films, applied to upper class and fashionable but conventional young women in London, often intellectually superficial.
131 Old-fashioned pronunciation of girl, here ‘a prostitute’.
132 Iron rings in a tilting spear, obs.
133 Yiddish: rabbi.
134 Scots.: New Year’s Day.
135 Done (finished).
137 Mispronunciation of ‘figure’.
138 A cooking vessel, see leaky copper.
139 «The sixth wife called Sarah/ She said ‘my husband’s ware/Is of a good size’».