Words and History

Most likely you’ve heard the phrase “flash in the pan” and know what it means. But did you know the phrase was being used in the Victorian era? I wouldn’t have except I’d seen it used by Anthony Trollope, a great writer in the Victorian era. He also used the word “fly,” which meant a fast-moving carriage and the word “ton,” which meant fashionable society in his 1859 novel The Bertrams. Reading is a great form of entertainment—and research! Have you encountered words or phrases in historical novels that surprised you? Which ones are your favorites? Scapegrace (a wayward person) is one of mine!

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