2017 Dialogue-Writing Challenge: Day 17
Scott Myers


The year is 1794, KENNETH a young educated miner from cornwall, finds himself seeking accommodation and a woman for the night. He is wearing his finest liveries and through the fog of rain we see KENNETH being led by a small man to the front of a pub.


’Tis a small vaulting school, is it not?

The small man, smiles and nods and leaves KENNETH standing out the front of the pub. KENNETH fixes his lapels and enters.


KENNETH finds himself in a dusty rowdy bar, filled with whores and lawyers. KENNETH, a little tipsy already, seeks the brothel keeper and makes his way to the bar.


Good day to you, the abbess in?


No Abbess here mate…


No? Is this not a house of civil reception?


To whom may it concern?


Only too I, good sir.


My assurances; I am no hanktelo, though my hair is a coat of soot and my arrival in town follows a turn in cornwall. I am not to hang an arse, I require a good academician and a bed. I ask only for an apple-dumpling shop to keep me warm through the blashy, sir.



You seem an honest duke of limbs.

(beat) Magdela is upstairs. Tell her blythe sent ya’.


Good evening to you, sir.

KENNETH makes his way up the staircase in the back of the bar. At the top he finds a hallway, with scented candles leading towards a small red curtain.


Evenin’, sire.


Madam, I am here for your finest draggle-tail. No time to waste I am indeed gallied.


Be this a fegary, sir? We have only the finest game pullet in this establishment and no tolerance for a brandy-face.


I joke not madam. I am not flawed, but I am gallied. Services are required, if you please.


Blythe told me you could be of help, if this is incorrect, I shall take my leave.


Well, sir. It seems you are indeed a herring-gutted young hemp.


How dare yo…


If you were to not leave of your own accord, there may be some gentlemen off the hooks willing to take the owl with a paper-skull such as yourself.


… a Paper-skull!? It seems you have saddled the wrong horse.



KENNETH turns on his heels and exits the chamber of MAGDELA in a huff.


Slang Reference:


18th Century Slang Index:

A house of civil reception — a brothel

Abbess — a woman who is a brothel keeper

Academician — a whore

Apple-dumpling shop — a woman’s bosom

Hang an arse — to hold back

Bailed man — a man who has bribed the press gang for immunity

Blashy — rainy weather

Brandy-face — a drunkard

Bung upwards — on his face

Draggle-tail — a nasty, dirty slut

Duke of limbs — a tall awkward fellow

Fegary — a prank

Flawed — drunk

Game pullet — a young whore

Gallied — hurried, vexed or over-fatigued

Hanktelo — a fool

Herring-gutted — tall and very thin

Young hemp — a graceless boy

Off the hooks — crazy

Paper-skull — a fool

Take the owl — become angry

Sawney — a Scotsman

Saddle the wrong horse — lay blame on the wrong person

Vaulting school — a brothel

I found this an interesting exercise. I created the added challenge of trying to write in period.

C&C Always Welcome

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