1273 Cutthroats

There are more cutthroats than I expected! Some are still in hiding and some are waiting for the right moment to delight and offend.

Recently, the most fertile cutthroat fields have been surname dictionaries and board game names and cards (many suggested by @snapshot_reviews). If you see capital letters in this list – it’s either a surname or the name of a game.

The attached PDF has 33 pages of cutthroats and their earliest year of attestation.

1273 Cutthroats

PDF Legend:
Purple highlight = it has loanword components
Yellow highlight = no year found yet
Red highlight = it may not be a cutthroat
Bold font = it is confidently a cutthroat

The 33 page-topping cutthroats:

amuse-bouche FOOD: an appetizer “amuse-mouth”
break-bones ADJ: that breaks bones
Brekpole, John OCCUPATIONAL SURNAME: a soldier
carryknave PERSON: a sex worker
chokepriest FOOD: an Italian soup
Coupe Rose SURNAME “cut-rose”
cut-girdle PERSON: a criminal, the same as cutpurse
Drawfart, Dr. PERSON: a quack doctor
fill-sack PERSON: a wealthy person
gardnap TOOL: a mat placed on a table to protect the tablecloth
hale bowline PERSON: a capable seaman
hum cap DRINK: very strong beer
Killebolle, Gilbert OCCUPATIONAL SURNAME: a butcher
lackstock PERSON: one who has no money in stocks
Lovelass PERSON: a dandy
mean-nothing CONCEPT: an insincere phrase
nipcurn PERSON: a miser (curn = corn grain)
pickwick TOOL: instrument that pulls up the wick on a lamp
praisegravy PERSON: someone who extols the cooking
rake-shame PERSON: a criminal, a rogue or scoundrel
say-hand CONCEPT: “a test or trial of the suitability of something”
scrape-pelf PERSON: a miser (pelf = dishonest riches)
shakespeare PERSON: a soldier
slabber-chops PERSON: an untidy eater
spare-penny PERSON: a miser
sprout-cale MONTH: an epithet for February
stick-jaw FOOD: difficult-to-chew food like pudding or sweetmeat
suck-fist PERSON: a flatterer
take-heed CONCEPT: prudence, caution
tickle-pitcher PERSON: a drunkard
Truslove OCCUPATIONAL SURNAME: a tamer of wolves “bind-wolf”
wag-tail ANIMAL: a small bird from the family Motacillidæ
whip-king PERSON: a king-maker


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  1. Pingback: What Are Cutthroat Compounds? |

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