• Word of the Day: Quacksalver KWAK-sal-ver (noun)

    quacksalver KWAK-sal-ver, noun: 1. a charlatan. 2. a quack doctor. And there was that quacksalver Mellowes again, with his pernicious theory that consumption was caused by an excess of oxygen. — Patrick O’Brian, Desolation Island, 1978 Anon, we grow persuaded that he traded both eyes for hooks and beneath the roof of his friend, Prince of Hesse Cassel,… Continue Reading

  • The Aurist and the American

    From the Pall Mall Gazette, Friday 22 February 1889: A distinguished “aurist” was once rather amusingly “done” by an enterprising American, who bounced into his room one morning, exclaiming, in stentorian through nasal tones, “Say, before we do bus’ness, guess I should like to know the price of fixing me up.” “Two guineas for the first… Continue Reading