Pirate Word of the Day – Belcher

Lady Blade Blog

From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

James Belcher wearing one. Pugilist, James Belcher

Belcher: a kind of handkerchief. See Billy.

Billy: a silk pocket handkerchief. See Wipe.

Wipe: a pocket handkerchief. Old cant.

(It could have been called a Belcher because you covered your mouth with it when you belched. That would at least make sense. And a Wipe is pretty self-evident. But why was it called a Billy?

Perhaps Billy was a specific person. I did find these specifics of a Belcher – close striped pattern, yellow silk, and intermixed with white and a little black; named from the pugilist, Jim Belcher. How perfect is that!)


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2 thoughts on “Pirate Word of the Day – Belcher

  1. 🙂 Thanks for the re-post. Definitely a fun word!

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