Mackenzie, our fictional lead, was an educated young man, heavily influenced by his British professor (this is addressed in the sequel, “The Hunt for Paul Kelly”). Mackenzie uses some terms that don’t translate well into our modern lingo. Below is a list of terms and expressions, common in the 19th and 20th century United States, England, and Scotland, which you’ll probably wish you knew while reading.

In order of appearance:

Barbigerous: bearded

Aptycock: an intelligent young man

Tewly: sickly

Sliving: a thinly sliced piece of meat or a sparing portion of meat

Flenched: when the weather looks as if it is going to get better, but never does, the day is flenched

Razzled: warmed or cooked on the outside

Hanspers: pains or stiffness felt in the legs after walking

Nawpy: a new pen

Crumpsy: grumpy

Weather-mouth: a patch of sky on the horizon that is sunny, yet has a dense bank of clouds on either side

Too high for my nut: beyond one’s reach

Fortnight: two weeks or a period of fourteen days

Some pumpkins: a big deal

Wake snakes: get into mischief

Spake: past tense of speak

Shinning around: move quickly

Limpsey: limp, used to refer to someone before they faint

Oft: often

Fauchling: to fauchle: make mistakes or fumble due to being tired

Mundling: to mundle: to do something clumsily or do something for enjoyment, regardless of the consequences

Outspeckle: a laughing stock

Vargle: to work messily or perform an unpleasant task

Greenbacks: Legal Tender Notes: a type of paper money used in the US from 1862 to 1971