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Word of the Day
Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Definitions for billingsgate

  1. coarsely or vulgarly abusive language.

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Citations for billingsgate
They talk forever and forever, and that is the kind of billingsgate they use. Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1869
Take with you the honors of war, sir. You have outcussed me. I acknowledge your superiority in billingsgate--"--he paused and for an instant his voice mounted, as he added--"and in nothing else!" Charles Neville Buck, Destiny, 1916
Origin of billingsgate
Billingsgate comes from the name of a fish market in London where the fishmongers were known for their crude language. The term came to be used in reference to foul rhetoric in the mid-1600s.