[T]hese synonyms for sex were used often enough in 19th-century England to earn a place in the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, a book for upper-crust Britons who had no idea what the proles were talking about.
An amorous sampling of some of the more choice pieces of delectable verbage selected from Adrienne Crezo‘s article:
- Basket-Making – “Those two recently opened a basket-making shop.” From a method of making children’s stockings, in which knitting the heel is called basket-making.
- Bread and Butter – One on top of the other. “Rumor has it he found her bread and butter fashion with the neighbor.”
- Brush – “Yeah, we had a brush once.” The emphasis here is on brevity; just a fling, no big deal.
- Convivial Society – Similar to “amorous congress” in that this was a gentler term suitable for even the noble classes to use, even if they only whispered it.
- Lobster Kettle – A woman who sleeps with soldiers coming in at port is said to “make a lobster kettle” of herself.
- St. George – In the story of St. George and the Dragon, the dragon reared up from the lake to tower over the saint. “Playing at St. George” casts a woman as the dragon and puts her on top.
- Tiff – A tiff could be a minor argument or falling-out, as we know it. In the 19th century, it was also a term for eating or drinking between meals, or in this case, a quickie.
Via mental_floss for Adrienne Crezo’s full awesome list.