I’m proofreading the galleys for a little novella about Percival and Esther Windham’s courtship, a perfectly charming tale that has me wanting to figuratively toss the Oxford English Dictionary into the Thames.
The difficulty is that Percy and Esther are cavorting and disporting way, way back thirty years before the Regency, in the 1780s, and in addition to fashions being different, words were different. The word taxidermy, for which I defy you to come up with a handy synonym, hadn’t been invented. Well.
Worse yet, the word fizzle–as in Her Grace’s objections fizzled–meant something else entirely. I’ll let the OED explain: