Glimpses of curious English expressions chock full of lost customs, folklore, historical oddities, fascinating characters, superstitions, manners and social history.

Have you ever wondered what a bowelhive (a Scottish intestinal ailment), a dabbit (a small amount; less than a dab), a celebaterian (a bachelor), an opscheplooper (an uninvited dinner guest), or a bloacher (any large animal) might be? If you can enlarge something, can you also ensmall it? And what caused London’s Top Hat Riot of 1797, the bizarre prosecution of animals and objects in the Middle Ages, and Lady Godiva’s famous ride in the buff?

candle_guyEach year the Forgotten English Calendar offers readers a brimming cartful of once indispensable terms and rough-hewn folklore. This informative daily look at bygone times serves up light-hearted yet thought-provoking explanations of these questions and hundreds of others, accompanied by a startling array of vintage line drawings and revealing photos. As Shakespeare commented in Othello, “These are fond paradoxes to make fools laugh in the alehouse.”