Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Billingsgate (London).

 Billings (Josh).Billingsgate Pheasant (A). 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Billingsgate (London).
 
Gate = quay, and bellan is to bawl or bellow. This quay is so called from the shouting of the fishermen in trying to attract attention and vend their fish.   1
   That’s Billingsgate. Vulgar and coarse, like the manners and language of Billingsgate fish-fags.   2
       
“Parnassus spoke the cant of Billingsgate.”
       
Dryden: Art of Poetry, c. 1.
   To talk Billingsgate, i.e. to slang, to scold in a vulgar, coarse style.   3
   You are no better than a Billingsgate fish-fag, i.e. you are as rude and ill-mannered as the women of Billingsgate fish-market. The French say “Maubert” instead of Billingsgate, as Your compliments are like those of the Place Maubert, i.e. no compliments at all, but vulgar dirt-flinging. The “Place Maubert” has long been noted for its market.   4
 


 Billings (Josh).Billingsgate Pheasant (A). 

 
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