Steamy Bean | Steam Punk Words

Analytical Engine: a purely mechanical steampunk computer. Also known as a a difference engine. See also Babbage Engine

Babbage Engine: an Analytical Engine. Named after Charles Babbage, the man who originated the idea of a programable computer.


Arbuckle’s: slang for coffee, taken from a popular brand of the time.


Astronef: a space ship. (Found in “Stories of Other Worlds” by George Griffith) The “Space 1889” RPG uses the term “ether flyer”. “Full Light Full Steam” applies “solar steamer”.

Bang-up: first rate. “They did a bang-up job.”

Barkers (Barking Irons): Guns. Pistols, esp. Revolvers.

Bend an elbow: have a drink.

Betty: A type of lockpick

Big bug: important person, official, boss. “He’s one of the railroad big bugs.”

Bloater: (from the FALCON LORD steampunk-fantasy series by D. A. Metrov) a gorpe airship; small, pirate-style, steam-driven dirigible.

Bull: Five shillings

Chibbit: (from the FALCON LORD steampunk-fantasy series by D. A. Metrov) a small wafer of gold equal to about twenty, 18th century, American dollars.

Chiv, shiv: Knife, razor or sharpened stick

Clacker: an Analytical Engine operator.

Coffee boiler: shirker, lazy person. (Would rather sit around the coffee pot than help.)

Couter: Pound (money)

Deaner: A shilling. (from the Dinarious, or ancient silver penny of Britain.)

Deuce Hog (Duce Hog): 2 shillings

Granger: a farmer.

Grand: excellent, beautiful.

Gothhoven raven: (from the FALCON LORD steampunk-fantasy series by D. A. Metrov) species Eugenically derived from Common Raven (Corvus corax); just over a full leapspan tall (approximately ten feet) when standing upright.

Hammered for life: Married

Hang fire: delay.

Heeled: to be armed with a gun.

Jack: Detective

Kennuck: Penny

Ladybird: A Prostitute

Making Love: in Victorian vernacular the wooing of a woman, not the act of physical love.3

Odd stick: eccentric person. “Ol’ Farmer Jones sure is an odd stick.”

Penny Dreadful: 19th century British fiction publications, frequently featuring lurid and sensational stories. Presented as serials with new parts released over consecutive weeks. Named, appropriately, for their cost. See also Dime Novel

Quirley: roll-your-own cigarette.

Rampsman or Ramper: A tearaway or hoodlum

Regency Period: referring to the British historical era from 1811-1820, the period of Jane Austen and Lord Byron. In popular imagination it is frequently lumped in into the “Victorian Era”.

Rookery: Slum or ghetto

Scientific Romance: science fiction of the Victorian or Edwardian Eras, that is fiction based on scientific ideas of the time. Most properly referring only to British authors, the term is generally applied to any writers of scientifically based fiction of the period (like France’s Jules Verne).

Shivering Jemmy: A half naked begger

Skedaddle: run like hell.

Slang cove: A showman

Speeler: Cheat or a gambler

Steambot: (From THE TERRIBLE QUEST OF THADDEUS PENNYBROOK’S KNEE-HIGH STEAMBOTS, a steampunk novel by D. A. Metrov) Small, steam-powered, robotic doll; also known as a “poppet.”

Steampunk: (from a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternate history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

Swell: An elegantly, or stylishly dressed gentleman.

Thicker: A Sovereign or a Pound

Toff: An elegantly, or stylishly dressed gentleman.

Toffer: A superior whore.

Victorian: most properly, of or pertaining to the British monarch Queen Victoria or the period of her reign (May 24th 1819 – January 22nd 1901).

Yack: A watch

Yennap: A Penny.


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