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              Like Jane Austen Day

In Celebration of the 202nd anniversary of the publishing of Sense and Sensibility
30 October, 2013

Go for a long walk, visit friends, and Talk Like Jane Austen

Though not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published.  She initially called it Elinor and Marianne, and wrote it in an epistolary mode, but rewrote it in a novel format, as the  pretense of an entire story being told in letters was no longer in fashion, and  "without anything of nature and probability in it".  All tolled, Jane Austen published four novels in her lifetime: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park , and Emma.  Two more novels were published posthumously; Persuasion,  and  Northanger Abbey.

How To Talk Like Jane Austen

* Find the Talk Like Jane Austen Word of the Day on*



delightful, pleasant
I like him very much. He gives me the idea of a very amiable young man, only too diffident to be so agreeable as he might be.”

1)Lovely, pleasing
2) Pretending Love
 1)" What amiable young men!"

 2)  "Lay amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing"

If someone should make a disparaging comment pertaining to your anachronistic verbiage, you can feign confusion, as the word did not appear in print  until 1816

(To) Catch One's Eye
A phrase attributed to Jane Austen in 1813. First instance I have found of the phrase: "Mrs. Palmer's eye was now caught by the drawings which hung round the room" Sense & Sensibility, ch 19

To treat tenderly- first in print in Emma in 1815

You may have one as of  1806, but you won't go to a Cocktail party until 1928
Countenance demeanor
“ I shall think with tenderness and delight on his beautiful and smiling countenance and interesting manner until a few years have turned him into an ungovernable, ungracious fellow.”

expensive, precious
“I fear that wheat will not be cheap this year and every other necessity of life enormously dear “

First appeared in 1813, followed closely by:

thinly disguised "God Rot".  First appeared in 1815

An exclamation in the form of a cross word- coined in 1815 by Miss Jane Austen's beloved Walter Scott
As a verb.  You may fake your death, or fake a Rembrandt, but to call it a fake, you will have to wait until 1827
Courtesy of Jane Austen by way of Sense and Sensibility, 1811

In one is never on one’s way to London, Bath or one’s brother’s estate in Kent, as In one’s way"

‘ish an indispensable suffix
The Miss Maitlands are both prettyish,”
"It was stupidish"

"Make Believe"
Is perfectly admissible after 1811

Nice fussy, over particular, affected

Nidgetty Meaning trifling. Another word coined by Jane Austen.
“I have been able to give a considerable improvement of dignity to the cap, which was before too nidgetty to please me.”

Numbers not “twenty four”, but “four and twenty”
Only use instead of just
“Only think of the Marquis of Granby being dead.”

Own use instead of admit
"I own I think our political horizon still lowers"

Disreputable, vulgar- first in print by Jane Austen's hand in 1801

Scheme plot, plan of action to attain some end
first used by Jane Austen in Mansfield Park

 Scruple To doubt, to have reservations
We have talked of it again this morning, and I am convinced that if you can make it suit in other respects you need not scruple on his account.

in good health, not unhealthily fleshy as it now implies
“Louisa's figure is very much improved; she is as stout again as she was.”

Very great, severe in 1809 "I have a terrific headache", but it won't  mean excellent until 1888
As of 1812,

           Other Helpful Hints

   Always refer to your close family members as "my" mother, father, sister, brother even when speaking to one of them.  For example, Elizabeth might speak to Jane saying, "My mother has been nervous the whole day." (Whereas we contemporary English speakers would most likely say "our" mother. (Note the use of "the whole day" rather than all day long or a more contemporary phrase).

No Contractions- "Don't you think this an agreeable morning for a walk?"  Would be "Do not you think this an agreeable morning for a walk?" 

   Remember that in Austen talk, "morning"  continues until one goes to dress for dinner.  "Afternoon" is rare (very low frequency) in the novels. In Emma, "morning" occurs 111 times while "afternoon" occurs only 6.  Often "afternoon" makes reference to the weather.  

A clear articulation, a tempered intonation, and in a moderate key,
are essentials in the voice of an accomplished female"

                                                            The Mirror of Graces

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