Call me a black pudding, but never a hay thief!
Sunday, May 20, 2012 9:58:44 AM
- Alice Morse Earle's Colonial Days in Old New York (1896),
Suits for defamation were frequent [two and three centuries ago in New York], through opprobrious name-calling, and on very slight though irritating grounds. It would certainly seem a rather disproportionate amount of trouble to bring a lawsuit simply because you were called a black pudding [a sausage], a verklikker, or tale-bearer, or even a Turk, though of course no one would stand being called a horned beast or a hay thief. Nor was thou swine an offensive term too petty to be passed over in silence. The terrible epithets spitter-baard and Dutch dough-face seem to make a climax of opprobriousness, but the word moff was worse, for it was the despised term applied in Holland to the Germans, and it led to a quarrel with knives.
as cited in "Saturday 16 May and Sunday 17 May", Forgotten English - A 365-Day Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore for 2009, by Jeffrey Kacirk.