Earlier in the year, I was on CoffeeTime Romance talking about the history behind women’s boxing and how real-life women boxers were the basis for my book, The Boxer and the Blacksmith. But there is so much other history that I’ve learned about as well.

One of those things is the use of slang and creative cursing. We all had that friend growing up who was good at cursing. Mine friend’s name was (is–we are still good friends) Jen, and she could curse like no other. It wasn’t just the appropriate use of the f-bomb or perfect timing: it was how creative she could be in stringing along expletives in new and ear-blistering ways. It even stopped arguments with her parents who were shocked (and a little admiring) of her innovation.

I wanted that for my character of Bess Abbott, the heroine of The Boxer and the Blacksmith. She uses Regency accurate and boxing-appropriate slang throughout the book. However, at the climax, just before the big fight, she spouts off. I wanted more of it for her, but honestly, I couldn’t really justify it in other places.

Even though I tried to keep the context clues clear so that Bess’s dirty mouth wouldn’t disrupt the reader, but just in case, I also included a slang dictionary at the back of the book to give the reader the definition of things like “a carbuncle-faced cheeser.” (A pock-marked strong smelling fart)

This kind of verbal sparring is what I enjoyed writing the most, and something you don’t get to do a lot of when you write aristocrats, like the many who live in Regency romances. Hopefully, Bess’s insults bring a smile to other readers’ faces too.


Edie Cay writes relatable misfits in Regency London. Her award-winning steamy historical romances include A Lady’s Revenge and The Boxer and the Blacksmith. Find her at:





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