- a person—term in very general use, similar in application to the German pronoun, MAN, a person, people; “where’s the PARTY as ’ad a’ orter be lookin’ after this ’ere ’oss?” policeman’s inquiry of the wrong cabman; “old PARTY,” an elderly person. The term is said to have arisen in our old justice courts, where, to save “his worship” and the clerk of the court any trouble in exercising their memories with the names of the different plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses, the word PARTY was generally employed. Dean Alford remarked:— “The word PARTY for a man is especially offensive. Strange to say, the use is not altogether modern. It occurs in the English version of the Apocryphal book of Tobit, vi. 7. ‘If an evil spirit trouble any, one must make a smoke thereof before the man or the woman, and the PARTY shall be no more vexed.’” In Shakspeare we find the term:— “_Stephano._ How now shall this be compassed? Canst thou bring me to the PARTY?”—_Tempest_, iii. 2. This is not the only instance of the word being used by the immortal bard. “I once heard,” said the Dean just quoted, “a venerable dignitary pointed out by a railway porter as an old PARTY in a shovel.” The last word is the vulgar term applied to the peculiar hat worn by clerical dignitaries.
More About partyPosition in the dictionary: 2519 of 4022 slang words.
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