There is a myth that furniture such as tables were covered with embroidery and tablecloths so that table legs were hidden from view, but no historical evidence suggests that this was actually practised. Words such as "devil" and "damned" were blanked out in books. Verbal or written communication of emotion or sexual feelings was often proscribed so people instead used the language of flowers. The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken.
This language was most commonly communicated through Tussie-Mussies, an art which has a following today. The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but red roses still imply passionate, romantic love and pink roses a lesser affection; white roses suggest virtue and chastity and yellow roses still stand for friendship or devotion.
Julie Billiart for this reason. Gerbera daisy means innocence or purity. The iris, being named for the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, still represents the sending of a message. An anemone signifies unfading love. A pansy signifies thought, a daffodil respect, and a strand of ivy fidelity and friendship. Frank discussions about anything, least of all sex, were strictly taboo.
Many euphemisms were products of the Victorian Era. For instance, a leg of poultry became a "drumstick", thighs became "dark meat", and breasts became "white meat". A person's arms and legs became "limbs". Victorian women only thought of sex as a means to producing children and caged themselves from neck to foot in stiff crinoline and whalebone.
The neo-Puritanical Victorian era lasted as long as the reign of Queen Victoria did, ; it was a time when a woman had to wear bathing garments for convention's sake -- even in the privacy of her own bath.
The hems of Victorian skirts touched the floor because the sight of a woman's limb would be shocking beyond belief. Victorians even pulled stockings over the legs of their pianos. Victorian slang is full of colourful terms for all sexual matters.
Vulgar slang was the daily staple of a commoner's vocabulary. Polite gentlemen would also have been pretty familiar with sexual Victorian slang.
Mistresses known as one's 'Convenient' were not uncommon - a mistress being a lover you had alongside your wife, who you bought with presents and money and even housing. A mistress could range from a woman well-versed in arts and educated conversation to a street girl, but a mistress was - at least as her fancy-man was concerned - a prostitute who only had one client. Prostitution was big business in Victorian cities and it was called The Great Evil. It began in and writers such as Charles Dickens and William Blake included references to it in their works.
There were brothels in Covent Garden and Whitechapel. Prostitutes and procuring love for money were rife in the Victorian era. There were toffers posh prostitutes and bawd-houses ranging from grimy cheapside affairs to select brothels that catered to exotic, expensive or even simply clean tastes. Prostitution was a common outlet for a man frustrated with the inhibition of polite Victorian ladies.
It wasn't spoken of much, but a far greater percentage of men resorted to prostitution back in the day. Sexual slang offered Victorians a form of protection. Using real words would have led to potential embarrassment, but the intricacies of Victorian sexual slang would mean there was no embarrassment and no harm done either way.
Poor living conditions, lack of education and rife prostitution led to a host of Victorian slang words dedicated entirely to the catching and treatment of venereal diseases. Its symptoms included weakness, dietary disturbance, lack of menstruation and most significantly, a change in skin colour. Euphemisms were used instead: