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Subject:
From:
Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 8 Jul 1993 11:35:26 -0700
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From: Nancy Metz <[log in to unmask]>

Thanks to those who wrote on the definition of "London particular."  My
source was not Bleak House alone, but the OED as well, which defines the
term as "a humorous name for London fog," citing in addition to the Dickens
quote the following snippet from The Scotsman:  "'The London particular,'
the fog, which, four or five years ago, assumed the consistency of pea
soup."  No doubt the slang term came into being because fog was so
"particular" to London (so defining a characteristic of the atmosphere)
with all the  unregulated bituminous coal fires.

But I'm still confused about the joke in chapter 8 of Chuzzlewit.  Why
would someone want to chalk the phrase on Jinkins's gaiters.  Does this
refer to the other slang meaning given in the OED--a special quality of
Madeira wine imported for London consumption?  Any other ideas out there?