Mocha - Mohair yarn

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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[moco's; mocho]

A PRECIOUS STONE in the form of a variety of Chalcedony, patterned by the presence of oxides of manganese or iron, etc. They appear to have become fashionable in the mid-eighteenth century for JEWELLERY, particularly BUTTONS, hence an advertisement in 1780 for ' a steady Workman who has been accustomed to make Chrystal and Mocho Buttons' [Newspapers (1780)].

OED earliest date of use: 1679

Sources: Newspapers.

Mocha coffee

[mocoa coffee]

A fine quality of COFFEE, originally from Yemen in Arabia, of which Mocha was a major town. It has been noted in the late-eighteenth century priced at 4s6d to 6s LB.

OED earliest date of use: 1773

Found in units of LB

See also MOCHA.
Sources: Newspapers.


The OED suggests pejorative connotations for a term that indicated likeness, imitation and being similar to the thing copied or imitated. Examples in the Dictionary Archive suggest that the negative associations may not have been as strong in the early modern period when 'mock' mostly stood for something made in imitation of, and though it often meant using cheaper materials in the manufacture, like mock PEARL made out of MOTHER OF PEARL, or mock ERMINE probably made from a cheaper white FUR. However, these were respectable commodities in their own right, albeit cheaper than the luxury article that sparked off the imitation.

As a substantive 'mock' was the name of ground fruit, or pomage, and specifically referred to crushed apples ready for the CIDER MILL. In this sense it has not been noted in the Dictionary Archive.

OED earliest date of use: 1561 as a descriptor; 1796 as crushed APPLE


Sources: Newspapers, Patents, Tradecards.

Mock calamanco

[mock: call; mock callimanco; mock callimanca; mock callemanco; mock callamanca]

Eric Kerridge suggests a cheap form of CALAMANCO [Kerridge (1985)], but this does not always seem to have been so, since on retailer had both calamanco and mock calamanco at the same valuation per YARD [Inventories (1704)] with a typical valuation that does not suggest a particularly inferior TEXTILE. Mock calamanco seems to have become popular towards the end of the seventeenth century and into the eighteenth. Though not as readily available as true calamanco, it was not uncommon for about twenty or thirty years.

Not found in the OED

Found in units of PIECE, YARD

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).
References: Kerridge (1985).

Mock damask

[mocked damask; mock: dam]

Probably a form of DAMASK made with materials other than SILK. The name has only been noted around 1700, and the fabrics concerned were cheap compared with damask itself, being valued at 26s PIECE [Inventories (1692)] and 11d to 14d YARD [Inventories (1695)]; [Inventories (1705)].

Not found in the OED

Found in units of PIECE, YARD

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Mock trumpet


A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT that has not been noted in the dictionaries and has been found only once in the Dictionary Archive under 'Musical Instruments; as Violins, Hautboys, Flutes, and Mock-trumpets; Roman Catlings, and Silver Strings' [Tradecards (1760)]. The context (with the exception of the flutes) suggests a stringed instrument, in which case mock trumpet was probably an alternative name for the Marine trumpet. This consisted of three tapering boards fixed together so as to form a triangle, with a single string passing over a bridge along the face of one. The bridge is similar to that of a VIOLIN except that one leg of it is shorter than the other so that it vibrates against the belly of the instrument. It was played with a BOW and produced notes, all harmonics, by placing the thumb lightly on the string between the bow and the bridge. The result was a somewhat brassy tone, believed to be similar to a TRUMPET, which it in no way resembled in other respects [Scholes (1956)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.
References: Scholes (1956).

Mock turtle soup

A soup, usually made with a CALF's head and various SPICEs, intended to resemble a soup made of the genuine TURTLE. In trade it was found in two ways. First as a SAUCE to facilitate the making of such a soup, and in the form of PORTABLE SOUP [Tradecards (1800)].

OED earliest date of use: 1783

Sources: Tradecards.


[muckado; moclado; mockudoe; mockeadow; mocke a do; mockadowe; mockadow; mockadoo; mockadoe; mockader; mock a do; moccadoe; moccado; moccada; mocadoo; mocadoe; mocado; mackado]

A TEXTILE in the form of a VELVET made of a WOOLLEN warp and a LINEN weft, with a woollen warp to provide the pile. The pattern was stamped on subsequently. Mockadoes probably originated in the Middle East [Montgomery (1984)], were then manufactured in Flanders, whence Flemish refugees introduced them to England. They were being made in Norwich by 1571 [Kerridge (1985)]. Mockadoes were usually mentioned as an inferior material of WOOL in contrast with VELVET and with other fabrics made of SILK, although the OED records that mockado itself was occasionally made of silk, and at least one so designated has been noted in the Dictionary Archive [Inventories (1581)]. They were also included among WROUGHT SILK in the Book of Rates of 1657 [Rates (1657)]. Mockadoes were mainly used to make FURNISHING and CARPETs; hence the 'ij little stooles Cou'ed w'th mocado' valued at 3s [Inventories (1581)], but also to make APPAREL like a DOUBLET. In 1741 a patent was taken out for 'Making French carpeting named moccadoes, moucccades or mouquets' [Patents (1741)]. By the 1580s the term had already come to mean 'trumpery' or 'inferior'.

OED earliest date of use: 1543

Found in units of ELL, PIECE, YARD Found rated by SINGLE - PIECE of up to 15 YARD

Sources: Acts, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Patents, Rates.
References: Kerridge (1985), Montgomery (1984).

Mockado ends

[muckado ends; mockadow ends; mockader ends; moccadoe ends; moccado ends; moccado endes; moccada ends; mocadoo endes; mocado ends; mocado endes; mocado end; mackado ends; begger]

MOCKADO ends was a YARN, invariably of WOOL, probably a WORSTED YARN. Although it may originally have been designed to make MOCKADO, this can not have been its only use as it is not infrequently found in the shops, where it was at least once listed under CREWEL wares [Inventories (1643)]. Like crewel, it was probably used in EMBROIDERY and for plaiting into BRAID and FRINGE; hence '6 li ¼ breaded moccada Ends' [Inventories (1676)]. At least under the name of mockado ends, it disappeared early in the eighteenth century.

OED earliest date of use: 1620 under Mockado

Found described as Braided, Fresh, IN GRAIN Found included among CREWEL wares, YARN Found in units of LB, OUNCE, OZ Found rated by the DOZEN - POUND

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Rates.


Mode entered the English language from the FRENCH, meaning fashion or style, but it was transferred to a light SILK fabric, and in this sense was almost certainly an abbreviation for ALAMODE. It is possible that the name was used to evade the attentions of the Royal Lutestring Company, which produced and regulated alamodes as well as LUTESTRINGs. The similarities between the two TEXTILEs is marked; for example both were woven in two widths, alamodes being designated BROAD or NARROW, while modes have been noted 3-4th and 4-4th YARD wide, (i.e. ¾ YARD and one yard respectively). Most of the descriptors correspond, though modes attracted rather more fashion-weighted terms like BEST, RICH and Parisian, and they were used for CLOAKs more than for small articles of APPAREL, many of which were made of alamode. The difference, however, may be no more than a signifier of the period indicating for which each was most commonly noted (alamodes late seventeenth century and early eighteenth; modes after 1750) and the type of source (alamodes probate inventories and official documents; modes in the promotional literature).

OED earliest date of use: 1751 as a fabric; c1645 in the sense of fashion

Found described s 3-4th, 4-4th, best manufactured, BLACK, COLOURED, BEST, FIGURED, FLOWERED, PARISian, PLAIN, RICH, richest, SILK Found used to make CLOAK, HANDKERCHIEF

See also ALAMODE.
Sources: Inventories (late), Newspapers, Tradecards.

Mode band

Almost certainly a HATBAND made of ALAMODE. In the one instance found in the Dictionary Archive (cited also by the OED) it was associated with a band of ITALIAN CRAPE, another TEXTILE used for making hatbands. They were for use at funerals [Diaries (Turner)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1764

Sources: Diaries.


[mowhayre; mowhare; mowhaire; mowhair; moohaire; mohere; moher; moheir; moheare; mohayre; mohare; mohaire; moh; moah hair; ld']

The hair of the Angora goat, which was spun into MOHAIR YARN and MOHAIR TWIST. It was then made into MOHAIR BUTTONs or woven into a fine CLOTH also called just MOHAIR. This was similar to CAMLET, also sometimes made with GOAT HAIR, and to GROGRAM, which was likewise made with a yarn of large rounded twists in a plain weave with the WEFT yarns heavier than the WARP for a corded effect. Mohair was sometimes WATERED. It was an expensive fabric especially when mixed with SILK, when it was referred to as silk mohair. By 1635 mohair cloth was being woven in this country of Turkey goats hair mixed with YARNs of JERSEY, WORSTED, LINEN or SILK [Kerridge (1985)]. According to Caulfeild and Saward these mixtures were preferred because of the stiffness of the mohair fibres, though woven alone, mohair fabric is virtually indestructible [Caulfeild and Saward (1885, facs.1989)]. Like any other expensive TEXTILE, mohair attracted the attention of innovators with patents for printing them [Patents (1742)], for their use in LOOM EMBROIDERY [Patents (1770)] and for a 'machine' capable of 'calendering, glazing, and dressing' them [Patents (1790)].

Most mohair appears to have been imported unprocessed and by the SACK [Houghton], though small quantities of the fabric also came in [Houghton]. Both came mostly from TURKEY, which took our manufactured WOOLLEN goods in exchange [Acts (1699)].

Mohair can be a confusing term. In the sixteenth century and later it was sometimes referred to by the French label of MOIRE, which only later was applied exclusively to pure SILK fabric with a pronounced rib. It is probably with the earlier meaning of mohair that in 1662 Samuel Pepys was anxious about his wife's gown of TAFFETA, 'when all the world wears moyre' [Diaries (Pepys)]. Apart from this, no distinction was made between the raw material and the fabric, which can only be distinguished by the unit of measure; '5 peeces of Mohaires att 15s p peece' [Inventories (1672)] referred to the latter, '21 li ½ Mohair 5/ p' [Inventories (1708)] to the former. Furthermore, the mohair button was often referred to elliptically as mohair, as in '10 gs Mohair Coates at 2/6 gs' [Inventories (1700)].

OED earliest date of use: 1570

Found in units of ELL, LB, OUNCE, PIECE, POUND, YARD Found imported by the SACK, YARD Found rated by the YARD

See also MOIRE.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates.
References: Caulfield & Saward (1885, facs.1989), Kerridge (1985).

Mohair button

[mowhaire button; mowhair button; moh'r butt'n; mohair coat button; mohair buttan; buttons of all sorts in mohair]

A BUTTON 'made with the needle' using MOHAIR TWIST. It was an important trade, employing mainly women and children, but it was threatened by new types of button made with new technologies. Parliament attempted therefore to protect their manufacture [Acts (1699)].

OED earliest date of use: 1778 under Mohair

Found described as COAT, ORDINARY, SMALL, of all sorts
Found in units of BAG, DOZEN, GROSS

Sources: Acts, Inventories (late), Newspapers, Tradecards.

Mohair twist

[mohare twist]

A MOHAIR YARN, called by the name because the method of production incorporated a distinctive way of twisting the YARN. It was used both for weaving MOHAIR and for making MOHAIR BUTTONs. Twisting, and then making the buttons were important trades upon which the 'subsistence of many thousands of men, women and children' depended, so they were protected by statute [Acts (1699)]. The act also stressed the importance of the imports of mohair from TURKEY in proving an exchange product for English WOOLLEN manufactures. The processes of manufacture attracted the attention of inventors who attempted to mechanize the process; for example, the 'Engine for making, twisting, and cording mohair and worsted' patented in 1730 [Patents (1730)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Houghton, Rates, Tradecards.

Mohair yarn

[yarn mohair; mohair-yarn; mo-hair yarne]

YARN spun from MOHAIR in a method of production similar to that used for GROGRAM YARN. The result was a twisted Yarn; hence it was sometimes designated as MOHAIR TWIST. It was used in the production of MOHAIR as a TEXTILE.

OED earliest date of use: 1670

Found imported by the SACK Found rated by the POUND of 16 OUNCE

See also CAMEL YARN.
Sources: Houghton, Rates.