What’s a rake? Bridgerton vocab explained

Jade Biggs
·2-min read
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX - Netflix

From Cosmopolitan

As if we didn’t need another reason to love Bridgerton, they’ve given f*ckboys a period-drama rebrand. The new word on everyone’s lips after bingeing the hit show is rake.

No, we’re not talking about the thing you use for gardening. A rake is the OG term for f*ckboy. Who knew!

The phrase is first mentioned in episode one, during the Duke’s dinner with Daphne at her lavish home. Her sister calls him handsome, and another replies “yes, if you’re into rakish dudes.”

Speaking to The Oprah Magazine, Eva Devon, author of romance novels including The Spinster and the Rake confirmed that a rake is “a fella who loves a very good time. Monogamy need not apply.”

Unlike most modern f*ckboys though, Devon suggests a rake can be reformed - “when he meets the right one, he hangs up his partying ways.” Maybe there’s a happy ending for Daphne after all.

Photo credit: Netflix - Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix - Netflix

So what other words in Lady Whistledown’s vocab might be making comeback?


Going for a promenade is the period-drama equivalent of being Facebook official with your new beau. Bestselling historical romance novelist Sarah MacLean told The Oprah Mag that before social media “people had to have a way to prove they were in a relationship.” “Promenading with a hot duke was just the thing to make sure everyone knew you were courting,” she added.

Any of our Tinder matches fancy a promenade then?


Unfortunately it’s not the number of courses you’ll get at dinner. Put simply, it’s getting your period.


Anyone remember that Gillian McKeith moment on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here? A swoon is the opposite of that. To swoon is to faint gracefully, usually after a romantic kiss with the Duke - not because you got your courses early. “The romance heroine swoons with grace and dignity,” says MacLean, “and from sheer, delicious emotion.”


Aka your facial expression, aka your shady side eye.

Cosmopolitan UK's current issue is out now and you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

You Might Also Like