Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Bedfordshire n.

[SE bed + sfx -shire; ult. the real UK county Bedfordshire]

bed; thus go up the wooden hill/high road (to Bedfordshire), to go to bed; thus Bedfordshire woman n., a prostitute.

[UK]Mennis & Smith ‘Weomen’ Wit Restor’d (1817) 216: Weomen are borne in Wilsheire, Brought up in Cumberland. Lead their lives in Bedfordsheire Bring their husbands to Buckingame And dye in Shrewsbury.
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 76: Now when, with raking up the Fire / Each one departs for Bedfordshire, / And pillows all securely snort on.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 52: He said he wanted a Bedfordshire Woman, but he had forget her Name.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 94: miss.: Indeed my Eyes draw Straws (She’s almost asleep) [...] col.: I’m going to the Land of Nod. nev.: Faith, I’m for Bedfordshire.
[UK]Richardson Pamela II 326: Said she, I think he did make two or three attempts upon you in Bedfordshire? Yes, Madam, said I, he was very naughty, to be sure.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: Bedfordshire. I am for Bedfordshire, i.e. for going to bed.
[UK]Sporting Mag. July XXII 221/2: It was not surprising [...] that a certain noble new-married couple went off with unusual expedition to Bed-fordshire.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 151: They [...] shaped their course for Bedfordshire most plaguily tired.
[UK]T. Hood ‘Miss Kilmansegg & Her Precious Leg’ in Poems (1846) I 145: The time for sleep had come at last; / And there was the bed, so soft, so vast, / Quite a field of Bedfordshire clover.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 357: If you’ll give me eight-and-twenty bob, I’ll be off to Bedfordshire.
[UK]G.A. Sala Gaslight and Daylight 2: The proprietor [...] is off to bed. [...] There is a bristly bearded tailor [...] who utters a similar somniferous intention. He calls it ‘Bedfordshire.’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]W.E.A. Axon Haunted Bridge 7: When ivry body but yorsel is snug asleep i’ bedfordshire.
[US]H. Garland Boy Life on the Prairie 195: The children were about starting to ‘climb the wooden hill’.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 279: I felt quite sorry to go, when Carmichael suggested that it was time for Bedfordshire.
[UK]Bury Free Press 12 Jan. 11/2: ‘The Wooden Hill’ Every night, away we go [...] up the wooden hill.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Friday the 14th’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Why don’t you go up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire and check it out?
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 32: We took what Aunty Bar-Bar still referred to as the High Road to Bedfordshire.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 22 July 8: Clean yer railings, then up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 114: Brenda used to plonk herself in the same place to lighten the mood before going up the wooden hill when Jack was on nights.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 18: Come on, Jen, let’s have you pissed off up them stairs to Bedfordshire.
[UK]Guardian G2 4 May 216: The battle of Bedfordshire [...] life was made hell by her son’s sleeplessness.