Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

E. COBHAM BREWER FROM THE NEW AND ENLARGED EDITION OF 1894

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    A

    This letter is modified from the Hebrew (aleph = an ox), which was meant to indicate the outline of an ox's head.

    A

    among the Egyptians is denoted by the hieroglyphic which represents the ibis. Among the Greeks it was the symbol of a bad augury in the sacrifices.

    A

    in logic is the symbol of a universal affirmative. A asserts, E denies. Thus, syllogisms in bArbArA contain three universal affirmative propositions.

    A1

    means first—rate — the very best. In Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping, the character of the ship's hull is designated by letters, and that of the anchors, cables, and stores by figures. A1 means hull

    first—rate, and also anchors, cables, and stores; A2, hull first—rate, but furniture second—rate. Vessels of an inferior character are classified under the letters Æ, E, and I.

    “She is a prime girl, she is; she is A1.”— Sam Slick.

    A.B

    (See Able.)

    A.B.C

    = Aerated Bread Company.

    A B C Book

    A primer, a book in which articles are set in alphabetical order, as the A B C Railway Guide. The old Primers contained the Catechism, as is evident from the lines: —

    “That is question now;

    And then comes answer like an Absey book.” Shakespeare: King John, i, 1.

    A.B.C. Process

    (The) of making artificial manure. An acrostic of Alum, Blood, Clay, the three chief ingredients.

    A.E.I.O.U

    The device adopted by Frederick V, Archduke of Austria (the Emperor Frederick III. — 1440——1493).

    Austria Est Imperare Orbi Universo.

    Alles Erdreich Ist Oesterreich Unterthan.

    Austria's Empire Is Overall Universal.

    To which wags added after the war of 1866,

    Austria's Emperor Is Ousted Utterly.

    Frederick II of Prussia is said to have translated the motto thus: —

    “Austria Erit In Orbe Ultima” (Austria will one day be lowest in the world).

    A.U.C

    Anno urbis conditæ (Latin), “from the foundation of the city" — i.e., Rome.

    Aaron

    An Aaron's serpent. Something so powerful as to swallow up minor powers. — Exodus vii. 10——12.

    Ab

    Ab ovo. From the very beginning. Stasinos, in the epic poem called the Little Iliad, does not rush in medias res, but begins with the eggs of Leda, from one of which Helen was born. If Leda had not laid this egg, Helen would never have been born. If Helen had not been born, Paris could not have eloped with her. If Paris had not eloped with Helen, there would have been no Trojan War, etc.

    Ab ovo usque ad mala.

    From the first dish to the last. A Roman coena (dinner) consisted of three parts. The first course was the appetiser, and consisted chiefly of eggs, with stimulants; the second was the “dinner proper;” and the third the dessert, at which mala (i.e., all sorts of apples, pears, quinces, pomegranates, and so on) formed the most conspicuous part. — Hor. Sat. I. iii. 5.

    Aback

    I was taken aback — I was greatly astonished — taken by surprise — startled. It is a sea term. A ship is “taken aback” when the sails are suddenly carried by the wind back against the mast, instantly staying the ship's progress — very dangerous in a strong gale.

    Abacus

    A small frame with wires stretched across it. Each wire contains ten movable balls, which can be shifted backwards or forwards, so as to vary ad libitum the number in two or more blocks. It is used to teach children addition and subtraction. The ancient Greeks and Romans employed it for calculations, and so do the Chinese. The word is derived from the Phoen. abak (dust); the Orientals used tables covered with dust for ciphering and diagrams. In Turkish schools this method is still used for teaching writing. The multiplication table invented by Pythagoras is called Abacus Pythagoricus. (Latin, abacus)

    Abaddon

    The angel of the bottomless pit (Rev. ix. 11). The Hebrew abad means “he perished.”

    “The angell of the bottomlesse pytt, whose name in the hebrew tonge is Abadon.” — Tindale.

    Abambou

    The evil spirit of the Camma tribes in Africa. A fire is kept always burning in his house. He is supposed to have the power of causing sickness and death.

    Abandon

    means put at anyone's orders; hence, to give up. (Latin, ad, to; bann—um, late Latin for “a decree.”)

    Abandon fait larron

    As opportunity makes the thief, the person who neglects to take proper care of his goods, leads into temptation, hence the proverb, “Neglect leads to theft.”

    Abaris

    The dart of Abaris. Abaris, the Scythian, was a priest of Apollo; and the god gave him a golden arrow on which to ride through the air. This dart rendered him invisible; it also cured diseases, and gave oracles. Abaris gave it to Pythagoras.

    “The dart of Abaris carried the philosopher wheresoever he desired it.” — Willmott.

    Abate

    (2 syl.) means properly to knock down. (French, abattre, whence a battue, i.e., wholesale destruction of game; O.E. a beátan.)

    Abate,

    in horsemanship, is to perform well the downward motion. A horse is said to abate when, working upon curvets, he puts or beats down both his hind legs to the ground at once, and keeps exact time.

    Abatement in heraldry, is a mark of dishonour annexed to coat armour, whereby the honour of it is abated.

    Abaton

    As inacessible as Abaton. Artemisia, to commemorate her conquest of Rhodes, erected two statues in the island, one representing herself, and the other emblematical of Rhodes. When the Rhodians recovered their liberty they looked upon this monument as a kind of palladium, and to prevent its destruction surrounded it with a fortified enclosure which they called Abaton, or the inaccessible place. (Lucan speaks of an island difficult of access in the fens of Memphis, called Abaton.)

    Abbassides

    (3 syl.). A dynasty of caliphs who reigned from 750——1258. The name is derived from Abbas, uncle of Mahomet. The most celebrated of them was Haroun—al—Raschid (born 765, reigned 786——808).

    Abbey Laird

    (An). An insolvent debtor sheltered by the precincts of Holyrood Abbey.

    “As diligence cannot be proceeded with on Sunday, the Abbey Lairds (as they were jocularly called) were enabled to come forth on that day to mingle in our society.” — R. Chambers.

    Abbey—lubber

    (An). An idle, well—fed dependent or loafer.

    “It came into a common proverbe to call him an Abbay—lubber, that was idle, wel fed, a long, lewd, lither loiterer, that might worke and would not.” — The Burnynge of Paules Church, 1563.

    It is used also of religions in contempt; see Dryden's Spanish Friar.

    Abbot of Misrule

    or Lord of Misrule. A person who used to superintend the Christmas diversions. In France the “Abbot of Misrule” was called L'abbé de Liesse (jollity). In Scotland the master of revels was called the “Master of Unreason.”

    Abbotsford

    A name given by Sir Walter Scott to Clarty Hole, on the south bank of the Tweed, after it became his residence. Sir Walter devised the name from a fancy he loved to indulge in, that the abbots of Melrose Abbey, in ancient times, passed over the fords of the Tweed.

    abd

    in Arabic = slave or servant, as Abd—Allah (servant of God ), Abd—el—Kader (servant of the Mighty One), Abdul—Latif ( servant of the Gracious One), etc.

    Abdael

    (2 syl.). George Monk, third Duke of Albemarle.

    “Brave Abdael o'r the prophets' school was placed;

    Abdael, with all his father's virtues graced ...;

    Without one Hebrew's blood, restored the crown.” Dryden and Tait: Absalom and Achitopel, Part ii.

    Tate's blunder for Abdiel (q.v.).

    Abdallah

    the father of Mahomet, was so beautiful, that when he married Amina, 200 virgins broke their hearts from disappointed love. — Washington Irving: Life of Mahomet.

    Abdallah

    Brother and predecessor of Giaffir, pacha of Abydos. He was murdered by Giaffir (2 syl.). — Byron: Bride of Abydos.

    Abdals

    Persian fanatics, who think it a merit to kill anyone of a different religion; and if slain in the attempt, are accounted martyrs.

    Abdera

    A maritime town of Thrace, said in fable to have been founded by Abdera, sister of Diomede. It was so overrun with rats that it was abandoned, and the Abderitans migrated to Macedonia.

    Abderitan

    A native of Abdera, a maritime city of Thrace. The Abderitans were proverbial for stupidity, hence the phrase, “You have no more mind than an Abderite.” Yet the city gave birth to some of the wisest men of Greece: as Democritos (the laughing philosopher), Protagoras (the great sophist), Anaxarchos (the philosopher and friend of Alexander), Hecatæos (the historian), etc.

    Abderitan Laughter

    Scoffing laughter, incessant laughter. So called from Abdera, the birthplace of Democritos, the laughing philosopher.

    Abderite

    (3 syl.) A scoffer, so called from Democritos.

    Abderus

    One of Herakles's friends, devoured by the horses of Diomede. Diomede gave him his horses to hold, and they devoured him.

    Abdiel

    The faithful seraph who withstood Satan when he urged the angels to revolt. (See Paradise Lost, Bk.

    v., lines 896, etc.)

    “[He] adheres, with the faith of Abdiel, to the ancient form of adoration.” — Sir W. Scott.

    Abecedarian One who teaches or is learning his A B C.

    Abecedarian hymns.

    Hymns which began with the letter A, and each verse or clause following took up the letters of the alphabet in regular succession. ( See Acrostic.)

    Abel and Cain

    The Mahometan tradition of the death of Abel is this: Cain was born with a twin sister who was named Aclima, and Abel with a twin sister named Jumella. Adam wished Cain to marry Abel's twin sister, and Abel to marry Cain's. Cain would not consent to this arrangement, and Adam proposed to refer the question to God by means of a sacrifice. God rejected Cain's sacrifice to signify his disapproval of his marriage with Aclima, his twin sister, and Cain slew his brother in a fit of jealousy.

    Abel Keene

    A village schoolmaster, afterwards a merchant's clerk. He was led astray, lost his place, and hanged himself. — Crabbe: Borough, Letter xxi.

    Abelites

    (3 syl.) Abelians, or Abelonians. A Christian sect of the fourth century, chiefly found in Hippo (N. Africa). They married, but lived in continence, as they affirm Abel did. The sect was maintained by adopting the children of others. No children of Abel being mentioned in Scripture, the Abelites assume that he had none.

    Abessa

    The impersonation of Abbeys and Convents, represented by Spenser as a damsel. When Una asked if she had seen the Red Cross Knight, Abessa, frightened at the lion, ran to the cottage of blind Superstition, and shut the door. Una arrived, and the lion burst the door open. The meaning is, that at the Reformation, when Truth came, the abbeys and convents got alarmed, and would not let Truth enter, but England (the lion) broke down the door. — Faërie Queen, i. 3.

    Abesta

    A book said to have been written by Abraham as a commentary on the Zend and the Pazend. It is furthermore said that Abraham read these three books in the midst of the furnace into which he was cast by Nimrod. — Persian Mythology.

    Abeyance

    really means something gaped after (French, bayer, to gape). The allusion is to men standing with their mouths open, in expectation of some sight about to appear.

    Abhigit

    The propitiatory sacrifice made by an Indian rajah who has slain a priest without premeditation.

    Abhor

    (Latin, ab, away from, and horreo, to shrink; originally, to shudder have the hair on end). To abhor is to have a natural antipathy, and to show it by shuddering with disgust.

    Abiala

    Wife of Makambi; African deities. She holds a pistol in her hand, and is greatly feared. Her aid is implored in sickness.

    Abida

    A god of the Kalmucks, who receives the souls of the dead at the moment of decease, and gives them permission to enter a new body, either human or not, and have another spell of life on earth. If the spirit is spotless it may, if it likes, rise and live in the air.

    Abidharma

    The book of metaphysics in the Tripitaka (q.v.).

    Abigail

    A lady's maid, or ladymaid. Abigail, wife of Nabal, who introduced herself to David and afterwards married him, is a well—known Scripture heroine (l Sam. xxv 3). Abigail was a popular middle class Christian name in the seventeenth century. Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Scornful Lady, call the “waiting gentlewoman" Abigail, a name employed by Swift, Fielding, and others, in their novels. Probably “Abigail Hill” the original name of Mrs. Masham, waiting—woman to Queen Anne, popularised the name.

    Abimelech is no proper name, but a regal title of the Philistines, meaning Father—King.

    Able

    An able seaman is a skilled seaman. Such a man is termed an A.B. (Able—Bodied); unskilled seamen are called “boys” without regard to age.

    Able—bodied Seaman

    A sailor of the first class. A crew is divided into three classes: (1) able seamen, or skilled sailors, termed A.B.; (2) ordinary seamen; and (3) boys, which include green—hands, or inexperienced men, without regard to age or size.

    Aboard

    He fell aboard of me — met me; abused me. A ship is said to fall aboard another when, being in motion it runs against the other.

    To go aboard

    is to embark, to go on the board or deck.

    Aboard main tack

    is to draw one of the lower corners of the main—sail down to the chess—tree. Figuratively, it means “to keep to the point.”

    Abolla

    An ancient military garment worn by the Greeks and Romans, opposed to the toga or robe of peace. The abolla being worn by the lower orders, was affected by philosophers in the vanity of humility.

    Abominate

    (abominor, I pray that the omen may be averted; used on mentioning anything unlucky). As

    ill—omened things are disliked, so, by a simple figure of speech, what we dislike we consider ill—omened.

    Abomination of Desolation

    (The). The Roman standard is so called (Matt. xxiv. 15). As it was set up in the holy temple, it was an abomination; and, as it brought destruction, it was the “abomination of desolation.”

    Abon Hassan

    A rich merchant, transferred during sleep to the bed and palace of the Caliph

    Haroun—al—Raschid. Next morning he was treated as the caliph, and every effort was made to make him forget his identity. Arabian Nights (“The Sleeper Awakened"). The same trick was played on Christopher Sly, in the Induction of Shakespeare's comedy of Taming of the Shrew; and, according to Burton (Anatomy of Melancholy, ii. 2, 4), by Philippe the Good, Duke of Burgundy, on his marriage with Eleonora.

    “Were I caliph for a day, as honest Abon Hassan, I would scourge me these jugglers out of the Commonwealth.” — Sir Walter Scott.

    Abonde

    (Dame) The French Santa Claus, the good fairy who comes at night to bring toys to children while they sleep, especially on New Year's Day.

    Abortive Flowers

    are those which have stamens but no pistils.

    Abou ebn Sina

    commonly called Avicenna. A great Persian physician, born at Shiraz, whose canons of medicine were those adopted by Hippoc rates and Aristotle. Died 1037.

    Abou—Bekr

    called Father of the Virgin, i.e. , Mahomet's favourite wife. He was the first caliph, and was founder of the sect called the Sunnites. (571——634.)

    Abou Jahia

    The angel of death in Mohammedan mythology. Called Azrael by the Arabs, and Mordad by the Persians.

    Aboulomri

    (in Mohammedan mythology). A fabulous bird of the vulture sort which lives 1,000 years. Called by the Persians Kerkes, and by the Turks Ak—Baba. — Herbelot.

    Above properly applies only to matter on the same page, but has been extended to any previous part of the book, as See above, p. *.

    Above—board

    In a straightforward manner. Conjurers place their hands under the table when they are preparing their tricks, but above when they show them. “Let all be above—board” means “let there be no under —hand work, but let us see everything.”

    Above par

    A commercial term meaning that the article referred to is more than its nominal value. Thus, if you must give more than #100, for a #100 share in a bank company, a railway share, or other stock, we say the stock is “above par.”

    If, on the other hand, a nominal #100 worth can be bought for less than #100, we say the stock is “below par.”

    Figuratively, a person in low spirits or ill health says he is “below par.”

    Above your hook

    — i.e., beyond your comprehension; beyond your mark. The allusion is to hat—pegs placed in rows; the higher rows are above the reach of small statures.

    Abracadabra

    A charm. It is said that Abracadabra was the supreme deity of the Assyrians. Q. Severus Sammonicus recommended the use of the word as a powerful antidote against ague, flux, and toothache. The word was to be written on parchment, and suspended round the neck by a linen thread, in the form given below: —

    A B R A C A D A B R A

    A B R A C A D A B R

    A B R A C A D A B

    A B R A C A D A

    A B R A C A D

    A B R A C A

    A B R A C

    A B R A

    A B R

    A B

    A

    Abracax

    also written Abraxas or Abrasax, in Persian mythology denotes the Supreme Being. In Greek notation it stands for 365. In Persian mythology Abracax presides over 365 impersonated virtues, one of which is supposed to prevail on each day of the year. In the second century the word was employed by the Basilidians for the deity; it was also the principle of the Gnostic hierarchy, and that from which sprang their numerous Æons. (See Abraxas Stones.)

    Abraham

    His parents. According to Mohammedan mythology, the parents of Abraham were Prince Azar and his wife, Adna.

    His infancy. As King Nimrod had been told that one shortly to be born would dethrone him, he commanded the death of all such; so Adna retired to a cave where Abraham was born. He was nourished by sucking two of her fingers, one of which supplied milk and the other honey.

    His boyhood.

    At the age of fifteen months he was equal in size to a lad of fifteen, and very wise; so his father introduced him to the court of King Nimrod. — Herbelot: Bibliothèque Orientale.

    His offering.

    According to Mohammedan tradition, the mountain on which Abraham offered up his son was Arfaday; but is more generally thought to have been Moriah.

    His death.

    The Ghebers say that Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod's order, but the flame turned into a bed of roses, on which the child Abraham went to sleep. — Tavernier.

    “Sweet and welcome as the bed

    For their own infant prophet spread,

    When pitying Heaven to roses turned

    The death—flames that beneath him burned.” T. Moore: Fire Worshippers.

    To Sham Abraham.

    To pretend illness or distress, in order to get off work. (See Abram—Man.)

    “I have heard people say Sham Abram you may,

    But must not Sham Abraham Newland.”

    T. Dibdin

    or Upton

    Abraham Newland was cashier of the Bank of England, and signed the notes.

    Abraham's Bosom

    The repose of the happy in death (Luke xvi.22). The figure is taken from the ancient custom of allowing a dear friend to recline at dinner on your bosom. Thus the beloved John reclined on the bosom of Jesus.

    There is no leaping from Delilah's lap into Abraham's bosom — i.e.

    , those who live and die in notorious sin must not expect to go to heaven at death. — Boston: Crook in the Lot.

    Abraham Newland

    (An). A banknote. So called because, in the early part of the nineteenth century, none were genuine but those signed by this name.

    Abrahamic Covenant

    The covenant made by God with Abraham, that Messiah should spring from his seed. This promise was given to Abraham, because he left his country and father's house to live in a strange land, as God told him.

    Abrahamites

    (4 syl.) Certain Bohemian deists, so called because they professed to believe what Abraham believed before he was circumcised. The sect was forbidden by the Emperor Joseph II. in 1783.

    Abram—colour

    Probably a corruption of Abron, meaning auburn. Halliwell quotes the following from Coriolanus, ii. 3: “Our heads are some brown, some black, some Abram, some bald.” And again, “Where is the eldest son of Priam, the Abram—coloured Trojan?” “A goodly, long, thick Abram—coloured beard.” — Blurt, Master Constable.

    Hall, in his Satires, iii. 5, uses abron for auburn. “A lusty courtier ... with abron locks was fairly furnishëd.”

    Abram—Man or Abraham Cove. A Tom o' Bedlam; a naked vagabond; a begging impostor.

    The Abraham Ward, in Bedlam, had for its inmates begging lunatics, who used to array themselves “with

    party—coloured ribbons, tape in their hats, a fox—tail hanging down, a long stick with streamers,” and beg alms; but “for all their seeming madness, they had wit enough to steal as they went along.” — Canting Academy.

    See King Lear, ii. 3.

    In Beaumont and Fletcher we have several synonyms: —

    “And these, what name or title e'er they bear,

    Jackman or Patrico, Cranke or Clapper—dudgeon

    , Fraier or Abram—man, I speak to all.” Beggar's Bush, ii. 1.

    Abraxas Stones

    Stones with the word Abraxas engraved on them, and used as talismans. They were cut into symbolic forms combining a fowl's head, a serpent's body, and human limbs. (See Abracax.)

    Abreast

    Side by side, the breasts being all in a line.

    The ships were all abreast — i.e.

    , their heads were all equally advanced, as soldiers marching abreast.

    Abridge

    is not formed from the word bridge; but comes from the Latin abbreviare, to shorten, from brevis (short), through the French abréger (to shorten).

    Abroach

    To set mischief abroach is to set it afoot. The figure is from a cask of liquor, which is broached that the liquor may be drawn from it. (Fr., brocher, to prick, abrocher.)

    Abroad

    You are all abroad. Wide of the mark; not at home with the subject. Abroad, in all directions.

    “An elm displays her dusky arms abroad.” Dryden.

    Abrogate

    When the Roman senate wanted a law to be passed, they asked the people to give their votes in its favour. The Latin for this is rogare legem (to solicit or propose a law). If they wanted a law repealed, they asked the people to vote against it; this was abrogare legem (to solicit against the law).

    Absalom

    James, Duke of Monmouth, the handsome but rebellious son of Charles II. in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel (1649——1685).

    Absalom and Achitophel

    A political satire by Dryden (1649——1685). David is meant for Charles II.; Absalom for his natural son James, Duke of Monmouth, handsome like Absalom, and, like him, rebellious. Achitophel is meant for Lord Shaftesbury, Zimri for the Duke of Buckingham, and Abdael for Monk. The selections are so skilfully made that the history of David seems repeated. Of Absalom, Dryden says (Part i.): —

    “Whatever he did was done with so much ease,

    In him alone 'twas natural to please;

    His motions all accompanied with grace,

    And paradise was opened in his face.”

    Abscond

    means properly to hide; but we generally use the word in the sense of stealing off secretly from an employer. (Latin, abscondo.)

    Absent “Out of mind as soon as out of sight.” Generally misquoted “Out of sight, out of mind.” — Lord Brooke.

    The absent are always wrong.

    The translation of the French proverb, Les absents ont toujours tort.

    Absent Man

    (The). The character of Bruyère's Absent Man, translated in the Spectator and exhibited on the stage, is a caricature of Comte de Brancas.

    Absolute

    A Captain Absolute, a bold, despotic man, determined to have his own way. The character is in Sheridan's play called The Rivals.

    Sir Anthony Absolute

    , a warm—hearted, testy, overbearing country squire, in the same play. William Dowton (1764——1851) was nick—named “Sir Anthony Absolute.”

    Absquatulate

    To run away or abscond. A comic American word, from ab and squat (to go away from your squatting). A squatting is a tenement taken in some unclaimed part, without purchase or permission. The persons who take up their squatting are termed squatters.

    Abstemious

    according to Fabius and Aulus Gellius, is compounded of abs and temetum. “Temetum” was a strong, intoxicating drink, allied to the Greek methu (strong drink).

    Vinum prisca lingua temetum appellabant.” — Aulus Gellius, x. 23.

    Abstract Numbers

    are numbers considered abstractly — 1, 2, 3; but if we say 1 year, 2 feet, 3 men, etc., the numbers are no longer abstract, but concrete.

    Taken in the abstract.

    Things are said to be taken in the abstract when they are considered absolutely, that is, without reference to other matters or persons. Thus, in the abstract, one man is as good as another, but not so socially and politically.

    Abstraction

    An empty Abstraction, a mere ideality, of no practical use. Every noun is an abstraction, but the narrower genera may be raised to higher ones, till the common thread is so fine that hardly anything is left. These high abstractions, from which everything but one common cord is taken, are called empty abstractions.

    For example, man is a genus, but may be raised to the genus animal, thence to organised being, thence to created being, thence to matter in the abstract, and so on, till everything but one is emptied out.

    Absurd

    means strictly, quite deaf. (Latin, ab, intensive, and surdus, deaf.)

    Reduction ad absurdum.

    Proving a proposition to be right by showing that every supposable deviation from it would involve an absurdity.

    Abudah

    A merchant of Bagdad, haunted every night by an old hag; he finds at last that the way to rid himself of this torment is to “fear God, and keep his commandments.” — Tales of the Genii.

    “Like Abudah, he is always looking out for the Fury, and knows that the night will come with the inevitable hag with it.” — Thackeray.

    Abundant Number

    (An). A number such that the sum of all its divisors (except itself) is greater than the number itself. Thus 12 is an abundant number, because its divisors, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 = 16, which is greater than 12.

    A Deficient number is one of which the sum of all its divisors is less than itself, as 10, the divisors of which are 1, 2, 5 = 8, which is less than 10.

    A Perfect number is one of which the sum of all its divisors exactly measures itself, as 6, the divisors of which are 1, 2, 3 = 6.

    Abus the river Humber.

    “For by the river that whylome was hight

    The ancien Abus ... [was from]

    Their chieftain, Humber, named aright.”

    And Drayton, in his Polyolbion, 28, says: —

    “For my princely name.

    From Humber, king of Huns, as anciently it came.” See Geoffrey's Chronicles, Bk. ii. 2.

    Abyla

    A mountain in Africa, opposite Gibraltar. This, with Calpe in Spain, 16 m. distant, forms the pillars of Hercules.

    Heaves up huge Abyla on Afric's sand,

    Crowns with high Calpe Europe's salient strand.”

    Darwin: Economy of Vegetation.

    Abyssinians

    A sect of Christians in Abyssinia, who admit only one nature in Jesus Christ, and reject the Council of Chalcedon.

    Acacetus

    One who does nothing badly. It was a name given to Mercury or Hermes for his eloquence. (Greek, a , not, kakos, bad.)

    Academics

    The followers of Plato were so called, because they attended his lectures in the Academy, a garden planted by Academos.

    “See there the olive grove of Academus, Plato's retreat.”Milton: Paradise Lost, Book iv.

    Academy

    Divided into — Old, the philosophic teaching of Plato and his immediate followers; Middle, a modification of the Platonic system, taught by Arcesilaos; New, the half—sceptical school of Carneades.

    Plato taught that matter is eternal and infinite, but without form or order; and that there is an intelligent cause, the author of everything. He maintained that we could grasp truth only so far as we had elevated our mind by thought to its divine essence.

    Arcesilaos was the great antagonist of the Stoics, and wholly denied man's capacity for grasping truth.

    Carneades maintained that neither our senses nor our understanding could supply us with a sure criterion of truth.

    The talent of the Academy,

    so Plato called Aristotle (B.C. 384——322).

    Academy Figures

    Drawings in black and white chalk, on tinted paper, from living models, used by artists. So called from the Royal Academy of Artists.

    Acadia

    i.e., Nova Scotia, so called by the French from the river Shubenacadie. The name was changed in 1621. In 1755 the old French inhabitants were driven into exile by order of George II.

    “Thus dwelt together in love those simple Acadian farmers.” Longfellow: Evangeline.

    Acadine A fountain of Sicily which revealed if writings were authentic and genuine or not. The writings to be tested were thrown into the fountain, and if spurious they sank to the bottom. Oaths and promises were tried in the same way, after being written down. — Diodorus Siculus.

    Acanthus

    The leafy ornament used in the capitals of Corinthian and composite columns. It is said that Callimachos lost his daughter, and set a basket of flowers on her grave, with a tile to keep the wind from blowing it away. The next time he went to visit the grave an acanthus had sprung up around the basket, which so struck the fancy of the architect that he introduced the design in his buildings.

    Acceptance

    A bill or note accepted. This is done by the drawee writing on it “accepted,” and signing his name. The person who accepts it is called the “acceptor.”

    Accessory

    Accessory before the fact is one who is aware that another intends to commit an offence, but is himself absent when the offence is perpetrated.

    Accessory after the fact

    is one who screens a felon, aids him in eluding justice, or helps him in any way to profit by his crime. Thus, the receiver of stolen goods, knowing or even suspecting them to be stolen, is an accessory ex post facto.

    Accident

    A logical accident is some property or quality which a thing possesses, but which does not essentially belong to it, as the tint of our skin, the height of our body, the redness of a brick, or the whiteness of paper. If any of these were changed, the substance would remain intact.

    Accidental or Subjective Colours

    Those which depend on the state of our eye, and not those which the object really possesses. Thus, after looking at the bright sun, all objects appear dark; that dark colour is the accidental colour of the bright sun. When, again, we come from a dark room, all objects at first have a yellow tinge. This is especially the case if we wear blue glasses, for a minute or two after we have taken them off.

    The accidental colour of red is bluish green, of orange dark blue, of violet yellow, of black white; and the converse.

    Accidentals

    in music are those sharps and flats, etc., which do not properly belong to the key in which the music is set, but which the composer arbitrarily introduces.

    Accidente!

    (4 syl.) An Italian curse or oath: “Ce qui veut dire en bon francais, “Puisses—tu mourir d'accident, sans confession,” damné.” — E. About: Tolla.

    Accidents

    in theology. After consecration, say the Catholics, the substance of the bread and wine is changed into that of the body and blood of Christ, but their accidents (flavour, appearance, and so on) remain the same as before.

    Accius Navius

    A Roman augur in the reign of Tarquin the Elder. When he forbade the king to increase the number of the tribes without consulting the augurs, Tarquin asked him if the thought then in his mind was feasible. “Undoubtedly,” said Accius. “Then cut through this whetstone with the razor in your hand.” The priest gave a bold cut, and the block fell in two. This story (from Livy, Bk. i., chap. 36) is humorously retold in Bon Gaultier's Ballads.

    Accolade

    (3 syl.) The touch of a sword on the shoulder in the ceremony of conferring knighthood; originally an embrace or touch by the hand on the neck. (Latin, ad collum, on the neck.)

    Accommodation

    A loan of money, which accommodates us, or fits a want.

    Accommodation Note or Bill. An acceptance given on a Bill of Exchange for which value has not been received by the acceptor from the drawer, and which, not representing a commercial transaction, is so far fictitious.

    Accommodation Ladder.

    The light ladder hung over the side of a ship at the gangway.

    Accord

    means “heart to heart.” (Latin, ad corda.) If two persons like and dislike the same things, they are heart to heart with each other.

    Similarly, “con—cord” heart with heart; “dis—cord,” heart divided from heart; “re—cord” properly means to recollect — i.e., re—cordare, to bring again to the mind or heart; then to set down in writing for the purpose of recollecting.

    Accost

    means to “come to the side” of a person for the purpose of speaking to him. (Latin, ad costam, to the side.)

    Account

    To open an account, to enter a customer's name on your ledger for the first time. (Latin, accomputare, to reckon with.)

    To keep open account

    is when merchants agree to honour each other's bills of exchange.

    A current account

    or account current, a/c. A commercial term, meaning that the customer is entered by name in the creditor's ledger for goods purchased but not paid for at the time. The account runs on for a month or more, according to agreement.

    To cast accounts.

    To give the results of the debits and credits entered, balancing the two, and carrying over the surplus.

    A sale for the account

    in the Stock Exchange means: the sale of stock not for immediate payment, but for the fortnightly settlement. Generally this is speculative, and the broker or customer pays the difference of price between the time of purchase and time of settlement.

    We will give a good account of them

    i.e. we will give them a thorough good drubbing

    Accurate

    means well and carefully done. (Latin, ad—curare, accuratus.)

    Accusative

    (The) Calvin was so called by his college companions. We speak of an “accusative age,” meaning searching, one eliminating error by accusing it.

    “This hath been a very accusative age.” — Sir E. Dering.

    Ace

    (1 syl.) The unit of cards or dice, from as, the Latin unit of weight. (Italian, asso; French and Spanish, as.)

    Within an ace.

    Within a shave. An ace is the lowest numeral, and he who wins within an ace, wins within a single mark. (See Ambes—As.)

    To bate an ace

    is to make an abatement, or to give a competitor some start or other advantage, in order to render the combatants more equal. It said that the expression originated in the reign of Henry VIII., when one of the courtiers named Bolton, in order to flatter the king, used to say at cards, “Your Majesty must bate me an ace, or I shall have no chance at all.” Taylor, the water poet (1580——1654), speaking of certain women, says —

    “Though bad they be, they will not bate an ace

    To be cald Prudence, Temprance, Faith, and Grace.”

    Aceldama A battle—field a place where much blood has been shed. To the south of Jerusalem there was a field so called; it was purchased by the priests with the blood—money thrown down by Judas, and appropriated as a cemetery for strangers (Matt. XXVII. 8; Acts 1. 19). (Aramaic, okel—dama.)

    Accephalites

    (4 syl.) properly means men without a head. (1) A fraction among the Eutychians in the fifth century after the submission of Mongus their chief, by which they were “deprived of their head.” (2) Certain bishops exempt from the jurisdiction and discipline of their patriarch. (3) A sect of levellers in the reign of Henry I., who acknowledged no leader. (4) The fabulous Blemmyes of Africa, who are described as having no head, their eyes and mouth being placed elsewhere. (Greek, a—kephale, without a head.)

    Acestes

    (3 syl.) The Arrow of Acestes. In a trial of skill Acestes, the Sicilian, discharged his arrrow with such force that it took fire. (Æ. 5, line 525.)

    “Like Acestes' shaft of old,

    The swift thought kindles as it flies.”

    Longfellow.

    Achæan League

    A confederacy of the twelve towns of Achæa. It was broken up by Alexander the Great, but was again reorganised B.C. 280, and dissolved by the Romans in 147 B.C.

    Achar

    in Indian philosophy means the All—in—All. The world is spun out of Achar as a web from a spider, and will ultimately return to him, as a spider sometimes takes back into itself its own thread. Phenomena are not independent realities, but merely partial and individual manifestations of the All—in—All.

    Achates

    (3 syl.) A fidus Achates. A faithful companion, a bosom friend. Achates in Virgil's Æneid is the chosen companion of the hero in adventures of all kinds.

    “He has chosen this fellow for his fidus Achates.” — Sir Walter Scott

    Achemon

    or Achmon, and his brother Basalas were two Cercopes for ever quarrelling. One day they saw Hercules asleep under a tree and insulted him, but Hercules tied them by their feet to his club and walked off with them, heads downwards, like a brace of hares. Everyone laughed at the sight, and it became a proverbial cry among the Greeks, when two men were seen quarelling — “Look out for Melampygos!” (i.e. Hercules).

    “Ne insidas in Melampygum.”

    According to Greek fable, monkeys are degraded men. The Cercopes were changed into monkeys for attempting to deceive Zeus.

    Acheron

    The “River of Sorrows” (Greek, achos roös); one of the five rivers of the infernal regions.

    “Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep.” Milton: Paradise Lost, ii. 578.

    Pabulum Acherontis.

    Food for the churchyard; said of a dead body.

    Acherontian Books

    The most celebrated books of augury in the world. They are the books which the Etruscans received from Tages, grandson of Jupiter.

    Acherusia

    A cavern on the borders of Pontus, said to lead down to the infernal regions. It was through this cavern that Hercules dragged Cerberus to earth.

    Achillea The Yarrow, called by the French the herbe aux charpentiers — i.e., carpenter's wort, because it was supposed to heal wounds made by carpenters' tools. Called Achillea from Achilles, who was taught the uses and virtues of plants by Chiron the centaur. The tale is, that when the Greeks invaded Troy, Telephus, a

    son—in—law of King Priam, attempted to stop their landing; but Bacchus —caused him to stumble over a vine, and, when he had fallen, Achilles wounded him with his spear. The young Trojan was told by an oracle that

    “Achilles (meaning milfoil or yarrow) would cure the wound;” but, instead of seeking the plant, he applied to the Grecian chief, and promised to conduct the host to Troy if he would cure the wound. Achilles consented to do so, scraped some rust from his spear, and from the filings rose the plant milfoil, which, being applied to the wound, had the desired effect.

    Achilles

    (3 syl.) King of the Myrmidons (in Thessaly), the hero of Homer's epic poem called the Iliad. He is represented as brave and relentless. The poem begins with a quarrel between him and Agamemnon, the commander in chief of the allied Greeks: in consequence of which Achilles refused to go to battle. The Trojans prevail, and Achilles sends forth his friend Patroclos to oppose them. Patroclos fell; and Achilles, in anger, rushing into the battle killed Hector, the commander of the Trojans. He himself, according to later poems, fell in battle a few days afterwards, before Troy was taken.

    Achilles

    Army: The Myrmidons followed him to Troy.

    Death of:

    It was Paris who wounded Achilles in the heel with an arrow (a

    post—Homericstory).

    Father:

    Peleus (2 syl.), King of Thessaly. Friend: Patroclos.

    Horses:

    Balios (= swift—footed) and Xanthos (= chestnut—coloured), endowed with human speech.

    Mistress in Troy:

    Hippodamia, surnamed Briseis (2 syl.). Mother: Thetis, a sea goddess.

    Son:

    Pyrrhos, surnamed Neoptolemos (= the new warrior). Tomb: In Sigoeum, over which no bird ever flies. — Pliny. x. 29. Tutors: First, Phoenix, who taught him the elements; then Chiron the centaur. Wife: Deidamia. (5 syl.) De—i—da—my'—ah.

    Achilles

    (pronounce A—kil—leez). The English , John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury (1373——1453).

    Achilles

    of England, the Duke of Wellington (1769——1852).

    Of Germany,

    Albert, Elector of Brandenburg (1414——1486).

    Of Lombardy,

    brother of Sforza and Palamedes. All the three brothers were in the allied army of Godfrey (Jerusalem Delivered). Achilles of Lombardy was slain by Corinna. This was not a complimentary title, but a proper name.

    Of Rome,

    Lucius Sicinius Dentatus, the Roman tribune; also called the Second Achilles. Put to death B.C. 450.

    Achilles of the West

    Roland the Paladin; also called “The Christian Theseus” (2 syl.).

    Achilles' Spear

    (See Achillea.)

    Achilles' Tendon

    A strong sinew running along the heel to the calf of the leg. The tale is that Thetis took her son Achilles by the heel, and dipped him in the river Styx to make him invulnerable. The water washed every

    part, except the heel covered with his mother's hand. It was on this vulnerable point the hero was slain; and the sinew of the heel is called, in consequence, tendo Achillis. A post—Homeric story

    The Heel of Achilles.

    The vulnerable or weak point in a man's character or of a nation. ( See above.)

    Aching Void

    (An). That desolation of heart which arises from the recollection of some cherished endearment no longer possessed.

    “What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!

    How sweet their memory still!

    But they have left an aching void

    The world can never fill.”

    Cowper: Walking with God.

    Achitophel

    (See Absalom and Achitophel.) Achitophel was David's traitorous counsellor, who deserted to Absalom; but his advice being disregarded, he hanged himself (2 Sam. xv.). The Achitophel of Dryden's satire was the Earl of Shaftesbury: —

    Of these (the rebels) the false Achitophel was first;

    A name to all succeeding ages curst;

    For close designs and crooked counsels fit;

    Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;

    Restless, unfixed in principles and place;

    In power unpleased, impatient in disgrace.”

    Part i. 150——5.

    Achor

    God of flies, worshipped by the Cyreneans, that they might not be annoyed with these tiny tormentors. (See Flies, God of.)

    Acis

    The son of Faunus, in love with Galatea. Polyphemos, his rival, crushed him under a huge rock.

    Acme

    The crisis of a disease. Old medical writers used to divide the progress of a disease into four periods: the ar—che, or beginning; the anabasis, or increase, the acme, or term of its utmost violence, and the pa—rac—me, or decline. Figuratively, the highest point of anything.

    Acmonian Wood

    (The). The trystplace of unlawful love. It was here that Mars had his assignation with Harmonïa, who became the mother of the Amazons.

    “C'est là que ... Mars eut les faveurs de la nymphe Harmonie, commerce dont naquirent les Amazones” — Etienne: Géographie.

    Acoime tæ

    An order of monks in the fifth century who watched day and night. (Greek, watchers.)

    Acolyte

    (3 syl.) A subordinate officer in the Catholic Church, whose duty is to light the lamps, prepare the sacred elements, attend the officiating priests, etc. (Greek, a follower.)

    Aconite

    The herb Monkshood or Wolfsbane. Classic fabulists ascribe its poisonous qualities to the foam which dropped from the mouths of the three—headed Cerbërus, when Hercules, at the command of Eurystheus, dragged the monster from the infernal regions. (Latin, aconitum.)

    “Lurida terribiles miscent Aconita novercæ.” Ovid: Metamorphoses, i. 147.

    Acrasia

    (Self—indulgence). An enchantress who lived in the “Bower of Bliss,” situate in “Wandering Island” She transformed her lovers into monstrous shapes, and kept them captives. Sir Guyon having crept up softly, threw a net over her, and bound her in chains of adamant; then broke down her bower and burnt it to ashes. — Spencer Faëry Queen, ii. 12.

    Acrates

    (3 syl.) i.e., incontinence; called by Spenser the father of Cymochlës and Pyrochles. — Faëry Queen,

    ii. 4.

    Acre

    “God's acre,” a cemetery or churchyard. The word “acre,” Old English, aæcer, is akin to the Latin ager and German acker (a field).

    Acre—fight

    A duel in the open field. The combats of the Scotch and English borderers were so called.

    Acre—shot A land tax. “Acre” is Old English, æcer (land), and “shot” is scot or sceat (a tax).

    Acres

    A Bob Acres — i.e., a coward. From Sheridan's comedy called The Rivals. His courage always “oozed out at his fingers' ends.”

    Acroamatics

    Esoterical lectures; the lectures of Aristotle, which none but his chosen disciples were allowed to attend. Those given to the public generally were called exoteric. (Acroamatic is a Greek word, meaning delivered to an audience, to attend lectures.)

    Acroatic

    Same as esoteric. (See Acroamatics.)

    Acrobat

    means one who goes on his extremities , or uses only the tips of his fingers and toes in moving about. (It is from the two Greek words, akros baino, to go on the extremities of one's limbs.)

    Acropolis

    The citadel of ancient Athens.

    Of course, the word is compounded of akros and polis = the city on the height, i.e., the high rock

    Acrostic

    (Greek, akros stichos) The term was first applied to the verses of the Erythræan sibyl, written on leaves. These prophecies were excessively obscure, but were so contrived that when the leaves were sorted and laid in order, their initial letters always made a word. — Dionys., iv. 62.

    Acrostic poetry

    among the Hebrews consisted of twenty—two lines or stanzas beginning with the letters of the alphabet in succession, as Psalm cxix., etc.

    Acrostics

    Puzzles, generally in verse, consisting of two words of equal length The initial letters of the several lines constitute one of the secret words, and the final letters constitute the other word.

    Also words re—arranged so as to make other words of similar significance, as “Horatio Nelson” re—arranged into Honor est a Nilo. Another form of acrostic is to find a sentence which reads the same backwards and forwards, as E.T.L.N.L.T.E., the initial letters of “Eat To Live, Never Live To Eat;” which in Latin would be, E.U.V.N.V.U.E. ( Ede Ut Vivas, Ne Vivas Ut Edas).

    Act

    and Opponency An “Act,” in our University language, consists of a thesis and “disputation” thereon, covering continuous parts of three hours. The person “disputing” with the “keeper of the Act” is called the “opponent,” and his function is called an “opponency.” In some degrees the student is required to keep his Act, and then to be the opponent of another disputant. Much alteration in these matters has been introduced of late, with other college reforms.

    Act of Faith

    (auto da fé) in Spain, is a day set apart by the Inquisition for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of those who renounce their heretical doctrines. The sentence of the Inquisition is also so called; and so is the ceremony of burning, or otherwise torturing the condemned.

    Act of God

    (An) “Damnum fatale,” such as loss by lightning, shipwreck, fire, etc.; loss arising from fatality, and not from one's own fault, theft, and so on. A Devonshire jury once found a verdict — ” That deceased died by the act of God, brought about by the flooded condition of the river.”

    Actaeon

    A hunter. In Grecian mythology Actæon was a huntsman, who surprised Diana bathing, was changed by her into a stag, and torn to pieces by his own hounds. Hence, a man whose wife is unfaithful. ( See Horns.)

    “Go thou, like Sir Actæon, with Ringwood at thy heel.” Shakespeare: Merry Wives, ii. 1.

    “Divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon.” Ibid. iii. 2.

    Actian Years

    Years in which the Actian games were celebrated. Augustus instituted games at Actium to celebrate his naval victory over Antony. They were held every five years.

    Action Sermon

    A sacramental sermon (in the Scots Presbyterian Church).

    “I returned home about seven, and addressed myself towards my Action Sermon, Mrs. Olivant.” — E. Irving.

    Active

    Active verbs, verbs which act on the noun governed.

    Active capital.

    Property in actual employment in a given concern.

    Active Commerce.

    Exports and imports carried to and fro in our own ships. Passive commerce is when they are carried in foreign vessels. The commerce of England is active, of China passive.

    Activity

    The sphere of activity, the whole field through which the influence of an object or person extends.

    Acton

    A taffeta, or leather—quilted dress, worn under the habergeon to keep the body from being chafed or bruised. (French, hocqueton.)

    Actresses

    Female characters used to be played by boys. Coryat, in his Crudities (1611), says, “When I went to a theatre (in Venice) I observed certain things that I never saw before; for I saw women acte. ... I have heard that it hath sometimes been used in London” (Vol. ii.).

    “Whereas, women's parts in plays have hitherto been acted by men in the habits of women ... we do permit and give leave for the time to come that all women's parts be acted by women, 1662.” — Charles II.

    The first female actress on the English stage was Mrs. Coleman (1656), who played Ianthe in the Siege of Rhodes.

    The last male actor that took the part of a woman on the English stage, in serious drama, was Edward Kynaston, noted for his beauty (1619——1687).

    Acu tetigisti

    You have hit the nail on the head. (Lit., you have touched it with a needle.) Plautus (Rudens, v 2,

    19) says, “Rem acu tetigisti;” and Cicero (Pro Milone, 24) has “Vulnus acu punctum,” evidently referring to a surgeon's probe.

    Acutiator

    A person in the Middle Ages who attended armies and knights to sharpen their instruments of war. (Latin, acuo, to sharpen.)

    Ad Græcas Calendas.

    (Deferred) to the Greek Calends — i.e. , for ever. (It shall be done) on the Greek Calends — .e., never. There were no Calends in the Greek notation of the months. (See Never.)

    Ad inquirendum

    A judicial writ commanding an inquiry to be made into some complaint.

    Ad libitum

    Without restraint.

    Ad rem (Latin) To the point in hand; to the purpose. (Acu rem tetigisti.) (See above, Acu.)

    Ad unum omnes

    All to a man (Latin).

    Ad valorem

    According to the price charged. Some custom —— duties vary according to the different values of the goods imported. Thus, at one time teas paid duty ad valorem, the high—priced tea paying more duty than that of a lower price.

    Ad vitam aut culpam

    A Latin phrase, used in Scotch law, to indicate the legal permanency of an appointment, unless forfeited by misconduct.

    Adam

    The Talmudists say that Adam lived in Paradise only twelve hours, and account for the time thus: —

    The first hour, God collected the dust and animated it.

    The second hour, Adam stood on his feet.

    The fourth hour, he named the animals.

    The sixth hour, he slept and Eve was created.

    The seventh hour, he married the woman.

    The tenth hour, he fell.

    The twelfth hour, he was thrust out of Paradise.

    The Mohammedans tell us he fell on Mount Serendib, in Ceylon, where there is a curious impression in the granite resembling a human foot, above 5 feet long and 2.5; feet broad. They tell us it was made by Adam, who stood there on one foot for 200 years to expiate his crime; when Gabriel took him to Mount Arafath, where he found Eve. (See Adam's Peak.)

    Adam was buried

    , according to Arabian tradition, on Aboucais, a mountain of Arabia.

    Adam

    The old Adam; beat the offending Adam out of thee; the first Adam. Adam, as the head of unredeemed man, stands for “original sin” or “man without regenerating grace.”

    The second Adam; the new Adam, etc.; I will give you the new Adam

    . Jesus Christ, as the covenant head, is so called; also the “new birth unto righteousness.”

    When Adam delved and Eve span

    “Au temps passé, Berthe filait.” This Bertha was the wife of King Pepin.

    When Adam delved and Eve span

    Who was then the gentleman?”

    Adam.

    A sergeant, bailiff, or any one clad in buff, or a skin—coat, like Adam.

    “Not that Adam that kept Paradise, but that Adam that keeps the prison.” — Shakespeare: Comedy of Errors, iv. 3.

    A faithful Adam.

    A faithful old servant. The character is taken from Shakespeare's comedy of As you like it, where a retainer of that name, who had served the family sixty—three years, offer to accompany Orlando in his flight and to share with him his thrifty savings of 500 crowns.

    Adam Bell A northern outlaw, whose name has become a synonym for a good archer. (See Clym of the Clough)

    Adam Cupid

    i.e., Archer Cupid, perhaps with allusion to Adam Bell, the celebrated archer. (See Percy's Reliques, vol. i., p. 7.)

    Adam's Ale

    Water as a beverage; from the supposition that Adam had nothing but water to drink. In Scotland water for a beverage is called Adam's Wine.

    Adam's Apple

    The protuberance in the fore—part of a man's throat; so called from the superstition that a piece of the forbidden fruit which Adam ate stuck in his throat, and occasioned the swelling.

    Adam's Needle.

    The yucca, so called because it is sharp—pointed like a needle.

    Adam's Peak

    in Ceylon, is where the Arabs say Adam bewailed his expulsion from Paradise, and stood on one foot till God forgave him. It was the Portuguese who first called it “Pico de Adam.” (See Kaaba)

    In the granite is the mark of a human foot, above 5 feet long by 2.5; broad, said to have been made by Adam, who, we are told, stood there on one foot for 200 years, to expiate his crime. After his penance he was restored to Eve. The Hindus assert that the footprint is that made by Buddha when he ascended to heaven.

    Adam's Profession

    Gardening, agriculture. Adam was appointed by God to dress the garden of Eden, and to keep it (Gen. ii. 15); and after the fall he was sent out of the garden “to till the ground” (Gen. iii. 23).

    “There is no ancient gentlemen, but gardeners, ditchers, and grave—makers; they hold up Adam's profession.” — The Clown in “Hamlet,” v. 1.

    Adams

    Parson Adams, the ideal of a benevolent, simple—minded, eccentric country clergyman; ignorant of the world, bold as a lion for the truth, and modest as a girl. The character is in Fielding's novel of Joseph Andrews.

    Adamant

    is really the mineral corundum; but the word is indifferently used for rock crystal, diamond, or any hard substance, and also for the magnet or loadstone. It is often used by poet for no specific substance, but as hardness or firmness in the abstract. Thus, Virgil, in his Æneid vi. 552, speaks of “adamantine pillars” merely to express solid and strong ones; and Milton frequently uses the word in the same way. Thus, in Paradise Lost, ii. 436, he says the gates of hell were made of burning adamant:

    “This huge convex of fire

    Outrageous to devour, immures us round

    Ninefold, and gates of burning adamant

    Barred over us prohibit all egress.”

    Satan, he tells us, wore adamantine armour (Book vi. 110):

    “Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced,

    Came towering, armed in adamant and gold.”

    And a little further on he tells us his shield was made of adamant (vi. 255):

    “He [Satan] hasted, and opposed the rocky orb

    Of ten—fold adamant, his ample shield

    A vast circumference.”

    Tasso (canto vii. 82) speaks of Scudo di lucidissimo diamante (a shield of clearest diamond).

    Other poets make adamant to mean the magnet. Thus, in Troilus and Cresida, iii. 2:

    As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,

    As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,

    As iron to adamant.”

    (“Plantage to the moon,” from the notion that plants grew best with the increasing moon.)

    And Green says:

    As true to thee as steel to adamant.”

    So, in the Arabian Nights, the “Third Calendar,” we read:

    To—morrow about noon we shall be near the black mountain, or mine of adamant, which at this very minute draws all your fleet towards it, by virtue of the iron in your ships.”

    Adamant is a (negative) and damao (to conquer). Pliny tells us there are six unbreakable stones (xxxvii. 15), but the classical adamas (gen. adamant—is) is generally supposed to mean the diamond. Diamond and adamant are originally the same word.

    Adamastor

    The spirit of the stormy Cape (Good Hope), described by Camoëns in the Lusiad as a hideous phantom. According to Barreto, he was one of the giants who invaded heaven.

    Adamic Covenant

    The covenant made with God to Adam, that “the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head” (Gen. iii. 15).

    Adamites

    (3 syl.) A sect of fanatics who spread themselves over Bohemia and Moravia in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. One Picard, of Bohemia, was the founder in 1400, and styled himself “Adam, son of God.” He professed to recall his followers to the state of primitive innocence. No clothes were worn, wives were in common, and there was no such thing as good and evil, but all actions were indifferent.

    Adaran

    according to the Parsee superstition, is a sacred fire less holy than that called Behram (q.v.).

    Adays

    Nowadays, at the present time (or day). So in Latin, Nunc dierum and Nunc temporis. The prefix “a"= at, of, or on. Simularly, anights, of late, on Sundays. All used adverbially.

    Addison of the North

    i.e., Henry Mackenzie, the author of the Man of Feeling (1745——1831).

    Addixit

    or Addixerunt (Latin). All right. The word uttered by the augurs when the “birds” were favourable.

    Addle

    is the Old English adela (filth), hence rotten, putrid, worthless.

    Addled egg,

    better “addle—egg,” a worthless egg. An egg which has not the vital principle.

    Addle—headed, addle—pate, empty headed. As an addle—egg produces no living bird, so an addle—pate lack brains.

    Addle Parliament (The)

    — 5th April to 7th June, 1614. So called because it did not pass one single measure. (See Parliament.)

    Adelantado

    A big—wig, the great boss of the place. It is a Spanish word for “his excellency” (adelantar , to excel), and is given to the governor of a province.

    “Open no door. If the adelantado of Spain were here he should not enter.” — Ben Jonson: Every Man out of his Humour, v. 4.

    Ademar

    or Ademaro (in Jerusalem Delivered). Archbishop of Poggio, an ecclesiastical warrior, who with William, Archbishop of Orange, besought Pope Urban on his knees that he might be sent on the crusade. He took 400 armed men from Poggio, but they sneaked off during a drought, and left the crusade (Book xiii.). Ademar was not alive at the time, he had been slain at the attack on Antioch by Clorinda (Book xi.); but in the final attack on Jerusalem, his spirit came with three squadrons of angels to aid the besiegers (Book xviii.).

    Adept

    properly means one who has attained (from the Latin, adeptus, participle of adipiscor). The alchemists applied the term vere adeptus, to those persons who professed to have “attained to the knowledge of” the elixir of life or of the philosopher's stone.

    Alchemists tell us there are always 11 adepts, neither more nor less. Like the sacred chickens of Compostella, of which there are only 2 and always 2 — a cock and a hen.

    In Rosicrucian lore as learn'd

    As he that vere adeptus earn'd.”

    S. Butler: Hudibras.

    Adessenarians

    A term applied to those who hold the real presence of Christ's body in the eucharist, but do not maintain that the bread and wine lose any of their original properties. (The word is from the Latin adesse, to be present.)

    Adeste Fideles

    Composed by John Reading, who wrote “Dulcë Domum.” It is called the “Portuguese Hymn,” from being heard at the Portuguese Chapel by the Duke of Leeds, who supposed it to be a part of the usual Portuguese service.

    Adfiliate, Adfiliation

    The ancient Goths adopted the children of a former marriage, and put them on the same footing as those of the new family. (Latin, ad—filius, equal to a real son.)

    Adha

    al (the slit—eared). The swiftest of Mahomet's camels.

    Adhab—al—Cabr

    The first purgatory of the Mahometans.

    Adiaphorists

    Followers of Melanchthon; moderate Lutherans, who hold that some of the dogmas of Luther are matters of indifference. (Greek, adiaphoros, indifferent.)

    Macaulay:

    Essay, Burleigh.

    Adieu

    good—bye. A Dieu, an elliptical form for I commend you to God. Good—bye is God be with ye.

    Adissechen

    The serpent with a thousand heads which sustains the universe. (Indian mythology.)

    Adjective Colours

    are those which require a mordant before they can be used as dyes.

    Adjourn

    Once written ajorn. French, à—journer, to put off to another day.

    “He ajorned tham to relie in the North of Garlele.” — Longtoft: Chronicle, p.309.

    Adjournment of the House

    (See Moving the Adjournment.)

    Admirable

    (The) Aben—Ezra, a Spanish rabbi born at Toledo (1119——1174).

    Admirable Crichton

    (The) James Crichton (kry—ton). (1551——1573.)

    Admirable Doctor

    (Doctor admirabilis). Roger Bacon (1214——1292).

    Admiral

    corruption of Amir—al. Milton, speaking of Satan, says: —

    “His spear (to equal which the tallest pine

    Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast

    Of some tall amiral, were but a wand)

    He walked with.”

    Paradise Lost

    , i. 292.

    The word was introduced by the Turks or Genoese in the twelfth century, and is the Arabic Amir with the article al (lord or commander); as Amir—al—ma (commander of the water), Amir—al—Omra (commander of the forces), Amir—al—Muminim (commander of the faithful).

    English admirals used to be of three classes, according to the colour of their flag —

    Admiral of the Red,

    used to hold the centre in an engagement. Admiral of the White, used to hold the van.

    Admiral of the Blue,

    used to hold the rear.

    The distinction was abolished in 1864; now all admirals carry the white flag.

    Admirals are called Flag Officers.

    Admiral of the Blue

    A butcher who dresses in blue to conceal blood—stains. A tapster also is so called, from his blue apron. A play on the rear—admiral of the British navy, called “Admiral of the Blue (Flag).”

    “As soon as customers begin to stir

    The Admiral of the Blue cries, “Coming, Sir.”

    Poor Robin, 1731

    Admiral of the Red

    A punning term applied to a wine—bibber whose face and nose are very red.

    Admittance

    Licence. Shakespeare says. “Sir John, you are a gentleman of excellent breeding, of great admittance” — i.e., to whom great freedom is allowed (Merry Wives, ii.2). The allusion is to an obsolete custom called admission, by which a prince avowed another prince to be under his protection. Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, was the “admittant” of the Emperor Napoleon III.

    Admonitionists

    or Admonitioners Certain Puritans who in 1571 sent an admonition to the Parliament condemning everything in the Church of England which was not in accordance with the doctrines and practices of Geneva.

    Adolpha

    Daughter of General Kleiner, governor of Prague and wife of Idenstein.

    Her only fault was “excess of too sweet nature, which ever made another's grief her own.” — Knowles: Maid of Mariendorpt (1838).

    Adonai

    Son of the star—beam and god of light among the Rosicru cians. One of the names given by the Jews to Jehovah, for fear of breaking the command, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord [Jehovah] thy God in vain.”

    Adonais

    (4 syl.) The song about Adonis; Shelley's elegy on Keats is so called. See Bion's Lament for Adonis.

    Adonies

    Feasts of Adonis, celebrated in Assyria, Alexandria, Egypt, Judea, Persia, Cyprus, and all Greece, for eight days. Lucian gives a long description of them. In these feasts wheat, flowers, herbs, fruits, and

    branches of trees were carried in procession, and thrown into the sea or some fountain.

    Adonis

    Abeautiful boy. The allusion is to Adonis, who was beloved by Venus, and was killed by a boar while hunting.

    “Rose—cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase;

    Hunting he loved; but love he laughed to scorn.

    Sick—thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,

    And, like a bold—faced suitor, gins to woo him.”

    Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis.

    Adonis of 50

    Leigh Hunt was sent to prison for applying this term to George IV when Regent.

    Adonis Flower

    (The) according to Blon, is the rose; Pliny (i. 23) says it is the anemone; others say it is the field, poppy, certainly the prince of weeds; but what we now generally mean by the Adonis flower is pheasant's eye, called in French goute—de—sang, because in fable it sprang from the blood of the gored hunter.

    “(Blood brings forth roses, tears anemone.) — Bion: Elegy on Adonis. See also Ovid: Metamorphoses, Bk. x., Fable 15.)

    Adonis Garden

    or A garden of Adonis (Greek). A worthless toy; a very perishable good. The allusion is to the fennel and lettuce jars of the ancient Greeks, called “Adonis gardens,” because these herbs were planted in them for the annual festival of the young huntsman, and thrown away the next morning. (1 Henry VI., i. 6.)

    Adonis River

    A river in Phoenicia, which always runs red at the season of the year when the feast of Adonis is held. The legend ascribes this redness to sympathy with the young hunter; others ascribe it to a sort of minimum, or red earth, which mixes with the water.

    Thammuz came next behind,

    Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured

    The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

    In amorous ditties all a summer's day,

    While smooth Adonis from his native rock

    Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood

    Of Thammuz yearly wounded.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , Book 1, line 445, etc.

    Adonists

    Those Jews who maintain that the proper vowels of the word Jehovah are unknown, and that the word is never to be pronounced Adonai. (Hebrew, adon, lord.)

    Adoption

    Adoption by arms. An ancient custom of giving arms to a person of merit, which laid him under the obligation of being your champion and defender.

    Adoption by baptism.

    Being godfather or godmother to a child. The child by baptism is your godchild.

    Adoption by hair.

    Cutting off your hair, and giving it to a person in proof that you receive him as your adopted father. Thus Boson, King of Arles, cut off his hair and gave it to Pope John VIII., who adopted him.

    Adoption Controversy

    Elipand, Archbishop of Toledo, and Felix, Bishop of Urgel, maintained that Jesus Christ in his human nature was the son of God by adoption only (Rom. viii. 29), though in his pre—existing

    state he was the “begotten Son of God” in the ordinary catholic acceptation. Duns Scotus, Durandus, Calixtus, and others supported this view.

    Adoptionist

    A disciple of Elipand, Archbishop of Toledo, and Felix, Bishop of Urgel (in Spain), is so called.

    Adore

    (2 syl.) means to “carry to one's mouth” “to kiss” (ad—os, ad—orare). The Romans performed adoration by placing their right hand on their mouth and bowing. The Greeks paid adoration to kings by putting the royal robe to their lips. The Jews kissed in homage: thus God said to Elijah he had 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed unto Baal, “every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings xix. 18; see also Hos. xiii.

    2). “Kiss the Son lest He be angry” (Psalm ii. 12), means worship, reverence the Son. Even in England we do homage by kissing the hand of the sovereign.

    Adrammelech

    God of the people of Sepharvaim, to whom infants were burnt in sacrifice (Kings xvii, 31). Probably the sun.

    Adrastus

    An Indian prince from the banks of the Ganges, who aided the King of Egypt against the crusaders. He wore a serpent's skin, and rode on an elephant. Adrastus was slain by Rinaldo. — Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered. Book xx.

    Adrian

    (St.) represented, in Christian art, with an anvil, and a sword or axe close by it. He had his limbs cut off on a smith's anvil, and was afterwards beheaded. St. Adrian is the patron saint of the Flemish brewers.

    Adriel

    in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel, is meant for the Earl of Mulgrave.

    “Sharp—judging Adriel, the muses' friend,

    Himself a muse: in Sanbedrim's debate

    True to his prince, but not a slave of state;

    Whom David's love with honours did adorn,

    That from his disobedient son were torn.”

    Part I.

    Adrift

    I am all adrift. He is quite adrift. To turn one adrift. Sea phrases. A ship is said to be adrift when it has broken from its moorings, and is driven at random by the winds. To be adrift is to be wide of the mark, or not in the right course. To turn one adrift is to turn him from house and home to go his own way.

    Adroit

    properly means “to the right” (French, à droite). The French call a person who is not adroit gauche (left—handed), meaning awkward, boorish.

    Adsidelta

    The table at which the flamens sat during sacrifice.

    Adullamites

    (4 syl.) The adherents of Lowe and Horsman, seceders in 1866 from the Reform Party. John Bright said of these members that they retired to the cave of Adullam, and tried to gather round them all the discontented. The allusion is to David in his flight from Saul, who “escaped to the cave Adullam; and every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him” (1 Sam. xxii. 1, 2).

    Advauncer

    The second branches of a stag's horn.

    “In a hart the main horne itself they call the beame. The lowest antlier is called the brow—antlier; the next, roial ; the next that, surroial; and then the top.

    “In a buck, they say bur, beame, braunch, advauncers, palme, and speilers.” — Marwood: Forest Lawes.

    Advent

    Four weeks to commemorate the first and second coming of Christ; the first to redeem, and the second to judge the world. The season begins on St. Andrew's Day, or the Sunday nearest to it. (Latin, ad—ventus, the coming to.)

    Adversary

    (The). Satan. (1 Pet. v. 8.)

    Advocate (An) means one called to assist clients in a court of law. (Latin, advocare.)

    The Devil's Advocate

    . One who brings forward malicious accusations. When any name is proposed for canonisation in the Roman Catholic Church, two advocates are appointed, one to oppose the motion and one to defend it. The former, called Advocatus Diaboli (the Devil's Advocate), advances all he can against the person in question, the latter, called Advocatus Dei (God's Advocate), says all he can in support of the proposal.

    Advocates' Library

    in Edinburgh, founded 1682, is one of the five libraries to which copyright books are sent. (See Copyright.)

    Advowson

    means the right of appointing the incumbent of a church or ecclesiastical benefice. In mediæval times the “advocacy” or patronage of bishoprics and abbeys was frequently in the hands of powerful nobles, who often claimed the right to appoint in the event of a vacancy; hence the word (from Latin, advocatio, the office of a patron).

    A presentative advowson

    is when the patron presents to the bishop a person to whom he is willing to give the place of preferment.

    A collative advowson

    is when the bishop himself is patron, and collates his client without any intermediate person.

    A donative advowson

    is where the Crown gives a living to a clergyman without presentation, institution, or induction. This is done when a church or chapel has been founded by the Crown, and is not subject to the ordinary.

    Advowson in gross

    is an advowson separated from the manor, and belonging wholly to the owner. While attached to the manor it is an advowson appendant. “Gross” (French) means absolute, entire; thus gross weight is the entire weight without deductions. A villain in gross was a villain the entire property of his master, and not attached to the land. A common in gross is one which is entirely your own, and which belongs to the manor.

    Sale of Advowsons.

    When lords of manors built churches upon their own demesnes, and endowed them, they became private property, which the lord might give away or even sell, under certain limitations. These livings are called Advowsons appendant, being appended to the manor. After a time they became regular “commercial property,” and we still see the sale of some of them in the public journals.

    Adytum

    The Holy of Holies in the Greek and Roman temples, into which the general public were not admitted. (Greek, a—duton = not to be entered; duo, to go.)

    Ædiles

    (2 syl.) Those who, in ancient Rome, had charge of the public buildings (ædes), such as the temples, theatres, baths, aqueducts, sewers, including roads and streets also.

    Ægeus

    (2 syl.) A fabulous king of Athens who gave name to the Ægean Sea. His son, Theseus, went to Crete to deliver Athens from the tribute exacted by Minos. Theseus said, if he succeeded he would hoist a white sail on his home—voyage, as a signal of his safety. This he neglected to do; and Ægeus, who watched the ship from a rock, thinking his son had perished, threw himself into the sea.

    This incident has been copied in the tale of Sir Tristram and Ysolde. Sir Tristram being severely wounded in Brittany, sent for Ysolde to come and see him before he died. He told his messenger, if Ysolde consented to come to hoist a white flag. Sir Tristram's wife told him the ship was in sight with a black flag at the helm,

    whereupon Sir Tristram bowed his head and died. [TRISTRAM.]

    Æginetan Sculptures

    Sculptures excavated by a company of Germans, Danes, and English (1811), in the little island of Ægina. They were purchased by Ludwig, Crown Prince of Bavaria, and are now the most remarkable ornaments of the Glyptothek, at Münich.

    Ægir

    God of the ocean, whose wife is Rana. They had nine daughters, who wore white robes and veils (Scandinavian mythology). These daughters are the billows, etc. The word means “to flow.”

    Ægis

    The shield of Jupiter made by Vulcan was so called, and symbolised “Divine protection.” The shield of Minerva was called an ægis also. The shield of Jupiter was covered with the skin of the goat Amalthæa, and the Greek for goat is, in the genitive case, aigos. The ægis made by Vulcan was of brass.

    I throw my ægis over you

    , I give you my protection.

    Ægrotat

    To sport an ægrotat. In university parlance, an ægrotat is a medical certificate of indisposition to exempt the bearer from attending chapel and college lectures.

    A E I

    (A — i), a common motto on jewellery, means “for ever and for aye.” (Greek.)

    Ælurus

    The cat. An Egyptian deity held in the greatest veneration. Herodotus (ii. 66) tells us that Diana, to avoid being molested by the giants, changed herself into a cat. The deity used to be represented with a cat's head on a human body. (Greek, ailouros. a cat.)

    Æmillian Law

    Made by Æmilius Mamercus the prætor. It enjoined that the oldest priest should drive a nail every year into the capitol on the ides of September (September 5).

    Æmonia Æmonian

    (HÆMONIA HÆMONIAN).

    Æneas

    The hero of Virgil's epic. He carried his father Anchises on his shoulders from the flames of Troy. After roaming about for many years, he came to Italy, where he founded a colony which the Romans claim as their origin. The epithet applied to him is pius = pious, dutiful.

    Æneid

    The epic poem of Virgil, (in twelve books). So called from Æneas and the suffix —is, plur. ides (belonging to).

    “The story of Sinon,” says Macrobius, “and the taking of Troy is borrowed from Pisander “The loves of Dido and Æneas are taken from those of Medea and Jason, in Apollonius of Rhodes.

    “The story of the Wooden Horse and burning of Troy is from Arctinus of Miletus.”

    Æolic Digamma

    An ancient Greek letter (F), sounded like our w. Thus oinos with the digamma was sounded woinos; whence the Latin vinum, our wine. Gamma, or g, hence digamma = double g.

    Æolic Mode

    in music, noted for its simplicity, fit for ballads and songs. The Phrygian Mode was for religious music, as hymns and anthems.

    Æolus

    in Roman mythology, was “god of the winds.”

    Æolian harp.

    The wind—harp. A box on which strings are stretched. Being placed where a draught gets to the strings, they utter musical sounds.

    Æon (Greek, aion), eternity, an immeasurable length of time; any being that is eternal. Basilides reckons there have been 365 such æons, or gods; but Valentinius restricts the number to 30. Sometimes written “eon.”

    In geology each series of rocks covers an æon, or an indefinite and immeasurable period of time.

    Æra

    [ERA.]

    Aërated Bread

    Bread made light by means of carbonic acid gas instead of leaven.

    Aërated Water

    Water impregnated with carbonic acid gas, called fixed air.

    Aerians

    Followers of Aerius, who maintained that there is no difference between bishops and priests.

    Æschylus

    the most sublime of the Greek tragic poets. He wrote 90 plays, only 7 of which are now extant. Æschylus was killed by a tortoise thrown by an eagle (to break the shell) against his bald head, which it mistook for a stone (B.C. 535——456). See Horace, Ars Poetica, 278.

    Pronounce Ees—ke—lus.

    Æschylus of France

    Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon. (1674——1762.)

    Æsculapius

    The Latin form of the Greek word Asklepios, the god of medicine and of healing. Now used for “a medical practitioner.”

    Æsir

    plural of As or Asa, the celestial gods of Scandinavia, who lived in Asgard (god's ward), situate on the heavenly hills between earth and the rainbow. The chief was Odin. We are told that there were twelve, but it would be hard to determine who the twelve are, for, like Arthur's knights, the number seems variable. The following may be mentioned: — (1) Odin; (2) Thor (his eldest son, the god of thunder); (3) Tyr (another son, the god of wisdom); (4) Baldur (another son, the Scandinavian Apollo); (5) Bragi (the god of eloquence); (6) Vidar (god of silence); (7) Hödur the blind (Baldur's twin brother); (8) Hermod (Odin's son and messenger);

    (9) Hoenir (divine intelligence); (10) Odur (husband of Freyja, the Scandinavian Venus); (11) Loki (the god of mischief, though not an asa, lived in Asgard); (12) Vali (Odin's youngest son); another of Odin's sons was Kvasir the keen—sighted. Then there were the Vanir, or gods of air, ocean, and water; the gods of fire; the gods of the Lower World; and the Mysterious Three, who sat on three thrones above the rainbow. Their names were Har (the perfect), the Like—perfect, and the Third person.

    Wives of the Æsir:

    Odin's wife was Frigga; Thor's wife was Sif (beauty); Baldur's wife was Nanna (daring); Bragi's wife was Iduna; Odur's wife was Freyja (the Scandinavian Venus); Loki's wife was Siguna.

    The Æsir built Asgard themselves, but each god had his own private mansion. That of Odin was Gladsheim; but his wife Frigga had also her private abode, named Fensalir; the mansion of Thor was Bilskirnir; that of Baldur was Broadblink; that of Odur's wife was Folkbang; of Vidar was Landvidi (wide land); the private abode of the goddesses generally was Vingolf.

    The refectory or banquet hall of the Æsir was called Valhalla.

    Niörd, the water—god, was not one of the Æsir, but chief of the Vanir; his son was Frey; his daughter, Freyja (the Scandinavian Venus); his wife was Skadi; and his home, Noatun.

    Æson's Bath

    Sir Thomas Browne (Religio Medici, p. 67) rationalises this into “hair—dye.” The reference is to Medea renovating Æson, father of Jason, with the juices of a concoction made of sundry articles. After Æson had imbibed these juices, Ovid says: —

    “Barba comæque,

    Canitie posita, nigrum rapuere, colorem.”

    Metamorphoses, vii. 288.

    Æsonian Hero

    (The). Jason, who was the son of Æson.

    Æsop's Fables

    were compiled by Babrios, a Greek, who lived in the Alexandrian age.

    Æsop,

    a Phrygian slave, very deformed, and the writer of fables. He was contemporary with Pythagoras, about

    B.C. 570.

    Almost all Greek and Latin fables are ascribed to Æsop, as all our Psalms are ascribed to David. The Latin fables of Phædrus are supposed to be translations of Æsopian fables.

    Æsop of Arabia.

    Lokman (?). Nasser, who lived in the fifth century, is generally called the “Arabian Æsop.”

    Æsop of England.

    John Gay. (1688——1732.)

    Æsop of France.

    Jean de la Fontaine. (1621——1695.)

    Æsop of Germany,

    Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. (1729——1781.)

    Æsop of India.

    Bidpay or Pilpay. (About three centuries before the Christian era.)

    Aetites

    (3 syl.) Eagle —— stones. (Greek, aetos, an eagle.) Hollow stones composed of several crusts, one within another. Supposed at one time to form part of an eagle's nest. Pliny mentions them. Kirwan applies the name to clay ironstones having a globular crust of oxide investing an ochreous kernel. Mythically, they are supposed to have the property of detecting theft.

    Ætolian Hero

    (The).Diomede, who was king of Ætolia. Ovid.

    Affable

    means “one easy to be spoken to.” (Latin, ad fari, to speak to.)

    Affect

    To love, to desire. (Latin, affecto.)

    “Some affect the light, and some the shade.” Blair: Grave.

    l'Affection aveugle raison

    (French).

    Cassius says to Brutus, “A friendly eye could never see such faults.” “L'esprit est presque toujours la dupe du coeur.” (La Rochefoucauld: Maximes.)

    Again, “a mother thinks all her geese are swans.”

    Italian:

    A ogni grolla paion belli i suoi grollatini. Ad ogni uccello, suo nido è bello.

    French:

    A chaque oiseau son nid parait beau.

    Latin:

    Asinus asino, sus sui, pulcher. Sua cuique res est carissima.

    Affront

    properly means to stand front to front. In savage nations opposing armies draw up front to front before they begin hostilities, and by grimaces, sounds, words, and all conceivable means, try to provoke and terrify their vis—à—vis. When this “affronting” is over, the adversaries rush against each other, and the fight begins in earnest.

    Affront.

    A salute; a coming in front of another to salute.

    “Only, sir, this I must caution you of, in your affront, or salute, never to move your hat.” — Green: Tu Quoque, vii. 95.

    Afraid

    He who trembles to hear a leaf fall should keep out of the wood. This is a French proverb: “Qui a peur de feuilles, ne doit aller au bois.” Our corresponding English proverb is, “He who fears scars shouldn't go the wars.” The timid should not voluntarily expose themselves to danger.

    “Little boats should keep near shore,

    Larger ones may venture more.”

    Africa

    Teneo te, Africa (I take possession of thee, O Africa). When Cæsar landed at Adrumetum, in Africa, he tripped and fell — a bad omen; but, with wonderful presence of mind, he pretended that he had done so intentionally, and kissing the soil, exclaimed, “Thus do I take possession of thee, O Africa.” Told also of Scipio. (See Don Quixote, Pt. II. Bk. vi. ch.6.)

    Africa semper aliquid novi affert.

    “Africa is always producing some novelty.” A Greek proverb quoted (in Latin) by Pliny, in allusion to the ancient belief that Africa abounded in strange monsters.

    African Sisters

    (The) The Hesperides (4 syl.) who lived in Africa. They were the daughters of Atlas.

    Afriet

    or “Afrit.” The beau ideal of what is terrible and monstrous in Arabian superstition. A sort of ghoul or demon. Solomon, we are told, once tamed an Afrit, and made it submissive to his will.

    Aft

    The hinder part of a ship.

    Fore and Aft.

    The entire length (of a ship), from stem to stern.

    After—cast

    A throw of dice after the game is ended; anything done too late.

    “Ever he playeth an after—cast

    Of all that he shall say or do.”

    Gower.

    After—clap

    Beware of after—claps. An after—clap is a catastrophe or threat after an affair is supposed to be over. It is very common in thunderstorms to hear a “clap” after the rain subsides, and the clouds break.

    “What plaguy mischief and mishaps

    Do dog him still with after—claps.”

    Butler: Hudibras, Pt. i. 3.

    After Meat, Mustard

    In Latin, “Post bellum, auxilium.” We have also, “After death, the doctor,” which is the German, “Wann der kranke ist todt, so kommt der arztnei” (when the patient's dead, comes the physic). To the same effect is “When the steed is stolen, lock the stable door.” Meaning, doing a thing, or offering service when it is too late, or when there is no longer need thereof.

    After us, the Deluge

    “I care not what happens when I am dead and gone.” So said Mdme. de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV. (1722——1764). Metternich, the Austrian statesman (1773——1859), is credited with the same: but probably he simply quoted the words of the French marchioness.

    Aft—meal

    An extra meal; a meal taken after and in addition to the ordinary meals.

    “At aft—meals who shall pay for the wine?” Thynne: Debate.

    Agag

    in Dryden's satire of Absalom and Achitophel, is meant for Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, the magistrate before whom Titus Oates made his declaration, and was afterwards found barbarously murdered in a ditch near Primrose Hill.

    Agag was hewed to pieces by Samuel (1 Sam. xv.).

    “And Corah (Titus Oates) might for Agag's murder call

    In terms as coarse as Samuel used to Saul.”

    1.675——6.

    Agamarshana

    A passage of the Veda, the repetition of which will purify the soul like absolution after confession.

    Agamemnon

    King of Argos, in Greece, and commander—in—chief of the allied Greeks who went to the siege of Troy. The fleet being delayed by adverse winds at Aulis, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to Diana, and the winds became at once favourable. — Homer's Iliad.

    “Till Agamemnon's daughter's blood.

    Appeased the gods that them withstood.”

    Earl of Surrey.

    His brother was Menelaos.

    His Daughters were Iphigenia, Electra, Iphianassa, and Chrysothemis (Sophocles). He was Grandson of Pelops.

    He was killed in a bath by his wife Clytemnestra, after his return from Troy.

    His son was Orestes, who slew his mother for murdering his father, and was called Agamemnònides.

    His wife was Clytemnestra, who lived in adultery with Egistheus. At Troy he fell in love with Cassandra, a daughter of King Priam.

    Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona

    (“there are hills beyond Pentland, and fields beyond Forth"), i.e. , we are not to suppose that our own age or locality monopolises all that is good. — Hor. Od. iv. 9, 25. We might add, et post Agamemnona vivent.

    “Great men there lived ere Agamemnon came,

    And after him will others rise to fame.”

    E.C.B.

    Aganice

    (4 syl.) or Aglaonice, the Thessalian, being able to calculate eclipses, she pretended to have the moon under her command, and to be able when she chose to draw it from heaven. Her secret being found out, her vaunting became a laughing—stock, and gave birth to the Greek proverb cast at braggarts, “Yes, as the Moon obeys Aganice.”

    Aganippe

    (4 syl.) A fountain of Boeotia at the foot of Mount Helicon, dedicated to the Muses, because it had the virtue of imparting poetic inspiration. From this fountain the Muses are called Aganippedes (5 syl.) or Aganippides (5 syl.).

    Agape

    (3 syl.) A love—feast. The early Christians held a love—feast before or after communion, when contributions were made for the poor. These feasts became a scandal, and were condemned at the Council of

    Carthage, 397. (Greek, agape, love.)

    Agapemone

    (5 syl.). A somewhat disreputable association of men and women living promiscuously on a common fund, which existed for a time at Charlynch, near Bridgewater, in Somersetshire. (Greek, agape, love.)

    Agape tæ

    Women under vows of virginity, who undertook to attend the monks. (The word is Greek, and means beloved.)

    Agate

    (2 syl.) So called, says Pliny (xxxvii. 10), from Achates or Gagates, a river in Sicily, near which it is found in abundance.

    “These, these are they, if we consider well,

    That saphirs and the diamonds doe excell,

    The pearle, the emerauld, and the turkesse bleu,

    The sanguine corrall, amber's golden hiew,

    The christall, jacinth, achate, ruby red.”

    Taylor: The Waterspout (1630).

    Agate is supposed to render a person invisible, and to turn the sword of foes against themselves.

    Agate

    A very diminutive person. Shakespeare speaks of Queen Mab as no bigger than an agate—stone on the forefinger of an alderman.

    “I was never manned with an agate till now.” Shakespeare: 2 Hen. IV.i.2.

    Agatha

    Daughter of Cuno, the ranger, in love with Max, to whom she is to be married, provided he carries off the prize in the annual trial—shot. She is in danger of being shot by Max unwittingly, but is rescued by a hermit, and becomes the bride of the young huntsman. — Weber's Opera of Der Freischütz.

    Agatha

    (St.) Represented in Christian art with a pair of shears, and holding in her hand a salver, on which her breasts are placed. The reference is to her martyrdom, when her breasts were cut off by a pair of shears.

    Agave

    (3 syl.) or “American aloe,” from the Greek, agauos, admirable. The Mexicans plant fences of Agave round their wigwams, as a defence against wild beasts. The Mahometans of Egypt regard it as a charm and religious symbol; and pilgrims to Mecca indicate their exploit by hanging over the door of their dwelling a leaf of Agave, which has the further charm of warding off evil spirits. The Jews in Cairo attribute a similar virtue to the plant, every part of which is utilised.

    Agdistes

    (self—indulgence). The god who kept the porch of the “Bower of Bliss.” He united in his own person the two sexes, and sprang from the stone Agdus, parts of which were taken by Deucalion and Pyrrha to cast over their shoulders, after the flood, for re—peopling the world. (Spenser: Faëric Queene, book ii, 12.)

    Ag—dis—tes in 3 syl.

    Age as accords

    (To). To do what is fit and right (Scotch law term). Here “Age” is from the Latin agere, to do.

    “To set about the matter in a regular manner, or, as he termed it ... to “age as accords.”” — Sir

    W. Scott: Redgauntlet, chap. 2.

    Age of Animals.

    An old Celtic rhyme, put into modern English, says:

    “Thrice the age of a dog is that of a horse;

    Thrice the age of a horse is that of a man;

    Thrice the age of a man is that of a deer;

    Thrice the age of a deer is that of an eagle.”

    Age of Women

    (The). Though many women are mentioned in the Bible, the age of only one (Sarah, Abraham's wife) is recorded, and that to show at her advanced age she would become the mother of Isaac.

    “Elizabeth, the mother of the Baptist,” we are told by St. Luke, “was well—stricken in age.”

    Age of the Bishops

    (The). The ninth century. (Hallam: Middle Ages.)

    Age of the Popes

    (The). The twelfth century. (Hallam: Middle Ages.)

    Age hoc

    “Attend to this.” In sacrifice the Roman crier perpetually repeated these words to arouse attention. In the “Common Prayer Book" the attention of the congregation is frequently aroused by the exhortation, “Let us pray,” though nearly the whole service is that of prayer.

    Ages

    Varro (Fragments, p. 219, Scaliger's edition, 1623) recognises three ages: —

    (1) From the beginning of mankind to the Deluge, a time wholly unknown.

    (2) From the Deluge to the First Olympiad, called the mythical period.

    (3) From the first olympiad to the present time, called the historic period.

    Titian symbolised the three ages of man thus: —

    (1) An infant in a cradle.

    (2) A shepherd playing a flute.

    (3) An old man meditating on two skulls.

    According to Lucretius also, there are three ages, distinguished by the materials employed in implements (v. 1282), viz.:

    (1) The age of stone, when celts or implements of stone were employed.

    (2) The age of bronze, when implements were made of copper or brass.

    (3) The age of iron, when implements were made of iron, as at present.

    Hesiod names five ages, viz.: —

    The Golden or patriarchal, under the care of Saturn.

    The Silver or voluptuous, under the care of Jupiter.

    The Brazen or warlike, under the care of Neptune.

    The Heroic or renaissant, under the care of Mars.

    The Iron or present, under the care of Pluto.

    The present is sometimes called the wire age, from its telegraphs, by means of which well—nigh the whole earth is in intercommunication.

    Fichte names five ages also: the ante—diluvian, post—diluvian, Christian, satanic, and millennian.

    Agelasta The stone on which Ceres rested when worn down by fatigue in searching for her daughter. (Greek, joyless.)

    Agenorides

    (5 syl.) Cadmos, who was the son of Agenor.

    Agent

    Is man a free agent ? This is a question of theology, which has long been mooted. The point is this: If God fore—ordains all our actions, they must take place as he fore—ordains them, and man acts as a watch or clock; but if, on the other hand, man is responsible for his actions, he must be free to act as his inclination leads him. Those who hold the former view are called necessitarians; those who hold the latter, libertarians.

    Agglutinate Languages

    The Turanian family of languages are so called because every syllable is a word, and these are glued together to form other words, and may be unglued so as to leave the roots distinct, as

    “inkstand.”

    Aghast

    Frightened, as by a ghost; from Anglo—Saxon gást, a ghost.

    Agio

    The percentage of charge made for the exchange of paper money into cash. (Italian).

    “The profit is called by the Italians aggio.”—Scarlett.

    Agis

    King of Sparta, who tried to deliver Greece from the Macedonian yoke, and was slain in the attempt.

    “To save a rotten state, Agis, who saw

    E'en Sparta's self to servile avarice sink.”

    Thompson: Winter, 488——9.

    Agist

    To take the cattle of another to graze at a certain sum. The feeding of these beasts is called agistment. The words are from the Norman agiser (to be levant and couchant, rise up and lie down), because, says Coke, beasts are levant and couchant whilst they are on the land.

    Agla

    A cabalistic name of God, formed from the initial letters of Attâh, Gibbor, Leholâm, Adonâi (Thou art strong for ever, O Lord !). (See Notarica.)

    Aglaos

    The poorest man in Arcadia, pronounced by Apollo to be far happier than Gyges, because he was “contented with his lot.”

    “Poor and content is rich and rich enough;

    But riches endless are as poor as winter

    To him who ever fears he shall be poor.”

    Shakespeare: Othello iii. 3.

    Agnes

    She is an Agnes (elle fait l'Agnès) — i.e., she is a sort of female “Verdant Green,” who is so unsophisticated that she does not even know what love means. It is a character in Molière's L'école des Femmes.

    Agnes

    (St.) is represented by Domenichino as kneeling on a pile of fagots, the fire extinguished, and the executioner about to slay her with the sword. The introduction of a lamb (agnus) is a modern innovation, and play on the name. St. Agnes is the patron of young virgins.

    “St. Agnes was first tied to a stake, but the fire of the stakes went out; whereupon Aspasius, set to watch the martyrdom, drew his sword, and cut off her head.”

    Agnes' Day

    (St.), 21st January. Upon St. Agnes' night, you take a row of pins, and pull out every one, one after another. Saying a pater—noster, stick a pin in your sleeve, and you will dream of him or her you shall marry. — Aubrey: Miscellany, p. 136.

    Agnoites

    (3 syl.) Ag—no—ites, or Ag—no—i—tæ (4 syl.).

    (1) Certain heretics in the fourth century who said “God did not know everything.”

    (2) Another sect, in the sixth century, who maintained that Christ “did not know the time of the day of judgment.”

    Agnostic

    (An). A term invented by Prof. Huxley in 1885 to indicate the mental attitude of those who withhold their assent to whatever is incapable of proof, such as the absolute. In regard to miracles and revelation, agnostics neither dogmatically accept nor reject such matters, but simply say Agnosco — I do not know — they are not capable of proof.

    Agnus—castus A shrub of the Vitex tribe, called agnos (chaste) by the Greeks, because the Athenian ladies, at the feast of Ceres, used to strew their couches with vitex leaves, as a palladium of chastity. The monks, mistaking agnos (chaste) for agnus (a lamb), but knowing the use made of the plant, added castus to explain its character, making it chaste—lamb. (For another similar blunder, see I.H.S.)

    Agnus Dei

    A cake of wax or dough stamped with the figure of a lamb supporting the banner of the Cross, and distributed by the Pope on the Sunday after Easter as an amulet. Our Lord is called Agnus Dei (the Lamb of God). There is also a prayer so called, because it begins with the words, Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi

    (O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world).

    Agog

    He is all agog, in nervous anxiety; on the qui vive, like a horse in clover. (French, à gogo, or vivre à gogo, to live in clover.)

    Agonistes

    (4 syl.). Samson Agonistes (the title of Milton's drama) means Samson wrestling with adversity — Samson combating with trouble. (Greek, agonizomai, to combat, to struggle.)

    Agonistics

    A branch of the Donatists of Africa who roamed from town to town affirming they were ministers of justice. The Greek agon (an assembly) = the Latin nundinæ, days when the law—courts were opened, that country people might go and get their law—suits settled.

    Agony

    properly means contention in the athletic games; and to agonise is the act of contending. (Greek, agon, a game of contest, as well as a “place of assembly").

    Agony, meaning “great pain,” is the wrestle with pain or struggle with suffering.

    Agony Column

    of a newspaper. A column containing advertisements of missing relatives and friends; indicating great distress of mind in the advertiser.

    Agrarian Law

    from the Latin ager (land), is a law for making land the common property of a nation, and not the particular property of individuals. In a modified form, it means a redistribution of land, giving to each citizen a portion.

    Agrimony

    The older spelling was Argemony, and Pliny calls it argemonia, from the Greek argemos, a white speck on the eye, which this plant was supposed to cure.

    Ague

    (A cure for) (See Homer.)

    Ague—cheek

    Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a straight—haired country squire, stupid even to silliness, self—conceited, living to eat, and wholly unacquainted with the world of fashion. The character is in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    Agur's Wish

    (Prov. xxx. 8). “Give me neither riches nor poverty.”

    Ahasuerus

    or Ahashverosh. A title common to several Persian kings. The three mentioned in the Bible are supposed to be Cyaxares (Dan. xi. l); Xerxes (Esther); and Cambyses (Ezra iv. 6).

    An alabaster vase found at Halicarnassus gives four renderings of the name Xerxes, viz., Persian, Khshayarsha; and the Greek, Xerxes; the Sanskrit root Kshi means “to rule,” Kshathra (Zend Ksathra), a king.

    Ahead The wind's ahead — i.e., blows in the direction towards which the ship's head points; in front. If the wind blows in the opposite direction (i.e., towards the stern) it is said to be astern. When one ship is ahead of another, it is before it, or further advanced. “Ahead of his class,” means at the head. Ahead in a race, means before the rest of the runners.

    To go ahead

    is to go on without hesitation, as a ship runs ahead of another.

    Ahithophel

    or Achitophel A treacherous friend and adviser. Ahithophel was David's counsellor, but joined Absalom in revolt, and advised him “like the oracle of God” (2 Sam. xvi. 20——23). In Dryden's political satire, Achitophel stands for the Earl of Shaftesbury. (See Achitophel.)

    Ahmed

    (Prince). Noted for the tent given him by the fairy Pari—banou, which would cover a whole army, but might be carried in one's pocket; and for the apple of Samarcand, which would cure all diseases. — Arabian Nights, Prince Ahmed, etc.

    This tent coincides in a marvellous manner with the Norse ship called Skidbladnir (q.v.). (See Solomon's Carpet.)

    Aholibah

    (Ezek. xxiii. 4, 11, etc.). The personification of prostitution. Used by the prophet to signify religious adultery or harlotry. (See Harlot.)

    “The great difficulty in exposing the immoralities of this Aholibah is that her [acts] are so revolting.” — Papers on the Social Evil, 1885.

    Aholibamah

    A granddaughter of Cain, loved by the seraph Samiasa. She is a proud, ambitious, queen—like beauty, a female type of Cain. When the flood came, her angel—lover carried her under his wings to some other planet. — Byron: Heaven and Earth.

    Ahriman

    or Ahrimanes The principle or angel of darkness and evil in the Magian system. (See Ormusd.)

    “I recognise the evil spirit, sir, and do honour to Ahrimanes in this young man.” — Thackeray.

    Aide toi et le Ciel taidera

    (God will help those who help themselves). The party—motto of a political society of France, established in 1824. The object of the society was, by agitation and the press, to induce the middle classes to resist the Government. Guizot was at one time its president, and Le Globe and Le National its organs. This society which doubtless aided in bringing about the Revolution of 1830, was dissolved in 1832.

    Aigrette

    (2 syl.) A lady's headdress, consisting of feathers or flowers. The French call the down of thistles and dandelions, as well as the tuft of birds, aigrette.

    Aim

    To give aim, to stand aloof. A term in archery, meaning to stand within a convenient distance from the butts, to give the archers information how near their arrows fall to the mark aimed at.

    “But, gentle people, give me aim a while.

    For nature puts me to a heavy task;

    Stand all aloof.” Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus, v. 3.

    To cry aim.

    To applaud, encourage. In archery it was customary to appoint certain persons to cry aim, for the sake of encouraging those who were about to shoot.

    “All my neighbours shall cry aim.”

    Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor

    , iii. 2.

    Aim—crier

    An abettor, one who encourages. In archery, the person employed to “cry aim.” (See above.)

    “Thou smiling aim—crier at princes' fall.” English Arcadia.

    Air

    an element. Anaxagoras held air to be the primary form of matter.

    Aristotle gives Fire, Air, Earth, and Water as the four elements.

    Air

    a manner, as “the air of the court,” the “air of gentility;” “a good air” (manner, deportment) means the pervading habit.

    Air

    in music, is that melody which predominates and gives its character to the piece.

    Air one's opinions

    (To). To state opinions without having firmly based them on proper data. To let them fly loose, like a caged bird.

    To ventilate

    an opinion means to suggest for the purpose of having it duly tested. A conceited man airs his opinions, a discreet one ventilates them, as corn when it is winnowed; and the chaff is blown off.

    Air—brained

    Giddy, heedless. This word is now generally spelt “hare—brained;” but, by ancient authors, hair—brained. In C. Thomson's Autobiography it is spelt “Air—brained,” which seems plausible.

    Air—line

    signifies (in the United States) the most direct and shortest possible route between two given places, as the Eastern and Western Air—line Railway.

    Air—ship

    (An) A balloon.

    “Presently a north—easterly current of wind struck the air—ship, and it began to move with great velocity upon a horizontal line.” — Max Adeler: The Captain's MS.

    Air—throne

    Odin's throne in Gladsheim. His palace was in Asgard.

    Airs

    To give oneself mighty airs: to assume, in manner, appearance, and tone, a superiority to which you have no claim. The same as Air, manner (q.v.).

    The plural is essential in this case to take it out of the category of mere eccentricity, or to distinguish it from “air” in the sense of deportment, as “he had a fine, manly air,” “in air was that of a gentleman.” Air, in the singular, being generally complimentary, but “airs” in the plural always conveying censure. In Italian, we find the phrase, Si da dell árie.

    Aïrapadam

    The white elephant, one of the eight which, according to Indian mythology, sustain the earth.

    Aisle

    (pronounce ile) The north and south wings of a church. Latin, ala (axilla, ascella), through the French, aile, a wing. In German the nave of a church is schiff, and the aisle flügel (a wing). In some church documents the aisles are called alleys (walks), and hence the nave is still sometimes called the “middle aisle” or alley. The choir of Lincoln Cathedral used to be called the “Chanters' alley;” and Olden tells us that when he came to be churchwarden, in 1638, he made the Puritans “come up the middle alley on their knees to the raile.”

    Aitch—bone

    of beef. Corruption of “Naitch—bone,” i.e. the haunch—bone (Latin, nates, a haunch or buttock).

    Similarly, “an apron” is a corruption of a napperon; “an adder” is a corruption of a nadder (Old Eng., næddre). In other words, we have reversed the order; thus “a net” is an ewt , “a nag” is an ög (Danish). Latin, eq [uus ], a horse.

    Ajax

    the Greater. King of Salamis, a man of giant stature, daring, and self—confident. Generally called Telamon Ajax, because he was the son of Telamon. When the armour of Hector was awarded to Ulysses instead of to himself, he turned mad from vexation and stabbed himself. — Homer's Iliad, and later poets.

    Ajax the Less Son of Oïleus (3 syl.), King of Locris, in Greece. The night Troy was taken, he offered violence to Cassandra, the prophetic daughter of Priam; in consequence of which his ship was driven on a rock, and he perished at sea. — Homer's Iliad, and later poets.

    “Ipsa (Juno), Jovis rapidum jaculata e nubibus ignem,

    Disjecitque rates, evertitque æquora ventis;

    Illum (Ajax) expirantem transfixo pectore flammas

    Turbine corripuit, scopuloque infixit acuto.”

    Virgil: Æneid, i. 42, etc.

    Akbar

    An Arabic word, meaning “Very Great.” Akbar—Khan, the “very great Khan,” is applied especially to the Khan of Hindûstan who reigned 1556——1605.

    Akuan

    the giant whom Rustan slew. (Persian mythology).

    Akuman

    The most malevolent of all the Persian gods.

    Alabama

    U. S. America. The name of an Indian tribe of the Mississippi Valley, meaning “here we rest.”

    Alabaster

    A stone of great purity and whiteness used for ornaments. So called from “Alabastron,” in Upper Egypt, where it abounds.

    Aladdin

    in the Arabian Nights' Tales, obtains a magic lamp, and a has splendid palace built by the genius of the lamp. He marries the daughter of the sultan of China, loses his lamp, and his palace is transported to Africa. Sir Walter Scott says, somewhat incorrectly. —

    “Vanished into air like the palace of Aladdin.”

    The palace did not vanish into air, but was transported to another place.

    Aladdin's Lamp

    The source of wealth and good fortune. After Aladdin came to his wealth and was married, he suffered his lamp to hang up and get rusty.

    “It was impossible that a family, holding a document which gave them access to the most powerful noblemen in Scotland, should have suffered it to remain unemployed, like Aladdin's rusty lamp.” — Senior.

    Aladdin's Ring

    given him by the African magician, was a “preservative against every evil.” — Arabian Nights: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.

    Aladdin's Window

    To finish Aladdin's Window — i.e. to attempt to complete something begun by a great genius, but left imperfect. The genius of the lamp built a palace with twenty—four windows, all but one being set in frames of precious stones; the last was left for the sultan to finish; but after exhausting his treasures, the sultan was obliged to abandon the task as hopeless.

    Tait's second part of Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel is an Aladdin's Window.

    Aladine

    (3 syl.) The sagacious but cruel old king of Jerusalem in Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, book xx. This is a fictitious character, inasmuch as the Holy Land was at the time under the dominion of the caliph of Egypt. Aladine was slain by Raymond.

    Alako Son of Baro—Devel, the great god of the gipsies. The gipsies say that he will ultimately restore them to Assas in Assyria, their native country. The image of Alako has a pen in his left hand and a sword in his right.

    Alans

    Large dogs, of various species, used for hunting deer.

    “Skins of animals slain in the chase were stretched on the ground ... and upon a heap of these lay 3 alans, as they were called, i.e. wolf greyhounds of the largest size.” — Sir W. Scott: The Talisman , chap. vi.

    Alarcon

    King of Barca, who joined the armament of Egypt against the Crusaders. His men were only half armed. — Jerusalem Delivered.

    Alarm

    An outcry made to give notice of danger. (Italian, all' arme, “to arms;” French, alarme.)

    Alarum Bell

    In feudal times a 'larum bell was rung in the castle in times of danger to summon the retainers to arms. A variant of alarm (q.v. ).

    “Awake! awake!

    Ring the alarum bell! Murder and treason!”

    Shakespeare: Macbeth, ii. 3.

    Alasnam

    Alasnam's lady. In the Arabian Nights' Tales Alasnam has eight diamond statues, but had to go in quest of a ninth more precious still, to fill the vacant pedestal. The prize was found in the lady who became his wife, at once the most beautiful and the most perfect of her race.

    “There is wanting one pure and perfect model, and that one, wherever it is to be found, is like Alasnam's lady, worth them all.” — Sir Walter Scott.

    Alasnam's Mirror

    The “touch—stone of virtue,” given to Alasnam by one of the Genii. If he looked in this mirror it informed him whether a damsel would remain to him faithful or not. If the mirror remained unsullied so would the maiden; if it clouded, the maiden would prove faithless. — Arabian Nights: Prince Zeyn Alasnam.

    Alastor

    The evil genïus of a house: a Nemesis. Cicero says: “Who meditated killing himself that he might become the Alastor of Augustus, whom he hated.” Shelley has a poem entitled “Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude”. The word is Greek (alastor, the avenging god, a title applied to Zeus); the Romans had their Jupiter Vindex; and we read in the Bible, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord" (Rom. xii. 19).

    Alauda

    A Roman legion raised by Julius Cæsar in Gaul, and so called because they carried a lark's tuft on the top of their helmets.

    Alawy

    The Nile is so called by the Abyssinians. The word means “the giant.”

    Alb

    The long white tunic (Latin, albus, white) bound round the waist with a girdle. The dress is emblematical of purity and continence, and worn by priests when saying Mass.

    Albadara

    A bone which the Arabs say defies destruction, and which; at the resurrection, will be the germ of the new body. The Jews called it Luz (q.v.); and the “Os sacrum” (q.v.) refers probably to the same superstition.

    Alban (St.), like St. Denis is represented as carrying his head between his hands. His attributes are a sword and a crown.

    St. Aphrodisius, St. Aventine, St. Desiderius. St. Chrysolius, St. Hilarian, St. Leo, St. Lucanus. St. Lucian, St. Proba, St. Solangia, and several other martyrs, are represented as carrying their heads in their hands. An artist's bungling way of identifying a headless trunk.

    Albania

    Turkey, or rather the region about the Caucasus. The word means the “mountainous region.”

    Albanian Hat

    (An). “Un chapeau à l'Albanaise.” A sugar—loaf hat, such as was worn by the Albanians in the sixteenth century.

    Albano Stone

    or Peperino used by the Romans in building; a volcanic tufa quarried at Albano.

    Albany

    Scotland. (See Albin .)

    Albati

    The white brethren. Certain Christian fanatics of the fourteenth century, so called because they dressed in white. Also the recently baptised. (Latin.)

    Albatross

    The largest of webfooted birds, called by sailors the Cape Sheep, from its frequenting the Cape of Good Hope. It gorges itself, and then sits motionless upon the waves. It is said to sleep in the air, because its flight is a gliding without any apparent motion of its long wings. Sailors say it is fatal to shoot an albatross. Coleridge's Ancient Mariner is founded on this superstition.

    Albert

    (An) A chain from the waistcoat pocket to a button in front of the waistcoat. So called from Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria. When he went to Birmingham, in 1849, he was presented by the jewellers of the town with such a chain, and the fashion took the public fancy.

    Albertazzo

    (in Orlando Furioso) married Alda, daughter of Otho, Duke of Saxony. His sons were Hugh or Ugo, and Fulke or Fulco. From this family springs the Royal Family of England.

    Albiazar

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). One of the leaders of the Arab host which joined the Egyptian armament against the Crusaders. “A chief in rapine, not in knighthood bred.” (Book xvii.)

    Albigenses

    (4 syl.) A common name for heretics prior to the Reformation; so called from the Albigeois, inhabitants of the district which now is the department of the Tarn, the capital of which was Albi. It was here the persecution of the Reformers began, under the direction of Pope Innocent III, in 1209. The Waldenses rose after them, but are not unfrequently confounded with them.

    Albin

    A name at one time applied to the northern part of Scotland, called by the Romans “Caledonia.” This was the part inhabited by the Picts. The Scots migrated from Scotia in the North of Ireland, and acquired mastery under Kenneth M'Alpin in 843. In poetry Scotland is called Albin.

    Gaelic, ailp; Keltic, alp, our Alps. Alpin is either Ailp—ben son of the hills, i.e., the hill country, or Alp—inn (hilly island), Albania means the “hilly country.”

    “Woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,

    When Albin her claymore indignantly draws.”

    Campbell: Lochiel's Warning.

    Albino

    A term originally applied by the Portuguese to those negroes who were mottled with white spots; but now applied to those who are born with red eyes and white hair. Albinos are found among white people as well as among negroes. The term is also applied to beasts and plants. (Latin, albus, white.)

    Albino—poets

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, in the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (chap. viii.), speaks of Kirke White as one of the “sweet Albino poets,” whose “plaintive song” he admires. It implies some deficiency of virility, as albinism suggests weakness, and possibly is meant as a play upon the name in this particular instance.

    Albion

    England, so named from the ancient inhabitants called Albiones. The usual etymology of albus (white), said to have been given by Julius Cæsar in allusion to the “white cliffs,” is quite untenable, as an old Greek treatise, the De Mundo, formely ascribed to Aristotle, mentions the islands of Albion and Ierne three hundred years before the invasion of Cæsar. Probably “Albion” or Albany was the Celtic name of all Great Britain, subsequently restricted to Scotland, and then to the Highlands of Scotland. Certainly the inhabitants

    of the whole island are implied in the word Albiones in Festus Avienus's account of the voyage of Hamilcar in the fifth century B.C. ( See Albin.)

    “Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean which flows round the earth, and in it are 2 very large islands called Britannia, viz., Albion and Ierne.” — De Mundo, Sec. iii.

    Albion

    Son of the king of this island when Oberon held his court in what we call Kensington Gardens. He was stolen by the elfin Milkah, and brought up in fairyland. When nineteen years of age, he fell in love with Kenna, daughter of King Oberon, but was driven from the empire by the indignant monarch. Albion invaded the territory, but was slain in the battle. When Kenna knew this, she poured the juice of moly over the dead body, and it changed into a snow—drop. — T. Tickell.

    Albion the Giant

    Fourth son of Neptune, sixth son of Osiris, and brother of Hercules, his mother being Amphitrita. Albion the Giant was put by his father in possession of the isle of Britain, where he speedily subdued the Samotheans, the first inhabitants. His brother Bergion ruled over Ireland and the Orkneys. Another of his brothers was Lestrigo, who subjected Italy. (See “W. Harrison's Introduction to Holinshed's Chronicle.”

    Albracca's Damsel

    (in Orlando Furioso) is Angelica. Albracca is the capital of Cathay (q.v.).

    Album

    A blank book for scraps. The Romans applied the word to certain tables overlaid with gypsum, on which were inscribed the annals of the chief priests, the edicts of the prætors, and rules relating to civil matters. In the Middle Ages, “album” was the general name of a register or list; so called from being kept either on a white (albus) board with black letters, or on a black board with white letters. For the same reason the boards in churches for notices, and the boards in universities containing the names of the college men, are called albums.

    Alcade

    (3 syl.) A magistrate is so called in Spain and Portugal. The word is the Arabic al cadi (the judge).

    Alcaic Verse

    Alcaïcs. A Greek and Latin metre, so called from Alcoes, a lyric poet, who invented it. Each line is divided into two parts. The first two lines of each stanza of the ninth ode of Horace are in Alcaics. The first two lines of the ode run thus, and in the same metre:

    “See how Soracté groans with its wintry snow,

    And weary woodlands bend with the toilsome weight.”

    Alcantara

    (Order of) A military and religious order instituted in 1214 by Alfonso IX., King of Castile, to commemorate the taking of Alcantara from the Moors. The sovereign of Spain is ex—officio, head of the Order. A resuscitation of the order of St. Julian of the Pear—tree, instituted by Fernando Gomez in 1176, better known by the French title St. Julien du Poirier. The badge of the order was a pear—tree.

    Alcastus

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). The Capaneus of the Crusaders, leader of 6,000 foot soldiers from Helvetia.

    Alce

    (2 syl.). One of the dogs of Actæon. The word means “strength.”

    Alceste

    (2 syl.) The hero of Molière's Misanthrope. Not unlike Shakespeare's character of Timon.

    Alchemilla

    or Lady's Mantle. The alchemist's plant; so called because alchemists collected the dew of its leaves for their operations. Lady means the Virgin Mary, to whom the plant was dedicated.

    Alchemy (Al—ki—me) is the Arabic al kimia (the secret art); so called not only because it was carried on in secret, but because its main objects were the three great secrets of science — the transmutation of baser metals into gold, the universal solvent, and the elixir of life.

    Alcimedon

    A generic name for a first—rate carver in wood.

    Pocula ponam

    Fagina, coelatum divini opus Alcimedontis.”

    Virgil: Eclogue, iii.36.

    Alcina

    The personification of carnal pleasure in Orlando Furioso ; the Circe of classic fable, and Labè of the Arabians. She enjoyed her lovers for a time, and then changed them into trees, stones, fountains, or beasts, as her fancy dictated.

    Alcinoo poma dare

    (to give apples to Alcinous). To carry coals to Newcastle; sending cider to Herefordshire. The orchards of Alcinous, King of Corcyra (Corfu), were famous for their fruits.

    Alcofribas

    The pseudonym of Rabelais in his Gargantua and Pantagruel. Alcofribas Nasier is an anagram of “François Rabelais.” The introduction runs thus: “The inestimable life of the great Gargantua, father of Pantagruel, heretofore composed by M. Alcofribas, abstractor of the quintessence, a book full of pantagruelism.”

    Alcuith

    mentioned by the Venerable Bede, is Dumbarton.

    Aldabella

    or Aldabelle (in Orlando Furioso). Sister of Oliviero and Brandimarte, daughter of Monodantes, and wife of Orlando.

    Aldabella.

    A marchioness of Florence, who gave entertainment to the magnates of the city. She was very handsome, heartless, and arrogant. When Fazio became rich with Bartoldo's money, Aldabella inveigled him from his wife, and his wife, out of jealousy, accused her husband of being privy to Bartoldo's death. Fazio being condemned for murder and robbery, his wife Bianca accused Aldabella of inveigling him, and the marchioness was condemned by the Duke of Florence to spend the rest of her life in a nunnery. — Dean Milman: Fazio.

    Aldebaran

    The sun in Arabian mythology. In astronomy, the star called the Bull's eye in the constellation Taurus. (Arabic al the, debaran.)

    Alderman

    One of the seniors or elders. Now applied to a class of magistrates in corporate towns. In London an alderman is the chief magistrate in a ward appointed by election. There are also aldermen of the Country Council.

    A turkey is called an alderman, both from its presence in aldermanic feast, and also because of its red and purple colours about the head and neck, which make it a sort of poultry alderman.

    An alderman in chains,

    by a similar effort of wit, is a turkey hung with sausages.

    Alderman

    (An) A burglar's tool; a crowbar for forcing safes. So called from the high rank it holds with burglars.

    Alderman

    (An) A cant term for half—a—crown. An alderman as chief magistrate is half a king in his own ward; and half a crown is half a king.

    Aldgate Pump

    A draught on Aldgate Pump. A cheque with no effects. A worthless bill. The pun is on the word draught, which means either an order on a bank for money or a sup of liquor.

    Aldibo—ronte—phosco—phornio

    A courtier in Henry Carey's farce called Chronon—hoton—thologos.

    Aldiger

    (in Orlando Furioso). Buovo's son, of the house of Clarmont, who lived in Agrismont Castle. He was brother of Malgigi and Vivian; all Christians.

    Aldine

    (2 syl.) Leader of the second squadron of Arabs who joined the Egyptian armament against the Crusaders. — Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered.

    Aldine Editions

    Editions of the Greek and Latin classics, published and printed under the superintendence of Aldo Manuzio, his father—in—law Andrea of Asolo, and his son Paolo (1490——1597); most of them in small octavo, and all noted for their accuracy. The father invented the type called italics , once called Aldine, and first used in printing Virgil , 1501.

    Aldingar

    (Sir) Steward of Queen Eleanor, wife of Henry II. He impeached her fidelity, and submitted to a combat to substantiate his charge; but an angel, in the shape of a child, established the queen's innocence. — Percy's Reliques.

    Ale

    is the Scandinavian öl, called ealo in our island. Beer, written bere, even in the reign of James I, is the Anglo—Saxon beor, from bere (barley). A beverage made from barley is mentioned by Tacitus and even Herodotus. Hops were introduced from Holland and used for brewing in 1524, but their use was prohibited by Act of Parliament in 1528 — a prohibition which soon fell into disuse. Ale is made from pale malt, whence its

    light colour; porter and stout from malt more highly dried. Beer is the general word, and in many parts of England includes ale, porter, and stout. The word ale was introduced by the Danes, and the word beer by the Teutons. Among London brewers beer means the dark form, called also stout or porter.

    “Called ale among men; but by the gods called beer.” — The Alvismal.

    Aleberry

    a corruption of ale—bree. A drink made of hot ale, spice, sugar, and toast. Burns speaks of the barley bree (Anglo—Saxon brin, broth).

    “Cause an aleberry to be made for her, and put into it powder of camphor.” — The Pathway to Health.

    Ale—dagger

    (An) A dagger used in self—defence in ale—house brawls.

    “He that drinkes with cutlers must not be without his ale—dagger.” (1589). (See N.E.D.) Pierce Pennilesse says: — “All that will not ... weare ale—house daggers at your backes [should abstain from taverns].”

    See Shakespeare Society, p.55.

    Ale—draper

    a tapster. Ale—drapery, the selling of ale, etc.

    “No other occupation have I but to be an ale—draper.” — H.Chettle: Kind—harts' Dreame , 1592.

    Ale Knight

    (An) A knight of the ale—tub, a tippler, a sot.

    Ale—silver

    A yearly tribute paid to the corporation of London, as a licence for selling ale.

    Ale—stake

    The pole set up before ale—houses by way of “sign.” A bush was very often fixed to its top. A tavern.

    “A garland had he set upon his head

    As great as it werein for an ale—stake.”

    Chaucer.

    “I know many an ale—stake.”

    Hawkins: English Drama

    , i.100.

    Ale—wife

    The landlady of an alehouse or ale—stand.

    Alecto

    One of the Furies, whose head was covered with snakes.

    “Then like Alecto, terrible to view,

    Or like Medusa, the Circassian grew.”

    Hoole: Jerusalem Delivered, b. vi.

    Alectorian Stone

    (An). A stone said to be of talismanic power, found in the stomach of cocks. Those who possess it are strong, brave, and wealthy. Milo of Crotona owed his strength to this talisman. As a philtre it has the power of preventing thirst or of assuaging it. (Greek, alector, a cock.)

    Alectromancy Divination by a cock. Draw a circle, and write in succession round it the letters of the alphabet, on each of which lay a grain of corn. Then put a cock in the centre of the circle, and watch what grains he eats. The letters will prognosticate the answer. Libanius and Jamblicus thus discovered who was to succeed the emperor Valens. The cock ate the grains over the letters t, h, e, o, d = Theod [orus]. Greek alector, cock; marteia , divination.

    Aleria

    (in Orlando Furioso). One of the Amazons, and the best beloved of the ten wives of Guido the Savage.

    Alert

    To be on the watch. From the Latin erectus, part. of erigere, to set upright; Italian, erto, French, erte, a watch—tower. Hence the Italian starë allerta, the Spanish estar alerta , and the French être à l'erte, to be on the watch.

    Alessio

    The lover of Liza, in Bellni's opera of La Sonnambula (Scribe's libretto).

    Alethes

    (3 syl.) An ambassador from Egypt to King Aladine. He is represented as a man of low birth raised to the highest rank, subtle, false, deceitful, and wily. — Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered.

    Alexander and the Robber

    The robber's name was Diomedes. — Gesta Romanorum, cxlvi.

    You are thinking of Parmenio, and I of Alexander — i.e.

    , you are thinking what you ought to receive, and I what I ought to give; you are thinking of those castigated, rewarded, or gifted; but I of my own position, and what punishment, reward, or gift is consistent with my rank. The allusion is to the tale about Parmenio and Alexander, when the king said, “I consider not what Parmenio should receive, but what Alexander should give.”

    Only two Alexanders

    . Alexander said, “There are but two Alexanders — the invincible son of Philip, and the inimitable painting of the hero by Apelles.”

    The continence of Alexander

    . Having gained the battle of Issus (B.C. 333) the family of King Darius fell into his hand; but he treated the ladies as queens, and observed the greatest decorum towards them. A eunuch, having escaped, told Darius of this noble continence, and Darius could not but admire such nobility in a rival. — Arrïan Anabasis of Alexander , iv. 20. (See Continence)

    Alexander

    so Paris, son of Priam, was called by the shepherds who brought him up.

    Alexander of the North

    Charles XII of Sweden, so called from his military achievements. He was conquered at Pultowa, in Russia (1709), by Czar Peter the Great (1682——1718).

    Repressing here

    The frantic Alexander of the North.”

    Thomson: Winter.

    The Persian Alexander

    . Sandjar (1117.1158).

    Alexander the Corrector.

    Alexander Cruden, author of the “Concordance to the Bible,” who petitioned Parliament to constitute him “Corrector of the People,” and went about constantly with a sponge to wipe out the licentious, coarse, and profane chalk scrawls which met his eye. (1701——1770)

    Alexander's Beard

    A smooth chin, no beard at all. An Amazonian chin.

    Disgracëd yet with Alexander's bearde.” Gascoigne: The Steele Glas.

    Alexandra

    (in Orlando Furioso). Oronthea's daughter; the Amazon queen.

    Alexandra

    so Cassandra, daughter of Priam, is called. The two names are mere variants of each other.

    Alexandrian

    Anything from the East was so called by the old chroniclers and romancers, because Alexandria was the depôt from which Eastern stores reached Europe.

    “Reclined on Alexandrian carpets (i.e., Persian). Rose: Orlando Furioso, x. 37.

    <Alexandrian Codex A manuscript of the Scriptures in Greek, which belonged to the library of the patriarchs of Alexandria, in Africa, A.D. 1098. In 1628 it was sent as a present to Charles I, and (in 1753) was placed in the British Museum. It is on parchment, in uncial letters, and contains the Septuagint version (except the Psalms), a part of the New Testament, and the Epistles of Clemens Romanus.

    Alexandrian Library

    Founded by Ptolemy Soter, in Alexandria, in Egypt. The tale is that it was burnt and partly consumed in 391; but when the city fell into the hands of the calif Omar, in 642, the Arabs found books sufficient to “heat the baths of the city for six months.” It is said that it contained 700,000 volumes.

    Alexandrian School

    An academy of literature by Ptolemy, son of Lagos, especially famous for its grammarians and mathematicians. Of its grammarians the most noted are Aristarchos, Harpocration, and Eratosthenes; and of its mathematicians, Ptolemy and Euclid, the former an astronomer, and the latter the geometer whose Elements are still very generally used.

    Alexandrine Age

    From A.D. 323 to 640, when Alexandria, in Egypt, was the centre of science and literature.

    Alexandrine Philosophy

    The system of the Gnostics, or Platonised form of Christianity.

    Alexandrines

    (4 syl.) Iambic verses of 12 or 13 syllables, divided into two parts between the sixth and seventh syllable; so called because they were first employed in a metrical romance of Alexander the Great, commenced by Lambert—li—Cors, and continued by Alexandre de Bernay, also called Alexandre de Paris. The final line of the Spenserian stanza is an Alexandrine.

    “A needless Alexandrine ends the song,

    Which, like a wounded snake | drags its slow length along.” Pope: Essay on Criticism, Part

    ii., lines 356——7.

    Alexandrite

    (4 syl.) A variety of chrysobery found in the mica—slate of the Urals. So named from Czar Alexander II (1818, 1855——1881), because it shows the Russian colours, green and red.

    Alexis

    (St.) Patron saint of hermits and beggars. The story goes that he lived on his father's estate as a hermit till death, but was never recognised.

    He is represented, in Christian art, with a pilgrim's habit and staff. Sometimes he is drawn as if extended on a mat, with a letter in his hand, dying.

    Alfader

    (father of all) The most ancient and chief of the Scandinavian gods. Odin, father of the Æsir, or gods.

    Alfana

    (See Horse .)

    Alfar

    The good and bad genii of the Scandinavians.

    Alfheim

    (home of the good genii). A celestial city inhabited by the elves and fairies. (Scandinavian mythology.)

    Alfonsin

    An instrument for extracting balls. So called from Alfonse Ferri, a surgeon of Naples, who invented it. (1552.)

    Alfonsine Tables

    Astronomical tables constructed in 1252, by Isaac Hazan, a Jewish rabbi, who named them in honour of his patron, Alfonso X., King of Castile, surnamed “The Wise.”

    Alfonso

    to whom Tasso dedicated his Jerusalem Delivered, was Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.

    Alfonso XI of Castile, whose “favourite” was Leonora de Guzman. Being threatened with excommunication unless he put her away (as Leonora was in love with Ferdinando, a brave officer), the king created Ferdinando Marquis of Montreal, and gave him the hand of his mistress in marriage. As soon as Ferdinando discovered who Leonora was, he restored her to the king, and retired to a monastery. — Donizetti's Opera, La Favorita.

    Alfred's Scholars

    Werfrith, Bishop of Worcester; Ethelstan and Werwulf, two Mercian priests; Plegmund (a Mercian), afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury; Asser a Welshman; Grimbald, a great French scholar, etc., invited over to England by King Alfred.

    Algarsife

    (3 syl.) Son of Cambuscan, and brother of Cambalo, who “won Theodora to wife.” It was in the “Squire's Tale,” by Chaucer, but was never finished. (See Canace.)

    “Call him up that left half told

    The story of Cambuscan bold,

    Of Camball, and of Algarsife,

    And who had Canace to wife.”

    Milton: Il Penseroso.

    Algebra

    is the Arabic al gebr (the equalisation), “the supplementing and equalising (process);” so called because the problems are solved by equations, and the equations are made by supplementary terms. Fancifully identified with the Arabian chemist Gebir.

    Algrind

    of Spenser, is meant for Grindal, Bishop of London in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign. He was a Marian exile, and not a very cordial co—operator with Bishop Parker.

    “The hills where dwelled holy saints

    I reverence and adore;

    Not for themselves, but for the saints.

    Which had been dead of yore.

    And now they been to heaven for went.

    Their good is with them go;

    Their sample to us only lent,

    That als we mought do so.

    “Shepherds they weren of the best,

    And lived in lowly leas,

    And sith their souls be now at rest.

    Why done we them disease?

    Such one he was (as I have heard)

    Old Algrind often saine,

    That whilome was the first shepherd,

    And lived with little gain.”

    Eclogue

    vii.

    Alhambra

    The palace of the ancient Moors in Granada. The word is the Arabic al—hamra (the red castle).

    Ali

    Cousin and son—in—law of Mahomet, the beauty of whose eyes is with the Persians proverbial; insomuch that the highest term they employ to express beauty is Ayn Hali (eyes of Ali). — Chardin.

    Alias

    “You have as many aliases as Robin of Bagshot,” one of Macheath's gang: he was Robin of Bagshot, alias Gordon, alias Bluff Bob, alias Carbuncle, alias Bob Booty. — Gay: The Beggar's Opera.

    Alibi (elsewhere). A plea of having been at another place at the time that an offence is alleged to have been committed.

    “Never mind the character, and stick to the alley bi. Nothing like an alley bi, Sammy, nothing.” — Dickens Pickwick Papers.

    Alibi Clock

    (An), 1887. A clock which strikes one hour, while the hands point to a different time, the real time being neither one nor the other.

    Aliboron

    Maitre Aliboron Mr. Jackass. Aliboron is the name of a jackass in La Fontaine's Fables. (See Gonin.)

    Alice

    The foster—sister of Robert le Diable, and bride of Rambaldo, the Norman troubadour. She came to Palermo to place in the duke's hand her mother's will, which he was enjoined not to read till he was a virtuous man. When Bertram, his fiend—father, tempted his son to evil, Alice proved his good genius; and when, at last, Bertram claimed his soul as the price of his ill deeds, Alice read the “will,” and won him from the evil one. — Meyerbeer's Opera, Roberto il Diavolo.

    Alice Brand

    Wife of Lord Richard, cursed with the “sleepless eye.” Alice signed Urgan the dwarf thrice with the sign of the cross, and he became “the fairest knight in all Scotland;” when Alice recognised in him her own brother. — Sir Walter Scott: The Lady of the Lake , iv. 12.

    Alichino

    (wing—drooped) A devil, in The Inferno of Dante.

    Alick

    and Sandie. Contractions of Alexander; the one being Alex' and the other 'xander.

    Alicon

    The seventh heaven, to which Azrael conveys the spirits of the just. (Mohometan mythology.)

    Alien Priory

    (An). A priory which owes allegiance to another priory. A sub—priory, like Rufford Abbey, Notts, which was under the prior of Rievaux in Yorkshire.

    Alifanfaron

    the giant. Don Quixote attacked a flock of sheep, which he declared to be the army of the giant Alifanfaron. Similarly Ajax, in a fit of madness, fell upon a flock of sheep, which he mistook for Grecian princes.

    Alilat

    The name by which the Arabs adore nature, which they represent by a crescent moon.

    Aliprando

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). One of the Christian knights. Having discovered the armour of Rinaldo cast on one side, he took it to Godfrey, who very naturally inferred that Rinaldo had been slain. ( See Gen.

    xxxvii. 31——35.)

    Aliris

    Sultan of Lower Bucharia. Under the disguised name of Feramorz, he accompanied Lalla Rookh, his betrothed, from Delhi, and won her heart by his ways, and the tales he told on the journey. The lady fell in love with the poet, and was delighted to find, on the morning of the wedding, that Feramorz was, in fact, the sultan, her intended husband. — T. Moore: Lalla Rookh.

    Al Kader

    (the Divine decree). A particular night in the month Ramadhan, when the Arabs say that angels descend to earth, and.Gabriel reveals to man the decrees of God. — Al Koran, ch. xcviii.

    Alkahest

    The hypothetical universal solvent. The word was invented by Paracelsus.

    Al Rakim (pronounce Rah—keem) The dog in the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.

    Al—Sirat

    (Arabian, the path) The bridge over hell, no wider than the edge of a sword, across which every one who enters heaven must pass. (Mahometan theology.)

    All

    Everything. “Our all,” everything we possess.

    “Our all is at stake.” Addison: State of War.

    All and Some

    “One and all.” (Old English, ealle æt somme, all at once, altogether.)

    “Now stop your noses, readers, all and some.” Dryden: Absalom and Achiptophel.

    All and Sundry

    All without exception.

    “He invited all kind and sundry to partake freely of the oaten cake and ale.” — Hall Caine.

    All cannot do all

    Horace says, “Non omnia possumus omnes.” German proverb, “Ein jeder kann nicht alles.” All are not equally clever. Or rather, “Be not surprised that I cannot do what you can do, for we are not all exactly alike.”

    All Fools' Day

    (April 1st). (See April Fool .)

    All Fours

    A game of cards; so called from the four points that are at stake, viz. High, Low, Jack, and Game.

    To go on all fours

    is to crawl about on knees and hands like a little child.

    It does not go on all fours

    means it does not suit in every minute particular; it does not fully satisfy the demand. It limps as a quadruped which does not go on all its four legs. Omnis comparatio claudicat (all similes limp).

    “No simile can go on all—fours.” Macaulay.

    All—hallown Summer

    The second summer, or the summerly time which sets in about All—Hallows—tide. Called by the French, L'été de St. Martin (from October 9th to November 11th). Also called St. Luke's Summer (St. Luke's Day is October 18th). The Indian summer. Shakespeare uses the term —

    “Farewell, thou latter spring; farewell, All—hallown Summer!” 1 Henry IV.i.2.

    All Hallow's Day

    (November 1st). The French call it. Toussaint , which we have translated All Saints' Day. Hallow—mas is All—Saints' festival. (Anglo—Saxon, hálig, but Hálig—mónáth was september, and Hálig—doeg was simply a Holy—day)

    All Hallows' Eve

    The Scotch tradition is, that those born on All Hallows' Eve have the gift of double sight, and commanding powers over spirits. Mary Avenel, on this supposition, is made to see the White Lady, invisible to less gifted visions.

    “Being born on All—hallows' Eve, she (Mary Avenel) was supposed to be invested with power over the invisible world.” (See Sir Walter Scott: The Monastery, chap. xiv.)

    All in all

    He is all in all to me, that is, the dearest object of my affection. God shall be all in all means all creation shall be absorbed or gathered into God. The phrase is also used adverbially, meaning altogether, as: —

    “Take him for all in all,

    I shall not look upon his like again.” Shakespeare: Hamlet, ii. 2.

    All in the Wrong

    A drama, by Murphy, borrowed from Destouches, the French dramatist.

    All is lost

    that is put in a riven dish. In Latin, “Pertusum quiequid infunditur in dolium, perit.” (It is no use helping the insolvent.)

    All is not gold that glitters or glisters Trust not to appearances. In Latin, “Nulla fides fronti.”

    “Not all that tempts your wandering eyes

    And heedless hearts is lawful prize,

    Nor all that glisters gold.”

    Gray: The Cat and the Gold Fish

    .

    All my Eye

    (and) Betty Martin All nonsense. Joe Miller says that a Jack Tar went into a foreign church, where he heard some one uttering these words — Ah! mihi, beate Martine (Ah! [grant] me, Blessed Martin). On giving an account of his adventure, Jack said he could not make much out of it, but it seemed to him very like “All my eye and Betty Martin.” Grose has “Mihi beatæ Martinis” [sic ]. The shortened phrase, “All my eye,” is very common.

    All one

    The same in effect. Answers the same purpose.

    All—overish

    A familiar expression meaning, all over ill at ease. “I feel all—overish,” not exactly ill, but uncomfortable all over. The precursor of a fever, influenza, ague, etc.

    All Saints

    or All Hallows. In 610 the Pope of Rome ordered that the heathen Pantheon should be converted into a Christian church, and dedicated to the honour of all martyrs. The festival of All Saints was first held on May 1st, but in the year 834 it was changed to November 1st. “Hallows” is from the Anglo—Saxon hálig

    (holy).

    All Serene

    derived from the Spanish word seréna. In Cuba the word is used as a countersign by sentinels, and is about equivalent to our “All right,” or “All's well.”

    All Souls' Day

    The 2nd of November, so called because the Roman Catholics on that day seek by prayer and almsgiving to alleviate the sufferings of souls in purgatory. It was first instituted in the monastery of Clugny, in 993.

    According to tradition, a pilgrim, returning from the Holy Land, was compelled by a storm to land on a rocky island, where he found a hermit, who told him that among the cliffs of the island was an opening into the infernal regions through which huge flames ascended, and where the groans of the tormented were distinctly audible. The pilgrim told Odilo, abbot of Clugny, of this; and the abbot appointed the day following, which was November 2nd, to be set apart for the benefit of souls in purgatory.

    All the go

    All the fashion. Drapers will tell you that certain goods “go off well.” They are in great demand, all the mode, quite in vogue.

    “Her carte is hung in the West—end shops,

    With her name in full on the white below;

    And all day long there's a big crowd stops

    To look at the lady who's all the go.”

    Sims: Ballads of Babylon (“Beauty and the Beast,”).

    All there

    Said of a sharp—witted person. Not all there, said of one of weak intellect. The one has all his wits about him, the other has not.

    All for a Song!

    The exclamation of Burleigh, when Queen Elizabeth ordered him to give #100 to Spencer for a royal gratuity.

    All to break (Judges ix. 53). “A certain woman cast a piece of millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull” does not mean for the sake of breaking his skull, but that she wholly smashed his skull. A spurious form, owing its existence to a typographical mistake. The to really belongs to the verb; and in the last passage quoted it should be read “all to—brake.” The to is a Teutonic particle, meaning asunder, in pieces. It is very common in Old English, where we have “To—bite,” i.e. bite in pieces, tocleave, to—rend, to—tear. All is the adverb = entirely, wholly. So “all to bebattered” = wholly battered to pieces. All—to—frozen. Here

    to—frozen is intensitive. So in Latin dis—crucior = valde crucior. Plautus (in his Menoechmi , ii. line 24) uses the phrase “dis—caveas malo,” i.e. be fully on your guard, etc., be very much beware of.

    Gothic, dis; O. N., tor; Old High German, zar; Latin, dis; Greek, de.

    “Mercutio's icy hand had all—to—frozen mine” i.e. wholly frozen up mine). — Romeo and Juliet (1362).

    “Her wings were al—to—ruffled and sometimes impaired.” — Milton: Comus.

    All waters

    (I am for). I am a Jack of all trades, can turn my hand to anything, a good all—round man. Like a fish which can live in salt or fresh water.

    “I am for all waters.” Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, iv. 2.

    All—work

    A maid of all work. A general servant who does all the work of a house; at once nurse—maid, house—maid, and cook.

    Alla

    or Allah (that is, al—ilah). “The adorable.” The Arabic name of the Supreme Being.

    “The city won for Allah from the Giaour.” Byron: Childe Harold, ii, 77.

    Alla Akbar

    Allah is most mighty. The cry of the Arabs. — Ockley.

    Allan—a—Dale

    The minstrel of Robin Hood's yeomen. He was assisted by Robin Hood in carrying off his bride, when on the point of being married against her will to a rich old knight.

    Allemand

    “Une querelle d'Allemand,” a quarrel about nothing. We call pot valour “Dutch courage.”

    Allen

    (See Allworthy .)

    Allestree

    Richard Allestree, of Derby, was a noted almanac maker in Ben Jonson's time.

    “A little more

    Would fetch all his astronomy from Allestree.” Ben Jonson: Magnetic Lady, iv. 2 (1632).

    Alley

    (The) The Stock Exchange Alley.

    “John Rive, after many active years in the Alley, retired to the Continent, and died at the age of 118.” — Old and New London, p. 476.

    Alliensis

    (Dies) (June 16th, B.C. 390), when the Romans were cut to pieces by the Gauls near the banks of the river Allia; and ever after held to be a dies nefastus , or unlucky day.

    Alligator

    When the Spaniards first saw this reptile in the New World, they called it el lagarto (the lizard). Sir Walter Raleigh called these creatures lagartos, and Ben Jonson alligartas.

    “To the present day the Europeans in Ceylon apply the term alligator to what are in reality crocodiles.” — J. E. Tennent: Ceylon (vol. I. part 2, chap. iii. p. 186.

    Alligator Pears

    (the fruit of Persea gratissima) is a curious corruption. The aboriginal Carib word for the tree is “aouacate,” which the Spanish discoverers pronounced “avocado,” and English sailors called “alligator,” as the nearest approach which occurred to them.

    Alliteration

    DR. BETHEL OF ETON.

    “Didactic, dry, declamatory, dull,

    Big, burly Bethel bellows like a bull.”

    Eton College.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY.

    “Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred,

    How high his Honour holds his haughty head.”

    Hucbald composed an alliterative poem on Charles the Bald, every word of which begins with c.

    Henry Harder composed a poem of 100 lines, in Latin hexameters, on cats, every word of which begins with c. The title is Canum cum Catis certamen carmine compositum currents calamo C Catulli Caninii. The first line is —

    “Cattorum canimus certamina clara canumqua.”

    Hamonicus wrote the Certamen catholicum cum Calvinistis, every word of which begins with c.

    It is a curious coincidence that the names of these three men all begin with H.

    In the Materia more Magistralis every word begins with m.

    Placentius, the Dominican, who died 1548, wrote a poem of 258 Latin hexameters, called Pugna Porcorum, every word of which begins with p. It begins thus: —

    “Plaudite, Porcelli, porcorum pigra propago.”

    Which may be translated —

    “Praise, Paul, prize pig's prolific progeny.”

    Tusser, who died 1580, has a rhyming poem of twelve lines, every word of which begins with t.

    The Rev. B. Poulter, prebendary of Winchester, composed in 1828 the famous alliterative alphabetic poem in rhymes. Each word of each line begins with the letter of the alphabet which it represents. It begins thus: —

    “An Austrian army awfully arrayed,

    Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade;

    Cussack commanders, cannonading come,

    Dealing destruction's devastating doom; ...”

    Some ascribe this alliterative poem to Alaric A. Watts (1820). ( See H. Southgate, Many Thoughts on Many Things.)

    Another attempt of the same kind begins thus: —

    “About an age ago, as all agree,

    Beauteous Belinda, brewing best Bohea

    Carelessly chattered, controverting clean,

    Dublin's derisive, disputatious dean ...”

    Allodials

    Lands which are held by an absolute right, without even the burden of homage or fidelity; opposed to feudal. The word is Teutonic — all—od all (property).

    Allopathy

    is in opposition to Homoeopathy. The latter word is from the Greek, homoeon pathos, similar disease; and the former is allo pathos, a different disease. In one case, “like is to cure like”; and in the latter, the disease is cured by its “antidote.”

    Alls

    The five Alls. A public—house sign. It has five human figures, with a motto to each:

    Number Figure Motto

    (1) A king in his regalia I govern all.

    (2) A bishop, in his pontificals I pray for all.

    (3) A lawyer, in his gown I plead for all.

    (4) A soldier in regimentals I fight for all.

    (5) A labourer, with his tools I pay for all.

    Several of these signs still exist.

    Alls.

    Tap—droppings. The refuse of all sorts of spirits drained from the glasses, or spilt in drawing. The mixture is sold in gin—houses at a cheap rate.

    Allworth

    In A New Way to Pay Old Debts, by Massinger.

    Allworthy

    in Fielding's Tom Jones, is designed for the author's friend, Ralph Allen, of Bristol.

    “Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,

    Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”

    Pope: Epilogue to Sat. i. 135, 136.

    Alma

    (the human soul), queen of “Body Castle,” beset by enemies for seven years (the Seven Ages of Man). The besiegers are a rabble rout of evil desires, foul imaginations, and silly conceits. Alma conducted Arthur and Sir Guyon over her castle. “The divine part of a man,” says Spenser, “is circular, a circle being the emblem of eternity; but the mortal part triangular, as it consists of three things — blood, flesh, and bones.” — Prior's Poem.

    Alma Mater

    A collegian so calls the university of which he is a member. The words are Latin for “fostering mother.”

    “Expulsion from his Alma Mater.” — The Collegian and the Porter.

    Almack's

    A suite of assembly rooms in King Street, St. James's (London), built in 1765 by a Scotchman named Macall, who inverted his name to obviate all prejudice and hide his origin. Balls, presided over by a committee of ladies of the highest rank, used to be given at these rooms; and to be admitted to them was as great a distinction as to be presented at Court. The rooms were afterwards known as Willis's, from the name of the next proprietor, and used chiefly for large dinners. They were closed in 1890

    Almagest

    The Syntaxis—megiste of Ptolemy, translated by the Arabians in 800, by order of the calif Al Maimon, and then called Al—maghesti, i.e. “the megiste.” It contains numerous observations and problems of geometry and astronomy: It is very rare, and more precious than gold.

    Alman

    a German. The French Allemand, a German, which, of course, is the classic Alamani or Alamanni. Similarly, Almany = Germany, French, Allemagne.

    “Chonodomarius and Vestralpus, Aleman kings, ... sat them downe neere unto Argentoratum.” Holland: Ammianus Marcellius.

    “Now Fulko comes ... And dwelt in Amany.” — Harrington: Orlando Furioso , iii. 30.

    Almanac

    is the Arabic al manac (the diary). Verstegen says it is the Saxon al—mon—aght (all moon heed), and that it refers to the tallies of the full and new moons kept by our Saxon ancestors. One of these tallies may still be seen at St. John's College, Cambridge.

    Before printing, or before it was common:

    By Date

    Solomon Jarchi in and after 1150

    Peter de Dacia about 1300

    Walter de Elvendene 1327

    John Somers, Oxford 1380!!

    Nicholas de Lynna 1386

    Purbach 1150——1461

    First printed by Gutenberg, at Mentz 1457

    By Regiomontanus, at Nuremberg 1472——3

    Zainer, at Ulm 1478

    Richard Pynson (Sheapeheard's Kalendar) 1497!!

    Stöffer, in Venice 1499

    Poor Robin's Almanack 1652

    Francis Moore's Almanack

    between 1698 and 1713

    Stamp duty imposed 1710, repealed 1834.

    The Man i' the Almanac stuck with pins

    (Nat. Lee), is a man marked with points referring to signs of the zodiac, and intended to indicate the favourable and unfavourable times of letting blood.

    I shan't consult your almanac

    (French), I shall not come to you to know what weather to expect. The

    reference is to the prognostications of weather in almanacs.

    Almesbury

    It was in a sanctuary at Almesbury that Queen Guenever took refuge, after her adulterous passion for Lancelot was revealed to the king (Arthur). Here she died; but her body was buried at Glastonbury.

    Almighty Dollar

    Washington Irving first made use of this expression, in his sketch of a “Creole Village” (1837).

    “The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land. ...” — W. Irving: Wolfert's Roost, Creole Village, p. 40.

    Ben Jonson speaks of “almighty gold.”

    Almond Tree

    Grey hairs. The Preacher thus describes old age: —

    “In the day when the keepers of the house (the hands) shall tremble, and the strong men (the legs) bow themselves, and the grinders (the teeth) cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows (the eyes) be darkened ... and the almond—tree shall flourish (grey hairs on a bald pate), and the grasshopper be a burden, and desire shall fail ... when the silver cord (the spinal marrow) shall be loosed, the golden bowl ( intellect) broken, and the pitcher broken at the cistern (the pulse of the heart stopped).” — Eccles. xii: 3——6.

    Almonry

    The place where the almoner resides, or where alms are distributed. An almoner is a person whose duty it is to distribute alms, which, in ancient times, consisted of one—tenth of the entire income of monastery. (See Ambry.)

    Alms

    Gifts to the poor.

    Dr. Johnson says the word has no singular; whereas Todd says it has no plural. Like riches, it is wholly singular in construction, but is used both as a noun singular and noun plural. Of course, it is Almos—ine, almos—ie, Almose, almesse, almes, alms, the s is not the plural suffix. Riches is the French richesse. Both words are singular, but, as nouns of multitude, prefer the plural construction. (Latin alimosina, Greek eleemosyne, from the verb eleeo, I pity.)

    Alms Basket

    To live on the alms basket. To live on charity.

    Alms—drink

    Another's leavings; for alms consists of broken bread and the residue of drink. It is also applied to the liquor which a drinker finds too much, and therefore hands to another.

    Alms—fee

    Peter's pence, or Rome scot. Abolished in England by Henry VIII.

    Alms—house

    A house where paupers are supported at the public expense; a poor—house. Also a house set apart for the aged poor free of rent.

    “Only, alas! the poor who had neither friends nor attendants. Crept away to die in the alms—house, home of the homeless.” Longfellow: Evangeline, part ii. 5, 2.

    Alms—man

    One who lives on alms.

    Alnaschar Dream (An)

    Counting your chickens before they are hatched. Alnaschar, the barber's fifth brother, invested all his money in a basket of glass—ware, on which he was to make a certain profit. The profit, being

    invested, was to make more, and this was to go on till he grew rich enough to marry the vizier's daughter. Being angry with his imaginary wife he gave a kick, overturned his basket, and broke all his wares.

    “To indulge in Alnaschar—like dreams of compound interest ad infinitum.” — The Times.

    Alnaschar of Modern Literature

    Coleridge has been so called because he “dreamt” his Kubla Khan, and wrote it out next morning. (1772——1834.)

    Probably he had been reading Purchas's Pilgrimage, for none can doubt the resemblance of the two pieces.

    Aloe

    A Hebrew word, Greek aloe. A very bitter plant; hence the proverb, Plus aloes quam mellis habet , “(Life) has more bitters than sweets.” The French say, “La côte d'Adam contient plus d'aloès que de miel,” where côte d'Adam, of course, means woman or one's wife.

    Socotrine Aloes came originally from the island called Socotra, in the Indian Ocean.

    Along—shore Men

    or Longshoremen, that is stevedores (2 syl.), or men employed to load and unload vessels.

    Alonzo of Aguilar

    When Fernando, King of Aragon, was laying siege to Granada, after chasing Zagal from the gates, he asked who would undertake to plant his banner on the heights. Alonzo, “the lowmost of the dons,” undertook the task, but was cut down by the Moors. His body was exposed in the wood of Oxijera, and the Moorish damsels, struck with its beauty, buried it near the brook of Alpuxarra.

    Aloof

    Stand aloof, away. A sea term, meaning originally to bear to windward, or luff. (Norwegian, German, etc., luft, wind, breeze.)

    Alorus

    so the Chaldeans called their first king, who, they say, came from Babylon.

    A l'outrance

    To the uttermost. (Anglo—French for à outrance.)

    “A champion has started up to maintain à l'outrance her innocence of the great offence.” — Standard.

    Alp

    The Adrian renegade, a Venetian by extraction, who forswore the Christian faith to become a commander in the Turkish army. He led the host to the siege of Corinth, while that country was under the dominion of the Doge. He loved Francesca, daughter of Minotti, governor of Corinth, but she died of a broken heart because he deserted his country and was an apostate. The renegade was shot in the siege. — Byron: Siege of Corinth.

    Alph

    A mythical “sacred river in Xanadu,” which ran “through caverns measureless to man.” — Coleridge: Kubla Khan.

    Alpha

    “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Rev. i. 8). “Alpha” is the first, and “O—mega” the last letter of the Greek alphabet. A &hgr;.

    Alphabet

    This is the only word compounded of letters only. The Greek alpha (a) beta (b); our A B C (book), etc.

    The number of letters in an alphabet varies in different languages. Thus there are:

    The Chinese have no alphabet, but about 20,000 syllabic characters.

    Ezra vii. 21 contains all the letters of the English language, presuming I and J to be identical. Even the Italian alphabet is capable of more than seventeen trillion combinations; that is, 17 followed by eighteen other figures, as —

    17,000,000,000,000,000,000;

    while the English alphabet will combine into more than twenty—nine thousand quatrillion combinations; that is, 29 followed by twenty—seven other figures, as —

    29,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    Yet we have no means of marking the several sounds of our different vowels; nor can we show how to pronounce such simple words as foot (pull and dull), sugar (father and rather), (gin and be—gin), calm, Bourges, Boeuf in “Boeuf—gras,” oeufs, and thousands of other words.

    We want the restoration of th to distinguish between this and thin; a Greek ch to distinguish between Church and Christ, two g 's (one soft and one hard), two c 's, two o 's, half a dozen a 's, and so on.

    Take a, we have fate, fat, Thames (e), war (o), salt (au), etc. So with e, we have prey (a), met (e), England (i), sew (o), herb (u), etc. The other vowels are equally indefinite.

    Alpheos and Arethu sa

    The Greek fable says that Alpheos, the river—god, fell in love with the nymph Arethusa, who fled from him in affright. The god pursued under the sea, but the nymph was changed into a spring, which comes up in the harbour of Syracuse.

    “We have seen a moustachioed Alpheos, at Ramsgate, pursue an affrighted Arethusa.” — London Review.

    Alpheus

    (in Orlando Furioso). A magician and prophet in the army of Charlemagne, slain in sleep by Cloridano.

    Alphesibea

    or “Arsinöe,” wife of Alcmeon. She gave her spouse the fatal collar, the source of numberless evils.

    So was the necklace of Harmonia, and so were the collar and veil of Eriphle, wife of Amphiaraos.

    Alphonso

    etc. (See Alfonso , etc.)

    Alpleich

    or “Elfenreigen” (the weird spirit—song), that music which some hear before death. Faber refers to it in his Pilgrims of the Night.

    “Hark, hark, my soul! Angelic songs are swelling.”

    Pope also says, in the Dying Christian

    Hark! they whisper; angels say,

    Sister spirit, come away.”

    Alpue, Alpieu

    (Alpu), in the game of Basset, doubling the stake on a winning card.

    “What pity 'tis those conquering eyes

    Which all the world subdue,

    Should, while the lover gazing dies,

    Be only on alpue.”

    Etherege: Basset

    .

    Alquife

    (al—kefy). A famous enchanter, introduced into the romances of ancient times, especially those relating to Amadis of Gaul.

    Alrinach The demon who presides over floods and earthquakes, rain and hail. It is this demon who causes shipwrecks. When visible, it is in a female form. (Eastern mythology.)

    Alruna—wife

    (An) The Alrunes were the lares or penates of the ancient Germans. An Alruna—wife was the household goddess of a German family. An Alruna—maiden is a household maiden goddess.

    “She (Hypatia) looked as fair as the sun, and talked like an Alruna—wife.” — Kingsley: Hypatia , chap. xii.

    Alsatia

    The Whitefriars sanctuary for debtors and law—breakers. Cunningham thinks the name is borrowed from Alsace, in France, which being a frontier of the Rhine, was everlastingly the seat of war and the refuge of the disaffected. Sir Walter Scott, in his Fortunes of Nigel, has described the life and state of this rookery. He has borrowed largely from Shadwell's comedy, The Squire of Alsatia. (See Petand.)

    Alsvidur

    (See Horse .)

    Altamorus

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). King of Samarcand, who joined the Egyptian armament against the Crusaders. “He was supreme in courage as in might.” (Book xvii.) He surrendered himself to Godfrey. (Book

    xx.)

    Altan Kol

    or Gold River (Thibet). So called from the gold which abounds in its sands.

    Altar

    (An), in Christian art. St. Stephen (the Pope), and Thomas Becket are represented as immolated before an altar. St. Canute is represented as lying before an altar. St. Charles Borromeo is represented as kneeling before an altar. St. Gregory (the Pope) is represented as offering sacrifice before an altar. And the attribute of Victor is an altar overthrown, in allusion to his throwing down a Roman altar in the presence of the Emperor Maximian.

    Led to the altar, i.e.

    married. Said of a lady. The altar is the communion—table railed off from the body of the church, where marriages are solemnised. The bride is led up the aside to the rail.

    Alter ego

    My double or counterpart. In The Corsican Brothers, the same actor performs the two brothers, the one being the alter ego of the other. (Latin, “a second I"). One who has full powers to act for another.

    Althæa's Brand

    a fatal contingency. Althæa's son was to live so long as a log of wood, then on the fire, remained unconsumed. She contrived to keep the log unconsumed for many years, but being angry one day with Meleager, she pushed it into the midst of the fire, and it was consumed in a few minutes. Meleager died at the same time. — Ovid: Metamorphoses, viii. 4.

    “The fatal brand Althæa burned.” Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI, Act i. 1.

    Althea

    (Divine). The divine Althea of Richard Lovelace was Lucy Sacheverell, called by the poet, “Lucretia.”

    “When love with unconfined wings

    Hovers within my gates,

    And my divine Althea brings

    To whisper at my grates.”

    The “grates” referred to were the prison grates. Lovelace was thrown into prison by the Long Parliament for his petition from Kent in favour of the king.

    Altisidora (in the “Curious Impertinent"), an episode in Don Quixote.

    Altis

    The plot of ground on which the Greeks held their public games.

    Alto relievo

    Italian for “high relief.” A term used in sculpture for figures in wood, stone, marble, etc., so cut as to project at least one—half from the tablet. It should be rilievo (3 syl.).

    Alumbrado

    a perfectionist; so called from a Spanish sect which arose in 1575, and claimed special illumination. (Spanish, meaning “illuminated,” “enlightened").

    Alvina Weeps

    or “Hark! Alvina weeps,” i.e. the wind howls loudly, a Flemish saying. Alvina was the daughter of a king, who was cursed by her parents because she married unsuitably. From that day she roamed about the air invisible to the eye of man, but her moans are audible.

    Alyface

    (Annot) servant of Dame Christian Custance, the gay widow, in Udall's comedy Ralph Roister Doister.

    Alzirdo

    (in Orlando Furioso). King of Tremizen, in Africa. He was overthrown by Orlando on his way to join the allied army of Agramant.

    A.M.

    or M.A. When the Latin form is intended the A comes first, as Artium Magister; but where the English form is meant the M precedes, as Master of Arts.

    Amadis of Gaul

    The hero of a romance in prose of the same title, originally written in Portuguese in four books. These four were translated into Spanish by Montalvo, who added a fifth. Subsequent romancers added the exploits and adventures of other knights, so as to swell the romance to fourteen books. The French version is much larger still, one containing twenty—four books, and another running through seven volumes. The original author was Vasco de Lobeira, of Oporto, who died 1403.

    The hero, called the “Lion—knight,” from the device on his shield, and “Beltenebros” (darkly beautiful), from his personal appearance, was a love—child of Perion, King of Gaul, and Elizena, Princess of Brittany. He is represented as a poet and musician, a linguist and a gallant, a knight—errant and a king, the very model of chivalry.

    Other names by which Amadis was called were the Lovely Obscure, the Knight of the Burning Sword, the Knight of the Dwarf, etc. Bernardo, in 1560, wrote “Amadigi di Gaula.”

    Amadis of Greece

    A supplemental part of the romance called Amadis of Gaul, added by Feliciano de Silva.

    Amaimon

    (3 syl.) One of the chief devils whose dominion is on the north side of the infernal gulf. He might be bound or restrained from doing hurt from the third hour till noon, and from the ninth hour till evening.

    “Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer well.”

    Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor

    , ii. 2.

    <Amalfitan Code A compilation of maritime laws, compiled in the eleventh century at Amalfi, then an important trading town.

    Amalivaca

    An American spirit, who had seven daughters. He broke their legs to prevent their running away, and left them to people the forests.

    Amalthaea

    (See Sibylline Books.)

    Amalthea's Horn The cornucopia or horn of plenty. The infant Zeus was fed with goats' milk by Amalthea, one of the daughters of Melisseus, King of Crete. Zeus, in gratitude, broke off one of the goat's horns, and gave it to Amalthea, promising that the possessor should always have in abundance everything desired. (See Aegis.)

    Amanda

    the impersonation of love in Thomson's Spring, is Miss Young, afterwards married to Admiral Campbell.

    Amarant

    A cruel giant slain by Guy of Warwick. — Guy and Amarant, Percy's Reliques.

    Amaranth

    Clement of Alexandria says — Amarantus flos, symbolum est immortalitatis. The word is from the Greek amarantos (everlasting). So called because its flowers never fade like other flowers, but retain to the last much of their deep blood—red colour.

    “Immortal amarant — a flower which once

    In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,

    Began to bloom; but soon, for man's offence, To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life...

    With these, that never fade, the spirits elect

    Bind their resplendent locks.” Milton: Paradise Lost iii. 353——61.

    In 1653 Christina, Queen of Sweden, instituted the Order of the “Knights of the Amaranth,” but it ceased to exist at the death of the Queen. Among the ancients it was the symbol of immortality.

    The best known species are “Love lies bleeding” (amarantus caudatus), and “Prince's feather” (amarantus hypochondriacus ). “Cock's comb” is now ranked under the genus Celosia.

    Amaryllis

    A pastoral sweetheart. The name is borrowed from the pastorals of Theocritos and Virgil.

    “To sport with Amaryllis in the shade.” Milton: Lycidas, 68.

    Amasis

    (Ring of) same as Polycrates' Ring. Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, was so fortunate in everything that Amasis, King of Egypt, advised him to part with something which he highly prized. Polycrates accordingly threw into the sea an engraved ring of extraordinary value. A few days afterwards, a fish was presented to the tyrant, in which the ring was found. Amasis now renounced all friendship with Polycrates, as a man doomed by the gods; and not long afterwards, a satrap, having entrapped the too fortunate despot, put him to death by crucifixion. — Herodotus, iii. 40.

    Amati

    A first—rate violin; properly, one made by Amati of Cremona ( c. 1600). (See Cremona.)

    Amaurot

    (Greek, the shadowy or unknown place), the chief city in Utopia (no—place), a political novel by Sir Thomas More. Rabelais, in his Pantagruel, had previously introduced the word, and tells us that the Amaurots conquered the Dipsodes (or Duplicians).

    Amaurote

    a bridge in Utopia. Sir Thomas More says he could not recollect whether Raphael Hyghloday told him it was 500 paces or 300 paces long; and he requested his friend Peter Giles, of Antwerp, to put the question to the adventurer.

    “I cannot recollect whether the reception room of the Spaniard's Castle in the Air is 200 or 300 feet long. I will get the next aeronaut who journeys to the moon to take the exact

    dimensions for me, and will memorialise the learned society of Laputa.” — Dean Swift: Gulliver's Travels.

    Amazement

    Not afraid with any amazement (1 Peter iii. 6), introduced at the close of the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer. The meaning is, you will be God's children so long as you do his bidding, and are not drawn aside by any distraction. No doubt St. Peter meant “by any terror of persecution.” Cranmer, being so afraid, was drawn aside from the path of duty.

    Amazia

    meant for Charles II, in Pordage's poem of Azaria and Hushai. We are told by the poet, “his father's murtherers he destroyed;” and then he preposterously adds —

    “Beloved of all for merciful was he,

    Like God, in the superlative degree.”

    To say that such a selfish, promise—breaking, impious libertine was “like God, in the superlative degree,” is an outrage against even poetical licence and court flattery.

    Amazon

    A horsewoman, a fighting or masculine woman. The word means without breast, or rather, “deprived of a pap.” According to Grecian story, there was a nation of women in Africa of a very warlike character. There were no men in the nation; and if a boy was born, it was either killed or sent to his father, who lived in some neighbouring state. The girls had their right breasts burnt off, that they might the better draw the bow.

    “These dreadful Amazons, gallant viragoes who ... carried victorious arms ... into Syria and Asia Minor.” — J. E. Chambliss: David Livingstone (Introduction, p. 24).

    Amazonia

    In South America, originally called Maranon. The Spaniards first called it Orellana; but after the women joined their husbands in attacking the invaders, the Spaniards called the people Amazons and the country Amazonia.

    Amazonian Chin

    (An) A beardless chin, like that of a woman warrior.

    “When with his Amazonian chin he drove

    The bristled lips before him.”

    Shakespeare: Coriolanus, ii. 2.

    Ambassador

    a practical joke played on greenhorns aboard ship. A tub full of water is placed between two stools, and the whole being covered with a green cloth, a sailor sits on each stool, to keep the cloth tight. The two sailors represent Neptune and Amphitrite, and the greenhorn, as ambassador, is introduced to their majesties. He is given the seat of honour between them; but no sooner does he take his seat than the two sailors rise, and the greenhorn falls into the tub, amidst the laughter of the whole crew.

    Amber

    This fossilised vegetable resin is, according to legend, a concretion of birds' tears. The birds were the sisters of Meleager, who never ceased weeping for the death of their brother. — Ovid: Metamorphoses, viii. line 270, etc.

    “Around thee shall glisten the loveliest amber

    That ever the sorrowing sea—bird hath wept.”

    T. Moore: Fire Worshippers.

    Amber,

    a repository. So called because insects and small leaves are preserved in amber.

    “You may be disposed to preserve it in your amber.” — Notes and Querries. — W. Dowe. “Pretty! in amber, to observe the forms

    Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms,

    The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,

    But wonder how the devil they got there.”

    Pope: Ep. to Arbuthnot

    , 169——72.

    Amberabad

    Amber—city, one of the towns of Jinnistan, or Fairy Land.

    Ambes—as

    or Ambes—ace Two aces, the lowest throw in dice; figuratively, bad luck. (Latin, ambo—asses, both or two aces.)

    “I had rather be in this choice than throw ames—ace for my life.” — All's Well, etc., ii. 3.

    Ambi—dexter

    properly means both hands right hands; a double dealer; a juror who takes money from both parties for his verdict; one who can use his left hand as deftly as his right.

    Ambition

    strictly speaking, means “the going from house to house" (Latin, ambitio, going about canvassing). In Rome it was customary, some time before an election came on, for the candidates to go round to the different dwellings to solicit votes, and those who did so were ambitious of office.

    Ambree

    (Mary) An English heroine, who has immortalised her name by her valour at the siege of Ghent, in 1584. Her name is a proverbial one for a woman of heroic spirit.

    “My daughter will be valiant,

    And prove a very Mary Ambry i' the business.” Ben Jonson: Tale of a Tub, i. 4.

    Ambrose

    (St.) represented in Christian art in the costume of a bishop. His attributes are (1) a bee—hive, in allusion to the legend that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth when lying in his cradle; (2) a Scourge, by which he expelled the Arians from Italy.

    The penance he inflicted on the Emperor Theodosius has been represented by Rubens, a copy of which, by Vandyck, is in the National Gallery

    Ambrosia

    The food of the gods (Greek, a privative, brotos, mortal); so called because it made them not mortal, i.e. it made them immortal. Anything delicious to the taste or fragrant in perfume is so called from the notion that whatever is used by the celestials must be excellent.

    “A table where the heaped ambrosia lay.”

    Homer, by Bryant: Odyssey

    , v. line 141.

    “Husband and wife must drink from the cup of conjugal life; but they must both taste the same ambrosia, or the same gall.”

    R. C. Houghton: Women of the Orient

    , part iii.

    Ambrosian Chant

    The choral music introduced from the Eastern to the Western Church by St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, in the fourth century. It was used till Gregory the Great changed it for the Gregorian.

    Ambrosian Library

    A library in Milan, so called in compliment of St. Ambrose, the patron saint.

    Ambrosio

    the hero of Lewis's romance, called The Monk. Abbot of the Capuchins at Madrid. The temptations of Matilda overcome his virtue, and he proceeds from crime to crime, till at last he sells his soul to the devil. Ambrosio, being condemned to death by the Inquisition, is released by Lucifer; but no sooner is he out of prison than he is dashed to pieces on a rock.

    Ambry a cupboard, locker, or recess. In church, for keeping vestments, books, or other articles. Used by a confusion for almonry, or niche in the wall where alms, etc., were deposited. Now used for holding the sacramental plate, consecrated oil, and so on. The secret drawers of an escritoire are called ambries. (Archaic English almary, Latin armarium, French armoire.)

    “Ther avarice hath almaries,

    And yren—bouden cofres.”

    Piers Ploughman, p. 288.

    Almonry

    is from the Latin eleemosynarium, a place for alms.

    “The place wherein this Chapel or Almshouse stands was called the “Elemosinary” or Almonry, now corrupted into Ambrey, for that the alms of the Abbey are there distributed to the poor.” — Stow: Survey.

    Ambuscade

    (3 syl.) is the Italian imboscata (concealed in a wood).

    Amedamnée

    (French), a scape—goat.

    “He is the ame damnée of everyone about the court — the scapegoat, who is to carry away all their iniquities.” — Sir Walter Scott: Peveril of the Peak, chap. 48.

    Amedieu

    (3 syl.) “Friends of God;” a religious body in the Church of Rome, founded in 1400. They wore no breeches, but a grey cloak girded with a cord, and were shod with wooden shoes.

    Amelia

    A model of conjugal affection, in Fielding's novel so called. It is said that the character is intended for his own wife.

    Amelon

    A Chaldean hero, who reigned thirteen sares. A sare = 3,600 years. — Banier: Mythology, vol. i.

    Amenon is another hero of Chaldea, who reigned 12 sares. Amphis reigned 6 sares.

    Amen Corner

    London, the end of Paternoster Row, where the monks finished their Pater Noster, on Corpus Christi Day, as they went in procession to St. Paul's Cathedral. They began in Paternoster Row with the Lord's prayer in Latin, which was continued to the end of the street; then said Amen, at the corner or bottom of the Row; then turning down Ave—Maria Lane, commenced chanting the “Hail, Mary!” then crossing Ludgate, they chanted the Credo. Amen Lane no longer exists.

    Amende honorable

    in France, was a degrading punishment inflicted on traitors, parricides, and sacrilegious persons, who were brought into court with a rope round their neck, and made to beg pardon of God, the king, and the court.

    Now the public acknowledgment of the offence is all that is required.

    Amenthes

    (3 syl.) The Egyptian Hades. The word means hiding—place.

    American Flag

    The American Congress resolved (June 14, 1777), that the flag of the United States should have thirteen stripes, alternately red and white, to represent the thirteen States of the Union, together with thirteen white stars, on a blue ground. General Washington's escutcheon contained two stripes, each alternated with red and white, and, like the American stars, those of the General had only five points instead of six. A new star is now added for each new State, but the stripes remain the same.

    However, before the separation the flag contained thirteen stripes of alternate red and white to indicate the thirteen colonies: and the East India Company flag, as far back as 1704, had thirteen stripes. The Company flag was cantoned with St. George's Cross, the British American flag with the Union Jack.

    American Peculiarities

    American States

    The Americans are rich in nicknames. Every state has, or has had, its sobriquet. The people of:

    American States

    The eight states which retain the Indian names of the chief rivers, as: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

    Amethea

    (See Horse .)

    Amethyst

    A species of rock—crystal supposed to prevent intoxication (Greek, a—methusta, the antidote of intoxication). Drinking—cups made of amethyst were supposed to be a charm against inebriety.

    It was the most cherished of all precious stones by Roman matrons, from the superstition that it would preserve inviolate the affection of their husbands.

    Amiable Numbers

    (See Amicable , etc.)

    Amicable Numbers

    Numbers which are mutually equal to the sum of all their aliquot parts: as 220, 284. The aliquot parts of 220 are 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11, 20, 22 44, 55, 110, the sum of which is 284. Again, the aliquot parts of 284 are 1, 2, 4, 71, 142, the sum of which is 220.

    Amicus curiae

    (Latin, a friend to the court). One in the court who informs the judge of some error he has detected, or makes some suggestion to assist the court.

    Amicus Plato, sed magis amica Veritas

    (Plato I love, but I love Truth more) A noble dictum attributed to Aristotle, but certainly a very free translation of a phrase in the Nicomachean Ethics (“Where both are friends, it is right to prefer Truth")

    Amiel

    (3 syl.) A form of the name of Eliam (friend of God). In Dryden's satire of Absalom and Achitophel it is meant for Sir Edward Seymour, Speaker of the House of Commons. (2 Sam. xxii. 34.)

    “Who can Amiel's praise refuse?

    Of ancient race by birth, but nobler yet In his own worth, and without title great. The Sanhedrim long time as chief he ruled, Their reason guided and their passion cooled.” Dryden: Absalom and Achitophel, i. 99——903.

    Amiens

    (3 syl.) The Peace of Amiens , March 27, 1802, a treaty signed by Joseph Bonaparte, the Marquis of Cornwallis, Azara, and Schimmelpenninck, to settle the disputed points between France, England, Spain, and Holland. It was dissolved in 1803.

    Amina

    An orphan adopted by a miller, and beloved by Elvino, a rich farmer. The night before her espousals she is found in the bed of Count Rodolpho, and is renounced by her betrothed husband. The Count explains to the young farmer and his friends that Amina is innocent, and has wandered in her sleep. While he is still

    talking, the orphan is seen getting out of the window of the mill, and walking in her sleep along the edge of the roof under which the mill—wheel is rapidly revolving. She crosses a crazy bridge, and comes among the spectators. In a few minutes she awakes, flies to Elvino, and is claimed by him as his beloved and innocent bride. — Bellini's best opera, La Sonnambula.

    Aminadab

    A Quaker. The Scripture name has a double m, but in old comedies, where the character represents a Quaker, the name has generally only one. Obadiah is used, also, to signify a Quaker, and Rachel a Quakeress.

    Amine

    (3 syl.) Wife of Sidi Nouman, who ate her rice with a bodkin, and was in fact a ghoul. “She was so hard—hearted that she led about her three sisters like a leash of greyhounds.” — Arabian Nights.

    Aminte

    (2 syl.) The name assumed by Cathos as more aristocratic than her own. She is courted by a gentleman, but discards him because his manners are too simple and easy for “bon ton;” he then sends his valet, who pretends to be a marquis, and Aminte is charmed with his “distinguished style of manners and talk.” When the game has gone far enough, the trick is exposed, and Aminte is saved from a mésalliance. — Molière: Les Précieuses Ridicules.

    It was a prevailing fashion in the Middle Ages to change names; Voltaire's proper name was Arouet (1694——1778); Melancthon's was Schwarzerde (1497——1560). The real names of Desiderius Erasmus were Gheraerd Gheraerd (1467——1336); Anacharsis Clootz was Jean Baptiste Clootz, etc.

    Amiral

    or Ammiral An early form of the word “admiral.” (French, amiral; Italian, ammiraglio.) (See Admiral.)

    Amlet

    (Richard) The gamester in Vanbrugh's drama called The Confederacy.

    Ammon

    The Libyan Jupiter; so called from the Greek ammos (sand), because his temple was in the desert. Herodotus calls it an Egyptian word (ii. 42).

    Son of Jupiter Ammon.

    Alexander the Great. His father, Philip, claimed to be a descendant of Hercules, and therefore of Jupiter; and the son was saluted by the priests of the Libyan temple as son of Ammon. Hence was he called the son or descendant both of Jupiter and of Ammon.

    Ammonian Horn

    (The) the cornucopia. It was in reality a tract of very fertile land, in the shape of a ram's horn, given by Ammon, King of Libya, to his mistress Amalthea (q:v.) (the mother of Bacchus).

    Ammonites

    (3 syl.) Fossil molluscs allied to the nautilus and cuttlefish. So called because they resemble the horn upon the ancient statues of Jupiter Ammon. (See above.)

    Amon's Son

    (in Orlando Furioso) is Rinaldo. He was the eldest son of Amon or Aymon, Marquis d'Este, and nephew of Charlemagne.

    Amoret brought up by Venus in the courts of love. She is the type of female loveliness — young, handsome, gay, witty, and good; soft as a rose, sweet as a violet, chaste as a lily, gentle as a dove, loving everybody and by all beloved. She is no Diana to make “gods and men fear her stern frown”; no Minerva to “freeze her foes into congealed stone with rigid looks of chaste austerity”; but a living, breathing virgin, with a warm heart, and beaming eye, and passions strong, and all that man can wish and woman want. She becomes the loving, tender wife of Sir Scudamore. Timias finds her in the arms of Corflambo ( sensual passion); combats the monster unsuccessfully, but wounds the lady. — Spencer: Faëry Queen, book iii.

    Amoret

    a love—song, love—knot, love—affair, love personified. A pretty word, which might be reintroduced.

    “He will be in his amorets, and his canzonets, his pastorals, and his madrigals.” — Heywood: Love's Mistress.

    “For not icladde in silke was he,

    But all in flouris and flourettes,

    I—paintid all with amorettes.”

    Romance of the Rose, 892.

    Amorous

    (The) Philippe I of France; so called because he divorced his wife Berthe to espouse Bertrade, who was already married to Foulques, count of Anjou. (1061——1108.)

    Amour propre

    One's self—love, vanity, or opinion of what is due to self. To make an appeal to one's amour propre , is to put a person on his metal. To wound one's armour propre , is to gall his good opinion of himself — to wound his vanity. (French.)

    Amparo de Pobres

    A book exposing the begging impostors of Madrid, written by Herrera, physician to Felipe III

    Ampersand

    the character made thus, “&” = and. In the old Hornbooks, after giving the twenty—six letters, the character & was added, and was called “Ampersand,” a corruption of “and per—se &” (and by itself, and). A B C D. ... X Y Z &.

    “Any odd shape folks understand

    To mean my Protean amperzand.”

    Punch (17 April, 1869, p. 153, col. 2).

    The martyr Bradford, says Lord Russell, was “A per se A” with them, “to their comfort,” etc. — i.e. stood alone in their defence.

    Amphialus

    son of Cecropia, in love with Philoclea, but he ultimately married Queen Helen of Corinth. — Sir Philip Sidney: The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia.

    Amphictyonic Council

    A council of confederate Greeks from twelve of their tribes, each of which had two deputies. The council met twice a year — in the spring at Delphi, and in the autumn at Thermopylæ. According to fable, it was so called from Amphictyon, son of Deucalion, its supposed founder. (Greek,

    amphiction&ebreve;s, dwellers round about.)

    Amphigons

    Words strung together without any real connection. The two pleaders in Pantagruel by Rabelais (book ii. c. 11——13) give an excellent example.

    Amphigouri

    nonsense verse, rigmarole.

    “A kind of overgrown amphigouri, a heterogeneous combination.” — Quarterly Review, i. 50, 1809.

    Porson's “Three Children sliding on the Ice” is a good specimen of amphigouri.

    Amphion

    is said to have built Thebes by the music of his lute, which was so melodious that the stones danced into walls and houses of their own accord. Tennyson has a rhyming jeu d'esprit.

    Amphitrite

    (either 3 or 4 syl.) The sea. In classic mythology, the wife of Neptune (Greek, amphi—trio for tribo, rubbing or wearing away [the shore] on all sides).

    “His weary chariot sought the bowers

    Of Amphitritë and her tending nymphs.” Thomson: Summer. (1625——6).

    Amphitryon

    Le véritable Amphitryon est l'Amphitryon où l'on dine (Molière). That is, the person who provides the feast (whether master of the house or not) is the real host. The tale is that Jupiter assumed the likeness of Amphitryon, and gave a banquet; but Amphitryon himself came home, and claimed the honour of being the master of the house. As far as the servants and guests were concerned, the dispute was soon decided — “he who gave the feast was to them the host.”

    Amphrysian Prophetess

    (Amphrysia Vates) The Cumæan sibyl; so called from Amphrysos, a river of Thessaly, on the banks of which Apollo fed the herds of Admetos; consequently Amphrysian means Apollonian.

    Ampoulle

    (Sainte). The jug or bottle containing oil used in anointing the kings of France, and said to have been brought from heaven by a dove for the coronation service of St. Louis. It was preserved at Rheims till the first Revolution, when it was destroyed.

    Amram's Son

    Moses. (Exodus vi. 20.)

    As when the potent rod

    Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,

    Waved round the coast.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , i. 338——40.

    Amri

    in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel , by Dryden and Tate, is designed for Heneage Finch, Earl of Notthingham and Lord Chancellor.

    “Our list of nobles next let Amri grace,

    Whose merits claimed the Abethdin's (Lord Chancellor's) high place — To whom the double blessing does belong,

    With Moses' inspiration, Aaron's tongue.”

    Part ii.

    Amrita

    The elixir of immortality, made by churning the milk—sea ( Hindu mythology). Sir William Jones speaks of an apple so called, because it bestows immortality on those who partake of it. The word means immortal. (See Ambrosia.)

    Amsanctus

    A lake in Italy, in the territory of Hirpinum, said to lead down to the infernal regions. The word means sacred water.

    Amuck To run amuck. To talk or write on a subject of which you are wholly ignorant; to run foul of. The Malays, under the influence of opium, become so excited that they sometimes rush forth with daggers, yelling “Amoq! amoq !” (Kill! kill!), and fall foul of any one they chance to meet.

    “Satire's my weapon, but I'm too discreet

    To run amuck and tilt at all I meet.”

    Pope: Sattires, i. 69——70.

    Amulet

    Something worn, generally round the neck, as a charm. (Arabic, hamulet, that which is suspended.)

    The early Christians used to wear amulets called Ichthus, fish; the word is composed of the initial letters of Iesos CHristos THeou Uios Soter (Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Saviour). (See Notarica.)

    Amundeville

    Lady Adeline Amundeville, a lady who “had a twilight tinge of blue,” could make epigrams, give delightful soirées, and was fond of making matches. — Bryon: Don Juan, xv., xvi.

    Amyclæan Brothers

    (The) Castor and Pollux, who were born at Amyclæ.

    Amyclaean Silence

    More silent than Amyclæ. The inhabitants of Amyclæ were so often alarmed by false rumours of the approach of the Spartans, that they made a decree no one should ever again mention the subject. When the Spartans actually came against the town, no one durst mention it, and the town was taken.

    Amyris plays the fool

    i.e. a person assumes a false character with an ulterior object, like Junius Brutus. Amyris was a Sybarite (3 syl.) sent to Delphi to consult the Oracle, who informed him of the approaching destruction of his nation. Amyris fled to Peloponnesus and his countrymen called him a fool; but, like the madness of David, his “folly” was true wisdom, for thereby he saved his life.

    Amys

    and Amylion The Pylades and Orestes of mediæval story. — Ellis's Specimens.

    Anabaptists

    A nickname of the Baptist Dissenters; so called because, in the first instances, they had been baptised in infancy, and were again baptised on a confession of faith in adult age. The word means the twice—baptised.

    Anabaptists

    A sect which arose in Germany in 1521.

    Anacharsis

    Anarcharsis among the Scythians. A wise man amongst fools; “Good out of Nazareth”; “A Sir Sidney Smith on Salisbury Plain.” The opposite proverb is “Saul amongst the Prophets,” i.e. a fool amongst wise men. Anacharsis was a Scythian by birth, and the Scythians were proverbial for their uncultivated state and great ignorance.

    Anacharsis Clootz.

    Baron Jean Baptiste Clootz, a Prussian by birth, but brought up in Paris, where he adopted the revolutionary principles, and called himself The Orator of the Human Race. (1755——1794.)

    Anaclethra

    The stone on which Ceres rested after searching in vain for her daughter. It was kept as a sacred deposit in the Prytaneum of Athens.

    Anacreon

    A Greek poet, who wrote chiefly in praise of love and wine, (B.C. 563——478.)

    Anacreon of the Twelfth Century.

    Walter Mapes, also called “The Jovial Toper.” (1150——1196). His

    best—known piece is the famous drinking—song, “Meum est propositum in taberna mori,” translated by Leigh Hunt.

    Anacreon Moore.

    Thomas Moore, who not only translated Anacreon into English, but also wrote original poems in the same style. (1779——1852.)

    Anacreon of the Guillotine. Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, president of the National Convention; so called from the flowery language and convivial jests used by him towards his miserable victims. (1755——1841.)

    Anacreon of the Temple.

    Guillaume Amfrye, abbé de Chalieu; the “Tom Moore” of France. (1639——1720.)

    The French Anacreon.

    Pontus de Tyard, one of the Pleiad poets (1521——1605). P. Laujon. (1727——1811.)

    The Persian Anacreon.

    Mohammed Hafiz. (Fourteenth century.)

    The Scotch Anacreon.

    Alexander Scot, who flourished about 1550.

    The Sicilian Anacreon.

    Giovanni Meli. (1740——1815.)

    Anacreon of Painters.

    Francesco Albano, a famous painter of lovely females. (1578——1660.)

    Anacreontic

    In imitation of Anacreon (q.v.).

    Anachronism

    An event placed at a wrong date; as when Shakespeare, in Troilus and Cressida, makes Nestor quote Aristotle. (Greek, ana chronos, out of time.)

    Anagnostes

    (Greek) A domestic servant employed by the wealthy Romans to read to them at meals. Charlemagne had his reader; and monks and nuns were read to at meals. (Greek, anaginosko, to read.)

    Anagrams

    Dame Eleanor Davies (prophetess in the reign of Charles I) = Never so mad a lady. Gustavus = Augustus.

    Horatio Nelson = Honor est a Nilo (made by Dr. Burney).

    Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year = I require love in a subject. Quid est Veritas (John xviii. 38)? = Vir est qui adest. Marie Touchet (mistress of Charles IX of France = Je charme tout (made by Henri IV). Voltaire is an anagram of Arouet l(e) j(eune).

    These are interchangeable words

    : —

    Alcuinus and Calvinus; Amor and Roma; Eros and Rose; Evil and Live; and many more.

    Anah

    a tender—hearted, pious, meek, and loving creature, granddaughter of Cain, and sister of Aholibamah. Japhet loved her, but she had set her heart on the seraph Azaziel, who carried her off to some other planet when the flood came. — Byron: Heaven and Earth.

    Anana

    The pine—apple (the Brazilian ananas).

    “Witness thou, best Anana! thou the pride

    Of vegetable life.” Thompson: Summer, 685, 686.

    Anastasia

    (St.) Her attributes are a stake and faggots, with a palm branch in her hand. The allusion is, of course, to her martyrdom at the stake.

    Anathema

    A denunciation or curse. The word is Greek, and means to place, or set up, in allusion to the mythological custom of hanging in the temple of a patron god something devoted to him. Thus Gordius hung

    up his yoke and beam; the shipwrecked hung up their wet clothes; workmen retired from business hung up their tools, etc. Hence anything set apart for destruction; and so, set apart from the Church as under a curse.

    “Me tabula sacer

    Votiva paries indicat uvida

    Suspendisse potenti

    Vestimenta maris deo.”

    Horace: Odes (v. 13——16).

    Horace, having escaped the love—snares of Pyrrha, hangs up his votive tablet, as one who has escaped the dangers of the sea.

    Anatomy

    He was like an anatomy — i.e. a mere skeleton, very thin, like one whose flesh had been anatomised or cut off. Shakespeare uses atomy as a synonym. Thus the hostess Quickly says to the Beadle : “Thou atomy, thou!” and Doll Tearsheet caps the phrase with, “Come, you thin thing; come, you rascal.” — 2 Henry IV, v. 4.

    Anaxarete

    (5 syl.) of Salamis was changed into stone for despising the love of Iphis, who hung himself. — Ovid: Metamorphoses, xiv. 750.

    Anaxarte

    (4 syl.) A knight whose adventures and exploits form a supplemental part of the Spanish romance called Amadis of Gaul. This part was added by Feliciano de Silva.

    Ancaeos

    Helmsman of the ship Argo, after the death of Tiphys. He was told by a slave that he would never live to taste the wine of his vineyards. When a bottle made from his own grapes was set before him, he sent for the slave to laugh at his prognostications; but the slave made answer, “There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.” At this instant a messenger came in, and told Ancæos that a wild boar was laying his vineyard waste, whereupon he set down his cup, went out against the boar, and was killed in the encounter.

    Ancalites

    (4 syl.) Inhabitants of parts of Berkshire and Wiltshire, referred to by Cæsar in his Commentaries.

    Anchor

    That was my sheet anchor — i.e. my best hope, my last refuge. The sheet anchor is the largest anchor of a ship, which, in stress of weather, is the sailor's chief dependence. The word sheet is a corruption of the word shote (thrown out), meaning the anchor “thrown out” in foul weather. The Greeks and Romans said, “my sacred anchor,” because the sheet anchor was always dedicated to some god.

    Anchor

    (The) in Christian art, is given to Clement of Rome and Nicolas of Bari. Pope Clement, in A.D. 80, was bound to an anchor and cast into the sea. Nicolas of Bari is the patron saint of sailors.

    The anchor is apeak

    — that is, the cable of the anchor is so tight that the ship is drawn completely over it. (See Bower Anchor, Sheet Anchor.)

    The Anchor comes home

    , the anchor has been dragged from its hold. Figuratively, the enterprise has failed, notwithstanding the precautions employed.

    To weigh anchor

    , to haul in the anchor, that the ship may sail away from its mooring. Figuratively, to begin an enterprise which has hung on hand.

    Anchor Watch

    (An) A watch of one or two men, while the vessel rides at anchor, in port.

    Ancien Régime

    An antiquated system of government. This phrase, in the French Revolution, meant the monarchical form of government, or the system of government, with all its evils, which existed prior to that

    great change.

    Ancient

    A corruption of ensign — a flag and the officer who bore it. Pistol was Falstaff's “ancient.”

    “Ten times more dishonourably ragged than an old—faced ancient.” — Shakespeare: I Henry IV, iv. 21.

    “My whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies...” — Shakespeare: I Henry IV, iv. 2.

    Ancient Mariner

    Having shot an albatross, he and his companions were subjected to fearful penalties. On repentance he was forgiven, and on reaching land told his story to a hermit. At times, however, distress of mind drove him from land to land, and wherever he abode he told his tale of woe, to warn from cruelty and persuade men to love God's creatures. — Coleridge.

    Ancient of Days

    (Daniel iii. 9). Jehovah.

    Ancile

    (3 syl.) The Palladium of Rome. It was the sacred buckler which Numa said fell from heaven. To prevent its being stolen, he caused eleven others to be made precisely like it, and confided them to twelve priests called Salii, who bore them in procession through the city every year at the beginning of March.

    “Idque ancile vocat, quod ab omni parte recisum est,

    Quemque notes oculis, angulus omnis abest.” Ovid: Fasti, iii. 377.

    And

    The character “&” is a monogram of et (and), made in Italian type, &

    Andirons

    or Hand—irons a corruption of anderia, andera, andela, or andena. Ducange says, “Andena est ferrum, quo appodiantur ligna in foco, ut melius luceant, et melius comburantur.” Farther on he gives anderia, anderius, andellus, etc., as variants. Called “dogs” because they were often made in the resemblance of dogs. The derivation of anderons is not clear; Ducange says, “dicitur andena, quasi ante vaporem, i.e. calorem,” but this probably will satisfy no one. The modern French word is landier, old French andier, Low Latin andæus.

    Andrea Ferrara

    A sword. So called from a famous sword—maker of the name. (Sixteenth century.)

    “We'll put in bail, my boy; old Andrea Ferrara shall lodge his security.” — Scott: Waverley, ch.

    50.

    Andrew

    a name commonly used in old plays for a valet or man—servant. Probably a Merry Andrew is simply the mirth—making Andrew or domestic jester. (See Merry Andrew.)

    Similarly, Abigail is used in old plays for a waiting gentlewoman. ( See Abigail.).

    Andrew

    (An) A merchant vessel, probably so called from Andrew Doria, the famous Genoese admiral.

    “I should think of shallows and of flats,

    And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand.” Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, i. 1.

    Andrew

    (St) depicted in Christian art as an old man with long white hair and beard, holding the Gospel in his right hand, and leaning on a cross like the letter X, termed St. Andrew's cross. The great pictures of St. Andrew are his Flagellation by Domenichino, and the Adoration of the Cross by Guido, which has also been depicted by Andrea Sacchi, in the Vatican at Rome. Both the Flagellation and the Adoration form the subjects of frescoes in the chapel of St. Andrea, in the church of San Gregorio, at Rome. His day is November 30th. It is said that he suffered martyrdom in Patræ (A.D. 70). (See St. Rule.)

    The “adoration of the cross” means his fervent address to the cross on which he was about to suffer. “Hail, precious cross, consecrated by the body of Christ! I come to thee exulting and full of joy. Receive me into thy dear arms.” The “flagellation” means the scourging which always preceded capital punishments, according to Roman custom.

    St. Andrew's Cross

    is represented in the form of an X (white on a blue field). The cross, however, on which the apostle suffered was of the ordinary shape, if we may believe the relic in the convent of St. Victor, near Marseilles. The error rose from the way in which that cross is exhibited, resting on the end of the cross—beam and point of the foot.

    According to J. Leslie (History of Scotland), this sort of cross appeared in the heavens to Achaius, King of the Scots, and Hungus, King of the Picts, the night before their engagement with Athelstane. As they were the victors, they went barefoot to the kirk of St. Andrew, and vowed to adopt his cross as their national emblem.

    (See Constatine's Cross.)

    Andrew Macs

    (The) The crew of H.M.S. Andromache. Similarly, the Bellerophon was called by English sailors “Billy ruffian,” and the Achilles the “Ash heels.” (See Beefeater etc.)

    Androcles and the Lion

    Androcles was a runaway slave who took refuge in a cavern. A lion entered, and instead of tearing him to pieces, lifted up his front paw that Androcles might extract from it a thorn. The slave being subsequently captured, was doomed to fight with a lion in the Roman arena. It so happened that the same lion was let out against him, and, recognising his benefactor, showed towards him every demonstration of love and gratitude.

    In the Gesta Romanorum (Tale civ.) the same story is told, and there is a similar one in Æsop's Fables. The original tale, however, is from Aulus Gellius, on the authority of Plistonices, who asserts that he was himself an eyewitness of the encounter.

    Android

    An automaton figure of a human being (Greek, andros—eidos, a man's likeness). One of the most famous of these machines is that by M. Vaucanson, called the flute—player. The chess—player by Kempelen is also celebrated. (See Automaton.)

    Andromeda

    Daughter of Cepheus (2 syl.) and Cassiopeia. Her mother boasted that the beauty of Andromeda surpassed that of the Nereids; so the Nereids induced Neptune to send a seamonster on the country, and an oracle declared that Andromeda must be given up to it. She was accordingly chained to a rock, but was delivered by Perseus (2 syl.). After death she was placed among the stars. (See Angelica.) Ovid: Metamorphoses, v. 1, etc.

    Andronica

    (in Orlando Furioso). One of Logistilla's handmaids, famous for her beauty. She was sent with Sophrosyne to conduct Astolpho from India to Arabia.

    Anent

    Over against; concerning. (Old English, on—cmn; later forms, on—efen, on—efent, an—'ent.)

    Ange de Grève

    (French), a hangman or executioner. The “Place de Grève” was at one time the Tyburn of Paris.

    Angel

    Half a sovereign in gold; so called because, at one time, it bore the figure of the archangel Michael slaying the dragon. When the Rev. Mr. Patten, vicar of Whitstable, was dying, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent him #10. The wit said, “Tell his Grace that now I am sure he is a man of God, for I have seen his angels.”

    Angel (a public—house sign), in compliment to Richard II, who placed an angel above his shield, holding it up in his hands.

    To write like an angel

    (French). The angel referred to was Angelo Vergece [Vergezio], a Cretan of the sixteenth century. He was employed both by Henri II and by François I, and was noted for his caligraphy. (Didot: Nouvelle Biographie Universelle [1852——66]).

    Angel of the Schools.

    St. Thomas Aquinas. (See Angelic Doctor.)

    Angels,

    say the Arabs, were created from pure, bright gems; the gems, of fire; and man, of clay.

    Angels,

    according to Dionysius the Areopagite, were divided into nine orders: —

    Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, in the first circle.

    1.

    Dominions, Virtues, and Powers, in the second circle.

    2.

    Principalities, Archangels, and Angels, in the third circle.

    3.

    St. Gregory the Great: Homily

    34.

    “In heaven above,

    The effulgent bands in triple circles move.” Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered, xi. 13.

    Angels.

    The seven holy angels are — Abdiel, Gabriel, Michael, Raguel, Raphael, Simiel, and Uriel. Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in the Bible, Raphael in the Apocrypha. Milton (Paradise Lost, book i., from 392) gives a list of the fallen angels.

    Angel—beast

    A favourite round game of cards, which enabled gentlemen to let the ladies win small stakes. Five cards are dealt to each player, and three heaps formed — one for the king, one for play, and the third for Triolet. The name of the game was la bête (beast). Angel was the stake. Thus we say, Shilling—whist.

    “This gentleman offers to play at Angel—beast, though he scarce knows the cards.” — Mulberry Garden.

    Angel Visits

    Delightful intercourse of short duration and rare occurrence.

    “(Visits) Like those of angels, short and far between.” Blair: Grave, pt. ii. 586.

    “Like angel—visits, few and far between.” Campbell: Pleasures of Hope, line 375.

    Angel—water

    a Spanish cosmetic, made of roses, trefoil, and lavender. Short for Angelica—water, because originally it was chiefly made of the plant Angelica.

    “Angel—water was the worst scent about her.” — Sedley: Bellam.

    Angelic Doctor

    Thomas Aquinas was so called, because he discussed the knotty points in connection with the being and nature of angels. An example is, “Utrum Angelus moveatur de loco ad locum transeundo per medium? ” The Doctor says that it depends upon circumstances.

    It is said, by way of a quiz, that one of his questions was: “How many angels can dance on the point of a pin?”

    Angelic Hymn The hymn beginning with Glory be to God on high, etc. (Luke ii. 14); so called because the former part of it was sung by the angel host that appeared to the shepherds of Bethlehem.

    Angelica

    Daughter of Galaphron, king of Cathay, the capital of which was Albracca. She was sent to sow discord among the Christians. Charlemagne sent her to the Duke of Bavaria, but she made her escape from the duke's castle. Being captured in her flight, she was bound to a rock, and exposed to sea—monsters. Rogero delivered her, but she escaped out of his hands by a magic ring. Orlando greatly loved her, but she married Medoro, a young Moor, and returned to India, where Medoro succeeded to the crown in right of his wife.

    (Orlando Furioso.) (See Andromeda)

    Angelica's Draught

    something which completely changes affection. The tale is that Angelica was passionately in love with Rinaldo, who hated her, whereas Orlando, whom she hated, actually adored her shadow. Angelica and Rinaldo drink from a certain fountain, when a complete change takes place; Rinaldo is drunk with love, and Angelica's passion changes to abhorrence. Angelica ultimately married Medoro, and Orlando went mad. ( Ariosto: Orlando Furioso.)

    Angelical Stone

    The speculum of Dr. Dee. He asserted that it was given him by the angels Raphael and Gabriel. It passed into the possession of the Earl of Peterborough, thence to Lady Betty Germaine, by whom it was given to the Duke of Argyll, whose son presented it to Horace Walpole. It was sold in 1842, at the dispersion of the curiosities of Strawberry Hill.

    Angelici

    Certain heretics of the second century, who advocated the worship of angels.

    Angelites

    (3 syl.) A branch of the Sabellian heretics; so called from Angelius, in Alexandria, where they used to meet. (Dr. Hook: Church Dictionary.)

    Angelo

    (See Michael Angelo .)

    Angelo and Raffaelle

    Michael Angelo criticised Raffaelle very severely.

    “Such was the language of this false Italian [Angelo]:

    One time he christened Raphael a Pygmalion, Swore that his maidens were composed of stone: Swore his expressions were like owls, so tame,

    His drawings, like the lamest cripple, lame;

    And as for composition, he had none.” Peter Pindar: Lyric Odes, viii.

    (See Michael Angelo.)

    Angelus

    (The) A Roman Catholic devotion in honour of the Incarnation, instituted by Urban II. It consists of three texts, each said as versicle and response, and followed by the salutation of Gabriel. The name is derived from the first words, Angelus Domini (The angel of the Lord, etc.).

    The prayer is recited three times a day, generally about 6 a.m., at noon, and about 6 p.m., at the sound of a bell called the Angelus.

    The Angelus bell (often wrongly called the Curfew) is still rung at 8 P.M. in some country churches.

    “Sweetly over the village the bell of the Angelus sounded.”

    Longfellow: Evangeline

    .

    Anger

    Athenodorus, the Stoic, told Augustus the best way to restrain unruly anger was to repeat the alphabet before giving way to it. ( See Danger.)

    “The sacred line he did but once repeat,

    And laid the storm, and cooled the raging heat.” Tickell: The Horn Book.

    Angevin

    adjective of Anjou.

    John was not the last of the Angevin kings of England, though he was the last king of England who reigned over Anjou.

    Angiolina

    (4 syl.) The young wife of Marino Faliero, the doge. She was the daughter of Loredano. (Byron: Marino Falero.)

    Anglantes Lord

    Orlando, who was Lord of Anglant and knight of Brava.

    Angle

    A dead angle. A term in fortification applied to the plot of earth before an angle in a wall which can neither be seen nor defended from the parapet.

    Angle with a Silver Hook

    (To) To buy fish at market.

    Angling

    The father of angling, Izaak Walton (1593——1683). Angling is called “the gentle craft”; shoemaking was also so called. Probably there is a pun concealed in the first of these; a common bait of anglers being a

    “gentle.” In the second case, St. Crispin was a Roman gentleman of high birth, and his craftsmen took from him their title of “gentle” ( generosi).

    Angoulaffre

    of the Broken Teeth, a giant “12 cubits in height.” His face measured 3 feet across; his nose was 9 inches long; his arms and legs were each 6 feet; his fingers 6 inches and 2 lines; his enormous mouth was armed with sharp pointed yellow tusks. He was descended from Goliath, and assumed the title of “Governor of Jerusalem.” Angoulaffre had the strength of 30 men, and his mace was the trunk of an oak—tree 300 years old. Some say the Tower of Pisa lost its perpendicularity by the weight of this giant, who one day leaned against it to rest himself. He was slain by Roland, the paladin; in single combat at the Fronsac.

    (Croquemitaine.)

    Angry

    (The). Christian II, of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, was so called on account of his ungovernable temper. (1513——1559.)

    Angular

    Cross—grained; of a patchy temper; one full of angles, whose temper is not smooth.

    Angurvadel

    Frithiof's sword, inscribed with Runic letters, which blazed in time of war, but gleamed with a dim light in time of peace. (See Sword.)

    Anima Mundi

    [the soul of the world ], with the oldest of the ancient philosophers, meant “the source of life”; with Plato, it meant “the animating principle of matter,” inferior to pure spirit: with the Stoics, it meant “the whole vital force of the universe.”

    Stahl (1710) taught that the phenomena of animal life are due to an immortal animal, or vital principle distinct from matter.

    Animal

    To go the entire animal, a facetious euphuism for “To go the whole hog.” (See Hog.)

    Animal Spirits

    Liveliness and animation arising from physical vigour.

    Animals admitted into Heaven

    (The) They are ten: (1) Jonah's whale; (2) Solomon's ant; (3) the ram caught by Abraham and sacrificed instead of Isaac; (4) the cuckoo of Belkis; (5) the camel of the prophet Saleh; (6) Balaam's ass; (7) the ox of Moses; (8) the dog Kratim of the Seven Sleepers; (9) Mahomet's ass, called Al Borak; and (10) Noah's dove.

    Animals in Christian Art

    The ant symbolises prudence; the ape, malice, lust, and cunning; the ass, sobriety, or the Jewish nation; the asp, Christ, or Christian faith; the bee, industry; the camel, submission; the cock, vigilance; the dog, fidelity; the fox, fraud and cunning; the hog, impurity; the lamb, innocence; the leopard, sin; the ox, pride; the wolf, cruelty.

    Some animals are appropriated to certain saints: as the calf or ox to Luke; the cock to Peter; the eagle to John the Divine ; the lion to Mark; the raven to Benedict, etc.

    The lamb, the pelican, and the unicorn, are symbols of Christ.

    The dragon, serpent, and swine, symbolise Satan and his crew.

    Animals sacred to special Deities

    To Apollo, the wolf, the griffon, and the crow ; to Bacchus, the dragon and the panther; to Diana, the stag; to Æsculapius, the serpent; to Hercules, the deer ; to Isis, the heifer; to Jupiter, the eagle; to Juno, the peacock and the lamb; to the Lares, the dog; to Mars, the horse and the vulture; to Mercury, the cock; to Minerva, the owl; to Neptune, the bull; to Tethys, the halycon; to Venus, the dove, the swan, and the sparrow; to Vulcan, the lion, etc.

    Animals

    (Symbolical). The ant, frugality and prevision ; ape, uncleanness; ass, stupidity; bantam cock, pluckiness, priggishness; bat, blindness; bear, ill—temper, uncouthness; bee, industry; beetle, blindness; bull, strength, straight—forwardness; bull—dog, pertinacity; butterfly, sportiveness, living in pleasure; cat, deceit; calf, lumpishness, cowardice; cicada, poetry; cock, vigilance, overbearing insolence; crow, longevity; crocodile, hypocrisy; cuckoo, cuckoldom; dog, fidelity, dirty habits; dove, innocence, harmlessness ; duck, deceit (French, canard, a hoax); eagle, majesty, inspiration; elephant, sagacity, ponderosity; fly, feebleness, insignificance; fox, cunning, artifice; frog and toad, inspiration; goat, lasciviousness; goose, conceit, folly; gull, gullibility; grasshopper, old age ; hare, timidity; hawk, rapacity, penetration; hen, maternal care; horse, speed, grace; jackdaw, vain assumption, empty conceit; jay, senseless chatter; kitten, playfulness; lamb, innocence, sacrifice; lark, cheerfulness; lion, noble courage; lynx, suspicious vigilance; magpie, garrulity; mole, blindness, obstinacy ; monkey, tricks; mule, obstinacy; nightingale, forlornness; ostrich, stupidity; ox, patience, strength ; owl, wisdom; parrot, mocking verbosity; peacock, pride; pigeon, cowardice

    (pigeon—livered); pig, obstinacy, dirtiness; puppy, empty—headed conceit; rabbit, fecundity; raven, ill luck ; robin red—breast, confiding trust; serpent, wisdom; sheep, silliness, timidity; stag, cuckoldom; swallow, a sunshine friend; swan, grace; swine, filthiness, greed ; tiger, ferocity; tortoise, chastity; turkey—cock, official insolence; turtle—dove, conjugal fidelity; vulture, rapine; wolf, cruelty, savage ferocity, and rapine; worm, cringing; etc.

    Animals

    (The cries of). Apes gibber; asses bray; bees hum; beetles drone; bears growl; bitterns boom; blackbirds whistle: blackcaps — we speak of the"chick—chick” of the blackcap; bulls bellow; canaries sing or quaver; cats mew, purr, swear, and caterwaul; calves bleat and blear; chaffinches chirp or pink; chickens pip;

    cicadæ sing; cocks crow; cows moo or low; crows caw; cuckoos cry cuckoo; deer bell; dogs bark, bay, howl, and yelp; doves coo; ducks quack ; eagles scream; falcons chant; flies buzz; foxes bark and yelp; frogs croak; geese cackle and hiss; goldfinch — we speak of the “merry twinkle” of the female; grasshoppers chirp and pitter; grouse — we speak of the “drumming” of the grouse; guineafowls cry “come back ”; guineapigs squeak; hares squeak; hawks scream; hens cackle and cluck; horses neigh and whinny ; hyenas laugh; jays chatter; kittens mew; lambs baa and bleat; larks sing; linnets chuckle in their call; lions roar; magpies chatter; mice squeak and squeal; monkeys chatter and gibber; nightingales pipe and warble — we also speak of its

    “jug—jug”; owls hoot and screech; oxen low and bellow; parrots talk; peacocks scream; peewits cry pee—wit; pigeons coo; pigs grunt, squeak, and squeal; ravens croak; redstarts whistle; rooks caw ; screech—owls screech or shriek; sheep baa or bleat; snakes hiss; sparrows chirp or yelp; stags bellow and call; swallows twitter; swans cry — we also speak of the “bombilation” of the swan; thrushes whistle; tigers growl; tits — we speak of the “twittwit” of the bottle—tit; turkey—cocks gobble; vultures scream; whitethroats chirr; wolves howl.

    Animosity

    means animation, spirit, as the fire of a horse, called in Latin equi animositas. Its present exclusive use in a bad sense is an instance of the tendency which words originally neutral have to assume a bad meaning. (Compare churl, villain.)

    Animula

    “Animula, vagula, blandula,

    Hospes, comesque, corporis;

    Quæ nunc abibis in loca,

    Pallidula, rigida, nudula?”

    The Emperor Hadrian to his Soul.

    Sorry—lived, blithe—little, fluttering Sprite

    Comrade and guest in this body of clay,

    Whither, ah! whither, departing in flight, Rigid, half—naked, pale minion, away?

    E.C.B.

    Anna

    (Donna). A lady beloved by Don Ottavio, but seduced by Don Giovanni, who also killed her father, the “Commandant of the City,” in a duel. (Mozart's opera of Don Giovanni.)

    Annabel

    in Dryden's satire of Absalom and Achitophel is designed for the Duchess of Monmouth. Her maiden name and title were Anne Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, the richest heiress in Europe. The duke was faithless to her, and after his death, the widow, still handsome, married again.

    “To all his [Monmouth's] wishes, nothing he [David] denied; And made the charming Annabel his bride.”

    Part i. lines 33, 34.

    Anna Matilda

    (An), an ultra—sentimental girl. Mrs. Hannah Cowley used this pen—name in her responses in the World to Della Crusca (R. Merry). (See the Baviad by Gifford.)

    Annates

    (2 syl.). One entire year's income claimed by the Pope on the appointment of a bishop or other ecclesiastic in the Catholic Church. This is called the first fruits (Latin, annus, a year). By the Statute of Recusants (25 Hen. VIII. c. 20, and the Confirming Act), the right to English Annates and Tenths was transferred to the Crown; but, in the reign of Queen Anne, annates were given up to form a fund for the augmentation of poor livings. (See Bounty, Queen Anne's.)

    Anne

    Sister Anne. Sister of Fatima, the seventh and last of Bluebeard's wives.

    Anne's Fan (Queen). Your thumb to your nose and your fingers spread.

    Anne's Great Captain

    The Duke of Marlborough (1650——1722).

    Annie Laurie

    was eldest of the three daughters of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwellton, born December 16, 1682. William Douglas, of Fingland (Kirkcudbright), wrote the popular song, but Annie married, in 1709, James Fergusson, of Craigdarroch, and was the mother of Alexander Fergusson, the hero of Burns's song called The Whistle.

    William Douglas was the hero or the song “Willie was a wanton wag.”

    Annulo Dei figuram ne gestato

    (In). Wear not God's image in a ring (or inscribe....), the 24th symbol of the

    Protretics. Jamblicus tells us that Pythagoras wished to teach by this prohibition that God had an “incorporeal subsistence.” In fact, that it meant “thou shalt not liken God to any of His works.”

    Probably the ring, symbolising eternity, bore upon the special prohibition.

    Annunciation

    Day of the Annunciation. The 25th of March, also called Lady Day, on which the angel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah.

    Annus Luctus

    the period during which a widow is morally supposed to remain chaste. If she marries within about nine months from the death of her late husband and a child is born, a doubt might arise as to the paternity of the child. Such a marriage is not illegal, but it is inexpedient.

    Annus Mirabilis

    The year of wonders, 1666, memorable for the great fire of London and the successes of our arms over the Dutch. Dryden has written a poem with this title, in which he describes both these events.

    Anodyne Necklace

    (An), a halter. An anodyne is a medicine to relieve pain. Probably a pun on nodus, a knot, is intended also. George Primrose says: “May I die by an anodyne necklace, but I had rather be an

    under—turnkey than an usher in boarding—school.”

    Anomoeans

    or Unlikists. A sect in the fourth century, which maintained that the essence of the Son is wholly unlike that of the Father. (Greek, anmoios, unlike.)

    Anon

    immediately, at once. The Old English an—on or an—ane = at once. Variants, on one, anone.

    “They knewye hym in brekyng of brede, and onone he vanyste awaye fro hem.” — MS. Lincoln, A 1, 17.

    “Spek the lion ...

    To the fox anone his wille.”

    Wright's Political Songs.

    “For the nonce” is a corrupt form of “For the—n once,” where the—n is the accusative case, meaning “For the once” or “For this once.”

    Anon—rightes

    Right quickly.

    “He had in town five hundred knightes,

    He hem [them ] of [off ] sent anon—rightes.” Arthur and Merkin, p. 88.

    Ansarian The Moslems of Medina were called Ansarians (auxiliaries ) by Mahomet, because they received him and took his part when he was driven from house and home by the Koreishites (Kore—ish—ites).

    Answer

    is the Old English and—swaru, verb and swar—ian or swerian, where And is the preposition = the Latin re in re—spond—eo. (See Swear.)

    To answer like a Norman

    , that is, evasively.

    “We say, in France. “Answering like a Norman,” which means to give an evasive answer, neither yes nor no.” — Max O'Rell; Friend M"Donald, ch. v.

    To answer its purpose,

    to carry out what was expected or what was intended. Celsus says, “Medicina sæpius respondet, interdum tamen fallit.”

    To answer the bell

    is to go and see what it was rung for.

    To answer the door

    is to go and open it when a knock or ring has been given.

    In both the last two instances the word is “answering to a summons.”

    To swear means literally “to affirm something,” and to an—swear is to “say something” by way of rejoinder; but figuratively both the “swer” and the “answer” may be made without words.

    “... My story being done, ...

    She [Desdemona ] swore [affirmed ] 'twas strange,... 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.”

    Shakespeare: Othello, i. 3.

    Answer more Scotico

    (To). To divert the direct question by starting another question or subject.

    “"Hark you, sirrah,” said the doctor, “I trust you remember you are owing to the laird 4 stone of barleymeal and a bow of oats. ...”

    “"I was thinking,” replied the man more Scotico, that is, returning no direct answer on the subject on which he was addressed, “I was thinking my best way would be to come down to your honour, and take your advice, in case my trouble should come back.”” — Sir Walter Scott: The Abbot, ch. xxvi.

    Antaeos

    in Greek mythology, was a gigantic wrestler, whose strength was invincible so long as he touched the earth; and every time he was lifted from it, was renewed by touching it again. (See Maleger.)

    “As once Antæos, on the Libyan strand,

    More fierce recovered when he reached the sand.” Hoole's Ariosto, book iv.

    It was Hercules who succeeded in killing this charmed giant. He

    Lifts proud Antæos from his mother's plains,

    And with strong grasp the struggling giant strains; Back falls his panting head and clammy hair, Writhe his weak limbs and flits his life in air.” Darwin: Economy of Vegetation.

    Antecedents I know nothing of his antecedents — his previous life, character, or conduct. (Latin, antecedens, foregoing.)

    Antediluvian

    Before the Deluge, meaning the Scripture Deluge.

    Anthia

    The lady—love of Abrocomas in Xenophon's romance, called Ephesiaca. Shakespeare has borrowed from this Greek novel the leading incidents of his Romeo and Juliet , especially that of the potion and mock entombment. N.B. This is not the historian, but a Xenophon who lived in the fourth Christian century.

    Anthony

    Anthony (St.). Patron saint of swineherds, because he always lived in woods and forests.

    St. Anthony's Cross.

    The taucross, T, called a lace.

    St. Anthony's Fire.

    Erysipelas is so called from the tradition that those who sought the intercession of St. Anthony recovered from the pestilential erysipelas called the sacred fire, which proved extremely fatal in 1089.

    St. Anthony's Pig

    A pet pig, the smallest of the whole litter. St. Anthony was originally a swineherd, and, therefore, the patron saint of pigs.

    Anthroposophus

    The nickname of Dr. Vaughan, rector of St. Bride's, in Bedfordshire. So called from his Anthroposophia Teomagica, to show the condition of man after death.

    Anti—Christ

    or the Man of Sin, expected by some to precede the second coming of Christ. St. John so calls every one who denies the incarnation of the eternal Son of God.

    Antigone

    The Modern Antigone. Marie Thérèse Charlotte, Duchesse d'Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI.; so called for her attachment to Louis XVIII., whose companion she was. (1778——1851.)

    Antimony

    Said to be derived from the Greek antimonachos (bad for monks). The tale is that Valentine once gave some of this mineral to his convent pigs, who thrived upon it, and became very fat. He next tried it on the monks, who died from its effects; so Valentine said, “tho' good for pigs, it was bad for monks.” This fable is given by Furetière.

    Another derivation is anti—monos, (averse to being alone), because it is found in combination with sulphur, silver, or some other substance.

    Littré suggests isthimmit, and connects it with stibium.

    Antinomian

    [Greek, anti—nomos, exempt from the law.] One who believes that Christians are not bound to observe the “law of God,” but ” may continue in sin that grace may abound.” The term was first applied to John Agricola by Martin Luther.

    Antinous

    (4 syl.). A model of manly beauty. He was the page of Hadrian, the Roman Emperor.

    “The polished grace of Antinöus.” — Daily Telegraph.

    Antipathy

    (of human beings)

    To Animals: Henri III. and the Duke of Schoenberg felt faint at the sight of a cat: Vanghelm felt the same at the sight of a pig, and abhorred pork; Marshal Brézé sickened at the sight of a rabbit; the Duc d'Epernon always swooned at the sight of a leveret, though he was not affected at the sight of a hare.

    To Fish: Erasmus felt grievous nausea at the smell of fresh fish.

    To Flowers and Fruits: Queen Anne, Grétry the composer, Faverite the Italian poet, and Vincent the painter, all abhorred the smell of roses; Scaliger had the same aversion to watercresses; and King Vladislas sickened at the smell of apples.

    To Music: Le Mothe de Nayer felt faint at the sound of any musical instrument; Nicano had a strong aversion to the sound of a flute.

    To Thunder: Augustus trembled at the noise of thunder, and retired to a vault when a thunderstorm was apprehended.

    Witches have an antipathy to running water.

    “Some men there are love not a gaping pig,

    Some that are mad if they behold a cat.”

    Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, iv. L

    Antipathy

    (of animals). According to tradition, wolves have a mortal antipathy to scillaroots; geese to the soil of Whitby; snakes to soil of Ireland; cats to dogs; all animals dislike the castoroil plant; camphor keeps off insects; Russian leather is disliked by bookworms; paraffin by flies; cedar—wood is used for wardrobes, because its odour is disliked by moths. Ants dislike green sage.

    Anti—pope

    is a pope elected by a King in opposition to the pope elected by the cardinals; or one who usurps the popedom in opposition to the rightful pope. Geddes give a list of twenty—four anti—popes, three of whom were deposed by the Council of Constance.

    Antisthenes

    Founder of the Cynic School in Athens. He wore a ragged cloak, and carried a wallet and staff like a beggar. Socrates wittily said he could “see rank pride peering, through the holes of Antisthenes rags.”

    Antoninus

    The Wall of Antonine. A turf entrenchment raised by the Romans from Dunglass Castle, on the Clyde, to Caer Ridden Kirk, near the Firth of Forth under the direction of Lollius Urbicus, legate of Antoninus Pius, A.D 140.

    Antony

    (See Anthony .)

    Antrustions

    The chief followers of the Frankish kings, who were specially trusty to them. (Old German, tröst, trust, fidelity.)

    “None but the king could have antrustions.” — Stubbs: Constitutional History.

    Ants

    Go to the ant, thou sluggard, ... which provideth her meat in the summer ” (Proverbs vi. 6——8; and xxx.

    25). The notion that ants in general gather food in harvest for a winter's store is quite an error; in the first place, they do not live on grain, but chiefly on animal food; and in the next place they are torpid in winter, and do not require food. Colonel Sykes, however, says there is in Poonah a grain—feeding species, which stores up millet—seed; and according to Lubbock and Moggridge, ants in the south of Europe and in Texas make stores.

    What are called “ant eggs” are not eggs, but the pupæ of ants.

    Anubis

    In Egyptian mythology, similar to the Hermës of Greece, whose office it was to take the souls of the dead before the judge of the infernal regions. Anubis is represented with a human body and jackal's head.

    Anvil

    It is on the anvil, under deliberation; the project is in hand. Of course, the reference is to a smithy.

    “She had another arrangement on the anvil.” — Le Fanu: The House in the Churchyard.

    Any—how i.e. in an irregular manner. “He did it any—how,” in a careless, slovenly manner. “He went on any—how,” in a wild, reckless manner. Any—how, you must manage it for me; by hook or crook; at all events. (Old English, oenig—hú.)

    Aonian

    Poetical, pertaining to the Muses. The Muses, according to Grecian mythology, dwelt in Aonia, that part of Boetia which contains Mount Helicon and the Muses' Fountain. Thomson calls the fraternity of poets

    “The Aonian hive

    Who praised are, and starve right merrily.” Castle of Indolence , ii. 2.

    A outrance

    (French.) To the farthest point. The correct form of the phrase.

    Ape

    The buf foon ape, in Dryden's poem called The Hind and the Panther, means the Free—thinkers.

    “Next her [the bear ] the buffoonape, as atheists use,

    Mimicked all sects, and had his own to choose.” Part i. 39, 40.

    He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed

    (Hamlet iv. 2). Most of the Old World monkeys have cheek pouches, used as receptacles for food.

    To lead apes

    or To lead apes in hell. It is said of old maids. Hence, to die an old maid.

    “I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear—ward, and lead his apes into hell.” — Shakespeare: Much ado about Nothing, ii. 1.

    Fadladinda says to Tatlanthe (3 syl):

    “Pity that you who've served so long and well

    Should die a virgin, and lead apes in hell.”

    H. Carey: Chrononhotonthologos

    .

    “Women, dying maids, lead apes in hell.” — The London Prodigal, 1. 2.

    To play the ape,

    to play practical jokes; to play silly tricks; to make facial imitations, like an ape.

    To put an ape into your hood (or) cap — i.e.

    to make a fool of you. Apes were formely carried on the shoulders of fools and simpletons.

    To say an ape's paternoster,

    is to chatter with fright or cold, like an ape.

    Apelles

    A famous Grecian painter, contemporary with Alexander the Great.

    “There comelier forms embroidered rose to view

    Than e'er Apelles' wondrous pencil drew.” Aristo: Orlando Furioso, book xxiv.

    Apemantus

    A churlish philosopher, in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.

    “The cynicism of Apemantus contrasted with the misanthropy of Timon.” — Sir Walter Scott.

    A—per—se An A 1; a person or thing of unusual merit. “A” all alone with no one who can follow, nemo proximus aut secundus.

    Chaucer calls Cresseide “the floure and A—per—se of Troi and Greek.”

    “London, thou art of townes A—per—se.” — Lansdowne MSS.

    Apex

    the topmost height, really means the pointed olive—wood spike on the top of the cap of a Roman priest. The cap fitted close to the head and was fastened under the chin by a fillet. It was applied also to the crest or spike of a helmet. The word now means the summit or tiptop.

    Aphrodite

    (4 syl.). The Greek Venus; so called because she sprang from the foam of the sea, (Greek, aphros , foam.)

    Aphrodite's Girdle.

    Whoever wore Aphrodite's magic girdle, immediately became the object of love. (Greek mythology.)

    Apicius

    A gourmand. Apicius was a Roman gourmand, whose income being reduced by his luxurious living to £80,000, put an end to his life, to avoid the misery of being obliged to live on plain diet.

    A—pigga—back

    (See Pig—Back .)

    Apis

    in Egyptian mythology, is the bull symbolical of the god Apis. It was not suffered to live more than twenty—five years, when it was sacrificed and buried in great pomp. The madness of Cambysës is said to have been in retribution for his killing a sacred bull.

    Aplomb

    means true to the plumbline, but is generally used to express that self—possession which arises from perfect self—confidence. We also talk of a dancer's aplomb, meaning that he is a perfect master of his art.

    (French. à plomb.)

    “Here exists the best stock in the world men of aplomb and reserve, of great range and many moods, of strong instincts, yet apt for culture.” — Emerson: English Traits, p. 130.

    Apocalyptic Number

    The mystic number 666. (Rev. xiii. 18.) (See Number of the Beast.)

    Apocrypha

    Those books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate versions of the Old Testament, but not considered to be parts of the original canon. They are accepted as canonical by Catholics, but not by Protestants, and are not printed in Protestant Bibles in ordinary circulation. The word means hidden (Greek, apokrupto), “because they were wont to be read not openly. ... but, as it were, in secret and apart” (Bible, 1539, Preface to the Apocrypha). As the reason why these books are not received as canonical is because either their genuineness or their authenticity is doubtful, therefore the word “apocryphal” means not genuine or not authentic.

    Apollinarians

    An ancient sect founded in the middle of the fourth century by Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea. They denied that Christ had a human soul, and asserted that the Logos supplied its place. The Athanasian creed condemns this heresy.

    Apollo

    The sun, the god of music. (Roman mythology.)

    “Apollo's angry, and the heavens themselves

    Do strike at my injustice.”

    Shakespeare: Winter's Tale

    , iii. 2.

    A perfect Apollo.

    A model of manly beauty, referring to the Apollo Belvidere (q.v. ).

    The Apollo of Portugal.

    Luis Camoëns, author of the Lusiad, so called, not for his beauty, but for his poetry. He was god of poetry in Portugal, but was allowed to die in the streets of Lisbon like a dog, literally of starvation. Our own Otway suffered a similar fate. (1527——1579.)

    Apollo Belvidere

    [Bel—ve—dear ]. A marble statue, supposed to be from the chisel of the Greek sculptor Calamis, who flourished in the fifth ante—Christian era. It represents the god holding a bow in his left hand, and is called Belvidere from the Belvidere Gallery of the Vatican, in Rome, where it stands. It was discovered in 1503, amidst the ruins of Antium, and was purchased by Pope Julius II.

    Apollodoros Plato says: “Who would not rather be a man of sorrows than Apollodoros, envied by all for his enormous wealth, yet nourishing in his heart the scorpions of a guilty conscience?” (The Republic ). This Apollodoros was the tyrant of Cassandrea (formerly Potidea ). He obtained the supreme power B.C. 379, exercised it with the utmost cruelty, and was put to death by Antigonos Gonatas.

    Apollonius

    Master of the Rosicrucians. He is said to have had the power of raising the dead, of making himself invisible, and of being in two places at the same time.

    Apollyon

    King of the bottomless pit. (Rev. ix. 11.) His contest with Christian, in Bunyan's allegory, has made his name familiar. (Greek, the destroyer.)

    Apostate

    (The). Julian, the Roman emperor. So called because he forsook the Christian faith and returned to Paganism again. (331, 361——363.)

    A posteriori

    [Latin, from the latter ]. An a posteriori argument is proving the cause from the effect. Thus, if we see a watch, we conclude there was a watchmaker. Robinson Crusoe inferred there was another human being on the desert island, because he saw a human footprint in the wet sand. It is thus the existence and character of Deity is inferred from his works. (See A Priori.)

    Apostles

    The badges or symbols of fourteen apostles.

    Andrew, a cross, because he was crucified on a cross shaped like the letter x. Bartholomew, a knife, because he was flayed with a knife.

    James the Greater, a scallop—shell, a pilgrim's staff, or a gourd bottle, because he is the patron saint of pilgrims. (See Scallop Shell.)

    James the Less, a fuller's pole, because he was killed by a blow on the head with a pole, dealt him by Simeon the fuller.

    John, a cup with a winged serpent flying out of it, in allusion to the tradition about Aristodemos, priest of Diana, who challenged John to drink a cup of poison. John made the sign of a cross on the cup, Satan like a dragon flew from it, and John then drank the cup, which was quite innocuous.

    Judas Iscariot, a bag, because he had the bag and “bare what was put therein” (John xii. 6). Jude, a club, because he was martyred with a club.

    Matthew, a hatchet or halbert, because he was slain at Nadabar with a halbert. Matthias, a battle—axe, because he was first stoned, and then beheaded with a battle—axe. Paul, a sword, because his head was cut off with a sword. The convent of La Lisha, in Spain, boasts of possessing the very instrument.

    Peter, a bunch of keys, because Christ gave him the “keys of the kingdom of heaven.” A cock, because he went out and wept bitterly when he heard the cock crow. (Matt. xxvi. 75.)

    Philip, a long staff surmounted with a cross, because he suffered death by being suspended by the neck to a tall pillar.

    Simon, a saw, because he was sawn to death, according to tradition. Thomas, a lance because he was pierced through the body, at Meliapour, with a lance.

    (See Evangelists.)

    Apostles, where buried

    According to Catholic legend, seven of the Apostles are buried at Rome. These seven are distinguished by a star (*).

    ANDREW lies buried at Amalfi (Naples).

    BARTHOLOMEW,* at Rome, in the church of Bartholomew Island, on the Tiber. JAMES THE GREATER was buried at St.Jago de Compostella, in Spain.

    JAMES THE LESS,* at Rome, in the church of the Holy Apostles. JOHN, at Ephesus.

    JUDE,* at Rome.

    MATTHEW, at Salerno (Naples).

    MATTHIAS,* at Rome, under the altar of the Basilica. PAUL, somewhere in Italy.

    PETER,* at Rome, in the church of St. Peter.

    PHILIP,* at Rome.

    SIMON or SIMEON,* at Rome.

    THOMAS, at Ortona (Naples). (? Madras.)

    MARK THE EVANGELIST is said to have been buried at Venice. LUKE THE EVANGELIST is said to have been buried at Padua.

    N.B. — Italy claims thirteen of these apostles or evangelists — Rome seven; Naples three, Paul somewhere in Italy, Mark at Venice, Luke at Padua.

    Apostles of

    Abyssinians,

    St. Frumentius. (Fourth century.) Alps, Felix Neff. (1798——1829.)

    Ardennes,

    St. Hubert. (656——730.) Armenians, Gregory of Armenia. (256——331.) English, St. Augustine. (Died 607.) St. George. Ethiopia. (See Abyssinians.)

    Free Trade,

    Richard Cobden. (1804——1865.) French, St. Denis. (Third century.) Frisians, St. Wilbrod. (657——738.)

    Gauls,

    St. Irenæus (130——200); St. Martin. (316——397.) Génilles, St. Paul.

    Germany,

    St. Boniface. (680——755.) Highlanders, St. Columb. (521——597.) Hungary, St. Anastatius. (954——1044.) Indians (American), Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474——1500); Rev. John Eliot. (1603——1690.) Indies (East), St. Francis Xavier. (1506——1552.)

    Infidelity,

    Voltaire. (1694——1778.) Ireland, St. Patrick. (372——493). Netherlands, St. Armand, Bishop of Maestricht. (589——679.) North, St. Ansgar or Anscarius (801——864); Bernard Gilpin. (1517——1583.) Picts, St. Ninian.

    Scottish Reformers,

    John Knox. (1505——1572.) Slavs, St. Cyril. (Died 868.)

    Spain,

    St.James the Greater. (Died 44.) Temperance, Father Mathew. (1790——1856.) Yorkshire, Paulinus, bishop of York and Rochester. (597——644). Wales, St. David. (480——544.)

    The Twelve Apostles.

    The last twelve names on the poll or list of ordinary degrees were so called, when the list was arranged in order of merit, and not alphabetically, as now; they were also called the Chosen Twelve. The last of the twelve was designated St. Paul from a play on the verse 1 Cor. xv. 9. The same term is now applied to the last twelve in the Mathematical Tripos.

    Apostle of the Sword. So Mahomet was called, because he enforced his creed at the point of the sword. (570——632.)

    Prince of the Apostles.

    St. Peter. (Matt. xvi. 18, 19.)

    Apostle Spoons

    Spoons formerly given at christenings; so called because one of the apostles figured at the top of the handle. Sometimes twelve spoons, representing the twelve apostles; sometimes four, representing the four evangelists; and sometimes only one, was presented. Sometimes, but very rarely, a set occurs containing in addition the “Master Spoon” and the “Lady Spoon.” We still give at christenings a silver spoon, though the apostolic handle is no longer retained.

    Apostles' Creed

    (The). A church creed supposed to be an epitome of Scripture doctrines, or doctrines taught by the apostles. It was received into the Latin Church, in its present form, in the eleventh century; but a formula somewhat like it existed in the second century. Items were added in the fourth and fifth centuries, and verbal alterations much later.

    It is said that Tullo, Bishop of Antioch, introduced the Creed as part of the daily service in 471.

    Apostolic Fathers

    Christian authors born in the first century, when the apostles lived. John is supposed to have died about A.D. 99, and Polycarp, the last of the Apostolic Fathers, born about 80, was his disciple. These three are tolerably certain: Clement of Rome (30——100), Ignatius (died 115), and Polycarp (80——169). Three others are Barnabas, Hermas; and Papias. Barnabas was the companion of Paul, Hermas is a very doubtful name, and Papias (Bp. of Hierapolis) is mentioned by Eusebius.

    Polycarp could hardly have been a disciple of John, although he might have received Christian instruction from the old “beloved one.”

    Apostolic Majesty

    A title borne by the Emperor of Austria, as King of Hungary. It was conferred by Pope Sylvester II. on the King of Hungary in 1000.

    Apparel

    Dress. The ornamental parts of the alb, at the lower edge and at the wrists. Catechumens used to talk of putting on their apparels, or fine white surplices, for the feast of Pentecost.

    Pugin says: “The albe should be made with apparels worked in silk or gold, embroidered with ornaments.”

    Rock tells us — “That apparels were stitched on the upper part of the amice, like a collar to it.”

    Appeal to the Country

    (An). Asking electors by their choice of representatives to express their opinion of some moot question. In order to obtain the public opinion Parliament is dissolved, and a new election must be made.

    Appiades

    (4 syl.). Five divinities whose temple stood near the fountains of Appius, in Rome. Their names are Venus, Pallas, Concord, Peace, and Vesta. They were represented on horse—back, like Amazons.

    Appian Way

    The oldest and best of all the Roman roads, leading from the Porta Capena of Rome to Capua. This “queen of roads” was commenced by Appius Claudius, the decemvir, B.C. 313.

    Apple

    (Newton and the). Voltaire tells us that Mrs. Conduit, Newton's niece, told him that Newton was at Woolsthorpe, when, seeing an apple fall, he was led into a train of thought which resulted in his discovery of gravitation (1666).

    His mother had married a Rev. B. Smith, and in 1656 had returned to Woolsthorpe. Her granddaughter was the wife of Mr. Conduit, who succeeded Newton in the Mint. Newton was on a visit to his mother.

    The apple of discord.

    A cause of dispute; something to contend about. At the marriage of Thetis and Peleus, where all the gods and goddesses met together, Discord threw on the table a golden apple “for the most beautiful.” Juno, Minerva, and Venus put in their separate claims; and not being able to settle the point, referred the question to Paris, who gave judgment in favour of Venus. This brought upon him the vengeance of Juno and Minerva, to whose spite the fall of Troy is attributed.

    The “apple” plays a large part in Greek story. Besides the “Apple of Discord,” related above, we have the three apples thrown down by Hippomenes when he raced with Atalanta. The story says that Atalanta stopped to pick up the apples, whereby Hippomenes won the race, and according to the terms obtained her for wife.

    Then there are the golden apples of the Hesperides, guarded by a sleepless dragon with a hundred heads; but Hercules slew the dragon and carried some of the apples to Eurystheus. This was the twelfth and last of his

    “labours.”

    Of course, the Bible story of Eve and the Apple will be familiar to every reader of this dictionary.

    Apples of Istakhar

    are “all sweetness on one side, and all bitterness on the other.”

    Apples of Paradise

    , according to tradition, had a bite on one side, to commemorate the bite given by Eve.

    Apples of Pyban

    , says Sir John Mandeville, fed the pigmies with their odour only.

    Apples of Sodom. Thevenot says — “There are apple—trees on the sides of the Dead Sea which bear lovely fruit, but within are full of ashes.” Josephus speaks of these apples. Witman says the same is asserted of the oranges there. (See Tacitus, Hist., v. 7.)

    “Like to the apples on the Dead Sea's shore,

    All ashes to the taste.”

    Byron: Childe Harold

    , iii. 34.

    The apple of perpetual youth.

    This is the apple of Idun, daughter of the dwarf Svald, and wife of Bragi. It is by tasting this apple that the gods preserve their perpetual youth. (Scandinavian mythology.)

    The singing apple

    had the power of persuading any one to anything. (Chery and Fairstar: Countess D'Anois.)

    Prince Ahmed's apple

    — a cure for every disorder. This apple the prince purchased at Samarcand. (Arabian Nights, Prince Ahmed, etc.)

    The apple of the eye.

    The pupil, of which perhaps it is a corruption. If not, it is from an erroneous notion that the little black spot of the eye is a little round solid ball like an apple. Anything extremely dear or extremely sensitive.

    “He kept him as the apple of his eye.” — Deut. xxxii. 3.

    Apple—john

    (An). An apple so called from its being at maturity about St. John's Day (May 6th). We are told that apple—johns will keep for two years, and are best when shrivelled.

    “I am withered like an old apple—john.” Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV. iii. 3.

    Sometimes called the Apples of King John, which, if correct, would militate against the notion about “St. John's Day.”

    “There were some things, for instance, the Apples of King John, ... I should be tempted to buy.” — Bigelow: Life of B. Franklin.

    In the United States there is a drink called “Apple—Jack,” which is apple or cider brandy.

    Apple—pie Bed

    A bed in which the sheets are so folded that a person cannot get his legs down; from the apple turnover; or, more probably, a corruption of “a nap—pe—pli bed.” (French, nappe pliée, a folded sheet.)

    Apple—pie Order

    Prim and precise order.

    The origin of this phrase is still doubtful. Some suggest cap—à—pie, like a knight in complete armour. Some tell us that apples made into a pie are quartered and methodically arranged when the cores have been taken out. Perhaps the suggestion made above of nap—pe—pli (French, nappes pliées, folded linen, neat as folded linen, Latin, plico, to fold) is nearer the mark.

    It has also been suggested that “Apple—pie order” may be a corruption of alpha, beta, meaning as orderly as the letters of the alphabet.

    “Everything being in apple—pie order, ... Dr. Johnson ... proposed that we should accompany him ... to M'Tassa's kraal.” — Adventures in Mashonaland, p. 294 (1803).

    April

    The opening month, when the trees unfold, and the womb of nature opens with young life. (Latin, aperire, to open.)

    April Fool Called in France un poisson d'Avril (q.v.), and in Scotland a gowk (cuckoo). In Hindustan similar tricks are played at the Huli Festival (March 31st). So that it cannot refer to the uncertainty of the weather, nor yet to the mockery trial of our Redeemer, the two most popular explanations. A better solution is this: As March 25th used to be New Year's Day, April 1st was its octave, when its festivities culminated and ended.

    For the same reason that the “Mockery of Jesus” is rejected as a solution of this custom, the tradition that it arose from Noah sending out the dove on the first month may be set aside. Perhaps it may be a relic of the Roman “Cerealia,” held at the beginning of April. The tale is that Proserpina was sporting in the Elysian meadows, and had just filled her lap with daffodils, when Pluto carried her off to the lower world. Her mother, Ceres, heard the echo of her screams, and went in search of “the voice;” but her search was a fool's errand, it was hunting the gowk, or looking for the “echo of a scream.”

    Of course this fable is an allegory of seedtime.

    My April morn — i.e.

    my wedding day; the day when I was made a fool of. The allusion is to the custom of making fools of each other on the 1st of April.

    April Gentleman

    (An). A man newly married, who has made himself thus “an April fool.”

    April Squire

    (An). Anovus homo, A man who has accumulated money, and has retired into the country, where his money may give him the position of a squire.

    A priori

    [Latin, from an antecedent ]. An a priori argument is when we deduce a fact from something antecedent, as when we infer certain effects from given causes. All mathematical proofs are of the a priori kind, whereas judgments in the law courts are of the a posteriori evidence; we infer the animus from the act. (See A Posteriori.)

    Apron

    This is a strange blunder. A napperon , converted into An apperon. “Napperon” is French for a napkin, from nappe (cloth in general). Halliwell, in his Archaic Dictionary, p. 571, gives Nappern (an apron) North.

    Other examples of n attached to the following noun, or detached from it, are an adder for a nadder (Old English, noeddre); a newt for an ewt; a nag (Danish, ög ); nuncle (Shakespeare), mine uncle; For the nonce (this once), where n is transferred from the preceding pronoun tha—n or the—n, i.e. this—n (accusative case after “for").

    Apron—string Tenure

    (An). tenure held in virtue of one's wife.

    Tied to his mother's apron—string

    , completely under his mother's thumb. Applied to a big boy or young man who is still under mother rule.

    A propos de bottes

    (French). Turning to quite another subject; à propos de rien.

    Aqua Regia

    [royal water ]. So called because it dissolves gold, the king of metals. It consists of one part of nitric acid, with from two to four of hydrochloric acid.

    Aqua Tofana

    or Acqua Tofanica. A poisonous liquid much used in Italy in the seventeenth century by young wives who wanted to get rid of their husbands. It was invented by a woman named Tofana, who called it the Manna of St. Nicholas of Bari, from the widespread notion that an oil of miraculous efficacy flowed from the tomb of that saint. In Italian called also Aquella di Napoli.

    Aqua Vitæ [water of life ]. Certain ardent spirits used by the alchemists. Ben Jonson terms a seller of ardent spirits an “aqua—vitæ man” (Alchemist, i. 1). The “elixir of life” was made from distilled spirits, which were thought to have the power of prolonging life. (See Eau de Vie.)

    Aquarians

    A sect in the early Christian Church which insisted on the use of water instead of wine in the Lord's Supper.

    Aquarius

    [the water—bearer ]. One of the signs of the zodiac (January 20th to February 18th). So called because it appears when the Nile begins to overflow.

    Aqueous Rocks

    Rocks produced by the agency of water, such as bedded limestones, sandstones, and clays; in short, all the geological rocks which are arranged in layers or strata.

    Aquilant

    (in Orlando Furioso). A knight in Charlemagne's army, son of Olivero and Sigismunda. He was called black from his armour, and his brother Gryphon white. While Aquilant was searching for his brother he met Martano in Gryphon's armour, and took him bound to Damascus, where his brother was.

    Aquiline

    (3 syl.). Raymond's matchless steed, bred on the banks of the Tagus. (Georgics, iii. 271——277; and Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, book vii.) (See Horse.)

    Aquinian Sage

    (The). Juvenal is so called because he was born at Aquinum, a town of the Volscians.

    Arabesque

    [Arrabesk ]. The gorgeous Moorish patterns, like those in the Alhambra, especially employed in architectural decoration. During the Spanish wars, in the reign of Louis XIV., arabesque decorations were profusely introduced into France. (French, “Arab—like.”)

    Arabian Bird

    (The). The phoenix; a marvellous man, quite sui generis.

    “O Antony! thou Arabian bird!” Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, iii. 2.

    Arabian Nights

    (The). First made known in Europe by Antoine Galland, a French Oriental scholar, who translated them and called them The Thousand and One Nights (from the number of nights occupied in their recital). They are of Indian, Persian, Egyptian, and Arabian origin. Common English translations —

    4 vols. 12mo, 1792, by R. Heron, published in Edinburgh and London. 3 vols. 12mo, 1794, by Mr. Beloe, London.

    3 vols. 12mo, 1798, by Richard Gough, enlarged. Paris edition.

    5 vols. 8vo, 1802, by Rev. Edward Foster.

    5 vols. 8vo, 1830, by Edw. Wm. Lane.

    The Tales of the Genii

    , by Sir Charles Morell (i.e. Rev. James Ridley), are excellent imitations.

    Arabians

    A class of Arabian heretics of the third century, who maintained that the soul dies with the body.

    Arabic Figures

    The figures 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. So called because they were introduced into Europe (Spain) by the Moors or Arabs, who learnt them from the Hindus. Far more important than the characters, is the decimalism

    of these figures: 1 figure = units, 2 figures = tens, 3 figures = hundreds, and so on ad infinitum.

    The figures i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, etc., are called Roman figures. The Greeks arranged their figures under three columns of nine figures, units, tens, and hundreds, and employed the letters of the alphabet. As there are but twenty—four letters, a sansculotte letter had to be introduced into each column. In the units column it represented 6, and was called episemon. In the tens column it represented 90, and was called koppos. And: in the third column it represented 900, and was called sanpi. Thousands were represented by a dash under some letter of the first three columns.

    Arabs

    Street Arabs. The houseless poor; street children. So called because, like the Arabs, they are nomads or wanderers with no settled home.

    Arachne's Labours

    Spinning and weaving. Arachne was so skilful a needlewoman that she challenged Minerva to a trial of skill, and hanged herself because the goddess beat her. Minerva then changed her into a spider.

    “Arachne's labours ne'er her hours divide,

    Her noble hands nor looms nor spindles guide.” Hoole's Jerusalem Delivered, book ii.

    Araf, Al

    [the partition]. A region, according to the Koran, between Paradise and Jehennam, for those who are neither morally good nor bad, such as infants, lunatics, and idiots. The inmates of Al Araf will be allowed to converse with the blessed and the cursed; to the former this region will appear a hell, to the latter a heaven.

    (See Limbo.)

    Araspes

    (in Jerusalem Delivered), King of Alexandria, more famed for devices than courage. He joined the Egyptian armament against the Crusaders.

    Aratos

    of Achæa, in Greece, murdered Nicocles, the tyrant, in order to restore his country to liberty, and would not allow even a picture of a king to exist. He was poisoned by Philip of Macedon.

    “Aratus, who awhile relumed the soul

    Of fondly—lingering liberty in Greece.”

    Thomson: Winter, 491, 492.

    Arbaces

    (3 syl.). A Mede and Assyrian satrap, who conspired against Sardanapalus, and founded the empire of Media on the ruins of the Assyrian kingdom. (Byron: Sardanapalus.)

    Arbor Day

    A day set apart in Canada and the United States for planting trees. (See Historic Note Book, p.

    42.)

    Arbor Judæ

    Said to be so called because Judas Iscariot hanged himself thereon. This is one of those

    word—resemblances so delusive to etymologists. Judæ is the Spanish judia (a French bean), and Arbor Judæ is a corruption of Arbol Judia (the bean—tree), so called from its bean—like pods.

    Arcades Ambo

    [Arcades 3 syl.], both sweet innocents or simpletons, both Verdant Greens. From Virgil's Eclogue, vii. v. 4. ( See below , Arcadian Youth.) Byron's translation was “blackguards both.”

    Arcadian

    A shepherd, a fancy farmer; so called because the Arcardians were a pastoral people, and hence pastoral poetry is called Arcadic.

    An Arcadian youth. A dunce or blockhead; so called because the Arcardians were the least intellectual of all the Greeks. Juneval (vii. 160) uses the phrase Arcadicus juvenis for a stupid fool.

    Arcadian Nightingales

    Asses.

    “April is the month of love; and the country of Chastelleraud abounds with Arcadian nightingales.” —

    Rabelais: Pantagruel

    . v. 7 (note).

    Archangels

    According to the Koran, there are four archangels. Gabriel. the angel of revelations, who writes down the divine decrees; Mïchael, the champion, who fights the battles of faith; Azrael, the angel of death; and Azrafil, who is commissioned to sound the trumpet of the resurrection.

    Arch—monarch of the World

    Napoleon III. of France. (1808, 1852——1870, died 1873.)

    Archers

    The best archers in British history and story are Robin Hood and his two comrades Little John and Will Scarlet.

    The famous archers of Henry II. were Tepus his bowman of the Guards, Gilbert of the white hind, Hubert of Suffolk, and Clifton of Hampshire.

    Nearly equal to these were Egbert of Kent and William of Southampton.

    Domitian, the Roman emperor, we are told, could shoot four arrows between the spread fingers of a man's hand.

    Tell, who shot an apple set on the head of his son, is a replica of the Scandinavian tale of Egil, who, at the command of King Nidung, performed a precisely similar feat.

    Robin Hood, we are told, could shoot an arrow a mile or more.

    Arches

    (The Court of). The most ancient consistory court of England, the dean of which anciently held his court under the arches of Bow church. Of course we refer to the old church, the steeple of which was supported on arches. The present structure was the work of Sir Christopher Wren.

    Archeus

    (3 syl.) according to the Paracelsians, is that immaterial principle which energises all living substances. There were supposed to be numerous archei, but the chief one was said to reside in the stomach.

    Archilochian Bitterness

    Illnatured satire, so named from Archilochos, the Grecian satirist (B.C. 714——676).

    Archimage

    (3 syl.). The name given by Thomson to the “demon Indolence.” Archimagus is the title borne by the High Priest of the Persian Magi.

    “"I will,” he cried, “so help me God! destroy

    That villain Archimage.””

    Thomson: Castle of Indolence

    , c. ii.

    Archimago

    [Hypocrisy ]. In Spenser's Faëric Queene (ii. 1). He assumes the guise of the Red Cross Knight, and deceives Una; but Sansloy sets upon him, and reveals his true character. When the Red Cross Knight is about to be married to Una, he presents himself before the King of Eden, and tells him that the Knight is betrothed to Duessa. The falsehood being exposed, Archimago is cast into a vile dungeon (book i.). In book ii. the arch—hypocrite is loosed again for a season, and employs Bragga—docchio to attack the Red Cross Knight. These allegories are pretty obvious: thus the first incident means that Truth (Una), when Piety (the Red Cross

    Knight) is absent, is in danger of being led astray by Hypocrisy; but any Infidel (Sansloy) can lay bare religious hypocrisy.

    “Such whenas Archimago them did view

    He weened well to worke some uncouth wyle.” Spenser: Faërie Queene, ii. 1, st. 8.

    Sometimes Spenser employs the shortened form “Archimage.”

    Archimedes Principle

    The quantity of water removed by any body immersed therein will equal in bulk the bulk of the body immersed. This scientific fact was noted by the philosopher Archimedes. (See Eureka.)

    Archimedes Screw

    An endless screw, used for raising water, propelling ships, etc., invented by Archimedes of Syracuse.

    Architect of his own Fortune

    Appius says, “Fabrun suoe esse quemque fortunoe.” Longfellow says, “All are architects of Fate.” (The Builders.)

    Archontics

    Heretics of the second century, who held a number of idle stories about creation, which they attributed to a number of agents called “archons.” (Greek, archon , a prince or ruler.)

    Arcite

    (2 syl.). A young Theban knight, made captive by Duke Theseus, and shut up with Palamon in a prison at Athens. Here both the captives fell in love with Emily, the duke's sister—in—law. After a time both captives gained their liberty, and Emily was promised by the duke to the victor in a tournament. Arcite was the victor, but, as he was riding to receive the prize of his prowess, he was thrown from his horse, and died. So Emily became the bride of Palamon. (Chaucer: The Knight Tale.)

    The story is perhaps better known through Dryden's version, Palamon and Arcite.

    Arcos Barbs

    War steeds of Arcos, in Andalusia, very famous in Spanish ballads. (See Barbed Steeds.)

    Arctic Region

    means the region of Arcturos (the Bear stars). Ark in Sanskrit means “to be bright,” applied to stars or anything bright. The Greeks transLated ark into arkt(os), “a bear”; hence Arcturus (the Bear Stars), and Arctic region, the region where the north star is found.

    Arden

    (Enoch). Mr. G. R. Emerson, in a letter to the Athenæum (August 18th, 1866), points out the resemblance of this tale by Tennyson to one entitled Homeward Bound, by Adelaide Anne Procter, in a volume of Legends and Lyrics, 1858. Mr. Emerson concludes his letter thus: “At this point (i.e when the hero sees his wife “seated by the fire, whispering baby words and smiling on the father of her child") Tennyson departs from the story. Enoch goes away broken—hearted to die, without revealing his secret; but Miss Procter makes the three recognise each other, and the hero having blessed his wife, leaves her, to roam “over the restless ocean.”"

    Mrs. Gaskell's Manchester Marriage is a similar tale. In this tale “Frank” is made to drown himself; and his wife (then Mrs. Openshaw) never knows of his return.

    Area—sneak

    A boy or girl who sneaks about areas to commit petty thefts.

    Areopagus

    or Mars' Hill. The seat of a famous tribunal in Athens; so called because the first cause tried there was that of Mars or Ares, accused by Neptune of the death of his son Halirrhothius.

    “Then Panl stood in the midst of Mars' Hill.” — Acts xvii. 22.

    Aretine (3 syl.) or rather Pietro Aretino, patronised by François I. of France. A poet noted for his disreputable life and licentious verses. (1492——1557.)

    “[Shakespeare] tried his hand with Aretine on a licentious subject.” — Steevens.

    Aretinian Syllables

    Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, used by Guido d'Arezzo in the eleventh century for his system of hexachords. Hexachord means a scale of six notes. They are the first syllables of some words in the opening stauza of a hymn for St. John's Day. “Ut queant laxis re —sonare fibris,” etc. Si, the seventh note, was not introduced till the seventeenth century. Originally thescale consisted of six notes only. (See Do.)

    “Auparavant on ne se servait que de six notes; et on remplaçait le si au moyen de combinaisons appelées nuances.” — Bou llet: Dictionaire des Sciences, p. 1523, col. 2.)

    Argan

    a miserly hypochondriac. He reduced himself to this dilemma: if his apothecary would not charge less, he could not afford to be sick; but if he swallowed fewer drugs, he would suffer in health. ( Molière's Le Malade Imaginaire.)

    Argand Lamp

    A lamp with a circular wick, through which a current of air flows, to supply oxygen to the flame, and increase its brilliancy. Invented by Aimé Argand, 1789.

    Argante

    (3 syl.) A giantess of unbridled licentiousness, in Spenser's Faërie Queene, iii. 7.

    “That geauntesse Argantè is behight,

    A daughter of the Titans ...

    Her sire Typhoeus was. ...”

    Book iii, 7, st. 47.

    Argantes

    (3 syl.). A Circassian of high rank and matchless courage, but fierce to brutality, and an

    ultra—despiser of the sect of the Nazarenes. He was sent as an ambassador from Egypt to King Aladine. He and Solyman were by far the most doughty of the Pagan knights. The former was slain by Rinaldo, and the other by Tancred. (Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered.)

    “Bonaparte stood before the deputies like the Argantës of Italy's heroic poet and gave them the choice of peace and war, with the air of a superior being, capable at once of dictating their fate.” — Sir Walter Scott.

    Argenis

    A political allegory by John Barclay, containing allusions to the state of Europe, and more especially to France, during the time of the league. (1582——1621.) (See Utopia.)

    Argentile

    and Curan Argentile was the daughter of King Adelbright, who, on his deathbed, committed her in charge to King Edel. Edel kept her a close prisoner, under hope of getting into his possession her lands and dominion. Curan, the son of a Danske King, in order to woo her, became a kitchen drudge in Edel's household, and Edel resolved to marry Argentile to this drudge, but she fled away. Curan now turned shepherd, and fell in love with a neatherd's maid, who turned out to be Argentile. The two were married, and Curan claiming his wife's dominions, became King of Northumberland, and put Edel to death. ( Percy's Reliques.)

    Argentine Republic

    The Republic of the Argentine, or Silver River; in other words, the Confederation of the Rio de la Plata.

    Argeo (in Orlando Furioso). Baron of Servia, and husband of Gabrina. He is a sort of Potiphar. His wife tried to seduce Philander, a young Dutch knight, and failing in her effort, she accused him to her husband of adultery; whereupon Argeo threw the “faithless guest” into durance. In the course of time Gabrina implored the young captive to defend her against a wicked knight who had assailed her virtue. He consented to be her champion, and was placed in concealment. Presently a knight drew near, and Philander, rushing on him, dispatched him; but the supposed “adulterer” was, in reality, Argeo himself, and Gabrina, being now a widow, was free to marry her Dutch “Joseph.”

    Argillan

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). A haughty, turbulent knight, born on the banks of the Trent. Accusing Godfrey and his brother of having murdered Rinaldo, he induced the Latians to revolt. The revolt spread to the Swiss and English, but Godfrey succeeded in restoring order. Argillan was arrested, but made his escape, and was slain in battle by Solyman. (Books viii. ix.)

    Argo

    A ship sailing on an adventure. The galley of Jason that went in search of the Golden Fleece was so called, from the Greek argos (swift).

    Argonauts

    The sailors of the ship Argo. Apollonios of Rhodes wrote an epic poem on the subject. (Greek, argonaus.)

    Argosy

    A merchant ship. A corruption of “ragusea.” Ships of the largest size were built at Ragusa in Dalmatia and Venice.

    “He hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies ... a third to Mexico, a fourth to England.” — Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice , i. 3.

    Argot

    [Argo ]. Slang or flash language (French).

    “Sans le (le mot d'argot) faire venir du grec argos, e.g. comme l'on a prétendu avant nous, nous y verrions logiquement undiminute du vieux mot argu qui signifiait injure, reproche, et aussi ruse, finesse, subtilité.” — Larchey: Dictionaire d'Argot.

    Francisque—Michel, however, in his Philologie Comparée , says, “L'ancienne langue Française avait le mot argu, mais dans un sens bien different, que l'on peut établir par les passages suivant ...” He then gives five examples.

    Argus—eyed

    Jealously watchful. According to Grecian fable, Argos had 100 eyes, and Juno set him to watch Io, of whom she was jealous.

    Argyle

    (2 syl.) — of whom Thompson says, in his Autumn (928——30) —

    “On thee, Argyle,

    Her hope, her stay, her darling, and her boast, Thy fond, imploring country turns her eye — “

    was John, the great duke, who lived only two years after he succeeded to the dukedom. Pope (Ep. Sat. ii. 86,

    87) says —

    “Argyle the state's whole thunder born to wield,

    And shake alike the senate and the field.”

    Arians

    The followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, in the fourth century. He maintained

    (1) that the Father and Son are distinct beings; (2) that the Son, though divine, is not equal to the Father; (3)

    that the Son had a state of existence previous to His appearance on earth, but not from eternity; and (4) that the Messiah was not real man, but a divine being in a case of flesh.

    Arideus

    [A—ree—de—us ] in Jerusalem Delivered, herald in the Christian army. The other herald is Pindorus.

    Ariel

    A spirit of the air and guardian of innocence. He was enslaved to the witch Sycorax, who overtasked him; and in punishment for not doing what was beyond his power, shut him up in a pine—rift for twelve years. On the death of Sycorax, Ariel became the slave of Caliban, who tortured him most cruelly. Prospero liberated him from the pine—rift, and the grateful fairy served him for sixteen years, when he was set free.

    (Shakespeare. Tempest.)

    Ariel.

    The sylph that watched over Belinda. (Pope: Rape of the Lock, i.)

    Ariel.

    One of the angels cast out of heaven. The word means lion of God. (Milton: Paradise Lost, book vi. 371.)

    Aries

    The Ram. The sign of the Zodiac in which the sun is from March 21st to April 20th.

    “At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun.” Thomson: Spring , 20.

    Arimanes

    (4 syl.). “The prince of earth and air,” and the fountain—head of evil. It is a personage in Persian mythology, introduced into Grecian fable under the name of Arimannis. Byron introduces him in his drama called Manfred.

    Arimaspians

    A one—eyed people of Scythia, who adorned their hair with gold. They were constantly at war with the gryphons who guarded the gold mines.

    “As when a gryphon, through the wilderness ...

    Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth

    Had from his wakeful custody purloined

    The guarded gold.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , ii. 943.6)

    Arioch

    One of the fallen angels cast out of heaven. The word means a fierce lion. (MIlton: Paradise Lost, vi. 371.)

    Arion

    A Greek musician, cast into the sea by mariners, but carried to Tænaros on the back of a dolphin.

    Arion.

    The wonderful horse which Hercules gave to Adrastos. It sprang from Ceres and Neptune, had the power of speech, and its feet on the right side were the feet of a man. (See Horse.)

    Ariosto

    was privately married to Alessandra Benucci, widow of Tito Strozzi; she is generally called his mistress.

    Ariosto of the North.

    So Lord Byron calls Sir Walter Scott. (Childe Harold, iv. 40.)

    Aristeas

    The wandering Jew of Grecian fable. (See Jew.)

    Aristides

    (4 syl.). Surnamed The Just. An Athenian statesman.

    “Then Aristides lifts his honest front,

    Spotless of heart; to whom the unflattering voice Of Freedom gave the noblest name of “just.”” Thomson: Winter, 459—61.

    The British Aristides.

    Andrew Marvell (1620——1678).

    The French Aristides.

    Mons. Grévy, born 1813, president of the Third Republic 1879——1887, died 1891. He was a barrister by profession.

    Aristippos

    (See Hedonism .)

    Aristocracy

    The cold shade of the aristocracy — i.e. the unsympathising patronage of the great. The expression first occurs in Sir W. F. P. Napier's History of the Peninsular War.

    The word “aristocracy” is the Greek aristo—cratia (rule of the best—born).

    Aristophanes

    The English or modern Aristophanes. Samuel Foote (1722——1777). The French Aristophanes. J. Baptiste Poquelin de Molière (1622——1673).

    Aristotle

    Aristotle of China. Tehuhe, who died A.D. 1200, called the “Prince of Science.” Aristotle of the nineteenth century. Baron Cuvier, the great naturalist (1769——1832).

    Aristotelian Philosophy

    Aristotle maintained that four separate causes are necessary before anything exists: the material cause, the formal, the final, and the moving cause. The first is the antecedents from which the thing comes into existence; the second, that which gives it its individuality; the moving or efficient cause is that which causes matter to assume its individual forms; and the final cause is that for which the thing exists. According to Aristotle, matter is eternal.

    Aristotelian Unities

    Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, laid it down as a rule that every tragedy, properly constructed, should contain but one catastrophe; should be limited to one denoument; and be circumscribed to the action of one single day. These are called the Aristotelic or Dramatic unities. To these the French have added a fourth, the unity of uniformity, i.e. in tragedy all the “dramatis personæ” should be tragic in style, in comedy comic, and in farce farcical.

    Ark

    You must have come out of the ark, or you were born in the ark, because you are so old—fashioned, and ignorant of current events.

    Armada

    The Spanish Armada. The fleet assembled by Philip II of Spain, in 1588, for the conquest of England. Used for any fleet.

    Armenians

    A religious sect so called from Armenia, where Christianity was introduced in the second century. They attribute only one nature to Christ and hold that the Spirit proceeds from the Father only. They enjoin the adoration of saints, have some peculiar ways of administering baptism and the Lord's Supper, but do not maintain the doctrine of purgatory.

    Armi da

    One of the prominent female characters in Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. She was a beautiful sorceress, with whom Rinaldo fell in love, and wasted his time in voluptuous pleasure. Two messengers were sent from the Christian army with a talisman to disenchant him. After his escape, Armida followed him in distraction, but not being able to allure him back, set fire to her palace, rushed into the midst of a combat, and was slain.

    In 1806, Frederick William of Prussia declared war against Napoleon, and his young queen rode about in military costume to arouse the enthusiasm of the people. When Napoleon was told of it, he wittily said of her: “She is Armida, in her distraction setting fire to her own palace.”

    Arminians

    (Anti —— Calvinists), so called from James Harmensen, of Holland, whose name, Latinised, is Jacobus Arminius. He asserted that God bestows forgiveness and eternal life on all who repent and believe; that He wills all men to be saved; and that His predestination is founded on His foreknowledge.

    Armory Heraldry is so called, because it first found its special use in direct connection with military equipments, knightly exercises, and the mêlée of actual battle.

    “Some great man's badge of war or armory.” Morris: Earthly Paradise, ii. 167.

    Armoury

    The place where armour is kept.

    “But the sword

    Of Michael from the armoury of God

    Was given him.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , vi. 320. See also vii. 200.

    Arms

    In the Bayeux tapestry, the Saxons fight on foot with javelin and battle—axe, and bear shields with the British characteristic of a boss in the centre. The men were moustached.

    The Normans are on horseback, with long shields and pennoned lances. The men are not only shaven, but most of them have a complete tonsure on the back of the head, whence the spies said to Harold, “There are more priests in the Norman army than men in Harold's.”

    Arms of England

    (The Royal). The three lions leopardised were the cognisance of William the Conqueror; the lion rampant in the second quarter is from the arms of Scotland; and the harp in the fourth quarter represents Ireland. The lion supporter is in honour of England, and the unicorn in honour of Scotland. These two supporters were introduced by James I.

    William I. had only two lions passant gardant; the third was introduced by Henry II. The lion rampant first appeared on Scotch seals in the reign of Alexander II. (1214——1249). The harp was assigned to Ireland in the time of Henry VII.; before that time the arms of Ireland were three crowns. The unicorn was not a supporter of the royal arms of Scotland before the reign of Mary Stuart.

    Which arm of the service.

    Military or naval?

    The secular arm.

    Civil, in contradistinction to ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

    “The relapsed arm delivered to the secular arm.” — Priestley. Corruptions of Christianity.

    To arm a magnet.

    To put an armature on a loadstone. A coat of arms. An heraldic device.

    A passage of arms.

    A literary controversy; a battle of words. An assault at arms (or of arms). An attack by fencers; a hand—to—hand military exercise. At arm's length. At a distance. To keep one at arm's length is to repel familiarity.

    In arms.

    A child in arms is an infant carried about in one's arms. A city in arms is one in which the people are armed for war. King of arms. A chief herald in the College of Heralds. Here arms means heraldic devices. Small arms. Those which do not, like artillery, require carriages.

    To appeal to arms.

    To determine to decide a litigation by war. To arms! Make ready for battle.

    “To arms! cried Mortimer,

    And couched his quivering lance.”

    Gray: The Bard.

    Come to my arms. Come, and let me embrace you. To lay down their arms. To cease from armed hostility; to surrender. Under arms. Prepared for battle; in battle array.

    Up in arms.

    In open rebellion; roused to anger, as the clergy were up in arms against Colenso for publishing his Lectures on the Pentateuch. The latter is a figure of speech.

    With open arms.

    Cordially; as persons receive a dear friend when they open their arms for an embrace.

    Arnauts

    [brave men ]. Albanian mountaineers.

    “Stained with the best of Arnaut's blood.” Byron: The Giaour.

    Arn—monat

    Anglo —Saxon, ærn—monath, barn month. The Anglo—Saxon name for August, because it was the month for garnering the corn.

    Arnold

    of Melchthal, patriarch of the forest cantons of Switzerland. He was in love with Matilda, a sister of Gessler, the Austrian governor of the district. When the tyranny of Gessler drove the people into rebellion, Arnold gave up Matilda and joined the insurgents; but when Gessler was shot by William Tell, he became united to her in marriage. (Rossini's opera of Guglielmo Tell.)

    Arnoldists

    The partisans of Arnold of Brescia, who raised his voice against the abuses and vices of the papacy in the twelfth century. He was burnt alive by Pope Adrian IV.

    Arod

    in the satire of Absalom and Achitopel, by Dryden and Tate, is designed for Sir William Waller.

    But in the sacred annals of our plot

    Industrious Arod never be forgot,

    The labours of this midnight magistrate

    May vie with Corah [Titus Oates] to preserve the state.” Part ii.

    Aroint thee

    Get ye gone, be off. In Cheshire they say, rynt ye, witch ; and milk—maids say to their cows when they have done milking them, rynt ye. (or 'roint) my beauties; but it is doubtful whether this is connected with the word in question.

    Aronteus

    (4 syl.) in Jerusalem Delivered. An Asiatic king, who joined the Egyptian armament against the Crusaders, “not by virtue fired, but vain of his titles and ambitious of fame.”

    Aroundight

    The sword of Sir Launcelot of the Lake. (See Sword.)

    “It is the sword of a good knight,

    Though homespun was his mail,

    What matter if it be not hight,

    Joyeuse, Colada, Durindale,

    Excalibar, or Aroundight?”

    Longfellow.

    Arras

    tapestry. So called from Arras, in Artois, famed for its manufacture. When rooms were hung with tapestry it was a common thing for persons to hide behind it, especially the arras curtain before the door. Hubert concealed the two villains who were to put out Arthur's eyes behind the arras. Polonius was slain by Hamlet while concealed behind the arras. Falstaff proposed to hide behind the arras at Windsor, etc.

    Arria

    a Roman lady, the wife of Cæcina Pætus. Pætus being accused of conspiring against the Emperor Claudius was condemned to death and sent by sea to Rome. Arria accompanied him, and stabbed herself in

    the boat, then presenting the dagger to her husband, she said: “Pætus, it gives no pain” (non dolet). (Pliny, vii.) Her daughter Arria, wife of Thraseas, when her husband was condemned to death by Nero, opened her veins; but Thraseas entreated her to live, for the sake of her children.

    Arrière Pensée

    (plural arrières pensées), a hidden or reserved motive, not apparent on the surface.

    Arrot

    the weasel, in the tale of Reynard the Fox.

    Arrow

    The broad arrow, thus =17=. A mark used by the British Board of Ordnance, and placed on their stores. (See Broad Arrow.)

    Arowroot

    is araruta, the Indian word ara is the name of the plant. There is no evidence of its being used to absorb the poison of poisoned arrows in fleshy wounds.

    Arsetes

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). The aged eunuch who brought up Clorinda, and attended her steps.

    Artaxerxes

    called by the Persians Kai—Ardeshir, and surnamed diraz—dest (long—handed), because his right hand was longer than his left. The Romans translated diraz—dest into longi—manus ; the Greek Arta into Arde (“noble").

    Artegal

    (Sir) (in Spenser's Faërie Queene), is the hero of the fifth book, and impersonates Justice, the foster child of Astræa. In the previous books he occasionally appears, and is called Sir Arthegal. It is said that Arthur, Lord Grey of Wilton, was the prototype of this character. He was sent to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant in 1580, and the poet was his secretary. In book iv., canto 6, Sir Artegal is married to Britomart, and proceeds to succour Irena (Ireland), whose heritage had been withheld by the tyrant Grantorto. ( See Arthegal.)

    Artemus Ward

    A showman, very cute, and very American The hypothetical writer of the essays or papers so called, the real author being Charles F. Browne.

    Being asked if his name was Artemus or Artemus, he wrote on his address card: —

    Don't bother me with your etas and short e's,

    Nor ask me for more than you have on my card; Oh! spare me from etymological sorties,

    And simply accept me as Artemus Ward; Which, however, leaves the pronunciation of “Ward” doubtful.

    Artesian Wells

    So called from Artesium (the Latin for Artois), in France, where they were first bored.

    Artful Dodger

    A young thief, a most perfect adept in villainy, up to every sort of wicked dodge. (Dickens: Oliver Twist.)

    Arthegal

    Uterine brother of Prince Arthur. Spenser, in his Faerie Queene (book iii.), makes Britomart see his person and name in the magic glass. She falls in love with the looking—glass hero, and is told by Merlin that she will marry him, and become the mother of a line of kings that would supersede both of the Saxons and Normans. He referred, of course, to the Tudors, who were descendants of Cadwallader. (See Artegal.)

    Arthur

    King of the Silures, a tribe of ancient Britons, was mortally wounded in the battle of Camlan, in Cornwall, raised by the revolt of his nephew, Modred. He was taken to Glastonbury, where he died. His wife was Guinever, who committed adultery with Sir Launcelot of the Lake, one of the Knights of the Round Table.

    He was the natural son of Uther and Igerna (wife of Gorlois, duke of Cornwall), and was brought up by Sir Ector.

    He was born at Tintadgel or Tintagel a castle in Cornwall.

    His habitual residence was Caerleon, in Wales; and he was buried at Avalon. His sword was called Excalibar or Excalibor; his spear, Rome (1 syl.), and his shield, Pridwin. His dog was named Cavall. (See Round Table Knights.)

    Arthurian Romances

    These may be divided into six parts:

    (1) The romance of the San Graal. By Robert Borron.

    (2) The Merlin, which celebrates the birth and exploits of King Arthur. By Sr Thomas Malory.

    (3) The Launcelot. Perhaps by Ulrich.

    (4) The search or Quest of the San Graal. It is found by Sir Galahad, a knight of pure heart and great courage; but no sooner does he find it than he is taken up to heaven. By (?) Walter Mapes.

    (5) The Mort d'Arthur, or Death of Arthur. By (?) Walter Mapes.

    (6) Sundry Tales, but especially the adventures of Sir Tristan. By Luke Gast, of Salisbury.

    Arthur's Seat

    a hill near Edinburgh, is Ard Seir (hill of arrows), where people shot at a mark.

    Articles of Roup

    (Scotch). Conditions of sale at an auction announced by a crier. (Roup is the Teutonic reopen, to cry out.)

    Artists, The Prince of

    Albert Dürer; so called by his countrymen. (1471——1528.)

    Artotyrites

    (4 syl.). Certain heretics from among the Montanists; so called because they used bread and cheese in the Eucharist. They admitted women to the priesthood. (Greek, artos, barley—bread, and turos, cheese.)

    Arts

    Degrees in Arts. In the mediæval ages the full course consisted of the three subjects which constituted the Trivium and the four subjects which constituted the Quadrivium: —

    The Trivium was grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

    The Quadrivium was music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. The Master of Arts was the person qualified to teach or be the master of students in arts; as the Doctor was the person qualified to teach theology, law, or medicine.

    Arundel

    The heraldic device of the family is six swallows ( hirondelles), a pun upon the name. Arundel. (See Horse.)

    Arundelian Marbles

    A collection of ancient sculptures collected at great expense by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, and presented to the University of Oxford in 1667 by his grandson, Henry Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. They contain tables of ancient chronology, especially that of Athens, from B.C. 1582 to 264, engraved in old Greek capitals. Date of the tables, B.C. 263.

    Arvakur

    (See Horse .)

    Aryans

    The parent stock of what is called the Indo—European family of nations. They lived probably in Bactria, i.e. between the river Oxus and the Hindu—koosh mountains. The Aryan family of languages include the Persian and Hindû with all the European except Basque, Turkish, Hungarian, and Finnic. Sometimes called the IndoEuropean, sometimes the Indo—Germanic, and sometimes the Japetic.

    Sanskrit, Zend, Latin, Greek, and Celtic are, of course, included.

    Arzina A river that flows into the North Sea, near Wardhus, where Sir Willoughby's three ships were frozen, and the whole crew perished of starvation.

    “In these fell regions, in Arzina caught,

    And to the stony deep his idle ship

    Immediate sealed, he with his hapless crew ... Froze into statues.”

    Thomson: Winter

    934.

    As you were

    in military drilling, means, Return to the position in which you were before the last exercise. As you were before.

    Asa

    was a term of address to all the gods of Gladsheim; as Asa Odin, Asa Thor, Asa Loki, Asa Tyr, etc.

    “"That's all very well, Asa Odin,” answered Frey; “but who, let me ask, is to undertake the feeding of the human animal?”” — Keary: Heroes of Asgard , p.73.

    Asa Loki

    Descended from the giants and received among the celestials. He is represented as a treacherous malignant power, fond of assuming disguises, and plotting evil. One of his progeny is Hela (q.v.).

    (Scandinavian mythology.) (See Æsir.)

    Asa Thor.

    Eldest son of Asa Odin, and the first—born of mortals. ( Scandinavian mythology.)

    Asaph

    A famous musician in David's time (1 Chron. xxv. 1, 2). Mr. Tate, who wrote the second part of Absalom and Achitophel, lauds Dryden under this name.

    “While Judah's throne and Sion's rock stand fast,

    The song of Asaph and the fame shall last.” Absalom and Achitophel, part ii, 1063——4.

    Asbolos

    One of Actæon's dogs. The word means soot—coloured. ( See Amarynthos.)

    Ascalaphos

    Turned by Proserpine, for mischief—making, into an owl. ( Greek fable.)

    Ascapart

    A giant conquered by Sir Bevis of Southampton. He was thirty feet high, and the space between his eyes was twelve inches. This mighty giant, whose effigy figures on the city gates of Southampton, could carry under his arm without feeling distressed Sir Bevis with his wife and horse. (See Giants.)

    “As Bevis of Southampton fell upon Ascapart.” Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI., act ii. 3.

    Ascendant In casting a horoscope the easternmost star, representing the house of life, is called the ascendant, because it is in the act of ascending. This is a man's strongest star, and so long as it is above the horizon his fortune is said to be in the ascendant. When a man's circumstances begin to improve, and things look brighter, we say his star is in the ascendant. (See Houses, Stars.)

    House of the Ascendant

    includes five degrees of the zodiac above the point just rising, and twenty—five below it. Usually, the point of birth is referred to.

    The lord of the Ascendant

    is any planet within the “house of the Ascendant.” The house and lord of the Ascendant at birth were said by astrologers to exercises great influence on the future life of the child. Perhaps Deborah referred to the influence of the stars when she said “the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.”

    (Judges v. 20.)

    Ascension Day

    or Holy Thursday. The day set apart by the Catholic and Anglican Church to commemorate the ascent of our Lord from earth to heaven.

    Formerly it was customary to beat the bounds of each respective parish on this day, and many practical jokes were played even during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, to make the boys remember the delimitations: such as “bumping them,” pouring water clandestinely on them from house windows, beating them with thin rods, etc. Beating the bounds was called in Scotland Riding the marches (bounds).

    Asclepiadics

    or Asclepiadic Metre. A Greek and Latin verse, so called from Asclepiades, the inventor. Each line is divided into two parts.

    The first ode of Horace is Asclepiadic. The first and last two lines run thus, and in the same metre: —

    Dear friend patron of song, sprung from the race of kings;

    Thy name ever a grace and a protection brings ...

    My name, if to the lyre haply you chance to wed,

    Pride would high as the stars lift my exalted head.

    E. C. B.

    Ascodrogites

    (4 syl.). Certain heretics who said “they were vessels full of new wine” (Greek, askos). By new wine they meant the Gospel. (Matt. ix. 17.)

    Ascot Races

    A very fashionable “meet,” run on Ascot Heath, Berkshire (6 miles from Windsor). The best horses of all England compete, and at a somewhat more advanced age than at the “great classic races” (q.v.).

    Ascræan Poet

    or Sage. Hesiod, the Greek didactic poet, born at Ascra, in Boeotia. Virgil calls him the “Old Ascræon.” (Eclogues, vii. 70.)

    Asgard

    The fortress of the Asir or the Northern gods, the Olympos of Scandinavian mythology. It is said to be situated in the centre of the universe, and accessible only by the rainbow—bridge ( Bifrost). The word As means a “god,” and gard an “enclosure,” our “yard.” Odin was priest of Asgard before he migrated to the Lake Logur or Moelar Sea

    Ash Tree

    or “Tree of the Universe.” (See Yggdrasil.)

    Ash Wednesday

    The first Wednesday in Lent, so called from an ancient Roman Catholic custom of sprinkling ashes on the heads of those condemned to do penance on this day.

    The ashes were those of the palms burnt on Palm Sunday. The pessimi were sprinkled with ashes, the less offending were signed on the forehead with the sign of the cross, the officiating minister saying, “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” The custom, it, is said, was introduced by Gregory the Great.

    Ashmolean Museum

    Presented to the University of Oxford in 1682 by Elias Ashmole. Sometimes called the Tradescant, because it belonged to the Tradescant family.

    Ashtaroth

    The goddess—moon in Syrian mythology, called by Jeremiah (vii. 18, xliv. 17, 25) “the queen of heaven.” Goddess of the Zidonians.

    “Mooned Ashtaroth,

    Heaven's queen and mother both.”

    Milton: The Hymn.

    Ashur

    The highest god of the Assyrians. It had the head of an eagle and four wings, but the body of a man.

    “Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh.” — Gen. x. II.

    Asinus

    Asinus asinum fricat (Latin, “one ass rubs another"), that is, we fraternise with persons like ourselves; or, in other words, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The allusion needs no explanation.

    Asir

    [See Æsir .]

    Ask

    The vulgar Ax is the more correct (Saxon, axian, to ask). In assenting to Bills, the king used to reply, “Be it as it is axed.” Chaucer says in the Doctor of Medicine's Tale, “For my werke nothing will I axe.” Launfal, 1027, has, “Ho that wyll there axsy justus.” Other quotations could easily be added.

    Ask

    and Embla. The Adam and Eve made by Odin, one from ash—wood and the other from elm.

    Aslo

    (See Horse .)

    Asmodeus

    [the destroyer ]. The demon of vanity and dress, called in the Talmud “the king of devils.”

    The Asmodeus of domestic peace

    (in the Book of Tobit). Asmodeus falls in love with Sara, daughter of Raguel, and causes the death of seven husbands in succession, each on his bridal night. After her marriage to Tobit, he was driven into Egypt by a charm, made by Tobias of the heart and liver of a fish burnt on perfumed ashes, and being pursued was taken prisoner and bound.

    “Better pleased

    Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume

    That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent

    From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.” Milton: Paradise Lost , iv. 167——71.

    Asmodeus

    The companion of Don Cléofas, in The Devil on Two Sticks. (Chap. iii.)

    Asmodeus flight.

    Don Cléofas, catching hold of his companion's cloak, is perched on the steeple of St. Salvador. Here the foul fiend stretches out his hand, and the roofs of all the houses open in a moment, to show the Don what is going on privately in each respective dwelling.

    “Could the reader take an Asmodeus—flight, and, waving open all roofs and privacies, look down from the roof of Notre Dame, what a Paris were it!” — Carlyle: French Revolution II.,

    vi. chap. vi.

    Asoka

    of Magadha. In the third century the “nursing father” of Buddhism, as Constantine was of Christianity. He is called “the king beloved of the gods.”

    Asoors

    Evil genii of the Indians.

    Aspasia

    a courtesan. She was the most celebrated of the Greek Hetæræ, to whom Pericles attached himself. On the death of Pericles she lived with Lysicles, a cattle—dealer. The Hetæræ of Athens were, many of them, distinguished for talents and accomplishments. Those of Corinth were connected with the worship of Aphrodite (Venus).

    Aspatia

    in the Maid's Tragedy, of Beaumont and Fletcher, is noted for her deep sorrows, her great resignation, and the pathos of her speeches. Amyntor deserts her, women point at her with scorn, she is the jest and bye—word of every one, but she bears it all with patience.

    Aspen

    The aspen leaf is said to tremble, from shame and horror, because our Lord's cross was made of this wood. The fact is this: the leaf is broad, and placed on a long leaf—stalk so flexible as scarcely to be able to support it in an upright position. The upper part of the stalk, on which the play mainly depends, is flattened; and, being at right angles with the leaf, is peculiarly liable to be acted on by the least breath of air.

    Aspen leaf.

    Metaphorically, a chattering tongue, never quiet.

    “Those aspen leaves of theirs never leave wagging.” — Sir T. More.

    Aspersions

    properly means “sprinklings” or “scatterings.” Its present meaning is base insinuations or slanders.

    “No sweet aspersion [rain ] shall the heavens let fall

    To make this contract grow.”

    Shakespeare: The Tempest

    , iv. 1.

    Casting aspersions on one, i.e.

    sprinkling with calumnies, slandering or insinuating misconduct.

    “I defy all the world to cast a just aspersion on my character.” — Fielding: Tom Jones.

    Asphaltic Lake

    The Dead Sea, where asphalt abounds both on the surface of the water and on the banks. Asphalt is a bitumen. (From the Greek asphaltos.)

    Asrael

    (See Azrael .)

    Ass

    (See Golden Ass .)

    Ass

    The ass on which Mahomet went to heaven to learn the will of God was called Al Borak (the lightning).

    Ass.

    There is a dark stripe running down the back of an ass, crossed by another at the shoulders. The tradition is that this cross was communicated to the creature when our Lord rode on the back of an ass in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. (See Christian Traditions.)

    Ass, deaf to music.

    This tradition arose from the hideous noise made by “Sir Balaam” in braying. Because Midas had no power to appreciate music, Apollo gave him the ears of an ass. (See Ass—eared.)

    “Avarice is as deaf to the voice of virtue, as the ass to the voice of Apollo.” — Orlando Furioso , xvii.

    An ass in a lion's skin.

    A coward who hectors, a fool that apes the wise man. The allusion is to the fable of an ass that put on a lion's hide, but was betrayed when he began to bray.

    An ass with two panniers.

    A man walking the streets with a lady on each arm. This occupies the whole pavement, and is therefore bad manners well meriting the reproach. In Italy they call such a simpleton a pitcher with two handles, his two arms akimbo forming the two handles. In London we call it walking bodkin , because the man is sheathed like a bodkin and powerless. Our expression is probably a corruption of the French Faire le panier à deux anses (“put your arms akimbo” or “make yourself a basket with two handles").

    The ass waggeth his ears. This proverb is applied to those who lack learning, and yet talk as if they were very wise; men wise in their own conceit. The ass, proverbial for having no “taste for music,” will nevertheless wag its ears at a “concord of sweet sounds,” just as if it could well appreciate it.

    Till the ass ascends the ladder — i.e.

    never. A rabbinical expression. The Romans had a similar one, Cum asinus in tegulis ascenderit (when the ass climbs to the tiles). And Buxtorf has Si ascenderit asinus per scalas.

    Sell your ass.

    Get rid of your foolish ways.

    That which thou knowest not perchance thine ass can tell thee:

    An allusion to Balaam's ass.

    To make an ass of oneself.

    To do something very foolish. To expose oneself to ridicule.

    To mount the ass

    (French). To become bankrupt. The allusion is to a custom very common in the sixteenth century of mounting a bankrupt on an ass, with his face to its tail. Thus mounted, the defaulter was made to ride through the principal thoroughfares of the town.

    Asses have ears as well as pitchers.

    Children, and even the densest minds, hear and understand many a word and hint which the speaker supposed would pass unheeded.

    Asses that carry the mysteries (asinus portat mysteria).

    A classical knock at the Roman clergy. The allusion is to the custom of employing asses to carry the cista which contained the sacred symbols, when processions were made through the streets. (Warburton: Divine Legaton, ii. 4.)

    Well, well! honey is not for the ass's mouth.

    Persuasion will not persuade fools. The gentlest words will not divert the anger of the unreasonable.

    Wrangle for an ass's shadow.

    To contend about trifles. The tale told by Demosthenes is, that a man hired an ass to take him to Megara; and at noon, the sun being very hot, the traveller dismounted, and sat himself down in the shadow of the ass. Just then the owner came up and claimed the right of sitting in this shady spot, saying that he let out the ass for hire, but there was no bargain made about the ass's shade. The two men then fell to blows to settle the point in dispute. A passer—by told the traveller to move on, and leave the owner of the beast to walk in the ass's shadow as long as he thought proper.

    Ass's Bridge

    (The). Prop. 5, book i. of Euclid. This is the first difficult proposition in geometry, and stupid boys rarely get over it the first time without tripping.

    It is the ass's pitfall, not his bridge.

    If this be rightly called the “Bridge of Asses,”

    He's not the fool who sticks, but he that passes.

    E.C.B.

    Asses

    (Feast of). (See Fools .)

    Ass—eared

    Midas had the ears of an ass. The tale says Apollo and Pan had a contest, and chose Midas to decide which was the better musician. Midas gave sentence in favour of Pan; and Apollo, in disgust, changed his ears into those of an ass.

    Assassins A band of Carmathians, collected by Hassan, subah of Nishapour, called the Old Man of the Mountains, because he made Mount Lebanon his stronghold. This band was the terror of the world for two centuries, when it was put down by Sultan Bibaris. The assassins indulged in haschisch (bang), an intoxicating drink, and from this liquor received their name. (A.D. 1090.)

    “The Assassins ... before they attacked the enemy, Would intoxicate themselves with a powder made of hemp—leaves ... called hashish.” — J. Wolff.

    Assay

    or Essay. To take the assay is to taste wine to prove it is not poisoned. Hence, to try, to taste; a savour, trial, or sample. Holinshed says, “Wolsey made dukes and earls serve him of wine with a say taken” (p. 847).

    Edmund, in King Lear (v. 5), says to Edgar, “Thy tongue, some say of breeding breathes;” i.e. thy speech gives indication of good breeding — it savours of it. Hence the expression, I make my first assay (trial).

    “[He] makes vow before his uncle never more

    To give the assay of arms against your majesty.” Shakespeare: Hamlet, ii. 2.

    A cup of assay.

    A cup for the assay of wine.

    To put it in assay.

    To put it to the test.

    Assaye Regiment

    The 74th Foot, so called because they first distinguished themselves in the battle of Assaye, where 2,000 British and 2,500 Sepoy troops under Wellington defeated 50,000 Mahrattas, commanded by French officers, in 1803. This regiment is now called “the 2nd Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry.” The first battalion was the old No. 71.

    Assiento Treaties

    [Spanish, agreement treaties.] Contracts entered into by Spain with Portugal, France, and England, to supply her South American colonies with negro slaves. England joined in 1713, after the peace of Utrecht.

    Assinego

    A young ass, a simpleton (a Portuguese word).

    “Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego may tutor thee.” — Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, ii. 1.

    Assumption

    (Feast of the). The 15th of August, so called in honour of the Virgin Mary, who (according to the Roman and Greek Churches) was taken to heaven that day (A.D. 45), in her corporeal form, being at the time seventy—five years of age.

    This seems very improbable, if Christ was crucified A.D. 33. It would make Mary survive her son twelve years, and to have been thirty years old at his birth instead of about fifteen.

    Assurance

    Audacity, brazen self—confidence. “His assurance is quite unbearable.”

    To make assurance double sure.

    To make security doubly secure.

    “But yet I'll make assurance double sure,

    And take a bond of fate.”

    Shakespeare: Macbeth, iv. 1.

    Astagoras (in Jerusalem Delivered). A female fiend, who had the power of raising storms, and whose partners were the three Furies: Tisiphone, Megara, and Alecto.

    Astarte

    (3 syl.). Goddess of the Moon, in Phoenician mythology.

    “With these in troop

    Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called Astartë, queen of heaven, with crescent horns.” Milton: Paradise Lost, i. 437——9.

    Astarte

    (3 syl.). The lady beloved by Manfred. In order to see and speak to her, the magician entered the hall of Arimanes, and the spirits called up the phantom of the young lady, which told the count that “to—morrow would end his earthly ills.” When Manfred asked her if she loved him, she sighed “Manfred,” and vanished.

    (Byron: Manfred.)

    “Astarte, my beloved, speak to me.” Manfred. ii.

    Astolat

    By some identified with Guildford, in Surrey.

    Astolpho

    (in Orlando Furioso). An English duke (son of Otho), who joined Charlemagne against the Saracens. He was carried on the back of a whale to Alcina's isle; but when Alcina tired of him, she turned him into a myrtle. He was disenchanted by Melissa. Astolpho descended into the infernal regions, and his flight to the moon (book xviii.) is one of the best parts of the whole poem. (See Inferno.)

    It came upon them like a blast from Astolpho's horn — i.e.

    it produced a panic. Logistilla gave Astolpho a magic horn, and whatever man or beast heard its blast was seized with panic, and became an easy captive. (Orlando Furioso, book viii.)

    Like Astolpho's book, it told you everything

    . The same fairy gave Astolpho a book, which would not only direct him aright in his journeys, but would tell him anything he desired to know. (Ariosto Orlando Furioso, book viii.)

    Astoreth

    (See Ashtaroth .)

    Astræa

    Equity, innocence. During the Golden Age this goddess dwelt on earth, but when sin began to prevail, she reluctantly left it, and was metamorphosed into the constellation Virgo.

    “When hard—hearted interest first began

    To poison earth, Astræa left the plain.”

    Thomson: Castle of Indolence, canto 1.

    Astral Body

    (The). The noumenon of a phenomenal body. This “spirit body” survives after the death of the material body, and is the “ghost" or “double.” Macbeth's dagger was an astral body; so, in theosophy, is the “kama—rupa” or mind body; and in transubstantiation the veritable “blood and flesh” of Christ is the astral body of the accidents “bread and wine.”

    Man is supposed to consist of body, soul, and spirit. The last is the astral body of man.

    Astral Spirits

    The spirits of the stars. According to the mythology of the Persians, Greeks, Jews, etc., each star has its special spirit. Paracelsus maintained that every man had his attendant star, which received him at death, and took charge of him till the great resurrection.

    Astrea

    A poetical name of Mrs. Aphra Behn, born of good family in the reign of Charles I. Her works are very numerous and very indecent, including seventeen dramatic pieces. She died 1689, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

    “The stage how loosely does Astrea tread.” Pope: Satires, v. 290.

    Astrology

    (See Diapason, Microcosm.)

    Astronomer of Dublin

    (The). The head of the chief rebel of Dublin, set on a tall white—painted stake on the highest point of Dublin Castle, where it remains till it falls to decay or is replaced by the head of a greater rebel. The Irish say: “God send to Dublin many more astronomers.”

    “His head is poled high

    Upon the castle here,

    Beholding stars as though he were

    A great astronomer.”

    Derrick

    .

    Astronomer Royal:

    (1) Flamsteed, 1675; (2) Halley, 1719; (3) Bradley, 1742; (4) Bliss, 1762; (5) Maskelyne, who originated the Nautical Almanack, 1765; (6) Pond, 1811; (7) Airy, 1835, (8) Christie, 1881.

    Astrophel

    Sir Philip Sidney. “Phil. Sid.” being a contraction of Philos Sidus, and the Latin sidus being changed to the Greek astron, we get astron—philos (star—lover). The “star” that he loved was Penelope Devereux, whom he called Stella (star), and to whom he was betrothed. Edmund Spenser wrote a pastoral called Astrophel, to the memory of his friend and patron, who fell at the battle of Zutphen. (1554——1586.)

    Asylum

    means, literally, a place where pillage is forbidden (Greek, a (negative), sulon, right of pillage). The ancients set apart certain places of refuge, where the vilest criminals were protected, both from private and public assaults.

    Asyniur

    The goddesses of Asgard. The gods were called the Æsir, the singular of which is Asa.

    At

    Strain at a gnat (Matt. xxiii. 24) Greek, di—aulizo, to strain off. Here “at” is an error, probably in the first instance typographical, for “out.” “Out” is given in the Bible of 1603, and has been restored by the Revisers.

    Ate

    (2 syl.). Goddess of vengeance and mischief. This goddess was driven out of heaven, and took refuge among the sons of men.

    “With Atë by his side come not from hell,

    Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of war.” Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, iii. 1.

    Atellanæ

    or Atellan Fables. Interludes in the Roman theatres, introduced from Atella, in Campania. The characters of Macchus and Bucco are the foundations of our Punch and Clown. (See Punch.)

    Atergata

    A deity with the upper part like a woman and the lower part like a fish. She had a temple at Ascalon. (See Dagon.)

    Athanasian Creed

    so called because it embodies the opinions of Athanasius respecting the Trinity. It was compiled in the fifth century by Hilary, Bishop of Arles.

    In the Episcopal Prayer Book of America this creed is omitted.

    Athelstane

    (3 syl.) surnamed “The Unready” (i.e. impolitic, unwise), thane of Conningsburgh. (Sir Walter Scott: Ivanhoe.)

    Athenæum (the review so called) was founded by James Silk Buckingham in 1829. It was named after the institution founded by Hadrian, where works of art and learning were dedicated to Athene.

    Athenian Bee

    Plato, a native of Athens, was so called because his words flowed with the sweetness of honey.

    Athens

    The Modern Athens, i.e. Edinburgh. Willis says that its singular resemblance to Athens, approached from the Piræus, is very striking.

    “An imitation Acropolis is commenced on the Calton Hill, and has the effect of the Parthenon. Hymettus is rather more lofty than the Pentland hills, and Pentelicus is farther off and grander than Arthur's Seat; but the old Castle of Edinburgh is a noble feature, superbly magnificent.” — Pencillings.

    Athens of Ireland.

    Belfast.

    Athens of the New World.

    Boston, noted for its literary merit and institutions.

    Athens of the West.

    Cordova, in Spain, was so called in the Middle Ages.

    Athole Brose

    (Scotch). A compound of oatmeal, honey, and whisky.

    At Home

    (An). A notification sent to friends that the lady who sends it will be at home on the day and at the hour specified, and will be glad to see the persons mentioned in the card of invitation. These “At homes” are generally held in an afternoon before dinner. Light refreshments are provided, and generally some popular games are introduced, occasionally music and dancing.

    Not at Home.

    Not disengaged, or prepared for the reception of visitors; not in the house.

    Atin

    Strife. The squire of Pyrochles, and stirrer up of contention. (Spenser: Faërie Queene , book ii.)

    Atkins

    (See Tommy Atkins .)

    Atlantean Shoulders

    Shoulders able to bear a great weight, like those of Atlas, which, according to heathen mythology, supported the whole world.

    “Sage he stood,

    With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear

    The weight of mightiest monarchies.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost, book ii. 305——7.

    Atlantes

    Figures of men, used in architecture instead of pillars. So called from Atlas, who in Greek mythology supported the world on his shoulders. Female figures are called Caryatides (q.v.). (See Telamones.)

    Atlantes

    (3 syl.) (in Orlando Furioso). A sage and a magician who lived in an enchanted palace, and brought up Rogero to all manly virtues.

    Atlantic Ocean

    An ocean, so called from the Atlas mountains.

    Atlantis

    A mythic island which contained the Elysian Fields.

    The New Atlantis. An island imagined by Lord Bacon, where was established a philosophical commonwealth bent on the cultivation of the natural sciences. (See Utopia, City of the Sun.)

    Atlas

    King of Mauritania in Africa, fabled to have supported the world upon his shoulders. Of course, the tale is merely a poetical way of saying that the Atlas mountains prop up the heavens, because they are so lofty. We call a book of maps an “Atlas,” because it contains or holds the world. The word was first employed in this sense by Mercator, and the title—page of his collection of maps had the figure of Atlas with the world on his back.

    “Bid Atlas, propping heaven, as poets feign,

    His subterranean wonders spread!”

    Thomsom: Autumn, 797——8.

    Atman

    in Buddhist philosophy, is the noumenon of one's own self. Not the Ego, but the ego divested of all that is objective; the “spark of heavenly flame.”

    ldquo;The unseen and unperceivable, which was formerly called the soul, was now called the self, Atman. Nothing could be predicated of it except that it was, that it perceived and thought, and that it must be blessed.” — Max Muller: Nineteenth Century, May, 1893, p.777.

    Atomic Philosophy

    The hypothesis of Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus, that the world is composed of a congeries of atoms, or particles of matter so minute as to be incapable of further diminution.

    Of course it is quite impossible even to think of a portion of matter which has not an upper and under side, with some breadth and thickness.

    “According to Democritus, the expounder of the Atomic Theory of matter, images composed of the finest atoms floated from the object to the mind.” — McCosh: Psychological Cognitive Powers , p. 23.

    Atomic Theory

    That all elemental bodies consist of aggregations of atoms, not united fortuitously, but according to fixed proportions. The four laws of Dalton are — constant proportion, reciprocal proportion, multiple proportion, and compound proportion.

    This has nothing to do with the atomic theory of Leucippus. It merely means that gases and other elements always combine in certain known ratios or units.

    Atomic Volume

    The space occupied by a quantity, compared with, or in proportion to atomic weight.

    Atomic Weight

    The weight of an atom of an element, compared with an atom of hydrogen, the standard of unity.

    Atossa

    Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, so called by Pope, because she was the friend of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, whom he calls Sappho. Herodotus says that Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, was a follower of Sappho.

    Atrip

    The anchor is atrip when it has just been drawn from the ground in a perpendicular direction. A sail is atrip when it has been hoisted from the cap, and is ready for trimming. The word is from the Norwegian and Danish trip, a short step.

    Attaint

    A term in chivalry, meaning to strike the helmet and shield of an antagonist so firstly with the lance, held in a direct line, as either to break the lance or overthrow the person struck. Hence to “attaint of treason,” etc.

    “Attaint was a term of tilting, used to express the champion's having attained his mark, or in other words, struck his lance straight and fair against the helmet or breast of his adversary.” — Sir Walter Scott: The Monastery (note).

    Attercop

    An ill—tempered. person, who mars all sociability. Strictly speaking, the attercop is the poison—spider. (Anglo—Saxon, atter, poison; cop , spider. Our cob—web should be cop—web, i.e. spider—web.)

    Attic Bee

    (The). Sophocles, the tragic poet, a native of Athens; so called from the great sweetness of his compositions. (B.C. 495——405.)

    Attic Bird

    (The). The nightingale; so called because Philomel was the daughter of the King of Athens.

    “Where the Attic bird Trills her thick—warbled notes the summer long.” Milton: Paradise Regained , iv. 245——6.

    Attic Boy (The). Cephalos, beloved by Aurora or Morn; passionately fond of hunting.

    Till civil—suited Morn appear,

    Not tricked and frounced, as she was wont

    With the Attic boy to hunt,

    But kerchiefed in a comely cloud.”

    Milton: Il Penseroso.

    Attic Faith

    Inviolable faith, the very opposite of “Punic Faith.”

    Attic Muse

    (The). Xenophon, the historian, a native of Athens; so called because the style of his composition is a model of elegance. (B.C. 444——359.)

    Attic Order

    in architecture, a square column of any of the five orders. ( See Orders.)

    Attic Salt

    Elegant and delicate wit. Salt, both in Latin and Greek, was a common term for wit, or sparkling thought well expressed: thus Cicero says, “Scipio omnes sale superabat ” (Scipio surpassed all in wit). The Athenians were noted for their wit and elegant turns of thought, and hence Attic salt means wit as pointed and delicately expressed as by the Athenians. “Attic point,” wit.

    Attic Science

    A knowledge of Attic Greek.

    Attics, Attic Storey

    Attics are the rooms in the attic storey, and the attic storey generally is an extra storey made in the roof. In the Roman and Renaissance styles of architecture the low storey above the cornice or entablature is called the “Attic.” Professor Goldstücker derives the word from the Sanskrit attaka (a room on the top of a house). ( See The Transactions of the Philological Society, 1854.)

    Attic Storey.

    The head; the body being compared to a house, the head is the highest, or attic storey.

    “Here a gentleman present, who had in his attic More pepper than brains, shrieked: “The man's a fanatic.”” Lowell: Fable for Critics (stanza 50).

    Furnished in the attic storey.

    Not clever, dull.

    Queer in the attic storey.

    Fuddled, partially intoxicated.

    Atticus

    The most elegant and finished scholar of the Romans. His admirable taste and sound judgment were so highly thought of that even Cicero submitted to him several of his treatises.

    The English Atticus.

    Joseph Addison; so called by Pope, on account of his refined taste and philosophical mind. 1672——1719.)

    The Christian Atticus.

    Reginald Heber, Bishop of Calcutta. (1783——1826.)

    The Irish Atticus.

    George Faulkner; so called by Lord Chesterfield. (1700——1775.)

    Attingians

    Heretics of the eighth century, who solemnised baptism with the words, “I am the living water.” (Attin, a name of Neptune.)

    Attock

    The forbidden river, beyond which no pure Hindoo can pass.

    Attorney, Solicitor (French, atourner, to attorn, or turn over to another). One legally qualified to manage matters in law for others, and to prosecute or defend others, as the case may be. A solicitor is one who solicits or petitions in Courts of Equity on behalf of his clients. At one time solicitors belonged to Courts of Equity, and attorneys to the other courts.

    From and after Act 36, 37 Vict. 1xvi. 87, “all persons admitted as solicitors, attorneys, orproctors. ... empowered to practise in any court, the jurisdiction of which is hereby transferred to the High Court of Justice, or the Court of Appeal, shall be called Solicitors of the Supre...e Court.” (1873.)

    Power of Attorney.

    Legal authority given to another to collect rents, pay wages, invest money, or to act in matters stated in the instrument on your behalf, according to his own judgment. In such cases quod aliquis facit per aliquem, facit per se.

    Warrant of Attorney.

    The legal instrument which confers on another the “Power of Attorney.”

    Atys

    Metamorphosed into a fir—tree by Cybele. See the poem by Catullus, translated by Leigh Hunt.

    Au Courant

    (French), “acquainted with” (lit. = in the current [[of events]). To keep one au courant of everything that passes, is to keep one familiar with, or informed of, passing events.

    Au Fait

    (French). Skilful, thorough master of; as, He is quite au fait in those matters, i.e. quite master of them or conversant with them.

    Au Grand Sérieux

    (French) In sober earnest.

    “We are not asked to take these narratives au grand sérieux. They are rather sketches of the past, illustrating what could have been done, and may be done again by women. ...” — Notes and Queries (Notes on Books, June 10, 1893, p. 459).

    Au Pied de la Lettre

    (French). Literatim et verbatim; according to the strict letter of the text.

    ldquo;In reading au pied de la lettre the story of his [Buddha's] fatal illness supervened on a meal of dried boar's flesh, served to him by a certain Kunda.” — Nineteenth Century (June, 1893, p. 1020).

    Au Revoir

    (French). “Good bye for the present.” Literally, till seeing you again.

    Aubry's Dog

    (See Dog .)

    Audeanism

    The doctrine of Audeus of Mesopotamia, who lived in the fourth century. He maintained that the Old Testament justifies the belief that God has a sensible form (Gen. i. 26).

    Audhumla

    [the nourishing power ], in Scandinavian mythology, is the cow created by Surt to nourish Ymir. She supplied him with four rivers of milk, and was herself nourished by licking the rocks. (See Ymir.)

    Bör, the first man, was made by Audhumla licking salt from the snow. Odin was the son of Bör.

    The breath of Audhumla was very sweet, but her milk was bitter.

    Audley We will John Audley it, i.e. abridge it. A theatrical phrase. In the eighteenth century one Shuter had a travelling company which visited different fairs. It was his custom to lengthen out his performance till a goodly number of newcomers had collected on the open stage of his theatre, when a boy called out John Audley, and the play which was going on inside was brought to an end as soon as possible. (1759.)

    Audrey

    A country wench, who jilted William for Touchstone. ( Shakespeare: As You Like It.)

    Augean Stables

    The stables of Augeas, King of Elis, in Greece. In these stables he had kept 3,000 oxen, and the stalls had not been cleansed for thirty years. When Hercules was appointed to cleanse these stables, he caused two rivers to run through them.

    To cleanse the Augean stables.

    To clear away an accumulated mass of corruption, moral, religious, physical, or legal. To reform wrongs almost past the power of man to tackle.

    Augsburg Confession

    The chief standard of faith in the Lutheran church. So called because, while the Diet of the German Empire was sitting at Augsburg, in 1530, the confession of faith drawn up by Melancthon and Luther was presented to Charles V.

    Augury

    means properly the function of an augur (perhaps from avium garritus). St. Pierre says: “The first navigators, when out of sight of land, watched the flight of birds, as indications of the shore, and with no other guidance discovered many new islands.” From this custom (he says) arose the practice of consulting birds before entering on any important enterprise. (Studies.)

    August

    The sixth month (beginning from March) was once called sextilis, but was changed to Augustus in compliment to Augustus Cæsar of Rome, whose “lucky month” it was, in which occurred many of his most fortunate events.

    The preceding month (July), originally called Quintilis , had already been changed to Julius in honour of Julius Cæsar.

    Augusta

    London; so called by the Romans.

    “Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,

    ......or ascend

    Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,

    And see the country far diffused around.”

    Thomson: Spring, 102, 107——9.

    Augustan Age

    The best literary period of a nation; so called from Augustus, the Emperor of Rome, the most palmy time of Latin literature. Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, Virgil, etc., flourished in this reign.

    Augustan Age of English Literature.

    Beginning in the reign of Elizabeth and ending in that of James I. For list of authors, see Historic Note—book, p. 59.

    Augustan Age of China, France, Germany, Hindustan, Portugal

    , etc., see ditto.

    Augustan History

    A series of histories of the Roman Empire from 157 to 285, ascribed to the six following authors: Delius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Ælius Lampridius, Vulcatius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio, and Flavius Vopiscus.

    Augustine

    (The Second). Thomas Aquinas, also called the Angelic Doctor. (1224——1275.)

    Augustinians

    Friars or nuns of the Augustine Order, established in the eleventh century in commemoration of St. Augustine, and in imitation of the ancient order founded by him in the fourth century.

    Those who believe, on the authority of St. Augustine, in absolute predestination and effectual grace. That is, that predestination is quite independent of man, and that grace has no reference to preceding piety and moral

    conduct, but is vouchsafed by God's own absolute will. Whom He would He did predestinate, and “whom He did predestinate, them He also called” (Romans viii. 30).

    Augustus

    No proper name, but a mere title given to Octavian, because he was head of the priesthood. In the reign of Diocletian the two emperors were each styled Augustus (sacred majesty), and the two viceroys Cæsar. Prior to that time Hadrian limited the title of Cæsar to the heir presumptive.

    Augustus.

    Philippe II of France; so called because he was born in the month of August. (1165, 1180——1223.)

    Sigismund II of Poland. (1520, 1548——1572.)

    Aulay

    in Indian mythology, is the horse with a huge trunk, on which Baly the giant rode.

    “Through these wide portals oft had Baly rode

    Triumphant from his proud abode,

    When, in his greatness, he bestrode

    The Aulay, hugest of four—footed kind.

    The Aulay—horse, that in his force

    With elephantine trunk, could bind

    And lift the elephant, and on the wind

    Whirl him away, with sway and swing,

    E'en like a pebble from the practised sling.” Southey: Curse of Kehama, xvi. 2.

    Auld Brig

    and New Brig, of Robert Burns, refers to the bridges over the river Ayr, in Scotland.

    Auld Hornie

    After the establishment of Christianity, the heathen deities were degraded by the Church into fallen angels; and Pan, with his horns, crooked nose, goat's beard, pointed ears, and goats' feet, was transformed to his Satanic majesty, and called Old Horny.

    “O thou, whatever title suit thee,

    Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie.”

    Burns.

    Auld Reekie

    Edinburgh old town; so called because it generally appears to be capped by a cloud of “reek” or smoke.

    Aulic Council

    The council of the Kaiser in the old German Empire, from which there was no appeal (1495——1806) (Latin, aula, a court). The name is now given in Austria to a coucil of Vienna which manages the war department of the Austrian Empire.

    Aunt Sally

    A game in which a wooden head is mounted on a pole. The fun of the game is to knock the nose of the figure, or break the pipe stuck in its mouth. This is to be done by throwing at it, from a stated distance, a short club. The word aunt was anciently applied to any old woman: thus, in Shakespeare, Puck speaks of

    “The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale.” —— Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 1.

    Aureola

    A circle of light, emblematical of glory, placed by the old painters round the heads of martyrs and saints. The notion was derived from Exod. xxv. 25. Facies coronam aureolam (“Thou shalt by thine own merits make for thyself a crown, besides that of gold which God has promised to the faithful") (Donne: Sermons). Strictly speaking, the glory confined to the head alone is a nimbus, and only when it envelops the

    entire body is it called an aureola.

    Du Cange informs us that the aureola of nuns is white, of martyrs red, and of doctors green. The nimbus of a Christ should contain a cross; of the Virgin Mary, a circlet of stars: of God the Father, a triangle with rays; of a living saint, a square without rays.

    “They say, who know the life divine,

    And upward gaze with eagle eyne,

    That by each golden crown on high,

    Rich with celestial jewelry,

    Which for our Lord's redeemed is set,

    There hangs a radiant coronet,

    All gemmed with pure and living light

    Too dazzling for a sinner's sight,

    Prepared for virgin souls, and them

    Who seek the martyr's diadem.”

    Keble: Christian Year

    .

    Auri

    Auri sacra fames (the cursed hunger for wealth), applied to that restless craving for money which is almost a monomania.

    Aurora

    Early morning. According to Grecian mythology, the goddess Aurora, called by Homer “rosy—fingered,” sets out before the sun, and is the pioneer of his rising.

    “You cannot shut the windows of the sky,

    Through which Aurora shows her brightening face.”

    Thomson: Castle of Indolence

    , canto ii. 3.

    Aurora's tears.

    The morning dew.

    Aurora Australis

    The Southern lights, a similar phenomenon to the “Aurora Borealis.”

    Aurora Borealis

    (Latin). The electrical lights occasionally seen in the northern part of the sky; also called “Northern Lights,” and “Merry Dancers.” (See Derwentwater.)

    Aurora Raby

    A rich, noble English orphan; left to the care of guardians; a Catholic in religion; and in person.

    “A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded.”

    Byron: Don Juan

    . xv 43.

    Aurora Septentrionalis

    Same as Aurora Australis (q.v.).

    Ausonia

    An ancient name of Italy; so called from Auson, son of Ulysses, and father of the Ausones.

    “All the green delights Ausonia pours.”

    Thomson: Summer

    , 956.

    Auspices Under your good auspices , i.e. through your influence, or the influence of your good name. In Rome only the Commander—in—Chief was allowed to take the auspices of war. If a legate gained a victory, he was said to win it under the good auspices of his superior in command.

    “Auspex” is from avispex (avis and spicio), one who observes the flight, etc., of birds.

    Auster

    A wind pernicious to flowers and health. In Italy one of the South winds was so called; its modern name is the Siroco. (Greek, austeros, hot, dry). In England it is a damp wind, generally bringing wet weather.

    “Nought but putrid streams and noisome fogs.

    For ever hung on drizzly Auster's beard.”

    Thomson: Castle of Indolence

    , ii. 78.

    Austin Friars

    Friars of the Order of St. Augustine. (See Begging.)

    Austrian Lip

    The thick under—lip, characteristic of the house of Hapsburg. Derived from Cymburgis, daughter of Ziemovitz, Duke of Masovia, and niece of the then King of Poland. Cymburgis was noted for her beauty and unusual strength.

    Aut Cæsar aut nullus

    [Latin, Either Cæsar or no one ], everything or nothing; all or not at all. Cæsar used to say, “he would sooner be first in a village than second at Rome.” Milton makes Satan say,

    “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”

    Milton. Par. Lost

    . i. 263. (See Six.)

    Authentic Doctor

    Gregory of Rimini. (Fourteenth century.)

    Auto da Fe

    [An act of faith.] A day set apart by the Inquisition for the examination of “heretics.” Those not acquitted were burnt. The reason why inquisitors burnt their victims was, because they are forbidden to “shed blood”; an axiom of the Roman Catholic Church being, “Ecclesia non novit sanguinem ” (the church is untainted with blood).

    Autolycus

    The craftiest of thieves. He stole the flocks of his neighbours, and changed their marks. Sisyphos out—witted him by marking his sheep under their feet, a device which so tickled the rogue that he instantly

    “cottoned” to him. Shakespeare introduces him in The Winter's Tale as a pedlar, and says he was called the son of Mercury, because he was born under that “thieving planet.”

    “Autolycus is no lapidary, though he drives a roaring trade in flash jewellery.” — Pall Mall Gazette.

    Automaton

    — plural, automatons or automata. Machines which imitate the actions, etc., of living creatures. The most famous are the following: — (1) The pigeon that could fly, made, B.C. 400, by Archy tas, of Tarentum; (2) the wooden eagle of Regiomontanus, the German, which flew from the city of Koenigsberg to meet the emperor, saluted him, and returned, 1436——1476; (3) the duck of Vaucanson of Grenoble, which could eat and drink, and even in a way digest food; its wings, viscera, bones, etc., minutely resembled those of a living animal. Vaucanson also made an image of Pan, which, at the beck of Syrinx, rose from his seat, played on his pipe, bowed when applauded, and sat down again. He also made an asp which, on being touched by an actress, in the character of Cleopatra, flew at her breast with a malignant hiss. Louis XV set him to make a human figure, but he died before he had completed it. (Greek, autos—mao , I self—move.) (See Android.)

    Pierre Droz and his son Louis were noted for their automatons; so was Frederick of Knause (Vienna). The chess—player of Wolfgang, baron of Kempelen, in 1784, created quite a furor in Paris. Napoleon on one occasion played chess with this automaton. (See Brazen Heads.)

    Automedon

    A coachman. He was the charioteer of Achilles.

    Autumn

    He is come to his autumn, i.e. to be hanged, to his “fall.” A pun on the plan of “turning a man off” by dropping the plank on which he stands. The drop is the “leaf,” and autumn is called the “fall,” or “fall of the leaf.”

    Ava

    in Burmah, has marble quarries of which idols are made, and only priests are allowed to trade there. (Symes, vol. ii. p. 376.)

    “As on Ava's snore,

    Where none but priests are privileged to trade In that best marble of which gods are made.” T. Moore: Lulla Rookh, part I.

    Avalanche

    (3 syl.) means properly something which goes downwards (French, à val). The word is applied to a mass of snow mixed with earth, ice, and stones, which slips down a mountain side to the lower ground. Metaphorically, we speak of an “avalanche of applause,” an “avalanche of bouquets” showered on the stage, etc.

    Avalon

    An ocean island, where King Arthur resided and was buried. The word means “Apple island” (aval , apple; yn, island); and it is generally thought to mean Glastonbury, a name derived from the Saxon glastn

    (green like glass).

    Avant Courier

    (French, avant courrier.) A “messenger sent before” to get things ready for a party of travellers, or to announce their approach. Anything said or done to prepare the way for something more

    important to follow, a feeler, a harbinger.

    Avant Garde

    (French.) The van or advanced guard of an army.

    Avatar

    The advent to earth of a deity in a visible form. The ten avataras of Vishnu, in Hindû mythology, are by far the most celebrated. 1st advent, in the form of a fish, 2nd, in that of a tortoise; 3rd, of a hog; 4th, of a monster, half man and half lion, to destroy the giant Iranian; 5th, in the form of a dwarf (this Avatar is called Varumna): 6th, in human form, under the name of Râma, 7th, under the same figure and name, to slay the thousand—armed giant Cartasuciriargunan; 8th, as a child named Krishna, who performed numerous miracles (this is the most memorable of all the advents); 9th, under the form of Buddha. These are all past. The 10th advent will be in the form of a white horse (Kalki) with wings, to destroy the earth.

    “In Vishnu land what avatar?

    Or who in Moscow, towards the czar?”

    Browning.

    Ave Maria

    [Hail, Mary! ] [Ave, 2 syl.). The first two words of the angel's salutation to the Virgin Mary. (Luke i. 28.) In the Roman Catholic Church the phrase is applied to an invocation to the Virgin beginning with those words; and also to the smaller beads of a rosary, the larger ones being termed pater—nosters.

    Avenel

    (2 syl.) White Lady of Avenel. A tutelary spirit in Scott's Monastery.

    Avenger of Blood

    (The) The man who, in the Jewish polity, had the right of taking vengeance on him who had slain one of his kinsmen. The Avenger in Hebrew is called goël.

    Cities of refuge were appointed for the protection of homicides, and of those who had caused another's death by accident. The Koran sanctions the Jewish custom. Family feuds have been a common hunting ground of poets and novelists.

    Avernus

    (Greek, a—ornis, “without a bird"). A lake in Campania, so called from the belief that its sulphurous and mephitic vapours killed any bird that happened to inhale them. Poets call it the entrance to the infernal regions; hence the proverb, The descent to Avernus is easy, but coming back again is quite another matter, meaning that all bad habits are easily acquired, but very hard to be abandoned.

    Avertin

    (St.) The patron saint of lunatics; so called from the French avertineux (lunatics).

    Avesta

    The sacred Scriptures of the Magians, composed by Zoroaster. Better known as the Zend—Avesta or “living word in the Zend language.”

    Aveugle

    Son of Erebus and Nox. (Spenser: Faërie Queene.)

    Avienus

    A writer of fables in the decline of the Roman empire. In the Middle Ages, a collection of fables used to be called Avynet, or Esopet.

    A. vinculo matrimonii

    (Latin) Divorced from marriage ties. A total divorce. A divorce a mensa et thoro is a partial divorce. The divorce a vinculo matrimonii is because the marriage was never legal, as in the case of bigamy, or marriage within the prohibited degrees; but a divorce a mensa et thoro is because the parties cannot live together from incompatibility of temper, in which case they may, if they choose, come together again.

    Aviz An order of knighthood in Portugal, founded by Sancho I, and having for its object the subjugation of the Moors.

    Avoid Extremes

    The wise saw of Pittacos of Mitylene. (B.C. 652——569.)

    Avoir

    Avoir Martel en tête (French). To be distracted. Martel is a hammer, hence distraction, torment, torture.

    Avoirdupois

    French, avoir, aver or avier, goods in general, and poise = poids (weight). Not the verb, but the noun avoir. Properly avoir de poids (goods having weight), goods sold by weight. We have the word aver, meaning goods in general, hence also cattle; whence such compounds as aver—corn, aver—penny, aver—silver, aver—land, and so on. We have also the noun “having, havings” = possessions.

    There is a common French phrase avoir du poids (to be weight), with which our word avoir dupois has been muddled up.

    “Pared my present havings [property] to bestow

    My bounties upon you.”

    Shakespeare: Henry VIII

    , iii. 2.

    “One of your having, and yet cark and care.”

    Muses' Looking Glass

    .

    Even medicines, as wholesale goods, are bought and sold by avoirdupois weight.

    A—weather

    The reverse of a—lee. “A—weather” is towards the weather, or the side on which the wind strikes. “A—lee” is in the lee or shelter, and therefore opposite to the wind side; as helm a—weather.

    Awkward

    French, gauche, not dexterous. Awk means the left hand. Hence in Holland's Plutarch we have “The awke or left hand”; and again, “They receive her awkly when she presenteth ... the right hand.” (See Sinister.)

    Awkward Squad

    In military language means recruits not yet fitted to take their place in the regimental line.

    A squad is a troop or company of soldiers under a sergeant. It is a contraction of squadron. A squadron of cavalry is the unit of a regiment. Three or four squadrons make a regiment, and a certain number of regiments constitute an army. In naval affairs a squadron is a section of a fleet.

    Awl

    I'll pack up my awls and be gone,” i.e. all my goods. The play is on awl and all.

    Axe

    To hang up one's axe.” To retire from business, to give over a useless project. The allusion is to the ancient battle—axe, hung up to the gods when the fight was done. All classical scholars will call to mind the allusion of Horace to a similar Roman custom. Being snubbed by Pyrrha, he says, “He will hang up his axe upon her wall,” or more literally, his “drenched garments on the temple—walls of Neptune.” (1 Odes, V. 14——17.) (See Ask.)

    To put the axe on the helve.

    To solve a difficulty. To hit the right nail on the head.

    To send the axe after the helve.

    To spend good money after bad, or under the hope of recovering bad debts.

    He has an axe to grind. Some selfish motive in the background: some personal interest to answer. Franklin tells of a man who wanted to grind his axe, but had no one to turn the grindstone. Going to the yard where he saw young Franklin, he asked the boy to show him how the machine worked, and kept praising him till his axe was ground, and then laughed at him for his pains.

    Axinomancy

    Divination by an axe; much practised by the ancient Greeks with a view of discovering crime. An agate was placed on a red—hot axe, and indicated the guilty person by its motion. (Greek, axine manteia.)

    Ayah

    (Anglo—Indian) A native Hindû nurse or lady's maid.

    “The ayahs, or nurses, are said to be the best in the world.” — B. Taylor: Visit to India , chap.

    ii. p. 37.

    Ayeshah

    (3 syl.) Mahomet's second and favourite wife. He married her when she was only nine years old, and died in her arms.

    Ayrshire Poet

    Robert Burns, born near the town of Ayr. (1759——1796.)

    Azazel

    The scape—goat; so called by the Jews, because the high priest cast lots on two goats; one lot was for the Lord, and the other lot Azazel or Satan, and the goat on which the latter lot fell was the scape—goat.

    Azaziel

    A seraph who fell in love with Anah, a granddaughter of Cain. When the flood came, he carried her under his wing to some other planet. (Byron: Heaven and Earth.)

    Azazil

    In Milton's Paradise Lost, Azazil is the standard—bearer of the infernal host. According to the Koran, when God commanded the angels to worship Adam, Azazil replied, “Why should the son of fire fall down before a son of clay?” and God cast him out of heaven. His name was then changed to Eblis , which means

    “despair.”

    “Then straight commands that at the warlike sound

    Of trumpets loud, and clarions, be upreared

    His mighty standard; that proud honour claimed Azazil, as his right, a cherub tall.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , book i. 531——4.

    Azim

    The young convert who joined “the creed and standard” of the veiled prophet of Khorassan, in Moore's Lalla Rookh. When he was witness of the prophet's infamy, he joined the caliph's army, and was mainly instrumental in defeating that of the veiled prophet.

    Azo

    Marquis of Este, married Parisina, who fell in love with Hugo, a natural son of Azo. The marquis ordered Hugo to be beheaded; but no one knows what the fate of Parisina was. Azo, at any rate, married again, and had a family. This Azo was in reality Niccolo of Ferrara. ( Byron: Parisina.)

    Azor's Mirror

    Zemira is the name of the lady, and Azor that of the bear, in Marmontel's tale of Beauty and the Beast. Zemira entreats the kind monster to let her see her father, if only for a few moments; so drawing aside a curtain, he shows him to her in a magic mirror. This mirror was a sort of telescope, which rendered objects otherwise too far off distinctly visible.

    Azoth The panacea of Paracelsus, regarded by his followers as “the tincture of life.”

    Azrael

    (3 syl.) The angel that watches over the dying, and takes the soul from the body. The angel of death. He will be the last to die, but will do so at the second trump of the archangel.

    “The Mohammedan doctors say that Azrael was commissioned to inflict the penalty of death on all mankind.” — H. Christmas.

    The wings of Azrael

    . The approach of death; the signs of death coming on the dying.

    “Those who listen in the ... watches of the night for the wings of Azrael.” — Besamt.

    Azrafil

    The archangel commissioned to blow the trumpet of the resurrection. (The Koran.)

    Aztecs

    An indigenous people of Mexico who, in 1325, founded Tenochtitlán. They were in the zenith of their power in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. When the Spaniards arrived, their king was Montezuma; their supreme god was Taoti; and Huitzilopochtli was the divine protector of their nation, to whom they offered human victims.

    Azucena

    An old gipsy who stole Manrico, infant son of Garzia, the Conte di Luna's brother. (Verdi: Il Trovatore.)

    Azure

    Sky blue. Represented in royal arms by the planet Jupiter, in noblemen's by the sapphire. The ground of the old shield of France was azure. Emblem of fidelity and truth. Represented in heraldic devices by horizontal lines.

    Azuriel

    The fairy who owned what we call Holland Park. King O'beron gave him his daughter Kenna in marriage when he drove Albion from his empire. Albion invaded Kensington, the territory of King Oberon, but was slain in battle by Azuriel. (Tickell.)

    Azymites

    (3 syl). The Roman Catholics are so called by the Greek Church, because the holy wafers used by them in the eucharist are made of unleavened bread. (Greek, azumos, unleavened.)

    B

    B This letter is the outline of a house. It is called in Hebrew beth (a house). In Egyptian hierology this letter is a sheep.

    B

    stands for 300. Scit B. trecentum sibi cognatum retinère. And, again, Et B. trecentum per se retinere videtur. But with a line above, it denotes 3,000.

    For Becarre and Bemol (French for B sharp and B flat), see Becarre.

    Marked with a B

    (French), i.e. a poor thing. In the French language almost all personal defects begin with the letter B; e.g. bigle (squint—eyed), borgne (one—eyed), bossu (humpty), boiteux (lame), etc.

    Not to know B from a battledoor.

    To be quite illiterate, not to know even his letters. Miege tells us that hornbooks used to be called battledoors. The phrase might therefore originally mean not to know the B of, from, or out of, your hornbook. But its more general meaning is “not able to distinguish one letter from another.”

    “He knoweth not a B from a battledoore.” — Howell; English Proverbs.

    “Distinguish a B from a battledore.” — Dekker: Guls Hornebook.

    I know B from a Bull's foot.

    Similar to the proverb, “I know a hawk from a hernshaw.” (See Hawk.) The bull's parted hoof somewhat resembles a B.

    “There were members who scarcely knew B from a bull's foot.” — Brackenbridge: Modern Chivalry.

    B. C.

    Marked with B.C. (bad character). When a soldier disgraced himself by insubordination he was formerly marked with “B. C.” before he was drummed out of the regiment.

    B. and S

    Brandy and soda—water.

    B. K. S

    The name of “residence” given by officers in mufti, who do not wish to give up their address. The word stands for BarracKS.

    B Flats

    Bugs. The pun is “B” (the initial letter), and “flat,” from the flatness of the obnoxious insect. Also called Norfolk Howards, from Mr. Bugg, who advertised in the Times that he should in future change his name into “Norfolk Howard.” (See F Sharp.)

    B.'s

    Four B.'s essential for social success. Blood, brains, brass, brads (money). (American.)

    Beware of the B.'s, i.e.

    the British. A Carlow caution.

    B. of B. K

    Some mysterious initials applied to himself in his diary by Arthur Orton, “the Tichborne Claimant.” Supposed to denote “Baronet of British Kingdom.”

    Baal—Peor

    or Belphegor. The Priapus of the Moabites and Midianites.

    Baal Samin

    The god of celestial places.

    Baal Shemesh

    The Sun—god.

    Baal Zeboub

    [Beelzebub], god of corruption or of flies. (See Flies.)

    Ba ba

    Same as papa (Turkish). Alibaba is “father Ali.”

    Babau

    The bogie with which nurses in Languedoc terrify unruly children.

    Babes in the Wood

    (1)Simple trustful folks, never suspicious, and easily gulled.

    (2) Insurrectionary hordes that infested the mountains of Wicklow and the woods of Enniscorthy towards the close of the eighteenth century. ( See Children.)

    (3) Men in the stocks or in the pillory.

    Babes

    (Deities of), in Rome. VATICAN, or, more correctly, VAGITAN—US (q.v.), the god who caused infants to utter their first cry. FABULIN—US (q.v.), the god to whom Roman parents made an offering when an infant uttered its first word. CUBA (q.v.), the goddess who kept infants quiet in their cots. DOMIDUCA, the goddess who brought young children safe home, and kept guard over them when out of their parents' sight.

    Babies in the Eyes That is, love in the expression of the eyes. Love is the little babe Cupid, and hence the conceit, originating from the reflection of the onlooker in the pupil of another's eyes.

    “In each of her two crystal eyes

    Smileth a naked boy [Cupid].” Lord Surrey.

    She clung about his neck, gave him ten kisses,

    Toyed with his locks, looked babies in his eyes.”

    Heywood: Love's Mistress

    .

    Babel

    A perfect Babel. A thorough confusion. “A Babel of sounds.” A confused uproar, in which nothing can be heard but hubbub. The allusion is to the confusion of tongues at Babel. (Genesis xi.)

    “God ... comes down to see their city,

    ... ... and in derision sets

    Upon their tongues a various spirit, to raze

    Quite out their native language, and instead

    To sow a jangling noise of words unknown. Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud

    Among the builders; each to other calls

    Not understood. ... Thus was the building left Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost

    , xii, 48——63.

    Babouc

    (See Bacbuc .)

    Babouin

    Taisez—vous, petite babouin; laissez parlez votre mère, qui est plus sage que vous. The tale or fable is this: A girl one day went to make an offering to Venus, and prayed the goddess to give her for husband a young man on whom she had fixed her affections. A young fellow happened at the time to be behind the image of Cupid, and hearing the petition, replied, “So fine a gentleman is not for such as you.” The voice seemed to proceed from the image, and the girl replied, “Hold your tongue, you little monkey; let your mother speak, for she is wiser than you.”

    Baby Charles

    So James I used to call his son Charles, afterwards Charles I.

    Babylon

    The modern Babylon. So London is sometimes called, on account of its wealth, luxury, and dissipation.

    Babylonian Numbers

    Ne Babylonios tentaris numeros. Do not pry into futurity by astrological calculations and horoscopes. Do not consult fortunetellers. The Chaldæans were the most noted of astrologers. ( Horace: Odes, book i. xi. 2.)

    Babylonish Captivity

    The seventy years that the Jews were captives in Babylon. They were made captives by Nebuchadnezzar, and released by Cyrus (B.C. 538).

    Babylonish Garment

    (A) Babylonica vestis, a garment woven with divers colours. (Pliny, viii. 74.)

    “I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment.” — Joshua vii. 21.

    Baca

    The Valley of Baca, also called the Valley of Tears, translated in the New Version “the Valley of Weeping,” apparently a dry sterile valley, the type of this earth spoilt by sorrow and sin. “Blessed is the man

    ... in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well ...” (Psalm

    lxxxiv. 6). That man is blessed whose trust in God converts adverse circumstances into proofs of divine love. “Whom He loveth He chasteneth.” They “go from strength to strength.”

    In the mountains of Lebanon is a valley called Baca, but it is described as fertile and very delicious. The Valley of Lebanon (Joshua xi. 17) is encompassed by mountains, one of which is very barren, and abounds in thorns, rocks, and flints, but another is called a terrestrial paradise. Baca means “mulberry trees,” but Bekah means a “plain.” Perowne says Bacah is from a Hebrew root which means “weeping.”

    “Our sources of common pleasure dry up as we journey on through the vale of Bacha.” — Sir Walter Scott: The Antiquary.

    Bacbuc The Holy Bottle, and also the priestess of the Holy Bottle, the oracle of Lantern—land consulted by Panurge on the momentous question whether or not he ought to marry. The Holy Bottle answered with a click like the noise made by a glass snapping. Bacbuc told Panurge the noise meant trinc (drink), and that was the response, the most direct and positive ever given by the oracle. Panurge might interpret it as he liked, the obscurity would always save the oracle.

    So Pic or Glück (say I) or neither,

    Or both, for aught I care, or either;

    More undecided than Bacbuc,

    Here's heads for Pic, and tails for Glück. E.C.B.

    Bacchanalia

    Festivals in honour of Bacchus, distinguished for their licentiousness and debauchery. Plato says he has seen the whole population of Athens drunk at these festivals.

    Bacchanalian

    Drunken, rollicksome, devoted or pertaining to Bacchus (q.v. ).

    Bacchant

    A person given to habits of drinking; so called from the “bacchants,” or men admitted to the feasts of Bacchus. Bacchants wore fillets of ivy.

    Bacchante

    (2 syl.) A female winebibber; so called from the “bacchantes,” or female priestesses of Bacchus. They wore fillets of ivy.

    Bacchis

    A sacred bull which changed its colour every hour of the day. ( Egyptian mythology.)

    Bacchus

    [wine ]. In Roman mythology the god of wine. He is represented as a beautiful youth with black eyes, golden locks, flowing with curls about his shoulders and filleted with ivy. In peace his robe was purple, in war he was covered with a panther's skin. His chariot was drawn by panthers.

    The famous statue of Bacchus in the palace of Borghese (3 syl.) is represented with a bunch of grapes in his hand and a panther at his feet. Pliny tells us that, after his conquest of India, Bacchus entered Thebes in a chariot drawn by elephants.

    The Etruscan Bacchus was called Esar or Nesar , the Umbrian Desar, the Assyrian Issus; the Greek Dion—ysus; the Galatian Nyssus; the Hebrew Nizziz; a Greek form was Iacchus (from Iache, a shout); the Latin Bacchus; other forms of the word are the Norse Eis; the Indian Ies; the Persian Yez; the Gaulish Hes; the German Hist; and the Chinese Jos.

    “As jolly Bacchus, god of pleasure,

    Charmed the wide world with drink and dances, And all his thousand airy fancies,

    Alas! he quite forgot the while

    His favourite vines in Lesbos isle.” Parnell.

    Bacchus,

    in the Lusiad, is the evil demon or antagonist of Jupiter, the lord of destiny. As Mars is the guardian power of Christianity, Bacchus is the guardian power of Mohammedanism.

    Bacchus sprang from the thigh of Zeus.

    The tale is that Semele asked Zeus to appear before her in all his glory, but the foolish request proved her death. Zeus saved the child which was prematurely born by sewing it up in his thigh till it came to maturity. The Arabian tradition is that the infant Bacchus was nourished during infancy in a cave of Mount Meros. As “Meros” is Greek for a thigh, the Greek fable is readily explained.

    What has that to do with Bacchus? i.e. what has that to do with the matter in hand? When Thespis introduced recitations in the vintage songs, the innovation was suffered to pass, so long as the subject of recitation bore on the exploits of Bacchus; but when, for variety sake, he wandered to other subjects, the Greeks pulled him up with the exclamation, “What has that to do with Bacchus?” (See Hecuba, Moutons.)

    Bacchus a noyé plus d'hommes que Neptune.

    The ale—house wrecks more men than the ocean.

    Priest of Bacchus.

    A toper.

    “The jolly old priests of Bacchus in the parlour make their libations of claret.” — J. S. Le Fanu: The House in the Churchyard, p. 113.

    A son of Bacchus.

    A toper.

    Baccoch

    The travelling cripple of Ireland. Generally, a talkative, facetious fellow, prompt at repartee, and not unlike the ancient jester.

    Bachelor

    A man who has not been married. Probably from baccalaris, “a man employed on a grazing—farm” (Low Latin, bacca, for vacca, a cow). French, bachelier, bachelette (a damsel).

    A Bachelor of Arts.

    The student who has passed his examination, but is not yet of standing to be a master. Formerly the bachelor was the candidate for examination. The word used to be spelt bachiller; thus in the Proceedings of the Privy Council , vol. i. p. 72, we read: — “The king ordered that the bachillers should have reasonable pay for their trouble.”

    Froissart styles Richard II le jeune damoisel Richart. The Italian is donzella.

    Bachelor of Salamanca

    (The). Don Cherubim. He is placed in different situations of life, and is made to associate with all classes of society. (Le Sage: The Bachelor of Salamanca (a novel.)

    Bachelor's Buttons

    Several flowers are so called. Red Bachelor's Buttons, the double red campion; yellow Bachelor's Buttons, the “upright crowfoot”; white Bachelor's Buttons, the white ranunculus and white campion.

    “The similitude these flowers have to the jagged cloath buttons anciently worne ... gave occasion ... to call them Bachelour's Buttons.” — Gerard: Herbal.

    Or else from a custom still sometimes observed by rustics of carrying the flower in their pockets to know how they stand with their sweethearts. If the flower dies, it is a bad omen; but if it does not fade, they may hope for the best.

    To wear bachelor's buttons.

    To remain a bachelor. (See above.)

    Bachelor's Fare

    Bread and cheese and kisses.

    Bachelor's Porch

    The north door used to be so called. The menservants and other poor men used to sit on benches down the north aisle, and the maidservants, with other poor women, on the south side. Even when married the custom was not discontinued. After service the men formed one line and the women another, down which the clergy and gentry passed amidst salutations, and the two lines filed off. In some country churches these arrangements are still observed.

    Bachelor's Wife (A). A hypothetical wife. A bachelor has only an imaginary wife.

    “Bachelors' wives and old maids' children be well taught.” — Heywood: Proverbs.

    Back

    (To) To support with money, influence, or encouragement: as to “back a friend.” A commercial term meaning to endorse. When a merchant backs or endorses a bill, he guarantees its value.

    Falstaff says to the Prince: —

    “You care not who sees your back. Call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing!” — Shakespeare: I Henry IV, ii.4.

    “Englishmen will fight now as well as ever they did; and there is ample power to back them.” — W. Robertson: John Bright, Chap. xxxi. p. 293.

    Back and Edge

    Entirely, heartily, tooth and nail, with might and main. The reference is to a wedge driven home to split wood.

    “They were working back and edge for me.” — Boldrewood: Robbery under Arms , ch. ii.

    To back and fill.

    A mode of tacking, when the tide is with the vessel and the wind against it. Metaphorically, to be irresolute.

    To back out.

    To draw back from an engagement, bargain, etc., because it does not seem so plausible as you once thought it. Many horses are unwilling to go out of a stable head foremost, and are backed out.

    “Octavius backs out; his caution and reserve come to her rescue.” — C. Clarke: Shakespeare.

    To back the field.

    To bet on all the horses bar one. A sporting term used in betting.

    To back the sails.

    So to arrange them that the ship's way may be checked.

    To back up.

    To uphold, to support. As one who stands at your back to support you.

    At the back of.

    Behind, following close after. Figure from following a leader.

    “With half the city at his back.” Byron: Don Juan.

    To see his back; to see the back of anything.

    To get rid of a person or thing; to see it leave

    Back the oars

    or back water is to row backwards, that the boat may move the reverse of its ordinary direction.

    On the back of.

    Immediately after. Figure from soldiers on the march.

    To the back,

    that is, to the backbone, entirely.

    To break the back of a thing.

    To surmount the hardest part.

    His back is up.

    He is angry, he shows that he is annoyed. The allusion is to a cat, which sets its back up when attacked by a dog or other animal.

    To get one's back up.

    To be irritated (See above).

    To have his back at the wall. To act on the defensive against odds. One beset with foes tries to get his back against a wall that he may not be attacked by foes behind.

    “He planted his back against a wall, in a skilful attitude of fence ready with his bright glancing rapier to do battle with all the heavy fierce unarmed men, some six or seven in number.” — Mrs. Gaskell: The Poor Clare, iii.

    To set one's back up. (See above.)

    “That word set my back up.” Dame Huddle's Letter (1710).

    To turn one's back on another.

    To leave, forsake, or neglect him. To leave one by going away.

    “At length we ... turn our backs on the outskirts of civilisation.” — Tristram: Moab, ii. 19.

    Behind my back.

    When I was not present. When my back was turned.

    Laid on one's back.

    Laid up with chronic ill—health; helpless. Figure from persons extremely ill.

    Thrown on his back.

    Completely worsted. A figure taken from wrestlers.

    Backbite

    (To) To slander behind one's back.

    “The only thing in which all parties agreed was to backbite the manager.” — p. 193. W. Irving: Traveller, Buckthorn ,

    Backbone

    (The) The main stay.

    “Sober ...practical men ... constitute the moral backbone of the country.” — W Booth: In Darkest England (Part i. 2, p. 17).

    To the backbone.

    Thoroughly, as true to the backbone.

    “A union man, and a nationalist to the backbone.” — T. Roosevelt: T. H. Benton , chap. v. p. 113.

    Backgammon

    is the Anglo—Saxon bac gamen (back game), so called because the pieces (in certain circumstances) are taken up and obliged to go back to enter at the table again.

    <Background Placed in the background, i.e. made of no consequence. Pictures have three distances, called grounds: the foreground, where the artist is supposed to be; the middle ground, where the most salient part of the picture is placed, and the background or distance, beyond which the eye cannot penetrate.

    Back—hander

    A blow on the face with the back of the hand. Also one who takes back the decanter in order to hand himself another glass before the decanter is passed on.

    “I'll take a back—hander, as Clive don't seem to drink.” — Thackeray: The Newcomes.

    Back—speer

    (To) To cross—examine. (Scotch.)

    “He has the wit to lay the scene in such a remote ... country that nobody should be able to back—speer him.” — Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed (Introduction).

    Back—stair Influence Private or unrecognised influence. It was customary to build royal palaces with a staircase for state visitors, and another for those who sought the sovereign upon private matters. If any one wanted a private interview with royalty, it was highly desirable to conciliate those appointed to guard the back stairs, as they could admit or exclude a visitor.

    “Once, we confess, beneath the patriot's cloak,

    From the cracked bag the dropping guineas broke, And, jingling down the back stairs, told the crew Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.” Pope: Epistle to Lord Bathurst, 35——8.

    Backwardation

    (Stockbrokers' term). The sum paid by a speculator on a “bear account” (i.e. a speculation on a fall in the price of certain stock), in order to postpone the completion of the transaction till the next settling day. (See Contango.)

    Backward Blessing

    (Muttering a). Muttering a curse. To say the Lord's Prayer backwards was to invoke the devil.

    Backwater

    (1) Water at the lower end of a millrace to check the speed of the wheel. (2) A current of water from the inland, which clears off the deposit of sand and silt left by the action of the sea; as the Backwater of Weymouth.

    Bacon

    The Bacon of Theology. Bishop Butler, author of the Analogy. (1692——1752.)

    Bacon's brazen head.

    (See Brazen.)

    To baste your bacon.

    To strike or scourge one. The Saxons were called “hogs” by their Norman lords. Henry VIII spoke of the common people as the “swinish multitude”; and Falstaff says to the travellers at Gadshill,

    “On, bacons, on!” (1Henry IV, ii. 2). Bacon is the outside portion of the sides of pork, and may be considered generally as the part which would receive a blow.

    To save one's bacon.

    To save oneself from injury.

    “But as he rose to save his bacon,

    By hat and wig he was forsaken.” Coombe: Dr. Syntax, canto vi. line 240.

    There seems to be another sense in which the term is used — viz. to escape loss; and in this sense the allusion is to the care taken by our forefathers to save from the numerous dogs that frequented their houses the bacon which was laid up for winter store, the loss of which would have been a very serious calamity.

    A Chaw—bacon.

    A rustic. Till comparatively modern times the only meat which rustics had to eat was bacon. I myself know several farm labourers who never taste any meat but bacon, except on club and feast days.

    He may fetch a flitch of bacon from Dunmow,

    i.e. he is so amiable and good tempered he will never quarrel with his wife. The allusion is to a custom founded by Juga, a noble lady, in 1111, and restored by Robert de Fitzwalter in 1244; which was, that “any person from any part of England going to Dunmow, in Essex, and humbly kneeling on two stones at the church door, may claim a gammon of bacon, if he can swear that for twelve months and a day he has never had a household brawl or wished himself unmarried.”

    Baconian Philosophy

    A system of philosophy based on principles laid down by Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, in the 2nd book of his Novum Organum. It is also called inductive philosophy.

    Baconian Theory The theory that Lord Bacon wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare.

    Bactrian Sage

    Zoroaster, a native of Bactria (Balkh), about 500 years before the birth of Christ.

    Bad

    Charles le mauvais.Charles II of Navarre (1332——1387).

    He is gone to the bad.

    Has become a ruined man, or a depraved character. He has gone amongst bad people, in bad ways, or to bad circumstances.

    To the bad.

    On the wrong side of the account; in arrears.

    Bad Blood

    Vindictiveness, ill—feeling.

    “If there is any bad blood in the fellow he will be sure to show it.” — Brother Jonathan.

    To make bad blood, to stir up bad blood.

    To create or renew ill—feeling and a vindictive spirit.

    Bad Books

    You are in my bad books. Under disgrace. Also In my black books.(See Black Books.)

    Bad Debts

    Debts not likely to be paid.

    Bad Form

    not comme il faut. Not in good taste.

    Bad Lot

    (A). A person of bad moral character, or one commercially unsound. Also a commercial project or stock of worthless value. The allusion is to auctioneering slang, meaning a lot which no one will bid for. So an inefficient soldier is called one of the Queen's bad bargains.

    Bad Shot

    (A).A wrong guess. A sporting phrase; a bad shot is one which does not bring down the bird shot at, one that misses the mark.

    Badaud

    A booby. C'est un franc badaud, he is a regular booby. Le badaud de Paris, a French cockney. From the Italian, badare, to gaze in the air, to stare about one.

    Badge of Poverty

    In former times those who received parish relief had to wear a badge. It was the letter P, with the initial of the parish to which they belonged, in red or blue cloth, on the shoulder of the right sleeve. (See Dyvour.)

    Badge—men

    Alms—house men; so called because they wear some special dress, or other badge, to indicate that they belong to a particular foundation.

    “He quits the gay and rich, the young and free,

    Among the badge—men with a badge to be.” Crabbe: Borough.

    Badger

    (A) A licensed huckster, who was obliged to wear a badge. By 5 Eliz., c. 12, it was enacted that “Badgers were to be licensed annually, under a penalty of #5.”

    “Under Dec. 17, 1565, we read of “Certain persons upon Humber side who ... by great quantities of corn two of whom were authorised badgers.”” — State Papers (Domestic Series).

    Badger

    (To) To tease or annoy by superior numbers. In allusion to the ancient custom of badger—baiting. A badger was kennelled in a tub, where dogs were set upon him to worry him out. When dragged from his tub the poor beast was allowed to retire to it till he recovered from the attack. This process was repeated several times.

    Badger.

    It is a vulgar error that the legs of a badger are shorter on one side than on the other.

    “I think that Titus Oates was as uneven as a badger.” — Lord Macaulay.

    Drawing a badger

    is drawing him out of his tub by means of dogs.

    Badinage

    Playful raillery, banter (French), from the verb badiner, to joke or jest. The noun badine means a switch, and in France they catch wild ducks by covering a boat with switches, in which the ducks seek protection. A person quizzed is like these wild ducks.

    Badinguet

    A nickname given to Napoleon III. It was the name of the workman whose clothes he wore when he contrived to escape from the fort of Ham, in 1846.

    “If Badinguet and Bismarck have a row together let them settle it between them with their fists, instead of troubling hundreds of thousands of men who ... have no wish to fight.” — Zola: The Downfall , chap. ii. (1892).

    Badingueux The party of the Emperor Napoleon III. The party of the Empress were called “Montijoyeux” and “Montijocrisses,” from Montijo in Spain. She was the second daughter of the Count of Montijo.

    Badminton

    is properly a “copus cup,” made of claret spiced and sweetened, a favourite with the Duke of Beaufort of Badminton. As the duke used to be a great patron of the prize ring, Badminton was used as equivalent to claret as the synonym of blood.

    Also a game similar to lawn tennis only played with shuttlecocks instead of balls.

    Baffle

    To erase the cognisance of a recreant knight. To degrade a knight from his rank. To be knocked about by the winds.

    “I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here.” Shakespeare: Richard II, act i. 1.

    Bag

    Bag and Baggage, as “Get away with you, bag and baggage,” i.e. get away, and carry with you all your belongings. The bag or sack is the pouch in which a soldier packs his few articles when he moves from place to place. Baggage is a contemptuous term for a woman, either because soldiers send their wives in the baggage wagons, or from the Italian bagascia (a harlot), French bagasse, Spanish bagazo, Persian, baga.

    Bag and baggage policy.

    In 1876 Mr. Gladstone, speaking on the Eastern question, said, “Let the Turks now carry away their abuses in the only possible manner, namely, by carrying away themselves. ... One and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned.” This was termed by the Conservatives the bag and baggage policy.

    A bag of bones.

    Very emaciated; generally “A mere bag of bones.”

    A bag of game.

    A large battue. From the custom of carrying game home in “bags.”

    A bag of tricks

    or A whole bag of tricks. Numerous expedients. In allusion to the fable of the Fox and the Cat. The fox was commiserating the cat because she had only one shift in the case of danger, while he had a thousand tricks to evade it. Being set upon by a pack of hounds, the fox was soon caught, while puss ran up a tree and was quite secure.

    A good bag.

    A large catch of game, fish, or other animals sought after by sportsmen.

    Got the bag.

    Got his dismissal. (See Sack.)

    The bottom of the bag.

    The last expedient, having emptied every other one out of his bag.

    To empty the bag.

    To tell the whole matter and conceal nothing. (French, vider le sac, to expose all to view.)

    To let the cat out of the bag.

    (See under Cat.)

    Bag

    (To) To steal, or slip into one's bag, as a poacher or pilferer who slyly slips into his bag what he has contrived to purloin.

    Bags

    A slang word for trousers, which are the bags of the body. When the pattern was very staring and “loud,” they once were called howling—bags.

    Bag—man

    (A) A commercial traveller, who carries a bag with specimens to show to those whose custom he solicits. In former times commercial travellers used to ride a horse with saddle—bags sometimes so large as

    almost to conceal the rider.

    Bag o' Nails

    Some hundreds of years ago there stood in the Tyburn Road, Oxford Street, a public—house called The Bacchanals: the sign was Pan and the Satyrs. The jolly god, with his cloven hoof and his horns, was called “The devil;” and the word Bacchanals soon got corrupted into “Bag o' Nails.” The Devil and the Bag o' Nails is a sign not uncommon even now in the midland counties.

    Baga de Secretis

    Records in the Record Office of trials for high treason and other State offences from the reign of Edward IV. to the close of the reign of George III. These records contain the proceedings in the trials of Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes, the regicides, and of the risings of 1715 and 1745. (Baga = Bag.)

    Bagatelle

    (A). A trifle; a thing of no consideration. “Oh! nothing. A mere bagatelle.” In French, “Il dépense tout son argent en bagatelles” means, he squanders his money on trash. “Il ne s'amuse qu'à des bagatelles,” he finds no pleasure except in frivolities. Bagatelle! as an exclamation, means Nonsense! as “Vous dîtes qu'il me fera un procès. Bagatelle!” (fiddlesticks!)

    “He considered his wife a bagatelle, to be shut up at pleasure” [ i.e. a toy to be put away at pleasure]. — The Depraved Husband.

    Baguette d'Armide

    (La) The sorcerer's wand. Armida is a sorceress in Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. Baguette is a rod or wand.

    Bahagnia

    Bohemia; Bahaignons, Bohemians. (1330.)

    Bahr Geist

    (A). A banshee or grey—spectre.

    “Know then (said Eveline) it [the Bahr Geist] is a spectre, usually the image of the departed person, who, either for wrong suffered sustained during life, or through treasure hidden, haunts the spot from time to time, becomes familiar to those who dwell there, and takes an interest in their fate.” — Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed, chap. 15.

    Bail

    (French, bailler). To deliver up.

    Common bail

    or bail below. A bail given to the sheriff, after arresting a person, to guarantee that the defendant will appear in court at any day and time the court demands. Special bail or bail above, consists of persons who undertake to satisfy all claims made on the defendant, and to guarantee his rendering himself up to justice when required.

    Bail.

    (See Leg—bail)

    To bail up.

    To disarm before robbing, to force to throw up the arms. (Australian.)

    Bailey

    The space enclosed within the external walls of a castle, not including the “Keep.” The entrance was over a drawbridge, and through the embattled gate (Middle—age Latin balium or ballium, a corruption of vallum, a rampart).

    When there were two courts to a castle, they were distinguished as the outer and inner bailey (rampart). Subsequently the word included the court and all its buildings; and when the court was abolished, the term was attached to the castle, as the Old Bailey (London) and the Bailey (Oxford).

    Bailiff At Constantinople, the person who had charge of the imperial children used to be called the bajulus, from baios, a child. The word was subsequently attached to the Venetian consul at Constantinople, and the Venetian ambassador was called the balio, a word afterwards extended to any superintendent or magistrate. In France the bailli was a superintendent of the royal domains and commander of the troops. In time, any superintendent of even a private estate was so called, whence our farmer's bailiff. The sheriff is the king's bailiff — a title now applied almost exclusively to his deputies or officers. (See Bumbailiff.)

    Bailleur

    Un bon bâilleur en fait bâiller deux (French). Yawning is catching.

    Baillif

    (Herry) Mine host in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. When the poet began the second “Fit” of the Rime of Sir Thopas, Herry Baillif interrupts him with unmitigated contempt: —

    “"No mor of this, for Goddes dignitie!”

    Quod our host, “for thou makest me

    So wery ... that

    Mine eerës asken for thy nasty speeche.”” Verse 15327.

    Bain Marie

    A saucepan containing hot water into which a smaller saucepan is plunged, either to keep it hot, or that it may boil without burning. A glue pot is a good example. Mons. Bouillet says, “Ainsi appelé du nom de l'inventeur ” (Balneum Mariæ). But derivations from proper names require authentication.

    Bairam

    (3 syl.) The name given to two movable Moslem feasts. The first, which begins on the first day of the moon which follows that of Ramadan, and lasts three days, is a kind of Paschal feast. The second, seventy days later, lasts four days, and is not unlike the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.

    As the Mohammedan year is a lunar one, in 33 years these feasts will have occurred at all the four seasons.

    Baisser

    Il semble qu'il n'y a qu'à se baisser et en prendre (French). One would think he has only to pick and choose. Said of a person who fancies that fortune will fall into his lap, without his stirring. Literally, “to stoop down and pick up what he wants.”

    Bait

    Food to entice or allure, as bait for fish. Bait for travellers is a “feed” by way of refreshment taken en passant. (Anglo—Saxon, bætan , to bait or feed.)

    Bajaderes

    Indian dancing girls. A corruption of the Portuguese bailadeira, whence baiadera, bajadere.

    Bajulus

    A pedagogue. A Grand Bajulus, a “big” pedagogue. In the Greek court, the preceptor of the Emperor was called the Grand Bajulus. Originally “porter.” (Cf. Bailiff.)

    Bajura

    Mahomet's standard.

    Baked

    Half—baked. Imbecile, of weak mind. The metaphor from half—baked food.

    Baked Meat

    means meat—pie “The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table” (Hamlet);

    i.e. the hot meat—pies (venison pasties) served at the funeral and not eaten, were served cold at the marriage banquet.

    Baker

    (The) Louis XVI was called “the Baker,” the queen was called “the baker's wife” (or La Boulangère), and the dauphin the “shop boy;” because a heavy trade in corn was carried on at Versailles, and consequently very little was brought to Paris.

    “The return of the baker, his wife, and the shop—boy to Paris [after the king was brought from Versailles] had not had the expected effect. Flour and bread were still scarce.” — A. Dumas: The Countess de Charny , chap. ix.

    Baker's Dozen Thirteen for twelve. When a heavy penalty was inflicted for short weight, bakers used to give a surplus number of loaves, called the inbread, to avoid all risk of incurring the fine. The 13th was the

    “vantage loaf.”

    Mr. Riley (Liber Albus) tells us that the 13th loaf was “the extent of the profit allowed to retail dealers,” and therefore the vantage loaf means, the loaf allowed for profit.

    To give one a baker's dozen

    , in slang phraseology, is to give him a sound drubbing — i.e. all he deserves and one stroke more.

    Baker's Knee

    (A) A knop—knee, or knee bent inwards, from carrying the heavy bread—basket on the right arm.

    Bakshish

    A Persian word for a gratuity. These gifts are insolently demanded by all sorts of officials in Turkey, Egypt, and Asia Minor, more as a claim than a gratuity.

    Bal

    Donner le bal à quelqu'un (French). To make one dance for it; to abuse one. In several games played with a ball, the person who catches the ball or to whom the ball is given, is put to an immense amount of labour. Thus, in Hurling, the person who holds the ball has one of the labours of Hercules to pass through. His opponent tries to lay hold of him, and the hurler makes his way over hills, dales, hedges, and ditches, through bushes, briars, mire, plashes, and even rivers. Sometimes twenty or thirty persons lie tugging together in the water, scrambling and scratching for the ball. (See Strutt, Sports and Pastimes, section xii.) (See Ball.)

    Balaam

    The Earl of Huntingdon, one of the rebels in Monmouth's army.

    “And, therefore, in the name of dulness, be

    The well—hung Balaam.” Dryden: Absalom and Achitophel, 1573——4.

    Balaam.

    A “citizen of sober fame,” who lived hard by the Monument of London; “he was a plain, good man; religious, punctual, and frugal,” his week—day meal being only “one solid dish.” He grew rich; got knighted; seldom went to church; became a courtier; “took a bribe from France;” was hanged for treason, and all his goods were confiscated to the State. (See Diamond Pitt.) It was Thomas Pitt, grandfather of the Earl of Chatham, who suggested to Pope this sketch. (Pope: Moral Essays, Ep. iii.)

    Balaam.

    Matter kept in type for filling up odd spaces in periodicals. These are generally refuse bits — the words of an oaf, who talks like “Balaam's ass.” (Numb. xxii. 30.) (American.)

    Balaam Basket

    or Box (A) An ass's pannier. In printer's slang of America, it is the place where rejected articles are deposited. ( See Balaam.)

    Balafré

    Le [the gashed ].

    Henri, son of François, second Duke of Guise. In the Battle of Dormans he received a sword—cut which left a frightful scar on his face (1550——1588). So Ludovic Lesly, an old archer of the Scottish Guards, is called, in Sir Walter Scott's Quentin Durward.

    Balai

    Donner trois tours de balai par la cheminée (French). To be a witch. Literally, to run your brush three times up the chimney. According to an ancient superstition, all witches had to pass their brooms on which they rode three times up the chimney between one Sabbath and the following.

    Balak in the second part of Absalom and Achitophel, a satire by Dryden and Tate, is meant for Dr. Burnet, author of Burnet's Own Time.

    Balâm

    the ox, and the fish Nun, are the food of Mahomet's paradise; the mere lobes of the livers of these animals will suffice for 70,000 saints. (Al Koran.)

    Balan

    Bravest and strongest of the giant race. Vasco de Lobeira, in Amadis of Gaul. Also, Emir of the Saracens, and father of Ferumbras or Fierabras (q.v.).

    Balance

    (The) “Libra,” the 7th sign of the zodiac, which contains the autumnal equinox. According to fable it is Astræa, who, in the iron age, returned from earth to heaven. Virgil, to praise the equity of Augustus, promises him a future residence in this sign.

    According to Persian mythology, at the last day there will be a huge balance big as the vault of heaven. The two scale pans will be called that of light and that of darkness. In the former all good will be placed, in the latter all evil. And each individual will receive an award according to the judgment of the balance.

    Balance

    He has a good balance at his bankers. His credit side shows a large balance in his favour.

    Balance of power.

    The States of Europe being so balanced that no one nation shall have such a preponderance as to endanger the independence of another.

    Balance of trade.

    The money—value difference between the exports and imports of a nation.

    To balance an account.

    To add up the debit and credit sides, and subtract the less of the two from the greater. The remainder is called the balance.

    To strike a balance.

    To calculate the exact difference, if any, between the debit and credit side of an account.

    Balayer

    Chacun doit balayer devant sa porte (French), “Let everyone correct his own faults.” The allusion is to a custom, nearly obsolete in large towns, but common still in London and in villages, for each housewife to sweep and keep clean the pavement before her own dwelling.

    Balclutha

    (The tower of), in Ossian, is Dun—dee, where Dun means a tower. Those circular buildings so common in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and all the north of Scotland are duns. Dee is a corruption of Tay, the river on which the city is built; in Latin, Tao—dunum.

    Bald

    Charles le Chauve. Charles I, son of Louis le Débonnaire. (823, 840——877).

    Baldachin

    The daïs or canopy under which, in Roman Catholic processions, the Holy Sacrament is carried (Italian, baldacchino, so—called from Baldacco (Italian for Bagdad), where the cloth was made). Also the canopy above an altar.

    Baldassare

    Chief of the monastery of St. Jacopo di Compostella. ( Donizetti's opera La Favorita.)

    Balder

    the god of peace, second son of Odin and Frigga. He was killed by the blind war—god Höder, at the instigation of Loki, but restored to life at the general request of the gods. (Scandinavian mythology.)

    N.B. — Sydney Dobell (born 1824) has a poem entitled Balder, published in 1854.

    Balder is the sun or daylight which is killed by the blind—god at the instigation of Loki or darkness, but is restored to life the next day.

    Balder's abode

    was Broadblink (vast splendour).

    Balderdash

    Ribaldry, jargon. (Danish balder , tattle, clatter.)

    Baldwin

    The youngest and comeliest of Charlemagne's paladins; and the nephew of Sir Roland.

    Baldwin.

    (in Jerusalem Delivered). The restless and ambitious Duke of Bologna, leader of 1,200 horse in the allied Christian army. He was Godfrey's brother; not so tall, but very like him.

    Baldwin, the Ass

    (in the tale of Reynard the Fox). In the third part of the Beast—epic he is called “Dr. Baldwin.” (Old German, bold friend.)

    Bale

    When bale is highest, boot is nighest. When things have come to the worst they must needs mend.

    Balearica Tormenta

    Here tormenta means instruments for throwing stones. Cæsar (Gallic War , iv. 25) says: “Fundis, tormentis, sagittis hostes propellere.” The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands were noted slingers, and indeed owe their name to this skill. (Greek, ballo, to cast or hurl.) Pronounce Bale—e—ari—ca.

    Balfour of Burley

    Leader of the Covenanters in Scott's Old Mortality, a novel (1816).

    Balios

    (See Horse .)

    Balisarda

    or Balisardo. Rogero's sword, made by a sorceress, and capable of cutting through enchanted substances.

    “With Balisarda's slightest blow

    Nor helm, nor shield, nor cuirass could avail, Nor strongly—tempered plate, nor twisted mail.” Ariosto Orlando Furioso, book xxiii.

    Balistraria

    Narrow apertures in the form of a cross in the walls of ancient castles, through which cross—bowmen discharged their arrows.

    Baliverso

    (in Orlando Furioso). The basest knight in the Saracen army.

    Balk

    means the high ridge between furrows (Anglo—Saxon balca, a beam, a ridge); hence a rising ground.

    A balk of timber

    is a beam running across the ceiling, etc., like a ridge. As the balk is the part not cut by the plough, therefore “to balk” means to leave untouched, or to disappoint.

    To make a balk.

    To miss a part of the field in ploughing. Hence to disappoint, to withhold deceitfully.

    To make a balk of good ground To throw away a good chance.

    Balker

    One who from an eminence balks or directs fishermen where shoals of herrings have gathered together. (Anglo—Saxon, bælc—an to shout.)

    Balkis

    The Queen of Sheba or Saba, who visited Solomon. (Al Koran, c. ii.)

    Ball

    To strike the ball under the line. To fail in one's object. The allusion is to the game of tennis, in which a line is stretched in the middle of the court, and the players standing on each side have, with their rackets, to knock it alternately over the line.

    “Thou hast stricken the ball under the line.” — John Heywoode's Works (London, 1566).

    To take the ball before the bound.

    To anticipate an opportunity; to be overhasty. A metaphor from cricket, as when a batsman runs up to meet the ball at full pitch, before it bounds. (See Balle.)

    Ball of Fortune (A).

    One tossed, like a ball, from pillar to post; one who has experienced many vicissitudes of fortune.

    “Brown had been from infancy a ball for fortune to spurn at.” — Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering , chap. xxi.

    The ball is with you.

    It is your turn now.

    To have the ball at your feet.

    To have a thing in one's power. A metaphor from foot—ball.

    “We have the ball at our feet; and, if the government will allow it ... we can now crush out the rebellion.” — Lord Auckland.

    To keep the ball a—rolling.

    To continue without intermission. To keep the fun alive; to keep the matter going. A metaphor from the game of bandy, or la jeu de la cross.

    “It is Russia that keeps the ball rolling [the Servian and Bulgarian War, 1885, fomented and encouraged by Russian agents].” — Newspaper paragraph, 1885.

    To keep the ball up.

    Not to let conversation or fun flag; to keep the thing going. A metaphor taken from several games played with balls.

    “I put in a word now and then to keep the ball up.” — Bentham.

    To open the ball.

    To lead off the first dance at a ball. (Italian, ballaro, to dance.)

    Balls

    The three golden balls. The emblem of St. Nicholas, who is said to have given three purses of gold to three virgin sisters to enable them to marry.

    As the cognisance of the Medici family they probably represent three golden pills — a punning device on the name. Be this, however, as it may, it is from the Lombard family (the first great moneylenders in England) that the sign has been appropriated by pawnbrokers. (See Mugello for another account.)

    Ballad

    means, strictly, a song to dance—music, or a song sung while dancing. (Italian, ballare, to dance, ballata, our ballad, ballet [q.v.]).

    Ballads “Let me make the ballads, and who will may make the laws.” Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, in Scotland, wrote to the Marquis of Montrose, “I knew a very wise man of Sir Christopher Musgrave's sentiment. He believed, if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws” (1703).

    Ballambangjan

    (The Straits of). A sailor's joke for a place where he may lay any wonderful adventure. These straits, he will tell us, are so narrow that a ship cannot pass through without jamming the tails of the monkeys which haunt the trees on each side of the strait; or any other rigmarole which his fancy may conjure up at the moment.

    Ballast

    A man of no ballast. Not steady not to be depended on. Unsteady as a ship without ballast. A similar phrase is, “The man wants ballast.”

    Balle

    Prendre la balle au bond (French). Strike while the iron is hot; make hay while the sun shines. The allusion is to certain games at ball, which must be struck at the moment of the rebound.

    Renvoyer la balle à quelqu'un

    (French) To pay one off in his own coin. Literally, to strike back the ball to the sender.

    Ballendino

    (Don Antonio). Intended for Anthony Munday, the dramatist. (Ben Jonson, The Case Altered, a comedy.)

    Ballet

    (pronounce bal—lay). A theatrical representation of some adventure or intrigue by pantomime and dancing. Baltazarini, director of music to Catherine de' Medici, was the inventor of modern ballets.

    Balliol College

    Oxford, founded in 1263, by John de Baliol, Knight (father of Baliol, King of Scotland).

    Balloon

    (A pilot) Metaphorically, a feeler, sent to ascertain public opinion.

    “The pilot balloon sent from ... has shown [the sender] the direction of the wind, and he now trims his sails accordingly.” — Newspaper paragraph, January, 1886.

    Balloon Post

    During the siege of Paris, in 1871, fifty—four balloon posts were dispatched, carrying two—and—a—half million letters, weighing ten tons.

    Balm

    (French, baume) Contraction of balsam (q.v.). The Balm of Gilead = the balsam of Gilead.

    Is there no balm in Gilead?

    Is there no remedy, no consolation, not even in religion?

    Balmawhapple

    A stupid, obstinate Scottish laird in Scott's Waverley, a novel (1805).

    Balmérino

    (Lord) was beheaded, but the executioner at the first stroke cut only half through the neck, and (we are told) his lordship turned round and grinned at the bungler.

    Balmung

    or Gram The sword of Siegfried, forged by Wieland, the Vulcan of the Scandinavians. Wieland, in a trial of merit, clove Amilias, a brother smith, through steel helmet and armour, down to the waist; but the cut was so fine that Amilias was not even aware that he was wounded till he attempted to move, when he fell into two pieces. ( Scandinavian mythology.)

    Balmy

    I am going to the balmy ” — i.e. to “Balmy sleep;” one of Dick Swiveller's pet phrases. (Dickens: Old Curiosity Shop.)

    Balmy—stick (To put on the). In prison slang means to feign insanity; and the “Balmy Ward” is the prison ward in which the insane, real or feigned, are confined.

    Balnibarbi

    A land occupied by projectors. (Swift: Gulliver's Travels.)

    Balthazar

    One of the kings of Cologne — i.e. the three Magi, who came from the East to pay reverence to the infant Jesus. The two other magi were Melchior and Casper.

    Baltic

    The Mediterranean of the north (Swedish, balt; Danish, balte; Latin, balteus; English, belt), the sea of the “Belts.”

    Balwhidder

    (The Rev. Micah). A Scotch Presbyterian minister, full of fossilised national prejudices, but both kind—hearted and sincere. (Galt: Annals of the Parish, a novel (1821).)

    Bambino

    A picture or image of the infant Jesus, swaddled (Italian, bambino, a little boy). The most celebrated is that in the church of Sts. Maria, in the Ara Cúli of Rome.

    Bambocciades

    (4 syl.). Pictures of grotesque scenes in low life, such as country wakes, penny weddings, and so on. They are so called from the Italian word bamboccio (a cripple), a nickname given to Pieter van Laer, the first Dutch painter of such scenes, distinguished in Rome.

    Bamboccio

    or Bamboche (See Michael Angelo des Bamboches.)

    Bamboozle

    To cheat by cunning, or daze with tricks.

    “The third refinement observable in the letter I send you, consists of the choice of certain words invented by some pretty fellows, such as banter, bamboozle ... and kidney ... some of which are now struggling for the vogue, and others are in possession of it.” — Swift: The Tatler (Sept. 28, 1710).

    To bamboozle into

    (doing something). To induce by trickery.

    To bamboozle one out of something.

    To get something by trickery.

    Bampton Lectures

    Founded by the Rev. John Bampton, canon of Salisbury. He left an estate to the university of Oxford, to pay for eight divinity lectures on given subjects, to be preached at Great St. Mary's, and printed afterwards.

    Ban

    A proclamation of outlawry; a denunciation by the church (Anglo—saxon, ge—ban, a proclamation; verb, ge—bannan ).

    Marriage bans.

    (See Banns.)

    To ban

    is to make a proclamation of outlawry. To banish is to proclaim a man an exile. (See Bandit.)

    Lever le ban et l'arrière ban

    (French). To levy the ban was to call the king's vassals to active service; to levy the arrière ban was to levy the vassals of a suzerian or under—lord.

    “Le mot ban, qui signifie bannière, se disait de l'appel fait par le seigneur à ses vassaux pour les convoquer sous son étendard. On distinguait le ban composé des vassaux immédiats, qui etaient convoqués par le roi luimême, et l'arrière ban , composé des vassaux convoqués par leurs suzerains.” — Bouillet: Dictionnaire d'Histoire, etc.

    Banagher

    (See under Beats .)

    Banat A territory under a ban (lord), from the Illyrican word bojan, a lord. The Turks gave this title to the lords of frontier provinces — e.g. the Banat of Croatia, which now forms part of the kingdom of Hungary.

    Banbury

    A Banbury—man — i.e. a Puritan (Ben Jonson); a bigot. From the reign of Elizabeth to that of Charles II. Banbury was noted for its number of Puritans and its religious “zeal.”

    As thin as Banbury cheese.

    In Jack Drum's Entertainment we read, “You are like a Banbury cheese, nothing but paring;” and Bardolph compares Slender to Banbury cheese (Merry Wives, i, 1). The Banbury cheese is a rich milk cheese about an inch in thickness.

    Banco

    Sittings in Banco. Sittings of the Superior Court of Common Law in its own bench or court, and not in circuit, as a judge of Nisi Prius (q.v.). (Banc is Italian for “bench” or “seat of justice.”)

    So much banco — i.e.

    so much bank money, as distinguished from current coin. At Hamburg, etc., currency is inferior to “bank money.” (Not money in the bank, but the fictitious value set on cash by bankers.)

    Bancus Regius

    The king's or queen's bench. Bancus Communis, the bench of common pleas.

    Bandana

    or Bandanna A pocket—handkerchief. It is an Indian word, properly applied to silk goods, but now restricted to cotton handkerchiefs having a dark ground of Turkey red or blue, with little white or yellow spots. (Hindû, bandhnu, a mode of dyeing.)

    Bandbox

    He comes out of a bandbox — i.e. he is so neat and precise, so carefully got up in his dress and person, that he looks like some company dress, carefully kept in a bandbox.

    Neat as a bandbox.

    Neat as clothes folded and put by in a bandbox.

    Bandbox Plot

    (The) Rapin (History of England, iv. 297) tells us that a bandbox was sent to the

    lord—treasurer, in Queen Anne's reign, with three pistols charged and cocked, the triggers being tied to a

    pack—thread fastened to the lid. When the lid was lifted, the pistols would go off, and shoot the person who opened the lid. He adds that [dean] Swift happened to be by at the time, and seeing the pack—thread, cut it, thereby saving the life of the lord—treasurer.

    “Two ink—horn tops your Whigs did fill

    With gunpowder and lead;

    Which with two serpents made of quill,

    You in a bandbox laid;

    A tinder—box there was beside,

    Which had a trigger to it,

    To which the very string was ty'd

    That was designed to do it.” Plot upon Plot (about 1713).

    Bande Noire

    Properly, a black band; metaphorically, the Vandal Society. Those capitalists that bought up the Church property confiscated in the great French revolution were so called, because they recklessly pulled down ancient buildings and destroyed relics of great antiquity.

    Bandit

    plural banditti or bandits , properly means outlaw (Italian, bandito, banished, men pronounced “banned"). As these outlaws very often became robbers, the term soon came to signify banded highwaymen.

    Bands

    Clerical bands are a relic of the ancient amice, a square linen tippet tied about the neck of priests during the administration of mass (Discontinued by the parochial clergy the latter part of the 19th century, but

    still used by clerics on the Continent.)

    Legal bands

    are a relic of the wide collars which formed a part of the ordinary dress in the reign of Henry VIII, and which were especially conspicuous in the reign of the Stuarts. In the showy days of Charles II the plain bands were changed for lace ends.

    “The eighth Henry, as I understand,

    Was the first prince

    that ever wore a band.” John Taylor, the Water Poet (1580——1654).

    Bandy

    I am not going to bandy words with you — i.e. to dispute about words. The reference is to a game called Bandy. The players have each a stick with a crook at the end to strike a wooden or other hard ball. The ball is bandied from side to side, each party trying to beat it home to the opposite goal. (Anglo—Saxon, bendan, to bend.)

    “The bat was called a bandy from its being bent.” — Brand: Popular Antiquities (article “Golf,” p. 538).

    Bane

    really means ruin, death, or destruction (Anglo—Saxon, bana, a murderer); and “I will be his bane,” means I will ruin or murder him. Bane is, therefore, a mortal injury.

    “My bane and antidote are both before it.

    This [sword] in a moment brings me to an end. But this [Plato] assures me I shall never die.” Addison: Cuto.

    Bangorian Controversy

    A theological paper—war stirred up by a sermon preached March 31st, 1717, before George I, by Dr. Hoadly, Bishop of Bangor, on the text, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The best reply is by Law, in a series of Letters to Hoadly.

    Bang—up

    or Slap—bang. First—rate, thumping, as a “thumping legacy.” It is a slang punning synonym of thumping or striking. Slap—bang is double bang, or doubly striking.

    Banian

    or Banyan (A). A loose coat (Anglo—Indian).

    “His coat was brownish black perhaps of yore,

    In summer time a banyan loose he wore.” Lowell: Fitz Adam's Story (stanza 15).

    Banian Days

    [Ban—yan ]. Days when no meat is served to a ship's crew. The term is derived from the Banians, a class of Hindu merchants, who carried on a most extensive trade with the interior of Asia, but being a caste of the Vaisya, abstained from the use of meat. (Sanskrit, banij, a merchant.)

    Bank

    A money—changer's bench or table. (Italian banco or banca.)

    Bank of a River

    Stand with your back to the source, and face to the sea or outlet: the left bank is on your left, and right bank on your right hand.

    Sisters of the Bank, i.e

    . of the bankside, “the brothel quarter” of London. Now removed to a different quarter, and divided into “North” and “South.”

    “On this side of the Banke was sometimes the bordello or stewes.” — Stow: Survey.

    Bankrupt Money—lenders in Italy used to display the money they had to lend out on a banco or bench. When one of these money—lenders was unable to continue business, his bench or counter was broken up, and he himself was spoken of as a bancorotto — i.e. a bankrupt.

    Bankside

    Part of the borough of Southwark, noted in the time of Shakespeare for its theatres and retreats of the demi — monde, called “Sisters of the Bank.”

    “Come, I will send for a whole coach or two of Bankside ladies, and we will be jovial.” — Randolph: The Muses' Looking Glass.

    Banks's Horse

    A learned horse, called Marocco, belonging to one Banks, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is said that his shoes were of silver. One of his exploits was “the ascent of St. Paul's steeple.”

    Bannatyne Club

    A literary club which takes its name from George Bannatyne, to whose industry we owe the preservation of very much of the early Scotch poetry. It was instituted in 1823 by Sir Walter Scott, and had for its object the publication of rare works illustrative of Scotch history, poetry, and general literature. The club was dissolved in 1859.

    Banner

    means a piece of cloth. (Anglor—Saxon, fana; Latin, pannus; Welsh, baner; Italian, bandiera; French, bannière.)

    “An emperor's banner should be sixe foote longe, and the same in breath; a king's banner five foote; a prince's and a duke's banner, four foote; a marquy's, an erle's, a viscount's, a baron's, and a banneret's banner shall be but three foote square.” — Park.

    The banner of the Prophet

    is called Sanjek—sherif, and is kept in the Eyab mosque of Constantinople.

    The two black banners

    borne before the Califs of the house of Abbas were called Night and Shadow.

    The sacred banner of France

    is the Oriflamme (q.v.).

    Banners in churches.

    These are suspended as thank—offerings to God. Those in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster, etc., are to indicate that the knight whose banner is hung up, avows himself devoted to God's service.

    Banneret

    One who leads his vassals to battle under his own banner. A knight made in the field was called a banneret, because the chief ceremony was cutting or tearing off the pointed ends of his banner.

    Bannière

    Cent ans bannière, cent ans civière. The ups and downs of life. A grand seigneur who has had his banner carried before him for a century, may come to drive his hand—barrow through the streets as a costermonger.

    Bannière

    Il faut la croix et la bannière pour l'avoir. If you want to have him, you must make a great fuss over him — you must go to meet him with cross and banner, “aller au devant de lui avec un croix et la bannière.”

    Banns of Marriage

    The publication in the parish church for three successive Sundays of an intended marriage. It is made after the Second Lesson of the Morning Service. To announce the intention is called “Publishing the banns,” from the words “I publish the banns of marriage between ... ” (Anglo—Saxon, ge—bannan, to proclaim, to announce).

    To forbid the banns.

    To object to the proposed marriage.

    “And a better fate did poor Maria deserve than to have a banns forbidden by the curate of the parish who published them.” — Sterne: Sentimental Journey.

    Banquet

    used at one time to mean the dessert. Thus, Taylor, in the Pennyless Pilgrim, says: “Our first and second course being threescore dishes at one boord, and after that, always a banquet.” (French, banquet; banc, a bench or table. We use “table” also for a meal or feast, as “the funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table,” i.e. feast.)

    “After supper ... a delicate banquet, with abundance of wine.” — Cogan (1583).

    A banquet of brine.

    A flood of tears.

    “My heart was charged to overflowing, and forced into my eyes a banquet of brine.” — O. Thomson: Autobiography, p. 263.

    Banquo

    A Scotch general of royal extraction, who obtained several victories over the Highlanders and Danes in the reign of Donald VII. He was murdered by the order of Macbeth, and his ghost haunted the guilty usurper. (Shakespeare: Macbeth.)

    Banshee

    The supposed domestic spirit of certain Irish or Highland Scottish families, supposed to take an interest in its welfare, and to wail at the death of one of the family. The Welsh “Cyhydraeth.” is a sort of Banshee.

    The distinction of a Banshee is allowed only to families of pure Milesian stock. (Gaelic, ban—sith, a womanfairy.)

    Bantam

    A little bantam cock. A little plucky fellow that will not be bullied by a person bigger than himself. The bantam cock will encounter a dunghill cock five times his own weight, and is therefore said to “have a great soul in a little body.” The bantam originally came from Bantam, in Java.

    Banting

    Doing Banting. Reducing superfluous fat by living on meat diet, and abstaining from beer, farinaceous food, and vegetables, according to the method adopted by William Banting, a London cabinet—maker, once a very fat man (born 1796, died 1878). The word was introduced about 1864.

    Bantling

    A child. Mahn suggests the German, bänkling, a bastard. (Query, bandling, a little one in swaddling—clothes.)

    Banyan

    A Hindû shopkeeper. In Bengal it denotes a native who manages the money concerns of a European, and also serves as an interpreter. In Madras such an agent is called Dubash (i.e. one who can speak two languages). (See Banian Days.)

    Bap

    or Baphomet. An imaginary idol or symbol, which the Templars were said to employ in their mysterious rites. The word is a corruption of Mahomet. (French, Baphomet; Old Spanish, Matomat.)

    Baptes

    (2 syl.). Priests of the goddess Cotytto, whose midnight orgies were so obscene that they disgusted even Cotytto, the goddess of obscenity. They received their name from the Greek verb bapto, to wash, because they bathed themselves in the most effeminate manner. (Juvenal, ii. 91.)

    Baptist

    John the Baptist. His symbol is a sword, the instrument by which he was beheaded.

    Bar

    The whole body of barristers; as bench means the whole body of bishops.

    “A dinner was given to the English Bar.” — The Times.

    Bar

    excepting. In racing phrase a man will bet “Two to one, bar one,” that is, two to one against any horse in the field with one exception. The word means “barring out” one, shutting out, or debarring one.

    Bar

    At the bar. As the prisoner at the bar, the prisoner in the dock before the judge.

    Trial at bar, i.e.

    by the full court of judges. The bar means the place set apart for the business of the court.

    To be called to the bar.

    To be admitted a barrister. The bar is the partition separating the seats of the benchers from the rest of the hall. Students having attained a certain status used to be called from the body of the hall within the bar, to take part in the proceedings of the court. To disbar is to discard from the bar. Now, “to be called within the bar" means to be appointed king's (or queen's) counsel; and to disbar means to expel a barrister from his profession.

    Bar

    in heraldry. An honourable ordinary, consisting of two parallel lines drawn across the shield and containing a fifth part of the field.

    “A barre ... is drawne overthwart the escochon ... it containeth the fifth part of the Field.” — Gwillim: Heraldry.

    A Bar sinister in an heraldic shield means one drawn the reverse way; that is, not from left to right, but from right to left. Popularly but erroneously supposed to indicate bastardy.

    Bar

    (Trial at) The examination of a difficult cause before the four judges in the superior courts.

    Barabas

    The hero of Marlow's tragedy, The Jew of Malta.

    “A mere monster, brought in with a large painted nose ... He kills in sports, poisons whole nunneries, invents infernal machines. ... “ — C. Lamb.

    Barataria

    Sancho Panza's island—city, over which he was appointed governor. The table was presided over by Doctor Pedro Rezio de Aguero, who caused every dish set upon the board to be removed without being tasted — some because they heated the blood, and others because they chilled it; some for one ill effect, and some for another; so that Sancho was allowed to eat nothing. The word is from barato (cheap).

    “The meat was put on the table, and whisked away, like Sancho's inauguration feast at Barataria.” — Thackeray.

    Barathron

    A deep ditch behind the Acropolis of Athens into which malefactors were thrown: somewhat in the same way as criminals at Rome were cast from the “Tarpeian Rock.”

    Barb

    An arrow. The feathers under the beak of a hawk were called barb feathers (beard feathers). The point of an arrow has two iron “feathers,” which stick out so as to hinder the extraction of the arrow. (Latin, barba, a beard.)

    N.B. — The barb is not the feather on the upper part of the shaft, but the hooked iron point or head.

    Barb

    A Barbary steed, noted for docility, speed, endurance, and spirit. (See Barbed Steeds.)

    Barbari

    Quod non fecerunt Barbari, fecerunt Barberini (What the barbarians left standing, Barberini contrived to destroy). Pope Barberini robbed the roof of the Pantheon to build the Baldacchino, or canopy of St. Peter's. It is made entirely of bronze, and weighs ninety tons.

    Barbarians

    is certainly not derived from the Latin barba (a beard), as many suppose, because it is a Greek word, and has many analogous ones. The Greeks and Romans called all foreigners barbarians (babblers; men who spoke a language not understood by them); the Jews called them Gentiles (other nations); the Russians Ostiaks (foreigners). The reproachful meaning crept in from the natural egotism of man. It is not very long ago that an Englishman looked with disdainful pity on a foreigner, and the French still retain much of the same national exclusiveness. (See Wunderberg.)

    “If then I know not the meaning of the voice [words ], I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian [a foreigner ], and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto me.” — l Cor. xiv. ll.

    Barbarossa

    [Red—beard, similar to Rufus ]. The surname of Frederick I of Germany (1121——1190). Also Khaireddin Barbarossa, a famous corsair of the sixteenth century.

    Barbary

    St. Barbary, the patron saint of arsenals and powder magazines. Her father delivered her up to Martian, governor of Nicomedia, for being a Christian. After she had been subjected to the most cruel tortures, her unnatural father was about to strike off her head, when a lightning flash laid him dead at her feet. Hence, those who invoke saints select St. Barbary in thunderstorms. (See Barbe.)

    Roan Barbary. The favourite horse of Richard II (See Horse.)

    ldquo;O, how it yearned my heart when I beheld

    In London streets that coronation day.

    When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary!

    That horse that thou [Rich. II.] so often hast bestrid, That horse that I so carefully have dressed.” Shakespeare: Richard II, v. 5.

    Barbason

    A fiend mentioned by Shakespeare in the Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 2, and in Henry V, ii. 1.

    “Amaimon sounds well, Lucifer well, Barbason well; yet they are ... the names of fiends.” — Merry Wives.

    Barbazure

    (or Blue—Beard). SeePunch's prize Novelists,” by Thackeray.

    Barbe

    (Ste.) The powder—room in a French ship; so called from St. Barbara, the patron saint of artillery. (See Barbary.)

    A barbe de fou apprend—on à raire

    (French). An apprentice is taught to shave on the chin of a fool.

    Tel a fait sa barbe, qui n'est pas beau fils

    (French). You may waste half the day on making your toilet, and yet not come forth an Adonis. You cannot make a silk purse of a sow's ear. Not every block will make a Mercury.

    “Heap lying curls a million on your head;

    On socks, a cubit high, plant your proud tread, You're just what you are — that's all about it.” Goethe: Faust (Dr. Anster), p. 163.

    Barbecue

    (3 syl.) A West Indian dish, consisting of a hog roasted whole, stuffed with spice, and basted with Madeira wine. Any animal roasted whole is so called.

    “Oldfield with more than harpy throat subdued,

    Cries, “Send me, ye gods, a whole hog barbecued!””Pope: Satires, ii. 25, 26.

    Barbed Steed

    (a corruption of barded). A horse in armour. (French, bardé, caparisoned.)

    “And now, instead of mounting barbëd steeds

    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

    He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,

    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.” Shakespeare: Richard III, act i. 1.;

    Barbel

    Latin, barbellus (the barbed fish); so called from the barbules, or fleshy appendages round the mouth.

    Barbeliots

    A sect of Gnostics. Their first immortal son they called Barbeloth, omniscient, eternal, and incorruptible. He engendered light by the instrumentality of Christ, author of Wisdom. From Wisdom sprang Autogenês, and from Autogenês, Adam (male and female), and from Adam, matter. The first angel created was the Holy Ghost, from whom sprang the first prince, named Protarchontês, who married Arrogance, whose offspring was Sin.

    Barber Every barber knows that

    “Omnibus notum tonsoribus.” Horace: 1 Satires, VII. 3.

    In Rome the tonstrinæ or barbers' shops were the fashionable resort of loungers and idlers. Here every scandal was known, and all the talk of the town was repeated.

    Barber Poet

    Jacques Jasmin, last of the Troubadours, who was a barber of Gascony. (1798——1864.)

    Barber's Pole

    The gilt knob at the end represents a brass basin, which is sometimes actually suspended on the pole. The basin has a notch cut in it to fit the throat, and was used for lathering customers who came to be shaved. The pole represents the staff held by persons in venesection; and the two spiral ribbons painted round it represent the two bandages, one for twisting round the arm previous to blood—letting, and the other for binding. Barbers used to be the surgeons, but have fallen from “their high estate” since science has made its voice “to be heard on high.”

    N.B. — The Barbers' Hall stood in Monkwell Street, Cripplegate. The last barber—surgeon in London was Middleditch, of Great Suffolk Street, in the Borough. He died 1821.

    “To this year” (1541), says Wornum ... “belongs the Barber—Surgeons' picture of Henry (VIII) granting a charter to the Corporation. The barbers and surgeons of London, originally constituting one company, had been separated, but were again, in the 32 Henry VIII, combined into a single society and it was the ceremony of presenting them with a new charter which is commemorated by Holbein's picture, now in their hall in Monkwell Street.”

    Barbican

    (The) or Barbacan The outwork intended to defend the drawbridge in a fortified town or castle (French, barbacane ). Also an opening or loophole in the wall of a fortress, through which guns may be fired.

    Barbier

    Un barbier rase l'autre (French). Caw me and I'll caw thee. One good turn deserves another. One barber shaves another.

    Barcarole

    (3 syl.) A song sung by Venetian barcaroli, as they row their gondolas. (Italian, barcarolo, a boatman.)

    Barcelona

    A). A fichu, piece of velvet for the neck, or small neck—tie, made at Barcelona, and common in England in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Also a neckcloth of some bright colour, as red with yellow spots.

    “And on this handkerchief so starch and white

    She pinned a Barcelona black and tight.” Peter Pindar: Portfolio (Dinah).

    “A double Barcelona protected his neck.” — Scott: Peveril of the Peak (Prefatory Letter.)

    Barclayans

    (See Bereans .)

    Barcochebah

    or Barchochebas (Shimeon). A fanatical leader of the Jews who headed a revolt of the Jews against the Romans A.D. 132, took Jerusalem in 132, and was slain by Julius Severus in an assault of Bethel,

    A.D. 135. (Didot: Nouvelle Biographie Universelle.)

    “Shared the fall of the Antichrist Barcochebah.” — Professor Seeley: Ecce Homo.

    Bardesanists Followers of Bardesanes, of Edessa, founder of a Gnostic sect in the second century. They believed that the human body was ethereal till it became imbruted with sin. Milton, in his Comus, refers to this: —

    “When Lust

    By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk,

    But most by lewd and lavish acts of sin,

    Lets in defilement to the inward parts,

    The soul grows clotted

    by contagion,

    Imbodies and imbrutes.”

    Bardit

    The ancient German chant, which incited to war.

    Bardo de Bardi

    A wealthy Florentine scholar, father of Romola, in George Eliot's Romola, a novel (1863).

    Bardolph

    One of Falstaff's inferior officers. Falstaff calls him “the knight of the burning lamp,” because his nose was so red, and his face so “full of meteors.” He is a low—bred, drunken swaggerer, without principle, and poor as a church mouse. (Merry Wives; Henry IV , i., ii.)

    “We must have better assurance for Sir John than Bardolf's. We like not the security.” — Lord Macaulay.

    Bards

    The oldest bardic compositions that have been preserved are of the fifth century; the oldest existing manuscript is the Psalter of Cashel, a collection of bardic legends, compiled in the ninth century by Cormac Mac Culinan, bishop of Cashel and king of Munster.

    Bard of Avon.

    Shakespeare, who was born and buried at Stratford—upon—Avon. Also called “The bard of all times.” (1564——1616.)

    Bard of Ayrshire.

    Robert Burns, a native of Ayrshire. (1759——1796.)

    Bard of Hope.

    Thomas Campbell, author of The Pleasures of Hope. (1777——1844.)

    Bard of the Imagination.

    Mark Akenside, author of Pleasures of the Imagination. (1721——1770.)

    Bard of Memory.

    Rogers, author of The Pleasures of Memory. (1762——1855.)

    Bard of Olney.

    Cowper, who resided at Olney, in Bucks, for many years. (1731——1800.)

    The Bard of Prose

    .

    “He of the hundred tales of love.” Childe Harold, iv. 56.

    i.e

    . Boccaccio.

    The Bard of Rydal Mount.

    William Wordsworth; so called because Rydal Mount was his mountain home. Also called the “Poet of the Excursion,” from his principal poem. (1770——1850.)

    Bard of Twickenham.

    Alexander Pope, who resided at Twickenham. (1688——1744.)

    Barebone Parliament (The). The Parliament convened by Cromwell in 1653; so called from Praise—God Barebone, a fanatical leader, who was a prominent member.

    Barefaced

    Audacious, shameless, impudent. This seems to imply that social and good manners require concealment, or, at any rate, to veil the face with “white lies.” In Latin — retecta facie; in French — à visage découvert. Cassius says to his friend Brutus, “If I have veiled my looks ...,” that is, concealed my thoughts from you.

    Barefooted

    Certain monks and nuns, who use sandals instead of shoes. The Jews and Romans used to put off their shoes in mourning and public calamities, by way of humiliation. The practice is defended by the command of our Lord to His disciples: “Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes” (Luke x. 4).

    Bare Poles

    (Under) implies that the weather is rough and the wind so high that the ship displays no sails on the masts. Figuratively applied to a man reduced to the last extremity. Figuratively, a disingenuous person sails under bare poles.

    “We were scudding before a heavy gale, under bare poles.” — Cupt. Marryat.

    Bargain

    Into the bargain. In addition thereto; besides what was bargained for.

    To make the best of a bad bargain.

    To bear bad luck, or a bad bargain, with equanimity.

    Bark

    Dogs in their wild state never bark; they howl, whine, and growl, but do not bark. Barking is an acquired habit; and as only domesticated dogs bark, this effort of a dog to speak is no indication of a savage temper.

    Barking dogs seldom bite.

    Huffing, bouncing, hectoring fellows rarely possess cool courage.

    French:

    “Tout chien qui aboye ne mord pas.”

    Latin:

    “Canes timidi vehementius latrant quam mordent.”

    Italian:

    “Can che abbaia non morde.”

    German:

    “Ein hellender hund beisst nicht leicht.”

    To bark at the moon.

    To rail at those in high places, as a dog thinks to frighten the moon by baying at it. There is a superstition that it portends death or ill—luck.

    “I'd rather be a dog, and bay the moon,

    Than such a Roman.” Shakespeare: Julius Cæsar, iv. 3

    His bark is worse than his bite.

    He scolds and abuses roundly, but does not bear malice, or do mischief. The proverb says, “Barking dogs never bite.”

    Barker

    A pistol, which barks or makes a loud report.

    Barktan

    The famous black stone in the eastern corner of the Kaaba; it is 4.5 feet in length, and is surrounded with a circle of gold. The legend is that when Abraham wished to build the Kaaba, the stones came to him of their own accord, and the patriarch commanded all the faithful to kiss the Barktan.

    Barlaham

    A hermit who converted Josaphat, an Indian prince. This German romance, entitled Barlaham and Josaphat , was immensely popular in the Middle Ages. It was written by Rudolf of Ems (13th century).

    Barley

    To cry barley. To ask for truce (in children's games). Query, a corruption of parley.

    “A proper lad o' his quarters, that will not cry barley in a brulzïe.” — Sir W. Scott: Waverley ,

    xiii.

    Barley—bree

    Barley—broth; that is, malt liquor brewed from barley ( Scotch).

    “The cock may craw, the day may daw,

    And aye we'll taste the barley—bree.” Burns: Willie Brew'd a Peck o' Maut.

    Barley Cap

    To wear the barley cap. To be top—heavy or tipsy with barley—bree. The liquor got into the head.

    Barleycorn

    John or Sir John Barleycorn. A personification of malt liquor. The term has been made popular by Robert Burns.

    “Inspiring bold John Barleycorn,

    What dangers thou canst make us scorn!” Burns: Tam o' Shanter, 105, 106.

    Barley—mow

    A heap of barley housed, or where it is housed. (Anglo—Saxon, mowe, a heap; Italian, mucchio; Spanish, mucho.)

    Barley Sugar

    Sugar boiled in a decoction of barley. It is not now made so, but with saffron, sugar, and water, flavoured with oil of citron, orange, or lemon.

    “Barley sugar was prepared by boiling down ordinary sugar in a decoction of pearl—barley.” — Knowledge (July 6th, 1883).

    Barmecide

    (3 syl.) The word is used to express the uncertainty of things on which we set our heart. As the beggar looked forward to a feast, but found only empty dishes; so many a joy is found to be mere illusion when we come to partake of it.

    “To—morrow! the mysterious unknown guest

    Who cries aloud, “Remember Barmecide!

    And tremble to be happy with the rest.”” Longfellow.

    Barmecide's Feast

    A feast where there is nothing to eat; any illusion. Barmecide asked Schacabac, a poor, starving wretch, to dinner, and set before him an empty plate. “How do you like your soup?” asked the merchant. “Excellently well,” replied Schacabac. “Did you ever see whiter bread?” “Never, honourable sir,” was the civil answer. Wine was then brought in, and Schacabac was pressed to drink, but excused himself by saying he was always quarrelsome in his cups. Being over—persuaded, he fell foul of his host, and was provided with food to his heart's content. ( Arabian Nights: Barber's Sixth Brother.)

    Barnabas

    St. Barnabas' Day, June 11. St. Barnabas was a fellow—labourer of St. Paul. His symbol is a rake, because the 11th of June is the time of hay—harvest.

    Barnabites

    (3 syl.) An Order of monks, so called because the church of St. Barnabas, in Milan, was given to them to preach in. They are also called “Canons of St. Paul,” because the original society made a point of reading St. Paul's Epistles.

    Barnaby Lecturers

    Four lecturers in the University of Cambridge, elected annually on St. Barnabas' Day (June 11), to lecture on mathematics, philosophy, rhetoric, and logic.

    Barnaby Rudge

    A half—witted lad whose companion is a raven. (Dickens: Barnaby Rudge.)

    Barnacle

    The Solan goose. The strange tales of this creature have arisen from a tissue of blunders. The Latin pernacula is a “small limpet,” and bernacula (Portuguese, bernaca; French, barnache) is the Scotch

    bren—clake or “Solan goose.” Both words being corrupted into “barnacle,” it was natural to look for an identity of nature in the two creatures, so it was given out that the goose was the offspring of the limpet. Gerard, in 1636, speaks of “broken pieces of old ships on which is found certain spume or froth, which in time breedeth into shells, and the fish which is hatched therefrom is in shape and habit like a bird.”

    Barnacles

    Placemen who stick to their offices but do little work, like the barnacles which live on the ship but impede its progress.

    “The redundants would be “Barnacles” with a vengeance ... and the work be all the worse done for these hangers—on.” — Nineteenth Century (August, 1888, p. 280).

    Barnacles

    Spectacles, or rather reading—glasses; so called because in shape they resemble the twitchers used by farriers to keep under restraint unruly horses during the process of bleeding, dressing, or shoeing. This instrument, formerly called a barnacle, consisting of two branches joined at one end by a hinge, was fixed on the horse's nose. Dr. Latham considers the word a corruption of binocles (double—eyes), Latin, binus oculus. Another suggestion is “binnacle,” the case on board ship in which the steering compass is placed, illuminated when it is dark by a lamp.

    Barnardine

    A reckless, dissolute fellow, “fearless of what's past, present, and to come.” (Shakespeare: Measure for Measure.)

    Barn—burners

    Destructives, who, like the Dutchman of story, would burn down their barns to rid themselves of the rats.

    Barnet

    An epicure who falls in love with, and marries, a lady on account of her skill in dressing a dish of stewed carp. (Edward, a novel by Dr. John Moore, 1796.)

    Barnwell (George) The chief character in a prose tragedy, so called, by George Lillo. He was a London apprentice, who fell in with a wanton in Shoreditch, named Sarah Millwood, whom he visited, and to whom he gave #200 of his master's money, and ran away. He next robbed his uncle, a rich grazier at Ludlow, and beat out his brains. Having spent the money, Sarah turned him out of doors, and each informed against the other. Sarah Millwood and George Barnwell were both hanged. (Lillo, 1693——1739.)

    Baro—Devel

    The great god of the gipsies. His son is named Alako.

    Baron

    properly means a man (Old High German, baro). It was a term applied to a serving—soldier, then to a military chief, and ultimately to a lord. The reverse of this is seen in our word slave (a servile menial), which is the Slavonic word slav (noble, illustrious). Barones vel varrones dicuntur servi militum, qui utique stultissimi sunt servi videlicet stultorum. (Scholiast.) (See Idiot.)

    Baron Bung

    Mine host, master of the beer bung.

    Baron Munchausen

    (pron. Moohn—kow—zn). Said to be a satire on Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller, to whom the work was dedicated. The author was Raspè, a German fugitive from the officers of justice, living in Cornwall (1785). The chief incidents were compiled from various sources, such as the Mendacia Ridicula of

    J. P. Lange; Lucian's True History of Things Discovered in the Moon: Rabelais; and the Folheto de Ambas Lisboa.

    Baron of Beef

    Two sirloins left uncut at the backbone. The baron is the backpart of the ox, called in Danish, the rug. Jocosely said to be a pun upon baron and sir loin.

    Barons' War

    (The). An historical poem by Michael Drayton (1603).

    “The pictures of Mortimer and the queen, and of Edward's entrance into the castle, are splendid and spirited.” — Campbell.

    Barrack Hack

    (The). A lady who hangs on the sleeve of a military officer, attends all barrack fêtes of every description, and is always ready to get up a dance, dinner, or picnic, to please the officers on whom she dances attendance.

    Barracks

    means huts made of the branches of trees (Gaelic, barr, the top of anything; barrach, the top—branches of trees; barrachad, a hut made of branches). Our word is plural, indicative of the whole collection; but the French baraque is singular. ( See B. K. S.)

    Barratry

    or Barretry.

    Qui fait barat, barat lui vient

    (French). With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Barratry is false faith to one's employers. It is a sea term, and means the commission of a fraud on the owners or insurers of a ship by the captain or the crew. The fraud may consist of many phases, such as deserting the ship, sinking her, falsifying her cargo, etc. The French have other proverbs to the same effect: as, La tricherie revient presque toujours à son maître. “He made a pit and ... is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head.” (Psalm vii. 14, 15, 16.)

    Barrel Fever

    Intoxication or illness from intemperance in drink.

    Barrell's Blues

    The 4th Foot; so called from the colour of their facings, and William Barrell, colonel of the regiment (1734——1739). Now called “The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).” They were called

    “Lions” from their badge, The Lion of England.

    Barrette

    Parler à la barrette (French). To give one a thump o' the head. The word barrette means the cap worn by the lower orders.

    “Et moi, je pourrais bien parler à ta barrette.” Molière: L'Avare.

    It is also used to signify the ordinary birretta of ecclesiastics and (probably) of French lawyers. Il à reçu le chapeau or la barrette. He has been made a cardinal.

    “Le pape lui envoyait la barrette, mais elle ne servit qu'à le faire mourir cardinal.” — Voltaire: Siècle de Louis XIV, chap. xxxix.

    Barricade

    (3 syl.) To block up. The term rose in France in 1588, when Henri de Guise returned to Paris in defiance of the king's order. The king sent for his Swiss Guards, and the Parisians tore up the pavement, threw chains across the streets, and piled up barrels filled with earth and stones, behind which they shot down the Swiss as they passed through the streets. The French for barrel is barrique, and to barricade is to stop up the streets with these barrels.

    The day of the Barricades:

    (1) May 12th, 1588, when the people forced Henri III to flee from Paris.

    (2) August 5th, 1648, the beginning of the Fronde War.

    (3) July 27th, 1830, the first day of le grand semain which drove Charles X, from the throne.

    (4) February 24th, 1848, which drove Louis Philippe to abdicate and flee to England.

    (5) June 23rd, 1848, when Affre, Archbishop of Paris, was shot in his attempt to quell the insurrection.

    (6) December 2nd, 1851, the day of the coup d'état, when Louis Napoleon made his appeal to the people for reelection to the Presidency for ten years.

    Barrier Treaty November 5th, 1715, by which the Dutch reserved the right of holding garrisons in certain fortresses of the Spanish Netherlands.

    Barrikin

    Jargon, words not understood. (Old French, baracan, from the Breton, bara gwyn, “white bread,” taken as a type of barbarous words; modern French, baragouin, gibberish.)

    Barring—out

    A practice of barring the master out of the schoolroom in order to dictate terms to him. It was once common, but is now numbered with past customs. Miss Edgeworth has a tale so called.

    Barrister

    One admitted to plead at the bar; one who has been “called to the bar.” The bar is the rail which divides the counsel from the audience, or the place thus enclosed. Tantamount to the rood—screen of a church, which separates the chancel from the rest of the building. Both these are relics of the ancient notion that the laity are an inferior order to the privileged class.

    A silk gown or bencher pleads within the bar, a stuff gown or outer barrister pleads without the bar.

    Outer or Utter Barrister.

    This phrase alludes to an ancient custom observed in courts of law, when certain barristers were allowed to plead; but not being benchers (king's counsel or sergeants—at—law) they took their seats “at the end of the forms called the bar.” The Utter Barrister comes next to a bencher, and all barristers inferior to the Utter Barristers are termed. “Inner Barristers.”

    The whole society is divided into three ranks: Benchers, Utter Barristers, and Inner Barristers.

    An Inner Barrister.

    A barrister inferior in grade to a Bencher or Utter Barrister.

    A Revising Barrister.

    One appointed to revise the lists of electors.

    A Vacation Barrister:

    One newly called to the bar, who for three years has to attend in “long vacation.”

    Barristers' Bags

    In the Common Law bar, barristers' bags are either red or dark blue. Red bags are reserved for Queen's Counsel and sergeants; but a stuff gownsman may carry one “if presented with it by a silk.” Only red bags may be taken into Common Law Courts; blue bags must be carried no farther than the robing room. In the Chancery Courts the etiquette is not so strict.

    Barristers' Gowns

    “Utter barristers wear a stuff or bombazine gown, and the puckered material between the shoulders of the gown is all that is now left of the purse into which, in early days, the successful litigant ... dropped his ... pecuniary tribute ... for services rendered” ( Notes and Queries, 11 March, 1893, p. 124). The fact is that the counsel was supposed to appear merely as a friend of the litigant. Even now he cannot recover his fees.

    Barry Cornwall

    poet. A nom de plume of Bryan Waller Procter. It is an anagram of his name. (1788——1874.)

    Barsanians

    Heretics who arose in the sixth century. They made their sacrifices consist in taking wheat flour on the tip of their first finger, and carrying it to their mouth.

    Bar—sur—Aube

    (Prévot). Je ne voudrais pas être roi, si j'étais prévot de Bar—sur—Aube (French). I should not care to be king, if I were Provost of Bar—sur—Aube [the most lucrative and honourable of all the provostships of France]. Almost the same idea is expressed in the words

    “And often to our comfort we shall find,

    The sharded beetle in a safer hold

    Than is the full—winged eagle.”

    Almost to the same effect Pope says:

    “And more true joy Marcellus exiled feels,

    Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.”

    See

    Castle of Bungay.

    Bartholo

    A doctor in the comedies of Le Mariage de Figaro, and Le Barbier de Séville, by Beaumarchais.

    Bartholomew

    (St.). The symbol of this saint is a knife, in allusion to the knife with which he was flayed alive.

    St. Bartholomew's Day,

    August 24th. Probably Bartholomew is the apostle called “Nathanael" by St. John the Evangelist (i. 45——51).

    Massacre of St. Bartholomew.

    The slaughter of the French Prostestants in the reign of Charles IX, begun on St. Bartholomew's Day, i.e. between the 24th and 25th August, 1572. It is said that 30,000 persons fell in this dreadful persecution.

    Bartholomew Fair

    Held in West Smithfield (1133——1855) on St. Bartholomew's Day.

    A Bartholomew doll.

    A tawdry, overdressed woman; like a flashy, bespangled doll offered for sale at Bartholomew Fair.

    Bartholomew pig.

    A very fat person. At Bartholomew Fair one of the chief attractions used to be a pig, roasted whole, and sold piping hot. Falstaff calls himself,

    “A little tidy Bartholomew boar—pig.” — 2 Henry IV. ii. 4.

    Barthram's Dirge

    (in Sir Walter Scott's Border Minstrelsy). Sir Noel Paton, in a private letter, says: “The subject of this dirge was communicated to Sir Walter as a genuine fragment of the ancient Border Muse by his friend Mr. Surtees, who is in reality its author. The ballad has no foundation in history; and the fair lady, her lover, and the nine brothers, are but the creation of the poet's fancy.” Sir Noel adds: “I never painted a picture of this subject, though I have often thought of doing so. The engraving which appeared in the Art Journal was executed without my concurrence from the oil sketch, still, I presume, in the collection of Mr. Pender, the late M.P., by whom it was brought to the Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy here” (at Edinburgh) November 19th, 1866.

    Bartoldo

    A rich old miser, who died of fear and penurious self—denial. Fazio rifled his treasures, and, being accused by his own wife Bianca, was put to death. (Dean Milman: Fazio.)

    Bartole

    (2 syl.).

    He knows his “Bartole” as well as a cordelier his “Dormi”

    (French). Bartole was an Italian lawyer, born in Umbria (1313——1356), whose authority amongst French barristers is equal to that of Blackstone with us. The cordeliers or Franciscans were not great at preaching, and perhaps for this reason used a collection called Dormi, containing the best specimens of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This compilation was called Dormi from the first word in the book. The compilation is anonymous.

    Bartolist

    One skilled in law. (See above.)

    Barzillai (3 syl.). The Duke of Ormond, a friend and staunch adherent of Charles II. The allusion is to Barzillai, who assisted David when he was expelled by Absalom from his kingdom (2 Sam. xvii. 27——29).

    “Barzillai crowned with honours and with years ...

    In exile with his godlike prince he mourned,

    For him he suffered, and with him returned.” Dryden: Absalom and Achitophel, 1. 817——94.

    Bas Bleu

    (See Blue Stocking .)

    Base

    The basis, or that on which an animal walks (Greek, baino, to go, and basis, a footstep). The foot is the

    foundation— hence, base of a pillar, etc. It is also the lowest part, and hence the notion of worthless. Bass in music (Italian, basso) is the lowest part, or the part for the lowest compass of voice.

    Base Tenure

    Holding by copy of court—roll, in opposition to freeholders.

    Base of Operation

    in war. That is, a fortified or otherwise secure spot, where the magazines of all sorts can be formed, whence the army can derive stores, and upon which (in case of reverse) it can fall back. If a fleet, it is called a movable base; if a fortified or other immovable spot, it is called a fixed base. The line from such a base to the object aimed at is called “the Line of Operation.”

    Bashaw

    An arrogant, domineering man; so called from the Turkish viceroys and provincial governors, each of whom bears the title of bascha (pacha).

    A three—tailed bashaw.

    A beglerbeg or prince of princes among the Turks, having a standard of three

    horse—tails borne before him. The next in rank is the bashaw with two tails, and then the bey, who has only one horse—tail.

    Basilian Monks

    Monks of the Order of St. Basil, who lived in the fourth century. This Order has produced 14 popes, 1,805 bishops, 3,010 abbots, and 11,085 martyrs.

    Basilica

    Originally the court of the Athenian archon, called the basileus, who used to give judgment in the stoa basilike. At Rome these courts of justice had their nave, aisles, porticoes, and tribunals; so that when used for Christian worship very little alteration was needed. The church of St. John Lateran at Rome was an ancient basilica.

    Basilics

    or Basilica. A digest of laws begun by the Byzantine emperor Basilius in 867, and completed by his son Leo, the philosopher, in 880.

    Basilidians

    A sect of Gnostic heretics, followers of Basilides, an Alexandrian Gnostic, who taught that from the unborn Father “Mind” was begotten; from Mind proceeded “The Word”; from the Word or Logos proceeded “Understanding”; from Understanding “Wisdom” and “Power”; from Wisdom and Power

    “Excellencies,” “Princes,” and “Angels,” the agents which created heaven. Next to these high mightinesses come 365 celestial beings, the chief of whom is Abraxas (q.v.), and each of whom has his special heaven. What we call Christ is what the Basilidians term The firstbegotten “Mind.”

    Basilisco

    A braggart; a character in an old play entitled Solyman and Perseda. Shakespeare makes the Bastard say to his mother, who asks him why he boasted of his ill—birth, “Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco—like”— i.e. my boasting has made me a knight. ( King John, i. 1.)

    Basilisk The king of serpents (Greek, basileus, a king), supposed to have the power of “looking any one dead on whom it fixed its eyes.” Hence Dryden makes Clytus say to Alexander, “Nay, frown not so; you cannot look me dead.” This creature is called a king from having on its head a mitre—shaped crest. Also called a cockatrice, and fabulously alleged to be hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg.

    “Like a boar

    Plunging his tusk in mastiff's gore:

    Or basilisk, when roused, whose breath,

    Teeth, sting, and eyeballs all are death.”

    King: Art of Love.

    Basket

    To be left in the basket. Neglected or uncared for. Left in the waste—basket.

    To give a basket.

    To refuse to marry. In Germany a basket [korb] is fixed on the roof of one who has been jilted, or one who, after long courtship, cannot persuade the lady courted to become his wife.

    Basochians

    Clerks of the basilica or palace. When the Kings of France inhabited the “Palace of Justice,” the judges, advocates, proctors, and lawyers went by the common name of the clercs de la basoche; subsequently (in 1303) divided into “Clerks of the Palace,” and “Clerks of the Châtelet.” The chief of the basochians was called Le roi de la basoche, and had his court, coin, and grand officers. He reviewed his “subjects” every year, and administered justice twice a week. Henri III. suppressed the title of the chief, and transferred all his functions and privileges to the Chancellor.

    Bass

    Matting made of bast, that is the lime or linden tree. Dutch, bast, bark; Swedish, basta, to bind; so called because used for binding. “Ribbons from the linden tree give a wreath no charms to me.” The shepherds of Carniola make a cloth of the outer bark. The inner bark is made into Russian matting, and is serviceable to gardeners for packing, tying up plants, protecting trees, etc. Other materials are now used for the same purposes, and for hassocks, etc., but the generic word bass designates both bast—bark and all its imitations.

    Bastard

    Any sweetened wine, but more correctly applied to a sweet Spanish wine (white or brown) made of the bastard muscadine grape.

    “I will pledge you willingly in a cup of bastard.”— Sir Walter Scott: Kenilworth, chap. iii.

    Baste

    (1 syl.). I'll baste your jacket for you, i.e. cane you. I'll give you a thorough basting, i.e. beating. (Spanish, baston, a stick; Italian, bastone; French, bâton.)

    Bastille

    means simply a building (French, bastir, now bâtir, to build). Charles V. built it as a royal château; Philippe—Auguste enclosed it with a high wall; St. Louis administered justice in the park, under the oak—trees; Philippe de Valois demolished the old château and commenced a new one; Louis XI. first used it as a state prison; and it was demolished by the rabble in the French Revolution, July 14th, 1789.

    Bastinado

    A beating (Italian, bastone; French, baston, now bâton, a stick). The Chinese, Turks, and Persians punish offenders by beating them on the soles of the feet. The Turks call the punishment zarb.

    Bastion

    (A), in fortification, is a work having two faces and two flanks, all the angles of which are salient, that is, pointing outwards towards the country. The line of rampart which joins together the flanks of two bastions is technically called a curtain.

    Bastions in fortifications were invented in 1480 by Achmet Pasha; but San Michaeli of Verona, in 1527, is said by Maffei and Vasari to have been the real inventor.

    Bat Harlequin's lath wand (French, battle, a wooden sword).

    To carry out one's bat

    (in cricket). Not to be “out” when the time for drawing the stumps has arrived. Off his own bat. By his own exertions; on his own account. A cricketer's phrase, meaning runs won by a single player.

    Bat—horses

    and Bat—men. Bat—horses are those which carry officers' baggage during a campaign (French, bât, a pack—saddle). Bat—men are those who look after the pack—horses.

    Batavia

    The Netherlands; so called from the Batavi, a Celtic tribe who dwelt there.

    “Flat Batavia's willowy groves.”

    Wordsworth.

    Bate me an Ace

    (See Bolton. )

    Bath

    Knights of the Bath. This name is derived from the ceremony of bathing, which used to be practised at the inauguration of a knight, as a symbol of purity. The last knights created in this ancient form were at the coronation of Charles II. in 1661. G.C.B. stands for Grand Cross of the Bath (the first—class); K.C.B. Knight Commander of the Bath (the second class); C.B. Companion of the Bath (the third class).

    King of Bath.

    Richard Nash, generally called Beau Nash, a celebrated master of the ceremonies at Bath for fifty—six years. (1674—1761.)

    There, go to Bath with you!

    Don't talk nonsense. Insane persons used to be sent to Bath for the benefit of its mineral waters. The implied reproof is, what you say is so silly, you ought to go to Bath and get your head shaved.

    Bath Brick

    Alluvial matter made in the form of a brick, and used for cleaning knives and polishing metals. It is not made at Bath, but at Bridgwater, being dredged from the river Parrett, which runs through Bridgwater.

    Bath Chair

    (A). A chair mounted on wheels and used for invalids. Much used at Bath, frequented by invalids for its hot springs.

    Bath Metal

    The same as Pinchbeck (q.v.). An alloy consisting of sixteen parts copper and five of zinc.

    Bath Post

    A letter paper with a highly—glazed surface, used by the highly—fashionable visitors of Bath when that watering—place was at its prime. (See Post. ) Since the introduction of the penny post and envelope system, this paper has gone out of general use.

    Bath Shillings

    Silver tokens coined at Bath in 1811—1812, and issued for 4s., for 2s., and for 1s., by C. Culverhouse, J. Orchard, and J. Phipps.

    Bath Stone

    A species of limestone, used for building, and found in the Lower Oolite, in Wiltshire and Somersetshire. It is easily wrought in the quarry, but hardens on exposure to the air. Called “Bath” stone because several of the quarries are near Bath, in Somersetshire.

    Bath

    (Major). A poor, high—minded officer, who tries to conceal his poverty by bold speech and ostentatious bearing. Colman's Poor Gentleman (Lieutenant Worthington) is a similar character. ( Fielding: Amelia (a novel) 1751.)

    Bath—kol

    (daughter of the voice). A sort of divination common among the ancient Jews after the gift of prophecy had ceased. When an appeal was made to Bath—kol, the first words uttered after the appeal were considered oracular.

    Bathos

    [Greek, bathos, depth]. A ludicrous descent from grandiloquence to commonplace. A literary mermaid.

    “Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam

    Jungere si velit ... ut turpiter atrum

    Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne.”

    “Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.”

    Horace: De Arte Poetica,

    line 139.

    A good example is the well—known couplet:

    “And thou, Dalhousie, the great god of war,

    Lieutenant—general to the earl of Mar.”

    Bathsheba

    The Duchess of Portsmouth, a favourite court lady of Charles II. The allusion is to the wife of Uriah the Hittite, criminally beloved by David (2 Sam. xi.). The Duke of Monmouth says:

    “My father, whom with reverence yet 1 name,

    Charmed into ease, is careless of his fame;

    And, bribed with petty sums of foreign gold,

    Is grown in Bathsheba's embraces old.”

    Dryden: Absalom and Achitophel, i. 707—10.

    Bathyllus

    A beautiful boy of Samos, greatly beloved by Polycrates the tyrant, and by the poet Anacreon. (See Horace: Epistle xiv. 9.)

    “To them [i.e. the æsthetic school] the boyhood of Bathyllus is of more moment than the manhood of Napoleon.”— Mallock: The New Republic, book iv. chap. 1.

    Batiste

    The fabric is so called from Baptiste of Cambrai, who first manufactured it.

    Batrachomyomachia (pronounce Ba—trak'o—my'o—makia). A storm in a puddle; much ado about nothing. The word is the name of a mock heroic poem in Greek, supposed to be by Pigres of Caria, and means The Battle of the Frogs and Mice.

    Batta

    or Batty (Hindustanee). Perquisites; wages. Properly, an allowance to East Indian troops in the field. In garrison they are put on half—batta.

    “He would rather live on half—pay in a garrison that could boast of a fives—court, than vegetate on full batta where there was none.”— G.R. Gleig: Thomas Munro, vol. i. chap. iv. p. 227.

    Battar

    Al [the Trcnchant]. One of Mahomet's swords, confiscated from the Jews when they were exiled from Medina.

    Battels

    Rations or “commons” allowed to students at the University of Oxford. (To batten, to feast.)

    Battel Bills.

    Buttery bills at the universities. (See above.

    Battersea

    You must go to Battersea to get your simples cut.
    A reproof to a simpleton, or one who makes a very foolish observation. The market gardeners of Battersea used to grow simples (medicinal herbs), and the London apothecaries went there to select or cut such as they wanted. ( See Naviga. )

    Battle

    Professor Creasy says there are fifteen decisive battles; that is, battles which have decided some political change: B.C. 490, Marathon, 413, Syracuse; 331, Arbela; 207, Metaurus; the defeat of the Romans by Varus, 9; Chalons, A.D. 451; Tours, 732; Hastings, 1066; Joan of Arc's victory at Orléans, 1429; the Armada, 1588; Blenheim, 1704; Pultow'a, 1709, Saratoga, 1777, Valmy, 1792; and Waterloo, 1815. See also Fifteen Decisive Battles.

    Battle royal.

    A certain number of cocks, say sixteen, are pitted together; the eight victors are then pitted, then the four, and last of all the two; and the winner is victor of the battle royal. Metaphorically, the term is applied to chess, etc.

    Battle scenes.

    Le Clerc could arrange on a small piece of paper not larger than one's hand an army of 20,000 men.

    The Battle—painter

    or Delle Battaglie. (See Michael Angelo.)

    Battle of the Books.

    A satire, by Dean Swift, on the contention among literary men whether ancient or modern authors were the better. In the battle the ancient books fight against the modern books in St. James's Library.

    Battle of the Giants; i.e.

    the battle of Marignan (Ma—rin—yan') in 1515, when Francois I. won a complete victory over 12,000 Swiss, allies of the Milanese.

    Battle of the Herrings,

    in 1429. A sortie made by the men of Orléns, during the siege of their city, to intercept a supply of salt herrings sent to the besiegers.

    Battle of the Moat.

    A skirmish or battle between Mahomet and Abu Sofian (chief of the Koreishites) before Medina; so called because the “prophet” had a moat dug before the city to keep off the invaders; and in the moat much of the fighting took place.

    Battle of the Standard,

    in 1138, when the English overthrew the Scotch, at Northallerton, in Yorkshire. The standard was a high crucifix borne by the English on a wagon.

    Battle of the Spurs

    (1302), in which the allied citizens of Ghent and Bruges won a famous victory over the chivalry of France under the walls of Courtray. After the battle more than 700 gilt spurs (worn by French nobles) were gathered from the field.

    In English history the Battle of Guinegate (1513) is so called, “because the French spurred their horses to flight, almost as soon as they came in sight of the English troops.”

    A close battle.

    A naval fight at “close quarters,” in which opposing ships engage each other side by side. A line of battle. The position of troops drawn up in battle array. At sea, the arrangement formed by ships in a

    naval engagement. A line—of—battle ship is a ship fit to take part in a main attack. Frigates do not join in a general engagement.

    A pitched battle.

    A battle which has been planned, and the ground pitched on or chosen beforehand, by both sides.

    Half the battle.

    Half determines the battle. Thus, “The first stroke is half the battle,” that is, the way in which the battle is begun half determines what the end will be.

    Trial by battle.

    The submission of a legal suit to a combat between the litigants, under the notion that God would defend the right. It was legal in England till the nineteenth century.

    Wager of Battle.

    One of the forms of ordeal or appeal to the judgment of God, in the old Norman courts of the kingdom. It consisted of a personal combat between the plaintiff and the defendant, in the presence of the court itself. Abolished by 59 Geo. III. c. 46.

    Battle of the Frogs and Mice

    (The). [See Batrachomyomachia. ]

    Battle of the Kegs

    (The). A mockheroic by Francis Hopkinson (1738—1791). In the War of Independence certain machines, in the form of kegs, charged with gunpowder, were sent down the river to annoy the British at Philadelphia. When the British found out the nature of these machines, they waged relentless war with everything they saw floating about the river.

    Battle of the Poets

    (The). A satirical poem by John [Sheffield], Duke of Buckingham, in which all the versifiers of the time are brought into the field (1725).

    Battle of the Whips

    The Scythian slaves once rose in rebellion against their masters, and many a bloody encounter followed. At length, one of the Scythian masters said to his followers: Let us throw away our spears and swords, and fight in future with whips. We get killed by the former weapons and weakened. So in the next encounter they armed themselves with whips, and immediately the slaves saw the whips, remembering former scourgings, they turned tail and were no more trouble.

    Battle

    (Sarah), who considered whist the business of life and literature one of the relaxations. When a young gentleman, of a literary turn, said to her he had no objection to unbend his mind for a little time by taking a hand with her, Sarah was indignant, and declared it worse than sacrilege to speak thus of her noble occupation. Whist “was her life business; her duty; the thing she came into the world to do, and she did it. She unbent her mind afterwards over a book.” (C. Lamb: Elia.)

    Battledore

    (3 syl.) means, properly, a baton for washing linen by striking on it to knock out the dirt. The plan is still common in France. The word is the French battoir, a beater used by washerwomen; Portuguese, Batidor, Spanish, batidero, a wash—board.

    Battu

    Autant pleure mal battu que bien battu (French). It little matters whether stripes are given maliciously or not, as they smart the same. Whether misfortunes come from God or Satan, they are misfortunes still. A slight variant is “Autant vaut bien battu que mal battu, “ which means, it is of no consequence whether badly beaten or not, enough that I am beaten; “over shoes, over boots.”

    Battu de fol Oiseau

    (Etre), or “être battu de l'oiseau,” to be utterly dismayed; to be dazed. The allusion is to bird—catching at night, when a candle or lantern is held up before the birds aroused from their sleep; the birds, being dazed, are beaten down easily with sticks.

    Battus paieront

    (Les). Væ victis! Those who lose must pay the piper. “ C'est le loi du pays de Béarn que le battu paie l'amende.” Again, “ C'est la coutume de Lorris, les battus paient l'amende. ” This is certainly the general custom in law and war.

    Baubee (See Bawbee. )

    Bauble

    A fool should never hold a bauble in his hand. “ `Tis a foolish bird that fouls its own nest.” The bauble was a short stick, ornamented with ass's ears, carried by licensed fools. (French, babiole, a plaything; Old French, baubel, a child's toy.)

    If every fool held a bauble, fuel would be dear.

    The proverb indicates that the world contains so many fools that if each had a separate bauble there would be but little wood left for lighting fires.

    To deserve the bauble.

    To be so foolish as to be qualified to carry a fool's emblem of office.

    Baucis

    (See Philemon. )

    Baviad

    (The). A merciless satire by Gifford on the Della Cruscan poetry, published 1794. The word is from Virgil's Eclogue, iii. 9.

    “He may with foxes plough, and milk he—goats,

    Who praises Bavins or on Mævius dotes.”

    E.C.B.

    Bavieca

    The Cid's horse.

    Bavius

    Any bad poet. (See Baviad. )

    “May some choice patron bless each grey goose quill,

    May every Bavius have his Bufo still.”

    Pope: Prologue to the Satires,

    249—50.

    Bawbee

    “Whall hire, whall hire, whall hire me?

    Three plumps and a wallop for ae bawbee.”

    The tale is that the people of Kirkmahoe were so poor, they could not afford to put any meat into their broth. A `cute cobbler invested all his money in buying four sheep—shanks, and when a neighbour wanted to make mutton broth, for the payment of one halfpenny the cobbler would “plump” one of the sheep—shanks into the boiling water, and give it a “wallop” or whisk round. He then wrapped it in a cabbage—leaf and took it home. This was called a gustin bone, and was supposed to give a rich “gust” to the broth. The cobbler found his gustin bone very profitable.

    Jenny's bawbee.

    Her marriage portion. The word means, properly, a debased copper coin, equal in value to a halfpenny, issued in the reign of James V. of Scotland. (French, bas billon, debased copper money.)

    The word “bawbee” is derived from the laird of Sillebawby, a mint—master. That there was such a laird is quite certain from the Treasurer's account, September 7th, 1541, “In argento receptis a Jacobo Atzinsone, et Alexandro Orok de Sillebawby respective.

    Bawley Boat

    (A). A small fishing—smack used on the coasts of Kent and Essex, about the mouth of the Thames and Medway. Bawleys are generally about 40 feet long, 13 feet beam, 5 feet draught, and from 15 to 20 tons measurement. They differ in rig from a cutter in having no booms to the mainsail, which is, consequently, easily brailed up when working the trawl nets. They are half—decked, with a wet well to keep fish alive.

    Bawtry

    Like the saddler of Bawtry, who was hanged for leaving his liquor (Yorkshire proverb). It was customary for criminals on their way to execution to stop at a certain tavern in York for a “parting draught.” The saddler of Bawtry refused to accept the liquor and was hanged. If he had stopped a few minutes at the tavern, his reprieve, which was on the road, would have arrived in time to save his life.

    Baxterians

    Those who entertain the same religious views as Richard Baxter. The chief points are— (1) That Christ died in a spiritual sense for the elect, and in a general sense for all; (2) that there is no such thing as reprobation; (3) that even saints may fall from grace. Dr. Isaac Watts and Dr. Doddridge held these views.

    Bay

    Supposed to be an antidote against lightning, because it was the tree of Apollo. Hence Tiberius and some other of the Roman emperors wore a wreath of bay as an amulet, especially in thunder—storms. ( Pliny.)

    “Reach the bays—

    I'll tie a garland here about his head; `Twill keep my boy from lightning.”

    The White Devil.

    The withering of a bay—tree was supposed to be the omen of a death.

    “ `Tis thought the king is dead. We'll not stay—

    The bay—trees in our country are withered.”

    Shakespeare: Richard II., ii. 4.

    Crowned with bays,

    in sign of victory. The general who obtained a victory among the Romans was crowned with a wreath of bay leaves.

    Bay.

    The reason why Apollo and all those under his protection are crowned with bay is a pretty fable. Daphne, daughter of the river—god Peneos, in Thessaly, was very beautiful and resolved to pass her life in perpetual virginity. Apollo fell in love with her, but she rejected his suit. On one occasion the god was so importunate that Daphne fled from him and sought the protection of her father, who changed her into the bay—tree. The gallant god declared henceforth he would wear bay leaves on his brow and lyre instead of the oak, and that all who sought his favour should follow his example.

    The Queen's Bays.

    The 2nd Dragoon Guards; so called because they are mounted on bay horses. Now called The Queen's.

    Bay.

    The colour of a horse is Varro's equus badius, given by Ainsworth as, “brown, bay, sorrel, chestnut colour.” Coles gives the same. Our bayard; bright bay, light bay, blood bay, etc.

    Bay the Moon

    (To). To bark at the moon. (French, aboyer, to bark at.) (See Bark. )

    Bay Salt

    is salt of a bay colour. It is the salt of sea—water hardened by the heat of the sun.

    Bayadere (bah—ya—dare). A dancing girl dressed in Eastern costume; so called from the bajaderes of India, whose duty is to dance before the images of the gods; but the grandees employ similar dancers for their private amusements. The word is a corruption of the Portuguese bailadeira.

    Bayard

    (Chevalier), Pierre du Terrail, a celebrated French knight (1476—1524). Le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche.

    The British Bayard.

    Sir Philip Sidney. (1554—1584.) The Polish Bayard. Prince Joseph Poniatowski. (1763—1814.)

    Bayard of the East

    (The) or Of the Indian Army. Sir James Outram (1803—1863).

    Bayard

    A horse of incredible swiftness, belonging to the four sons of Aymon. If only one of the sons mounted, the horse was of the ordinary size; but if all four mounted, his body became elongated to the requisite length. The name is used for any valuable or wonderful horse, and means a “high—bay” (bay—ard). (Villeneuve: Les Quatre—Filz Aymon.) (See Horse. )

    Keep Bayard in the stable, i.e.

    keep what is of value under lock and key. (See above. Bold as Blind Bayard. Foolhardy. If a blind horse leaps, the chance is he will fall into a ditch. Grose mentions the following expression, To ride bayard of ten toes— “Going by the marrow—bone stage”— i.e. walking.

    Bayardo

    The famous steed of Rinaldo, which once belonged to Amadis of Gaul. (See Horse. )

    Bayardo's Leap.

    Three stones, about thirty yards apart, near Sleaford. It is said that Rinaldo was riding on his favourite steed Bayardo, when the demon of the place sprang behind him; but the animal in terror took three tremendous leaps and unhorsed the fiend.

    Bayes

    in the Rehearsal, by the Duke of Buckingham, was designed to satirise John Dryden, the poet laureate.

    Bayes's Troops

    Dead men may rise again, like Bayes's troops, or the savages in the Fantocini (Something New). In the Rehearsal, by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, a battle is fought between foot—soldiers and great hobby—horses. At last Drawcansir kills all on both sides. Smith then asks how they are to go off, to which Bayes replies, “As they came on— upon their legs”; upon which they all jump up alive again.

    Bayeux Tapestry

    Supposed to be the work of Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror. It represents the mission of Harold to the duke, and all the incidents of his history from that event till his death at Hastings in 1066. It is called Bayeux from the place where it is preserved. A drawing, on a reduced scale, of this curious antique is preserved in the Guildhall Library.

    Bayle

    (2 syl.). Dances of the common people were so called in Spain, in opposition to the stately court dances, called danza. The Bayle were of Moorish invention, the most celebrated being La Sarabanda, La Chacona, Las Gambelas, and El Hermano Bartolo.

    Bayonet

    So called from La Bayonette, a lower ridge of the Montage d'Arrhune. A Basque regiment, early in the seventeenth century, running short of powder, stuck their knives into their muskets; and charged the Spaniards with success. Some derive this word from Bayonne.

    Bayonets

    A synonym of “rank and file,” that is, privates and corporals of infantry. As, “the number of bayonets was 25,000.”

    “It is on the bayonets that a Quartermaster—General relies for his working and fatigue parties.” — Howitt: Hist. of Eng. (year 1854, p. 200).

    Bead (Anglo—Saxon, bed, a prayer). When little balls with a hole through them were used for keeping account of the number of prayers repeated, the term was applied to the prayers also. (See Beadsman. )

    To count one's beads.

    To say one's prayers. In the Catholic Church beads are threaded on a string, some large and some small, to assist in keeping count how often a person repeats a certain form of words.

    To pray without one's beads.

    To be out of one's reckoning. (See above. Baily's Beads. When the disc of the moon has (in an eclipse) reduced that of the sun to a thin crescent, the crescent assumes the appearance of a string of beads. This was first observed by Francis Baily, whence the name of the phenomenon.

    St. Cuthbert's Beads.

    Single joints of the articulated stems of encrinites. They are perforated in the centre, and bear a fanciful resemblance to a cross; hence, they were once used for rosaries (beads). St. Cuthbert was a Scotch monk of the sixth century, and may be called the St. Patrick of the north of England and south of Scotland.

    St. Martin's beads.

    Flash jewellery. St. Martins—le—Grand was at one time a noted place for sham jewellery.

    Bead—house

    An almshouse for beads—men.

    Bead—roll

    A list of persons to be prayed for; hence, also, any list.

    Beadle

    A person whose duty it is to bid or cite persons to appear to a summons; also a church servant, whose duty it is to bid the parishioners to attend the vestry, or to give notice of vestry meetings. (Anglo—Saxon, bædel, from beodan, to bid or summon.)

    Beadsman

    or Bedesman. An inhabitant of an almshouse; so called because in Catholic times most charities of this class were instituted that the inmates might “pray for the soul of the founder.” (See Bead. )

    “Seated with some grey beadsman.”

    Crabbe: Borough.

    Beak

    A magistrate. (Anglo—Saxon beag, a gold collar worn by civic magistrates.) W. H. Black says, “The term is derived from a Mr. Beke, who was formerly a resident magistrate at the Tower Hamlets.”

    Beaker

    A drinking—glass; a rummer. (Greek, bikos, a wine jar.)

    “Here, Gerard, reach your beaker.”

    Browning: Blot in the Scutcheon,

    i. 1.

    Beam

    Thrown on my beam—ends. Driven to my last shift. A ship is said to be on her beam—ends when she is laid by a heavy gale completely on her beams or sides. Not unfrequently the only means of righting her in such a case is to cut away her masts.

    On the starboard beam.

    A distant point out at sea on the right—hand side, and at right angles to the keel. On the port beam. A similar point on the left—hand side.

    On the weather beam.

    On that side of a ship which faces the wind.

    Beam

    (of a stag). That part of the head from which the horns spring. (Anglo—Saxon béam, a tree; the horns are called branches.)

    Bean

    Every bean has its black. Nemo sine vitiis nascitur, “everyone has his faults.” The bean has a black eye. (Ogni grano ha la sua semola.)

    He has found the bean in the cake,

    he has got a prize in the lottery, has come to some unexpected good fortune. The allusion is to twelfth cakes in which a bean is buried. When the cake is cut up and distributed, he who gets the bean is the twelfth—night king.

    Beans slang for property, money, is the French biens, goods. “A bean' = a guinea, is in Grose.

    “Like a beane [alms—money] in a monkeshood.” — Cotgrare.

    (See Barristers' Gowns.)

    Beans.

    Pythagoras forbade the use of beans to his disciples— not the use of beans as a food, but the use of beans for political elections. Magistrates and other public officers were elected by beans cast by the voters into a helmet, and what Pythagoras advised was that his disciples should not interfere with politics or “love beans”— i.e. office.

    Aristotle says the word bean means venery, and that the prohibition to “abstain from beans” was equivalent to “keeping the body chaste.”

    The French have the proverb, “If he gives me peas I will give him beans,” S'il me donne des pois, je lui donnerai des fèves, i.e. I will give him tit for tat, a Rowland for an Oliver.

    Beans are in flower, les fèvres fleurissent,

    and this will account for your being so silly. Our forefathers imagined that the perfume of the flowering bean was bad for the head, and made men silly or light—headed. He knows how many beans go to make up five. He is “up to snuff;” he is no fool; he is not to be imposed upon. The reference is to the ancient custom of moving beans in counting.

    “I was a fool, I was, and didn't know how many beans make five [that is how many beans must be moved to make up five].”— Farjeon.

    “Few men better knew how many blue beans it takes to make five.”— Galt.

    Blue Beans: “Three blue beans in a blue bladder.” A rattle for children.

    F. Hark! does it rattle?

    S. Yes, like three blue beans in a blue bladder.” Old Fortunatus (Ancient Dramas), iii. p. 128.

    “Blue beans” are bullets or shot. Three small bullets or large shot in a bladder would make a very good rattle for a child. (See Blue Beans.)

    Full of beans.

    Said of a fresh and spirited horse. To get beans. To incur reproof.

    I'll give him beans.

    A licking; a jolly good hiding. A very common phrase. Probably from the French referred to above, meaning as good as I got; “beans for his peas.”

    Bean Feast

    Much the same as wayz—goose (q.v.). A feast given by an employer to those he employs.

    Bean Goose

    (The). A migratory bird which appears in England in the autumn of the year, and is so named from a mark on its bill like a horse—bean. It is next in size to the Grey Lag—goose. The term comes from the northern counties where the bean (goose) is common.

    “Espèce d'oie dont les mandibules sont taillées en forme de feéveroles.”— Royal Dictionnaire.

    Bean—king

    (The). Rey de Habas, the child appointed to play the part of king on twelfth—night. In France it was at one time customary to hide a bean in a large cake, and he to whom the bean fell, when the cake was distributed, was for the nonce the bean king, to whom all the other guests showed playful reverence. The Greeks used beans for voting by ballot.

    Bean—King's festival.

    Twelfth—night. (See above.

    Bear (A). (Stock Exchange), a fall, or a speculator for a fall. To operate for a bear. To realise a profitable bear.

    Bearing the market is using every effort to depress the price of stocks in order to buy it. The arena of bears and bulls, i.e. the Stock Exchange.

    Dr. Warton says the term bear came from the proverb of “Selling the skin before you have caught the bear,” and referred to those who entered into contracts in the South Sea Scheme to transfer stock at a stated price.

    (See Bull.)

    “So was the huntsman by the bear oppressed,

    Whose hide he sold before he caught the beast.” Waller: Battle of the Summer Islands, c. ii.

    A Bear account.

    A speculation in stocks on the chance of a fall in the price of the stock sold, with a view of buying it back at a lower price or receiving the difference. (See Bulls.)

    Bear

    (The). Albert, margrave of Brandenburg. He was also called “The Fair” (1106—1170).

    The bloody Bear,

    in Dryden's poem called The Hind and Panther, means the Independents.

    “The bloody bear, an independent beast,

    Unlicked to form, in groans her hate expressed.” Pt. i. 35, 36.

    The Great Bear

    and Little Bear. The constellations so called are specimens of a large class of blunders founded on approximate sounds. The Sanskrit rakh means “to be bright;” the Greeks corrupted the word into arktos, which means a bear; so that the “bear” should in reality be the “bright ones.” The fable is that Calisto, a nymph of Diana, had two sons by Jupiter, which Juno changed into bears, and Jupiter converted into constellations.

    “The wind—shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,

    Seems to cast water on the burning bear,

    And quench the guards of th'ever—fixed pole.” Shakespeare: Othello, ii. 1.

    “'Twas here we saw Calisto's star retire

    Beneath the waves, unawed by Juno's ire.”

    Camoens: Lusiad, book v.

    The Bear

    or Northern Bear. Russia.

    “France turns from her abandoned friends a fresh,

    And soothes the bear that growls for patriot flesh.” Campbell: Poland, Stanza 5.

    A Bridled Bear.

    A young nobleman under the control of a travelling tutor. (See Bear—Leader.) The Bear and Ragged Staff. A public—house sign in compliment to Warwick, the king—maker, whose cognisance it was. The first earl was Arth or Arthgal, of the Round Table, whose cognisance was a bear, because artk means a bear (Latin, urs' ). Morvid, the second earl, overcame, in single combat, a mighty giant, who came against him with a club, which was a tree pulled up by the roots, but stripped of its branches. In remembrance of his victory over the giant he added “the ragged staff.”

    The Bear and the Tea—kettle

    (Kamschatka). Said of a person who injures himself by foolish rage. One day a bear entered a hut in Kamschatka, where a kettle was on the fire. Master Bruin went to the kettle, and smelling at it burnt his nose, being greatly irritated, he seized the kettle with his paws, and squeezed it against his breast. This, of course, made matters worse, for the boiling water scalded him terribly, and he growled in

    agony till some neighbours put an end to his life with their guns.

    A bear sucking his paws.

    It is said that when a bear is deprived of food, it sustains life by sucking its paws. The same is said of the English badger. Applied to industrious idleness.

    As savage as a bear with a sore

    (or scalt) head. Unreasonably ill—tempered. As a bear has no tail, for a lion he'll fail. The same as Ne sutor supra crepidam, “let not the cobbler aspire above his last.” Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, being a descendant of the Warwick family, changed his own crest, which was “a green lion with two tails,” for the Warwick crest, a “bear and ragged staff.” When made governor of the Low Countries, he was suspected of aiming at absolute supremacy, or the desire of being the monarch of his fellows, as the lion is monarch among beasts. Some wit wrote under his crest the Latin verse, “Ursa caret cauda non queat esse leo.

    “Your bear for lion needs must fail,

    Because your true bears have no tail.”

    To take the bear by the tooth.

    To put your head into the lion's mouth; needlessly to run into danger. You dare as soon take a bear by his tooth. You would no more attempt such a thing, than attempt to take a bear by its tooth.

    Bear

    (To). Come, bear a hand! Come and render help! In French, “ Donner un coup à quelqu'un.” Bring a hand, or bring your hand to bear on the work going on.

    To bear arms.

    To do military service. To bear away (Nautical). To keep away from the wind. To bear one company. To be one's companion.

    “His faithful dog shall bear him company.”

    Pope: Essay on Man,

    epistle i. 112.

    To bear down.

    To overpower; to force down.

    “Fully prepared to bear down all resistance.”— Cooper: The Pilot, chap. xvii.

    To bear down upon

    (Nautical). To approach from the weather side.

    To bear in mind.

    Remember; do not forget. Carry in your recollection. “To learn by heart,” means to learn memoriter. Mind and heart stand for memory in both phrases.

    To bear out.

    To corroborate, to confirm. To bear up. To support; to keep the spirits up. To bear with. To show forbearance; to endure with complacency.

    “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation?”—Numbers xiv. 27.

    To bear the bell.

    (See Bell.)

    Bear of Bradwardine

    (The) was a wine goblet, holding about an English pint, and, according to Scott, was made by command of St. Duthac, Abbot of Aberbrothoc, to be presented to the Baron of Bradwardine for services rendered in defence of the monastery. Inscribed upon the goblet was the motto: “Beware the bear.”

    Bear Account

    (A). (See Bear. )

    Bear Garden

    This place is a perfect bear—garden — that is, full of confusion, noise, tumult, and quarrels. Bear—gardens were places where bears used to be kept and baited for public amusement.

    Bear—leader

    One who undertakes the charge of a young man of rank on his travels. It was once customary to lead muzzled bears about the streets, and to make them show off in order to attract notice and gain money.

    “Bear! [said Dr. Pangloss to his pupil]. Under favour, young gentleman, I am the bear—leader, being appointed your tutor.”— G. Colman: Heirat—Law.

    Bears are caught by Honey In French, “Il faut avoir mauvaise bête par douceur, ” for, as La Fontaine says, “Plus fait douceur que violence.” Bears are very fond of honey. Bribes win even bears.

    There is another phrase: Divide honey with a bear, i.e. It is better to divide your honey with a bear than to provoke its anger.

    Beard

    Cutting the beard. The Turks think it a dire disgrace to have the beard cut. Slaves who serve in the seraglio have clean chins, as a sign of their servitude.

    Kissing the beard.

    In Turkey wives kiss their husband, and children their father on the beard. To make one's beard (Chaucer). This is the French “ Faire la barbe à quelqu'un,” and refers to a barber's taking hold of a man's beard to dress it, or to his shaving the chin of a customer. To make one's beard is to have him wholly at your mercy.

    I told him to his beard.

    I told him to his face, regardless of consequences; to speak openly and fearlessly.

    Beard

    (To). To beard one is to defy him, to contradict him flatly, to insult by plucking the beard. Among the Jews, no greater insult could be offered to a man than to pluck or even touch his beard.

    To beard the lion in his den.

    To contradict one either in his own growlery, or on some subject he has made his hobby. To defy personally or face to face.

    “Dar'st thou, then,

    To beard the lion in his den,

    The Douglas in his hall?”

    Sir W. Scott: Marmion, canto vi. stanza 14.”

    Maugre his beard.

    In spite of him. To laugh at one's beard. To attempt to make a fool of a person— to deceive by ridiculous exaggeration.

    “ `By the prophet! but he laughs at our beards,' exclaimed the Pacha angrily. `These are foolish lies.' ”— Marryat: Pacha of Many Tales.

    To laugh in one's beard ["Rire dans sa barbe"] To laugh in one's sleeve. To run in one's beard. To offer opposition to a person; to do something obnoxious to a person before his face. The French say, “à la barbe de quelqu'un,” under one's very nose.

    With the beard on the shoulder

    (Spanish). In the attitude of listening to overhear something; with circumspection, looking in all directions for surprises and ambuscades.

    “They rode, as the Spanish proverb expresses it, `with the beard on the shoulder,' looking round from time to time, and using every precaution ... against pursuit.”— Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak, chap. vii.

    Tax upon beards.

    Peter the Great imposed a tax upon beards. Every one above the lowest class had to pay 100 roubles, and the lowest class had to pay a copec, for enjoying this “luxury.” Clerks were stationed at the gates of every town to collect the beard—tax.

    Bearded

    Bearded Master (Magister barbatus). So Persius styled Socrates, under the notion that the beard is the symbol of wisdom. (B.C.468—399.)

    Pogonatus

    (Bearded). Constantine IV., Emperor of Rome (648, 668—685). The Bearded. Geoffrey the Crusader, and Bouchard of the house of Montmorency. Handsome—beard. Baldwin IV., Earl of Flanders. (1160—1186.)

    John the Bearded.

    Johann Mayo, the German painter, whose beard touched the ground when he stood upright.

    Bearded Women:

    Bartel Grætjë, of Stuttgard, born 1562.

    The Duke of Saxony had the portrait taken of a poor Swiss woman, remarkable for her large bushy beard. In 1726 a female dancer appeared at Venice, with a large bushy beard.

    Charles XII. had in his army a woman whose beard was a yard and a half long. She was taken prisoner at the battle of Pultowa, and presented to the Czar, 1724.

    Mlle. Bois de Chêne, born at Geneva in 1834, was exhibited in London in 1852—3; she had a profuse head of hair, a strong black beard, large whiskers, and thick hair on her arms and back.

    Julia Pastrana was exhibited in London in 1857; died, 1862, at Moscow; was embalmed by Professor Suckaloff; and the embalmed body was exhibited at 191, Piccadilly. She was found among the Digger Indians of Mexico.

    Margaret of Holland had a long, stiff beard.

    Bearings

    I'll bring him to his bearings. I'll bring him to his senses. A sea term. The bearings of a ship at anchor is that part of her hull which is on the water—line when she is in good trim. To bring a ship to her bearings is to get her into this trim. (Dana: The Seaman's Manual, 84.)

    To lose one's bearings.

    To become bewildered; to get perplexed as to which is the right road. To take the bearings. To ascertain the relative position of some object.

    Bearnais

    (Le). Henri IV. of France; so called from Le Bearn, his native province (1553—1610).

    Beasts

    (Heraldic):

    Couchant,

    lying down. Counter—passant, moving in opposite directions. Dormant, sleeping.

    Gardant,

    full—faced. Issuant, rising from the top or bottom of an ordinary. Nascent, rising out of the middle of an ordinary. Passant, walking.

    Passant gardant,

    walking, and with full face. Passant regardant, walking and looking behind. Rampant, rearing.

    Regardant,

    looking back. Sejant, seated.

    Salient,

    springing. Statant, standing still.

    Beastly Drunk

    It was an ancient notion that men in their cups exhibited the vicious qualities of beasts. Nash describes seven kinds of drunkards:— (1) The Ape—drunk, who leaps and sings; (2) The Lion—drunk, who is quarrelsome; (3) The Swine—drunk, who is sleepy and puking; (4) The Sheep—drunk, wise in his own conceit, but unable to speak, (5) The Martin—drunk, who drinks himself sober again; (6) The Goat—drunk, who is lascivious; and (7) The Fox—drunk, who is crafty, like a Dutchman in his cups. [See Maudlin. ]

    Beat

    A track, line, or appointed range. A walk often trodden or beaten by the feet, as a policeman's boat. The word means a beaten path.

    Not in my beat.

    Not in my line; not in the range of my talents or inclination. Off his beat. Not on duty; not in his appointed walk; not his speciality or line.

    “Off his own beat his opinions were of no value.”— Emerson: English Traite, chap. i.

    On his beat.

    In his appointed walk; on duty.

    Out of his beat.

    In his wrong walk; out of his proper sphere. To beat up one's quarters. To hunt out where one lives; to visit without ceremony. A military term, signifying to make an unexpected attack on an enemy in camp.

    “To beat up the quarters of some of our less—known relations.”— Lamb: Essays of Elta.

    Beat

    (To ). To strike. (Anglo—Saxon, beatan.)

    To beat an alarm.

    To give notice of danger by beat of drum.

    To beat

    or drum a thing into one. To repeat as a drummer repeats his strokes on a drum. To beat a retreat (French, battre en retraite); to beat to arms; to beat a charge. Military terms similar to the above.

    To beat the air.

    To strike out at nothing, merely to bring one's muscles into play, as pugilists do before they begin to fight; to toil without profit, to work to no purpose.

    “So fight I, not as one that beateth the air.”— I Cor. ix. 26.

    To beat the bush.

    One beat the bush and another caught the hare. “Il a battu les buissons, et autre a pris les oiseaux.” “Il bat le buisson sans prendre les oisillons” is a slightly different idea, meaning he has toiled in vain. “Other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours" (John iv. 48). The allusion is to beaters, whose business it is to beat the bushes and start the game for a shooting party.

    To beat the Devil's Tattoo.

    (See Tattoo.) To beat the Dutch. To draw a very long bow; to say something very incredible.

    “Well! if that don't beat the Dutch!”

    To beat time. To mark time in music by beating or moving the hands, feet, or a wand. To beat up supporters. To hunt them up or call them together, as soldiers are by beat of drum.

    Beat

    (To ). To overcome or get the better of. This does not mean to strike, which is the Anglo—Saxon beátan, but to better, to be better, from the Anglo—Saxon verb bétan.

    Dead beat.

    So completely beaten or worsted as to have no leg to stand on. Like a dead man with no fight left in him; quite tired out.

    “I'm dead beat, but I thought I'd like to come in and see you all once more.”— Roe: Without a Home, p. 32.

    Dead beat escapement

    (of a watch). One in which there is no reverse motion of the escape—wheel. That beats Banagher. Wonderfully inconsistent and absurd — exceedingly ridiculous. Banagher is a town in Ireland, on the Shannon, in King's County. It formerly sent two members to Parliament, and was, of course, a famous pocket borough. When a member spoke of a family borough where every voter was a man employed by the lord, it was not unusual to reply, “Well, that beats Banagher.”

    “ `Well,' says he, `to gratify them I will. So just a morsel. But, Jack, this beats Bannagher' (sic

    ).”— W. B. Yeats: Fairy Tales of the Irish Peasantry, p. 196.

    That beats Termagant.

    Your ranting, raging promposity, or exaggeration, surpasses that of Termagant (q.v.). To beat hollow is to beat wholly, to be wholly the superior.

    To beat up against the wind.

    To tack against an adverse wind; to get the better of the wind.

    Beat

    (French, abattre, to abate.)

    To beat down.

    To make a seller “abate” his price.

    Beaten to a Mummy

    Beaten so that one can distinguish neither form nor feature.

    Beaten with his own Staff

    Confuted by one's own words. An argumentam ad hominem.

    “Can High Church bigotry go father than this? And how well have I since been beaten with mine own staff.”— J Wesley. (He refers to his excluding Bolzius from “the Lord's table,” because he had not been canonically baptized.)

    Beating about the Bush

    Not coming directly to the matter in hand, but feeling your way timidly by indirection, as persons beat bushes to ascertain if game is lurking under them.

    Beating the Bounds

    On Holy Thursday, or Ascension Day, it used to be customary for the parish school children, accompanied by the clergymen and parish officers, to walk through their parish from end to end. The boys were struck with willow wands all along the lines of boundary. Before maps were common, the boys were thus taught to know the bounds of their own parish. The custom still prevails in some parishes.

    Beati Possidentes

    Blessed are those who have [for they shall receive]. “Possession is nine points of the law.”

    Beatific Vision

    The sight of the Deity, or of the blessed in the realms of heaven. (See Isaiah vi. 1—4, and Acts

    vii. 55, 56.)

    Beatrice

    beloved from girlhood by Dante, a native of Florence, was of the Portinari family. She died under

    twenty—four years of age (1266—1290). Beatrice married Simone de' Bardi, and Dante married Gemma Donati.

    Beau

    Beau Brummel. George Bryan. (1778—1840.) Le Beau D'Orsay. Father of Count D'Orsay, and called by Byron Jeune Cupidon. Beau Fielding, called “Handsome Fielding” by Charles II., whose name was Hendrome Fielding. He died in Scotland Yard, London.

    Beau Hewitt.

    The “Sir Fopling Flutter” of Etheredge. (The Man of Mode; or, Sir Fopling Flutter. Beau Nash. Son of a Welsh gentleman, a notorious diner—out. He under—took the management of the bath—rooms at Bath, and conducted the public balls with a splendour and decorum never before witnessed. In old age he sank into poverty. (1674—1761.)

    Beau Tibbs

    noted for his finery, vanity, and poverty. (Goldsmith: Citizen of the World.)

    Beau Ideal

    The model of beauty or excellency formed by fancy.

    Beau Jour beau Retour

    (A ). My turn will come next. (Never used in a good sense, but always to signify the resentment of an injury.)

    Beau Lion

    (Un ). A fine dashing fellow; an aristocrat every inch; the “lion” of society. The lion is the king of beasts.

    Beau Monde

    The fashionable world: people who make up the coterie of fashion.

    Beau Trap

    A loose pavement under which water lodges, and which squirts up filth when trodden on, to the annoyance of the smartly dressed.

    Beauclerc

    [good scholar ]. Applied to Henry I., who had clerk—like accomplishments, very rare in the times in which he lived (1068, 1100—1135).

    Beaumontague

    [pronounce bo—mon—taig ]. Bad work, especially ill—fitting carpenter's work; literary padding; paste and scissors literature; so called from putty used by carpenters, etc., for filling up cracks and bad joinery. German, teig, dough; and Emile Beaumont, the geologist (1798—1851), who also gives his name to “Beaumontite.”

    Beautiful

    Beautiful or fair as an angel. Throughout the Middle Ages it was common to associate beauty with virtue, and ugliness with sin; hence the expressions given above, and the following also — “Seraphic beauty,” “Cherubic loveliness,” “Ugly as sin,” etc.

    Beautiful Parricide

    Beatrice Cenci, the daughter of a Roman nobleman, who plotted the death of her father because he violently defiled her. (Died 1599.)

    “Francesco Cenci (xvi. siècle) ... avait quatre fills et une fille (Béatrix). Il les maltraitait cruellement, ou les faisait servir á ses plaisirs brutaux ... Révoltée de tant d'borreurs, Bèatrix, sa fille, de concert avec deux de ses frerès, et Lucrece leur mere, fit assassiner Francesco Cenci. Accusés de parricide, ils périrent tous quatre sur pechafaud par la sentence de Clément

    VIII. (1605).”— Bouillet.

    This is Muratori's version of the affair, but it is much disputed. It is a favourite theme for tragedy.

    Beauty

    Tout est beau sans chandelles. “La nuit tous les chats sont gris.” Beauty is but skin deep.

    “O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori.”

    Virgil, Bucolics,

    ii.

    Beauty and the Beast

    The hero and heroine of Madame Villeneuve's fairy tale. Beauty saved the life of her father by consenting to live with the Beast; and the Beast, being disenchanted by Beauty's love, became a handsome prince, and married her. (Contes Marines, 1740.)

    A handsome woman with an uncouth or uncomely male companion.

    Beauty of Buttermere

    Mary Robinson, married to John Hatfield, a heartless impostor, executed for forgery at Carlisle in 1803.

    Beauty Sleep

    Sleep taken before midnight. Those who habitually go to bed, especially during youth, after midnight, are usually pale and more or less haggard.

    “Would I please to remember that I had roused him up at night ... [in] his beauty sleep.” — Blackmore: Lorna Doone, chap. 64.

    Beaux Esprits

    (French). Men of wit or genius (singular number, Un bel esprit, a wit, a genius).

    Beaux Yeux

    (French). Beautiful eyes or attractive looks. “I will do it for your beaux yeux” (because you are so pretty, or because your eyes are so attractive).

    Beaver

    A hat; so called from its being made of beaver—skins.

    Beaver

    That part of the helmet which lifted up to enable the wearer to drink. Similarly bever, the afternoon draught in the harvest—field, called fours's. (Italian, bevere, to drink; Spanish, beber; Latin, bibo; French, buveur, a drinker; Armoric, beuvrauh, beverage, etc.)

    “Hamlet:

    Then you saw not his face? “Horatio: O,yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.” Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. 2.

    Becarre, Bemol

    Sauter de bécarre en bémol (French), to jump from one subject to another without regard to pertinence; “Sauter du coq à l'ane,” from Genesis to Revelation. Literally, to jump from sharps to flats. Becarre is the Latin B quadratum or B quarré. In old musical notation B sharp was expressed by a square B, and B flat by a round B.

    Bémol is B mollis, soft (flat).

    Becasse

    You goose; you simpleton; you booby. Bécasse is a woodcock. “Cest une becasse,” he or she is a fool.

    Becket's Assassins

    William de Tracy, Hugh de Morville, Richard Brito (or le Bret), and Fitz—Urse.

    Bed

    The great bed of Ware. A bed twelve feet square, and capable of holding twelve persons; assigned by tradition to the Earl of Warwick, the king—maker. It is now in Rye House.

    “Although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England.”—Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, iii. 2.

    To make the bed. To arrange it and make it fit for use. In America this sense of “make” is much more common than it is with us. “Your room is made,” arranged in—due order. To make it all right.

    As you make your bed you must lie on it.

    Everyone must bear the consequences of his own acts. “As you sow, so must you reap.” “As you brew, so must you bake.”

    To bed out.

    To plant what are called “bedding—out plants” in a flower—bed. Bedding—out plants are reared in pots, generally in a hot—house, and are transferred into garden—beds early in the summer. Such plants as geraniums, marguerites, fuchsias, penstemons, petunias, verbenas, lobelias, calceolarias, etc., are meant.

    You got out of bed the wrong way,

    or with the left leg foremost. Said of a person who is patchy and

    ill—tempered. It was an ancient superstition that it was unlucky to set the left foot on the ground first on getting out of bed. The same superstition applies to putting on the left shoe first, a “fancy” not yet wholly exploded.

    Augustus Caesar was very superstitious in this respect.

    Bed of Justice

    (See Lit .)

    Bed of Roses

    (A ). A situation of ease and pleasure.

    Bed of Thorns

    (A ). A situation of great anxiety and apprehension.

    Bed—post

    In the twinkling of a bed—post. As quickly as possible. In the ancient bed—frames movable staves were laid as we now lay iron laths; there were also staves in the two sides of the bedstead for keeping the

    bed—clothes from rolling off; and in some cases a staff was used to beat the bed and clean it. In the reign of Edward I., Sir John Chichester had a mock skirmish with his servant (Sir John with his rapier and the servant with the bed—staff), in which the servant was accidentally killed. Wright, in his Domestic Manners, shows us a chamber—maid of the seventeenth century using a bed—staff to beat up the bedding. “Twinkling” means a rapid twist or turn. (Old French, guincher: Welsh, gwing, gwingaw, our wriggle.)

    “Ill do it instantly, in the twinkling of a bed—staff.”— Shadwell: Virtuoso, 1676.

    “He would have cut him down in the twinkling of a bed—post.”— “Rabelais,” done into English.

    Bobadil, in Every Man in his Humour, and Lord Duberley, in the Heir—at—Law, use the same expression.

    Bede

    (Adam ). A novel by George Eliot (Marian Evans), 1859. One of the chief characters is Mrs. Poyser, a woman of shrewd observation, and as full of wise saws as Sancho Panza.

    Bedell

    The Vice—chancellor's bedell (not beadle). The officer who carries the mace before the Vice—Chancellor, etc., in the universities is not a beadle but a bedell (the same word in an older form).

    Beder

    A valley famous for the victory gained by Mahomet, in which “he was assisted by 3,000 angels, led by Gabriel, mounted on his horse Haïzum.” (Al Koran ).

    Beder.

    King of Persia, who married Giauha'rê daughter of the most powerful of the under—sea emperors. Queen Labê tried to change him into a horse, but he changed her into a mare instead. (Arabian Nights, “Beder and Giauharê.”)

    Bedford

    Saxon, Bedean—forda (fortress ford)— that is, the ford at the fortress of the river Ouse.

    Bedford Level

    Land drained by the Earl of Bedford in 1649. This large tract of fenny land lay in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, and Lincolnshire.

    Bedfordshire I am off to Bedfordshire. To the land of Nod, to bed. The language abounds with these puns, e.g. “the marrowbone stage,” “A Dunse scholar,” “Knight of the beerbarrel,” “Admiral of the blue,” “Master of the Mint” (q.v.), “Master of the Rolls” (q.v.), etc. And the French even more than the English.

    Bediver

    A knight of the Round Table, and the butler of King Arthur.

    Bedlam

    A lunatic asylum or madhouse; a contraction for Bethlehem, the name of a religious house in London, converted into a hospital for lunatics.

    Tom o' Bedlam. (See

    Tom.)

    St. Mary of Bethlehem, London, was founded as a priory in 1247, and in 1547 it was given to the mayor and corporation of London, and incorporated as a royal foundation for lunatics.

    Bedlamite

    (3 syl.). A madman, a fool, an inhabitant of a Bedlam.

    Bedouins

    [Bed—wins]. The homeless street poor are so called. Thus the Times calls the ragged, houseless boys “the Bedouins of London” The Bedouins are the nomadic tribes of Arabia (Arabic, bedawin, a dweller in a desert; badw, a desert). (See Street Arabs .)

    “These Bedouins of the prairie invariably carry their lodges with them.”— A. D. Richardson: Beyond the Mississippi, chap. v.

    Bedreddin' Hassan

    in the story of Noureddin' and his Son, in the Arabian Nights.

    “Comparing herself to Bedreddin Hassan, whom the vizier ... discovered by his superlative skill in composing cream—tarts without pepper in them.”— Scott: Heart of Midlothian.

    Bed—rock

    American slang for one's last shilling. A miner's term, called in England the “stone—head,” and in America, the “Bed—rock,” the hard basis rock. When miners get to this bed the mine is exhausted. “I'm come down to the bed—rock,” i.e. my last dollar.

    “ `No, no!' continued Tennessee's partner, hastily, `Ill play this yer hand alone. I've come down to the bed—rock; it's just this: Tennessee, thar, has played it pretty rough and expensive, like, on a stranger ... Now what's the fair thing? Some would say more, and some would say less. Here's seventeen hundred dollars in coarse gold and a watch— it's about all my pile— and call it square.' ”— Bret Harte; Tennessee's Partner.

    Bedver

    King Arthur's butler; Caius or Kaye was his sewer. (Geoffrey: British History, ix. 13.)

    Bee

    The Athenian Bee. Plato. (See Athenian Bee , page 72, col. 1.)

    It is said that when Plato was in his cradle, a swarm of bees alighted on his mouth. The story is good enough for poets and orators. The same tale is told of St. Ambrose. (See Ambrose, page 41, col. 1.)

    The Bee of Athens.

    Sophocles. (See Attic Bee, page 73, col. 1.)

    Xenophon (B.C. 444—359) is also called “the Bee of Athens,” or “the Athenian Bee.”

    See

    also Animals, page 50, col. 2.

    To have your head full of bees.

    Full of devices, crotchets, fancies, inventions, and dreamy theories. The connection between bees and the soul was once generally maintained: hence Mahomet admits bees to Paradise. Porphyry says of fountains, “they are adapted to the nymphs, or those souls which the ancients called bees.” The moon was called a bee by the priestesses of Ceres, and the word lunatic or moon—struck still means one with “bees in his head.”

    Il a des rats dans la tête.”— French Proverb. (See Maggot.)

    To have a bee in your bonnet.

    To be cranky; to have an idiosyncrasy; also, to carry a jewel or ornament in

    your cap. (See Bighes.)

    “For pity, air, find out that bee

    That bore my love away—

    `I'll seek him in your bonnet brave. ...”

    Herrick: The Mad Maid's Song.

    Bee

    A social gathering for some useful work. The object generally precedes the word, as a spelling — bee (a gathering to compete in spelling). There are apple—bees, husking—bees, and half a dozen other sorts of bees or gatherings. It is an old Devonshire custom, which was carried across the Atlantic in Elizabethan times.

    Bee—line

    The line that a bee, takes in making for the hive; the shortest distance between two given points.

    “Our footmarks, seen afterwards, showed that we had steered a bee—line to the brig.”— Kane: Arctic Explorations, vol. i. chap. xvii. p. 198.

    Bees

    Jupiter was nourished by bees in infancy. (See Athenian Bee, p. 72, col. 1.) Pindar is said to have been nourished by bees with honey instead of milk.

    The coins of Ephesus had a bee on the reverse.

    The Greeks consecrated bees to the moon.

    With the Romans a flight of bees was considered a bad omen. Appian ( Civil War, book ii.) says a swarm of bees lighted on the altar and prognosticated the fatal issue of the battle of Pharsalia.

    The priestesses of Ceres were called bees.

    In Christian Art St. Ambrose is represented with a beehive, from the tradition that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth in his infancy.

    Beef

    Ox The former is Norman, and the latter Saxon. The Normans had the cooked meat, and when set before them used the word they were accustomed to. The Saxon was the herdsman, and while the beast was under his charge called it by its Saxon name.

    “Old Alderman Ox continues to hold his Saxon title while he is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen; but becomes Beef, a fiery French gallant, when he arrives before the worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him.”— Ivanhoe.

    Weaver's beef of Colchester, i.e. sprats, caught abundantly in the neighbourhood. (Fuller: Worthies.)

    Beefeaters

    Yeomen of the Guard in the royal household, appointed, in 1485, by Henry VII., to form part of the royal train in banquets and other grand occasions. The old theory was that the word means “an attendant on the royal buffets,” Anglicised into buffeters or buffeteers, and corrupted into Beefeaters; but Professor Skeat says no such word as buffeter has yet been found in any book; nor does buffetier exist in French.

    A plausible reply to this objection is that the word may have got corrupted almost ab initio in those unlettered days; and the earliest quotation of “Beefeater,” already adduced, is above 150 years from the institution of the force, and even then the allusions are either satirical or humorous: as “Begone, yee greedy beefe—eaters, y' are best” (Histriomastix, iii. 1; A.D. 1610); “Bows, or Beefeaters, as the French were pleased to terme us” (1628); “You beef—eater, you saucy cur” (1671). Not one of the quotations fixes the word on the

    Yeomen of the Guard, and that the English have been called Beefeaters none will deny. Even if the allusion given above could be certainly affixed to Yeomen of the Guard it would only prove that 150 or 160 years after their establishment in the palace they were so called (corruptly, humorously or otherwise).

    Arguments in favour of the old derivations:

    — (1) Certainly Henry VII. himself did not call these yeomen “beef—eaters.” He was as much French as Welsh, and must have been familiar with the buffet (bu—fey); he had no spark of humour in his constitution, and it is extremely doubtful whether beef was a standing dish at the time, certainly it was not so in Wales. We have a good number of menus extant of the period, but beef does not appear in any of them.

    (2) We have a host of similar corruptions in our language, as Andrew Macs (q.v.), Billy—ruffians (see Bellerophon), Bull and Mouth (q.v.), Charles's Wain (q.v.), Bag—o'—Nails, Goat and Compasses,

    Sparrow—grass (asparagus), ancient (ensign), lutestring (lustring, from lustre), Dog—cheap (god—kepe, i.e. a good bargain), and many more of the same sort.

    (3) There can be no doubt that the “beefeaters” waited at the royal table, for in 1602 we read that “the dishes were brought in by the halberdiers [beefeaters], who are fine, big fellows” (quoted in Notes and Queries, February 4th, 1893, p. 86).

    (4) If beef was a general food in the sixteenth century, which is extremely doubtful, it would be supremely ridiculous to call a few yeomen “eaters of beef,” unless beef was restricted to them. In the present Argentine Republic, beef dried, called “jerked beef,” is the common diet, and it would be foolish indeed to restrict the phrase “eaters of jerked beef” to some halfscore waiters at the President's table.

    (5) That the word buffeteer or buffetier is not to be found (in the English sense) in any— French author, does not prove that it was never used in Anglo—French. We have scores of perverted French words, with English meanings, unrecognised by the French; for example: encore, double entendre, surtout (a frock coat), epergne, and so on.

    (6) Historic etymology has its value, but, like all other general rules, it requires to be narrowly watched, or it may not unfrequently over—ride the truth. Historically, Rome comes from Romulus, Scotland from Scota or Scotia, Britain from Brutus. All sorts of rubbishy etymology belong to the historic craze.

    Beefeaters.

    Yeomen Extraordinary of the Guard appointed as warders of the Tower by Edward VI. They wear the same costume as the Yeomen of the Guard mentioned above. (See Buphagos.)

    Beef—steak Club

    owed its origin to an accidental dinner taken by Lord Peterborough in the scene—room of Rich, over Covent Garden Theatre. The original gridiron on which Rich broiled the peer's steak is still preserved in the palladium of the club, and the members have it engraved on their buttons. (History of the Clubs of London.)

    Beefington

    or Milor Beefington, a character in Canning's mock tragedy, The Rovers, a burlesque, in the Anti—Jacobin, on the sentimental German dramas of the period. Casimere is a Polish emigrant, and Beefington an English nobleman, exiled by the tyranny of King John.

    Beelzebub

    God of flies, supposed to ward off flies from his votaries. One of the gods of the Philistines. (See Achor .) The Greeks had a similar deity, Zeus Apomyios. The Jews, by way of reproach, changed Beelzebub into Baal Zeboub (q.v.), and placed him among the dæmons. Milton says he was next in rank to Satan, and stood

    “With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear

    The weight of mightiest monarchies.” (Book ii.)

    “One next himself in power, and next in crime,

    Long after known in Palestine, and named

    Beëlzebub.” Paradise Lost, i. 79—81.

    Beer Ceres, when wandering over the earth in quest of her daughter, taught men the art of making beer, because “ils me ne purent apprendre l'art de faire le vin.” (Mem. de l'Academis des Inscriptiones, xvii.) (See Ale .)

    He does not think small beer of himself. [See

    Small Beer].

    Beer and Skittles

    Life is not all beer and skittles, i.e. not all eating, drinking, and play; not all pleasure; not all harmony and love.

    “Sport like life, and life like sport,

    Isn't all skittles and beer.”

    Beer aux Mouches

    or Beer aux corneilles. To stand gaping in the air (at the flies or the rooks). Béer, Old French for bayer, to gape.

    Beeswing

    The film which forms on the sides of a bottle of good old port. This film, broken up into small pieces, looks like the wings of bees. A port drinker is very particular not to “break the beeswing” by shaking the bottle, or turning it the wrong way up.

    Beeswinged port is old port which has formed its second crust or beeswing.

    Beetle

    (To). To overhang, to threaten, to jut over (Anglo—Saxon, beot—ian, to menace). Hence beetle or beetled brow.

    “Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,

    That beetles o'er his base into the sea.”

    Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. 4.

    Beetle—crusher

    A large, flat foot. The expression was first used in Punch, in one of Leech's caricatures. Those who know London know how it is overrun with cockroaches, wrongly called black—beetles.

    Befana

    The good fairy of Italian children, who is supposed to fill their stockings with toys when they go to bed on Twelfth Night. Some one enters the children's bedroom for the purpose, and the wakeful youngsters cry out, “Ecco la Befana.” According to legend, Befana was too busy with house affairs to look after the Magi when they went to offer their gifts, and said she would wait to see them on their return; but they went another way, and Befana, every Twelfth Night, watches to see them. The name is a corruption of Epiphania.

    Before the Lights

    in theatrical parlance, means on the stage, before the foot—lights.

    Before the Mast

    To serve before the mast. To be one of the common sailors, whose quarters are in the forward part of the ship. The half—deck is the sanctum of the second mate, and, in Greenland fishers, of the spikeoneer, harpooners, carpenters, coopers, boatswains, and all secondary officers; of low birth.

    “I myself come from before the mast.”— Sir W. Scott: The Antiquary, chap. xx.

    Beg the Question

    (To). (See Begging .)

    Beggar

    A beggar may sing before a pickpocket. (In Latin, “Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.”) A beggar may sing before a highwayman because he has nothing in his pocket to lose.

    Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the de'il.

    There is no one so proud and arrogant as a beggar who has suddenly grown rich.

    “Such is the sad effect of wealth— rank pride—

    Mount but a beggar, how the rogue will ride!”

    Peter Pindar: Epistle to Lord Lonsdale.

    Latin: “Asperius nihil est humili cum surgit in altum.”

    French:

    “Il n'est orgueil que de pauvre enrichi.” Italian: “Il vilan nobilitado non connosce il parentado” (A beggar ennobled does not know his own kinsmen).

    Spanish:

    “Quando el villano estáen el mulo, non conoze a dios, ni al mundo" (when a beggar is mounted on a mule, he knows neither gods nor men).

    Beggars

    King of the Beggars. Bampfylde Moore Carew (1693—1770).

    Beggars should not be choosers.

    Beggars should take what is given them, and not dictate to the giver what they like best. They must accept and be thankful.

    Beggars' Barm

    The thick foam which collects on the surface of ponds, brooks, and other pieces of water where the current meets stoppage. It looks like barm or yeast, but, being unfit for use, is only beggarly barm at best.

    Beggars' Bullets

    Stones.

    Beggar's Bush

    To go by beggar's bush, or Go home by beggar's bush i.e. to go to ruin. Beggar's bush is the name of a tree which once stood on the left hand of the London road from Huntingdon to Caxton; so called because it was a noted rendezvous for beggars. These punning phrases and proverbs are very common.

    Beggar's Daughter

    Bessee, the beggar's daughter of Bednall Green. Bessee was very beautiful, and was courted by four suitors at once— a knight, a gentleman of fortune, a London merchant, and the son of the inn—keeper at Romford. She told them that they must obtain the consent of her father, the poor blind beggar of Bethnal Green. When they heard that, they all slunk off except the knight, who went to ask the beggar's leave to wed the “pretty Bessee.” The beggar gave her 100 to buy her wedding gown. At the wedding feast he explained to the guests that he was Henry, son and heir of Sir Simon de Montfort. At the battle of Evesham the barons were routed, Montfort slain, and himself left on the field for dead. A baron's daughter discovered

    him; nursed him with care, and married him; the fruit of this marriage was “pretty Bessee.” Henry de Montfort assumed the garb and semblance of a beggar to escape the vigilance of King Henry's spies. (Percy: Reliques.)

    Begging Hermits

    were of the Augustine order; they renounced all property, and lived on the voluntary alms of “the faithful.”

    Begging Friars

    were restricted to four orders: Franciscans (Grey Friars). Augustines (Black Friars), Carmelites (White Friars), and Dominicans (Preaching Friars).

    Begging the Question

    Assuming a proposition which, in reality, involves the conclusion. Thus, to say that parallel lines will never meet because they are parallel, is simply to assume as a fact the very thing you profess to prove. The phrase is a translation of the Latin term, petitio principii, and was first used by Aristotle.

    Beghards

    A brotherhood which rose in the Low Countries in the twelfth century, and was so called from Lambert Bégue. The male society were Beghards, the female, Beguins. They took no vows, and were free to leave the society when they liked. In the seventeenth century, those who survived the persecutions of the popes and inquisition joined the Tertiarii of the Franciscans. (See Beguins .)

    Begtashi

    A religious order in the Ottoman Empire, which had its origin in the fourteenth century. The word is derived from Hadji Begtash, a dervish, its founder.

    Begue d'entendement

    This is a really happy phrase for one whose wits are gone wool—gathering; he is a man of “stammering understanding.”

    Beguins

    A sisterhood instituted in the twelfth century, founded by Lambert Bégue or Lambert le Bègue. The members of the male society were called Beghards (q.v. ). The Béguins were at liberty to quit the cloister, if they chose, and marry. The cap called a beguin was named from this sisterhood.

    “Secta quædam pestifera illorum qui Beguini vulgariter appellantur, qui se Fratres Pauperes de tertia ordine S. Francisci communiter nominabant, ex quibus plures fuerunt tanquam hæretici condemnati et combusti.” — Bernard Guido: Life of John, xxii.

    Begum

    A lady, princess, or woman of high rank in India; the wife of a ruler. (Bey or Beg, governor of a Turkish province, a title of honour.)

    Behemoth

    (Hebrew). The hippopotamus; once thought to be the rhinoceros. (See Job xl. 15.)

    “Behold! in plaited mail,

    Behemoth rears his head.”

    Thomson: Summer, 709, 710.

    The word is generally, but incorrectly, pronounced Behemoth; but Milton, like Thomson, places the accent on the second syllable.

    “Scarce from his mold

    Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved

    His vastness.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost,

    vii, 471.

    Behmenists

    A sect of visionary religionists, so called from Jacob Behmen (Böhme), their founder. (1575—1625.)

    Behram The most holy kind of fire, according to Parseeism. (See Adaran .)

    Bejan

    A freshman or greenhorn. This term is employed in the French and Scotch universities, and is evidently a corruption of bec jaune (yellow beak), a French expression to designate a nestling or unfledged bird. In the university of Vienna the freshman is termed beanus, and in France footing—money is bejaunia.

    “His grandmother yielded, and Robert was straightway a bejan or yellow—beak.” — Macdonald: R. Falconer.

    Bel—a—faire—peur

    A handsome, dare—devil of a fellow.

    Bel Esprit

    (French). A vivacious wit; a man or woman of quick and lively parts, ready at repartee. (Plural, beaux esprits. )

    Belch

    Sir Toby Belch. A reckless, roistering, jolly knight of the Elizabethan period. (Shakespeare: Twelfth Night.)

    Belcher

    A pocket—handkerchief— properly, a blue ground with white spots; so called from Jim Belcher, the pugilist, who adopted it.

    Beldam

    An old woman; literally, a grandmother. The French also use bel age for old age.

    “Old men and beldames in the streets

    Do prophesy upon it dangerously.”

    Shakespeare: King John, iv. 2.

    Beleses

    (3 syl.). A Chaldean soothsayer and Assyrian satrap, who told Arbaces, governor of Media, that he would one day sit on the throne of Sardanapalus. King of Nineveh and Assyria. His prophecy was verified, and he was rewarded by Arbaces with the government of Babylon. ( Byron: Sardanapalus. )

    Belfast Regiment

    (The ). The 35th Foot, which was raised in Belfast in 1701. There is no such regiment now in the British Army. What used to be called No. 35 is now called the 1st battalion of the Royal Sussex, the 2nd battalion being the old No. 107.

    Bel—fires

    Between Bel's two fires. Scylla on one side and Charybdis on the other. In Irish, Itter dha teine Bheil, in a dilemma. The reference is to the two fires kindled on May Eve in every village, between which all men and beasts devoted to sacrifice were compelled to pass.

    Belford

    A friend of Lovelace in Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe. These “friends” made a covenant to pardon every sort of liberty which they took with each other.

    Belfry

    A military tower, pushed by besiegers against the wall of a besieged city, that missiles may be thrown more easily against the defenders. Probably a church steeple is called a belfry from its resemblance to these towers, and not because bells are hung in it. (French, beffroi, a watch—tower, Old French, berfreit, belefreit, from German, berg—frit, bergen, to protect, frit [vride], a place fenced in for security.)

    “Alone, and warming his five wits,

    The white owl in the belfry sits.”

    Tennyson: The Owl, stanza 1.

    Belial (Hebrew). The worthless or lawléss one, i.e. the devil. Milton, in his pandemonium, makes him a very high and distinguished prince of darkness. (Paradise Lost.)

    “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” — 2 Cor. vi. 15.

    “Belial came last— than whom a spirit more lewd

    Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love

    Vice for itself.”

    Milton: Paradise Lost,

    book i. 490—2.

    Sons of Belial.

    Lawless, worthless, rebellious people. (See above.

    “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial.” — 1 Sam. ii. 12.

    Belinda

    The heroine of Pope's serio—comical poem, entitled the Rape of the Lock. The poem is based on a real incident:— Lord Petre cut off a lock of Miss Fermor's hair, and this liberty gave rise to a bitter feud between the two noble families. The poet says that Belinda wore on her neck two curls, one of which the baron cut off with a pair of scissors borrowed of Clarissa. Belinda, in anger, demanded back the ringlet; but it had flown to the skies and become a meteor, which “shot through liquid air, and drew behind a radiant trail of hair.” (See Berenice. )

    Belinuncia

    A herb sacred to Belis, with the juice of which the Gauls used to poison their arrows.

    Belisarius

    Belisarius begging for an obolus. Belisarius, the greatest of Justinian's generals, being accused of conspiring against the life of the emperor, was deprived of all his property; and his eyes being put out, he lived a beggar in Constantinople. The tale is that he fastened a bag to his road—side hut, and had inscribed over it, “Give an obolus to poor old Belisarius.” This tradition is of no historic value.

    Bell

    Acton, Currer, and Ellis. Assumed names of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontë.

    Bell

    As the bell clinks, so the fool thinks, or, As the fool thinks, so the bell clinks. The tale says when Whittington ran away from his master, and had got as far as Hounslow Heath, he was hungry, tired, and wished to return. Bow Bells began to ring, and Whittington fancied they said, “Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London.” The bells clinked in response to the boy's thoughts. “Les gens de peu de judgement sont comme les cloches, à qui Von fait dire tout ce que Von veut.” Dickens has the same idea in his Christmas Chimes.

    The Passing Bell

    is the hallowed bell which used to be rung when persons were in extremis, to scare away evil spirits which were supposed to lurk about the dying, to pounce on the soul while “passing from the body to its resting—place.” A secondary object was to announce to the neighbourhood the fact that all good Christians might offer up a prayer for the safe passage of the dying person into Paradise. We now call the bell rung at a person's decease the “passing bell.”

    The Athenians used to beat on brazen kettles at the moment of a decease to scare away the Furies.

    Ringing the hallowed bell.

    Bells were believed to disperse storms and pestilence, drive away devils, and extinguish fire. In France it is still by no means unusual to ring church bells to ward off the effects of lightning. Nor is this peculiar to France, for even in 1852 the Bishop of Malta ordered the church bells to be rung for an hour to “lay a gale of wind.” Of course, the supposed efficacy of a bell resides in its having been consecrated.

    “Funera plango, fulgura frango, sabbata pango,

    Excito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos.”

    (Death's tale I tell, the winds dispel, ill—feeling quell,

    The slothful shake, the storm—clouds break, the Sabbath wake. E.C.B.)

    Sound as a bell. (See Similes.)

    Tolling the bell.

    (for church). A relic of the Ave Bell, which, before the Reformation, was tolled before service to invite worshippers to a preparatory prayer to the Virgin.

    To bear the bell.

    To be first fiddle; to carry off the palm; to be the best. Before cups were presented to winners of horse—races, etc., a little gold or silver bell used to be given for the prize.

    “Jockey and his horse were by their masters sent

    To put in for the bell...

    They are to run and cannot miss the bell.”

    North: Forest of Varieties.

    It does not refer to bell—wethers, or the leading horse of a team, but “bear” means bear or carry off.

    Who is to bell the cat?

    Who will risk his own life to save his neighbours? Any one who encounters great personal hazard for the sake of others undertakes to “bell the cat.” The allusion is to the fable of the cunning old mouse, who suggested that they should hang a bell on the cat's neck to give notice to all mice of her approach. “Excellent,” said a wise young mouse, “but who is to undertake the job?” (See Bell—The—Cat.)

    “Is there a man in all Spain able and willing to bell the cat [ i.e. persuade the queen to abdicate]?” — The Times.

    Bells

    The Koran says that bells hang on the trees of Paradise, and are set in motion by wind from the throne of God, as often as the blessed wish for music. (Sale. )

    “Bells as musical

    As those that, on the golden—shafted trees

    Of Eden, shook by the eternal breeze.”

    T. Moore: Lalla Rookh,

    part i.

    At three bells, at five bells,

    etc. A term on board ship pretty nearly tantamount to our expression o'clock. Five out of the seven watches last four hours, and each half—hour is marked by a bell, which gives a number of strokes corresponding to the number of half—hours passed. Thus, “three bells” denotes the third half—hour of the watch, “five bells” the fifth half—hour of the watch, and so on. The two short watches, which last only two hours each, are from four to six and six to eight in the afternoon. At eight bells a new watch begins. (See Watch.)

    “Do you there hear? Clean shirt and a shave for muster at five bells.”— Basil Hall.

    I'll not hang all my bells on one horse. I'll not leave all my property to one son. The allusion is manifest. Give her the bells and let her fly. Don't throw good money after bad; make the best of the matter, but do not attempt to bolster it up. When a hawk was worthless, the bells were taken off, and the bird was suffered to escape, but the advice given above is to “leave the bells” and let the hawk go.

    Ringing the bells backwards,

    is ringing a muffled peal. Backwards is often used to denote “in a contrary direction” (tout le contraire), as, “I hear you are grown rich—” “Yes, backwards.” To ring a muffled peal, is to ring a peal of sorrow, not of joy.

    In olden times bells were rung backwards as a tocsin, or notice of danger.

    “Beacons were lighted upon crags and eminences; the bells were rung backwards in the churches; and the general summons to arm announced an extremity of danger.”— Sir W. Scott. The Betrothed. chap. iii.

    Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh (Hamlet, iii. 1). A most exquisite metaphor for a deranged mind, such as that of Don Quixote.

    Warwick shakes his bells.

    Beware of danger, for Warwick is in the field. Trojans beware, Achilles has donned his armour. The bells mean the bells of a hawk, the hawk shakes his bells.

    “Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,

    Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shakes his bells.” Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., i. 1.

    Bell, Book, and Candle

    A ceremony in the greater excommunication introduced into the Catholic Church in the eighth century. After reading the sentence a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished. From that moment the excommunicated person is excluded from the sacraments and even divine worship.

    “Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back.”— Shakespeare: King John, iii. 3.

    In spite of bell, book, and candle, i.e.

    in spite of all the opposition which the Christian hierarchy can offer. (See Cursing.)

    Bell of Patrick's Will

    (clog an eadhachta Phatraic ) is six inches high, five broad, and four deep. It certainly was in existence in the sixth century. In the eleventh century a shrine was made for it of gold and silver filigree, adorned with jewels.

    Bell Savage

    or La Belle Sauvage = Pocahontas. According to one derivation it is a contraction of Isabelle Savage, who originally kept the inn. It is some—what remarkable that the sign of the inn was a pun on the Christian name, a “bell on the Hope” (hoop), as may be seen in the Close Roll of 1453. The hoop seems to have formed a garter or frame to most signs. The site of the inn is now occupied by the premises of Messrs. Cassell & Co.

    “They now returned to their inn, the famous Bell Savage.”— Scott: Kenilworth, xiii.

    Bell—the—Cat

    Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, was so called. James III. made favourites of architects and masons. One mason, named Cochrane, he created Earl of Mar. The Scotch nobles held a council in the church of Lauder for the purpose of putting down these upstarts, when Lord Gray asked, “Who will bell the cat?”

    “That will I,” said Douglas, and he fearlessly put to death, in the king's presence, the obnoxious minions. (See Bell. )

    Bell—wavering

    Vacillating, swaying from side to side like a bell. A man whose mind jangles out of tune from delirium, drunkenness, or temporary insanity, is said to have his wits gone bell—wavering.

    “I doubt me his wits have gone bell—wavering by the road.”— Sir W. Scott: The Monastery, chap vii.

    Belladonna

    (Italian, beautiful lady ). This name was given to the Deadly Nightshade, from a practice once common among ladies of touching their eyes with it to make the pupils large and lustrous.

    Bellarmine

    (A ). A large Flemish gotch, i.e. a corpulent beer—jug of some strong ware, originally made in Flanders in ridicule of Cardinal Bellarmine, the great persecutor of the reformed party there. These jugs had at the neck a rude likeness of the cardinal with his large, square, ecclesiastical beard.

    “... like a larger jug, that some men call

    A bellarmine ...

    Whereon the lewder hand of pagan workmen,

    Over the proud ambitious head, hath carved

    An idol large, with beard episcopal,

    Making the vessel look like tyrant Eglon.”

    Cartright: The Ordinary.

    “One of the Fellows of Exeter [College], when Dr. Prideaux was rector, sent his servitor, after nine o'clock at night, with a large bottle to fetch some ale from the alehouse. When he was coming home with it under his gown the proctor met him, and asked him what he did out so late, and what he had under his gown? The man answered that his master had sent him to the stationers to borrow Bellarmine, which book he had under his arm; and so he went home. Whence a bottle with a big belly is called a Bellarmine to this day, 1667.”— Oxoniana, vol. i.

    p. 232.

    Bellaston

    (Lady ). A profligate, whose conduct and conversation are a life—like photograph of the court “beauties” of Louis XV. ( Fielding: Tom Jones.)

    Belle

    A beauty. The Belle of the room. The most beautiful lady in the room (French).

    La belle France.

    A common French phrase applied to France, as “Merry England” is to our own country.

    Belles Lettres

    Polite literature (French); similarly, Beaux arts, the fine arts.

    Bellefontaine

    (Benedict ). The most wealthy farmer of Grand Pré ( Nova Scotia), and father of Evangeline. When the inhabitants of his village were exiled, and he was about to embark, he died of a broken heart, and was buried on the sea—shore. (Longfellow: Evangeline. )

    Bellerophon

    One of the ships which took part in the Battle of the Nile, and was called by the English sailors “the Bully—ruffran,” or “Belly—ruffron.”

    “Why, she and the Belly—ruffron seem to have pretty well shared and shared alike.”— Captain Marryat: Poor Jack, chap. xiii.

    Bellerophon

    The Joseph of Greek mythology; Antæa, the wife of Proetos, being the “Potiphar's wife” who tempted him, and afterwards falsely accused him. Being successful in various enterprises, he attempted to fly to heaven on the winged horse Pegasos, but Zeus sent a gad—fly to sting the horse, and the rider was overthrown.

    Letters of Bellerophon.

    Letters or other documents either dangerous or prejudicial to the bearer. Proetos sent Bellerophon with a letter to the King of Lycia, his wife's father, recounting the charge, and praying that the bearer might be put to death.

    Pausanias, the Spartan, sent messengers from time to time to King Xerxes, with similar letters; the discovery by one of the bearers proved the ruin of the traitor.

    David's letter sent by Uriah (2 Sam. xi. 14) was of a similar treacherous character; hence the phrase, “Letters of Uriah.”

    Bellerus

    Bellerium is the Land's End, Cornwall, the fabled land of the giant Bellerus.

    “Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.”

    Milton: Lycidas,

    160.

    Bellicent

    Daughter of Gorloise and Igerna. According to Tennyson, she was the wife of Lot, King of Orkney; but in La Morte d'Arthur Margause is called Lot's wife.

    Bellin

    The ram, in the tale of Reynard the Fox.

    Bellisant Sister to King Pepin of France, wife of Alexander, Emperor of Constantinople. Being accused of infidelity, the emperor banished her, and she became the mother of Valentine and Orson. (Valentine and Orson.)

    Bellman

    Before the new police force was established, watchmen or bellmen used to parade the streets at night, and at Easter a copy of verses was left at the chief houses in the hope of obtaining an offering. These verses were the relies of the old incantations sung or said by the bellman to keep off elves and hobgoblins. The town crier.

    Bellona

    Goddess of war and wife of Mars. (Roman mythology.)

    “Her features, late so exquisitely lovely, inflamed with the fury of frenzy, resembled those of a Bellona.”— Sir Walter Scott.

    Bellows

    The pit of the stomach. To knock a man on the “bellows” takes his “wind (breath) away.”

    Sing old rose and burn the bellows.

    (See Sing.)

    Bellwether of the Flock

    A jocose and rather depreciating term applied to the leader of a party. Of course the allusion is to the wether or sheep which leads the flock with a bell fastened to its neck.

    Belly

    The belly and its members. The fable of Menenius Agrippa to the Roman people when they seceded to the Sacred Mount: “Once on a time the members refused to work for the lazy belly; but, as the supply of food was thus stopped, they found there was a necessary and mutual dependence between them.” Shakespeare introduces the fable in his Coriolanus, i. 1.

    The belly has no ears.

    A hungry man will not listen to advice or arguments. The Romans had the same proverb, Venter non habet aures; and in French, Ventre affamé n'a point d'oreilles.

    Belly—timber

    Food.

    “And now, Dame Peveril, to dinner, to dinner. The old fox must have his belly—timber, though the hounds have been after him the whole day.”— Sir W. Scott. Peveril of the Peak, chap. 48.

    Belomancy

    (Greek). Divination by arrows. Labels being attached to a given number of arrows, the archers let them fly, and the advice on the label of the arrow which flies farthest is accepted and acted on. This practice is common with the Arabs.

    Beloved Disciple

    St. John. (John xiii. 23, etc.)

    Beloved Physician

    St. Luke. (Col. iv. 14.)

    Below the Belt

    (See Belt. )

    Belphegor

    A nasty, licentious, obscene fellow. Bel—Phegor was a Moabitish deity, whose rites were celebrated on Mount Phegor, and were noted for their obscenity. The Standard, speaking of certain museums in London, says, “When will men cease to be deluded by these unscrupulous Belphegors?” (meaning

    “quacks").

    Phegor, Phogor, or Peor, a famous mountain beyond the Jordan. Nebo and Pisgah were neighbouring mountains. Beth—Peor is referred to in Deut. iii. 29.

    Belphoebe meant for Queen Elizabeth. She was sister of Amoret. Equally chaste, but of the Diana and Minerva type. Cold as an icicle, passionless, immovable. She is a white flower without perfume, and her only tender passion is that of chivalry. Like a moonbeam, she is light without warmth. You admire her as you admire a marble statue. ( Spenser: Faërie Queene, book iii.)

    Belt

    To hit below the belt. To strike unfairly. It is prohibited in prize—fighting to hit below the waistbelt. To call men knaves and fools, to charge a man with nepotism, to make a slanderous report which is not actionable, indeed to take away a man's character in any way where self—defence is impossible, is “hitting him below the belt.”

    “Lord Salisbury hits hard, but never hits below the belt.”— Daily Telegraph, November, 1885.

    To hold the belt.

    To be the champion. In pugilism, etc., a belt is passed on to the champion.

    Beltane

    (2 syl.). A festival observed in Ireland on June 21st, and in some parts of Scotland on May Day. A fire is kindled on the hills, and the young people dance round it, and feast on cakes made of milk and eggs. It is supposed to be a relic of the worship of Baal. The word is Gaelic, and means Bel's fire; and the cakes are called beltane—cakes.

    Belted Knight

    The right of wearing belt and spurs. Even to the present day knights of the shire are “girt with a belt and sword,” when the declaration of their election is officially made.

    Belted Will

    Lord William Howard, warden of the western marches (1563—1640).

    “His Bilboa blade, by marchmen felt,

    Hung in a broad and studded belt;

    Hence, in rude phrase, the borderers still

    Called noble Howard Belted Will. Scott.

    Beltenebros

    Amadis of Gaul so calls himself after he retires to the Poor Rock. His lady—love is Oriana. (Amadis of Gaul, ii. 6.)

    Belvawney

    (Miss), of the Ports—mouth theatre. She always took the part of a page, and wore tights and silk stockings. (Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby, 1838.)

    Belvedere

    [bel—ve—dear]. A sort of pleasure—house or look—out on the top of a house. The word is Italian, and means a fine prospect.

    Belvidera

    (in Otway's Venice Preserved). Sir Walter Scott says, “More tears have been shed for the sorrows of Belvidera and Monimia than for those of Juliet and Desdemona.”

    “And Belvidera pours her soul in love.”

    Thomson: Winter.

    Bemuse

    (2 syl.). To get into a dreamy, half—intoxicated state.

    “Bemusing himself with beer.”— Sala: Gaslight and Daylight.

    Ben

    The Neptune of the Saxons.

    Ben (a theatrical word). Benefit. “A big ben,” a good or bumping benefit.

    Big Ben of Westminster.

    A name given to the large bell, which weighs 13 tons 10 cwt., and is named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the Chief Commissioner of Works when the bell was cast. (1856.)

    Ben Jochanan'

    in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden and Tate, is meant for the Rev. Samuel Johnson, who suffered much persecution for his defence of the right of private judgment.

    “A Jew [Englishman ] of humble parentage was he;

    By trade a Levite [clergyman ], though of low degree.” Part ii. 354, 355.

    Ben trovato

    (Italian). Well found; a happy discovery or invention.

    Benaiah

    (3 syl.), in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden and Tate, is meant for George Edward Sackville, called General Sackville, a gentleman of family, and a zealous partisan of the Duke of York. Benaiah was captain in David's army, and was made by Solomon generalissimo. (1 Kings ii. 35.)

    “Nor can Benaiah's worth forgotten lie,

    Of steady soul when public storms were high;

    Whose conduct, while the Moors fierce onsets made, Secured at once our honour and our trade.'

    Part ii. 819—20.

    Benares

    (3 syl.). One of the “most holy” cities of the Hindus, reverenced by them as much as Mecca is by the Mohammedans.

    Benbow

    (Admiral ), in an engagement with the French near St. Martha, on the Spanish coast, in 1701, had his legs and thighs shivered into splinters by a chain—shot, but, supported in a wooden frame, he remained on the quarter—deck till morning, when Du Casse bore away. Almeyda, the Portuguese governor of India, in his engagement with the united fleet of Cambay'a and Egypt, had his legs and thighs shattered in a similar manner; but, instead of retreating, had himself bound to the ship's mast, where he “waved his sword to cheer on the combatants,” till he died from loss of blood. (See Cynægiros, Jaafer, etc.)

    “Whirled by the cannon's rage, in shivers torn,

    His thighs far shattered o'er the waves are borne; Bound to the mast the god—like hero stands,

    Waves his proud sword and cheers his woeful bands; Though winds and seas their wonted aid deny,

    To yield he knows not, but he knows to die.”

    Camoens: Lusiad, book x.

    Benbow

    A sot, generous, free, idle, and always hanging about the ale—house. He inherited a good estate, spent it all, and ended life in the workhouse. The tale is in Crabbe's Borough.

    “Benbow, a boon companion, long approved

    By jovial sets, and (as he thought) beloved,

    Was judged as one to joy and friendship prone, And deemed injurious to himself alone.”

    Letter xvi.

    Bench

    The seat of a judge in the law courts; the office of judge.

    To be raised to the bench.

    To be made a judge.

    The King's [queen's] bench.

    The Supreme Court of Common Law; so called because at one time the sovereign presided in this court, and the court followed the sovereign when he moved from one place to another. Now a division of the High Court of Judicature.

    Bench

    Bench of bishops. The whole body of English prelates, who sit together on a bench in the House of Lords.

    To be raised to the Episcopal bench.

    To be made a bishop.

    Bench and Bar

    Judges and pleaders. The bench is the seat on which a judge sits. The bar of a court was formerly a wooden barrier, to separate the counsel from the audience. Now, silk gowns (q.v. ) sit nearer the judge, and their juniors behind them. (See Barristers. )

    Benchers

    Senior members of the Inns of Court; so called from the bench on which they used to sit. They exercise the function of calling students to the bar, and have the right of expelling the obnoxious. ( See Bar, page 94, col. 1.)

    “He was made successively Barrister, Utter Barrister, Bencher, and Reader.”— Wood.

    Bend

    meaning power, as Beyond my bend, i.e. my means or power. The allusion is to a bow or spring; if strained beyond its bending power, it breaks. (See Bent. )

    Bend Sinister

    He has a bend sinister. He was not born in lawful wedlock. In heraldry, a band running from the upper right—hand corner to the lower left—hand corner (as the shield appears before you on paper) is called a bend—sinister, and is popularly, but erroneously, supposed to indicate bastardy.

    Bendemeer

    A river that flows near the ruins of Chilminar' or Istachar', in the province of Chusistan' in Persia.

    “There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,

    And the nightingale sings round it all the day long.”

    T. Moore: Lalla Rookh, Part 1.

    Bender

    Sixpence.

    Bendigo

    A rough fur cap, named from a noted pugilist, William Thompson; so nicknamed from his birthplace in Australia.

    Bendy

    (Old ). The devil, who is willing to bend to anyone's inclination. The way of sin is so broad that every shade of error can be admitted without obstruction.

    Benedicite

    (5 syl.). “Bless you:” a benediction used in the Roman Catholic Church; also the canticle.

    Benedick

    A sworn bachelor caught in the wiles of matrimony, like Benedick in Shakespeare's comedy of Much Ado about Nothing.

    “Let our worthy Cantab be bachelor or Benedick, what concern is it of ours.”—Mrs. Edwards: A Girton Girl, chap. xv.

    Benedick and Benedict are used indiscriminately, but the distinction should be observed.

    Benedict

    A bachelor, not necessarily one pledged to celibacy, but simply a man of marriageable age, not married. St. Benedict was a most uncompromising stickler for celibacy.

    “Is it not a pun? There is an old saying, `Needles and pins; when a man marries his trouble begins.' If so the unmarried man is benedictus.”— Life in the West.

    Benedictines

    (4 syl.). Monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict, viz. implicit obedience, celibacy, abstaining from laughter, spare diet, poverty, the exercise of hospitality, and unremitting industry.

    Benefice

    (3 syl.). Under the Romans certain grants of lands made to veteran soldiers were called beneficia, and in the Middle Ages an estate held ex mero beneficio of the donor was called “a benefice.” When the popes assumed the power of the feudal lords with reference to ecclesiastical patronage, a “living” was termed by them a benefice held under the pope as superior lord. This assumption roused the jealousy of France and England, and was stoutly resisted.

    Benefit of Clergy

    Exemption of the clerical order from civil punishment, based on the text, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chron. xvi. 22). In time it comprehended not only the ordained clergy, but all who, being able to write and read, were capable of entering into holy orders. This law was abolished in the reign of George IV. (1827).

    Benen—geli

    (See Hamet. )

    Benet

    (French). A simpleton, so called because they were supposed to be, in a special way, the objects of God's care. (French, béni, Old French, beneit, from Latin, benedictus.) We call an idiot an “Innocent” (q.v.).

    Benevolence

    A “forced” gratuity, under the excuse of a loan, exacted by some of the Plantagenet kings. First enforced in 1473, it was declared illegal by the Bill of Rights in 1689.

    “Royal benevolences were encroaching more and more on the right of parliamentary taxation.”—Green: History of the English People, vol. ii. book vi. chap. i. p. 197.

    Benevolus

    in Cowper's Task, is John Courtney Throckmorton of Weston Underwood.

    Bengal Tigers

    The old 17th Foot, whose badge, a royal tiger, was granted them for their services in India (1802—23). Now the Leicester Regiment.

    Bengalese

    (3 syl.) for Bengalis or Bengalees. Natives of Bengal. (Singular, Bengali or Bengalee.)

    Bengodi

    A wonderful country where “they tie the vines with sausages, where you may buy a fat goose for a penny and have the giblets given into the bargain. In this place there is a mountain of Parmesan cheese, and people's employment is making cheesecakes and macaroons. There is also a river which runs Malmsey wine of the very best quality. ( Boccaccio: Eighth Day, Novel iii.)

    Benicia Boy

    John C. Heenan, the American pugilist, who challenged and fought Tom Sayers for “the belt” in 1860; so called from Benicia in California, his birthplace.

    Benjamin The pet, the youngest. Queensland is the Benjamin of our colonial possessions. The allusion is to Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob (Gen. xxxv. 18).

    Benjamin

    A smart overcoat; so called from a tailor of the name, and rendered popular by its association with Joseph's “coat of many colours.”

    Benjamin's Mess

    The largest share. The allusion is to the banquet given by Joseph, viceroy of Egypt, to his brethren. “Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs” (Gen. xliii. 34).

    Bennaskar

    A wealthy merchant and magician of Delhi, in Ridlay's Tales of the Genii.

    “Like the jeweller of Delhi, in the house of the magician Bennaskar, I at length reached a vaulted room dedicated to secrecy and silence.”— Sir W. Scott.

    Benshie, Benshee

    (see Banshee ). The Scotch Bodach Glay, or Grey Spectre, is a similar superstition; and the Pari—Banou (Nymph of the Air) of the Arabian Nights is also a sort of Benshee.

    “How oft has the Benshee cried!” [How busy death has been of late with our notables.]—T. Moore: Irish Melodies, No. ii.

    Bent

    Inclination; talent for something. Out of my bent, not in my way, not in the range of my talent. Bent on it, inclined to it. As a thing bent is inclined, so a bent is an inclination or bias. Genius or talent is a bent or bias.

    “Whatever is done best, is done from the natural bent and disposition of the mind.”—Hazlitt: Table Talk.

    They fool me to the top of my bent, i.e. as far as the bow can be bent without snapping. (Hamlet, iii. 2.) (See Bend.)

    Benvolio

    Nephew to Montague, a testy, litigious gentleman, who would “quarrel with a man that had a hair more or a hair less in his beard than he had.” Mercutio says to him, “Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun.” (Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, iii. 1.)

    Beppo

    The contraction of Giuseppe, and therefore equal to our Joe. Husband of Laura, a Venetian lady. He was taken captive in Troy, turned Turk, joined a band of pirates, grew rich, and, after several years' absence, returned to his native land, where he discovered his wife at a carnival ball with her cavaliero servente. He made himself known to her, and they lived together again as man and wife. (Byron: Beppo.)

    Berchta

    [the white lady ]. This fairy, in Southern Germany, answers to Hulda (the gracious lady) of Northern Germany; but after the introduction of Christianity, when pagan deities were represented as demons, Berchta lost her former character, and became a bogie to frighten children.

    Bereans

    (3 syl.). The followers of the Rev. John Barclay, of Kincardineshire (1773). They believe that all we know of God is from revelation; that all the Psalms refer to Christ; that assurance is the proof of faith; and that unbelief is the unpardonable sin. They took their name from the Bereans, mentioned in the Book of the Acts

    (xvii. 11), who “received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily.”

    Berecynthian Hero

    Midas, the Phrygian king; so called from Mount Berecyntus, in Phrygia

    Berengarians

    Followers of Berenger, archdeacon of Angers, the learned opponent of Lanfranc (eleventh century). He said that the bread by consecration did not become the very body of Christ “generated on earth so many years before, but becomes to the faithful, nevertheless, the blessed body of Christ.”

    Berenice

    (4 syl.). The sister—wife of Ptolemy III., who vowed to sacrifice her hair to the gods, if her husband returned home the vanquisher of Asia. She suspended her hair in the temple of the war—god, but it was stolen the first night, and Conon of Samos told the king that the winds had wafted it to heaven, where it still forms the seven stars near the tail of Leo, called Coma Berenices.

    Pope, in his Rape of the Lock, converts the purloined ringlet into a star or meteor, “which drew behind a radiant trail of háir.” (Canto v.)

    Berg Folk

    Pagan spirits doomed to live on the Scandinavian hills till the day of redemption. (Scandinavian mythology. )

    Bergæan

    (A ). A great liar; so called from Antiphanes Berga.

    Bergelmir

    A frost—giant, father of the Jötuns, or second dynasty of giants. (Scandinavian mythology. )

    Berger

    L'heure du Berger (French). The shepherd's hour, i.e. the swain's or lover's hour; the happy hour of tryst; the critical moment.

    Bergomask

    A clown or merryandrew; a native of Bergamo. Compare, a gasconader; a Boeotian.

    Berkley

    (Mr. ). An Englishman of fortune, good—humoured, and humane. He is a bachelor and somewhat eccentric, but sound common sense is a silver thread which is never lost. (Longfellow: Hyperion (a romance), 1839.)

    Berkshire

    (Saxon, Bearoc — scire, forest—shire), a name peculiarly appropriate to this county, which contains the forest districts of Windsor and Bagshot.

    Berlin Decree

    A decree issued at Berlin by Napoleon I., forbidding any of the nations of Europe to trade with Great Britain (1806). This mad fancy was the first step to the great man's fall.

    Berlin Time

    The new Berlin Observatory is 44' 14” east of Paris, and 53' 35” east of Greenwich. The Berlin day begins at noon, but our civil day begins the midnight preceding.

    Berliners

    The people of Berlin, in Prussia.

    Bermeja

    Insula de la Torre, from which Amadis of Gaul starts when he goes in quest of the Enchantress—Damsel, daughter of Finetor the necromancer.

    Bermoothes

    An hypothetical island feigned by Shakespeare to be enchanted, and inhabited by witches and devils. Supposed by some to be Bermudas; but a correspondent in Notes and Queries (January 23rd, 1886, p.

    72) utterly denies this, and favours the suggestion that the island meant was Lampedusa.

    “From the still—vexed Bermoothes, there she's hid.”

    Shakespeare: The Tempest,

    i. 2.

    Bermudas

    To live in the Bermudas, i.e. in some out—of—the—way place for cheapness. The shabby genteel hire a knocker in some West—end square, where letters may be left for them, but live in the Bermudas, or narrow passages north of the Strand, near Covent Garden.

    Bernard

    (St. ). Abbot of the monastery of Clairvaux in the twelfth century. His fame for wisdom was very great, and few church matters were undertaken without his being consulted.

    Petit Bernard.

    Solomon Bernard, engraver of Lyons. (Sixteenth century.) Poor Bernard. Claude Bernard, of Dijon, philanthropist (1588—1641). Lucullus. Samuel Bernard, capitalist (1651—1739).

    Le gentil Bernard.

    Pierre Joseph Bernard, the French poet (1710—1775).

    Bernard Bonus Bernardus non videt omnia (see above). We are all apt to forget sometimes; events do not always turn out as they are planned before—hand.

    “Poor Peter was to win honours at Shrewsbury school, and carry them thick to Cambridge; and after that a living awaited him, the gift of his godfather, Sir Peter Arley; but Bonus Bernardus non videt omnia, and Poor Peter's lot in life was very different to what his friends had planned.”—Mrs. Gaskell: Cranford, chap. vi.

    Bernard Soup

    (St. ). (See Stone Soup. )

    Bernardo

    in Dibdin's bootlegbooks (a romance), is meant for Joseph Hazlewood, antiquary and critic (1811).

    Bernardo del Carpio

    One of the most favourite subjects of the Spanish minstrels; the other two being the Cid and Lara's seven infants.

    Bernard's Inn

    Formerly called Mackworth Inn, from Dean Mackworth, who died 1454.

    “This house was, in the thirty—first year of the reign of Henry VI., a messuage belonging to Dr. John Mackworth. dean of the cathedral church of Lincoln, and at that time in the holding of one Lionel Bernard. ... and it hath ever since retained the name of Bernard's

    Inn.”—Harleian MSS. No. 1104.

    Berners

    or Barnes (Juliana ). Prioress of Sopewell nunnery, near St. Albans, reputed authoress of the Bokys of Hawking and Hunting (1486). Generally called “Dame Berners.” Another book ascribed to her is the Boke of the Blazing of Arms (1485).

    Bernese

    (2 syl.). A native of Berne, in Switzerland.

    Bernesque Poetry

    Serio—comic poetry; so called from Francesco Berni, of Tuscany, who greatly excelled in it. (1490—1536).

    Bernouilli's Numbers

    or the properties of numbers first discovered by James Bernouilli, professor of mathematics at Basle (1654—1705).

    Berserker

    Grandson of the eight—handed Starkader and the beautiful Alfhilde, called bær—serce (bare of mail) because he went into battle unharnessed. Hence, any man with the fighting fever on him.

    “You say that I am berserker. And ... baresark I go to—morrow to the war.”—Rev. C. Kingsley; Hereward the Wake.

    Berth

    He has tumbled into a nice berth. A nice situation or fortune. The place in which a ship is anchored is called its berth, and the sailors call it a good or bad berth as they think it favourable or otherwise. The space also allotted to a seaman for his hammock is called his berth. (Norman, berth, a cradle.)

    To give a wide berth.

    Not to come near a person; to keep a person at a distance. The place where a ship lies in harbour is called her berth: hence, to give a “wide berth” is to give a ship plenty of room to swing at anchor.

    Bertha

    The betrothed of John of Leyden, but, being a vassal of Count Oberthal, she was unable to marry without her lord's consent. When she went with her mother to ask permission of marriage, the count, struck with her beauty, determined to make her his mistress. She afterwards makes her escape from the castle, and, fancying that the “prophet” had caused the death of her lover, goes to Munster fully resolved to compass his

    death by setting fire to the palace. She is apprehended, and, being brought before the prophet—king, recognises her lover in him, saying, “I loved thee once, but now my love is turned to hate,” and stabs herself.

    (Meyerbeer's opera, Le Prophéte. )

    Bertha

    The blind daughter of Caleb Plummer in Dickens's Cricket on the Hearth (a Christmas story), 1845.

    Bertha

    (Frau ). A German impersonation of the Epiphany, corresponding to the Italian Befana. Represented as a white lady, who steals softly into nurseries and rocks infants asleep in the absence of negligent nurses; she is, however, the terror of all naughty children. Her feet are very large, and she has an iron nose. (See Befana. )

    Berthas

    [Stock Exchange term ]. The London, Brighton, & South Coast Railway Deferred Stock.

    Berthe au Grand Pied

    Mother of Charlemagne, and great granddaughter of Charles Martel; so called because she had a club—foot.

    Bertolde

    [Bar—told ]. Imperturbable as Bertolde, i.e. not to be taken by surprise, thrown off your guard, or disconcerted at anything. Bertolde is the hero of a little jeu d'esprit in Italian prose, J. Cesare Croce. He is a comedian by profession, whom nothing astonishes, and is as much at his ease with kings and queens as with persons of his own rank and vocation.

    Bertram

    One of the conspirators against the Republic of Venice “in whom there was a hesitating softness fatal to a great enterprise.” He betrayed the conspiracy to the senate. (Byron: Marino Faliero. )

    Bertram

    (Henry ), in Sir W. Scott's novel of Guy Mannering, was suggested by James Annesley, Esq., rightful heir of the earldom of Anglesey, of which he was dispossessed by his uncle Richard. He died in 1743.

    Bertram, Count of Rousillon

    beloved by Helena, the hero of Shakespeare's comedy, All's Well that Ends Well.

    “I cannot reconcile, my heart to Bertram, a man noble without generosity, and young without truth; who marries Helena as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate.”—Dr. Johnson.

    Bertram Risingham

    The vassal of Philip of Mortham. Oswald Wycliffe induced him to shoot his lord at Marston Moor, and for this vile deed the vassal demanded of him all the gold and movables of his late master. Oswald, being a villain, tried to outwit Bertram, and even murder him; but in the end it turns out that Mortham was not killed, neither was Oswald his heir, for Redmond O'Neale, the page of Rokeby, is found to be Mortham's son. (Scott: Rokeby. )

    Bertramo

    The fiend—father of Robert le Diable. After alluring his son to gamble away all his possessions, he meets him near the rocks St. Irene, and Helena seduces him in the “Dance of Love.” When Bertramo at last comes to claim his victim, he is resisted by Alice, the foster—sister of the duke, who reads to him his mother's will, and angels come to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. (Meyerbeer's opera of Roberto il Diavolo. )

    Berwicks [Stock Exchange term ], meaning the North—Eastern Railway shares. The line runs to Berwick.

    Beryl Molozane

    (3 syl.). The lady beloved by George Geith; a laughing, loving beauty, all sunshine and artlessness; tender, frank, full of innocent chatter; helping everyone and loving everyone. Her lot is painfully unhappy, and she dies. (F. G. Trafford [J. H. Riddell]: George Geith. )

    Berzak

    [the interval ]. The space between death and the resurrection. (The Koran.)

    Besaile

    A great grandfather (French, bisaieul ). This word should be restored.

    Besants

    or Bezants. Circular pieces of bullion without any impression, supposed to represent the old coinage of Byzantium, and to have been brought to Europe by the Crusaders.

    Beside the Cushion

    Beside the question; not to the point; not pertinent to the matter in hand. French, hors de propos; Latin, nihil ad rhombum. It was Judge Jeffreys who used the phrase, “Besides [ sic ] the cushion.”

    Besom

    To hang out the besom. To have a fling when your wife is gone on a visit. To be a quasi bachelor once more. Taking this in connection with the following phrase, it evidently means, holding the marriage service in abeyance.

    “This is French argot. Rotir le balai (to burn the besom) means to live the life of a libertine, whence balochard, Paris slang for a libertine. Probably our phrase, “burn the bellows,” is pretty much the same as rotir le balai.

    Jumping the besom. Omitting the marriage service after the publication of banns, and living together as man and wife. In Southern Scotch, a street—walker is called a besom, and in French balai (a besom) means the life of a libertine, as Rôtir le balai; Il ont bien rôti le balai ensemble, where balai means a debauch or something worse. No further explanation can be needed or could be given.

    Bess

    Good Queen Bess. Queen Elizabeth (1533, 1558—1603).

    Bess o' Bedlam

    A female lunatic vagrant. Bedlam is a common name for a madhouse, and Bess is a national name for a woman, especially of the lower order. The male lunatic is a Tom o' Bedlam.

    Bess of Hardwicke

    Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, to whose charge, in 1572, Mary Queen of Scots was committed. The countess treated the captive queen with great harshness, being jealous of the earl her husband. Bess of Hardwicke married four times: Alexander Barley (when she was only fourteen years of age); William Cavendish; Sir William St. Loe, Captain of Queen Elizabeth's Guard; and lastly, George, Earl of Shrewsbury. She built Hardwicke Hall, and founded the wealth and dignity of the Cavendish family.

    Bessemer Iron

    Pig—iron refined, and converted into steel or malleable iron by passing currents of air through the molten metal, according to a process discovered by Sir H. Bessemer, and patented in 1856.

    Bessie Bell and Mary Gray

    A ballad. The tale is that these two young ladies, natives of Perth, to avoid the plague of 1666, retired to a rural retreat called the Burnbraes, about a mile from Lynedock, the residence of Mary Gray. A young man, in love with both, carried them provisions. Both ladies died of the plague, and were buried at Dornock Hough.

    Bessus

    A cowardly, bragging captain, a sort of Bobadil (q.v. ). (Beaumont and Fletcher: A King and no King.)

    Best At best or At the very best. Looking at the matter in the most favourable light. Making every allowance.

    “Life at best is but a mingled yarn.”

    At one's best.

    At the highest or best point attainable by the person referred to. For the best. With the best of motives; with the view of obtaining the best results. I must make the best of my way home. It is getting late and I must use my utmost diligence to get home as soon as possible.

    To have the best of it,

    or, To have the best of the bargain. To have the advantage or best of a transaction. To make the best of the matter. To submit to ill—luck with the best grace in your power.

    Best Man

    (at a wedding). The bridegroom's chosen friend who waits on him, as the bride's maids wait on the bride.

    Best Things

    (The Eight ), according to Scandinavian mythology:— (1) The ash Yggdrasil is the best of trees;

    (2) Skidbladnir, of ships;

    (3) Odin, of the Æsir';

    (4) Sleipnir, of steeds;

    (5) Bifrost, of bridges;

    (6) Bragi, of bards;

    (7) Habrok, of hawks

    (8) Garm, of hounds.

    Bestiaries

    or Bestials. Books very popular in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, containing the pictures of animals and their symbolisms.

    “The unicorn has but one horn in the middle of its forehead. It is the only animal that ventures to attack the elephant; and so sharp is the nail of its foot, that with one blew it can rip the belly of that beast. Hunters can catch the unicorn only by placing a young virgin in its haunts. No sooner does he see the damsel, than he runs towards her, and lies down at her feet, and so suffers himself to be captured by the hunters. The unicorn represents Jesus Christ, who took on Him our nature in the virgin's womb, was betrayed to the Jews, and delivered into the hands of Pontius Pilate. Its one horn signifies the Gospel of Truth. ...”—Le Bestiaire Divin de

    Guillaume, Clerc de Normandic (13th century).

    Bete

    Morte la bête, mort le venin. Dead men tell no tales; dead dogs don't bite. When one is dead his power of mischief is over. Literally, if the beast is dead, its poison is dead also.

    Quand Jean—Bête est mort, il à laissè bien des héritiers.

    Casimir Delavigne says to the same effect, Les sots depuis Adam sont en majorité. Jean—Bête means a fool or dolt.

    Bête Noire

    The thorn in the side, the bitter in the cup, the spoke in the wheel, the black sheep, the object of aversion. A black sheep has always been considered an eyesore in a flock, and its wool is really less valuable. In times of superstition it was looked on as bearing the devil's mark.

    “The Dutch sale of tin is the bête noire of the Cornish miners.”—The Times.

    Beth Gelert

    or “the Grave of the Greyhound.” A ballad by the Hon. William Robert Spencer. The tale is that one day Llewellyn returned from hunting, when his favourite hound, covered with gore, ran to meet him. The chieftain ran to see if anything had happened to his infant son, found the cradle overturned, and all around was sprinkled with gore and blood. Thinking the hound had eaten the child, he stabbed it to the heart. Afterwards

    he found the babe quite safe, and a huge wolf under the bed, quite dead. Gêlert had killed the wolf and saved the child.

    Bethlemenites

    (4 syl.). Followers of John Huss, so called because he used to preach in the church called Bethlehem of Prague.

    Betrothed

    (The ). One of the Tales of the Crusaders, by Sir Walter Scott, 1832. Lady Eveline Berenger is the betrothed of Sir Damian de Lacy, whom she marries.

    Better

    My better half. A jocose way of saying my wife. As the twain are one, each is half. Horace calls his friend animæ dimidium meæ. (1 Odes iii. 8.)

    To be better than his word.

    To do more than he promised. To think better of the matter. To give it further consideration; to form a more correct opinion respecting it.

    Better kind Friend, etc

    Better kind friend than friend kind. Friend is a corruption of fremd, meaning a stranger. Better [a] kind stranger than a kinsman who makes himself a stranger, or an estranged kinsman.

    Better off.

    In more easy circumstances.

    Bettina

    A mascotte who always brought good luck wherever she went. Though a mere peasant, she is taken to the Prince of Piombino's palace of Laurent, to avert his ill—luck; but by marrying Pippo (a shepherd) she loses her gift. However, the prince is reminded that the children of a mascotte are hereditary mascottes, and makes Bettina promise that her first child shall be adopted by the prince. (See Mascotte. )

    Bettina

    The name under which Elizabeth Brentano translated into English Goethe's Letters to a Child in 1835. She was the wife of Ludwig Achim von Arnim, and it was her correspondence with Goethe which were the Letters to a Child referred to. Elizabeth Brentano was born 1785.

    Betty

    A name of contempt given to a man who interferes with the duties of female servants, or occupies himself in female pursuits; also called a “Molly.”

    Betty

    A skeleton key; the servant of a picklock. Burglars call their short crowbars for forcing locks Jennies and Jemmies. “Jenny” is a “small engine,” i.e. 'ginie, and Jemmy is merely a variant.

    Betubium

    Dumsby, or the Cape of St. Andrew, in Scotland.

    “The north—inflated tempest foams

    O'er Orka's and Betubium's highest peak.”

    Thomson: Autumn, 891, 2.

    Between

    Between hay and grass. Neither one thing nor yet another; a hobbledehoy, neither a man nor yet a boy.

    Between cup and lip.

    (See Slip.)

    Between Scylla and Charybdis. Between two equal dangers; on the horns of a dilemma. (See Charybdis.) Between two fires. Between two dangers. In war, an army fired upon from opposite sides is in imminent danger.

    Between two stools you come to the ground:

    “Like a man on double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, and both neglect.” He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other.” Simul sorbere ac flare non possum. The allusion is to a children's game called “The Ambassador,” also a practical joke at one time played at sea when the ship crossed the line. Two stools are set side by side, but somewhat apart, and a cloth is covered over them. A person sits on each stool to keep the cloth taut, and the ambassador is invited to sit in the middle; but, as soon as he is seated, the two rise and the ambassador comes to the ground.

    Between you and me

    (French, entrenous). In confidence be it spoken. Sometimes, Between you and me and the gate—post. These phrases, for the most part, indicate that some ill—natured remark or slander is about to be made of a third person, but occasionally they refer to some offer or private affair. “Between ourselves” is another form of the same phrase.

    Betwixt and Between

    Neither one nor the other, but somewhere between the two. Thus, grey is neither white nor black, but betwixt and between the two.

    Beurre

    Avoir beurre sur la tête. To be covered with crimes. Taken from a Jewish saying, “If you have butter on your head (i.e. have stolen butter and put it in your cap), don't go into the sun.” ( Vidocq: Voleurs, vol. i. p.

    16.)

    J'y suis pour mon beurre.

    Here beurre means argent: I paid for it through the nose. Beurre or butter has the same relation to food as wealth has to civil life; it does not take the place of it, and does not make it, but it makes it go down more pleasantly, and adds somewhat to its wholesomeness. As Shakespeare says, “Where virtue is, it makes more virtuous.”

    Promettre plus de beurre que de pain.

    To promise much, but perform little. To promise more than one, can, or chooses to, perform. The butter of a promise is of no use without substantial bread. “Be thou fed” will not fill an empty stomach. A little help is worth a deal of pity.

    Beuves

    (1 syl.), or Buovo of Aygremont. The father of Malagigi, and uncle of Rinaldo. (Ariosto: Orlando Furioso.)

    Bever

    A “drink” between meals. (Italian, bevere, to drink— our beverage; Latin, bibere — our im—bibe). At Eton they used to have “Bever days,” when extra beer and bread were served during the afternoon in the College Hall to scholars, and any friends whom they might bring in.

    “He . . . will devour three breakfasts . . . without prejudice to his bevers.”— Beaumont and Fletcher: Woman Hater, i. 3.

    Bevil

    A model gentleman in Steele's Conscious Lovers.

    “Whate'er can deck mankind,

    Or charm the heart, in generous Bevil showed.” Thomson: Winter, 654—5.

    Bevis'

    The horse of Lord Marmion. (Sir Walter Scott.) (See Horse. )

    Bevis of Southampton.

    A knight of romance, whose exploits are recounted in Drayton's Polyolbion. The French call him Beuves de Hantone.

    Bevoriskius

    whose Commentary on the Generations of Adam is referred to by Sterne in the Sentimental Journey, was Johannes Bevoricius, physician and senator, author of a large number of books. The Commentary will be found at fol. 1 (1652).

    Bevy A bevy of ladies. A throng or company; properly applied to roebucks, quails, and pheasants. Timid gregarious animals, in self—defence, go down to a river to drink in bevies or small companies. Ladies, from their timidity, are placed in the same category (Italian, bevere, to drink).

    “And upon her deck what a bevy of human flowers— young women, how lovely!— young men, how noble!”— De Quincey: Dream—fugue.

    Bezaliel

    in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden and Tate, is meant for the Marquis of Worcester, afterwards Duke of Beaufort.

    “Bezaliel with each grace and virtue fraught,

    Serene his looks, serene his life and thought;

    On whom so largely Nature heaped her store,

    There scarce remained for arts to give him more.” Part ii. 947—56.

    Bezonian

    A new recruit; applied originally in derision, to young soldiers sent from Spain to Italy, who landed both ill—accoutred and in want of everything (Ital. besogni, from bisogno, need; French besoin).

    “Base and pilfering besognios and marauders.” — Sir W. Scott: Monastery, xvi.

    “Great men oft die by vile bezonians.”

    Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI.,

    act iv. 1.

    “Under which king, Bezonian? Speak or die” (2 Hen. IV., act v. 3). Choose your leader or take the consequences — Cæsar or Pompey? “Speak or die.”

    Bheem

    or Bhima. One of the five Pandoos, or brotherhoods of Indian demi—gods, famous for his strength. He slew the giant Kinchick, and dragged his body from the hills, thereby making the Kinchick ravine.

    Biæum

    in rhetoric, means converting the proof into a disproof. As thus: That you were the murderer is proved by your being on the spot at the time. Reply: Just the contrary, if I had been the guilty person most certainly I should have run away. (Greek, biaion.)

    Bianca

    Wife of Fazio. When Fazio became rich, and got entangled with the Marchioness Aldabella, she accused him to the Duke of Florence of being privy to the death of Bartoldo, an old miser. Fazio was arrested and condemned to death. Bianca now repented of her jealous rashness, and tried to save her husband, but failing in her endeavours, went mad, and died of a broken heart. (Dean Milman: Fazio. N. B. — The name is employed by Shakespeare both in his Taming of the Shrew and also in Othello.

    Bianchi

    (See Neri. )

    Bias

    The weight in bowls which makes them deviate from the straight line; hence any favourite idea or pursuit, or whatever predisposes the mind in a particular direction.

    Bowls are not now loaded, but the bias depends on the shape of the bowls. They are flattened on one side, and therefore roll obliquely.

    “Your stomach makes your fabric roll,

    Just as the bias rules the bowl.”

    Prior: Alma, iii. line 1281

    Biberius Caldius Mero The punning nickname of Tiberius Claudius Nero. Biberius [Tiberius], drink—loving, Caldius Mero [Claudius Nero], by metathesis for calidus mero, hot with wine.

    Bible

    means simply a book, but is now exclusively confined to the “Book of Books.” (Greek, biblos, a book.) The headings of the chapters were prefixed by Miles Smith, Bishop of Gloucester, one of the translators. (i) BIBLES NAMED FROM ERRORS OF TYPE, or from archaic words:—

    The Breeches Bible.

    So called because Genesis iii. 7 was rendered, “The eyes of them bothe were opened . .

    . . and they sowed figge—tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches.” By Whittingham, Gilby, and Sampson, 1579.

    The Idle Bible,

    1809. In which the “idole shepherd” (Zech. xi. 17) is printed “the idle shepherd.” The Bug Bible, 1551. So called because Psalm xci. 5 is translated, “Thou shalt not be afraid of bugges [bogies] by nighte.”

    The Great Bible.

    The same as Matthew Parker's Bible (q.v.).

    The Place—maker's Bible.

    So called from a printer's error in Matt. v. 9, “Blessed are the placemakers [peace—makers], for they shall be called the children of God.”

    The Printers' Bible

    makes David pathetically complain that “the printers [princes] have persecuted me without a cause” (Ps. cxix. 161).

    The Treacle Bible,

    1549 (Beck's Bible), in which the word “balm” is rendered “treacle.” The Bishops' Bible has tryacle in Jer. iii. 28; xlvi. 11; and in Ezek. xxvii. 17.

    The Unrighteous Bible,

    1652 (Cambridge Press). So called from the printer's error, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God?” (1 Cor. vi. 9).

    The Vinegar Bible.

    So called because the heading to Luke xx. is given as “The parable of the Vinegar” (instead of Vineyard). Printed at the Clarendon Press in 1717.

    The Wicked Bible.

    So called because the word not is omitted in the seventh commandment, making it, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Printed by Barker and Lucas, 1632.

    To these may be added: the Discharge Bible, the Ears to Ear Bible, Rebecca's Camels Bible, the Rosin Bible, the Standing Fishes Bible, and some others.

    (ii) BIBLES NAMED FROM PROPER NAMES, or dignities.

    Bishop's Bible.

    The revised edition of Archbishop Parker's version. Published 1568. Coverdale's Bible, 1535. Translated by Miles Coverdale, afterwards Bishop of Exeter. This was the first Bible sanctioned by royal authority.

    Cranmer's Bible,

    1539. This is Coverdale's Bible corrected by Archbishop Cranmer. It was printed in 1540, and in 1549 every parish church was enjoined to have a copy under a penalty of 40s. a month.

    The Douay Bible,

    1581. A translation made by the professors of the Douay College for the use of English boys destined for the Catholic priesthood.

    The Geneva Bible.

    The Bible translated by the English exiles at Geneva. The same as the “Breeches Bible” (q.v.).

    King James's Bible.

    The Authorised Version; so called because it was undertaken by command of James I. Published 1611.

    Matthew Parker's Bible, or “The Great Bible,” published in the reign of Henry VIII. under the care of Archbishop Parker and his staff (1539—1541). In 1572 several prolegomena were added.

    Matthews' Bible

    is Tindal's version. It was so called by John Rogers, superintendent of the English churches in Germany, and was published with notes under the fictitious name of Thomas Matthews, 1537.

    The Mazarine Bible.

    The earliest book printed in movable metal type. It contains no date. Copies have been recently sold from 3,900. Called the Mazarine Bible from the Bibliothèque Mazarine, founded in Paris by Cardinal Mazarine in 1648.

    Sacy's Bible.

    So called from Isaac Louis Sacy (Le—maistre), director of the Port Royal Monastery. He was imprisoned for three years in the Bastille for his Jansenist opinions, and translated the Bible during his captivity (1666—1670).

    Tyndale's Bible.

    William Tyndale, or Tindal, having embraced the Reformed religion, retired to Antwerp, where he printed an English translation of the Scriptures. All the copies were bought up, whereupon Tyndale printed a revised edition. The book excited the rancour of the Catholics, who strangled the “heretic” and burnt his body near Antwerp in 1536.

    Wyclif's Bible,

    1380, but first printed in 1850. (iii) VERSIONS.

    The Authorised Version,

    1611. (See King James's Bible.)

    The Revised Version.

    Published in May, 1885. The work was begun in June, 1870, by twenty—five scholars, ten of whom died before the version was completed. The revisers had eighty—five sessions, which extended over fourteen years.

    Bible—backed

    Round—shouldered, like one who is always poring over a book.

    Bible—carrier

    (A ). A pogram; creakshoes; or saint, in a scornful sense.

    “Of all bookes, they least respect the Bible. Many will have statute bookes, cronicles, yea

    play—bookes, and such—like toyish pamphlets, but not a bible in their house or hands. . . Some vse to carry other bookes with them to church . . . to draw away their mindes from hearing God's word when it is read and preached to them. Some goe yet further, and will not suffer their wives, children, or other of their household to reade the Word. And some scoffe at such as carry the scriptures with them to church, terming them in reproach Bible—carriers.”— Gouge: Whole Armour of God, p. 318 (1616).

    Bible Christians

    A Protestant sect founded in 1815 by William O'Bryan, a Wesleyan, of Cornwall; also called Bryanites (3 syl.).

    Bible—Clerk

    A sizar of the Oxford university; a student who gets certain pecuniary advantages for reading the Bible aloud at chapel. The office is almost a sinecure now, but the emolument is given, in some colleges, to the sons of poor gentlemen, either as a free gift, or as the reward of merit tested by examination.

    Bible Statistics

    The Number of Authors is 50. About 30 books are mentioned in the Bible, but not included in the canon.

    Old Testament New Testament Total.

    Books 30 27 66

    Chapters 929 260 1,189

    Verses 23,214 7,959 31,173

    Words 592,439 181,253 773,692

    Letters 2,728,800 838,380 3,567,180

    Apocrypha.

    Books 14; chapters, 183; verses, 6,081; words, 252,185; letters, 1,063,876.

    (between verses 17 and 18)

    Ezra vii. 21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except j. 2 Kings xix. and Isaiah xxxvii. are exactly alike.

    The last two verses of 2 Chron. and the opening verses of Ezra are alike. Ezra ii. and Nehemiah vii are alike.

    The word and occurs in the Old Testament 35,543 times.

    The word and occurs in the New Testament 10,684 times. The word Jehovah occurs 6,835 times.

    The letter Mem in the Hebrew text occurs 77,778 times.

    The letter Vau in the Hebrew text occurs 76,922 times. (These are the most frequent.) The letter Teth occurs 11,052 times.

    The letter Samech occurs 13,580 times. (These are the least frequent.) The Bible was divided into chapters by Cardinal. Hugo de Sancto—Caro, about 1236. The Old Testament was divided into verses by Rabbi Mordecai Nathan; and the New Testament, in 1544, by

    R. Stephens, a French printer, it is said, while on horseback.

    Of the 3,000 languages and dialects on the earth, the Bible has been translated into 180. The Septuagint, a translation into Greek, was made in Egypt 285 B.C.

    The first complete English translation was by Wicklif, A.D. 1380; the first French translation, in 1160; the first German, in 1460; the first American edition was printed at Boston in 1752.

    The oldest MS. of the Bible in the British Museum is the “Codex Alexandrinus.” Parts of the New Testament are omitted. The “Codex Vaticanus” is the oldest in the Vatican Library at Rome.

    Biblia Pauperum

    [the poor man's Bible ]. Some forty or fifty pictures of Bible subjects used in the Middle Ages, when few could read, to teach the leading events of Scripture history. (See Mirror Of Human Salvation

    .)

    Biblical

    Father of Biblical criticism and exegesis. Origen (185—254).

    bootlegbooks

    A love of books pursued to the point of unreason or madness. One Don Vicente, a Spanish scholar, is reputed to have committed murder to obtain a supposedly unique book.

    Bibliomancy

    Forecasting future events by the Bible. The plan was to open the sacred volume at random, and lay your finger on a passage without looking at it. The text thus pointed out was supposed to be applicable to the person who pointed it out. (Greek, biblia, Bible; manteia, prophecy.) (See Sortes. )

    Another process was to weigh a person suspected of magic against a Bible. If the Bible bore down the other scale, the accused was acquitted.

    Bibulus

    Colleague of Julius Cæsar, a mere cipher in office, whence his name has become proverbial for one in office who is a mere fainéant.

    Biceps

    Muscular strength of the arm; properly, the prominent muscles of the upper arm; so called because they have two heads. (Latin, biceps, two heads.)

    Biceps Parnassus

    (Pers. Prol. 2), i.e. Parnassus with two heads or tops (bis caput).

    “Nec fonte labra prolui caballino,

    Nec in bicipiti somniasse Parnasso

    Memini, ut repente sic poeta prodiren

    Persius: Satires (prologue.

    Bickerstaff

    (Isaac ). A name assumed by Dean Swift in a satirical pamphlet against Partridge, the

    almanack—maker. This produced a paper war so diverting that Steele issued the Tatler under the editorial name of “Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Astrologer (1709).

    Bicorn

    An hypothetical beast supposed to devour all men under petticoat government. It is described as very fat and well liking. There was another beast called Chichevache, which fed on obedient wives, but the famished beast was thinner than the most rascal of Pharaoh's lean kine, for its food always fell short. Of course, bi—corn (two—horns) contains an allusion familiar to all readers of our early literature.

    Bid

    To bid fair. To seem likely: as “He bids fair to do well;” “It bids fair to be a fine day.” (Anglo—Saxon, bédan or beódan, to promise, to offer.)

    To bid for

    [votes]. To promise to support in Parliament certain measures, in order to obtain votes. To bid against one. To offer or promise a higher price for an article at auction.

    I bid him defiance.

    I offer him defiance; I defy him.

    Bid

    I bid you good night. I wish you good night, or I pray that you may have a good night. This is the Anglo—Saxon biddan, to ask, pray, or intreat. Whence “beads—men” (q.v.), “bidding prayer” ( q.v.). “Bid him welcome.”

    “Neither bid him God—speed.”— 2 John 10, 11.

    To bid the [marriage] banns.

    To ask if anyone objects to the marriage of the persons named. “ Si quis” (q.v.).

    To bid to the wedding.

    In the New Testament is to ask to the wedding feast.

    Bid—ale

    An invitation of friends to assemble at the house of a poor man to drink ale, and thus to raise alms for his relief.

    “The ordinary amusements in country parishes (in 1632) were church—ales. clerk—ales, and

    bid—ales, . . . consisting of drinking and sports, particularly dancing.”— T. V. Short, D. D.: History of the Church of England, p. 392.

    “Denham, in 1634, issued an order in the western circuit to put an end to the disorders attending church—ales, bid—ales, clerk—ales, and the like.”— Howitt: History of England (Charles I., chap. iii. p. 159).

    Bidding Beads

    Telling off prayers by beads (Anglo—Saxon, biddan, to ask, to pray).

    Bidding—Prayer

    The prayer for the souls of benefactors said before the sermon; a relic of this remains in the prayer used in cathedrals, university churches, etc. Bidding is from bead or bede. (Anglo—Saxon, biddan, to pray for the souls of benefactors.) ( See Beadsman. )

    Biddy (i.e. Bridget). A generic name for an Irish servant—maid, as Mike is for an Irish labourer. These generic names are very common: for example, Tom Tug, a waterman; Jack Pudding, a buffoon; Cousin Jonathan, an American of the United States; Cousin Michel, a German; John Bull, an Englishman; Moll and Betty, English female servants of the lower order; John Chinaman, a Chinese; Colin Tompon, a Swiss; Nic Frog, a Dutchman; Mossoo, a Frenchman: and many others.

    In Arbuthnot's John Bull Nic Frog is certainly a Dutchman; and Frogs are called “Dutch Nightingales.” The French sometimes serve Liège frogs at table as a great delicacy, and this has caused the word to be transferred to the French; but, properly, Nic Frog is a Dutchman.

    Bideford Postman

    Edward Caporn, the poet (born 1819), so called because at one time he was a letter—carrier at Bideford. He died in 1894.

    Bidpai

    [See Pilpay. ]

    Biforked Letter of the Greeks

    The capital U, made thus Y, which resembles a bird flying.

    “[The birds] flying, write upon the sky

    “The biforked letter of the Greeks.”

    Longfellow: The Wayside Inn,

    prelude.

    Bifrost

    in Scandinavian mythology, is the name of the bridge between heaven and earth; the rainbow may be considered to be this bridge, and its various colours are the reflections of its precious stones. (Icelandic, bifa, tremble, and rost, path.)

    The keeper of the bridge is Heimdall. It leads to Doomstead, the palace of the Norns or Fates.

    Big

    To look big. To assume a consequential air.

    To talk big.

    To boast or brag.

    “The archdeacon waxed wroth, talked big, and looked bigger.”— Trollope: The Warden, chap.

    20.

    Big Bird

    To get the big bird (i.e. the goose). To be hissed on the stage. A theatrical expression.

    Big—endians

    A religious party in the empire of Lilliput, who made it a matter of conscience to break their eggs at the big end; they were looked on as heretics by the orthodox party, who broke theirs at the small end. The Big—endians are the Catholics, and the Little—endians the Protestants.

    Big Gooseberry Season

    (The ). The time when Parliament is not assembled. It is at such times that newspapers are glad of any subject to fill their columns and amuse their readers; monster gooseberries will do for such a purpose for the nonce, or the seaserpent.

    Big—wig

    (A ). A person in authority, a “nob.” Of course, the term arises from the custom of judges, bishops, and so on, wearing large wigs. Bishops no longer wear them.

    Bigaroon

    Incorrectly spelt Bicaroon. A white—heart cherry. (French, bigarreau; Latin, bigarelia; i.e. bis varellus, double—varied, red and white mixed. The French word, bigarrure, means party—colour, bigarrer).

    Bighes

    (pron. bees ). Jewels, female ornaments. (Also written bie.)

    She is all in her bighes to—day— i.e.

    in full fig, in excellent spirits, in good humour.

    Bight To hook the bight— i.e. to get entangled. The bight is the bend or doubled part of a rope, and when the rope of one anchor gets into the “bight” of another, it gets “hooked.”

    Bigorne

    (2 syl.). A corruption of “Bicorn” (q.v. ).

    Bigot

    means simply a worshipper (Anglo—Saxon, bigan, to worship; German, bigott). Various explanations have been given from time to time, but none are well supported.

    Bigot and his Castle of Bungay

    (See Castle, etc.)

    Bilbo

    A rapier or sword. So called from Bilba'o, in Spain, once famous for its finely—tempered blades. Falstaff says to Ford:

    “I suffered the pangs of three several deaths; first, an intolerable fright, to be detected ... next, to be compassed, like a good bilbo ... hilt to point, heel to head; and then ...”— Merry wives iii:

    5.

    Bilboes

    A bar of iron with fetters annexed to it, by which mutinous sailors are linked together. The word is derived from Bilba'o, in Spain, where they were first made. Some of the bilboes taken from the Spanish Armada are still kept in the Tower of London.

    Bile

    It rouses my bile. It makes me angry or indignant. In Latin, biliosus (a bilious man) meant a choleric one. According to the ancient theory, bile is one of the humours of the body, and when excited abnormally it produces choler or rage.

    “It raised my bile to see him so reflect their grief aside.”— Hood: Plea of Midsummer Fairies, stanza 54.

    Black bile is melancholy.

    Bilge Water

    Filthy drainings. The bilge is the lowest part of a ship, and, as the rain or sea—water which trickles down to this part is hard to get at, it is apt to become foul and very offensive.

    Bilk

    To cheat, to obtain goods and decamp without paying for them.

    “The landlord explained it by saying that `a bilk' is a man who never misses a meal and never pays a cent.”— A. K. McClure: Rocky Mountains letter xxii. p. 211.

    To “bilk” in cribbage is to spoil your adversaries' score; to balk him. Perhaps the two words are mere variants.

    Bilker

    (A ). A person who gives a cabman less than his fare, and, when remonstrated with, gives a false name and address. Sometimes a “bilker” gets out and says, “Cabby, I shall be back in a minute,” turns the corner and is no more seen.

    “The time for taking out a summons expires in seven days, and it often takes longer than that to hunt a `bilker' down.”— Nineteenth Century (March, 1893, p. 177).

    Also a cabman who does not pay the owner for the cab.

    Bill

    (The ). The nose, also called the beak. Hence, “Billy" is slang for a pocket—handkerchief.

    “Lastly came Winter, clothed all in frize,

    Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill; Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze; And the dull drops that from his purple bill [nose], As from a limbeck, did adown distill.”

    Spenser: Faërie Queene,

    canto vii.

    Bill

    (A ). The draft of an Act of Parliament.

    A public bill

    is the draft of an Act of Parliament affecting the general public. A private bill is the draft of an Act of Parliament for the granting of something to a company, corporation, or certain individuals.

    A true bill.

    I confess what you say is true. The case against the accused is first submitted to the grand jury. If they think the charge has a fair colour, they write on the declaration “A true bill,” and the case is submitted to the petty jury. Otherwise, they write “No true bill,” or “Not found,” and the case is at once dismissed or

    “ignored.”

    To ignore a bill

    is to write on it ignoramus.

    “`Ignoramus' is the word properly used by the Grand Enquest ... and written upon the bill.”— Cowell.

    Bills payable. Bills of exchange, promissory notes, or other documents promising to pay a sum of money. Bills receivable. Promissory notes, bills of exchange, or other acceptances held by a person to whom the money stated is payable.

    Bill of Fare

    (A ). A list of the menu provided, or which may be ordered, at a restaurant.

    Bill of Health

    A clean bill of health. A document, duly signed by the proper authorities, to certify that when the ship set sail no infectious disorder existed in the place.

    A foul bill of health

    is a document to show that the place was suffering from some infection when the ship set sail. If a captain cannot show a clean bill, he is supposed to have a foul one.

    Bill of Lading

    A document signed by the master of a ship in acknowledgment of goods laden in his vessel. In this document he binds himself to deliver the articles in good condition to the persons named in the bill, certain exceptions being duly provided for. These bills are generally in triplicate— one for the sender, one for the receiver, and one for the master of the vessel.

    Bill of Pains and Penalties

    (A ). A legislative act imposing punishment (less than capital) upon a person charged with treason or other high crimes.

    Bill of Quantities

    An abstract of the probable cost of a building.

    Bill of Rights

    The declaration delivered to the Prince of Orange on his election to the British throne, confirming the rights and privileges of the people. (Feb. 13th, 1689.)

    Bill of Sale

    When a person borrows money and delivers goods as security, he gives him a bill of sale, that is, permission to sell the goods if the money is not returned on a stated day.

    Bills of Mortality

    took their rise in 1592, when a great pestilence broke out, which continued till 1595. The term is now used for those abstracts from parish registers which show the births, deaths, and baptisms of the district.

    Within the Bills of Mortality

    = within the district.

    Bills of Parcels

    An itemised statement of articles purchased. These bills are itemised by the seller.

    Billee'

    (Little ). The youngest of “Three sailors of Bristol city,” who “took a boat and went to sea.”

    “There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy,

    And the youngest— he was little Billee,

    Now, when they got as far as the equator,

    They had nothing left but one split pea.

    To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy, `We've nothing left, we must eat we.”'

    Thackeray.

    [They decide to eat Little Billee, but he contrives to escape.]

    Billet—doux

    [pronounce billy doo ]. French, a love—letter, a sweet or affectionate letter.

    Billiards

    A corrupt form of the French billard. “Autrefois, le bâton avec lequel on poussait les billes”; then “la table verte sur laquelle on joue”; and, lastly, the “game itself.”

    Similar plural forms are the games called bowls, cards, dominoes, draughts, marbles, quoits, skittles, tops, etc.

    Billings

    (Josh ). The nom de plume of H. W. Shaw, an American humorist, who died 1885. His Book of Sayings was published in 1866.

    Billingsgate

    (London). Gate = quay, and bellan is to bawl or bellow. This quay is so called from the shouting of the fishermen in trying to attract attention and vend their fish.

    That's Billingsgate.

    Vulgar and coarse, like the manners and language of Billingsgate fish—fags.

    “Parnassus spoke the cant of Billingsgate.”

    Dryden: Art of Poetry,

    c. 1.

    To talk Billingsgate, i.e.

    to slang, to scold in a vulgar, coarse style.

    You are no better than a Billingsgate fish—fag, i.e.

    you are as rude and ill—mannered as the women of Billingsgate fish—market. The French say “Maubert” instead of Billingsgate, as Your compliments are like those of the Place Maubert, i.e. no compliments at all, but vulgar dirt—flinging. The “Place Maubert” has long been noted for its market.

    Billingsgate Pheasant

    (A ). A red herring.

    Billy

    A policeman's staff, which is a little bill or billet.

    A pocket—handkerchief. “A blue billy” is a handkerchief with blue ground and white spots.

    Billy Barlow

    A street droll, a merry Andrew; so called from a half—idiot of the name, who fancied himself “some great personage.” He was well known in the East of London, and died in Whitechapel workhouse. Some of his

    sayings were really witty, and some of his attitudes really droll.

    Billycock Hats

    First used by Billy Coke (Mr. William Coke) at the great shooting parties at Holkham. The old—established hatters in the West End still call them “Coke hats.”

    Bi—metallism

    The employment of two metals, silver and gold, of fixed relative value. Now gold is the only standard metal in England and some other countries. Silver coins are mere tokens, like copper coins; and if given in payment of large sums are estimated at the market value, so much an ounce; but a gold sovereign is always of one fixed legal value.

    Binary Arithmetic

    Arithmetic in which the base of the notation is 2 instead of 10. The unit followed by a cipher signifies two, by another unit it signifies three, by two ciphers it signifies four, and so on. Thus, 10 signifies two, 100 signifies four; while 11 signifies 3, etc.

    Binary Theory

    A theory which supposes that all definite chemical salts are combinations of two radicles or elements, one of which is electro—positive (basic), and the other electro—negative (acid).

    Bingham's Dandies The 17th Lancers; so called from their colonel, the Earl of Lucan, formerly Lord Bingham. The uniform is noted for its admirable fit and smartness. Now called “The Duke of Cambridge's Own Lancers.”

    Binnacle

    The case of the mariner's compass, which used to be written bittacle, a corruption of the Portuguese bitacola, French, habitacle, properly an abode.

    Birchin Lane

    I must send you to Birchin Lane, i.e. whip you. The play is on birch (a rod).

    A suit in Birchin Lane.

    Birchin Lane was once famous for all sorts of apparel; references to second—hand clothes in Birchin Lane are common enough in Elizabethan books.

    “Passing through Birchin Lane amidst a camp—royal of hose and doublets, I took ... occasion to slip into a captain's suit— a valiant buff doublet stuffed with points and a pair of velvet slops scored thick with lace.”— Middleton: Black Book (1604).

    Bird

    An endearing name for girl.

    “And by my word, your bonnie bird

    In danger shall not tarry;

    So, though the waves are raging white,

    I'll row you o'er the ferry.”

    Campbell: Lord Ullin's Daughter.

    Bird is the Anglo—Saxon bird, the young of any animal, hence bride, verb, beran, to bring forth.

    A bird of ill—omen.

    A person who is regarded as unlucky; one who is in the habit of bringing ill—news. The ancients thought that some birds indicated good luck, and others evil. Even to the present day many look upon owls, crows, and ravens as unlucky birds; swallows and storks as lucky ones.

    Ravens, by their acute sense of smell, discern the savour of dying bodies, and, under the hope of preying on them, light on chimney—tops or flutter about sick rooms; hence the raven indicates death. Owls screech when bad weather is at hand, and as foul weather often precedes sickness, so the owl is looked on as a funeral bird.

    A bird of passage.

    A person who shifts from place to place; a temporary visitant, like a cuckoo, the swallows, starlings, etc.

    A jail—bird.

    (See Jail.)

    The bird of Juno.

    The peacock.

    Minerva's bird is either the cock or the owl; that of Venus is the dove.

    The bird of Washington.

    The American or baldheaded eagle.

    “The well—known bald—headed eagle, sometimes called the Bird of Washington.”— Wood.

    The Arabian bird. The phoenix. The green bird tells everything a person wishes to know. (Cherry and Fairstar.) The talking bird spoke with a human voice, and could bid all other birds join in concert. (Arabian Nights.) Old birds are not to be caught with chaff. Experience teaches wisdom.

    One beats the bush, and another takes the bird.

    The workman does the work, the master makes the money. `Tis the early bird that catches the worm.

    “Early to bed and early to rise,

    Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

    A little bird told me so.

    From Eccles. x. 20: “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought, ... for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”

    Bird in the hand A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Possession is better than expectation.

    Italian:

    “E meglio aver oggi un novo, che dimani una gallina.” French: “Il vaut mieux avoir l'oeuf aujourd'hui, que la poule demain” ( Turkish).

    “Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras.”

    “Un sou, quand il est assuré, vaut mieux que cinq en espérance.”

    German:

    “Ein vogel in der hand ist besser als zehen über land.”

    “Besser ein spatz in der hand, als ein storch auf dem dache.”

    Latin:

    “Ego spem pretio non emam.”

    English:

    “A pound in the purse is worth two in the book.” On the other side we have: “Qui ne s'aventure, n'a ni cheval ni mule.” “Nothing venture, nothing have.” “Give a sprat to catch a mackerel.” “Chi non s'arrischia, non guadagna.”

    Bird in thy Bosom

    Thou hast kept well the bird in thy bosom. Thou hast remained faithful to thy allegiance or faith. The expression was used by Sir Ralph Percy (slain in the battle of Hedgly Moor in 1464) to express his having preserved unstained his fidelity to the House of Lancaster.

    Bird of Este

    The white eagle, the cognisance of the house.

    “His dazzling way

    The bird of Estë soars beyond the solar ray.”

    Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered, x.

    Birds

    Birds of a feather flock together. Persons associate with those of a similar taste and station as themselves. Qui se ressemble s'assemble. Cicero says, “Similes similibus gaudent, pures cum paribus facillime congregantur.” “Ne nous associons qu'avec nos égaux” (La Fontaine).

    To kill two birds with one stone.

    To effect two objects with one outlay of trouble.

    Birds

    (protected by superstitions).

    Choughs

    are protected in Cornwall, because the soul of King Arthur migrated into a chough. The Hawk is held sacred by the Egyptians, because it is the form assumed by Ra or Horus. The Ibis is sacred in Egypt, and to kill one was at one time a capital offence. It is said that the god Thoth escaped (as an Ibis) from the pursuit of Typhon.

    Mother Carey's Chickens,

    or Storm Petrels are protected by sailors, from a superstition that they are the living forms of the souls of deceased sailors.

    The Robin

    is protected, both from Christian tradition and nursery legend. ( See Robin Redbreast.) The Stork is a sacred bird in Sweden, from the legend that it flew round the cross, crying Styrka, Styrka, when Jesus was crucified. (See Stork.)

    Swans

    are superstitiously protected in Ireland from the legend of the Fionnuala (daughter of Lir), who was metamorphosed into a swan and condemned to wander in lakes and rivers till Christianity was introduced.

    (See Irish Melodies, Silent O'Moyle.

    The bat (a winged animal) was regarded by the Caribs as a good angel, which protected their dwellings at night; and it was accounted sacrilegious to kill one.

    Bird's—eye View

    A mode of perspective drawing in which the artist is supposed to be over the objects delineated, in which case he beholds them as a bird in the air would see them. A general view.

    Birdcage Walk

    (St. James's Park, London); so called from an aviary.

    Birmingham Poet

    John Freeth, who died at the age of seventy—eight in 1808. He was wit, poet, and publican, who not only wrote the words and tunes of songs, but sang them also, and sang them well.

    Birthday Suit He was in his birthday suit. Quite nude, as when first born.

    Bis

    Bis dat, qui cito dat (he gives twice who gives promptly)— i.e. prompt relief will do as much good as twice the sum at a future period (Publius Syrus Proverbs.)

    Purple and bis, i.e.

    purple and fine linen (Latin, byssus, fine flax). The spelling is sometimes biss, bys, etc.

    Biscuit

    (French—Latin, bis, twice; cuit, baked). So called because it was originally twice ovened. The Romans had a bread of this kind.

    In pottery, earthenware or porcelain, after it has been hardened in the fire, but has not yet been glazed, is so called.

    Bise

    A wind that acts notably on the nervous system. It is prevalent in those valleys of Savoy that open to the north.

    “The Bise blew cold.”

    Rogers: Italy,

    part 1. div. ii. stanza 4.

    Bishop

    (Evêque ), the same word, episcopus; whence episc, evesc, evesque, evéque; also 'piscop, bishop.

    Bishop, Cardinal, Pope

    (as beverages):

    Bishop

    is made by pouring red wine (such as claret or burgundy), either hot or cold, on ripe bitter oranges. The liquor is then sugared and spiced to taste. In Germany, “bishop” is a mixture of wine, sugar, nutmeg, and orange or lemon. It is sometimes called “Purple Wine,” and has received its name of bishop from its colour.

    Cardinal

    is made by using white wine instead of red. Pope is made by using tokay.

    “When I was at college, Cup was spiced audit ale; Bishop was “cup” with wine (properly claret or burgundy) added; Cardinal was “cup” with brandy added. All were served with a

    hedge—hog [i.e. a whole lemon or orange bristling with cloves] floating in the midst. Each guest had his own glass or cup filled by a ladle from the common bowl (a large silver one).”

    The bishop hath put his foot in it.

    Said of milk or porridge that is burnt, or of meat over—roasted. Tyndale says, “If the podech be burned—to, or the meate ouer rosted, we saye the byshope hath put his fote in the potte,” and explains it thus, “because the bishopes burn who they lust.” Such food is also said to be bishopped.

    Bishop Barnaby

    The May—bug, lady—bird, etc.

    Bishop in Partibus

    (See In Partibus .)

    Bishop of Hippo

    St. Augustine. (354—430) is often so referred to. He held the See for many years.

    Bishop's Apron

    represents the short cassock which, by the 74th canon, all clergymen were enjoined to wear.

    Bishop's Bible

    (The ). (See under Bible, page 131, col. 2.)

    Bishop's Mitre

    Dean Stanley tells us that the cleft of a bishop's mitre represents the mark of the crease of the mitre, when folded and carried under the arm, like an opera hat. (Christian Institutions, p. 154.)

    Bissextile

    Leap—year. We add a day to February in leap—year, but the Romans counted the 24th of February twice. Now, the 24th of February was called by them “dies bissextus” (sexto calendas Martias ), the sextile or sixth day before March 1st; and this day being reckoned twice (bis) in leap—year, was called “annus

    bissextus.”

    Bisson

    or Bisen [blind] is the Anglo—Saxon bisen. Shakespeare (Hamlet, ii. 2) speaks of bisson rheum (blinding tears), and in Coriolanus, ii. 1, “What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character?”

    Bistonians

    The Thracians; so called from Biston, son of Mars, who built Bistonia on the Lake Bistonis.

    “So the Bistonian race, a maddening train,

    Exult and revel on the Thracian plain;

    With milk their bloody banquets they allay.

    Or from the lion rend his panting prey;

    On some abandoned savage flercely fly,

    Seize, tear, devour, and think it luxury.”

    Pitt: Statius, Book ii.

    Bit

    A piece.

    A bit of my mind,

    as “Ill tell him a bit of my mind,” I'll reprove him. Same word as bite, meaning a piece bitten off, hence a piece generally. (Anglo—Saxon, bitan, to bite.)

    Bit by bit.

    A little at a time; piece—meal.

    Not a bit,

    or Not the least bit. Not at all; not the least likely. This may be not a morsel, or not a doit, rap, or sou. “Bit” used to be a small Jamaica coin. We still talk of a threepenny—bit. Bit, of course, is the substantive of bite, as morsel (French morceau) of mordre.

    Bit

    (of a horse ). To take the bit in (or between ) his teeth. To be obstinately self—willed; to make up one's mind not to yield. When a horse has a mind to run away, he catches the bit “between his teeth,” and the driver has no longer control over him.

    “Mr. X. will not yield. He has taken the bit between his teeth, and is resolved to carry out his original measure.”— Newspaper paragraph, April, 1886.

    Bit

    Money. The word is used in the West Indies for a half pistareen (fivepence). In Jamaica, a bit is worth sixpence, English; in America, 12 1/2 cents; in Ireland, tenpence.

    The word is still thieves' slang for money generally, and coiners are called bit—makers. In English we use the word for a coin which is a fraction of a unit. Thus, a shilling being a unit, we have a six—penny bit and threepenny bit (or not in bits but in divers pieces). So, taking a sovereign for a unit, we had seven—shilling bits, etc.

    Bite

    A cheat; one who bites us. “The biter bit” explains the origin. We say “a man was bitten” when he “burns his fingers” meddling with something which promised well but turned out a failure.

    To bite the dust,

    as “Their enemies shall bite the dust,” i.e. be slain in battle.

    Bite

    To bite one's thumb at another. To insult; to provoke to a quarrel.

    Gregory. I will frown as I pass by: and let them take it as they list.

    Sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.”— Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, i. 1.

    To bite the lip,

    indicative of suppressed chagrin, passion, or annoyance.

    “She had to bite her lips till the blood came in order to keep down the angry words that would rise in her heart.”— Mrs. Gaskell: Mary Barton, chap. xi.

    To bite upon the bridle.

    To champ the bit, like an impatient or restless horse.

    Bitelas

    Sister of Fairlimb, and daughter of Rukenaw, the ape, in the story of Reynard the Fox. (Alkmar.)

    Bites and Bams

    Hoaxes and quizzes; humbugery.

    “[His] humble efforts at jocularity were chiefly confined to ... bites and bams.”— Sir W. Scott: Guy Mannering, chap. 3.

    Biting Remark

    (A ). A remark more biting than Zeno's. Nearchos ordered Zeno the philosopher to be pounded to death in a mortar. When he had been pounded some time, he told Nearchos he had an important secret to communicate to him; but, when the tyrant bent over the mortar to hear what Zeno had to say, the dying man bit off his ear.

    “That would have been a biting jest.”

    Shakespeare: Richard III.,

    act ii. 4.

    Bitt

    To bitt the cable is to fasten it round the “bitt” or frame made for the purpose, and placed in the fore part of the vessel.

    Bitten

    Imposed upon, let in, made to suffer loss. “I was terribly bitten in that affair.” I suffered great loss. To bite is to cheat or suffer retaliation. Thus, Pope says, “The rogue was bit,” he intended to cheat, but was himself taken in. “The biter bit” is the moral of Æsop's fable called The Viper and the File; and Goldsmith's mad dog, which, “for some private ends, went mad and bit a man,” but the biter was bit, for “The man recovered of the bite, the dog it was that died.”

    Bitter End

    (The ). A outrance; with relentless hostility; also applied to affliction, as, “she bore it to the bitter end,” meaning to the last stroke of adverse fortune. “All Thy waves have gone over me, but I have borne up under them to the bitter end.” Here “bitter end” means the end of the rope. The “bitter—end” is a sea term meaning “that part of the cable which is “abaft the bitts.” When there is no windlass the cables are fastened to bitts, that is, pieces of timber so called; and when a rope is payed out to the bitter—end, or to these pieces of timber, all of it is let out, and no more remains. However, we read in Prov. v. 4, “Her end is bitter as wormwood,” which, after all, may be the origin of the phrase.

    Bitter as Gall

    as soot, as wormwood. Absinthe is made of wormwood. (See Similes. )

    Bittock

    A little bit; —ock as a diminutive is preserved in bull—ock, hill—ock, butt—ock, etc. “A mile and a bittock” is a mile and a little bit. (Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering, i.)

    Biz

    in theatrical slang, means “business.” Good biz means full houses; but an actor's “biz” is quite another thing, meaning by—play. Thus, Hamlet trifling with Ophelia's fan, Lord Dundreary's hop, and so on, are the special “business” of the actor of the part. As a rule, the “business” is invented by the actor who creates the part, and is handed down by tradition.

    Black

    for mourning was a Roman custom (Juvenal, x. 245) borrowed from the Egyptians.

    Black,

    in blazonry, means constancy, wisdom, and prudence. Black, in several of the Oriental nations, is a badge of servitude, slavery, and low birth. Our word blackguard seems to point to this meaning. The Latin niger meant bad, unpropitious. (See Blackguard.)

    Black (See under Colours for its symbolisms, etc.).

    Black as a Crow

    (or as a raven ); “as a raven's wing;” as ink; as hell, i.e. hades (2 syl.), meaning death or the grave; as your hat, etc. (See Similes. )

    Black as a Newgate Knocker

    A Newgate knocker is the fringe or lock of hair which costermongers and thieves twist back towards the ear.

    Black in the Face

    Extremely angry. The face discoloured with passion or distress.

    “Mr. Winkle pulled ... till he was black in the face.”— Dickens: Pickwick Papers.

    “He swore himself black in the face.”— Peter Pindar Wolcott .

    Black is White

    (See Swear. )

    Beaten black and blue.

    So that the skin is black and blue with the marks of the beating. I must have it in black and white, i.e. in plain writing; the paper being white and the ink black. To say black's his eye, i.e. to vituperate, to blame. The expression, Black's the white of his eye, is a modern corruption. To say the eye is black or evil, is to accuse a person of an evil heart or great ignorance. The Latin niger also meant evil. (See Black Prince.)

    “A fool may do all things, and no man say black's his eye.”— The Tell Tale.

    Black Act

    9 Geo. I. c. 22 is so called, because it was directed against the Waltham deer—stealers, who blackened their faces for disguise, and, under the name of Blacks, appeared in Epping Forest. This Act was repealed in 1827.

    Black Acts

    Acts of the Scottish Parliament between the accession of James I. and the year 1587; so called because they were printed in black characters.

    Black Art

    The art practised by conjurors, wizards, and others, who professed to have dealings with the devil. Black here means diabolical or wicked. Some derive it from nigromancy, a corruption of necromancy.

    Black Assize

    July 6th, 1577, when a putrid pestilence broke out at Oxford during the time of assize.

    Black—balled

    Not admitted to a club; the candidate proposed is not accepted as a member. In voting by ballot, those who accept the person proposed drop a white or red ball into the box, but those who would exclude the candidate drop into it a black one. It is now more usually done by two compartments, for “yes” and “no” respectively.

    Black Book

    A book exposing abuses in Church and State, which furnished much material for political reform in the early part of the present century. (See Black Books .)

    Amherst speaks of the Proctor's black book, and tells us that no one can proceed to a degree whose name is found there. (1726.) It also appears that each regiment keeps a black book or record of ill—behaviour.

    Black Book of the Admiralty.

    An old navy code, said to have been compiled in the reign of Edward III.

    Black Books

    To be in my black books. In bad odour; in disgrace; out of favour. The black books were those compiled in the reign of Henry VIII. to set forth the scandalous proceedings of the English monasteries, and were so called from the colour of their binding. We have similarly the Blue Book, the Red Book, and so on.

    Black Books of the Exchequer.

    An official account of the royal revenues, payments, perquisites, etc., in the reign of Henry II. Its cover was black leather. There are two of them preserved in the Public Record Office.

    Black Brunswickers A corps of 700 volunteer hussars under the command of Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick, who had been forbidden by Napoleon to succeed to his father's dukedom. They were called

    “Black” because they wore mourning for the deceased Duke. Frederick William fell at Quatre—Bras, 1815. One of Millais's best pictures is called “The Black Brunswicker.”

    Black Cap

    or the Judgment Cap, worn by a judge when he passes sentence of death on a prisoner. This cap is part of the judge's full dress. The judges wear their black caps on November 9th, when the Lord Mayor is presented in the Court of Exchequer. Covering the head was a sign of mourning among the Israelites, Greeks, Romans, and Anglo—Saxons. (2 Sam. xv. 30.)

    Black Cattle

    Oxen for slaughter; so called because black is their prevailing colour, at least in the north.

    Black Cattle

    Negro slaves.

    “She was chartered for the West Coast of Africa to trade with the natives, but not in black cattle, for slavery was never our line of business.”— J. Grant: Dick Rodney, chap. xi.

    Black Death

    A putrid typhus, in which the body turned black with rapid putrefaction. It occurred in 1348, and carried off twenty—five millions in Europe alone, while in Asia and Africa the mortality was even greater.

    Black Diamonds

    Coals; also clever fellows of the lower orders. Coals and diamonds are both carbon.

    Black Dog

    A fiend still dreaded in many country places. (See Dog. )

    Black Dog.

    Base silver coin in the reign of Anne. Made of pewter double washed.

    Black Doll

    (A ). The sign of a marine store shop. The doll was a dummy dressed to indicate that cast—off garments were bought.

    Black Douglas

    William Douglas, Lord of Nithsdale. Died 1390.

    Black Flag

    (A ) denotes a pirate, and is called the “Jolly Roger.”

    Black Flags

    Moslem soldiers. The banner of the Abbasides (3 syl.) is black; that of the Fatimites (3 syl.) green; and that of the Ommiades (3 syl.) white. Hence the banner of the Kalif of Bagdad is black, but that of the Sultan of Damascus is green. (Gibbon, chap. iii.)

    Black Flags.

    Pirates of the Chinese Sea who opposed the French in Tonquin, etc.

    Black—foot

    There is a powerful and numerous tribe of North American Indians called Black—feet. A

    black—foot is an intermediary in love affairs; but if perfidious to the wooer he was called a white—foot.

    Blackfoot

    (The ). One of the many Irish factions which disturbed the peace in the first half of the nineteenth century.

    “And the Blackfoot, who courted each foeman's approach,

    Faith! `tis hot—foot [speedily ] he'd fly from the stout Father Roach.” Lover.

    Black Friars

    The Dominicans were formerly so called in England.

    Black Friday

    December 6th, 1745, the day on which the news arrived in London that the Pretender had reached Derby.

    Black Game

    Heath—fowl; in contradistinction to red game, as grouse. The male bird is called a blackcock.

    Black Genevan

    (A ). A black preaching gown; once used in some Anglican churches, and still used by some Dissenters in the pulpit. So called from Geneva, where Calvin preached in such a robe.

    “The Nonconformist divine leaves his vestry in his black Genevan, toadied by his deacons and elders.”— Newspaper paragraph, July 18th, 1885 (on Sunday bands).

    Black—guards

    Those horse—boys and unmilitary folk, such as cooks with their pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils, which travel with an army, and greatly impede its march.

    Gifford, in his edition of Ben Jonson, says: “In all great houses there were a number of dirty dependents, whose office it was to attend the wool—yards, sculleries, etc. Of these the most forlorn were selected to carry coals to the kitchen. They rode with the pots and pans, and were in derision called the black—guards.”

    In the Lord Steward's office a proclamation (May 7th, 1683) begins thus: “Whereas ... a sort of vicious, idle, and masterless boyes and rogues, commonly called the Black—guard, with divers other lewd and loose fellows

    ... do usually haunt and follow the court. ... Wee do hereby strictly charge ... all those so called, ... with all other loose, idle ... men ... who have intruded themselves into his Majesty's court and stables ... to depart upon pain of imprisonment.”

    Black Hole of Calcutta

    A dark cell in a prison into which Suraja Dowlah thrust 146 British prisoners. Next morning only twenty—three were found alive (1756).

    The punishment cell or lock—up in barracks.

    Black Horse

    The 7th Dragoon Guards, or “the Princess Royal's D.G.” Their “facings” are black. Also called “Strawboots,” “The Blacks.”

    Black Jack

    Black Jack rides a good horse (Cornish). The miners call blende or sulphide of zinc “Black Jack,” the occurrence of which is considered by them a favourable indication. The blende rides upon a lode of good ore.

    Black Jack

    (A ). A large leather gotch for beer and ale, so called from the outside being tarred.

    Black Joke

    An old tune, now called The Sprig of Shillelagh. Tom Moore has adapted words to the tune, beginning, “Sublime was the warning which Liberty spoke.”

    Black Leg A swindler, especially in cards and races. Also, one who works for less than trade—union wages; a non—union workman.

    “Pledging the strikers not to return to work so long as a single Black—leg was retained in the service.”— Nineteenth Century, February, 1891, p. 243.

    Black Letter

    The Gothic or German type. So called because of its black appearance. The initial items of this book are now called “black letter,” sometimes called “Clarendon type.”

    Black Letter Day

    An unlucky day; one to be recalled with regret. The Romans marked their unlucky days with a piece of black charcoal, and their lucky ones with white chalk.

    Black—letter dogs.

    Literary antiquaries who poke and pry into every hole and corner to find out black—letter copies of books.

    “By fell black—letter dogs ...

    That from Gothic kennels eager strut.”

    Matthias: Pursuits of Literature.

    Black Lists

    Lists of insolvency and bankruptcy, for the private guidance of the mercantile community. (See Black Books .)

    Black Looks

    Looks of displeasure. To look black. To look displeased. The figure is from black clouds indicative of foul weather.

    Black Mail

    Money given to free—booters by way of exempting property from depredation. (Anglo—Saxon, mal, “rent—tax;” French, maille, an old coin worth .083 farthing). Grass mail was rent paid for pasturage. Mails and duties (Scotch) are rents of an estate in money or otherwise. “Black” in this phrase does not mean wicked or wrongful, but is the Gaelic, to cherish or protect. Black mail was a rent paid to Free Companies for protecting the property paid

    for, from the depredations of freebooters, etc.

    To levy black mail

    now means to exact exorbitant charges; thus the cabs and omnibuses during the Great Exhibition years “levied black mail” on the public.

    Black Man

    (The ). The Evil One.

    Black Maria

    The black van which conveys prisoners from the police courts to jail. The French call a mud—barge a “Marie—salope.” The tradition is that the van referred to was so called from Maria Lee, a negress, who kept a sailors' boarding house in Boston. She was a woman of such great size and strength that the unruly stood in dread of her, and when constables required help, it was a common thing to send for Black Maria, who soon collared the refractory and led them to the lock—up. So a prison—van was called a “Black Maria.”

    Black Monday

    Easter Monday, April 14th, 1360, was so called. Edward III. was with his army lying before Paris, and the day was so dark, with mist and hail, so bitterly cold and so windy, that many of his horses and men died. Monday after Easter holidays is called “Black Monday,” in allusion to this fatal day. Launcelot says:

    “It was not for nothing that my nose fell a— bleeding on Black Monday last, at six o'clock i' the morning.”— Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, ii. 5.

    February 27th, 1865, was so called in Melbourne from a terrible sirocco from the N.N.W., which produced dreadful havoc between Sandhurst and Castlemaine.

    Black Monday.

    In schoolboy phraseology is the first Monday after the holidays are over, when lessons begin again.

    Black Money

    Base coin brought to England by foreigners, and prohibited by Edward III.

    Black Ox

    The black ox has trod on his foot— i.e. misfortune has come to him. Black oxen were sacrificed to Pluto and other infernal deities.

    Black Parliament

    The Parliament held by Henry VIII. in Bridewell.

    Black Prince

    Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Edward III. Froissart says he was “styled black by terror of his

    arms” (c. 169). Strutt confirms this saying: “for his martial deeds surnamed Black the Prince” (Antiquities ). Meyrick says there is not the slightest proof that Edward, Prince of Wales. ever wore black armour (vol. ii.); indeed, we have much indirect proof against the supposition. Thus Shaw (vol. i. plate 31) gives a facsimile from a picture on the wall of St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, in which the prince is clad in gilt armour. Stothard says “the effigy is of copper gilt.” In the British Museum is an illumination of Edward III. granting to his son the duchy of Aquitaine, in which both figures are represented in silver armour with gilt joints. The first mention of the term “Black Prince” occurs in a parliamentary paper of the second year of Richard II.; so that Shakespeare has good reason for the use of the word in his tragedy of that king:—

    “Brave Gaunt, thy father and myself Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men, From forth the ranks of many thousand French.”

    Richard II.,

    ii. 3.

    “That black name, Edward, black Prince of Wales.”— Henry V. ii. 4.

    Black Republicans

    The Republicans were so called by the pro—slavery party of the States, because they resisted the introduction of slavery into any State where it was not already recognised.

    Black Rod

    i.e. “Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod,” so called from his staff of office— a black wand surmounted by a lion.

    Black Rood of Scotland

    The “piece of the true cross” or rood, set in an ebony crucifix, which Margaret, the wife of King Malcolm, left at death to the Scottish nation. It passed into various hands, but was lost at the Reformation.

    Black Russia

    Central and Southern Russia is so called from its black soil

    “The winter crops in the whole of European Russia are very good, especially in the

    black—earth regions. In the government of Northern Russia the condition is less favourable.”— Newspaper paragraph, December, 1893.

    Black Saturday

    August 4th, 1621; so called in Scotland, because a violent storm occurred at the very moment the Parliament was sitting to enforce episcopacy on the people.

    Black Sea

    So called from the abounding black rock in the extensive coal—fields between the Bosphorus and Heracle'a.

    Black Sheep [Kârâ—Koin—loo ]. A tribe of Turkomans, so called from their standards. This tribe was extirpated by the White Sheep (q.v.).

    A Black Sheep. A disgrace to the family; a mauvais sujet; a workman who will not join in a strike. Black sheep are looked on with dislike by shepherds, and are not so valuable as white ones.

    Black Standard

    The dress, turbans, and standards of the Abbasside caliphs were all black. (D'Herbelot. )

    Black Strap

    Bad port wine. A sailor's name for any bad liquor. In North America, “Black—strap” is a mixture of rum and molasses, sometimes vinegar is added.

    “The seething blackstrap was pronounced ready for use.”— Pinkerton: Molly Magaires, chap.

    xvii. p. 174.

    Black Swan

    (See Rara Avis .)

    Black—thorn Winter

    (The ). The cold weather which frequently occurs when the black—thorn is in blossom. (See Borrowed Days .)

    Black Thursday

    February 6th, 1851; so called in the colony of Victoria, from a terrible bush—fire which then occurred.

    Black Tom

    The Earl of Ormonde, Lord Deputy of Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth; so called from his ungracious ways and “black looks.”

    “He being very stately in apparel, and erect in port, despite his great age, yet with a dark, dour, and menacing look upon his face, so that all who met his gaze seemed to quake before the same.”— Hon. Emily Lawless: With Essex in Ireland, p. 105.

    Black Watch

    Companies employed to watch the Islands of Scotland. They dressed in a “black” or dark tartan (1725). Subsequently they were enrolled into the 42nd regiment, under the Earl of Crawford, in 1737. Their tartan is still called “The Black Watch Tartan.” The regiment is now called “The Royal Highlanders.”

    Black...White

    To swear black is white. To persist in an obvious untruth. The French locution, Si vous lui dites blanc, il répondra noir, means, He will contradict what you say point blank.

    Blacks

    Mutes at funerals, who wore a black cloak; sometimes called the Black Guards.

    “I do pray ye

    To give me leave to live a little longer.

    You stand about me like my Blacks.”

    Beaumont and Fletcher: Mons. Thomas, iii. 1.

    Blacks

    (The ), or “The 7th Dragoon Guards,” or “The Princess Royal's D. G” Called blacks from their facings. Nicknames: “The Virgin Mary's Guard,” “Straw boots,” “Lingoniers,” etc.

    Blackacre (Widow ). The best of Wycherley's comic characters; she is a masculine, litigious, pettifogging, head—strong woman. ( The Plain Dealer.)

    Blackamoor

    Washing the blackamoor white— i.e. engaged upon a hopeless and useless task. The allusion is to one of Æsop's fables so entitled.

    Blackness

    All faces shall gather blackness (Joel ii. 6)— i.e. be downcast in consequence of trouble.

    Blacksmith

    The learned blacksmith. Elihu Burritt, U.S. (1811—1879.)

    Bladamour

    The friend of Paridel in Spenser's Faërie Queene. The poet had his eye upon the Earl of Northumberland, one of the leaders in the northern insurrection of 1569. (See Paridel .)

    Blade

    A knowing blade, a sharp fellow; a regular blade, a buck or fop. (Anglo—Saxon, blad or blæd, a branch or sprig.)

    Blæd

    = “branch,” whence “fruit, prosperity, glory,” etc. The compound, Blæd—daeg =a prosperous day; blæd—gifa, a glory—giver, i.e. a king, a “regular blade.”

    Bladud

    A mythical king of England, and father of King Lear. He built the city of Bath, and dedicated the medicinal springs to Minerva. Bladud studied magic, and, attempting to fly, fell into the temple of Apollo and was dashed to pieces. (Geoffrey of Monmouth. )

    “Inexhaustible as Bladud's well.”— Thackeray.

    Blanchefleur

    The heroine of Boccaccio's prose romance called Il Filocopo. Her lover, Flores, is Boccaccio himself, and Blanchefleur was a young lady passionately beloved by him, the natural daughter of King Robert. The story of Blanchefleur and Flores is substantially the same as that of Dorigen and Aurelius by Chaucer, and that of Dianora and Ansaldo in the Decameron. (See Dianora and Dorigen. )

    Blandiman

    The faithful manservant of fair Bellisant (q.v. ), who attended her when she was divorced. (Valentine and Orson.)

    Blaney

    A wealthy heir, ruined by dissipation, in Crabbe's Borough.

    “Misery and mirth are blended in his face,

    Much innate vileness and some outward grace:... The serpent's cunning and the sinner's fall,”

    Letter xiv.

    Blank Cartridge

    Cartridge with powder only, that is, without shot, bullet, or ball. Used in drill and in saluting. Figuratively, empty threats.

    Blank Cheque

    A cheque duly signed, but without specifying any sum of money; the amount to be filled in by the payee.

    Blank Practice

    Shooting for practice with blank cartridges.

    Blank Verse

    English verse without rhyme.

    Blanket

    The wrong side of the blanket. A love—child is said to come of the wrong side of the blanket.

    “He grew up to be a fine waule fallow, like mony ane that comes o' the wrang side o' the blanket.”— Sir W. Scott: The Antíquary, chap. xxiv.

    A wet blanket.

    A discouragement, a marplot. A person is a wet blanket who discourages a proposed scheme.

    “Treated with a wet blanket,” discouraged. “A wet blanket influence,” etc. A wet blanket is used to smother fire, or to prevent one escaping from a fire from being burnt.

    Blanketeers

    The Coxeyites were so called in 1894. “General” Coxey of the United States induced 50,000 persons to undertake a 700 miles' march to Washington, with blankets on their backs, to terrorise Congress into finding work for the unemployed.

    Previous to this, the word had been applied to some 5,000 Radical operatives who assembled on St. Peter's Field, near Manchester, March 10, 1817. They provided themselves with blankets and rugs, intending to march to London, to lay before the Prince Regent a petition of grievances. Only six got as far as Ashbourne Bridge, when the expedition collapsed.

    “The Americans have no royal dukes, no bench of bishops, no House of Lords, no effete monarchy; but they have Home Rule, one man one vote, and Coxey with his blanketeers.”— Liberty Review, May 5th, 1894, p. 354.

    Blare

    To cry with a great noise, like a child in a tricky temper; to bellow. (Latin, ploro, to weep with noise.)

    Blarney

    None of your blarney. Soft, wheedling speeches to gain some end; sugar—words. Cormack Macarthy held the castle of Blarney in 1602, and concluded an armistice with Carew, the Lord President, on condition of surrendering the fort to the English garrison. Day after day his lordship looked for the fulfilment of the terms, but received nothing except protocols and soft speeches, till he became the laughing—stock of Elizabeth's ministers, and the dupe of the Lord of Blarney.

    To kiss the Blarney Stone.

    Whoever does this shall be able to persuade to anything. The Blarney Stone is triangular, lowered from the north angle of the castle, about twenty feet from the top, and containing this inscription: “Cormac Mac Carthy fortis me fieri fecit, A.D. 1446.” Blarney is near Cork.

    Blase

    (pronounce blah—zay ). Surfeited with pleasure. A man blasé is one who has had full swing to all the pleasures of life, and has no longer any appetite for any of them. A worn out debauchée (French, blaser, to exhaust with enjoyment).

    Blasphemous Balfour

    Sir James Balfour, the Scottish judge, was so called because of his apostasy. He died 1583.

    Blast

    In full blast. In the extreme. In America will be heard such a sentence as this: “When she came to the meeting in her yellow hat and feathers, wasn't she in full blast?” A metaphor from the blast furnace in full operation.

    Blast

    To strike by lightning; to make to wither. The “blasted oak.” This is the sense in which the word is used as an exclamation.

    “If it [the [ghost] assume my noble father's person,

    I'll cross it, though it blast me.”

    Shakespeare: Hamlet,

    i. 1.

    Blatant Beast

    (The ). “A dreadful fiend of gods and men, ydrad,” type of “Common Rumour” or “Slander.” He has 100 tongues and a sting; with his tongues he speaks things “most shameful, most unrighteous, most untrue;” and with his sting “steeps them in poison.” Sir Calidore muzzled the monster, and drew him with a

    chain to Faërie Land. After a time the beast broke his chain and regained his liberty. (Saxon, blæton, to bellow.) (Spenser: Faërie Queene, books v. vi.)

    Blayney's Bloodhounds

    The old 89th Foot; so called because of their unerring certainty, and untiring perseverance in hunting down the Irish rebels in 1798, when the corps was commanded by Lord Blaney. This regiment is now called “the Second Battalion of the Princess Victoria's Irish Fusiliers.” The first battalion is the old 87th Foot.

    Blaze

    A white mark in the forehead of a horse. (Icelandic, blesi, a white star on the forehead of a horse; German, blasz, pale.)

    A star is a sort of white diamond in the forehead. A blaze is an elongated star or dash of white.

    To blaze a path.

    To notch trees as a clue. Trees so notched are called in America “blazed trees,” and the white wood shown by the notch is called “a blaze.” (See above.)

    “Guided by the blazed trees ... they came to the spot.”— Goulding: The Young Marooners, 118.

    “They buried him where he lay, a blazed tree marking his last resting—place.”— Adventures in Mashonaland, p. 158.

    Blaze

    (To). To blaze abroad. To noise abroad is the German verb blasen, to blow or sound. Shakespeare uses the noun blazon:

    “But this eternal blazon must not be

    To ears of flesh and blood.”

    Hamlet, i. 5.

    Blazer

    (A). A boatman's jacket. Properly and originally applied to the Johnian crew (Camb.), whose boat jackets are the brightest possible scarlet.

    “A blazer is the red flannel boating jacket worn by the Lady Margaret, St. John's College, Cambridge, Boat Club.”— Daily News, August 22nd, 1889.

    Blazon

    [Blazonry]. To blazon is to announce with a trumpet, hence the Ghost in Hamlet says, “But this eternal blazon must not be to ears of flesh and blood,” i.e. this babbling about eternal things, or things of the other world, must not be made to persons still in the flesh. Knights were wont to be announced by the blast of a trumpet on their entrance into the lists; the flourish was answered by the heralds, who described aloud the arms and devices borne by the knight; hence, to blazon came to signify to “describe the charges borne”; and blazonry is “the science of describing or deciphering arms.” (German, blasen, to blow.)

    Ble

    Manger son blé en herbe (French), to eat the calf before it is cast; to spend your fortune before it comes to you; to spend your income in advance. Literally, to feed off your green wheat.

    Blear—eyed

    (The). Aurelius Brandolini, the Italian poet, called Il Lippo (1440—1497).

    Bleed

    To make a man bleed is to make him pay dearly for something; to victimise him. Money is the life—blood of commerce.

    It makes my heart bleed.

    It makes me very sorrowful.

    “She found them indeed,

    But it made her heart bleed.”

    Little Bo—Peep.

    Bleeding of a Dead Body

    (The). It was at one time believed that, at the approach of a murderer, the blood of the murdered body gushed out. If in a dead body the slightest change was observable in the eyes, mouth, feet, or hands, the murderer was supposed to be present. The notion still survives in some places.

    Blefuscu

    An island severed from Lilliput by a channel 800 yards wide, inhabited by pigmies. Swift meant it for France. (Gulliver's Travels.)

    Bleidablik [vast splendour]. The abode of Baldur, the Scandinavian Apollo.

    Blemmyes

    (of Africa). Men said to have no head, their eyes and mouth being placed in the breast. (See Acephalites; Caora. )

    Blenheim Dog

    A small spaniel; so called from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where the breed has been preserved ever since the palace was built.

    Blenheim House

    (Oxfordshire). The house given by the nation to the Duke of Marlborough, for his victory over the French at Blenheim, in Bavaria, in the reign of Queen Anne (1704).

    “When Europe freed confessed the saving power

    Of Marlborough's hand, Britain. who sent him forth, Chief of confederate hosts, to fight the cause

    Of liberty and justice, grateful raised

    This palace, sacred to the leader's fame.”

    Littleton: Blenheim.

    Blenheim Steps

    Once noted for an anatomical school, over which Sir Astley Cooper presided. Here

    “resurrectionists” were sure to find a ready mart for their gruesome wares, for which they received sums of money varying from 10, and sometimes more. Such phrases as “going to Blenheim Steps,” meant going to be dissected, or unearthed from one's grave.

    “The body—snatchers, they have come,

    And made a snatch at me;

    `Tis very hard them kind of men

    Won't let a body be.

    The cock it crows— I must be gone—

    My William, we must part;

    But I'll be yours in death although

    Sir Astley has my heart.”

    Hood: Mary's Ghost.

    Bless

    He has not a [sixpence] to bless himself with, i.e.
    in his possession; wherewith to make himself happy. This expression may probably be traced to the time when coins were marked with a deeply—indented cross. Cf. To keep the devil out of one's pocket.

    Blessing

    with three fingers is symbolical of the Trinity, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    Blest

    I'll be blest if I do it. I am resolved not to do it. A euphemism for curst. Blikiandabol [splendid misery ]. The canopy of the goddess Hel or Hela (q.v.).

    Blimber

    (Miss ). A blue—stocking, who knows the dead languages, and wears learned spectacles. She is the daughter of Dr. Blimber, a fossil school—master of the high and dry grammar type (Dickens: Dombey and Son.)

    Blind

    That's a mere blind. A pretence; something ostensible to conceal a covert design. The metaphor is from window—blinds, which prevent outsiders from seeing into a room.

    Blind as a bat.

    A bat is not blind, but when it enters a room well lighted, it cannot see, and blunders about. It sees best, like a cat, in the dusk. (See Similes.)

    Blind as a beetle. Beetles are not blind, but the dor—beetle or hedge—chafer, in its rapid flight, will occasionally bump against one as if it could not see.

    Blind as a mole.

    Moles are not blind, but as they work underground, their eyes are very small. There is a mole found in the south of Europe, the eyes of which are covered by membranes, and probably this is the animal to which Aristotle refers when he says, “the mole is blind.” (See Similes.)

    Blind as an owl.

    Owls are not blind, but being night birds, they see better in partial darkness than in the full light of day. (See Similes.)

    You came on his blind side.

    His soft or tender—hearted side. Said of persons who wheedle some favour out of another. He yielded because he was not wide awake to his own interest.

    “Lincoln wrote to the same friend that the nomination that the democrats on the blind side.”— Nicolay and Hay: Abraham Lincoln, vol. i. chap. xv. p. 275.

    Blind leaders of the blind.

    The allusion is to sect of the Pharisees, who were wont to shut their eyes when they walked abroad, and often ran their heads against a wall or fell into a ditch. (Matt xv. 14.)

    The Blind

    Francesco Bello, called Il Cieco.

    Luigi Grotto, called Il Cieco, the Italian poet. (1541—1585.) Lieutenant James Holman, The Blind Traveller. (1787—1857.) Ludwig III Emperor of Germany, L'Aveugle. (880, 890—934.)

    Blind Alley

    (A ). A “cul de sac,” an alley with no outlet. It is blind because it has no “eye” or passage through it.

    Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green

    (The ). A public—house sign in the Whitechapel Road. ( Hotten History of Sign—Boards.) (See Beggar. )

    Blind Department

    (The ). In Post Office parlance, means that department where letters with incoherent, insufficient, or illegible addresses are examined, and, if possible, put upon the proper track for delivery. The clerk so employed is called “The Blind Man.”

    “One of these addresses was “Santlings, Hilewite” (St. Helen's, Isle of Wight). I, myself, had one from France addressed, `A Mons. E. Cobham, brasseur, Angleterre,' and it reached me. Another address was `Haselfeach in no famtshare' (Hazelbeach, Northamptonshire).”

    Blind Ditch

    (A). One which cannot be seen. Here blind means obscure, as a blind village.

    Blind Harper

    (The). John Parry, who died 1739.

    Blind Harry

    A Scotch minstrel of the fifteenth century. His epic of Sir William Wallace runs to 11,861 lines.

    Blind Hedge

    (A). A hawhaw hedge, not easily seen. Milton uses the word blind for concealed, as “In the blind mazes of this tangled wood.” (Comus, line 181.)

    Blind old Man of Scio's rocky Isle

    Homer is so called by Byron in his Bride of Abydos.

    Blind Magistrate

    (The). Sir John Fielding, knighted in 1761, was born blind. He was in the commission of the Peace for Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, and the liberties of Westminster.

    Blindman's Holiday

    The hour of dusk, when it is too dark to work, and too soon to light candles.

    Blindman's Lantern (The), or “Eyes to the Blind.” A walking stick with which a blind man guides his way. In French argot bougie means a walking stick.

    Blindmen's Dinner

    (The). A dinner unpaid for. A dinner in which the landlord is made the victim. Eulenspiegel being asked for alms by twelve blind men, said, “Go to the inn; eat, drink, and be merry, my men; and here are twenty florins to pay the fare.” The blind men thanked him; each supposing one of the others had received the money. Reaching the inn, they told the landlord of their luck, and were at once provided with food and drink to the amount of twenty florins. On asking for payment, they all said, “Let him who received the money pay for the dinner,” but none had received a penny.

    Blinkers

    Spectacles; the allusion is to a horse's blinkers.

    Block

    To block a Bill. In parliamentary language means to postpone or prevent the passage of a Bill by giving notice of opposition, and thus preventing its being taken after half—past twelve at night.

    “By blocking the Bill [he] denied to two million persons the right of having votes.”— Contemporary Review, August, 1884, p. 171.

    Blockhead

    A stupid person; one without brains. The allusion is to a wig maker's dummy or tête à perruque, on which he fits his wigs.

    Your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, `tis strongly wedged up in a block—head”— Shakespeare Coriolanus, ii. 3.

    Blood

    A buck, an aristocratic rowdy. A term taken from blood horses.

    “A blood or dandy about town.”— Thackeray: Vanity Fair, chap. x. p. 49.

    Blood

    Family descent.

    And hath made of one blood all nations of men.”— Acts xvii. 26.

    Blood thicker than water.

    Relationship has a claim which is generally acknowledged. It is better to seek kindness from a kinsman than from a stranger. Water soon evaporates and leaves no mark behind; not so blood. So the interest we take in a stranger is thinner and more evanescent than that which we take in a blood relation.

    “Weel! blude's thicker than water. She's welcome to the cheeses and the hams just the same.”— Sir W. Scott: Guy Mannering.

    A Prince of the Blood. One of the Royal Family. Bad blood. Anger, quarrels; as, It stirs up bad blood. It provokes to ill—feeling and contention. Blue blood. (See under Blue.)

    Young blood.

    Fresh members; as, “To bring young blood into the concern.” In cold blood. Deliberately; not in the excitement of passion or of battle. It makes one's blood boil. It provokes indignation and anger.

    It runs in the blood.

    It is inherited or exists in the family race.

    “It runs in the blood of our family.”— Sheridan: The Rivals, iv. 2.

    My own flesh and blood. My own children, brothers, sisters, or other near kindred. Laws written in blood. Demades said that the laws of Draco were written in blood, because every offence was punished by death.

    The field of blood.

    Aceldama (Acts i. 19), the piece of ground purchased with the blood—money of our Saviour, and set apart for the burial of strangers.

    The field of the battle of Cannæ, where Hannibal defeated the Romans, B.C. 216.

    Blood of our Saviour.

    An order of knighthood in Mantua; so called because their special office was to guard “the drops of the Saviour's blood” preserved in St. Andrew's church, Mantua.

    Blood and iron policy— i.e.

    war policy. No explanation needed.

    Blood—guiltiness

    The guilt of murder.

    Blood—horse

    (A ). A thorough—bred.

    Bloodhound

    Figuratively, one who follows up an enemy with pertinacity. Bloodhounds used to be employed for tracking wounded game by the blood spilt; subsequently they were employed for tracking criminals and slaves who had made their escape, and were hunters of blood, not hunters by blood. The most noted breeds are the African, Cuban, and English.

    Blood Money

    Money paid to a person for giving such evidence as shall lead to the conviction of another; money paid to the next of kin to induce him to forego his “right” of seeking blood for blood; money paid to a person for betraying another, as Judas was paid blood—money for showing the band the place where Jesus might be found.

    Blood Relation

    (A ). One in direct descent from the same father or mother; one of the same family stock.

    Blood—thirsty

    Eager for shedding blood.

    Blood of the Grograms

    (The ). Taffety gentility; make—believe aristocratic blood. Grogram is a coarse silk taffety stiffened with gum (French, grosgrain).

    “Our first tragedian was always boasting of his being `an old actor,' and was full of the `blood of the Grograms.' ”— C. Thomson: Autobiography, p. 200.

    Bloody

    used as an expletive in such phrases as “A bloody fool,” “Bloody drunk,” etc., arose from associating folly and drunkenness, etc., with what are called “Bloods,” or aristocratic rowdies. Similar to “Drunk as a lord.”

    “It was bloody hot walking to—day.”— Swift: Journal de Stella, letter xxii.

    Bloody

    (The). Otho II., Emperor of Germany. (955, 973—983.)

    The Bloody Eleventh.

    The old 11th Foot was so called from their having been several times nearly annihilated, as at Almanza, Fontenoy, Roucoux, Ostend, and Salamanca (1812), in capturing a French standard. Now called “The Devonshire Regiment.”

    Bloody Assizes

    The infamous assizes held by Judge Jeffreys in 1685. Three hundred were executed, more whipped or imprisoned, and a thousand sent to the plantations for taking part in Monmouth's rebellion.

    Bloody Bill

    The 31 Henry VIII., c. 14, which denounced death, by hanging or burning, on all who denied the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    Bloody—Bones A hobgoblin; generally “Raw—head and Bloody—Bones.”

    Bloody Butcher

    (See Butcher .)

    Bloody Hand

    A man whose hand was bloody, and was therefore presumed to be the person guilty of killing the deer shot or otherwise slain. (Cf. RED HAND.) Also the badge of a baronet.

    Bloody Wedding

    St. Bartholomew's slaughter in 1572 is so called because it took place during the marriage feast of Henri (afterwards Henri IV.,) and Marguerite (daughter of Catherine ).

    Bloody Week

    (The). The week ending on Sunday, May 28th, 1871, when Paris was burning, being set on fire by the Communists in hundreds of places. The destruction was frightful, but Nôtre Dame, the Hôtel Dieu, and the magnificent collection of pictures in the Louvre, happily escaped demolition.

    Bloom

    From bloom to bloom. A floral rent. The Lord of the Manor received and rose or gillyflower, on the Feast of John the Baptist, yearly (July 5th, O. S.). (See Notes and Queries, Feb. 13th, 1886, p. 135.)

    Bloomerism

    A female costume; so called from Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, of New York, who tried in 1849 to introduce the fashion. The dress consisted of a short skirt and loose trousers gathered closely round the ankles— becoming enough to young ladies in their teens, but ridiculous for “the fat and forty.”

    Blount

    (Charles). Author of some deistical writings in the time of Charles II. (1654—1693.)

    “He heard of Blount, etc.” Crabbe: Borough.

    Blouse

    A short smock—frock of a blue colour worn commonly by French workmen. Bleu is French argot for manteau.

    “A garment called bliaut or bliaus, which appears to have been another name for a surcoat. ... In this bliaus we may discover the modern French blouse, a ... smock—frock.”— Planché: British Costume.

    1. Blow

    (To). As the wind blows; or to blow with the breath. (Anglo—Saxon, blawan, to blow or breathe.) It will soon blow over. It will soon be no longer talked about; it will soon come to an end, as a gale or storm blows over or ceases.

    To blow off

    is another form of the same phrase.

    To blow great guns.

    The wind blows so violently that its noise resembles the roar of artillery. To blow hot and cold, (or) To blow hot and cold with the same breath. To be inconsistent. The allusion is to the fable of a traveller who was entertained by a satyr. Being cold, the traveller blew his fingers to warm them, and afterwards blew his hot broth to cool it. The satyr, in great indignation, turned him out of doors, because he blew both hot and cold with the same breath.

    To blow off the steam.

    To get rid of superfluous energy. The allusion is to the forcible escape of superfluous steam no longer required.

    2. Blow

    (To). To sound a trumpet.

    “But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

    Let us be tigers in our fierce deportment.”

    Shakespeare: Henry V., iii. 1.

    To blow.

    To inform against a companion; to “peach.” The reference is to the announcing of knights by blast of trumpet.

    3. Blow (To). To blast as with gunpowder.

    I will blow him up sky high.

    Give him a good scolding. A regular blowing up is a thorough jobation. The metaphor is from blasting by gunpowder.

    But to blow up a bladder, etc., means to inflate it.

    4. Blow.

    A stroke. (German, bläuen, to beat or strike.)

    At one blow.

    By one stroke.

    The first blow is half the battle.

    Well begun is half done. Pythagoras used it. say, “The beginning is half the whole.” “Incipe: Dimidium facti est coepisse” (Ausonius). “Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet” (Horace). “Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coûte.”

    Without striking a blow.

    Without coming to a contest.

    Blow a Cloud

    To smoke a cigar or pipe. This term was in use in Queen Elizabeth's reign.

    Blow Me

    (an oath). You be blowed (an oath), a play on the word Dash me, which is a euphemism for a more offensive oath.

    “ `Well, if you won't stand a pint,' quoth the tall man, `I will, that's all, and blow temperance.' ”— Kingsley: Alton Locke, chap. ii.

    Blow out

    (A). A “tuck in,” or feast which swells out the paunch.

    Blow—point

    A game similar to our pea—puffing, only instead of peas small wooden skewers or bits of pointed wood were puffed through the tube. The game is alluded to by Florio, Strutt, and several other authors.

    Blown

    in the phrase “fly—blown,” has nothing to do with the verb to blow (as the wind blows). It means that flies have deposited their eggs and tainted the article. In French, deposer des oeufs de mouches sur ... and a fly—blow is un oeuf de mouche. The word seems to be connected with blot, the egg of a moth or other insect.

    Blown Herrings

    are bloated herrings. The French bouffi (blown) is analogous to both expressions. Blown herrings are herrings bloated, swollen, or cured by smoking.

    Blown upon

    Made the subject of a scandal. His reputation has been blown upon, means has been the subject of talk wherein something derogatory was hinted at or even asserted. Blown upon by the breath of slander.

    “Blown,” meaning stale, tainted, is probably the same as the above; but blown upon cannot be.

    Blowzelinda

    A country maiden in Gay's pastoral called The Shepherd's Week.

    “Sweet is toil when Blowzelind is near;

    Of our bereft, 'tis winter all the year ....

    Come Blowzelinda, ease thy swain's desire,

    My summer's shadow and my winter's fire.”

    Pastoral i.

    Blowzy

    Coarse, red—faced, bloated; applied to women. The word is allied to blush, blaze, etc. (Dutch, bloozen and blaazen; Danish, blusser, to blaze.)

    Blubber

    To cry like a child, with noise and slavering. Connected with slobber, slaver.

    “I play the boy, and blubber in thy bosom.”

    Otway: Venice Preserved,

    i. 1.

    Blubber Cheeks

    Fat, flabby cheeks, like whale's blubber. “The blubber cheeks of my friend the baronet.”

    Bluchers

    Half boots; so called after Field—Marshal von Blucher (1742—1819).

    Blue

    or Azure is the symbol of Divine eternity and human immortality. Consequently, it is a mortuary

    colour— hence its use in covering the coffins of young persons. When used for the garment of an angel, it signifies faith and fidelity. As the dress of the Virgin, it indicates modesty. In blazonry, it signifies chastity, loyalty, fidelity, and a spotless reputation.

    The Covenanters wore blue as their badge, in opposition to the scarlet of royalty. They based their choice on Numb. xv. 38, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments ... and that they put upon the fringe ... a ribband of blue.

    (See Colours for its symbolisms.)

    Blue

    (A), or a “staunch blue,” descriptive of political opinions, for the most part means a Tory, for in most counties the Conservative colour is blue. (See True Blue .)

    “This was a blue demonstration, a gathering of the Conservative clans.”— Holme Lee.

    A blue. (See Blue Stocking.) A dark blue. An Oxford man or Harrow boy. A light blue. A Cambridge man or Eton boy. An old blue. One who has pulled in a University boat—race, or taken part in any of their athletic contests.

    “There were five old blues playing.”— Standard, May 8th, 1883.

    True blue.

    This is a Spanish phrase, and refers to the notion that the veins shown in the skin of aristocratic families are more blue than that of inferior persons. (See Sang.)

    True blue will never stain.

    A really noble heart will never disgrace itself. The reference is to blue aprons and blouses worn by butchers, which do not show blood—stains.

    True as Coventry blue.

    The reference is to a blue cloth and blue thread made at Coventry, noted for its permanent dye.

    'Twas Presbyterian true blue

    (Hudibras, i. 1). The allusion is to the blue apron which some of the Presbyterian preachers used to throw over their preaching—tub before they began to address the people. In one of the Rump songs we read of a person going to hear a lecture, and the song says—

    “Where I a tub did view,

    Hung with an apron blue; 'Twas the preacher's, I conjecture.”

    To look blue.

    To be disconcerted. He was blue in the face. Aghast with wonder. The effect of fear and wonder is to drive the colour from the cheeks, and give them a pale—bluish tinge.

    Blue—apron Statesman

    (A). A lay politician, a tradesman who interferes with the affairs of the nation. The reference is to the blue apron once worn by almost all tradesmen, but now restricted to butchers, poulterers, fishmongers, and so on.

    Blue Beans

    Bullets. Lead is blue.

    “Many a valiant Gaul had no breakfast that morning but what the Germans call `blue beans,'

    i.e. bullets.”— W. Maccall: My School Days, 1885.

    Three blue beans in a blue bottle or bladder. (See under Beans.)

    Bluebeard

    A bogey, a merciless tyrant, in Charles Perrault's Contes du Temps. The tale of Bluebeard (Chevalier Raoul) is known to every child, but many have speculated on the original of this despot. Some say it was a satire on Henry VIII., of wife—killing notoriety. Dr. C. Taylor thinks it is a type of the castle lords in the days of knight—errantry. Holinshed calls Giles de Retz, Marquis de Laval, the original Bluebeard. This Giles or Gilles who lived at Machecoul, in Brittany, was accused of murdering six of his seven wives, and was ultimately strangled and burnt in 1440.

    “The Bluebeard chamber of his mind, into which no eye but his own must look.”— Carlyle.

    Campbell has a Bluebeard story in his Tales of the Western Highlands, called The Widow and her Daughters. A similar one is No. 39 of Visentini's collection of Italian stories. So is No. 3 of Bernoni's collection.

    Bluebeard's Key

    When the blood stain of this key was rubbed out on one side, it appeared on the opposite side; so prodigality being overcome will appear in the form of meanness; and friends, over—fond, will often become enemies.

    Blue Billy

    (A). A blue neckcloth with white spots, worn by William Mace. More likely the allusion is to the bill or nose. (See Billy .)

    Blue Blood

    (See page 149, True Blue.)

    Blue Boar

    A public—house sign; the cognisance of Richard III. In Leicester is a lane in the parish of St. Nicholas, called the Blue Boar Lane, because Richard slept there the night before the battle of Bosworth Field.

    “The bristly boar, in infant gore,

    Wallows beneath the thorny shade.”

    Gray: The Bard.

    Blue Bonnets

    (The). The Scotch Highlanders; the Scotch generally. So called from the blue woollen cap at one time in very general use in Scotland, and still far from uncommon.

    “England shall many a day

    Tell of the bloody fray,

    When the blue bonnets came over the border.” Sir W. Scott.

    Blue Books

    In England, parliamentary reports and official publications presented by the Crown to both Houses of Parliament. Each volume is in folio, and is covered with a blue wrapper.

    Short Acts of Parliament, etc., even without a wrapper, come under the same designation. In America, the “Blue Books” (like our “Red Books") contain lists of those persons who hold government appointments. The official colour of Spain is red, of Italy green, of France yellow, of Germany and Portugal white.

    Blue Bottle

    A beadsman, a policeman; so called from the colour of his dress. Shakespeare makes Doll Tearsheet denounce the beadle as a “blue—bottle rogue.”

    “You proud varlets, you need not be ashamed to wear blue, when your master is one of your fellows.”— Dekker: The Honest Whore (1602).

    “I'll have you soundly swinged for this, you blue—bottle rogue.”— Shakespeare: 2 Hen. IV., act v. 4.

    Blue Caps

    or Blue Bonnets. The Scotch.

    “He is there, too, ... and a thousand blue caps more.”— Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., ii. 4.

    Blue—coat School

    Christ's Hospital is so called because the boys there wear a long blue coat girded at the loins with a leather belt. Some who attend the mathematical school are termed King's boys, and those who constitute the highest class are Grecians.

    Founded by Edward VI. in the year of his death. There are several other blue—coat schools in England besides Christ's Hospital.

    Blue Devils

    or A fit of the blues. A fit of spleen, low spirits. Roach and Esquirol affirm, from observation, that indigo dyers are especially subject to melancholy; and that those who dye scarlet are choleric. Paracelsus also asserts that blue is injurious to the health and spirits. There may, therefore, be more science in calling melancholy blue than is generally allowed. The German blei (lead) which gives rise to our slang word blue or blucy (lead) seems to bear upon the “leaden down—cast eyes” of melancholy.

    Blue eyed Maid

    (The). Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, is so called by Home.

    “Now Prudence gently pulled the poet's ear,

    And thus the daughter of the Blue—eyed Maid, In Mattery's coating sounds, divinely said,

    `O Peter, eldest—born of Phoebus, hear.' “

    Peter Pindar: A Falling Minister.

    Blue Fish

    (The). The shark, technically called Carcharias glaucus, the upper parts of which are blue.

    Blue Flag

    He has hoisted the blue flag. He has turned publican or fishmonger, in allusion to the blue apron at one time worn by publicans, and still worn by fishmongers.

    Blue Gown

    (A). A harlot. Nares cells us that “a blue gown was a dress of ignominy for a harlot in the House of Correction. (See below.)

    Blue—gowns

    The bedesmen, to whom the kings of Scotland distributed certain alms. Their dress was a cloak or gown of coarse blue cloth, with a pewter badge. The number of these bedesmen was equal to that of the king's years, so that are extra one was added every returning birthday. These paupers were privileged to ask alms through the whole realm of Scotland. No new member has been added since 1833. (See Gaberlunzie .)

    Blue Guards

    (The). So the Oxford Blues, now called the Royal Horse Guards, were called during the campaign in Flanders (1742 1745).

    Blue Hen

    Captain Caldwell used to say that no cock could be truly game whose mother was not a blue hen. As Caldwell commanded the 1st Delaware regiment in the war, the State of Delaware was nicknamed Blue Hen.

    Your mother was a blue hen, no doubt.

    A reproof give to a braggart. (See above.)

    Blue—jackets

    Sailors; so called because the colour of their jackets is blue.

    Blue John

    (A). A petrefaction of blue fluor—spar, found in the Blue John mine of Tre Cliff, Derbyshire; and so called to distinguish it from the Black Jack, an ore of zinc. Called John from John Kirk, a miner, who first noticed it.

    Blue Laws

    (The). These were puritanical laws enacted in 1732, at New Haven, Connecticut, in the United States of America. Their object was to stamp out “heresy,” and enforce a strict observance of the Sunday. Many persons insist that they are apocryphal; but in October, 1891, the German American Lincoln Club protested against their enforcement by a democratic judge, and resolved—

    “To call upon all right—thinking citizens to assist in an effort to have the laws repealed, by supporting and voting only for such candidates for the legislature as would pledge themselves to vote for their repeal.”

    Blue—light Federalists

    A name given to those Americans who were believed to have made friendly (“blue—light") signals to British ships in the war. (1812.)

    Blue—mantle

    The English pursuivant at arms is so called from his official robe.

    Blue Monday

    The Monday before Lent, spent in dissipation. (German, der blaue Montag.) It is said that dissipation gives everything a blue tinge. Hence “blue” means tipsy. (See Blue Devils .)

    “Drink till all is blue.

    Cracking bottles till all is blue.”

    Fraser's Magazine, xvii. (1838).

    Blue Moon

    Once in a blue moon. Very rarely indeed. On December 10th, 1883, we had a “blue moon.” The winter was unusually mild.

    Blue Mould

    Applied to cheese which has become the bed of a fungus, technically called Aspergillus glaucus. The blue mould of bread, paste, jams, etc., is the fungus called Mucor Mucedo.

    Blue Murder

    To shout blue murder.
    Indicative more of terror or alarm than of real danger. It appears to be a play on the French exclamation morbleu; there may also be a distinct allusion to the common phrase “blue ruin.”

    Blue—noses

    The Nova Scotians.

    “Pray, sir,' said one of my fellow—passengers, `can you tell me the reason why the Nova Scotians are called “Blue—noses”?'

    “ `It is the name of a potato,' said I, `which they produce in the greatest perfection, and boast to be the best in the world. The Americans have, in consequence, given them the nickname of Blue Noses. ' ”— Haliburton: Sam Slick.

    Blue Peter

    A flag with a blue ground and white square in the centre, hoisted as a signal that the ship is about to sail. Peter is a corruption of the French partir (leave or notice of departure). The flag is hoisted to give notice to the town that any person having a money—claim may make it before the ship starts, and that all about to sail are to come on board.

    According to Falconer, it is a corruption of the “blue repeater.”

    In whist, it is a “call for trumps”; that is, laying on your partner's card a higher one than is required.

    To hoist the blue Peter.

    To leave.

    “ `When are you going to sail?'

    “ `I cannot justly say. Our ship's bound for America next voyage ... but I've got to go to the Isle of Man first ... And I may have to hoist the blue Peter any day.' ”— Mrs. Gaskell: Mary Barton, chap. xiii.

    Blue—pigeon Flyer

    A man who steals the lead off of a house or church. “Bluey” is slang for lead, so called from its colour. To “pigeon” is to gull, cheat, or fub. Hence, blue—pigeon, one who cheats another of his lead,

    or fubs his lead. “Flyer,” of course, is one who flies off with the stolen lead.

    Blue Ribbon

    (The). “To be adorned with the blue ribbon,” to be made knight of the garter, or adorned with a blue ribbon at the knee. Blue ribbon is also a temperance badge. (See Cordon Bleu .)

    “Lord Lansdown is to be made Knight of the Garter ... though there is no vacancy. Lord Derby received the Blue Ribbon in 1859, although there was no vacancy.”— Truth: March, 1894.

    The Blue Ribbon of the Turf.

    The Derby. Lord George Bentinck sold his stud, and found to his vexation that one of the horses sold won the Derby a few months afterwards. Bewailing his ill—luck, he said to Disraeli,

    “Ah! you don't know what the Derby is.” “Yes, I do,” replied Disraeli; “it is the blue ribbon of the turf,” alluding to the term cordon bleu (q.v.); or else to the blue garter, the highest of all orders.

    “The blue ribbon of the profession” is the highest point of honour attainable therein. The blue ribbon of the Church is the Archbishopric of Canterbury, that in law is the office of Lord Chancellor.

    Blue Ribbon

    (A). A wale from a blow. A bruise turns the skin blue.

    “ `Do you want a blue ribbon round those white sides of yours, you monkey?' answered Orestes; `because, if you do, the hippopotamus hide hangs ready outside.' ”— Wingsley: Hypatia, chap. iv.

    Blue Ruin

    Gin. Called blue from its tint, and ruin from its effects.

    Blue Squadron

    (The). One of the three divisions of the British Fleet in the seventeenth century. (See Admiral Of The Blue .)

    Blue Stocking

    A female pedant. In 1400 a society of ladies and gentlemen was formed at Venice, distinguished by the colour of their stockings, and called della calza. It lasted till 1590, when it appeared in Paris and was the rage among the lady savantes. From France it came to England in 1780, when Mrs. Montague displayed the badge of the Bas—bleu club at her evening assemblies. Mr. Benjamin Stillingfleet was a constant attendant of the soirées. The last of the clique was Miss Monckton, afterwards Countess of Cork, who died 1840.

    “ `You used to be fond enough of books ... a regular blue—stocking Mr. Bland called you.' ”—

    E. S. Phelps: The Gates Ajar, chap. iv.

    Blue Talk

    Indecent conversation, from the French, Bibliothèque Bleu. (Harlots are called “Blues” from the blue gown they were once compelled to wear in the House of Correction.)

    Blue Wonder

    (A). The German Blaues Wunder, which means “a queer story,” as Du sollst dein blaues wunder schen, You will be filled with amazement (at the queer story I have to relate). A “blue wonder” is a cock and bull story, an improbable tale, something to make one stare. The French, contes bleus.

    Blue

    and Red, in public—house signs, are heraldic colours, as the Blue Pig, the Blue Cow, the Red Lion, the Red Hart, etc.

    Blue and Yellow

    (The). The Edinburgh Review; so called from its yellow and blue cover. The back is yellow, the rest of the cover is blue.

    Blues (The), applied to troops.

    The Oxford Blues.

    The Royal Horse Guards were so called in 1690, from the Earl of Oxford their commander and the blue facings. Wellington, in one of his despatches, writes:— “I have been appointed colonel of the Blues.”

    “It was also known as the `Blue Guards' during the campaign in Flanders (1742—1745).”— Trimen: Regiments of the British Army.

    Bluff

    (To), in the game called Poker, is to stake on a bad hand. This is a dodge resorted to by players to lead an adversary to throw up his cards and forfeit his stake rather than risk them against the “bluffer.”

    “The game proceeded. George, although he affected no ignorance of the ordinary principles of poker, played like a novice— that is to say, he bluffed extravagantly on absurdity low hands.”— .Truth: Queer Stories, Sept. 3rd, 1885

    Bluff Harry

    or Hal. Henry VIII., so called from his bluff and burly manners (1491, 1509—1547.)

    Blunderbore

    A giant, brother of Cormoran, who put Jack the Giant Killer to bed and intended to kill him; but Jack thrust a billet of wood into the bed, and crept under the bedstead. Blunderbore came with his club and broke the billet to pieces, but was much amazed at seeing Jack next morning at breakfast—time. When his astonishment was abated he asked Jack how he had slept. “Pretty well,” said the Cornish hero, “but once or twice I fancied a mouse tickled me with its tail.” This increased the giant's surprise. Hasty pudding being provided for breakfast, Jack stowed away such huge stores in a bag concealed within his dress that the giant could not keep pace with him. Jack cut the bag open to relieve “the gorge,” and the giant, to effect the same relief, cut his throat and thus killed himself. (See Giants .)

    Blunderbuss

    A short gun with a large bore. (Dutch, donderbus, a thunder—tube.)

    Blunt

    Ready money.

    Blunt

    (Major — General). An old cavalry officer, rough in speech, but very brave and honest, of good understanding, and a true patriot. (Shadwell: The Volunteers.)

    Blurt out

    (To).
    To tell something from impulse which should not have been told. To speak incautiously, or without due reflection. Florio makes the distinction, to “flurt with one's fingers, and blurt with one's mouth.”

    Blush

    At the first blush. At the first glance; speaking off—hand without having given the subject mature deliberation. The allusion is to blushing at some sudden or unexpected allusion; the first time the thought has flashed into your mind.

    To put to the blush.

    To make one blush with shame, annoyance, or confusion.

    “England might blush in 1620, when Englishmen trembled at a fool's frown [i.e. James I.], but not in 1649, when an enraged people cut off his son's [Charles I.] head.”— Wendell Phillips: Orations, p. 419.

    Bo

    or Boh, in old Runic, was a fierce Gothic captain, son of Odin. His name was used by his soldiers when they would take the enemy by surprise. (Sir William Temple.)

    From this name comes our bogie, a hobgoblin or little Bo. Gifford Castle is called Bo Hall, being said to have been constructed by bogies or magic. Compare Greek, boi, bah! verb, boaô, to shout out; Latin, böo, to bellow like a bull (bos). (See Bogie.)

    You cannot say Bo! to a goose— i.e.

    you are a coward who dare not say bo! even to a fool. When Ben Jonson was introduced to a nobleman, the peer was so struck with his homely appearance that he exclaimed, “What! are you Ben Jonson? Why, you look as if you could not say Bo! to a goose.” “Bo!” exclaimed the witty dramatist, turning to the peer and making his bow. (Latin, bo—are; Greek, boa—ein, to cry aloud.)

    Bo—tree A corruption of bodhi or bodhiruma (the tree of wisdom), under which Sakyamuni used to sit when he concocted the system called Buddhism.

    Boa

    Pliny says the word is from bos (a cow), and arose from the supposition that the boa sucked the milk of cows.

    Boanerges

    (sons of thunder). A name given to James and John, the sons of Zebedee, because they wanted to call down “fire from heaven” to consume the Samaritans for not “receiving” the Lord Jesus. (Luke ix. 54; see Mark iii. 17.)

    Boar

    The Boar. Richard III.; so called from his cognisance.

    “The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar

    That spoiled your summer fields and fruitful vines;

    ... This foul swine ... lies now ...

    Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn.”

    Shakespeare: Richard III., v. 3.

    The bristled Baptist boar.

    So Dryden denominates the Anabaptists in his Hind and Panther.

    “The bristled Baptist boar, impure as he [the ape],

    But whitened with the foam of sanctity,

    With fat pollutions filled the sacred place,

    And mountains levelled in his furious race.”

    Part i. 43—6.

    The wild boar of Ardennes [Le sanglier des Ardennes].

    Guillaume, Comte de la Marck, so called because he was fierce as the wild boar, which he delighted to hunt. Introduced by Sir Walter Scott as William, Count of la Marck, in Quentin Durward.

    Boar

    (The),
    eaten every evening in Valhalla by the Æsir, was named SAEHRIMNIR. It was eaten every evening and next morning was restored whole again.

    Boar's Flesh

    Buddha died from a meal of dried boar's flesh. Mr. Sinnett; tells us that the “boar” referred to was the boar avatar of Vishnu, and that “dried boar's flesh” means esoteric knowledge prepared for popular use. None but Buddha himself must take the responsibility of giving out occult secrets, and he died while so occupied, i.e. in preparing for the general esoteric knowledge. The protreptics of Jamblicus are examples of similar interpretations. (See Nineteenth Century, June, 1893, p. 1021.)

    Boar's Head

    [The Christmas dish.] Freyr, the Scandinavian god of peace and plenty, used to ride on the boar Gullinbursti; his festival was held at Yuletide (winter solstice), when a boar was sacrificed to his honour.

    The Boar's Head.

    This tavern, made immortal by Shakespeare, used to stand in Eastcheap, on the site of the present statue of William IV. It was the cognisance of the Gordons, the progenitor of which clan slew, in the forest of Huntley, a wild boar, the terror of all the Merse (1093).

    Board

    A council which sits at a board or table; as “Board of Directors,” “Board of Guardians,” “School Board,” “Board of Trade,” etc. (Anglo—Saxon, bord, a board, table, etc.)

    To sweep the board.

    To win and carry off all the stakes in a game of cards. 2. Board, in sea phrases, is all that space of the sea which a ship passes over in tacking.

    On board.

    In the ship. “To go on board,” to enter the ship or other sea vessel.

    Overboard. Fallen out of the ship into the sea. To board a ship is to get on board an enemy's vessel. To make a good board. To make a good or long tack in beating to windward. To make a short board. To make a short tack. “To make short boards,” to tack frequently. To make a stern board. To sail stern foremost.

    To run aboard of.

    To run foul of [another ship]. 3. To board. To feed and lodge together, is taken from the custom of the university members, etc., dining together at a common table or board.

    Board

    To accost. (French, aborder, to accost.)

    “I'll board her, though she chide as loud

    As thunder.”

    Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew,

    i. 2.

    (See also Hamlet, ii. 2.)

    Board of Green Cloth

    So called because the lord steward and his board sat at a table covered with green cloth. It existed certainly in the reign of Henry I., and probably earlier, and was abolished in 1849.

    “Board of Green Cloth, June 12th, 1681. Order was this day given that the Maides of Honour should have cherry—tarts instead of gooseberrytarts, it being observed that cherrys are

    three—pence a pound.”

    Board School (A)

    An undenominational elementary school managed by a School Board, and supported by a parliamentary grant collected by a rate.

    Boarding School

    I am going to boarding school. Going to prison to be taught good behaviour.

    Boards

    He is on the boards, i.e. an actor by profession.

    Boast

    (The). The vainglory, the ostentation, that which a person boasts of, or is proud of.

    “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

    Awaits [sic] alike the inevitable hour.”

    Gray: The Elegy, stanza 9.

    Boast of England

    (The). Tom Thumb or Tom—a—lin. Richard Johnson, in 1599, published a “history of this

    ever—renowned soldier, the Red Rose Knight, surnamed The Boast of England, showing his honorable victories in foreign countries, with his strange fortunes in Faëry Land, and how he married the fair Angliterra, daughter of Prester John. ...”

    Boat

    Both in the same boat. Both treated alike; both placed in the same conditions. The reference is to the boat launched when a ship is wrecked. To be represented in a boat is the ordinary symbol of apotheosis. Many sovereigns are so represented on coins.

    Boatswain

    The officer who has charge of the boats, sails, rigging, anchors, cordage, cables, and colours. Swain is the Saxon swein (a boy, servant), Swedish sven. Hence, a shepherd is a swain, and a sweetheart is a woman's servant or swain.

    Boatswain.

    The name of Byron's favourite dog, buried in Newstead Abbey garden.

    Boaz and Jachin. The names of the two brazen pillars set up by Solomon at the entrance of his temple— Boaz (strength) on the left hand, and Jachin (stability) on the right. (1 Kings vii. 21.)

    “Two pillars raising by their skill profound.

    Boaz

    and Jachin, thro' the East renowned.” Crabbe: Borough

    Bob

    A shilling. A “bender” is a sixpence. (Compare BAWBEE.)

    Bob.

    A set of changes rung on [church] bells: as a “bob major,” a “bob—minor,” a “triple bob.” To give the bob to any one. To deceive, to balk. This word is a corruption of pop. The bob of a pendulum or mason's plumb—line is the weight that pops backwards and forwards. The bob of a fishing—line pops up and down when fish nibble at the bait. To bob for apples or cherries is to try and catch them while they swing backwards and forwards. As this is very deceptive, it is easy to see how the word signifies to balk, etc.

    To bob means also to thump, and a bob is a blow.

    “He that a fool doth very wisely hit,

    Doth very foolishly, although he smart,

    Not to seem senseless of the bob.”

    Shakespeare: As You Like It, ii. 7.

    Bear a bob.

    Be brisk. The allusion is to bobbing for apples, in which it requires great agility and quickness to catch the apple.

    A bob wig.

    A wig in which the bottom locks are turned up into bobs or short curls.

    Bobadil

    A military braggart of the first water. Captain Bobadil is a character in Ben Jonson's comedy of Every Man in his Humour. This name was probably suggested by Bobadilla, first governor of Cuba, who sent Columbus home in chains. (See Vincent .)

    “Bobadil is the author's best invention, and is worthy to march in the same regiment with Bessus and Pistol, Parolles, and the Copper Captain” (q.v.).— B. W. Procter.

    See all these names in their proper places.

    Bobbery

    as “Kicking up a bobbery,” making a squabble or tumult, kicking up a shindy. It is much used in India, and Colonel Yule says it is of Indian origin.

    Bobbish

    Pretty bobbish. Pretty well (in spirits and health), from bob, brisk. (See above.) A very ancient expression.

    Bobbit

    If it isn't weel bobbit we'll bob it again. If it is not done well enough, we will try again. To bob is to dance, and literally the proverb means, “If it is not well danced, we will dance over again.”

    Bobby

    A policeman; so called because Sir Robert Peel introduced the force, at least into Ireland. (See Peeler

    .)

    “But oh! for the grip of the bobby's hand

    Upon his neck that day.”

    Punch:

    July 26, 1884.

    Boccus

    (King). A kind of Solomon, who not only drank strong poison “in the name of the Trinite” without hurt; but also answered questions of wisdom, morality, and natural science. (The History of King Boccus and Sydrack, from the French.)

    Bockland

    or Bookland. Land severed from the folcland, and converted into a private estate of perpetual inheritance by a short and simple deed or bock.

    Bod

    The divinity invoked by Indian women who desire fecundity. Children born after an invocation to Bod must be redeemed, or else serve in the temple of the goddess. (Indian mythology.)

    Boden—See

    The Lake of Constance; so called because it lies in the Boden, or low country at the foot of the Alps. (Latin, Senus Bodamicus. )

    Bodies

    Compound bodies, in chemical phraseology, mean those which have two or more simple bodies or elements in their composition, as water.

    Simple bodies,

    in chemical phraseology, mean the elements. The heavenly bodies. The sun, moon, stars, and so on.

    The seven bodies

    (of alchemists). The seven metals supposed to correspond with the seven “planets.”

    Planets. Metals.

    1. Apollo, or the Sun Gold.

    2. Diana, or the Moon Silver.

    3. Mercury Quicksilver.

    4. Venus Copper.

    5. Mars Iron.

    6. Jupiter Tin.

    7. Saturn Lead.

    Bodkin

    A dagger. (Welsh, bodegy a small dagger.)

    Bodkin

    When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin. (Hamlet, iii. 1). A stiletto worn by ladies in the hair, not a dagger. In the Seven Champions, Castria took her silver bodkin from her hair, and stabbed to death first her sister and then herself. Prexida stabbed herself in a similar manner. Shakespeare could not mean that a man might kill himself with a naked dagger, but that even a hair—pin would suffice to give a man his quietus.

    Bodkin

    To ride bodkin. To ride in a carriage between two others, the accommodation being only for two. Dr. Payne says that bodkin in this sense is a contraction of bodykin, a little body, which may be squeezed into a small space.

    “If you can bodkin the sweet creature into the coach.”— Gibbon.

    “There is hardly room between Jos and Miss Sharp, who are on the front seat, Mr. Osborne sitting bodkin opposite, between Captain Dobbin and Amelia.”— Thackeray: Vanity Fair.

    Bodle A Scotch coin, worth the sixth of a penny; so called from Bothwell, a mint—master.

    “Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.”

    Burns: Tam o' Shanter,

    line 110.

    To care not a bodle

    = our English phrase, “Not to care a farthing.”

    Bodleian Library

    (Oxford). So called because it was restored by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1597.

    Body

    (Anglo—Saxon, bodig.)

    A regular body,

    in geometry, means one of the five regular solids, called “Platonic” because first suggested by Plato. (See Platonic Bodies.)

    To body forth.

    To give mental shape to an ideal form.

    “Imagination bodies forth

    The forms of things unknown.”

    Shakespeare: Midsummer Night's Dream, v.1

    Body and Soul

    To keep body and soul together. To sustain life; from the notion that the soul gives life. The Latin anima, and the Greek psyche, mean both soul and life; and, according to Homeric mythology, the departed soul retains the shape and semblance of the body, hence the notion of ghosts. Indeed, if the soul is the “principle of life,” it must of necessity be the facsimile of every living atom of the body. (See Astral Body

    .)

    Body—colour

    (A). Is a paint containing a body or consistency. In water—colours it is mixed with white lead and laid on thickly.

    Body Corporate

    (A). An aggregate of individuals legally united into a corporation.

    Body Politic

    (A). A whole nation considered as a political corporation; the state. In Latin, totum corpus reipublicae.

    Body—snatcher

    (A).
    One who snatches or purloins bodies, newly buried, to sell them to surgeons for dissection. By a play on the words, a bum—bailiff was so called, because his duty was to snatch or capture the body of a delinquent. The first instance of body—snatching on record was in 1777. It was the body of Mrs. Jane Sainsbury from the burial ground near Gray's Inn Lane. The men, being convicted, were imprisoned for six months.

    Boemond

    The Christian King of Antioch, who tried to teach his subjects arts, laws, and religion. Pyrrhus delivered to him a fort, by which Antioch was taken by the Christians after an eight months' siege. Boemond and Rogero were two brothers, the sons of Roberto Guiscardo, of the Norman race. (Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered.)

    Boeotia

    According to fable it is so—called because Cadmus was conducted by an ox (Greek bous) to the spot where he built Thebes; but, according to fact, it was so called because it abounded in cattle. (Greek, Boiotia.)

    Boeotian

    A rude, unlettered person, a dull blockhead. The ancient Boeotians loved agricultural and pastoral pursuits, so the Athenians used to say they were dull and thick as their own atmosphere; yet Hesiod, Pindar, Corinna, Plutarch, Pelopidas, and Epaminondas, were all Boeotians.

    Boeotian Ears

    Ears unable to appreciate music or rhetoric.

    “Well, friend, I assure thee thou hast not got Boeotian ears [because you can appreciate the beauties of my sermons].”— Le Saye: Gill Blas, vii. 3.

    Boethius

    Last of the Latin authors, properly so called (470—524). Alfred the Great translated his De Consolatione Philosophiae into Anglo—Saxon.

    Bogie

    A scarecrow, a goblin. (Bulgarian, bog, a god; Salvonic, bogu; Welsh, bwg, a goblin, our bugbear.) The Assyrian mothers used to scare their children with the name of Narsës (Gibbon); the Syrians with that of Richard Coeur de Lion; the Dutch with Boh, the Gothic general (Warton); the Jews with Lilith; the Turks with Mathias Corvinus, the Hungarian king; and the English with the name of Lunsfort (q.v.). (See Bo.)

    Bogio

    (in Orlando Furioso). One of the allies of Charlemagne. He promised his wife to return within six moons, but was slain by Dardinello.

    Bogle Swindle

    A gigantic swindle concocted in Paris by fourteen persons, who expected to net at least a million sterling. It was exposed in the Times.

    Bogomili

    A religious sect of the twelfth century, whose chief seat was Thrace. So called from their constant repetition of the words, “Lord, have mercy upon us,” which, in Bulgarian, is bog (Lord), milui (have mercy).

    Bogtrotters

    Irish tramps; so called from their skill in crossing the Irish bogs, from tussock to tussock, either as guides or to escape pursuit.

    Bogus

    Bogus currency. Forged or sham bills. Bogus transactions. Fraudulent transactions. The word is by some connected with bogie.

    Lowell (Biglow Papers) says, “I more than suspect the world to be a corruption of the French bagasse. ” In French argot is another word (bogue), the rind of a green chestnut, or case of a watch; a bogus chestnut or watch.

    Boheme

    (La). A Bohemian, that is, one living on his wits, such as a penny—a—liner, journalist, politician, artist, dancer, or in fact any chevalier of unsettled habits and no settled home. From the French, Bohémien, a gipsy.

    Une maison de Bohême

    means a house where no regularity is observed, but all things are at sixes and sevens.

    Bohemia

    The Queen of Bohemia. A public—house sign in honour of Lady Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James

    I., who was married to Frederick, elector palatine, for whom Bohemia was raised into a separate kingdom. It is through this lady that the Brunswick family succeeded to the throne of Great Britain.

    Bohemian

    A gipsy, an impostor. The first gipsies that entered France came from Bohemia, and appeared before Paris in 1427. They were not allowed to enter the city, but were lodged at La Chapelle St. Denis.

    A slang term applied to literary men and artists of loose and irregular habits, living by what they can pick up by their brains.

    “Never was there an editor with less about him of the literary Bohemian. A strong contrast to his unhappy contemporary, Chatterton.”— Fortnightly Review: Paston Letter.

    Bohemian Brethren

    A religious sect formed out of the remnants of the Hussites. They arose at Prague in the fifteenth century, and were nicknamed Cave—dwellers, because they lurked in caves to avoid persecution.

    Bohemian Life

    (A). An irregular, restless way of living, like that of a gipsy.

    Bohort

    (Sir). A knight of Arthur's Round Table, brother of Sir Lionel, and nephew of Lancelot of the Lake. Also called Sir Bors.

    Boies

    (2 syl.). Priests of the savages of Florida. Each priest has his special idol, which must be invoked by the fumes of tobacco. (American Indian mythology.)

    Boiling—point

    He was at boiling—point.
    Very angry indeed. Properly the point of heat at which water, under ordinary conditions, boils. (212 Fabrenheit, 100 Centigrade, 80 Réamur.)

    Boiley or Boily. Bread soaked in water. A word used in baby—farming establishments (French, boullie). (Pall Mall Budget, Aug. 22, 1889.)

    Boisserean Collection

    A collection at Stuttgart of the early specimens of German art, made by the three brothers Boisseree.

    Bolay

    or Boley. The giant which the Indians say conquered heaven, earth, and the inferno. (Indian mythology.)

    Bold

    Bold as Beauchamp
    (Beech—um). It is said that Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, with one squire and six archers, overthrew 100 armed men at Hogges, in Normandy, in 1346:

    This exploit is not more incredible than that attributed to Captal—de—Buch, who, with forty followers, cleared Meau of the insurgents called “La Jacquerie,” 7,000 of whom were slain by this little band, or trampled to death in the narrow streets as they fled panic—struck (1358).

    Bold as brass.

    Downright impudent without modesty. Similarly, we say “brazen—faced.” I make bold to say. I take the liberty of saying; I venture to say.

    Bolerium Promontory

    $$$ End.

    Bolero

    A Spanish dance; so called from the name of the inventor.

    Bolingbroke

    Henry IV of England; so called from Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire, where he was born. (1366, 1399—1413.)

    Bollandists

    Editors of the Acta Sanctorum begun by John Bolland (1596—1665); the sixty—first folio volume was published in 1875.

    Bollen

    Swollen. (Anglo Saxon, bolla, a bowl.) Hence “joints bolne—big” (Golding), and “bolne in pride” (Phaer). The seed capsule or pod of flax is called a “boll.”

    “The barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.”— Exod. ix. 31.

    Bologna Stone

    A variety of barite, found in masses near Bologna. After being heated, powdered, and exposed to the light it becomes phosphorescent in the dark.

    Bolognese School

    There were three periods to the Bolognese School in painting— the Early, the Roman, and the Eclectic. The first was founded by Marco Zoppo, in the fifteenth century, and its best exponent was Francia. The second was founded in the sixteenth century by Bagnacavallo, and its chief exponents were Primaticio, Tibaldi, and Nicolo dell' Abate. The third was founded by the Carracci, at the close of the sixteenth century, and its best masters have been Domenichino, Lanfranco, Guido, Schidone, Guercino, and Albani.

    Bolt

    An arrow, a shaft (Anglo—Saxon, bolta; Danish, bolt; Greek, ballo, to cast; Latin, pello, to drive). A door bolt is a shaft of wood or iron, which may be shot or driven forward to secure a door. A thunderbolt is an hypothetical shaft cast from the clouds; an aerolite. Cupid's bolt is Cupid's arrow.

    The fool's bolt is soon spent.

    A foolish archer shoots all his arrows so heedlessly that he leaves himself no resources in case of need.

    I must bolt.

    Be off like an arrow. To bolt food. To swallow it quickly without waiting to chew it. To bolt out the truth. To blurt it out; also To bolt out, to exclude or shut out by bolting the door. To bolt. To sift, as flour is bolted. This has a different derivation to the above (Low Latin, bult—ella, a

    boulter, from an Old French word for coarse cloth).

    “I cannot bolt this matter to the bran,

    As Bradwarden and holy Austin can.”

    Dryden's version of the Cock and Fox.

    Bolt from the Blue

    (A). There fell a bolt from the blue. A sudden and wholly unexpected catastrophe or event occurred, like a “thunderbolt” from the blue sky, or flash of lightning without warning and wholly unexpected.

    “Namque Diespiter

    Igni corusco nubila dividens,

    Plerumque, per purum tonantes

    Egit equos volucremque currum. ...”

    Horace: 1 Ode xxxiv. 5, etc.

    “On Monday, Dec. 22nd [1890], there fell a bolt from the blue. The morning papers announced that the men were out [on strike].”— Nineteenth Century, February, 1891, p. 246.

    In this phrase the word “bolt” is used in the popular sense for lightning the Latin fulmen, the French foudre and tonnerre, in English sometimes for an aerolite. Of course, in strict scientific language, a flash of lightning is not a thunderbolt. Metaphorically, it means a sudden and wholly unexpected catastrophe, like a thunderbolt [flash of lightning] from a blue or serene sky.

    German:

    Wie ein Blitzstrahl aus blauem Aether. Italian: Comme un fulmine a ciel sereno. Latin: Audiit et coeli genitor de parte serena intonuit haevum. (Virgil: AEneid, ix. 630.)

    Bolt in Tun

    a public—house sign, is heraldic. In heraldry it is applied to a bird—bolt, in pale, piercing through a tun. The punning crest of Serjeant Bolton, who died 1787, was “on a wreath a tun erect proper, transpierced by an arrow fesseways or.” Another family of the same name has for crest “a tun with a bird—bolt through it proper.” A third, harping on the same string, has “a bolt gules in a tun or.” The public—house sign distinguished by this device or name adopted it in honour of some family claiming one of the devices mentioned above.

    Bolt Upright

    Straight as an arrow. A bolt is an arrow with a round knob at the end, used for shooting at rooks, etc.

    Bolted

    Bolted out. Either ran off suddenly, or being barred out of the house.

    The horse bolted.

    The horse shot off like a bolt or arrow.

    Bolted Arrow

    A blunt arrow for shooting young rooks with a cross—bow; called “bolting rooks.” A gun would not do, and an arrow would mangle the little things too much.

    Bolton

    The Bolton Ass. This creature is said to have chewed tobacco and taken snuff. (Dr. Doran.)

    Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton.

    Give me some advantage. What you say must be qualified, as it is too strong. Ray says that a collection of proverbs were once presented to the Virgin Queen, with the assurance that it contained all the proverbs in the language; but the Queen rebuked the boaster with the proverb, “Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton,” a proverb omitted in the compilation. John Bolton was one of the courtiers who used to play cards and dice with Henry VIII., and flattered the king by asking him to allow him an ace or some advantage in the game.

    Bolus An apothecary. Apothecaries are so called because they administer boluses. Similarly Mrs. Suds is a washer—woman; Boots is the shoeblack of an inn, etc.

    George Colman adopts the name for his apothecary, who wrote his labels in rhyme, one of which was—

    “When taken,

    To be well shaken”;

    but the patient being shaken, instead of the mixture, died.

    Bomb

    A shell filled with gunpowder. (Greek, bombos; Latin, bombus, any deep noise. Thus Festus says:

    “Bombus, sonus non apium tantum, aut poculi bilbientis, sed etiam tonitr&scirc;.” And Catullus applies it to the blast of a trumpet, “efflabant cornua bombis,” lxiv. 263.)

    Bomba

    King Bomba. A nickname given to Ferdinand II., King of Naples, in consequence of his cruel bombardment of Messina in 1848, in which the slaughter and destruction of property was most wanton. Bomba II. was the nickname given to his son Francis II. for bombarding Palermo in 1860. He was also called Bombalino (Little Bomba).

    Another meaning equally applicable is Vox et praterea nihil, Bomba being the explosion made by puffing out the cheeks, and causing them suddenly to collapse. Liar, break—promise, worthless.

    Bombast

    literally means the produce of the bombyx (Middle Latin bombax, Greek bombux), and applied to

    cotton—wool used for padding. The head of the cotton plant was called “bombast” or “bombace” in the sixteenth century. Bombast was much used in the reign of Henry VIII. for padding, and hence inflated language was so called.

    “We have received your letters full of love, ...

    And in our maiden council rated them ...

    As bombast and as lining to the time.”

    Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost,

    v. 2.

    Bombastes Furioso

    One who talks big and uses long sesquipedalian words; the ideal of bombast. He is the hero of a burlesque opera so called, by William Barnes Rhodes. (1790.)

    Bombastus

    The family name of Aureolus Paracelsus (1493—1541). He is said to have kept a small devil prisoner in the pommel of his sword.

    “Bombastus kept a devil's bird

    Shut in the pommel of his sword,

    That taught him all the cunning pranks

    Of past and future mountebanks.”

    S. Butler: Hudibras,

    part ii. 3.

    Bon Gaultier Ballads

    Parodies of modern poetry by W.E. Aytoun and Theodore Martin (Sir).

    Bon gre mal gre

    Willing or unwilling, willy nilly, nolens volens.

    Bon Mot

    (French). A good or witty saying; a pun; a clever repartee.

    Bon Ton

    (French). Good manners, or manners accredited by good society.

    Bon Vivant

    (French). A free liver; one who indulges in the “good things of the table.”

    Bona Fide Without subterfuge or deception; really and truly. Literally, in good faith (Latin).

    Bona—roba

    A courtesan (Italian); so called from the smartness of their robes or dresses.

    “We knew where the bona—robas were.”

    Shakespeare:

    2 Henry IV., iii. 2.

    Bonduca

    = Boadicea. (Fletcher's Tragedy, 1647.)

    Bone

    Bred in the bone. A part of one's nature. “What's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.” A natural propensity cannot be repressed. Naturam furcâ expellas, autem usque redibit.

    Bone in my Throat

    I have a bone in my throat.
    I cannot talk; I cannot answer your question. I have a bone in my leg. An excuse given to children for not moving from one's seat Similarly, “I have a bone in my arm,” and must be excused using it for the present.

    Bone of Contention

    A disputed point; a point not yet settled. The metaphor is taken from the proverb about “Two dogs fighting for a bone,” etc.

    Bones

    Deucalion, after the Deluge, was ordered to cast behind him the bones of his mother, i.e. the stones of mother earth. Those thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by his wife, Pyrrha, became women. Pindar suggests that laas, a stone, is a pun on laos, the people. Both words, in the genitive case singular, are alike laou. (Olynthics, ix. 66.)

    Bone to pick

    (A). A sop to Cerberus. A lucrative appointment given to a troublesome opponent in order to silence him. Thus Chisholm Anstey was sent to Hong—Kong as a judge to keep him away from the House of Commons Of course the allusion is to throwing a bone to a dog barking at you.

    “In those days the usual plan to get rid to an oratorical patriot in the House was to give him `a bone to pick.' ”— Anthony Collins.

    I have a bone to pick with you. An unpleasant matter to settle with you. At the marriage banquets of the Sicilian poor, the bride's father, after the meal, used to hand the bridegroom a bone, saying, “Pick this bone, for you have taken in hand a much harder task.”

    Bone

    (See Albadara; Luz; Os Sacrum .)

    Bone

    (To). To filch, as, I boned it. Shakespeare (2 Henry VI., act i. 3) says, “By these ten bones, my lord ...” meaning his ten fingers; and (Hamlet, iii. 2) calls the fingers “pickers and stealers.” Putting the two together there can be no doubt that “to bone” means to finger, that is, “to pick and steal.”

    “You thought that I was buried deep

    Quite decent—like and chary,

    But from her grave in Mary—bone,

    They've come and boned your Mary!”

    Hood: Mary's Ghost.

    Bone—grubber

    (A ). A person who grubs about dust—bins, gutters, etc., for refuse bones, which he sells to bone—grinders, and other dealers in such stores.

    Bone—lace

    Lace woven on bobbins made of trotter—bones.

    Bone—shaker (A ). A four—wheel cab; also an old bicycle.

    “A good swift hansom is worth twice as much as a `bone—shaker' any day.”— Nineteenth Century, March, 1893, p. 473.

    Boned

    I boned him. Caught or seized him. (See above, Bone .)

    Bones

    The man who rattles or plays the bones in nigger troupes.

    To make no bones about the matter, i.e.

    no difficulty, no scruple. Dice are called “bones,” and the French, flatter le dé (to mince the matter), is the opposite of our expression. To make no bones of a thing is not to flatter, or “make much of,” or humour the dice in order to show favour.

    Napier's bones.

    (See under Napier.) Without more bones. Without further scruple or objection. (See above, “Make no bones,” etc.)

    Bonese

    (2 syl.). The inhabitants of Boni, one of the Celebes.

    Bonfire

    Ignis ossium. The Athenæum shows that the word means a fire made of bones; one quotation runs thus, “In the worship of St. John, the people ... made three manner of fires: one was of clean bones and no wood, and that is called a bonefire; another of clean wood and no bones, and that is called a woodfire ... and the third is made of wood and bones, and is called `St. John's fire"' (Quatuor Sermones, 1499). Certainly bone (Scotch, bane) is the more ancient way of spelling the first syllable of the word; but some suggest that

    “bon—fire” is really “boon—fire.”

    “In some parts of Lincolnshire ... they make fires in the public streets ... with bones of oxen, sheep, etc. ... heaped together ... hence came the origin of bonfires.”— Leland, 1552.

    Whatever the origin of the word, it has long been uséd to signify either a beacon fire, or a boon fire, i.e. a fire expressive of joy. We often find the word spelt “bane—fire,” where bane may mean “bone” or beacon. Welsh ban, lofty; allied to the Norwegian baun, a beacon or cresset.

    Bonhomie'

    Kindness; good nature; free and easy manners; cordial benevolence. (French.)

    “I never knew a more prepossessing man. His bonhomie was infectious.”— C. D. Warner: Little Journey, chap. vi.

    Bonhomme

    (Un ). A goody man; according to Dr. Young's line, “What is mere good nature, but a fool?” The word, divided into two, is used in a good sense, as Etre un bon homme. Jacques Bonhomme means a peasant.

    Jacques Bonhomme

    (French). A peasant who ventures to interfere in politics. Hence, the peasants' rebellion in 1358 was called La Jacquerie. The term means “James Goodfellow”; we also often address the poor as

    “My good fellow.”

    Boniface

    A sleek, good—tempered, jolly landlord. From Farquhar's comedy of The Beaux' Stratagem.

    “A regular British Boniface.”— The John Bull.

    St. Boniface. The apostle of Germany, an Anglo—Saxon whose original name was Winifrid or Winfrith. (680—750.)

    St. Boniface's cup.

    An extra cup of wine (to the health of the Pope). Pope Boniface, we are told in the Ebrietatis Encomium, instituted an indulgence to those who drank his good health after grace, or the health of the Pope of the time being. An excuse for an extra glass.

    Bonne (French). A nursemaid, a nursery governess.

    Bonne Bouche

    (A ). delicious morsel; a tit—bit (tid—bit).

    “Now I'll give you a real bonne—bouche. This is a bottle of the famous comet port of 1811.”— The Epicure.

    Bonnet

    A pretended player at a gaming—table, or bidder at an auction, to lure others to play; so called because he blinds the eyes of his dupes, just as if he had struck their bonnet over their eyes.

    “A man who sits at a gaming table, and appears to be playing against the table; when a stranger appears the Bonnet generally wins.”— The Times

    Bonnet

    Braid Bonnet. The old Scotch cap, made of milled woolen, without seam or lining. Glengarry Bonnet. The Highland bonnet, which rises to a point in front.

    He has a green bonnet.

    Has failed in trade. In France it used to be customary, even in the seventeenth century, for bankrupts to wear a green bonnet (cloth cap).

    He has a bee in his bonnet.

    (See Bee.)

    Bonnet Lairds

    Local magnates of Scotland, who wore the Braid Bonnet.

    Bonnet—piece

    A gold coin of James V. of Scotland, the king's head on which wears a bonnet.

    Bonnet Rouge

    The red cap of Liberty worn by the leaders of the French revolution. It is the emblem of Red Republicanism.

    Bonnie Dundee

    John Graham, of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (1650—1689).

    Bonnyclabber

    A drink made of beer and buttermilk. (Irish, bainne, milk; claba, thick or thickened.)

    “With beer and buttermilk, mingled together, ...

    To drink such ... bonny—clapper.”

    Ben Jonson: The New Inn,

    i. 3.

    Bono Johnny

    John Bull is so called in the East Indies.

    Bontemps

    Roger Bontemps (French). The personification of “Never say die.” The phrase is from Béranger.

    “Vous pauvres, pleins d'envie;

    Vous riches, desireux;

    Vous, dont le char dévie

    Après un cours heureux;

    Vous, qui perdrez peut—être

    Des titres éclatans,

    Eh! gai! prenez pour mâitre

    Le gros Roger Bontemps.” Béranger.

    Ye poor, with envy goaded;

    Ye rich, for more who long;

    Ye who by fortune loaded,

    Find all things going wrong

    Ye who by some disaster

    See all your cables break,

    From henceforth for your master

    Bluff Roger Bontemps take. E. C. B.

    Bonus

    A bounty over and above the interest of a share in any company. (Latin, bonus quæstus, a good profit or bounty. The interest or fruit of money put out in an investment was by the Romans called the quæstus.)

    Bonus Homerus. (See Homer.)

    Bonzes

    (sing. Bonze ). Indian priests. In China they are the priests of the Fohists; their number is 50,000, and they are represented as idle and dissolute. In Japan they are men of rank and family. In Tonquin every pagoda has at least two bonzes, and some as many as fifty.

    Booby

    A spiritless fool, who suffers himself to be imposed upon. In England the Solan goose is called a booby or noddy. (Spanish, bobo; German, bube.)

    A booby will never make a hawk.

    The bird called the booby, that allows itself to be fleeced by other birds, will never become a bird of prey itself.

    Booby

    (Lady ). A caricature on Richardson's Pamela. A vulgar upstart, who tries to seduce Joseph Andrews. (Fielding: Joseph Andrews.)

    Booby—trap

    (A ). A pitcher of water, book, or something else, balanced gingerly on the top of a door set ajar, so that when the booby or victim is enticed to pass through the door, the pitcher or book falls on him.

    Book

    (Ang.—Saxon, boc; Danish, beuke; German, buche, a beech—tree). Beechbark was employed for carving names on before the invention of printing.

    “Here on my trunk's surviving frame,

    Carved many a long—forgotten name. ...

    As love's own altar, honour me:

    Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree.”

    Campbell: Beech Tree's Petition.

    Book

    The dearest ever sold. A Mazarin Bible at the Thorold sale, in 1884, bought by Mr. Quaritch, book—seller, Piccadilly, London, for 3,400 for a copy.

    Book

    The oldest in the world. That by Ptah—Hotep, the Egyptian, compiled in the reign of Assa, about B.C. 3366. This MS. is preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. It is written on papyrus in hieratic characters, and is a compilation of moral, political, and religious aphorisms. It strongly insists on reverence to women, politeness, and monotheism. Ptah—Hotep was a prince of the blood, and lived to the age of 110 years.

    Book.

    Logistilla gave Astolpho, at parting, a book which would tell him anything he wanted to know, and save him from the power of enchantment. (Ariosto: Orlando Furioso, book viii)

    Beware of a man of one book.

    Never attempt to controvert the statement of any one in his own special subject. A shepherd who cannot read will know more about sheep than the wisest book—worm. This caution is given by St. Thomas Aquinas.

    That does not suit my book.

    Does not accord with my arrangements. The reference is to betting—books, in which the bets are formally entered.

    To bring him to book.

    To make him prove his words; to call him to account. Make him show that what he says accords with what is written down in the indentures, the written agreement, or the book which treats of the subject.

    To book it.

    To take down an order; to make a memorandum; to enter in a book. To speak by the book. With minute exactness. To speak literatim, according to what is in the book. To speak like a book. To speak with great precision and accuracy; to be full of information.

    To speak without book.

    Without authority; from memory only, without consulting or referring to the book. Bell, book, and candle. (See under Bell.)

    Book of Books

    (The ). The Bible.

    Book of Life (The ). In Bible language, is a register of the names of those who are to inherit eternal life. (Phil.

    iv. 3; Rev. xx. 12.)

    Books

    He is in my books, or in my good books. The former is the older form; both mean to be in favour. The word book was at one time used more widely, a single sheet, or even a list being called a book. To be in my books is to be on my list of friends.

    “I was so much in his books, that at his decease he left me his lamp.”— Addison.

    “If you want to keep in her good books, don't call her `the old lady.' ”— Dickens.

    He is in my black (or bad) books. In disfavour. (See Black Books.)

    On the books.

    On the list of a club, on the list of candidates, on the list of voters, etc. In the universities we say, “on the boards.”

    Out of my books.

    Not in favour; no longer in my list of friends.

    The battle of the books.

    The Boyle controversy (q.v.). (See Battle.) To take one's name off the books. To withdraw from a club. In the passive voice it means to be excluded, or no longer admissible to enjoy the benefits of the institution. The university phrases are “to keep my name on the boards”; “to take my name off the boards,” etc.

    Book—keeper

    One who borrows books, but does not return them.

    Book—keeping

    The system of keeping the debtor and creditor accounts of merchants in books provided for the purpose, either by single or by double entry.

    Waste—book.

    A book in which items are not posted under heads, but are left at random, as each transaction occurred.

    Day—book.

    A book in which are set down the debits and credits which occur day by day. These are ultimately sorted into the ledger.

    Ledger

    (Dutch, leggen, to lay). The book which is laid up in counting—houses. In the ledger the different items are regularly sorted according to the system in use. (LEDGER—LINES.)

    By single entry.

    Book—keeping in which each debit or credit is entered only once into the ledger, either as a debit or credit item, under the customer's or salesman's name.

    By double entry.

    By which each item is entered twice into the ledger, once on the debit and once on the credit side.

    Bookworm

    One always poring over his books; so called in allusion to the insect that eats holes in books, and lives both in and on its leaves.

    Boom

    A sudden and great demand of a thing, with a corresponding rise in its price. The rush of a ship under press of sail. The word arises from the sound of booming or rushing water.

    “The boom was something wonderful. Everybody bought, everybody sold.”— Mark Twain: Life on the Mississippi, chap. 57.

    Boom—Passenger

    (A ). A convict on board ship, who was chained to the boom when made to take his daily exercise.

    Boon Companion

    (A ). A convivial companion. A bon vivant is one fond of good living. “Who leads a good life is sure to live well.” (French, bon, good.)

    Boot I will give you that to boot, i.e. in addition. The Anglo—Saxon boot or bot means “compensation.” (Gothic, bôta, profit.)

    “As anyone shall be more powerful ... or higher in degree, shall he the more deeply make boot for sin, and pay for every misdeed.”— Laws of King Ethelred.

    Boot—jack

    (See under Jack. )

    Boots

    Seven—leagued boots. The boots worn by the giant in the fairy tale, called The Seven—leagued Boots. These boots would stride over seven leagues at a pace.

    I measure five feet ten inches without my boots.

    The allusion is to the chopine or high—heeled boot, worn at one time to increase the stature. Hamlet says of the lady actress, “You are nearer heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine.” (ii. 2.)

    Boots

    (an instrument of torture). They were made of four pieces of narrow board nailed together, of a competent length to fit the leg. The leg being placed therein, wedges were inserted till the sufferer confessed or fainted.

    “All your empirics could never do the like cure upon the gout as the rack in England or your Scotch boots.”— Marston: The Malcontent.

    Boots

    The youngest bishop of the House of Lords, whose duty it is to read prayers; so called because he walks into the house in a dead man's shoes or boots, i.e. he was not in the house till some bishop there died, and left a vacancy.

    Boots

    To go to bed in his boots. To be very tipsy.

    Boots at an Inn

    A servant whose duty it is to clean the boots. The Boots of the Holly—tree Inn, a Christmas tale by Charles Dickens (1855).

    Bootless Errand

    An unprofitable or futile message. The Saxon bot means “reparation”— “overplus to profit”; as “I will give you that to boot”; “what boots it me?” (what does it profit me?).

    “I sent him

    Bootless home and weather—beaten back.”

    Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., iii. 1.

    Bootes

    (Bo—o'—tees ), or the ox—driver, a constellation. According to ancient mythology, Boötes invented the plough, to which he yoked two oxen, and at death, being taken to heaven with his plough and oxen, was made a constellation. Homer calls it “the wagoner.”

    “Wide o'er the spacious regions of the north,

    That see Boötes urge his tardy wain.”

    Thomson: Winter, 834—5.

    Booth

    Husband of Amelia. (Fielding: Amelia. )

    Boozy

    Partly intoxicated. (Russian, busa, millet—beer; Latin, buza, from buo, to fill; Welsh, bozi; Old Dutch, buyzen, to tipple; Coptic, bouza, intoxicating drink.)

    “In Egypt there is a beer called `Boozer,' which is intoxicating.”— Morning Chronicle, Aug. 27th, 1852.

    Bor

    (in Norfolk) is a familiar term of address to a lad or young man; as, “Well, bor, I saw the moither you spoke of”— i.e. “Well, sir, I saw the lass. ...” “Bor” is the Dutch boer, a farmer; and “mor” the Dutch moer, a

    female.

    Borachio

    A drunkard. From the Spanish borachoe or borrach'o, a bottle made of pig's skin, with the hair inside, dressed with resin and pitch to keep the wine sweet. (Minsheu.)

    Borachio.

    A follower of Don John, in Much Ado About Nothing, who thus plays upon his own name:—

    “I will, like a true drunkard [borachio ], utter all to thee.”— Act iii. 5.

    Borak

    or Al Borak (the lightning). The animal brought by Gabriel to carry Mahomet to the seventh heaven. It had the face of a man, but the cheeks of a horse; its eyes were like jacinths, but brilliant as the stars; it had the wings of an eagle, spoke with the voice of a man, and glittered all over with radiant light. This creature was received into Paradise. (See Animals, Camel. )

    Bord Halfpenny

    A toll paid by the Saxons to the lord for the privilege of having a bord or bench at some fair for the sale of articles.

    Bordarii

    or Bordmen. A class of agriculturists superior to the Villani, who paid their rent by supplying the lord's board with eggs and poultry. (Domesday Book.)

    Border

    (The ). The frontier of England and Scotland, which, from the eleventh to the fifteenth century, was the field of constant forays, and a most fertile source of ill blood between North and South Britain.

    “March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale;

    Why the deil dinna—ye march forward in order? March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale—

    All the Blue Bonnets are bound for the border.”

    Sir Walter Scott: The Monastery.

    Border Minstrel

    Sir Walter Scott, because he sang of the border. (1771—1832.)

    Border States

    (The ). The five “slave” states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri) which lay next to the “free states" were so called in the Civil War, 1861—1865.

    Bordlands

    Lands kept by lords in Saxon times for the supply of their own board or table. (Anglo—Saxon, bord, a table.)

    Bordlode

    Service paid for the land.

    Bore

    (A ). A person who bestows his tediousness on you; one who wearies you with his prate, his company, or his solicitations. Verb bear, bore, borne, to endure. A bore is someone we bore with or endured.

    “At this instant

    He bores me with some trick.”

    Shakespeare: Henry VIII., i. 1.

    Bore

    A tidal wave.

    The most celebrated bores are those of the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Hooghly, Indus, and Tsintang (in China). Bores occur regularly in the Bristol Channel and Solway Frith; occasionally (in high tides), in the Clyde, Dee (Cheshire), Dornoch Frith, Lune, Severn, Trent (eygre ), and Wye. The bore of the Bay of Fundy is caused by the collision of the tides. (Icelandic bára, a wave or billow.)

    Bore

    (in pugilistic language) is one who bears or presses on a man so as to force him to the ropes of the ring by his physical weight; figuratively, one who bears or presses on you by his pertinacity.

    “All beggars are liable to rebuffs, with the certainty besides of being considered bores.”— Prince Albert, 1859.

    Boreal Northern.

    “In radiant streams,

    Bright over Europe, bursts the Boreal morn.”

    Thomson Autumn, 98.

    Boreas

    The north wind. According to mythology, he was the son of Astræus, a Titan, and Eos, the morning, and lived in a cave of Mount Hæmus, in Thrace. (Greek, boros, voracious; Boreas, the north wind; Russian, boria, storm.)

    “Cease, rude Boreas! blustering railer.”

    Geo. Alex. Stevens.

    “Omnia pontus haurit saxa vorax,” Lucan.

    Borghese

    (Bor—ga'—zy ). The Princess Borghese pulled down a church contiguous to her palace, because the incense turned her sick and the organ made her head uneasy.

    Borgia

    (See Lucrezia. )

    Born

    Not born yesterday. Not to be taken in; worldly wise.

    Born Days

    In all my born days. Ever since I was born.

    Born in the Purple

    (a translation of porphyrogenitus ). The infant of royal parents in opposition to born in the gutter, or child of beggars. This has nothing to do with the purple robes of royalty. It refers to the chamber lined with porphyry by one of the Byzantine empresses for her accouchement. (See Nineteenth Century, March, 1894, p. 510.)

    “Zoe, the fourth wife of Leo VI., gave birth to the future Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the purple chamber of the imperial palace.”— Finlay: History of the Byzantine and Greek Empires, vol. i.

    Born with a Silver Spoon

    or Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth. Born to good luck; born with hereditary wealth. The reference is to the usual gift of a silver spoon by the godfather or godmother of a child. The lucky child does not need to wait for the gift, for it is born with it in its mouth or inherits it from infancy.

    Borough English

    is where the youngest son inherits instead of the eldest. It is of Saxon origin, and is so called to distinguish it from the Norman custom.

    “The custom of Borough English abounds in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, the neighbourhood of London, and Somerset. In the Midlands it is rare, and north of the Humber ... it does not seem to occur.”— F. Pollock: Macmillan's Magazine, xlvi. (1882).

    Borowe

    St. George to borowe, i.e. St. George being surety. (Danish, borgen, bail, Swedish, borgan, a giving of bail.)

    Borr

    Son of Ymer, and father of Odin, Ville, Ve, and Hertha or Earth. The Celtic priests claimed descent from this deity. (Celtic mythology. )

    Borrow A pledge. To borrow is to take something which we pledge ourselves to return. (Anglo—Saxon, borg, a loan or pledge; verb borg—ian.)

    “Ye may retain as borrows my two priests.”— Scott: Ivanhoe, chap. xxxiii.

    Borrowed days of February

    (The ). 12th, 13th and 14th of February, said to be borrowed from January. If these days prove stormy, the year will be favoured with good weather; but if fine, the year will be foul and unfavourable. These three days are called by the Scotch Faoilteach, and hence the word faoilteach means execrable weather.

    Borrowed days of March

    The last three days of March are said to be “borrowed from April.”

    “"March said to Aperill,

    I see 3 hoggs [hoggets, sheep] upon a hill;

    And if you'll lend me dayes 3

    I'll find a way to make them dee [die].

    The first o' them wus wind and weet,

    The second o' them wus snaw and sleet,

    The third o' them wus sic a freeze

    It froze the birds' nebs to the trees.

    When the 3 days were past and gane

    The 3 silly hoggs came hirpling [limping] hame.”

    Bortell

    The bull, in the tale of Reynard the Fox. (Heinrich von Alkman.)

    Bos

    [ei] in lingua. He is bribed to silence; he has a coin (marked with a bull's head) on his tongue. Adalardus, in Statutis Abbatiæ Corbeiensis (bk. i. c. 8), seems to refer to the bos as a coin. “Boves et reliquam pecuniam habeat ... unde et ipse et omnis familia ejus vivere possit ” (i.e. plenty of gold and silver ...). Plautus, however, distinctly says (Persa, ii. 5, 16), “Boves bini hic sunt in crumena ” (Two bulls in a purse.) The Greeks had the phrase bouz epi glwtthz. Servius tells us that even the Romans had a coin with a bull stamped on it. (See Pliny, 18, 3.) Presuming that there was no such coin, there cannot be a doubt that the word Bos was used as the equivalent of the price of an ox.

    Bosh

    A Persian word meaning nonsense. It was popularised in 1824 by James Morier in his Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, a Persian romance. (Turkish, bosh lakerdi, silly talk.)

    “I always like to read old Darwin's Loves of the Plants; bosh as it is in a scientific point of view.”— Kingsley: Two Years Ago (chap. x.).

    Bosky

    On the verge of drunkenness. University slang, from bosko, to pasture, to feed. Everyone will remember how Sir John Falstaff made sack his meat and drink.

    Bosom Friend

    (A ). A very dear friend. Nathan says, “It lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.” (2 Sam. xii. 3.) Bosom friend, amie du cúur. St. John is represented in the New Testament as the “bosom friend” of Jesus.

    Bosom Sermons

    Written sermons, not extemporary ones or from notes. Does it not mean committed to memory or learnt by heart?

    “The preaching from `bosom sermons,' or from writing, being considered a lifeless practice before the Reformation.”— Blunt: Reformation in England, p. 179.

    Bosphorus

    =Ox ford. The Thracian Bosphorus, or Bosporus, unites the Sea of Marmora with the Euxine (2 syl.) or Black Sea. According to Greek fable, Zeus (Jupiter) greatly loved Io, and changed her into a white cow or heifer from fear of Hera or Juno; to flee from whom she swam across the strait, which was thence called bos poros, the passage of the cow. Hera discovered the trick, and sent a gadfly to torment Io, who was made to wander, in a state of phrenzy, from land to land. The wanderings of Io were a favourite subject of story with the ancients. Ultimately, the persecuted Argive princess found rest on the banks of the Nile.

    Dionysius of Halicarnassus

    and Valeriùs Flaccus give this account, but Accarion says it was a ship, with the prow of an ox, sent by some Thracians through the straits, that gave name to this passage.

    Boss

    a master, is the Dutch baas, head of the household. Hence the great man, chief, a masher, a swell.

    “Mr. Stead calls Mr. O'Connor the `Boss of the House.' “

    Bossum

    One of the two chief deities of the negroes on the Gold Coast, the other being Demonio. Bossum, the principle of good, is said to be white; and Demonio, the principle of evil, black. (African mythology.)

    Bostal

    or Borstall. A narrow road—way up the steep ascent of hills or downs. (Anglo—Saxon biorh, a hill; stigelë, a rising path; our stile.)

    Botanomancy Divination by leaves. Words were written on leaves which were exposed to the wind. The leaves left contained the response. ( See Botany. )

    Botany

    means a treatise on fodder (Greek, botane, fodder, from boskcin, to feed). The science of plants would be “phytology,” from phyton—logos (plant—treatise).

    Botch

    A patch. Botch and patch are the same word; the older form was bodge, whence boggle. (Italian pezzo, pronounced patzo.)

    Bother

    i.e. pother (Hibernian). Halliwell gives us blother, which he says means to chatter idly.

    “ `Sir,' cries the umpire, `cease your pother,

    The creature's neither one nor t'other.' “

    Lloyd: The Chameleon.

    The Irish bódhar (buaidhirt, trouble), or its cognate verb, to deafen, seems to be the original word.

    Bothie System

    The Scotch system of building, like a barrack, all the outhouses of a farmstead, as the byres, stables, barns, etc. The farm menservants live here. (Gaelic, bothag, a cot or hut, our booth.)

    “The bothie system prevails, more or less, in the eastern and north—eastern districts.”— J. Begg, D.D.

    Botley Assizes

    The joke is to ask a Botley man, “When the assizes are coming on?” and an innuendo is supposed to be implied to the tradition that the men of Botley once hanged a man because he could not drink so deep as his neighbours.

    Bottes

    A propos de bottes. By the by, thus: Mais, Mons., à propos de bottes, comment se porte madame votre mère?

    “That venerable personage [the Chaldæan Charon] not only gives Izdubar instructions how to regain his health, but tells him, somewhat a propos des bottes ... the long story of his perfidious adventure.”— Nineteenth Century, June, 1891, p. 911.

    Bottle

    Looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. Looking for a very small article amidst a mass of other things. Bottle is a diminutive of the French botte, a bundle; as botte de foin, a bundle of hay.

    Hang me in a bottle.

    (See Cat.)

    Bottle—chart

    A chart of ocean surface currents to show the track of sealed bottles thrown from ships into the sea.

    Bottle—holder

    One who gives moral but not material support. The allusion is to boxing or prize—fighting, where each combatant has a bottle—holder to wipe off blood, refresh with water, and do other services to encourage his man to perserve and win.

    “Lord Palmerston considered himself the bottle—holder of oppressed States. ... He was the

    stead—fast partisan of constitutional liberty in every part of the world.”— The Times.

    Bottle—imps

    The Hebrew word for familiar spirits is oboth, leather bottles, to indicate that the magicians were wont to imprison in bottles those spirits which their spells had subdued.

    Bottle—washer (Head ). Chief agent; the principal man employed by another; a factotum. Head waiter or butler (botteller ).

    Bottled Beer

    is said to have been discovered by Dean Nowell as a most excellent beverage. The Dean was very fond of fishing, and took a bottle of beer with him in his excursions. One day, being disturbed, he buried his bottle under the grass, and when he disinterred it some ten days afterwards, found it so greatly improved that he ever after drank bottled beer.

    Bottled Moonshine

    Social and benevolent schemes, such as Utopia, Coleridge's Pantisocracy, the dreams of Owen, Fourier, St. Simon, the New Republic, and so on.

    “Godwin! Hazlitt! Coleridge! Where now are their `novel philosophies and systems'? Bottled moonshine, which does not improve by keeping.”— Birrell: Obiter Dicta, p. 109 (1885).

    Bottom

    A ship's bottom is that part which is used for freight or stowage. Goods imported in British bottoms are those which come in our own vessels. Goods imported in foreign bottoms are those which come in foreign ships. A full bottom is where the lower half of the hull is so disposed as to allow large stowage. A sharp bottom is when a ship is capable of speed.

    At bottom.

    Radically, fundamentally: as, the young prodigal lived a riotous life, but was good at bottom, or below the surface.

    At the bottom.

    At the base or root.

    “Pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”— Ruskin: True and Beautiful, p. 426.

    From the bottom of my heart.

    Without reservation. (Imo corde.)

    “If one of the parties ... be content to forgive from the bottom of his heart all that the other hath trespassed against him.”— Common Prayer Book.

    He was at the bottom of it. He really instigated it, or prompted it. Never venture all in one bottom i.e. one ship. “Do not put all your eggs into one basket.”

    “My ventures are not in one bottom trusted.”— Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, i. 1.

    To have no bottom.

    To be unfathomable. To get to the bottom of the matter. To ascertain the entire truth; to bolt a matter to its bran. To stand on one's own bottom. To be independent. “Every tub must stand on its own bottom.” To touch bottom. To reach the lowest depth.

    A horse of good bottom

    means of good stamina, good foundation.

    Bottom

    (Nick ), the weaver. A man who fancies he can do everything, and do it better than anyone else. Shakespeare has drawn him as profoundly ignorant, brawny, mock heroic, and with an overflow of self—conceit. He is in one part of Midsummer Night's Dream represented with an ass's head, and Titania, queen of the fairies, under a spell, caresses him as an Adonis.

    The name is very appropriate, as the word bottom means a ball of thread used in weaving, etc. Thus in Clark's Heraldry we read, “The coat of Badland is argent, three bottoms in fess gules, the thread or.

    “When Goldsmith, jealous of the attention which a dancing monkey attracted, said, `I can do that,' he was but playing Bottom.”— R. G. White.

    Bottomless The bottomless pit. An allusion to William Pitt, who was remarkably thin.

    Botty

    Conceited. The frog that tried to look as big as an ox was a “botty” frog (Norfolk ). A similar word is

    “swell,” though not identical in meaning. “Bumpkin” and “bumptious" are of similar construction. (Welsh, bot, a round body, our bottle; both, the boss of a shield; bothel, a rotundity.)

    Boucan

    Donner un boucan. To give a dance. Boucan or Bocan was a musician and dancing master in the middle of the seventeenth century. He was alive in 1645.

    “Thibaut se dit estre Mercure,

    Et Porgueilleux Colin nous jure

    Qu'il est aussi bien Apollon

    Que Boccan est bon violon.”

    Sieur de St. Amant (1661).

    “Les musiciens qui jouent au ballet du roi sont appelés `disciples de Bocan.' ”— Histoire Comique de Francion (1635).

    Bouders

    or Boudons. A tribe of giants and evil genii, the guard of Shiva. (Indian mythology.)

    Boudoir

    properly speaking, is the room to which a lady retires when she is in the sulks. (French, bouder, to pout or sulk.)

    The first boudoirs were those of the mistresses of Louis XV. (See Bower.)

    Boues de St. Amand

    (Les ). The mud baths of St. Amand (that is, St. Amand — les — Eaux, near Valenciennes, famous for its mineral waters). These mud — baths are a “sorte de limon qui se trouve prés des eaux minérales. ” By a figure of speech, one says, by way of reproof, to an insolent, foul—mouthed fellow, “I see you have been to the mud—baths of St. Amand.”

    Bought and Sold

    or Bought, sold, and done for. Ruined, done for, outwitted.

    “Jocky of Norfolk, be not too bold,

    For Diccon, thy master, is bought and sold.”

    Shakespeare: Richard III., act v. 3.

    “It would make a man mad as a buck to be so bought and sold.”— Comedy of Errors, iii. 1.

    Bougie

    A wax candle; so called from Bougiah, in Algeria, whence the wax was imported. A medical instrument used for dilating strictures or removing obstructions.

    Boule

    or Boule—work (not Buhl). A kind of marquetry; so called from André Charles Boule, a cabinetmaker, to whom Louis XIV. gave apartments in the Louvre. (1642—1732.)

    Bouljanus

    An idol worshipped at Nantes, in ancient Gaul. An inscription was found to this god in 1592. (Celtic mythology. )

    Bouncer

    That's a bouncer. A gross exaggeration, a braggart's lie. (Dutch, bonz, verb bonzen, to bounce or thump. A bouncing lie is a thumping lie, and a bouncer is a thumper.)

    “He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and bounce.”— Shakespeare: King John, ii. 2.

    Bounty

    Queen Anne's Bounty. The produce of the first—fruits and tenths due to the Crown, made over by Queen Anne to a corporation established in the year 1704, for the purpose of augmenting church livings under 50 a year.

    Bouquet

    French for nosegay.

    “Mr. Disraeli was able to make a financial statement burst into a bouquet of flowers.”— McCarthy: Our Own Times, vol. iii. chap. xxx. p. 11.

    The bouquet of wine,

    also called its nosegay, is its aroma.

    Bourbon

    So named from the castle and seigniory of Bourbon, in the old province of Bourbonnais. The Bourbon family is a branch of the Capet stock, through the brother of Philippe le Bel.

    Bourgeois

    (French), our burgess. The class between the “gentleman” and the peasantry. It includes all merchants, shopkeepers, and what we call the “middle class.”

    Bourgeoisie

    (French). The merchants, manufacturers, and master—tradesmen considered as a class. Citoyen is a freeman, a citizen of the State; bourgeois, an individual of the Bourgeoisie class. Moliére has a comedy entitled Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

    “The commons of England, the Tiers—Etat of France, the bourgeoisie of the Continent generally, are the descendants of this class [artisans] generally.”— Mill: Political Economy (Prelim, p. 12).

    Bouse

    (See Boozy. )

    Boustrap'a

    Napoleon III. The word is compounded of the first syllables Bou —logne, Stra —sbourg, Pa —ris, and alludes to his escapades in 1836 and 1840.

    Boustrophedon

    A method of writing or printing, alternately from right to left and left to right, like the path of oxen in ploughing. (Greek, bous—strepho, ox—turning.)

    Bouts—rimes

    [rhymed—endings ]. A person writes a line and gives the last word to another person, who writes a second to rhyme with it, and so on. Dean Swift employs the term for a poem, each stanza of which terminates with the same word. He has given a poem of nine verses, each of which ends with Domitilla, to which, of course, he finds nine rhymes. (French.)

    Bovey Coal

    A lignite found at Bovey Tracy, in Devonshire.

    Bow

    (to rhyme with flow ). (Anglo—Saxon, boga; verb, bogan or bugan, to arch.)

    Draw not your bow till your arrow is fixed.

    Have everything ready before you begin. He has a famous bow up at the castle. Said of a braggart or pretender.

    He has two strings to his bow.

    Two means of accomplishing his object; if one fails, he can try the other. The allusion is to the custom of the British bowmen carrying a reserve string in case of accident.

    To draw a bow at a venture.

    To attack with a random remark; to make a random remark which may hit the truth.

    “A certain man drew a bow at a venture and smote the King of Israel.”— 1 Kings xxii. 34.

    To draw the long bow.

    To exaggerate. The long—bow was the famous English weapon till gunpowder was introduced, and it is said that a good archer could hit between the fingers of a man's hand at a considerable distance, and could propel his arrow a mile. The tales told about long—bow adventures are so wonderful that they fully justify the phrase given above.

    To unstring the bow will not heal the wound

    (Italian). René of Anjou, king of Sicily, on the death of his wife, Isabeau of Lorraine, adopted the emblem of a bow with the string broken, and with the words given above for the motto, by which he meant, “Lamentation for the loss of his wife was but poor satisfaction.”

    Bow (to rhyme with now ). The fore—end of a boat or ship. (Danish and Norwegian, boug or bov, a shoulder; Icelandic, bogr.)

    On the bow.

    Within a range of 45 on one side or the other of the prow.

    Bow Bells

    Born within sound of Bow bells. A true cockney. St. Mary—le—Bow has long had one of the most celebrated bell—peals in London. John Dun, mercer, gave in 1472 two tenements to maintain the ringing of Bow bell every night at nine o'clock, to direct travellers on the road to town; and in 1520 William Copland gave a bigger bell for the purpose of “sounding a retreat from work.” Bow church is nearly the centre of the City. (This bow rhymes with flow.)

    Bow—catcher

    (A ). A corruption of “Beau Catcher,” a love—curl, termed by the French an accroche coeur. A love—curl worn by a man is a Bell—rope, i.e. a rope to pull the belles with.

    Bow—hand

    The left hand; the hand which holds the bow. (This bow rhymes with flow.) To be too much of the bow—hand. To fail in a design; not be sufficiently dexterous.

    Bow—street Runners

    Detectives who scoured the country to find criminals, before the introduction of the police force. Bow Street, near Covent Garden, London, is where the principal police—court stands. (This bow rhymes with flow.)

    Bow—window in Front

    (A ) A big corporation.

    “He was a very large man, ... with what is termed a considerable bow—window in front.”— Capt. Marryat: Poor Jack, i.

    Bow—wow Word

    A word in imitation of the sound made, as hiss, cackle, murmur, cuckoo, whip—poor—will, etc. (Max Müller.)

    Bowden

    Not every man can be vicar of Bowden. Not everyone can occupy the first place. Bowden is one of the best livings in Cheshire. ( Cheshire proverb.)

    Bowdlerise

    (To ). To expurgate a book in editing it. Thomas Bowdler, in 1818, gave to the world an expurgated edition of Shakespeare's works. We have also Bowdlerite, Bowdlerist, Bowdleriser, Bowdlerism, Bowdlerisation, etc. (See Grangerise. )

    Bowels of Mercy

    Compassion, sympathy. The affections were at one time supposed to be the outcome of certain secretions or organs, as the bile, the kidneys, the heart, the head, the liver, the bowels, the spleen, and so on. Hence such words and phrases as melancholy (black bile); the Psalmist says that his reins, or kidneys, instructed him (Psa. x. 7), meaning his inward conviction; the head is the seat of understanding; the heart of affection and memory (hence “learning by heart"), the bowels of mercy, the spleen of passion or anger, etc.

    His bowels yearned over him

    (upon or towards him). He felt a secret affection for him.

    “Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn upon his brother.”— Gen. xliii. 30; see also 1 Kings iii. 26.

    Bower

    A lady's private room. (Anglo—Saxon bur, a chamber.) (To rhyme with flower.) (See Boudoir. )

    “By a back staircase she slipped to her own bower.”— Bret Harte: Thankful Blossoms, part ii.

    Bower Anchor

    An anchor carried at the bow of a ship. There are two: one called the best bower, and the other the small bower. (To rhyme with flower.)

    “Starboard being the best bower, and port the small bower.”— Smyth: Sailor's Word—book.

    Bower—woman

    (A ). A lady's maid and companion. The attendants were admitted to considerable freedom of speech, and were treated with familiarity and kindness. (“Bower” to rhyme with flower.)

    “`This maiden,' replied Eveline, `is my bower—woman, and acquainted with my most inward thoughts. I beseech you to permit her presence at our conference.”'— Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed, chap. xi.

    Bower of Bliss

    in Wandering Island, the enchanted residence of Acrasia, destroyed by Sir Guyon. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, book ii.) (“Bower” to rhyme with flower.)

    Bowie Knife

    A long, stout knife, carried by hunters in the Western States of America. So called from Colonel James Bowie, one of the most daring characters of the States. Born in Logan, co. Kentucky. A bowie knife has a horn handle, and the curved blade is 15 in. long, and 1 1/4 wide at the hilt. (“Bowie” to rhyme with showy. )

    Bowing

    We uncover the head when we wish to salute anyone with respect; but the Jews, Turks, Siamese, etc., uncover their feet. The reason is this: With us the chief act of investiture is crowning or placing a cap on the head; but in the East it is putting on the slippers. To take off our symbol of honour is to confess we are but

    “the humble servant” of the person whom we thus salute. (“Bowing” to rhyme with ploughing or plowing.)

    Bowled

    He was bowled out. A term in cricket. (Pronounce bold.)

    Bowling

    Tom Bowling. The type of a model sailor in Smollett's Roderick Random. (To rhyme with rolling.) The Tom Bowling referred to in Dibdin's famous sea—song was Captain Thomas Dibdin, brother of Charles Dibdin, who wrote the song, and father of Dr. Dibdin, the bootlegbooksc.

    “Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling,

    The darling of the crew.” Dibdin.

    Bowls

    They who play bowls must expect to meet with rubbers. Those who touch pitch must expect to defile their fingers. Those who enter upon affairs of chance, adventure, or dangerous hazard must make up their minds to encounter crosses, losses, or difficulties. Those who play with edged instruments must expect to get cut. Soldiers in battle must look out for wounds, gamblers for losses, libertines for diseases.

    “Bowls” to rhyme with rolls.

    Bowse

    (See Browse. )

    Bowyer God

    The same as the “archer god,” meaning Cupid. (“Bower” to rhyme with grower. )

    Box

    I've got into the wrong box. I am out of my element. Lord Lyttelton used to say he ought to have been brought up to some business; that whenever he went to Vauxhall and heard the mirth of his neighbours, he used to fancy pleasure was in every box but his own. Wherever he went for happiness, he somehow always got into the wrong box. (See Christmas Box. )

    Box and Cox

    The two chief characters in John M. Morton's farce, usually called Box and Cox.

    Box the Compass

    Repeat in order the 32 points. (Spanish, boxar, to sail round.)

    Box Days

    Two days in spring and autumn, and one at Christmas, during vacation, in which pleadings may be filed. This custom was established in 1690, for the purpose of expediting business. Each judge has a private

    box with a slit, into which informations may be placed on box days, and the judge, who alone has the key, examines the papers in private.

    Box Harry

    (To ), among commercial travellers, is to shirk the table d'hôte and take something substantial for tea, in order to save expense. Halliwell says, “to take care after having been extravagant.” To box a tree is to cut the bark to procure the sap, and these travellers drain the landlord by having a cheap tea instead of an expensive dinner. To “box the fox” is to rob an orchard.

    Boxing—Day

    (See Christmas Box. )

    Boy

    in sailor language has no reference to age, but only to experience in seamanship. A boy may be fifty or any other age. A crew is divided into able seamen, ordinary seamen, and boys or greenhorns. A “boy” is not required to know anything about the practical working of the vessel, but an “able seaman” must know all his duties and be able to perform them.

    “A boy does not ship to know anything.”

    Boy Bachelor

    William Wotton, D.D., was admitted at St. Catherine's Hall before he was ten, and took his B.A. when he was twelve and a half. (1666—1726.)

    Boy Bishop

    St. Nicholas. From his cradle he is said to have manifested marvellous indications of piety, and was therefore selected for the patron saint of boys. (Fourth century.)

    Boy Bishop.

    The custom of choosing a boy from the cathedral choir, etc., on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th), as a mock bishop, is very ancient. The boy possessed episcopal honour for three weeks, and the rest of the choir were his prebendaries. If he died during the time of his prelacy, he was buried in pontificalibus. Probably the reference is to Jesus Christ sitting in the Temple among the doctors while He was a boy. The custom was abolished in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Boy in buttons

    (A). (See Buttons.)

    Boycott

    (To ). To boycott a person is to refuse to deal with him, to take any notice of him, or even to sell to him. The term arose in 1881, when Captain Boycott, an Irish landlord, was thus ostracised by the Irish agrarian insurgents. The custom of ostracising is of very old standing. St. Paul exhorts Christians to “boycott" idolaters (2 Cor. vi. 17); and the Jews “boycotted” the Samaritans. The French phrases, Damner une boutique and Damner une ville, convey the same idea; and the Catholic Church anathematises and interdicts freely.

    “One word as to the way in which a man should be boycotted. When any man has taken a farm from which a tenant has been evicted, or is a grabber, let everyone in the parish turn his back on him; have no communication with him, have no dealings with him. You need never say an unkind word to him; but never say anything at all to him. If you must meet him in fair, walk away from him silently. Do him no violence, but have no dealings with him. Let every man's door be closed against him; and make him feel himself a stranger and a castaway in his own neighbourhood.”— J. Dillon, M.P. (Speech to the Land League, Fch. 26, 1881).

    Boyle Controversy

    A book—battle between the Hon. Charles Boyle, third Earl of Orrery, and the famous Bentley, respecting the Epistles of Phalaris. Charles Boyle edited the Epistles of Phalaris in 1695. Two years later Bentley published his celebrated Dissertation, to prove that the epistles were not written till the second century after Christ instead of six centuries before that epoch. In 1699 he published another rejoinder, and utterly annihilated the Boyleists.

    Boyle's Law

    “The volume of a gas is inversely as the pressure.” If we double the pressure on a gas, its volume is reduced to one—half; if we quadruple the pressure, it will be reduced to one—fourth; and so on; so

    called from the Hon. Robert Boyle. (1627—1691.)

    Boyle Lectures

    Eight sermons a year in defence of Christianity, founded by the Hon. Robert Boyle.

    Boz

    Charles Dickens (1812—1870).

    “Boz, my signature in the Morning Chronicle, ” he tells us, “was the nickname of a pet child, a younger brother, whom I had dubbed Moses, in honour of the Vicar of Wakefield, which, being pronounced Bozes, got shortened into Boz.

    “Who the dickens `Boz' could be

    Puzzled many a learned elf;

    But time revealed the mystery,

    For `Boz' appeared as Dickens' self”

    Epigram in the Carthusian.

    Bozzy

    James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson (1740—1795).

    Brabanconne

    A Belgian patriotic song, composed in the revolution of 1830, and so named from Brabant, of which Brussels is the chief city.

    Brabancons

    Troops of adventurers and bandits, who made war a trade and lent themselves for money to anyone who would pay them; so called from Brabant, their great nest. (Twelfth century.)

    Brace

    The Brace Tavern, southeast corner of King's Bench; originally kept by two brothers named Partridge,

    i.e. a brace of birds.

    Brace of Shakes

    In a brace of shakes. Very soon. (See Shakes.) Similar phrases are: “In the twinkling of an eye.” (See Eye.) “In the twinkling of a bed—post.” (See Bed—Post .)

    Bradamant

    or Bradamante. Sister of Rinaldo, in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. She is represented as a most wonderful Christian Amazon, possessed of an irresistible spear, which unhorsed every knight that it touched. The same character appears in the Orlando Innamorato of Bojardo.

    Bradshaw's Guide

    was started in 1839 by George Bradshaw, printer, in Manchester. The Monthly Guide was first issued in December, 1841, and consisted of thirty—two pages, giving tables of forty—three lines of English railway.

    Bradwardine

    (Rose ). The daughter of Baron Bradwardine, and the heroine of Scott's Waverley. She is in love with young Waverley, and ultimately marries him.

    Brag

    A game at cards: so called because the players brag of their cards to induce the company to make bets. The principal sport of the game is occasioned by any player bragging that he holds a better hand than the rest of the party, which is declared by saying “I brag,” and staking a sum of money on the issue. (Hoyle.)

    Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better.

    Talking is all very well, but doing is far better. Jack Brag. A vulgar, pretentious braggart, who gets into aristocratic society, where his vulgarity stands out in strong relief. The character is in Theodore Hook's novel of the same name.

    “He was a sort of literary Jack Brag.”— T. H. Burton.

    Braggadochio A braggart. One who is very valiant with his tongue, but a great coward at heart. A barking dog that bites not. The character is from Spenser's Faërie Queene, and a type of the “Intemperance of the Tongue.” After a time, like the jackdaw in borrowed plumes, Braggadochio is stripped of all his “glories”: his shield is claimed by Sir Marinel; his lady is proved by the golden girdle to be the false Florimel; his horse is claimed by Sir Guyon; Talus shaves off his beard and scourges his squire; and the pretender sneaks off amidst the jeers of everyone. It is thought that the poet had Felipe of Spain in his eye when he drew this character.

    (Faërie Queene, iii. 8, 10; v. 3.)

    Bragi

    Son of Odin and Frigga. According to Scandinavian mythology, he was the inventor of poetry; but, unlike Apollo, he is always represented as an old man with a long white beard. His wife was Iduna.

    Bragi's Apples

    An instant cure of weariness, decay of power, ill temper, and failing health. These apples were inexhaustible, for immediately one was eaten its place was supplied by another.

    Bragi's Story

    Always enchanting, but never coming to an end.

    “But I have made my story long enough; if I say more, you may fancy that it is Bragi who has come among you, and that he has entered on his endless story.”— Keary: Heroes of Asgard, p. 224.

    Bragmardo

    When Gargantua took the bells of Notre Dame de Paris to hang about the neck of his horse, the citizens sent Bragmardo to him with a remonstrance. (Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel. )

    Brahma

    (Indian ). The self—existing and invisible Creator of the universe; represented with four heads looking to the four corners of the world. The divine triad is Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.

    Brahma.

    One of the three beings created by God to assist in the creation of the world. The Brahmins claim him as the founder of their religious system.

    “Whate'er in India holds the sacred name

    Of piety or lore, the Brahmins claim;

    In wildest rituals, vain and painful, lost,

    Brahma, their founder, as a god they boast.”

    Camoens: Lusiad, book vii.

    Brahmi

    One of the three goddess—daughters of Vishnu, representing “creative energy.”

    Brahmin

    A worshipper of Brahma, the highest caste in the system of Hinduism, and of the priestly order.

    Bramble (Matthew ). A testy, gouty, benevolent, country squire, in Smollett's novel of Humphrey Clinker. Colman has introduced the same character as Sir Robert Bramble in his Poor Gentleman. Sheridan's “Sir Anthony Absolute” is of the same type.

    “A'n't I a baronet? Sir Robert Bramble at Blackberry Hall, in the county of Kent? `Tis time you should know it, for you have been my clumsy, two—fisted valet—de—chambre these thirty years.”— The Poor Gentleman, iii. 1.

    Bran

    If not Bran, it is Bran's brother. If not the real “Simon Pure,” it is just as good. A complimentary expression. Bran was Fingal's dog, a mighty favourite.

    Bran—new

    or Brand—new. (Anglo—Saxon, brand, a torch.) Fire new. Shakespeare, in Love's Labour Lost, i. 1, says, “A man of fire—new words.” And again in Twelfth Night, iii. 2, “Fire—new from the mint”; and again in King Lear, v. 3, “Fire—new fortune”; and again in Richard III., act i. 3, “Your fire—new stamp of honour is scarce current.” Originally applied to metals and things manufactured in metal which shine. Subsequently applied generally to things quite new.

    Brand

    The Clicquot brand, etc., the best brand, etc. That is the merchant's or excise mark branded on the article itself, the vessel which contains the article, the wrapper which covers it, the cork of the bottle, etc., to guarantee its being genuine, etc. Madame Clicquot, of champagne notoriety, died in 1866.

    He has the brand of villain in his looks.

    It was once customary to brand the cheeks of felons with an F. The custom was abolished by law in 1822.

    Brandenburg

    Confession of Brandenburg. A formulary or confession of faith drawn up in the city of Brandenburg, by order of the elector, with the view of reconciling the tenets of Luther with those of Calvin, and to put an end to the disputes occasioned by the confession of Augsburg.

    Brandimart

    in Orlando Furioso, is Orlando's brother—in—law.

    Brandon

    the juggler, lived in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Brandons

    Lighted torches. Dominica de brandonibus (St. Valentine's Day), when boys used to carry about brandons (Cupid's torches).

    Brandy is Latin for Goose

    Here is a pun between anser, a goose, and answer, to reply. What is the Latin for goose? Answer [anser ] brandy. ( See Tace The Latin For candle.)

    Brandy Nan

    Queen Anne, who was very fond of brandy (1664, 1702—1714). On the statue of Queen Anne in St. Paul's Churchyard a wit wrote—

    “Brandy Nan, Brandy Nan, left in the lurch,

    Her face to the gin—shop, her back to the church.”

    A “gin palace” used to stand at the south corner of St. Paul's Churchyard.

    Branghtons

    (The ). Vulgar, malicious, jealous women. The characters are taken from Miss Burney's novel called Evelina. One of the brothers is a Cockney snob.

    Brank

    A gag for scolds. (Dutch, prang, a fetter; German, pranger, Gælic, brancas, a kind of pillory.)

    Brasenose (Oxford). Over the gate is a brass nose, the arms of the college; but the word is a corruption of brasenhuis, a brasserie or brewhouse. (Latin, brasinium.)

    Brass

    Impudence. A lawyer said to a troublesome witness, “Why, man, you have brass enough in your head to make a teakettle.” “And you, sir,” replied the witness, “have water enough in yours to fill it.”

    Sampson Brass.

    A knavish attorney; servile, affecting sympathy, but making his clients his lawful prey. (Dickens: Old Curiosity Shop.

    Brat

    A child; so called from the Welsh, brat, a child's pinafore; and brat is a contraction of brattach, a cloth, also a standard.

    “Every man must repair to the brattach of his tribe.”— Scott.

    “O Israel! O household of the Lord!

    O Abraham's brats! O brood of blessed seed!” Gascoigne: De Profundis.

    Brave

    The Brave.

    Alfonso IV. of Portugal (1290, 1324—1357). John Andr. van der Mersch, patriot, The brave Fleming (1734—1792).

    Bravery

    Finery is the French braverie. The French for courage is bravoure.

    “What woman in the city do I name

    When that I say the city woman bears

    The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?

    Who can come in and say that I mean her? ...

    Or what is he of basest function

    That says his bravery is not of my cost?”

    Shakespeare: As You Like It, ii. 7.

    Bravest of the Brave

    Marshal Ney. So called by the troops of Friedland (1807), on account of his fearless bravery. Napoleon said of him, “That man is a lion.” (1769—1815.)

    Brawn

    The test of the brawn's head. A little boy one day came to the court of King Arthur, and, drawing his wand over a boar's head, declared, “There's never a cuckold's knife can carve this head of brawn.” No knight in the court except Sir Cradock was able to accomplish the feat. (Percy's Reliques.)

    Bray

    (See Vicar. )

    Brazen Age

    The age of war and violence. It followed the silver age.

    “To this next came in course the brazen age,

    A warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage,

    Not impious yet. Hard steel succeeded then,

    And stubborn as the metal were the men.”

    Dryden: Metamorphoses, i.

    Brazen—faced

    Bold (in a bad sense), without shame.

    “What a brazen—faced varlet art thou!”

    Shakespeare: King Lear,

    ii, 2.

    Brazen Head

    The following are noted:— One by Albertus Magnus, which cost him thirty years' labour, and was broken into a thousand pieces by Thomas Aquinas, his disciple. One by Friar Bacon.

    “Bacon trembled for his brazen head.”

    Pope: Dunciad,

    iii. 104.

    “Quoth he, `My head's not made of brass,

    As Friar Bacon's noddle was.' “

    S. Butler: Hudibras,

    ii. 2.

    The brazen head of the Marquis de Villena, of Spain.

    Another by a Polander, a disciple of Escotillo, an Italian. It was said if Bacon heard his head speak he would succeed; if not, he would fail. Miles was set to watch, and while Bacon slept the Head spoke thrice: “Time is”; half an hour later it said, “Time was.” In another

    half—hour it said, “Time's past,” fell down, and was broken to atoms. Byron refers to this legend.

    “Like Friar Bacon's brazen head, I've spoken, `Time is,' `Time was,' `Time's past.' “

    Don Juan,

    i. 217.

    Brazen Head.

    A gigantic head kept in the castle of the giant Ferragus, of Portugal. It was omniscient, and told those who consulted it whatever they required to know, past, present, or to come. (Valentine and Orson.)

    Brazen out

    ( To ). To stick to an assertion knowing it to be wrong; to outface in a shameless manner; to disregard public opinion.

    Breaches

    meaning creeks or small bays, is to be found in Judges v. 17. Deborah, complaining of the tribes who refused to assist her in her war with Sisera, says Reuben continued in his sheepfolds, Gilead remained beyond Jordan, Dan in ships, and Asher in his breaches, that is, creeks on the seashore.

    Bread

    To break bread. To partake of food. Common in Scripture language. Breaking of bread. The Eucharist.

    “They continued ... in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”— Acts ii. 42; and again verse 46.

    Bread

    He took bread and salt, i.e. he took his oath. Bread and salt were formerly eaten when an oath was taken.

    Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days

    (Eccles. xi. 1). When the Nile overflows its banks the weeds perish and the soil is disintegrated. The rice—seed being cast into the water takes root, and is found in due time growing in healthful vigour.

    Don't quarrel with your bread and butter.

    Don't foolishly give up the pursuit by which you earn your living. To know which side one's bread is buttered. To be mindful of one's own interest.

    To take the bread out of one's mouth.

    To forestall another; to say something which another was on the point of saying; to take away another's livelihood. (See under Butter.)

    Bread—basket

    (One's ). The stomach.

    Bread and Cheese

    The barest necessities of life.

    Break

    (To ). To become a bankrupt. (See Bankrupt. )

    To break a bond.

    To dishonour it. To break a journey. To stop before the journey is accomplished. To break a matter to a person. To be the first to impart it, and to do so cautiously and by piecemeal. To break bread. To partake of the Lord's Supper.

    “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them.”— Acts xx. 7.

    To break one's fast.

    To take food after long abstinence; to eat one's breakfast after the night's fast. To break one's neck. To dislocate the bones of one's neck.

    To break on the wheel.

    To torture one on a “wheel” by breaking the long bones with an iron bar. (Cf. COUP

    DE GRÂCE.)

    To break a butterfly on a wheel.

    To employ superabundant effort in the accomplishment of a small matter.

    “Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel,

    Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel.”

    Pope: Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, 307—8.

    To break out of bounds.

    To go beyond the prescribed limits.

    Break Cover (To ). To start forth from a hiding—place.

    Break Down

    (To ). To lose all control of one's feelings.

    Break Faith

    (To ). To violate one's word or pledge.

    Break Ground

    (To ). To commence a new project. As a settler does.

    Break In

    (To ). To interpose a remark. To train a horse to the saddle or to harness.

    Break of Day

    Day—break.

    “`At break of day I will come to thee again.”

    Wordsworth: Pet Lamb,

    stanza 15.

    Break the Ice

    (To ). To prepare the way; to cause the stiffness and reserve of intercourse with a stranger to relax; to impart to another bit by bit distressing news or a delicate subject.

    Break your Back

    (To ). Make you bankrupt. The metaphor is from carrying burdens on the back.

    Break up Housekeeping

    (To ). To discontinue keeping a separate house.

    Break with One

    (To ). To cease from intercourse.

    “What cause have I given him to break with me?”— Florence Marryat.

    Breakers Ahead

    Hidden danger at hand. Breakers in the open sea always announce sunken rocks, sandbanks, etc.

    Breaking a Stick

    Part of the marriage ceremony of the American Indians, as breaking a wine—glass is part of the marriage ceremony of the Jews. ( Lady Augusta Hamilton. Marriage Rites, etc., 292, 298.)

    In one of Raphael's pictures we see an unsuccessful suitor of the Virgin Mary breaking his stick. This alludes to the legend that the several suitors were each to bring an almond stick, which was to be laid up in the sanctuary over—night, and the owner of the stick which budded was to be accounted the suitor which God approved of. It was thus that Joseph became the husband of Mary. (Pseudo—Matthew's Gospel, 40, 41.)

    In Florence is a picture in which the rejected suitors break their sticks on Joseph's back.

    Breast

    To make a clean breast of it. To make a full confession; concealing nothing.

    Breath

    All in a breath. Without taking breath. (Latin, continenti spiritu.)

    It takes away one's breath.

    The news is so astounding it causes one to hold his breath with surprise. Out of breath. Panting from exertion; temporarily short of breath.

    Save your breath to cool your porridge.

    Don't talk to me, it is only wasting your breath.

    “You might have saved your breath to cool your porridge.”— Mrs. Gaskell: Libbie Marsh (Era 111).

    To catch one's breath.

    To check suddenly the free act of breathing.

    “ `I see her,' replied I, catching my breath with joy.”— Capt. Marryat: Peter Simple.

    To hold one's breath. Voluntarily to cease breathing for a time. To take breath. To cease for a little time from some exertion in order to recover from exhaustion of breath. Under one's breath. In a whisper or undertone of voice.

    Breathe

    To breathe one's last. To die.

    Breche de Roland

    A deep defile in the crest of the Pyrenees, some three hundred feet in width, between two precipitous rocks. The legend is that Roland, the paladin, cleft the rock in two with his sword Durandal, when he was set upon by the Gascons at Roncesvalles.

    “Then would I seek the Pyrenean breach

    Which Roland clove with huge two—handed sway.” Wordsworth.

    Breeches

    To wear the breeches. Said of a woman who usurps the prerogative of her husband. Similar to The grey mare is the better horse. ( See Grey. )

    The phrase is common to the French, Dutch, Germans, etc., as Elle porte les braies. Die vrouw die hosen anhaben. Sie hat die Hösen.

    Breeches Bible

    (See Bible. )

    Breeze

    House—sweepings, as fluff, dust, ashes, and so on, thrown as refuse into the dust—bin. We generally limit the meaning now to small ashes and cinders used for coals in burning bricks. The word is a corruption of the French, débris (rubbish, or rather the part broken or rubbed off by wear, tear, and stress of weather). The French, braise, older form brese, means small coke or charcoal.

    The Breeze—fly.

    The gad—fly; so called from its sting. (Anglo—Saxon, briose; Gothic, bry, a sting.)

    Breeze

    A gentle wind or gale. (French, brise, a breeze.) Figuratively, a slight quarrel.

    Breidablik

    [wide—shining ]. The palace of Baldur, which stood in the Milky Way. (Scandinavian mythology.)

    Brennus

    A Latin form of the Kymric word Brenhin (a war—chief). In times of danger the Druids appointed a brenn to lead the confederate tribes to battle.

    Brent

    Without a wrinkle. Burns says of John Anderson, in his prime of life, his “locks were like the raven,” and his “bonnie brow was brent" (without a wrinkle).

    Brent—goose

    (A ). Properly a brant—goose, the branta bernicla, a brownish—grey goose of the genus branta.

    “For the people of the village

    Saw the flock of brant with wonder.”

    Longfellow: Hiawatha, part xvi. stanza 32.

    Brent—hill

    means the eyebrows.

    Looking

    or gazing from under brent—hill. In Devonshire means “frowning at one;” and in West Cornwall to brend means to wrinkle the brows. It is very remarkable that the word should have such opposite meanings.

    Brentford

    Like the two kings of Brentford smelling at one nosegay. Said of persons who were once rivals, but have become reconciled. The allusion is to an old farce called The Rehearsal, by the Duke of Buckingham.

    “The two kings of Brentford enter hand in hand,” and the actors, to heighten the absurdity, used to make them enter “smelling at one nosegay” (act ii. s. 2).

    Bressommer or Brest—summer. (French, sommier, a lintel or bressummer.) A beam supporting the whole weight of the building above it; as, the beam over a shop—front, the beam extending over an opening through a wall when a communication between two contiguous rooms is required. Sometimes these beams support a large superstructure. (The word bress, brest, or breast, in carpentry, means a rafter, and the German brett = a plank.)

    Bretwalda

    (ruler of Britain ). The chief of the kings of the heptarchy who exercised a certain undefined power over the other rulers; something like that of Hugues Capet over his peers.

    “The office of Bretwalda, a kind of elective chieftainship, of all Britain, was held by several Northumbrian kings, in succession.”— Earle: English Tongue, p. 26.

    Brevet Rank

    is rank one degree higher than your pay. Thus, a brevet—major has the title of major, but the pay of captain. (French, brevet, a patent, a concession.)

    Breviary

    An epitome of the old office of matins and lauds for daily service in the Roman Catholic Church. The Breviary contains the daily “Divine Office,” which those in orders in the Catholic Church are bound to recite. The office consists of psalms, collects, readings from Scripture, and the life of some saint or saints.

    Brew

    Brew me a glass of grog, i.e. mix one for me. Brew me a cup of tea, i.e. make one for me. The tea is set to brew, i.e. to draw. The general meaning of the word is to boil or mix; the restricted meaning is to make malt liquor.

    Brewer

    The Brewer of Ghent. James van Artevelde. (Fourteenth century.) It may here be remarked that it is a great error to derive proper names of any antiquity from modern words of a similar sound or spelling. As a rule, very few ancient names are the names of trades; and to suppose that such words as Bacon, Hogg, and Pigg refer to swineherds, or Gaiter, Miller, Tanner, Ringer, and Bottles to handicrafts, is a great mistake. A few examples of a more scientific derivation will suffice for a hint:—

    BREWER. This name, which exists in France as Bruhière and Brugière, is not derived from the Saxon briwan (to brew), but the French bruyère (heath), and is about tantamount to the German “Plantagenet”

    (broom—plant). (See Rymer's Fædera, William I.)

    BACON is from the High German verb began (to fight), and means “the fighter.” PIGG and BIGG are from the old High German pichan (to slash).

    HOGG is the Anglo—Saxon hyge (scholar), from the verb hogan (to study). In some cases it may be from the German hoch (high).

    BOTTLE is the Anglo—Saxon Bod'—el (little envoy). Norse, bodi; Danish, bud. GAITER is the Saxon Gaid—er (the darter). Celtic, gais, our goad.

    MILLER is the old Norse, melia, our mill and maul, and means a “mauler” or “fighter.” RINGER is the Anglo—Saxon hring gar (the mailed warrior)

    SMITH is the man who smites.

    TANNER (German Thanger, old German Danegaud) is the Dane—Goth. This list might easily be extended.

    Briareos

    or Ægeon. A giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands. Homer says the gods called him Briareos, but men called him Ægeon. ( Iliad, i. 403.)

    “Not he who brandished in his hundred hands

    His fifty swords and fifty shields in fight,

    Could have surpassed the fierce Argantes' might.” Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered, book vii.

    The Briareus of languages.

    Cardinal Mezzofanti, who knew fifty—eight different tongues. Byron called him

    “a walking polyglot; a monster of languages; a Briareus of parts of speech.” (1774—1849.) Generally pronounced Bri'—a—ruce.

    Bold Briareus. Handel (1685—1756).

    Briar—root Pipe

    A pipe made from the root—wood of the large heath (bruyère ), which grows in the south of France.

    Briboci

    Inhabitants of part of Berkshire and the adjacent counties referred to by Cæsar in his Commentaries.

    Bric—a—brac

    Odds and ends of curiosities. In French, a marchand de bric—à—brac is a seller of rubbish, as old nails, old screws, old hinges, and other odds and ends of small value; but we employ the phrase for odds and ends of vertu. (Bricoler in archaic French means Faire toute espèce de metier, to be Jack of all trades. Brac is the ricochet of bric, as fiddle—faddle and scores of other double words in English.)

    “A man with a passion for bric—a—brac is always stumbling over antique bronzes, intaglios, mosaics, and daggers of the time of Benvenuto Cellini.”— Aldrich: Miss Mehetable's Son, chap. ii.

    Brick

    A regular brick. A jolly good fellow. (Compare tetragwnoz anhr; “square”; and “four—square to all the winds that blow.”)

    “A fellow like nobody else, and, in fine, a brick.”— George Eliot: Daniel Deronda, book ii. chap. 16.

    Brick—and—mortar Franchise

    A Chartist phrase for the 10 household system, now abolished.

    Brickdusts

    The 53rd Foot; so called from the brickdust—red colour of their facings. Also called Five—and—thre'pennies, a play on the number and daily pay of the ensigns.

    Now called the 1st battalion of the “King's Shropshire Light Infantry.” The 2nd battalion is the old 85th.

    Brick—tea

    The inferior leaves of the tea—plant mixed with sheep's blood and pressed into cubes; the ordinary drink of the common people south of Moscow.

    “The Tartars swill a horrible gruel, thick and slab, of brick—tea, suet, salt, pepper, and sugar, boiled in a chaldron (sic).”— The Daily Telegraph, Friday, October 16th, 1891.

    Bride

    The bridal wreath is a relic of the corona nuptialis used by the Greeks and Romans to indicate triumph.

    Bride Cake

    A relic of the Roman Confarreatio, a mode of marriage practised by the highest class in Rome. It was performed before ten witnesses by the Pontifex Maximus, and the contracting parties mutually partook of a cake made of salt, water, and flour (far ) Only those born in such wedlock were eligible for the high sacred offices.

    Bride

    or Wedding Favours represent the true lover's knot, and symbolise union.

    Bride of Abydos

    Zuleika, daughter of Giaffir, Pacha of Abydos. As she was never wed, she should be called the affianced or betrothed. (Byron. )

    Bride of Lammermoor

    Lucy Ashton. (Scott: Bride of Lammermoor. )

    Bride of the Sea

    Venice; so called from the ancient ceremony of the Doge, who threw a ring into the Adriatic, saying, “We wed thee, O sea, in token of perpetual domination.”

    Bridegroom is the old Dutch gom (a young man). Thus, Groom of the Stole is the young man over the wardrobe. Groom, an ostler, is quite another word, being the Persian garma (a keeper of horses), unless, indeed, it is a contracted form of stable—groom (stable—boy). The Anglo Saxon Bryd—guma (guma = man) confused with groom, a lad.

    Bridegroom's Men

    In the Roman marriage by confarreatio, the bride was led to the Pontifex Maximus by bachelors, but was conducted home by married men. Polydore Virgil says that a married man preceded the bride on her return, bearing a vessel of gold and silver. (See Bride Cake .)

    Bridewell

    The city Bridewell, Bridge Street, Blackfriars, was built over a holy well of medical water, called St. Bride's Well, where was founded a hospital for the poor. After the Reformation, Edward VI. chartered this hospital to the city. Christ Church was given to the education of the young; St. Thomas's Hospital to the cure of the sick; and Bridewell was made a penitentiary for unruly apprentices and vagrants.

    Bridge of Gold

    According to a German tradition, Charlemagne's spirit crosses the Rhine on a golden bridge at Bingen, in seasons of plenty, to bless the vineyards and cornfields.

    “Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,

    Upon thy bridge of gold.”

    Longfellow: Autumn

    Made a bridge of gold for him; i.e.

    enabling a man to retreat from a false position without loss of dignity.

    Bridge of Jehennam

    (See Serat. )

    Bridge of Sighs

    which connects the palace of the Doge with the state prisons of Venice. Over this bridge the state prisoners were conveyed from the judgment—hall to the place of execution.

    “I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,

    A palace and a prison on each hand.”

    Byron: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, iv. 1:

    Waterloo Bridge, in London, used, some years ago, when suicides were frequent there, to be called The Bridge of Sighs.

    Bridgewater Treatises

    Instituted by the Rev. Francis Henry Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater, in 1825. He left the interest of 8,000 to be given to the author of the best treatise on “The power, wisdom, and goodness of God, as manifested in creation.” Eight are published by the following gentlemen:— (1) The Rev. Dr. Chalmers, (2) Dr. John Kidd, (3) the Rev. Dr. Whewell, (4) Sir Charles Bell, (5) Dr. Peter M Roget, (6) the Rev. Dr. Buckland, (7) the Rev. W. Kirby, and (8) Dr. William Prout.

    Bridle

    To bite on the bridle is to suffer great hardships. The bridle was an instrument for punishing a scold; to bite on the bridle is to suffer this punishment.

    Bridle Road

    or Way. A way for a riding—horse, but not for a horse and cart.

    Bridle up

    (To ). In French, se rengorger, to draw in the chin and toss the head back in scorn or pride. The metaphor is to a horse pulled up suddenly and sharply.

    Bridlegoose

    (Judge ), or Bridoie, who decided the causes brought to him by the throw of dice. (Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, iii. 39.)

    Bridport Stabbed with a Bridport dagger, i.e. hanged. Bridport, in Dorsetshire, was once famous for its hempen goods, and monopolised the manufacture of ropes, cables, and tackling for the British navy. The hangman's rope being made at Bridport gave birth to the proverb. ( Fuller: Worthies.)

    Brigadore

    (3 syl.). (See Horse. )

    Brigand

    properly means a seditious fellow. The Brigands were light—armed, irregular troops, like the Bashi—Bazouks, and like them were addicted to marauding. The Free Companies of France were Brigands. (Italian, brigante, seditious; briga, variance.)

    Brigandine

    The armour of a brigand, consisting of small plates of iron on quilted linen, and covered with leather, hemp, or something of the kind.

    Brigantine

    (3 syl.) or Hermaphrodite Brig. A two—masted vessel with a brig's foremast and a schooner's mainmast. (Dana's Seaman's Manual.) A pirate vessel.

    Bright's Disease

    A degeneration of the tissues of the kidneys into fat, first investigated by Dr. Bright. The patient under this disease has a flabby, bloodless appearance, is always drowsy, and easily fatigued.

    Brigians

    The Castilians; so called from one of their ancient kings, named Brix or Brigus, said by monkish fabulists to be the grandson of Noah.

    “Edward and Pedro, emulous of fame ...

    Thro' the fierce Brigians hewed their bloody way, Till in a cold embrace the striplings lay.”

    Camoens: Lusiad, v.

    Brigliadoro

    (See Horse. )

    Brilliant Madman

    (The). Charles XII. of Sweden. (1682—1697—1718.)

    “Macedonia's madman or the Swede.”

    Johnson: Vanity of Human Wishes.

    Briney

    or Briny. I'm on the briny. The sea, which is salt like brine.

    Bring About

    (To). To cause a thing to be done.

    Bring Down the House

    (To). To cause rapturous applause in a theatre.

    Bring into Play

    (To). To cause to act, to set in motion.

    Bring Round (To). To restore to consciousness or health; to cause one to recover [from a fit, etc.].

    Bring To

    (To). To restore to consciousness; to resuscitate. Many other meanings.

    “ `Ill bring her to,' said the driver, with a brutal grin; `Ill give her something better than camphor.' ”— Mrs. Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin.

    Bring to Bear

    (To). To cause to happen successfully.

    Bring to Book

    (To). To detect one in a mistake.

    Bring to Pass

    (To). To cause to happen.

    Bring to the Hammer

    (To). To offer or sell by public auction.

    Bring Under

    (To). To bring into subjection.

    Bring Up

    (To Brioche (2 syl.). A sort of bun or cake common in France, and now pretty generally sold in England. When Marie Antoinette was talking about the bread riots of Paris during the 5th and 6th October, 1789, the Duchesse de Polignac naïvely exclaimed, “How is it that these silly people are so clamorous for bread, when they can buy such nice brioches for a few sous?” This was in spirit not unlike the remark of our own Princess Charlotte, who avowed “that she would for her part rather eat beef than starve, “ and wondered that the people should be so obstinate as to insist upon having bread when it was so scarce.

    Bris

    Il conte di San Bris, governor of the Louvre, was father of Valentina, and leader of the St. Bartholomew massacre. (Meyerbeer's Opera: Gli Ugonotti.)

    Briseis

    (3 syl.). The patronymic name of Hippodamia, daughter of Briseus (2 syl.). A concubine of Achilles, to whom he was greatly attached. When Agamemnon was compelled to give up his own concubine, who was the daughter of a priest of Apollo, he took Briseis away from Achilles. This so annoyed the hero that he refused any longer to go to battle, and the Greeks lost ground daily. Ultimately, Achilles sent his friend Patroclos to supply his place. Patroclos was slain, and Achilles, towering with rage, rushed to battle, slew Hector, and Troy fell.

    Brisingamen

    Freyja's necklace made by the fairies. Freyja left her husband Odin in order to obtain this necklace; and Odin deserted her because her love was changed into vanity. It is not possible to love Brisingamen and Odin too, for no one can serve two masters.

    As a moral tale this is excellent. If Freyja personifies “the beauty of the year,” then the necklace means the rich autumn tints and flowers, which (soon as Freyja puts on) her husband leaves her— that is, the fertility of the genial year is gone away, and winter is at hand.

    Brisk as a Bee

    (See Similes. )

    Brissotins

    A nickname given to the advocates of reform in the French Revolution, because they were “led by the nose” by Jean Pierre Brissot. The party was subsequently called the Girondists.

    Bristol Board

    A stiff drawing—paper, originally manufactured at Bristol.

    Bristol Boy

    (The

    “The marvellous boy The sleepless soul that perished in his pride.” Wordsworth: Resolution and Independence.

    Bristol Diamonds

    Brilliant crystals of colourless quartz found in St. Vincent's Rock, Clifton, near Bristol.

    Bristol Fashion

    ( In). Methodical and orderly. More generally “Shipshape and Bristol fashion.”

    “In the great mass meeting, October 18th, 1884, a route of above three miles was observed in one unbroken line. No cheering disturbed the stately solemnity; no one ran to give any direction; no noise of any kind was heard, but on, in one unbroken line, steady and stately, marched the throngi n `Bristol fashion.' ”— Daily News, October 20th, 1884.

    Bristol Milk

    Sherry sack, at one time given by the Bristol people to their friends.

    “This metaphorical milk, whereby Xeres or Sherry—sack is intended.”— Fuller. Worthies.

    Bristol Waters

    Mineral waters of Clifton, near Bristol, with a temperature not exceeding 74; formerly celebrated in cases of pulmonary consumption. They are very rarely used now.

    Britain

    By far the most probable derivation of this word is that given by Bochart, from the Phoenician Baratanic (country of tin), contracted into B'ratan'. The Greek Cassiterides (tin islands) is a translation of Baratanic, once applied to the whole known group, but now restricted to the Scilly Isles. Aristotle, who lived some 350 years before the Christian era, calls the island Britannic, which is so close to B'ratanic that the suggestion of Bochart can scarcely admit of a doubt. (De Mundo, sec. 3.)

    Pliny says, “Opposite to Celtiberia are a number of islands which the Greeks called `Cassiterides' ” (evidently he means the British group). Strabo says the Cassiterides are situated about the same latitude as Britain.

    Great Britain

    consists of “Britannia prima” (England), “Britannia secunda" (Wales), and “North Britain” (Scotland), united under one sway.

    Greater Britain.

    The whole British empire.

    Britannia

    The first known representation of Britannia as a female figure sitting on a globe, leaning with one arm on a shield, and grasping a spear in the other hand, is on a Roman coin of Antoninus Pius, who died A.D. 161. The figure reappeared on our copper coin in the reign of Charles II., 1665, and the model was Miss Stewart, afterwards created Duchess of Richmond. The engraver was Philip Roetier, 1665. In 1825 W. Wyon made a new design.

    “The King's new medall, where, in little, there is Mrs. Stewart's face, ... and a pretty thing it is, that he should choose her face to represent Britannia by,”— Pepys' Diary (25 Feb.).

    British Lion

    (The). The pugnacity of the British nation, as opposed to the John Bull, which symbolises the substantiality, solidity, and obstinacy of the people, with all their prejudices and national peculiarities.

    To rouse the British Lion

    is to flourish a red flag in the face of John Bull; to provoke him to resistance even to the point of war.

    “To twist the lion's tail” is a favourite phrase and favourite policy with some rival unfriendly powers.

    Britomart

    [sweet maid ] (see below). Daughter of King Ryence of Wales, whose desire was to be a heroine. She is the impersonation of saintly chastity and purity of mind. She encounters the “savage, fierce bandit and mountaineer” without injury; is assailed by “hag and unlaid ghost, goblin, and swart fairy of the mine,” but “dashes their brute violence into sudden adoration and blank awe.” Britomart is not the impersonation of

    celibacy, as she is in love with an unknown hero, but of “virgin purity.” (Spenser: Faërie Queene, book iii. Her marriage, book v. 6.)

    “She charmed at once and tamed the heart,

    Incomparable Britomart.” Scott.

    Britomartis

    A Cretan nymph, very fond of the chase. King Minos fell in love with her, and persisted in his advances for nine months, when she threw herself into the sea. (Cretan, britus—martis, sweet maiden.)

    Briton

    (Like a). Vigorously, perseveringly. “To fight like a Briton” is to fight with indomitable courage. “To work like a Briton" is to work hard and perseveringly. Certainly, without the slightest flattery, dogged courage and perseverance are the strong characteristics of John Bull. A similar phrase is “To fight like a Trojan.”

    Brittany

    The damsel of Brittany. Eleanora, daughter of Geoffrey, second son of Henry II., King of England and Duke of Brittany. At the death of Prince Arthur she was the real heir to the crown, but John confined her in the castle of Bristol till death (1241).

    Broach

    To broach a new subject. To start one in conversation. The allusion is to beer tubs. If one is flat, another must be tapped. A broach is a peg or pin, and to broach a cask is to bore a hole in the top for the vent—peg.

    “I did broach this business to your highness.”

    Shakespeare: Henry VIII.,

    ii. 4.

    Broad as Long

    'Tis about as broad as it is long. One way or the other would bring about the same result.

    Broad Arrow

    on Government stores. It was the cognisance of Henry, Viscount Sydney, Earl of Romney, master—general of the ordnance. (1693—1702.)

    It seems like a symbol of the Trinity, and Wharton says, “It was used by the Kelts to signify holiness and royalty.”

    Broad Bottom Ministry

    (1744). Formed by a coalition of parties: Pelham retained the lead; Pitt supported the Government; Bubb Doddington was treasurer of the navy.

    Broadcloth

    The best cloth for men's clothes. So called from its great breadth. It required two weavers, side by side, to fling the shuttle across it. Originally two yards wide, now about fifty—four inches; but the word is now used to signify the best quality of (black) cloth.

    Broadside

    Printed matter spread over an entire sheet of paper. The whole must be in one type and one measure, i.e. must not be divided into columns. A folio is when the sheet is folded, in which case a page occupies only half the sheet.

    “Pamphlets and broadsides were scattered right and left.”— Fiske: American History, chap.

    vii. p. 341.

    In naval language, a broadside means the whole side of a ship; and to “open a broadside on the enemy” is to discharge all the guns on one side at the same moment.

    Brobdingnag

    The country of gigantic giants, to whom Gulliver was a pigmy “not half so big as a round little worm plucked from the lazy finger of a maid.”

    “You high church steeple, you gawky stag,

    Your husband must come from Brobdingnag.” Kane O'Hara: Midas.

    Brobdingnagian

    Colossal; tall as a church steeple. (See above. )

    “Limbs of Brobdingnagian proportions.”— The Star.

    Brocken

    The spectre of the Brocken. This is the shadow of men and other objects greatly magnified and reflected in the mist and cloud of the mountain opposite. The Brocken is the highest summit of the Harz range.

    Brocklehurst

    (The Rev. Robert ). A Calvinistic clergyman, the son of Naomi Brocklehurst, of Brocklehurst Hall, part founder of Lowood Institution, where young ladies were boarded, clothed, and taught for 15 a year, subsidised by private subscriptions. The Rev. Robert Brocklehurst was treasurer, and half starved the inmates in order to augment his own income, and scared the children by talking to them of hell—fire, and making capital out of their young faults or supposed shortcomings. He and his family fared sumptuously every day, but made the inmates of his institution deny themselves and carry the cross of vexation and want. (C. Brontë: Jane Eyre.)

    Brogue

    (1 syl.) properly means the Irish brog, or shoe of rough hide. The application of brog to the dialect or manner of speaking is similar to that of buskin to tragedy and sock to comedy.

    “And put my clouted brogues from off my feet.”

    Shakespeare: Cymbeline,

    iv. 2.

    Brogues

    (1 syl.). Trousers. From the Irish brog, resembling those still worn by some of the French cavalry, in which trousers and boots are all one garment.

    Broken Feather

    (A ). A broken feather in his wing. A scandal connected with one's character.

    “If an angel were to walk about, Mrs. Sam Hurst would never rest till she had found out where he came from; and perhaps whether he had a broken feather in his wing.”— Mrs. Oliphant: Phoebe.

    Broken Music

    A “consort” consisted of six viols, usually kept in one case. When the six were played together it was called a “whole consort,” when less than the six were played it was called “a broken consort.” Sometimes applied to open chords or arpeggios.

    “Here is good broken music.”

    Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida,

    iii. 1.

    Lord Bacon in his Sylva Sylvarum gives a different explanation: he says certain instruments agree together and produce concordant music, but others (as the virginal and lute, the Welsh and Irish harps) do not accord.

    Broken on the Wheel

    (See Break. )

    Broker

    Properly speaking, is one who sells refuse. In German, called mäklers, that is, “sellers of damaged stores.” (Teutonic, brak or wrak, refuse, allied with German brauchen.)

    Generally some special word is prefixed as bill—broker, cotton—broker, ship—broker, stock—broker, etc.

    Brontes

    (2 syl.). A blacksmith personified, one of the Cyclops. The name signifies Thunder.

    “Not with such weight, to frame the forky brand,

    The ponderous hammer falls from Brontes' hand.” Hoole: Jerusalem Delivered, book xx.

    Bronzomarte (See Horse. )

    Brook

    (Master ). The name assumed by Ford when he visits Sir John Falstaff. The amorous knight tells Master Brook all about his amour with Mrs. Ford, and how he duped her husband by being stowed into a basket of dirty linen.

    Ford. I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him my name is Brook, only for a jest.

    Host. My hand, bully. Thou shalt have egress and regress, ... and thy name shall be Brook.”— Shakespeare. Merry Wives of Windsor, II. 1.

    Brooks of Sheffield

    An imaginary individual mentioned in David Copperfield. (See Harris, Mrs. )

    Broom

    A broom is hung at the mast—head of ships about to be sold, to indicate that they are to be swept away. The idea is popularly taken from Admiral Tromp; but probably this allusion is more witty than true. The custom of hanging up something to attract notice seems very common. Thus an old piece of carpet from a window indicates household furniture for sale; a wisp of straw indicates oysters for sale; a bush means wine for sale; an old broom, ships to sell, etc. etc. (See Pennant. )

    A new broom.

    One fresh in office.

    New brooms sweep clean.

    Those newly appointed to an office find fault and want to sweep away old customs.

    Brosier

    Eating one out of house and home. At Eton, when a dame keeps an unusually bad table, the boys agree together on a day to eat, pocket, or waste everything eatable in the house. The censure is well understood, and the hint is generally effective. (Greek, broso, to eat.)

    Brother

    or Frère. A friar not in orders. (See Father. )

    Brother

    (So—and—so). A fellow—barrister. Brother Benedict. A married man. (See Benedict.) Brother Birch. A fellow—school—master. Brother Blade. A fellow—soldier, properly; but now anyone of the same calling as yourself. Brother Brush. A fellow—painter.

    Brother Bung.

    A fellow—tapster. Brother Buskin. A fellow—comedian or actor. A Brother Chip. A fellow—carpenter.

    A Brother Clergyman.

    A fellow—clergyman. A Brother Crispin. A fellow—shoemaker.

    A Brother Mason.

    A fellow—Freemason. A Brother Quill. A fellow—author.

    A Brother Salt.

    A fellow—seaman or sailor. A Brother Shuttle. A fellow—weaver.

    A Brother Stitch.

    A fellow—tailor. A Brother String. A fellow—violinist. A Brother Whip. A fellow coachman.

    Brother German

    A real brother. (Latin, germanus, of the same stock; germen, a bud or sprout.)

    “Te in germani fratris dilexi loco.”— Terence Andria, I. 5, 58.

    A uterine brother is a brother by the mother's side only. (Latin, uterinus, born of the same mother, as “frater uterius,” uterus.)

    Brother Jonathan

    When Washington was in want of ammunition, he called a council of officers, but no practical suggestion could be offered. “We must consult brother Jonathan,” said the general, meaning his excellency, Jonathan Trumbull, the elder governor of the State of Connecticut. This was done, and the difficulty was remedied. To consult brother Jonathan then became a set phrase, and brother Jonathan grew to be the John Bull of the United States. (J. R. Bartlett: Dictionary of Americanisms. )

    Brother Sam

    The brother of Lord Dundreary (q.v. ), the hero of a comedy based on a German drama, by John Oxenford, with additions and alterations by E. A. Sothern and T. B. Buckstone. (Supplied by T. B. Buckstone, Esq.)

    Browbeat

    To beat or put a man down by knitting the brows.

    Brown

    A copper coin, a penny; so called from its colour. Similarly a sovereign is a “yellow boy.” (See Blunt.

    )

    To be done brown.

    To be roasted, deceived, taken in.

    Brown as a Berry

    (See Similes. )

    Brown, Jones, and Robinson

    Three Englishmen who travel together Their adventures were published in Punch, and were the production of Richard Doyle. They typify the middle—class English abroad; and hold up to ridicule their gaucherie and contracted notions, their vulgarity and extravagance, their conceit and snobbism.

    Brown Bess

    means brown barrel. The barrels were browned to keep them from rusting. (Dutch, bus, a gun—barrel; Low German, büsse; Swedish, byssa. Our arquebus, blunderbuss.) In 1808 a process of browning was introduced, but this has, of course, nothing to do with the distinctive epithet. Probably Bess is a companion word to Bill. (See below.)

    Brown Bill

    A kind of halbert used by English foot—soldiers before muskets were employed. We find in the mediæval ballads the expressions, “brown brand,” “brown sword,” “brown blade,” etc. Sometimes the word rusty is substituted for brown, as in Chaucer: “And in his side he had a rousty blade”; which, being the god Mars, cannot mean a bad one. Keeping the weapons bright is a modern fashion; our forefathers preferred the honour of blood stains. Some say thè weapons were varnished with a brown varnish to prevent rust, and some affirm that one Brown was a famous maker of these instruments, and that Brown Bill is a phrase similar to Armstrong gun and Colt's revolver. (See above.)

    “So, with a band of bowmen and of pikes,

    Brown bills and targetiers.”

    Marlowe: Edward II.

    (1622.)

    Brown also means shining (Dutch, brun ), hence, “My bonnie brown sword,” “brown as glass,” etc., so that a “brown bill” might refer to the shining steel, and “brown Bess” to the bright barrel.

    Brown Study

    Absence of mind; apparent thought, but real vacuity. The corresponding French expression explains it— sombre réverie. Sombre and brun both mean sad, melancholy, gloomy, dull.

    “Invention flags, his brain grows muddy,

    And black despair succeeds brown study.”

    Congreve: An Impossible Thing.

    Browns

    To astonish the Browns. To do or say something regardless of the annoyance it may cause or the shock it may give to Mrs. Grundy.

    Anne Boleyn had a whole host of Browns, or “country cousins,” who were welcomed at Court in the reign of Elizabeth. The queen, however, was quick to see what was gauche, and did not scruple to reprove the Browns if she noticed anything in their conduct not comme il faut. Her bluntness of speech often “astonished the Browns.”

    Brownie

    The house spirit in Scottish superstition. He is called in England Robin Goodfellow. At night he is supposed to busy himself in doing little jobs for the family over which he presides. Farms are his favourite abode. Brownies are brown or tawny spirits, in opposition to fairies, which are fair or elegant ones. (See Fairies. )

    “It is not long since every family of considerable substance was haunted by a spirit they called Browny, which did several sorts of work and this was the reason why they gave him offerings ... on what they called `Browny's stone.' ”— Martin: Scotland.

    Brownists

    Followers of Robert Brown, of Rutlandshire, a violent opponent of the Established Church in the time of Queen Elizabeth. The present “Independents” hold pretty well the same religious tenets as the Brownists. Sir Andrew Aguecheek says:

    “I'd as lief be a Brownist as á politician.” Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, iii. 2.

    Browse his Jib

    (To ). A sailor's phrase, meaning to drink till the face is flushed and swollen. The jib means the face, and to browse here means “to fatten.”

    The only correct form of the phrase, however, is “to bowse his jib.” To bowse the jib means to haul the sail taut; and as a metaphor signifies that a man is “tight.”

    Bruel

    The goose, in the tale of Reynard the Fox. The word means little—roarer.

    Bruin

    One of the leaders arrayed against Hudibras. He was Talgol, a Newgate butcher, who obtained a captain's commission for valour at Naseby. He marched next Orsin (Joshua Gosling, landlord of the bear—gardens at Southwark).

    Sir Bruin.

    The name of the bear in the famous German beast—epic, called Reynard the Fox. (Dutch for brown.)

    Brumaire

    The celebrated 18th Brumaire (Nov. 9th, 1799) was the day on which the Directory was overthrown and Napoleon established his supremacy.

    Brummagem

    Worthless or very inferior metallic articles made in imitation of better ones. Birmingham is the great mart and manufactory of gilt toys, cheap jewellery, imitation gems, mosaic gold, and such—like. Birmingham was called by the Romans “Bremenium.”

    Brums

    In Stock Exchange phraseology this means the “London and North—Western Railway shares.” The Brum, i.e. the Birmingham line.

    Brunehild

    (3 syl.) or Brunehilda. Daughter of the King of Issland, beloved by Günther, one of the two great chieftains of the Nibelungenlied or Teutonic Iliad. She was to be carried off by force, and Günther asked his friend Siegfried to help him. Siegfried contrived the matter by snatching from her the talisman which was her protector, but she never forgave him for his treachery. (Old German, bruni, coat of mail; hilt, battle.)

    Brunello

    (in Orlando Furioso ). A deformed dwarf of Biserta, to whom King Agramant gave a ring which had the virtue to withstand the power of magic (book ii.). He was leader of the Tingitanians in the Saracen army. He also figures in Bojardo's Orlando Innamorato.

    Brunswicker

    A native of Brunswick. (See Black Brunswicker .)

    Brunt

    To bear the brunt. To bear the stress, the heat, and collision. The same word as “burn.” (Icelandic, bruni, burning heat, bren; Anglo—Saxon, brenning, burning.) The “brunt of a battle” is the hottest part of the fight. (Compare “fire—brand.”)

    Brush

    The tail of a fox or squirrel, which is brushy.

    Brush away.

    Get along. Brush off. Move on.

    He brushed by me. He just touched me as he went quickly past. Hence also brush, a slight skirmish. All these are metaphors from brushing with a brush.

    Give it another brush.

    A little more attention; bestow a little more labour on it; return it to the file for a little more polish.

    Brush up

    (To ). To renovate or revive; to bring again into use what has been neglected, as, “I must brush up my French.” When a fire is slack we brush up the hearth and then sweep clean the lower bars of the stove and stir the sleepy coals into activity.

    Brut

    A rhyming chronicle, as the Brut d'Angleterre and Le Roman de Brut, by Wace (twelfth century). Brut is the Romance word bruit (a rumour, hence a tradition, or a chronicle based on tradition). It is by mere accident that the word resembles “Brute” or “Brutus,” the traditional king. (See next column.)

    Brut d'Angleterre

    A chronicle of the achievements of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Arthur is described as the natural son of Uther, pendragon (or chief) of the ancient Britons. He succeeded his father, in 516, by the aid of Merlin, who gave him a magic sword, with which he conquered the Saxons, Picts, Scots, and Irish. Besides the Brut referred to, several other romances record the exploits of this heroic king.

    (See Arthur. )

    Brute

    in Cambridge University slang, is a man who has not yet matriculated. The play is evident. A “man,” in college phrase, is a collegian; and, as matriculation is the sign and seal of acceptance, a scholar before that ceremony is not a “man,” and therefore only a “biped brute.”

    Brute

    (Sir John ). A coarse, pot—valiant knight, ignobly noted for his absurdities. (Vanbrugh: The Provoked Wife.)

    Brute

    or Brutus, in the mythological history of England, the first king of the Britons, was son of Sylvius (grandson of Ascanius and great grandson of Æneas). Having inadvertently killed his father, he first took refuge in Greece and then in Britain. In remembrance of Troy, he called the capital of his kingdom Troy—novant (New Troy), now London.

    The pedigree was as follows:— (1) Æneas, (2) Ascanius, (3) Silvius, (4) Brutus. (See Troy—Novant.)

    Brutum Fulmen

    (Latin). A noisy but harmless threatening; an innocuous thunderbolt.

    “His [the Pope's] denunciations are but a brutum fulmen.”— The Standard.

    Brutus

    (Junius ), the first consul of Rome. He condemned to death his own two sons for joining a conspiracy to restore to the throne the banished Tarquin.

    “The public father [Brutus], who the private quelled,

    And on the dread tribunal sternly sat.”

    Thomson: Winter.

    The Spanish Brutus.

    Alphonso Perez de Guzman (1258—1320). While he was governor, Castile was besieged by Don Juan, who had revolted from his brother, Sancho IV. Juan, who held in captivity one of the sons of Guzman, threatened to cut his throat unless Guzman surrendered the city. Guzman replied, “Sooner than be a traitor, I would myself lend you a sword to slay him,” and he threw a sword over the city wall. The son, we are told, was slain by the father's sword before his eyes.

    Brutus

    (Marcus). Cæsar's friend, joined the conspirators to murder him, because he made himself a king.

    “And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart,

    Whose steady arm, by awful virtue urged,

    Lifted the Roman steel against thy friend.”

    Thomson: Winter, 524—6.

    Et tu, Brute.

    What! does my own familiar friend lift up his heel against me? The reference is to that Marcus Brutus whose “bastard hand stabbed Julius Cæsar.” (Suetonius.)

    Bruxellois

    The inhabitants of Brussels or Bruxelles.

    Brydport Dagger

    (See Bridport. )

    Bub

    Drink. (Connected with bubble — Latin, bibo, to drink; our imbibe.) (See Grub. )

    “Drunk with Helicon's waters and double—brewed bub.”— Prior: To a Person who wrote ill.

    Bubastis

    The Diana of Egyptian mythology; the daughter of Isis and sister of Horus.

    Bubble

    (A

    “The whole scheme [the Fenian raid on British America] was a collapsed bubble.”— The Times.

    The Bubble Act, 6 George I., cap. 18; published 1719, and repealed July 5th, 1825. Its object was to punish the promoters of bubble schemes.

    A bubble company. A company whose object is to enrich themselves at the expense of subscribers to their scheme.

    A bubble scheme. A project for getting money from subscribers to a scheme of no value.

    Bubble and Squeak

    Cold boiled meat and greens fried. They first bubbled in water when boiled, and afterwards hissed or squeaked in the frying—pan.

    Something pretentious, but of no real value, such as “rank and title,” or a bit of ribbon in one's button hole.

    Bucca

    A goblin of the wind, supposed by the ancient inhabitants of Cornwall to foretell shipwrecks.

    Buccaneer'

    means sellers of smoke—dried meat, from the Caribbean word boucan, smoke—dried meat. The term was first given to the French settlers in Hayti, whose business it was to hunt animals for their skins. The

    flesh they smoke—dried and sold, chiefly to the Dutch.

    When the Spaniards laid claim to all America, many English and French adventurers lived by buccaneering, and hunted Spaniards as lawful prey. After the peace of Ryswick this was no longer tolerated, and the term was then applied to any desperate, lawless, piratical adventurer.

    Bucentaur

    A monster, half—man and half—ox. The Venetian state—galley employed by the Doge when he went on Ascension Day to wed the Adriatic was so called. (Greek, bous, ox; centauros, centaur.)

    Bucephalos

    [bull—headed ]. A horse. Strictly speaking, the charger of Alexander the Great, bought of a Thessalian for thirteen talents (3,500).

    “True, true; I forgot your Bucephalos.”— Sir W. Scott: The Antiquary.

    Buchanites

    (3 syl.). A sect of fanatics who appeared in the west of Scotland in 1783. They were named after Mrs. or Lucky Buchan, their founder, who called herself “Friend Mother in the Lord,” claiming to be the woman mentioned in Rev. xii., and maintaining that the Rev. Hugh White, a convert, was the “man—child.”

    “I never heard of alewife that turned preacher, except Luckie Buchan in the West.”— Scott: St. Ronan's Well, c. ii.

    Buck

    A dandy. (See below.)

    “A most tremendous buck he was, as he sat there serene, in state, driving his greys.”— Thackeray: Vanity Fair, chap. vi.

    Buck—basket

    A linen—basket. To buck is to wash clothes in lye; and a buck is one whose clothes are buck, or nicely got up. When Cade says his mother was “descended from the Lacies,” two men overhear him, and say,

    “She was a pedlar's daughter, but not being able to travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.” (2 Henry VI., iv. 2.) (German, beuchen, to steep clothes in lye; beuche, clothes so steeped. However, compare “bucket,” a diminutive of the Anglo—Saxon buc.)

    Buck—bean

    A corruption of bog—bean, a native of wet bog—lands.

    Buck—rider

    (A). A dummy fare who enables a cabman to pass police—constables who prevent empty cabs loitering at places where cabs will be likely to be required, as at theatres, music—halls, and large hotels. A cabman who wants to get at such a place under hope of picking up a fare gives a “buck” a shilling to get into his cab that he may seem to have a fare, and so pass the police.

    “Constables are stationed at certain points to spot the professional `buck—riders.' ”— Nineteenth Century (March, 1893, p. 576).

    Buck—tooth

    A large projecting front—tooth. (See Butter Tooth .)

    Buckwheat

    A corruption of boc. German, buche, beech—wheat; it is so called because it is triangular, like beech—mast. The botanical name is Fagopyrum (beech—wheat).

    “The buckwheat

    Whitened broad acres, sweetening with its flowers The August wind.”

    Bryant: The Fountain,

    stanza 7.

    Buckhorse A severe blow or slap on the face. So called from a boxer of that name.

    Buckingham

    (Saxon, boccen—ham, beech—tree village.) Fuller, in his Worthies, speaks of the beech—trees as the most characteristic feature of this county.

    Bucklaw

    or rather Frank Hayston, lord of Bucklaw, a wealthy nobleman, who marries Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucy Ashton), who had pledged her troth to Edgar, master of Ravenswood. On the wedding—night Lucy murders him, goes mad, and dies. (Donizetti's opera of Lucia di Lammermoor. Sir Walter Scott's Bride of Lammermoor.)

    Buckle

    I can't buckle to. I can't give my mind to work. The allusion is to buckling on one's armour or belt.

    To cut the buckle.

    To caper about, to heel and toe it in dancing. In jigs the two feet buckle or twist into each other with great rapidity.

    “Throth, it wouldn't lave a laugh in you to see the parson dancin' down the road on his way home, and the ministher and methodist praicher cuttin' the buckle as they went along.”— W. B. Yeats: Fairy Tales of the Irish Peasantry, p. 98 (see also p. 196).

    To put into buckle.

    To put into pawn at the rate of 40 per cent. interest. To talk buckle. To talk about marriage.

    “I took a girl to dinner who talked buckle to me.”— Vera, 154.

    Buckler

    (See Shield. )

    Bucklersbury

    (London) was at one time the noted street for druggists and herbalists; hence Falstaff says—

    “I cannot cog, and say thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple time.”— Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 3.

    Buckmaster's Light Infantry

    The 3rd West India Regiment was so called from Buckmaster, the tailor, who used to issue “Light Infantry uniforms” to the officers of the corps without any authority from the Commander—in—Chief.

    Buckra

    Superior, excellent. That's buckra. A buckra coat is a smart coat; a buckra man, a man of consequence. This word among the West Indians does the service of burra among the Anglo—Indians: as burra saïb (great master, i.e. white man), burra khana (a magnificent spread or dinner).

    Buckshish

    or Baksheesh. A gratuity, pour boire. A term common to India, Persia, and indeed all the East.

    Buddha

    means the Wise One. From the Indian word budh, to know. The title was given to Prince Siddhartha, generally called Saky'a—muni, the founder of Buddhism. His wife's name was Gopa.

    Buddhism

    A system of religion established in India in the third century. The general outline of the system is that the world is a transient reflex of deity; that the soul is a “vital spark” of deity; and that after death it will be bound to matter again till its “wearer” has, by divine contemplation, so purged and purified it that it is fit to be absorbed into the divine essence.

    Buddhist

    One whose system of religion is Buddhism.

    Bude or Gurney Light. The latter is the name of the inventor, and the former the place of his abode. (Goldsworthy Gurney, of Bude, Cornwall.)

    Budge

    is lambskin with the wool dressed outwards, worn on the edge of capes, bachelors' hoods, and so on. Budge Row, Cannon Street, is so—called because it was chiefly occupied by budge—makers.

    “O foolishness of men! that lend their ears

    To those budge—doctors of the stoic fur.”

    Milton: Comus, 706, 767.

    Budge

    (To) is the French bouger, to stir.

    Budge Bachelors

    A company of men clothed in long gowns lined with budge or lambs' wool, who used to accompany the Lord Mayor of London at his inauguration.

    Budget

    The statement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer lays before the House of Commons every session, respecting the national income and expenditure, taxes and salaries. The word is the old French bougette, a bag, and the present use arose from the custom of bringing to the House the papers pertaining to these matters in a leather bag, and laying them on the table. Hence, to open the budget or bag, i.e. to take the papers from the bag and submit them to the House.

    A budget of news

    is a bagful of news, a large stock of news. Cry Budget. A watchword or shibboleth. Thus Slender says to Shallow—

    “We have a nay—word how to know one another. I come to her in white and cry mum; she cries budget: and by that we know one another.'— Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 2.

    Buff

    Buff is a contraction of buffle or buffalo; and buff skin is the skin of the buffalo prepared. “To stand in

    buff” is to stand without clothing in one's bare skin. “To strip to the buff” is to strip to the skin. The French for “buff” is buffle, which also means a buffalo.

    To stand buff,

    also written bluff, meaning firm, without flinching. Sheridan, in his School for Scandal, ii. 3, says, “That he should have stood bluff to old bachelor so long, and sink into a husband at last.” It is a nautical term; a “bluff shore” is one with a bold and almost perpendicular front. The word buff, a blow or buffet, may have got confounded with bluff, but without doubt numerous instances of “buff” can be adduced.

    “And for the good old cause stood buff, `Gainst many a bitter kick and cuff.”

    Butler: Hudibras's Epitaph.

    “I must even stand buff and outface him.”— Fielding.

    BUFF in “Blind—man's buff,” the well—known game, is an allusion to the three buffs or pats which the “blind—man” gets when he has caught a player. (Norman—French, buffe, a blow; Welsh, paff, verb, paffio, to thump; our buffet is a little slap.)

    Buffalo Bill

    Colonel Cody.

    Buffalo Robe

    (A ). The skin of a bison dressed without removing the hair, and used as a travelling rug. The word “robe” is often omitted.

    “The large and roomy sleigh was decked with buffalo robes, red—bound, and furnished with sham eyes and ears.”— The Upper Ten Thousand, p. 4.

    “Leaving all hands under their buffaloes.”— Kane: Arctic Expedition.

    Buffer

    of a railway carriage is an apparatus to rebuff or deaden the force of collision.

    Buffer

    (A ). A chap. The French bouffer (older form, bauffer) meant to eat, as il bauffera tout seul. If this is the basis of the word, a buffer is one who eats with us, called a Commoner in our universities.

    “I always said the old buffer would.”— Miss Braddon: Lady Audley's Secret.

    Buffoon

    means one who puffs out his cheeks, and makes a ridiculous explosion by causing them suddenly to collapse. This being a standing trick with clowns, caused the name to be applied to low jesters. The Italian baffare is “to puff out the cheeks for the purpose of making an explosion;” our puff. (Italian buffone, a buffoon; French bouffon.)

    Buffoons Names synonymous with Buffoon:

    Bobêche.

    A clown in a small theatre in the Boulevart du Temple, Paris. (1815—1825.)

    Galimafré.

    A contemporary and rival of the former.

    Tabarin.

    (Of the seventeenth century.)

    Bruscambille.

    Grimaldi.

    (1779—1837.) (See Scaramouch.)

    Buffs

    The old 3rd regiment of foot soldiers. The men's coats were lined and faced with buff, they also wore buff waistcoats, buff breeches, and buff stockings. These are the “Old Buffs,” raised in 1689.

    At one time called the Buff Howards, from Howard their colonel (1737—1749). The “Young Buffs” are the old 31st Foot raised in 1702; now called the “Huntingdonshire Regiment,” whose present uniform is scarlet with buff facings.

    The Rothshire Buffs.

    The old 78th, now the second battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.

    Bugaboo

    A monster, or goblin, introduced into the tales of the old Italian romancers. (See below. )

    Bugbear

    A scarecrow. Bug is the Welsh bwg, a hobgoblin, called in Russia buka. Spenser says, “A ghastly bug doth greatly them affear” (book ii. canto 3); and Hamlet has “bugs and goblins" (v. 2).

    “Warwick was a bug that feared us all.”

    Shakespeare:

    3 Henry IV., v. 3.

    “To the world no bug bear is so great

    As want of figure and a small estate.”

    Pope: Satires, iii. 67—68.

    The latter half of this word is somewhat doubtful. The Welsh bár =ire, fury, wrath, whence barog, spiteful, seems probable.

    Buggy

    A light vehicle without a hood, drawn by one horse. (Hindustani, baghi. )

    Buhl—work

    Cabinet—work, inlaid with brass; so called from Signor Boule, the inventor, who settled in Paris during the reign of Louis XIV. (The word should be spelt BOULE—WORK.)

    Build

    for make, as, A man of strong build, a man of robust make. The metaphor is evident.

    Build

    Applied to dress. Not so bad a build after all, not badly made.

    Builder's Square

    Emblematic of St. Thomas, patron of architects.

    Bulbul

    The nightingale. A Persian word, familiarised by Tom Moore.

    “'Twas like the notes, half—ecstasy, half—pain, The bulbul utters.”

    Moore: Lalla Rookh

    (Veiled Prophet, part 1, stanza 14).

    Bulis

    metamorphosed into a drake; and his son, Egypios, into a vulture.

    Bull One of the twelve signs of the Zodiac (April 20 to May 21). The time for ploughing, which in Egypt was performed by oxen or bulls.

    “At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,

    And the bright Bull receives him.”

    Thomson: Spring, 26, 27.

    Bull.

    A blunder, or inadvertent contradiction of terms, for which the Irish are proverbial. The British Apollo, 1740, says the term is derived from one Obadiah Bull, an Irish lawyer of London, in the reign of Henry VII., whose blundering in this way was notorious.

    Bull

    is a five—shilling piece. “Half a bull” is half—a—crown. From bulla, a great leaden seal. Hood, in one of his comic sketches, speaks of a crier who, being apprehended, “swallowed three hogs (shillings) and a bull.”

    The pope's bull.

    So called from the bulla or capsule of the seal appended to the document. Subsequently the seal was called the bulla, and then the document itself.

    The edict of the Emperor Charles IV. (1356) had a golden bulla, and was therefore called the golden bull. (See Golden Bull.)

    Bull

    A public—house sign, the cognisance of the house of Clare. The bull and the boar were signs used by the partisans of Clare, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Richard III.).

    Bull

    A bull in a china shop. A maladroit hand interfering with a delicate business; one who produces reckless destruction.

    A brazen bull.

    An instrument of torture. (See Phalaris.)

    He may bear a bull that hath borne a calf (Erasmus: Proverbs)

    — “He that accustometh hym—selfe to lytle thynges, by lytle and lytle shalbe able to go a waye with greater thynges (Taverner).

    To take the bull by the horns.

    To attack or encounter a threatened danger fearlessly; to go forth boldly to meet a difficulty. The figure is taken from bull—fights, in which a strong and skilful matadore will grasp the horns of a bull about to toss him and hold it prisoner.

    John Bull.

    An Englishman. Applied to a native of England in Arbuthnot's ludicrous History of Europe. This history is sometimes erroneously ascribed to Dean Swift. In this satire the French are called Lewis Baboon, and the Dutch Nicholas Frog.

    “One would think, in personifying itself, a nation would ... picture something grand, heroic, and imposing, but it is characteristic of the peculiar humour of the English, and of their love for what is blunt, comic, and familiar, that they have embodied their national oddities in the figure of a sturdy, corpulent old fellow ... with red waistcoat, leather breeches, and a stout oaken cudgel ... [whom they call] John Bull.”— Washington Irving.

    Bull and Gate. Bull and Mouth

    Public—house signs. A corruption of Boulogne Gate or Mouth, adopted out of compliment to Henry VIII., who took Boulogne in 1544.

    Bull—dog

    (A). A man of relentless, savage disposition is sometimes so called. A “bull—dog courage” is one that flinches from no danger. The “bull—dog” was the dog formerly used in bull—baiting.

    Bull—dogs

    in University slang, are the two myrmidons of the proctor, who attend his heels like dogs, and are ready to spring on any offending undergraduate like bull—dogs. (See Myrmidons .)

    Bull—necked

    The Bull—necked Forger. Cagliostro, the huge impostor, was so called. (1743—1795.)

    Bull—ring

    (See Mayor Of the Bullring .)

    Bull's Eye A small cloud suddenly appearing, seemingly in violent motion, and growing out of itself. It soon covers the entire vault of heaven, producing a tumult of wind and rain. (1 Kings xviii. 44.) Bull's Eye. The inner disc of a target.

    “A little way from the centre there is a spot where the shots are thickly gathered; some few have hit the bull's—eye.”— Fiske: Excursions, etc., chap. vi. p. 178.

    To make a bull's eye.

    To gain some signal advantage; a successful coup. To fire or shoot an arrow right into the centre disc of the target.

    Bulls

    in Stock Exchange phraseology, means those dealers who “bull,” or try to raise the price of stock, with the view of effecting sales. A bull—account is a speculation made under the hope that the stock purchased will rise before the day of settlement. (See Bear .)

    Bullet

    Every bullet has its billet. Nothing happens by chance, and no act is altogether without some effect.

    “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will.” Another meaning is this: an arrow or bullet is not discharged at random, but at some mark or for some deliberate purpose.

    “Let the arrow fly that has a mark.”— Caesar borgia chap. xx.

    Bulletin

    French for a certificate. An official report of an officer to his superior, or of medical attendants respecting the health of persons of notoriety; so called because they were authenticated by an official bulla or seal. (Spanish, botetin, a warrant; Italian, bullettino, a roll.)

    Bulling the Barrel

    is pouring water into a rum cask, when it is nearly empty, to prevent its leaking. The water, which gets impregnated with the spirit and is very intoxicating, is called bull.

    Seamen talk of bulling the teapot (making a second brew), bulling the coffec, etc.

    Bullion

    properly means the mint where bolla, little round coins, are made. Subsequently the metal in the mint.

    Bully

    To overbear with words. A bully is a blustering menacer. (Anglo—Saxon, bulgian, to bellow like a bull.) It is often used, without any mixture of reproof, as a term of endearment, as:—

    “O sweet bully Bottom.”— Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. 4.

    “Bless thee, bully doctor.”— Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 3.

    Bully—boy

    (A). A jolly companion, a “brick.” (German, buhle, a lover; buhler, a gallant.)

    “We be three poor mariners

    Newly come from the seas,

    We spend our lives in jeopardy,

    While others live at ease;

    Shall we go dance the round, the round,

    Shall we go dance the round?

    And he that is a bully boy

    Come pledge me on this ground.”

    Deuteromelia. (1609.)

    Bully—rook

    A blustering cheat. Like bully, it is sometimes used without any offensive meaning. Thus the Host, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, addresses Sir John Falstaff, Ford, and Page, etc., as bully—rook — “How now, my bully—rook?” equal to “my fine fellow.”

    A bully rake is “one who fights for fighting's sake.” To bully—rag is to intimidate; bully—ragging is abusive intimidation. According to Halliwell, a rag is a scold, and hence a “ragging” means a scolding. Connected with rage.

    Bum—bailiff

    The French pousse—cul seems to favour the notion that bum —bailiff is no corruption. These officers are frequently referred to as bums.

    “Scout me for him at the corner of the orchard, like a bum—bailiff.”

    Shakespeare: Twelfth Night,

    iii. 4.

    Bum—boat

    A small wide boat to carry provisions to vessels lying off shore. Also called “dirt—boats,” being used for removing filth from ships lying in the Thames. (Dutch, bumboot, a wide fishing boat. In Canada a punt is called a bun. A bun is a receptacle for keeping fish alive.)

    Bumble

    A beadle. So called from the officious, overbearing beadle in Dicken's Oliver Twist.

    Bumbledom

    The dominion of an overbearing parish officer, the arrogance of parish authorities, the conceit of parish dignity. (See above.)

    Bummarees

    A class of middlemen or fish—jobbers in Billingsgate Market, who get a living by bummareeing,

    i.e.

    buying parcels of fish from the salesmen, and then retailing them. A corruption of bonne marée, good fresh fish, or the seller thereof. According to the Dictionnaire de l'Académie, marée means toute sorte de poisson de mer que n'est pas salé. Bonne marée, marée fraiche.

    Bumper

    A full glass, generally connected with a “toast.” Dr. Arn says a bumper is when the surface of the wine bumps up in the middle. (French, bomber, to render convex, to bulge or swell out.)

    “A fancied connection with bump, a swelling, has not only influenced the form of the word, but [has] added the notion of fulness.”— Skeat: Etymological Dictionary.

    Bumpkin

    A loutish person. (Dutch, boomken, a sprout, a fool.) This word very closely resembles the word “chit.” (See Chitty .)

    Bumptious

    Arrogant, full of mighty airs and graces; apt to take offence at presumed slights. A corruption of presumptuous, first into “sumptious,” then to bumptious.

    Bun

    A small cake. (Irish, boinneog, Scotch, bannock.)

    In regard to “hot cross buns” on Good Friday, it may be stated that the Greeks offered to Apollo, Diana, Hecate, and the Moon, cakes with “horns.” Such a cake was called a bous, and (it is said) never grew mouldy. The “cross” symbolised the four quarters of the moon.

    “Good Friday comes this month: the old woman runs

    With one a penny, two a penny `hot cross buns,' Whose virtue is, if you believe what's said,

    They'll not grow mouldy like the common bread.” Poor Robin: Almanack, 1733.

    Bunch of Fives

    A slang term for the hand or fist.

    Buncle

    (John). “A prodigious hand at matrimony, divinity, a song, and a peck.” He marries seven wives, loses all in the flower of their age, is inconsolable for two or three days, then resigns himself to the decrees of Providence, and marries again. (The Life and Opinions of John Buncle, Esq., by Thomas Amory.)

    “John is a kind of innocent Henry VIII. of private life.”— Leigh Hunt.

    Bundle

    Bundle off. Get away. To bundle a person off, is to send him away unceremoniously. Similar to pack off. The allusion is obvious.

    Bundle of Sticks AEsop, in one of his fables, shows that sticks one by one may be readily broken; not so when several are bound together in a bundle. The lesson taught is, that “Union gives strength.”

    “They now lay to heart the lesson of the bundle of sticks.”— The Times.

    Bundschuh

    [highlows ]. An insurrection of the peasants of Germany in the sixteenth century. So called from the highlows or clouted shoon of the insurgents.

    Bung

    A cant term for a toper. “Away, ... you filthy bung,” says Doll to Pistol. (2 Henry IV., ii. 4.)

    Brother Bung.

    A cant term for a publican.

    Bung up.

    Close up, as a bung closes a cask.

    Bungalow

    (Indian). The house of a European in India, generally a ground floor with a verandah all round it, and the roof thatched to keep off the hot rays of the sun. There are English bungalows at Birchington and on the Norfolk coast near Cromer. A dâkbungalow is a caravansary or house built by the Government for the use of travellers. (Hindustani, bangla.)

    Bungay

    Go to Bungay with you! — i.e. get away and don't bother me, or don't talk such stuff. Bungay, in Suffolk, used to be famous for the manufacture of leather breeches, once very fashionable. Persons who required new ones, or to have their old ones newseated, went or sent to Bungay for that purpose. Hence rose the cant saying, “Go to Bungay, and get your breeches mended,” shortened into “Go to Bungay with you!”

    Bungay

    My castle of Bungay. (See under Castle .)

    Bunkum

    Claptrap. A representative at Washington being asked why he made such a flowery and angry speech, so wholly uncalled for, made answer, “I was not speaking to the House, but to Buncombe,” which he represented (North Carolina).

    “America, too, will find that caucuses, stumporatory, and speeches to Buncombe will not carry men to the immortal gods.”— Carlyle: Latter—day Pamphlets (parliaments, p. 93).

    Bunny

    A rabbit. So called from the provincial word bun, a tail. The Scotch say of the hare, “she cocks her bun.” Bunny, a diminutive of bun, applied to a rabbit, means the animal with the “little tail.”

    “Bunny, lying in the grass,

    Saw the shiny column pass.”

    Bret Harte: Battle Bunny, stanza 1

    Bunsby

    (Jack). Captain Cuttle's friend; a Sir Oracle of his neighbours; profoundly mysterious, and keeping his eye always fixed upon invisible dreamland somewhere beyond the limits of infinite space. (Dickens: Dombey and Son.).

    Bunting

    In Somersetshire bunting means sifting flour. Sieves were at one time made of a strong gauzy woollen cloth, which being tough and capable of resisting wear, was found suitable for flags, and now has changed its reference from sieves to flags. A “bunt—mill” is a machine for sifting corn.

    “Not unlike ... a baker's bunt, when he separates the flour from the bran.”— Stedman.

    Buphagos

    Pausanias (viii. 24) tells us that the son of Japhet was called Buphagos (glutton), as Hercules was called Adephagus, because on one occasion he ate a whole ox (Athenæos x.). The French call the English

    “Beefeaters,” because they are eaters of large joints of meat, and not of delicate, well—dressed viands. Neither

    of these has any relation to our Yeomen of the Guards. (See Beefeaters , page 115.)

    Burbon

    A knight assailed by a rabble rout, who batter his shield to pieces, and compel him to cast it aside. Talus renders him assistance, and is informed by the rescued knight that Fourdelis, his own true love, had been enticed away from him by Grantorto. When the rabble is dispersed, and Fourdelis recovered, Burbon places her on his steed, and rides off as fast as possible. Burbon is Henri IV. of France; Fourdelis, the kingdom of France; the rabble rout, the Roman Catholic party that tried to set him aside; the shield he is compelled to abandon is Protestantism; his carrying off Fourdelis is his obtaining the kingdom by a coup after his renunciation of the Protestant cause. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, v. 11.)

    Burchardise

    To speak ex cathedra; to speak with authority. Burchard (who died 1026) compiled a volume of canons of such undisputed authority, that any sentence it gave was beyond appeal.

    Burchell

    (Mr.). A baronet who passes himself off as a poor man, his real name and title being Sir William Thornhill. His favourite cant word is “Fudge.” (Goldsmith. Vicar of Wakefield.)

    Burd

    (Helen). The Scotch female impersonation of the French preux or prudhomme, with this difference, that she is discreet, rather than brave and wise.

    Burden of a Song

    The words repeated in each verse, the chorus or refrain. It is the French bourdon, the big drone of a bagpipe, or double—diapason of an organ, used in fortë parts and choruses.

    Burden of Isaiah.

    The “measure” of a prophecy announcing a calamity, or a denunciation of hardships on those against whom the burden is uttered. (Isa. xiii. 1, etc.)

    The burden of proof.

    The obligation to prove something.

    “The burden of proof is on the party holding the affirmative" [because no one can prove a negative, except by reductio ad absurdum ].— Greenleaf: On Evidence (vol. i. part 2, chap. iii.

    p. 105).

    Bure

    (2 syl.). The first woman, and sister of Borr, the father of Odin. (Scandinavian mythology.)

    Bureaucracy

    A system of government in which the business is carried on in bureaux or departments. The French bureau means not only the office of a public functionary, but also the whole staff of officers attached to the department. As a word of reproach, bureaucracy has nearly the same meaning as Dickens's word, red—tapeism (q.v. ).

    Burglar

    [burg—larron ]. The robber of a burgh, castle, or house. Burglary is called, in ancient law—books, hamesecken or hám—secn, house—violation.

    Burgundian

    A Burgundian blow, i.e. decapitation. The Duc de Biron, who was put to death for treason by Henri IV., was told in his youth, by a fortune—teller, “to beware of a Burgundian blow.” When going to execution, he asked who was to be his executioner, and was told he was a man from Burgundy.

    Burial of an Ass

    No burial at all.

    “He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”— Jer. xxii. 19.

    Buridan's Ass A man of indecision; like one “on double business bound, who stands in pause where he should first begin, and both neglects.” Buridan the scholastic said: “If a hungry ass were placed exactly between two hay—stacks in every respect equal, it would starve to death, because there would be no motive why it should go to one rather than to the other.”

    Burke

    To murder by placing something over the mouth of the person attacked to prevent his giving alarm. So called from Burke, an Irishman, who used to suffocate his victims and murder them for the sole purpose of selling the dead bodies to surgeons for dissection. Hanged at Edinburgh, 1829.

    To burke a question.

    To strangle it in its birth. The publication was burked suppressed before it was circulated.

    Burkers

    Body—snatchers; those who kill by burking.

    Burl, Burler

    In Cumberland, a burler is the master of the revels at a bidden—wedding, who is to see that the guests are well furnished with drink. To burl is to carouse or pour out liquor. (Anglo—Saxon, byrlian.)

    “Mr. H. called for a quart of beer. He told me to burl out the beer, as he was in a hurry, and I burled out the glass and gave it to him.”— The Times: Law Reports.

    Burlaw

    or Byrlaw. A sort of Lynchlaw in the rural districts of Scotland. The inhabitants of a district used to make certain laws for their own observance, and appoint one of their neighbours, called the Burlaw—man, to carry out the pains and penalties. The word is a corrupt form of byr—law, byr=a burgh, common in such names as Derby, the burgh on the Derwent; Grimsby (q.v.), Grims—town.

    Burlesque

    Father of burlesque poetry. Hipponax of Ephesus. (Sixth century B.C.)

    Burlond

    A giant whose legs Sir Tryamour cut off. (Romance of Sir Tryamour.)

    Burn

    His money burns a hole in his pocket. He cannot keep it in his pocket, or forbear spending it.

    To burn one's boats.

    To cut oneself off from all means or hope of retreat. The allusion is to Julius Caesar and other generals, who burned their boats or ships when they invaded a foreign country, in order that their soldiers might feel that they must either conquer the country or die, as retreat would be impossible.

    To burn one's fingers.

    To suffer loss by speculation or interference. The allusion is to taking chestnuts from the fire.

    “He has been bolstering up these rotten iron—works. I told him he would burn his fingers.”— Mrs. Lynn Linton.

    You cannot burn the candle at both ends. You cannot do two opposite things at one and the same time; you cannot exhaust your energies in one direction, and yet reserve them unimpaired for something else. If you go to bed late you cannot get up early. You cannot eat your cake and have it too. You cannot serve God and Mammon. You cannot serve two masters. Poursuis deux lièvres, et les manques. (La Fontaine.) Simul sorbere ac flare non possum.

    We burn daylight. We waste time in talk instead of action. ( Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 1.)

    Burn

    a stream. A variant of bourn (Anglo—Saxon, burne, a brook, as in Winterbourne, Burnham, Swinburn, etc.).

    Burning Crown

    (A). A crown of red—hot iron set on the head of regicides.

    “He was adjudged

    To have his head seared with a burning crown.” Tragedy of Hoffmann. (1631.)

    Burnt

    The burnt child dreads the fire. Once caught, twice shy. “What! wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?”

    Burnt Candlemas Day

    Feb. 2, 1355—6, when Edward III. marched through the Lothians with fire and sword. He burnt to the ground Edinburgh and Haddington, and then retreated from want of provisions. The Scots call the period “Burnt Candlemas.” (See “Epochs of History,” England under the Plantagenets; and Macmillan's series, Little History of Scotland, edited by Prof. Freeman.)

    Bursa

    (a bull's hide). So the citadel of Carthage was called. The tale is that when Dido came to Africa she bought of the natives “as much land as could be encompassed by a bull's hide.” The agreement was made, and Dido cut the hide into thongs, so as to enclose a space sufficient for a citadel.

    The following is a similar story: The Yakutsks granted to the Russian explorers as much land as they could encompass with a cow's hide; but the Russians, cutting the hide into strips, obtained land enough for the port and town of Yakutsk.

    The Indians have a somewhat similar tradition. The fifth incarnation of Vishnu was in the form of a dwarf called Vamen. Vamen, presenting himself before the giant Baly, asked as a reward for services as much land as he could measure in three paces to build a hut on. Baly laughed at the request, and freely granted it. Whereupon the dwarf grew so prodigiously large that, with three paces, he strode over the whole world.

    (Sonnerat: Voyages, vol. i. p. 24.)

    Burst

    To inform against an accomplice. Slang variety of “split” (turn king's evidence, impeach). The person who does this splits or breaks up the whole concern.

    Bury the Hatchet

    Let by—gones be by—gones. The “Great Spirit” commanded the North American Indians, when they smoked the calumet or peacepipe, to bury their hatchet, scalping—knives, and war—clubs in the ground, that all thought of hostility might be buried out of sight.

    “It is much to be regretted that the American government, having brought the great war to a conclusion, did not bury the hatchet altogether.”— The Times.

    “Buried was the bloody hatchet;

    Buried was the dreadful war—club;

    Buried were all warlike weapons,

    And the war—cry was forgotten;

    Then was peace among the nations.”

    Longfellow: Hiawatha, xiii.

    Burying

    Cremation. The Parsees neither bury or burn their dead, because they will not defile the elements (fire and earth). So they carry their dead to the Tower of Silence, and leave the body there to be devoured by vultures. (See Nineteenth Century, October, 1893, p. 611.)

    Burying at Cross Roads

    (See Cross—Roads .)

    Bus

    A contraction of Omnibus. Of course, Omnibi, as a plural, though sometimes used, is quite absurd.

    Busby

    (A). A frizzled wig. Doctor Busby, master of Westminster school, did not wear a frizzled wig, but a close cap, somewhat like a Welsh wig. (See Wigs .)

    Busby The tall cap of a hussar, artillery—man, etc., which hangs from the top over the right shoulder.

    Bush

    One beats the bush, but another has the hare, i.e. one does the work, but another reaps the profit. The Latins said, Sic vos non vobis. The allusion is to beating the bush to start game. (See Beating .)

    Good wine needs no bush.

    A good article will make itself known without being puffed. The booths in fairs used to be dressed with ivy, to indicate that wine was sold there, ivy being sacred to Bacchus. An ivy—bush was once the common sign of taverns, and especially of private houses where beer or wine could be obtained by travellers. In France, a peasant who sells his vineyard has to put a green bush over his door.

    The proverb is Latin, and shows that the Romans introduced the custom into Europe. “Vino vendibili hedera non opus est" (Columella). It was also common to France. “Au vin qui se vend bien, il ne faut point de

    lierre.”

    “If it be true that good wine needs no bush, `tis true that a good play needs no prologue.” Shakespeare: As You Like It (Epilogue).

    To take to the bush.

    To become bushrangers, like runaway convicts who live by plunder. The bush in this case means what the Dutch call bosch, the uncleared land as opposed to towns and clearings.

    “Everything being much cheaper in Toronto than away in the bush.”— Geikie: Life in the Woods.

    Bushel

    To measure other people's corn by one's own bushel. To make oneself the standard of right and wrong; to appraise everything as it accords or disagrees with one's own habits of thought and preconceived opinions; to be extremely bigoted and self—opiniated.

    Under a bushel.

    Secretly; in order to hide it.

    “Do men light a candle and put it under a bushel?”— Matt. v. 15.

    Bushman

    (Dutch, Boschjesman). Natives of South Africa who live in the “bush”; the aborigines of the Cape; dwellers in the Australian “bush;” a bush farmer.

    “Bushmen ... are the only nomades in the country. They never cultivate the soil, nor rear any domestic animal save wretched dogs.”— Livingstone: Travels, chap. ii. p. 55.

    Bushrangers

    Escaped convicts who have taken refuge in the Australian “bush,” and subsist by plunder.

    “The bushrangers at first were absentees [i.e. escaped convicts] who were soon allured or driven to theft and violence. So early as 1808 they had, by systematic robbery, excited feelings of alarm.”— West: Tasmania.

    Business, Busy Saxon, bysgian, the verb, bysig (busy); Dutch, bezigen; German, besorgniss (care, management); sorge (care); Saxon, seogan (to see). From the German sorgen we get the French soigner (to look after something), soigne, and be—sogne (business, or that which is our care and concern), with be—soin (something looked after but not found, hence “want"); the Italian besognio (a beggar).

    Business To—morrow

    When the Spartans seized upon Thebes, they placed Archias over the garrison. Pelopidas, with eleven others, banded together to put Archias to the sword. A letter containing full details of the plot was given to the Spartan polemarch at the banquet table; but Archias thrust the letter under his cushion, saying, “Business tomorrow.” But long ere that sun arose he was numbered with the dead.

    Busirane

    (3 syl.). An enchanter bound by Britomart. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, book iii. 11, 12.)

    Busiris

    A king of Egypt, who used to immolate to the gods all strangers who set foot on his shores. Hercules was seized by him; and would have fallen a victim, but he broke his chain, and slew the inhospitable king.

    Busiris,

    according to Milton, is the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea.

    “Vex'd the Red—Sea coast, whose waves o'er—threw

    Busiris and his Memphian chivalry.”

    Paradise Lost,

    book i. 306, 307.

    Buskin

    Tragedy. The Greek tragic actors used to wear a sandal some two or three inches thick, to elevate their stature. To this sole was attached a very elegant buskin, and the whole was called cothurnus. (See Sock .)

    “Or what (though rare) of later age

    Ennobled hath the buskined stage.”

    Milton: Il Penseroso, 79, 80.

    Buss

    To kiss. (Welsh, bus, the human lip; Gaelic, bus, the mouth; French, baiser, a kiss.)

    “You towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,

    Must kiss their own feet.”

    Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida,

    iv. 5.

    Busterich

    A German god. His idol may still be seen at Sondershusa, the castle of Schwartzenburg.

    Busy as a Bee

    The equivalent Latin phrase is “Satagis tamquam mus in matella.” (See Similes .)

    Butcher

    The Butcher. Achmed Pasha was called djezzar (the butcher), and is said to have whipped off the heads of his seven wives. He is famous for his defence of Acre against Napoleon I.

    The Butcher.

    John, ninth lord Clifford, also called The Black, died 1461. The Bloody Butcher. The Duke of Cumberland, second son of George II. So called from his barbarities in suppressing the rebellion of the young Pretender.

    The Royalist Butcher.

    Blaise de Montluc, distinguished for his cruelties to the Protestants in the reign of Charles IX. of France (1502—1572).

    Butcher Boots

    The black boots worn en petite tenue in the hunting field.

    Butter

    Soft soap, soft solder (pron. saw—der), “wiping down" with winning words. Punch expressively calls it “the milk of human kindness churned into butter.” (Anglo—Saxon, butere or butyre, Latin, butyrum, Greek, boutyron, i.e. bou—turos, cow—cheese, as distinguished from goat— or ewe—butter.)

    Soft words butter no parsnips.

    Saying ” `Be thou fed,' will not feed a hungry man.” Mere words will not find

    salt to our porridge, or butter to our parsnips.

    “Fine words, says our homely old proverb, butter no parsnips.”— Lowell.

    He looks as if butter would not melt in his mouth. He looks like a dolt. He looks quite harmless and expressly made to be played upon. Yet beware, and “touch not a cat but a glove.”

    “She smiles and languishes, you'd think that butter would not melt in her mouth.”— Thackeray: Pendennis, ix.

    He knows on which side his bread is buttered.

    He knows his own interest. Scit uti foro. He that has good store of butter may lay it thick on his bread. Cui multum est piperis, etiam oleribus immiscet.

    To butter one's bread on both sides.

    To be wastefully extravagant and luxurious.

    Butter—fingers

    Said of a person who lets things fall out of his hand. His fingers are slippery, and things slip from them as if they were greased with butter. Often heard on the cricket field.

    “I never was a butter—fingers, though a bad batter.”— H. Kingsley.

    Butter—tooth

    (A). A wide front tooth. (See Buck—Tooth .)

    Buttered Ale

    A beverage made of ale or beer (without hops) mixed with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.

    Buttercups

    So called because they were once supposed to increase the butter of milk. No doubt those cows give the best milk that pasture in fields where buttercups abound, not because these flowers produce butter, but because they grow only on sound, dry, old pastures, which afford the best food. Miller, in his Gardener's Dictionary, says they were so called “under the notion that the yellow colour of butter is owing to these plants.”

    Butterflies

    in the cab trade, are those drivers who take to the occupation only in summer—time, and at the best of the season. At other times they follow some other occupation.

    “The feeling of the regular drivers against these `butterflies' is very strong.”— Nineteenth. Century (March, 1893, p. 177).

    Butterfly Kiss

    (A). A kiss with one's eyelashes, that is, stroking the cheek with one's eyelashes.

    Button

    A decoy in an auction— room; so called because he buttons or ties the unwary to bargains offered for sale. The button fastens or fixes what else would slip away.

    The button of the cap.

    The tip—top. Thus, in Hamlet, Guildenstern says: “On fortune's cap we are not the very button” (act ii. sc. 2), i.e. the most highly favoured. The button on the cap was a mark of honour. Thus, in China to the present hour, the first grade of literary honour is the privilege of adding a gold button to the cap, a custom adopted in several collegiate schools of England. This gives the expression quoted a further force. Also, the several grades of mandarins are distinguished by a different coloured button on the top of their cap.

    Button (of a foil).

    The piece of cork fixed to the end of a foil to protect the point and prevent injury in fencing.

    Buttons

    The two buttons on the back of a coat, in the fall of the back, are a survival of the buttons on the back of riding—coats and military frocks of the eighteenth century, occasionally used to button back the coat—tails.

    A boy in buttons. A page, whose jacket in front is remarkable for a display of small round buttons, as close as they can be inserted, from chin to waist.

    “The titter [tingle] of an electric bell brought a large fat buttons, with a stage effect of being dressed to look small.”— Howell: Hazard of New Fortunes, (vol. i. part i. chap. vii. p. 58).

    He has not all his buttons.

    He is half—silly; “not all there”; he is “a button short.” Dash my buttons. Here, “buttons” means lot or destiny, and “dash” is a euphemistic form of a more offensive word.

    The buttons come off the foils.

    Figuratively, the courtesies of controversy are neglected.

    “Familiarity with controversy ... will have accustomed him to the misadventures which arise when, as sometimes will happen in the heat of fence, the buttons come off the foils.”— Nineteenth Century (June, 1891, p. 925).

    `Tis in his buttons.

    He is destined to obtain the prize; he is the accepted lover. It is still common to hear boys count their buttons to know what trade they are to follow, whether they are to do a thing or not, and whether some favourite favours them. (See Bachelor.)

    “ `Tis in his buttons: he will carry't.”— Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 2.

    'Tis not in his buttons.

    'Tis not in his power, 'tis not in his lot.

    To have a soul above buttons.

    To be worthy of better things; to have abilities too good for one's present employment. This is explained by George Colman in Sylvester Daggerwood: “My father was an eminent

    button—maker ... but I had a soul above buttons ... and panted for a liberal profession.”

    To put into buttons.

    To dress a boy as a “page,” with a jacket full in the front with little buttons, generally metallic and very conspicuous.

    To take by the button.

    To detain one in conversation; to apprehend, as, “to take fortune by the button.” The allusion is to a custom, now discontinued, of holding a person by the button or button—hole in conversation.

    Button—hole

    To button—hole a person. To bore one with conversation. The French have the same locution: Serrer le bouton [á quel qu'un].

    “He went about button—holing and boring everyone.”— H. Kingsley: Mathilde.

    To take one down a button—hole. To take one down a peg; to lower one's conceit.

    “Better mind yerselves, or I'll take ye down a button—hole lower.”— Mrs. B. Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin, iv.

    Button—hole

    (A). A flower inserted in the button—hole of a coat.

    “In fine weather he [the driver of a hansom] will sport a button—hole— generally a dahlia, or some flower of that ilk.”— Nineteenth Century (March, 1893, p. 473).

    Buy in

    (To). To collect stock by purchase; to withhold the sale of something offered at auction, because the bidding has not reached the “reserve price.”

    Buy Off

    (To). To give a person money to drop a claim or put an end to contention, or to throw up a partnership.

    Buy Out

    (To). To redeem or ransom.

    “Not being able to buy out his life ...

    Dies ere the weary sun set.”

    Shakespeare: Comedy of Errors, i.2.

    Buy Over

    (To). To induce one by a bribe to renounce his claim; to gain over by bribery.

    To buy over a person's head.

    To outbid another.

    Buy Up

    (To). To purchase stock to such an amount as to obtain a virtual monopoly, and thus command the market; to make a corner, as “to buy up corn,” etc.

    Buying a Pig in a Poke

    (See Pig , etc.)

    Buzfuz

    (Serjeant). A driving, chaffing, masculine bar orator, who twists “Chops and Tomato Sauce” into a declaration of love. ( Dickens: Pickwick Papers.)

    Buzz

    Empty the bottle. A corruption of bouse (to drink).

    “In bousing a bout `twas his gift to excel

    And of all jolly topers he bore off the bell.”

    (See Boozy.)

    Buzz

    (A). A rumour, a whispered report.

    “Yes, that, on every dream,

    Each buzz, each fancy ...

    He may enguard his dotage.”

    Shakespeare: King Lear, i. 4.

    Buzzard

    (The) is meant for Dr. Burnett, whose figure was lusty.

    “The noble Buzzard ever pleased me best.”

    Dryden: Hind and Panter,

    part iii. 1121.

    Buzzard called hawk by courtesy.

    It is a euphemism— a brevet rank— a complimentary title.

    “Of small renown, 'tis true; for, not to lie,

    We call [your buzzard] “hawk” by courtesy.”

    Dryden: Hind and Panther, iii. 1122—3.

    Between hawk and buzzard.

    Not quite a lady or gentleman, nor quite a servant. Applied to tutors in private houses, bear—leaders, and other grown—up persons who are allowed to come down to dessert, but not to be guests at the dinner—table.

    By

    Meaning against. “I know nothing by myself, yet am I not thereby justified.” (1 Cor. iv. 4.)

    By—and—by

    now means a little time hence, but when the Bible was translated it meant instantly. “When persecution ariseth ... by—and—by he is offended” (Matt. xiii. 21); rendered in Mark iv. 17 by the word “immediately.” Our presently means in a little time hence, but in French présentement means now, directly. Thus in France we see, These apartments to be let presently, meaning now — a phrase which would in English signify by—and—by.

    Bygones

    Let bygones be bygones. Let old grievances be forgotten and never brought to mind.

    By—laws

    Local laws. From by, a borough. Properly, laws by a Town Council, and bearing only on the borough or company over which it has jurisdiction.

    By—road

    (A). Not a main road; a local road.

    By—the—by

    En passant, laterally connected with the main subject. “By—play” is side or secondary play; “By—lanes and streets” are those which branch out of the main thoroughfare. The first “by” means passing from one to another, as in the phrase “Day by day.” Thus “By—the—by” is passing from the main subject to a by or secondary one.

    By—the—way

    is an incidental remark thrown in, and tending the same way as the discourse itself.

    Byron

    The Polish Byron. Adam Mickiewicz (1798—1855).

    The Russian Byron.

    Alexander Sergeivitch Puschkin (1799—1837)

    Byrsa (See page 191, col. 1, Bursa .)

    Byzantine Art

    That symbolical system which was developed by the early Greek or Byzantine artists out of the Christian symbolism. Its chief features are the circle, dome, and round arch; and its chief symbols the lily, cross, vesica, and nimbus. St. Sophia, at Constantinople, and St. Mark, at Venice, are excellent examples.

    Byzantine Empire

    (The). The Eastern or Greek Empire from 395 to 1453.

    Byzantine Historians

    Certain Greek historians who lived under the Eastern empire between the sixth and fifteenth centuries. They may be divided into three groups:— (1) Those whose works form a continuous history of the Byzantine empire, from the fourth century to the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks; (2) general chroniclers who wrote histories of the world from the oldest period; and (3) writers on Roman antiquities, statistics, and customs.

    Byzantines

    (3 syl.). Coins of the Byzantine empire, generally called Besants.

    C

    C

    This letter is the outline of the hollow of the hand, and is called in Hebrew caph (the hollow of the hand).

    C.

    The French, c, when it is to be sounded like s, has a mark under it ; this mark is called a cedilla. (A diminutive of z; called zeta in Greek, ceda in Spanish.)

    C

    There is more than one poem written of which every word begins with C. For example: (1) One composed by HUEBALD in honour of Charles le Chauve. It is in Latin hexameters and runs to somewhat more than a hundred lines, the last two of which are

    “Conveniet claras claustris componere cannas

    Completur clarus carmen cantabile CALVIS.”

    (2) One by HAMCONIUS, called “Certamen catholicum cum Calvinistis.” (3) One by HENRY HARDER, of 100 lines in Latin, on “Cats,” entitled: “Canum cum Catis certamen carmine compositum currente calamo C. Catulli Caninii.” The first line is—

    “Cattorum canimus certamina clara canumque.”

    Cats' canine caterwauling contests chant.

    See

    M and P for other examples.

    Ca Ira

    (it will go). Called emphatically Le Carillon National of the French Revolution (1790). It went to the tune of the Carillon National, which Marie Antoinette was for ever strumming on her harpsichord.

    “Ca Ira”

    was the rallying cry borrowed by the Federalists from Dr. Franklin of America, who used to say, in reference to the American revolution, “Ah! ah! ca ira, ca ira!” ('twill be sure to do). The refrain of the carillon is—

    Ha! ha! It will speed, it will speed, it will speed! Resistance is vain, we are sure to succeed.

    Caaba

    (3 syl.). The shrine of Mecca, said by the Arabs to be built on the exact spot of the tabernacle let down from heaven at the prayer of repentant Adam. Adam had been a wanderer for 200 years, and here received pardon. The shrine was built, according to Arab tradition, by Ishmael, assisted by his father Abraham, who inserted in the walls a black stone “presented to him by the angel Gabriel.”

    Cab

    A contraction of cabriolet (a little caperer), a small carriage that scampers along like a kid.

    Cabal A junto or council of intriguers. One of the Ministries of Charles II. was called a cabal (1670), because the initial letters of its members formed this acrostic: Clifford, Ashley, B uckingham, Arlington, and

    Lauderdale. This accident may have popularised the word, but, without doubt, we borrowed it from the French cabale, “an intriguing faction,” and Hebrew cabala, “secret knowledge.” A junto is merely an assembly; Spanish, junta, a council. ( See Notarica; Tammany Ring .)

    “In dark cabals and mighty juntos met.”

    Thomson.

    “These ministers were emphatically called the Cabal, and they soon made the appellation so infamous that it has never since ... been used except as a term of reproach.”— Macaulay: England, vol. i. chap. ii. p. 165.

    Cabala

    The oral law of the Jews delivered down from father to son by word of mouth. Some of the rabbins say that the angel Raziel instructed Adam in it, the angel Japhiel instructed Shem, and the angel Zedekiel instructed Abraham; but the more usual belief is that God instructed Moses, and Moses his brother Aaron, and so on from age to age.

    N.B.— The promises held out by the cabala are: the abolition of sin and sickness, abundant provision of all things needful for our well—being during life, familiar intercourse with deity and angels, the gift of languages and prophecy, the power of transmuting metals, and also of working miracles.

    Cabalist

    A Jewish doctor who professed the study of the Cabala, a mysterious science said to have been delivered to the Jews by revelation, and transmitted by oral tradition. This science consisted mainly in understanding the combination of certain letters, words, and numbers, said to be significant.

    Cabalistic

    Mystic word—juggling. (See Cabalist .)

    Caballero

    A Spanish dance, grave and stately; so called from the ballad—music to which it was danced. The ballad begins—

    “Esta noche le mataron al caballero.”

    Cabbage

    It is said that no sort of food causes so much thirst as cabbage, especially that called colewort. Pausanias tells us it first sprang from the sweat of Jupiter, some drops of which fell on the earth. Coelius, Rhodiginus, Ovid, Suidas, and others repeat the same fable.

    “Some drops of sweat happening to light on the earth produced what mortals call cabbage.”—

    R. ibelais: Pantagruel, book iv. (Prologue).

    Cabbage

    (To). To filch. Sometimes a tailor is called “cabbage,” from his pilfering cloth given him to make up. Thus in Motteux's Rabelais, iv. 52, we read of “Poor Cabbage's hair.” (Old French, cabas, theft, verb cabasser; Dutch, kabassen; Swedish, grabba; Danish, griber, our grab,)

    “Your tailor, instead of shreds, cabbages whole yards of cloth.”— Arbuthnot's John Bull.

    Cabbage is also a common schoolboy term for a literary crib, or other petty theft.

    Cabinet Ministers

    The chief officers of state in whom the administrative government is vested. It contains the First Lord of the Treasury (the Premier), the Lord High Chancellor, Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, six Secretaries of State, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, President of the Board of Trade, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the President of the Board of Agriculture. The five Secretaries of State are those of the Home

    Department, Foreign Affairs, Colonies, War, India, and Chief—Secretary to the Lord—Lieutenant of Ireland. Sometimes other members of the Government are included, and sometimes one or two of the above left out of the Cabinet. These Ministers are privileged to consult the Sovereign in the private cabinet of the palace.

    Cabiri

    Mystic divinities worshipped in ancient Egypt, Phoenicia, Asia Minor, and Greece. They were inferior to the supreme gods, (Phoenician, kabir, powerful.)

    Cable's Length

    100 fathoms.

    Some think to avoid a difficulty by rendering Matthew xix. 24 “It is easier for a cable to go through the eye of a needle ...”, but the word is , and the whole force of the passage rests on the “impossibility” of the thing, as it is distinctly stated in Mark x. 24, “How hard is it for them that trust in [their] riches, epi toiz crhmasiu... “ It is impossible by the virtue of money or by bribes to enter the kingdom of heaven. (See page 205, col. 1, Camel.)

    Cabochon

    (En). Uncut, but only polished; applied to emeralds, rubies, and other precious stones. (French, cabochon.)

    Cachecope Bell

    A bell rung at funerals, when the pall was thrown over the coffin. (French, cache corps, cover over the body.)

    Cachet

    (pron. cahshay). Lettres de cachet (letters sealed). Under the old French régime, carte—blanche warrants, sealed with the king's seal, might be obtained for a consideration, and the person who held them might fill in any name. Sometimes the warrant was to set a prisoner at large, but it was more frequently for detention in the Bastille. During the administration of Cardinal Fleury 80,000 of these cachets were issued, the larger number being against the Jansenists. In the reigns of Louis XV. and XVI. fifty—nine were obtained against the one family of Mirabeau. This scandal was abolished January 15th, 1790.

    Cacodæ'mon

    An evil spirit. Astrologers give this name to the Twelfth House of Heaven, from which only evil prognostics proceed. (Greek, kakos daimon.)

    “Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,

    Thou cacodemon.”

    Shakespeare: Richard III.,

    i.3.

    Cacoethes

    (Greek). A “bad habit.”

    Cacoethes loquendi.

    A passion for making speeches or for talking.

    Cacoethes scribendi.

    The love of rushing into print; a mania for authorship.

    Cacus

    A famous robber, represented as three—headed, and vomiting flames. He lived in Italy, and was strangled by Hercules. Sancho Panza says of the Lord Rinaldô and his friends, “They are greater thieves than Cacus.” (Don Quixote.)