sesame* - the word used as a charm to open and shut the door of the robbers' den in the tale of 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'; hence, a magic password, something which acts like magic in obtaining admission.

to fit like a glove* - to fit or suit perfectly

shoehand - a shoemaking operative

Potemkin* - the name of Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin (1739-91), favourite of Empress Catherine II of Russia, used attrib. to designate the sham villages reputed to have been erected, on his orders, for Catherine's tour of the Crimea in 1787.

aged - having lived or existed long; of advanced age; old

crafty - skilful, dexterous, clever, ingenious; Of persons or their faculties, etc.: Skilful in devising and carrying out underhand or evil schemes; cunning, artful, wily.

mummified* - In senses of the verb

confessionary* - of or pertaining to confession

overinsure - to insure for more than the real value, to insure excessively

everlasting* - lasting for ever

accentuated - pronounced with or distinguished by accent, furnished with written accents; fig. Emphasized, strongly marked.

clop - to hobble (to move unsteadily up and down in riding, floating, etc.; to rise and fall on the surge, as a boat; to rock from side to side, to wabble).

wally - an unfashionable person; one who is foolish, inept, or ineffectual.

cardigan* - a knitted woollen over-waistcoat with or without sleeves (named from the Earl of Cardigan, distinguished in the Crimean war (1855.).

salut* - a toast: 'cheers!', 'good health!'

band - to join or form into a band or company; to unite, confederate, league


willowy - resembling a willow in its flexible or drooping gracefulness

drawly - of the nature of a drawl, characterized by drawling

paterfamilias* - the (male) head of a family or household

by home

booby - a dull, heavy, stupid fellow; a clown, a nincompoop

boo - a sound imitating the lowing of oxen; also used to express contempt, disapprobation, aversion.



in one's hair - bare-headed, without hat or wig; being a nuisance or encumbrance, in one's way.

rapin - In France: an apprentice in an artist's studio; an (unruly) art student


to get the wind up* - to become afraid, to get into a state of alarm or 'funk'


missus - wife; Used by servants (usually without article) in speaking of their mistresses.

brag - to vaunt, talk boastfully, boast oneself

agony - extreme bodily suffering, such as to produce writhing or throes of the body.

stays - a laced underbodice, stiffened by the insertion of strips of whale-bone (sometimes of metal or wood) worn by women to give shape and support to the figure.

sari - a long wrapping garment of cloth or silk, usually of a bright colour, worn by Hindu women; also, the material of which this is composed.

chemise - originally the under-garment, usually of linen, both of men and women, a shirt; but now restricted to that worn by females, formerly called 'smock' and 'shift'. 

blanck = blank - to blanch, to make white, whiten

keep up - to proceed at an equal pace with (lit. and fig.)


beeswax* - to rub or polish with bees-wax


hunky - in good condition, safe and sound, all right


tubtail - a farthingale or hooped skirt; one who wears this

fed to the teeth* - to be surfeited or disgusted (with), bored or tired to breaking-point;               chaps - the jaws as unitedly forming the mouth.

medical - a student or practitioner of medicine

birthright - right by birth; the rights, privileges, or possessions to which one is entitled by birth; inheritance, patrimony. (Specifically used of the special rights of the first-born.)

pang - a brief keen spasm of pain which appears suddenly to pierce or shoot through the body or any part of it; a shooting pain.


like forty* - with immense force or vigour, 'like anything'

fader - father (obs.)

hunch - to thrust out or up, or bend, so as to form a 'hunch' or hump; to compress, bend, or arch convexly.

howdy = how do ye - a message or salutation containing an inquiry as to the health of a person.

dowdy - shabbily dull in colour or appearance; without brightness, smartness, or freshness.

mountainy - belonging to or dwelling in the mountains

mot - a witty saying                                                                                                                                                              moss

plein = plain (obs.)

fain - gladness, joy




dorter - a sleeping-room, bed-chamber, dormitory; esp. that of a monastery                                                                   daughter

hushaby* - Hush! and go to sleep; a word used in lulling a child

lullaby - a song sung to children to soothe them to rest

formication - an abnormal sensation as of ants creeping over the skin;               fornication - voluntary sexual intercourse between a man (in restricted use, an unmarried man) and an unmarried woman. In Scripture extended to adultery. 

poor - in pl. sense (usually with the): poor people as a class


gory - covered with gore, stained with blood, bloody                                                                                                         glory


at a time - at one time; at one time and another, at various times, occasionally

puff - a name for various kinds of very light pastry or confectionery

durst* - pa. tense (and dial. pa. pple.) of dare (v.)

dorty - ill-humoured, pettish, sulky; saucy, haughty

dumpling* - a kind of pudding consisting of a mass of paste or dough, more or less globular in form, either plain and boiled, or inclosing fruit and boiled or baked.


wishful* - Of a person: Possessed by a wish for something specified or implied; wishing, desirous. 

lecture* - to deliver lectures to or before (an audience); to instruct by lecture.

caudal - of or belonging to the tail; situated in or near the tail

chesty - conceited and self-assertive; having one's chest thrust out as a sign of self-importance; Of a woman: having prominent breasts. 

moribund* - a person in a dying state