earmark - a mark in the ear of a sheep or other animal, serving as a sign of ownership; fig. A 'stamp', mark of ownership, identifying mark.

design - a preliminary sketch for a picture or other work of art, a delineation, pattern; the artistic idea as executed

put one's foot in it - to do or say something esp. unintentionally that distress or offends another person; to get into difficulties or trouble; to blunder + never put a tooth in it (Anglo-Irish phrase) - speak out clearly.

snoopery - the activity of snooping or prying; surreptitious investigation, spec. into another's private affairs + FDV: So in the present case cases which bears bear all the earmarks of a plot. [There is in fact no use putting a tooth on it a thing of that sort and the amount of that sort of thing which was going was simply stupendous.] 

day in day out - as each day comes in or begins, and goes out or closes; continually

Nacht (ger) - night + Tag (ger) - day + Nacht ist Tag (ger) - night is day.

promiscuous - indiscriminate in sexual relations

in rebus publicis (l) - in states, in republics; in public affairs

secular - having a period of enormous length, continuing through long ages + saeculorum sequentia (l) - the sequence or continuity of the centuries + per omnia saecula saeculorum (l) - for ever and ever. 

sequence - a continuous or connected series

stupendous - amazing, astounding; amazingly large or great

exultations - shouts of joy, joyful utterances

triumphant - that has achieved victory or success, conquering, victorious + Acrostic: FUTUETE! (l) - fuck! + (presented by).

resume - to go on again with (a discourse, discussion, remark, etc.)

inquiry - the action of seeking, esp. for truth, knowledge, or information concerning something; investigation, examination

postal union - an international agreement to observe uniform regulations governing international mail + (notebook 1924): 'postal union' → Gallois: La Poste et les Moyens de Communication 270: 'l'Union postale universelle' (French 'the International Postal Union') + Joyce's note, Eumeus: 'postman's strange fate'.

carrier - a bearer of a message, letter, etc.

Letters Scotch Ltd (notebook 1924)

Vercingetorix (d. 46) - Gallic chieftain who revolted against Julius Caesar  

hight (Archaic) - called

det er (Danish) - that is

losel - a worthless person, scoundrel, good-for-nothing

huck - intr. To higgle in trading, to haggle over a bargain; to chaffer, bargain + huck- (ger) - squat + hawks.

missive - a written message, a letter

gummy - gum-like, sticky, viscid + (postal stamps).

chain envelope - a business envelope that may be reused many times + chain mail - armor made of interlaced rings (esp. in use by Vikings).

divers - various, different + John O'Donovan on J.C. Mangan: 'One short poem of his exhibits seven different inks'.

blanch - white, argent + blanchissage (French) - laundry

lavender - the colour of lavender-flowers, a very pale blue with a trace of red + lavandière (French) - washerwoman.

pothook - an "S" shaped stroke in writing + pot, pan.

crook - a hook or bent iron on which anything is hung; a bending or curve, a convolution + hook, crook.

bespeak - to speak of, to indicate, give evidence of + spaking (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) - speaking.

washerwife - washerwoman, laundress

superscribe - to write (a name or address) upon a letter; to write one's name at the head of a document: opposed to subscribe + FDV: Next morning postman handed him a letter superscribed to Humphy Pot and Gallows King. + LDV: Next morning the postman handed in a letter superscribed to Humpty, Pot and gallows king.  

subscribe - to put oneself down as so-and-so, at the foot of a letter or other document + pencil - to write with pencil.

laughable - that may be laughed at

afterward + after-wit (Archaic) - wisdom after the event, hindsight + After (ger) - anus.

S.A.G. (St Anthony Guide), written on an envelope carries a letter safely through the mails. 

hyde = hide; name of the evil personality assumed by Dr. Jekyll in R. L. Stevenson's story, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886): used allusively in reference to the evil side of a person's character + hide and seek - applied to action in which one person or thing evades or appears to evade another.

Edenberry, County Offaly + Edinburgh.

WC - water closet; the west central postal district of London

Lappish - of or pertaining to the Lapps or their language + lapsus linguae (l) - a slip of the tongue.

inburst - a bursting in, irruption

Magyar - of or pertaining to the Magyars, or to the language of the Magyars + Maggy/Madge/Majesty (The Letter).

Siamese twins - two male natives of Siam, Chang and Eng (1811-1874), who were united by a tubular band in the region of the waist. Hence gen., any pair of twins physically united by their tissues.

twixt - between

stern - the hind part of a ship or boat + Swift/Sterne (motif).

swift - one of a pair of shrouds, fixed above the other shrouds, for swifting or stiffening a mast

Jolly Roger - the pirate's flag (white skull and crossbones over a black field)

bright - to make bright, illumine

plunge - immerse, submerge, enter into some state or course suddenly or unexpectely

plight - undertaking (of a risk or obligation), pledge (under risk of forfeiture), engagement

Percy French: Are Ye Right There Michael (song): 'You may talk of Columbus's sailing / Across the Atlantical sea, / But he never tried to go railing / From Ennis as far as Kilkee... Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right? / Do you think that we'll be there before it's light? / Oh, it's all depending whether, / The oul' engine holds together, / But it might now, Michael, / So it might!'

cox - coxswain (the person on board ship having permanent charge of a boat and its crew, of which he has command unless a superior officer is present) + cock

Hahn (ger) - cock, rooster + Madame Blavatsky, well-known 19th century spiritualist, née Hahn-Hahn or von Hahn was married twice (for short periods of time) without actually divorcing her first husband (from whom she escaped) in between.

poke one's nose - to poke or pry into something, esp. the matter which does not properly concern one

Owenkeagh river, County Cork (from Irish Abhainn Caoch: Blind River) + Kevin.

Kurbis (ger) - pumpkin + Kyrgyz or Kirghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan. Genetically it is most closely related to Altay and more distantly so to Kazakh.

pouch - a mail-bag

litter - odds and ends, fragments and leavings lying about, rubbish

lurk - to remain furtively or unobserved about one spot, to live in concealment or retirement

dormant - sleeping, lying asleep or as asleep, inactive as in sleep

paunch - the stomach


herm - a statue in the form of a square stone pillar surmounted by a bust or head usually of the god Hermes (very common in ancient Greece, where they were used as pillars, sign-posts, mile-stones, etc.)

pillarbox - a hollow pillar about five feet high, erected in a public place, containing a letter-box or receptacle for posting letters

FDV: This fender coffin, mistaken for a fender, had been removed from hardware premises a noted house of the east which as an ordinary everyday transaction supply funeral requisites of all descriptions. (Here Caracciolo & Nelson)

illusionist - one who produces illusions; spec. a conjuror or sleight-of-hand performer + (notebook 1923): 'triumph of printer's art'.

blench - a turning of the eyes aside, a side glance (rare.) + at first hand - at the beginning, at the first stage.

Jubal and Tubal Cain - Jubal was "father of all such as handle the harp and organ"; Tubal was "instructor of every artificer in brass and iron" (Genesis, 4.) Their brother Jabal was father of those who live in tents and have cattle. 

handwarp - a kind of cloth + hard work

distinguish + tris- (l) - thrice + Tristan.

juba (l) - mane + Genesis 4:20: (Lamech, Cain's descendant, had three sons) 'Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle... Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ... Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron'.

hardware - small ware or goods of metal, ironmongery

premise - the place of business of an enterprise or institution

OETZMANN AND CO - Cabinet makers and house furnishers, 60-61 Grafton Street. 

noted - distinguished, famous

gone west - dead + LDV: The coffin, at first sight mistaken for a fender, had been removed from hardware premises, a noted house of the middle east which, as an ordinary everyday transaction, supplied funeral requisites of every description.

rattenkahl (ger) - quite bare

oscar - money, cash

flash - dashing, staggering, swell

lily - white or fair as a lily, lily-white