Claudian letters were developed by, and named after, the Roman Emperor Claudius (reigned 41–54), who studied Etruscan and was the last person known to have been able to read it). He introduced three new letters: antisigma (easily mistaken for X by later writers), a turned F or digamma, and a half H PICTURE.

worthwile - being worth the time spent

thorought - everywhere in, in every part of

papyrus - an ancient manuscript or document written on papyrus

revise - Typog. A revised or corrected form of proof-sheet; a further proof submitted by the printer after having made the required corrections, alterations, or additions + insertion mark F frequent in Finnegans Wake manuscripts.

stalk - to walk cautiously or furtively, to pursue (as game) stealthily and often under cover for the purpose or killing

broods = 3d. sing of brood - to ponder, think anxiously or moodily upon.

verbiage - abundance of words without necessity or without much meaning; excessive wordiness + foliage.

gaunt - abnormally lean, as from hunger; haggard-looking; tall, thin, and angular in appearance

diapered - having the surface or ground diversified and adorned with a diaper (lines crossing diamond-wise) pattern + Joyce's note: 'diaper' Sullivan, The Book of Kells 39: 'Diaper work is occasionally introduced to brighten small spaces lying between the larger designs'.

window - a transparent panel on envelope, through which the contents can be seen + Sullivan: The Book of Kells 39: 'the fret pattern, which is employed in a considerable number of forms as a filling for panels in both borders and initials'.

margin - the space on a page between the extreme edge and the main body of written or printed matter, often partly taken up with notes, references, illuminations, or the like.

basque - the continuation, formerly of a doublet or waistcoat, now only of a lady's bodice, slightly below the waist, forming a kind of short skirt + basket.

byleaf - dried leaf of laurel (used in cooking)

aflutter - in a flutter, agitated

fling - to throw, cast, toss, hurl

inhibit - to have inner hinderance to conduct or activity + Joyce's note: 'inhibited' Crépieux-Jamin: Les Éléments de l'Écriture des Canailles 188: 'inhibition and its graphological expressions'.

shoestring - a string or tie used to fasten or lace a shoe

= [letter] S (cyrilic C) reversed; a critical mark placed in a MS before a verse which is to be transposed; antisigma (gr) + Sullivan, The Book of Kells 10: 'The symbol... known in Irish MSS. as "head under the wing" or "turn under the path"... indicates that the words immediately following it are to be read after the end of the next full line'.

protoparent - forefather

ipsissima verba - the precise words used by a writer or speaker

nondescript - something not hitherto described + (notebook 1924): 'nondescript ferntail' Sullivan, The Book of Kells 41: 'Thus a branch of foliage is frequently seen to evolve from between the open jaws of a nondescript, while at the same time the tail of the beast presents the appearance of a trefoil or lance-shaped leaf'. 

arbutus - deep pink to purplish pink color + (notebook 1924): 'arbutus caithne 2 years Cainapple' Freeman's Journal 9 Jan 1924, 8/5: 'By the Way': 'The arbutus tree is now displaying its beauty in its native districts of Cork and Kerry... The tree is one of Nature's curiosities, yielding leaf, flower, and fruit at the same time. "Caithne," its Irish name, suggests two years old, and may have reference to the fact that the fruit takes two years to develop... The "Cainapple," as it is termed locally, has not a very palatable taste'.

paleographer - an archeologist skilled in paleography (study of ancient handwriting and the practice of deciphering and reading historical manuscripts)

leak - to let (water, etc.) in or out through a leak

thatch - straw or similar material with which roofs are covered

James Joyce: The Mirage of the Fisherman of Aran: 'He... wears a big black hat with a wide brim'.

whispering (Joyce's note) + {man from Arran whispering through a hole in his hat}

ARAN ISLANDS - Islands off Galway Bay: Inishmor, Inishmaan, Inisheer.

keen - to utter the keen, or Irish lamentation for the dead; to wail or lament bitterly

kin - kindred, related

high pitched - of high pitch acoustically, of lofty tone or character

distorted - twisted out of shape + when Irish is written in Roman characters, the dot placed above a letter to indicate aspiration is removed and an extra 'h' is added.

aich - "H"

droll - unintentionally amusing; queer, quaint, odd

jaywalk - to cross a street carelessly or at an inappropriate place + (notebook 1922-23): 'jaywalker' + "J".

eye - the enclosed space in the letters d, e, o, etc. + "J" and "I" interchangeable in Latin.

plough - to furrow as by ploughing; to gash, tear up

halve - half

principial - initial, primary, original, standing at the beginning

medial - middle; (of a letter, etc.) occurring in the middle of a word + in Arabic, the shape of a letter varies according to its initial, medial, final, or isolated position within the word.

jim - a pound, a pound note; name of Arabic letter "J" + jimjams - delirium tremens; fidgets (Slang) + James Joyce.

sahib - sir, master + Ranji ("Jam Sahib") - Rajput cricketer, played for England, made over 3,000 runs. 

pipless - having no pips, seedless

threadworm - a worm of threadlike form, parasitic in the human rectum, chiefly in children

frank - not practising concealment; ingenuous, open, sincere

capricious - guided by whim or fancy rather than by judgement or settled purpose

underlining (also called underscore) - one or more horizontal lines immediately below a portion of writing, originally used in hand-written or typewritten documents to emphasise text + FDV: the innocent exhibitionism of those capricious underlinings,  

serpentine - something (as a line) that winds sinuously; a representation of a serpent esp. as a symbol or an ornament + Sullivan, The Book of Kells 56: 'The frequently recurring presence of serpentine forms all through the decorations of the manuscript has given rise to the suggestion that these forms are in some way connected with the worship of ophidian reptiles'.

banish - to expel, dismiss imperatively

frequent + FDV: [those exotic serpentines [since] properly banished from our scriptures, [the toomuchness and toomanyness of its four legged ems,]] the penelopean patience of the paraphe tailed by a leaping lasso — who thus at this marvelling will not go press on to see the feminine vaulting ambition sex libido of those interbranching sex upsweeps up&insweeps continually sternly controlled and led easily repersuaded by the uniform udeviating course matter of factness of a cold meandering male fist.

waterhead - a body of water kept at a height for supplying a mill, etc.; the height of such a body of water, or the force of its fall (estimated in terms of the pressure on a unit of area). Sometimes, the bank or dam by which such water is kept up + Wetter (ger) - weather.

righthead - rightness + righthanded - having the right hand or arm stronger or more useful than the left.

don - to dress (a person) in a garment; refl. to dress oneself + (fair lady on a cockhorse).

cockhorse - something (as an adult’s knee or a hobbyhorse) on which a child may sit astride as if on a horse + 'Ride a Cock Horse, to Banbury Cross, See a fair lady, upon a white horse' (nursery rhyme).

insolence - impertinently insulting behaviour

morosity - the quality or state of being excessively sullen or gloomy

uncoil - to unwind, to take out of a coiled state

spirally - in a spiral manner + Joyce's note: 'spiral' → Sullivan: The Book of Kells 1: 'the clean, unwavering sweep of rounded spiral; the creeping undulations of serpentine forms that writhe in artistic profusion through the mazes of its decorations'.

lacertine - resembling a lizard, lizardlike + Joyce's note: 'lacertine' → Sullivan: The Book of Kells 21: 'The entire composition forms one of the most striking instances of lacertine convolution and colour to be found in the volume'.

pressure (Joyce's note) Crépieux-Jamin: Les Éléments de l'Écriture des Canailles 188: 'Energy manifests itself in writing by the quickness of the movements and the pressure of the hand'.

ungainly - awkward, clumsy, ungraceful

sculpt - to create by shaping stone or wood or any other hard material, to sculpture

selfsounding - sounding by itself, creating its own sound + lit. Selbslaut (ger) - vowel (literally 'self-sounder').

black art - the art of performing supernatural acts by intercourse with the spirits of the dead or with the devil himself, magic, necromancy + ARTS: writing, music, painting, sculpture, black arts.

podatus - the tenor in medieval choral music; in Gregorian chant, a figure indicating that a single syllable is to be sung as two notes, the lower first

dumbfounder = dumbfound - to strike dumb; to confound, confuse; to nonplus.

uproarious - characterized by uproar, noisy + opera, aria + arioso - a lyrical manner of setting a text in an opera, cantata or oratorio.

cannons + canon, fugue. 

skelter - to dash along, hurry, rush, scurry + fugue - a polyphonic composition constructed on one or more short subjects or themes, which are harmonized according to the laws of counterpoint, and introduced from time to time with various contrapuntal devices + subterfuge - something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity.

studious - giving careful attention, heedful + Sullivan, The Book of Kells 27: (of the unknown date of The Book of Kells) 'the page that should have told its story is unfortunately no longer there').

copyst - someone employed to make written copies of documents and manuscripts

grasp - to become completely cognizant of or acquainted with, to comprehend

restraint - the act of controlling by restraining someone or something, a rule or condition that limits freedom

lubricous - slippery, smooth, oily; characterized by lust, salacious or lecherous

conjugation - the action of joining together or uniting + The Letter: the last of the first + (last sentence of Finnegans Wake joins first).

mate - to join suitably with; to associate, couple; to copulate, engage in sexual intercourse

gravediggers (William Shakespeare: Hamlet) + William Shakespeare: Hamlet I.2.180-181: 'The funeral bak'd meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables'.

secondbest - one that is below or after the best + Shakespeare left Anne his second-best bed by inserting sentence in draft of will + (Shakespearean adultery).

bun - a sort of cake + beds; puns.

interpolation - to alter or enlarge (a book or writing) by insertion of new matter; esp. to tamper with by making insertions which create false impressions as to the date or character of the work in question.

Butterbrot (ger) - piece of buttered bread + Jarl van Hoother + Howth.

cod[ex] (l) - book made of bound pages (not a scroll): abbreviation used in scholarly textual studies

pap[yrus] (l) - a papyrus MS: abbreviation used in scholarly textual studies + pap (Dutch) - porridge.

brek[fast], lun[ch], dinn[er], sup[per] - imitations of abbreviations used in scholarly textual studies

Battle of Boyne, 1690

scholiast - one who writes explanatory notes upon an author; esp. an ancient commentator upon a classical writer

hungrily - in the manner of someone who is very hungry

mishear - to hear wrongly

deadman - corpse; baker (Slang

toller - a person who rings church bells + toll

muffin bell - a bell rung by a seller of muffins + (notebook 1924): 'muffinbell'.