Finnegans Wake

muskrose* - (so called from its musky odour) a rambling rose (Rosa moschata), having large fragrant white flowers, in panicled clusters.


sweetrush - a marsh herb with long leaves

townland - in Ireland, A division of land of varying extent; also, a territorial division, a township.

witethorn - a hawthorn

figure* - to adorn or mark with figures, to embellish or ornament with a design or pattern.

maroon* - a large kind of sweet chestnut native to Southern Europe.

chiliad - 1000 years

perihelion* - that point in the orbit of a planet at which it is nearest to the sun.

brittle - to cut to pieces

teeth;         oath

oxman - a man who tends or drives oxen

firebug - arsonist, the fire-fly

throw up - to erect or construct hastily; to cease definitely to do, quit, give up.

jerrybuild - to build flimsily of materials of poor quality

button hole - the hole or slit through which a button passes, an opening like a buttonhole.

quadrille - to dance quadrilles (a square dance, of French origin, usually performed by four couples, and containing five sections or figures, each of which is a complete dance in itself).

whiff - a slight puff or gust of wind, a breath

waft* - to blow softly, to send through the air

Babel* - the city and tower, of which the attempted construction is described in Genesis xi, where the confusion of languages is said to have taken place; a confused assemblage.

thigging - begging

thug - gangster

houyhnhnm* - The name given by Swift in Gulliver's Travels to one of a race of beings described as horses endowed with reason and bearing rule over a degraded brutish race of men, called the Yahoos.

Sodom* - an extremely wicked or corrupt place. Freq. coupled with Gomorrah, the name of the other of the two wicked cities of the plain in Gen. xviii-xix.

comely - having a pleasing appearence

norgeln (d) - to grumble

thaw - to abandon aloofness, reserve or hostility, to become softened in feelings.

Sursum corda* - ( (l) sursum upwards + corda, pl. of cor hear) in Latin Eucharistic liturgies, the words addressed by the celebrant to the congregation at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer; in English rites, the corresponding versicle,'Lift up your hearts'.

sought - p. od seek

brune - dark, brown, black

piggy - a little pig, having attributes of pig

counter - to meet; to encounter or engage in combat.

hellish - infernal, diabolical, devilish;    hail fellow - an intimate or familiar associate, the state or footing of intimate friends.

fall upon* - to rush upon, assault

nowanights - on present nights

flora - the plants; in Latin mythology, the goddess of flowers; hence, in modern poetical language, the personification of nature's power in producing flowers.

faun - one of a class of rural deities; at first represented like men with horns and the tail of a goat, afterwards with goats' legs like the Satyrs, to whom they were assimilated in lustful character;                  fauna - a collective term applied to the animals.

cull - to gather, pluck

wilt - Of plants or their parts: To become limp or flaccid, through heat or drought.

whilst - while

marry - an exclamation of asseveration, surprise, etc.

in troth* - truly, verily, really, indeed

old as the hills* - very old;             howitz - cannon.

lave - leave

a while - for a (short or moderate) time

wheel barrow* - a barrow or shallow open box mounted between two shafts that receive the axle of a wheel at the front ends, the rear ends being shaped into handles and having legs on which it rests.

flipper - the fin of a fish

shimmy - to oscilate abnormally

in the name of - exp. of surprise

carl - a man of the common people, countryman, a base fellow.

kopje - a small hill (in south Africa)

pelt - to strip or pluck off (the pelt or skin) from, to skin, fleece.

thong - a narrow strip of hide or leather, for use as a lace, cord, band, strap, or the like.

forshapen - transformed, misshapen;          forshape - to metamorphose, transform.

pygmy - very small, diminutive, tiny.

hogshead* - a large cask or barrel; Applied to a person with allusion to the animal.


plod - a heavy tiring walk

hath - have

shin - the front part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle.

pectoral - something worn on the breast

pectoral muscles* - the muscles of the chest;            mamma - mother.

mousterian* - rel. to late paleolith period (70.000 - 30.000 B.C.)

slake - to lick with the tongue

nuncheon = luncheon - a slight repast taken between two of the ordinary meal-times.

brain pan - the skull


fief - a feudal estate                                                                                                       view

comestible* - eatable, edible;        stipple - to paint, engrave, or otherwise design in dots.

Saxon* - one of a Germanic people which in the early centuries of the Christian era dwelt in a region near the mouth of the Elbe, and of which one portion, distinguished as Anglo-Saxons conquered and occupied certain parts of South Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries, while the other, the Old Saxons remained in Germany.

junipery - abounding in junipers                                                                            January

ramping - violent, unrestrained

runriot* - to get out of control