Finnegans Wake

infancy - the condition of being an infant; the earliest period of human life, early childhood.

tearsheet - a sheet torn from a publication (or, later, separately printed and unbound) to be sent to an advertiser whose advertisement appears on it as proof of insertion; also one containing an article.

wring - to twist the body in struggling or striving; to struggle with or strive against something; to contend, labour, or endeavour earnestly.

hister - a sort of beetle                                                                                              sister

nip - to snatch, catch, seize or take smartly.

paly - pale, or somewhat pale

red cock - a male of red grouse; a euphemism for fire maliciously raised.

flacker - flutter

hillock* - a little hill.

witter - to chatter or mutter, to grumble

wicked - a wicked person

twy - two, twice

poss - to dash or toss with a blow, to knock, an act of possing; post.

her majesty* - the Queen

aforethought - premeditated, previously in mind.

Lilliput* - the name of an imaginary country in Gulliver's Travels (1726), peopled by pygmies six inches high. Used attrib.= diminutive.

no man's land* - a place of uncertianity or danger e.g. where normal rules do not exist;             woemen = woman.

blather* - to talk foolishly, talk nonsense, to cry loudly, to blubber.

atter - poison, venom, bitterness                                                                              after

domb = dumb

St. Laurence's day* - 10 August

starshooting - jocularly used with reference to taking the altitude of stars.

lark - a frolicsome adventure, a spree                                                                 classical

monitrix - a female monitor (one who admonishes or gives advice or warning to another as to his conduct).


mansion house* - a house of the lord of a manor, a large imposing residence.

lace - a cord, line, string, thread, or tie (obs.)

time;     third time is charm.

hurricane - a violent rush or commotion bringing with it destruction or confusion; a storm or tempest of words, noise, cheers, etc.

pantry - a room or apartment in a house, etc., in which bread and other provisions are kept.

watercloth - ? a dish cloth

rogue - to act like a rogue

poghuing (Ir) - kissing

knave - a boy or lad employed as a servant (obs.); rogue, rascal

paltry - refuse, rubbish, trash; anything worthless.

second infancy - the state of childishness incident to extreme old age.

blank - white, colourless.

twinkling - sparkling, glittering

archway* - the arched entrance to a castle, etc.

acoming - coming to, reaching

fork - a flash (of forked lightning)                                                                            first

lance - a weapon, consisting of a long wooden shaft and an iron or steel head.

hip hop - with hopping movement, whit successive hops

handicap* - any race or competition in which the chances of the competitors are sought to be equalized by giving an advantage to the less efficient or imposing a disadvantage upon the more efficient.

ginger - a light sandy color

civic - of, pertaining, or proper to citizens.


buff - military attire (for which buff (wild ox) was formerly much used); a military coat made of buff.

hem - to edge or border (a garment or cloth), to decorate with a border.

Balbriggan* - the name of a town in Ireland, applied attrib. to a knitted cotton fabric manufactured there, used in hose, underwear, etc.

socks and gloves

breeks - breeches

catgut* - a tough cord

bandoleer* - a broad belt, worn over the shoulder and across the breast used by soldiers; orig. it helped to support the musket, and had also attached twelve little cases, each containing a charge for the musket.