Finnegans Wake


Ostrogoth* - an East Goth; a name given to the division of the Teutonic race of the Goths which towards the end of the 5th c. conquered Italy, and in 493, under Theodoric, established a kingdom which continued till 555.

gag - to strangle, choke

Visigoth* - a West-Goth; A member of that branch of the Gothic race which entered Roman territory towards the end of the fourth century and subsequently established a kingdom in Spain, overthrown by the Moors in 711.

partisan - supporter, adherent

math - mathematics;        master - to get the better of, in any contest or struggle; to overcome or defeat.

catapelt = catapult - to hurl as from a catapult, to discharge a catapult

white boy* - a favored person, pet; agrarian association formed in 1761. in Ireland (against collection of tithes by landlords).

hoddie - a hooded gull

sod - Ireland; one who practices or commits sodomy

brood - offspring 

appeal* - to call one to defend himself (as by wager of battle); to challenge.

larm - alarm;     Larm (d) - noise.

appalling - frightful, horrifying

toll - payment, tax, duty

chance - that occurs or is by chance; happening to be such; casual, incidental. 

cuddle* - fondle;         cudgel - a short thick stick used as a weapon; a club.

cashel - the ancient circular wall found in Scotland and Ireland enclosing group of ecclesiastical buildings

air - ventilate, expose

ventilate - to shoot (someone or something) with a gun, usu. to kill. Also of a bullet: to make a hole in (something).




sprowl = sprawl - recline, lounge

fornication - sin, adultery 

hath - arhaic present 3d. sing of have

finespun* - elaborated to flimsiness, excessively subtle or refined;    fane - a flag, banner;     span - spread.

skysign - electric display sign on top of a building

what is it

where are

sewer - an artificial watercourse for draining marshy land and carrying off surface water into a river or the sea; an artificial channel or conduit, now usually covered and underground, for carrying off and discharging waste water and the refuse from houses and towns.

ald - old

peat - vegetable matter decomposed by water and partially carbonized by chemical change, often forming bogs or 'mosses' of large extent, whence it is dug out, and 'made' into peat.

ashes* - remains of what is burned


farce* - a dramatic work (usually short) which has for its sole object to excite laughter, something as ridiculous as a theatrical farce.

nunce = nonce;     for the nonce* - for the particular purpose; for the time being.

set down - described in books, recognized

secular - worldly, temporal, profane

phoenix* - a mythical bird, of gorgeous plumage, fabled to be the only one of its kind, and to live five or six hundred years in the Arabian desert, after which it burnt itself to ashes on a funeral pile of aromatic twigs ignited by the sun and fanned by its own wings, but only to emerge from its ashes with renewed youth, to live through another cycle of years                                                        finish

Bygmester Solness (1892; The Master Builder)* - drama by Henrik Ibsen.

stuttering - that stutters

freeman - one not a slave or vassal

Maurer (d) - mason, freemason

broadway* - a wide open road or highway, as opposed to a narrow lane or byway. From the former practice of treating it as a compound, it has often come to be the proper name of a street, as the Broadway in New York.

imaginable* - capable of being imagined; conceivable.

rushlight - a candle made of the pith of various rushes dipped in grease.

messuage - a dwelling-house with its outbuildings and curtilage and the adjacent land  assigned to its use;                                                                                                                   message

Joshua - old testament patriarch

Helvetic* - Helvetian (pertaining to the ancient Helvetii), Swiss;        helveticus (l) - Swiss.

deuteronomy - the name or title of the fifth book of the Pentateuch, which contains a repetition, with parenetic comments, of the Decalogue, and most of the laws contained in Exodus xxi-xxiii, and xxxiv.

yeasty - cons. of yeast; turbulent, ebullient, full of vitality                                      yesterday

sternly* - with sternness of temper, aspect, utterance, etc.; severely, harshly.

tete (fr) - head

wash;      watch

feature;         future


stook - to arrange in shocks                                                                                    took

evaporate* - to convert or turn into vapour

Jews;         Genesis - the first in order of the books of the Old Testament, containing the account of the creation of the world.

exodus - a mass departure

hod - an open receptacle for carrying mortar, and sometimes bricks or stones, to supply builders at work; also the quantity carried in it, a hodful.

edifice - building

toper - one who topes or drinks a great deal; a hard drinker; a drunkard.

thorp - vilage, hamlet

pile - to heap up

supra (l) - above, beyond

pon - upon

liver - one that lives, resident, a well to do person

so and so* - an unnamed person, an indefinite phrase (= such a thing, person, number,' etc.) used in place of a more lengthy statement, or as a substitute for an expression or name not exactly remembered or not requiring to be explicitly stated.

addle - to muddle, confound, spoil; to earn by labour, gain                                                  and

liddle = little

wifie* - little wife: used as a term of endearment for a wife

ugged - horrid, loathsome                                                                                                     had

craythur - creature

wither - shrivel, decay;                                                                                                  with her

hond - hand (obs.)

tuck up - the action or an act of tucking someone up in bed.

part - Theatr. a rôle.

ofttime* - many times; on many occasions, or in many cases; frequently, often.

bibulous* - addicted to drinking or tippling.

mithra* - a persian god of light;      mitre - a sacerdotal head-dress.

goodly - large, considerable

trowel - a tool consisting of a flat (or, less commonly, rounded) plate of metal or wood, of various shapes, attached to a short handle; used by masons, bricklayers, plasterers, and others for spreading, moulding, or smoothing mortar, cement, and the like.

grasp - a gripping or fast hold; the grip of the hand

overalls - trousers of strong material


fond - to entertain a fond or foolish affection for


multiplicable - capable of being multiplied

altitude* - height above the ground, or, strictly, above the level of the sea; height in the air.

multitude* - a great quantity of something (obs.), (pl.) great numbers, 'crowds'.

seesaw - to move up and down, alternate

nightlight* - the faint light which is perceptible during the night, a light which burns or shines during the night

liquor - alcohol

wherein* - in what, where

roundhead - round-headed (Of things which assume a rounded form towards the top or end).

staple = steeple (obs. rare.) - a tall tower; a building of great altitude in proportion to its length and breadth (obs.)

undressed* - fig. Inelegant, unkempt

upstand - to rise to a standing position


wallwort* - any of several plants that grow on or in walls;         waal = well;     
wellworthy - worthy in a high degree.

skyscraper* - a high building of many stories

eyeful - visually attractive

height* - the quality of being high

originate* - to take its origin or rise, to spring