Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Study Help Full Glossary

Ablutions a washing of the body.

Accoucheur policeman an Accoucheur was a male midwife or an obstetrical doctor. Because Pip's sister always acts as if Pip had insisted on being born, she treats him like a criminal. Pip concludes that as he were an offender at birth, he was delivered to his sister by an obstetrical policeman.

Adamantine unyielding, firm, adamant about something. Pip adamantly refuses to answer his sister's questions when he returns from his first visit to Miss Havisham's.

ague a chill or fit of shivering, often caused by malaria with its intermittent fevers.

all otherth ith Cag-Maggerth cagmag is garbage, like rotting flesh, and this comment indicates that the speaker considers all other lawyers useless compared to Jaggers.

antipodes that is, through a trapdoor.

apostrophising the fowl the British spelling of the word "apostrophizing," which means the addressing of someone or something, as in a speech or play. Pumblechook is speaking to the chicken that he is about to eat, about Pip's good fortune.

bad courtier A courtier, originally an attendant at a royal court, refers here to someone who is adept at using flattery to get something or to win favor. Herbert's father is a bad courtier with Miss Havisham in that he does not flatter her but speaks the truth whether she likes it or not.

bagatelle board a slanted oblong table that was raised at one end and used to play a nineteenth century version of pinball with a wooden ball, a wooden cue, and numbered holes.

Bartholomew Close a narrow street near Bartholomew Church in the Smithfield area.

Battery a nearby fort or gun emplacement.

being insured in some extraordinary Fire Office at that time, fire insurance companies put plaques on the buildings they insured. They also had their own fire engine companies. When the fire companies were racing to a fire, the emblem on the building let them know if it was one of their buildings to save.

black gaiters cloth or leather coverings for the insteps and ankles, and, sometimes, the calves of the legs; also, spats or leggings.

boot-jack a device to grip a boot heel, for helping a person to pull off boots.

Bounceable Here, Wemmick is talking to one of the plaster face casts and saying what a boaster and liar that client was.

bower a place enclosed by overhanging boughs of trees or by vines on a trellis.

bowsprit a large, tapered spar extending forward from the bow of a sailing vessel, to which stays for the masts are secured.

Bow-street men from London; extinct red waistcoated police there were two groups — the Bow Street Runners and the Bow Street Patrol. The latter wore red uniforms, worked as patrols in London, and were often confused with the former. The Runners were plainclothes detectives in London who often went out into the provinces to investigate serious crimes.

Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better a proverb meaning that silence is better than boasting.

brazen bijou, a roasting-jack the first is a brass ring that holds the second, a device to turn a joint of meat on a spit over an open fire.

bread-poultice, baize, rope-yarn, and hearthstone these references apply to the convicts that rode with Pip to the Hulks. Bread-poultice was bread soaked in hot water, put in cloth, and applied to bruises and swellings. Baize was a cheap, thick wool cloth probably used for prison clothes. Rope-yarn refers to the fact that prisoners were often put to work unraveling old rope. Hearthstone refers to stone broken up to use to whiten doorsteps and hearthstones.

Bridewells and Lock-Ups prisons.

Britannia metal cheap silverware made of tin and antimony and marked with an image of Britannia.

brought up by hand to spoon- or bottle-feed, rather than breast-feed.

Cain or the Wandering Jew Pip describes Orlick as a skulking, evil sort of person. He associates Orlick's appearance and mannerisms with the Bible character Cain, a fugitive and vagabond after killing his brother Abel, and with the Wandering Jew, a legendary medieval character who wandered the earth as punishment for his cruelty to Christ.

came of age the age of majority. Pip is now considered an adult.

capacious dumb-waiter a piece of furniture with shelves to hold sauces, silverware, and other items for dinner.

capstan an apparatus around which cables or hawsers are wound for hoisting anchors, lifting weights, and so on.

cast was made in Newgate This term refers to the plaster face casts in Jaggers office, which were the death masks of two of his clients made right after they were hanged. These masks were often made after executions and sold to willing buyers.

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Miss Havisham’s is obsessed with which event from the past?




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