A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Study Help Full Glossary

adieu French for "farewell."

alehouse a a place where ale is sold and served; tavern.

ambuscade ambush.

anathematize to denounce or curse.

apocryphal of doubtful authorship or authenticity; not genuine.

arm-chest a chest containing weapons.

Bacchanalian propensities a tendency toward drinking alcohol.

bank note a promissory note issued by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand and which can be used as money.

Barmecide room a room in which things are an illusion. Barmecide was a prince in the Arabian Nights who offered a beggar a feast and set an empty plate before him.

Bastille a state prison in Paris that held many prisoners indefinitely without trial; it was stormed and destroyed (1789) in the French Revolution: its destruction is commemorated on Bastille Day, July 14.

bear leader someone who lead a trained bear from place to place for money.

Beauvais a town in France north of Paris.

Bedlam the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, a London insane asylum, where Londoners went to watch the mentally unstable for entertainment.

blunderbusses muskets with a large bore and a broad, flaring muzzle, accurate only at close range.

box the driver's seat of a coach.

Calais a seaport in northern France, on the Strait of Dover; located across the English Channel from Dover.

cant word a term from the secret slang of beggars, thieves, and the like.

Carmagnole a dance popular during the French Revolution.

cataleptic having a condition in which consciousness and feeling seem to be temporarily lost and the muscles become rigid: the condition may occur in epilepsy, schizophrenia, and other such conditions.

catechist a person who teaches, especially the principles of a religion, by the method of questions and answers.

cavalier a gallant or courteous gentleman; originally, a knight.

certain movable framework that is, the guillotine.

chain of the shoe a chain beneath the carriage, attached to the brake.

chaise any of several kinds of lightweight carriage used for leisure, having two or four wheels and drawn by one or two horses. Some have a collapsible top.

Channel the English Channel.

choused cheated, swindled.

Christian name the baptismal name or given name, as distinguished from the surname or family name; first name.

claret a dry, red wine, especially red Bordeaux.

coach and six a coach drawn by six horses.

cocked-hat a three-cornered hat with a turned-up brim.

Cock-lane ghost a poltergeist phenomenon studied by Horace Walpole, Dr. Johnson, and Oliver Goldsmith. People greatly debated its authenticity.

cogitation serious, deep thought; meditation.

compatriot a fellow countryman.

Conciergerie a prison in the Palais de Justice where many prisoners sentenced to die by the guillotine spent their last days.

a congress of British subjects in America In January 1775, the American Continental Congress presented a petition of its grievances to the British Parliament.

Convulsionists members of a religious group with physical practices similar to the Shakers or the Holy Rollers.

crag a steep, rugged rock that rises above others or projects from a rock mass.

cravat a neckerchief or scarf.

cutlass a short, curving sword, originally used by sailors.

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During the day Jerry Cruncher is a porter for Tellson’s Bank. What is his occupation at night?




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