Full Glossary for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
ablative singular the case that contains the ending of the object of the preposition.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam To the Greater Glory of God. This is the motto of the Jesuit order; students are usually instructed to place the initials A.M.D.G. at the tops of all their papers.
A.M.D.G. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God), the motto of the Jesuit order; Stephen and his fellow students were instructed to place the initials A.M.D.G. at the tops of all their school exercises and essays.
the anatomy theatre the room where anatomy was taught; usually a large room with seats in tiers.
an answer to the canon an answer to the clergy's condemnation of Parnell.
Ay bedad! Irish for "by God!"
beggars who importuned him for a lob beggars asking for only a small coin.
Billy with the lip William J. Walsh, archbishop of Dublin; he worked in league with Parnell for land reform but refused to give Parnell vocal or political support when the O'Shea scandal broke.
black twist coarse, black tobacco leaves twisted together.
the Blessed Sacrament the consecrated bread, or wafer.
boatbearer he who carries the container with the dry incense during mass.
Bonum est in quod tendit appetitus. The good is that toward which the appetite tends.
a bowl of beeftea a bowl of rich bouillon, or beef broth.
the boy who could sing a come-all-you The boy could sing popular pub songs.
The Bride of Lammermoor one of Sir Walter Scott's most popular historical romances.
The Calico Belly a satiric play on words. Julius Caesar wrote De Bello Gallico (The Gallic War), a work that is often taught in Latin classes.
camaun a piece of hurling equipment resembling a field hockey stick.
the catafalque a raised structure on which a corpse is laid out for viewing.
catechism a series of questions and answers containing the summing up and the key principles of Catholicism.
censer the vessel in which the incense is burned.
chasuble a sleeveless, outer garment worn by the priest who celebrates the mass.
the christian brothers The reference is to Dublin's Christian Brothers' School, an inexpensive day school for boys.
the ciborium the container for the consecrated wafers.
the clumsy scullion the clumsy kitchen servant.
condemned to death as a whiteboy Whiteboys were somewhat like eighteenth-century KKK members; they wore white garbs at night and threatened Protestant landlords who were raising rents inordinately.
the Confiteor I confess; a formalized prayer said at the beginning of the Roman Catholic Mass.
Contrahit orator, variant in carmine vates. A speaker concludes; poets vary in their rhymings.
Corpus Domini nostri the Body of our Lord; the words spoken before serving the Host, or wafer, during communion.
The Count of Monte Cristo a nineteenth-century novel about a handsome hero, Edmond Dantes, who is about to be married to his beautiful and beloved Mercedes when he is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned for fourteen years. He arranges a highly unlikely but melodramatically thrilling escape; then he unearths a treasure which finances several ingenious schemes of revenge on the men responsible for his imprisonment. The multiple allusions to Mercedes, Marseilles, sunny trellises, and moonlit gardens all refer to this novel.
Credo ut vos sanguinarius mendax estis . . . quia facies vostra monstrat ut vos in damno malo humore estis. I believe that you are a bloody liar . . . because your face looks as though you're in a damned bad mood.
the crimped surplices stiffly folded, white linen gowns worn over priests' cassocks.
Dante not Dante Alighieri. This is the nickname of the woman who is Stephen's nanny, or governess.
a dead mass a mass said for someone who has died.
did messages delivered messages.
do something for a cod do something for a joke.
doesn't go to bazaars Stephen doesn't go to large shops or flea markets selling unusually colorful and cheap, exotic items.
dominicans a Catholic order founded by St. Dominic for the purpose of saving souls by preaching the gospel.
don't spy on us another way of saying don't "peach" (or inform) on us.
drisheens a traditional Irish dish made of 1 pt. sheep's blood, 1 pt. milk, 1/2 pt. water, 1/2 pt. chopped mutton suet, 1 C. bread crumbs, salt, pepper, pinch of tansy, thyme leaves. The mixture is formed into a thick roll, tied tightly, and steamed for an hour. Good hot or chilled.
a drunken old harridan a drunken old hag.
Ego credo ut vita pauperum est simpliciter atrox, simpliciter sanguinarius atrox, in Liverpoolio. I believe that the life of the poor is simply atrocious, simply bloody atrocious, in Liverpool.
Ego habeo. I have.
ejaculation a short, sudden prayer or exclamation.
Emma The reference is to Emma Clery, the young girl to whom Stephen has written poems, much as Dante did to Beatrice.
Ennis, who had gone to the yard Ennis had gone to the school urinal.
Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes. And he sent forth his spirit among the unknown arts. — Ovid, Metamorphoses.
Et tu cum Jesu Galilaeo eras. And you were with Jesus the Galilean.
the fenian movement Inspired by the American Civil War, these Irish-Americans returned to Ireland to stage a revolt of their own. They were quickly and successfully put down.
a fierce old fireeater A "fireeater" is a person who likes to argue and fight.
the fire of the smoking turf Turf is the name of blocks of peat which are cut from Irish bogs and burned for fuel.
first place in elements first place in the various required classes — Latin, mathematics, literature, and so forth.
foxpapered discolored by age or mildew.
franciscans a Catholic order founded by St. Francis for the purpose of imitating Christ's life of asceticism, coupled with a deep love of nature. Today, the order is associated with learning.
gallnuts nutlike galls, or abnormal growths on trees.
gamecocks birds bred and especially fed for cock fighting.
gave him a cachou gave him a cashew mint; often used for disguising bad breath.
Gerhart Hauptman (1862-1946) a naturalist who treated serious subjects (such as alcoholism) in a raw, down-to-earth way.
getting up on the cars Competing with the railroads, these cars were long vehicles used for transport and were pulled by horses.
Go ahead, York! Go ahead, Lancaster! The class is divided into two teams, each representing one of the two families (Lancaster, red rose; York, white rose) that battled for the English throne during the 40-year War of the Roses (1445-85). Shakespeare's Henry VI, Parts 1,2,3 is set in this turbulent era and concerns its dynastic struggle for power.
Goethe (1749-1832) German playwright, poet, and novelist. His work is characterized by an interest in the natural, organic development of things, rather than in any dualistic schemes.
a good breath of ozone round the Head John and Simon have walked to Bray Head, a hill outside Bray, close to the sea.
grace the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God; the condition of being in God's favor.
grandnephew great-nephew; Uncle Charles is Stephen's great-uncle.
the green baize door The inner door is covered with soft, green woolen fabric.
a green velvet mantle A mantle is a loose, sleeveless cloak.
Guido Cavalcanti Dante's fellow poet and friend.
had not forgotten a whit He hadn't forgotten the tiniest detail about the incident.
had two brushes in her press had two brushes in her closet — in this case, an upright piece of furniture used to hold clothes.
the haha a sunken wall or barrier in a ditch, constructed to divide land without obstructing the landscape.
Hamilton Rowan an Irish Nationalist who escaped from his English captors and hid in Clongowes. He tossed his hat out to make the English believe that he had left the castle; the ruse was successful.
a hamper in the refectory a box, or basket of food in the dining hall that belongs to him; probably sent from home.
hanged upon a gibbet a strange, seemingly vernacular description of the Crucifixion; perhaps Father Arnall is using the phrase to impress upon the boys the fact that Christ was executed "like a common criminal."
he repeated the act of contrition Stephen is repeating the traditional prayer of repentent sinners, vowing nevermore to sin.
he was in the third of grammar He was an older student.
he was not in a wax He was not yet seethingly, passionately angry.
he was only a Dublin jakeen a snooty, lower-class Dubliner.
Heron salaamed Heron bent forward, in a low bow, his right palm on his forehead; this is an Arabic and Indian gesture of respect.
his angel guardian Every baptized Roman Catholic has a personal guardian angel.
his bally old play "bally" is a euphemism for "bloody," which has no equivalent in American English; a "bloody shame" could roughly be translated as a "damned shame."
his father's second moiety notices second half of the notices sent out in bankruptcy proceedings.
his feet resting on the toasted boss His feet are resting by the fireplace on a very low, warm stool which has ornamental "ears," or bosses.
his ghostly father the priest to whom he confesses.
his scribbler his notebook.
his stone of coal Irish unit of weight; 14 lbs.
hoardings board fence pasted up with lots of advertisements.
the hour for sums the hour for arithmetic, or mathematics.
how many ferulae you are to get A ferule is a metal-tipped cane or rod used to punish children. Here, it refers to how many times the students will be struck.
a hurling match a game combining elements of field hockey and rugby.
I know why they scut I know why they tried to escape. "Scut" is defined in the dictionary as the tail of a rabbit, held high while running. In America, the verb form "high-tail it" is similar in meaning to the verb "scut."
in a blue funk to be in a state of terror; in American slang, one could say that Father Arnall was trying to scare the boys out of their wits.
in a great bake another way of saying that someone is angry, or "hot under the collar."
in search of Mercedes The reference is to Edmond Dantes' beloved, the heroine of The Count of Monte Cristo.
in tanto discrimine in so many disputes or separations.
in the square in the school bathroom.
In vitam eternam. Amen. Into eternal life. So be it.
India mittit ebur India exports ivory.
Indian clubs bottle-shaped clubs used in gymnastics.
Inter ubera mea commorabitur part of Song of Solomon (1:13), rendered in Latin. The entire verse reads: "My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh that lies between my breasts." Traditionally the image suggests Christ's precious relation to the Church.
ipso facto obviously; as one can see; it speaks for itself.
the Ireland of Tone and Parnell The goal of these Irish Nationalists was self-rule, along with civil and religious toleration.
Ite, missa est words spoken at the end of the Mass, meaning "Go, the Mass is ended."
Kentish fire a mighty show of applause, often stamping the feet, as well.
the kettle would be on the hob The kettle would be on the shelf around the fireplace where families kept saucepans, teapots, matches, and so forth.
Kickham had greaves in his number Kickham had padded, protective shinguards in his locker, which was numbered for identification.
knotting his false sleeves Moonan is knotting two cloth streamers that are attached to the shoulders of the prefect's gown, or soutane.
L.D.S. Laus Deo Semper (Praise to God Always), another motto of the Jesuits; often placed at the top of the first page of a school exercise.
Laocoon an essay by Gotthold Lessing, which is also known by the title, "On the Limits of Painting and Poetry." This dissertation disputes former theories on the subject and establishes Lessing's own differentiation between art criticism and literary criticism.
the last tram Trams were horse-drawn streetcars.
legend Here, the word means a carved inscription or caption.
the liberator usually the "l" is capitalized. The term refers to Daniel O'Connell, who was, in 1775, Ireland's leading Catholic politician, advocating the right of Catholics to hold public office.
lights in the castle The "castle" refers to the complex that houses, among other things, the rector's quarters. The original castle, built in the medieval era, was destroyed in the seventeenth century and rebuilt. The Jesuits purchased it in 1814 and founded the prestigious Clongowes Wood College for boys.
like the long back of a tramhorse A tram was a horse-drawn passenger vehicle, much like a streetcar.
looked at him through a glass looked at him through a monocle, an eyeglass for one eye.
looked at himself in the pierglass A pierglass is a tall mirror which fills the space between two windows.
Lord Leitrim's coachman The reference here is to an Irish coachman who was more loyal to his English landlord than he was to his Irish compatriots who attempted to kill Lord Leitrim. A person who is labeled as "Lord Leitrim's coachman" would be a lackey, subservient to England and having no patriotism for Ireland.
Madam, I never eat muscatel grapes. Dantes (the Count of Monte Cristo) makes this statement to Mercedes; her son remarks that Dantes seems to have an Oriental code of honor — that is, he cannot eat or drink whatever is offered to him in his enemy's house. Because Mercedes married Dantes' rival, Fernand Mondego (alias Count de Morcerf), her house is technically the house of an enemy.
a magistrate a judge; to brag that one's father was a magistrate is to suggest that one is well-off, well-bred, and better than most.
the mark of the spade The potato has an incision where the shovel sliced into it.
Maurice Stephen's brother.
Michael Davitt Organizer of the land reform league. Much more of a political agitator than Parnell, Davitt served seven years in prison for attempting to send firearms into Ireland. He advocated nationalization of Irish lands and believed that Parnell was too moderate in his opposition to English rule.
moisty and watery about the dewlaps Dewlaps refer to the loose, wrinkled skin under the throat.
Mr. Fox the pseudonym used by Parnell when he wrote letters to Kitty O'Shea.
a muff someone who's awkward at sports; here, Stephen is using the term to describe his youthful naivete at Clongowes.
Mulier cantat. A woman is singing.
Munster Simon Dedalus' family home is in Cork, county of Munster, which was traditionally a political hotbed of deep national pride.
the national poet of Ireland Thomas Moore (1779-1852).
never to peach on a fellow never to tattle or inform on someone else.
a new emerald exercise The reference is to unlined notebooks, similar to today's bluebooks.
Nos ad manum ballum jocabimus. Let's go play handball.
not foxing not pretending.
not long before the chief died not long before Parnell died.
the noun mare mare is Latin for sea or ocean.
a novena a devotion consisting of prayers on nine consecutive days.
old Paul Cullen another Irish archbishop who was anti-nationalist.
the opening of the national theatre The production that night was The Countess Cathleen. The Catholics hated it, thought that it was blasphemous.
out with your bum expose your buttocks.
outhouse outdoor toilet.
Pange lingua gloriosi. Celebrate with a boastful tongue.
Paraclete another name for the Holy Ghost.
Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-91); Irish Nationalist leader. Fought for Home Rule; urged Irish Catholics to pay no rents to their Protestant landlords. His political career was brought to an end when his adultery with a married woman was made public.
the particular judgment This judgment occurs immediately following death; the Day of Final Judgment, the Last Judgment, occurs when Christ returns to earth and pronounces the final destiny for those who are still alive.
paten the metal plate on which the bread is placed for the celebration of the Eucharist.
paulo post futurum it's going to be a little later.
Pax super totum sanguinarium globum Peace through the whole bloody world.
Per aspera ad astra Through adversity to the stars. (After experiencing hardships, anything is possible; or, said another way, the sky's the limit!)
Per pax universalis For universal peace.
Pernobilis et pervetusta familia an illustrious and old family ancestry.
the pope's nose the triangular-shaped "tail" of a chicken or a turkey, where the tail fathers are attached.
the prefects teacher-supervisors; often senior pupils, as well, who are given authority to maintain discipline.
the press in the sacristy a closet (a large piece of furniture) in the room where the sacred vessels and vestments are kept.
provincial of the order head of a religious order in a province.
Pulcra sunt quae visa placent. A thing is beautiful if the apprehension of it pleases.
Pulcra sunt quae visa placent. That is beautiful which pleases one's sight; or, said another way, whatever pleases the observer is considered beautiful.
put on the oilsheet put on an oilcloth, a cotton fabric made waterproof with oil and pigment; often used for tablecloths.
the quarter of the jews This is a misleading phrase. Stephen has actually wandered into the brothel district of Dublin.
Quasi cedrus exalta sum . . . odoris. I was exalted just as the cedars of Lebanon and the cypress trees of Mount Zion. I was exalted just as the palms in Cadiz (Spain) and as the roses in Jericho. I was exalted just as the beautiful olives on the plains and the plane trees that grow alongside the streams. Just as I gave forth the strong fragrance of cinnamon and the balsam tree, I also gave forth the sweet fragrance of the choicest myrrh.
quays piers lying alongside or projecting into the water for loading or unloading ships.
Quis est in malo humore . . . ego aut vos? Which one [of us] is in a bad mood . . . I or you?
railway carriage railway car.
the rector in a black and gold cope A "cope" is a form of "cloak"; it is long and is worn in processions.
renegade catholics those Catholics who desert their faith.
risotto alla bergamasca a rice dish made with cheese and either a fish or chicken stock, prepared in the style of Bergamo, Italy.
rosary a series of prayers (usually said with rosary beads) consisting of 15 decades (a group of 10) of aves, each decade being preceded by a Paternoster and followed by a Gloria Patri. One of the mysteries or events in the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary is recalled at each decade.
the sailor's hornpipe a lively dance, usually done by one person; popular with sailors.
Saint Thomas Saint Thomas Aquinas; thirteenth-century monk, theologian, and philosopher. His works summarize all that is known about God by evidence of reasoning and faith and serve as the cornerstone of the Roman Catholic faith. Stephen develops his own aesthetic theory from the ideas of Aquinas and Aristotle.
the seawall a strong embankment to prevent the sea from coming up; a breakwater.
seawrack seaweed that has been cast up on shore.
seraphim the highest order of angels.
seventyseven to seventysix Stephen has 76 days until classes are dismissed for Christmas holidays.
Shelley's fragment the reference is to Shelley's unfinished poem "To the Moon."
She's ripping, isn't she? She's first-rate, splendid.
shortbread crisp, dry, buttery bars.
shoulder him into the square ditch shove him into the cesspool.
sick in your breadbasket sick at the stomach.
the sin of Simon Magus a magician who tried to persuade Peter and John to sell to him the power to confer the spirit of the Holy Ghost.
sinned mortally To commit a mortal sin, one must be fully aware that a sin is being committed; knowingly and willingly acting against the laws of God.
slim jim long strips of candy.
smugging perhaps a combination of "smuggling" (suggesting something done clandestinely) and "smug" (meaning, to "make pretty"); here, the term refers to the secret homosexual horseplay that five students were caught at, including Simon Moonan and "Lady" Boyle ("Tusker" Boyle).
Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary a religious association formed by the Jesuit order and based on Loyola's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Stephen is the administrative leader (prefect) of this organization, which performs charitable works and meets on Saturday mornings for prayers in honor of the Virgin Mary.
some maneens like myself "maneens" is a Irish diminutive of men; Simon is being overly humble, a bit self-deprecating here in order to be well-liked.
a spoiled nun a woman who, for whatever reason, has turned away from her calling to be a nun.
a stuff in the kisser a punch in the face.
sums and cuts The teacher has assigned the next problems to be done.
super spottum on this very spot.
surd an irrational number; the root of an integer.
Synopsis Philosophiae Scholasticae ad mentem divi Thomae Summary of the Philosophy and Academic Opinions of Saint Thomas.
The Tablet an ultra right-wing English Catholic paper.
Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis . . . Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. The times change us and we change in them . . . the times change and we change in them.
Terence Bellew MacManus When the body of the exiled MacManus was returned to Ireland for burial, church officials protested his burial in hallowed ground.
that's one sure five That's for sure; a top mark in billiards, using only one stroke.
that's the real Ally Daly That's a first-class turkey, the best!
there were two cocks There were two faucets — one marked "hot," the other "cold."
they are going to be flogged In this context, flogged refers to being whipped by a cane on the buttocks.
They drove in a jingle. A jingle is a covered, two-wheeled Irish vehicle.
they had fecked cash They had stolen cash.
they had stolen a monstrance In the Roman Catholic Church, a monstrance is a receptacle in which the consecrated host is exposed for adoration.
They were caught near the Hill of Lyons. "They" refers to five students.
Thoth the Egyptian god of wisdom and the inventor of the arts, sciences, and the system of hieroglyphics. The Greeks and Romans referred to him as the cunning communicator Hermes, or Mercury.
the three theological virtues faith, hope, and charity.
thurible a censer, where the incense is burned.
to redden my pipe to light it.
took their constitutional They regularly took a walk for health's sake.
a trail of bunting a trail of festive streamers.
the trinkets and the chainies geegaws, cheap jewelry, and china dishes.
the tub of guts up in Armagh Michael Logue, another archbishop who didn't, but probably could have, used his influence to dispel the general condemnation of Parnell. Reference is taken from Hamlet.
turned to the flyleaf turned to the blank page in the front of the book.
Turpin Hero the old English ballad from which Joyce derived the title of an unfinished narrative, Stephen Hero, which eventually became A Portrait.
twigging scraping a twig broom across a carpet.
two prints of butter two pats of butter with patterned marks, or "prints" on top.
upsetting her napkinring A napkin ring is a ring of china, metal, or wood that holds a folded napkin.
venial sin a minor sin, committed without full understanding of its seriousness or without full consent of the will.
the Vexilla Regis the royal or King's (standard) flag.
a villanelle a fixed nineteen-line form, originally a French invention, employing only two rhyming sounds and repeating the lines according to a set pattern. The finest villanelle in English is Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night."
visa any form of aesthetic apprehension of perception, such as sight or hearing.
Vive l'Irelande! Long live Ireland!
We can scut the whole hour. We have the next hour free.
Wells's seasoned hacking chestnut Wells's chestnut (used in a game); it has cracked (conquered) 40 others.
went over to the sideboard a piece of dining room furniture with shelves, doors, and drawers, used for holding tablecloths, linens, and silverware.
the Whitsuntide play refers to a play that is part of a ceremony commemorating Pentecost (the seventh Sunday after Easter).
with her feet on the fender with her feet on a low metal guard before an open fireplace; a fender is used to deflect popping, or falling coals.
You are McGlade's suck. You are McGlade's bootlicker, brown-noser, apple-polisher.
a young fenian a young man who rejects his nation's serf-like relationship to England, believing so fervently in Irish independence that he is ready to embrace terrorism. Often, bands of fenians hid out in the hills.