Study Help Full Glossary for Tess of the d'Urbervilles


Aeschylean phrase "President of the Immortals" translates a phrase from Prometheus Bound (1.169), by Aeschylus; Hardy finishes the novel by suggesting that the highest power in the universe uses human beings for "sport."

Aholah and Aholibah two sisters who were prostitutes: Ezekiel predicts that not only they but their children will be punished (Ezekiel 23).

Aldebaran or Sirius two of the brightest stars in the sky.

almanack (dialect) almanac.

And she shall follow after her lover . . . from Hosea 2:7.

Antinomian a believer in the Christian doctrine that faith alone, not obedience to the moral law, is necessary for salvation.

antiquity the quality of being ancient or old.

Apostolic Charity Charity as described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

apostrophizing addressing words to a person or thing, whether absent or present, generally in an exclamatory digression in a speech or literary writing.

apple-booth apple blossom.

Artemis, Demeter goddesses associated with chastity, but the former also connected with hunting and both understood in the early anthropology of Hardy's time as fertility goddesses.

Article Four the fourth of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England asserts the literal resurrection of Christ from the dead.

as Hamlet puts it from Hamlet 2.2.351.

Atalanta's race Atalanta was a Grecian huntress who refused to marry any suitor who could not outrun her; the penalty for those who lost was death.

autochthonous characteristic of any of the earliest known inhabitants of a place.

Babylon ancient city noted for wealth, luxury, and wickedness.

Bachelor-apostle St. Paul; Alec is echoing Luke 9:62.

baily in England, a steward or manager of a farm or estate.

Ballyragging bullying, intimidating, or browbeating.

banns the proclamation, generally made in church on three successive Sundays, of an intended marriage.

barton barnyard.

beatific making blissful or blessed.

Being reviled we bless… 1 Corinthians 4:12-13.

bizarrerie something strange, weird, singular, odd (French).

black-puddings dark sausages made with meat and seasoned blood.

cadaverous of or like a cadaver; esp., pale, ghastly, or gaunt and haggard.

Calvinistic doctrine reference to the teachings of John Calvin (1509-1564), Swiss Protestant theologian, who emphasized salvation through God's grace.

capricious subject to caprices; tending to change abruptly and without apparent reason; erratic; flighty.

carking [Archaic] worrying or being worried or anxious.

Caroline date the seventeenth century, during the reign of Charles I (reigned 1625-49) or Charles II (reigned 1660-85).

Centurions the commanding officers of an ancient Roman century.

Cerealia celebration in honor of Ceres, Roman goddess of the harvest.

Champaigns plains; level open country.

Chapels-of-Ease chapels for parishioners who lived far from the church.

éclat brilliant or conspicuous success; dazzling display.

clipsed or colled (dialect) embraced.

clipsing and colling hugging (dialect).

Clogged like a dripping pan reference to a pan, used for roasting, in which the drippings of fat have been allowed to congeal.

Conjecturally being inferred, theorized, or predicted from incomplete or uncertain evidence.

contravene to go against; oppose; conflict with; violate; to disagree with in argument; contradict.

convenances social conventions (from French).

copy-holders people who hold land by copyhold.

copyholders persons who hold land by copyhold; here, possessors of the land at the will of the lord of the manor, who, by custom, normally allowed tenants to stay for longer than the life of the original tenant.

Cornelia wife of Scipio Africanus the Younger (second cen. B.C.), who devoted herself to raising her twelve children and refused offers of marriage after she was widowed (Enc. Britannica, 7:167).

cowcumber (dialect) cucumber.

Crivelli's dead Christus probably the Pietà by the fifteenth-century Italian painter, Carlo Crivelli (c. 1430-1495), in the National Gallery in London.

crumby an attractive girl.

Cubit's Cupid's.

cumbrous cumbersome.

Cybele the Many-breasted Phrygian fertility goddess who, in the form of a mother with many breasts, symbolizes nature.

Cyprian image the goddess of love in an ancient world, Venus and Aphrodite, was associated with Cyprus, but the legend mentioned has not been convincingly identified.

dand (dialect) a bit more.

dandyism the condition of being or qualities of a dandy, a man who pays too much attention to his clothes and appearance.

Dapes inemptae "unpurchased banquet" (Latin); refers to the dairyman's self-sufficiency in producing food.

Deal box a fir or pine board of any of several sizes; fir or pinewood.

deferential very respectful.

delirium tremens violent delirium resulting chiefly from excessive drinking of alcoholic liquor and characterized by sweating, trembling, anxiety, and frightening hallucinations.

Deparked removed from their status as a park, that is, an area preserved for hunting by the aristocracy through royal decree.

deprecated expressed disapproval of; depreciated; belittled.

desultory passing from one thing to another in an aimless way; disconnected; not methodical.

diment diamond (dialect).

dimity a thin, corded or patterned cotton cloth.

dolorifuge (archaic usage) painful, full or sorrow.

Druidical mistletoe to the Druids, mistletoe was sacred.

dust and ashes Job 42:6.

dust to ashes from Job 42:6.

dusty death a phrase from Macbeth 5.5.23.

early Italian conception of the two Marys` because of their weepings and pensive looks, they resemble painted representations from the Renaissance of Mary, the mother of Christ, and Mary Magdalen after the death of Jesus.

enervating depriving of strength, force, vigor, etc.; weakening physically, mentally, or morally.

Equinoctial occurring at or about the time of an equinox.

Ethiopic hot, African-like scorching of the farmland and pasture.

exaction an excessive demand; extortion; an exacted fee, tax.

expostulate to reason with a person earnestly, objecting to that person's actions or intentions; remonstrate (with).

Faeces feces, excrement.

fagged to have worked hard and become very tired; [Brit. Informal] to have served as a servant.

fancy-man .a man supported by a woman; esp., a pimp; here, a sweetheart (slang).

Faustina wife of Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius, she was reputed to be unfaithful.

Felloes rims of a spoked wheel, or segments of the rim.

fess pleased (dialect).

fiat an order issued by legal authority, usually beginning with fiat (let it be done); decree.

flummery meaningless flattery or silly talk.

Friar Lawrence from Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Scene 6, Line 9).

from St. Luke refers to Luke 12:20.

from the Dictionnaire Philosophique to Huxley's Essays The Dictionnaire is a collection of essays published in the eighteenth century by Voltaire, who was antagonistic to Christianity; Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), a respected scientist and supporter of Darwinian theory, published many essays, including Essays on Some Controverted Questions (1892).

gaffer a foreman of a group of workers.

Giotto's 'Two Apostles' Hardy probably had in mind the fresco in the National Gallery in London that is now attributed to Spinello Aretino (active 1371-1410).

Gnomic texts gnomic means wise and pithy; full of aphorisms; here, a reference to texts that express general truths in a wise manner.

a good thing could come out of Nazareth John 1:46.

Good-hussif (dialect) good housewife.

grapes of Ephraim from Judges 8:1-3.

green malt on the floor the expression refers to pregnancy before marriage.

guindée stiff, stilted, formal (French).

habiliments clothing; dress; attire.

haggler/higgler a dealer who travels from place to place selling wares or goods, such as fruit.

Hagrode (dialect) ridden by witches, troubled by nightmares.

handkercher (dialect) handkerchief.

Heliolatries religions in which the sun is worshipped.

her Antinous . . . a favorite of the Roman Emperor Hadrian; like Apollo, the Greek god of sun and of music, Antinous was a figure of male beauty.

her mother's ballad of the mystic robe from "The Boy and the Mantle," in which a robe betrays Queen Guenever, the wife of King Arthur.

Hodge a familiar term for an agricultural laborer in England; shortened form of Roger.

hogshead a large barrel or cask holding from 63 to 140 gallons (238 to 530 liters)

Holmberry a holly bush.

Hontish (dialect) haughty.

How are the mighty fallen from 2 Samuel 1:19.

Hymenaeus and Alexander in this sentence Alec is echoing Paul in 1 Timothy 1:18-20, where he mentions these figures as examples of those who have lost faith.

I worshipped on the mountains . . . from 2 Kings 17-23.

impressibility the state of being impressed or impressionable.

Integer Vitae phrase from Roman poet Horace is in an ode translated in the lines quoted as "upright life."

integument a natural outer covering of the body or of a plant, including skin, shell, hide, husk, or rind.

interlocutor a person taking part in a conversation or dialogue.

Ixionian wheel in Greek mythology, Ixion's eternal punishment was to be bound to a revolving wheel of fire.

Jeremy Taylor's thought reference to The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying (1651) by Jeremy Taylor, a seventeenth-century Anglican divine.

Jints (dialect) joints or hip/knee joints.

kex (dialect) a dry, hollow plant stem.

land of Canaan the Promised Land.

larry commotion, disturbance (dialect).

leads milk pans made of lead.

less Byronic than Shelleyan less passionate than spiritual in inclination.

license written permission from a bishop in place of a banns.

like the moves of a chess player death is sometimes represented as a chess player.

limed caught with birdlime; here, Abraham is compared to a bird ensnared in bird-lime.

lineaments the features of the body, usually of the face, esp. with regard to their outlines.

Liviers lifeholders, that is, tenants whose lease ran the length of a specified number of lifetimes; by contrast, a freeholder's heirs could retain his lease in perpetuity.

Lotis . . . Priapus Priapus, another lustful god, pursued Lotis, who was turned into a lotus flower.

Lucretia or Lucrece, wife of Collantius, known for her virtue, who killed herself after being raped by Lucius Tarquinius.

M. Sully-Prudhomme French poet and essayist (1839 — 1907).

Magdalene Mary Magdalene was a fallen woman. Christ's appearance to her after his Resurrection occurs in Mark 16.

Malthusian of Malthus and his theory that the world population tends to increase faster than the food supply with inevitable disastrous results unless natural restrictions, such as war, famine, and disease, reduce the population or the increase is checked by moral restraint.

Mampus crowd (dialect).

man of Uz Job.

Marble term a post that marks the boundary, often in the shape of a pillar topped with a head and torso.

Market-niche the amount of alcohol that he would normally drink on a market day.

mien a way of carrying and conducting oneself; manner.

milchers animals that give milk.

mistarshers (dialect) mustache.

mommet (dialect) a term of abuse or contempt.

Mommet a term of abuse or contempt (dialect).

My soul chooseth strangling . . . Job 7:15-16.

nammet-time (dialect) time for a snack at mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

nater nature (dialect).

Nature's holy plan from Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring" (line 22).

Nazarene Jesus, from John 14:27.

niaseries nonsense, foolish thought (from French).

night-rail a loose dressing-jacket or dressing gown.

nott cows (dialect) cows without horns.

nymphs minor nature goddesses, represented as young and beautiful and living in rivers, mountains, or trees.

O foolish Galatians . . . from Galatians 3:1.

off-license without a license; here, Rolliver's is not licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

old double chant 'Langdon' a chant in the Anglican Church double the normal length, in this case named after the English composer, Robert Langdon (1730-1803).

Old Lady Day April 6, date used to set the beginning or ending of employment.

Old Style days the time before 1752 when Great Britain replaced the Julian Calendar, old-style dating, with Gregorian, or new-style dating.

Oliver Grumble's Oliver Cromwell['s].

Olympian shapes the shapes of the Greek gods, who lived on Mount Olympus.

one deserving to be stoned from John 8:3-11, instead of encouraging stoning, Jesus forgives a woman brought to him as an adulteress by the Scribes and Pharisees.

Ostium sepulchri . . . Door of the tomb of the ancient family of d'Urberville (Latin).

ostler (dialect) hosteler.

outhouse a building separate from but near a main building. In nineteenth-century British usage, outhouse probably does not refer to a privy.

Pagan Moralist Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 A.D.), Roman emperor and stoic philosopher.

Pan Greek god with legs, ears, and horns of a goat, noted for his lust.

pantheistic relating to pantheism, the doctrine that God is not a personality, but that all laws, forces, manifestations, etc. of the universe are God; the belief that God and the universe are one and the same.

parlous perilous; dangerous; risky.

Partie carree party of four, from French.

Pattens elevated, wooden soled shoes, often used for walking in mud and sometimes outfitted with an iron ring that can clink.

pellucid transparent or translucent; clear; easy to understand.

penitential expressing penitence for having sinned or done other wrong and willing to atone.

penury lack of money, property, or necessities; extreme poverty; destitution.

percipience a perceiving, esp. keenly or readily.

perdition the loss of the soul; damnation; hell.

pernicious causing great injury, destruction, or ruin; fatal; deadly; [Rare] wicked; evil.

Peter the Great Peter I (1672-1725); czar of Russia (1682-1725). Before becoming Emperor of Russia, Peter studied shipbuilding.

Petite mort shudder or chill; a premonition of death; a "little death" (French).

phlegmatic hard to rouse to action; sluggish; dull; apathetic; calm; cool; stolid.

phlegmatic hard to rouse to action; specif., sluggish; dull; apathetic; calm; cool; stolid.

Phryne Athenian courtesan who was the model and lover of Praxiteles, the sculptor.

pillar of a cloud from Exodus 13:21.

pinner (dialect) a pinafore or apron with a bib.

plim swell (dialect).

Plutonic master Pluto, or Hades, god of the underworld, had the power to condemn people to hell.

pollarded for bows had their boughs severed to make bows.

poppet [Obs.] a doll, or puppet.

Praxitlean creation like the work of Praxiteles, Greek sculptor of the fourth century B.C. known for his sensual statues.

premonitory giving previous warning or notice.

pricked or ducked references to ordeals used to identify witches, either by pricking them to see if they were insensitive or bled less than normal, or by ducking them to see if they sank (a sign of innocence) or floated (a sign of guilt).

Primum mobile the outermost sphere of the world in Ptolemaic cosmography, which caused the movement of the heavens (Latin).

proclivity a natural or habitual tendency or inclination, esp. toward something discreditable.

prophet on the top of Peor Balaam, who refused to curse the Israelites, Numbers 23-24.

prophet's gourd from Jonah 4:5-10, a gourd springs up overnight to give shade to Jonah.

propinquity nearness in time or place.

prudish like or characteristic of a prude; too modest or proper.

psalter a version of the Psalms for use in religious services; here, Tess is thinking of the psalm that is part of the "Invitatory and Psalter" of the Daily Morning Prayer in The Book of Common Prayer.

publican in Britain, any owner or proprietor of a pub.

Publicans and Sinners . . . Scribes and Pharisees they were biased in favor of those who had fallen.

pummy ground apples used in making cider.

quadrille a square dance of French origin, consisting of several figures, performed by four couples.

quagmire a difficult or inextricable position; here, referring to the difficulties caused by the loss of Prince, the Durbeyfield horse.

Queen of Sheba queen who visited King Solomon to investigate his reputed wisdom: 1 Kings 10:1-13; here, a reference to the Queen's dispirited feeling after she experiences the wisdom and wealth of Solomon (1 Kings 10:3-5).

rafted disturbed, unsettled (dialect).

reconnoitre to make a reconnaissance; alternate spelling of reconnoiter.

redemptive theolatry the worship of a god that promises redemption, as in Christianity.

reed-drawing preparing straw to be used as thatching material.

Revised Code reference to the Education Department's Revised Codes of 1862 and 1867, which linked the funding for schools to their size and to student performance on standardized assessment examinations.

Robert South English divine and minister (1634-1716).

satyrs in classical mythology, minor woodland deities having the head and trunk of a man and the hind legs of a goat, and as being fond of riotous merriment and lechery.

self-immolation suicide, usually by burning oneself in a public place; deliberate self-sacrifice.

Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7.

servants of corruption from 2 Peter 2:19-20.

the seven thunders from Revelation 10:3-4.

shine on the just and the unjust alike an echo of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:45).

Sigh gratis act or feel without expecting reward; from Hamlet (Act II, Scene 2, Line 323).

Sileni plural form of Silenus, a satyr and follower of Bacchus.

sin, the world and the devil a reference to "the world, the flesh, and the devil," traditional temptations to sin mentioned in The Book of Common Prayer (Anglican Church).

Sins of the fathers Exodus 20:5: "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."

Sixth Standard in the National School the highest level available in school supported by government funds run by the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church. The first schools were established in 1811.

Skein a quantity of thread or yarn wound in a coil; something like this, as a coil of hair.

some mutely Miltonic, some potentially Cromwellian an allusion to Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (lines 59-60).

somnambulistic getting up and moving about in a trance-like state while asleep.

springe [Now Rare] a snare consisting of a noose attached to something under tension, as a bent tree branch.

Stale (dialect) to urinate.

stave a set of verses, or lines, of a song or poem; stanza.

stile a vertical piece in a panel or frame, as of a door or window.

Stodded waggon (dialect) a wagon that is stuck.

Stopt-diapason note suggests Tess' voice, which, like an organ with stops, or tuned sets of pipes, is characterized by a full range of harmonious sound.

a stranger in a strange land in Exodus 2:22, Moses in Egypt refers to himself as a stranger in a strange land.

Stubbard-tree a kind of apple tree.

Stupefaction stunned amazement or utter bewilderment.

summut (dialect) somewhat.

sumple supple (dialect).

Superincumbent lying or resting on something else.

supernumerary that exceeds or is beyond the regular or prescribed number; extra.

supervened came or happened as something extraneous or unexpected; to take place; ensued.

swede-hacking a swede is a Swedish turnip, or rutabaga.

Syrinx Syrinx was pursued by Pan, but the gods turned her into a reed, from which Pan made his pipe.

taciturnity the condition of being silent or uncommunicative.

Take, O take those lips away from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (Act I, Scene 1, Line 1).

tale told by an idiot from Macbeth 5.5.26-27.

teave (dialect) work or struggle.

Temple of the Winds also known as the "tower of the winds," a temple in Athens used for telling time.

texes (dialect) texts.

that scene of Milton's scene from Paradise Lost, and the passage quoted (Book IX:626-631) is spoken by Eve to Satan in the form of a serpent.

Thermidorean weather here, warm summer months; Thermidor is a reference to the month from July 19 to August 17 in the French calendar, instituted in 1793 after the Revolution.

thimble-riggers cheaters or swindlers.

thirtover (dialect) thwart-over, meaning perverse.

those who are true… list of virtues comes from Paul; Philippians 4:8.

thought of Pascal's translated it means: "To the same degree as one has intelligence, one notices that many individuals possess distinctive qualities. People of an ordinary kind do not notice the differences between individuals." From the Pensees of Blaise Pascal (1602-1674), French philosopher and mathematician.

Tishbite Elijah, who in 1 Kings 18 mocks the god worshipped by the priests of Baal.

to take Orders to become an ordained minister.

Tole (dialect) to entice.

Tophet a place mentioned in the Bible where children were burned; it became identified in Judaism with an underworld where wickedness was punished after death; a synonym for hell that came into Middle English from Hebrew.

Touchwood dried, decayed wood or dried fungus used as tinder.

Traceried having ornamental work of interlacing or branching lines, as in a Gothic window, some kinds of embroidery, etc.

Tractarian derived from the Oxford Movement, which favored a return to early Catholic doctrines in the Church of England.

tranters (dialect) carriers; hawkers.

treacle molasses.

trencher-woman a woman who eats much and heartily

Trilithon a monument consisting of two upright megaliths with a third stone serving as the lintel.

Tuscan saint a reference to the images typical of Florentine art during the Renaissance.

The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife . . . in 1 Corinthians, 7:13-14, Paul advises wives not to leave husbands who lack belief.

Uncribbed, uncabined after murdering Banquo, in Macbeth (3.4.24-25), Macbeth refers to himself as "cabined, cribbed, confined."

Valley of Humiliation from Part I (1678) and Part II (1684) of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.

vamp trudge, tramp, walk (dialect).

van Alsoot or Sallaert Seventeenth century Flemish painters of village life.

Van Beers Jan Van Beers (1852-1927), Flemish painter frequently compared to Wiertz.

van common carrier, usually a cart pulled by horses, which travels from town to town.

vicissitudes unpredictable changes or variations that keep occurring in life, fortune, etc.; shifting circumstances; ups and downs.

vlee fly; a one-horse hackney-carriage (dialect).

Vulpine slyness of or like a fox or foxes; clever, cunning.

Weltlust desire for worldly things and pleasures (German).

which alters when it alteration finds from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

Whickered (dialect) snickered, giggled, tittered.

white pillar of a cloud from Exodus 13:21.

Whitsun Holidays the time around the seventh Sunday after Easter, Whitsuntide or Whit Sunday. Club-walking and other festivities were held in parishes at Whitsuntide.

wicket a small door or gate, esp. one set in or near a larger door or gate.

Wiertz Museum museum in Brussels containing the macabre works of the Flemish painter Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865).

wife of Uriah Bathsheba, whom King David committed adultery with and then married after sending Uriah to his death on battle, from 2 Samuel 11.

witch of Babylon from Revelation 17, there are references to the Whore of Babylon.

Withy-bed stand of willows.

wold old (dialect).

Women's club-walking A procession by the members of a local club or clubs: esp. the annual festival of a benefit club or friendly society.

the world, the flesh, nor the devil traditional temptations to sin mentioned in The Book of Common Prayer.

the wrath to come an echo of Matthew 3:7.

wrings cheese processes.

wroppers (dialect) wrappers.

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