Glossary and Notes
ABHORRENCE - The act or state of hating
ADZ - An axlike tool used to carve wood.
ANNO DOMINI OF THEIR CONSTRUCTION -
The year it was made ("Anno Domini" is usually abbreviated
APPREHEND - Understand.
BAGAMON - Unknown. The presence of a table
could suggest this is a backgammon table, but such an item would
be a rare luxury in a house like this.
BASON - A drinking vessel, usually made
BESTIR - To become active.
BOWEL - In this case, Carter is using an
old (and now seldom used) meaning of the word: a sense of pity or
BUSHWHACKER - A person accustomed
to beating about or making his way through bushes; a backwoodsman.
CAPITALISTS - Those who invest money,
or "capital," in business.
CHINTZ - A form of cotton worn by the working
CHURL - A rude person.
COLD STILL - Equipment for distilling
CONSERVATOR - Keeper.
CONTEMPTIBLE - Deserving to be despised
or hated; worthless.
COSSAC - Cossack; Eastern European.
CROSSCUT SAW - A special saw used
to cut across the grain of wood.
CURRY KNIFE - A currier's knife; a
two-handled knife used to strip away bark or an animal's hide.
DAME - Woman.
DANIEL BOONE - A description for a
brave and adventurous person; so named after American frontiersman
Daniel Boone (1734-1820), who traveled through the Cumberland Gap
to and guided settlers into Kentucky.
DEBAUCHERY - Immoral behavior.
DECORUM - Proper behavior.
DILAPIDATIONS - Run-down features.
DENIZENS - Residents.
DIPLOMA - Display.
EDIFICE - Building.
ENTHRALLED - Under a spell.
EX TEMPORE - A Latin phrase, meaning
"without preparation" or "improvised."
EXPLOITS - Deeds or acts, especially
notable or heroic acts.
FARE - Food.
FODDER - Livestock food, usually corn stalks
FOLLY - A foolish act or idea; lacking good
FOWLINGPIECE - A shotgun used to
GALLIGASKINS - Loose breeches, extending
just below the knee.
GLISTENING WITH PEWTER PLATES - Paulding
is joking here. Pewter is a dull metal that does not shine. He is
referring to the pride these people take in their humble belongings.
HOMESPUN - Simple; made at home.
IMPERTINENCE - Irrelevant; not important.
IMPUTED - Caused by.
INTERSTICES - Small spaces between
JUSTIFICATIONS - Reasons or excuses.
LIBERAL - Wide.
LICENSES - Excuses.
LINSEYWOOLSEY - A rough, thick fabric
made of cotton or linen and wool that was worn by working classes
LOOKING GLASS - Mirror.
LOOM - A frame or machine used to weave cloth.
LUCRE - Money.
MYNHEER VAN SCHIMMELPENNICK, OR VANDER SCHLEGEL
- Paulding is creating exaggerated, stereotypical German names.
"Mynheer" is an intentional misspelling of "mein
herr," which is German for "Mister."
OBSTINACY - Stubbornness.
PANTALOONS - Pants extending from the
waist to the ankle.
PETTY - Having little or no importance;
POSTERITY - All future generations.
POVERTY - Having few material possessions;
PRO TEMPORE - A Latin phrase, meaning
"for the time being."
PROPENSITIES - Characteristics, traits,
PROVOKE - To stir up; to make angry.
PULL THE FLAX - Pulling the threads
of a flax plant into cloth.
QUARREL - To find fault; argue.
QUICKENING - Stimulating.
REDUNDANT IN LINSEYWOOLSEY - Another
joke by Paulding. A person wearing expensive clothes is often said
to be "resplendent," or flashy. But people wearing rough,
uncolored linseywoolsey are, to Paulding's eyes, "redundant,"
ROGUE - In this case, the word describes
a playful person.
RUDDY - Healthy.
SALUTARY - Wholesome.
SINGED - Burned.
SMITTEN - Attracted to; fascinated by.
STIFF - Dry and hard.
STILLYARDS - Usually spelled steelyards;
a weighing device that uses a pulley and counterweight.
SUPERSTRUCTURE - All the parts
of a building above the foundation.
TEDIOUS - Boring.
TEMPESTS - Storms.
THE CORN IS YELLOW - Carter is referring
to the dried-out corn stalks, which should be green.
TRIFLE - A small, almost insignificant
UNOSTENTATIOUS - Simple, without
WEDGE - A triangular object inserted to
widen a cut in wood.
WHIP SAW - A narrow cross-cut saw that
is pulled back and forth by two people.
YFFROW - "Frau"; German for "woman."
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