Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glossary for The First Verse

Here are definitions of some of the terms in Barry McCrea’s The First Verse.

anorak: a hooded jacket like those worn by those in polar regions.

bodhrán: an Irish frame drum.

braying: yelling, shrieking.

cess: bad cess to, may evil befall.

coeval: of the same age.

conkers: a game played orig. with snail-shells, now with horse chestnuts on strings, in which each player tries to break with his or her own that held by the opponent.

craic: fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation (Irish). See

Dolmio sauce: a brand of tomato sauces marketed to kids in the UK.

Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me, hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.

(From Psalm 51)

But lo, Thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness: that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn Thy face from my sins: and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.

eejit: idiot.

flan: an open pastry or sponge case containing a filling.

foolscap: a former size of paper for printing, 13½ x 17 inches. Also, a former size of writing paper, 13 x 8 inches.

frogmarch: the practice of forcibly transporting suspects or prisoners through a public place, up to and including carrying them such that their limbs splay in a frog-like manner.

gom: a fool; a stupid lout.

knacker: Irish term of affection for low-life scum.

limpet: any of various mollusks that sticks tightly to rocks.

locked: drunk (Irish).

louche: not straightforward. Now usu., dubious, shifty, disreputable.

“oranges and lemons: see

piss-up: a session of heavy drinking.

“plurality of bottles: from Flann O'Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds: “Notwithstanding this eulogy, I soon found that the mass of plain porter bears an unsatisfactory relation to its toxic content and I became subsequently addicted to brown stout in bottle, a drink which still remains the one that I prefer the most despite the painful and blinding fits of vomiting which a plurality of bottles has often induced in me.”

snog: engage in kissing and cuddling with.

stór: darling (Irish).

swot: a person who studies hard.

uilleann pipes: Irish bagpipes.

yonks: a long time; ages.

No comments: