9 Nov 2008

King Richard III Glossary

Corry Shores
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alarum. alarm, n.
Forms: 4-7 alarme, 6-7 all arme, 7 all-arm, all' army, 6- alarm. Also: 4 alarom, 6 alarome, 7 allarum, 6- alarum. I. As a phrase. 1. int. An exclamation meaning ‘To arms!’ Obs. 3. quasi-n. The call to arms, whether by using the exclamation alarme! or by any equivalent means. With cry, lilt, sound, blow, strike, etc. Obs. II. As n. with pl. 4. a. A call to arms; a signal calling upon men to arm. alarums (or alarms) and excursions, a stage-direction occurring in slightly varying forms in Shakes. Hen. VI and Rich. III (e.g. 3 Hen. VI, v. ii. init.); hence used playfully by recent writers for: skirmishing, confused fighting or onsets, sudden divagations, etc.

belike, adv.
A. adv. To appearance, likely, in all likelihood, probably; not unlikely, perhaps, possibly.

caitiff, n.
{dag}1. Originally: A captive, a prisoner. Obs. 2. Expressing commiseration: A wretched miserable person, a poor wretch, one in a piteous case. Obs. 3. Expressing contempt, and often involving strong moral disapprobation: A base, mean, despicable ‘wretch’, a villain. In early use often not separable from sense 2 (esp. when applied by any one to himself): ‘it often implies a mixture of wickedness and misery’ J.: cf. wretch.

Jack, n.1
2. {dag}a. (As a common noun.) A man of the common people; a lad, fellow, chap; esp. a low-bred or ill-mannered fellow, a ‘knave’. Obs. 1596 Shakes. Tam. Shr. II. i. 290 A mad-cap ruffian and a swearing Iacke

lour'd. lour, lower, v.
1. intr. Of persons, their eyes, countenances, etc.: To frown, scowl; to look angry or sullen. Also, to be depressed or mournful. Const. at, on, upon; rarely in indirect passive. b. quasi-trans. To express by frowning. 2. transf. and fig. Chiefly of the clouds, sky, a tempest, etc.: To look dark and threatening. Const. on, over, upon. 3. Chiefly Sc. To crouch, lurk, skulk. Obs.

mew'd. mew, v.3
{dag}a. To shut away, confine, enclose; to hide, conceal. Usu. in pass. Also refl.: to shut or hide oneself away. Also fig. Obs. b. With up, in the same sense. Also fig. 2. trans. To coop up or shut (poultry, etc.) in a cage for fattening. Obs. rare. 3. trans. To restrain, keep in check (the tongue, speech). Obs. a. Falconry. To confine or fasten (a hawk) in a mew, on a perch, etc., as at moulting time; {dag}to mew at large, {dag}to mew at the stock (or stone) (see quot. 1611) (obs.). {dag}b. In extended use. Obs.
1597 SHAKESPEARE Richard III I. i. 133 More pitty that the Eagle should be mewed, Whiles keihts and bussards prey at liberty.

prate, n.
The act or action of prating; talk; (in later use esp.) idle, profitless, or irrelevant talk; chatter, prattle; (also) an instance of this.

tetchy, techy, a.
1. Easily irritated or made angry; quick to take offence; short-tempered; peevish, irritable; testy

tush, int. (n.3)
An exclamation of impatient contempt or disparagement.
1535 COVERDALE Jer. v. 11 Tush, there shall no miszfortune come vpon vs.
1602 SHAKESPEARE Ham. I. i. 29 Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare.

vizard, n.
1. A mask

yon, dem, a., and pron.
1. A demonstrative word used in concord with a n. to indicate a thing or person as (literally, or sometimes mentally) pointed out: cf. THATdem. adj. 1. Formerly often, as still in some dialects, simply equivalent to that (those); but chiefly, and in later literary use almost always, referring to a visible object at a distance but within view: = ‘that (those)...over there’.

*Entries from the Oxford English Dictionary

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