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34

It is a punning reference to the phrase ‘trip the light fantastic’, which means (per The Phrase Finder) To dance, especially in an imaginative or 'fantastic' manner. The phrase seems to arise from the works of Milton, in Comus he wrote, as you have already seen, Come, knit hands, and beat the ground, In a light fantastic round. And in L’Allegro ...


32

In-universe the "light fantastic" is an actual, factual thing. There was no real need for the torches. The Octavo filled the room with a dull, sullen light, which wasn’t strictly light at all but the opposite of light; darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence, and what was radiating from the book was the light that lies on the far ...


13

Pope is using the word ‘expletive’ in this sense: A word or phrase that fills out a sentence or metrical line without adding anything to the sense; a word or phrase serving as a grammatical place-filler. Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Expletive’, n. sense B.1.a. (This sense later evolved into the modern sense of the word, “an emphatic exclamation with ...


13

As it has been suggested that it would be useful to identify all of the Allusions in the quoted piece, I've edited this answer to include further information. And made some discoveries along the way. Regular, the romin - insulting the kottage injins The start of this extract begins with a reference to Marcus Atilius Regulus, the roman who defeated the ...


11

The phrase needs to be understood as “as X as Anne could be” where X is “anxious to be left to walk with Mr. Elliot”. That is, Mrs. Clay wanted, just as much as Anne did, to walk alone with Mr. Elliot. The context is that Mr. Elliot, Miss Elliot, Anne, and Mrs. Clay are out walking in Bath when it starts raining. Mrs. Dalrymple offers to take them home in ...


11

They were de jure (officially, supposedly, on paper, in theory) ruled over by the king. There are many terms to express this meaning. From Merriam Webster on "in name": used with a following statement to say that something is so by name or title but that is not the way things really are Nowadays, the Latin term de jure (as opposed to de facto meaning "...


10

The reference is to the properties of water refracting the light spectrum, effectively producing a rainbow. The OED bears this out with the following definition of 'Bow'.: II. Specific uses. A rainbow. (Mostly contextual or poetical for the compound.) In fact the OED specifically cites this line as an example of this usage: 1850 Tennyson ...


9

Shakespeare wrote his works in a variety of English known as Early Modern English. At that time, English spelling had not yet been standardised and plays were not highly regarded as a form of literature. As a consequence, the early printed versions of Shakespeare's plays contain a lot of deviations from present-day English, for a number of reasons: ...


9

The full passage is ‘Cut along to the galley. Tell the cook to put all his dirty pans and coppers upside-down. Pullings, Babbington, stop the firing. Boom off, boom off. Back topsails. Mr Dillon, let the starboard watch black their faces in the galley as soon as I have spoken to them. It is a literal instruction. The men of the starboard watch are to ...


8

By “the Pythagorean maxim” Melville means the forbidding of eating beans, which was believed in antiquity to have been one of the rules of the Pythagorean cult. Plato then asserts that we should bring our bodies into such a disposition before we go to sleep as to leave nothing which may occasion error or perturbation in our dreams. For this reason, ...


8

I think this is a play on the word "finished". Relevant definitions of "finish" from Google are: bring (a task or activity) to an end; complete. "they were straining to finish the job" kill, destroy, or comprehensively defeat. "the English men-at-arms finished them off in hand-to-hand combat". As regards the latter definition, Dictionary....


8

The more common spelling was collachrymate, and you're right that it means essentially to commiserate, specifically in the form of weeping in sympathy. It can also be used as an adjective. From this source: ADJ. mingled with tears, accompanied with weeping (obsolete rare) VERB 1) to weep or lament with, or in sympathy with others; to commiserate (...


8

Given the context, I propose an alternative meaning: LYSANDER: To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the watery glass, Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass, (A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,) Through Athens' gates have we devised to steal. HERMIA: And in the wood, where often you and I Upon ...


8

The light that Pratchett refers to is Octarine. This is defined in the Discworld books as the eighth colour of the spectrum and the colour of magic. "The Colour Of Magic" itself being a title of another book in the series. This is fantastic because its existence is part of the Discworld fantasy universe. Pratchett is very fond of such puns and ...


7

The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition for to keep: To carry on and manage, to conduct as one's own (an establishment or business, a school, shop, etc.). This sense of the verb well predates Twain, dating back to Middle English. Two common expressions of this form are to keep house and to keep (a) shop. Therefore "keep hotel" simply means ...


7

Just to add a little more context to that quote: When Buck earned sixteen hundred dollars in five minutes for John Thornton, he made it possible for his master to pay off certain debts and to journey with his partners into the East after a fabled lost mine, the history of which was as old as the history of the country. Many men had sought it; few had ...


7

A caudle (or caudel) was a hot drink that recurred in various guises throughout British cuisine from the Middle Ages into Victorian times. It was thick and sweet, and seen as particularly suitable and sustaining for invalids and new mothers. At some periods of history, caudle recipes were based on milk and eggs, like eggnog. Later variants were more similar ...


7

'Flowin bole' Literally 'Flowing bowl', but figuratively 'alcohol', as in the traditional folksong 'Come Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl'. Come landlord fill the flowing bowl Until it doth run over. Come landlord fill the flowing bowl Until it doth run over. For tonight we'll merry merry be For tonight we'll merry merry be For tonight we'll ...


6

In the work of the Greek poet Hesiod, the three cyclops, Arges, Brontes, and Steropes (Bright, Thunderer, Lightener)—[...] forged the thunderbolts of Zeus. Later authors made them the workmen of Hephaestus and said that Apollo killed them for making the thunderbolt that slew his son Asclepius. This would be the connection which led to the naming ...


6

There is no consensus on who is right. The punctuation placement, the spelling - editors disagree on all of these points. First, I should give a note on why the punctuation would change. At the time Shakespeare's plays were published in the First Folio, punctuation had not been standardized as a system for marking syntax. An introductory guide to ...


6

This sense of the word is not in the OED, but Eric Partridge has it: Poke. 1. Stolen property: from ca. 1850; ob. The Times, Nov 29, 1860; Baumann. Ex poke, a bag, pocket, etc. Eric Partridge (1923). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, fifth edition. p. 644. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. I don’t have access to the Times archive, ...


6

The meaning of "lovers' food" is definitely not poison. Stanley Wells' edition of the play (New Penguin Shakespeare) glosses the phrase as "the sight of each other". This makes sense in the context of this speech, since Hermia says, Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight. The gloss also makes sense ...


6

To "give the lie" is an English expression meaning to expose a lie, or show a thing is not true. It is still in use today. to show that something is not at all true These figures give the lie to the notion that people are spending less. Macmillan Dictionary to prove that something is not true: The fact that the number of deaths from cancer in ...


5

This is about subject-verb agreement: when the subject is singular, so should the main verb be; when the subject is plural, then the verb should be in plural form. (Of course, this only applies to languages where verbs are conjugated and not, for example, Standard Chinese.) This rule is easy to follow when subject and verb aren't separated by many words, ...


5

It's metaphorical, and examining the context before the passage you cite can illuminate the meaning. I believe the light refers to Anna's outlook on the world, or her interpretation of external events. The book, then, is what she sees outside her--what's happening with & to the average people around her. (I'm working from the Pevear and Volokhonsky ...


5

The English text says that the protagonist lives in a room whose one window opened […] on to a dim court […]. From that casement one might see only walls and windows, except sometimes when one leaned so far out and peered at the small stars that passed. [… He] used night after night to lean out and peer aloft In other words, because his only window ...


5

You should parse this as bankruptcy under the old dispensation and judicious matrimony were added to business "push". Judicious matrimony probably means he married somebody with lots of money — i.e., somebody he chose "judiciously" (even though by the dictionary definition, choosing her "judiciously" doesn't mean that he chose her because of her money; ...


5

In the original French (Tome 2 "Cosette", Livre 3, Chapitre IX), it reads: Quoi qu'il en fût, en entamant la conversation avec l'homme, sûr qu'il y avait un secret dans tout cela, sûr que l'homme était intéressé à rester dans l'ombre, il se sentait fort; à la réponse nette et ferme de l'étranger, quand il vit que ce personnage mystérieux était ...


5

I believe it means "entrée" but I am not entirely sure why Agatha Christie wrote ongtray instead. Checking the meaning of "entrée": The main course of a meal. 1.1 British A dish served between the first and main courses at a formal dinner. The right to enter or join a particular sphere or group. - Lexico (2) fits the context. Additionally,...


5

If you look at some of the pictures from the Funeral you will see that while the flags that are on vertical flag poles are flying at half mast as a mark of respect, flags that are on angled or horizontal poles, eg hanging out over streets, which cannot be 'half masted' are instead 'looped in' at the end so that they do not fly free. It isn't universal, you ...


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