Hamlet Glossary

Glossary

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Antic

Mad, lunatic.

Approve

Confirm.

Arras

A tapestry.

Augury

A prediction or foreshadowing of the future.

Bark

To cover as with a bark.

Beaver

The part of the military helmet that hinged down to cover the face.

Bilboes

Fetters.

Bisson rheum

Blinding tears.

Bodkin

A dagger (or large needle); also, "body," as in, "God's bodkin."

Cap-a-pe

Head to foot.

Cataplasm

Poultice, bandages.

Cautel

Craft; deceit.

Cellarage

The space below the stage accessible by trapdoor used primarily for exits and entrances.

Cerement

A pall or burial garment in which a corpse is placed.

Character

One's personality or deportment; secondarily, "character" can refer to one's handwriting.

Chary

Wary.

Chopine

A shoe with a tall heel made of cork.

Cicatrice

Scar.

Climatures

Regions.

Closet

Private room.

Comart

Joint bargain.

Countenance

N. A face; V. To condone.

Cum aliis

With others.

Dane

King of Denmark.

Danskers

Danes.

Down-gyved

Hanging down.

Drabbing

Visiting prostitutes.

Ducat

A gold currency.

Dup

To unlatch.

Eisel

Vinegar.

Espials

Spies.

Excrements

Any excrescences (things that grow out of the human body, like hair, nails, etc.).

Eyases

Fledgling hawks.

Eyrie

A nest.

Fardels

Burdens or packs.

Gib

A tomcat.

Good-mother

Stepmother.

Green

Naive, inexperienced.

Groundlings

The lowest of Elizabethan theatergoers; they paid a low price to stand in front of the stage.

Gules

Red, according to heraldic terminology.

Harrow

To fill with fear or worry.

Haviour

Facial expression or demeanor.

Herod

The Biblical king, foe of Jesus; represented frequently in medieval mystery plays as a loud and overbearing despot.

Hic et ubique

Here and everywhere.

Hoodman-bluff

Blind man's bluff; a game for children.

Hymen

God of marriage.

Hyperion

The god of the sun.

Hyrcanian beast

Tiger.

Illume

To illuminate, make light.

Impartment

Communication.

Importunity

Insistent solicitation.

Lard

To garnish, embellish.

Lethe

According to Ancient tradition, the river of forgetfulness in Hades.

Limed

Stuck as if to sticky paper (as in, stuck to birdlime).

Matin

Dawn.

Mazzard

Head.

Miching mallecho

A sneakily performed crime.

Milch

Milky, sympathetic, lachrymose.

Mobled

Muffled.

Moiety

Half a share.

Mote

A speck of dust.

Nemean lion

The great beast slain by Hercules as one of his labors.

Nero

The infamous Roman tyrant.

Nonce

Occasion.

O'ercrow

To announce triumphantly, like a rooster.

Orisons

Prayers.

Paddock

A toad.

Parley

Debate.

Perpend

Consider.

Petar

Bomb.

Pole

The Northern Star.

Poll

Head.

Porpentine

Porcupine.

Posset

Curdle.

Presentment

Presentation, portrayal.

Quietus

Quietness.

Repair

To go, make one's way.

Rivals

Partners.

Robustious

Bombastic.

Rood

Christ's cross.

Roscius

The most famous ancient Roman actor.

Rub

Obstacle.

Scullion

Kitchen servant.

Shent

Reproved.

Splenative

High-strung, quick-tempered; literally, having too much "spleen."

Springes

Snares.

Statist

A statesman.

Stoup

A flagon, cup.

Suppliance

Diversion, fun.

Tellus

The Roman goddess of the earth.

Termagent

An angry demon represented in many medieval mystery plays.

Tetter

A scabrous covering.

Unaneled

Without having received extreme unction, as part of the Catholic last rites.

Unhouseled

Without having been cleansed by sacrament.

Unsifted

Inexperienced.

Valanced

Bearded.

Ventages

Finger holes in a wind instrument.

Videlicet

Namely.

Volley

A military salute given by firing off a group of rifles.

Wassail

Revelry, carousing.