The History Boys

The History Boys Glossary

Abashed (66)

(adj.) ashamed or embarrassed; disconcerted

Apotheosis (63)

(noun) the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god; or the ideal example of something; epitome; quintessence

Complacent (81)

(adj.) pleased, especially with oneself or one’s merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; satisfied

Consolation (46)

(noun) something that consoles or comforts someone; the act of consoling someone

Decorum (71)

(noun) dignified behavior, speech, dress, or general manner; observant of manners or etiquette

Discernible (73)

(adj.) capable of being perceived by sight or any sense; distinguishable

Disingenuous (75)

(adj.) lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere

Dispiriting (83)

(adj.) tending to lower the spirit or enthusiasm; depressing; discouraging

Ethos (64)

(noun) the fundamental character or spirit [of something]

Euphemism (5)

(noun) a mild, indirect or vague term or expression used in substitution for a term or expression considered offensive, harsh, or blunt

Gap year (37)

(noun) a year’s break taken by a student before starting further education

Gobbet(s) (48)

(noun) a fragment or piece [of something]

Ignominy (95)

(noun) a disgrace or dishonor; shameful or dishonorable conduct

Inexpedient (73)

(adj.) not judicious or advisable

Meretricious (60)

(adj.) alluring by show; flashy; vulgar; based on pretense, deception, or insincerity

Milked (61)

(adj.) Intoxicated; inebriated

Modernity (36)

(noun) the quality of being modern; something modern

Monasticism (63)

(noun) the monastic system – a system of or pertaining to monasteries

MP (3)

(abbrev., noun) Member of Parliament (United Kingdom)

Oxbridge (8)

(noun) a portmanteau of the words ‘Oxford’ and ‘Cambridge’

Pillion (51)

(noun) a passenger’s seat or saddle behind the driver’s seat on a motorcycle

Pillock (96)

(noun) a stupid person

Rapier (64)

(noun) a small sword with a narrow blade, commonly used during the 18th century

Rune(s) (48)

(noun) an aphorism, poem, or saying with mystical meaning

Spectre (US: specter) (36)

(noun) a ghost; a phantom; an apparition; a mental image of something unpleasant or menacing

Supply teacher (10)

(noun) the British equivalent of the American phrase ‘substitute teacher’ or ‘temporary teacher’

To be shot of [something] (87)

(expression) a British informal expression meaning “to be rid of [something or someone]”

Impinge (50)

(verb) to make an impression; to have an effect or impact; to encroach or infringe [upon something] (usually followed by "an," "on," or "upon")

To soft pedal [something] (82)

(expression) an expression meaning “to tone down” or “to play down [something]”; to make something less strong

To trot out [something] (48)

(expression) to bring [something] forward for inspection

Tosh (94)

(noun) nonsense

Unprecedented (73)

(adj.) without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled

Viva voce (xvii)

(noun) the oral part of an examination