The Island

The Island Glossary

Hodoshe (proper noun)

Hodoshe is a Xhosa word for a carrion fly, which lays its eggs in dead bodies. In the context of the play, Hodoshe is the nickname of a particularly hated prison guard.

carrion fly (noun)

a fly that lays its eggs in decaying flesh specifically.

warder (noun)

a guard in a prison.

quarry (noun)

a place, typically a large, deep pit, from which stone or other materials are being or have been extracted.

broer (noun)

Means brother or friend in Afrikaans.

Antigone (proper noun)

In classical Greek mythology, a daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta who defied her uncle, King Creon, by performing funeral rites over her brother, Polynices, and was condemned to be immured alive in a cave.

Zulu (proper noun)

a member of a South African people traditionally living mainly in KwaZulu-Natal province. The Zulus formed a powerful military empire in southern Africa during the 19th century before being defeated in a series of engagements with Afrikaner and British settlers.

pendant (noun)

a piece of jewelry that hangs from a chain worn around the neck.

guillotine (verb)

To execute, cut or cut short (for example a person, a stack of paper or a debate) by use of a guillotine.

apartheid (noun)

(in South Africa) a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on the basis of race.

Speedy Gonzalez (proper noun)

An animated cartoon character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He is portrayed as "The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico" with his major traits being the ability to run extremely fast, speaking English with an exaggerated Mexican accent and also speaking Spanish.

magistrate (noun)

a civil officer or lay judge who administers the law, especially one who conducts a court that deals with minor offenses and holds preliminary hearings for more serious ones.

appeal (noun)

In law, an application to a higher court for a decision to be reversed.

Defiance Campaign (proper noun)

Begun in 1952, the largest-scale non-violent resistance ever seen in South Africa, and the first campaign pursued jointly by all racial groups under the leadership of the ANC and the South African Indian Congress.

jetty (noun)

a breakwater constructed to protect or defend a harbor, stretch of coast, or riverbank.

poes (noun)

Afrikaans for "vagina."

sumptuous (adjective)

extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent.

recourse (noun)

the use of someone or something as a source of help in a difficult situation.

glib (adjective)

fluent and voluble but insincere and shallow.

impunity (noun)

exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.