The Marrow of Tradition

The Marrow of Tradition Glossary


a member of the ruling class

aut Cesar aut nullus

from the Latin, "either Cesar or nobody;" a term used to designate the ability of a person to have power and control in a particular situation


The making of false and defamatory statements in order to damage someone's reputation; slander


the ceremony of baptizing and naming a child


to take away; detract


a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24 standard playing cards


a heroic character in a German proto-novel from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries


a lengthy and aggressive speech

Jim Crow Laws

state and local laws enacted in the U.S. South between 1876 and 1965 that mandated segregation in all public facilities.

Ku Klux Klan

an extremist organization first started in the nineteenth century U.S. South that violently advocated for white supremacy and racial segregation


talking freely and uninhibitedly


smelling very unpleasant


the inmost, best, or essential part.


the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation

mission school

a school founded by a religious order that combined religious and secular education for persons that would not otherwise be offered an education

noblesse oblige

a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges;" a phrase used to describe the necessity of a person to act in a particular way because of their high station in life


stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or course of action

Pontius Pilate

the Roman governor responsible for sentencing Christ to crucifixion; he famously washed his hands after the sentencing, abdicating his responsibility


a person who demonstrates an exaggerated conformity or propriety, especially in an irritatingly arrogant or smug manner


the right, by law or custom, of the first-born to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings.


the act of fitting things of differing properties into an arbitrary standard; based upon the Greek mythological character Procrustes who stretched or cut off the legs of people in order to fit them into an iron bed


a member of the clergy in charge of a church or parish


the separation of people based upon their race


an alarm or warning bell

Vandyke Beard

a style of facial hair popular in the nineteenth century