Monday, January 7, 2008

Victorian Glossary, Part 7

The final installment of this small glossary...

Rates: Local taxes, paid primarily to support aid to the poor
Resurrectionist: A merchant dealing in illegally procured corpses for use at medical schools
Sent Down: Expelled from Oxford or Cambridge for serious misconduct; Mary Shelley’s husband Percy was sent down for publishing The Necessity of Atheism, for example
Solicitor: A lawyer who was not authorized to plead in court. Solicitors handled many routine legal functions directly; in addition, barristers were hired (and paid) by solicitors, not directly by their clients
Subaltern: An Army officer ranking below Captain
Telodynamics: A system of power transmission using wire ropes stretched between pulleys, effective over several miles.
Transportation: The practice of punishing criminals by sending them to remote colonies, usually in Australia
Tripos: The examination taken at Cambridge to qualify for honors in mathematics; from the three-legged stool that candidates sat on at one time.
White Slavery: The recruitment of women, especially young women, into prostitution by coercive methods ranging from threats to drugs to fraudulent job offers. A major concern for Victorian social reformers.
Wireless: Radio – shortened from "wireless telegraphy" (and later "wireless telephony").
Wog: Often glossed as "worthy Oriental gentleman", but actually carries a tone of contempt. Can refer to any Asian. Really xenophobic British individuals sometimes say "wogs begin at Calais" (that is, as soon as you cross the English Channel).

1 comment:

Poopdeck Halfpint said...

Garshk! I caint even sez resinekshunisk!