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Glossary (words starting with A)

a as a
A prefix which turns a proper name into a battlecry (OED int., 2)
a botts another variant of 'A pox'
a foot on foot
A hall Make room! Clear the way! (OED n1. 12)
a la mode according to the fashion (OED phr. 1a)
a pick-pack piggyback; riding on the back and shoulders of another person
a pox! an oath of dismay, here an abbreviation of 'a pox on her!'
a rubbers at bowls a set of games of lawn-bowling, in which the players compete for the best two out of three, or some other predetermined numbers
a' have
a' in
a-going going
a-good in good earnest; heartily (OED adv.)
A-hey! A-hey! Hey-ho! Hey-ho!
a-tilt 'an encounter on horseback with the thrust of a lance. Now usually fig. of controversial encounters' (OED 2); i.e. with directive purpose. Secondary sexual sense where tilting is a metaphor for copulation.
abashed disconcerted, subdued
abated brought down in value; haggled over as to the price
abide remain, stay
abiding dwelling-place, home
ability financial power, estate, means (OED 4)
abject degraded; despicable, contemptible
abjure renounce, repudiate (OED v. 2)
abjured foresworn, renounced, repudiated
abjuring renouncing or repudiating
able strong
abominably greatly, terribly (OED adv. 2)
abomination a terrible thing to have happened
abomination outrage, hateful acts
abound pour forth (OED v1. 6)
about bestir (yourselves); get a move on
about in attendance on, in the company of
above more than
above in heaven
above surpassing, beyond
above superior; higher in rank or position
above half your length more than half the extent of space within which it is possible to reach or act upon something (playing here on the name Tallboy, suggesting the extent by which he has missed Clack's meaning)
above-board openly, freely, transparently, without deception (the term is here used figuratively, drawing on a term from gaming, where it refers to a denial that trickery or legerdemain is being used during card-play).
abroad out and about
abroad away from home (OED n. 3a)
absent (v) to remove, withdraw (oneself)
absolute model, ideal
absolute unconditional
absolute perfect, unlimited
absolute perfect, consummate; all-powerful
absolute free from imperfection or deficiency; perfect, consummate (OED aII, 8a)
abuse transgress; scorn
abuse deception, misuse
abuse misuses of words (OED abuse n, 2b); deceits, impostures (OED abuse n, 4)
abuse wrongful treatment
abuse (a) scratch (one method of preventing a suspected witch from doing harm was to draw the witch’s blood); (b) attack verbally (OED 7)
abuse (v) cheat, deceive (OED v. 4); injure, mistreat (OED v. 5); violate (OED v. 6); malign, revile (OED v. 7)
abused deceived, misguided (with the implication that the King has been deliberately misled and that his ‘will’ has thus been misused or violated)
abused misused, ill-treated
abused wronged, violated (OED adj. 2); deceived
abused misused, ill-treated, violated (Dryground strongly hints that he took advantage of the marriage agreement to have sex with Eleanor, and Oliver picks him up on this in his reply)
abused maligned, reviled (OED abuse v, 7)
abused deceived, misguided
abuser one who perverts truth or abuses confidence; one who by so doing insults the honour of another; a deceiver or impostor
abusing insulting, playing games with
acceptation acceptance
accidence grammar dealing with the inflection of verbs
accidences inflections of (Latin) grammar, e.g. the forms or ‘moods’ that verbs can take to indicate particular modes of expression (commands, wishes, questions, conditionality, etc.)
accident occurrence, incident, event (OED n. 1a)
accident symptom (OED n. 3)
accidental occurring by chance
accidents things that happened by chance
accommodate mend, repair (OED v. 8)
accommodations items that supply a want; necessaries for adapting to or suiting a purpose (OED 6a and 1a)
accorded reconciled; harmonized; agreed to
accorded in agreement, united
accost approach, address, greet
account reckon (in business terms); consider
accoutred dressed, equipped
accursed cursed, doomed to misery or perdition (OED ppl. a, 1); hateful, damned (OED ppl. a, 2)
accusative accusatory, or containing an accusation or charge
achieve gain
acknowledgingly expressing gratitude
acquaintance friend, sexual partner
acquainted familiar; personally known to one another
acquittance written evidence of a discharge; a receipt in full, which bars a further demand (OED 3)
act deed, action (with sexual innuendo)
act piece of conduct, act (OED n1. 14)
act sexual act
action campaign, military action
action fight (OED n. 11a), attack
action deed
action histrionic personation; acting of plays, performance, a play (OED 12)
activity liveliness, energy
Actus Primus Latin: Act One.
adamantine with the qualities of adamant, i.e. incapable of being broken or penetrated
additaments additions
addition something added to a person’s name to show their rank; style of address (OED n. 4)
addition augmentation; something added to a coat of arms as a mark of honour (OED n. 5)
addle-brained muddle-headed; foolish
adieu goodbye
adjudge to award by judicial sentence
adjudged decided, decreed (by judicial sentence)
adjunct attachment
adjured charged me under oath
admiration awe
admire see
admittance permission to enter, admission
admonition warning, 'authoritative counsel' (OED)
ado fuss, business
adulterate impure
adulterate adulterous (OED ppl. a, 1); coming from a base origin: impure, corrupted, degraded (see OED ppl. a, 2)
advance increase
advanced promoted, preferred, favoured
advancement raising to a higher rank (that is, in making her his wife, Letoy would elevate Diana to the aristocracy and a title as Lady)
advancement promotion, preferment
advantage ‘To seize an accidental or unintended opportunity of profiting’ (OED 5b)
advantage place of vantage, especially on rising ground (OED 3); time of vantage, favourable occasion (OED 4)
advantage interest
adventure share in a financial venture
adventurers gamesters (OED adventurer 1); volunteers or soldiers of fortune (OED adventurer 3); people who undertake or share in commercial ventures (OED adventurer 4); people who live by their wits (OED adventurer 5: OED’s earliest citation dates from 1663, but something of this sense may be intended here)
adverse opposite in position
advertise warn
advertised informed, made known
advertisements official notification
advertisements being informed, having one's attention called to something
advertisements information, news
advise ponder, deliberate, consider, take thought (OED v. 6)
advised warned
advocate one who speaks on behalf of another
advocate lawyer
advocates pleaders, defenders
aerial of the air, airborne
afeard afraid, frightened
affairs business
affect loves (not); has (no) feelings for
affect likes, prefers
affect love, like (OED v1. 2); also means ‘to show ostentatiously a liking for' (OED v1. 5)
affected loved, preferred
affected full of affection
affected had affection for
affected pleased, full of affection
affected artificial, stilted, ‘got up’, pretended
affections powerful controlling emotions that overwhelm reason
affections disposition, state of mind (OED affection n1, 5)
affections mental state; emotion, feeling (OED n1. 1a)
affections mental states, emotions; inclinations
affiance solemn engagement; esp. the plighting of troth between two persons in marriage, a marriage contract (OED 3)
affied affianced, betrothed
affirm confirm, maintain
affirmed maintained, confirmed
affirms maintains, claims
afflict trouble
afflicted troubled (OED ppl. a, 1); affected by disease of body or mind, suffering (OED ppl. a, 2; the first citation is dated 1680-90, but the context here suggests that this meaning is possible); downcast (OED ppl. a, 3)
affliction distress, misery
afford grant, have the means to offer
afford manage, accomplish (OED v. 2)
afford supply or furnish from its own resources; give what is asked for
afforded granted, given
affrighted terrified
affrightment state or fact of being frightened or alarmed (OED 2)
affront offence to one's dignity or modesty; a felt indignity; hostile attack; defiance
affront insult, indignity
affronted confronted, faced
afoot-back a combinative term based on a-horse-back (OED afoot adv. 4, citing Greene's Groats worth of Wit of 1592, Diijb,: 'When I was fayne to carry my playing fardle afoot-backe')
afore in advance (dialect)
afore in front of
afore before
aforehand in advance
after behind (i.e. behind your back); after you have left our company
after at a later time (OED adv. 2)
after follow, pursue
after 'at (the rate of)' OED, which dates this usage from 1530
after-life subsequent life, life after this episode, not a reference to life after death
after-reckoning subsequent or final account; the final bill
against in anticipation of, in preparation for, in time for (OED 19)
against without
against contrary to, without
against after supper as soon as supper is over, or shortly after supper
age maturity
age generation, era
age current period, or era, particularly referring to the morality assumed to control or approve of behaviour in a given time.
agency actions, activity
agent one who exerts power to produce a particular effect
agitation motion, discussion
agnus dei literally, lamb of God: a figure of a lamb bearing a cross or flag, sometimes a badge to be sewn on one's clothes, and sometimes encased in crystal and worn as a pendant, testifying to faith in Christ
agone begone (dialect); go away
agree assent (OED v. 8)
ague acute fever
ail troubles, afflicts, disturbs
ail are troubled, are afflicted with
ail something am somewhat unwell
aim ambition, objective
air apparent character or manner (OED n1. 13)
airs harmonised melodies or part-songs (OED n1. 21)
airy ethereal, incorporeal, insubstantial
Alamodes fashionable young men, from the French 'a la mode'
alarum signal calling upon men to fight or assault: it can be understood both as a call to arms, inciting violence, or a warning that accompanies the danger of approaching or current violence (OED esp 6 and 11)
alder elder, but also in this instance with a punning reference to aldermen (OED alder n2, 1)
alder elder, but also in this instance with a punning reference to alder(men)
alderman high-ranking officer of a guild or ward
aldermanical like an alderman (OED lists only this example, and I have not found any others)
aldermanikin miniature alderman
ale alehouse
Alemannic Traditionally the term was applied to German speaking peoples from Alsace, Swabia and Switzerland. There is a problem here in that elsewhere Swatzenburgh is referred to as coming from the Netherlands. Perhaps Brome is aiming to sound exotic and is creating an adjectival noun from the French word for Germany ("Allemagne"); or maybe he just means to infer that Swatzenburgh is German-speaking.
all everything
all and some the sum total (OED all, 12b)
all one both the same thing
allay calm, repress, quell
allay calms, represses
allay calm down
allayed alleviated; appeased
allayed tempered, modified (with the intimation of sexually experienced)
allays calms, assuages
alliance union through marriage, kinship (OED n. 1)
allotted apportioned, granted
allotted assigned
allow assign (OED v. 11), ascribe
allowable subjects worthy of sanction, approval, or acceptance (without rising to praise); satisfactory, acceptable (OED a and n, 2)
allowably excusably, legitimately
allowance permission
allowance approbation, approval
allowed with approval (OED ppl. a, 1); speak with permission (from authority) (OED ppl. a, 2)
allowed praised, approved, accepted as satisfactory
allowed permitted
allure draw forth, attract (OED v. 4)
allured tempted, enticed
Almain German
almanac book of tables, containing a calendar of months and days, with astronomical data and calculations, ecclesiastical and other anniversaries, besides other useful information, including astrological forecasts of good days for special occasions like weddings
alone without other companions (OED adj. I 7), not doing much entertaining or socialising
aloof apart, at a distance
although despite
altogether permanently (OED adj. 3)
altogether at the same time; (recount) everything
Amardla an oath, of unknown origin
amazed perplexed, bewildered
amazedly stunned, bewildered
ambergris expensive secretion from the sperm-whale used in cookery and perfumery
ambidexterity power of using both hands alike (OED 1, where this instance is the earliest example given for the word in any sense).
ambitious eager
ambuscado an ambush or a force waiting to ambush (OED's etymology: an affected refashioning of 'ambuscade' after the Spanish)
ambush hiding place (usually in preparation for a military manoeuvre where the enemy is surprised)
amended recovered, improved
amiss an evil deed (OED 2c)
amiss wrong
amongst shared between (OED 6)
amorist votary of sexual love
amorists professed lovers; gallants (the tone of the usage here is ironic and superior)
amort dejected; pale and lifeless
amphitheatre arena
an if
an't if it
anatomies dissected corpses; bodies used for dissection (OED n. 2a and 2b)
ancient of ancient lineage, or of an old established family of gentlemen
ancient a corruption of ensign: a low-rank commissioned officer, one who carried the ensign
and together with, along with
and in spite of
and what if...!
and even if
and and if
and if
angel a gold coin worth around 10 shillings which had an image of the archangel Michael standing on and spearing a dragon
angle fishing rod
angle nook, corner
angle-worm worm for bait; (of persons) a reference to weedy, insignificant appearance
animates encourages, inspirits (OED animate v, 5); stirs up, incites (OED animate v, 6)
ankle-breeches breeches covering the whole of the legs
anon at once, forthwith, instantly (obsolete)
anon immediately
anon soon, in good time
anon soon; immediately; in good time
answer obey or act in conformity with any indication of will or law (OED answer v 22a)-- here, the decree claimed by Cit-wit in the immediately preceding half-line
answer defend; take responsibility for; justify
answerable correspondent with (OED 3)
antagonist opponent, adversary
antic grotesque, comic
anticipate accelerate, cause to happen earlier (OED v. 5)
antiquity ancient times, precedents; writers of ancient times
any anything
apace quickly
apes imitates, mimics, impersonates
apes imitators, mimics
apiece each
apish ape-like or imitative
apostasy abandonment or renunciation of religious or moral allegiance (OED 1); abandonment of principles more generally (OED 2)
apostates renegades; those who abandon their moral allegiances; perverts; also hypocrites, offenders of the law (LEME: Laurence Nowell, Vocabularium Saxonicum , ca 1567)
apothecaries early professional term for a pharmacist, but generally applied in the seventeenth century and earlier to any seller of spices, drugs, preserves, tobacco
apothegms short, pithy sayings
apparent visible (literally); or clear (conceptually)
apparently evidently, visibly
apparition illusion
apparition ghost, vision
apparition spirit
appear be; be made clear or evident to understanding; be manifest
appease pacify, calm (OED v. 1)
appease assuage, soothe, relieve (with sexual connotations)
appeased pacified, quieted, satisfied
appetite sexual preference, desire, craving
applaud make gestures of approval, possibly appearing to clap their hands: OED's earliest citation for this sense of applaud is from 1598; applaud meaning 'to express agreement' is in use from the early sixteenth century (OED v1. 2b)
applaud approve of, praise
applaud make gestures of approval
apply i.e. treat this as a lesson or moral; apply this example to your own behaviour (see OED apply v. 8, application 4.a): Frances suggests that Oliver’s attentions have been as bothersome as the misfortunes that might befall a ship
apply i.e. treat this as a lesson or moral; apply this example to your own behaviour (see OED apply v, 8; application n, 4a)
appointed commanded, ordered
appointed agreed, arranged
appointed prescribed (by a stage direction)
appointment arrangement, nominating
appointments arrangements for the time and place of meeting (OED 4)
apprehend recognise, see (OED v. 8a)
apprehend understand, conceive
apprehension seizure of a person, arrest (OED apprehension n, I 3)
apprehension the taking possession of; (but also with regard to the mental faculties) the conscious awareness of
apprehension opinion (OED 9)
apprehension the action of learning, the laying hold or acquirement of knowledge (OED n, II 4)
approbation approval, satisfaction
approve confirm or corroborate (that)
approve prove, demonstrate (OED v1. I 1a)
approved commended (but also in this instance with the meanings, sanctioned, agreed, contracted)
approved commended, said to be good (OED ppl, 3; here the first citation is given as occurring in Milton’s Paradise Lost, first published 1667)
approvement approval
approvement proof
appurtenances appendages, accessories
apt given, inclined, prone (OED adj. 4b)
aptly fittingly
aptness inclination, tendency (OED 2)
aqua-vitae a term from alchemy to refer to unrefined alcohol
aqua-vitae (literally, water of life from the Latin) all-but-pure alcohol, spirits such as brandy
aquafortis nitric acid, a solvent and corrosive
aquittances legal documents settlings debts, repayments etc.
architure an early obsolete form of the word, architecture (OED records no usage after 1594)
ardency warmth of feeling, eagerness, zeal
argle argue (about), debate (OED v. 1); OED has one early citation: ‘Martin the Metropolitane’ (i.e. Martin Marprelate [pseud.]), Ha y’any Work for Cooper (London, 1589): ‘I will never stand argling the matter any more with you’ (sig. [A]3v)
argue debate
argument theme, subject-matter of discussion (OED n. 6)
argument proof, manifestation, token (OED n. 1)
argument (a) evidence; (b) logical or legal case to be made for or against a proposition or charge; (c) subject-matter for discussion (OED 1, 3a, 6)
arms coat of arms, heraldic insignia
arms weapons (used in warfare)
army royal in various military and related uses, denoting something on a grand scale, or of great size or strength
arraignment trial
array clothes
arrogate claim (without reason or through self-conceit)
arses tailboards -- a tailboard being a board at the hinder end of a cart, barrow, van, etc.; usually one attached to the bottom by a hinge, and capable of being suspended at various angles for convenience in loading, etc. (OED)
arseward backwards or contrary and perverse
arsy-versiest most preposterous (OED arsy-versy a, but the entry has no examples of this superlative form)
art cunning; artfulness; trickery, pretence
art skill in persuasion
art cunning, skill
art trained, professional ability, skill
artful ingenious, clever, cunning, skilled
article matter, piece of business; (with its roots in legal contracts) stipulation (with indirect reference to the marriage contract); originally, joints between parts of the body, as man and wife are joined together as one body by the church
article item in the contract, stipulation
articled agreed (generally in the context of a formal contract)
articles heads or points of an agreement or treaty (OED article n, 6a); terms, conditions (OED article n,6b); concerns, matters of business (OED article n,10a); items coming under a particular heading (OED article n, 10.b)
articles charges
artifice ‘make or shape by artifice; to apply artifice to; to construct, contrive’ (OED)
as because
as when (OED adv. 16a), but retaining sense `as if'
as as if
As in praesenti the likely pronunciation, 'Arse', really implies ‘an ass in the present instance’, the sort of pun used frequently by playwrights; eg Ben Jonson, Every Man Out of his Humour, Induction 176-78, describing a bad audience: 'How monstrous and detested is’t to see/ A fellow that has neither art nor brain/ Sit like an Aristarchus, or stark ass'
As in praesenti 'as in the present tense': the beginning of a Latin verse used as a mnemonic for verb forms
as lief rather, as willingly
as well ‘in the same way’ (OED well adv, 21); ‘as generously’, ‘as charitably’ (OED well adv, 2a); ‘as profitably’ (OED well adv, 6c); ‘as naturally’ (OED well adv, 8a); ‘as readily’ (OED well adv, 9a)
asinego little ass; fool
asinegos fools
Askapart the dragon killed by Sir Bevis
aspect sight; may also pun on aspect as an astrological term meaning the relative positions of the stars, planets, etc. as they appear to an observer on earth at a particular time (OED n. 4)
aspect appearance
aspersion calumny, slander, false insinuation (OED 6)
ass fool, conceited person (OED n1. 2)
ass donkey, beast of burden, which was often laden with panniers full of merchandise
assassinate assassination, murder
assay an attack, an assault, trial of strength
associate keeps company with (OED associate v, 5b)
associate associate with
associates companions, confederates
assume claim, appropriate, pretend to
assume claims, wears
assume adopt, put on
assumpsit a taking upon oneself, an undertaking
assurance certainty
assured confident (OED 6)
assurer one who underwrites life insurance
at that (OED adv or conj, where the instance in The Queen's Exchange is listed as an example of this sense)
at appealing to, soliciting (OED pre, 3c)
at a clap at a stroke, in an instant (OED 7, obs.)
at a word to speak plainly, to be honest (can also mean ‘in short’ or ‘briefly’)
at a word at once (OED, word, n. 13a)
at call ready to answer a call, immediately available (OED call n, 14)
at height at the highest degree (OED n. IV 16)
at his lap eating; licking up liquid dog food
at large in full, thoroughly
at large free
at livery at a livery stable where horses were stabled, fed, and groomed for the owner at a fixed charge (OED n. 6a)
at odds in conflict, at variance
at peep quick look or glance, especially through a narrow opening or out of a place of concealment
at random at great speed, without consideration (OED random n, 3)
at ring a competition to try to penetrate and carry off on the lance-tip a metal circle suspended from a pole (used with bawdy implication)
at the first dash straight away, at the first stroke (OED dash n1, 2)
at unawares without [Anthynus] being aware (OED awares adv, 4 & 1a)
at weapons challenge to fight (using selected or any weapons)
at's at his
Atlas Classical Greek mythology includes more than one mountain of this name, which is also borne by the Titan who, in punishment for rebellion against the Olympian gods, supports the pillar of the world upon his shoulders
atonement forgiveness; restoration of friendly relations between persons who have been at variance; reconciliation (OED 2a)
attainted convicted (of a crime)
attend wait for; expect; ready to be of service
attend wait
attend listen to
attend await, expect
attend wait for; listen to
attention consideration
attentively ‘with careful consideration; observantly’ (OED)
attire clothing
attires clothing
attorney a legal professional who conducts litigation in the courts of Common Law and prepares the case for the barrister, or counsel, who argues the case in open court (OED attorney, n1, 3)
attorney a legal advocate, qualified to practice in the courts of Common Law
attribute epithet, appellation, name
attributes descriptive terms
audients hearers or listeners (OED n.)
audients hearers (audiences throughout the Renaissance period were generally thought of as listeners not spectators or viewers of a performance)
auditory audience
auditual of or belonging to the sense of hearing (OED citing this as first usage)
aught anything
aught anything whatever
augment increase (OED v. 1)
augmented raised in estimation, increased, enlarged
augments increases
augurs soothsayers, prophets
augury omen, prophecy
Augustinian of the order of Augustines (poor religious Friars)
aunt bawd; prostitute (OED 3)
aunt either parent's sister
auspicate to give a fortunate [auspicious] start to (OED auspicate v. 3)
auspicious kind, showing favour (OED adj. 2b)
autem mort married woman (thieves' cant)
author authority, informant
authority authorisation (OED 2a)
avail help; bring
avarice greed, desire to acquire and hoard wealth (OED)
avaunt be off with you
avert oppose; turn away (from a course of action)
avert redirect, draw away
avoid be gone, go away
awd old (dialect)
awful awe-inspiring
Ay ejaculation of regret, sorrow; alas
ay me alas
aye ever
a–good in good earnest; heartily

Contact: Richard Brome Online, ISBN 978-0-9557876-1-4.   © Copyright Royal Holloway, University of London, 2010