Sunday, May 08, 2005


The Horse and His Boy

Chapter 1
  • Wheedling. The art of flattery, of getting what one wants through manipulation.

  • Carbuncle. In medical parlance, this is a boil resulting from an infected hair follicle, one red and swollen. In this context, however, it’s the jewel talked about in the King James Bible (see Exodus 39:10, for instance): a red gem, generally thought to be garnet.

  • August. Not the month. This is an adjective indicating an aspect of character that induces awe or veneration.

  • Plashing. No, there’s no ‘s’ missing there. To plash is to make a light splashing sound.

  • Foal. Since Bree is talking here, he’s calling Shasta “young.” Of course, there’s a pun there, too, with “fool.”
Chapter 2
  • Pasty. Everyone in Britain knows that a pasty is a type of baked meat pie, rather like a small calzone (only not Italian, and certainly not spicy). They’re rather good, though, particularly with peas and a pint of cider. I should know.

  • Dumb. Without the ability to speak. This is not intended as an insult. Okay, maybe it is, in this context.

  • Downs. Rolling hills. It really sounds funny to say “up here in the downs,” though, doesn’t it?

  • Cob. According the American Heritage Dictionary, a “thickset, stocky, short-legged horse.” Bree is again making a slighting reference to other, less impressive horses. Ahem.
Chapter 3
  • Tash. This name for the “false god” of the Calormenes is apparently derived from one of the names of Ahura Mazda, the god of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is sometimes called Tasho or Tashea, the Designer.

  • Posts. Messages, or letters. It’s been a long time since Americans have used that word in that way; but a “Post Office” is still where you “post” letters.
Chapter 4
  • Litter. A small platform mounted on poles that allow it to be carried; it also allows one or more people to ride and be carried, and that’s the point here. Special people (or people who just think they’re special) are carried on litters.

  • Sherbet. Not the frozen, ice cream-like dessert we know now. This is taken from the Turkish word, meaning a sometimes snow-cooled fruit drink.

  • Lover. Okay. Times change. In Lewis’ day, lovers were simply people who were rather fond of each other. In this context, we don’t need go any further than that (neither did Susan and Rabadash).

  • Hastilude. A contest of arms.
Chapter 5
  • Suit. Courtship. Edmund was suggesting to Rabadash that his pursuit of Susan may be coming up short.

  • Hyaline. Transparent, like gossamer. The wings of a dragonfly, for instance, are said to be hyaline.

  • Snipe. A type of bird, which really does exist. Whatever you do, though, NEVER go on a snipe hunt if someone asks you to. Trust me.

  • Tilt. The act of jousting.
Chapter 7
  • Punt. A type of small boat.
Chapter 8
  • Jade. A nagging, mean-spirited or shrewish woman.

  • Apothegm. A short pithy quote, like an aphorism, epigram or proverb.
Chapter 9
  • Faugh! An exclamation of disgust. The short form, apparently, of an Irish war cry meaning “clear the way.”

  • Scullion. A kitchen servant.
Chapter 10
  • Undressed. Not naked, but untreated. Bandages are wound dressings.
Chapter 12
  • Frowsty. Stale.

  • ”I’d as lief…” “I’d willingly…”
Chapter 14
  • Bezzling. Embezzling, of course.

  • Galleon. That’s galleon, not gallon. One’s a big ship, the other’s a big container of liquid.
Chapter 15
  • Strait Promise. A forced oath obtained from the loser in a battle.

  • Pajock. Peacock, but used as term of contempt.

  • Estres. A Middle-English word meaning “inner rooms.” King Lune is proposing a full tour of the castle, not just the battlements.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought it was boreing

4/24/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Coudn't find 'Pajock' anywhere! :-)

5/07/2006 4:16 AM  
Blogger Greg Wright said...

My pleasure!

5/07/2006 1:19 PM  

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