apple-blooth
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see 'beard's-crow')
appointments
furniture and fittings
argyfyin'
'Argify' (with an 'i', not a 'y') is a genuine Sussex dialect word meaning to 'signify' or 'import'. 'Argyfyin'', however, is seemingly used by Stella Gibbons in, 'He and our Micah were argyfyin'' as a synonym for 'arguing'
Attaboy!
an exclamation designed to show encouragement or admiration – a corruption of ‘that’s the boy!’
barbola work
the making of plastic paste models (usually of flowers or fruit) which are then used to decorate objects
batiste
a fine, light, fabric made of linen or cotton
batrachian
relating to frogs or toads or any reptile of the order Batrachia
beard's-crow
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: Bookmark P.42)
berg
a mountain
betel-nut
the seed or fruit of the Areca palm. It is not quite clear how betel-nut could be used to clean shoes as described in the text, but the fruit does contain a red juice which stains, so it is possible that this could be used to give colour to leather
bute
a hill
bye
either a coined word or an incorrect version of 'byre' - a 'cowshed'
capsy
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
cherry-pie
a common name given to flowers of the Borage family (e.g. Heliotropium peruvianum) whose flowers (usually blue or purple) have a scent reminiscent of cherries baked in a pie. Also a common name for Hairy Willow-herb which is also known as Codlins-and-Cream
chuck-stubbard
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
cletter
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
come-ask-it
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
corpse-light
a light or flame which, it is claimed, is sometimes seen in a churchyard or over a grave, and which, according to folk superstition, predicts that a death is imminent
court shoes
women's light, low-cut, shoes with a medium-height heel
cowdle
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: Bookmark P.45)
cowdling
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
crocket
a genuine English word to which Stella Gibbons has assigned a new meaning (see also: 'runnet', 'scullions', sippets, 'snood', 'teazle', 'wains')
daffodowndilly
a dialect word for the Yellow Daffodil
dog's-body
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'beard's-crow')
doithering
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle'). It is, of course, very similar to 'dithering' and appears to have the same meaning
dope
information - especially information on a particular topic that is only available to a select group
dormer
a window which is part of an extension built outwards from a sloping roof
Ecco!
That's right! (It.)
E finito!
It is finished! (It.)
eft-flies
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'marsh-tigget')
fal-lals
trivial or gaudy decorations on items of clothing
finch-fly
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'marsh-tigget')
finicking
excessively fussy or dainty
flambeaux
large ornamental candlesticks or burning torches - either meaning could be correct in the context of the text
flapdoodle
nonsense
flick
a film
ford-piece
composite word compiled by Stella Gibbons (see: 'scranlet')
fubsy
squat and fat
fustian
a coarse cotton or linen cloth, or a thick twill dyed a dark colour
gauntlets
sturdy gloves covering part of the arm above the wrist
gum-boots
boots made of India rubber or 'gum' i.e. Wellington boots
harlequin
a buffoon or clown found in French and Italian comedy and English Pantomime, where he traditionally wears multi-coloured tights and a mask
Hell's Angel
although 'Hell's Angel' is listed with various meanings in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is not listed as a drink or cocktail
hintermath
word coined by Stella Gibbons, possibly based on, or confused with, 'hinterland'. In the text it appears to mean 'a far-distant place'
hoot-piece
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'scranlet')
hugaboo
pomposity
incubus
someone or something that is experienced as oppressive
Kleig light
a powerful electric-light used in the making of films
L.C.C.
an abbreviation for London County Council
lambency
a clear, soft, brightness
liberty bodice
a close-fitting, sleeveless, undergarment, sometimes with suspenders attached
lin-tits
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'marsh-tigget')
locust years
times of economic poverty and hardship
long suit
a particular talent or 'strong point'
Lyceum betrayal
'Lyceum' has various meanings. Probably in the context of, 'planning a Lyceum betrayal of Elfine', it means having the characteristics of a performance at the Lyceum theatre in the Strand, London (particularly of the type given by Henry Irving i.e. melodramatic)
marsh-tigget
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see Bookmark P.43)
mere
lake, pond, marsh or fen
miasma
an unpleasant or infectious mist or vapour arising from rotting material
midden-rail
'midden' is a dialect word for dunghill, manure-heap or rubbish-heap, but the concept of a 'midden-rail' appears to have been created by Stella Gibbons (see: 'scranlet')
middock
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
mirksy
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
moithered out
'moithered' is a genuine dialect word meaning 'bothered' or 'perplexed', but 'moithered out' appears to be a Stella Gibbons' creation meaning 'cried out' or similar. Stella Gibbons also uses a version of the word 'moither' in, 'a great moitherin' man' where it is probably used in the true dialect sense (see: 'cowdle')
mollocking
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
mommet
dialect word for baby or child
mullions
vertical structures, usually of stone or wood, which divide the panes in a window
noggins
mugs or cups
Nō mask
Nō (often spelt Noh) is the name given to traditional Japanese masked drama
Old Harry
a colloquial name for the Devil. Its use in the phrase, 'The books ... were cooked like Old Harry' does not make perfect sense, but maybe Stella Gibbons was thinking of the phrase, 'to play Old Harry with' which means, 'to get up to mischief'
pest-house
a hospital for treating people with infectious diseases, especially the plague
pharisee
a dialect word for a fairy (or, possibly, in some dialects, a type of small animal)
pie-thatched owl
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'marsh-tigget')
pippet
as used in the text, a Stella Gibbons' creation, although the word does exist as a variation on 'pipit' which means to imitate feeble bird-song
plagency
a quality associated with plaintive sounds
posty-toasty
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see:'cowdle')
provender
food provisions for animals (usually intended humorously if used to describe human food)
pruning-snoot
the 'snoot' component has been coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'scranlet')
pussy's dinner
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'beard's-crow')
quarterings
a heraldic term - the markings on a family's coat-of-arms that indicate the coats-of-arms of female heiresses who have married into the family
reaping-hook
a tool for cutting grass or crops
rennet-post
'rennet' is a rare, obsolete word for a tool used by a farmer to examine the hoof of a horse, but the concept of a rennet-post appears to have been created by Stella Gibbons (see: 'scranlet')
rorty
lively
runnet
this word is used by Stella Gibbons in different contexts ('the wooden runnet', 'a runnet of bacon') but on neither occasion does her meaning match the dictionary definitions of runnet as a small stream or an obsolete version of the word, 'rennet'. This suggests that Stella Gibbons has taken an established word and used it for her own purposes (see: 'crocket','scullions', 'sippets', 'snood', 'wains')
scranlet
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see Bookmark P.34)
scullions
male domestic servants of the lowest rank, so wongly used by Stella Gibbons (deliberately or otherwise) in the phrase, 'mullions and scullions' (see: 'crocket','runnet','sippets', 'snood', 'teazle', 'wains')
shirred
gathered with parallel rows of elasticated thread to form smocking
sippets
one obsolete and rare meaning of this word would be, 'little sips', but it is attributed a different, imaginary, meaning by Stella Gibbons (see: 'crocket', 'runnet', 'scullions', 'snood', 'teazle', 'wains')
snood
a net used to keep a woman's hair in place, so it is a word attributed a different, imaginary, meaning by Stella Gibbons (see: 'crocket', 'runnet', 'scullions', 'sippets', 'teazle', 'wains')
speechifyin'
version of 'speechifying' which means speaking in a long-winded or formal way
sposa
Italian word for 'bride'
stanchions
upright supporting bars or props
starvelings
starved people or animals
sukebind
word coined by Stella Gibbons to describe a plant with 'dark green leaves and long, pink tightly closed buds'. It does, however, appear in the Oxford English Dictionary as it has, at times, been used by other writers in other contexts
teazle
the word, 'teazle' is a variant of 'teasel', a type of plant, but it does not exist as the name of an animal as suggested by Stella Gibbons in, 'the whickering snicker of a teazle in anger'. This is an example, therefore, of Stella Gibbons attributing an imaginary meaning to a genuine word (see: 'crocket', 'runnet', 'scullions', 'sippets', 'snood', 'wains')
their own kidney
their own kind
titty-wren
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'marsh-tigget')
transference
a psychoanalytic term to describe the transferring of a patient's childhood emotions (generally experienced in relation to the parents) onto the Psychoanalyst
trout-sperm
although 'trout-sperm' does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, 'sperm' is a term which may be used to describe the substance from which any living thing is generated, so it could be taken to mean the 'eggs' of the trout
tyro
a beginner or novice
Volupté
used as the name of a car (although no car of that name appears to have existed in reality). 'Volupté' is a version of 'volupty' meaning 'delight' or 'pleasure'
vulpine
like a fox
warming-pan
a covered pan with a long handle holding live coals, formerly used to warm a bed
washpot
a servant employed to wash pots. Being 'someone's washpot', therefore, implies being 'used' or 'badly used' by them. (The phrase, 'Moab is my washpot' exists in Psalm 108)
wennet
word coined by Stella Gibbons (see: 'cowdle')
whickering
tittering or sniggering
wire
to send a telegram
wop
derogatory term for an Italian (now considered offensive)