Anathema
someone or something that is cursed or denounced. In Anathema’s case her name, if taken in full (Anathema Device) is a cursed object
antimacassar
fabric or cover placed over the chair back to keep it clean
Apocalypse
In the book of Revelation, the Apocalypse is the final destruction of the world
Armada
In Spanish: fleet of ships. This particular reference is to the Spanish Armada
avuncular
resembling an uncle
be-bop
be-bop was developed in the 1940s and is a style of jazz music
bidet
low wash basin, resembling a toilet
clandestinely
needing to be concealed
Compos Mentis
to be sane. Mr Young phrases it as compost mentis in the novel
Cultural Attaché
diplomat responsible for promoting the culture of his/her country.
ectoplasm
substance that is given off by ghosts or by the medium communicating with the ghosts
entropy
measure of disorder
Gros-Bon-Ange
In Haitian belief, one of two parts to the soul. It is regarded as the ‘big’ guardian angel, the body’s life force that must be released to the cosmos after death
gyroscope
gyroscopes are self stabilising devices used in navigational aids and stabilising mechanisms
Iron Maiden
medieval torture device made of metal in shape of a person. Large spikes protruded from the inside of the door, so as to impale victims when the door was closed
klaxon
a loud horn on vehicles, or in this case, alarms
largess
bestowing generosity
ley line
associated with mystical phenomena, particularly as they link ancient sites said to contain magical power
liana
a climbing vine
loa
voodoo spirits of Haiti
Methuselah
In the Bible’s Old Testament, Methuselah is regarded as the longest living man and he was 969 when he died. The name is often used to describe someone long-lived
occultist
as the occult deals with magic and the supernatural, an occultist can best be described as someone who believes in the practice of these characteristics
painted jezebel
Jezebel refers to two women in the Bible. The first was the villainous wife of King Ahab of Israel, and the second a controversial prophetess mentioned in Revelation. ‘Painted jezebel’ has come to mean a woman of easy virtue
Pavlovian
Pavlovian refers to the ‘Pavlov’s Dog theory’ on conditioned reflexes by Russian physiologist and psychologist Ivan Pavlov
pentagram
a two dimensional, 5-sided star, often associated with paganism and the occult
prevarication
to prevaricate is to avoid giving a direct or clear answer
putative
supposed, generally believed to be
rapture
In Christianity, the rapture is that time during the second coming of Christ when true believers are taken to Heaven
real McCoy
English language idiom, the real McCoy refers to something genuine. The widely accepted origin is that the term is a corruption of the Scottish phrase “The real McKay”
Sabbat
as in Witches’ Sabbath. An assembly of witches. In the case of Good Omens, Sabbat School is a school for Satanist youths
theodolite
used in surveying or engineering works and measure horizontal and vertical lines, primarily on inaccessible ground.
uranium
chemical symbol “U”. Uranium is a radioactive metallic element
verisimilitude
something that appears true
witch
A witch is a woman, (or sometimes man), who uses magic, the supernatural or potions to change circumstance. It also relates to followers of Wicca, a pre-Christian religion