'Auld Lang Syne'
A Scots language poem by Robert Burns set to music - often sung at midnight on New Year's Eve
A.M.A.
American Medical Association
agate
hard quartz, often with streaks in it
à la mode
with ice-cream
amphitheatre
a lecture theatre in which seats are arranged in tiers around a central area
animalcules
old fashioned term for tiny or microscopic organisms
antithesis
positioning as opposites
back lot
a backlot is usually an area outside a film or television studio which is used for filming; perhaps in this context means simply, 'backyard'
bawled me out
told me off; reprimanded me
bellhop
a man or boy employed by a hotel to carry guests' luggage, escort them to their rooms etc.
benzedrine
the trade name of an amphetamine substance, marketed for use in respiratory problems, but also used recreationally as a stimulant
blimp
non-rigid airship
blurb
a brief publicity notice
boneheads
stupid people
bosky
covered with trees or shrubs
boss
a prominent lump
breezeway
a roofed passageway joining two buildings, usually with open sides
bum
tramp or vagrant
bureau
chest of drawers
caboose
the last carriage of a freight train where the train crew eat and sleep
cadaver
a dead body
Cadillac
a luxury make of car, made by a division of General Motors
cameo brooch
a brooch with a carving in relief (often of a head) on an oval stone, the raised portion being a different colour from the background
canyon
a deep gorge
card
an amusing person
carotene
a substance made by some plants which imparts an orange or yellow colouring
cat's cradle
a children's game in which a loop of string held between the two hands is manipulated into different patterns
cat's tail
a plant with a rod-shaped blossom (also written 'cat-tail' and 'cattail')
catechisms
manuals outlining the principles of a particular religious belief, often in question and answer form
Charlestown Navy Yard
a shipbuilding facility in Boston
Cheshire cat
The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat, who is always smiling, in Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'
cicada
an insect of the order Hemiptera, which makes a loud buzzing sound
Clacton-on-Sea
a coastal town in Essex, England
clapboard houses
houses whose exteriors are covered with overlapping wooden boards layed horizontally
Class Dean
A 'class' in the American school and college system is a group of students who will graduate in the same year; a 'dean' is an administrative officer in charge of a particular division of a college or university
corrasable bond
a type of paper which allows for the erasure of typing errors
cotton candy
candyfloss
credos
statements of religious belief, particularly those whose Latin version begin with the word 'credo' (Latin: 'I believe')
curlicues
decorative curls or twists, especially in hand-writing
débutante
a young woman who is being formally introduced into society
derricks
cranes for lifting and moving heavy objects; or structures built over drilled holes such as oil wells
dime
ten-cents coin
dirndl
a full skirt with a gathered waistband
do-re-mi
slang for money
dun-coloured
of a dull, greyish-brown colour
elevator shoes
shoes with internal wedges in the heel area to make the wearer appear taller
emery board
nail file covered with 'emery' (a rough crystalline substance)
eye of a tornado
a tornado is a rotating column of air moving at speed; the 'eye' is the central inactive part
faculty
the teaching staff at a university or college; or one of the departments responsible for a particular area of teaching e.g. law faculty
fusty
stale-smelling or musty
garnet-coloured
of a dark red colour
goggle-eyed
wide-eyed with astonishment or disbelief (strictly speaking, it would be the readers who would be 'goggle-eyed', not the headlines!)
graduate school
American universities where students study for higher degrees (masters and doctorates)
great white macaw
a macaw is a brightly coloured parrot, so what is intended here perhaps is the 'Great White Cockatoo' (a cockatoo is similar to a parrot)
heel
a person who behaves dishonourably
herring-boned
ascended a ski slope with the skis pointing outwards at the front, touching at the back, forming a V-shape.
hornpout
a freshwater catfish
houseman
a doctor who has completed his/her medical school training but is undergoing further practical training under supervision - generally known nowadays in U.S. as an 'intern'
hula
the hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance, the female performers of which wear fringed grass skirts
Inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition: tribunals set up in Spain from 1487 onwards to ensure adherence to the Catholic faith
jelly
jam with a thin consistency
jiffy box
a 'Jiffy bag' is a padded envelope - not clear what a 'jiffy box' is
Junior League
a women's organisation whose members do voluntary and charitable work within a local community
liquor
alcoholic drinks that are made by distillation rather than fermentation - usually called 'spirits' in Britain
love-seat
a small sofa or double-chair that seats two people
Lutheran
a member of the Lutheran church which is based on the theology of Martin Luther
lysol
the brand name of a powerful disinfectant
mantel
projecting shelf over a fireplace - often called mantelpiece
martini
a cocktail made with gin and vermouth
mimeographed
produced on a mimeograph - a type of duplicating machine for producing copies of written, drawn or typed material
mingy
meagre
mirage
something which is illusory
monk-fish
a fish with a flat body and a very large mouth
morphia powders
'morphia' is another name for morphine, a derivative of opium, which is a powerful analgesic and sedative drug;'morphia powders' may be powdered forms of morphine compounds such as morphine sulphate or morphine hydrochloride
mummy bands
a mummy is a preserved corpse; in the Egyptian tradition mummies were bound tightly with strips of linen
musk
a strong-smelling ingredient used in perfumes
nickels
five-cent coins
Nordic
Scandinavian-type
Nuits St George
Nuits St. Georges is a wine from the Burgundy area of France - named after the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges
Orient Heights
a district in East Boston situated on a hill
Pabulum
should probably read Pablum which is a processed cereal baby food - the name is derived from 'pabulum', the Latin word for foodstuff
patent leather
black, shiny leather
pennies
one-cent coins
Pilgrims
British Puritans who settled in America in the early 17th. century - sometimes known as the 'Pilgrim Fathers'
Plymouth
a type of inexpensive car made by the Chrysler company
pocket-book
handbag or purse
pompadour
a hairstyle in which hair is brushed directly back from the forehead, often over some sort of pad to give height
powder-room
euphemism for toilets (where women used to powder their noses!)
ptomaine
a chemical substance formed when protein is broken down by bacteria - believed at one time to cause food poisoning although this is not, in fact, the case
quahog
a hard-shelled edible mollusc
quarter
a U.S. coin worth 25 cents
Scollay Square
a lively city square in Boston, which no longer exists
sepulchral
suggestive of a grave or funeral
shantung
soft silk
sheath
a tight-fitting dress
shin-high
reaching to the front part of the leg between the knee and the ankle
sickle-cell anaemia
a genetic disease of the red blood cells occurring almost exclusively in individuals of Black African origin or descent
silver-lamé
a fabric interwoven with silver threads
simultaneous interpreter
someone who translates speech from one language to another as it is being spoken
sneakers
canvas shoes with rubber soles
split-rail fence
a fence constructed out of timber logs split lengthwise
station-wagons
cars with extended interiors, a luggage area or extra seating area at the back, and a hinged door at the rear opening upwards. Usually known as 'estate cars' in Britain
subway
underground train station
sultry
oppressively hot or humid
take a car
take a tram
talk a blue streak
talk fast and furiously
technicolour
a trademark for a particular method of producing colour films
the Charles
the River Charles which reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Boston
The Point
Point Shirley - the southern tip of the town of Winthrop, very close to Deer Island (Sylvia Plath wrote a poem entitled 'Point Shirley')
to have made up out of whole cloth
to have fabricated, or lied about
toque
a small brimless, close-fitting hat
troll
a cave-dwelling giant or dwarf in Norse mythology
trolley-bus
electric tram
tulle
a fine netting used for veils and dresses
vamoosed
left in a hurry
vichyssoise
a leek and potato soup, traditionally eaten cold
wall-eyed
cross-eyed; suffering from a squint
xanthophyll
a yellow crystalline pigment, similar to carotene, found in plants