Silenus to Simple

Silenus, son of Pan, chief of the sileni or older satyrs. Silenus was the foster-father of Bacchus the wine-god, and is described as a jovial old toper, with bald head, pug nose, and pimply face.

Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,
Led by his inebriate satyrs.
   —Longfellow; Drinking Song.

Silhouette , a black profile. So called from Etienne de Silhouette, contrôleur des finances under Louis XV. (1757).

Les réformes financleres de ce ministre ayant paru mesquines et ridicules, la caricature s’en empara et l’on donna le nom de Silhouettes à ces dessins imparfaits où l’on se bornait à indiquer par un simple trait le contour des objets.

Silky, a Jew money-lender, swindler, and miser. (See Sulky.)

You cheat all day, tremble at night, and act the hypocrite the first thing in the morning.—Holcroft: The Road to Ruin, ii. 3 (1792).

Silly Billy, William IV. of England (1765, 1830–1837).

Silures , the inhabitants of Siluria, that is, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Radnorshire, Brecon, and Glamorganshire.

Those Silures, called by us the South Wales men.
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xvi. (1613).

(Henry Vaughan, poet (1621–1695), is called “The Silurist” because he was born in South Wales.)

Silva (Don Ruy Gomez de), an old Spanish grandee, to whom E lvira was betrothed; but she detested him, and loved Ernani, a bandit-captain. (The tale is given under Ernani, p. 330.)—Verdi: Ernani (an opera, 1841).

Silver Age (The), the age succeeding the golden, and succeeded by the iron age. The best period of the world or of a nation is its golden age, noted for giants of literature, simplicity of manners, integrity of conduct, honesty of intention, and domestic virtues. The Elizabethan was the golden age of England. The silver age of a people is noted for its elegant refinement, its delicacy of speech, its luxurious living, its politeness and artificial manners. The reign of Anne was the silver age of England. The iron age is that of commerce and hard matter-of-fact. Birth is no longer the one thing needful, but hard cash; the romance of life has died out, and iron and coals are the philosopher’s stone. The age of Victoria is the iron age of England. Strange that the three ages should all be the reigns of queens!

Silver Code (The), a translation into Gothic of parts both of the Old and New Testaments, by bishop Ulfilas, in the eighth century. Still extant.

Silver-Fork School (The), a name given to a class of English novelists who gave undue importance to etiquette and the externals of social intercourse. The most distinguished are: lady Blessington (1789–1849), Theodore Hook (1716–1796), lord Lytton (1804–1873), Mrs. Trollope (1790–1863), and lord Beaconsfield (1804–1881).

Silver Pen. Eliza Meteyard was so called by Douglas Jerrold, and she adopted the pseudonym (1816–1879).

Silver Spoon. Born with a silver spoon in your mouth means born to good luck. The allusion is to the silver spoons given as prizes and at christenings. The lucky man is born with the prize in his mouth, and does not need to wait for it or require to earn it.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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