Canaille to Cannon

Canaille (French, can-nay'e). The mob, the rabble (Italian, canaglia, a pack of dogs, from Latin canis, a dog).

Canard A hoax. Cornelissen, to try the gullibility of the public, reported in the papers that he had twenty ducks, one of which he cut up and threw to the nineteen, who devoured it greedily. He then cut up another, then a third, and so on till nineteen were cut up; and as the nineteenth was gobbled up by the surviving duck, it followed that this one duck actually ate nineteen ducks - a wonderful proof of duck voracity. This tale had the run of all the papers, and gave a new word to the language. (French, cane, a duck.) (Quetelet.)

Canary (A). Slang for “a guinea” or “sovereign.” Gold coin is so called because, like a canary, it is yellow.

Canary-bird (A). A jail-bird. At one time certain desperate convicts were dressed in yellow; and jail was the cage of these “canaries.”

Cancan To dance the cancan. A free-and-easy way of dancing quadrilles invented by Rigolboche, and adopted in the public gardens, the opera comique, and the casinos of Paris. (Cancan familiarity, tittle- tattle.)

“They were going through a quadrille with all those supplementary gestures introduced by the great Rigolboche, a notorious danseuse, to whom the notorious cancan owes its origin.” - A. Egmont Hake: Paris Originals (the Chiffonier).
Cancel to blot out, is merely “to make lattice-work.” This is done by making a cross over the part to be omitted. (Latin, cancello, to make trellis.) (See Cross It Out .)

Cancer (the Crab) appears when the sun has reached his highest northern limit, and begins to go backward towards the south; but, like a crab, the return is sideways (June 21st to July 23rd).     According to fable, Cancer was the animal which Juno sent against Hercules, when he combated the Hydra of Lernê. Cancer bit the hero's foot, but Hercules killed the creature,. and Juno took it up to heaven, and made it one of the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Candaules (3 syl.). King of Lydia, who exposed the charms of his wife to Gy'gës; whereupon the queen compelled Gyges to assassinate her husband, after which she married the murderer, who became king, and reigned twenty-eight years. (716-678.)

Candidate (3 syl.) means “clothed in white.” Those who solicited the office of consul, quæstor, prætor, etc., among the Romans, arrayed themselves in a loose white robe. It was loose that they might show the people their scars, and white in sign of fidelity and humility. (Latin, candidus, whence candidati, clothed in white, etc.)

Candide (2 syl.). The hero of Voltaire's novel so called. All sorts of misfortunes are heaped upon him, and he bears them all with cynical indifference.

Candle    Bell, Book, and Candle. (See page 120, col 1, Bell , etc.)
   Fine (or Gay) as the king's candle. “Bariolé comme la chandelle des rois,” in allusion to an ancient custom of presenting, on January 6th, a candle of various colours to the three kings of Cologne. It is generally applied to a woman overdressed, especially with gay ribbons and flowers. “Fine as five-pence.”
   The game is not worth the candle (Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle). Not worth even the cost of the candle that lights the players.
   To burn the candle at both ends. In French, “Brûler la chandelle par les deux bouts.” To indulge in two or more expensive luxuries or dissipated habits at the same time; to haste to rise up early and late take rest, eating the bread of carefulness.
   To hold a candle to the devil. To aid or countenance that which is wrong. The allusion is to the practice of Roman Catholics, who burn candles before the image of a favourite saint, carry them in funeral processions, and place them on their altars.
    When Jessica (in the Merchant of Venice, ii. 6) says to Lorenzo: “What, must I hold a candle to my shame?” she means, Must I direct attention to this disguise, and blazon my folly abroad? Why, “Cupid himself would blush to see me thus transformed to a body.” She does not mean, Must I glory in my shame?
   To sell by the candle. A species of sale by auction. A pin is thrust through a candle about an inch from the top, and bidding goes on

  By PanEris using Melati.

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