Demodocos to Derwentwater

Demodocos A minstrel who, according to Homer, sang the amours of Mars and Venus in the court of Alcin'oös while Ulysses was a guest there.

Demogorgon A terrible deity, whose very name was capable of producing the most horrible effects. Hence Milton speaks of "the dreaded name of Demogorgon" (Paradise Lost, ii. 965). This tyrant king of the elves and fays lived on the Himalayas, and once in five years summoned all his subjects before him to give an account of their stewardship. Spenser (book iv. 2) says, "He dwells in the deep abyss where the three fatal sisters dwell." (Greek daimon, demon; gorgos, terrible.)

"Must I call your master to my aid,
At whose dread name the trembling furies quake,
Hell stands abashed, and earth's foundations shake?" Rowe: Lucan's Pharsalia, vi.

"When the morn arises none are found,
For cruel Demogorgon walks his round,
And if he finds a fairy lag in light,
He drives the wretch before, and lashes into night." Dryden: The Flower and the Leaf, 492-5.
Demon of Matrimonial Unhappiness Asmodeus, who slew the seven husbands of Sara. (Tobit.) (See Asmodaeus.)
   Prince of Demons. Asmodeus. (Talmud.)

Demos (King). The electorate; the proletariat. Not the mob, but those who choose and elect our senators, and are therefore the virtual rulers of the nation.

Demosthenes' Lantern A choragic monument erected by Lysicrates in Athens, originally surmounted by the tripod won by Lysicrates. A "tripod" was awarded to everyone in Athens who produced the best drama or choral piece of his tribe. The street in which Demosthenes' Lantern stood was full of these tripods.

Demurrage An allowance made to the master or owners of a ship by the freighters for detaining her in port longer than the time agreed upon. (Latin, demorari, to delay.)

"The extra days beyond the lay days ... are called days of demurrage." - Kent: Commentaries, vol. iii. part v. lecture xlvii. p. 159.
Demy' A size of paper between royal and crown. Its size is 22 1/2 in. x 17 1/2 in. It is from the French word demi (half), and means demi-royal (a small royal), royal being 25 in. x 20 in. The old watermark is a fleur-de-lis.
   A Demy' of Magdalene College, Oxford, is a "superior" sort of scholar, half a Fellow.

Den Evening. God ye good den! - i.e. God (give) ye good evening. This is the final d of good joined to the "en," a contraction of evening.

Denarius A Roman silver coin, equal in value to ten ases (deni-ases). The word was used in France and England for the inferior coins, whether silver or copper, and for ready money generally. Now d (denarius) stands for money less than a shilling, as £ s. d.

"The denarius ... shown to our Lord ... was the tribute-money payable by the Jews to the Roman emperor, and must not be confounded with the tribute paid to the Temple." - F. H. Madden: Jewish Coinage, chap. xi. p. 247.
   Denarius Dei [God's penny]. An earnest of a bargain, which was given to the church or poor.
   Denarii St. Petri [Peter's pence]. One penny from each family, given to the Pope.
   Denarius tertius comitatus. One-third of the pence of the county, which was paid to the earl. The other two-thirds belonged to the Crown. (See D.)

Denizen A made citizen - i.e. an alien who has been naturalised by letters patent. (Old French deinzein; Latin de-intus, from within.)

"A denizen is a kind of middle state, between an alien and a natural-born subject, and partakes of both." - Blackstone: Commentaries, book i. chap. x. p. 374.
Dennis (John), called the "best abused man in England." Swift and Pope both satirised him. He is called Zoïlus.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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