Desdemona to Devil and his Dam

Desdemona (in Shakespeare's Othello). Daughter of Brabantio. She fell in love with Othello, and eloped with him. Iago, acting on the jealous temper of the Moor, made him believe that his wife had an intrigue with Cassio, and in confirmation of this statement told the Moor that she had given Cassio a pocket- handkerchief, the fact being that Iago's wife, to gratify her husband, had purloined it. Othello asked his bride for it, but she was unable to find it; whereupon the Moor murdered her and then stabbed himself.

"She ... was ready to listen and weep, like Desdemona, at the stories of his dangers and campaigns." - Thackeray.
Despair The Giant Despair, in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, lived in "Doubting Castle."

Dessert means simply the cloth removed (French, desservir, to clear the cloth); and dessert is that which comes after the cloth is removed.

Destruction Prince of Destruction. Tamerlane or Timour the Tartar (1335, 1360-1405.)

Destructives (The), as a political term, arose in 1832.

"The Times newspaper, hitherto the most effective advocate of the [Reform] bill, has been obliged to designate those whom it formerly glorified as Radicals, by the more appropriate and emphatic title of the Destructives." - Quarterly Review (Dec.,1832, p. 545.)
Desultory Those who rode two or more horses in the circus of Rome, and used to leap from one to the other, were called desultores; hence desultor came in Latin to mean one inconstant, or who went from one thing to another; and desultory means after the manner of a desultor.

Detest is simply to witness against. (Latin, de-testor.)

Deucalion after the Deluge, was ordered to cast behind him the bones of his mother (i.e. the stones of mother earth). Those thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by his wife, Pyrrha, became women. For the interchange between laoz (people), and laaz (a stone), see Pindar: Olympic Games, ix. 66.
   Deucalion's flood. According to Greek mythology, Deucalion was a king of Thessaly, in whose reign the whole world was covered with a deluge in consequence of the great impiety of man. (See Deluges.)

Deuce The Kelts called wood-demons dus. (Compare the Latin deus.)

"In the popular mythology both of the Kelts and Teutons there were certain hairy wood-demons, called by the former dus, and by the latter scrat (? scratz). Our common names of `Deuce' and `Old Scratch' are plainly derived from these." - Lowell: Among my Books (Witchcraft), p. 109.
   It played the deuce with me. It made me very ill; it disagreed with me; it almost ruined me.
   The deuce is in you. You are a very demon.
   Deuce take you. Get away! you annoy me.
   What the deuce is the matter? What in the world is amiss?

Deuce-ace A throw of two dice, one showing one spot and the other showing two spots.

Deuce of Cards (The). The two (French, deux). The three is called "Tray" (French, trois; Latin, tres).

"A gentleman being punched by a butcher's tray, exclaimed,`Deuce take the tray.' `Well,' said the boy, `I don't know how the deuce is to take the tray."' - Jest Book.
Deus (2 syl.). Deus ex machina. The intervention of a god, or some unlikely event, in order to extricate from difficulties in which a clumsy author has involved himself; any forced incident, such as the arrival of a rich uncle from the Indies to help a young couple in their pecuniary embarrassments. Literally, it means "a god (let down upon the stage or flying in the air) by machinery."

Deva's Vale The valley of the river Dee or Deva, in Cheshire, celebrated for its pastures and dairy produce.

"He chose a farm in Deva's vale,
Where his long alleys peeped upon the main."
Thomson: Castle of Indolence, canto ii.
Development (See Evolution .)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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