Dunderhead to Dust
Dunderhead A blockhead, or, rather, a muddle-headed person. Dunder is the less or dregs of wine,
etc., more correctly, the overflow of fermented liquors (yeast). (Spanish, re-dundar, to overflow or froth
"The use of Dunder in the making of rum answers the purpose of yeast in the fermentation of flour." - Edwards: West Indies.Dundreary (Lord) (3 syl.). The impersonation of a good-natured, indolent, blundering, empty-headed swell. The chief character in Tom Taylor's dramatic piece called Our American Cousin. Mr. Sothern created the character of Lord Dundreary by the power of his conception and the genius of his acting. (See Brother Sam.)
Dungaree A coarse blue cloth worn by sailors; coarse and vulgar. Dungaree is the Wapping of Bombay.
Dunghill! Coward! Villain! This is a cockpit phrase; all cocks, except gamecocks, being called dunghills.
"Out, dunghill! darst thou brave a nobleman?"That is, Dare you, a dunghill cock, brave a thoroughbred gamecock?
Dunghill Thou hast it, ad dunghill, at thy fingers' ends. To this Holofernes replies: "Oh, I smell false Latin; `dunghill' for `unguem.' " (Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost, v. I.)
Dunmow To eat Dunmow bacon. To live in conjugal amity, without even wishing the marriage knot to
be less firmly tied. The allusion is to the institution of Robert Fitzwalter. Between 1244 and 1772 eight
claimants have been admitted to eat the flitch. Their names merit immortality.
"Ah, madam: cease to be mistaken;Dunmow Flitch The oath administered was in the doggerel subjoined:
"You shall swear, by the custom of our confessionDuns Scotus A schoolman, called Duns from Dunce in Berwickshire. (1265 - 1308.) Not John Scotus, Erigena, the schoolman, who died A.D. 875.
Dunstable Bailey, as if he actually believed it, gives the etymology of this word Dun's stable; adding
Duns or "Dunus was a robber in the reign of Henry I., who made it dangerous for travellers to pass that
way." (Dunes or duns tavell, our table - i.e. the table-land or flat of the hills.)
Dunstan (St.). Patron saint of goldsmiths, being himself a noted worker in gold. He is represented generally
in pontifical robes, but carrying a pair of pincers in his right hand. The pontificals refer to his office as
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the pincers to the legend of his holding the Devil by the nose till he promised
never to tempt him again.
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