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 over.)

"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?"
Shakespeare: King John, iv 3.
   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.)

Dunkers (See Tunkers. )

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.
   1445. Richard Wright, labourer, Bauburgh, near Norwich.
   1467. Steven Samuel, of Little Ayston, Essex.
   1510. Thomas Ley, fuller, Coggeshall, Essex.
   1701. William and Jane Parsley, butcher, Much-Easton, Essex. Same year, John and Ann Reynolds, Hatfield Regis.
   1751. Thomas Shakeshaft, wool-comber, Weathersfield, Essex.
   1763. Names unknown ! !
   1772. John and Susan Gilder, Tarling, Essex.
   The attempt to revive this "premium for humbug" is a mere "get-up" for the benefit of the town.

"Ah, madam: cease to be mistaken;
Few married fowl peck Dunmow bacon."
Prior: Turtle and Sparrow, 233.
Dunmow Flitch The oath administered was in the doggerel subjoined:

"You shall swear, by the custom of our confession
That you never made any nuptial transgression
Since you were married man and wife,
By household brawls or contentious strife:
Or, since the parish clerk said `Amen.'
Wished yourselves unmarried again;
Or, in a twelvemonth and a day,
Repented not in thought any way.
If to these terms, without all fear,
Of your own accord you will freely swear,
A gammon of bacon you shall receive,
And bear it hence with our good leave.
For this is our custom at Dunmow well known -
The sport is ours, but the bacon your own."
Duns 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.)
   Downright Dunstable. (See Downright.)
   Plain as the road to Dunstable, or, as Shakespeare says, "Plain as way to parish church." The road leading to Dunstable is the confluence of many leading to London, but the play is on the word dunce.

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.
   St. Dunstan and the devil. Dunstan was a painter, jeweller, and blacksmith. Being expelled from court, he built a cell near Glastonbury church, and there he worked at his handicrafts. It was in this cell that tradition says the Devil had a gossip with the saint through the lattice window. Dunstan went on talking till his tongs were red hot, when he turned round suddenly and caught his Satanic

  By PanEris using Melati.

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