Eel to Ego

Eel A nickname for a New Englander.

"The eels of New England and the corncrackers of Virginia." - Haliburton: Clockmaker.
Eel A salt eel. A rope's end, used for scourging. At one time eelskins were used for whips.

"With my salt eele, went down in the parler, and there got my boy and did beat him." - Pepys' Diary (April 24th).
Eel (Anglo-Saxon, oel.)
   Holding the eel of science by the tail. That is, to have an ephemeral smattering of a subject, which slips from the memory as an eel would wriggle out of one's fingers if held by the tail.

"Cauda tenes anguillam, in eos apte dicetur, quibus res est cum hominibus lubrica fide, perflidisque, aut qui rem fugitivam atque incertam aliquam habent, quam tueri diu non possint." - Erasmus: Adagia, p. 324. (1629.)
   To get used to it, as a skínned eel, i.e. as an eel is used to being skinned. It may be unpleasant at first, but habit will get the better of such annoyance.

"It ain't always pleasant to turn out for morning chapel, is it, Gig-lamps? But it's just like the eels with their skinning: it goes against the grain at first, but you soon get used to it." - Cuthbert Bede [Bradley]: Verdant Green, chap. vii.
   To skin an eel by the tail is to do things the wrong way.

Eelkhance Tables The celebrated calculation of Nazir' u Dien, the Persian astronomer, grandson of Zenghis Khan, brought out in the middle of the thirteenth century.

Effendi A Turkish title, about equal to our "squire," given to emirs, men of learning, and the high priests of mosques. The title is added after the name, as Ali effendi (Ali Esquire).

Effigy To burn or hang one in effigy. To burn or hang the representation of a person, instead of the person himself, in order to show popular hatred, dislike, or contempt. The custom comes from France, where the public executioner used to hang the effigy of the criminal when the criminal himself could not be found.

Effrontery Out-facing, rude persistence, and overbearing impudence. (Latin, ef-frons, i.e. ex-frons, out- face.)

Egalité Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, father of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, was so called because he sided with the revolutionary party, whose motto was "Liberty, fraternity, and equality." Philippe Egalité was guillotined in 1793.

Egeria The nymph who instructed Numa in his wise legislation. Numa used to meet her in a grove near Aricia.

Egg. Eggs (Anglo-Saxon, æg.)
   A bad egg. A bad speculation; a man who promises, but whose promises are pie-crust.
   A duck's egg, in cricket. (See Duck.)
   Golden eggs. Great profits. (See Goose.)

"I doubt the bird is flown that laid the golden eggs." - Scott: The Antiquary.
   The mundane egg. The Phoenicians, and from them the Egyptians, Hindus, Japanese, and many other ancient nations, maintained that the world was hatched from an egg made by the Creator. Orpheus speaks of this egg.
   Eggs of Nuremberg. (See Nuremberg.)
   Pasch eggs. (See Easter Eggs.)
   The serpent's egg of the Druids. This wonderful egg was hatched by the joint labour of several serpents, and was buoyed into the air by their hissing. The person who caught it had to ride off at full speed, to avoid being stung to death; but the possessor was sure to prevail in every contest or combat, and to be courted by those in power. Pliny says he had seen one of these eggs, and that it was about as large as a moderate-sized apple.
   Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Don't venture all you have in one speculation; don't put all your property in one bank. The allusion is obvious.
   From the egg to the apples. (Latin, "ab ovo usque ad mala. ") From first to last. The Romans began their "dinner" with eggs, and ended with fruits called "mala."
   I have eggs on the spit. I am very busy, and cannot attend to anything else. The reference is to roasting eggs on a spit. They were first boiled, then the yolk was taken out, braided up with spices, and put back again; the

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.