Giles of Antwerp to Gipsy

Giles of Antwerp (g soft). Giles Coignet, the painter (1530-1600).

Gill (g soft) or Jill. A generic name for a lass, a sweetheart. (A contraction of Gillian = Juliana, Julia.)

"Jack and Jill went up the hill ..."
Nursery Rhymes.

"Every Jack has got his Jill (i.e. Ilka laddie
has his lassie)." - Burns.
Gill (Harry). A farmer struck with the curse of ever shivering with cold, because he would not allow old Goody Blake to keep a few stray sticks which she had picked up to warm herself by.

"Oh! what's the matter? what's the matter?
What is't that ails young Harry Gill,
That evermore his teeth they chatter,
Chatter, chatter, chatter, still? ...
No word to any man he utters,
A-bed or up, to young or old;
But ever to himself he mutters -
Poor Harry Gill is very cold."
Wordsworth: Goody Blake and Harry Gill.
Gills (g hard). Wipe your gills (your mouth). The gills of fishes, like the mouth of man, are the organs of respiration.

Gillie (g hard). A servant or attendant; the man who leads a pony about when a child is riding. A gillie- wet-foot is a barefooted Highland lad.

"These gillie-wet-foots, as they were called, were destined to beat the bushes." - Sir Walter Scott: Waverley, chap. xiii.
Gillies' Hill In the battle of Bannockburn (1314) King Robert Bruce ordered all the servants, drivers of carts, and camp followers to go behind a height. When the battle seemed to favour the Scotch, these servants, or gillies, desirous of sharing in the plunder, rushed from their concealment with such arms as they could lay hands on; and the English, thinking them to be a new army, fled in panic. The height in honour was ever after called The Gillies' Hill. (Sir Walter Scott: Tales of a Grandfather, x.)

Gillyflower (g soft) is not the Julyflower, but the French giroflée, from girofle (a clove), called by Chaucer "gilofre." The common stock, the wallflower, the rocket, the clove pink, and several other plants are so called. (Greek karuophullon; Latin, caryophyllum, the clove gillyflower.)

"The fairest flowers o' the season
Are our carnations and streaked gillyflowers."
Shakespeare: Winter's Tale, iv. 2.
Gilpin (John), of Cowper's famous ballad, is a caricature of Mr. Beyer, an eminent linendraper at the end of Paternoster Row, where it joins Cheapside. He died 1791, at the age of 98. It was Lady Austin who told the adventure to our domestic poet, to divert him from his melancholy. The marriage adventure of Commodore Trunnion in Peregrine Pickle is very similar to the wedding day adventure of John Gilpin.

"John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown;
A trainband captain eke was he
Of famous London town."
Cowper: John Gilpin.
    Some insist that the "trainband captain" was one Jonathan Gilpin, who died at Bath in 1770, leaving his daughter a legacy of £20,000.

Gilt (g hard). To take the gilt off the gingerbread. To destroy the illusion. The reference is to gingerbread watches, men, and other gilded toys, sold at fairs. These eatables were common even in the reign of Henry IV., but were then made of honey instead of treacle.

Gilt-edge Investments A phrase introduced in the last quarter of the 19th century (when so many investments proved worthless), for investments in which no risks are incurred, such as debentures, preference shares, first mortgages, and shares in first-rate companies.

Giltspur Street (West Smithfield). The route taken by the gilt-spurs, or knights, on their way to Smithfield, where tournaments were held.

Gimlet Eye (g hard). A squint-eye; strictly speaking, "an eye that wanders obliquely," jocosely called a "piercer." (Welsh, cwim, a movement round; cwimlaw, to twist or move in a serpentine direction; Celtic, guimble.)

  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.