Gotham to Grace Darling

Gotham Wise Men of Gotham - fools. Many tales of folly have been fathered on the Gothamites, one of which is their joining hands round a thornbush to shut in a cuckoo. The "bush" is still shown to visitors.
   It is said that King John intended to make a progress through this town with the view of purchasing a castle and grounds. The townsmen had no desire to be saddled with this expense, and therefore when the royal messengers appeared, wherever they went they saw the people occupied in some idiotic pursuit. The king being told of it, abandoned his intention, and the "wise men" of the village cunningly remarked, "We ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it." Andrew Boyde, a native of Gotham, wrote The Merrie Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham, founded on a commission signed by Henry VIII. to the magistrates of that town to prevent poaching.
   N.B. All nations have fixed upon some locality as their limbus of fools; thus we have Phrygia as the fools home of Asia Minor, Abdera of the Thracians, Boeotia of the Greeks, Nazareth of the ancient Jews, Swabia of the modern Germans and so on. (See Coggeshall.)

Gothamites (3 syl.). American cockneys. New York is called satirically Gotham.

"Such things as would strike ... a stranger in our beloved Gotham, and places to which our regular Gothamites (American cockneys) are wont to repair." - Fraser's Magazine: Sketches of American Society.
Gothic Architecture has nothing to do with the Goths, but is a term of contempt bestowed by the architects of the Renaissance period on mediæval architecture, which they termed Gothic or clumsy, fit for barbarians.

"St. Louis ... built the Ste. Chapelle of Paris, ... the most precious piece of Gothic in Northern Europe." - Ruskin: Fors Clavigera, vol. i.
    Napoleon III. magnificently restored and laid open this exquisite church.

Gouk or Gowk. In the Teutonic the word gauch means fool; whence the Anglo-Saxon geac, a cuckoo, and the Scotch goke or gouk.
   Hunting the gowk [fool], is making one an April fool. (See April.)
   A gowk storm is a term applied to a storm consisting of several days of tempestuous weather, believed by the peasantry to take place periodically about the beginning of April, at the time that the gowk or cuckoo visits this country.

"That being done, he hoped that this was but a gowk-storm."- Sir G. Mackenzie: Memoirs, p. 70.
Gourd Used in the Middle Ages for corks (Orlando Furioso, x. 106); used also for a cup or bottle. (French, gourde; Latin, cucurbita.)
   Jonah's gourd [kikiven], the Palma Christi, called in Egypt kiki. Niebuhr speaks of a specimen which he himself saw near a rivulet, which in October "rose eight feet in five months' time." And Volney says, "Wherever plants have water the rapidity of their growth is prodigious. In Cairo," he adds, "there is a species of gourd which in twenty-four hours will send out shoots four inches long." (Travels, vol. i. p. 71.)

Gourds Dice with a secret cavity. Those loaded with lead were called Fulhams (q.v.).

"Gourds and fullam holds,
And high and low beguile the rich and poor."
Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, i. 3.
Gourmand and Gourmet (French). The gourmand is one whose chief pleasure is eating; but a gourmet is a connoisseur of food and wines. In England the difference is this: a gourmand regards quantity more than quality, a gourmet quality more than quantity. (Welsh, gor, excess; gorm, a fulness; gourmod, too much; gormant; etc.) (See Apicius.)

"In former times [in France] gourmand meant a judge of eating, and gourmet a judge of wine ... Gourmet is now universally understood to refer to eating, and not to drinking." - Hamerton: French and English, part v. chap. iv. p.249.
Gourmand's Prayer (The). "O Philoxenos, Philoxenos, why were you not Prometheus?" Prometheus was the mythological creator of man, and Philoxenos was a great epicure, whose great and constant wish was to have the neck of a crane, that he might enjoy the taste of his food longer before it was swallowed into his stomach. (Aristotle: Ethics, iii. 10.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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