Griffen Horse to Groat

Griffen Horse (The) belonged to Atlantes, the magician, but was made use of by Rogero, Astolpho, and others. It flew through the air at the bidding of the rider, and landed him where he listed. (Ariosto: Orlando Furioso.)

Griffin A cadet newly arrived in India, half English and half Indian.
   Griffins, the residue of a contract feast, taken away by the contractor, half the buyer's and half the seller's.

Griffon, Griffen or Griffin. Offspring of the lion and eagle. Its legs and all from the shoulder to the head are like an eagle, the rest of the body is that of a lion. This creature was sacred to the sun, and kept guard over hidden treasures. Sir Thomas Browne says the Griffon is emblematical of watchfulness, courage, perseverance, and rapidity of execution (Vulgar Errors, iii. 2.) (See Arimaspians.)

Grig Merry as a grig. A grig is the sand-eel, and a cricket. There was also a class of vagabond dancers and tumblers who visited ale-houses so called. Hence Levi Solomon, alias Cockleput, who lived in Sweet Apple Court, being asked in his examination how he obtained his living, replied that "he went a-grigging." Many think the expression should be merry as a Greek, and have Shakespeare to back them: "Then she's a merry Greek;" and again, "Cressid 'mongst the merry Greeks" (Troilus and Cressida, i. 2; iv. 4). Patrick Gordon also says, "No people in the world are so jovial and merry, so given to singing and dancing, as the Greeks."

Grim (Giant) in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, part ii. He was one who tried to stop pilgrims on their way to the Celestial City, but was slain by Mr. Greatheart. (See Giants.)

Grimace (2 syl.). Cotgrave says this word is from Grimacier, who was a celebrated carver of fantastic heads in Gothic architecture. This may be so, but our word comes direct from the French grimace; grimacier, one who makes wry faces.

Grimalkin or Graymalkin (French, gris malkin). Shakespeare makes the Witch in Macbeth say, "I come, Graymalkin," Malkin being the name of a foul fiend. The cat, supposed to be a witch and the companion of witches, is called by the same name.

Grimes (Peter). This son of a steady fisherman was a drunkard and a thief.
   He had a boy whom he killed by ill-usage. Two others he made away with, but was not convicted for want of evidence. As no one would live with him, he dwelt alone, became mad, and was lodged in the parish poor-house, confessed his crime in his delirium, and died. (Crabbe: Borough, letter xxii.)

Grimm's Law A law discovered by Jacob L. Grimm, the German philologist, to show how the mute consonants interchange as corresponding words occur in different branches of the Aryan family of languages. Thus, what is p in Greek, Latin, or Sanskrit becomes f in Gothic, and b or f in the Old High German; what is t in Greek, Latin, or Sanskrit becomes th in Gothic, and d in Old High German; etc. Thus changing p into f, and t into th, "pater" becomes "father."

Grimsby (Lincolnshire). Grim was a fisherman who rescued from a drifting boat an infant named Habloc, who he adopted and brought up. This infant turned out to be the son of the king of Denmark, and when the boy was restored to his royal sire Grim was laden with gifts. He now returned to Lincolnshire and built the town which he called after his own name. The ancient seal of the town contains the names of Gryme and Habloc. This is the foundation of the mediæval tales about Havelock the Dane.

Grim's Dyke or Devil's Dyke (Anglo-Saxon, grima, a goblin or demon).

Grimwig A choleric old gentleman fond of contradiction, generally ending with the words "or I'll eat my head." He is the friend of Brownlow. (Dickens: Oliver Twist.)

Grin and Bear It (You must), or You must grin and bide it, for resistance is hopeless. You may make up a face, if you like, but you cannot help yourself.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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