Halcyon Days to Hallel

Halcyon Days A time of happiness and prosperity. Halcyon is the Greek for a kingfisher, compounded of hals (the sea) and kuo (to brood on). The ancient Sicilians believed that the kingfisher laid its eggs and incubated for fourteen days, before the winter solstice, on the surface of the sea, during which time the waves of the sea were always unruffled.

"Amidst our arms as quiet you shall be
As halcyon brooding on a winter's sea."

"The peaceful kingfishers are met together
About the deck, and prophesie calm weather."
Wild: Iter Borealë
Half Half is more than the whole.. (Pleon hmiou pantos)This is what Hesiod said to his brother Perseus, when he wished him to settle a dispute without going to law. He meant "half of the estate without the expense of law will be better than the whole after the lawyers have had their pickings." The remark, however, has a very wide signification. Thus an embarras de richesse is far less profitable than a sufficiency. A large estate to one who cannot manage it is impoverishing. A man of small income will be poorer with a large house and garden to keep up than if he lived in a smaller tenement. Increase of wealth, if expenditure is more in proportion, tendeth to poverty.

"Unhappy they to whom God has not revealed,
By a strong light which must their sense control,
That half a great estate's more than the whole."
Cowley: Essays in Verse and Prose, No. iv.
Half My better half. (See Better .)

Half-baked He is only half-baked. He is a soft, a noodle. The allusion is to bread, piecrust, etc., only half-cooked.

Half-deck The sanctum of the second mate, carpenters, coopers, boatswain, and all secondary officers. Quarter-deck, the sanctum of the captain and superior officers. In a gun-decked ship, it is the deck below the spar-deck, extending from the mainmast to the cabin bulk-heads.

Half-done Half-done, as Elgin was burnt. In the wars between James II. of Scotland and the Douglases in 1452, the Earl of Huntly burnt one-half of the town of Elgin, being the side which belonged to the Douglases, but left the other side standing because it belonged to his own family. (Sir Walter Scott: Tales of a Grandfather, xxi.)

Half-faced Groat (You). You worthless fellow. The debased groats issued in the reign of Henry VIII. had the king's head in profile, but those in the reign of Henry VII. had the king's head with the full face. (See King John, i. 1; and 2 Henry IV., iii. 1.)

"Thou half-faced groat! You thick-cheeked chitty-face!"
Munday: The Downfal of Robert, Earle of Huntingdon (1601).
Half-seas Over Almost up with one. Now applied to a person almost dead drunk. The phrase seems to be a corruption of the Dutch op-zee zober, "over-sea beer," a strong, heady beverage introduced into Holland from England (Gifford). "Up-zee Freese" is Friezeland beer. The Dutch, half seeunst's over, more than half-sick. (C. K. Steerman.)

"I am half-seas o'er to death."

"I do not like the dulness of your eye,
It hath a heavy cast, `tis upsee Dutch."
Ben Jonson: Alchemist, iv. 2.
Halfpenny I am come back again, like a bad ha'penny. A facetious way of saying "More free than welcome." As a bad hapenny is returned to its owner, so have I returned to you, and you cannot get rid of me.

Halgaver Summoned before the mayor of Halgaver. The mayor of Halgaver is an imaginary person, and the threat is given to those who have committed no offence against the laws, but are simply untidy and slovenly. Halgaver is a moor in Cornwall, near Bodmin, famous for an annual carnival held there in the middle of July. Charles II. was so pleased with the diversions when he passed through the place on his way to Scilly that he became a member of the "self-constituted" corporation. The mayor of Garratt. (q.v.) is a similar "magnate."

  By PanEris using Melati.

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