Looking Back to Lose

Looking Back Unlucky. This arose from Lot's wife, who looked back towards Sodom and was turned to a pillar of salt (Genesis xix. 26).

Looking-glass It is unlucky to break a looking-glass. The nature of the ill-luck varies; thus, if a maiden, she will never marry; if a married woman, it betokens a death, etc. This superstition arose from the use made of mirrors in former times by magicians. If in their operations the mirror used was broken, the magician was obliged to give over his operation, and the unlucky inquirer could receive no answer.
   Looking- glass of Lao reflected the mind as well as the outward form. (Citizen of the World, xlv.)

Loom means a utensil. (Anglo-Saxon, loma). Thus “heir-loom” means a personal chattel or household implement which goes by special custom to the heir. The word was in familiar use in Prior's time (1664- 1721), for he says “a thousand maidens ply the purple loom.”

Loony or Luny. A simpleton; a natural. Corruption of lunatic.

Loophole A way of escape, an evasion; a corruption of “louvre holes.” (See Louvre .)

Loose Having a tile loose. Not quite of sound mind. The head being the roof of the temple called the body.
   Out on the loose. Out on the spree; out of moral bounds.

Loose-coat Field The battle of Stamford in 1470. So called because the men under Lord Wells, being attacked by the Yorkists, threw off their coats that they might flee the faster.

“Cast off their country's coats to haste their speed away:
Which `Loose-coat Field' is called e'en to this day.” Drayton: Polyolbion, xxii.

Loose Fish (A). A dissipated man. We also speak of a “queer fish,” and the word “fishy” means of very doubtful character. A loose fish is one that has made its way out of the net; and applied to man it means one who has thrown off moral restraint.

Loose-girt Boy (The). Julius Caesar was so nicknamed.

Loose-strife Botanically called Lysimachia, a Greek compound meaning the same thing. The author of Flora Domestica tells us that the Romans put these flowers under the yokes of oxen to keep them from quarrelling with each other; for (says he) the plant keeps off flies and gnats and thus relieves horses and oxen from a great source of irritation. Similarly in Collins' Faithful Shepherdess, we read-

“Yellow Lysimachus, to give sweet rest,
To the faint shepherd, killing, where it comes,
All busy gnats, and every fly that hums.”
   (Pliny refers the name to one of Alexander's generals, said to have discovered its virtues.)

Lorbrulgrud The capital of Brobdingnag. The word is humorously said to mean “Pride of the Universe.” (Swift: Gulliver's Travels.)

Lord A nobleman.
   The word lord is a contraction of hlaford (Saxon for “loaf-author” or “bread-earner”). Retainers were called hlaf-ætas, or “bread-eaters.” Verstegan suggests hlaf-ford, “bread-givers.” (See Lady.)
   We have in Anglo-Saxon hlaf-ord, hlaford-gift (lordship), hlaford- less (lordless), hlafordom (dominion), and many more similar compounds.
    Lord, a hunchback (Greek, lord-os, crooked). Generally “My lord.”

Lord Drunk as a lord. (See Drunk .)

Lord Burleigh As significant as the shake of Lord Burleigh's head. In The Critic, by Sheridan, is introduced a tragedy called the Spanish Armada. Lord Burleigh is supposed to be too full of State affairs to utter a word; he shakes his head, and Puff explains what the shake means.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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