Obidah to Odorico
Obidah An allegory in the Rambler, designed to be a picture of human life. It is the adventures and misfortunes which a young man named Obidah met with in a day's journey.
Obidicut The fiend of lust, and one of the five that possessed poor Tom. (Shakespeare: King Lear, iv. 1.)
Obiism Serpent-worship. From Egyptian Ob (the sacred serpent). The African sorceress is still called Obi. The Greek ophis is of the same family. Moses forbade the Israelites to inquire of Ob, which we translate wizard.
Obiter dictum (Latin). An incidental remark, an opinion expressed by a judge, but not judiciously. An obiter dictum has no authority beyond that of deference to the wisdom, experience, and honesty of the person who utters it; but a judicial sentence is the verdict of a judge bound under oath to pronounce judgment only according to law and evidence.
Object means forecast, or that on which you employ forecast. (Latin, ob jacio.)
Obolus Give an obolus to old Belisarius. Tzetzes, a writer of the twelfth century, says that Belisarius, stripped of all his wealth and honours, was reduced to beggary in his grey old age; that he lived in a mud hut, from the window of which he hung an alms-bag, and that the used to cry to the passers-by, Give an obolus to poor old Belisarius, who rose by his merits and was cast down by envy.
Obsequies are the funeral honours, or those which follow a person deceased. (Latin, ob-sequor.)
Obstacle Race (An). A race over obstacles such as gates, nets, sails laid on the ground, through hoops or tubs, etc.
Obstinate The name of an inhabitant of the City of Destruction, who advised Christian to return to his family, and not run on fools' errands. (Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress, pt. i.)
Obverse (The). Of a coin or medal. That side which contains the principal device. Thus, the obverse of our money coin is the side which contains the sovereign's head. The other side is called the reverse.
Oby A river in Russia. The word means Great River. Thomson the poet says it is the ultima thule of the habitable globe.
Occam (William of), surnamed Doctor Singularis et Invincibilis. He was the great advocate of Nominalism. (1270-1347.)
Occam's Razor Entia non sunt multiplicanda (entities are not to be multiplied). With this axiom Occam dissected every question as with a razor.
Occasion A famous old hag, quite bald behind. Sir Guyon seized her by the forelock and threw her to the ground. Still she railed and reviled, till Sir Guyon gagged her with an iron lock; she then began to use her hands, but Sir Guyon bound them behind her. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, book ii.)
Occult Sciences Magic, alchemy, and astrology; so called because they were occult or mysteries (secrets).
Oceana An ideal republic by James Harrington, on the plan of Plato's Atlantis. Also the title of one of James Anthony Froude's books.
Ochiltree (Edie). A gaberlunzie man or blue-coat beggar, in Sir Walter Scott's Antiquary. The original of this bedesman was Andrew Gemmelles.
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