Poisson d'Avril to Polydamas

Poisson d'Avril An April fool. The poisson d'Avril is the mackerel, and we have the expression “You silly mackerel,” and silly indeed are those who allow themselves to be caught by the palpable jokes engendered on the 1st of April. The Scotch say “hunting the gowk” (cuckoo). It is said that the best explanation is a reference to Matt. xxix. 2.
    The mackerel, says Oudin, is called the poisson d'Avril, “parce que les macquereaux se prennent et se mangent environ ce mois-la.”
   A correspondent of Notes and Queries (June 20, 1891, p. 494) says that the April fish is the aurata, sacred to Venus.

Poke A bag, pouch, or sack.

Poke A lazy person, a loafer, a dawdler.

Poke To thrust or push against; to thrust or butt with the horns. Also to busy oneself without any definite object.

“Poking about where we had no business.”- Kingsley: Two Years Ago
   To poke fun at one is to make one a laughing-stock.

“At-table he was hospitable and jocose, always poking good-natured fun at Luke.”- E. Lynn Lynton: Lizzie Lorton of Greyrigg, chap. xii.
Poke Bonnet A long, straight, projecting bonnet, formerly commonly worn by women.

Poker A poker set leaning against the upper bars of a fire to draw it up. This is to make a cross to keep off Lob, the house spirit, who loves to lie before the fire, and, like Puck and Robin Good-fellow, dearly loves mischief and practical jokes.

Poker Pictures Drawings executed by the point of a hot poker or “heater” of an Italian iron. By charring different parts more or less, various tints are obtained.

Poker Talk Gossip, fireside chit-chat.

“Gaston rattled forth this specimen of poker talk lightly.”- Mrs. Edwardes: A Girton Girl, ch. ii.
Pokers The 'squire Bedels who carry a silver mace or poker before the Vice-Chancellor are so called at Cambridge.

Poky Cramped, narrow, confined; as, a poky corner. Also poor and shabby.

“The ladies were in their pokiest old headgear.”- Thackeray: The Newcomes, chap. lvii.
Polack An inhabitant of Poland. (French, Polaque.)

“So frowned he once, when, in angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.”
Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. I.
Polarisation of Light is the absorption of those rays which are at right angles to the rays preserved: Thus A B is one ray in which A is reflected to B and B to A; C D is a ray, in which C is reflected to D and D to C. In E G F H, if the light is polarised, either E F or G H is absorbed. A B and C D are the poles of light, or the directions in which the rays are reflected.

Poleas (2 syl.). The labouring class of India.

“Poleas the labouring lower clans are named,
By the proud Nayres the noble rank is claimed.”
Poles Under bare poles. Said of a ship when all her sails are furled.

Polichinelle Le secret de ... (See Secret .)

Polinesso (in Orlando Furioso). Duke of Albany, who falsely accused Geneura of incontinency, and was slain in single combat by Ariodantes.

Polish off To finish out of hand. In allusion to articles polished.
   I'll polish him off in no time means I'll set him down, I'll give him a drubbing.
   To polish off a meal is to eat it quickly, and not keep anyone waiting.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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