Termagant to Teutonic Knights

Termagant The author of Junnus says this was a Saxon idol, and derives the word from tyr magan (very mighty); but perhaps it is the Persian tir-magian (Magian lord or deity). The early Crusaders, not very nice in their distinctions, called all Pagans Saracens, and muddled together Magianism and Mahometanism in wonderful confusion, so that Termagant was called the god of the Saracens, or the co-partner of Mahound. Hence Ariosto makes Ferrau “blaspheme his Mahound and Termagant” (Orlando Furioso, xii. 59); and in the legend of Syr Guy the Soudan or Sultan is made to say-

“So helpë me, Mahòune, of might,
And Termagaunt, my God so bright.”
   Termagant was at one time applied to men. Thus Massinger, in The Picture, says, “A hundred thousand Turks assailed him, every one a Termagant [Pagan].” At present the word is applied to a boisterous, brawling woman. Thus Arbuthnot says, “The eldest daughter was a termagant, an imperious profligate wretch.” The change of sex arose from the custom of representing Termagant on the stage in Eastern robes, like those worn in Europe by females.

“ `Twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot [Douglas] bad paid me scot and lot too.”- Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., v. 4.
   Outdoing Termagant (Hamlet, iii. 2). In the old play the degree of rant was the measure of villainy. Termagant and Herod, being considered the beau-ideal of all that is bad, were represented as settling everything with club law, and bawling so as to split the ears of the groundlings. Bully Bottom, having ranted to his heart's content, says, “That is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein.” (See Herod.)

Terpsichore (properly Terp-sik'-o-re, but often pronounced Terp'-si-core). The goddess of dancing. Terpsichorean, relating to dancing. Dancers are called “the votaries of Terpsichore.”

Terra Firma Dry land, in opposition to water; the continents as distinguished from islands. The Venetians so called the mainland of Italy under their sway; as, the Duchy of Venice, Venetian Lombardy, the March of Treviso, the Duchy of Friuli, and Istria. The continental parts of America belonging to Spain were also called by the same term.

Terrestrial Sun (That). Gold, which in alchemy was the metal corresponding to the sun, as silver did to the moon. (Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici, p. 149, 3.)

Terrible (The). Ivan IV. [or II.] of Russia. (1529, 1533-1584.)

Terrier is a dog that “takes the earth,” or unearths his prey. Dog Tray is merely an abbreviation of the same word. Terrier is also applied to the hole which foxes, badgers, rabbits, and so on, dig under ground to save themselves from the hunters. The dog called a terrier creeps into these holes like a ferret to rout out the victim. (Latin, terra, the earth.) Also a land-roll or description of estates.
    There are short- and long-haired terriers.
   (1) Short-haired: the black-and-tan, the schipperke, the bull-terrier, and the fox- terrier.
   (2) Long-haired: the Bedlington, the Dandy Dinmont, and the Irish, Scotch, and Yorkshire terrier.

Terry Alts Insurgents of Clare, who appeared after the Union, and committed numerous outrages. These rebels were similar to “the Thrashers” of Connaught, “the Carders,” the followers of “Captain Rock” in 1822, and the Fenians (1869).

Tertium Quid A third party which shall be nameless. The expression originated with Pythagoras, who, defining bipeds, said-

“Sunt bipes homo, et avis, et tertium quid.

“A man is a biped, so is a bird, and a third thing (which shall be nameless).”
   Iamblichus says this third thing was Pythagoras himself. (Vita Pyth., cxxvii.)
   In chemistry, when two substances chemically unite, the new substance is called a tertium quid, as a neutral salt produced by the mixture of an acid and alkali.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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