Th to Theist, Deist, Atheist, Agnostic
Th (, theta). The sign given in the verdict of the Areopagus of condemnation to death .
Et potis es vitio nigrum praeflgere theta.- Persius.T meant absolution, and A = non liquet. In the Roman courts C meant condemnation, A absolution, and N L (non liquet) remanded.
Thais (2 syl.). An Athenian courtesan who induced Alexander, when excited with wine, to set fire to the
palace of the Persian kings at Persepolis.
The king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
Thalaba The Destroyer, son of Hodeirah and Zeinab (Zenobia); hero of a poem by Southey, in twelve books.
Thalestris Queen of the Amazons, who went with 300 women to meet Alexander the Great, under the
hope of raising a race of Alexanders.
This was no Thalestris from the fields, but a quiet domestic character from the fireside.- C. Brontë's Shirley, chap. xxviii.
Thali'a One of the muses, generally regarded as the patroness of comedy. She was supposed by some, also, to preside over husbandry and planting, and is represented leaning on a column holding a mask in her right hand, etc.
Thames (1 syl.). The Latin Thamesis (the broad Isis, where isis is a mere variation of esk, ouse,
uisg, etc., meaning water). The river Churn unites with the Thames at Cricklade, in Wiltshire, where
it was at one time indifferently called the Thames, Isis, or Thamesis. Thus, in the Saxon Chronicle we
are told the East Anglians overran all the land of Mercia till they came to Cricklade, where they forded
the Thames. In Camden's Britannia mention is made of Summerford, in Wiltshire, on the east bank
of the Isis (cujus vocabulum Temis juxta vadum, qui appellatur Summerford). Canute also forded the
Thames in 1016 in Wiltshire. Hence Thames is not a compound of the two rivers Thame and Isis at
their junction, but of Thamesis. Tham is a variety of the Latin amnis, seen in such words as North-
ampton, South-ampton, Tam-worth, etc. Pope perpetuates the notion that Thames = Thame and Isis
in the lines-
Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood;He'll never set the Thames on fire. Hell never make any figure in the world; never plant his footsteps on the sands of time. The popular explanation is that the word Thames is a pun on the word temse, a coru-sieve; and that the parallel French locution He will never set the Seine on fire is a pun on seine, a drag-net; but these solutions are not tenable. There is a Latin saw, Tiberim accendere nequaquam potest, which is probably the fons et origo of other parallel sayings. Then, long before our proverb, we had To set the Rhine on fire (Den Rhein anzünden), 1630, and Er hat den Rhein und das Meer angezündet, 1580.
There are numerous similar phrases: as He will never set the Liffey on fire; to set the Trent on fire; to set the Humber on fire; etc. Of course it is possible to set water on fire, but the scope of the proverb lies the other way, and it may take its place beside such sayings as If the sky falls we may catch larks.
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