Underwriter to Up
Underwriter An underwriter at Lloyds. One who insures a ship or its merchandise to a stated amount. So called because he writes his name under the policy.
Undine (2 syl.). The water-nymph, who was created without a soul, like all others of her species. By
marrying a mortal she obtained a soul, and with it all the pains and penalties of the human race. (La
Motte Fouqué: Undine.)
Unguem Ad unguem. To the minutest point. To finish a statue ad unguem is to finish it so smoothly and perfectly that when the nail is run over the surface it can detect no imperfection.
Unhinged I am quite unhinged. My nerves are shaken, my equilibrium of mind is disturbed; I am like a door which has lost one of its hinges.
Unhouselled (3 syl.). Without having had the Eucharist in the hour of death. To housel is to administer the sacrament to the sick in danger of death. Housel is the Saxon husel (the Eucharist). Lye derives it from the Gothic hunsa (a victim).
U'nicorn According to the legends of the Middle Ages, the unicorn could be caught only by placing a
virgin in his haunts; upon seeing the virgin, the creature would lose its fierceness and lie quiet at her
feet. This is said to be an allegory of Jesus Christ, who willingly became man and entered the Virgin's
womb, when He was taken by the hunters of blood. The one horn symbolises the great Gospel doctrine-
that Christ is one with God. (Guillaume, Clere de Normandie Trouvére.)
Yon lion placed two unicorns betweenUnicorn. According to a belief once popular, the unicorn by dipping its horn into a liquid could detect whether or not it contained poison. In the designs for gold and silver plate made for the Emperor Rudolph II. by Ottavio Strada is a cup on which a unicorn stands as if to essay the liquid.
Driving unicorn. Two wheelers and one leader. The leader is the one horn, (Latin, unum cornu, one horn.)
Unicorns So whale-fishers call narwhals, from the long twisted tusks, often eight feet long.
Unigenitus (Latin, The Only-Begotten). A Papal bull, so called from its opening sentence, Ungenitus Dei Filius. It was issued in condemnation of Quesnel's Réflexions Morales, which favoured Jansenism; the bull was issued in 1713 by Clement XI., and was a damnatio in globo - i.e. a condemnation of the whole book without exception. Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris, took the side of Quesnel, and those who supported the archbishop against the pope were termed Appelants. In 1730 the bull was condemned by the civil authorities of Paris, and the controversy died out.
Union Jack The national banner of Great Britain and Ireland. It consists of three united crosses- that of
St. George for England, the saltire of St. Andrew for Scotland, and the cross of St. Patrick for Ireland.
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