(in Hebrew, toil and confusion), mean lands laid waste by war. The giant had eaten everything, so that there was nothing to fry with, as the French say- i.e. nothing left to live upon.
Widow (in Hudibras). The relict of Aminadab Wilmer or Willmot, an Independent, slain at Edgehill. She had £200 left her. Sir Hudibras fell in love with her.
Widow Bird A corruption of Whydaw bird. So called from the country of Whydaw, in Western Africa. The blunder is perpetuated in the scientific name given to the genus, which is the Latin Vidua, a widow.
Widow's Cap This was a Roman custom. Widows were obliged to wear weeds for ten months. (Seneca: Epistles, lxv.)
Widow's Piano Inferior instruments sold as bargains; so called from the ordinary advertisement announcing that a widow lady is compelled to sell her piano, for which she will take half-price.
Widow's Port A wine sold for port, but of quite a different family. As a widow retains her husband's
name after her husband is taken away, so this mixture of potato spirit and some inferior wine retains the
name of port, though every drop of port is taken from it.
We have all heard of widow's port, and of the instinctive dread all persons who have any respect for their health have for it.- The Times.Wieland (2 syl.). The famous smith of Scandinavian fable. He and Amilias had a contest of skill in their handicraft. Wieland's sword cleft his rival down to the thighs; but so sharp was the sword, that Amilias was not aware of the cut till he attempted to stir, when he divided into two pieces. This sword was named Balmung.
Wife is from the verb to weave. (Saxon wefan, Danish vaevc, German weben, whence weib, a woman,
one who works at the distaff.) Woman is called the distaff. Hence Dryden calls Anne a distaff on the
throne. While a girl was spinning her wedding clothes she was simply a spinster; but when this task was
done, and she was married, she became a wife, or one who had already woven her allotted task.
Wig A variation of the French perruque, Latin pilucca, our periwig cut short. In the middle of the eighteenth
century we meet with thirty or forty different names for wigs: as the artichoke, bag, barrister's, bishop's,
brush, bush [buzz], buckle, busby, chain, chancellor's, corded wolf's paw, Count Saxe's mode, the crutch,
the cut bob, the detached buckle, the Dalmahoy (a bob-wig worn by tradesmen), the drop, the Dutch,
the full, the half-natural, the Jansenist bob, the judge's, the ladder, the long bob, the Louis, the periwig,
the pigeon's wing, the rhinoceros, the rose, the scratch, the she-dragon, the small back, the spinach
seed, the staircase, the Welsh, and the wild boar's back.
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