Wood to Word

Wood Don't cry [or halloo] till you are out of the wood. Do not rejoice for having escaped danger till the danger has passed away.

Wood's Halfpence A penny coined by William Wood, to whom George I. granted letters patent for the purpose. (See Drapiers Letters. )

“Sir Walter's [Scott] real belief in Scotch one-pound notes may be advantageously contrasted with Swift's forced frenzy about Wood's halfpence, more especially as Swift really did understand the defects of Wood's scheme, and Sir Walter was absolutely ignorant of the currency controversy in which he engaged.”- The Times.
Woodbind The bindweed or wild convolvulus. This is quite a different plant to the woodbine. It is a most troublesome weed in orchards, as its roots run to a great depth, and its long, climbing stalks bind round anything near it with persistent tenacity. It is one of the most difficult weeds to extirpate, as every broken fragment is apt to take root.

Woodbine The honeysuckle or beewort; or perhaps the convolvulus.

“Where the bee
Strays diligent, and with extracted balm
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh.”
   Shakespeare says-

“So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist.”
Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. 1.
   Gone where the woodbine twineth. To the pawnbroker's, up the spout, where, in Quebec, “on cottage walls the woodbine may be seen twining.” (A correspondent of Quebec supplied this.

Woodcock (A). A fool is so called from the supposition that woodcocks are without brains. Polonius tells his daughter that protestations of love are “springes to catch woodcocks.” (Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. 3.)

Wooden Horse (The). Babieca.
   Peter of Provence had a wooden horse named Babieca. (See Clavileno.)

“This very day may be seen in the king's armoury the identical peg with which Peter of Provence turned his Wooden Horse, which carried him through the air. It is rather bigger than the pole of a coach, and stands near Babieca's saddle.”- Don Quixote, pt. i. bk. iv. 19.
Wooden Horse (To ride the). To sail aboard a ship, brig, or boat, etc.

“He felt a little out of the way for riding the wooden horse.”- Sir Walter Scott: Redgauntlet, chap. xv.
Wooden Horse of Troy Virgil tells us that Ulysses had a monster wooden horse made after the death of Hector, and gave out that it was an offering to the gods to secure a prosperous voyage back to Greece. The Trojans dragged the horse within their city, but it was full of Grecian soldiers, who at night stole out of their place of concealment, slew the Trojan guards, opened the city gates, and set fire to Troy. Menelaos was one of the Greeks shut up in it. It was made by Epeios (Latin, Epeus).
   Cambuscan's wooden horse. The Arabian Nights tells us of Cambuscan's horse of brass, which had a pin in the neck, and on turning this pin the horse rose into the air, and transported the rider to the place he wanted to go to. (See Clavileno.)

Wooden Mare (The). “The mare foaled of an acorn.” An instrument of torture to enforce military discipline, used in the reign of Charles II. and long after. The horse was made of oak, the back was a sharp ridge, and the four legs were like a high stool. The victim was seated on the ridge, with a firelock fastened to each foot.

“Here, Andrews, wrap a cloak round the prisoner, and do not mention his name unless you would have a trot on the wooden horse.”- Sir Walter Scott: Old Mortality, chap. ix.
Wooden Spoon The last of the honour men- i.e. of the Junior Optimes, in the Cambridge University. Sometimes two or more “last” men are bracketed together, in which case the group is termed the spoon bracket. It is said that these men are so called because in days of yore they were presented with a wooden spoon, while the other

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.