honour men had a silver or golden one, a spoon being the usual prix de mèrite instead of a medal. (See
Wooden Wedge. )
Wooden Sword To wear the wooden sword. To keep back sales by asking too high a price. Fools used to wear wooden swords or daggers of lath.
Wooden Wall When the Greeks sent to Delphi to ask how they were to defend themselves against
Xerxes, who had invaded their country, the evasive answer given was to this effect-
Wooden Wedge Last in the classical tripos. When, in 1824, the classical tripos was instituted at Cambridge, it was debated by what name to call the last on the list. It so happened that the last on the list was Wedgewood, and the name was accepted and moulded into Wooden-wedge. (See Wooden Spoon .)
Woodfall brother of the Woodfall of Junius, and editor of the Morning Chronicle. Woodfall would attend a debate, and, without notes, report it accurately next morning. He was called Memory Woodfall. (1745- 1803.) W. Radcliffe could do the same.
Woodwardian Professor The professor of geology in the University of Cambridge. This professorship was founded in 1727 by Dr. Woodward.
Wool Dyed in the wool. A hearty good-fellow. Cloth which is wool-dyed (not piece-dyed), is true throughout
and will wash.
Maister Mainwaring's much abuzed, Most grievously for things accuse,Wool-gathering Your wits are gone wool-gathering. As children sent to gather wool from hedges are absent for a trivial purpose, so persons in a brown study are absent-minded to no good purpose.
But, my dear, if my wits are somewhat wool-gathering and unsettled, my heart is as true as a star.- Ilarriet B. Stowe.
Woolen In 1666 an Act of Parliament was passed for burying in woollen only, which was intended for
the encouragement of the woollen manufactures of the kingdom, and prevention of the exportation of
money for the buying and importing of linen. Repealed in 1814.
`Odious! in woollen I`twould a saint provoke;'This was the ruling passion strong in death. At the time this was written it was compulsory to bury in woollen. Narcissa did not dread death half so much as being obliged to wear flannel instead of her fine mantles. Narcissa was Mrs. Oldfield, the actress, who died 1731.
Woollen goods. (See Linen Goods.)
Woolsack To sit on the woolsack. To be Lord Chancellor of England, whose seat in the House of Lords is called the woolsack. It is a large square bag of wool, without back or arms, and covered with red cloth. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth an Act of Parliament was passed to prevent the exportation of wool; and that this source of our national wealth might be kept constantly in mind woolsacks were placed in the House of Peers, whereon the judges sat. Hence the Lord Chancellor, who presides in the House of Lords, is said to sit on the woolsack, or to be appointed to the woolsack.
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