Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for Cox and Box

Click a term to expand the definition; Search for a term; Select other Opera Chapters; Go to the Lexicon menu for introductory and afterword content..

Enter part of a term; e.g., "gill" for Gillow's.

Act

Stop [whereby a man . . . can leave this world, and yet stop in it]

Go on living, as in a stop-over.

Doating [only one obstacle to my doating upon her]

Former spelling of doting, to be foolishly sentimental or sloppily affectionate.

Romance [(stage direction)]

A sentimental and expressive musical number.

Ramsgate

A holiday resort town in Kent. Stedman (273) notes that Burnand lived there after he retired.

Margate

Another holiday resort town in Kent. Those gates have nothing to do with hinged doors; they come from the Danish word for “road” and are an echo from the ancient days of the Scandinavian immigrations.

Life Guards

A regiment of the Household Cavalry (142). For more details see Utopia, Limited.

Blues

A slang term applied to certain companies of soldiers distinguished by their blue uniforms. (142, 158).

Basin called slop

An awkward way of saying slop basin, which can be a bowl for holding the dregs from tea cups at the tea table, or a container for kitchen garbage, or (shudder!) a chamber pot! (142, 320).

Put … back … up

“To put one’s back up” means to antagonize (274) or annoy (142). I suppose it is derived from the way a threatened cat arches its back. (The clumsy way Burnand expresses this shows why he could not compete with Gilbert as a librettist.)

Baited

Harassed or tormented.

Fraction [Between you, then, there was a fraction?]

A break, a falling-out, a domestic spat.

Action [threatened with an action]

Probably a court action for breach of promise.

Ablution [when I had finished my ablution]

Washing –– usually hands and face.

Hose [my hose, my socks]

Tight-fitting breeches or pants.

Linen for nose

A clumsy way of saying “handkerchief.”

Under the rose

A colloquialism for “in secret” or “in confidence” (115). Presumably derived from the Latin sub rosa (which has the same meaning) “from the ancient use of the rose at meetings as a symbol of the sworn confidence of the participants” (250).

Tiff [you left in a tiff?]

In a huff.

Dulcet [sort of a dulcet dirge]

Sweet-toned.

Dirge

Funeral music, from the Latin dirige, the first word of the prescribed service for the dead. See also The Yeomen of the Guard.

Verge

The very edge (of the cliff).

Pages