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

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


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.


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


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.


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.)


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]



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


The very edge (of the cliff).