Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for The Zoo

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.



A nobleman, and member of the House of Lords. See also HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe, The Gondoliers, and Utopia, Limited.


Environment or place.

Hear! Hear!

English terms of endorsement and support. See also The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, and The Mikado.

Change my condition

In the narrow sense he means to drop his disguise and change into attire appropriate to his noble rank.


Pertaining to a duke, the highest order of nobility in the British peerage.


Rees (254) explains: “This is nothing other than an embarrassed cough. The chorus feels unable to say anything of help to Eliza. The word is quite common in Victorian plays.”


Read: this part of the world.

A dressing case with tops

This was a small flat container about the size of a modern brief case in which a lady would transport her articles de toilette when traveling. It would be a very expensive and up-market affair. There would be a hand mirror in a silver frame and various cut-glass bottles with screw tops of silver (gold of course, if you found solid silver too vulgar). It tells us nothing about her habits en toilette but it does tell us lots about the men she knew, and how well she knew them. Eliza was a calculating minx (254).


Screw tops for those cut glass bottles.

Diamond drops

Diamond pendants or earrings perhaps?

Covent Garden

At that time London’s main wholesale flower market.

Park hack

A hack is a horse let out for hire; so a park hack is a rented horse intended for riding in a park.


A borough of London on the south bank of the Thames. Known to Savoyards as the site of the infamous One-Tree Hill (see page 34).


Presumably refers to the period of the year when social activities in London were in full sway. That would include most of the year except the summer months.


A municipal borough and residential suburb of Greater London, lying southwest of the center of the city. It is the site of a large deer park.

Hampton Court

The magnificent palace built a few miles up the Thames from London by Cardinal Wolsey. Completed in 1525, it was taken over by Henry VIII the following year and remained the royal residence for more than a century. The palace and formal gardens, laid out by Christopher Wren, remain popular tourist attractions today (105).


A port city in Kent on the narrowest part of the English Channel, about 75 miles from London. It is known as a favorite seaside and pleasure resort.

Parlie [Thomas Parlie]

Apparently just a made up name to rhyme with Charlie.



City [a respectable man in the City]

Specifically, Lætitia refers to the ancient central part of London. In more general terms she means Carboy will become a successful business man.