Benford's Gilbert & Sullivan Lexicon

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Gilbert spun lines by the yard,
He found it not at all hard.
     His verses ring true
     And from our point of view
He’s lots more fun than the Bard!

And Sullivan, too, had a stake
With music delightful to make.
     With simple perfection
     He enhanced the confection
And nicely frosted the cake.

D’Oyly Carte joined the good pair,
He managed the books with care.
     His accounting was right
     And accurate, quite,
(Aside from that carpet affair).

--Harry Benford

(Isaac Asimov’s special contribution in his Foreword to the first two editions of this book.)

The Gilbert and Sullivan Enthusiasts

(with apologies to W. S. Gilbert)


If you give me your attention, I will tell you who we are.
We are G and S enthusiasts –– we find them caviar.
We know the notes of every play, excepting, of course, Thespis.
For its music has been hurtled off some undiscovered prec’pice.
But cheerfully we carol out a jolly Trial by Jury
From beginning to finale when the judge erupts in fury.
We love the patter singing –– in particular, The Sorcerer.
We yodel of John Wellington till hoarse and growing hoarserer,
   And we’ll never stop.

We’ll do a bouncy hornpipe on your decks, H.M.S. Pinafore.
If happiness is sinful, yours the music we will sinafore.
And then as slaves of duty meet The Pirates of Penzance
We will sing without regarding, now and then, a dissonance.
But if you want some lovesick maids, dragoons, and poets ––Patience
(Since simple words can turn to plays with capitalizations.)
For fairies and lord chancellors, there’s always Iolanthe.
The music fills us all with joy and makes us feel romanthe,
  So we’ll never stop.

In three acts and in blank verse we will greet you, Princess Ida,
With cheers for Castle Adamant had you but fortified ‘er.
And then the all-time maximum, the Japanese Mikado
For there, if anywhere, we’ll find a tuneful El Dorado.
Then back at once to magic spells and grim old Ruddigore
Where a ghost is just as deadly as an executioner.
In full-fledged operatic notes The Yeomen of the Guard
Is where we’ll sing of poor Jack Point whose love turns out ill-starred.
   And we’ll never stop.

Then everything is doubled when we sing The Gondoliers
With babies changed in infancy (that ploy now reappears).
And there’s a pause, but they return –– Utopia Limited
Where wise men try to turn their king into a figurehead.
So finally we end, alas, and sing of The Grand Duke
And call down on the Fates an unavailing sad rebuke.
Why couldn’t G and S have written fifty thousand more?
We’d have sung out all the notes till all our throats were good and sore,
   And we’d never stop.
   No, we’d never stop.

--Isaac Asimov

  1. Aesopus. The Fables of Aesop. London: B. Quartich, 1885.

  2. _____ Aesop’s Fables. London: A. & C. Black, 1912.

  3. Allen, Reginald. The First Night Gilbert and Sullivan. New York: The Heritage Press, 1958.

  4. _____“A Gilbert & Sullivan Collection,” Autograph Collectors’ Journal, Vol. V, No. II, Winter 1953.

  5. Ambrose, Stephen E. Undaunted Courage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

  6. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969.

  7. Anon. Glossaries. Internet: The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, 1969.

  8. Applegate, George. Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  9. Applegate, Kay. The Breakfast Book. Santa Fe: The Lightning Tree, 1975.

  10. Asimov, Isaac. Personal communication, 1976.

  11. _____ Asimov’s Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan. New York: Doubleday, 1988.

  12. Aslet, Clive. The Last Country Houses. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

  13. Associated Press. “Author Peeks inside Buckingham Palace,” Ann Arbor News, September 11, 1991.

  14. Atkinson John. Personal communication, 1994.

  15. Aurora, Silvio. “Modified Rapture,” Palace Peeper, January 1992.

  16. _____ “Poetic Catharsis,” Palace Peeper, September 1995.

  17. _____ Personal communication, 1992.

  18. _____ Personal communication, 1998

  19. _____ “Good Day, Sweet Prince: (Bab and the Bard)”: GASBAG, Issue 207, Spring 1998.

  20. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Toronto & New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

  21. Ayre, Leslie. The Gilbert and Sullivan Companion. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1972.

  22. Baily, Leslie. The Gilbert and Sullivan Book. London: Spring Books, 1966.

  23. Bamberger, David. “Faultless Sympathy,” Palace Peeper, February 1998.

  24. Barker, John. “Glossaries,” Savoyardage, August 1992.

  25. _____ “Glossaries,” Savoyardage, August 1993.

  26. _____ “Glossaries,” Savoyardage, July 1997.

  27. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  28. Barnhart, Clarence L. The New Century Cyclopedia of Names. New York: Appleton-Century-Croft, 1954.

  29. Bartholomew, J. G. The Survey Atlas of England and Wales. Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Geographical Institute, 1903.

  30. Bartlett, Des & Jen. “Africa’s Skeleton Coast,” National Geographic, Vol. 181, No. 1, January 1992.

  31. Basingstoke, Vladimir I. The Bluejacket’s Companion and Nautical Lore. Aukland: Nonesuch Press, 1921.

  32. Beerbohm, Max. Rossetti and His Circle. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.

  33. Belcher, Patricia. Personal communication, 1998.

  34. Bell, Diana. The Complete Gilbert & Sullivan. Secaucus, N.J.: The Wellfleet Press, 1989.

  35. Bender, Byron. Personal communication, 1998.

  36. Benford, Harry. “Cape Finistere,” GASBAG, November/December, 1992.

  37. _____ “Princess Kaiulani of Hawaii — A Utopian Inspiration?” GASBAG, March/April 1994.

  38. Berlioz, Hector. Memoirs. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

  39. Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Co., 1943 (originally 1911).

  40. Blair, C. “The Humour of Fielding,” The Gilbert and Sullivan Journal. London: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society, July 1926.

  41. Boïalle, James (ed). A New French and English Dictionary. London: Cassell, 1908.

  42. Booth, Michael R. (ed). English Plays of the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 4 “Farces.” Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1973.

  43. Bosdêt, Mary. Personal communications, 1992.

  44. _____ “Whence Basingstoke,” GASBAG, November/December, 1992.

  45. Boswell, James. Life of Johnson. Oxford University Press, 1987.

  46. Bradley, Ian. The Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan 1. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1982.

  47. _____ The Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan 2. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1984.

  48. _____ The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan. Oxford University Press, 1996.

  49. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  50. Bradshaw, J. Stuart. Personal communication, 1976.

  51. _____ Personal communications, 1978, 1989.

  52. _____ Pesonal communication, 1993.

  53. Breuer, Gladys. Personal communication, 1980.

  54. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.

  55. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.

  56. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. London: Cassell & Co., 1895

  57. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.

  58. Bryson, Bill. Made in America. New York: Avon Books, 1996.

  59. Bulletin, N.Y. Public Library, 1922.

  60. Burgess, A.J. The Notary and other Lawyers in Gilbert & Sullivan. Hadleigh: Suffolk, 1997.

  61. Burleigh, Diana. Personal communication, 1976.

  62. Burlington, N.J. Historical Society, Delia Biddle Pugh Library, Ruth Bump, Cataloger. Personal communication, 1976.

  63. Burnand, F. C. Records and Reminiscences. London: Methuen & Co., 1905 (originally 1903).

  64. Bushland, Paul. “The Glossary,” Savoyardage, Summer 1995.

  65. Byron, George Gordon Noel. The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1905.

  66. Cameron, H.D. Personal communications, 1976, 1977, 1989.

  67. Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Chicago & New York: M. A. Donahue, n.d.

  68. Cassell’s Italian Dictionary. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1967.

  69. Castelot, André. Napolean (Trans. by Guy Daniels). New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

  70. The Century Dictionary & Cyclopedia. New York: The Century Co., 1889.

  71. Chamber’s Encyclopædia. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1967.

  72. Chambers, Kenton L. Personal communication, 1997.

  73. Chekov, Anton. Five Great Short Stories. New York: Dover Publications, 1992.

  74. Clunn, Harold P. The Face of the Home Counties. London: Spring Books, 1958.

  75. Collins English Dictionary. London: William Collins Sons & Co., 1972.

  76. Colson, Warren. Personal communication, 1977.

  77. The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 1950.

  78. Concise Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner’s, 1964.

  79. Cookson, David. Personal communication, 1998.

  80. Craven, David. Personal communication, 1998.

  81. Creasy, E.S. The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, from Marathon to Waterloo. London: Macmillan, 1851.

  82. Cunliffe, Richard John. A New Shakespearean Dictionary. London: Blackie and Son, 1910.

  83. Dahms, William. Personal communication, 1996.

  84. Dance Encyclopedia (Chujoy & Manchester, ed). New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967.

  85. Dann, John C. (ed). The Nagle Journal. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1988.

  86. Darlington, W.A. The World of Gilbert and Sullivan. New York: Crowell, 1950.

  87. Delany, Ruth. Ireland’s Inland Waterways. Belfast: Appleton Press, nd.

  88. De Lorme, Eleanor. Personal communication, 1998.

  89. Desmond, Kevin. A Timetable of Inventions and Discoveries. New York: M. Evans & Company, Inc., 1986.

  90. Dickens, Charles. Sketches by Boz. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

  91. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929 (Supplement One, 1944).

  92. Dictionary of the Italian and English Languages. Florence: G.C. Sansoni, 1972.

  93. The Dictionary of National Biography. London: Oxford University Press, 1921.

  94. Dixon, Geoffrey. Personal Communication, 1998.

  95. Dixon, William Hepworth. The Match Industry. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd, n.d.

  96. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Illustrated Sherlock Holmes Treasury. New York: Avenel Books, 1976.

  97. D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. Playbill (for The Mikado). New York, 1976.

  98. _____ Playbill (for H.M.S. Pinafore). New York, 1976.

  99. Duffey, D. Personal communication, 1998.

  100. Dunn, George E. A. Gilbert & Sullivan Dictionary. New York: DaCapo Press, 1971.

  101. Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

  102. Elson, Louis C. Pocket Music Dictionary. Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: Oliver Ditson Co., 1909.

  103. The Encyclopædia Britannica. 11th ed. Cambridge, England: University Press, 1910.

  104. The Encyclopædia Britannica. 14th ed. Chicago: William Benton, 1973.

  105. The Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Americana Corp., 1952.

  106. The Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Americana Corp., 1976.

  107. The Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury CT: Grolier, Inc., 1989.

  108. The English Dialect Dictionary. London: Henry Frowde, 1898.

  109. Epton, Nina. Josephine: The Empress and her Children. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975.

  110. Erickson, C.T., ed. The Anglo-Norman Act of “Le Lai du Cor.” Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1973.

  111. Evans, Aidan. Personal communication, 1976.

  112. _____ Personal communication, 1981.

  113. Evans, Bergen. Dictionary of Quotations. New York: Delacorte Press, 1968.

  114. Falconer, William. An Universal Dictionary of the Marine. London: T. Cadell, 1780. Reprint. Devon: Newton Abbot, 1970.

  115. Farmer, J. S., and Henley, W. E. A Dictionary of Slang. Ware, Hertfordshire: Woodsworth Editions Ltd., 1987 (originally 1890).

  116. Fava, Jean and Fava, Ronald. Personal communications, 1990.

  117. Feldman, Alex. “Glossary,” Savoyardage, July 1984.

  118. Feldman, Alex and Barker, John. “Glossary for Patience,” Savoyardage, July 1991.

  119. Fido, Martin. Oscar Wilde. New York: The Viking Press, 1973.

  120. Forty, Sandra. The Pre-Raphaelites. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1997.

  121. Fry, Plantagenet Somerset. The Kings and Queens of England and Scotland. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990.

  122. Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1947.

  123. George, J.C.G. Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  124. Gibbon, Edward The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Washington Square Press, 1962.

  125. Gibson, Edmund A. Basic Seamanship and Navigation. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1951.

  126. Gilbert, W.S. The Bab Ballads: With Which are Included Songs of a Savoyard. London: Macmillan & Co., 1927.

  127. _____ The Bab Ballads. James Ellis. (ed). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1970.

  128. _____ The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1976.

  129. _____ The Savoy Operas. London: Macmillan & Co., 1959.

  130. _____ Songs of a Savoyard. London: G. Routledge & Sons, 1890.

  131. _____ The Savoy Operas. London: Oxford University Press, 1962, 1963.

  132. _____ The Pinafore Picture Book. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908.

  133. _____ The Story of the Mikado. London: Daniel O’Connor, 1921.

  134. Gilbert, W. S., and Sullivan, Arthur. Songs of Two Savoyards. London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., n.d.

  135. Gillette, Mitchell Scott. Personal communication, 1998.

  136. Girouard, Mark. Victorian Pubs. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.

  137. Goldberg, David. “A Cloth Untrue,” GASBAG, Vol. 20, No. 4, March/April 1989.

  138. _____“U800 or Armor News,” GASBAG, October/November/December 1990.

  139. Goldberg, Isaac. The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan. New York: Crown Publishers, 1935.

  140. Goodman, Andrew. Gilbert & Sullivan’s London. Tunbridge Wells: Spellmount, Ltd., 1988.

  141. _____ Gilbert & Sullivan at Law. London: Associated University Press, 1983.

  142. _____ Personal communication, 1989.

  143. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  144. Grand Pierre, C. Dictionary of Sea Terms. Valley Cottage, N.Y.: private publication, 1928.

  145. Green, Martyn. Martyn Green’s Treasury of Gilbert & Sullivan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961.

  146. Grossmith, George. A Society Clown. Bristol: J. W. Arrowsmith, 1888.

  147. Halton, Frederick J. The Gilbert & Sullivan Operas, A Concordance. New York: Bass Publishers, 1935.

  148. A Handy Dictionary of the English Language. New York: American Book Co., ca. 1900.

  149. Hardwick, Michael. The Osprey Guide to Gilbert & Sullivan. London: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1972.

  150. Hargrave, Basil. Origins and Meanings of Popular Phrases and Names. London: T. Werner Laurie, Ltd., 1932.

  151. Hazon, Mario, ed. Garzanti Comprehensive Italian-English English-Italian Dictionary. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.

  152. Heath, Jeffrey. Personal communication, 1998.

  153. Hershey, Robert D., Jr. “Queen’s Banker Stays Selective,” New York Times, August 7, 1978.

  154. Hibbert, Christopher. The Court of St. James’s. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1980.

  155. Hilton, George W. Nellie Farren. Saffron Walden: Sir Arthur Sullivan Society, 1997.

  156. Hoare, Alfred. An Italian Dictionary. Cambridge: University Press, 1925.

  157. Hudson, Derek. Notes in The Savoy Operas. London: Oxford University Press, 1962, 1963.

  158. Huston, John. Personal communication, 1989.

  159. Hutchinson, Ann. Fanny Elssler’s Cachucha. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1981.

  160. Hyder, William. Personal communication, 1977.

  161. _____ Personal communications, 1989, 1990.

  162. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  163. Jacobs, Arthur. Arthur Sullivan: A Victorian Musician. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.

  164. _____ Personal communication, 1980.

  165. Johnson, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language: Reprinted by Barnes & Noble, 1994.

  166. Joseph, Tony. Personal communication, 1979.

  167. _____ Personal communication, 1990.

  168. Kane, Sara. Personal communication, 1976.

  169. Kanthor, Hal. “The Dark Side of Baby Farming,” GASBAG, November/December 1991 and January/February 1992.

  170. Karr, Phyllis. Personal communication, 1976.

  171. _____ Personal communication, 1989.

  172. Kelly, Raymond. Personal communication, 1998.

  173. Kenny, Nigel. Personal communication, 1990.

  174. Kesilman, Sylvan. Personal communication, 1989.

  175. Kline, Peter G. Gilbert & Sullivan Production. New York: Richards Rosen Press, 1972.

  176. _____ Personal communication, 1989.

  177. Knight, Daniel, and Knight, Marsha. “Glossaries” (Program notes for The Savoy Company). Philadelphia, 1978-89.

  178. “Glossaries,” (Program notes for the Savoy Company). Philadelphia , 1990 - 1998.

  179. _____ Personal communication, 1976.

  180. Kotzebue, August Fredrich Ferdinand von. The Stranger. London: R. Pitkeathley, 1799.

  181. Kravetz, Daniel. Personal communication, 1989.

  182. _____ Personal communications, 1998.

  183. Lawrence, Arthur. Sir Arthur Sullivan: Life Story, Letters and Reminiscences. London: James Bowden, 1899.

  184. Ledbbetter, Steven (ed). Trial by Jury, Vol. 1 of Gilbert & Sullivan: The Operas. New York: Broude Brothers, 1994.

  185. Lederer, Richard. Anguished English. New York: Bantam, Doubleday Dell, 1987.

  186. Lee, Ernest. Personal communication, 1998.

  187. Lempriere, John. Classical Dictionary of Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors. rev. ed. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1949.

  188. Leonardi, Gene. Personal communication, 1998.

  189. Lindsell-Roberts, Sheryl. Loony Law & Silly Statutes. New York: Sterling Publishing, 1994.

  190. Linnekin, Jocelyn. Personal communication, 1998.

  191. Lyell, Thomas R. G. Slang, Phrase and Idiom in Colloquial English and Their Use. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1931.

  192. Macaulay, Thomas Babington (Lord). The History of England. Vol. I. Philadelphia: The University Library Association, 1910.

  193. Macgeorge, Ethel. The Life and Reminiscences of Jessie Bond. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, Ltd., 1930.

  194. MacPhail, Ralph, Jr. Personal communications, 1987, 1989.

  195. _____ “Finger Stalls,” letter, The Gilbert & Sullivan Journal, London, Autumn 1980.

  196. _____ Personal communications, 1998.

  197. Malm, William. Lecture at University of Michigan. April 15, 1989.

  198. Manheim, Leonard F. Personal communication, 1977.

  199. Marius, Richard. Thomas Moore, a Biography. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

  200. Marryat, Captain. Peter Simple. London & Glasgow: University Press, 1929.

  201. Massie, Robert K. Dreadnaught. New York: Random House, 1991.

  202. _____ Peter the Great. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980.

  203. Maurois, André. Disraeli. New York: Modern Library, 1928.

  204. May, Thomas Erskine. A Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament. London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd., 1893.

  205. _____ A Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament. London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd., 1906.

  206. McCann, William. Personal communication, 1998.

  207. McClure, Derrick. Personal communication, 1998.

  208. McCullough, David. The Path Between the Seas. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1977.

  209. McElroy, George. Personal communications, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981.

  210. _____ “Professionalism at the Savoy,” GASBAG, Vol. XXI, No. 2, Nov./Dec. 1989.

  211. McShane, Paul. Personal communication, 1998.

  212. Melville, Herman. Billy Budd. New York: NAL Penguin, 1979.

  213. Merivale, Herman Charles. Bar, Stage and Platform: Autobiographic Memories. London: Chatto and Windus, 1902.

  214. Mitchell, Ronald E. Opera Dead or Alive. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970.

  215. More, Thomas. Utopia. (Translated by Ogden, H. V. S.). New York: Appleton-Century-Croft, Inc., 1949.

  216. Morningstar, Gershom Clark. Personal communication, 1976.

  217. Morris, William, and Morris, Mary. Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

  218. Mossiker, Frances. Napoleon and Josephine: The Biography of a Marriage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1964.

  219. Muir, Frank. The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

  220. Munich, Adrienne. Queen Victoria’s Secrets. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

  221. Neale, Judith. Personal communication, 1998.

  222. The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: New American Library, 1961.

  223. The New Century Cyclopedia of Names. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1954.

  224. The New Encyclopædia Britannica. 15th ed. Chicago: Helen Hemingway Benton, 1975.

  225. The New Encyclopædia Britannica (Micropedia). Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987.

  226. Nowacki, Horst. Personal communication, 1976.

  227. Ossa, Eugene. Personal communication, 1998.

  228. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933.

  229. The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

  230. Paget, Julian. The Yeomen of the Guard. Poole, Dorset: Blandford Press, 1984.

  231. Papa, Christopher M. “A Scientist Replies,” Palace Peeper, January 1996.

  232. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  233. Partridge, Eric. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. 4th rev. ed. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956.

  234. _____ A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. 7th rev. ed. London: The Macmillan Co., 1970.

  235. _____ A Dictionary of the Underworld. 3rd ed. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968.

  236. _____ The Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973.

  237. _____ A Dictionary of Catch Phrases. New York: Stein and Day, 1977.

  238. Paulshock, Bernadine Z. “Letters to the Editor,” Smithsonian, April 1990.

  239. Peacock, Karen. Personal communication, 1998.

  240. Pearson, Hesketh. Gilbert: His Life and Strife. London: Methuen and Co., 1957.

  241. Pooley, Beverley. Personal communication, 1977.

  242. _____ Personal communications. 1989, 1990.

  243. Prestige, Colin. Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  244. _____ Personal communications, 1978 and 1984.

  245. _____ Personal communications, 1990.

  246. Punch. November 1, 1884.       

  247. Raedler, Dorothy. Personal communication, 1976.

  248. Rames, Richard. Personal communication, 1998.

  249. Randall, David A. “The Gondoliers and Princess Ida,” W. S. Gilbert, A Century of Scholarship and Commentary. New York: N. Y. University Press, 1970.

  250. The Random House Dictionary. New York: Random House, 1966.

  251. Rees, Terence. Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  252. _____ Thespis: A Gilbert & Sullivan Enigma. London: Dillon’s University Bookshop, 1964.

  253. _____ Theatre Lighting in the Age of Gas. London: The Society for Theatre Research, 1978.

  254. _____ Personal communications, 1981, 1989, 1990.

  255. Ridley, James. The Tales of the Genii: or the Delightful Lessons of Horam, the Son of Asmar “faithfully translated from the Persian manuscript, etc. by Sir James Morell (pseud.)” London: J. Wilkie, 1766.

  256. Robinson, Arthur. “A Greek Remark,” Precious Nonsense, May 1995.

  257. Round-table discussion with Patricia Cope, Lorraine Daniels, Alistair Donkin, David Mackie, Kenneth Sandford, and Geoffrey Shovelton. Ann Arbor, March 1990.

  258. Rowell, George. Queen Victoria Goes to the Theatre. London: Paul Elek, 1978.

  259. Ruskin, John. Appendix to “The Stones of Venice,” Reproduced in Pergolis, Ricardo, The Boats of Venice. Venice: L’Alto Riva, 1981.

  260. SavoyNet: The Gilbert & Sullivan Internet Bulletin Board.

  261. Scott, Sir Walter. Marmion: And Other Poems. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1923.

  262. _____ Peveril of the Peak. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1923.

  263. Shepherd, Marc. Personal communications, 1989.

  264. _____Personal communications, 1998.

  265. Shereff, Jesse. Personal communication, 1977.

  266. Shipley, Joseph T. Dictionary of Word Origins. New York: Philosophical Library, 1945.

  267. Shovelton, Geoffrey. Personal communication, 1984.

  268. Sims, Sir Alfred. Personal communication, 1976.

  269. Smith, Geoffrey. The Savoy Operas. London: Robert Hale Ltd., 1983.

  270. Sperling, Susan Kelz. Tenderfeet and Ladyfingers. New York: The Viking Press, 1981.

  271. Stasheff, Edward. Personal communication, 1990.

  272. Stedman, Jane W. “The Genesis of ‘Patience.’” Modern Philology, Vol. 66 (1968).

  273. _____ Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  274. _____ Personal communication, 1989.

  275. _____ W.S. Gilbert: A Classic Victorian and His Theatre. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

  276. _____ Personal communication, 1993.

  277. _____ Gilbert Before Sullivan. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967.

  278. Stell, John. Personal communication, 1976.

  279. Stephenson, B. C. [Bolton Rowe], and Sullivan, Arthur. The Zoo. London: 25 Nightingale Square, n.d.

  280. _____ The Zoo, Vocal score. Chorleywood, Herts , R. Clyde, 1991.

  281. Stephenson, Thomas. “Remarkable People in History,” The Gilbert and Sullivan Journal. London: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society, July 1926.

  282. Sternenberg, Philip. Personal communication, 1998.

  283. Stone, David. Personal communications, 1989.

  284. _____ Personal communication, 1998.

  285. Terry, Madge; Johnson, Reavely; and Davis, D. Graham. “An Operatic Glossary.” The Gilbert and Sullivan Journal. London: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society, 1935-1937 and 1948-1949.

  286. Terry, Madge. An Operatic Glossary, rev. ed. London: The Gilbert and Sullivan Society, 1975.

  287. Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.

  288. Thomas, Joseph. Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology. New York: AMS Press, 1972.

  289. Thompson, Constance. Personal communication, 1977.

  290. Thorndike-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary. Garden City: Doubleday and Co., 1954.

  291. Tillett, Selwyn. Personal communication, 1997.

  292. Trevelyan, George Otto. The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1878.

  293. Trollope, Anthony. The Small House at Allington. London: Penguin Books, 1964.

  294. Turnbull, Stephen. Personal communication, 1998.

  295. Venman, William. Personal communication, 1989.

  296. Vizetelly, Francis H.; and De Bekker, Leander J. A Desk Book of Idioms and Idiomatic Phrases. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1926.

  297. Von Eckhardt, Wolf; Gilman, Sander L.; and Chamberlain, J. Edward. Oscar Wilde’s London. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1987.

  298. Wallworth, Bernadette. “Iolanthe Glossary,” Katisha Scream, 1988 No.1.

  299. Walmisley, Guy H., and Walmisley, Claude A. Tit-Willow. London: privately printed, n.d.

  300. Walsh, Philip. Personal communication, 1998.

  301. Walters, Michael. Personal communications, 1976, 1977.

  302. _____ Personal communication, 1989.

  303. _____ “Origin of Ko-Ko’s Name,” Palace Peeper, June 1992.

  304. Ware, Em. Personal communication, 1998.

  305. Weaver, Daniel. Personal communication, 1998.

  306. Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language. 2nd ed. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1959.

  307. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1963.

  308. Wenzel, Duane. Personal communication, 1998.

  309. Wernick, Robert. “Bewigged, bothered and beleagured, the barristers of London carry on,” Smithsonian, June 1991.

  310. Whaley, Douglas. Personal communication, 1997.

  311. Whipple, A. B. C. Fighting Sail. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1978.

  312. Who Was Who in America, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, 1967.

  313. Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest, New York: Dover, 1990

  314. Wilkes, James O. Personal communication, 1990.

  315. Wilkes, Jocelyn. Personal communication, 1979.

  316. Williams, Frank F. “Heigh-ho,” The Gilbert & Sullivan Journal. Vol 10, No. 11. London: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society, autumn 1976.

  317. Williams, George. Personal communication, ca. 1979.

  318. Williamson, Audrey. Gilbert & Sullivan Opera. London: Marion Boyars, Ltd., 1982.

  319. Wilson, Derek. The Tower of London. London: Constable/Dorset, 1989.

  320. Wilson, Fredric Woodbridge. Personal communication, 1989.

  321. Wilson, Geoffrey. “Teeming with Hidden Meaning,” The Savoyard, D’Oyly Carte Opera Co., September, 1978.

  322. Wolfson, John. Final Curtain. London: Chappell & Co., 1976.

  323. Wright, Elinor. Personal communication, 1998.

  324. Young, Percy. Sir Arthur Sullivan. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1971.

  325. _____ The Flotation of H.M.S. Pinafore 1878: The University of Birmingham Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, 1998.

  326. Zavon, Peter. Personal communication, 1976.

References will be updated as terms are updated. Numbers may change.

The copyright to this Lexicon belongs to Ralph MacPhail, Jr., whom you can contact for permissions at This Lexicon may not be copied or distributed without permission, except as follows:

Performing groups may copy and adapt materials from this Lexicon for their theatre programs and for glossaries on their websites, so long as they attribute the source of such materials as follows: Benford's Gilbert & Sullivan Lexicon, All persons may copy and adapt up to 50 terms from this Lexicon for use in any media, so long as they attribute the source of such terms as shown above.

All rights not expressly granted by this license are hereby reserved to the copyright owner.

Drawing for Dame Carruthers and Sgt. Merryl

Gilbert and Sullivan's famous Savoy operas, such as The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore, are well known throughout the English-speaking world. And yet, having been written more than a century ago, many of the terms are unfamiliar to modern audiences. This led Harry Benford to publish the first edition of this comprehensive lexicon back in 1978, and a revision in 1991. With those editions out of print, Benford has prepared this third edition, which features many new entries suggested by readers, and new insights resulting from more careful study and sound advice from many experts.


What some G&S authorities say:

"Buy it, read it, and never lend it to anyone. Make those deadbeats buy their own copies."

--Isaac Asimov (famous author, in his foreword to the first edition)

"This book is not just about the love of G&S, but about the love of learning in general, and something all great works of art (including the Savoy operas) should inspire."

--Daniel Kravetz (former president of the N.Y. Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

"Harry Benford never forgets that the G&S operas are fundamentally FUN. So is this book. This is a work that will have me happily dipping into it for years."

Stephen Turnbull (Secretary of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society)

"Benford's book is an essential guide to the Savoy operas, with a wealth of scholarly informationadn insights into Gilbert's linguistic usages."

​Fredric W. Wilson (Curator, Harvard University Theatre Collection)

"I have made extensive use of the book and recommend it to all G&S admirers, whether in the audience, on the stage, or behind the scenes."

Kenneth Sandford (long-time principal performer with the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company)