A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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(I) Over-ambitious or presumptuous; leaping high to one's own ruin. From Icarus, son of Daedalus (cp. daedal), who in escaping from Crete, despite his father's warning flew so high that the sun melted the wax that held his wings, and he fell into the Aegean (Icarian) Sea. Thus Benjamin Disraeli has, in CONINGSBY (1844): Your Icarian flight melts into a very grovelling existence. (2) Relating to an ideal republic, as described in Voyage en Icarie (1840) by Etienne Cabet, who later founded (and named Icaria) several communistic settlements In the United States. Nordhoff, in his history of COMMUNISTIC SOCIETIES IN THE U.S. (1875) used the word of persons: The Icarians reject Christianity (which had its communism before them).


Relating to or used for sport or as a pastime. Of speech or writing; in a playful style. Also lusory; Latin lusorius, belonging to a player; lusor, player; ludere, lusus, to play; whence also ludicrous, delusive, allude, and all the illusions that play upon us. In the 17th century, lusory was also used for delusory, illusory., deceptive. Shaftesbury In CHARACTERISTICS (1711) said that God, as a kind tutor, was pleased to . . . bear with his anger, and in a lusory manner expose his childish frowardness. Benjamin Disraeli In CURIOSITIES OF LITERATURE (1823) observed: There is a refined species of comic poetry, lusory yet elegant.


A dish, originally Spanish and Portuguese, made with pieces of meat and fowl, bacon, pumpkin, cabbage, turnips and what more you will, stewed or boiled and highly spiced. Spanish olla, Portuguese olha (both pronounced olya) , Latin olla, pot. By extension, any dish of many ingredients; see hodgepot. Thence applied to any heterogeneous mixture; Benjamin Disraeli in TANCRED (1847) spoke of an olio of all ages and all countries. Especially, a mixture or collection of various artistic or literary pieces; a musical medley. The Duchess of Newcastle in 1655 wrote a book entitled: The Worlds Olio: Nature's Pictures drawn by Fancie's Pencil to the Life. THE SATURDAY REVIEW of 7 June, 1884, explained a new form: The second part of a minstrel show is the 'olio' -- and this is only a variety entertainment, of banjo-playing, clogdancing, and the like.
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