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A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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WordDefinition

Gib

(1) A cat, especially a male cat. Gib is a pet name of Gilbert. To play fy gib, to look or speak threateningly (as though scolding -- Fie! -- a cat) . To play the gib (of a woman) , to be quarrelsome; hence gib was used as a term of reproach for an old woman; Michael Drayton in HEROIC EPISTLES (1598) piles it on: Beldam, gib, witch, nightmare, trot. Also your gibship, in scorn of a woman. A gib-cat, gibbed-cat, a gelded male cat. (2) The form gib also (Latin gibba) meant hump -- used from the 15th century; hence gibbous, protruberant; gibbose; gibbousness, gibbosity. (3) Also (16th century) gib, a hook; gibby or gibby-stick, gib-stick, gibbey, a stick with a hooked or curved handle; also a candy in that shape, like a peppermint cane. -- 'Sblood, says Falstaff in Shakespeare's HENRY IV, PART ONE (1597), I am as melancholy as a gib-cat. In HAMLET, the Prince, bitterly taunting his mother, alludes to the King in several ways: For who that's but a Queen, fair, sober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, Such dear concernings hide?

Hurricano

An early variant of hurricane. Shakespeare, followed by Michael Drayton, used the word for a waterspout, as in KING LEAR (1605) : Rage, blow, you cataracts, and hyrricanos spout.

Slade

A dingle or dell; a woodland glade; in some parts of England, a strip of greensward or of boggy land. Gower in CONFESSIO AMANTIS (1390) has: He clymbeth up the banckes and falleth into slades depe. Michael Drayton uses it often in POLYOLBION (1622), e.g., of satyrs, that in slades and gloomy dimbles dwell. The Gum Slade, a beautiful clearing in a park at Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire, is said to be the original of Shakespeare's woodland scenes in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
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