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Lucus a non Lucendo


An etymological contradiction. The Latin word lucus means a “dark grove,” but is said to be derived from the verb lucĕo, to shine. Similarly our word black (the Anglo-Saxon blæc) is derived from the verb blæc-an, to bleach or whiten.

Beldam. An ugly hag. From the French belle dame.

Bellum [war] quia minʹime bellum. (Priscian.) Bellum, a beautiful thing.

Calid (hot) radically the same as the Saxon cald, German kalt (cold).

Cleave, to part, also signifies to stick together. (Saxon, clifan, to adhere.)

Curtaʹna (the instrument that shortens by cutting off the head; French court, Italian corto) is the blunt sword, emblematical of mercy, borne before our sovereigns at their coronation.

Devoted (attached to) is the Latin devotus (cursed).

Eumenĭdēs (the well-disposed); the Furies.

Euonyma (good name); is poisonous.

Hiren, a sword, a bully. (Gk, irēnē, peace.)

Kalo-Johannes, son of Alexius Comnēnēs. Called Kalos (handsome) because he was exceedingly ugly and undersized. He was, however, an active and heroic prince, and his son Manual (contemporary with Richard Cœur de Lion) was even more heroic still.

Lambs were ruffians formerly employed at elections to use “physical force” to deter electors from voting for the opposition.

Leucosphere, the inner and brighter portion of the sun’s corona. It is neither white nor spherical.

Lily-white, a chimney-sweep.

Religion, bond-service (re-ligo), is the service of which Christ has made us free.

Speaker of House of Commons. The only member that never makes speeches.

Solomon, George III., so called by Dr. Wolcott, because he was no Solomon.

In their marriage service the Jews break a wine-glass; the symbol being “as this glass can never be rejoined, so may our union be never broken.” (See Misnomer.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Lucus a non Lucendo
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