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Thule (2 syl.)


Called by Drayton Thuly. Pliny, Solīnus, and Mela take it for Iceland. Pliny says, “It is an island in the Northern Ocean discovered by Pythʹeas, after sailing six days from the Orcadēs.” Others, like Camden, consider it to be Shetland, still called Thylens-el (isle of Thylē) by seamen, in which opinion they agree with Mariʹnus, and the descriptions of Ptolemy and Tacitus. Bochart says it is a Syrian word, and that the Phœnician merchants who traded to the group called it Gezirat Thulē (isles of darkness). Its certain etymology is unknown; it may possibly be the Gothic Tiule, meaning the “most remote land,” and connected with the Greek telos (the end).

“Where the Northern Ocean, in vast whirls,

Boils round the naked melancholy isles

Of farthest Thulë.”

Ultima Thulē. The end of the world; the last extremity. Thule was the most northern point known to the ancient Romans.

“Tibi serviat Ultima Thule.”

Virgil: Georgics, i. 30.

“Peshawar cantonment is the Ultima Thule of British India.”—Nineteenth Century, Oct., 1893, p. 533.

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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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Throw Up the Sponge (To)
Throw your Eye on
Throwing an Old Shoe for Luck
Thrummy Cap
Thug [a cheat]
Thùig or Tuig (Norse)
Thumb-nail Legacies
Thumbikins or Thumbscrew
Thunder (Sons of) [Boanesgēs]
Thunder and Lightning or Tonnant
Thunders of the Vatican
Thunderbolt of Itàly
Thunderer (The)

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Ultima Thule