Glossary list

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)


Term Main definition
table beer

Seems to have been lighter than porter and weaker than "strong" ale. [Barclay Perkins Brewery]

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Marie Taglioni, Comtesse Gilbert de Voisins (1804-1884) was a Swedish ballet dancer She lived in London from 1875 to 1876.[i]. One of Marie's most famous performance in the last years of her career is the so-called Pas de quatre performed in 1845 for Queen Victoria [ii]


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Synonyms - taglionis¹
Takes the shine
Is pre-eminent (N.E.England)
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takes the sway(1)

Is  the most important or influential.

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Meaning unknown. Possibly a rudely dismissive   "you must just accept the situation"

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Tam o’ Shanter’s witches
In Robert Burn’s poem Tam O’Shanter; Tam, returning home in a state of drunkenness encounters a group of witches who chase him home.
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Tar:- Jack Tar was a generic name given to a seaman in the British Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, especially one below the rank of officer [OED]

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Synonyms - tars¹

A gig mill. Gig Mills were machines for raising the nap cloth [i] 


[i] Palmer, Roy. Ed Poverty Knock: A picture of industrial life in the 19th century through songs ballads and contemporary accounts (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1974) p10

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Block telegraph system of train signalling developed by Edwin Clark in 1854 [i] Clark's aim when he invented this instrument was to design a telegraph that could be used for train signalling with the smallest chance of mistakes. The instrument ran on a continuous circuit, and showed either 'train on' or 'train off', meaning that either there was a train on the line or that it was clear. In the case of emergencies, the telegraph wire could be cut at the trackside, which would mean that the instrument received no signal, and therefore warned of danger. [ii]

[i] Simmons, Jack & Biddle, Gordon Eds. - The Oxford Companion to Railway History (Oxford University Press, 1997) p502
[ii] Science Museum Group (accessed 23May21)


Electrical telegraph:  a system for transmission of coded text messages over wires. Widely used from the late 1830s.

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William Tell, Swiss folk hero

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Temple Bar

The principal entrance to the City of London on its western side from the City of Westminster. At Temple Bar the Corporation of the City of London erected a barrier to regulate trade into the City. By extension; the gateway which spanned the road until 1878.

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temple box

Meaning uncertain. A Temple is a contrivance for keeping cloth stretched to its proper width in the loom during the process of weaving [OED]

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Templet: a contrivance for keeping cloth stretched to its proper width in the loom during the process of weaving

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Temple: A contrivance for keeping cloth stretched to its proper width in the loom during the process of weaving. Usually plural. [OED]

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Synonyms - temples¹

A carriage specially constructed to carry fuel and water for a locomotive engine, to the rear of which it is attached [OED]

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The commons¹

The House of Commons; the place in which members of parliament meet to consider and propose new laws, and scrutinise government policies. []

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the dickens¹

in imprecations, as the dickens take you!; also in phrases. to go to the dickens, to go to ruin or perdition [OED]

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Synonyms - dickens¹
the forty-five

The Jacobite rising of 1745

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the line¹

The equator [CPB]

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