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TextWordPassage & CitationAnalysis Contributor(s)
Finnegans Wake erse “Finnegan, erse solid man” (FW 003.19-20) Archaic term for the Irish gaelic and Scottish gaelic; arse; German: erste, first; else. Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Finnegans Wake gorgios "nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios" (FW 003.06-08) Georgia, USA; gorges; possible allusion to Giorgio Joyce (see John Gordon, Finnegans Wake: A Plot Summary). Also Gypsy “gorgios”, a term for non-Gypsy peoples (see OED). Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Ulysses hismy “My cockle hat and staff and hismy sandal shoon.” (U 3.487) Variants of the word/phrase suggest altered readings. In the 1922 first edition of Ulysses (50), it appears as “hismy” but subsequent editions, beginning with the 1926 corrected edition by Shakespeare and Company, separates the word into “his my.” All subsequent editions, notably the Odyssey Press edition of 1932, the US edition of 1934 and the Bodley Head edition of 1936, reset in 1960, maintain the separation to read “his my.” The Gabler edition of 1984, however, restores the original “hismy” printing. The format affects the meaning. If the word remains “hismy” it implies the elimination of distance between subject and object: “hismy sandal shoon” suggests a merging of Stephen with an other, likely Lucifer alluded to in the preceding sentence with a Latin phrase attached, translated as “the morning star, I say, who knows no setting.” But as “his my,” the phrase clearly separates Stephen from Lucifer. The meaning remains but without the impact of the co-joined words: the sandals of both Stephen and Lucifer shoon. The allusion of the sentence is to Ophelia’s speech in Hamlet where she asks in her song how will she know true love? “By his cockle hat and staff/ and his sandal shoon” is her answer (IV.v.23-6). The image of the cockle, hat according to Gifford and Seidman, suggests the lover as pilgrim. “Shoon” may mean shoe but it is also the past tense of shine: to give out a light according to the OED. And the light is to illuminate Stephen’s journey “to evening lands.” Shakespeare writes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Well shone Moone” at V.i.262. Ira B. Nadel
Finnegans Wake humptyhillhead “the humptyhillhead of humself” (FW 003.20) Baby-talk: Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker’s hilly, ovoid head modelled in the fashion of Humpty Dumpty (see humself, prumptly, tumptytumtoes); Hillhead, Glasgow. Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Finnegans Wake humself “the humptyhillhead of humself” (FW 003.20) Himself (HCE) in the form of Humpty Dumpty, humming (see humptyhillhead, prumptly, tumptytumtoes) Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Finnegans Wake kidscad "not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac" (FW 003.10-11) “Kid” and “cadet” (French, “junior”), hence young, as well as allusion to Jacob (“venison purveyor” (Selected Letters 317) who “got the blessing meant for Esau” (ibid). Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Finnegans Wake livvy “since devlinsfirst loved livvy” (FW 003.24-25) The river Liffey; Livia (as in Anna Livia Plurabelle, the progenitress of the Wake’s rivers). Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen
Ulysses lourdily “Number one swung lourdily her midwife’s bag.” (U 3.32) An adverbial extension of “lourdly” adj. from “lourd,” adj. and n.1. Obs., meaning sluggish, dull, sottish, stupid or simply a sottish fellow, a lout (OED). Hence, in a sluggish or dull manner. From French “lourd” meaning heavy, and so—as Fritz Senn pointed out long ago— connotative of the town of Lourdes and the Marian apparitions that took place there. Ronan Crowley
Ulysses lugubru “A concave mirror at the side presents to him lovelorn longlost lugubru Booloohoom.” (U 15.145–46) A contraction of “lugubrious” (with a nod, perhaps, to the Obs. variant “lugubrous”) adj. Characterized by, expressing or causing mourning; doleful, mournful, sorrowful. Here “Circe” takes on the logic of word formation / distortion first rehearsed in “Sirens,” which has, after all, both “Bloowho” (U 11.86) and “Lugugugubrious” (U 11.1005). For Hugh Kenner, the coinage “not only extends the expressive gestures of the words, it precisely defines the caressing self-pity of lugubrious Bloom” (Dublin’s Joyce [1955]). Taken with neighbouring elements, the phrase “lovelorn longlost lugubru Booloohoom” offers a startling foreshadowing of the final half-sentence of Finnegans Wake as it read in manuscript: “a lone a lost a last a loved a long the”. Ronan Crowley
“Work in Progress”/Finnegans Wake Notebook VI.B.2.131. matchgod As Robbert-Jan Henkes discovered, Joyce coined this word in a notebook that he compiled between August and September 1923. Though it did not make it into any of his works, the coinage was prompted by Joyce’s reading of the Scienza nuova prima. Vico claims that the native Americans “believe that everything new or great that they see is a god.” Joyce takes this statement of polytheism as an invitation to word formation and projects the observation forward to the period of the American frontier. Indeed, “matchgod” seem to be equal parts Vico and Leo Dillon’s reading material in “An Encounter.” Ronan Crowley