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The C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Department) is the detective section of the

British police force. It was established in 1878 by E Howard Vincent. A

"Special Branch" was founded in 1883 to deal with the Fenian troubles, it now

deals with the protection of high-ranking individuals and protection of the

state, such as harassing members of the Communist Party.

CA-Cricket Presents

CA-Cricket Presents by Computer Associates is a desktop presentation package

for the Mac that lets you conceptualise, create, and produce complete

presentations including slides, transparencies, speaker's notes, and audience

handouts. It includes a copy of Acta Outliner, which can be used during the

conceptualization stage of a presentation. A hotlink can be created between the

Acta Outliner and the presentation so edits made to the outline are reflected

in the presentation. You can produce charts, overhead slides, flipcharts,

illustrations, and tables complete with legends and captions. The product

includes freehand painting and drawing capabilities and a graded background

feature for creating the background for your shows. CA-Cricket Presents' basic

business chart capabilities include a data-entry screen or importing files from

spreadsheets and generating charts from the data. The tabling tool lets you

create matrices to easily handle numbers and word charts.


see "Cabriolet"


see "Qabbala"


see "Qabbala"


A cabaret is a type of theatre that emphasizes skits, songs, magic and comedy

acts, often performed in a somewhat intimate setting.


see "Qabbala"


In nautical terms, a cable is 183 metres.


A cabriolet (cab) was a vehicle similar to a hackney-carriage with two or four

wheels, originally drawn by a single horse but later by a motor. The original

cabriolets were for a single passenger beside the driver and were a kind of

hooded chaise. In the beginning of the 19th century an effort was made to

introduce cabriolets into Britain, to supersede hackney carriages. It was not

until 1823, however, that licences were obtained for cabriolets. At first their

number was limited to twelve. These were of an improved pattern, with a folding

hood, and seated two passengers, the driver being separated from them by a

partition. In 1832 all restrictions were removed, and cabriolets came into

popular favour. In 1836 a cabriolet on four wheels, the precursor of the

brougham, was introduced, and from this the clarence evolved. In 1834 a patent

was taken out for an improved, two-wheeled safety cab by Hansom, the architect

of Birmingham town hall. The safety consisted in an arrangement of the

framework which prevented the cab tilting backwards or forwards in case of

accident. These cabriolets had a small body, hung between wheels of over seven

feet diamiter. Two years later a fresh patent was obtained for an improved

hansom. Motor cabs were first introduced in 1897, but failed to pay and were

phased out, only to start to reappear in London around 1905.


The cachuca is a graceful dance marked by movements of the head and shoulders.


A cade was a British measurement for herrings equal to 500 fish.


In music, cadence is the name given to the closing - usually last two - chords

of a phrase. The varieties of cadence may be grouped as perfect, imperfect and

interrupted. The perfect must have its last chord on the tonic. When the

penultimate chord is on the subdominant it is called an 'authentic'; when on

the dominant, a 'plagal' cadence. The harmony of the imperfect is often that of

the perfect reversed. The interrupted is a progression of chords leading the

ear to expect a tonic chord, but another is substituted for the latter; the

effect is often as charming as it is unexpected.


In music, a cadenza is an ornamental passage sometimes introduced before the

close of a section of a musical composition. At one time they were left to the

improvisation of the performer, but since the end of the 19th century they have

been written out in full by the composer.


Cadmium is a metal element with the symbol Cd.


A caduceus was originally an enchanters wand, and later a herald's staff. It is

most familiar in the hands of Hermes. Its first form was three shoots, of which

two were intertwined, while the third formed the handle. The fully-developed

form has, besides the rod itself, a pair of wings either at the top or in the

middle, and two serpents intertwined.


Caesium is an alkaline metal discovered by Bunsen in 1860, by spectral

analysis, in the mineral water of Durkheim. It also occurs in the mineral

pollux. Caesium is a soft metal closely resembling potassium, and is

characterized by a spectrum containing two bright blue lines, along with others

in the red, yellow and green.


A caestus was a boxing-glove weighted with metal, and used by the Greek and

Roman pugilists.


see "Caffeine"


Caffeine (Theine or methyl-theobromine) is a white, bitter, crystalline

alkaloid usually derived from coffee or tea and used in medicine as a nervous

system stimulant. It was discovered in coffee by Runge in 1820, and in tea by

Oudry in 1827.


A Caftan (Kaftan) is a long garment with long sleeves and tied at the waist by

a girdle, worn under a coat in the Middle East. The term has also come to

describe a long, full, usually collarless robe with wide sleeves that is worn

at home for lounging or on the beach as a cover-up.


Cahuecite is an explosive which was invented by Cahue in 1875.


In Scottish archaeology, a cairn is a mound of stones raised over a prehistoric

grave, like an English barrow. Ancient cairns are of two types - chambered from

the stone age and unchambered from the bronze age. Chambered cairns are again

found in two forms; long cairns and horned cairns.


A caisson is a water-tight box, usually of sheet iron, and constructed so that

it may be floated or sunk at will. Caissons are used for two distinct purposes.

1) for closing the entrance to docks, the caissons being of two general types,

floating and sliding. Floating caissons include those which, when the height of

the water inside and outside of the dock is the same, are raised by their

natural buoyancy from the bottom, and may be floated out of their position

against the sill into a recess provided for the purpose, leaving the entrance

open. Sliding caissons fulfil the same pupose, but instead of floating are

drawn back on a plane sliding surface or on rollers which bear some portion of

their weight. 2) As foundations to a dam, quay wall or bridge, the caissons

being so constructed as to be capable of being floated into the required

position, and there sunk.

Cajeput Oil

Cajeput Oil is a volatile oil distilled from the leaves of the cajeput tree. It

is a bluish-green liquid with a strong penetrating odour. It is applied

externally as a counter-irritant for chilblains, myalgia and rheumatism, and is

used internally as a carminative for gastro-intestinal troubles.


The cakewalk is an American dance which originated amongst the blacks.


Calabar is a powerful narcotic poison derived from the Calabar Bean. It

operates as a purgative and an emetic. These properties provided it with its

use as an ordeal in Africa where persons suspected of witchcraft were

administered calabar beans. If the beans caused purging the victim was guilty,

and if vomiting they were innocent.


Calabresella (Terziglio) is an Italian card game for three players. (It can be

played by four with the dealer receiving no cards for the hand.) It is closely

related to the four-player game Tressette. It is a point-trick game with

bidding, requiring a fair amount of skill. It is notable for the slightly

unusual card order (threes high) and the fact that there are never any trumps.

A 40-card pack is used, usually with the Italian suits: swords, batons, cups

and coins. In each suit the cards rank as follows: 3 (highest), 2, Ace, King

(Re), Knight (Cavall), Jack (Fante), 7, 6, 5, 4 (lowest). It is also possible

to play with French suited cards: from a 52 card pack the 10s, 9s and 8s are

removed, and the cards rank 3 2 Ace K Q J 7 6 5 4. The cards have point values

and the object is to take tricks containing valuable cards. There is also a

score for winning the last trick.


Calamine is a pink powder that is made of zinc oxide with a small amount of

ferric oxide. It is used in lotions, ointments, and liniments. It is a

customary mixture that is soothing and healing to the skin. It is great for

itchy rashes such as poison ivy. It is natural but some formulas contain phenol

which can cause poisoning when applied to the skin. A blend of natural calamine

and aloe vera is a good pure skin treatment for burns, rashes and insect bites.


see "Vitamin D"


Calcium is a lustrous silver-white brittle alkaline metal element with the

symbol Ca. Its oxide occurs widely in nature as lime.

Calcium Alginate

Calcium Alginate is used in many foods for binding and is also used as a

film-former in peel-off masks. It is a stabiliser for oil-in-water emulsions.

Calcium ammonium

Calcium ammonium is a compound formed by exposing calcium to ammonia gas. It is

a bronze-coloured substance which catches fire on exposure to air.

Calcium Carbide

Calcium Carbide is a substance formed by heating quicklime and carbon in an

electric furnace. It is a greyish crystalline substance which decomposes

immediately on coming into contact with water, generating acetylene.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a natural occurring salt that is found in limestone,

chalk, and marble. It is used as a pigment and for pigment prolonging.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride is customarily used in road salt and antifreeze. It is used in

cosmetics as an emulsifier and texturizer. If taken internally, it can cause

constipation and stomach problems. It can also cause lung difficulties if

inhaled during manufacturing or processing but it's toxicity in cosmetics is


Calcium propionate

Calcium propionate is a food additive used to prevent mold growth on bread and


Calcutta and Burma Steam Navigation Company

The Calcutta and Burma Steam Navigation Company was established in 1856 as a

shipping company operating between England and Arabia, Persia, India, Burma and

Yokohama. It changed its name in 1862 to the British India Steam Navigation


Calendar Creator Plus

Calendar Creator Plus makes it easy to maintain an up-to-the-minute, annotated

calendars on a PC. It handles all calendar needs and eliminates the clutter of

paper calendars. Calendar Creator Plus lets you create customised overlays that

include listings such as scheduled events, projects, personal and employee

vacation days. By merging multiple overlays with the basic calendar date

template, an unlimited number of calendars can be created. Calendar Creator

Plus supports two types of events; fixed events and floating events.


Calends was the first day of the Roman calendar month.


A calf is a young bovine animal, especially a young cow.


Caliche is naturally occuring, crude sodium nitrate found in deposits a few

feet below the surface in South America. It contains about 20 to 50 per cent

sodium nitrate and traces of sodium iodate.


Calico is a cotton cloth named from Calicut, a city of India. It was first

brought to England by the East India Company in 1631. The name is generally

given to any plain white cotton cloth, and in America it is applied to printed



Calico-Printing is the art of applying colours to woven fabric, usually calico.

It was first introduced to Britain from India in 1676, and was originally

accomplished with hand-blocks made of wood.

Caliper Compass

A caliper compass is a device used to measure the bore of cannon, small-arms



Calipers are a kind of compass with curved legs used in machine shops for

measurements, such as the determination of shafts, bores and centering. For

example, a caliper compass is used for measuring the bore of firearms.


Calisthenics are physical exercises designed and practised to give grace and

strength to the body.


Callipers are an instrument for measuring dimensions of circular solids.


Calomel (beautiful black) is a compound of mercury, sulphuric acid and sodium



Calorie is the metric unit of measurement of heat. It is the amount of heat

required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees



Calotype is the process of producing photographs by the action of light upon

paper impregnated with silver nitrate. The process was invented by Dr Fox

Talbot around 1840.


A calumet is a kind of pipe used by the American Indians for smoking tobacco.

Its bowl is usually of soft red soapstone, and the tube a long reed ornamented

with feathers. The calumet was used in the ratification of all solemn

engagements, both of war and peace. To accept the calumet was to accept the

proposed agreement, and to reject it was to reject the agreement.


In mechanics, a cam is a revolving disc (commonly heart-shaped) with a curved

surface, or a cylinder with grooves used to give a variable or reciprocating

motion to other bodies, which slide or roll in contact with it. Any desired

motion may be transmitted by suitably shaping the periphery of the cam.


A camaieu is a monochrome drawing or painting with a single colour, varied only

by graduation of the single colour in terms of light and dark.


A caman is a stick used for playing hurling. Traditionally they are made from

ash, which gives the best performance.


The Cambrian period was the third geological period, 450,000,000 years ago.


Cambric is a fine kind of linen originally manufactured at Cambrai in Flanders.


Camelot was the castle of Arthur.


A cameo is a small relief carving.


Camicia is a card game of pure luck for two players. It is the Italian version

of Beggar My Neighbour, and like that game, it is a children's game. The

American game Egyptian Ratscrew is also related. The game is played with an

Italian deck of 40 cards in which the suits are ignored. There are two types of

cards: aces, two and threes are attack cards, the other are normal

(cannon-fodder) cards.


Camlet is a fabric made of long wool, hand spun, sometimes mixed with cotton,

silk or linen. Originally it was made from camel's hair or the hair of the

Angora goat.


A camog is a crooked, broad-bladed stick used for playing Camogie.


Camouflage is colours or structures which allow an animal to blend in with its



The Campania was a mail steamer of the Cunard Line built in 1893. She was 610

feet long, had a displacement of 12950 tons and a speed of 21 knots.


A campanile is a bell-tower detached from the church to which it belongs. It is

a common feature in Italian architecture.


Campanology is strictly speaking the science of bells, dealing with all aspects

of bells, but the term is generally restricted to bell ringing.


Camphene is a solid terpene occurring in the oil of ginger. It is oxidised by

chromic acid to form camphor.


Camphine is the trade name of a purified spirit of turpentine formerly used for

burning in lamps, and generally prepared by distilling turpentine with



Camphor is a crystalline substance of the terpene group, obtained by

distillation from the wood or young shoots of certain trees. It is a feeble

antiseptic and insecticide and is used in the manufacture of celluloid.

Camphor of peppermint

see "Menthol"


The campos are the open grassy plains of South America.


Camwood is a red dye-wood imported from tropical West Africa, and obtained from

the Baphia nitida tree. The wood is of a very fine colour and is often turned

to make knife-handles and similar articles. The dye obtained from it is

brilliant, but not permanent.

Canada Balsam

Canada Balsam is a fluid oleoresin obtained from the balsam fir, common in

Canada and the USA. It is used in medicine, microscopy and in making varnish

and was at one time used as a cement in the manufacture of compound lenses by

opticians as its refractive index is almost as good as that of glass.


A canal is an artificial open water channel.


Canasta is a card game for four players in fixed partnerships, partners sitting

opposite each other, played with two 52-card standard decks plus 4 jokers

shuffled together to make a 108-card deck.


A canaster (canister) was a rush basket in which South American tobacco was



A candelabrum is a large candlestick.

Candellia Wax

Candellia Wax is a herbal wax used in lipsticks and in creams and as a

replacement for rubber.


A candle is a solid wax cylinder enclosing a wick of loosely-twisted threads

placed longitudinally in its centre. It is burnt to provide light.


The candy is an eastern measurement of weight varying from 560 lbs upwards.


A cang was a Chinese instrument for punishment for trifling offences. It was a

kind of wooden cage fitting closely around the neck, with the weight

proportioned to the nature of the offence, but so constructed that the culprit

couldn't lie down nor feed himself. The cang was not removed during the period

of punishment which lasted two or three months. Inscribed on the cang was the

nature of the offence and the name of the criminal who was generally left

exposed at the city gates.


see "Canaster"


A cannula is a tube used in surgery to draw abnormal fluid from the body.

Canoe Polo

Canoe Polo is a form of water polo in which the players are in short low

canoes, known as bats, which they propel with a double paddle.


In geography, a canon is a deep ravine or valley with precipitous sides made by

the rapid flow of a river and the action of denudation.


In music, cantabile is a term applied to movements intended to be performed in

a graceful, elegant and melodious style.


The cantaro is a measure of weight and capacity used in the past in the

Mediterranean countries. In Turkey it was 125 lb, in Egypt 99 lb, in Malta 175

lb and in Spain to measure wine it was about 3.5 gallons.


A cantilever is a girder which projects beyond its support, and carries a load

upon the projecting arm.


Canvas is a precision drawing package for the Mac that lets you create

presentation materials, desktop publishing images, or architectural renderings.

Its large selection of powerful, easy-to-use tools makes it one of the more

popular drawing programs. Icons and menu options provide continuous multipoint

Bezier curves, instant autotrace conversion of bitmap images to unlimited

drawing layers, 1/65,000th of an inch precision, and text and graphics in 16.7

million colours plus PostScript gray scales in 1% increments. For touching up

clipped or scanned art, Canvas provides a number of painting tools which can be

used on the same layers as the drawing tools. Canvas supports 24-bit colour on

the Macintosh II, hairlines to 1/1000th of an inch, auto-dimensioning of lines

and arcs, and a zoom capacity ranging from 3% to 3,200%. The program adds area

and perimeter calculations, a peel-away ruler, PixelPaintcompatible colour

palettes, smooth multipoint polygons, and special effects such as object

rotation in one degree increments, distortion, and one or two point

perspective. Canvas also features object libraries (macros) that function as

extensions to the drawing toolbox. Up to 32 objects can be added to any macro

library, and macro libraries can be saved as individual files. A desk accessory

version of Canvas can be invoked while working with other programs and provides

approximately 80%, of the program's capabilities. The program also has a bitmap

conversion option for transforming scanned colour or gray scale images into one

of 15 predefined halftone or dithered images (for the Macintosh II only).


Canzone is an Italian and Provencal form of poetry, used chiefly for love

themes, though religious and other subjects were not entirely excluded. the

earliest Provencal specimens date from the 12th century, those in Italian from

the 13th. The number of stanzas varies, five or six being the most common, and

the last stanza was invariably shorter than the others.


A capacitor is an electrical device consisting of two conductive bodies

separated by insulating material and thus possessing capacitance.

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is punishment by death. Capital punishment is retained in 92

countries and territories, including the 37 states of the USA, China, and

Islamic countries. It was abolished in the UK in 1965 for all crimes except

treason. Methods of execution include electrocution, lethal gas, hanging,

shooting, lethal injection, garrotting, and decapitation. In Britain, the

number of capital offences was reduced from over 200 at the end of the 18th

century, until capital punishment was abolished in 1866 for all crimes except

murder, treason, piracy, and certain arson attacks. Its use was subject to the

royal prerogative of mercy. The punishment was carried out by hanging (in

public until 1866). Capital punishment for murder was abolished 1965 but still

exists for treason. In 1990, Ireland abolished the death penalty for all

offences. In Saudi Arabia execution is by beheading in public. Countries that

have abolished the death penalty fall into three categories: those that have

abolished it for all crimes (44 countries); those that retain it only for

exceptional crimes such as war crimes (17 countries); and those that retain the

death penalty for ordinary crimes but have not executed anyone since 1980 (25

countries and territories). The first country in Europe to abolish the death

penalty was Portugal in 1867. In the USA, the Supreme Court declared capital

punishment unconstitutional in 1972, as a cruel and unusual punishment, but

decided in 1976 that this was not so in all circumstances. It was therefore

reintroduced in some states. Many countries use capital punishment for crimes

other than murder, such as drug offences (in Malaysia and elsewhere). In 1977

the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ruled out imposition

of the death penalty on those under the age of 18. The covenant was signed by

President Carter on behalf of the USA, but in 1989 the US Supreme Court decided

that it could be imposed from the age of 16 for murder, and that the

retarded could also face the death penalty.


Capnomancy is divination by observation of smoke from incense or a sacrifice.


Capricorn is a sign of the zodiac symbolised by a goat.

Caproic Acid

Caproic acid (hexoic acid) is one of the products of the butyric fermentation

of sugar. It can be made bu the oxidation of hexyl alcohol, and is an oily

liquid with a faint disagreeable odour.


Capsicin is an alkaloid and the active principle of the capsules of Capsicum

annuum. It has a resinous aspect and a burning taste.

Capsicum oleoresin

Capsicum oleoresin is an oil from the pepper family that is used in hair tonics

to arouse the scalp. It is said to upgrade hair growth.


A capstan is an engine for raising weights. A ship's capstan is a revolving

barrel with a vertical axis powered by people used for winding cable, raising

the anchor etc.


Carat is the unit of measurement of gold purity.


see "carbides"


A carbide is a compound of carbon and another element.


A carbohydrate is a complex chemical compound. Consisting of carbon, oxygen and

hydrogen. In foods it forms sugars and starch.

Carbolic Acid

Carbolic acid (phenol, phenic acid, hydroxybenzene) is a strong poison used as

an antiseptic distilled from coal-tar. It was discovered by Laurent in 1846.


Carbon is a non-metallic, chiefly trivalent element found native (as in diamond

and graphite) or as a constituent of coal, petroleum, and asphalt, of limestone

and other bicarbonates, and of organic compounds or obtained artificially in

varying degrees of purity especially as carbon black, lampblack, activated

charcoal and coke. It has the symbol C and is contained in all life forms.

Carbon Copy Plus

Carbon Copy Plus by Microrim is a menu-driven remote control program for

IBM-compatible microcomputers that allows the user to control and/or monitor

one PC from another over a communications link. Suitable for support purposes

and typically used with standard dial-up modems, Carbon Copy Plus connects two

PCs so their screens and keyboards are linked as one. Whatever the remote user

sees on-screen will be seen on the local screen. Users can open up a movable

chat window where they can type messages to each other. Whatever is displayed

on the host screen is displayed on the guest screen. Carbon Copy Plus includes

a universal graphics translator, that automatically translates CGA, EGA, VGA,

Hercules, and PS/2 graphics images when dissimilar graphics adapters are used

in the host and guest PC. Files can be transferred between machines using

commands similar to those in DOS. Carbon Copy Plus supports background file

transfer, allowing the host PC to send or receive files while working in a

foreground application.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide (carbonic anhydride) is a colourless, poisonous, heavy gas

composed of carbon and oxygen. It is the final product of the complete

combustion of carbon. Carbon dioxide is present as about 5 percent of exhaled


Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (carbonic oxide) is a colourless, tasteless, odourless,

extremely poisonous gas produced when carbon is burned in a limited supply of


Carbon Tetrachloride

Carbon tetrachloride is a substance resembling chloroform in odour, and

prepared by the action of chlorine on carbon disulphide. It is a colourless

liquid with a pleasant odour used as a solvent for many organic substances. It

is non-inflammable and as such is used as a substitute for benzene in

degreasing woollen goods and in dry-cleaning. It attacks most metals, lead and

tin being most resistant to it. Carbon tetrachloride is registered under the

trade name benzinoform.


Carbonado is a powdered form of diamond.


A carbonate is a salt formed by the union of carbon dioxide with a base element.

Carbonic anhydride

see "Carbon Dioxide"

Carbonic Oxide

see "Carbon Monoxide"


The Carboniferous was the seventh geological period, 250,000,000 years ago.

This era marked the formation of the coal beds.


Carborundum is silicon carbide and is extremely hard.


In chemistry, carboxyl is a form of a substance with the monovalent methyl

united to the monovalent group. Carboxyl is a characteristic part of a large

number of organic acids.

Carboxyl group

In chemistry, a carboxyl group is a univalent organic radical (-COOH) which is

the functional group of all the carbolic acids.


A carboy is a large globular wicker-covered glass bottle used for holding acid

or other corrosive liquids.


A carburettor is a device for charging air with a hydrocarbon.


A carcanet was a necklace or collar of jewels. They were manufactured in Venice

during the fifteenth century.


A card is an instrument for combing, opening and breaking wool, flax etc. It is

made by inserting bent teeth of wire into a thick piece of leather and nailing

this to a rectangular board.

Card Dominoes

see "Sevens"

Cardan Suspension

see "Gimbal"


Cardboard is a kind of stiff paper or pasteboard made by sticking together

several sheets of paper.

Cardbox Plus

Cardbox Plus is a file manager that works well where a card-index solution

might have been used. It has unique indexing facilities including the ability

to highlight and search on free-format comment text. Cardbox Plus is ideal for

mailing list and simple customer record applications.


A caret (from the Latin meaning something is missing) is a writer's mark

indicating that something should be inserted at this point, usually an omitted

word or phrase.


A carillon is a set of bells in a tower or belfry on which tunes may be played.

The bells are fixed and are struck on the outside by hammers.

Carlton Club

The Carlton Club was a famous political club in Pall Mall, London. It was the

recognised headquarters of the Conservative Party, and was founded in 1832 by

the Duke of Wellington.


The Carmania was a turbine steamer built for the Cunard Company and launched in

1905. She was 678 feet long and had a gross tonnage of 21000 and could carry

2656 passengers and had a normal speed of 21 knots.


Carmen is an opera written by Bizet and released shortly before his death.


Carmine is a red colouring derived from the cochineal insect. It was first

prepared by a Franciscan monk at Pisa and manufacture began in 1650.

Carolina Tea

see "Appalachian Tea"


see "vitamin a"


Carousel is a card game variant of Rummy in which from one to three cards are

drawn and jokers are wild.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder that causes pain, and interferes

with the use of the hand. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve as the

nerve passes through a canal formed by the bones and ligaments in the wrist

(the carpal tunnel). A wide variety of conditions can cause the carpal tunnel

to narrow and put pressure on the median nerve, including injuries, such as

wrist fractures; arthritis complicated by swelling of the tendons in the carpal

tunnel; pregnancy, which may cause the synovium around the tendons to thicken;

and glandular abnormalities, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. Work that

involves repetitive wrist motions may also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain and numbness in the thumb and

in the index, middle, and ring fingers. Many people wake at night with these

symptoms. Some sufferers experience weakness of hand muscles and may drop

objects. Symptoms often occur when the wrist is flexed during such activities

as driving a car or holding a book while reading. Doctors treat carpal tunnel

syndrome by attempting to improve the underlying condition. In many cases,

doctors apply a splint to the wrist and prescribe anti-inflammatory

medications. In some cases, surgery is performed to relieve symptoms and to

prevent permanent damage to the median nerve.


Carpel is a botanical term referring to a simple pistil or a single member of a

compound pistil.


Carpet is a thick fabric, often made of wool, used for covering a floor. It is

made by knotting short lengths of yarn to the warp threads during weaving.


Carpolite is a term applied to fossils of fruits.

Carron oil

Carron oil is a mixture of linseed oil and lime water which was formerly used

for treating burns. It was first used at the Carron ironworks near Falkirk.


Carron-Oil is a linament composed of linseed-oil and lime-water. It was so

named on account of being used to treat burns at the Carron Ironworks.


Carse is the name given in Scotland to a wide fertile valley.


A cart is a strong two or four wheeled vehicle used in farming and for carrying

heavy goods.


A Carte-Blanche is a blank piece of white paper, signed and sealed and given to

a person to fill-up as he pleases, thus giving unlimited power to decide.


A cartel is a written agreement for the exchange or ransom of prisoners.

Cartesian Diver

A Cartesian Diver is a hydrostatic toy consisting of a little hollow figure,

which has a small opening some distance below the top, and is rather lighter

than an equal volume of water, so it can float. The figure is placed in a

bottle of water closed with a bladder of rubber so as to exclude air. On

pressing the bladder the air inside the figure is compressed drawing a little

water into the figure which causes it to sink. Removing the pressure on the

bladder excludes the water from the figure and it rises again.

Carthamic Acid

see "Carthamin"


Carthamin (Carthamic Acid) is an astringent bitter principle obtained from the

flowers of the arthamus tinctorius. It is a red pigment used in silk-dyeing and

the preparation of rouge.


A carton is a light box or case for holding goods.


In architecture, a cartouche is a scroll ornament.


Cartridge-paper is a thick paper. It is so named because it was originally used

to make soldiers' cartridges.


A carucate was formerly as much land as one team could plough in one year. The

size varied according to the nature of the soil and the practice of husbandry

in different districts.


A caruncle is a small hard outgrowth formed on the seeds of certain plants,

such as the castor oil plant.


In architecture, caryatides are figures of women dressed in long robes, serving

to support entablatures.


Caryopsis is a botanical term for a one-seeded indehiscent fruit with pericarp

fused to the seed-coat, as in wheat and barley.


Cascara is an extract of the bark of the Californian buckthorn used as a

laxative or cathartic.


Cascarila is the aromatic bitter bark of Croton Eleutheria.


Case-hardening is a process whereby iron objects have their outside layer

converted to steel. The object is put in a box containing carbon and is heated

until red hot. Then it is immersed in cold water where upon a layer of steel

forms on the object.


Casein is a protein found in milk. It can be separated by the action of acid,

the enzyme rennin, or bacteria (souring); it is also the main protein in

cheese. Casein is used as a protein supplement in the treatment of malnutrition

and is used commercially in cosmetics, glues, and as a sizing for coating paper.

Cash flow

Cash flow is the input of cash required to cover all expenses of a business,

whether revenue or capital. Alternatively, the actual or prospective balance

between the various outgoing and incoming movements which are designated in

total. Cash flow is positive if receipts are greater than payments; negative if

payments are greater than receipts. A 'cash flow forecast' is one of the most

important forms of financial planning for any business. The business needs to

know if monthly outgoings are going to be greater than receipts. If it does not

have finance, such as bank deposits or an overdraft facility, to cover a period

of negative cash flow, the company will go bankrupt even if the business is

fundamentally profitable in the long term.

Cash register

The cash register is a machine invented in 1879 by James Ritty for retail

traders. Simply they consist of keys which pressed record the value of sales, a

display which indicates to the customer the values, and a cash draw which

cannot be opened except by registering the fact to the machine.


Casino is the only fishing card game to have become popular in English speaking

countries. Although it is traditionally supposed to have originated in Italy,

there is no direct evidence of it having been played there, at least under that

name, though many other Italian fishing games are known. casino first appears

in the card game literature at the end of the eighteenth century in London, and

shortly afterwards in Germany. In the late nineteenth century it became

fasionable in America and a number of new variations were developed. There is a

dispute about the correct spelling of the name - the earliest sources use the

spelling Casino, but a tradition has grown up among later writers to spell it

with a double 's': Cassino.

Cassier's Magazine

Cassier's Magazine was a magazine founded in 1891 by Louis Cassier, and

published in New York as the first monthly publication devoted to purely

engineering and scientific subjects. It was particularly noted for its



Cassina are an Italian furniture-making company. They were established in 1923

in Meda, Italy. Cassina moved from craft to mass production after 1945 and

successfully sold modern design to a sophisticated international niche market,

using designers such as Franco Albini, Gio Ponti and Vico Magistretti. Ponti's

'Superleggera' chair of 1957 was among the most successful of Cassina's



Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern hemisphere situated next to

Cephus. It contains fifty-five stars.


A cassock is a long close fitting tunic, buttoning up to the neck and reaching

down to the feet, worn by the clergy.

Cast iron

Cast iron is a cheap but valuable constructional material, most commonly used

for automobile engine blocks. Cast iron is partly refined pig iron, which is

very fluid when molten and highly suitable for shaping by casting; it contains

too many impurities such as carbon to be readily shaped in any other way. Solid

cast iron is heavy and can absorb great shock but is very brittle.


Castanets are small concave shells of ivory or hard wood used by the Spaniards

and Moors to make a rattling sound to accompany dancing. A pair of castanets

are held in the palm of the hand and struck with the middle finger.


Caste is an Indian hereditary class system with members socially equal, united

in religion and usually following the same trade. A member of one caste has no

social intercourse with a member of any other caste except their own. There are

four main groups: Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas (nobles and warriors), Vaisyas

(traders and farmers), and Sudras (servants); plus a fifth group, Harijan

(untouchables). No upward or downward mobility exists, as in classed societies.

The system dates from ancient times, and there are more than 3,000

subdivisions. In Hindu tradition, the four main castes are said to have

originated from the head, arms, thighs, and feet respectively of Brahma, the

creator; the members of the fifth were probably the aboriginal inhabitants of

the country, known variously as Scheduled Castes, Depressed Classes,

Untouchables, or Harijan (a name coined by Gandhi meaning 'children of God').

This lowest caste handled animal products, garbage, and human wastes and so was

considered to be polluting by touch, or even by sight, to others.

Discrimination against them was made illegal 1947 when India became

independent, but persists.


Castilian is a member of the Romance branch of the Indo-European language

family, originating in north-west Spain, in the provinces of Old and New

Castile. It is the basis of present-day standard Spanish and is often seen as

the same language, the terms castellano and espanol being used interchangeably

in both Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas.


Casting is the process of producing solid objects by pouring molten material

into a shaped mold and allowing it to cool. Casting is used to shape such

materials as glass and plastics, as well as metals and alloys. The casting of

metals has been practiced for more than 6,000 years, using first copper and

bronze, then iron. The traditional method of casting metal is sand casting.

Using a model of the object to be produced, a hollow mold is made in a damp

sand and clay mix. Molten metal is then poured into the mold, taking its shape

when it cools and solidifies. The sand mold is broken up to release the

casting. Permanent metal molds called dies are also used for casting, in

particular, small items in mass-production processes where molten metal is

injected under pressure into cooled dies. Continuous casting is a method of

shaping bars and slabs that involves pouring molten metal into a hollow,

water-cooled mold of the desired cross section.


Castor is a reddish-brown bitter substance obtained from the anal glands of the

beaver and used in perfume and medicine.

Castor is a star (Alpha Geminorum) of magnitude 1.6, the fainter star of the

zodiacal constellation Gemini, or the Twins. In 1719 it was discovered to be a

visual binary star, with components of magnitudes 2.8 and 2.0 separated by 6

seconds of arc and revolving around each other in about 350 years. Each of

these components has been found to be a spectroscopic binary. In addition, a

faint companion, separated from the other two by 72 sec of arc, has been

discovered. This star is also a spectroscopic binary, the two components of

which revolve around each other in about one day. Hence, the entire system of

the star Castor contains at least six stars. Its distance is about 45

light-years from the earth.

Castor oil

Castor oil is a pale yellow nauseous acrid oil obtained from the seeds of the

Castor oil plant and used as a purgative and lubricant.


Catacombs are subterranean cemeteries.


A catafalque is a temporary and ornamental structure, representing a tomb,

placed over the coffin of a distinguished person or over a grave.


In chemistry, a catalase is any of various enzymes capable of decomposing

hydrogen peroxide.


A catalyst is a substance which facilitates a reaction, without being consumed

by the reaction itself. It is a term generally used in chemistry, although it

is equally applicable in applied Psychology, such as in the role of an

antagonist or provocateur.


A catamaran is a boat comprised of a keel and two side arms. They were

originally rafts used in the east, particularly by the natives of the Madras

and Coromandel coasts.


A catboat is a sailing boat with a single mast set well forward and rigged with

one sail.


A catechism is an elementary book containing a number of principles in any

science or art, but particularly in religion, reduced to the form of questions

and answers.


A catenary is a curve taken up by a flexible cable suspended between two

points, under gravity. For example, the curve of overhead suspension cables

that hold the conductor wire of an electric railroad or tramway.

Caterpillar track

Caterpillar track is the trade name for an endless flexible belt of metal

plates on which certain vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers run, which takes

the place of ordinary tyred wheels and improves performance on wet or uneven

surfaces. A track-laying vehicle has a track on each side, and its engine

drives small cogwheels that run along the top of the track in contact with the

ground. The advantage of such tracks over wheels is that they distribute the

vehicle's weight over a wider area and are thus ideal for use on soft and

waterlogged as well as rough and rocky ground.


A cathetometer is a device for measuring small differences in height.


A cathode is a negative electrical pole or terminal.

Cathode Rays

Cathode rays are a stream of electrons emitted from the cathode of an electron

tube and accelerated to high velocity by an electron gun. The rays can be

deflected by magnetic or electric fields.

Cathode-ray Oscilloscope

A cathode-ray oscilloscope is an instrument for examining electrical

quantities, and particularly varying electrical quantities both periodic and

transient, by means of a luminous trace on the screen of a cathode-ray tube.

The quantities to be investigated or measured are made to deflect the electron

beam in the cathode-ray tube, and thus to produce corresponding movement of the

light spot on the screen. In addition to examining electrical quantities as

such, the oscilloscope is widely used to examine any physical quantity the

changing values of which can be converted into corresponding changes of

electric potential.

Cathode-ray Tube

A cathode-ray tube is an electron tube containing a thermionic cathode and an

electron gun for the production of cathode rays which are directed axially

along the tube in the direction of the flattened, wide end. The internal

surface of the wider end of the tube is coated with a phosphor which emits

light at the point of impact of the high speed electrons.


A cation is a positively charged ion which, in an electrolyte or in a

gas-filled electron tube, travels towards the negative electrode or cathode.

Cato Street Conspiracy

The Cato Street Conspiracy was a plot to murder British ministers in 1820.

Arthur Thistlewood, who had already been mixed up with revolutionary projects,

conceived a plan for assassinating Lord Castlereagh and his ministerial

colleagues at a dinner in Grosvenor Square, London on February 23rd. Arms were

collected in a hired rendezvous in the neighbouring Cato Street. The plot was

discovered, and Thistlewood and his colleagues arrested, and he and four others

were executed.


Catoptrics is the branch of optics which explains the properties of incident

and reflected light, and particularly that which is reflected from mirrors or

polished surfaces.

Cattle Plague

see "Rinderpest"


The catty was a Chinese unit of weight equivalent to 1.5 lbs.

Cau Robat

Cau robat is a card game played in Catalonia, the north east part of Spain. It

is a children's fishing game similar to Scopa and Scopone although simpler and

with greater scope for chance.


A caul is a woman's close-fitting cap or hair net. They were originally made of

gold net and worn by women between the 14th and 16th centuries.


A cauldron is a large boiling vessel, usually of a deep basin shape with a hoop

handle and a removable lid.


A causeway is a raised road across a low or wet piece of land.

Caustic soda

see "Sodium hydrate"


A cautery is a heated metal instrument used for burning or searing organic



A cavalcade is a procession of riders on horse-back.


In music, a cavatina is a melody of simpler character than the aria, and

without a second part and a dacapo or return part.


A cave is a deep hollow place under ground.


Cavendish is softened tobacco which has been sweetened with molasses and then

pressed into cakes.

Cavendish Experiment

The Cavendish Experiment was conducted by Henry Cavendish for the purpose of

ascertaining the mean density of the earth by means of the torsion balance.


Caviare is the roes of certain large fish prepared and salted. The best is made

from the roes of the sterlet and sturgeon caught in the lakes and rivers of



Cavo-Rilievo is a form of sculpture in which the highest surface of the relief

is only level with that of the original stone.


The CBI is the British organisation of employers.


CC:Mail is a network communications system which functions transparently across

different networks, operating systems and hardware platforms. As such it has

the ability to connect groups of users across a LAN or collecton of LANs.

CC:Mail enables a central database to be maintained which is called the CC:Mail

post office. This structure contains single copies of messages together with

pointers to individual mailboxes. This cuts down on network traffic and also

disk storage space. As the package is of a modular nature, CC:Mail may be

expanded as requirements grow with ease. Anything that can be created or viewed

on a workstation may be transmitted across the LAN to the central post office.

When the message is received by the post office the recipient is notified.

Items within the message can be multiple so that one message may contain many

items. These items can be text, graphics, files and screen output. Items may be

edited when they are viewed and returned the sender, forwarded, printed,

archived or deleted. If the item is of special interest it may be saved in a

private folder for personal use or made public by placing it on a bulletin

board. If an old message is required a search can be made by name, keyword

phrase, and date. Management of the system is carried out by the CC:Mail

Administrator who creates the mail directory.


The CCIR (Comite Consultatif Internationale des Radio), is a major constituent

of the International Telecommunications Union, issuing both Radio Regulations

and Recommendations for all uses of radio transmission.


The CCITT (Comite Consultatif Internationale des Telephones et Telegraphes), is

a major constituent of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that

sets standards for the operation of telecommunications services across

international boundaries. Many CCITT standards are adopted for use domestically.


A CCU (Communications Concentrator Unit) is a small computer connected between

a main computer and one or more serial devices operating as an intermediary to

relieve the main computer of much of the routine work connected with receiving

information from the serial devices.


A cedilla is a mark made under the letter c, especially in French, to indicate

that it is to be pronounced like the English s.


Cego is a special type of Tarok, played in south west Germany. It was developed

in the early part of the nineteenth century and became the national card game

of Baden and Hohenzollern, where it remains extremely popular. These are the

only parts of Germany where genuine Tarok cards (here known as Cego cards) are

still in general use. (A game called Tarock is played in Württemberg and

Bavaria, but that game uses a normal 36-card German pack). Cego is unusual

among Tarok games in that an extra hand, the Cego, sometimes known as the Tapp

or Blinde, is dealt to the centre of the table. Many of the bids involve

playing with this extra hand, retaining only one or two of one's original cards

and discarding the remainder. The discarded cards are sometimes called the

Legage. The idea of this type of bid derives from a version of L'Hombre, and

survives in a few other games, such as Vira.


A ceilidh is a Gaelic festival of singing and dancing held in Scotland and



Celluloid is a hard, unstable synthetic substance once used for films. It is

composed of gun-cotton and camphor and is moulded to the desired shape by heat.


Cellulose is the cellular tissue of plants. It is a member of the carbohydrate

family and is allied to starch. In plants, cellulose is normally combined with

woody, fatty, or gummy substances. With some exceptions among insects, true

cellulose is not found in animal tissues. Microorganisms in the digestive

tracts of herbivorous animals break down the cellulose into products that can

then be absorbed. Cellulose is insoluble in all ordinary solvents and may be

readily separated from the other constituents of plants. Depending on its

concentration, sulfuric acid acts on cellulose to produce glucose, soluble

starch, or amyloid; the last is a form of starch used for the coating of

parchment paper. When cellulose is treated with an alkali and thenexposed to

the fumes of carbon disulfide, the solution yields films and threads. Rayon and

cellophane are cellulose regenerated from such solutions. Cellulose acetates

are spun into fine filaments for the manufacture of some fabrics and are also

used for photographic safety film, as a substitute for glass, for the

manufacture of safety glass, and as a molding material. Cellulose ethers are

used in paper sizings, adhesives, soaps, and synthetic resins. With mixtures of

nitric and sulfuric acids, cellulose forms a series of flammable and explosive

compounds known as cellulose nitrates, or nitrocelluloses. Pyroxylin, also

called collodion cotton, is a nitrate used in various lacquers and plastics;

another, collodion, is used in medicine, photography, and the manufacture of

artificial leather and some lacquers. A third nitrate, guncotton, is a high



The Celtic was a mail steamer of the White Star Line, launched in 1901. It was

700 feet long, with a gross tonnage of 20880 and a displacement of 37700 tons

and a speed of 17 knots.


Cement is a mixture of chalk and clay used for building.


A cenotaph is a monument erected in honour of a deceased person, but not

containing his body. The Greeks erected cenotaphs, and a number were built in

England after the Great War, the most famous is in Whitehall, London which was

designed by Sir E Luytens and unveiled by the King on Armistice Day (11th

November 1920).


The census is a questionnaire issued every ten years in Britain which gathers

detailed figures concerning the population, classified according to sex, age,

occupation, size of families and geographical distribution.


The cental was a weight of 100 pounds legal in Britain since 1879 and used

primarily for corn. The term was invented by Danson, a barrister, in order to

meet the need for a uniform measure in the Liverpool corn trade. It was first

introduced in February 1859, and legalized twenty years later.


Centaurus (the Centaur) is a southern constellation, which is visible chiefly

south of the equator. The brightest star in this constellation, Alpha Centauri,

is also the third brightest star in the sky. It is about 4.3 light-years from

the earth and is the closest visible star to the earth's solar system. The star

is actually a double star, with a third star, Proxima Centauri, revolving

around the others.


A centiare is a French measurement, the hundredth part of an are.


A centner is a European name for a hundred-weight.


A cento is a poem formed out of verses taken from one or more poets, so

arranged as to form a distinct poem.

Central Criminal Court

The Central Criminal Court was set up in 1834 in the Old Bailey, which stands

on the site of old Newgate Prison. Here serious criminal cases from London and

the surrounding areas are heard.


Ceres is a planet with a diameter of 256 km which was discovered on the 1st of

January 1801 by M. Plazzi at Palermo. It was named Ceres after the goddess

Ceres who was so highly esteemed by the ancient Sicilians.


Cerium is a rare metal element with the symbol Ce.


Ceruleum is a blue pigment, consisting of stannate of protoxide of cobalt mixed

with stannic acid and sulphate of lime.


Cetearth-3 is used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and lotion. It dries out the

skin and causes numerous allergic reactions.


see "Menkar"

Cetyl Alcohol

Cetyl alcohol (fatty alcohol) is a moisturiser used in cosmetics to keep oil

and water from separating and also as a foam booster.


CGI (The Common Gateway Interface) is a specification that allows computer Web

servers execute other programs and incorporate their output into the text,

graphics, and audio sent to a client Web browser. The server and the CGI

program work together to enhance and customise the World Wide Web's

capabilities. By providing a standard interface, the CGI specification allows

developers use a wide variety of programming tools, such as C and Perl.


The chain is a unit of the imperial scale of measurement of length equivalent

to 22 yards or 20.168 metres. A chain is comprised of 100 links, each 7.92

inches long. 10 chains equal one furlong, and 10 square chains equal one acre.


see "chain"


Chaldee is an ancient Semetic language.


The chalder was a Scottish dry measure containing 16 bolls, equivalent to 12

imperial quarters. It was originally used in weighing grain.


The chaldron is an old English unit of capacity measurement equivalent to 36

bushels. It was used as a measure of coal in England, equal to 6,800 lbs.


A chalice is a ceremonial cup.


Chalk is a pure soft limestone, opaque white, and usually formed by the

accumulation of the shells of foraminifera together with those of larger marine


Challenger Expedition

The Challenger Expedition was a voyage for the scientific purposes of

investigating the conditions of life in the deep sea of the Atlantic, Pacific

and Antarctic Oceans organised in 1872 by the British government. The corvette

Challenger started from Sheerness in December 1872 and returned in May 1876

after collecting information about the ocean beds, currents, temperature and

also collecting samples of fauna.

Chalybeate Water

Chalybeate Water is water holding iron in solution, either as a carbonate or as

a sulphate with or without other salts.

Chamberlain's Men

The Chamberlain's Men were an Elizabethan stage troupe. It's most famous member

was the young William Shakespeare.


In legal talk, chambers are the rooms where barristers do their work before

appearing in court.


Chance-Medley is a now obsolete legal term which has been replaced by the term

'manslaughter'. It described a homocide which occurred either in self-defence,

on a sudden quarrel, or in the commission of an unlawful act without any

deliberate intention of doing mischief.


A changeling is a child substituted for another, usually at birth. There was

formerly a belief that week or peevish children were changelings, perhaps

swapped by fairies or other evil spirits.


Chap-Books were a type of cheap literature sold cheaply by chapmen and peddlers

who hawked them from district to district. They contained stories and

biographies of a generally popular nature and were the fore runners of modern



Chapadmalal is a world famous stud-horse farm in Argentina.


A chaplet is a string of beads used by Roman Catholics to count the number of

their prayers. A chaplet is a third of a rosary, and usually consists of

fifty-five beads.


Charcoal is an amorphous form of carbon formed by charring wood.

Chargeurs Reunis

The Chargeurs Reunis was a French steamship line established at Paris in 1872,

running between Havre and Indo-China, east Africa and South America.


A chariot was a two wheeled vehicle used in ancient warfare.


Charterhouse is a celebrated school and charitable foundation in the city of

London. It was built in 1371 as a priory for Carthusian monks by Sir Walter

Manny. After the dissolution of the monasteries it passed through several hands

until it came to Thomas Sutton who converted it into a hospital and school. In

1872 it was moved to Godalming and the premises in London sold to the Merchant

Taylors' School. New buildings were erected at the original site in 1875.


In Norman times, a chase (or chace) was a hunting ground stocked with beasts

and under private, rather than royal ownership which was called a forest.


Chasing is the art of working decorative forms in low-relief in gold, silver or

other metals.


A chasuble is the upper garment worn by a priest during the celebration of

mass. It was originally circular, had a hole in the middle for the head, but no

holes for the arms. In later times the sides were cut away to allow a freer


Chatham Chest

The Chatham Chest (later Greenwich Chest) was a fund established in 1590 on the

recommendation of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins for the relief of sick

and wounded seamen. The deduction of money from seamen's pay to the fund ceased

in 1829 by which time the fund was practically merged in the general relief

funds of the Greenwich Hospital.

Chatterton's Compound

Chatterton's Compound is a mixture of Stockholm tar, resin and gutta-percha. It

was once used in the construction of submarine telegraph cables.


Chausses were a tight covering for the legs and body, reaching to the waist,

and worn by almost all men of Europe at one time.


Chauvinism is fanatical devotion to a cause, especially patriotism. The term

comes from Nicholas Chauvin who was a soldier so enthusiastically devoted to

Napoleon that his comrades ridiculed him.


Cheat (Bullshit, I Doubt It) is a card game for two to ten players. One

standard pack of 52 cards is used. All the cards are dealt out to the players;

some may have more than others, but not by much. The object is to get rid of

all your cards. Select at random who should go first and continue clockwise. On

the table is a discard pile, which starts empty. A turn consists of discarding

one or more cards face down on the pile, and calling out their rank. The first

player must discard aces, the second player discards two, the next player

threes, and so on. After tens come Jacks, then Queens, then Kings, then back to

Aces, etc. Since the cards are discarded face down, you do not in fact have to

play the rank you are calling. For example if it is your turn to discard

sevens, you may actually discard any card or mixture of cards; in particular,

if you don't have any sevens you will be forced to play some other card or

cards. Any player who suspects that the card(s) discarded by a player do not

match the rank called can challenge the play by calling "Cheat!", "Bullshit!"

or "I doubt it!" (depending on what you call the game). Then the cards played

by the challenged player are exposed and one of two things happens: 1. if they

are all of the rank that was called, the challenge is false, and the challenger

must pick up the whole discard pile; 2. if any of the played cards is different

from the called rank, the challenge is correct, and the person who played the

cards must pick up the whole discard pile. After the challenge is resolved,

play continues in normal rotation: the player to the left of the one who was

challenged plays and calls the next rank in sequence. The first player to get

rid of all their cards and survive win any challenge resulting from their final

play wins the game. If you play your last remaining card(s), but someone

challenges you and the cards you played are not what you called, you pick up

the pile and play continues.

Cheese Aerial

A cheese aerial is a type of rotatable aerial employed in Radar on the

centimetric waveband. It consists of a parabolic metallic reflector, and is

usually fed by a waveguide.


Chemdet is an anionic drilling detergent for drilling muds. It is added to

water based mud systems to reduce the surface tension.

Chemical Bond

Chemical bond is the force retaining two atoms together in a molecule as, for

example, the force exerted by a pair of shared electrons.

Chemical change

In chemistry, chemical change is a change in which the chemical structure of a

substance is changed.


Chemistry is the science of the composition of substances.


The cheng is a Chinese musical instrument. It is comprised of a series of tubes

with free reeds. Its introduction into Europe led to the development of the

accordion and harmonium.


Chenille is an ornamental fabric made by weaving or twisting together warp-like

threads with a weft the loose ends of which protrude all round in the form of a



Chess is a game of skill played on a chequered board.


A chest was a British measurement of tea ranging from 80 to 84 lbs.


Chica is an organge-red pigment prepared from Bignnia Chica by the Indians of

the upper Orinoco and Rio Negro in South America and used to adorn the person.


Chicago is a card game for two to four players, using a standard 52-card deck

without jokers. Points are scored for having the best hand according to poker

ranking, but also in the final stage of the game the cards are played to

tricks, and points are scored by the winner of the last trick.


Ciapano, also known as Rovescino, Traversone, Tressette a non Prendere,

Perdivinci or Vinciperdi is a trick-taking card game and is the reverse game of

Tresette. The name Ciapanò is in Milanese dialect (in English it could be

translated as "Don't catch it!") - Ciapanò was very popular in Lombardy until

the 1980s and still played there now. Like most Italian games it is played

anticlockwise. Ciapano can be played by 3, 4 or 5 players. A 40-card deck is

used. In the North East of Lombardy the Italian suits: swords, batons, cups and

coins are used. In the South or North West of Lombardy the game is played with

40 cards of the Milanese pack which has French suits (spades, clubs, hearts and

diamonds). In each suit the cards rank as follows: 3 (highest), 2, Asso (ace),

Re (king), Cavallo (horse, or queen), Fante (jack), 7, 6, 5, 4 (lowest). The

cards have point values and the object is to avoid taking tricks containing

valuable cards. There is an extra penalty for winning the last trick.


Chicle is a gum-like substance obtained from the bully tree and used for making

chewing gum.


Chilli is a spice, being either the pod or powder of capsicum.


Originally, chintz was a painted or stained calico imported from India.


A chiton was a simple garment extending half-way to the knee and worn in

ancient Greece.

Chloral Hydrate

Chloral Hydrate is a crystalline compound of the marsh gas series, discovered

by Liebig in 1831, which, when taken dissolved in water, produces deep sleep,

but not insensibility to pain.


Chloralum is a compound of chlorine and aluminium used as an antiseptic and

disinfectant invented by Gamgee in 1870.


A chlorate is a salt formed by the reaction of chloric acid and metal.


see "chlorate"


Chlordane is a man-made chemical that was registered for use as a pesticide in

the United States from 1948 to the present. It is a tan, glassy substance

(almost solid) that has a mild, irritating smell. Chlordane is not a single

chemical, but is a mixture of more than 50 chemicals. Because it does not

dissolve in water, before it can be used, it must be placed in water with

emulsifiers (soap-like substances) to make a milky-looking mixture of liquid

particles. It was used mainly to stop termites in houses and was used on corn

and other crops. The presence of chlordane in the soil under a house will kill

termites that come into contact with it and will repel or kill any that might

try to enter the house at a later time. The production of chlordane by

industries and registration of the pesticide with the Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA) for all above-ground uses had stopped by 1983, but above-ground

use of any chlordane that was still on store shelves or already bought was

still allowed until April 14, 1988. In the fall of 1987, use of chlordane to

kill termites was allowed only on the outside of buildings, and other uses were

suspended in April of 1988 until more information was gathered on the amount of

chlordane in air. Use of chlordane was stopped mainly because of concern over

cancer risk, evidence of human exposure and build up in body fat, persistence

in the environment, and danger to wildlife. This compound stays in the

environment for many years and is still found in food, air, water, and soil,

and is also present in some form in the fat of almost all humans.

Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride

Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librax, Libritabs, Librium, Mesural, Multum,

Risolid, Silibrin, Sonimen, Zetran) is an orally ingested or injected limbic

Central Nervous System depressant used in medicine for the management of

anxiety disorders or the short-term relief of anxiety.

Chloric acid

Chloric acid is a oxyacid of chlorine. It is a powerful oxidising agent.


Chlorine is a gaseous element with the symbol Cl.


Chloroform (trichloRomethane) is a compound of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine,

and was made from alcohol, water and bleaching powder. It was discovered by

Soubeiran in 1831 and independently by Liebig in 1832. It was first used as an

anaesthetic in 1847.


Chlorophyll is the green colouring matter of plant leaves and absorbs the light

necessary for photosynthesis. Chlorophyll absorbs mainly red, violet, and blue

light and reflects green light. The great abundance of chlorophyll in leaves

and its occasional presence in other plant tissues, such as stems, causes these

plant parts to appear green. In some leaves, chlorophyll is masked by other

pigments. Chlorophyll is a large molecule composed mostly of carbon and

hydrogen. At the center of the molecule is a single atom of magnesium

surrounded by a nitrogen-containing group of atoms called a porphyrin ring. The

structure somewhat resembles that of the active constituent of hemoglobin in

the blood. A long chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms proceeds from this central

core and attaches the chlorophyll molecule to the inner membrane of the

chloroplast, the cell organelle in which photosynthesis takes place. As a

molecule of chlorophyll absorbs a photon of light, its electrons become excited

and move to higher energy levels. This initiates a complex series of chemical

reactions in the chloroplast that enables the energy to be stored in chemical



Chocolate is a confectionery made from cocoa beans and introduced to Europe

from Mexico and Brazil about 1520. It was sold in the London coffee-houses in



see "Tope"


Christie's is a famous fine art auction house in London founded in 1766.

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is the presence of prismatic colours at the edges of an

optical image due to the refractive index of the lens material being different

for light of different frequencies.


Chromium is a metal element with the symbol Cr.


A chromosome is a chemical found in all cells which determines how the cell

will act.


The chronoscope is an apparatus invented by Wheatstone in 1840 to measure small

intervals of time.

Church Ale

Church ales were important social and money-raising functions in the Tudor and

Stuart periods in England. The churchwardens at this time sold, or distributed

free of charge, ale and food, sometimes in the church house or in a barn or in

the church itself, with the purpose of attracting local residents where they

might then be induced to pay the parish rates.


Chutney is a condiment composed of fruits, acids and spices used extensively in

India, and from there introduced to the West.


Cicera is an Italian fishing card game closely related to the popular game

Scopa. It is played in the province of Brescia and the technical terms are

given in the dialect of Brescia. This game is the reason why the Bresciane pack

is made with 52 cards and not with 40 as other Italian packs. (Trevisane cards

are also made as 52 card packs because in that zone they play Scaraboción,

which is another variant of Scopa similar to Cycera). There are four players,

two against two in fixed partnerships; you sit opposite your partner. As in

most Italian games, play is anticlockwise. A Bresciane 52-card deck is used.

The cards in each suit are Re (king), Cavallo (horse), Fante (jack), 10, 9 ,8

,7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. It would also be possible to play with a standard

international 52 card pack, but in Brescia, the local cards are always used.

Cinematograph Films Act

The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 was a British act of Parliament which came

into force on April 1st 1928 for a ten year period until March 31st 1938. The

act required that British renters of films included in their output a certain

proportion of films made in the British Empire. Exhibitors of films were also

required to show a proportion of British films. The proportions were on a

sliding scale, gradually increasing over the ten year period.

Cinnamic Acid

Cinnamic Acid or phenylacrylic acid is a white, crystalline organic compound

found naturally in combination in some balsams and prepared synthetically by

heating benzaldehyde with sodium acetate in the presence of acetic anhydride.


A circuit is a path for electrical current. Current can flow only when the

circuit is closed, that is when it presents a continuous conductive path.


see "Geranial"

Citric acid

Citric acid is found in citrus fruits. It has the formulae c6h807.

City Line

The City Line was an English steampship company plying between Glasgow and

Liverpool, London and Bombay and Karachi. It was founded in 1839 by George

Smith and Sons and sold in 1901 to J R Ellerman.

Clan Line

The Clan Line was an English steamship line begun in 1878 conducting a

fortnightly service from Liverpool and Glasgow to Karachi and Bombay. In 1881

and 1882 the business was expanded and started calling also at south and east

African ports, Colombo, Madras and Calcutta. In 1893 the service was further

extended with a service from New York to south and east African ports.


A claque was a body of men hired to applaud, laugh and weep as appropriate in

theatres with the intention of making the show a success. It originated in

France around 1760 and ceased around 1878.

Clarendon Press

The Clarendon Press was the name formerly given to the press at the University

of Oxford. It was founded in 1672 and the printing house erected in 1711 to

1713 with profits from the sale of Lord Clarendon's 'History of the Rebellion',

the copyright of which was given to the university by his son. Since 1830 the

press has been known as the Oxford University Press.


A clarinet (clarionet) is a woodwind musical instrument of the reed kind

invented by Johann Denner in Nuremberg around 1690.


A clarion is a musical instrument of the trumpet family.


see "Clarinet"

Claris CAD

Claris CAD is a drawing and drafting program that provides most of the features

required by professional artists, draftspeople, and engineers creating

two-dimensional drawings. It is one of the most comprehensive design programs

available on the Macintosh. There are many tools available for geometric

construction including double line drawing, spline and freehand curves, the

ability to join lines into polygons, and the ability to unjoin the lines in an

object. Rotating objects around a point and mirroring objects around a line is

easy. Claris CAD includes many tools that aid in precise placement of objects

and text. You can create an unlimited number of layers that can be viewed in

any combination. Each layer can use multiple scales of measurement.

Dimensioning can be automatic and is easily edited. You have a choice of

linear, radial, diametral, and angular dimensioning, and all can be preset or

custom-made. Claris CAD offers a wide variety of features, including 25 drawing

tools and tool modifiers; up to four different ways of drawing objects; the

ability to have precise specifications for the size, location, and angles of

objects in a drawing; automatic updating of drawings to meet new

specifications; support of the five drawing standards used in professional

drawing environments; precise zoom controls; and the ability to manage several

windows on the screen at one time. Fonts can range in size from one point to

127 points. Style sizes and justifications can be combined. Text can be

coloured and rotated. Claris CAD allows you to create libraries of objects that

can be recalled by sight or name. Claris CAD includes MacPlot drivers to

support Hewlett-Packard and Houston Instrument plotters.


In music, a clef is a sign placed at the beginning of a stave to indicate the

pitch and name of notes. There are now only three clefs in use: the treble or G

clef; the base or F clet; and the C clef. The G clef consists of the five

highest lines, the F clef of the five lowest lines, of the great stave.

Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra's Needle is a famous monolith which was erected at Heliopolis around

1500 BC before the great temple which stood there. It was removed to Alexandria

by Augustus Caesar in 14 BC and presented to England by Mehemet Ali in 1819 and

brought to London in 1878 by Sir Erasmus Wilson (the British government

thinking it not worth the cost of removal) and erected on the Thames embankment

between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It is made of granite and

stands roughly 21 meters tall.


A clepsydra was a Greek and Roman water clock which measured time by the rate

of the flow of water through small holes at the bottom of an earthenware globe.


The clerestory is that part of the walls of a Gothic church which rise above

the aisle and contains a row of windows. Its purpose being to admit as much

light as possible to the nave.


Click is a peculiar variety of speech which occurs in the Bushman and Hottentot

languages. The sounds are produced by pressing the tongue against some portion

of the teeth-ridge or palate, and then quickly withdrawing it so as to produce

an implosive click.


Climate is the average state of the atmosphere with regard to warmth, wind,

rain and other variable conditions throughout a long period of time. It is

dependant on the interaction of atmospheric conditions, such as wind, cloud,

temperature and rainfall and on the surface features of the earth itself, such

as the distribution of land and water, mountains and ocean currents. Hence it

may vary considerably in places only a few kilometres apart.


see "Clinker-built"


Clinker-built, formerly clincher-built, was a term applied to a boat or ship

built with the lower edge of each plank overlapping the one below it, like the

tiles on a roof.


A clipper is a sharp bowed fast sailing vessel.

Clipper is a database development tool based on the dBase III Plus file

structure. All code developed with Clipper can be linked and compiled into

machine-executed code that can be run directly from the DOS prompt. Clipper

allows many enhancements to the database parameters of dBase III Plus and dBase

IV and offers the ability to create user-defined functions, link object files

compiled with other languages (such as C and assembler) and data arrays, and

call external programs. No runtime module is required. Clipper contains a

library, an error handler, a debugger, and a compiler. The library stores

frequently used routines. The error handler system lets a programmer control

the response of an application when and where errors occur. The debugger

assists in finding and correcting both logical and execution errors. The

compiler translates the source code into an executable format. Once the source

code is debugged and compiled, the program (stored in an executable file) will

run faster than non-compiled dBase III Plus programs. This executable file can

be transported to any machine. You do not need Clipper or a runtime version to

run the compiled program. Clipper makes it easy to create multi-user

applications that support record and file locking and can open files for shared

or exclusive access. It supports single and multi-user commands with no need to

purchase additional runtime licences or multi-user versions.


A cloak is a loose fitting, usually sleeveless outer garment.


A clog is a wooden soled, leather uppered boot.


Cloisonne is a form of decorative enamel.


Clonus is a rapidly alternating contraction and relaxation of muscles,

resulting in violent tremors of part of a limb.


A cloud is a mist formed above the ground by floating water particles.

Clove hitch

The clove hitch is a knot.


see "Bela"


Clubmen were associations founded in the southern and western counties of

England, to restrain the excesses of the armies during the civil wars oif 1642

- 1649. They professed neutrality, but inclined towards the king, and were

considered enemies by his opponents.


A clutch is an apparatus by which two rotating shafts may be connected or

disconnected for the purpose of causing one to drive the other.

Co-axial Cable

Co-axial cable is cable consisting of two conductors, one a central wire and

the other a cylinder concentric with the wire, the space between them being

filled with a dielectric.


Co-education is the education of the two sexes together, not only in the same

institution, but also in the same classes. The idea is coincident with the

belief that the mental capacities of boys and girls are equal, and that their

roles should to a large extent be interchangeable.


A co-respondent is the person charged with adultery jointly with the defendant

spouse on a divorce petition, or a joint defendant to an appeal.


Coal is a solid combustible material of vegetable origin occurring in a

fossilised state.


Coal-tar is a thick black viscous liquid produced by the destructive

distillation of coal. Coal-tar yields benzene, creosote, paraffin, aniline and



A coalition is an alliance of States or political parties for common action on

a specified policy.


In geography, the coast is the edge of land in contact with the sea.

Coastal Trade

Coastal trade is sea-borne trade between different ports in the same country.


A coaster is a ship which carries cargo around a country's coast.

Coastguard Service

The British Coastguard Service was established in 1923 as a department of the

Board of Customs and Excise for the protection of British shores. The

Coastguard Service is involved with life-saving, providing aid to ships, the

prevention of smuggling and certain customs services.

Coaxial Cable

A coaxial cable is a cable in which one conductor surrounds the other. The

electromagnetic wave travels between the grounded outer shield and the central

conductor. Coaxials can carry much wider bandwidth and higher frequencies than

twisted wire pair, while suffering less interference problems due to the

grounded outer conductor. Where the maximum frequency capable on twisted pair

wiring is about 16 megahertz and then only for short distances, coaxial cable

readily carries several hundred megahertz for 300 metres.


Cobalt is a metal element with the symbol Co. It was discovered among the ore

veins in Cornwall in early times and called mundic by the miners. It was

identified as a metal in 1733 by Brandt.

Cobden Club

The Cobden Club was an institution formed to spread and develop Codben's

principles. It held its first meeting in 1866 with Gladstone in the chair.


A coble was a low, flat-bottomed boat with a square stern formerly used in the

cod and turbot fishing industries. It weighed about one ton, was twenty feet

long and five feet wide, rowed by three pairs of oars and fitted with a

lug-sail. It was well adapted for encountering a heavy swell and were

extensively used on the north-east coast of Britain in the early twentieth

century. The term is also applied to a smaller boat used in salmon fishing.


COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) is a computer programming language

described by hackers as "a weak, verbose, and flabby language used by card

wallopers to do boring mindless things on dinosaur mainframes".


Coca is the dried leaves of the South American shrub, Erythroxylon Coca, from

which cocaine is extracted.

Cocamidopropyl betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a surfactant used in shampoos, detergents, and

cleansing lotions. CAPB is an aklkylamidobetaine and functions as an amphoteric

surfactant with anionic and cationic properties depending on pH. Betaines are

less foaming than other surfactants and are expensive; however, they are

relatively gentle to the skin, have a low potential to irritate the eyes, have

good conditioning characteristics, and have antibacterial activity.

Cock-Lane Ghost

The Cock-Lane Ghost was a hoax conducted by William Parsons, his wife, daughter

and a female ventriloquist during 1760 and 1761 at number 33 Cock-lane, London.

In the house, unaccountable noises were heard and a number of persons declared

to have seen a ghost. To spite a previous lodger, Kemt, the owner of the house

claimed the ghost was a lady poisoned by Kemt. The truth was discovered and the

parents were condemned to the pillory and two years imprisonment in 1762.


A cockade is a kind of rosette worn in the hat by men-servants of naval and

military officers, or of individuals holding office under the Crown. It was

formerly worn in the hats of soldiers.


Cocoon is the name given to the silken case enveloping the chrysalis of several

Lepidoptera, especially the silk moths. The term is also applied to the silk

sack in which spiders wrap their eggs.


Codeine is an alkaloid derived from opium used as a pain killer and a sedative.


In science a coefficient is a pure numeric characteristic of some property of a

material. It appears in the form of a constant multiplying a term or terms in

an equation expressing the behaviour of the material in question.


In Roman law, coemption was a form of civil marriage by a fictious sale of the

two parties to each other.


In law, coercion is moral or physical pressure employed to force a person to do

some act. In civil law, where an act is required to be done freely, such as in

marriage etc., it will be invalidated by the element of coercion.


A cofferdam is a particular form of temporary dam used to exclude water from

the site of docks, quay-walls, or the abutments of bridges during construction.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive Development was an English bulletin board system (BBS) operated

during the early 1990s specialising in artificial intelligence and computer

virus information. The BBS was deemed controversial for its open distribution

of computer viruses and was condemned by the British computer press (notably

Personal Computer World) but its activities were found not to be aimed at

computer crime, but at assisting PC users in combating virus attacks.

Coiffeur-Schieber Jass

Coiffeur-Schieber is a card game of the Swiss Jass group for three or four



Coke is the residue, mainly amorphous carbon, left on heating bituminous coal

and thus driving off its volatile constituents, or on heating hydrocarbons to a

point at which they decompose with deposition of carbon (cracking).


In geography, a col is a narrow, high pass through a mountain chain formed by

the meeting of river or glacier valleys from opposite sides of the range.


Colchicine is an alkaloid derived from meadow saffron.

Coley's Fluid

Coley's fluid was a fluid obtained by the culture of the bacili of erysipelas,

streptococci, and staphtlococci used in the treatment of cancer.


Colic is severe abdominal griping pains.


Colitis is inflammation of the colon.


Collectivism is a social system in which capital, natural resources, productive

plant and all the means of wealth are held by the community. The word was first

used by the anarchist, Bakunin to differentiate his policy from Marxism.


A collier is a medium-sized bulk carrier ship normally operated on coastal and

short-sea routes.


Collodion is a solution of nitro-cellulose in a mixture of alcohol and ether.

Collodion is a thick and very inflammable liquid used in the manufacture of

artificial silk, artificial leather, artificial pearls and photography. Iodised

collodion, used in photography, was invented by Scott Archer in 1851.


In chemistry, colloids are particles which are intermediate in size between

crystalloids that form true solutions and suspensions that eventually settle.


A colonnade is a row of columns, frequently covered with a roof projecting from

an adjacent building. Colonnades were common in ancient Greece.


A colophon is the notice found in manuscripts and printed books which gives the

name of the printer and the date and place of issue etc.


Colorimetry is the measurement of the depth of colour of liquids for the

purpose of inferring their chemical compositions.


The Colosseum is a famous building in Rome. Its construction started under

Emperor Vespasian in 72 and was completed in 80. The Colosseum was intended for

gladiatorial combats and is shaped in a large ellipse with tiers of stone

benches around a central space, and no roof.


A colossus is a statue exceeding life size. The famous Colossus of Rhodes was a

bronze statue of Helios which was reckoned to be about 30 meters tall.

Colt 45s

see "Houston Astros"


Columbium is an alternative name for the element Niobium, so named from being

discovered in the mineral columbite.


In architecture, a column is an upright support in a building, usually of

stone, with a decorated base and capital.


A coma is a state of deep unconsciousness.

Coma Berenices

Coma Berenices is a constellation of small stars situated east of Leo and above

Virgo. According to legend, it is the beautiful hair of Queen Berenice of Egypt

who consecrated it to Aphrodite.


A comb is a toothed instrument for arranging and smoothing hair. Combs have

been used at least since the times of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

Combining weight

In chemistry, the combining weight is the weight of an element which will

combine with 8 grams of oxygen,or 1.008 grams of hydrogen.


Combustion is the process of oxidation when it proceeds with sufficient

violence and velocity to give rise to the easily apparent phenomena of heat and



A comet is a small body orbiting the sun on an elliptical path with a long tail

of dust and ice.

Commedia dell Arte

The Commedia dell Arte (Also lnown as the Commedia dell'Arte or Commedia

dell-Arte) was a type of comedy popular in Italy in the 1500s and 1600s,

performed by specialty troupes who improvised on stock characters in stock

situations. It influenced French farce, English pantomime, harlequinade and

punch-and-judy. The characters included: Arlecchino (Harlequin), the young male

suitor of the beautiful young ingenue Columbine; Pantaloon (comic relief father

of Columbine), Pierrot (Pedrolino, a childlike character in a dunce cap), and

Pulcinella, a humpback servant in a striped costume, who later evolved into

Punch in Punch-and-Judy.


Commensalism is the regular association of different species and genera of

plants and animals living together, but independently. Either or both species

may benefit by the association. For example, certain bacteria and fungi grow

together on a substratum on which either will grow separately, but when the

bacteria are present the fungi grow better and are more fruitful.


A commode is an occasional table supported by a cupboard, sometimes also with

drawers. They were very popular in the 18th century. The term is also applied

to a bedside cupboard.

Commune of Paris

The Commune of Paris was a period of anarchy and bloodshed in Paris at the end

of the Franco-German war. It lasted from March 18th until May 28th 1871, and

began with the refusal of the Paris National Guards to give up their arms,

their murder of General Thomas and General Lecomte and their organisation of

themselves into a Central Committee. On March the 18th, Thiers, the head of the

national government, retired with the regular troops to Versailles, and the

Parisian central committee assumed the executive power in Paris. They proceeded

to elect a communal council of seventy-five members on March the 26th and April

the 16th. This body passed resolutions for the abolition of conscription, free

rent for the quarters October 1870 to April 1871, complete separation of the

church and state, the supression of the budget for public worship and the

restitution to the nation of all property held by ecclesiastical bodies in

mortmain, enforced enrolment in the National Guard of every man between 19 and

35, the institution of a labour commission, the establishment of cooperative

workshops, all education to be in the hands of the laity only. They were

finally defeated by the army who shot their communist prisoners without trial.


Communism is a political system in which major industries are operated by and

for the benefit of the entire society, as opposed to the benefit of a small

number of shareholders or the owner. Often dismissed as an unworkable system by

opponents, communist societies function splendidly among less industrial people

such as the Chiquitos of South America, however the system is very prone to

being wrecked by individual greed.


A compactor is a device which crushes and compresses rubbish into small and

convenient parcels.

Companion of Honour

The Companion of Honour is a British order of chivalry, founded by George V in

1917. It is of one class only, and carries no title, but Companions append 'CH'

to their names. The number is limited to 65 and the award is made to both men

and women.


A compass is an instrument for finding direction.


A compiler is a computer program that translates high level language code into

machine language code. It was invented by Grace Murray Hopper in 1951.


Compost is a mixture of manures, or earths and manures, varying in proportions

and quality to suit different plants and used by gardeners to feed their plants

and improve soil quality.


A compound is a substance made of two or more elements and differing from a

mixture in that the elements are present in a constant proportion no matter how

or where the compound is prepared.

Compton Effect

The Compton Effect is the experimental proof by A. H. Compton in 1923 that

X-rays, scattered by falling on a solid such as carbon are altered in

frequency. The experiment affords proof that light is at once wave-like and

particle-like in nature.


Compurgation was an ancient form of procedure in criminal cases whereby a

prisoner succeeded if he could find a sufficient number of people, depending on

the gravity of the charge, to swear to his innocence.


A computer is a programmable electronic device.


Conacre is a term applied to a system common in Ireland of under-letting a

portion of a farm for a single crop, the rent being paid to the farmer in money

or labour.


In psychology, conation is a term used by Sir William Hamilton to designate one

of the three great divisions of the mind, the other two being cognition and

feeling. As used by him it included the mental states of desire and volition

alone; but modern writers make the term broad enough to include every state of

mental change, so that we find conation wherever consciousness, of itself,

drifts from one state to another. Although akin to feeling and attention, it is

distinct from both. The word is occasionally applied to those sensations,

whether painful or pleasant, which accompany muscular activity. The adjective

conative was first used by Cudworth in 1688.


A concertina is a wind musical instrument comprised of bellows and two

keyboards. It was invented in 1829 by Wheatstone.


Conchology is the scientific study of shells. It was first reduced to a system

by John Major of Kiel in 1675.


Conciliation is the settlement of a dispute by reference to a commission which

makes a report, but does not give an award or judgement.


Originally a concordat was any pact or agreement; later one between

ecclesiastical and secular authorities, and especially one between the Pope and

a temporal ruler concerning ecclesiastical matters within the latter's domains.


Concorde is an all-in-one graphics program for business and presentation

applications. It combines text, business graphics, free-form drawing and also

painting and has a slideshow capability with animation, into one integrated

program. There is also a large clip-art library of images spanning almost 20

diskettes. Concorde has an image database of over 2000 symbols, maps, icons and

pictures which can be incorporated into charts or you can create your own

drawings. All images can be flipped, rotated or cut and pasted. The product

includes a library of animations for show-time presentations. Slide shows can

be created as self running or manually controlled. A library of catchy tunes is

included to accompany any portion of the presentation. Concorde creates

numerous graphs, including three dimensional, clustered, stacked, single and

multiple line bar charts, pie and exploded pie charts, x-y, scatter, stretched

and stacked icon and also multiple area graphs. You can automatically label and

size any chart and can select colours and textures. Text can be moved, copied,

merged with images and graphs or saved as a text slide. Any graph can be edited

horizontally and vertically or rescaled. There are fifteen medium and high

resolution font styles, which can be scaled to any size. All text is

proportionally spaced. Concorde reads DIF, Lotus 1-2-3, Symphony and SYLK

files. You can capture any graphics or text screen with Concorde's Capture

program. While Concorde offers a multitude of presentation capabilities, its

strength is in putting together PC-based slide shows. Copied to self-running

disks, these shows produce effective marketing or training tools. Concorde is

useful for creating tutorials or program demonstrations.


Concrete is a building material of cement, sand, stone and water.


In physics, a conductor is a substance in which free electrons and/or ions are

available to move under the influence of an electric field and thus to produce

the phenomenon known as electric current. A conductor must therefore exist in a

state of at least partial ionisation.


Confucianism is an ancient Chinese doctrine. It takes its name from its

supposed founder - Confucious, but predates him and Confucious never claimed to

do more than preserve the virtues of the past. Confucianism inculates no

worship of a god, and is probably then an adaptation of Tao. It is widely

practised in China and Korea.


The conga is an Afro-Cuban dance usually performed in a long line using simple

repetitive steps.

Congo Red

Congo Red is a dye belonging to the azo-dyes. It is manufactured from benzidine

and napthionic acid, and can be used directly on cotton without employing a



Conia is the volatile alkaloid poison found in hemlock.


Consanguinity is the relation between persons descended from a common ancestor.

Conscience Clause

A conscience clause is a clause in certain British Acts of Parliament which

dispenses people from certain duties if they have religious objections to their



Conscription is the compulsory training of every eligible man for military



Consecration is the act of dedicating a thing or person to the special service

of a god.


The Conservatives are a political party, the name being invented by John Croker

in 1830, whose leading principal is the preservation of national institutions.

The Conservatives evolved from the earlier Tory party, and are still referred

to as Tories.


CONSIGHT is an industrial machine vision object-recognition system which uses

lighting effects to produce silhouette-like images.

Consistory Court

The Consistory Court is the spiritual court of a diocesan bishop in the Church

of England presided over by a lawyer, his Chancellor, administering

ecclesiastical law. In the Church of Rome it is a meeting of Cardinals presided

over by the Pope to discuss important ecclesiastical affairs.


In architecture, a console is an ornamental bracket used to support a cornice,

usually in a curved form.


Consomme is a thin clear soup made from stock.


In mathematics a constant is a fixed value.


Constantan is an alloy of copper and nickel.


A constellation, in astronomy, is a divisional area of the sky. Generally it is

a group of fixed stars named after a mythological person or animal.


Constipation is irregular and insufficient evacuation of the bowels.


A constituency is a body of electors.


A consulate is a building in which a consul transacts his official business.

Contempt of Court

Contempt of Court is the disobedience to, or disregard of the rules, orders, or

dignity of a court, and is punishable by fine or committal to prison. Less

serious offences may sometimes be purged by an apology.

Continental System

The Continental System was a plan devised by Napoleon to exclude Britain from

all intercourse with the continent of Europe. It began with the decree of

Berlin November 21st 1806, by which the British Islands were declared to be in

a state of blockade; all commerce, intercourse and correspondence were

prohibited; every Briton found in France, or a country occupied by French

troops, was declared a prisoner of war; all property belonging to Britons, fair

prize, and all trade in goods from Britain or British colonies entirely

prohibited. Britain replied by orders in council prohibiting trade with French

ports, and declaring all harbours of France and allies subjected to the same

restrictions as if they were closely blockaded. Further decrees on the part of

France, of a still more stringent kind, declared all vessels of whatever flag,

which had been searched by a British vessel or paid duty to Britain,

denationalised, and directing the burning of all British goods. The decrees

were annulled at the fall of Napoleon in 1814.


Contraband is the term used to describe goods which are prohibited to be

imported or exported by the laws of a state.


Contract is a legal term for an agreement made between two or more persons

which is recognised by law and whereby each party to the agreement undertakes

to do, or to refrain from doing, a particular act in consideration of the other

party undertaking to do, or refraining from doing, some other specified act.

Contract Bridge

Contract Bridge is a variety of Auction Bridge in which only the exact number

of tricks which the declarer contracts to make score towards the game. The

variety evolved around 1912, and gained popularity from 1930 onwards.

Contract Note

A contract note is the summary of a contract sent by a broker or agent to his



In music, contralto is the highest voice of a male adult, or the lowest of a

woman or boy. It is also known as Alto or counter-tenor.

Convention of Gastein

The Convention of Gastein was signed by Austria and Prussia in 1865 at the

close of the Schleswig-Holstein War. By it Schleswig was ceded to Prussia and

Holstein to Austria.


Conveyancing is the transfer by mutual consent of the parties of real property

by means of written documents, or conveyances.


A convocation is an assembly of the clergy of England, belonging either to the

province of Canterbury or to that of York, to consult on ecclesiastical matters.


Convulsions are involuntary contractions of muscles which are usually under

conscious control.

Conway's Law

In computing, Conway's Law is the rule that the organisation of the software

and the organisation of the software team will be congruent; originally stated

as "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass

compiler". This was originally promulgated by Melvin Conway, an early

proto-hacker who wrote an assembler for the Burroughs 220 called SAVE. The name

`SAVE' didn't stand for anything; it was just that you lost fewer card decks

and listings because they all had SAVE written on them.

Cooked Mode

In computing, cooked mode is the normal character-input mode, with interrupts

enabled and with erase, kill and other special-character interpretations done

directly by the tty driver. Most generally, `cooked mode' may refer to any mode

of a system that does extensive pre-processing before presenting data to a



Coon-can is a card game for between 2 and 7 players, and is derived from an old

Spanish game called Conquian.


Cooperage is the making of wooden vessels by binding strips or staves of wood

with hoops to form cylinders (barrels, casks etc.). The art probably started

for preserving wine. The coopers of London were incorporated in 1501.


Copaiba is a mixture of resin and volatile oil which pours from the cut stems

of species of Copaifera trees indigenous to tropical America. In small doses

copaiba is a diuretic.


Copal is a naturally occurring resin used in varnish where it is dissolved in

alcohol or turpentine.


A cope is a silken vestment, open in the front and reaching to the feet, used

in the Roman Catholic Church and more rarely in the Church of England.


The copophone is a musical instrument consisting of a series of glass tumblers

connected with a sounding board. The sounds are produced by moving wet fingers

around the edge of the glasses. It was invented by Chevalier Coelho who first

demonstrated it at parties in London in 1875.

Copper Sulphate

Copper Sulphate (blue stone) is a copper salt found naturally as chalcanthite

and made by the action of sulphuric acid on copper oxide. It usually exists as

blue crystals and is used in electroplating and in plant sprays.


A coppice or copse is a small wood.


Copra is the dried flesh of the coconut.


Coprolite is the fossilised excrement of reptiles (dinosaur dung, so to speak).

They occur in the form of nodules and contain a lot of phosphatic material. The

term has come to apply to any phosphatic nodule.


Coprophilia is the rather unusual condition of deriving sexual pleasure from

faeces and excrement.


see "Coppice"


Coptic is a Hamitic language descended from ancient Egyptian, and extinct from

about 1700.


Cordovan is a fine leather which took its name from the Spanish city of Cordova

where it was manufactured in large quantities.


Corduroy is a thick cotton material corded, or ribbed on one surface.


Cordwain is a Spanish shoe-leather made of goat skin or split horse hide. It

was much used throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.

Core Dump

In computing (especially UNIX) a core dump is a copy of the contents of core,

produced when a process is aborted by certain kinds of internal error

Core Wars

Core Wars is a game between `assembler' programs in a simulated machine, where

the objective is to kill your opponent's program by overwriting it. It was

popularised by A. K. Dewdney's column in `Scientific American' magazine, this

was actually devised by Victor Vyssotsky, Robert Morris, and Dennis Ritchie in

the early 1960s (their original game was called `Darwin' and ran on a PDP-1 at

Bell Labs).

Corel Draw

Corel Draw is a powerful, vector-based graphics package that works under

Microsoft Windows. It includes a variety of well-integrated features and offers

extensive compatibility with other Windows-based programs. The drawing tools

are icon-based and are very powerful. Although there are fewer basic tools in

Corel Draw than in other graphics programs, each tool has multiple

capabilities. The toolbox lets you draw freehand; autotrace or import images;

scale, rotate, mirror, and edit images; and fill, pattern, or colour images.

The program automatically smooths Bezier curves, and includes calligraphic pen

shapes and special fountain fills with radial or linear effects. Type can be

added to any image, skewed, stretched, rotated, mirrored, fit to a curve,

kerned, or altered to create custom letter shapes, or printed in any of 102

fonts. Corel Draw supports the Pantone Colour Matching System and colour

blending. The program is compatible with many popular word processing and

desktop publishing programs and has extensive import/export utilities. Users

can cut and paste graphics between Corel Draw and other Windows applications

via the Windows clipboard and output to slidemakers via the SCODL format.


Cork is the bark of a species of oak tree (Cork Oak) native to south Europe and

north Africa. The bark is first stripped off when the tree is about 20 years

old, and the process is repeated roughly every 9 years. The best cork is

produced when the tree is about 40 years old, though the tree is productive for

about 150 years.

Corn Laws

Corn Laws are various enactments designed to ensure an adequate supply of

cereal foods to a country, usually by protection allotted to its own farmers.

In England from the 11th to the 15th centuries all exports of grain were

forbidden except with special permission in times of a glut. This attempted

protection ironically resulted in making agriculture inefficient and

diminishing supplies, and in 1436 exports were allowed when the price dropped

below a certain level.

Cornell University

Cornell University is an American university at Ithaca, in New York state. It

was founded in the latter part of the 19th century mainly through the

benefactions of Ezra Cornell.


The Cornish language was a Celtic language spoke in Cornwall as recently as the

19th century, but is now all but extinct except in certain place names.


Corolla is a botanical term referring to a flower's petals collectively. What

in popular terms may be thought of as the flower of a plant.

Corona Club

The Corona Club was founded in 1900 by Sir William Hamilton to unite the

Colonies and Great Britain more closely by social intercourse.


A coronet is a special crown worn by nobles on State occasions and represented

above their coats of arms. The designs vary according to the rank of the

wearer. In England, the Prince of Wale's coronet is distinguished from the

royal crown by having a single instead of a double arch. A duke's coronet has

on the rim 8 strawberry leaves; that of a marquis, 4 strawberry leaves and 4

silver balls alternately; that of an earl has 8 silver balls on long spikes

alternating with strawberry leaves set lower; a viscount's coronet has 16

silver balls close together, and a baron's 6. Coronets for earls were first

allowed by Henry II; for viscounts by Henry VIII and for barons by Charles II.

Corporal Punishment

Corporal Punishment is the striking or beating of a person as punishment.

Caning in schools is corporal punishment, and is a subject of continuous debate

as to whether or not it should be allowed. In the past in England certain

criminals were whipped, such as incorrigible rogues, perpetrators of robbery

with violence and larceny. The whipping of women was banned in England in 1820.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is the festival in the Roman Catholic Church held on the

Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It was established as a general festival in 1264

by a bull of Pope Urban IV. It commemorates the institution of the sacrament of

the Lord's Supper and among Roman Catholics is the occasion of outdoor



Corrosion is the external chemical changes which take place in materials in

ordinary use, resulting in their injury or destruction. The corrosion of metal

is very important, but the corrosion of stone is also a major problem. The

corrosion or iron is commonly known as rusting.

Corrosive Sublimate

Corrosive Sublimate is the popular name for mercuric chloride.

Corrugated Iron

Corrugated iron is sheet-iron strengthened by being bent into parallel furrows.

It is largely used for roofing, and when dipped in melted zinc to give it a

thin coating, is commonly known as galvanized iron.


In Saxon times, corsned was a piece of bread consecrated by exorcism, to be

swallowed by any person suspected of a crime. If guilty, it was expected that

the swallower would fall into convulsions, or turn deadly pale, and that the

bread would find no passage. If innocent, it was believed the morsel would turn

to nourishment.


Corvee is a form of forced labour. The term is especially applied to the unpaid

labour owed by tenants in France to their lord under the feudal system. The

system died out with serfdom in Europe, except in France where it was continued

in the form of a labour or money payment for the upkeep of roads.


Cosmetics are materials used to improve the personal appearance. They fall into

two categories. Those which improved the natural appearance of the skin and

hair and remove blemishes; and those which camouflage. Soap is the most

commonly used cosmetic. It is used to loosen and remove dirt and dead skin



Cosmology is the study of the structure of the universe.


A costermonger is an itinerant dealer in fruit, vegetables, fish etc. deriving

the name from costard, a favourite apple. The London costermongers were viewed

as useful at relieving the markets when glutted during the 19th century.

Cotswold Games

The Cotswold Games are an obsolete English rural sports meeting, probably

dating back to the sixteenth century. the games were revived in 1604, with

royal approval, by Robert Dover, who called them Cotswold's Olympick Games.

They became known as Dover's Games and lasted until 1850.

Cotswold's Olympick Games

see "Cotswold Games"


The term cottage was originally applied to a small house without land, and is

mentioned in 1275.

Cotton Mills Act

The Cotton Mills Act was passed in 1819 laying down a minimum age for the

employment of children and a maximum working week of 72 hours.

Cotton-seed oil

Cotton-seed oil is an oil expressed from the seeds of the cotton plant. It is

obtained in large quantities in the USA where the higher grade oil is used as

an edible cooking oil and the cheaper grades are used for making soap.


Cotton-wool is the term used for cotton when used in the open form, without

being spun or woven. It is usually composed of short fibres which are no use

for spinning, and is used in medicine for applying antiseptic material and for

removing make-up and for wadding and stuffing.

Cottonian Library

The Cottonian Library was formed by Sir Robert Cotton around 1600 and secured

to the public by a statute of 1700. In 1731 part of the collection was damaged

by fire and the remainer of the books were removed to the British Museum in



The cotyledon is the first leaf of an embryo plant and is formed within the



Coumarone is a liquid organic compound found in coal-tar. It belongs to the

benzo-furfurane class of compounds and is used as a source of resin for making



A counter-irritant is a remedy applied to the body externally which relieves a

discomfort somewhere else by producing a local irritation. They effect relief

by reflex action due to the sensation they impart to the nerves of the skin


Coup d'Etat

A Coup d'Etat is a sudden, forcible assumption of power in the State by a party

or person in defiance of constitutional rights.


A coupe is a small four-wheeled closed carriage for 2 persons. The term has

come to also describe a motor car with a single-compartment body containing two

or three seats or a half-compartment in a railway coach.


A couplet is two rhymed lines of verse, either comprising a self-contained

poem, or forming a unit in a longer poem.


A coupon is a small certificate which entitles the holder to some payment, gift

or benefit.

Courage Best

Courage Best is one of the most popular cask conditioned ales in the south of

England. It is a copper-coloured, medium strength ale.


Court is the suite of the sovereign, or the place where the sovereign sojourns

with his suite. A court is also a place where the sovereign administers justice

through his judges.

Court Martial

A Court Martial is a court for the trial of offences against the military or

naval discipline or for the administration of martial law.


In chemistry, covalence is the combining of atoms by means of the sharing of



Covalency is the bonding of two atoms in a molecule by the mutual sharing of a

pair of electrons, one from each atom.

Coventicle Act

The Coventicle Act of 1664 declared that a meeting of more than five persons

(except the household) for religious worship not in accordance with the Book of

Common Prayer was a seditious assembly. It was repealed by the Toleration Act

of 1689.

Coventry Act

The Coventry Act was passed to prevent malicious maiming and wounding in 1671,

in consequence of Sir John Coventry being maimed in the streets of London by

Sir Thomas Sandy's and others on 21st December 1670. The act was repealed in



A cow-catcher is a frame of steel bars projecting forwards and downwards from

the front of a locomotive in order to prevent cattle and other obstructions

from getting under the wheels of the train.


A cowl is a sleeveless garment with a hood worn by members of certain religious

orders in the Catholic Church.


CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers) is an early microcomputer OS written

by hacker Gary Kildall for 8080 and Z80 based machines. It was very popular in

the late 1970s but was virtually wiped out by MS-DOS after the release of the

IBM PC in 1981. Legend has it that Kildall's company blew its chance to write

the OS for the IBM PC because Kildall decided to spend a day IBM's reps wanted

to meet with him enjoying the perfect flying weather in his private plane. Many

of CP/M's features and conventions strongly resemble those of early DEC

operating systems such as TOPS-10, OS/8, RSTS, and RSX-11.


Crack is the crystalline form of cocaine.


In the petro-chemical industry, the term cracking applies to the heating of a

hydrocarbon to the point at which it decomposes with deposition of carbon.


Crambo is an old guessing game which was very popular in the 17th century. One

player thinks of a word and mentions another word with which it rhymes. The

other players try to guess the word by defining the word guessed by a synonym

without actually naming it. For example; "A word rhyming with dog"; "Is it a

mist?"; "No it's not fog"; "Is it a pig?"; "Yes it is hog". In Dumb Crambo the

word guessed has to be portrayed in pantomime without speaking.


Cramp is a severe spasm of certain muscles, usually of a limb, but often of the

chest or abdomen.


A cran was a British measure used for herrings, equal to 37.5 gallons.


see "Phrenology"


Crap-shooting (Craps) is a form of gambling with dice which is especially

popular in America. Two dice are rolled or "shot" from the open hand; a throw

of 7 or 11 (nick or natural) wins all stakes; 2, 3 or 12 (crap) loses all. Any

other number (a point) entitles the thrower to continue until he wins by

throwing the same number again, or loses by throwing the 7.


see "Crap-shooting"


A crater was a large earthenware vessel used for mixing wines in Greece and

Rome. The term also describes the outlet of a volcano or the hole made in the

earth by an explosion.


see "Crazy Eights"

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights is a card game for two or more players, in which the object is to

get rid of the cards in your hand onto a discard pile by matching the number of

suit of the previous discard. There are a huge number of variations of this

game, and many alternative names. It is sometimes called Crates, Switch,

Swedish Rummy, Last One or Rockaway. In Germany it is Mau-Mau; in Switzerland

it is Tschausepp. Some British players call it Black Jack. The basic game of

Crazy Eights uses a standard 52-card deck, or two such packs shuffled together

if there are a lot of players. The dealer deals (singly) five cards to each

player (seven each if there are only two players). The undealt stock is placed

face down on the table, and the top card of the stock is turned face up and

placed beside the stock to start the discard pile. Starting with the player to

the dealer's left, and continuing clockwise, each player in turn must either

play a legal card face up on top of the discard pile, or draw a card from the

undealt stock. The following plays are legal: if the top card of the discard

pile is not an eight, you may play any card which matches the rank or suit of

the previous card (for example if the top card was the king of hearts you could

play any king or any heart); an eight may be played on any card, and the player

of the eight must nominate a suit, which must be played next; if an eight is on

top of the pile, you may play any card of the suit nominated by the person who

played the eight. The first player who gets rid of all their cards wins, and

the other players score penalty points according to the cards they have left in

their hands - 50 for an eight, 10 for a picture, and spot cards at face value.

Crazy Eights is one of the easiest games to elaborate by adding variations, and

is not often played in its basic form. There are variations in the number of

cards dealt, the rules about drawing cards and the scoring system. Frequently

special meanings are given to particular cards;

when played these cards affect the sequence of play, or have other effects. In

the normal game, you may always use your turn to draw a card. However, some

people play that you may only draw if you are unable to play - if you can play

you must. Some allow the drawn card to be played immediately if it is a legal

play. Some allow more than one card to be drawn - either up to a fixed number

of cards, after which if you still cannot (or will not) play the turn passes to

the next player. Others require you to continue drawing until you can play.

There may be a rule that you must alert the other players when you have just

one card left. If you fail to do so you must draw cards (usually two) from the

stock as a penalty. Traditionally an eight can be played at any time and the

player can nominate any suit. Some play that you can only play an eight that

matches (either the same suit or another eight). Some play that you can play an

eight at any time but cannot nominate another suit - the next player must match

the suit of the eight you played or play another eight. Some players use jacks

or aces rather than eights as the cards which have the power to change suit.

Some play that when a queen (or some other designated rank) is played, the next

player in rotation misses a turn, and the turn passes to the following player.

Some play that when an ace (or some other designated rank) is played, the

direction of play reverses, becoming anticlockwise if it had been clockwise, or

vice versa. Some play that when a two is played the next player must either

draw two cards or play another two. If several consecutive twos have been

played the next player must either play another two or draw two cards for each

two in the sequence.


CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) is a powerful error checking method for data and

digital communications. The transmitting terminal computes a numeric value

representative of the number of marking bits in the associated block of data

and sends that value to the receiver, where the number is recomputed to compare

against the block as received. Depending on the number of bits in the CRC

numeric value the error trapping efficiency ranges from about 97 percent at

CRC-6 to 99.997 percent at CRC-32. Values of CRC-8 and CRC-16 are adequate for

most data message block sizes, while CRC-32 is needed mainly for very long

blocks of tens of thousands of characters.


Cream is the thicker substance that rises to the top of milk which is allowed

to stand. It contains all the constituents of milk, with a larger but variable

quantity of solids. A medium cream contains 36 percent butterfat, 6 percent

albuminoids and 2.5 percent milk sugar. The butterfat content varies between 15

and 56 per cent.

Cream of Tartar

see "Tartar"


see "Methyl-guanidine-acetic acid"

Creative Evolution

Creative Evolution is a tenet of philosophy put forward by Bergson that asserts

that evolution is not purely mechanistic (as Darwin claimed) but that inherited

characteristics and the effect of the environment are used by the individual,

perhaps unconsciously, in an act of self-creation.

Credence Table

A credence table was a "tasting" table used in Italy at a time when attempts to

poison princes and nobles was a common practice. Today a credence table is a

small table in a church by the side of the altar on which the bread and wine

are placed ready for the Eucharist.


Credentials are official documents issued to a representative or agent,

guaranteeing his status and authority.


Creosote is a generic term applied to acid liquors which are obtained during

the destructive distillation of wood, and also to a fraction obtained in the

distillation of coal-tar.

Crepe de Chine

Crepe de Chine was originally a mixed silk and wool fabric, today it is a

usually pure wool fabric, woven so as to give a slightly crinkled effect when

put through a special finishing process.


Crescent is a geometrical form resembling the moon in its first quarter, and

used as a charge in heraldry. It is perhaps bet known as the symbol of the

Ottoman Turks and a symbol of Islam.


The cresols (hydroxy-toluenes, methyl-phenols) are organic compounds present in

the crude phenol obtained from coal-tar. They are used in antiseptics.


The Cretaceous was the eleventh geological period, 95,000,000 years ago. The

first marsupials evolved.


Cribbage is a card game usually for two players, but also played in pairs by

four players. It was invented by John Suckling in the first half of the 17th

century and is very popular in London, and pubs throughout Britain where it is

played for money and in competition leagues.


Criminology is the science dealing with the nature and causes of crime. It is a

branch of sociology and psychology. It was first developed by Lombroso, of

Turin, who published a work on the subject in 1875.


A crimping-house was a place used to entrap people into the army and later into

the mercantile marine. Some of them in London were destroyed by the populace

following the death of a young man killed while trying to escape from one in

1794. The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 made crimping illegal and subject to

punishment by a heavy fine.


Crochet is a form of knitting done with a hooked needle and cotton or thin wool.


Croquet is a lawn game which was introduced into England around 1850. It

comprises 4 balls - blue, red, black and yellow, always played in that order -

which are struck with a wooden mallet through 6 hoops and against a peg in a

prescribed order.

Crosstalk for Windows

Crosstalk for Windows is an asynchronous communications package that takes

advantage of the Microsoft Windows graphical user environment. Similar to

Crosstalk XVI, this product uses menus to help link a PC to any other PC,

minicomputer, mainframe, or subscription information service. It was the first

communications product available for Windows. The program's script language and

macro capabilities are limited compared to other PC comunications programs that

automate script building. Except for the automatic scripts created for logging

into public databases, the user must manually create and edit scripts to

automate tasks such as logging into local systems or using a line editor such

as EDLIN in DOS.

Crosstalk XVI

Crosstalk XVI is a flexible menu or command-driven communication program that

links your PC to any other PC, minicomputer, mainframe, or subscription

information service. Crosstalk XVI has full support for auto-dial and

auto-answer modems and works as a smart terminal that emulates most popular

dumb terminals. It can transfer data and programs using popular error-checking

protocols such as XMODEM and KERMIT. Because all important communications

parameters are available on the main status screen, you can view a single

screen instead of searching through layers of screens to change particular

parameters. Incoming data can be routed to any display, printer, or disk. Data

can be sent from the keyboard or a disk file. The screen display shows

characters seIlt and received by the modem and whether the modem is on or

offline. The product stores and transmits login information and commands to a

remote system, and public databases such as CompuServe

Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels are jewelled emblems of royalty. The British Crown Jewels are kept

on public display at the Tower of London and comprise crowns, orbs, sceptres,

swords and an anointing spoon.

Crown Lands

Crown Lands are lands belonging to the sovereign.


The crozier is a bishop's staff of office. It resembles a shepherd's crook in

shape, and may have developed from the hooked staff carried by the Roman augurs.


The crwth was a Welsh form of violin with 6 strings. 4 of the strings were

played with a bow, the other 2 being plucked by the fingers.


The cryophorus is an instrument inveneted by Wollaston about 1812 to

demonstrate the relation between evaporation at low temperatures and the

production of cold.


A crypt is a chamber or compartment under a church or public building. In early

Christian churches it was usually built to hold a saint's tomb or the relics of



Cryptography is writing in cipher with the intention of hiding the meaning from

all who do not possess the key.


A crystal is a body, usually bounded by symmetrically arranged plane surfaces

possessing properties which differ in magnitude in different directions.

Crystal Gazing

Crystal Gazing, or Crystallomancy was a mode of divining by means of a

transparent body, such as a precious stone or crystal globe. The operator first

muttered over it certain formulas of prayer, and then gave the crystal (a beryl

was preferred) into the hands of a young man or virgin who received an answer

from the spirits within the crystal.

Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace was a large building with a central hall, 1600 ft long,

built entirely of iron and glass, with towers at either end 282 ft high, at

Sydenham in London. It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and reconstructed in

1854 from the building used for the Great Hyde Park Exhibition of 1851.


In chemistry, crystalloids are substances which, when dissolved in liquid, will

diffuse through a semipermeable membrane.


see "Crystal Gazin"


Cuarenta is a card game played in Ecuador, mostly by people from the mountains,

including the cities of Cuenca and Quito. Cuarenta means "40" in Spanish; this

is the number of cards in the deck as well as the points required to win. The

play is supposed to be full of bravado, loud, exciting, even silly.

Cuarenta can be played by two or four people. If there are four players, then

there are two teams (partners sit across from each other). One of the teammates

keeps the score; the other collects cards as they are won.

Cuarenta is played with 40 cards from a standard 52-card deck. The eights,

nines and tens are removed leaving the numbers ace-2-3-4-5-6-7 (ace is low) and

the pictures.

The removed 8's 9's and 10's are not used in the play, but they are used to

keep score. At the start of the game they are placed in a face up stack between

the two players who will be keeping score for their teams.


Cubebs is an eastern condiment made from dried unripe berries of a plant

closely related to the pepper.


The cubit was a Hebrew, Roman and English unit of measurement. The English

cubit was equal to 18 inches, the Hebrew 22 inches and the Roman 17.5 inches.


Cuckoo is a simple round card game which can be played by a large number of

people. It dates back to the 17th century, maybe earlier. Other names for this

game are Ranter Go Round and Chase the Ace. In the USA it is also known as

Screw Your Neighbor. Cuckoo can be played with a standard 52 card pack. The

direction of play differs in different countries - in what follows we assume

clockwise. Each player starts with an equal number of lives, say 3. Deal one

card to each player. The object is not to be left holding the lowest card.

Suits are irrelevant and the cards rank K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4,

3, 2, A (low). Each player has one turn, beginning with the player on dealer's

left, continuing clockwise round the table and ending with the dealer. At your

turn you may either keep your card or exchange it with your left hand

neighbour, in the hope of getting a better one. Your neighbour must exchange

unless she has a king, in which case she exposes it and you keep your card. The

dealer, whose turn comes last, can try to exchange with a card cut from the

undealt stock. After everyone has had a turn, the cards are exposed and whoever

has the lowest card loses a life. If several players tie for lowest they all

lose a life. Players who have lost all their lives are out of the game, and the

last person left in wins. In various countries of Europe, special cards have

been made for this game. These cards consist of a single suit with numbers from

1 to 10 or 12 and several picture cards ranking above and below the numbers;

there are generally two copies of each card in the pack. When played with these

cards, the basic cuckoo game is normally elaborated by giving several of the

picture cards special properties when a player tried to exchange with them.


A cucullus was a hooded cloak of coarse woollen material worn by lower orders

in Rome.

Cullinan Diamond

The Cullinan Diamond was a diamond of over 3000 carats found in Cullinan mine

in the Transvaal in 1907. It was bought by the Transvaal government for 150,000

pounds and presented to King Edward VII as the largest diamond known. It has

subsequently been cut into 9 large stones.

Cummann na nGaedheal

see "Fine Gael"


Cuneiform describes the form of writing used in inscriptions by the ancient

Babylonians, Persians and Hittites. The characters are all in the form of a

wedge and were developed from earlier ideographs and represent not so much

individual characters as syllables or entire words.


A cupel is a receptacle made from bone-ash and used in cupellation.


Cupellation is an ancient method of extracting silver from its ores by alloying

the silver with lead, and then removing the lead from the lead-silver alloy by

melting it in a receptacle made from bone-ash and called a cupel. Air is then

passed over the surface of the metal, oxidising the lead to litharge which is

blown off.


In architecture, a cupola is a spherical roof. The term is also used to

describe the cover of gun emplacements.

Cupro nickel

Cupro nickel is an alloy of copper and nickel


Curare is a poison derived from the bark of a South American tree.


Curcumin is a colouring matter formed from turmeric dissolved in alcohol.


A curfew is a signal given, generally by the ringing of a bell, to warn

inhabitants of a town to extinguish their fires. It was used to avoid the

danger of fires at night when houses were built of wood. The practice generally

died out from 1100, and today the term describes ordering citizens to remain

indoors between certain hours.

Curia Regis

Curia Regis was a court of law established by William I and attended by all the

great officers of state as a final Court of Appeal.

Curia Romana

Curia Romana is the name given to the judicial and administrative organisations

for the Government of the Roman Catholic Church, including the body of

Cardinals and officials who reside at Rome.


Curie is the unit of measurement of radioactivity.


Curling is a Scottish national game played with stones on the ice, said to have

been introduced from the Low Countries in the 16th century.

Current account

In economics, a current account is that part of the balance of payments

concerned with current transactions, as opposed to capital movements. It

includes trade (visibles) and service transactions, such as investment,

insurance, shipping, and tourism (invisibles). The state of the current account

is regarded as a barometer of overall economic health.


Curtilage is the land which surrounds and belongs to a dwelling-house.


The cut-water is the sharp part of the bow of a ship, so called because it cuts

or divides the water.


A cutter is a small vessel resembling a sloop, with one mast and a straight

running (not fixed) bowsprit, the sails being usually a fore-and-aft mainsail,

gaff topsail, stay foresail and jib.


Cuttle-bone is the dorsal plate of Sepia officinalis, formerly used in medicine

as an absorbent and now used for polishing wood and as a tooth powder.


A cutty-stool was a low stool of repentance. It was a seat set apart in

Presbyterian churches in Scotland, on which offenders against chastity were

exhibited before the congregation and submitted to the minister's rebukes

before they were readmitted to church priviledges.


see "Hundredweight"


Cyanamide is a colourless crystalline substance. It is the amide of cyanic acid

and is prepared by the interaction of ammonia and cyanogen chloride.

Cyanic Acid

Cyanic Acid (HCNO) is a volatile liquid prepared by the distillation of urea.

It is very unstable and if heated above zero degrees Celsius explodes with the

formation of a polymer cyanmelide.


Cyanide is a salt of hydrocyanic acid. Notably potassium cyanide.


see "Vitamin B12"


Cyanogen is a colourless gas with a peculiarly characteristic odour. It is

inflammable and extremely poisonous. It is derived from Prussian Blue, and was

first obtained in the free state by Gay Lussac in 1815, being the first

instance of the isolation of a compound radical.


Cybernetics is the study of systems in which the action of a mechanism is

controlled by information received from an external source.


A cyclone is an area of low atmospheric pressure.


A cyclotron is an apparatus for imparting energies in the order of millions of

electron-volts to charged particles by causing them to follow a spiral path

inside a pair of hollow semicircular electrodes between which an oscillating

voltage is applied.


The cymbal is a brass musical instrument, and the oldest recorded known musical

instrument. Generally it consists of a suspended brass disk which is struck

with a stick.


The Cyrillic alphabet (Cyrillitza) was invented by St Cyril in 845. It contains

forty-two letters and is fashioned from ancient Greek.


see "Cyrillic"


Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder.


Cytochrome is a type of protein.


A czapka, or lancer cap, was a distinctive headdress worn by the Uhlans.

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