From CleanPosts

Jump to: navigation, search


Taal was the language spoken by the Dutch settlers in South Africa. It was a

degeneration of Dutch, the alphabet containing only twenty letters and the

language few grammatical rules.


Tabaret is an upholstery fabric with alternate satin and watered-silk stripes.


A tabernacle is a temporary or slightly built dwelling, such as a hut, booth or



Tabes is a slow progressive emaciation.


Historically, a tablier was the apron-like part of a woman's dress.


Taboo (tabu, tapu) is a Polynesian word meaning 'thou shall not....'. It is a

system of prohibitions and an elaborate code of things which may not be done,

touched or approached.


A tabor is a small drum, usually plaed with one stick, in accompaniment to the

pipe, both instruments often being played by the same performer.


see "Taboo"


A tachograph is a device fitted to a motor vehicle which records its speed and

distances travelled. Tachographs are often called the spy in the cab by lorry

drivers who are restricted in how long they may drive for by law.


A tachometer is a device for measuring the velocity of machines or the rate of

flow of liquids.


A tack is a small sharp nail, usually with a large flat head. They are used for

fitting a light or thin object to a more solid one, such as carpet to the floor.


Tackle is a term used to describe the equipment used in a sport, especially

fishing. In nautical terms, tackle refers to ropes and pulleys used for

hoisting weights, sails etc.


Tact is the intuitive perception of what is correct or fitting especially in

the context of knowing the right thing to say or how to behave in a situation.


Tael (also called liang) is a Chinese weight. It was based upon the weight of a

non-existent silver coin and was used in commerce between China and foreign

countries around the turn of the century.


see "Taffety"


Taffety (taffeta) was a name originally applied to plain woven silks introduced

into England in the 14th century. Later the name was applied to a light thin

silk of lustre or gloss and to various mixtures of silk and wool.


Taffy is a colloquial nickname for a Welshman. It derives from the supposed

Welsh pronunciation of the name Davy.


The taille was a form of income tax imposed on unpriviledged classes,

especially peasant farmers, in France. It was considered unjust and was

abolished by the French Revolution.


A tailor is a maker of men's outer garments or of women's garments which have

similar characteristics such as coats, suits and riding-clothes.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum built at Agra by Shah Jehan in memory

of his favourite wife who died in 1629. It took 20000 men 20 years to build,

and was finished in 1649.

Tali and Tessera

Tali and Tessera was a game played with dice by the Romans.


Tallage was a Norman tax imposed on the towns and demesne lands of the crown in

England. It was last levied in 1332 and abolished in 1340.


Tallow is the fat of animals, especially sheep and ox, separated from the

connective tissue by melting and clarifying and used for making soap, candles

and other things. It is composed of the glycerol esters of stearic and oleic,

as well as some palmitic acids.


Originally, a tally was a piece of wood scored across with notches representing

an amount of debt or payment. The wood was then split in half lengthways and

each party kept half. An early document records the manner of using a tally

thus: 'Let a hazel stick have cut transversely into it as many notches as there

are figures tobe recorded. To distinguish 1d, 1s, œ1, or any multiple thereof,

the notches are cut of different breadths. Let the stick then split down the

middle through all the notches. One half of the stick is then held by one party

to the transaction, the corresponding half by the other.'

Tally System

The tally system was a forerunner of hire-purchase and modern credit

agreements. It was a mode of dealing practised in London around 1900 by which

customers were supplied with articles, mostly drapery, furniture or hardware,

on credit under agreement to pay the stipulated price by fixed installments

weekly or monthly. The tally system evolved into the easy hire system, which in

turn became hire-purchase.


A talma was a long cape or cloak worn by both men and women during the early

part of the 19th century.


The Talmud is the collection of oral works, containing the laws and ceremonies

of Rabbinical Judaism together with commentaries, put into writing between the

2nd and 6th centuries.


A tam-o-shanter is a round woollen or cloth cap with a flat baggy top much

wider than the head band. It is named after the hero of Burn's poem 'Tam o'



A tambour is a device used in embroidery. It is comprised of two hoops which

fit closely one inside the other. Fabric is stretched over the tambour which

then holds it fast so that it may be embroidered.


A tambourine is a musical percussion instrument.


A tambourine is a long narrow drum used in music.


Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken in northern Sri Lanka through the Madras

region of India.

Tammany Society

The Tammany Society was founded in the USA in 1789 for the purpose of

preserving democratic ideas against Alexander Hamilton's aristocratic doctrine.


Tammy is a fine woollen or wool and cotton textile fabric often with a glazed



A tampion is a plug for the top of an organ pipe or a cover for the muzzle of a



A tampon is a plug inserted into a wound or body orifice to absorb secretions

or stop haemorrhaging.


A tandem is a bicycle with two or more seats one behind the other.


A tang is a projection of a knife or other metal tool by which it is secured to

its handle.


Tanghinin is a poison acting on the heart. It is obtained from the almons of

Tanghinia veneifera and is used in Madagascar for trial by ordeal.


The tango was a dance from central Africa which was taken to Central America by

African slaves and from there it became popular in Argentina where it was

influenced by European rhythms and developed into a fashionable ballroom dance

in around 1910.


A tangram is a Chinese geometrical puzzle comprised of a square which is

divided into 5 triangles, a square and a rhomboid which can then be fitted

together to form many figures.


A tankard is a large, one-handled drinking vessel.


Tanner is an old English slang expression for a sixpence. More properly, a

tanner is someone who tans hides.


A tannery is a place where hides are tanned.


Tannin is a substance used to tan hides, that is convert them into leather.

Tannin is extracted from oak-galls and various barks.


Tantalum is a rare silvery-looking metal element with the symbol Ta. It is

found chiefly in tantalite and obtained by reducing to potassium

fluoro-tantalate by means of sodium followed by fusion in vacuo. Tantalum is

used as a wire in electric lamps.


Taoism is an ancient Chinese system of philosophy.


A taper is a slender wax candle. The term is often used for a long wax coated

or wooden wick used to light candles or fires at a safe distance.


A tapestry is a thick hand-woven fabric, usually of wool, with a pictorial or

ornamental design formed by the weft-threads.


A tappet is an arm, collar or cam within a machine which imparts intermittent



see "Taboo"


Tar is a thick viscid inflammable black liquid obtained by the distillation of

wood, coal or other organic substances. It is used for preserving timber

amongst other purposes.


A tarantass was a large covered travelling carriage without springs, but

balanced on long poles which served instead, and without seats. Tarantass were

used a lot in Russia around the beginning of the 20th century.


Tarantella is a swift, whirling Italian dance in six-eight measure.


A tarboosh is a man's brimless cap resembling a fez and worn alone or as part

of a turban by Muslims in some eastern Mediterranean countries.


Tarbrush is an alternative name for a fez.


In merchandising, tare is the weight of any packaging of a merchantisable item.

When this is deducted from the weight of the item, what is left is the net



A tariff is a list of articles upon which duties are charged when exported or



Tarlatan was a thin and fine fabric of cotton mostly used for making women's

ball dresses around 1900. It was cheap, but did not withstand washing.


A tarn is a small moorland or mountain lake.


Tarocchi or taroc is a card game played with a deck of tarot cards (as opposed

to ordinary playing cards).


Tarok is a card game for three persons played with a tarot deck of 78 cards. It

is a trick taking game, where the primary emphasis is on winning the last trick

with one of five designated cards (known as winning Ultimo), and there is

secondary emphasis on winning many tricks and winning counting cards in the

tricks. To play well, players need to form alliances during the play, to keep

track of the cards that have been played, and to be able to play according to a

well chosen plan.

Tarot Cards

Tarot cards (tarots, atouts, atutti or triomphes) are a deck of cards

comprising 22 emblematic and 56 ordinary cards, divided into four suits of 14

cards each. Originally they were used for playing games like ordinary playing

cards, however during the 1920s the notion that tarot cards were in fact used

for divination and were the forerunner of ordinary playing cards (which they

are not, they are a different type of deck) became popular.


see "Tarot Cards"


Tarsia-work was a kind of marquetry popular in 15th century Italy. It consisted

of pieces of different coloured woods inlayed into a panel of walnut so as to

represent landscapes, figures, fruits etc.

Tarta Emetic

see "Potassium antimonyl tartrate"


Tartan is a woollen cloth with stripes of various colours crossing at right

angles especially in the distinctive pattern of a Highland clan.


Tartar (potassium tartrate) is a white crust deposited in wine casks during

fermentation. The purified crystals are used in cooking, and often called cream

of tartar. The term is also used for the concretion deposited upon teeth from

saliva and comprised of phosphate of lime.

Tartaric Acid

Tartaric Acid is a popular name for dihydroxysuccinic acid. It occurs in many

plants, particularly in the grape and is easily obtained from tartar.


Tartrate is a salt of tartaric acid.


Tasmanite is a translucent, reddish-brown fossil resin found in Tasmania.


A tassel is a tuft of loosely hanging threads or cords designed as an ornament

for a cushion, cap or other object.


Tatting is a type of knotted lace made from sewing-thread with a small flat

shuttle-shaped instrument.


A tatty is a cuscus grass mat which is hung in a doorway, or window and kept

wet to cool the air in the building.


Tavla is the national game of Turkey. It is called backgammon in Europe.


see "Hackney Coach"


Taxidermy is the art of preparing and mounting the skins of animals in a

lifelike manner. In colloquial terms, stuffing dead animals.


A taximeter is an apparatus by means of which the legal fare is shown to

passengers in a taxi.


see "Tuberculosis"


Technetium is an artificial element with the symbol Tc.


Tectonics is the study of rock movements.


A teetotum is a top spun with the fingers, rather than a whip or cord.

Tehuantepec Winds

The Tehuantepec winds (Papagayo winds) are strong winds analogous to the

mistral and bora, experienced on the Pacific side of Central America. They blow

from the north-east and the north-north-east on the coasts of Nicaragua and



Teinds were a Scottish tithe where by one tenth of the produce of the land was

claimed by the clergy.


The telautograph was a form of telegraph (the originator of the modern fax

machine) whereby a message or drawing produced at the transmitter was instantly

reproduced at the distant receiver.


Telegony is the theory of pre-paternal influence on offspring. That is, that a

previous male mate may pass characteristics to an offspring conceived by the

same mother, but a different father. No evidence has been furnished to support

the theory, but never the less, it was a popular belief amongst animal breeders.


Originally the term telegraphy refered to any form of signalling. With the

advent of electronic telegraph systems the term became more specific to

electronic signalling, and more recently to the transmission of data, as

distinct from telephony which signals voice, electronically. E.G.: Morse code

by radio wave or through a telephone line. The first telegraph was a system of

optical signalling using the shutter system between London and the English

channel in the late 18th century. The first electric telegraph was described in

the Scots Magazine in 1753 by Charles Morrison, and involved separate wires for

each letter of the alphabet. In 1835 Wheatstone invented a five wire telegraph,

which he later refined to a two wire system.


The telephone is an instrument for reproducing speech at a distance from the

source. It was invented (or rather patented) by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.

Long distance telephony was developed in the 1920s following the experiments of

Dr H. W. Nichols, with links between major cities in the continents introduced

in 1927.


Telephony refers to the reproduction of speech at a distance from the source.

Telephony may occur with the use of a telephone, or through wireless apparatus

such as radio equipment.


A telescope is an instrument which magnifies distant objects. The telescope was

first invented in 1609 and in 1610 Galileo using his own made telescope

discovered the satellites of Jupiter.


Television is a system for seeing distant objects through the intermediary of

electro-magnetic waves transmitted through space or over wires. It was first

developed during the 1920s.


Tellurium is a semi-metallic element with the symbol Te.


Telpherage is a system of traction by aerial ropeway used for the conveyance of

minerals over rough country. A stout steel cable supported on poles forms the

track and on this are hung small trolleys with wheels running on the cable. A

second cable conveys electric current to the trolleys which are driven by



Telugu is one of the Dravidian languages of India, spoken by the inhabitants of

the area between Madras, Bellary and Orissa.


Tempera is a process of spreading a mixture of paint and a glutinous material

on a flat surface. It is a process which was popular with early Italian artists.


Tempering is the process of heating up steel until red hot and then suddenly

cooling it in water. The result is to harden the steel.


A temple is a building dedicated to the service of a deity or deities.


Tempo is the pace at which a piece of music is played.


A tendril is a slender, thread-like organ or appendage of a plant which

stretches out and attaches itself to some other object so as to support the



Tenor is the name given to the highest natural singing voice of the adult male.

It is also applied to instruments which play tenor parts.

Tenpin Bowling

Tenpin Bowling is an indoor game for individuals or teams in which the players

aim to knockdown with a ball ten pins placed in a triangle, the apex of which

is 60 feet away at the end of a lane of smooth polished wood.


Tenure is the right or title by which property is held.


A Teocalli is an Aztec or other early Mexican temple. They are usually built in

the form of a pyramid.


A tepee is a conical tent, hut or wigwam used by North American Indians.


Teratology is the science concerned with the occurrence of monstrosity in

organic life.


Terbium is a metal element with the symbol Tb belonging to the series known as

rare earths.


Terpene is a chemistry term for any of a large group of cyclic hydrocarbons

which form the chief constituents of the volatile oils obtained by distilling

plant material (Turpentine).


Terpenes are an important group of hydrocarbons with the formula C10H16. Many

occur naturally in the essential oils of various plants.

Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta is a baked clay, or burned earth material similar to that from

which pottery is made. It was extensively used in ancient times. Terra Cotta

consists of potters' clay and fine powdered silica.

Terra di Sienna

see "Burnt Sienna"


A terrine is an earthenware vessel sold containing some table delicacy such as



see "Calabresella"


A tessera was a Greek or Roman small tablet (of wood or Ivory) used as a token

or tally.

Test Act

The Test Act of 1672 and its successors disabled Roman Catholics from holding

public office or sitting in Parliament, and all officials were required to make

a declaration against transubstantiation and to take the sacrament. The Roman

Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 removed these disabilities, but still

prevented Roman Catholic priests from sitting in the House of Commons,

something they can now do.


A tester is the canopy over a four-poster bed.


Tetra-Ethyl-Lead is an organo-metalic compound widely used as an anti-knock

agent in leaded petrol.


1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane is a man-made colourless or pale yellow dense liquid

with a penetrating, sweet chloroform-like odour. The only major use for it is

as a feedstock in the production of trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and

1,2-dichloroethylene. It may also be used as a solvent; in cleaning and

degreasing metals; in paint and rust removers, varnishes and lacquers; in

photographic films; and as an extractant for oils and fats. It was once an

ingredient in an insect repellent, but registration was cancelled in the late

1970s. Due to its toxicity and new processes for manufacturing chlorinated

ethylenes, the manufacture and use of 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane now appears to

be very limited. 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane does not burn easily, but produces

poisonous gases in a fire, including phosgene and hydrogen chloride. It is

soluble in alcohol and ether. It is also known as acetylene tetrachloride;

di-chloro-2,2-dichloroethane; s-tetrachloroethane; TCE tetrachloroethane; and



A tetrahedron is a geometric solid figure with four triangular faces.


A tetrode is an electronic amplifying valve with 4 main electrodes.


TeX is an extremely powerful macro-based computer text formatter written by

Donald E. Knuth, very popular in the computer-science community. Knuth began

TeX because he had become annoyed at the declining quality of the typesetting

in volumes I--III of his monumental `Art of Computer Programming'. In a

manifestation of the typical hackish urge to solve the problem at hand once and

for all, he began to design his own typesetting language. He thought he would

finish it on his sabbatical in 1978; he was wrong by only about 8 years. The

language was finally frozen around 1985. Though well-written, TeX is so large

(and so full of cutting edge technique) that it is said to have unearthed at

least one bug in every Pascal it has been compiled with.

Texas Forty-two

Texas Forty-two is a trick taking game played with dominoes. It is especially

popular in Texas, USA. There are basically two forms of 42: it can be played

for points or for marks. There are four players in fixed partnerships - players

sit opposite their partner. A double-six set of dominoes is used - that is 28

dominoes, one for each possible pair of numbers from 0 (blank) to 6. A domino

with the same number at each end is called a double.

There are 7 suits: blanks, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes. The

highest domino of each suit is the double. Normally one suit is trumps. Every

domino containing that number is exclusively a trump, and apart from the

double, they rank in order of the other number on the domino.


A textile is a woven fabric. The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest

human arts already well developed before history began, with loom weights and

combs found with the remains of Iron Age Man.


In botany, the thalamus is the receptacle or terminal part of the axis of a

flower. Sometimes the thalamus extends beyond the carpels as a fleshy mass, as

in the strawberry; or as a cone round which the fleshy carpels cluster, as in

the raspberry; or as a beak as in geraniums.


Thallium is a metal element with the symbol Tl.


Thalweg is a term of German origin signifying the lowest contour line of a

valley, and therefore the natural direction of a stream or dried watercourse.


Thanksgiving is an annual festival in the USA, celebrated on the last Thursday

in November, since it was so fixed by President Lincoln in 1864. The custom

dates from the thanksgiving day set aside by the Mayflower Pilgrims after their

first harvest in 1621, and was later adopted by the various colonies and States.


A thatch is a roof made by thatching.


Thatching is a method of roofing used to protect buildings and ricks. The

material most commonly used is straw, but bracken, gorse, heather and reeds may

serve a similar purpose.


A thaumatrope is a card or disc with two different figures drawn one each side.

These images apparently merge when the card or disk is rotated rapidly.

Thaumatropes are used to demonstrate the persistence of visual impressions.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a novel written in 1876 by American author Mark

Twain. It describes the childhood escapades of Tom Sawyer and his friends

Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper in a small Mississippi community before the

Civil War. It, and its sequel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published in

1885, are remarkable for their rejection of the high moral tone prevalent in

19th-century children's literature.

The Arena

The Arena was an American monthly magazine founded in 1889 in Boston, by B O

Flower, and devoted to serious interests.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hardware/software package that lets the user link two

PCs through their serial or parallel ports to perform file transfers and share

DOS devices. Through a master/slave relationship, the two computers are

completely integrated, and you can access the disk drives and other DOS devices

of one computer from the other. The package allows the transfer of files

serially at speeds up to 115,200 bps, or up to 500,000 through the parallel

ports. The Brooklyn Bridge gives users the option of operating the program

through DOS commands, Brooklyn Bridge utilities, or menus. The latter two

methods include a context-sensitive help facility. Once installed, the software

requires only 5K of memory. The Brooklyn Bridge operates as a DOS device

driver, transparently linking two computers to make the remote system's drives

appear as the next available drive letters on the machine you are using. For

example, a PC with two disk drives and one hard disk occupies drives A:, B:,

and C:. The disk drives of a laptop PC are seen as D: and E:. A file is also

included to rename the designators of the remote devices so as not to conflict

with those of the local PC. For example, if you have LPT1 defined on both the

local and remote PC, you can rename the remote LPT1 to LPT2, so both can be

accessed from the local PC. Installed as a DOS device driver, The Brooklyn

Bridge becomes more than just a device for file transfers between two

computers; it becomes a small network. The Brooklyn Bridge allows the user to

read and write to diskette drives and hard disks, and use printers, plotters,

clock, calendar and other DOS devices.

The Bryce Report

In December 1914 the British Government appointed a committee to consider and

advise on the evidence as to outrages alleged to have been committed by German

troops during the European War. The committee collected evidence from Belgian

refugees, wounded Belgian soldiers, and British officers and soldiers. The

report issued in May 1915 (The Bryce Report) stated that there was conclusive

evidence that in many parts of Belgium deliberate and systematically organised

massacres of the civil population had occured and that the rules and usages of

war were frequently broken and the red cross and white flag were abused.

The Builder

The Builder is an English illustrated weekly newspaper founded in 1842 as the

organ of builders and contractors. Its first editor was J A Hansom, the

inventor of the Hansom Cab.

The Court of Criminal Appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal is an English court with jurisdiction to hear

appeals by persons convicted on indictment, criminal information, coroner's

inquisitions and by persons dealt with at Quarter Sessions as incorrigible

rogues. It was established in 1907.

The Damned

The Damned were are a British punk rock band. They started life in 1975 as "The

London SS" with Mick Jones, Tony James and Brian James under the management of

Bernie Rhodes. Chris Millar joined during the winter of 1975 as a drummer and

was christened "Rat Scabies" by Brian James. The London SS folded as Bernie

Rhodes and Mick Jones formed the Clash and the remaining band members met Dave

Vanian and Ray Burns who had worked with Chris Millar cleaning toilets. The

Damned were born and played their first concert at the 100 club supporting the

Sex Pistols in 1976.

The Economist

The Economist is a magazine dealing with financial matters. It was started in

1843 as a London weekly journal.

The Fair Maid of Perth

The Fair Maid of Perth is an opera written by Bizet. It was first performed in

Manchester in 1912.

The Field

The Field is a country gentleman's weekly magazine (originally a paper) devoted

to natural history, sports etc. and first published in January 1853.

The Five Mile Act

The Five Mile Act was a statute of 1592, repealed in 1844 after a long period

of disuse, forbidding popish recusants convicted of not going to church from

moving above 5 miles from their usual place of abode.

The Gentleman's Magazine

The Gentleman's Magazine was the first magazine produced. It was a monthly

publication founded in 1731 by Edward Cave and survived in its original form

until 1868. It contained historical and biographical articles.

The Gracie Fields

The Gracie Fields was a paddle-steamer used as an Isle of Wight ferry during

the 1930s until she was lost during the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

The Great Fire Of London

The Great Fire Of London broke out in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge on

September 2nd 1666 and raged until September 6th destroying London from the

Tower to the Temple and from the Thames to Smithfield.

The John Bull

The John Bull was a Tory newspaper supported by Theodore Hook and published

from 1820 to 1892.

The London Charivari

see "Punch"

The Spectator

The Spectator was a journal founded in 1711 by Sir Richard Steele and

contributed to largely by Addison. It lapsed in 1714 but the title was

resuscitated in 1828 by Robert Rintoul. At first the journal was non-political,

then during the 19th century it adopted Liberal tendencies.

The Sphere

The Sphere was an English illustrated weekly founded in 1900 by Clement Shorter

representing the latest developments in the art of illustration. It had its own

special artists at the front during the Boer War.

The Strand Magazine

The Strand Magazine was founded in 1891 by Sir George Newnes and was

immediately popular not least for its Sherlock Holmes stories which it carried

written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Test Act

The Test Act of 1673 decreed that all who held public offices in England must

receive the Church of England sacrament and renounce Transubstantiation. It

thus excluded Nonconformists and Roman Catholics. The act was repealed in May


The Times

The Times is a daily newspaper. It started in 1788 when the Daily Universal

Register (bought previously in 1785 by John Walter) was changed in name to The

Times and Daily Universal Register. The Times earned its reputation under John

Walter the second, who took over the paper on the death of his father in 1812,

through its foreign correspondence.

The Tropics

The Tropics are the region between 23 degrees 30 minutes north and 23 degrees

30 minutes south of the equator at which the sun's rays are vertical at noon.

The Vikings of Helgeland

The Vikings of Helgeland is a play by Henrik Ibsen written in 1858. It is a

drama, based on Scandinavian history.

The Wedding

The Wedding is a play by Anton Chekhov, written in 1890. It is an early one-act


The Woman-Hater

The Woman-Hater is a broad satirical play by Francis Beaumont written in 1606.

The Wood Demon

The Wood Demon is a play by Anton Chekhov, written in 1889.

The Words Upon The Window-pane

The Words Upon The Window-pane is a one-act play about the last days of

Jonathan Swift. It was written by W B Yeats in 1930.

Theatre of the Absurd

The Theatre of the Absurd was a movement in the 1940s to 1960s that expressed

existentialist philosophy through theatrical style. Absurdist plays are filled

with non-sensical dialogue and plot, which convey the inability of people to

communicate with each other and the irrationality of existence. Principal

figures in absurdist theatre were Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco and Jean Genet.


Thebaine is an alkaloid present in opium. It is coloured red by concentrated

sulphuric acid and is very poisonous, causing severe convulsions by its action

on the spinal cord.


Theine is an alternative name for caffeine.


Theobromine (dimethyl-xanthine) is the active principal of the cacao or cocoa

bean. It is a crystalline powder with a bitter taste closely resembling

caffeine and sometimes used as a diuretic.


A theodolite is an instrument used in surveying for measuring horizontal and

vertical angles.


The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod which describes the origin of the powers of

nature, and the manner of the birth of the [Greek] gods.


Theology is a science dealing with ascertainable truths about God and his

relations with the world and mankind.


Theosophy is an intuitive or ecstatic mode of enunciating doctrines.

Therese Raquin

Therese Raquin is a drama play by Emile Zola written in 1867.


A thermion is an electrically charged particle emitted from a heated body.


Thermionics is a branch of physics dealing with the emission of ions by hot

bodies. The first thermionic observation, though not understood at the time,

was made by Edison, and is known as the Edison effect.


A thermistor is a type of semi-conductor in which the resistance decreases as

the temperature rises.


Thermit is a mixture of coarsely powdered aluminium and magnetic oxide of iron

which when ignited reacts by producing iron and aluminium oxide at an intensely

high temperature approaching 3000 degrees Celsius. It was developed for making

welding repairs in situ, and adopted by the army for use in incendiary bombs.

Thermite Process

The Thermite Process (Goldschmidt Process) is the method of obtaining liquid

metal by reduction of the oxide with aluminium powder.


Thermo-Chemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the

relationship between chemical energy and heat.


Thermo-Electricity is the phenomena of electricity being produced when a

circuit of two different metals is heated, and heat is produced when electrical

current is passed through a circuit of two different metals.


Thermodynamics is a science dealing with the relationship between heat and work.


A thermograph is a device for recording fluctuations in air temperature.


A thermometer is a device used to measure temperature. It was invented by

Galileo in 1592. The graduation and inclusion of fixed points was added by

Sanctorio who used snow and the heat of a candle, dividing the range obtained

into degrees. The first sealed thermometer was made by Ferdinand II, the Grand

Duke of Tuscany, in 1654. He filled the bulb and part of the tube with alcohol

and then melted the glass tip, thereby sealing the tube. In England, Boyle, at

the request of the Royal Society, made experiments on thermometers, his

lectures on cold being published in 1665. Mercurial thermometers were first

employed by the Academia del Climento of Florence in 1657. In 1694 renaldini

suggested the boiling-point of water as the upper limit of the scale. In 1706

Fahrenheit made improvements to the thermometer. In 1714 he made his Fahrenheit

thermometer with three fixed points. He arrived at his zero by taking a mixture

of ice water and sal ammoniac; the second point he obtained by mixing ice and

water - this point he called 32 degrees, or freezing point, his third mark was

blood heat and was obtained by placing the thermometer in the mouth of a

healthy man and holding it there until it reached the body temperature. He then

divided the distance between the melting point of ice - 32 degrees - and the

boiling point of water - 212 degrees - into 180 degree marks. Celsius invented

his own scale with the boiling point of water at zero and the freezing point of

water at 100 degrees, this scale has now been inverted.


A thermostat is a device which automatically maintains temperature at a

constant value or gives notice of an undue change in temperature.


Thermotaxis is the physiology term for the regulation of an organisms body heat.


Thesmophoria was a festival in honour of Demeter, celebrated by women only, in

various parts of Greece. It commemorated the institution of laws and

civilization, which were attributed to Demeter. At Athens the festivl was held

in October.


A thespian is an actor or actress.


Theurgy was a system of magic practised by the Neoplatonists intended to

procure communication with spirits for personal benefit and to produce

miraculous effects with their assistance.


Thiamine is vitamin b1 a deficiency of which causes beri beri.


The thiazines are compounds containing a ring of one nitrogen, one sulphur, and

four carbon atoms.


A thicket is a dense growth of shrubs, bushes or small trees forming a thick



see "Thicket"


A thio-derivative is a compound in which sulphur has replaced an equivalent

amount of oxygen, such as potassium thio-cyanate, KCNS, in which the sulphur

has replaced the oxygen in potassium cyanate, KCNO.


see "Sulphocyanate"


Thiophene is a colourless, volatile liquid closely resembling benzene. It

occurs in coal-tar and is extracted by shaking with concentrated sulphuric

acid. Thiophene is a parent substance of a number of derivatives.


Thirlage is a servitude, once very common in Scotland, under which the

possessors of certain lands were 'thirled', thralled, or astricted to carry the

grain produced on those lands to a certain mill, and to pay, by way of

'multure' a certain proportion of the grain ground towards the expense of the

erection and maintenance of the mill.


A thole is a pin in the gunwale of a boat used as a fulcrum for an oar. There

are usually two tholes between which the oar rests.


Thomism is a system of theology and philosophy taught by St Thomas Aquinas.


A thong is a narrow strip of leather used as a lace or strap.


Thorazine is a tradename for Chlorpromazine hydrochloride.


Thorium is radioactive metal element of the tin group with the symbol Th. It

occurs principally in thorite and other rare minerals. It was formerly isolated

by displacement by potassium fluothorate. It burns brightly in oxygen.

Three in One

Three in One is an American twentieth century version of the ancient European

card game Poch; it is sometimes also known as Michigan Rummy. In the USA the

equipment for the game is sold under the name TRIPOLEY. The game is in three

stages: in the first stage, the holders of particular cards collect the

relevant stakes; the second stage is similar to Poker, and the final stage is a

Stops game similar to Michigan or Boodle.

Three Thirteen

Three Thirteen is a variant of the card game rummy, for two or more players and

is played with normal playing cards. One 52-card deck for two players, and two

decks for three or four people.

Three-Day Event

The Three-Day Event is an equestrian competition designed to test the all-round

ability of horse and rider. It is also known as horse trials, and originating

as a test for officers' charges militaire. The event consists of three distinct

parts which test the horse in dressage, then speed, endurance and

cross-country, and finally show jumping, the parts take place on three separate

days, hence the name Three-Day Event.


Threshing is an agricultural term for separating the grain from the ear or the

seeds from the pods of various crops.


In architecture, a threshold is a piece of stone or timber lying below the

bottom of a doorway.


Thulium is a metal element with the symbol Tm.


Thunder is a loud noise which accompanies lightning, but appears to follow it

due to the difference at which sound and light travel. Thunder is the noise

which occurs due to the sudden violent disturbance of the air by the electrical



A thurible is a censer or vessel in which aromatic spices are burned.


A thurifer is the incense-bearer at mass, vespers, etc. In the Roman Catholic

Church the office belongs to the acolyte, one of the minor orders of the Latin



Thursday is the fourth day of the week.


A thwart is a seat across a boat on which the rower sits.


Thymol (methyl-propylphenol) is a white crystalline phenol obtained from the

oil of thyme. It has a pleasant aromatic smell and is used as an antiseptic.


Thyroxin is a white crystalline substance which is secreted by the thyroid



Thyroxine is a hormone which is the active principle of the thyroid gland.


A tiara was an ancient Persian head-dress. It is also the name of a jewelled

coronet worn by women.

Tichborne Case

The Tichborne case was a long and famous case in English history. Tichborne is

an estate in Hampshire. Roger Charles Tichborne, eldest son of James,

afterwards tenth barnoet, was born in 1829 and in 1853 sailed to Valparaiso and

the next year to Rio de Janeiro in the Bella which foundered at sea with all

hands. the baronetcy and estates passed to his brother, Alfred. Alone of the

family his mother, clinging to hope, advertissed. A butcher in Australia seeing

the advert claimed to be the lost Sir Roger, saved from the Bella, and as such

was received by the infatuated mother. The claim was opposed on behalf of a son

of Sir Alfred and on March the 6th, 1872, 103 days into the case, the claimant

was non-suited and arrested at Orton on a charge of perjury. he was brought to

trial and on the 188th day of the case sentenced to fourteen years

imprisonment. The two trials cost about œ200,000 and cheated the estate out of

over œ90,000.


Tide is a term applied to the alternate rising and falling of the sea, twice in

each lunar day, to the attraction of the moon and the sun.


A tidesman (tidewaiter) was a custom-house official who attended ships to

prevent breaches of revenue laws. The post had become obsolete by 1900.


see "Tidesman"

Tien Gow

Tien Gow (meaning "Sky Nine") is a trick taking game for four players using a

single set of Chinese dominoes. The set consists of all pairs of numbers from

1-1 to 6-6, with the following eleven tiles duplicated: 6-6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-1,

5-5, 5-1, 4-4, 3-3, 3-1, 2-2, 1-1.

Tieng Len

Tieng Len is the national card game of Vietnam; the name of the game means

something like Speak Up; Tieng Len has spread to some parts of the USA, where

it is usually called Viet Cong or just VC or Thirteen;

This is a climbing game (a bit like Zheng Shangyou or President), in which the

aim is to get rid of your cards as soon as possible by beating combinations of

cards played by the other players.

The game is for four players. A standard 52-card deck is used; there are no

Jokers and no wild cards. It is possible for two or three to play. It can also

be played by more than four players, using two 52-card packs shuffled together.

The game is normally dealt and played clockwise, but can be played

anticlockwise instead if the players agree in advance to do so. The ranking of

the cards is: Two (highest), Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven,

Six, Five, Four, Three (lowest). Within each rank there is also an order of

suits: Hearts (highest), Diamonds, Clubs, Spades (lowest). So the 3 of Spades

is the lowest card in the pack, and the 2 of Hearts is the highest. Rank is

more important than suit, so for example the 8 beats the 7.


A tiki is a Maori large wooden or small ornamental greenstone image of the

creator of man or an ancestor.


A tilbury was a light open two-wheeled carriage which was fashionable during

the first half of the 19th century.


Timber is wood prepared for building, or trees which provide wood suitable for

building with.

Timber hitch

The timber hitch is a knot.


A timbrel was a type of tambourine used around biblical times.


Time are an English PC assembler and retailer. They were established during the

1980s and have grown into a nationwide organisation with showrooms over the

whole country. They assemble and supply a range of standard Pcs aimed at the

retail market.

Timeslips Plus

Timeslips Plus is a computer program designed to keep track of billable time.

It is ideal for law offices or consultants, or for Information Centres that use

a charge-back system. Timeslips Plus can be run memory-resident so you can

access it while running other applications. When you begin a billable task such

as a client phone call, call up a time slip and start the timer. When you stop

the timer, you see how much time has elapsed. (If you prefer, you can input

time manually without using the automatic timer.) Timeslips Plus also prepares

professional-looking invoices in minutes which can be easily customised. The

product lets you determine what information appears on the invoice and how it

will be presented. Options include Bill, No Charge, Do Not Bill, Summary, and

Work in Process. In addition, you can set minimum, maximum, or absolute fees

for a project or case, no matter how many bills are sent. You can customise

bills for each client to show as much detail as appropriate. The product lets

you create expense slips for out-of-pocket expenses. Through a menu-driven

interface, Timeslips Plus allows you to print a report that evaluates

performance based on the variance between actual and estimated time. Many other

business and financial reports can be generated, along with more than 30 graphs

and charts. Timeslips Plus can be customised to your particular application

needs. Main headings default to User, Account, and Activity, but you can rename

them as desired. The product can accommodate up to 250 individual users, 250

billable activities, and up to 3,400 accounts.


Timology is a philosophical term of a doctrine of values.

Timolol maleate

Timolol maleate is a beta blocker used in the treatment of angina, hypertension

and glaucoma.


Tin is a white metal element with the symbol Sn. It occurs commonly in the ore

cassiterite, which is found in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bolivia, Zaire, Nigeria and

Cornwall. Tin is often used to plate iron to protect it from rusting.


Tin-plate is thin sheet iron or steel coated with pure metallic tin. Iron and

steel are coated with tin to prevent rusting.


Tincal is a crude form of borax found in lake-deposits in parts of Asia.


A tine is a projecting sharp point such as of a fork, harrow or stag's antler.


A tinker is a person who mends things, the term especially applies to someone

who mends pots, pans and kettles. In Scotland and Northern Ireland the term is

often applied to Romanys.


Tinplate is a sheet of wrought iron or mild steel that has received a thin

coating of two or three percent of tin by immersion in the molten metal to

protect it from rust. Tinplate is used in cans for food and drink.


Tinsel is a shining metallic material used in thin strips or threads to give a

sparkling effect in decorations.


A tintack is a short nail made of tin plated iron or steel.


A tippet was a woman's small cape or collar made of fur, or silk usually with

two ends hanging down in front.

Tippling Act

The Tippling Act of 1751 decreed that no debt under twenty shillings for

spirituous liquers was recoverable unless it was contracted at one time. A

person taking a pledge for such a debt was liable to a fine of 40 shillings,

half to go to a common informer. An amendment to the act in 1862 made spirits

sold in quantities of not less than one pint, to be drunk off the premises



A tipstaff is a metal-tipped staff which is a symbol of a Sheriff's office.

The tipstaff was an officer of the High Court, whose duty it was to arrest and

take into custody persons committed to prison by the court.

Tironian system

The Tironian system was a Roman system of shorthand which was still in use in

England during the mediaeval times.


In biological terms, tissue is an organised mass of cells, such as any part of

an animal's body or a plant's structure.


see "Tissue"


Tit-bits is a weekly goosip style light entertainment magazine. It was founded

in 1881 by the then George Newnes (later Sir George Newnes) in Manchester,

serving up interesting items of information on all sorts of subjects,

interspersed with humorous anecdotes, short stories and articles on popular

subjects. In 1883 it transfered to London.


Titan is the sixth satellite (or moon) of Saturn. It was discovered in 1655 by



The Titanic was a supposedly unsinkable British ocean liner. She was a White

Star liner, and the largest ship of her time. On her maiden voyage from

Queenstown to New York she struck an iceberg near Cape Race (14th April, 1912)

and sank. The Carpathia arrived in time to save 712 of the 2201 persons on

board. As a result of the inquiry which followed new regulations concerning

life-saving appliances on ships were made.


Titanium is a metal element with the symbol Ti.


see "Titan"


Titration is the analysis or determination of the concentration of a solution

by adding measured amounts of a standard solution of a suitable reagent until

the chemical reaction between the two solutions is completed.


Titular is a term applied to those who hold the title pertaining to an office

without the occupation of the office itself, as in the case of the English

monarchs, who assumed the title of kings of France from the time of Henry VI to



A toboggan is a hand-sleigh used for sliding down snow or ice slopes.


A toby is a mug or small jug used for ale. They are made in various forms, but

originally they were in the form of a stout man wearing a long full-skirted

coat and a three-cornered hat.


A toga was an outer garment worn by citizens of ancient Rome. It was a flowing

cloak covering the entire body except the right arm.

Toleration Act

The toleration act of parliament in 1689 gave the right to freedom of worship

in England.


A toll is a tax or duty chargeable for selling goods, setting up a stall, or

travelling along a public road, bridge or ferry or for transporting goods by



Toluene (methyl-benzene) is a colourless liquid derived from petroleum and


Toluene trichloride

see "Benzotrichloride"


Toluidine (Methyl-aniline) is a substance prepared from toluene.

Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry are cartoon-film characters that were created in 1939 by American

animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The typically violent scenarios

show Jerry the mouse getting the better of Tom the cat. A total of 154 short

cartoon films were made, three of which won Academy Awards and a full length


A tom-tom is a native east Indian drum usually beaten with the hands.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones (The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling) is a novel written in 1749 by

Henry Fielding. The story tells of a foundling, Tom Jones, led astray by the

impetuousness of his own nature. He has many adventures, which take him through

scenes of uproarious 18th-century life, until he is finally redeemed by his own

good heart and the love of the beautiful Sophia Western.


Tombac is a kind of brass containing 86% copper and 14% zinc.


The ton is a unit of measurement of the avoirdupois scale equivalent to 20

hundredweight, 2240 pounds or 1.016 tonnes.


In music, tonality is a sense of key orientation in relation to form, for

example the step pattern of a dance as expressed by corresponding changes of

direction from a tonic or 'home' key to a related key. Most popular and folk

music worldwide recognizes an underlying tonality or reference pitch against

which the movement of a melody can be clearly heard. The opposite of tonality

is atonality.


A tondo is a painting or carving in relief within a circular shape.


In music, tone is the quality of sound. For instance, different strings of a

violin may be able to sound the same note (pitch) given certain fingerings, but

each string has a different tone.


A tong is a Chinese association. The term is especially applied to Chinese

secret organisations.

Tonic Sol-fa

Tonic Sol-fa is a system of musical notation dating back to 1812 when it was

developed by a Miss Glover of Norwich to teach music to children who were

having difficulty with learning.


Tonite is an explosive formed by mixing barium nitrate with gun-cotton.

Tonka Bean

The tonka bean is the fruit of a Guiana shrub, used in perfumery.


Tonnage was a duty on wine first imposed in 1346 and abolished in 1787.

Tonnage and poundage

Tonnage and poundage duties were levied by Charles I in 1626 without

parliamentary consent, provoking controversy.


Tonsure is the religious practice of having the head shaved before entering the

priesthood or becoming a monk. Until 1973 in the Roman Catholic Church, the

crown was shaved (leaving a surrounding fringe to resemble Jesus' crown of

thorns); in the Eastern Orthodox Church the hair is merely shorn close. For

Buddhist monks, the entire head is shaved except for a topknot.


Tontine is a system of life assurance and purchasing property in which the

advantage lies with the longest-lived of a stated number of individuals, who

may either receive absolutely the gross amount of the capital contributed by

all the subscribers who have predeceased him, or only the interest upon the

sum. The idea was first put forward by an Italian banker, Lorenzo Tonti, in

1653 and was first put into practice by Louis XIV in 1689.

Tony award

The Tony award is an annual award by the League of New York Theaters to

dramatists, performers, and technicians in Broadway plays. It is named after

the American actress and producer Antoinette Perry.

Topanol A

Topanol A is a tradename for 2,4 dimethyl-6-tertiary butyl phenol.

Topanol M

Topanol M is a tradename for butyl-phenylene-diamine.

Topanol OF

Topanol OF is a tradename for butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT) 3,5 - ditertiary

butyl - 4 hydroxy toluene


A tope (stupa, chorten) is a structure erected by Buddhist monks for the

preservation of sacred relics. Topes are built of solid masonry in some cases,

and of loose stones in others; have sometimes a spherical base, in other

instances a polygonal one, though a few are circular. They abhound in Central

India, in Kashmir and the Indus Valley and in Sri Lanka where they are called



A topee is a light pith helmet.


Topiary is the art of clipping and trimming shrubs into ornamental designs.


Topology is a branch of mathematics which studies geometric objects from the

point of view of their general shape rather than their precise measurements.


Toponymy is the study of a region's place names.


TOPS-10 was DEC's proprietary OS for the fabled PDP-10 computer, long a

favourite of hackers but now effectively extinct.


A toque is a small brimless hat made of folded or swathed material.


A tor is a craggy or rocky hill or peak. The term is most used in Cornwall and



Torchon is a strong, coarse linen bobbin-lace.


A toreador is a mounted bullfighter.


Torero is the term used for someone who fights bulls for a living.


see "Methaqualone"


A tornado is a violent storm with heavy rain in which the wind rotates or

constantly changes direction.


A torque was a necklace or collar of twisted metal worn by ancient Britons and



In building, a torsel is a block of stone or piece of wood or iron set in a

wall to support a beam or joist.

Torsion Balance

A torsion balance is an instrument which was invented by Coulomb for measuring

electric and magnetic attraction. A fine silver wire supports, at its centre of

gravity, a horizontal carrier with bodies of known electric charge at each end,

or a magnet of known strength. The deflection of the carrier determines the

strength of the attractive force when the source of attraction is placed at a

known distance from it.


A torso is a statue or mutilated human body lacking a head and limbs.


Tort is an English legal term for a civil wrong which violates a general duty

and not merely a breach of contract arising out of a particular relationship

between the parties. But a tort may also be a breach of contract and a crime.

It may relate either to persons or to property.


Tortoise-shell is the horny shield which covers the carapace of the hawk's-bill

turtle (Chelone imbricata). Each scale is beautifully marked, but is very thin

so for the purposes of manufacture several must be welded together. This is

done by heating in oil or by boiling, when the scales soften they can be welded

or moulded.


Torture, in a legal sense, means the application of bodily pain in order to

force evidence from witnesses, or confessions from persons accused of crimes.

It was applied to slaves in Athens and the Athenian and Rhodian laws allowed it

to be applied even to citizens and freemen.


In architecture, a torus is a large convex moulding, usually at the base of a



Totem is an Ojibway word describing an animal or plant related to an individual

by totemism.


Totemism is a widespread belief amongst primitive peoples of blood-kinship or

association with an animal or plant. For example, an individual may have the

bison as his totem.


Toucan is a southern constellation located by Bayer in 1603 to the south of



A touchstone is a device for roughly ascertaining the purity of gold alloys. It

consists of a smooth strip of hard black stone, on which a corner of the alloy

is rubbed so as to leave a streak, which is then moistened with an acid

composed of 78.4 per cent nitric acid, 1.6 per cent hydrochloric acid and 20

per cent water. By comparing the effect with that produced on streaks made with

alloys of known compositions, an approximation to the gold content of the alloy

is found.


A toupee was originally a top-knot of hair crowning a wig. Today the term is

used to describe any false hair piece.


A tourmente is a sudden snow-storm that occurs from time to time in the Alps.


A tournament was an equestrian contest between military knights and others

armed with lances which were common in the Middle Ages. They were introduced to

England by the Normans.


A tower is a tall structure.

Tower of Babel

see "babel"

Tower of London

The Tower of London was built as a fortress by William The Conqueror. It was a

royal palace in the Middle Ages, and was later used as a garrison and prison.

The Crown Jewels are kept at the Tower of London.


Toxophily is the practice of, or addiction to archery.


Tracery is the stone framework in the head of Gothic windows, formed by a

continuation of the mullions, bent, as it were, into ornamental designs. It was

at first confined to circles and other geometric forms; but later the lines

were free and more flowing except in the Perpendicular style, in which the

mullions were carried right through in straight lines.


Tracheid is the water conducting component in the wood of vascular plants.


A tract is a short argumentative treatise. It was a type of literature employed

and developed by Luther.

Tract Societies

Tract Societies are organizations first formed in the late 17th century for the

purpose of indoctrinating the masses in the teachings of the Christian faith.

Tractarian Movement

The Tractarian Movement (The Oxford Movement) was a literary movement started

in 1833, in a controversy which arose in the Church of England regarding the

position the church would occupy in the event of its disestablishment, by

Newman, Keble and Pusey. It was conducted by means of publication of Tracts for

the Times, ninety in all, from which the movement got its name.


A tractor is a power-driven machine adapted to haul other machines or vehicles

over roads or rough ground.


Tractory is the curve in which a heavy particle moves when dragged at the end

of an inextensible string by a body moving in a straight line.


Trade is the general name given to the process of exchanging commodities either

for other commodities, which is called barter, or for money, which in more

advanced communities serves as a medium of exchange.

Trade Mark

A trade mark is a mark used in connection with goods to indicate that they are

the goods of a particular proprietor.

Trade Union

A trade union is an organisation consisting of a combination of wage-earners

engaged in the same industry or trade, usually to provide negotiating power

with the employer and as a mutual self-help group for employees when they need

financial assistance or legal assistance connected with their employment.

Trade Wind

Trade Winds are winds which blow a steady course. The trade wind north of the

equator blows almost constantly from the north-east, while the prevailing

direction of the trade wind south of the equator is south-east.

Trade Winds

The Trade Winds are the winds permanently blowing from the tropics towards the



Tragacanth is a kind of gum derived from the Asiatic leguminous plants of the

Astragalus genus. It is used in calico printing, pills and lozenges.

Tragacanth gum

Tragacanth gum is a partly water-soluble gum exuded by the tree Astragalus

verus and used as an adhesive and in medicine for the preparation of emulsions.


In the theatre, a tragedy is a play dealing with a serious theme.


A tram is a passenger vehicle, similar to a bus, which runs along rails on

public roads. The rails are flush with the road's surface allowing other motor

vehicles to also use the roads at the same time.


A trammel is a fishing net consisting of a fine net hung loosely between

vertical walls of a coarser net so that fish passing through the coarse net

carry some of the finer net through with them and are caught in the resulting



The tramontano is a cool northerly wind felt along the shores of the Adriatic.


A trampoline is a canvas sheet attached to a horizontal metal framework by

springs to provide a resilient platform for acrobats.


A trance is a sleep-like state from which the patient cannot be roused, and

which arises spontaneously without gross brain lesion such as cerebral

haemorhage, or toxic cause such as opium poisoning.

Transcaspian Railway

The Transcaspian Railway is a railway built by the Russian government from

Krasnovodsk on the east side of the Caspian Sea, along the south side of the

Kara-kum desert to the oasis of Merv. The line was opened in 1886 and has since

been extended with branch lines.


A transducer is a device which takes in power from one part of a system and

emits power of a different kind to another part.


Transepts are the cross aisles of a church, projecting at right angles from the

nave or choir.


A transformer is a device used for converting an alternating electric current

from one voltage to another, depending upon electro-magnetic induction. The

first transformer was made by Faraday in 1831.


Transformismo was a political system introduced in Italy in 1884 when Depretis

was Prime minister. Under Transformismo, the members of the ministry do not

necessarily belong to one political party, but are selected from all parties,

on account of their individual influence and the votes that they can command in

the chamber.


A transistor is an electronic component made of a semiconductor material and

three or more electrodes.


Transmutation is a biological term whereby one species transforms into another

through an evolutionary process.


A transom is a cross bar separating a door from the fan light above it.


Transportation was the British policy of sending convicts abroad. The first

convicts so punished were the mosstroopers of Northumberland in 1666. The

convicts were sent to Australia with a view to colonising the country. However,

the colonial government there complained and convicts were from 1840 sent to

Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). The system was abolished in 1853 in favour of

penal servitude, by the Penal Servitude Act.


Transuranic is a chemical term referring to artificially manufactured elements

which have an atomic number higher than uranium.


A transvestite is a person who dresses in the clothes of the opposite sex.


A trapeze is a horizontal bar suspended by two ropes and used as a piece of

apparatus by acrobats.


A trapezoid is a quadrilateral shape in which none of the sides are parallel.


see "Ciapano"


A trawler is a fishing ship which catches fish by trawling, that is with a net

dragged along the bottom of the sea.


Trawling is the process of dragging the sea-bottom for fish by a flat conical

shaped net.


A treadle is a foot operated lever used to impart motion to a machine, such as

a sewing machine or lathe for example.


A treadmill is a mill consisting of a large wooden cylinder with steps on the

outside. It is worked by persons treading on the steps, their weight causing

the cylinder to revolve. The treadmill was invented in China and originally

used for raising water. The treadmill employed in British prisons was invented

by Sir William Cubitt. The first penal treadmill was erected in Brixton Jail in

1817. The 'hard labour' of prison discipline was formerly the treadmill.


Treason is the breach of the duty of allegiance owed by a subject to the State

and its sovereign.

Treason Act

The Treason Act was passed in 1534 by Henry VIII making it high treason to

question the King's title or imagine or practise any harm to him.


Treasure-trove is a legal term for coins, gold and silver articles found buried

in the earth or secreted in other places for which no owner can be found. In

England, treasure-trove belongs to the crown, and to conceal it is punishable

with a fine or imprisonment.

Treaty of Dardanelles

The Treaty of Dardanelles was signed in 1841 between England, France, Russia

and Turkey and confirmed the convention of 1840, limiting Mehemet Ali to Egypt

and Acre, and closing the Dardanelles to all ships of war unless with the

consent of the Sultan.

Treaty of Trianon

The Treaty of Trianon took place on June 4th 1920 between the Allies and

Hungary at the end of the Great War. By the treaty Hungary was considerably

reduced in size, and lost about 3 million Magyars.


A treenail is a nail made of hard wood, as opposed to steel or iron.


A trellis is a structure of light bars crossing each other with open squares or

diamond-shaped spaces between them. Trellis are used as screens and to support

climbing plants.


Tremolo is a musical term indicating that the notes are to be played rapidly

and reiterated during their time values, instead of being played as sustained

sounds, hence the term applies to an unsteady or wavering voice.


A trencher is a flat slab of wood or metal upon which meat is cut.


In the Roman Catholic church, trental is a set of 30 requiem masses said daily

or all on one day.


In merchandising, tret is an allowance of weight made for dust etc in

merchantable goods.


Trews were close-fitting trousers or breeches combined with stockings worn by

Scottish highlanders and the Irish.


A triac is a bi-directional thyristor used in A.C. control circuitry.


A triad is a Chinese secret society. Originally a Buddhist cult they are now

crime organisation.

Trial by Battle

Trial by Battle was a Norman innovation by which some civil actions and trials

for felony at the private suit of the persons wronged might be decided by

personal combat. In the case of Ashford v. Thornton in 1818, the accused in a

trial for murder pleaded 'Not guilty; and I am ready to defend the same by my

body.' The plea was held good, and the accused set free, as the accuser would

not fight. Trial by Battle was abolished by statute in 1819.


Triangulation is a technique employed in surveying. A base-line is set out in a

convenient and level situation and measured with great accuracy. A theodolite

is then set up at each end of the base-line, and readings are taken on some

prominent point or beacon, giving the angular displacement of the beacon

relative to the base-line. A triangle is thus formed, of which the size of the

angles and the length of one side are known, and therefore the length of the

remaining sides may be calculated.


The Triassic was the ninth geological period, 170,000,000 years ago.


Tribology is the study of friction, wear, lubrication and bearing design.


A tribune was an ancient Roman administrative officer.


1,1,2-Trichloroethane is a colourless, sweet-smelling man-made liquid that is

predominantly used where 1,1- dichloroethane (vinylidene chloride) is

manufactured. It may also be formed in landfills when 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane

is broken down. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane is used as a solvent where its high

solvency is needed, such as for chlorinated rubbers. It may be used as a

solvent for fats, oils, waxes, and resins. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane may be found

in some consumer products. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane will not burn and has a higher

boiling point than water. When it is released into the environment, it

eventually ends up in the atmosphere or groundwater. Reaction in both the

atmosphere and groundwater is very slow. In the air, half of the chemical is

expected to degrade in 49 days and will disperse far from where it is released

before degrading. There is no breakdown of 1,1,2-trichloroethane below the soil

surface in groundwater within 16 weeks; some experiments suggest that it will

persist for years. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane is soluble in alcohol, ether, and

chloroform. 1,1,2-trichloroethane is also known as ethane trichloride;

trichloroethane; vinyl trichloride; and 1,2,-trichloriethane.


Trichloroethylene is a colourless liquid at room temperature with an odour

similar to ether or chloroform. It is a man-made chemical that does not occur

naturally in the environment. Trichloroethylene is mainly used as a solvent to

remove grease from metal parts. It is used as a solvent in other ways, too, and

is used as a chemical building block to make other chemicals.


A triclinium was a Roman couch which ran around three sides of a table, leaving

one end free for serving.


A tricorn is a three-cornered cocked hat.


A tricycle is a three-wheeled vehicle, comparable in design with the bicycle,

and like it propelled by pedals geared by means of a chain to the rear axle. It

was invented by James Starley around 1870.


In The Roman Catholic religion, a triduum is three days of prayer in

preparation for a feast or other solemn occasion.

Triennial Act

The Triennial Act was passed in 1641 to ensure that Parliament should meet at

least every 3 years. It was repealed in 1664 and replaced in 1694 by another

enacting that no Parliament should sit for more than 3 years without a general



Triethanolamine is normally used as an auxiliary emulsifying agent after in

situ reaction with a fatty acid in the preparation of cosmetic emulsion

products such as creams and lotions. It has several disadvantages not least

that of discolouring easily in the presence of trace metal contaminants and

even on simple exposure to air.


A triglyph is a three-grooved tablet repeated at regular intervals in a Doric

frieze, the intervening spaces being filled with metopes.


Trigonometry is the branch of mathematics which treats of the relation of the

sides and angles of triangles, with the methods of deducing from certain parts

the parts required.

Trihydroxy-benzoic Acid

see "Gallic Acid"


A trilby is a soft felt hat with a narrow brim and an indented crown.


A trimaran is a boat similar to a catamaran, but with three hulls side by side.


Trimethylamine is a tertiary amine, that occurs in herring brine and the

blossoms of hawthorn. It is chiefly obtained as a product of the distillation

of the nitrogenous residue left in the preparation of sugar from beetroot. It

is a gas with a fishy ammoniacal odour and a strong alkaline reaction. When

heated with hydrogen chloride it yields methyl chloride.


In chemistry, a trinitrate is a compound formed from three molecules of nitric

acid by the replacement of the 3 hydrogen atoms by a trivalent element or



Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a high explosive.

Trinity House

Trinity House was founded at Deptford, Kent and received a royal charter in

1514. It was composed of skilled mariners, and had charge of the naval dockyard

under Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I it began its work of lighting the coasts of

England. Today it is responsible for light houses, buoys etc.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday, the octave of Pentecost, is a feast of very early institution.

The name Trinity Sunday is found in the English Breviary and missal since the

time of St Oswald.


A triode is an electronic amplifying valve with three main electrodes (anode,

cathode and grid).


A triolet is a poem of fixed form consisting of an 8-line stanza rhymed upon

two rhymes in the manner ABAAABAB. The fourth line is a repetition of the first

and the seventh and eight of the first two. Triolets originated in mediaeval



see "tarot Cards"


In chemistry, a trioxide is a compound with three atoms of oxygen with an

element or radical.


Originally, a triptych was a writing tablet of three leaves. The term is also

applied to a work of art which consists of three panels in juxtaposition.


Tritium is an unstable isotope of hydrogen.


A trocar is a surgical stylet with a triangular point enclosed in a metal tube

and used for withdrawing fluid from a cavity.


Troff is a UNIX formatting and phototypesetting program, written originally in

PDP-11 assembler and then in barely-structured early C by the late Joseph

Ossanna, modelled after the earlier ROFF which was in turn modelled after

Multics' RUNOFF by Jerome Saltzer (that name came from the expression "to run

off a copy"). A companion program, `nroff', formats output for terminals and

line printers. In 1979, Brian Kernighan modified TROFF so that it could drive

phototypesetters other than the Graphic Systems CAT. The success of TeX and

desktop publishing systems have reduced troff's relative importance.


The trombone is a musical instrument of the brass family. Sounds of different

pitch are achieved by lengthening and shortening the tube.


A tron was a wooden pillar or post erected in a market square and supporting a

horizontal beam from which were suspended the town scales used for weighing

wool and other commodities. From this is derived the tron weight formerly in

use in Scotland for wool, cheese and butter, the pound ranging in various

counties from 21 to 28 ounces.


Trona is a naturally occurring hydrous sodium carbonate found in north Africa

and America.


The troposphere is the layers of the atmosphere in which, up to a certain

height, the temperature falls with increasing altitude.


In building, a trowel is a flat bladed tool with a short handle used for

spreading mortar. A gardener's trowel is a scoop shaped tool with a short



Truc is a fairly simple card game played in Catalonia, the north-eastern part

of Spain. It is closely related to the old English game of Put, which was

described by Cotton in "The Compleat Gamester" (1674). Truc is also played,

with slight differences, in some places in the South of France, and it is the

basis of the more elaborate game Truco which is popular in several South

American countries. Truc is a game for four players in fixed partnerships; it

can also be played by two, but the two player game is considerably less

interesting. As usual you sit opposite your partner. It's played anticlockwise

to a final score of twelve points and each hand is worth from one to three

points, depending on the bets.

Truck Acts

The Truck Acts of 1831, 1887 and 1896 made it illegal in Britain for an

employer to pay his workmen other than in the current coin, or to impose any

condition as to where the wages would be spent. Servants in husbandry were

exempt from the act, and an employer could pay them in accomodation, food and

non-intoxicating drink.


A trug is a shallow garden basket made of wooden strips and with a handle

extending from side to side.


The trumpet is a musical instrument of the brass family. The trumpet is the

earliest known brass wind instrument, and consists of a tube of about 1.5

meters long curved twice to form three lengths. One end widens into a bell and

the other end is mounted with a cupped mouthpiece. The pitch of notes is

altered by way of key operated valves.


see "Crazy Eights"


A tsunami is a seismic sea wave originating from any one of several submarine

geological phenomena, such as volcanic explosions. They travel in the open

ocean at speeds up to 640 kmph.


see "Methaqualone"


see "Methaqualone"


The tuba is a musical instrument of the brass family.


A tuber is a thickened, fleshy or scaly portion of a plant's underground stem

which serves as a store-house for starch and other plant food.


Tuesday is the second day of the week.


A tug is a boat used for towing other ships.


The Tugenbund (league of virtue) was a society founded at Konigsberg in 1808 by

the Prussian minister Stein, with the ostensible purpose of reviving patriotism

and morality, promoting education and reorganizing the army, but really with

the object of driving the French out of Germany. frederick William III was

compelled by Napoleon to dissolve it in 1809.


The Tuileries was a former imperial palace in Paris. Construction was started

by Catherine de'Medici in 1564 and completed by Louis XIV. It suffered severely

at the hands of the mob in 1792, 1830 and 1848 being burned in 1871. In 1883 it

was removed, except two wings connecting with the Louvre.


A tumbrel is a type of cart, formerly used for carrying dung and prisoners to

the guillotine during the French Revolution.


A tun is a large cask for holding liquids, especially wine, ale or beer. A tun

is also a measure of capacity, equivalent to 252 wine gallons. In London a tun

of beer was two butts.


Tungsten is a grey-white, heavy, high-melting, ductile, hard, polyvalent

metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum in most of it's

properties and is used especially for electrical purposes and in hardening

steel. It has the symbol W.


A tunic was an ancient Greek and then Roman short-sleeved body garment reaching

to the knees. Today the term applies more generally to a close-fitting short

coat of a police or military uniform.


A tuning-fork is a small percussion instrument of definite and permanent pitch,

which is used to indicate the correct pitch of some particular note in the

musical scale. It consists of two vibrating steel prongs, which spring from a

tapered base.


A tunnel is an underground passageway.


The tupenu is a wrap round, skirt like cloth worn by Tongan males for all

formal occasions. The tupenu is the normal work attire and is also worn to

church. It is ideal for the Tongan climate.


A turbine is a type of engine. Steam turbines often propel ships and power

stations. Gas turbines are also used.


TurboCAD is a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program by IMSI Limited for

professionals and corporate design departments, but promising ownership costs

similar to conventional Office applications such as spreadsheets and databases.

The program includes features like extensive customising capabilities and hooks

to external database programs. IMSI also hopes to capitalise on AutoCAD's

widespread support industry, with a new programming interface which offers

compatibility with AutoCAD add-ons.

Turnbull's Blue

Turnbull's Blue is a pigment produced by the action of a ferrous salt on

potassium ferri-cyanide.


Turpentine is the resinous exudation of various coniferous plants.


Tute is one of the most popular card games of Spain, and also in some Latin

American countries. It is a point-trick game with trumps of the "marriage" type

played with a standard Spanish 40-card deck. There are several versions, all

with the same basic structure of trick taking and card values, but adapted for

different numbers of players, and in some cases with the extra complication of

bidding. The game for four players in two fixed partnerships will be described

first, then versions for other numbers of players.


Tutenag is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc used at one time for

domesticware and fire-grates.


A tutu is a dancer's short skirt made of layers of stiffened frills.


A tuxedo is a man's evening dress or dinner-jacket.


Tweed is a woolen fabric, largely manufactured in Scotland, and formerly

extensively worn by men although today it is more common amongst less

fashionable middle-aged, middle class women.


A tweezer is a small pair of tongs used for picking up small objects.

Twelfth Day

Twelfth Day is the festival of Epithany, being the twelfth day after Christmas,

it is kept as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. It was formerly the

occassion for festivities in commemoration of the visit of the three kings to

the infant Jesus. A king (the beanking) of the feast was chosen by a bean

hidden in the twelfth Cake.

Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables was the original Roman code of law drawn up around 450 BC by

a body of 10 Decemviri. It was written in ancient Latin on copper tablets and

was set up in the forum of Rome.


Twenex was the TOPS-20 operating system by DEC - the second proprietary OS for

the PDP-10. TOPS-20 began in 1969 as Bolt, Beranek & Newman's TENEX operating

system using special paging hardware. By the early 1970s, almost all of the

systems on the ARPANET ran TENEX. DEC purchased the rights to TENEX from BBN

and began work to make it their own. The first in-house code name for the

operating system was VIROS; when customers started asking questions, the name

was changed to SNARK so DEC could truthfully deny that there was any project

called VIROS. When the name SNARK became known, the name was briefly reversed

to become KRANS; this was quickly abandoned when someone objected that `krans'

meant `funeral wreath' in Swedish (though some Swedish speakers have since said

it means simply `wreath'; this part of the story may be apocryphal). Ultimately

DEC picked TOPS-20 as the name of the operating system, and it was as TOPS-20

that it was marketed. The hacker community, mindful of its origins, quickly

dubbed it TWENEX (a contraction of `twenty TENEX'), even though by this point

very little of the original TENEX code remained (analogously to the differences

between AT&T V6 UNIX and BSD). DEC people cringed when they heard "TWENEX", but

the term caught on nevertheless (the written abbreviation `20x' was also used).

TWENEX was successful and very popular; in fact, there was a period in the

early 1980s when it commanded as fervent a culture of partisans as UNIX or ITS

but DEC's decision to scrap all the internal rivals to the VAX architecture and

its relatively stodgy VMS OS killed the DEC-20 and put a sad end to TWENEX's

brief day in the sun. DEC attempted to convince TOPS-20 hackers to convert to

VMS, but instead, by the late 1980s, most of the TOPS-20 hackers had migrated

to UNIX.


Twilight is a faint illumination of the earth by sunlight reflected from the

atmosphere after sunset and before sunrise.


Twill is a textile fabric with a surface of parallel diagonal ribs produced by

passing weft-threads over one and under two or more warp-threads.


Twins is the name applied for two human bodies produced at a birth. Twins may

be identical which often occurs as a result of a single ovum, or different in

the case of multiple ova being fertilised.


Tympanum is an archaeological term for the space at the back of a pediment.

Tyndall Effect

The Tyndall Effect is the scattering of light by fine suspended particles. If a

beam of white light is passed through a colloidal suspension of a substance

such as mastic in water, light will be emitted at right angles to the beam.


Tynwald is the parliament in the Isle of Man.


The typewriter is a machine for printing letters singly on paper which is

traversed and moved forward so as to allow writing to be performed. The first

patent for a typewriter was filed in 1714 by Henry Milne.


A typhon is a naval signal horn operated by compressed air or steam. It is so

named after the mythical Typhon.


A typhoon is a tropical cyclone or hurricane of the western Pacific and China



Typhus is an acute contagious fever transmitted to man by body-lice and

rat-fleas infected by Rickettsia prowazekii. Typhus is characterised by the

eruption of rose-coloured spots, extreme prostration and often delirium.


Typography is the art of composing the layout and appearance of printed work,

including the selection of typefaces, line spacing, word spacing and the

positioning of illustrations. In recent times the term has largely been

replaced with 'publishing'.

Tyrian dye

Tyrian dye was a purple dye derived from animal juice in the shell-fish murex.

It was used in ancient times. Since only small quantities could be obtained,

it's use was limited to the great and the wealthy, hence purple became the

colour associated with majesty.

Personal tools
Strangers In Paradise