Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Selections from Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary: “G”

Edited by Dan Leo, LL.D., Associate Professor of 18th Century Epistemological Studies, Assistant Volleyball Coach, Olney Community College; author of Bozzie and Dr. Sam: Who Filched Mrs. Piozzi’s Cask of Sack? (the Olney Community College Press).

Illustrated by rhoda penmarq (colors by eddie el greco; inking by roy dismas) for “sacred cow productions, ltd”.

to begin selections from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, click here

for previous selection from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, click here

to begin at the beginning of Boswell's Life of Johnson, click here

for previous chapter of Boswell's Life of Johnson, click here

Gabbler A prater; a chattering fellow.

Gadfly. A fly that when he stings the cattle make them gad or run madly about.

Gaggle. To make noise like a goose.

Gallows. A beam laid over two posts, on which malefactors are hanged.

Gang. A number herding together; a troop; a company; a tribe; a herd. It is seldom used but in contempt or abhorrence.

Oh, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a gang, a pack, a conspiracy against me. Shakes. Merry Wives of Windsor.

Gewgaw. A showy trifle; a toy; a bauble; a splendid plaything.


1. The soul of man.

2. A spirit appearing after death.

3. To give up the Ghost. To die; to yield up the spirit into the hands of God.

4. The third person in the adorable Trinity, called the Holy Ghost.

Gibcat. An old worn-out cat.

I am as melancholy as a gibcat, or a lugg’d bear. Shaksp.

Gibe. Sneer; hint of contempt by word or look; scoff; act or expression of scorn; taunt.

        Mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns

That dwell in ev'ry region of his face. Shakesp. Othello.

Gipsy. A vagabond who pretends to foretell futurity, commonly by palmestry or physiognomy.

Glory. The felicity of heaven prepared for those that please God.

Gonorrhoea. A morbid running of venereal hurts.

Goose. A large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness.

Gormandizer. A voracious eater.

Grammaticaster. A mean verbal pedant; a low grammarian.

Gynecocrasay. Petticoat government; female power.

(Our illustrated adaptation of Boswell’s Life of Johnson will continue next week. This project was made possible in part by a generous grant from Bob’s Bowery Bar™, at the northwest corner of Bleecker and the Bowery: “Bob’s Bowery Bar – perhaps the last unpretentious and reasonably-priced haven for a drinking man or woman in lower Manhattan.

Be sure to try Bob’s justifiably famous ‘basement-brewed’ house bock, which I find goes particularly well with ‘Bob’s Mom’s’ excellent Beef Mulligan!” – Horace P. Sternwall, bestselling author of Hack: Memoirs of the Literary Life.)


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