Sunday, June 14, 2015

Selections from Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary: “Q”

Edited by Dan Leo, LL.D., Assistant Professor of Young Adult Fiction, Assistant Scrabble Team Coach, Olney Community College; author of Bozzie and Dr. Sam: The Case of the Scolding Quean; the Olney Community College Press.

Artwork personally supervised by rhoda penmarq (layout, pencils, inks and colors by roy dismas; lettering by eddie el greco); a penmarq productions™/bob’s bowery bar productions™ co-production.

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

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Quab. A sort of fish.


Quack.  A vain boastful pretender to physick; one who proclaims his own medical abilities in publick places.

At the first appearance that a French quack made in Paris: a little boy walked before him, publishing with a shrill voice, "My father cures all sorts of distempers;" to which the doctor added in a grave manner, "The child says true."  Addison.


Quadrivial.  Having four ways meeting in a point.


Quadruped.  An animal that goes on four legs, as perhaps all beasts.

Most quadrupeds, that live upon herbs, have incisor teeth to pluck and divide them.  Arbuthnot.


Quaff.  To drink; to swallow in large draughts.

He calls for wine; a health, quoth he, as if
H'ad been abroad carousing to his mates
After a storm, quafft off the muscadel,
And threw the sops all in the sexton's face.  Shakesp.


Quagmire.  A shaking marsh; a bog that trembles under the feet.

Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels,
And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.  Shakesp.


To Quake.  To shake with cold or fear; to tremble.

In fields they dare not fight where honour calls,
The very noise of war their souls does wound,
They quake but hearing their own trumpets sound.  Dryden


Quality.  Disposition; temper.

To-night we'll wander through the streets, and note

The qualities of people.  Shakesp. Ant. and Cleopatra.


Quean.  A worthless woman, generally a strumpet.

As fit as the nail to his hole, or as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave.  Shakesp.


Queen.  A woman who is sovereign of a kingdom.

That queen Elizabeth lived sixty-nine, and reigned forty-five years, means no more than, that the duration of her existence was equal to sixty-nine, and the duration of her government to forty-five revolutions of the sun.  Locke.


Queen-Apple.  A species of apple.

The queen-apple is of the summer kind, and a good cyder apple mixed with others.  Mortimer's Husbandry.


To Queme.  To please. An old word.


Quidam.  Somebody.


To Quob.  To move as the embryo does in the womb; to move as the heart does when throbbing.


Quodlibetarian.  One who talks or disputes on any subject.


Quondam.  Having been formerly. A ludicrous word.

This is the quondam king, let's seize upon him. Shakesp.


Quotidian.  Daily; happening every day.

Nor was this a short fit of shaking, as an ague, but a quotidian fever, always increasing to higher inflammation.  King Charles.


(Our illustrated adaptation of Boswell’s Life of Johnson will resume next week. Classix Comix is made possible through a generous endowment from the Bob’s Bowery Bar™ Endowment for the Cybernetic Arts: “One of my perennial favorites on the Bob’s Bowery Bar menu is ‘Bob’s Mom’s’ House-Cured Pickled Pig’s Feet,

served with Mom’s special stoneground spicy mustard and Uneeda Biscuits – goes superbly with Bob’s famous basement-brewed bock!” – Horace P. Sternwall, host of Bob’s Bowery Bar’s Presents Horace P. Sternwall’s Tales of the Bizarre, exclusively on the Dumont Radio Network, Tuesdays at 10pm, EST.)


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