Some Names I Learned From Sir Walter Scott

I’ve read 37 chapters of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Kenilworth. Here is a list of names, proper nouns, and allusions I’ve had to look up:


Lindabrides is a heroine in a Spanish romance called The Mirror of Knighthood, whose name at one time was a synonym for a kept mistress. The Mirror of Knighthood was once very popular, and is mentioned by Cervantes in Don Quixote as one of the books in Don Quixote’s library. (Infoplease and

Jack Pudding

Jack Pudding is the name of a stock buffoon or clown character who performs pudding tricks, such as swallowing a certain number of yards of black-pudding, in street performances. ( and Wiktionary)


In Kenilworth, Matamoros, or “Moor-slayers,” seem to be Spanish courtiers, who were prone to dueling and brawling. (Wikipedia)


Haly Abenragel, or Hali, was an Arab astrologer of the late 10th and early 11th century. (Wikipedia)


Hermeticism is a religious and philosophical tradition based primarily upon ancient writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism gave prominence to the ideas that there was a single, true philosophy found in all religions and that nature could be influenced by means of magic and arts such as alchemy and astrology. (Wikipedia)

Rosy Cross

The Rosy Cross, or Rose Cross, is a symbol associated with the semi-mythical Christian Rosenkreuz, who was a cabalist, alchemist, and founder of the Rosicrucian Order. The Rosy Cross is in the shape of a cross with a rose at its center. (Wikipedia)


In Greek mythology, Autolycus, whose name means “the wolf itself,” was a son of the Olympian god Hermes and Chione. He was known as a thief and a trickster. In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, a character named Autolycus is a comic thief. (Wikipedia)


Potosi—properly Potosí—is a city in Bolivia, which was formerly a rich silver-mining center. (


I came across this aphorism—inked inexpertly on a gridded calligraphy practice sheet—as I was sorting craft materials the other day.

Don’t wait to buy land.
Buy land and wait.

Because I’d entirely forgotten this witty saying, it was a delightful surprise to read it again. An internet search revealed that this saying is attributed to American humorist Will Rogers.

Thus inspired, I went out on the internet and foraged for a few more clever aphorisms.

Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.
—Oscar Levant, American comedian

Love looks through a telescope; envy through a microscope.
—Josh Billings, American humorist

A bridge has no allegiance to either side.
—Les Coleman, British artist and aphorist

There is a woman at the beginning of all great things.
—Alphonse de Lamartine, French writer and politician

Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them.
—Louis Nizer, American lawyer

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.
—Theodore Rubin, American psychiatrist

Beauty, more than bitterness
Makes the heart break.
—Sara Teasdale, American poet

Not all who wander are lost.
—J. R. R. Tolkien, British writer

There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
—Oscar Wilde, Irish writer

Many More Words I Learned From Sir Walter Scott

I’ve read twenty chapters of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Kenilworth and these are the some of the new words I’ve learned so far:


A bonaroba is a woman who is a showy wanton or a courtesan. (The Free Dictionary)


Cordovan is a soft, smooth leather originally made at Córdoba, Spain of goatskin, but later made also of split horsehide, pigskin, and so forth. (


A ferule a rod, cane, or flat piece of wood used for punishing children, especially by striking them on the hand. (


A jackanape (or jackanapes) is an impudent or mischievous person. (Wiktionary)


The word nonage refers to a period of legal minority or any period of immaturity. (The Free Dictionary)


A pantile is a type of fired roof tile. It is S-shaped in appearance and is single lap, meaning that the end of the tile laps only the course immediately below. Pantiles are used in eastern coastal parts of England and Scotland, where they were first imported from Holland in the early 17th century. (Wikipedia)


A precisian is a person who stresses or practices scrupulous adherence to a strict standard, especially of religious observance or morality. (Merriam-Webster)


Sarsenet is a fine, soft fabric, often of silk, made in plain or twill weave and used especially for linings. (


A spiral is a hospital, especially one for patients with contagious diseases, or a highway shelter. (The Free Dictionary)


A spitch-cock is an eel that is split, cut into pieces, and broiled or fried. To spitch-cock is to to split, cut up, and broil or fry an eel, or to treat someone or something severely. (