Thursday, July 26, 2012


"There are eight different kinds of mosquitoes in the Louisiana swamps and
the most ferocious, though not the most poisonous of them is the huge insect com-
monly called the gallinipper. This drinker of blood is a half inch long and its bill
is as long as its body. It has an intricate arrangement of files, saws and chisels in
this bill, all driven, it would appear, by superhuman power. It will sink its pro-
boscis through a glove of ordinary thickness, if left undisturbed, will bore easily
through a shirt sleeve and woolen undershirt to the arm beneath and will bite the
feet through thin boots and the socks under them."

- Washington County, New York; its history to the close of the nineteenth century by William Leete Stone.

G A L L I ED, ///. adj. (old).
' Harried ; vexed ; over-fatigued ;
perhaps like a galley - slave '
(GROSE, Vulg. Tongue, s.v.). In
Australia, frightened.

GALLI NIPPER, subs. (West Indian).
A large mosquito.

1847. PORTER, Big Bear, etc., p.
119. In the summer time the lakes and
snakes . . . musketoes and GALLINIPPERS,
buffalo gnats and sandflies . . . prevented

he Injins from gwine through the country.

1888. Lippincotfs Magazine. I
thought the GALLINIPPERS would fly away
with me before the seed ticks had sucked
all my blood.

Slang and its analogues past and present. A dictionary, historical and comparative of the heterodox speech of all classes of society for more than three hundred years. With synonyms in English, French, German, Italian, etc"

Their Basic Surliness
I must here observe, that amongst the generality of the lower sort of people in the United States, and particularly among those of Philadelphia there is a want of good manners which excite the surprize of almost every foreigner; I wish also that it may not be thought that this remark has been made, merely because the same deference and the same respectful attention which we see so commonly paid by the lower orders of people in Great Britain and Ireland to those who are in a situation somewhat superior to themselves, is not also paid in America to persons in the same station; it is the want of common civility I complain of, which it is always desirable to behold between man and man, let their situations in life be what they may, and is not contrary to the dictates of nature, or to the spirit of genuine liberty, as it is observable in the behaviour of the wild Indians that wander through the forests of this vast continent, the most free and independent of all human beings. In the United States, however, the lower classes of people will return rude and impertinent answers to questions couched in the most civil terms, and will insult a person that bears the appearance of a gentleman, on purpose to show how much they consider themselves upon an equality with him. Civility cannot be purchased from them on any terms; they seem to think that it is incompatible freedom, and that there is no other way of convincing a stranger that be is really in a land of liberty, but by being surly and ill mannered in his presence.
Isaac Weld,Travels Through the States of North America, and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, During the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797, Volume I, Letter II. (emphasis added).

AARON: Why, so, brave lords! when we join in league,
 I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
 The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
 The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
 But say, again; how many saw the child?
-Titus Andronius by William Shakespeare 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Good Man

“Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat.

They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.”
Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms