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93 (1) · Feral Hamsters
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He probably attends the University of Illinois main campus.
Ward and June
The mother and father's names on Leave It to Beaver
apparently a neologism, the word would mean "of or pertaining to foot metal," i.e., fast driving
in color, yellow-gray to yellowish-brown
having an effect on the development of a fetus
93 (2) · Marathe & Steeply continued
An elision of bien sûr, French for "of course"
Sterling UL35 9 mm machine pistol with Mag Na Port silencer
Sterling is a real British gun manufacturer and Mag-Na-Port is real also, but this particular gun model is apparently made-up.
a dance popular in the 1920s
the mesquite plant
95 · ETA Locker Room
a brand name of disinfectant used for combs and hairbrushes
The question probably referred to the opening lines of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: "HAPPY families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Ultra High Frequency
the edge contrast of an image
blurring of a visual image by glare
still or at rest
97 (1) · Marathe & Steeply (cont'd)
97 (2) · ETA Locker Room (cont'd)
Zoltán was a 10th century ruler of Hungary.
Idris Arslanian, new this year, ethnically vague
Idris is an Arabic name, corresponding in the Qur'an to Enoch in the Bible. The last name Arslanian sounds Armenian, though Arslan is a Turkish word for "lion."
Besides a character in Infinite Jest, Tex Watson was the nickname of Charles Watson, one of the chief murderers in the Charles Manson Family.
An ephebe is an adolescent male.
A suppliant is a petitioner.
yellowish- to reddish-brown
having to do with the chest
Atavism means reversion to an earlier evolutionary type.
having patches of different colors
a grammar that generates air
A semion is technically part of an anyone, the latter of which is defined in the OED as "a particle having characteristics intermediate between those of fermions and bosons in two-dimensional space." However, it seems Wallace uses the word as a form closer to "semiotics." A later search reveals that semion is Greek for "sign."
From the Italian reggione of Umbria, in central Italy. Hal is Italian on his father's side, as well as Pima Native American. His mother, of course, is French-Canadian.
Used as a verb here, Brylcreem was a brand name of men's hair grooming product.
the zygomatic bones of the face
For a history of this term, click here.
Johnny Mathis's "Chances Are"
available on these recordings
Luther's 16th-century shoes, awaiting epiphany
Martin Luther (1483-1546), German father of the Reformation, was a notorious sufferer of constipation.
boots assembled with hobnails
The disease is named for Burrill Bernard Crohn (1884-1983), American gastroenterologist.
Page 103 (cont'd)
a disease characterized by the collection of uric acid in the joints
There are three cities by this name in the U.S.: In New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
a created word, apparently something like "wadded up"
105 · Marathe & Steeply (cont'd)
Tristan and Isolde
star-crossed lovers from Arthurian myth
Lancelot and what's-her-name
Agamemnon and Helen
Steeply has this one wrong.
Dante and Beatrice
Beatrice is Dante's guide through heaven in the third part of the Divine Comedy, Paradiso
Narcissus and Echo
The story of these doomed lovers from Greek mythology is here.
Kierkegaard and Regina
Regina Olsen was the short-term fiancée of Kierkegaard.
Kafka and that poor girl afraid to go the postbox for the mail
The story being referred to can be read here.
Menelaus was husband, him of Sparta
Menelaus, King of Sparta, was the husband of Helen. Agamemnon was the King of Argos and Menelaus's brother.
Helen and Paris. He of Troy.
Paris, a Trojan prince, kidnapped Helen from Menelaus, precipitating the Trojan War.
The horse: the gift which was not a gift
a reference to the Trojan horse
resulting from electrolysis, the removal of hair using electric shocks
From French for "cold blood," this word means "coolness."
There are several types of creosote, described here.
active in the twilight, as bats
the shape of the moon when it is neither full, nor crescent, nor half, i.e., when it is more than half full
short form for Quonset huts
109 · Advice to Little Brothers
Born in 1946, Smith is a retired professional tennis player, having won Wimdledon and the U.S. Open once each.
probably a misspelling of corticalization
ear, nose, and throat; an oncologist is a cancer physician
A viola is a like a violin, only slightly larger and deeper in tone.
E Unibus Pluram
A Latin pun on E pluribus unum ("From many, one"), the U.S. motto. This would mean "From one, many."
a kind of narcissism based on the idea that one's own mind is all one can ever truly know
ballet de se
French: Ballet of (itself)
the proper French plural of "plateau," rather than "plateaus"
to drive with blows
a Japanese battle cry
browbeaten or intimidated
attendants at gambling casinos
misspelling of Plasticine, a brand name of plastic used for making molds
of or pertaining to the process of natural growth
of or pertaining to the reflexive nervous system
a coding system for computers that requires no compiling before running
city of northern California, in the Bay Area, about 18 miles east-northeast of San Francisco
Struck is speaking in Nadsat, the language of Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange, which is based on Russian. Droogies is Nadsat for "friends."
from context, this would seem to be a thrashing (at tennis), particularly hitting the ball at your opponent
German: My children
sort of a formal German word for "chauffeur."
This is "an ornamental pattern or border, as in architecture, consisting of paired ribbons or lines flowing in interlaced curves around a series of circular voids" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
A la contraire
A French mistake: Should be au contraire (masculine)
mound of gum tissue
two hundred kilos
over 440 pounds
Osseous means "bone-like."
George Eliot (born Mary Anne Evans; 1819-1880), the British novelist, uses the expression in her novel Adam Bede.
Literally meaning the use of something legally not one's own, here it's used to mean a new path beaten through a thicket.
short form for a Klieg light
Betty Stöve (born 1945) is a Dutch former professional tennis player and winner of ten Grand Slam titles
a suburb about twenty miles west-northwest of New York City
Consolidated Edison, the utilities company serving New York
three meters tall
about nine feet, ten inches tall
a real brand, you can see examples here
near Montclair, Passaic is another western suburb of New York
To caper is to skip about in a playful manner.
To rondel (more properly, roundel) is to dance in a circle
To simper is to smile coyly.
masses of trees or shrubs
To jeté is to jump ballet-style.
an ornamental fabric incorporating threads of gold or silver
Tiziano Vecellio (1485-1576) was a Venetian painter.
a tall shrub containing urushiol, which causes a rash similar to poison ivy
of or pertaining to the surrounding environment
126 · Marathe & Steeply (cont'd)
les salles de danser
French: dancing rooms
Val d'Or, Québec
city of northern Québec, 325 miles northwest of Montreal
referring to photographic memory
127 · Still More Marathe & Steeply
a rarely used English word (found in OED) meaning "surrounded by walls"
127* · Guru on the Towel Dispense
yogic full lotus
the cross-legged sitting position
the branch of animals including lobsters, shrimp, and other similar shellfish
Latin: God will provide. The line appears in the Vulgate (Latin) version of the Bible at Genesis 22:8, where Abraham tell Isaac, whom he intends to sacrifice, that God will provide an animal for the sacrifice.