Romeo & Juliet -­‐ Glossary of Terms

w/act.scene.line# (from Arden, 3rd Series)

 

  • Abroach: afoot, astir, in motion - “Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? - Montague, I.i.102

  • Alack: sorrow, grief, lament - “Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems / Upon so soft a subject as myself” - Juliet, III.v.210

  • Aloof: a short distance away - “Whate’er thou hearest or seest, stand all aloof” - Romeo, V.iii.26

  • Amerce: to punish with a fine - “I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine / That you shall all repent the loss of mine.” - Prince Escalus, III.i.192

  • An: if - “An I might live to see thee married once / I have my wish” - Nurse I.iii.62

  • Anon: soon, shortly, presently - “I come, anon! But if thou meanest not well, I do beseech thee” - Juliet, II.ii.150

  • Apace: quickly, speedily, at a great rate - “Gallop apace, you fiery footed steeds / Towards Phoebus’ lodging” - Juliet, III.ii.1

  • Array: attire, clothes, clothing, dress - “Happiness courts thee in her best array” - Friar Laurence, III.iii.141

  • Attend: listen (to), pay attention (to) - “What said my man when my betossed soul / Did not attend him as we rode?” - Romeo, V.iii.77

  • Atomy (plural: atomi): mite, tiny being - “Drawn with a team of little atomi” - Mercutio, I.iv.58

  • Bauble: small, showy trinket or decoration; item of no importance or worth - “for this driveling love is like a great natural that runs / lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.” - Mercutio, II.iv.89

  • Betossed: worried, turbulent, disturbed - “What said my man when my betossed soul / Did not attend him as we rode?” - Romeo, V.iii.76

  • Bite one’s thumb: gesture of insult or defiance - “I will bite my thumb at them / which is a disgrace to them if they bear it” - Samson, I.i.40

  • By the operation of the second cup: when the second cup of liquor has taken effect - “Thou art like one of these fellows that, when / he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword / upon the table and says ‘God send me no need of / thee!’; and by the operation of the second cup draws / him on the drawer, when indeed there is no need” - Mercutio, III.i.5-9

  • By rote: by habit or memorized behavior, without any thought or consideration - “O, she knew well / Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell” - Friar Laurence, II.iii.85

  • Cancelled love: made null and void, invalidated - “Where is she, and how doth she, and what says / My concealed lady to our cancelled love?” - Romeo, III.iii.97-98

  • Case: mask - “Give me a case to put my visage in.” - Mercutio, I.iv.29

  • Charnel: a vault for the dead, sepulcher - “Or hide me nightly in a charnel house” - Juliet. 4.1.81

  • Choler: wrath, anger - “Patience perforce with willful choler meeting / makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.” - Tybalt, 1.5.88-89

  • Churl: (term of endearment) wretch, miser, villain - “O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop / to help me after?” - Juliet, V.iii.163

  • Comfortable: comforting, encouraging, reassuring – “O comfortable Friar, where is my lord?” - Juliet, V.iii.148

  • Compliments: example of manners, proper behavior; laws of dueling - “More than Prince of Cats. Oh, he’s the / courageous captain of compliments… ” - Mercutio, II.iv.19-20

  • Conduct: conductor, leader - “Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavory guide” - Romeo, V.iii.116

  • Cordial: restorative, stimulant, tonic - “Come, cordial and not poison, go with me” - Romeo, V.i.85

  • Cot-quean - a man acting the housewife; meddler in household affairs - “Go, you cotqueen, go, / Get you to bed. Faith, you’ll be sick tomorrow” - Nurse, IV.iv.4

  • Countervail: outweigh, offset - “Sorrow . . . cannot countervail the exchange of joy.” - Romeo, II.vi.4

  • Coxcomb: a fool's cap - as relates to “Princox”

  • Cry a match: claim victory - “swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a / match.“ - Romeo, II.iv.68-69

  • Cupid: Roman god of love, son of Venus and Mercury; a winged, blindfolded boy with curved bow and arrows - “…She'll not be hit / with Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit” - Romeo, I.i.207

  • Cynthia's brow: the moon - “’Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow” - Romeo, III.v.20

  • Dear import: serious concern - “The letter was not nice but full of charge / Of dear import” - Friar Laurence, V.ii.18-19

  • Death-marked: doomed from the outset; fated - “The fearful passage of their death-marked love” - Chorus, I.Prologue.9

  • Deflowered: had virginity taken - “Flower as she was, deflowered by him / Death is my son-in-law, death is my heir” - Capulet, IV.v.37-38

  • Demesne(s) – territories, lands, dominions; the lands of an estate - “Of fair demesnes, youthful and nobly ligned” - Capulet (re: Paris), III.v.181; "By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh And the demesnes that there adjacent lie" - Mercurio (re: Rosaline), II.i.20

  • Diana, Dian: Roman goddess associated with the Moon, chastity, and hunting - ““…She'll not be hit / with Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit” – Romeo, I.i.207

  • Dignity: social standing - “both alike in dignity” - Chorus. Prologue.1

  • Disposition: inclination, mood, frame of mind - “How stands your disposition to be married? - Lady Capulet, I.iii.66

  • Dissemblers: hypocrite, deceiver, charlatan - “There’s no trust / No faith, no honesty in men – all perjured / All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers” - Nurse, III.ii.85-87

  • Doff: discard - “Romeo, doff thy name” - Juliet, II.ii.47-49

  • Doom: judgment - “Father, what news? What is the Prince’s doom?” - Romeo, III.iii.4

  • Dost: do (2nd person singular, present tense) - “Dost thou not laugh?” - Romeo, 1.1.181

  • Doth: does (3rd person singular, present tense) - “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright.” - Romeo, 1.5.43

  • Empierce: pierce through, transfix, impale - “I am too sore empierced with his shaft” – Romeo (re: Cupid’s arrow), I.iv.19

  • Endart: to pierce, or shoot with a dart - “No more deep will I endart mine eye.” – Juliet, I.iii.99

  • Engrossing: all-absorbing, monopolizing - “… seal with a righteous kiss / A dateless bargain to engrossing death” - Romeo, V.iii.115

  • Enjoined: ordered - “Where I have learnt me to repent the sin / Of disobedient opposition / To you and your behests, and am enjoined / By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here / To beg your pardon” – Juliet, IV.ii.17-21

  • Enmity: hatred, hostility - “Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye / Than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet / And I am proof against their enmity” - Romeo, II.ii.71-73

  • Fatal loins: fateful, unfortunate, offspring - “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” - Chorus, I.Prologue.5-6

  • Fettle: strengthen, prepare, make ready - “Fettle your fine joints ’gainst Thursday then” - Capulet, III.v.153

  • Fiddlestick: the bow for a fiddle (Mercutio puns on the word as he draws his rapier) - “Here’s my fiddlestick, here’s that shall / make you dance” - Mercutio, III.i.47-48

  • Fie: an exclamation of disgust or outrage - “Fie, fie, what, are you mad?” - Lady Capulet, III.v.158

  • Fleer: laugh derisively; sneer or jeer; mock - “… covered with an antic face / To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?” - Tybalt, I.v.57

  • Forsooth: yes, indeed - [“What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence?” (Capulet, IV.ii.11)] “Ay, Forsooth” - Nurse, IV.ii.12

  • Forswear- 1) having agreed to give up or do without something – “she hath forsworn to love” - Romeo (about Rosaline), I.i.221; 2) deny, repudiate, refuse to admit - “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!” - Romeo, I.v.51

  • Gadding: wandering about in an idle or restless way - “How now, my headstong, where have you been gadding?” - Lord Capulet, IV.ii.16

  • Gentle: well-born, honorable, noble - “But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart” - Capulet, II.i.15-16

  • Glooming peace: peace overshadowed with grief - “A glooming peace this morning with it brings” - Prince, V.iii.305

  • God of my idolatry: the object of my excessive devotion - “Do not swear at all / Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self / Which is the god of my idolatry / And I’ll believe thee” - Juliet, II.ii.113-116

  • Gyves: shackles, bonds, fetters - “Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves.” – Juliet, II.ii.179

  • Heart: dear friend - “Good heart, at what?” - Romeo I.i.183

  • Heartless: cowardly, gutless, spiritless - “What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?” - Tybalt, I.i.63

  • Heavy: sorrowful, sad, gloomy - “Away from light steals home my heavy son” - Lady Montague, I.i.135

  • Held him carelessly: thought little of him, neglected his memory - “For, hard you, Tybalt being slain so late / It may be thought we held him carelessly / Being our kinsman, if we revel much” - Capulet, III.iv.23-26

  • Hilding: a low, contemptible, worthless person, wretch. “Out on her, hilding!” - Capulet, III.v.168 Hence: (away) from here - “Give me thy torch, page. Hence, and stand aloof” - Paris, V.iii.1 Hind: boor, peasant, rustic - “What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?” - Tybalt, I.i.63

  • Holidame/ By my holidame: what I hold holy; or: Our Lady; from the Anglo-Saxon for holiness, used by the Nurse to mean "holy dame," that is, the Virgin Mary - “’Wilt thou not, Jule?’ And, by my holidam, / The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘ Ay.’” - Nurse, I.iii.44

  • Holy palmers' kiss: a palmer is a pilgrim who carried a palm leaf to signify the making of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land - “For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch / And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss” - Juliet, I.v.98-99

  • Holy physic: spiritual remedy - “… sudden one hath wounded me / That’s by me wounded. Both our remedies / Within thy help and holy physic lies” - Romeo, II.iii.46-48

  • Humour: mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament (as determined by bodily fluids); the four bodily humours were part of Shakespearean cosmology, inherited from ancient Greek philosophers -”Black and portentous must his humour prove / Unless good counsel may the cause remove” - Capulet, I.i.139; “When presently through all thy veins shall run / A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse

  • Shall keep his native progress, but surcease” - Friar Laurence, IV.i.95-97 Ill: (adv.) Badly, adversely, unfavourably - “O, in this love you love your child so ill / That you run mad seeing that she is well” - Friar Laurence, IV.v.69

  • Iron Crow: crowbar - “Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight / unto my cell” - Friar Laurence, V.ii.21

  • Jaunt: fatiguing journey - “I am aweary, give me leave awhile / Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!” - Nurse, II.v.26

  • Jealous-hood: jealous woman - “A jealous-hood!” - Capulet. IV.iv.13

  • Jocund: merry, joyful, cheerful - “Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day / Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops” - Romeo, III.v.9

  • Jove: king of the Roman gods - “At lovers’ perjuries / They say, Jove laughs” - Juliet, II.ii.92

  • List: wish, like, please – “I will frown as I pass by and let them take it as they list” Gregory, I.i.39

  • Lour: scowl or frown upon - “The heavens do lour upon you for some ill” - Friar Laurence, IV.v.94

  • Lusty: merry, cheerful, lively - “But he that hath the steerage of my course / Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen!” - Romeo, I.iv.112/113

  • Mammet: doll or puppet - “A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender” - Capulet (of Juliet), III.v.185

  • Man of wax: perfect, without fault, like a wax figure - “A man, young lady! Lady, such a man / As all the world – why, he's a man of wax.” - Nurse, I.iii.77

  • Marry: an oath [“by (the virgin) Mary”]; exclamation; intro to a statement, indeed - “Marry, bachelor, / Her mother is the lady of the house” - Nurse, I.v.112-113

  • Mattock: a tool for loosening soil or hard ground - “Here is a friar that trembles, sighs and weeps / We took this mattock and this spade from him” - 2 Guard, V.iii.185

  • Medlars: small, brown, apple-like fruit - “Now will he sit under a medlar tree / And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit / As maids call medlars when they laugh alone” - Mercutio, II.iii.34- 36

  • Mewed up: a mew is a cage for molting hawks - “Tonight she’s mewed up to her heaviness” - Lady Capulet (re: Juliet shutting herself away to grieve), III.iv.11

  • Mistempered: tempered for wickedness, made with evil intent - “throw your mistempered weapons to the ground” - Prince, I.i.85

  • Morrow: morning - “Good morrow, cousin” - Benvolio, I.i.156

  • My bosom's lord: love; the ruler of my heart - “My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne / And all this day an unaccustomed spirit / Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts” - Romeo, V.i.3- 5

  • Naught: bad, wicked, sinful - “There’s no trust / No faith, no honesty in men – all perjured / All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers” - Nurse, III.ii.85-87

  • New infection to thy eye: another love - “Take thou some new infection to thy eye, / And the rank poison of the old will die.” - Benvolio I.ii.48

  • Nice: trivial - “The letter was not nice but full of charge / Of dear import” - Friar Laurence, V.ii.18- 19

  • Night's candles: the stars - “Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day / Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops” - Romeo, III.v.9

  • Obsequies: funeral rites, rituals - “The obsequies that I for thee will keep” - Paris, V.iii.14

  • Orisons: prayers (from the French oraisons) - “I pray thee leave me to myself tonight; / (For I have need of many orisons)” - Juliet, IV.iii.3

  • Overthrows: attempts to thwart, defeat, vanquish (the hatred between the families) - “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife” - Chorus, I.Prologue.6-8

  • Pentecost: a religious festival, the seventh Sunday after Easter - “‘Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio,/ Come Pentecost as quickly as it will, / Some five-and-twenty years” - Capulet, I.v.36-38

  • Perjuries: promises that are broken - “At lovers’ perjuries / They say, Jove laughs” - Juliet, II.ii.92

  • Phaeton: (Greek: “Shining” or “Radiant”) in Greek mythology, the son of Phoebus, the sun god - “Such a wagoner / As Phaeton would whip you to the west / And bring in cloudy night immediately.” - Juliet, III.ii.2-4

  • Phoebus: another name for the Greek sun god Helios - “Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds / Towards Phoebus’ lodging” - Juliet, III.ii.1-2

  • Physic: medicine, healing power - “Both our remedies within thy help and holy physic lies” - Romeo, II.iii.2

  • Piteous overthrows: attempts to thwart the hatred between the families, which arouse or deserve pity or compassion - “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife” - Chorus, I.Prologue.6-8

  • Plantain: variety of medicinal herb - “Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.” - Romeo, I.i.50

  • Portentous: ominous, threatening, full of foreboding - ”Black and portentous must his humour prove / Unless good counsel may the cause remove” - Capulet, I.i.139

  • Portly: dignified, well-mannered - “ ‘A bears him like a portly gentleman” - Capulet, I.v.165

  • Pouts upon: treats with contempt - “Thou pouts upon thy fortune and thy love” - Friar Laurence, III.iii.143

  • Presage: predict; forecast - “If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, / My dreams presage some joyful news at hand” - Romeo, V.i.1-2

  • Prince of Cats: Tybalt shares same name as the character Tibert/Tybalt the "Prince of Cats" in medieval fable, Reynard the Fox, and is mocked for this - “More than Prince of Cats. Oh, he’s the / courageous captain of compliments” - Mercutio, II.iv.19-20

  • Princox: (PRIN/ce of COX/combs); pert, saucy individual, upstart, fop - “... You are a princox, go, / Be quiet, or… “ - Capulet, I.v.85-86

  • Prodigious: abnormal, monstrous, unnatural - “My only love sprung from my only hate, / Too early seen unknown, and known too late! / Prodigious birth of love it is to me / That I must love a loathed enemy.” - Juliet, I.v.137-140

  • Profaner: a person who desecrates or defiles - “Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, / Profaners of this neighbor-stained steel” - Prince, I.i.79-80

  • Prorogue: postpone; delay - “My life were better ended by their hate / Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” - Romeo, II.ii.78

  • Prudence: moral and intellectual virtue - “Good Prudence, smatter with your gossips, go.” - Capulet, III.V.171

  • Pump: shoe - “…follow me this jest now till thou hast / worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it is / worn, the jest may remain, after the wearing, solely / singular.” - Mercutio, II.iv.60-63

  • Purple fountains: jets of blood - “…with purple fountains issuing from your veins…” - Prince, I.i.83

  • Queen Mab: fairy of dreams - “O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.” - Mercutio, I.iv.54

  • Rancor: resentment; a feeling of deep, bitter anger and ill-will - “For this alliance may so happy prove, / To turn your households' rancor to pure love.” - Friar, II.iii.87-88

  • Rank: offensive or unpleasant; foul, festering, diseased - “Take thou some new infection to thy eye,/ And the rank poison of the old will die.” - Benvolio I.ii.48

  • Rate: to scold severely; chide - “You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so” - Nurse, III.v.169

  • Reckoning: esteem, estimation, distinction - “Of honourable reckoning are you both” - Paris, II.i.4

  • Restorative: healing power, medicinal cordial - “I will kiss thy lips / Haply some poison yet doth hang on them / To make me die with a restorative” - Juliet, V.iii.164-166

  • Ropery: roguery, knavery, saucy tricks – “I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this that / was so full of his ropery?” - Nurse, II.iv.139-140

  • Rust: corruption, decay, fall into disrepair – “O happy dagger! / This is thy sheath; there rust and let me die.” – Juliet, V.iii.159-170

  • Sadness: earnest, seriously - “Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?” - Benvolio I.i.197

  • Shield: forbid - “God shield I should disturb devotion!” - Paris, IV.i.41

  • Shrift: confession - “Bid her (devise some means) to come to shrift this afternoon” - Romeo, II.iv.173

  • Sirrah: term of address for a person younger or of lower status than the speaker - “Go, sirrah, trudge about / Through fair Verona; find those persons out” - Capulet I.ii.33

  • Smatter: to utter or gossip - “Good Prudence, smatter with your gossips, go.” - Capulet, III.V.171

  • Soft: hush! Wait a moment! - “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?” - Romeo, II.ii.2

  • Solemnity: celebration, jubilation, festivity; ritual, ceremony; solemn occasion - “covered with an antic face / To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?” - Tybalt, I.v.57

  • Sore: seriously, greatly, very much - “I am too sore empierced with his (Cupid’s) shaft (arrow)” - Romeo I.iv.19

  • Sped: done for - “I am hurt / A plague a’ both houses! I am sped” - Mercutio, III.i.91-92

  • Spinner: spider, cranefly, daddy-longlegs - “Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs” - Mercutio, I.iv.62

  • Spite: malice, ill-will, hatred - “Old Montague is come / And flourishes his blade in spite of me” - Capulet, I.i.74

  • Star-crossed: destined to an unhappy fate - “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” - Chorus, I.Prologue.6

  • Stay: linger, wait, tarry, delay - “Juliet, the County stays.” - Lady Capulet, I.iii.105

  • Stint: cease, stop short - “And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘Ay.’” - Nurse, I.iii.49

  • Stratagem: scheme, device, cunning plan - “Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems / Upon so soft a subject as myself” - Juliet, III.v.210

  • Surcease: cease; stop - “When presently through all thy veins shall run / A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse / Shall keep his native progress, but surcease” - Friar Laurence IV.i.95-97

  • Swits and spurs: (switches) at full speed, in hot haste (as in make your horse go faster) - “swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a / match.“ - Romeo, II.iv.68-69

  • Thee - you (object, singular, informal) - “Happiness courts thee in her best array” - Friar Laurence, III.iii.141

  • Thither: there, to that place - “Go thither, and, with unattainted eye / Compare her face with some that I shall show” - Benvolio, 1.ii.86

  • Thine: your (possessive, before a vowel or pronoun) – “Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast.” - Romeo, II.ii.186

  • Thou: you (subject, singular, informal) - “Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?” - Romeo, V.i.31

  • Thou’s: you shall (contracted form of ‘thou shall’) - “I have remembered me, thou's hear our counsel” - Lady Capulet, I.ii.10

  • Thy: your (possessive, singular, informal) - “O Juliet, I already know thy grief” - Friar Laurence, IV.i.46

  • Tool: weapon, sword - “Draw thy tool, here comes of the house of Montagues” - Gregory, I.i.30

  • Trencher - a wooden board or platter on which to carve or serve meat - “He scrape a trencher?” – Servingman, I.v.2

  • Truckle-bed: a low bed on small wheels or casters (gets rolled under another bed when not in use) - “Romeo, good night, I’ll to my truckle-bed” - Mercutio, II.i.39

  • Twain: separated, not united, estranged - “Go, counsellor / Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain” - Juliet, III.v.241

  • Two hours’ traffic: the usual duration of a play - “Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage” - Chorus, Prologue.12

  • Unattainted: unbiased, dispassionate, detached, unprejudiced - “Go thither, and, with unattainted eye / Compare her face with some that I shall show” - Benvolio, 1.ii.86

  • Vestal livery - chaste appearance or virginal dress - “Her vestal livery is but sick and green” - Romeo (re: the moon), II.ii.8

  • Visage: face, countenance - “Give me a case to put my visage in” – Mercutio, I.iv.29

  • Visor: mask - “A visor for a visor! What care I” - Mercutio, I.v.30; “Welcome, gentlemen. I have seen the day / That I have worn a visor and could tell / A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear / Such as would please. 'Tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis gone - Capulet, 1.5.21-24

  • Wagoner: driver - “Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, / Towards Phoebus’ lodging. Such a wagoner / As Phaeton would whip you to the west / And bring in cloudy night immediately.” - Juliet, III.ii.1-4

  • Wanton's bird - the pet of an undisciplined, spoiled child - “I would have thee gone, / And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird, / That lets it hop a little from his hand” - Juliet, II.ii.176-178

  • Well: In a state of happiness, in bliss - “O, in this love you love your child so ill / That you run mad seeing that she is well” - Friar Laurence, IV.v.70

  • Wherefore: why - “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” - Juliet, II.ii.33

  • Whither: to which place - “A fair assembly. Whither should they come?” - Romeo, I.ii.72