Tools: Miscellaneous Concepts and Words

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Aa: The navigable river on which Mitau is situated.

Altan: A type of balcony built onto the upper story of a house.

Ambra: An excretion of the sperm whale, used to make perfume.

Antideluvianern: Diluvium was an early designation for the Pleistocene period; Antediluvianer would therefore be pre-pleistocene, or pre-ice age beings.

Arkanum: A secret remedy.

Assisen: A hearing of the Schwurgericht or court of assizes.

atlassenes: A type of satin.

Bardowick: A village in Niedersachsen which was important from 805 as a center of trade with the Slavic peoples. In 1189 Bardowick was attacked by Heinrich der Löwe.

belle quéteuse: From French quêter: to take up a collection. That is, a beautiful woman who collects money.

Bibliophilen: bibliophile = a person who loves books.

billetdoux: A love letter.

Bleichen: Grassy areas used for sun-bleaching laundry.

Blondenausgabe: Yellowish-colored bone lace, usually made of raw silk.

Borden: a decorative seam or fabric border.

Brabanter Spitzen: Lace from Brabant, a province in central Belgium.

Brasilienholz: Brazilwood, the source of brazilein, a dark red dye.

Broderie: Embroidery.

camera obscura: The most simple form of camera. In one wall a hole is perforated, while a focussing screen or light-sensitive material is stretched on the opposite side, upon which a very sharp picture appears in reverse.

Catalani: Probably Katalane, an inhabitant of Catalonia in Northeastern Spain.

Centner: Zentner.

Chagrin: Leather which is artificially imprinted to resemble the grain of some other type of leather.

Charitos: Caritas, charity, a sympathetic concern for the well-being of others.

Chronique scandaleuse: Stories of scandal; a body of gossip about the foibles and scandals of life in High Society.

Compotte: French compote. A dish prepared from stewed fruits.

Cretins: Kretin: a feeble-minded person, idiot.

Culs de Paris: In 18th-century fashion, a bolster or support worn in the rear under the skirt.

Cylinder: A gentleman's dress hat.

Datturahbüschen: Datura plants: a genus of strong-scented trees and shrubs with large funnel-shaped flowers. Also known as Jimsonweed or Thornapple.

Douaniers: Customs officers.

Echafaudage: French Échafaudage = support, scaffolding.

écrasez l’infame: A slogan penned against organized religion, stemming from the French author and philosopher Voltaire (pseudonym of François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778). It means literally “Crush the infamous thing (church or religion)!”

Eibischpflanzen: A type of mallow, related to the Hibiscus.

Eichenkamp: A tree nursery or section of land dedicated to growing a new tree population, in this case, of oaks.

*Elle: A unit of measurement the length of the underarm (approx. 60-80 cm.). 
*Ellenlangen: An Elle was an early unit of measurement approximately 60-80 cm in length.

en corps: en masse; as a body or group.

Engageanten: Engageantes referred generally to 3 rows of ruffles, made of lace or fine linen, which decorated the elbow-length sleeves of a woman's dress in the 18th century.

Erikateppich: Low-growing evergreen shrubs belonging to the genus Erica, including some species of heather. Erica is often used in teas and as a folk medicine to heal diseases of the kidneys and bladder.

Falbala: Falbel; a frill or pleated trimming on clothing. 
Falbeln: A frill or pleated trimming on clothing.

Fandango: A fiery type of flamenco dance, from the areas of Castile and Andalusia in Spain.

Fayence: Faïence, a type of glazed pottery, often decorated with colorful designs.

Femgericht: A secret, illegal meeting by an organization to decide on measures to be taken against someone considered to be dangerous. Informally, a “kangaroo court.”

Frittura: Fritüre: fried foods.

gage d'amitié sincère: A pledge of sincere friendship.

Galläpfel: A growth produced on Gall oaks by wasps. Since ancient times it has been harvested for its tannic acid and for use in medicines.

Garonne: The largest river in southwestern France, deep enough at its mouth near Bordeaux to allow seagoing vessels. Given to strong variations in water-level, it is feared for its flooding.

gaudeamus igitur: The beginning of a student drinking song: "Drum laßt uns fröhlich sein".

Gig: A light two-wheeled wagon drawn by one horse.

gigerlmäßig: geckenhaft.

Hakatisten: Members of the Deutscher Ostmarkenverein, a group founded in Posen in 1894. The original name of the club was Verein zur Förderung des Deutschtums in den Ostmarken.

Handlungskommis: In a business, an employee such as a bookkeeper or salesperson.

Havelock: A sleeveless man’s coat with a half-length cape or pelerine.

Heidjern: Inhabitants of the (Lüneberger) Heide.

Heidschnuckenstall: Heidschnucken: an ancient breed of sheep native to the Lüneberger Heide.

hinausgegrault: To be driven out by the rough, curt, unfriendly behavior of others.

je ne sais quoi: Literally "I don't know what." In popular usage, it refers to "a certain something" or an indescribable quality possessed by some people but not by others.

Kalabrien: Calabria, a region in southern Italy.

Kalvillen: Kalville is a somewhat sour, aromatic type of apple, named after its place of origin in Calleville, France.

Kalzedonen: Apparently crystals of chalcedony, a type of translucent quartz.

Kapwein: Wine from the Cape Province of South Africa.

Karbonari: Members of a 19th-century Italian secret political society which had the goal of freeing the country from French domination.

karmoisinrothen: karminrot: crimson.

Karne Vale: Italian carne (le)vare = to take away meat.

Karthäuser: Carthusian, a monastic order founded by St. Bruno in 1086.

Kattundruckereien: Calico-printing.

Knaster: At the time, the term Knaster referred to a very high quality tobacco.

Kochenille: Cochineal insects are small, bright red insects which are the source of red dyes.

Korduanleder: Fine leather made of goat or sheepskin.

Kraxeleien: Ascents, climbing, as on a mountain.

Kunkel: A type of distaff or spindle.

Kuratel: Guardianship, trusteeship.

Landdrosten: A bailiff (Amtmann) or district administrator (Landrat). In Hannover, this title was applied to the Regierungspräsidenten until 1885.

Latwergen: A remedy composed of medicinal powders dissolved in a syrup or fruit puree.

lettiges: Soil containing clay or loam.

Lhombretisch: Lhombre, a card game which originated in Spain, was a popular form of gambling. It was played by three to five people, with French or Spanish cards.

Liquida: In Phonetics, a frictionless sound such as an “l” “m” or “n” which is produced by partial obstruction to the air flow and can be prolonged in the same way as a vowel.

French coinage: Livre. A French coin worth 20 sous, used from the 9th to the 18th centuries: "S." French Sou, pl. Sous. A small piece of money.

levantinisches Volk: Inhabitants of the Levant, an area around the eastern Mediterranean, including the Middle East, Syria and Egypt. Often refers to a people of mixed European-Asian heritage.

Lusignans: A French noble family founded in the 10th century.

Lüttichsche: Lüttich (French Liège), a province in Belgium.

Lyon: A French city historically known for its silk weaving.

Magsaamenblumen: Mohn, Mohnkörner.

Magyarenstamm: The Magyars were a tribe of people, speaking a Finno-Ugric language, who settled in the area now known as Hungary.

Manna: The sweet dried sap of various plants, especially the European flowering ash, which contains mannitol and is often used medicinally.

Marabouts:A fluffy material made of feathers, used as a trimming.

Mastix: Mastic, a yellowish or greenish resin obtained from mastic trees, used in varnishes, glues, and for medicinal purposes.

Monere: Monera = a classification of organisms such as blue algae and bacteria, which generally reproduce by asexual fission or budding. Ernst Haeckel developed a theory of Monera in conjunction with his fundamental laws of biogenetics.

Morgen: An archaic unit of surface measurement which varied in size, a Morgen was generally equal to 25-34 Ar (are). One Ar is equivalent to 100 square meters.

Mullfalbeln: Light gauze frills.

Musselinkleider: Clothes made of muslin.

Necessaire: A bag often used to carry sewing or toilet articles.

Nubier: The inhabitants of the middle Nile valley.

Papilotten: A triangular piece of curling paper in which a strand of hair is wrapped and then compressed with a hot iron.

Para: A turkish silver coin.

Pariser Chignon: A base or support worn in the hair, to which a bun is pinned.

pas de deux: In ballet, a dance performed by two dancers; a duet.

Patchen: Godchild.

Patronatsherrin: A woman who holds a Patronat or position of patronage as the donor of a church building, or the descendant of such, a station which carries with it specific rights and duties.

Pereat: "Down with it!" Student slang from Latin.

Pharaozimmer: Faro: a popular gambling game using cards.

Philister: An opinionated, narrowminded, tasteless individual.

Pietist: Pietism, given impetus by Jacob Spener, was a widespread German Protestant movement in the 18th century. It stressed emotional religious involvement and a pure Christian life, as opposed to rationalism and formalized, institutional religion.

Plaggen: A Plagge is a section of moor, peat, heath or grass which has been cut.

Points: Fine lace.

ponceau: Bright red.

pourparler: A discussion; here, gossip.

Quarrée: Karree: square.

qu'elle devient belle: How beautiful she is becoming!

Quinquina: Chinin. 

Rassegesicht: Rasse haben/sein = temperamentvoll, feurig sein.

Reifrock: From the 16th to 19th centuries, a bell-shaped skirt for women stiffened by a framework of steel, whalebone, wire or wood.

Renommage: Boasting, showing off.

Ridiküle : A small bag, forerunner of the modern purse, fashionable for women from the end of the 18th century.

Rimini: An Italian city and resort on the Adriatic coast.

Ritornell: A ritornell or ritornello is a repeated portion of a musical piece, often a refrain in vocal or instrumental pieces. It can also be the instrumental interlude between the parts of a large choral work or opera.

Roxelanennäschen: Refers to the Roxolani, an ancient Sarmatian people who made incursions into Roman-held Europe during the time of the Emperor Aurelian.

Rthl: Reichsthaler. German coins in circulation from 1566 to approximately 1750.

Salatkump: A small, round serving dish.

Salto mortale:a breakneck leap, generally involving 2-3 gyrations or twists in the air.

Salpeter: Saltpeter, Potassium nitrate, is used in fertilizers and in the production of gunpowder.

Sauerampfer: A type of sorrel with sour-tasting leaves.

schmusterte: Schmunzeln; smile, grin.

Schnadahüpferl: A teasing, improvised four-line song with a yodeled refrain.

Schultheis: Schultheiß: a local councilor or mayor.

Senesblätter: The dried leaves of various senna plants, used medicinally as a purgative.

Serail: The palace of a Turkish sultan.

Siegsroß: Roß = Pferd.

Sinekure: An office or position, often yielding profit, which requires little or no work.

Sonntagskind: A child born on a Sunday, and therefore considered to be particularly lucky.

spinöses: Critical of others, pedantic, fussy.

Spitzen: Lace.

Sprachziseleure: A Ziseleur is one who artistically works pictures, ornamental figures or writing into metal with tools such as a chisel or embosser. A Sprachziseleur would complete the same kind of work within the medium of language.

Stabat mater: Latin "The (suffering) mother was standing". The text is a poem to Mary, of French/Italian origin, whose contents reach back to the 13th century. Compositions have been written on this text by many significant composers.

*Stafette: An urgent communication delivered by a mounted courier. 
*Staffette: A mounted messenger (Eilbote).

Starost: The holder of a fief bestowed by the king; a district administrator (Landrat).

Stich: Kupferstich, Stahlstich = an engraving in copper or steel.

Sund: A strait or channel, applied in particular to the channel between the Danish island Seeland and the southern Swedish area of Schonen.

Superflus: French superflu = excess, superfluity.

Surtout: A gentleman's coat.

Tabagien: French tabagie: a smoke-filled room.

Tabatieren: Snuff boxes.

Taffent: Taft; taffeta.

Taffet: Taft.

Theriak: A remedy common through the 18th century, believed to be effective against all types of poison. The oldest formula traces back to the emperor Nero's personal physician, Andromachus, c. 60 A.D.

Tragant: Tragacanth, a plant whose gum is often used in pharmaceutical products.

tranigen: Slow, not making progress.

Umrigolen: rigolen = to plow or loosen up the soil to a depth of approximately 1 meter.

unpläsierlich: Not pleasant or enjoyable.

urfidel: Extremely cheerful, happy, merry.

ut : In Latin, as a general rule, the verb used with ut would be conjugated in the subjunctive, to express a command (to, that), a result (so that, that) or a purpose (in order that, to, that).

ventre à terre: Colloquial French: lickety-split.

Vitriol: A sulfate of metals such as iron, copper, and zinc.

Vollrad: Volkrat.

Walsrode: A city in Niedersachsen, in the southwest of the Lüneberger Heide. It is distinguished for its Benedictine convent, which was established prior to 986 A.D.

Weinsteinasche: A type of tartar, used from Egyptian times as a dye. It was also an element utilized by alchemists.

welfischen: The Welfen (Guelfi) were an ancient German dynasty with holdings in many areas of Germany, including Hannover.

*Wochenbetten: Kindbett. A period of approximately 6 weeks following the birth of a child, during which a woman was expected to rest while the organs of birth returned to normal.
*Wochenbette: Kindbett. Approximately 6 weeks of bedrest after the birth of a child, during which time the organs of birth return to normal.

Zasern: archaic: Fasern.

Zimmet: Zimt.

Zitz: Chintz, a printed calico fabric originally from India.

Zitzbezug: Zitz= Chintz, a printed calico fabric originally from India.

Zoll: A Zoll was an early unit of measurment between 2.3 and 3 cm. in length.