|Ulysses||bullockbefriending||“Mulligan will dub me a new name: the bullockbefriending bard.” (U 2.431)||First I would be hesitant to call such a composition a “neologism,” though technically it might be – the spelling checker instantly bristles. Joyce has a way of forming unhyphened compounds and so creating radiant units that attract attention to themselves. In this case Stephen obviously imitates Buck Mulligan’s penchant for exaggerated alliteration, as in “jejune jesuit,” partly in imitation of an Irish trait. But here the manner is Anglo-Saxon, and anticipates passages in fake Old English in Oxen of the Sun (“Before born be bliss had,” [14.60]). Stephen’s tit for Mulligan’s tat. Possibly with a hint at the precarious friendship, or former friendship, between the two, bullock instead of Buck. Whether Bullock harbour nearby is also echoed (1.467, 14.519) I cannot determine.||Fritz Senn|
|Ulysses||hismy||“My cockle hat and staff and hismy sandal shoon.” (U 3.487)||Variants of the word/phrase suggest altered readings. In the 1922 first edition of Ulysses (50), it appears as “hismy” but subsequent editions, beginning with the 1926 corrected edition by Shakespeare and Company, separates the word into “his my.” All subsequent editions, notably the Odyssey Press edition of 1932, the US edition of 1934 and the Bodley Head edition of 1936, reset in 1960, maintain the separation to read “his my.” The Gabler edition of 1984, however, restores the original “hismy” printing.
The format affects the meaning. If the word remains “hismy” it implies the elimination of distance between subject and object: “hismy sandal shoon” suggests a merging of Stephen with an other, likely Lucifer alluded to in the preceding sentence with a Latin phrase attached, translated as “the morning star, I say, who knows no setting.” But as “his my,” the phrase clearly separates Stephen from Lucifer. The meaning remains but without the impact of the co-joined words: the sandals of both Stephen and Lucifer shoon. The allusion of the sentence is to Ophelia’s speech in Hamlet where she asks in her song how will she know true love? “By his cockle hat and staff/ and his sandal shoon” is her answer (IV.v.23-6). The image of the cockle, hat according to Gifford and Seidman, suggests the lover as pilgrim. “Shoon” may mean shoe but it is also the past tense of shine: to give out a light according to the OED. And the light is to illuminate Stephen’s journey “to evening lands.” Shakespeare writes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Well shone Moone” at V.i.262.||Ira B. Nadel|
|Ulysses||rtststr||“Rtststr! A rattle of pebbles. Wait. Stop! He looked down intently into a stone crypt. Some animal. Wait. There he goes.” (U 6.970)||One of the many instances of onomatopoetic language in Ulysses, “Rtststr” connects the themes and stylistic preoccupations of the episode “Hades.” On one hand, the sound comes immediately after Bloom’s famous musings on the ability of a gramophone recording to memorialize the voices of the dead: “Put on poor old greatgrandfather. Kraahraark! Hellohellohello amawfullyglad kraark awfullygladaseeagain hello hello amawf krpthsth. Remind you of the voice like the photograph reminds you of the face” (6.962). And throughout “Hades,” we find ironically stylized descriptions of many characters’ faces—“Mr Power’s goodlooking face” and “Martin Cunningham’s large eyes… Intelligent. Like Shakespeare’s face” (this echoing his appearance in “Grace”)—that parody a desire to idealize and make picturesque the burial and mourning of Paddy Dignam (6.242, 6.792).
On the other hand—as the garbled transcription of the gramophone recording suggests—perfect memorialization is impossible and, indeed, often comes through primarily as noise. Moreover, behind the noise is not necessarily a sentimental icon of the departed but a reminder that life itself always frustrates our attempts to memorialize it. For “Rtststr” is the sound of an “obese gray rat” who stands in for the self-consuming and mutable nature of living matter. The real “greatgrandfather,” the rat is simply “the grey alive” to Bloom, and “crush[es] itself in under the plinth,” echoing Bloom’s earlier vision of how, even in corpses, “cells or whatever they are go on living. Changing about. Live for ever practically. Nothing to feed on feed on themselves” (6.974, 6.780).
Initially an instance of what Derek Attridge has named “nonlexical onomatopoeia,” (“the use of the phonetic characteristics of the language to imitate a sound without any attempt produce recognizable verbal structures”), “Rtststr” is quickly revealed in the next sentences to be phonologically and graphologically shaded with the name of what caused it: not just the “rattle” of pebbles but also the “obese gray rat” that makes the sound (1120). The onomatopoeia is thus also partially “lexical,” in Attridge's terms, having a semantic connection to its sound. That the rat-like spelling of “Rtststr” comes before Bloom identifies its source, however, suggests in the context of “Hades” that the emergence of meaning is tied not just to the capture and reproduction of experience (whether through photographic or gramophonic means) but through a disappearance, or evacuation, of the part of biological life for which Joyce makes animals stand. We know the animals are there, and we forget that a basic, animal-like precarity lines our humanity—until the zero-degree of death reminds us that we are just cells and pebbles.
Like the many other animals represented, thought of, and alluded to in “Hades”—the donkeys that hide themselves away for “shame of death,” the billy goat from which Robinson Crusoe steals his coat in a song that floats through Bloom's thoughts (6.837, 6.813)—the rat makes a concrete appearance before withdrawing, leaving the room required for abstract, symbolic culture: “Good hiding place for treasure,” Bloom thinks in the rat’s wake (linking him to Stephen, who earlier, in the presence of “a warren of weasel rats” and the “bloated carcass of a dog” on the shore, also thinks of hiding gold [3.286]). Yet however long our gold might outlast us, it is death that reminds Bloom that nothing we do as humans—whether accumulating wealth, memorializing experience through the rituals of language, or merely dying—can mean anything without some other party to give it meaning. “A fellow could live on his lonesome all his life. Yes, he could. Still he’d have to get someone to sod him after he died though he could dig his own grave. We all do. Only man buries. No, ants too” (6.809).
Attridge, Derek. “Language as Imitation: Jakobson, Joyce, and the Art of Onomatopoeia.” MLN 99.5 (1984): 1116-1140.||Cliff Mak|
|Finnegans Wake||bababadalghara-ghtakamminarron-nkonnbronnto-nnerronntuo-nnthunntrovarr-hounawnsk-awntoohooho-ordenenthurnuk||"The fall (bababadalghara-ghtakamminarron-nkonnbronnto-nnerronntuo-nnthunntrovarr-hounawnsk-awntoohooho-ordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstraight oldparr" (FW 003.15-17)||First of the Wake’s thunder-words, which usually signify the beginning of a new Viconian era (see vicus). It contains parts of words signifying “thunder” in different languages including Hindustani: gargarahat, karak; Japanese: kaminari; Finnish: ukkonen; Greek: bronté (βροντή); French: tonnerre; Italian: tuono; Portuguese: trovão; Swedish: åska; Danish: torden; and Irish: tórnach. The opening of this thunder-word also evokes the characteristic babbling of HCE along with the fall of Babel.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||bellowsed||"nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe" (FW 003.09)||Bellow, bellows, and “the response of the peatfire of faith to the windy words of the apostle” (Selected Letters of James Joyce , ed Richard Ellmann, 317).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||commodius||“a commodius vicus of recirculation” (FW 003.02)||“a commodius vicus of recirculation” initially appeared in the first set of galley proofs for Finnegans Wake. It could be a printing error given that the word “commodious” appears in manuscript in the (earlier) second set of transition proofs. Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon rectify this possible misprint in their Houyhnhnm Press edition of Finnegans Wake by altering “commodius” to “commodious” (“a commodious vicus of recirculation”) (see Terence Killeen, ‘“Tackling the errears and erroriboose: Another Look at the Rose/O’Hanlon Finnegans Wake”’, Genetic Joyce Studies,
Issue 13 (Spring 2013), p. 3). “Commodius” expands concepts of comfort, convenience and spaciousness, along with the chamber pots and furniture (commode), to accommodate the divine (Latin: dius) and variousfigures in Greek mythology (Dius). These include Dius, whose father Priam fell in the Trojan war; Dius,son of Apollo; Dius, son of Anthas; Dius, son of Pandorus; and Dius, the deposed Dorian king who waged war with Oxylus and, like HCE, suffered a tragic and humiliating fall.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||d’amores||“Sir Tristram, violer d’amores” (FW 003.04)||Portuguese: “of loves”. See violer.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||devlinsfirst||“since devlinsfirst loved livvy” (FW 003.24-25)||Devlins: Dublins; devils; Evelyn’s; Devlins (Devlin: Irish surname which originated from the O’Develin chiefdom). Again, this could be a textual error for “devlins first” (see Rose/O’Hanlon edition page 3).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||doublin||“[...] while they went doublin their mumper all the time [...]” (FW 003.08-09)||A conflation of “doubling”, “Dublin”, and “doubloon”. “Doubloon” originates from the Spanish word doblón, which derives from doble, meaning “double” (doubloons were originally worth double a pistole).There are numerous “doublings” of Dublin throughout Finnegans Wake, by which city’s local characteristics are overlayed with features of foreign locales.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||erse||“Finnegan, erse solid man” (FW 003.19-20)||Archaic term for the Irish gaelic and Scottish gaelic; arse; German: erste, first; else.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||gorgios||"nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios" (FW 003.06-08)||Georgia, USA; gorges; possible allusion to Giorgio Joyce (see John Gordon, Finnegans Wake: A Plot Summary). Also Gypsy “gorgios”, a term for non-Gypsy peoples (see OED).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||humptyhillhead||“the humptyhillhead of humself” (FW 003.20)||Baby-talk: Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker’s hilly, ovoid head modelled in the fashion of Humpty Dumpty (see humself, prumptly, tumptytumtoes); Hillhead, Glasgow.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||humself||“the humptyhillhead of humself” (FW 003.20)||Himself (HCE) in the form of Humpty Dumpty, humming (see humptyhillhead, prumptly, tumptytumtoes)||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||kidscad||"not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac" (FW 003.10-11)||“Kid” and “cadet” (French, “junior”), hence young, as well as allusion to Jacob (“venison purveyor” (Selected Letters 317) who “got the blessing meant for Esau” (ibid).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||livvy||“since devlinsfirst loved livvy” (FW 003.24-25)||The river Liffey; Livia (as in Anna Livia Plurabelle, the progenitress of the Wake’s rivers).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||mishe||“nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to taufauf thuartpeatrick” (FW 003.09-10)||Irish: mise, “me” or “I am”. Here, an affirmative, ecstatic answer to “the windy words of the apostle”, as Joyce described them in a letter to Harriet Weaver (Selected Letters of James Joyce ed. Richard Ellmann, 317).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||mumper||"they went doublin their mumper all the time" (FW 003.08-09)||A begging impostor, (see McHugh), but also in this context “number”.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||nathandjoe||“sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe” (FW 003.12)||Nathan and Joe; Jonathan (in the context of the earlier allusion to Vanessa (see vanessy), this word alludes more specifically to Jonathan Swift.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||passencore||“Sir Tristram […] had passencore rearrived from North Armorica” (FW 003.04-05)||“Sir Tristram […] had passencore rearrived from North Armorica” echoes the French phrase “pas encore”: “not yet”. The introduction of an additional “s” further accommodates the French phrase, “passe encore”, meaning “still happening”. In French, something which
“se passe” is bearable but by no means enjoyable. Such seems to be the case for Sir Tristram’s journey from “North Armorica” to “Europe Minor’’, and indeed the entire history of the Wake which follows. The word “passenger” may also be involved here. Joyce also mentions (Selected Letters 317) that the ricorsi storici of Vico are also being alluded to, presumably via the word “encore”.
penisolate (003.06) In context with war (003.06) “peninsular”, as well as possibly referring to Isolde.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||pftjschute||“The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice entailed the pftjschute of Finnegan” (FW 003.18-19)||French: chute, fall (n.). Pronouncing the additional plosive prefixes “pft-” and “tj-” involves accentuating the prematurity and “short notice” of Finnegan’s chute verbally.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||prumptly||“the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly send an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes” (FW 003.20-21)||Baby-talk: promptly, in the style of Humpty Dumpty (see humptyhillhead, humself, tumptytumtoes).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||regginbrow||“the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface” (FW 003.14)||German: Regenbogen, rainbow; brow. The rainbow describes the curved brow of the “aquaface”. The rainbow is curved (“ringsome” plus German “ringsum” (around) on the face of the water.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||sesthers||“sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe” (FW 003.12)||Sisters; Dutch: zes, six, i.e.: six sisters. If Susanna (“sosie”, or Susie), Esther (“sesthers”) and Ruth (“wroth”) each had a counterpart (French: sosie) then there would be six sisters in total. As noted by Joyce (SL 317) Swift’s Stella and Vanessa were both called Esther.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||sosie||“sosie sesthers” (FW 003.12)||French: sosie, twin or counterpart. This can also be pronounced “saucy”.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||tauftauf||“nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to taufauf thuartpeatrick” (FW 003.09-10)||German: taufen, to baptise. “Tauf” also alludes to Taff, the twin brother of Butt.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||themselse||"nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse" (FW 003.06-07)||“another Dublin” (Joyce, Selected Letters 317).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||thuartpeatrick||“nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to taufauf thuartpeatrick” (FW 003.09-10)||Allusion to St. Patrick and his naming— “thou art Patrick”—which echoes Matthew 16:18: “thou art Peter
[...]”. Also rick of peat.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||tumptytumtoes||“in quest of his tumptytumtoes” (FW 003.21)||Baby-talk: Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker’s Humpty Dumpty-esque toes (see humptyhillhead, humself, prumptly).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||vanessy||“[...] though all’s fair in vanessy” (FW 003.11-12)||Portmanteau word: Vanessa, vanity. Vanessa serves as a model for Issy, who is repeatedly found facing her equivalent in the looking-glass world.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||venissoon||“[...] not yet, though venissoon after [...]” (FW 003.10)||Conflation of “venison”, “Vanessa” and “very soon”.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||vicus||“a commodius vicus of recirculation” (FW 003.02)||Latin: vicus, a village or a street. A “vicus […] of recirculation” evokes the circulating roads and peripheries of a village, which would facilitate such circular tracings as those described by the children in the opening of II.ii, for instance, who “wheel” around Dublin by following the North and South circular
roads (260.08-261.22). Temporal circularity is further implied in the allusion to Giambattista Vico, whose cyclical model for history and its four distinct eras (as discussed in The New Science) guided Joyce’s scaffolding of the Wake’s tetrahedral structure. The coincident connotations of Dublin’s peripheral streets
and Viconian cycles combine in the added allusion to Vico road in Dalkey.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||violer||“Sir Tristram, violer d’amores” (FW 003.04)||Re-appropriation of the French verb violer (to violate) as a noun, as in the French violeur (rapist). In this context, the phrase “violer d’amores” characterises a violator of loves (Portuguese, d’amores). “Violer”, if
pronounced with a “ə”, also echoes “viola”. A “viola d’amore” is a seven-stringed musical instrument.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||wallstrait||“a once wallstrait oldparr” (FW 003.17)||Wall Street; tall, straight; well straight.||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Finnegans Wake||wielderfight||"rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war" (FW 003.05-6)||German wiederfechten (fight again).||Ciaran McMorran & Terence Killeen|
|Ulysses||statelily||"It passed statelily up the staircase, steered by an umbrella, a solemn beardframed face" (U 7.45-46)||A further modification of "stately," which first appears in the novel's opening line. The "ly" suffix added to "state" turns it into an adjective: "stately," resembling a state, grand, large, impressive. The additional "ly" in "statelily" further transforms "stately" into an adverb. Thus we could gloss the above sentence as "it passes [in a manner resembling a state] up the staircase," or perhaps as "it passes [in a grand and impressive manner] up the staircase."||Jeremy Colangelo|
|Ulysses||bedlock||“Born out of bedlock hereditary epilepsy is present, the consequence of unbridled lust.” (U 15.1777–78)||The OED recognises “bedlock” n. as a nonce-word modelled, reasonably enough, after “wedlock.” As it happens, the coinage is not Joyce’s own. He found it in James Huneker’s Painted Veils (1920), which has “whether in wedlock or concubinage—bedlock is the ultimate outcome.”||Ronan Crowley|
|Ulysses||lourdily||“Number one swung lourdily her midwife’s bag.” (U 3.32)||An adverbial extension of “lourdly” adj. from “lourd,” adj. and n.1. Obs., meaning sluggish, dull, sottish, stupid or simply a sottish fellow, a lout (OED). Hence, in a sluggish or dull manner.
From French “lourd” meaning heavy, and so—as Fritz Senn pointed out long ago— connotative of the town of Lourdes and the Marian apparitions that took place there.||Ronan Crowley|
|“Work in Progress”/Finnegans Wake Notebook VI.B.2.131.||matchgod||As Robbert-Jan Henkes discovered, Joyce coined this word in a notebook that he compiled between August and September 1923. Though it did not make it into any of his works, the coinage was prompted by Joyce’s reading of the Scienza nuova prima.
Vico claims that the native Americans “believe that everything new or great that they see is a god.” Joyce takes this statement of polytheism as an invitation to word formation and projects the observation forward to the period of the American frontier. Indeed, “matchgod” seem to be equal parts Vico and Leo Dillon’s reading material in “An Encounter.”||Ronan Crowley|
|Ulysses||philirenist||“Struggle for life is the law of existence but but human philirenists, notably the tsar and the king of England, have invented arbitration.” (U 15.4434–36)||A peace-lover from the Greek philo- (lover) and eirene (peace).||Ronan Crowley|
|Ulysses||diambulist||“What proposal did Bloom, diambulist, father of Milly, somnambulist, make to Stephen, noctambulist?” (U 17.929–930)||A daytime walker. Modelled after the neighbouring “somnambulist” and “noctambulist,” a diambulist walks about (ambulus) by day (diēs).||Ronan Crowley|
|Ulysses||anapocryphal||“Were other anapocryphal illustrious sons of the law and children of a selected or rejected race mentioned?” (U 17.720–21)||A prefixal extension of “apocryphal” adj. Of doubtful authenticity; spurious, fictitious, false; fabulous, mythical (OED). Hence: of certain authenticity; authentic, factual, true.||Ronan Crowley|
|Ulysses||lugubru||“A concave mirror at the side presents to him lovelorn longlost lugubru Booloohoom.” (U 15.145–46)||A contraction of “lugubrious” (with a nod, perhaps, to the Obs. variant “lugubrous”) adj. Characterized by, expressing or causing mourning; doleful, mournful, sorrowful. Here
“Circe” takes on the logic of word formation / distortion first rehearsed in “Sirens,” which has, after all, both “Bloowho” (U 11.86) and “Lugugugubrious” (U 11.1005). For Hugh Kenner, the coinage “not only extends the expressive gestures of the words, it precisely defines the caressing self-pity of lugubrious Bloom” (Dublin’s Joyce ).
Taken with neighbouring elements, the phrase “lovelorn longlost lugubru Booloohoom” offers a startling foreshadowing of the final half-sentence of Finnegans Wake as it read in manuscript: “a lone a lost a last a loved a long the”.||Ronan Crowley|