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The Taming of the Shrew: Vocabulary/Glossary

The Taming of the Shrew: Vocabulary/Glossary

Stoic: A follower of the ancient philosophy that stated a man should be free from emotion.

Stocks: a block of wood, without feeling.

Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray.” Tranio 1.1.31

Please, lets not be boring like a block of wood.


Mew: to shut up or lock away

And therefore has he closely mewed her up, because she will not be annoyed with suitors.” Tranio 1.1.156

And now he has carefully locked her away and will not allow any suitors.


Dam: the female parent of an animal

You may go to the devil’s dam!” Gremio 1.1.108

You can go straight to the devils mother.


Pith: the essential part, the core.

Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.” Tranio 1.1.137

I wonder if you missed the point.


Readiest: Quickest, easiest, most available…

Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way?”-Tranio 1.2.192

Which is the fastest way?


Gawds: ornaments

“But for these other gawds- unbind my hands, I’ll pull them off myself.” Bianca 2.1.3

But if you want these other accessories, untie my hands, I’ll take them off myself.


Hilding: a base and menial wretch

For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit!” Baptista 2.1.27

Shame on you, you good for nothing feind.


Peremptory: absolute, not open to debate

“I am as peremptory as she is proud minded.” Petruchio 2.1.124

I am as stubborn as she is prideful.


Rail: scold harshly

Say that she rail; why then I’ll tell her plain she sings as sweetly as a nightingale.” Petruchio 2.1.164

If she rants and raves I’ll say she sounds like a bird singing.


Pedant: A boring, self-important schoolteacher

But, wrangling pedant, this is the patroness of heavenly harmony.” Hortensio 3.1.4

But, you annoying teacher, this is the queen of harmony.


Breeching: in breech, erring, needing punishment

“I am no breeching scholar in the schools.” Bianca 3.1.18

I am not a misbehaving child in school.


Habit: Costume, apparel

Fie, doff this habit, shame to your estate, an eyesore to our solemn festival.” Baptista 3.2.73

Get rid of that outfit. It’s a shame to you and not appropriate for a wedding.


Domineer: to have one’s way, indulge

Go to the feast, revel and domineer.” Petruchio 3.2.197

Go to the party, have a good time, and in indulge yourselves.


Buckler: shield or defend

“I’ll buckler thee against a million.” Petruchio 3.2.212

I’ll defend you against a million others.


Dresser: table meat is prepared on

How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser and serve it thus to me that love it not?” Petruchio 4.1.98

How dare you jerks bring it from the dresser like this and try and serve it to me when it’s obvious I don’t want it.


Choler: anger of spirit, bad humor

For it engenders choler, planteth anger; and better ’twere that both of us did fast.” Petruchio 4.1.108

It brings about indigestion and anger, it’s probably better neither of us eats any.


Continency: self-control

Making a sermon of continency to her…” Curtis 4.2.119

Lecturing her about self-control.


Neat’s foot: cow foot.

“What say you to a neat’s foot?” Grumio 4.3.18

How would you like a calf foot?


Cockle: a sea muscle-shell

Why, ’tis a cockle or a walnut shell, a knack, a toy, a trick, a baby’s cap.” Petruchio 4.3.67

It’s tiny, like a cockle shell, or a wlnut shell. It must be a joke or a trick or a doll’s cap.


Censer: an incense burner with a perforated lid used for Catholic mass.

Like to a censer in a barber’s shop.” Petruchio 4.3.93

It has more holes in it than a censure.


Habiliments: clothes

Well, come, my Kate. We will unto your father’s even in these honest mean habiliments.” Petruchio 4.3.166

Well, Kate, we’ll go to your fathers even in these simple clothes.


Jarring: discordant, out of tune

At last, though long, our jarring notes agree.” Lucentio 5.2.1

At long last we are in agreement.


Giddy: dizzy

“He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.” Widow 5.2.20

He that is dizzy thinks the world is spinning.


Holidame: referring to the Virgin Mary

“Now, by my holidame, here comes Katherina.” Baptista 5.2.108

Mother of God, here comes Katherina.


Meads: meadows

It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads.” Katharina 5.2.148

It tarnishes your beauty the way that frost take away the beauty of the fields.