Here are the questions and answers for the 17 October vocabulary quiz on John Synge's play The Playboy of the Western World, in the hope that these will be helpful in studying for the midterm exam.
- Peeler (p. 10):
- A police officer. (From the name of Robert Peel; cf. British slang
Bobby, from the same source.)
- Loy (p. 40):
- A shovel.
- Where is the play set?
- County Mayo.
- Pullet (p. 34):
- A chicken. (From French poulet.)
- Thraneen (p. 43):
- A blade of grass. By extension, something of genuinely miniscule value.
- Kilmainham (p. 45):
- A jail. (By extension from the famous Kilmainham Gaol).
- Pike (p. 45):
- A type of very long spear weapon that is thrust, not thrown. (Wikipedia article on the pike.)
- Turbary (p. 46):
- A piece of worthless land. (By extension from common of turbary, the right to cut peat, or
turf, from a piece of land.)
- Poteen (p. 46):
- A very strong alcohol, often from potatoes (though the name is not related to the word
potato). In the context of Synge's play, it refers to illegal alcohol, or moonshine, because poteen was illegal in Ireland at the time. (See Wikipedia's article on poitín for more information.)
- Sligo (p. 47):
- A county in western Ireland, to the east of County Mayo.
A spavindy ass (p. 51):
Ass refers here to a donkey.
lame, in the sense of having impaired mobility; bone spavins are caused by osteoarthritis.
- Shift (p. 52):
- A slip, in the sense of a particular type of women's undergarment.
- Hooker (p. 52):
- A traditional form of fishing boat. (See Wikipedia's article for more information.)
- Curragh (p. 52):
- A traditional form of fishing boat. (See Wikpedia's article for more information.)
- Boreen (p. 54):
- A narrow, rural, frequently unpaved road.
- Supeen (p. 56):
- A small drink of liquor.