(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwing Whimsy around Like Blazes pp. 83.04-84.27



A Key to Pagination

[Page nn-] The page begun at the previous monthly session but not completed.

[Page nn] A full page completed.

[Page nn+] a page with one paragraph completed but the page incomplete.


  • Campbell and Robinson’s A Skeleton Key to Finnegan’s Wake
  • Tindall’s A Reader’s Guide to Finnegans Wake
  • Combined Lexicon and Occasional Summaries from Glosses of Finnegans Wake (finwake.com) and Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake 

100 Words

[Note: My speculation will always appear in brackets so that you can easily ignore it.]


 The cruise got underway at Book I, Chapter 4, Page 83.04, and docked again at 84.27.


Campbell and Robinson’s A Skeleton Key to Finnegan’s Wake

Page 83.04- 84.27

The authors summarize: “Then, pleased by the foretaste of all the whisky he would drink at the Red Cow, the Good Woman, Conway’s Inn, and Adam and Eve’s, he begged leave to depart. The queer mixture having exchanged the kiss of peace and concluded their Treaty of Cognac, the attackler turned fez in the (84) direction of Moscow, emitting a few horosho’s, {Russian “very well’s”} and levanted off with the seven and four to keep some crowplucking appointment, while the Dane, with a number of plumsized contusions, reported the occurrence, as best he could, to the nearest watch house” (Campbell and Robinson 86).

William York Tindall’s A Reader’s Guide to Finnegans Wake

Pages 83.04-84.27

“This conflict, although like that of Mooske with Gripes, is not unlike the American Civil War. Union Earwicker, back in his pub, tells the story of the “confederate fender” to the astonished drinkers. This story of self defience combines self defense with internal conflict, one of Earwicker’s sides against the other (82.4–84.27)” [Tindall 87].

Glosses of Finnegans Wake (finwake.com)
Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake [Entries below introduced by line numbers “l n.nn” and italicized]

Page 83.04

rekindle – to kindle again, arouse again

gay gay + JJ + [John Jamison and James Joyce]; whisk-wigs = whiskey

strike him pink = strike me pink! – used as an e[x]pression of surprise or disbelief; forthright= fortright – strightforward, immediately, directly forth, without hesitation.

lards porsenal = Lord’s + Lars Porsena – Etruscan figure associated in conflicting legends with the traditional kings of Rome + porsenal – porcelain + arsenal + Porsena, Lars – king of Clusium, who swore by the nine gods to destroy Rome, but was prevented by Horatius at the bridge. John Joyce was quoted in, and on the book jacket of, Lars Porsena; or The Future of Swearing and Improper Language, by Robert Graves + REFERENCE.

ll. 7-8 Macaulay: Lays of Ancient Rome. “Lars Posena of Clusium By the nine gods he swore.”

Sheol = the underworld; the abode of the dead or departed spirits, conceived by the Hebrews as a subterranean region clothed in thick darkness, return from which is impossible.

l.8 Shoel: the grave. Hell.; Zakküm: in Islam theology, a thorny tree growing up from the bottomless pit.

ramify = to form branches, to branch out, extend in the form of branches + [ratify without allowing objections] + [sounding the ram’s horn].

Sheofon = heofon (Old English) – heaven

lux = light “Grace” in Dubliners: “lux upon lux”; [appointlex= a point of law]

suntime= suntime – time by the sun, a time of brightness or joy + sometime

marx my word fort = take my word for it – I can assure you, you may be sure, believe me + mark – to take notice, to keep watch; to fix (one’s) attention; to consider + Marx, Karl (1818-83) – German socialist.  

chip off the old Flint = chip of the old block – one that resembles his father + flint – hard stone in general + Flint, Captain – dead pirate in Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Nichtian = Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900) – German philosopher + nicht (ger) – not. 

aprioric = a priori – phrase used to characterize reasoning from causes to effects, from abstract notions to their conditions or consequences.

aposteriorious = a priori – phrase used to characterize reasoning from causes to effects, from abstract notions to their conditions or consequences. + [one’s posterior]

l.11 Jesperson: An International Language, quoting Dr. Sweet: ‘the ideal way of constructing an a posteriori language would be to make the root words monosyllabic…& to make the grammar a priori in spirit’

nat = not + nat (Danish) – night (Pronunciation ‘not’).

sinse = (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) – sense

kish – a large wicker basket + kiss + Anglo-Irish/Hiberno-English phrase: ignorant as a kish of brogues.

sprogues = sprog (Danish) – language

elude – to slip away from, escape adroitly from (a person’s grasp or pursuit) + alluded

coctible = that may be cooked

l.15 coct: boil, digest, bake

remarxing = remark – to say, utter, or set down, as an observation or comment + [discussing socialism]

languidoily = languidly – in a languid (faint, weak) manner + [refined]

l.15 Langued’oil: Romance dialect of N. France

opening of a lifetime = (notebook 1924): ‘chance of a lifetime’ + [vagina]

pearlmothers = mother of pearl – the pinna or sea-pen, or other shell-fish yielding mother-of-pearl; mother of pearl oyster + Perlmutter (ger) – mother of pearl.

boy = champagne

wash down = to wash down – to swallow liquor along with or after (solid food), in order to assist deglutition or digestion.

Ruadh Cow at Tallaght = “At the foot of [Tallaght Hill] on the Blessingtom side, there stood an inn, called the Red Cow, which, in the month of December, 1717, was the scene of a sanguinary encounter between a party of rapparees…and the forces of the Crown” (Ball, History of County Dublin III, 39) [(notebook 1924): ‘Red Cow Tallaght’] + ruadh (rue) (geal) – red + Tamhlacht (toulokht) (geal) – “Plague-grave”: village S.W. of Dublin.

Good Woman at Ringsend = GOOD WOMAN, THE – Inn at Ringsend; noted for oysters, shrimps and cockles, as early as beginning of 18th cent [(notebook 1924): ‘Good Dame Ringsend’] + RINGSEND – District, South bank of Liffey, where it enters Dublin Bay. The Dodder River joins the Liffey just above Ringsend. 

l.17 Red Bank oysters

l.19 Red Cow Inn, Tallaght, scene of fighting between rapparees & Crown forces 1717.

Conway’s Inn at Blackrock = Irish Independent 10 Jun 1924, 4/6: ‘Dublin’s Old Inns and Taverns’: ‘Vanished also is Conway’s Tavern, that rose in the Main street of Blackrock. For long it commanded esteem for its annual melon festival’ [(notebook 1924): ‘Conway’s Tavern Blackrock’].

atte = at, at the (Middle English)

fun fain= fun fair – fair devoted to amusements and side shows + fe’n riaghail (fen riel) (geal) – under the government; under religious rules.

Adam and Eve’s = (notebook 1924): ‘Adam & Eve’ → Irish Independent 10 Jun 1924, 4/6: ‘Dublin’s Old Inns and Taverns’: ‘the taverns of Adam and Eve and the Struggler in Cook street’.

l.22 Adam & Eve’s Church, D. on site of tavern; Sir James Barrie: Quality Street

l.23 Grace: Prankqueen (021.05-.023.15)

Tailte – Firbolg queen whose foster-son, Lug, founded the Tailtean games in her honor. Revived by the Free State, the games are held in Teltown. 


lexinction = lexicon – the vocabulary proper to some department of knowledge or sphere of activity.

Declaney = Delaney, Patrick – the Phoenix Park assassin who testified against Parnell at the Parnell Commission.

boney = boney = bony – rel. to bone or bones; having large or prominent bones + [bonnie]

l.26 boney part = Bonaparte

southdowner = sheep from Southdown (town in England)

l.28 U.S. & Aust sundowner:tramp who arrives at station about sundown, to obtain food & night’s lodging:an evening drink

dielate = [dilated eyes for night vision]

my hat = a trivial exclamation of surprise 

sundowner = sundowner – hobo, tramp

spud in his faust = spat in his hands + Faust or Faustus – 16th-century magician who sold his soul to the devil, subject of works by Marlowe and Goethe + Faust (ger) – fist.

(axin) = axin (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) – asking

tope = to drink; to drink largely or in large draughts + topped

raw best = rest + raw beast

poked his pick = picked his pocket + poke – to thrust or push (anything) with one’s hand or arm; to put in a poke or bag + pick – transf. that which is selected, the best or choicest portion or example of anything, the choicest product or contents.

tucked his friend’s leave = to take (one’s) leave – to depart with some expression of farewell; to bid farewell.

French hen or the portlifowlium = portfolio – a receptacle or case for keeping loose sheets of paper, prints, drawings, maps, music, or the like; usually in the form of a large book-cover, and sometimes having sheets of paper fixed in it, between which specimens are placed. [Suggesting the hen that dug the incriminating letter out of the dump]

hastes and leisures = proverb Marry in haste and repent at leisure.

pax = kiss of peace

poghue puxy = pogue (Anglo-Irish) – kiss + [poxy- carrying the pox]

breast = (notebook 1924): ‘frères du même sein’ (French brothers of the same breast)

hillelulia = alleluia = hallelujah – an exclamation meaning ‘Praise the Lord,’ which occurs in many psalms and anthems. + [references to the hill of the dump]; killelulia= [in the Irish language, kil =church but also burial site]; allenalaw = HILL OF ALLEN – Hill (676 feet), 8 miles North-East of Kildare, County Kildare; famous in legend as the Otherworld seat of Finn MacCool. Seefin, a mound on its summit, is known as Finn’s Chair. Alma on Almhain, Ir “whitened.” 

l.34 Lillibullero, Bullen a Law


torgantruce = tuargain (turgen) (geal) – battering, bombardment; schmall-

kalled = schmal (ger) – little, narrow + SCHMALKALDEN – City, East Germany, where in 1531 Lutheran princes formed the League of Schmalkalden against Charles V; it lasted until 1547, when Charles defeated its leaders and destroyed its power. 

l.36 2 gun truce; Treaty of Schmalkaldischer

treatyng to cognac = treaty – to make a treaty + to treat (a person, etc.) to – to entertain with (food or drink, or any enjoyment or gratification); fez = a skull-cap formerly of wool, now of felt, of a dull crimson colour, in the form of a truncated cone, ornamented with a long black tassel; formerly the national head-dress of the Turks + face;  menialstrait = MENAI STRAIT – The channel of the Irish Sea which separates Anglesey from Caernarvonshire (now Gwynedd), the mainland of Wales. It’s crossed on every trip between Ireland and Britain via Hohyhead, by suspension road bridge (“assbacks,”) or “tubular” railway bridge. 

l.37 Fez, city, Morocco.

END Page 83

Page 84

moscas = (sp) – flies

l.1 Moscow

mitsmiller = Arab Bismillah: in the name of Allah

hurooshoos = khorosho (Russian) – very well, O.K.

levanted = levant – to steal away, ‘bolt’, to abscond

tubular jurbulance = turbulence – stormy or tempestuous action; violence + Jubal and Tubal Cain – Jubal was “father of all such as handle the harp and organ”; Tubal was “instructor of every artificer in brass and iron” (Genesis, 4.) Their brother Jabal was father of those who live in tents and have cattle. 

l.2 Jubal Early: Confederate commander at 2nd Bull Run, 1862.

BULL RUN – Stream in Virginia, US; gave name to 2 Civil War battles (known to the Confederate side as Manassas). In Second Bull Run, Pope (84.06) was a Union general, Jubal Early (84.02) a Confederate.  

assback bridge = assback – the back on an ass + (notebook 1924): ‘assback roof’ + pons asinorum (l) – the asses’ bridge: a first difficulty.

l..3 pons asinorum (suspension bridge over Menai Strait)

Danegeld – an annual tax imposed at the end of the 10th c. or in the 11th c., originally (as is supposed) to provide funds for the protection of England from the Danes, and continued after the Norman Conquest as a land-tax.

humoral = humoral – of or belonging to, consisting of, or containing, any of the humours or fluids of the body. Also in mod. use, contained in or involving the blood or other body fluid.

hurlbat = hurlbat – a short javelin having a thong for recovering after hurling; some form of club, bat.

lignum vitae = lingum vitae – wood of life

l.5 lignum vitae: hard Am. or W Indian wood used in medicine

rhumanasant = reminiscent – having reminiscence of something

toboggan = originally, a light sledge consisting of a thin strip of wood turned up in front, used by the Canadian Indians for transport over snow; now, a similar vehicle, sometimes with low runners, used in the sport of coasting.

poop = the aftermost part of a ship, the stern; a short blast in a hollow tube, as a wind instrument; Also, the report of a gun + Pope, John (1822-95) – Union general who lost the 2d battle of Bull Run.

l.6 tobacco pipe

crowplucking = to have a crow to pluck with someone – to have something disagreeable or awkward to settle with someone, to clear up.

rialto = an exchange or market place + rialto (it) – height, rise.

PEARIDGE – The battle of Pea Ridge, in South Illinois, US, 7-8 March 1862, was a Union victory in the West theater of the Civil War. 

l.8 Little Big Horn, 1876; 

delaney = Delaney, Patrick – the Phoenix Park assassin who testified against Parnell at the Parnell Commission.

confederate = leagued, allied

fender = a metal frame placed in front of a fire to keep falling coals from rolling out into the room.

ballsbluffed = bluff – to swell out, become distended + BALL’S BLUFF – Locality near Leesburg, North-East Virginia, US. Site of minor Civil War battle 21 Oct 1861 defeated by the Confederates. 

bore up = to bear up – to carry

contusium = contusion – a bruise

coccyx = the small triangular bone appended to the point of the sacrum and forming the termination of the spinal column in man.

flabbergaze = flabbergast – to put (a person) in such confusion that he does not for the moment know what to do or say; to astonish utterly, to confound.

Paddybanners = paddy – policeman; Irishman; the proprietary name of an Irish whiskey + banner – one who bans or curses.

exilicy = excellency – a title of honour +[bannished person of renown]

O’Daffy = daffy – crazy, imbecile + O’Duffy, General – leader of an Irish fascist movement (Blueshirts) in the 1930s.

nobiloroman = William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar V.5.68: ‘This was the noblest Roman of them all’

sitisfactuary = satisfactory + sitisfactura (l artificial) – a making thirsty.

l.15 [conclusium] Macaulay: “Lars Porsena of Clusium”

 jugglemonkysh agripment = gentleman’s agreement – an agreement which is not enforceable at law, and which is only binding as a matter of honour + Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius of Nettesheim (1486-1535) – writer on occult sciences. 

l. 16 Cornelius Agrippa: platonist & ‘natural magician’

deinderivative = dein (ger) – your + deinde (l) – thereafter + derivative – characterized by being derived, drawn, obtained, or deduced from another; coming or emanating from a source.

fomentation = fomentation – the application to the surface of the body either of flannels, etc. soaked in hot water, whether simple or medicated, or of any other warm, soft, medicinal substance + (notebook 1922-23): ‘hot fomantations to ear’.

 poppyheads = poppyhead – the capsule of the poppy

l.17 (opium)

l.18 [jennerously] Jenner invented vaccination

exhibited = exhibit – (Med.) To administer (a remedy, etc.)

watchhouse = watchhouse – a house in which a guard is placed, police station

Vicar = vicar – in early use, a person acting as priest in a parish in place of the real parson or rector, or as the representative of a religious community to which the tithes had been appropriated.

l.19 Vicar St, D; Vico Road, Dalkey

ground = the particular space or area under consideration

digonally redcrossed = red cross – to mark with a red cross + [spot marked where digging is to be done]

l.20 [nonfatal] = nonfoetal

l.22 [defience] = defence + [defiance] 

stanch = to stop the flow of blood from (a wound)

pavilion = the pinna or auricle of the ear

hitter = one who hits or strikes, as in boxing, cricket, etc. Also fig.

l.23 hatter’s hares

knut = a fashionable or showy young man

Colt – a firearm of a type invented by Samuel Colt (1814-62), esp. a type of repeating pistol.

allround – around all the parts of, including everything in a given circle + [the Colt45 is a revolver]

middling along = to muddle along – to ‘get along’ in a haphazard way, to escape absolute failure though trusting to chance and makeshift expedients.

corso = proud walk, a promenade + torso – the human trunk.

a whit = not a whit – not at all + a whit – a very little + [a wit].

l.27 It in corso: in progress

[whorse = worse + whore + horse]

whacking = beating

Herwho = Herr (ger) – Mr.

END Page 84, l. 27

100 Words: A few words about the personal exploration of this month’s text 

[These entries are somewhat random, thoughts that arise from reading the text and my brief research about the page. These are hardly intended to be academic criticism.]

[This week’s excerpt is long by our standards. I found myself “daydreaming” about Tindall’s highlight of the “confederate fender.” The phrase links to the American Civil War, paralleling that other unbrotherly “brother-against-brother” combat. The South considered itself under attack, so it was the {de}fender. My personal Belle refers to the conflict as “The War of Northern Aggression.” The cad and Earwicker are also in internecine combat. Here is an attempt to reveal the sins of the darkest night by lighting them with the day’s harsh sun. I found myself applying the tussle of Freudian insatiable appetites in the Id against the inquisitional Superego. Both feed on HCE. That’s another swell rabbit hole to dive down. The reader who prefers to avoid that digression can duck into a foxhole instead, saved from the volley of ideas whizzing overhead.]

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