(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwing Whimsey around Like Blazes pp 92.33 – 94.03



  • 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.]


Pages 92.33 [Beginning of Paragraph] -94.03 [End of Paragraph]


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

Campbell and Robinson interpret: The four judges  [the For Old Men]  lay their wigs together and promulgated (93) their standing verdict of Nolan’s Brumans, 15 whereonafter King left the tribunal scott – free. His opposite stank briefs with the war cry, “Shun the Punman!” safely and soundly soccered that Poser all the way home to Drinkbottle’s Dwellings, where (as timid as your true Venus’ son, Esau) He shut himself away (like the lion in your zoo) while the girlies shouted insults through the door 16 (Campbell and Robinson 89). 

15 Nolens volens (“against one’s will”) transformed by contamination with Nolan Bruno.
16 Shem formula.


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

Tindall analyzes: Distracted by disorder in the court, the for “justicers,” Ulster, Munster, Pontius, and Pilate, lay their wigs together and arrive at a verdict of “Nolans Brumans”— the only possible verdict, since Bruno’s system has mixed things up. Leaving the court, “scotfree” (the Scottish verdict of “not proven”). King that “firewaterloover” (opposites joined in a Waterloo), receives the abuse of the twenty-eight “advocatesses,” who, in love with Shaun, the Post, cry, “Shun the Punman!” Festy King, with his Shem–side out, has become the author of Finnegans Wake, where he “murdered all the English he knew.” “The chassetitties belles,” like the general public, condemn this “Parish Poser,” who, like Joyce in Paris, a refugee from his parish, wrote all this garbage abaht our Farvver”— about H.C.E.  “You and your gift of your gaft… Hon!… Putor! Skam!” Seven words in seven languages confirm the shame of “Shames” Joyce (92.33- 93.21), who’s self–exposure is no less ignoble (Tindall 90).

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 92.33

[And whereas] Distracted by [(for was not just this, [in effect,] which had just caused that the effect of that which it had caused to occur)] The four judges Unchus Uncius Munchus Muntius, Punchus and Pylax put their wigs together but could do no more than pass the usual sentence of Nolans Brumans & King having murdered all the English he knew left his court tribunal scotfree trailing his tunic in his hurry [& [thereinunder] proudly showing off the [blank] patch on to his britgits]. On To the Swiss bobbyguard’s curial but courtly courtlike: Commodore valley O hairy Arthery Arthre jennyrosy?: the firewaterloover replied returted with such a vinesmelling fortytudor ages rowdawnham rawdownhams tanyouhide that all the twofromthirty advocatesses within echo pulling up their briefs soc- pa- jus simply & safely & soundly soccered him imprumptu umprumptu rightaway like hames to Drinkbottle Dingy Dwellings like the muddy goalbird who he was, conclaiming: Hon! Verg! Putor! Nan! Putor! Sham! Shams! Shames!
distracted – mentally drawn to different objects; perplexed or confused by conflicting interests; torn or disordered by dissension or the like; much confused or troubled in mind.
justice  =  judge
laid their wigs together = Put their heads together – to have discussions together
Unitus = unctus (l) – anointed, oiled
Muncius = munitus (l) – fortified, safe + mun (mun) (gael) – urine.

Punchus and Pylax = Pontius Pilatus (l) – governor of Judaea in time of Christ + phylax (gr) – a guard.
promulgate – to proclaim

End of Page 92

l.93.01 nolens volens: willing or unwilling; Bruno of Nola

[murdered all the English he knew = the language as well as the people]
standing = that continues in existence or operation that continues to be (what the noun specifies); that does not pass away.
Nolens = nolens (l) – being unwilling + nolens volens (l) – willing or unwilling.
Brumens = bruma (l) – winter, midwinter + [Giordano Bruno of Nola] + [Brewman]
picked out = pick out – to take out by picking

l. 3 Da tomme lummer: empty pockets
tribunal = a court of justice; a judicial assembly
scotfree – exempt from injury, punishment, etc.
Tommeylommey’s = tomme lommer (Danish) – empty pockets
tunic – a garment resembling a shirt or gown, worn by both sexes among the Greeks and Romans; In modern costume. A close, usually plain body-coat.

l. 4 blind; Patrick; black patch
therein under – after, before, below in that document, statute, etc.
show off = to display with ostentation or pride
pitch = patch

l. 5 Brigid
britgits = [British britches, pants]
an’t = ain’t
plase = plase (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) – please
rael = (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) real
genteel = a genteel person; a gentleman (obs.)

l.6 The Curia: Papal Court; cf. Papal Swiss bodyguard; L. Qumodo vales hodie, Arator generose?: How fares your health today, noble gentleman?
Switz = Swiss – native to, or coming from, Switzerland + The Swiss Guard are the Pope’s own troops.
bobbyguard’s = bobby – policeman +  bodyguard – a guard for the person (esp. of a sovereign or dignitary); a retinue or escort.
curial = of or pertaining to a royal court, courtly + The Curia (Lat, “court”) Romana comprises the administrative and judicial institutions of the Roman Catholic Church.
courtlike = elegant, courtly

Commodore = ccommodo valeo (l) – I am seasonably well + quomodo valeo (l) – how I am well, how am I well + commodo (l) – seasonably, in time + quomodo (l) – how? + vale (l) – be well + valeo (l) – I am strong, I am well + Quomodo vales hodie, Arator generose? (l) – How fares your health today, noble gentleman? (Motif: How are you today, my dark/fair sir?).

l.7 Waterloo
hairy = heri (l) – yesterday + O’Hara
firewater – strong alcoholic beverage

l. 8 Motto of the House of Savoy: Fortitudo eius Rhodum tenuit (His Strength Has Held Rhodes); acronym FART; Li raudonas: red
rawdownhams = raudonas (Lithuanian) – red + Rhodanum (l) – the Rhône river.

l. 9 Latin; latten:brasslike alloy, used for crosses; Thomas Aquinas
latten stomach even of a tumass equinous = [Latin stomach of the corpulent…] + tumass equinous = Thomas Aquinas

clap clap = the sharp sound, applause + cap – head.

gush gash from a burner = gush (Slang) – smell +
gash = gas+ burner – the part of lamp or other fluid burning device where the flame is produced + Gas from a burner. [Trieste]: s.n., 1912. Joyce had this broadside printed in Trieste, where he was living at the time, and sent it to his brother Charles to distribute in Dublin. It is a highly personal attack on the publisher who refused to print Dubliners + REFERENCE

twofromthirty advocatesses = [28 (the number of Issy’s attending lunar handmaids)] + advocatess – a female advocate
brief – a formal or official letter, concise statement of a client’s case made for instruction of counsel in a trial at law. + [undergarments]

l. 13 G Krieg: war; Shem the Penman; ‘Jim the Penman’: James Townsend Savard, forger 
krigkry = (ger) war
shun = to shove, push + [dismiss, avoid]
soccer = the game of football as played under Association rules

l. 14 parish priest; Paris; impromptu
Poser = one who poses (to assume a certain attitude)
umprumptu = poser – one who poses (to assume a certain attitude)
rightoway = rightaway – at once, immediately, straightaway

l. 15 Angl makes a hames of:make a mess of; home; Gratiasagam: nickname for St. Patrick from his Gratias agamus reiteration in the Mass (‘let us give thanks’)
hame = home + make a hames of (Anglo-Irish) – make a mess of.
gratiasagam = gratias agamus (l) – let us give thanks + (notebook 1924): ‘Gratzagam’ → gratiasagam (grot’esogum) (gael) – nickname for St. Patrick, from his reiteration of Latin gratias agamus (when King Daire presented Saint Patrick with the gift of a cauldron, the latter is said, according to the former’s retelling, to have answered ‘Gratzacham’ as thanks, from Latin Gratias agamus: Let us give thanks).

l. 16 inkbottle
donatrices (l) = pl. of donatrix (a female donor or donator)
biss = viz – videlicet + [buss or bliss]

l. 17 Venus’ son Aeneas; venison purvey or Jacob; Robinson Crusoe [?]
venuson… dovetimid = [allusion to Aeneas] son of Venus (and Anchises). Doves are associated with Venus (O Hehir, Brendan; Dillon, John M. / A classical lexicon for Finnegans wake).
Esau – brother of Jacob, who sold his birthright (for a ‘mess of pottage’); one that sacrifices permanent for immediate temporary interest. When Isaac was old and blind, he sent Esau to hunt and bring him venison. On Rebecca’s advice, Jacob (a smooth man) put on a goatskin and carried venison to his father, who said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
dear – dear one, darling + phrase timid as a deer.

Bottome = at bottom – in reality + bottom – the sitting part of a man, the posteriors + William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream I.2.75: ‘BOTTOM:… I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove’.

l. 19 dun:fort; chastity belt; L conclamo: cry out together
chasse = chasser (French Slang) – to flirt
conclaiming = conclamo (l) – to cry together; to call to arms

l. 20 ph gift of the gab; Da farver:colours; It gridando: shouting
gift of your gaft = gift of the gab – a talent for speaking, fluency of speech
Farvver = farver (Danish) – colours
gridando = (it) shouting

l. 21 F honte: shame; It vergogna: shame; L. pudor:shame; putor: foul smell; Da skam: shame; G Scham: shame
Hon = hon – sweetheart, dear; honourable + honte (fr) – shame.
Verge = verge (fr. slang) – penis + vergogna! (it) – shame!
Nau = naire (nare) (gael) – shame
Putor = putor – foul smell, stench + pudor (l) – shame.
Skam = skam (Danish) – shame

End of Paragraph

l. 22 The Four Ends of Life: artha (success), kāma (pleasure), dharma (duty) & moksha (enlightenment); Skt kavya: poet
artha = (hind.) wealth or property; the pursuit of wealth (one of four traditional aims in life).
kama = (hind.) pleasure and love
dharma = (hind.) moral law, justice, righteousness, ideal truth, nature
moksa = (hind.) salvation of finite existence
kavya = poetic composition in Sanskrit

l. 23 plaintiffs
kay = key
plaint = audible expression of sorrow, lamentation

l. 24 Angl plausy: flattery; U.5 ‘Thallata! Thalatta!’ (in Xenophon’s Anabasis, the cry of the Ten Thousand on sighting the sea); the sooner the better; sweeten bitter
plause – applause + plausy (Anglo-Irish) – flattery (from Anglo-Irish plás).
litter = odds and ends + litir (lit’ir) (gael) – letter + letter
soother the bitther = sooner the better

eyebrow pencilled = eyebrow pencil – a kind of crayon or pencil-like stick of colouring matter, for tinting the eye-brows, eyelashes, or lips, for theatrical or cosmetic purposes.
lipstipple penned =lipstick + stipple – the method of painting, engraving, etc. by means of dots or small spots, so as to produce gradations of tone. +penned – written (with a pen)
Borrowing = borrow – to make temporary use of (words, idioms, etc.) from a foreign language or people.

l. 26 thunder

l. 27 Mangan: ‘ O my dark Rosaleen, do not sigh, do not weep!’
begging the question = beg the question – to fail to deal with or answer effectively the point that is being discussed.
stealing tinder = steal one’s thunder – to adapt for one’s own ends something effective + tinder – fire; a spark.
dark Rosa Lane = Rosaleen, Dark – personification of Ireland, like Poor Old Woman, Cathleen Ni Houlihan, etc. Mangan’s poem begins, “My dark Rosaleen, do not sigh, do not weep…”

l. 28 Moore: s Lesbia Hath a Beaming Eye; s Kevin Barry; s The Arrow & the Song; ‘There is a green island in lone Gougane Barra Where Allua of songs rushes forth like an arrow
Loosha = louche (fr) – squint
the beam in one’s eye = a blemish as palpable as a house beam + Thomas Moore: song Lesbia Hath a Beaming Eye.
lone = solitary, lonesome
Coogan Barry, his arrow of song = J. J. Callanan’s poem, “Gougane Barra” (‘There is a green island in lone Gougane Barra / Where Allua of songs rushes forth like an arrow’) + Barry, Kevin (1902-20) – the first Republican to be executed by the British since the leaders of the Easter Rising. Barry was sentenced to death for his part in an IRA operation which resulted in the deaths of three British soldiers. A ballad bearing his name, relating the story of his execution, is popular to this day + song The Arrow and the Song.

Sean Kelly’s anagram = anagram – a transposition of the letters of a word, name, or phrase, whereby a new word or phrase is formed + Ingram, John Kells (1823-1907) – Irish poet, author of “The Memory of the Dead,” which begins: “Who fears to speak of ‘ 98?/Who blushes at the name?”

l. 30 John Kells Ingram: s The Memory of the Dead: ‘…who blushes at the name’; T. D. Sullivan: s God Save Ireland [Tramp, Tramp, Tramp]
Sullivan = Sullivan, T. D. – wrote “God Save Ireland,” sung to the tune of “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.” Joyce may confuse him with his brother, A. M. Sullivan, also a verifier.

l. 31 Dufferin: s Lament of the Irish Emigrant (I’m Sitting on the Stile, Mary’; s Kathleen Mavourneen ‘ It mat for years & it may be forever’John Philpot Curran: s Acushla Machree
Dufferin = Dufferin, Lady (1807-67) – R. B. Sheridan’s granddaughter, author of Lament of the Irish Emigrant, which begins: ‘I am sitting on
the stile, Mary.’)
Kathleen May Vernon = Kathleen Mavourneen – in the song “Kathleen Mavourneen”: “It may be for years and it may be forever. . .” + mavourneen (Anglo-Irish) – my darling.
Mebbe = maybe
Curran his scotchlove machreether = Curran, John Philpot (1750-1817) – Irish lawyer, defended several United Irishmen, father of Sarah Curran, author of “Mother Machree”.


l. 33 Ptolemy; II Philadelphia founded library at Alexandria
Phil Adolphos = Philadelphia – (“brotherly love”) was an ancient city of Asia Minor, is the capital of Pennsylvania to which Irish emigrants like Paddy Leary, in “Off to Philadelphia,” used to go + Ptolemy II Philadelphus (308-264 B.C.) – second Macedonian king of Egypt, founded Library at Alexandria. + [Note: Philadelphia is not the capital of Pennsylvania; that is Harrisburg.]
leery = alert, knowing, wide awake; empty, hungry + Leary, Paddy – subject of song “Off to Philadelphia in the Morning.”

l. 34 Lover, Samuel (1797-1868) – Irish songwriter and novelist; wrote song Molly Bawn.
Charles Lever: Ir novelist ; wrote Charles O’Malley; Samuel Lover: Ir. novelist & songwriter
Samyouwill Leaver or Damyouwell Lover = Irish songwriter and novelist; wrote song Molly Bawn.


l.35 s The Bowld Sojer Boy; s Finnegan’s Wake
molly = a pampered darling
saunter = a leisurely, careless, loitering walk or ramble; a stroll + song The Bowld Sojer Boy.
Finn again’s = O’Fionnagain (o’finegan) (gael) – descendant of Fionnagan (dim. of Fionn, “fair”); anglic. Finnegan + song Finnegan’s Wake (originally ‘Tim Finigan’s Wake’, written in the early 1860’s in New York City by John F. Poole, American-Irish playwright, songwriter and theatre manager).

l. 36 ph More power to your elbow!; I samhail: ghost
sowheel = soul + samhail (souwil) (gael) – ghost, apparition + phrase More power to your elbow!

End of Page 93


l. 1 s The Wearing of the Green; Gretna Green; greatness
on the green = on the green – on the stage + song The Wearing of the Green.
gretnass = Gretna – attrib. in reference to marriage without the parental consent.
joyboy (Slang) = homosexual

l.2 s Widdicombe Fair; ph Looks like Mulkdoon’s picnic (means everything is untidy)
Tom Mallon = Malone, Tom – Thomas Malone Chandler is the protagonist of “A Little Cloud”. In one recension of “Finnegan’s Wake,” Tim Malone is the mourner at whose head the bucket of whisky is thrown.
slapstick = knockabout comedy or humour, farce, horseplay

l. 3 Moate, village, C o. Westmeath; W.J. Ashcroft, D music hall performer ‘ The Solid Man’
MOATE = Village, County Westmeath. Its name derives from the nearby Mote of Grania. A “Muldoon’s picnic” is a chaotic mess.
Muldoons = Mullen, Tom Mallon, Dan Meldon, Don Maldon to be identical with Muldoon, and all identical with the ancient Irish hero Maelduin. A Muldoon’s Picnic, according to Mrs Atherton’s mother, is a complete shambles.
solid = of sound mind, sane, sober minded + W.J. Ashcroft, Dublin music hall performer, ‘The Solid Man’ (because of his famous rendering of song Muldoon the Solid Man), appeared in Dan Lowrey’s Music Hall.
sillied = silly – to make silly, to be silly + [sullied]

End 94.03


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 brief research about the page. These are hardly intended to be academic criticism.]

[Tindall tells that the four judges represent the old Irish kingdoms:  Untius, Muncius, Punchus, and Pylax (FW 92.35-.36), and that two judges, Punchus and Pylax, both represent Pontius Pilate. Many FW characters revolt against integration into one psyche, splitting through a literary reproduction by mitosis. Shem and Shaun can’t share a body with a reprehensible wombmate; they separate. Pilate doesn’t; unsplit, he suffers ambivalence, fearing revolt, whether he executes Christ or spares Him. He institutionalizes “innocent nondecision,” a tradition and the politico’s pet ploy. Likewise, the ancient Irish kingdoms, Punchus (Connacht) and Pylax (Laighin), are respectively the most and least Celtic sections of an ambivalent Ireland.]

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