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Choose the correct type and meaning found in the lists to allusion. Note that some categories overlap (e.g., a Shakespearean allusion can also be classified as a literary or theatrical allusion, a classical allusion can also be mythological, and a political allusion can also be historical), so be careful!

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ORIGIN
  • Alarum is the archaic term for alarm.
  • Late Middle English (as an exclamation meaning 'to arms!'): from Old French alarme, from Italian allarme, from all' arme! 'to arms!'.
  • Alarm started out as an exclamation meaning ‘to arms!’; it stems from Old French alarme, from the Italian phrase all' arme! ‘to arms!’. The spelling alarum existed in English in early times because of the way the ‘r’ was rolled when pronouncing the word; this form became restricted specifically to the peal of a warning bell or clock. The original exclamation as a call to arms, is seen in the phrase alarums and excursions, a stage direction found in Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III.

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ORIGIN
  • Greek Babulōn (from Hebrew bāḇel), also the name of the mystical city of the Apocalypse. Compare with babel.
  • Babel: Early 16th century: from Babel, where, according to the biblical story, God made the builders all speak different languages.
  • Tower of Babel: (In the Bible) a tower built in an attempt to reach heaven, which God frustrated by making its builders speak different languages so that they could not understand one another (Genesis 11:1–9). Babel from Hebrew Bāḇel 'Babylon', from Akkadian bāb ili 'gate of god'.

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ORIGIN
  • Mid 16th century: from Latin bacchanalis, from the name of the god Bacchus.
  • This word comes from Bacchus (in Greek Bakkhos), the god of wine. The association with the Bacchanalia, the Roman festival in honour of the god, with its renowned free-flowing wine and licentious behaviour, gave the sense ‘drunken revelry or orgy’.
  • Bacchus: (Greek Mythology) Another name for Dionysus - a Greek god, son of Zeus and Semele; his worship entered Greece from Thrace c. 1000 bc. Originally a god of the fertility of nature, associated with wild and ecstatic religious rites, in later traditions he is a god of wine who loosens inhibitions and inspires creativity in music and poetry.

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ORIGIN
  • Mid 18th century: from French (originally designating a pearl of irregular shape), from Portuguese barroco, Spanish barrueco, or Italian barocco; of unknown ultimate origin.
  • A baroque was originally the name of an irregularly shaped pearl, its shape reminiscent of the elaborate detail of the architectural style. The word came via French from Portuguese barroco, Spanish barrueco, or Italian barocco but the ultimate origin is unknown.

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ORIGIN
  • 1980s: from the notion in chaos theory that a butterfly fluttering in Rio de Janeiro could change the weather in Chicago.

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ORIGIN
  • 1970s: title of a novel by Joseph Heller (1961), in which the main character feigns madness in order to avoid dangerous combat missions, but his desire to avoid them is taken to prove his sanity.

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ORIGIN
  • DismalLate Middle English: from earlier dismal (noun), denoting the two days in each month which in medieval times were believed to be unlucky, from Anglo-Norman French dis mal, from medieval Latin dies mali 'evil days'.
  • This word originally referred to 24 days, two in each month, that medieval people believed to be unlucky. The name derives from Latin dies mali ‘evil days’, and first appeared in English in the early Middle Ages as the dismal. This was quickly spelled out more clearly as the dismal days. Soon dismal days could be any time of disaster, gloom, or depression, or the time of old age. In 1849 the Scottish historian and political philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) nicknamed the difficult subject of economics (then known as ‘political economy’) the dismal science.

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ORIGIN
  • Via Latin from Greek Homērikos, from Homēros
  • Homer(8th century bc), Greek epic poet. He is traditionally held to be the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, though modern scholarship has revealed the place of the Homeric poems in a preliterate oral tradition. In later antiquity Homer was regarded as the greatest poet, and his poems were constantly used as a model and source by others.

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ORIGIN
  • Mid 16th century (in the sense 'simile'): via Latin from Greek eikōn 'likeness, image'. Current senses date from the mid 19th century onwards.
  • Greek eikōn, the source of icon, meant ‘likeness, image’. The earliest use in English was for a simile, a figure of speech in which two things are compared, as in ‘as white as snow’. Later it meant ‘a portrait, a picture’, and especially an illustration in a natural history book. The ‘portrait’ sense partly continues in the modern use for ‘a devotional painting of a holy figure’. The use to mean a celebrated figure such as a sporting or pop star dates from the early 1950s. Icons in computing, those symbols or graphic representations on VDU screens, appeared with the release of the Apple Macintosh computer in 1984. At various times in the history of the Christian Church, reformers, among them English Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries, have condemned and destroyed religious images. Such a zealot is an iconoclast (mid 17th century), a breaker of images—the -clast bit is from Greek klan, ‘to break’. An iconoclast is now also a person who attacks a cherished belief or respected institution.

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ORIGIN
  • Latin, 'in the heat of the crime' (literally 'in blazing crime').

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ORIGIN
  • Middle English: from Old French, from medieval Latin Jacobinus, from ecclesiastical Latin Jacobus 'James'. The term was applied to the Dominicans in Old French on account of their church in Paris, St Jacques, near which they built their first convent; the latter eventually became the headquarters of the French revolutionary group.

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ORIGIN
  • Perhaps named after Ned Lud, a participant in the destruction of machinery, + -ite.

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ORIGIN
  • PoundOld English pund, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch pond and German Pfund, from Latin (libra) pondo, denoting a Roman ‘pound weight’ of 12 ounces.
  • This goes back to Latin libra pondo, a Roman weight equivalent to 12 ounces—libra meant ‘scales, balance’ and pondo was ‘by weight’. Libra gives the ‘L’ in the old £sd, for ‘pound, shillings, and pence’ (the d. for denarius, the Latin word for an ancient Roman silver coin). The money sense, also Old English, arose because the first pound was literally a pound of silver. Pound meaning ‘to beat, strike heavily’ is a different Old English word, as is pound in the sense ‘an enclosure’. In Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice the moneylender Shylock lends the merchant Antonio money on condition that if he fails to repay it on time he must forfeit a pound of his flesh. When Antonio is unable to pay, Shylock insists on holding him to the agreement, but is foiled by the clever pleading of Portia, who argues that if the flesh is taken it must be done without spilling any blood in the process, as the deed specifies flesh only. To demand your pound of flesh has come to mean ‘ruthlessly demand something you are owed’.

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ORIGIN
  • From Italian sotto 'under' + voce 'voice'.

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ORIGIN
  • 1930s: back-formation from surrealism.
  • SurrealismEarly 20th century: from French surréalisme (sur-, realism).
  • A 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images. Launched in 1924 by a manifesto of André Breton and having a strong political content, the movement grew out of symbolism and Dada and was strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud. In the visual arts its most notable exponents were André Masson, Jean Arp, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Luis Buñuel.
Complete the sentences with appropriate allusions from the previous task.

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Paraphrase the underlined parts or the whole meaning of the allusions.

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References
Acknowledgements

All authors must admit to a dependence on the work of others. We are no exception. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the publications and reference sources that we have consulted and adapted for educational purposes. It would also have been quite impossible to have produced the material on this website without adapting a variety of authentic resources that we have regularly referred to. While every effort has been made, it has not always been possible to identify and cite the sources of all the material used or to trace all copyright holders. We will be happy to omit any contents or include any appropriate acknowledgements when they are brought to our notice.

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