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EXPLAINING THE TERMS
THE ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE,
PROFESSIONS, AND TRADES.
W. M. BUCHANAN,
EDITOR OF "THE PRACTICAL MECHANIC AND ENGINEER'S MAGAZINE; AND LATELY
R. GRIFFIN & co., GLASGOW ;
More than twelve years have elapsed since the compilation of this small volume was commenced. The want of a convenient vocabulary of termal language was then much and widely felt, especially by that large section of the public who come under the designation of General Readers. The deficiency has since been partially supplied by publications of various degrees of pretension and merit, directed to that end; but it does not appear that any of these works is sufficiently compendious and comprehensive in character-sufficiently adapted to the ordinary purpose of ready consultation—to render this a superfluous addition to a branch of literature which can at most only distantly approximate to completeness.
The object which led to the compilation, and which has uniformly been kept in view in its preparation, was to furnish a Dictionary of Technological Terms, so moderate in size and price as to be generally accessible, and yet sufficiently copious and comprehensive to serve all the purposes of a book of reference in every department of Science, Literature, and Art. Although too restricted in plan and purpose to warrant any pretension to originality, it is nevertheless something more than a loose compilation. Its materials have been derived from the best and most authentic sources, and have been brought together with much care, and, it is hoped, not without discrimination. Many
important terms and explanations, and many valuable facts belonging to the Industrial Arts, have been supplied by those engaged in the practical operations to which they relate; and in no case, when doubt arose, were similar means of attaining correct information overlooked.
The narrow limits prescribed by the plan and purpose of the work have necessarily precluded all irrelevant discussion on particular subjects; yet, in the multiplicity, conciseness, and general accuracy of the definitions, the aptness of illustration, and brevity of statement, the Editor has reason to believe that it will bear a favourable comparison with any similar compilation. He cannot hope to have entirely escaped all the numerous chances of inaccuracy which beset an undertaking of so varied and laborious a character; but he has used his best endeavours for that purpose, and confidently hopes to have approximated very closely to the end desired.
GLASGOW, July, 1846.
A, in music, is the nominal of the sixth , bets, except the Ethiopic, in which it note in the natural diatonic scale, and is the thirteenth, and the Runic, in which the natural key in the minor mood. It is it is the tenth.
the open note of the second string of the A is naturally the first letter, because violin, by which the other strings are it represents the first vocal sound na- tuned and regulated. turally formed by the human organs: A, in commerce, stands for
accepted;" being the sound uttered by merely à for “ to;" and @ for "at.” Merchants opening of the mouth, and without and public officers also number their effort to alter the natural position of books and documents by the letters A, B, the lips. Hence this letter is found in c, instead of figures. many words first uttered by infants : A, in logic, denotes a universal affirmawhich words are the names of objects tive proposition. A asserts, and E denies. with which infants are first concerned, In BABBARA, the a thrice repeated means as the breast and the parents. Hence that se many of the propositions are uniin Hebrew, am is mother, and ab is versal. father. In Chaldee and Syriac, abba is A, Ā, or AA, in pharmacy, are abbrefather: in Arabic, aba; in Ethiopic, viations of the Greek word ave, and which abi; in Malayan and Bengalese, bappa ; signifies of each, or that equal quantities in Welsh, tad, whence Scotch, daddy; of each thing are to be taken. in Old Greek and Gothic,atta ; in Irish, AAA in old chemistry, stands for amalaithair; in Cantabrian, aita; in Lap-gam, or amaigamation. ponic, atki; in Abyssinian, abba ; in
AAM, a Dutch measure for liquids. At Amharic, aba; in Shilhic and Melin- Amsterdam it is equal to about thirty-five dane (African dialects), baba; and papa imperial gallons. is found in many languages. Hence
AARON'S Rod, in architecture, a rod with the Latin mamma, the breast, which is,
a serpent twined round it. It is somein popular use, the name of mother: in
times confounded with Cadueeus, (q. v.) Swedish, amma is a nurse.
A.B. an abbreviation of artium baccaA, was used by the Romans as a nume- laureus, bachelor of arts. ral to denote 500, and with a dash over it, AB, in the Jewish Calendar, the 11th A, to mean 5000. The Romans also em- month of the civil year, and the 5th month ployed A, the initial letter of antiquo, -I of the ecclesiastical year, answering to a oppose, to signify dissent in voting. The part of July and of August. In the Syriac letters U.R. (for uti rogas, be it as you calendar, Ab is the last summer month of desire), were the form of assent. [These the year. As a prefix to English names, Ab letters were marked on two wooden bal- is usually an abbreviation of abbot, or abbey. lots, and given to each voter, who gave ABACK', from Saxon, a, on, and baec, one of them as his vote.) in criminal back. A nautical term, signifying the trials, A. stocd for absolvo, I acquit; C. for situation of the sails when flattened by the condemno, I condemn: and N. L. for non wind against the masts. Taken aback, is liquet, it is not evident: and the judges when they are carried back suddenly by voted by hallots 80 marked. In Roman the wind; laid aback, is when they are inscriptions, A stands for Augustus, argen- purposely placed so to give the ship sterntum, aurum, &c.