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By ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
II. -- The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
proper name of a place
evil, bad, actively trying to do harm
shakes, small uncontrolled movements of the hands
eight legged insect, undesirable insect
where the spider lives and traps food
dirty, smelly, and implies evil -- a foul odor, a foul deed
attack, hit with intent to hurt
- an outrage
violation of rules of society beyond the expected
in this case refers to the legal or medical profession, you practice law (to work as a lawyer) and have a practice (law or medical business) -- implies you have an office, a set of clients, and a standing or status in the community
- Baker Street
An actual street in London, however 22 Baker Street was never a residence. It is presently a bank.
one who avoids -- "he is not averse" means he would NOT avoid something and in fact would probably like it. The term is usually used in the negative to imply willingness to do something.
rule against something
something that has a random nature, is slightly humorous, is not harmful, and is changeable
untidy, disarranged, implies that you just went through something that messed up your clothes and hair
rapid pounding -- the heart beating quickly
physical signs of illness
pill to make you sleep
type of lawyer in England, the solicitor does not go into court to speak before the judge, that is another specialty called a barrister
member of a club (for males), used to establish social, business, and political ties and sometimes to engage in charitable works -- Freemasons are famous for having secret handshakes, rites, and other ceremonies to identify fellow members
someone who has allergies which make it difficult to breathe
conclusions drawn from evidence -- Sherlock Holmes is famous for making deductions -- always accurate, of course.
from the days when watches were carried in pockets. They were attached by a light chain to the clothing and often a small pieces of decorative jewelry hung from the chain -- this was a watch-charm. It usually had some symbol engraved on it -- your school, club, church, or your initials.
place where criminals are kept -- (jail = American spelling)
- Lower Norwood
one who contructs houses and other buildings -- in this case implies the owner of the company
setting a fire on purpose
something which leads to the solution of a question, puzzle or mystery. Usually it is physical like a finger print, but it can be that something is missing that ought to be there
person who commits a crime
a town outside a city in which most people work in the city but live in the suburb
unpredictable, unusual habits, not normal
large fire which burns wildly
legal paper which grants the police permission to do something -- search a place, arrest a person... The police must have clues, called evidence which point to the suspicion of a crime.
- French windows
doors with windows from top to bottom, which substitute for windows -- but you can go out through them usually into a garden or onto a lawn.
- charred remains
implies that a deceased body was found -- "remains" used as a synonym for body
a fire was set
- Scotland Yard
the offices of the central police which became the name of the organization in common speach
- City office
the "City" is the area of London concerned with business and commerce
- London Bridge Station
a train station
pale, having little color, a variation on the word 'ghost'
having no hope
in this context a legal document telling who gets your money and stuff after you die
an animal which is disliked because it sneaks into chicken houses to steal eggs
to have a hard time talking -- you start words several times before you can say them
- building leases, title-deeds, mortgages...
legal documents -- all stand for money or property
another suburb of London
- Anerley Arms
a hotel or inn
difficult to interpret, the meaning is hidden or conflicting -- an enigmatic smile is one which could mean several things at the same time
unable to be understood
a horse-drawn carriage which has four wheels -- implies that it is fairly large
places where rails connect -- these joins tend to be very rough and bumpy
sloppy, with no plan
very easily seen
very small and unimportant object or matter -- you can say "It is only a trifle" to mean that it does not matter.
someone who travels from place to place to find work -- odd-jobs -- has no regular place to live and no regular source of income -- the 19th century version of the homeless.
- for the matter of that
we now say "for that matter" -- it means that you are talking about the same logic or condition -- "why should the body be burnt" is the "matter" or subject -- could also say "on that topic" or "in regards to that"
stock or bond certificates have to be signed to be turned into money -- to negotiate, to cash -- use the word negotiate in this situation because the amount of cash you would get will vary depending on the market conditions -- therefore the tramp could not cash them because he could not sign them
an old-fashioned long coat with a wide skirt
future view or sight of danger or other condition -- based on present evidence -- "his prospects aren't good" means that he doesn't have much of a future.
unattractively tired, showing signs of lots of work and a lack of sleep/food
- right track
means that you are thinking in the right direction -- expression comes from trains where you have to stand by the right track in order to go in the proper direction.
someone who will betray you, who will lie, steal and cheat
create a feeling or emotion before the people meet -- can also refer to positive feelings -- "Having read his book I was predisposed to like him before I met him"
a place where birds are kept -- a room sized cage
a rather large house, usually with gates on the driveway
used to make the house seem aggressive and dangerous
- laurel-clumped lawn
laurel bushes and scattered across the yard in groups -- the author created the adjective to give a feeling of discomfort and formality
a group of valuable objects
- drawn every cover
means he looked into and under every hidden place -- he drew the cover back...
- pick up scent
find a clue, get an idea of what happened -- comes from dogs being used to track people or animals -- they follow the "scent" to track them down
- sidelong eyes
the person looks out of the side of their eyes, keeping their face away from you -- literary sign that the person is dishonest. In real life, successful dishonest people look straight at you and appear innocent -- they are called confidence men because they gain your confidence to sell you something that is false.
- close as wax
close means silent or secretive - wax refers to wax statues -- very popular at this time, museums of wax statues of famous people were established in London and Paris
a sudden burst of emotion -- in this case of certainty that the man is innocent
religious classes held on Sunday before or after church services -- children who go are a symbol of innocence -- here it is used to compare his appearance to that of a boy going to Sunday school.
a person who buys and sells property or stock in companies for individuals
papers which show ownership to some valuable -- stocks, bonds, etc.
the sound a rooster makes -- a crowing sound -- used to imply that the person is bragging loudly to all the world
refers to a sword with both side of the blade sharpened -- it can cut in both directions
- magnifying glass
Sherlock Holmes is traditionally pictured with a magnifying glass -- he used it to find very small things (clues) that other people missed
a movement which cannot be controlled but which the person is attempting suppress or stop -- you can also writhe in pain
again a reference to roosters -- a cock is a male bird -- to be cocksure means that you are very, very confident and you don't mind if the world knows it
lack of respect
fortunate, occuring at a favorable time almost by magic or as a gift of the gods
another movement of the body/face -- this one is a quick, sudden, rapid movement -- a child wriggles in anticipation for a treat or sweet
evenness, control, balance, serious and calm manner
- spasm of merriment.
laughter which makes you loose control resulting in a giggle, laugh, or snort
occuring before something is ready or finished
strong and fit
any building away from the house used for storage or special purposes
nonsense, jokes, pranks, childish behavior
teased, in this case the fact that Lastrade made a point of telling Holmes that he (Lestrade) had solved the case first
- sun on your side of the hedge
things going your way, you have the advantage -- come from farming, where having a sunny field is an advantage
- pomp and ceremony
refers to very formal occasions where there are dignified and complex customs
like an apple which has been left sitting in the sun two weeks -- or like a raisin
the hole where rabbits live
old-fashioned slang expression of pleased approval -- it means that things are going right -- we might say "right on!" today
the fire is still smoking but not actively burning
a small pitiful sound, usually made in fear
- practical joke
a joke whick is done usually to a friend in the spirit of humor -- some are actually funny -- the man is claiming that his actions were not meant to harm anyone.
- throw dust in the eyes
to confuse, comes from boxing when you would throw dust in the eyes of an opponent so he couldn't see you -- then you could hit him....
cheap paper used to write notes -- implies that the writing is not serious or important
a type of construction where thin boards (lathes) are nailed to beams and then plaster is pushed between the boards to cover them. The lathes hold the plaster to the wall.
one who helps you
a valuable thing or person
- clear as crystal
expression which compares the idea to very good glass (crystal) which can be seen through without distortion and easily because it has no flaws
botherer over a period of time, an emotion which grows over time such as anger, rankles
wanting to do something bad to someone who has (or you think they have) done something bad to you
buying and selling stocks, bonds, or land when there is a lot of risk
evil, usually criminal
without stopping, continuously
secret plan in which a group of people plan to do something to another group of people -- it usually implies that the second group of people are not going to be happy about this plan
person to whom you owe money
take control of
- serve your turn
serve your purposes
Last update: September 2001
© Marilyn Shea, 2001