Some Old Definitions

I was going through my dad's old dictionary, given to him by Grandma and
Grampa in 1941. The page which probably displayed the date of
its publication is missing, but in searching other sections for a clue
to its age, I see that it does not list Pluto with the Planets (or as
Mickey's dog), and in the "Important Events of History" section, the
final item listed is "1938 - Austria united with Germany." It lists the
population of the U.S.A. and its posessions at 137,008,435.

Some amusing definitions, by virtue of their age:

ar-ith-mom-e-ter n. calculating machine which performs multiplication
and division.

a-ër-o-plane n. a flying machine, kept afloat by the force of its
motor and wings, and having no lifting power in itself.

air-port n. a place fitted for landing, loading, fueling, or
repairing airships.

air-ship n. a balloon with motor and steering apparatus.

bi-tel-e-phone n. a pair of telephones arranged so that they can be
applied simultaneously to both ears.

e-ther n. an extremely fine fluid, very much lighter than air,
supposed to pervade all space and to infiltrate the suns and planets; a
volatile inflammable liquid produced by the distillation of alcohol with
sulphuric acid.

frisk v.i. to gambol or dance in frolic: n. a gambol, dance or frolic.

hook-er n. one who, or that which, hooks; a fishing-smack; a small
Dutch vessel; any clumsy, ill-fitted old craft.

ho-ri-zon n. the circular line where the sky and earth, or sea,
appear to meet; hence the limit of one's mental vision.

jet n. a stream of water suddenly emitted; a deep black variety of
lignite, black amber; a gas branch; tube for running metal into a mold.

par-a-chute n. an umbrella - shaped apparatus for decending from a
balloon.

pi-lot n. one who conducts a vessel in or out of a harbor or where
navigation is difficult or dangerous; a guide.

road-ster n. a horse suited for traveling; a bicycle for road-work;
a vessel which works by tides.

rock-et n. a firework made of a case filled with saltpeter, sulphur,
and charcoal, fastened to a stick, and which, on being ignited, is
projected through the air.

tur-bine n. a wheel turning on a vertical axis and driven by steam
or water.


It sounds like they really didn't think the "aëroplane" was going to
last; that airships were the wave of the future. Also that "jet" and
"turbine" had no apparent applications involving air. It's also really
lucky that the first rockets into space didn't blow up the entire
universe! And "parachute" is simply precious.

Gotta go now. I got a date with a clumsy, ill-fitted old craft. At least
she's small and pays her own way. We're going frisking!