5; 13; 109; 183; 420; 666

Notable as a verbal tick of Tyrone Slothrop's in Gravity's Rainbow'.

8; run away; usually includes taking something or somebody along; 343; appears Latinate but is actually a 19th c. Americanism (compounded of two words), often used jocularly; thus deception & doubleness & humor in a single word, very Pynchonian!

Ace, Mr.
415; visitor from the future (Trespasser); 555;


Custer's Last fight
Adam, Cassily

726; Should be Adams. "Custer’s Last Fight" painting was originally produced in 1884 by Cassily Adams (1843 - 1921), a St. Louis artist. Adams painted his version of Custer's last stand in the 1880s, and it hung in a St. Louis saloon which was acquired by the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. Anheuser-Busch then produced a lithographic print of the painting and gave prints to their distributors, bars, and other outlets. Through its display, it became widely known to diverse audiences.

Adam of Bremen
128; (also: Adam Bremensis) One of the most important German medieval chroniclers. He lived and worked in the second half of the 11th century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum (Deeds of Bishops of the Hamburg Church); Wikipedia entry

Adams, Maude (1872-1953)
338; American stage actress, most noted for her signature role, Peter Pan; Wikipedia entry

Addle, Ed
60; regular at Oil Well Saloon;

Aerenthal, Alois Lexa von (1854-1912)
809; "Austria's reptilian foreign minister"; usually Aehrenthal; as Austrian Foreign Minister, Aehrenthal annexed Bosnia for Austria in a preemptive move against Turkey and the Young Turks; 871; Wikipedia entry

aeronaut: the pilot of a balloon or airship; Chicago World's Fair, 1893 and more here

55; 58; 132-133; 140; 306; 320; "sounds like light" 426; 458; 557; 565-66; 595; aka Akasa, 613; 620; aka Luminiferous aether ; Wikipedia article on Luminferous aether; 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

against the day
"yes, night does return now and then to Creede" 305; "...within the daylit and obvious and taken-for-granted has always lain, as if in wait, the dark itinerary, the corrupted pilgrim's guide, the names Station before the first, in the lightless uncreated, where salvation does not yet exist." 566; "its steadfast denial of night" (refuted by the Monk epigraph, "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light."!), 732; "and went back once again to seeking only orgasm, hallucination, stupor, sleep, to fetch them through the night and prepare them against the day" 805; "the boys expressed wonder at how much more infected with light the night-time terrains passing below them had become [...] they felt themselves in uneasy witness to some final conquest, a triumphy over night whose motive none could quite grasp" 1032;

456; 721; 748; 813; Aigrette (from the French for egret, or lesser white heron), the tufted crest, or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a woman's head-dress, the term being also given to any similar ornament, in gems, &c. An aigrette is also worn by certain ranks of officers in the French army. By analogy the word is used in various sciences for feathery excrescences of like appearance, as for the tufts on the heads of insects, the feathery down of the dandelion, the luminous rays at the end of electrified bodies, or the luminous rays seen in solar eclipses, diverging from, the moon's edge. Wikipedia entry

Akashi, Baron
294; "roving military attaché" and "famous international spy"

232; Greek: "things heard"; holds a much more secretive connotation like ‘signs’, or even perhaps ‘passwords’. These were explained as a set of rules of conduct used by the Pythagoreans. A few examples as given by Aristotle’s testimonies, like “abstain from beans as being due either to the fact that they resemble the genitals in shape, or because they resemble the gates of Hades." Also noted in this passage was “not to touch a white cock” and “not to touch any sacred fish” probably due to the earlier discussion on sacrifice.

Albert Lea
71; Pronounced "Albert Lee," a town in south-central Minnesota. It is also mentioned in passing in Gravity's Rainbow as the unlikely hometown of Pig Bodine: "Just a humble guy," the swarthy doughboy of the deep scratching in his groin after an elusive crab with a horn finger, rippling the ballooning pleats and fabric of his trousers, "just a freckleface kid from Albert Lea, Minnesota, down there on Route 69 where the speed limit's lickety-split.."; Google Map

76-77; Alchemy refers to both an early form of the investigation of nature and an early philosophical and spiritual discipline, both combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art; and photography, 80; Wikipedia entry

310; Jimmy Drop's lieutenant

369; Ruperta's driver (?); in Venice, 729;

672; "flaneur of Ruperta's acquaintance"; a flaneur is a detached pedestrian observer of a metropolis, a 'gentleman stroller of city streets', first identified by Charles Baudelaire; Wikipedia entry

Any of a group of basic, soluble salts. The term is derived etymologically from the Arabic for calcined ashes, from which the first alkalis were derived. They form a principle ingredient in soap production. Citation. "alkali dust, 207; "all the alkaline day," 214;

All but
In ATD, Pynchon uses the expression "all but" + adjective over and over. Any interpretations?

"All Pimps Look Alike to Me"
48; an 1896 barroom ditty that was "cleaned up" to become "All Coons Look Alike to Me" and recorded by Arthur Collins in 1899 and considered by some to be the First Rock 'n' Roll Record. Read the whole story...

Amber Islands

702; Alternate Means of Egress

219; "innocent, all but oppressively wholesome"; "they lack the cultural equipment [to die of shame] ... As if, somehow, your country is just mechanically destined to move forward regaradless of who is in the way or under foot" 567; American light, 580; "delivered yourselves into the hands of capitalists and Christers" 643; "its steadfast denial of night" (refuted by the Monk epigraph, "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light."!), 732

107; Indian Ocean island; Megaera shipwrecked, 108;


249; a curved mirror or other optical device for giving a correct image of a picture or the like distorted by anamorphosis; paramorphic, 249;


4;the name of Gravity’s Rainbow’s dissipational rocket-eroticist, Tyrone Slothrop, anagramatically appears in the letters “Counterfly” and his first spoken sentence in the book, in which he calls fellow Chum Miles a “Slob-footed chap.”

6; "the inexorable rising tide of World Anarchism..."; 37; 43; 49-51; 60; 66; 87; 175 (as terrorists); 179; bomb factory in London, 235; 370; Barcelona in 1890s, 372;  Anarchy Archives

14; Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labor movement. Syndicalisme is a French word meaning "trade unionism" – hence, the "syndicalism" qualification. Anarcho-syndicalists view labor unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the State with a new society democratically self-managed by workers. Wikipedia entry

6; An instrument for measuring wind speed; Robinson anemometer, 6 Wikipedia entry

The Angel of Independence
Angel, The

989; Monument to National Independence, in Mexico City, designed by Antonio Rivas Mercado. A winged female figure, perched on a column, holding a crown. This ensemble forms the official Independence Monument erected in 1910 by the dictator Porfirio Diaz to celebrate the centenary of Mexico’s independence from Spain and inspired by the Bastille Column in Paris. The monument occupies a roundabout on the city’s most prestigious thoroughfare, Paseo de la Reforma, which runs down the middle of the business district. Wikipedia entry

10; "helpless angel," 27; 42; "Archangels of municipal vengence," 150; "God's wing" (?), 211; "agencies of the angelic," 221; "Avenging Angels" 271; creatures, 277; H. Vanderjuice, 322; 332; birds, 336; 379; 389; Angel Street, 446; 531; in Venice, 575; "too bright to look at directly" 616; of deep shit, 619; 632; 642; Gentleman Bomber, as "messenger" 692; wings, 699; 725; 740; of death, 752; Tunguska blast radius, 780; in Tunguska, 785; A.O.D., 894; 993; 1030

Angel's Field
720; aka Angyalföld, a district in Budapest, along the Danube

Anglo-Russian Entente
631; the 1907 diplomatic accord between England and Russia to respect the integrity and independence of Persia; 718

Anharmonic Pencil
455; a "pencil" in this context refers to a figure formed by a set of straight lines or light rays meeting at a point, a figure that is not harmonic, i.e., not a multiple of its component parts; 532; 593;

Annexation Crisis
808; aka the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_Crisis "Bosnian Crisis," 1908-1909, was caused by the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in October, 1908. It increased tensions amongst the Great Powers and led to a controversy between the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, Russia and Ottoman Empire. It also led to international complications, which for several weeks in early 1909 threatened to end in a general European war and helped sow the seeds for World War I; 809;

807-808; "Modern anti-Semitism ... had become a source of energy, tremendous dark energy that could be tapped in to like an electric main for specific purposes..."


Apostles' Creed
58; The Apostles' Creed (circa 700 AD) (Latin: Symbolum Apostolorum), sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol." Wikipedia entry

638; It was in the United States where coffee initially started to be commercialized. In 1865, John Arbuckle marketed the first commercially available packages of ground, roasted coffee. His brand, 'Ariosa', was sold over a far larger area then any other coffee roaster. Instead of being confined to a small area close to his roasting factory, Arbuckle was able to establish his coffee as a regional brand. Others soon followed suit and, by World War I, there were a number of regional roasters including companies such as Folgers, Hill Brothers, and Maxwell House; From Galla Coffee website

Archer, Mr.

305-07; 375;

Arkansas Toothpick, made by Harvey McBurnette - 9.5" blade
Arkansas Toothpick

31; The Arkansas Toothpick is essentially a heavy dagger with a pointed, straight 12-20 inch blade. The "toothpick" is balanced and weighted for throwing and can also be used for thrusting and slashing; 725; Wikipedia entry

211; A word invented by Pynchon. According to this website the greek word arnos generally refers to a lamb or sheep, but occasionally to a goat, too. Suffixes with the common part -phil- (-phile, -philia, -philic) are used to specify some kind of attraction or affinity to something, in particular the love or obsession with something. Wikipedia

Arriaga, Camilo
381; potosino; a leader of Mexican anarchist group founded by Enrico and Ricardo Flores Magon in 1882; on August 30, 1900, he published the manifesto Invitación al Partido Liberal in San Luis Potosi. This document sparked a movement leading to formation of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) five years later, and was Ricardo Flores Magón's main vehicle for organizing the anti-Diaz struggle and for spreading the ideals of anarchism throughout Mexico; Wikipedia - Anarchism in Mexico

Arsenale di Venezia

706; 854; The Venetian Arsenal (Italian: Arsenale di Venezia) is a shipyard and naval depot that played a leading role in Venetian empire-building. It was one of the most important areas of Venice, lying in the Castello sestiere; where Theign keeps a pied-àcute-terre, 865; Wikipedia entry

264; in the Nonpareil;

441; The Russian Turcologists Malov and Tenishev mention a Western Yugur word Aryq, meaning Chinese or muslim Turk. This is a loanword from Tibetan, A-rig, the name of a country of nomadic herdsmen situated to the west of Amdo. It originally may have referred to the local Tibetan population. But Pynchon's use suggests it is a drink. Hmmm.
Arak or araq is an anise-flavored liquor popular in the Middle East; Wikipedia entry

ässalamu äläykum
441; As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم) is an Arabic language greeting used in both Muslim and Christian cultures. It means "Peace be upon you." It is also transliterated as Assalamu 'Alaikum or As-salaamu Alaikum. The traditional response is "wa `Alaykum As-Salām", meaning "and peace on you". Wikipedia entry

"as above [...] so below"
439; 797; This phrase comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus. The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. "'That which is above is the same as that which is below'...Macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom, the atom is the same as...and so on, ad infinitum." [1]

Ashkil, Danilo
827; "wearing a Turkish fez whenever the situation demanded ... Danilo Ashkil was descended from Sephardic Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition three and a half centuries earlier, eventually settling in Salonica"; multilingual Jew in Sarajevo, 841;

728; with Dally Rideout in Venice

714; in Vienna, with lurid mosaics of pre-biblical orgies; Astarte is a pre-biblical goddess of fertility, sexuality and war; Wikipedia entry


904; Cossack adventurer - "1889 occupation of the fort at Sagallo";

Sagallo, a small settlement on the north shore of the Gulf of Tajura, French Somaliland. A dismantled fort built by the Egyptians (who occupied the place between 1875 and 1884). In January 1889 Sagallo was occupied by a Cossack chief named Achinov, who was accompanied by the archimandrite Paisi and some 200 people, including priests, women and children. Paisi had been entrusted by the metropolitan of Novgorod with an evangelistic mission to the Abyssinian Church; while Achinov stated that he had a commission from the Negus for the purchase of arms and ammunition. The presence of Achinov at Sagallo (where he occupied the fort, which he found deserted) was regarded by the French government as an invasion of French territorial rights. The Russian foreign office having disavowed (7th of February) any connexion with Achinov, instructions were sent from Paris to secure the removal of the Cossacks. On the 17th of February French warships appeared off the port, and an ultimatum was sent to Achinov calling on him to surrender, but without effect. The fort was bombarded, and seven persons killed, two being women and four children. The Cossacks then surrendered, not having fired a shot. They were subsequently deported to Suez, whence they returned to Russia. Achinov was interned by the Russian government for some months (until October 1889). In 1891 he returned to Abyssinia. Paisi was promoted by his ecclesiastical superiors. In Paris the incident caused great excitement amongst the Russophils, and the consequent demonstrations led to the suppression of the League of Patriots and the prosecution of M. Paul Deroulede. 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica (likely Pynchon's source)

"at silly point"
222; "silly point" is a position in the game of cricket, played close to the batsman

Aubergine, Madame
367, gives Reef Traverse dancing lessons in Denver, "aubergine" means eggplant, both the vegetable and the color;

Audhumla - N. A. Abilgaard, 1790

142; The primeval cow. Audumla (Audhumla) was born from rime at Ginnungagap. The primeval giant Ymir (Aurgelmir) lived on the milk that flow from the cow's teats. Audumla also provided nourishment to Ymir's six-headed son. Audumla received nourishment through licking the salty rime-stones. Audumla licked the stone until it was shaped into a man. This stone became Buri, grandfather of the Aesir gods: Odin, Vili and Ve.

231; The Battle of Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. It was fought between the Jacobites and the forces of William III on 12 July 1691, near the village of Aughrim in County Galway; Wikipedia entry

August, Ernst
230; Crown Prince Ernst August II of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, (Ernst August Wilhelm Adolf Georg Friedrich) (21 September 1845-14 November 1923), was the eldest child and only son of King George V of Hanover and his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Ernst August had the misfortune of being deprived of the thrones of Hanover upon its annexation by Prussia in 1866 and later the Duchy of Brunswick in 1884. Although he was the senior male-line great grandson of King George III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I; [2]

Automorphic Dispensation

193; a company inspector or spy (indeterminate)

Aychrome, Police Inspector Vance
605; at Chunxton Crescent;

Azeff, Monsieur Yevno
720; Yevno Azef (also spelled Azev) was a double agent in a big way, working for both Russia's turn-of-the-century revolutionaries and the Czar's Okhrana. He was convicted of attempting to assassinate Tsar Nicholas II and was executed in 1911. He was also a founder of the Social Revolutionary Party.

Aziz, Abdel
520; "young sultan" in Morocco

394; "foundation story of the eagle and the serpent"

214; Aztlán (believed to mean "place of whiteness" or "place of herons," derived from the Nahuatl words "aztatl" (herons or white-plumed birds) and "tlan" ("place among") is the legendary ancestral home of the Nahua peoples, one of the main cultural groups in Mesoamerica. "Azteca" is the Nahuatl word for "people from Aztlan." While some legends describe Aztlán as a paradise, the Aubin Codex says that the Aztecs were subject to a tyrant elite called the Azteca Chicomoztoca. Guided by their priest, the Aztec fled, and on the road, their god Huitzilopochtli forbade them to call themselves Azteca, telling them that they should be known as Mexica (pronounced /meʃiko/). Ironically, the scholars of the 19th century would name them Aztec; "ghosts of..."; 277; "mythical homeland of" 923; Wikipedia

Against the Day Alpha Guide
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