Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Scylla and Charybdis/183

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu

Annotations[edit | edit source]

absit nomen     (Latin) let the name be absent.[1] Stephen is alluding to the Latin precept absit nomen, absit omen (If you do not utter an ill-omened expression, you will not incur the bad luck attendant on it). The second half of this phrase, absit omen (let there be no [ill] omen), is used on its own as an apotropaic phrase to ward off any possible bad luck that might attend the uttering of an ill-omened term; today one might knock on wood to achieve the same effect.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Gifford (1988) 207.
  2. Spears, Richard A. (1981). Slang and Euphemism. New York: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 0-8246-0273-0. 
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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