VitaminQ - a temple of trivia lists and curious words
Vitamin Q: the book!
~ Monday, March 17, 2003
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!
Those lyrics from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' explained:
1 Scaramouche - originally 'Scarramuccia', one of the stock figures in Italian Commedia del'Arte theatre; a swashbuckling beau dressed in black who was never quite as brave as he pretended
2 Figaro - a Spanish first name, best known from the witty and rebellious barber in Beaumarchais' novels Le Barbier de Séville and Le Mariage de Figaro, both later made into operas
3 silhouetto - Italian for silhouette, an outline seen against a lighter background, named, for unknown reasons, after Etienne de Silhouette, 18th century French finance minister. The cutting of silhouette shapes and profiles became a fad.
4 Bismillah - an Arabic interjection meaning 'in the name of God'
5 Beelzebub - chief spirit of evil, the name means 'lord of the flies' and was first used for a Philistine god. Milton uses the name for Satan's right-hand fallen angel in Paradise Lost. The name is sometimes used as a synonym for 'Satan'.
6 magnifico - Italian word for magnificent or, by extension, a Venetian nobleman or any high ranking person
7 fandango - a Spanish courtship dance in triple time, performed by a couple, often employing castanets
8 Galileo - Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and philosopher (1564 - 1642)