in American Senator

Chapter 08 – The Paragon’s Party at Bragton

Mr. Elias Gotobed, the Senator for Mikewa

Trollope uses linguistic diversity to convey the hybridity of American identity.  “Elias” is Hebrew, “Gotobed” is English, “Senator” is Latin, and “Mikewa” is a fictitious US state named to sound Native American.  [RR 2012]


she gave annually £5 per annum

Per annum is a Latin prepositional phrase meaning ”through the year,” which retains in English its Latin meaning.  Trollope seems intentionally to double the time signifiers here ”annually…per annum” in order to emphasize the scanty amount which the honorable Mrs. Morton gives to charity. [CD 2012]

Source: OED.


Lord and Lady Augustus Trefoil

Lord and Lady Augustus Trefoil are the parents of Arabella Trefoil, the fiancée of John Morton.  Trollope humorously names them, as they are not ”august” in any sense of the word.  This name was borne most famously by the Roman emperor Augustus, who won a civil war for control of the Roman empire and through wealth and political power brought about an era of relative peace and prosperity.  Lord Augustus is not particularly important and has little money, living in the shadow of his brother, a duke.  Lady Augustus has even less money, and spends her time traveling from friend to friend with her daughter, who searches for a rich bachelor to marry.  [CD 2012]


“dogs” seems to me more civil

English “civil” is related to the Latin noun civis, “citizen,” and Trollope is playing on this meaning by having Gotobed suggest that the British fox-hunters use an elevated vocabulary, “hounds,” that separates them from the common man.  “Dogs” appeals to Senator Gotobed because of his egalitarian sensibilities, and he thinks the more common word is that one most fit to be used by citizens to one another.  [CD 2012]


Captain Glomax

Captain Glomax is the master of the hunt for the Ufford and Rufford United Hunt Club.  Trollope refers to him here as “the celebrated sportsman,” perhaps activating an echo of Latin maximus, “greatest,” in the captain’s last name.  [RR 2012]