General Information (C)

The C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Department) is the detective section of the British police force. It was established in 1878 by E.
Howard Vincent. A "Special Branch" was founded in 1883 to deal with the Fenian troubles, it now deals with the protection of high-ranking individuals and protection of the state, such as harassing members of the Communist Party.

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A caber is a roughly trimmed young pine-trunk used in Scottish
highland games (tossing the caber).

In nautical terms, a cable is 183 metres.

The cachuca is a graceful
dance marked by movements of the head and shoulders.

Cadmium is a metal
element with the symbol Cd.

Caffeine is a white,
bitter, crystalline alkaloid usually derived from coffee or tea and used in medicine as a nervous system stimulant.

A Caftan (Kaftan) is a long garment with long sleeves and tied at the
waist by a girdle, worn under a coat in the Middle East. The term has also come to describe a long, full, usually collarless robe with wide sleeves that is worn at home for lounging or on the beach as a cover-up.

The cakewalk is an
American dance which originated amongst the blacks.

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Vitamin D"

Calcium is a metal
element. It is an alkaline metal with the symbol Ca.

Calends was the first
day of the Roman calendar month.

A calf is a young bovine
animal, especially a young cow.

Callipers are an instrument for measuring dimensions of circular solids.

Calorie is the metric unit of measurement of heat. It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1
gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees centigrade.

Cam miles
Cam miles is a perennial dwarf herb of the order compositae.

The Cambrian period was the third geological period, 450,000,000 years ago.

Camelot was the
castle of Arthur.

A cameo is a small relief carving.

Camouflage is colours or structures which allow an
animal to blend in with its surroundings.

Camphene is a
solid terpene occurring in the oil of ginger. It is oxidised by chromic acid to form camphor.

The campos are the open grassy plains of
South America.

A canal is an artificial open
water channel.

Cancer is a disease of malignant tumours, what causes it is unknown, however experiments in the 1950s revealed a connection between conscious belief and cancer, that is patients who had cancerous tumours removed and believed themselves to be free of the cancer were less likely to suffer re-emergence of the cancer than patients who believed the cancer would re-occur.

A candelabrum is a large candlestick.

A candle is a
wax cylinder enclosing a wick. It is burnt to provide light.

Canning is the commercial operation of food preserving which involves the use of heat and sealing the food in airtight containers.

In geography, a canon is a deep ravine or
valley with precipitous sides made by the rapid flow of a river and the action of denudation.

A capacitor is an electrical device consisting of two conductive bodies separated by insulating material and thus possessing capacitance.

Capricorn is a
sign of the zodiac symbolised by a goat.

A capstan is a revolving
barrel with a vertical axis powered by people. It is used for winding cable. On sailing ships the capstan is used to raise and lower the anchor.

Captopril is a drug used to contol high
blood pressure and aid in
the relief of heart failure. It has the possible side effects of:
increased heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of taste, lack of
appetite, rash, itching, dizziness and fainting.

Carat is the unit of measurement of
gold purity.

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A carbide is a
compound of carbon and another element.

A carbohydrate is a complex chemical
compound. Consisting of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. In foods it forms sugars and starch.

Carbolic acid
acid is a strong poison distilled from coal-tar.

Carbon is a non-metallic
element with the symbol C. Contained in all life forms.

Carbonado is a powdered form of

A carbonate is a salt formed by the
union of carbon dioxide with a base element.

The Carboniferous was the seventh geological period, 250,000,000 years ago. This
era marked the formation of the coal beds.

Carborundum is
silicon carbide and is extremely hard.

A carboy is a large globular wicker-covered
glass bottle used for holding acid or other corrosive liquids.

A carburettor is a device for charging
air with a hydrocarbon.

Cardan Suspension
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Caries is a disease resulting from inflammation of bony

Carmine is a
red colouring derived from the cochineal insect.

see "
vitamin a"

Carpel is a botanical term referring to a simple
pistil or a single member of a compound pistil.

Carpet is a thick fabric, often made of
wool, used for covering a floor. It is made by knotting short lengths of yarn to the warp threads during weaving.

Carron oil
Carron oil is a mixture of linseed oil and
lime water which was formerly used for treating burns. It was first used at the Carron ironworks near Falkirk.

Carse is the name given in
Scotland to a wide fertile valley.

A cart is a strong two or four wheeled vehicle used in farming and for carrying heavy goods.

A cartel is a written agreement for the exchange or
ransom of prisoners.

A carton is a
light box or case for holding goods.

In architecture, a cartouche is a scroll ornament.

Cartridge-paper is a thick paper. It is so named because it was originally used to make soldiers' cartridges.

A caruncle is a small hard outgrowth formed on the seeds of certain
plants, such as the castor oil plant.

Caryopsis is a botanical term for a one-seeded indehiscent
fruit with pericarp fused to the seed-coat, as in wheat and barley.

Casareep is the concentrated juice of the roots of the
cassava flavoured with aromatics and boiled to remove the toxins. It is then used as a relish in soups and other dishes. It is the basis of the Jamaican dish "pepper-pot". Casareep is also a powerful antiseptic and was used for preserving meat in tropical countries.

Cascara is an extract of the
bark of the Californian buckthorn used as a laxative or cathartic.

Case-hardening is a process whereby
iron objects have their outside layer converted to steel. The object is put in a box containing carbon and is heated until red hot. Then it is immersed in cold water where upon a layer of steel forms on the object.

Casein is a
protein found in milk.

A cassock is a long close fitting
tunic, buttoning up to the neck and reaching down to the feet, worn by the clergy.

Castanets are small concave shells of
ivory or hard wood used by the Spaniards and Moors to make a rattling sound to accompany dancing. A pair of castanets are held in the palm of the hand and struck with the middle finger.

Caste is an Indian hereditary class system with members socially equal, united in religion and usually following the same
trade. A member of one caste has no social intercourse with a member of any other caste except their own.

Castor is a reddish-brown
bitter substance obtained from the anal glands of the beaver and used in perfume and medicine.

Castor oil
Castor oil is a pale yellow nauseous acrid oil obtained from the seeds of the Castor oil
plant and used as a purgative and lubricant.

Catacombs are subterranean cemeteries.

chemistry, a catalase is any of various enzymes capable of decomposing hydrogen peroxide.

Catalepsy is a disease characterised by seizures or trances which last for hours or days with a suspension of sensation and consciousness.

A catalyst is a substance which facilitates a reaction, without being consumed by the reaction itself. It is a term generally used in
chemistry, although it is equally applicable in applied Psychology, such as in the role of an antagonist or provocateur.

Catarrh is the inflammation of a
mucous membrane, particularly that of the nose, throat or bronchial tubes, causing an increased flow of mucus.

A catboat is a sailing
boat with a single mast set well forward and rigged with one sail.

A catcher is a fielder who stands behind the batter in

Catgut is the dried and twisted
intestines of sheep or horses used for making the strings of musical instruments and tennis rackets and for sutures in surgery.

A cathetometer is a device for measuring small differences in height.

A cathode is a negative electrical pole or terminal.

Cathode Rays
Cathode rays are a stream of electrons emitted from the cathode of an electron tube and accelerated to high velocity by an electron gun. The rays can be deflected by magnetic or electric fields.

Cathode-ray Oscilloscope
A cathode-ray oscilloscope is an instrument for examining electrical quantities, and particularly varying electrical quantities both periodoc and transient, by means of a luminous trace on the screen of a
cathode-ray tube. The quantities to be investigated or measured are made to deflect the electron beam in the cathode-ray tube, and thus to produce corresponding movement of the light spot on the screen. In addition to examining electrical quantities as such, the oscilloscope is widely used to examine any physical quantity the changing values of which can be converted into corresponding changes of electric potential.

Cathode-ray Tube
A cathode-ray tube is an electron tube containing a thermionic
cathode and an electron gun for the production of cathode rays which are directed axially along the tube in the direction of the flattened, wide end. The internal surface of the wider end of the tube is coated with a phosphor which emits light at the point of impact of the high speed electrons.

A cation is a positively charged
ion which, in an electrolyte or in a gas-filled electron tube, travels towards the negative electrode or cathode.

Cattle Plague
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The catty was a Chinese unit of weight equivalent to 1.5

Caudle is a warm, thin spiced gruel made with
wine and sugar which was given to invalids and women after childbirth.

A caul is a woman's close-fitting
cap or hair net. They were originally made of gold net and worn by women between the 14th and 16th centuries.

A cauldron is a large boiling vessel, usually of a deep
basin shape with a hoop handle and a removable lid.

A causeway is a raised road across a low or wet piece of land.

A cautery is a heated metal instrument used for burning or searing
organic tissue.

A cavalcade is a procession of riders on horse-back.

A cave is a deep hollow place under ground.

Cavendish is softened
tobacco which has been sweetened with molasses and then pressed into cakes.

The CBI is the British organisation of employers.

The CCIR (Comite Consultatif Internationale
des Radio), is a major constituent of the International Telecommunications Union, issuing both Radio Regulations and Recommendations for all uses of radio transmission.

The CCITT (Comite Consultatif Internationale
des Telephones et Telegraphes), is a major constituent of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that sets standards for the operation of telecommunications services across international boundaries. Many CCITT standards are adopted for use domestically.

A ceilidh is a Gaelic festival of singing and dancing held in
Scotland and Ireland.

Celluloid is a hard, unstable synthetic substance once used for films.

Cellulose is the cellular
tissue of plants. Used as cotton and paper.

Cement is a mixture of chalk and
clay used for building.

The census is a questionnaire issued every ten years in
Britain which gathers detailed figures concerning the population, classified according to sex, age, occupation, size of families and geographical distribution.

The cental was a weight of 100 pounds legal in
Britain since 1879.

Cerium is a rare metal
element with the symbol Ce.

The chain is a unit of the imperial scale of measurement of length equivalent to 22
yards or 20.168 metres.
A chain is comprised of 100 links, each 7.92 inches long.

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Chalder was a Scottish dry measure containing 16 bolls, equivalent to 12 imperial quarters.

The chaldron is an old
English unit of capacity measurement equivalent to 36 bushels. It was used as a measure of coal in England, equal to 6,800 lbs.

A chalice is a ceremonial

Charcoal is an
amorphous form of carbon formed by charring wood.

A chariot was a two wheeled vehicle used in ancient warfare.

Chauvinism is fanatical devotion to a cause, especially patriotism. The term comes from Nicholas
Chauvin who was a soldier so enthusiastically devoted to Napoleon that his comrades ridiculed him.

Cheese is a food made by condensing
milk fat and casein.

Cheese Aerial
cheese aerial is a type of rotatable aerial employed in Radar on the centimetric waveband. It consists of a parabolic metallic reflector, and is usually fed by a waveguide.

Chemical Bond
bond is the force retaining tow atoms together in a molecule as, for example, the forec exerted by a pair of shared electrons.

Chemistry is the science of the composition of substances.

The cheng is a Chinese musical instrument. It is comprised of a series of tubes with free
reeds. Its introduction into Europe led to the development of the accordion and harmonium.

Chenille is an ornamental fabric made by
weaving or twisting together warp-like threads with a weft the loose ends of which protrude all round in the form of a pile.

Chess is a game of skill played on a chequered board.

Chicken pox
Chicken pox is an infectious disease of children and adults.

Chicle is a gum-like substance obtained from the bully
tree and used for making chewing gum.

Chilli is a spice, being either the
pod or powder of capsicum.

Originally, chintz was a painted or stained calico imported from

A chiton was a simple garment extending half-way to the knee and worn in ancient

A chlorate is a salt formed by the reaction of chloric
acid and metal.

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Chloric acid
acid is a oxyacid of chlorine. It is a powerful oxidising agent.

Chlorine is a
gaseous element with the symbol Cl.

Chloroform (trichloRomethane) once used as an anaesthetic.

Chlorophyll is the
green colouring matter of plant leaves.

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a
micro organism.

Cholesterol is a steroid
alcohol present in animal cells and body fluids.

Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate
magnesium trisalicylate is a drug used to treat arthritis;
mild-to-moderate pain and fever. It has the possible side effects
of: tinging in the ears and hearing loss, nausea, vomiting, gastric
distress, hidden bleeding, rash, hypersensitivity manifested by shock
and/or asthma.

Chromatic Aberration
aberration is the presence of prismatic colours at the edges of an optical image due to the refractive index of the lens material being different for light of different frequencies.

Chromium is a metal
element with the symbol Cr.

Cider is an
alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple juice.

Cinematograph Films Act
The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 was a British act of Parliament which came into force on April 1st 1928 for a ten year period until March 31st 1938. The act required that British renters of films included in their output a certain proportion of films made in the British
Empire. Exhibitors of films were also required to show a proportion of British films. The proportions were on a sliding scale, gradually increasing over the ten year period.

Cinnamic Acid
Acid or phenylacrylic acid is a white, crystalline organic compound found naturally in combination in some balsams and prepared synthetically by heating benzaldehyde with sodium acetate in the presence of acetic anhydride.

A circuit is a path for electrical current. Current can flow only when the circuit is closed, that is when it presents a continuous conductive path.

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Citric acid
acid is found in citrus fruits. It has the formulae c6h807.

A clarinet is a
woodwind musical instrument.

A clarion is a musical instrument of the
trumpet family.

Cleopatra's Needle
Cleopatra's Needle is a famous monolith which was erected at Heliopolis around 1500 BC before the great temple which stood there. It was removed to Alexandria by Augustus Caesar and presented to England by Mehemet Ali in 1819 and brought to London in 1878. It is made of granite and stands roughly 21 meters tall.

A clepsydra was a
Greek and Roman water clock which measured time by the rate of the flow of water through small holes at the bottom of an earthenware globe.

The clerestory is that part of the walls of a Gothic church which rise above the
aisle and contains a row of windows. Its purpose being to admit as much light as possible to the nave.

Click is a
peculiar variety of speech which occurs in the Bushman and Hottentot languages. The sounds are produced by pressing the tongue against some portion of the teeth-ridge or palate, and then quickly withdrawing it so as to produce an implosive click.

Climate is the average
state of the atmosphere with regard to warmth, wind, rain and other variable conditions throughout a long period of time. It is dependant on the interaction of atmospheric conditions, such as wind, cloud, temperature and rainfall and on the surface features of the earth itself, such as the distribution of land and water, mountains and ocean currents. Hence it may vary considerably in places only a few kilometres apart.

A clipper is a sharp bowed fast sailing vessel.

A cloak is a loose fitting, usually sleeveless outer garment.

A clog is a wooden soled,
leather uppered boot.

Cloisonne is a form of decorative enamel.

Clonidine Hydrochloride
Clonidine hydrochloride is a drug used to treat control high
pressure; to suppress abstinance symptoms during narcotics withdrawl.
It has the possible side effects of: drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue,
sedation, nervousness, headache, dizziness on changing position
quickly, mouth dryness, constipation and itching.

Clotted Cream
Cream is made by allowing milk to stand in shallow pans for 12 hours at 60 degrees farenheight and then gently heating it to 180 degrees farenheight until the surface becomes wrinkled. More cream is separated by this system and it is more easily churned, and the scalding cures taints. Clotted cream contains about 67.5% butterfat.

A cloud is a mist formed above the ground by floating
water particles.

Clove hitch
The clove hitch is a

Cloxacillin Sodium
sodium is a drug used to treat systemic infections. It has
the possible side effects of: Nausea, vomiting, stomach distress,
diarrhea and hypersensitivity (rash, itching, chills, fever, sneezing
and/or wheezing)

A clutch is an apparatus by which two rotating shafts may be connected or disconnected for the purpose of causing one to drive the other.

Co-axial Cable
cable is cable consisting of two conductors, one a central wire and the other a cylinder concentric with the wire, the space between them being filled with a dielectric.

Co-education is the education of the two sexes together, not only in the same institution, but also in the same classes. The idea is coincident with the belief that the mental capacities of boys and girls are equal, and that their roles should to a large extent be interchangeable.

A co-respondent is the person charged with adultery jointly with the defendant spouse on a divorce petition, or a
joint defendant to an appeal.

Coal is a
solid combustible material of vegetable origin occurring in a fossilised state.

Coal-tar is a thick black viscous liquid produced by the destructive distillation of
coal. Coal-tar yields benzene, creosote, paraffin, aniline and dyes.

A coalition is an
alliance of States or political parties for common action on a specified policy.

In geography, the coast is the edge of land in contact with the sea.

Coastal Trade
Trade is sea-borne trade between different ports in the same country.

A coaster is a
ship which carries cargo around a country's coast.

Coastguard Service
The British Coastguard Service was established in 1923 as a department of the Board of Customs and
Excise for the protection of British shores. The Coastguard Service is involved with life-saving, providing aid to ships, the prevention of smuggling and certain customs services.

Coaxial Cable
A coaxial
cable is a cable in which one conductor surrounds the other. The electromagnetic wave travels between the grounded outer shield and the central conductor. Coaxials can carry much wider bandwidth and higher frequencies than twisted wire pair, while suffering less interference problems due to the grounded outer conductor. Where the maximum frequency capable on twisted pair wiring is about 16 megahertz and then only for short distances, coaxial cable readily carries several hundred megahertz for 300 metres.

Cobalt is a metal
element with the symbol Co.

Cocaine is an
alkaloid derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a white crystalline powder used as a local anaesthetic and also as a euphoric drug.

Coccidiosis is a disease of rabbits caused by the Coccidium
coccidia and detected by small yellow spots on the liver. It was commonly mistaken for tuberculosis at one time until the discovery of the coccidia organisms.

A cockade is a kind of
rosette worn in the hat by men-servants of naval and military officers, or of individuals holding office under the Crown. It was formerly worn in the hats of soldiers.

Cocoon is the name given to the silken case enveloping the
chrysalis of several Lepidoptera, especially the silk moths. The term is also applied to the silk sack in which spiders wrap their eggs.

Codeine is an
alkaloid derived from opium used as a pain killer and a sedative.

In science a coefficient is a pure numeric characteristic of some property of a material. It appears in the form of a
constant multiplying a term or terms in an equation expressing the behaviour of the material in question.

Roman law, coemption was a form of civil marriage by a fictious sale of the two parties to each other.

In law, coercion is
moral or physical pressure employed to force a person to do some act. In civil law, where an act is required to be done freely, such as in marriage etc., it will be invalidated by the element of coercion.

Coke is the residue, mainly
amorphous carbon, left on heating bituminous coal and thus driving off its volatile constituents, or on heating hydrocarbons to a point at which they decompose with deposition of carbon (cracking).

In geography, a col is a narrow, high
pass through a mountain chain formed by the meeting of river or glacier valleys from opposite sides of the range.

Colchicine is an
alkaloid derived from meadow saffron.

Colic is severe abdominal griping pains.

Colitis is inflammation of the

Collectivism is a social system in which capital, natural resources, productive
plant and all the means of wealth are held by the community. The word was first used by the anarchist, Bakunin to differentiate his policy from Marxism.

A collier is a medium-sized bulk carrier
ship normally operated on coastal and short-sea routes.

Collodion is a
solution of nitro-cellulose in a mixture of alcohol and ether. Collodion is a thick and very inflammable liquid used in the manufacture of artificial silk, artificial leather, artificial pearls and photography.

Collops is a British dish of minced meat
fried with onions and then slowly cooked in stock.

A colonnade is a row of columns, frequently covered with a roof projecting from an adjacent building. Colonnades were common in ancient

A colophon is the notice found in manuscripts and printed books which gives the name of the printer and the
date and place of issue etc.

Colorimetry is the measurement of the depth of colour of liquids for the purpose of inferring their chemical compositions.

The Colosseum is a famous building in
Rome. Its construction started under Emperor Vespasian in 72 and was completed in 80. The Colosseum was intended for gladiatorial combats and is shaped in a large ellipse with tiers of stone benches around a central space, and no roof.

A colossus is a statue exceeding life size. The famous Colossus of
Rhodes was a bronze statue of Helios which was reckoned to be about 30 meters tall.

Columbium is an alternative name for the
element Niobium.

In architecture, a column is an upright support in a building, usually of
stone, with a decorated base and capital.

A coma is a
state of deep unconsciousness.

Coma Berenices
Coma Berenices is a constellation of small stars situated east of Leo and above Virgo. According to legend, it is the beautiful hair of Queen Berenice of Egypt who consecrated it to Aphrodite.

A comb is a toothed instrument for arranging and smoothing hair.
Combs have been used at least since the times of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

Combustion is the process of
oxidation when it proceeds with sufficient violence and velocity to give rise to the easily apparent phenomena of heat and light.

A comet is a small body orbiting the
sun on an elliptical path with a long tail of dust and ice.

Commensalism is the regular association of different
species and genera of plants and animals living together, but independently. Either or both species may benefit by the association. For example, certain bacteria and fungi grow together on a substratum on which either will grow separately, but when the bacteria are present the fungi grow better and are more fruitful.

A commode is an occasional table supported by a cupboard, sometimes also with drawers. They were very popular in the 18th century. The term is also applied to a bedside cupboard.

A compactor is a device which crushes and compresses rubbish into small and convenient parcels.

A compass is an instrument for finding direction.

A compiler is a
computer program that translates high level language code into machine language code. It was invented by Grace Murray Hopper in 1951.

Compost is a mixture of manures, or earths and manures, varying in proportions and quality to suit different
plants and used by gardeners to feed their plants and improve soil quality.

A compound is a substance made of two or more
elements and differing from a mixture in that the elements are present in a constant proportion no matter how or where the compound is prepared.

Compton Effect
Compton Effect is the experimental proof by A. H. Compton in 1923 that X-rays, scattered by falling on a solid such as carbon are altered in frequency. The experiment affords proof that light is at once wave-like and particle-like in nature.

Compurgation was an ancient form of procedure in criminal cases whereby a prisoner succeeded if he could find a sufficient number of people, depending on the
gravity of the charge, to swear to his innocence.

A computer is a programmable electronic device.

A concertina is a wind musical instrument comprised of
bellows and two keyboards. It was invented in 1829 by Wheatstone.

Conciliation is the settlement of a dispute by reference to a commission which makes a report, but does not give an award or judgement.

Originally a concordat was any pact or agreement; later one between ecclesiastical and secular authorities, and especially one between the
Pope and a temporal ruler concerning ecclesiastical matters within the latter's domains.

Concrete is a building material of
cement, sand, stone and water.

In physics, a conductor is a substance in which free electrons and/or ions are available to move under the influence of
al electric field and thus to produce the phenomenon known as electric current. A conductor must therefore exist in a state of at least partial ionization.

Confucianism is an ancient Chinese religion. It takes its name from its supposed founder - Confucious, but predates him and Confucious never claimed to do more than preserve the virtues of the past.

Congo Red
Congo Red is a dye belonging to the azo-dyes. It is manufactured from benzidine and napthionic acid, and can be used directly on cotton without employing a mordant.

Conia is the volatile
alkaloid poison found in hemlock.

Consanguinity is the relation between persons descended from a common ancestor.

Conscience Clause
A conscience clause is a clause in certain British
Acts of Parliament which dispenses people from certain duties if they have religious objections to their performance.

Conscription is the compulsory training of every eligible man for military service.

Consecration is the act of dedicating a thing or person to the special service of a god.

CONSIGHT is an industrial machine vision object-recognition system which uses lighting effects to produce silhouette-like images.

Consistory Court
The Consistory
Court is the spiritual court of a diocesan bishop in the Church of England presided over by a lawyer, his Chancellor, administering ecclesiastical law. In the Church of Rome it is a meeting of Cardinals presided over by the Pope to discuss important ecclesiastical affairs.

In architecture, a console is an ornamental bracket used to support a cornice, usually in a curved form.

Consomme is a thin clear soup made from

In mathematics a constant is a fixed value.

Constantan is an
alloy of copper and nickel.

A constellation, in
astronomy, is a divisional area of the sky. Generally it is a group of fixed stars named after a mythological person or animal.

Constipation is irregular and insufficient evacuation of the

A constituency is a body of electors.

A consulate is a building in which a
consul transacts his official business.

Contempt of Court
Contempt of
Court is the disobedience to, or disregard of the rules, orders, or dignity of a court, and is punishable by fine or committal to prison. Less serious offences may sometimes be purged by an apology.

Contraband is the term used to describe goods which are prohibited to be imported or exported by the laws of a

Contract is a legal term for an agreement made between two or more persons which is recognised by law and whereby each party to the agreement undertakes to do, or to refrain from doing, a particular act in consideration of the other party undertaking to do, or refraining from doing, some other specified act.

Contract Bridge
Contract Bridge is a variety of Auction Bridge in which only the exact number of tricks which the declarer contracts to make score towards the game. The variety evolved around 1912, and gained popularity from 1930 onwards.

Contract Note
contract note is the summary of a contract sent by a broker or agent to his principal.

In music, contralto is the highest voice of a male
adult, or the lowest of a woman or boy. It is also known as Alto or counter-tenor.

Convention of Gastein
The Convention of Gastein was signed by
Austria and Prussia in 1865 at the close of the Schleswig-Holstein War. By it Schleswig was ceded to Prussia and Holstein to Austria.

Conveyancing is the transfer by
mutual consent of the parties of real property by means of written documents, or conveyances.

Convulsions are involuntary contractions of muscles which are usually under conscious control.

Cooking is the art of preparing food for the table by subjecting it to heat in various ways. In its higher developments, cooking also involves making the food attractive to the

Coon-can is a card game for between 2 and 7 players, and is derived from an old Spanish game called Conquian.

Cooperage is the making of wooden vessels by binding strips or staves of wood with hoops to form cylinders (barrels, casks etc.).

Copaiba is a mixture of
resin and volatile oil which pours from the cut stems of species of Copaifera trees indigenous to tropical America. In small doses copaiba is a diuretic.

Copal is a naturally occurring
resin used in varnish where it is dissolved in alcohol or turpentine.

A cope is a silken vestment, open in the front and reaching to the feet, used in the
Roman Catholic Church and more rarely in the Church of England.

A coppice or copse is a small wood.

Copra is the dried flesh of the coconut.

Coprolite is the fossilised excrement of
reptiles (dinosaur dung, so to speak). They occur in the form of nodules and contain a lot of phosphatic material. The term has come to apply to any phosphatic nodule.

Coprophilia is the rather unusual condition of deriving sexual pleasure from
faeces and excrement.

see "

Coptic is a Hamitic language descended from ancient
Egyptian, and extinct from about 1700.

Corbillon cup
The corbillon cup is a table tennis

Cordovan is a fine
leather which took its name from the Spanish city of Cordova where it was manufactured in large quantities.

Corduroy is a thick
cotton material corded, or ribbed on one surface.

Cordwain is a Spanish shoe-leather made of
goat skin or split horse hide. It was much used throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.

Cork is the
bark of a species of oak tree (Cork Oak) native to south Europe and north Africa. The bark is first stripped off when the tree is about 20 years old, and the process is repeated roughly every 9 years. The best cork is produced when the tree is about 40 years old, though the tree is productive for about 150 years.

Corn Laws
Corn Laws are various enactments designed to ensure an adequate supply of
cereal foods to a country, usually by protection allotted to its own farmers. In England from the 11th to the 15th centuries all exports of grain were forbidden except with special permission in times of a glut. This attempted protection ironically resulted in making agriculture inefficient and diminishing supplies, and in 1436 exports were allowed when the price dropped below a certain level.

Corned Beef
Beef meat which has been "corned", that is soaked in water with salt and a little potassium nitrate, for about 10 days.

Cornell University
Cornell University is an American university at Ithaca, in New York state. It was founded in the latter part of the 19th century mainly through the benefactions of Ezra Cornell.

The Cornish language was a Celtic language spoke in
Cornwall as recently as the 19th century, but is now all but extinct except in certain place names.

Corolla is a botanical term referring to a
flower's petals collectively. What in popular terms may be thought of as the "flower" of a plant.

A coronet is a special
crown worn by nobles on State occasions and represented above their coats of arms. The designs vary according to the rank of the wearer. In England, the Prince of Wale's coronet is distinguished from the royal crown by having a single instead of a double arch. A duke's coronet has on the rim 8 strawberry leaves; that of a marquis, 4 strawberry leaves and 4 silver balls alternately; that of an earl has 8 silver balls on long spikes alternating with strawberry leaves set lower; a viscount's coronet has 16 silver balls close together, and a baron's 6.

Corporal Punishment
Corporal Punishment is the striking or beating of a person as punishment. Caning in schools is corporal punishment, and is a subject of continuous debate as to whether or not it should be allowed. In the past in England certain criminals were whipped, such as incorrigible rogues, perpetrators of robbery with violence and larceny. The whipping of women was banned in England in 1820.

Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is the festival in the
Roman Catholic Church held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It was established as a general festival in 1264 by a bull of Pope Urban IV. It commemorates the institution of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and among Roman Catholics is the occasion of outdoor processions.

Corrosion is the external chemical changes which take place in materials in ordinary use, resulting in their injury or destruction. The corrosion of metal is very important, but the corrosion of
stone is also a major problem. The corrosion or iron is commonly known as rusting.

Corrosive Sublimate
Corrosive Sublimate is the popular name for
mercuric chloride.

Corvee is a form of forced labour. The term is especially applied to the unpaid labour owed by tenants in
France to their lord under the feudal system. The system died out with serfdom in Europe, except in France where it was continued in the form of a labour or money payment for the upkeep of roads.

Cosmetics are materials used to improve the personal appearance. They fall into two categories. Those which improved the natural appearance of the
skin and hair and remove blemishes; and those which camouflage. Soap is the most commonly used cosmetic. It is used to loosen and remove dirt and dead skin cells.

Cosmology is the study of the structure of the

Cotton Mills Act
Cotton Mills Act was passed in 1819 laying down a minimum age for the employment of children and a maximum working week of 72 hours.

Cotton-seed oil
Cotton-seed oil is an oil expressed from the seeds of the
cotton plant. It is obtained in large quantities in the USA where the higher grade oil is used as an edible cooking oil and the cheaper grades are used for making soap.

Cotton-wool is the term used for
cotton when used in the open form, without being spun or woven. It is usually composed of short fibres which are no use for spinning, and is used in medicine for applying antiseptic material and for removing make-up and for wadding and stuffing.

The cotyledon is the first leaf of an
embryo plant and is formed within the seed.

Coumarone is a liquid
organic compound found in coal-tar. It belongs to the benzo-furfurane class of compounds and is used as a source of resin for making varnish.

A counter-irritant is a remedy applied to the body externally which relieves a discomfort somewhere else by producing a local irritation. They effect relief by
reflex action due to the sensation they impart to the nerves of the skin below.

Coup d'Etat
A Coup d'Etat is a sudden, forcible
assumption of power in the State by a party or person in defiance of constitutional rights.

A coupe is a small four-wheeled closed carriage for 2 persons. The term has come to also describe a motor car with a single-compartment body containing two or three seats or a half-compartment in a railway coach.

A couplet is two rhymed lines of verse, either comprising a self-contained poem, or forming a unit in a longer poem.

A coupon is a small certificate which entitles the holder to some payment, gift or benefit.

Coursing is the pursuit of game by dogs running by sight, not by scent. Modern coursing is mainly restricted to
greyhound racing where the object is not to catch the hare, but rather a race of speed between the dogs.

Court is the suite of the
sovereign, or the place where the sovereign sojourns with his suite. A court is also a place where the sovereign administers justice through his judges.

Court Martial
Court Martial is a court for the trial of offences against the military or naval discipline or for the administration of martial law.

Covalency is the bonding of two
atoms in a molecule by the mutual sharing of a pair of electrons, one from each atom.

Coventicle Act
The Coventicle Act of 1664 declared that a meeting of more than five persons (except the household) for religious worship not in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer was a seditious assembly. It was repealed by the
Toleration Act of 1689.

A cow-catcher is a frame of
steel bars projecting forwards and downwards from the front of a locomotive in order to prevent cattle and other obstructions from getting under the wheels of the train.

A cowl is a sleeveless garment with a hood worn by members of certain religious orders in the Catholic Church.

Crack is the crystalline form of

In the petro-chemical industry, the term cracking applies to the heating of a
hydrocarbon to the point at which it decomposes with deposition of carbon.

Crambo is an old guessing game which was very popular in the 17th century. One player thinks of a word and mentions another word with which it rhymes. The other players try to guess the word by defining the word guessed by a synonym without actually naming it. For example; "A word rhyming with dog"; "Is it a mist?"; "No it's not fog"; "Is it a pig?"; "Yes it is hog". In Dumb Crambo the word guessed has to be portrayed in pantomime without speaking.

Cramp is a severe spasm of certain muscles, usually of a limb, but often of the
chest or abdomen.

Crap-shooting (Craps) is a form of gambling with dice which is especially popular in
America. Two dice are rolled or "shot" from the open hand; a throw of 7 or 11 (nick or natural) wins all stakes; 2, 3 or 12 (crap) loses all. Any other number (a point) entitles the thrower to continue until he wins by throwing the same number again, or loses by throwing the 7.

see "

A crater was a large earthenware vessel used for mixing wines in
Greece and Rome. The term also describes the outlet of a volcano or the hole made in the earth by an explosion.

CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) is a powerful error checking method for
data and digital communications. The transmitting terminal computes a numeric value representative of the number of marking bits in the associated block of data and sends that value to the receiver, where the number is recomputed to compare against the block as received. Depending on the number of bits in the CRC numeric value the error trapping efficiency ranges from about 97 % at CRC-6 to 99.997% at CRC-32. Values of CRC-8 and CRC-16 are adequate for most data message block sizes, while CRC-32 is needed mainly for very long blocks of tens of thousands of characters.

Cream is the thicker substance that rises to the top of
milk which is allowed to stand. It contains all the constituents of milk, with a larger but variable quantity of solids. A medium cream contains 36% butterfat, 6% albuminoids and 2.5% milk sugar. The butterfat content varies between 15 and 56 per cent.

Cream of Tartar
Cream of Tartar or potassium sodium tartrate is a salt of tartaric acid used in baking.

see "
Methyl-guanidine-acetic acid"

Creative Evolution
Creative Evolution is a tenet of philosophy put forward by Bergson that asserts that evolution is not purely mechanistic (as
Darwin claimed) but that inherited characteristics and the effect of the environment are used by the individual, perhaps unconsciously, in an act of self-creation.

Credence Table
A credence table was a "tasting" table used in
Italy at a time when attempts to poison princes and nobles was a common practice. Today a credence table is a small table in a church by the side of the altar on which the bread and wine are placed ready for the Eucharist.

Credentials are official documents issued to a representative or agent, guaranteeing his status and authority.

Creosote is a generic term applied to
acid liquors which are obtained during the destructive distillation of wood, and also to a fraction obtained in the distillation of coal-tar.

Crepe de Chine
Crepe de Chine was originally a mixed
silk and wool fabric, today it is a usually pure wool fabric, woven so as to give a slightly crinkled effect when put through a special finishing process.

Crescent is a geometrical form resembling the
moon in its first quarter, and used as a charge in heraldry. It is perhaps bet known as the symbol of the Ottoman Turks and a symbol of Islam.

The cresols (hydroxy-toluenes, methyl-phenols) are
organic compounds present in the crude phenol obtained from coal-tar. They are used in antiseptics.

The Cretaceous was the eleventh geological period, 95,000,000 years ago. The first
marsupials evolved.

Cretinism is a disease developed in early childhood due to the absence or deficiency of the
thyroid gland or to goitre. The disease is distributed the world over, but is especially common in certain areas such as Switzerland and Derbyshire.

Cribbage is a card game usually for 2 players, but also played in pairs by 4 players. It was invented by John Suckling in the first half of the 17th century and is very popular in
London, and pubs throughout Britain where it is played for money and in competition leagues.

Cricket is the
English national summer game - although the English cricket team of the 1990s is an international joke. The modern day game seems to have evolved around the 16th century from earlier bat and ball games dating from the 13th century and assumed its present form in the 18th century. Cricket is a team game played by two teams of 11 players each on a pitch 22 yards long with a wicket at each end to be defended by the batsman against a ball delivered by one of the opposing side, while the other members of this side endeavour to catch the ball when struck or missed by the batsman.

Criminology is the science dealing with the nature and causes of crime. It is a branch of
sociology and psychology.

Crochet is a form of knitting done with a hooked needle and
cotton or thin wool.

Croquet is a
lawn game which was introduced into England around 1850. It comprises 4 balls - blue, red, black and yellow, always played in that order - which are struck with a wooden mallet through 6 hoops and against a peg in a prescribed order.

Croquettes is a savoury mixture of meat,
fowl, fish, cheese, nut egg etc. bound together with a sauce and then coated with egg and breadcrumbs and fried.

Croton Oil
Croton Oil is a fatty oil obtained from the seeds of Croton tiglium. It is an extremely powerful cathartic and is used in medicine.

Croup is the inflammation of the

Crown Jewels
Crown Jewels are jewelled emblems of royalty. The British Crown Jewels are kept on public display at the Tower of London and comprise crowns, orbs, sceptres, swords and an anointing spoon.

Crown Lands
Crown Lands are lands belonging to the sovereign.

The crozier is a
bishop's staff of office. It resembles a shepherd's crook in shape, and may have developed from the hooked staff carried by the Roman augurs.

The crwth was a
Welsh form of violin with 6 strings. 4 of the strings were played with a bow, the other 2 being plucked by the fingers.

A crypt is a chamber or compartment under a church or public building. In early Christian churches it was usually built to hold a saint's tomb or the relics of saints.

Cryptography is writing in cipher with the intention of hiding the meaning from all who do not possess the key.

A crystal is a body, usually bounded by symmetrically arranged plane surfaces possessing properties which differ in magnitude in different directions.

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace was a large building with a central hall, 1600 ft long, built entirely of iron and glass, with towers at either end 282 ft high, at Sydenham in London. It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and reconstructed in 1854 from the building used for the Great Hyde Park Exhibition of 1851.

Cubebs is an eastern condiment made from dried unripe berries of a
plant closely related to the pepper.

The cubit was an
English unit of measurement equal to 18 inches.

A cucullus was a hooded
cloak of coarse woollen material worn by lower orders in Rome.

Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan
Diamond was a diamond of over 3000 carats found in Cullinan mine in the Transvaal in 1907. It was bought by the Transvaal government for 150,000 pounds and presented to King Edward VII as the largest diamond known. It has subsequently been cut into 9 large stones.

Cuneiform describes the form of writing used in inscriptions by the ancient Babylonians, Persians and
Hittites. The characters are all in the form of a wedge and were developed from earlier ideographs and represent not so much individual characters as syllables or entire words.

A cup is an
alcoholic beverage consisting of the lighter wines, such as claret, sherry, cider, hock, champagne, etc. mixed with soda-water, and sweetened with sugar. Fruit juices and slices of fruit and spices are sometimes added.

A cupel is a receptacle made from bone-ash and used in

Cupellation is an ancient method of extracting
silver from its ores by alloying the silver with lead, and then removing the lead from the lead-silver alloy by melting it in a receptacle made from bone-ash and called a cupel. Air is then passed over the surface of the metal, oxidising the lead to litharge which is blown off.

In architecture, a cupola is a spherical roof. The term is also used to describe the cover of gun emplacements.

Cupro nickel
nickel is an alloy of copper and nickel

Curare is a
poison derived from the bark of a South American tree.

A curfew is a signal given, generally by the ringing of a
bell, to warn inhabitants of a town to extinguish their fires. It was used to avoid the danger of fires at night when houses were built of wood. The practice generally died out from 1100, and today the term describes ordering citizens to remain indoors between certain hours.

Curia Regis
Curia Regis was a
court of law established by William I and attended by all the great officers of state as a final Court of Appeal.

Curia Romana
Curia Romana is the name given to the judicial and administrative organisations for the Government of the
Roman Catholic Church, including the body of Cardinals and officials who reside at Rome.

Curie is the unit of measurement of

Curry is an Indian dish composed of various solids -
fish, meat, fowl or eggs - served in a hot flavoured sauce. The sauces vary, but are based upon chilli, black pepper, coriander and turmeric.

Curtilage is the land which surrounds and belongs to a dwelling-house.

Curtis cup
The curtis cup is an international
golf tournament.

Custard is a sweet sauce made from
eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla essence. The eggs are beaten with the sugar and then milk and the vanilla essence are added. The dish may also be steamed and served set as a desert.

A cutlet is a small slice of veal, mutton or
lamb, trimmed into shape and usually part of the rib.

see "

Cyanamide is a colourless crystalline substance. It is the amide of
cyanic acid and is prepared by the interaction of ammonia and cyanogen chloride.

Cyanic Acid
Acid (HCNO) is a volatile liquid prepared by the distillation of urea. It is very unstable and if heated above zero degrees Celsius explodes with the formation of a polymer cyanmelide.

Cyanide is a salt of hydrocyanic
acid. Notably potassium cyanide.

see "
Vitamin B12"

Cyanogen is a colourless gas with a peculiarly characteristic odour. It is inflammable and extremely

Cybernetics is the study of systems in which the
action of a mechanism is controlled by information received from an external source.

A cyclone is an area of low atmospheric pressure.

Cyclopia is the medical condition of a person born with only one
eye orbit.

A cyclotron is an apparatus for imparting energies in the order of millions of electron-volts to charged particles by causing them to follow a
spiral path inside a pair of hollow semicircular electrodes between which an oscillating voltage is applied.

Cystitis is an inflammation of the

Cytochrome is a type of