General Information (S)

The S-band is the frequency band from 1550 to 5200
mhz employed in radar.

A sabot is a wooden shoe. They are worn in
France and Holland where they are made large enough to be lined with straw or hay.

Saccharin is an ortho sulpho benzimide used as a substitute for

Saccharose is a former alternative name for

The sackbut is a musical instrument of the brass family.

Saffron is an orange-yellow
dye extracted from the dried stigmas of a type of crocus (Crocus sativus). It is used in cooking.

Safranines are
red dye-stuffs obtained by the oxidation of a mixture of paradiamine and a monoamine.

Sagittarius is a
sign of the zodiac represented by a centaur armed with a bow and arrow.

Sal Ammoniac
see "
Ammonium Chloride"

Salicin is a colourless,
bitter, odourless, crystalline substance obtained from the bark of several species of tree of the willow and poplar class, and used in medicine.

Salicylic Acid
acid (ortho-hydroxy-benzoic-acid) is the active chemical constituent of aspirin. It is an aromatic acid obtained by treating with hydrochloric acid the salt obtained by the action of carbon dioxide on sodium carbonate.

Salol (phenyl salicylate) is a colourless crystalline substance obtained by the
action of phenol on salicylic acid and employed in medicine externally as an antiseptic and internally as a mouth wash and as an intestinal and urinary disinfectant.

Saltpetre is a popular name for
potassium nitrate.

Salvarsan is a
poisonous yellowish powder discovered by Ehrlich and once used in a dilute solution as a treatment for syphilis. It is an organic compound containing a small amount of arsenic.

Samarium is an
element with the symbol Sm.

Sand is small particles of mineral matter, usually
quartz. The purest quartz sands are white in colour and used for making glass. Other sands may be various colours dependant upon the minerals they contain.

Sangaree is an
alcoholic beverage made from wine diluted with water and mixed with spices and sugar and drunk iced.

Sarsaparilla is a drug prepared from the dried roots of several
plants of the genus Smilax, which grows in Mexico, Central and South America. Today the term is also a slang expression for Jamaican Cannabis.

see "

Satin is a fabric made from
silk or similar yarn, with a glossy surface on one side produced by a twill weave in which weft-threads are almost hidden by the warp.

Saturday is the sixth
day of the week.

A sauna is a steamy heat

A savannah is an extensive tropical

The saxhorn is a musical instrument of the brass family. It evolved from the bugle-horn, but has valves instead of keys. The name derives from it's inventor, Adolphe Sax.

The saxophone is a metal musical instrument of the
woodwind family.

Scabies is a
skin disease due to an animal parasite, the Sarcoptes scabei, which burrows beneath the skin, most commonly at the clefts of the fingers.

Scandium is a metal
element with the symbol Sc.

Scapulomancy is divination by
reading the cracks which appear in a scapula (shoulder-blade) when it is roasted over an open fire. It was widely practised in ancient Babylon.

see "
Scarlet Fever"

Scarlet Fever
Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina) is an infectious fever, characterised by a sore throat, a
red, diffuse eruption on the skin, followed by shedding of the superficial part of the skin.

Sciatica is a pain of the
sciatic nerve, often caused by exposure to cold or wet.

Scintillation is a luminous effect produced when high-speed charged particles (
alpha and beta particles and protons) pass through matter.

Scoliosis is a curvature of the

A scooter is a platform mounted on wheels with a steerable
column. They originally developed from roller skates, and were propelled by the rider. During the beginning of the 20th century small engines started to be fitted, followed by a saddle and the scooter developed into a form of motorcycle.

see "

Scorpio is a
sign of the zodiac represented by a scorpion.

Scrabble is a board game based upon a crossword puzzle.

Scrofula was a former term for
tuberculosis, especially of the lymphatic glands and bones.

Sculpture is the art of carving any substance into a designed form. The material may be
stone, clay, wood, ivory or metal, hand-wrought or cast in moulds.

Scurvy (scorbutus) is a disease caused by a deficiency of
vitamin C. It is characterised by anaemia, great weakness, spongy and swollen gums, and haemorrhages. In recent times scurvy was thought to be caused by a lack of fresh animal and vegetable food.

A searchlight is an instrument for directing a powerful beam of
light. They are constructed from an electric lamp and a concave mirror arranged so as to give a cylindrical beam of light.

Seborrhoea is a condition of the
skin in which there is excessive secretion by the sebaceous glands, forming crusts with scales from the skin and dirt.

The second is the
basic SI unit of time, one-sixtieth of a minute. It is defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of regulation (periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of the ground state) of the caesium-133 isotope. In mathematics, the second is a unit of angular measurement, equalling one-sixtieth of a minute, which in turn is one-sixtieth of a degree.

A seed is the fertilised ovule in flowering
plants. In addition to the embryo, the seed usually contains a certain amount of albumin for its early nourishment.

The seer is a unit of measurement equivalent to 1 kilogram. It was extensively used in
India around 1900.

A seiner is a
ship which employs seine net fishing.

Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes.

Selenium is a rare metal
element with the symbol Se. It was discovered in 1817 by Berzelius in the refuse of a sulphuric acid manufactory in Sweden.

Semaphore is a visual form of communication using flags.

A semiconductor is a material having electrical properties intermediate between those of good electrical conductors and those of insulators.

Senile gangrene
see "

Senna is a
purgative consisting of the leaves of the shrub Cassia actuifolia.

Sepia is a dark brown pigment obtained from cuttlefish and used for monochrome sketching.

Sepsis is
blood or tissue poisoning caused by bacteria.

Septic is a term describing
tissue in a state of sepsis. Usually the term is applied to cuts and wounds in an animal which have become infected.

Septicaemia is a pathological term describing
blood poisoning by bacteria.

Serotonin is a
compound widely distributed in human tissue, particularly in the blood, wall of the intestine and the central nervous system. It acts as a neurotransmitter concerned especially with the process of sleep.

A sextant is a navigational instrument for determining latitude by measuring the angle between a heavenly body and the horizon.

Shamanism is the religion of the Eskimos of north
America and Siberia.

Sharia is the law of Islam.

A Shebeen is an unlicensed (illegal) Scottish drinking establishment. It was defined by the Licensing (
Scotland) Act, 1862, section 37 as meaning and including a house, or other place in which spirits or other excisable liquors are trafficked in by retail without a certificate and excise licence.

A Sheep-Dog is any
breed of dog trained for controlling sheep, but in England the term is usually restricted to the Old English Sheep Dog.

The sheepshank is a sailor's

Sheffield Plate
Sheffield Plate is the name given to articles made of copper plated with silver by heat. It was invented in Sheffield in the middle of the 18th century.

Shellac is a
resin used to make varnish. It is derived from the lac insect.

Sherry is a Spanish
alcoholic beverage of wine mixed with brandy.

Shintoism is the primary religion in

Shinty is the Scottish name for

A ship is a vessel intended for navigating the
ocean, as distinct from a boat which is any navigable vessel. The term ship now applies to sizeable boats which are intended for distant voyages.

Ship-Money was a tax levied by
Charles I in October 1634, ostensibly for the equipment of ships for the defence of the coast and maintaining command of the sea. The tax was deemed illegal and was a contributory dispute which led to the English civil War.

Shire Moot
In Anglo-Saxon
England a Shire Moot was a meeting of all the freemen of a shire for transacting judicial and administrative matters pertaining to the shire.

Shoddy is
wool obtained from woollen rags and wastes and respun.

Shorthand is a system of graphical notation making it possible to record speech at greater speed than by normal writing.
Early systems were developed by the Greeks and Romans. Modern shorthand was first developed in England in 1588 by Timothy Bright. Thomas Shelton developed a system employed by Samuel Pepys in 1630. The idea of using sound instead of an alphabet as the basis for a shorthand system was introduced by William Tiffin in 1750. The Pitman system of shorthand first appeared in 1837 and is widely used today, being quite capable of 250 words a minute.

Shove-halfpenny is a game played on a marked board in which halfpennies or discs are jerked from the edge along the board with the
ball of the thumb. The object is to lodge the coins within marked areas on the board. It was once a popular game in English pubs.

Shuffle-board is a game played on a ship-deck in which wooden discs 6 inches in diameter are shoved by a kind of cue into marked squares from a distance of about 30 feet. The game has been recorded since the 15th century.

Siamese Twins
Siamese Twins are human twins born attached together. The attachment may be anything from a finger to a single body with two heads.

Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers was the massacre of the
French in Sicily on March 20th 1282. It was caused by a French soldier insulting a bride on her way to church, and resulted in the entire garrison of Charles of Anjour being annihilated within 3 days, putting an end to Angevin rule in Sicily.

A Sickle is a hook-shaped
steel bladed instrument used for cutting grass and grain.

A sign is a mark drawn upon a surface.

A signet is a private
seal used on documents and personal letters. The privy signet is the personal seal of the British Sovereign used on private documents.

Sikhism is a religion founded by
Nanak in the 15th century.

Silage is
green fodder stored in a silo or pit without drying.

A silicate (sillic
acid) is a compound formed by the combining of silica (SiO2) and water in various proportions.

Silicon is a non-metallic
element with the symbol Si.

Silk is a soft thread produced by the larvae of the
silkworm moth.

Sill is a geological term for a sheet of
igneous rock intruded into overlaying beds and lying nearly horizontal over a large area.

Sillic Acid
see "

A silo is a structure for storing and preserving vegetable matter in a
green state.

The Silurian was the fifth geological period, 335,000,000 years ago. This period marked the appearance of the first land

A simile is a literary device of description by comparison, as in "he slept like a log".

Simony is the trafficking in spiritual things. It was an offence against the
canon law. The term derives from Simon Magus, who offered the apostles money for the power to work miracles.

Single Tax
The single tax was a system of taxation proposed by Harry George. It was proposed that tax should be confined to land-rent, land being the real source of wealth.

Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein is an
Irish nationalist political party. It was founded in Dublin in 1900 by Arthur Griffith.

see "

Sintering is the process of heating strongly a quantity of more or less
amorphous material, so causing it to coalesce into a single solid mass.

A siphon is a bent tube with one limb longer than the other, by means of which a liquid can be drawn off to a lower level.

Sirius (the
Dog Star) is the brightest star in the sky. It is in the constellation of Canis Major and although only 2.5 times the mass of the sun gives off 32 times as much light.

The sitar is an Indian musical instrument similar to the

Sketch is a term used in art for a rapidly executed drawing serving as a study for a finished picture or as a note to aid the memory.

A skiagraph is a photograph taken by means of X-rays.

A skiatron is a form of cathode-ray tube sometimes employed in
radar. Its screen is composed of pottasium chloride and is white in colour, but exhibits a magenta trace of long persistence.

Skin Effect
In electronics,
skin effect is the ac resistance of a conductor due to the tendancy for high-frequency currents to travel along the surface of the wire.

Skittles (also called ninepins) is an ancient game played with nine large wooden pins set up in a
diamond formation, 3 pins to a side, and knocked down with a thrown missile. Originally the missile was a flattened wooden article weighing about 10 lbs and called a cheese. Today a wooden ball is rolled at the pins.

Sky Sign
A Sky
Sign was a device for advertisements attached to a support above a building so as to be visible against the sky. They were outlawed in England in 1907.

Sky Writing
Sky Writing is the tracing against the sky of an advertisement-word in smoke by an aeroplane.

Skylab is an
American space station launched in 1973.

Slag is the chemical
compound resulting during the smelting of metallic ores. It results because of the action of the flux on impurities in the ore.

Slaked Lime
Slaked Lime is a popular name for
calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2. Which is obtained by slaking calcium oxide. It is an important constituent of mortar and cement.

Slaking is a chemical term for mixing a substance with
water, as in the process of slaking lime to create slaked lime.

Slate Club
Slate Club is a society whose members contribute small sums weekly or monthly to a fund held by the secretary and shared out at Christmas or on some other special occasion.

Slot Machine
A Slot Machine is a machine operated by coins, or in some cases by tokens similar to coins, and used for selling commodities or services automatically. Slot Machines originated with the
Greeks and Romans for selling wine and are still used today.

Slow-match was a 19th century term for a fuse used to
light mines or blasts.

A smack is a small sailing or
steam vessel employed for fishing and with a large hold amidships to receive the catch.

Smallpox (Variola) is an acute contagious disease characterised by fever and the appearance on the body of an eruption, which passes through the stages of papule,
vesicle, pustule and scab.

Smalt is a type of
glass in which protoxide of cobalt has been mixed with common glass to produce a glass with a deep blue tinge to it. Smalt was discovered by a Bohemian glass blower in the 16th century.

Snooker is a game derived from

Snow is the crystalline form of frozen
water vapour.

Snuff is powdered
tobacco which is then inhaled through the nostrils. It was popular during the 18th century. The art of taking snuff gracefully was one of the accomplishments indispensable to gentlemen.

Soap is made by decomposing natural fats in a caustic
alkali solution.

Socialism is an economic theory based upon the public ownership of the means of production. The term was first coined in
England by Robert Owen

Sociology is the comprehensive study of the fundamental laws of social phenomena, or if you like, the science of man in society. The term sociology was first introduced by Comte in 1839.

Soda is a common name for
sodium carbonate (Na2CO3).

Soda ash
see "
Sodium carbonate"

Sodium is a metal
element with the symbol Na.

Sodium amide
Sodium amide is a white, crystalline, water-soluble flammable powder used in the manufacture of sodium cyanide and in organic synthesis.

Sodium arsenite
Sodium arsenite is a white or greyish-white, water-soluble, poisonous powder used as a weed-killer and as an insecticide.

Sodium Bisulphite
Sodium Bisulphite is a salt of Sulphurous Acid.

Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate (soda ash) is an anhydrous, greyish-white, odourless, water-soluble powder. It is used in the manufacture of glass, ceramics, soap, paper, petroleum products.

Sodium cyanide
Sodium cyanide is a white, crystalline, deliquescent powder. It is soluble in water and very poisonous. It is prepared by heating sodium amide with charcoal and is used in casehardening alloys and electroplating.

Sodium fluoride
Sodium fluoride is a colourless, crystalline, water-soluble poisonous substance used as an insecticide, rodenticide and also as a source of fluoride in toothpaste and added to water in many developed countries.

Sodium Sulphite
Sodium Sulphite is a salt of Sulphurous Acid. It has the formulae Na2SO37H2O.

Sodium thiosulphate
Sodium thiosulphate (hypo) is a white, crystalline, water-soluble substance used in photography as a fixing agent.

Soil is a loose covering of broken
rocky material and decaying organic matter.

Soke is a term used in the Domesday Book for the right to hold a
court and exercise jurisdiction.

Sol-fa is a system of musical notation which was founded by Miss Glover and John Curwen.

A solid is a substance in which the molecules do not have free movement.

Solitaire is a game played by one person on a board with 33 small indentations, in which 32 marbles are placed. The object is to remove by "jumping" all the marbles except one.

A solstice is a point on the ecliptic
midway between the equinoxes, where the sun, reversing its motion in declination, seems to stand still.

A solution is a homogeneous mixture of substances that cannot be separated by mechanical means.

Somnambulism is walking while asleep. The
habit is most common amongst children.

Sonar is a method of locating underwater objects by the reflection of
ultrasonic waves.

Sonata is an important form of musical composition comprising classically four movements. The modern form of sonata was fixed by Emanual Bach in the 18th century.

A sonnet is a 14 line poem devoted to a single theme.

A Sophist was a class of teacher of rhetoric and the art of conduct, in ancient

Sorbic acid
acid is found in the fruit of the rowan tree and used in food preservation.

The Sorbonne is a
French educational institution in Paris. It was founded in 1253 by Robert de Sorbon as a society of clergy for study in theology.

Sotheby's is an art salesroom in
London. It was established in 1744 by Samuel Baker, who specialised in the auctioning of rare books and manuscripts.

A souffle is a dish, either sweet or savoury, the essential ingredient of which is
egg white beaten to a froth.

Sound is the changes in
air pressure detectable by the ear.

Sounding is a method of ascertaining from a
ship the depth of water beneath it.

South Sea Bubble
The South Sea Bubble was an
English scheme for liquidating the National Debt in the 18th century. In 1711 the South Sea Company was incorporated which in return for a monopoly of trade to Spanish America took over the floating National Debt. The public, encouraged by the government bought 100 pound shares in the company which quickly rose to 1000 pounds in value. Then in 1720 the company crashed and there was widespread ruin. In the ensuing inquiry the government was found guilty and Walpole attained power and restored the country's credit, and the South Sea Company henceforth conducted legitimate business.

Soviet is a
Russian word meaning "council" and a system adopted by the Russians where by organised industries and not localities are the unit of representation and delegation. The Soviets were elected councils, anyone over the age of 18 able to vote so long as they were a worker, or looked after a worker, or were a former worker etc., thus excluding people who lived by exploiting others. The system was effectively spoiled by Stalin and eventually was broken in the 1990s by corruption and greed.

A spacecraft is a vehicle used to travel through space, from one
planet to another or to a moon, asteroid or other planetoid.

Special Branch
see "

Species is a biological term for related individuals with very similar general structure.

Specific Heat
The specific heat of a material is defined as the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of 1
gram of the material by 1 degree of the centigrade scale. As the specific heat varies with the temperature of the substance it is usual to specify the temperatures between which it has been measured, although for temperatures met with in nature the variation of specific heat is negligible. Specific heats are all measured in relation to that of water, and by definition the specific heat of water is unity.

A spectroscope is a mechanical device for analysing
light. They are used for such things as measuring the velocity of stars, looking at the rotation of the sun and the detection of chemical elements.

Speed is the rate of time at which something moves, travels, proceeds or operates.

see "

Speedway or Dirt Track racing involves racing single-cylinder motor cycles up to 500cc around a track of small sifted cinders. The skill involves maintaining a high speed around the corners, which is achieved by skidding by dragging the left foot along the ground.

Spermaceti is a
solid wax separated on cooling the head oil of the sperm whale. It consists mainly of cetyl palmitate and was formerly used in the manufacture of candles and ointments.

Spiegel-eisen (Mirror-Iron) is a pig-iron containing about 10 to 40 percent
Manganese and 5 percent carbon. It is prepared by smelting manganiferous iron ores in a blast furnace. When broken it forms large crystalline plates of a very lustrous appearance, hence the name mirror-iron. It is used to add to the molten pure iron of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes in order to obtain steel.

Spindle file
A spindle file is a device for holding bills, invoices, memos and other paperwork. It consists of a metal spike, sometimes bent, projecting out of a base. The papers are then impaled upon the spike.

A spinet (virginal) is a keyed musical instrument of the harpsichord type, but with only one string to a note and therefore less volume. It is generally square in shape and the strings are plucked.

Spinning is the process of twisting
textile fibres into thread, so as to give them strength. The grip of the individual fibres prevents their sliding over one another.

Spirits of salt
Spirits of salt is an old popular name for hydrochloric

A spoon is a
shallow bowl with a handle, used for measuring or conveying food or drink to the mouth. Early spoons were made of wood, ivory, bronze and silver. In England wood and ivory were the predominant materials until the 15th century when they were replaced by metal.

A spring is a device for linking two objects together so as to allow of relative
displacement between them, this being resisted by a force which increases as the displacement becomes greater.

St. Edward's Crown
St. Edward's Crown is the crown worn by English kings at their coronation, and was first worn by Charles II. It is part of the British Crown Jewels.

Stadium was a
Greek measure of length equal to 600 Greek feet. The foot race at the Olympic games was a stadium in length and the word has thus become to mean any permanent arena for sports and games.

A stalactite is a
mass of calcareous matter hanging in caves, formed by the filtration of water containing calcium bicarbonate in solution through holes or pores in the cave roof. the evaporation of the water and carbonic acid gas leaves behind it a deposit of limestone which continues to increase in size so long as the water drops.

A stalagmite is similar to a
stalactite, but grows upwards from the cave floor, usually below a stalactite.

Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was passed by Lord Rockingham's Government on March 22nd 1765. It formed part of
Grenville's scheme for the taxation of the Colonies, requiring all deeds, receipts for money etc. to be written on stamped paper, the receipts going to revenue. It was one of the chief causes of the American War of Independance, the American Colonies highly resenting taxation without representation. It was repealed on March 18th 1766.

A star is a luminous globe of gas producing
light by nuclear reactions.

Star of Africa Diamond
Star of Africa diamond was an enormous diamond. It was cut up and parts of it are mounted in the British Crown Jewels

Starboard is the right-hand side of a vessel facing the bows and the opposite of port.

Starch is a
carbohydrate stored in plants, and is comprised of a large numbers of glucose molecules combined.

Stark Effect
Stark Effect is the change produced by a strong electrostatic field in the spectrum emitted by a gas subjected to an electric discharge in a highly exhausted tube. The light emitted by the atoms of the gas is due to the motion of electrons and the motion of these is disturbed when they are subjected either to a magnetic field or to an electric field, the former case being that of the Zeeman effect. The Stark effect was discovered in 1913 by Stark.

A state is an
independent body of persons united in a political society for the purpose of resisting external aggression and maintaining internal order. The functions which distinguish a State from any other community, e.g. a Church, are thus the external and internal use of force; and these two uses of force, though essentially the same, may be distinguished as extrajudicial and judicial.

State Crown
State Crown is a part of the British Crown Jewels. It was made for Queen Mary.

The State-General was an assembly of nobles, clergy and commoners of
France. The first was convoked by Philip the Fair in 1302 and the last by Louis XVI in 1789; this transformed itself into the revolutionary National Assembly.

Statics is the branch of
dynamics dealing with states of balance in which no motion occurs because the forces tending to produce it are so arranged that their effects neutralise each other.

Statistics is the study of numerical
data, their classification and analysis. It embraces every department of activity and knowledge to which numerical comparison can be applied, but its greatest use is in economics and public administration.

A stator is an assembly of fixed plates in a variable

Statutory Order
A Statutory Order is a
rule made by virtue of some Act of Parliament giving them power to do so, by the Crown in Council, the Courts of Justice, or Government Departments, and having the same authority as the statutes under which they are made. They usually deal with details of administration left unprovided for in the enabling statute, and generally must be submitted to Parliament before coming into force.

Steam is the transparent, colourless gas into which
water is converted when it vaporises.

Steam Engine
The first workable
steam engine was built by Thomas Savery who exhibited a model of it at the Royal Institution in London in 1698. But Dionysius Papin had published a design for a high-pressure steam engine in 1690, and it is probable that Savery took the plan from him.

Steam Hammer
steam hammer is a power-driven hammer invented around 1842 by James Nasmyth. As originally designed, the striker of the hammer was attached to the lower end of the piston rod of an inverted cylinder and the instrument was worked by steam controlled by a valve.

Steaming is the practise of
cooking by indirect moist heat.

Stearic Acid
acid is a long chain fatty acid soluble in alcohol but not water. Mixed with rubber in a small proportion, it is a very valuable softener and activates many vulcanisation accelerators.

Stearin or glycerol tri-stearate, is along with glycerol tri-palmitate, the main component of the
solid fats. In its pure state it forms pearly crystals, which are tasteless, and insoluble in water, but dissolve in ether and similar solvents.

Steel is an
alloy of iron and carbon.

Originally a steeplechase was a trial of speed and jumping powers between two or more horses across the country with a church steeple as the goal. Today, the course is a regular
race course with artificial fences for the horses to jump.

A stencil is a thin metal plate or other piece of material with a series of holes forming a design or lettering through which colouring-matter is applied to a surface.

A stenotype is a small,
light easily portable machine somewhat resembling a typewriter used for stenotypy. The speed attainable with the machine far exceeds that possible in any of the written systems of shorthand.

Stenotypy is a method of using a printer instead of a written character for recording
shorthand, effected by a small, light and easily portable machine called a stenotype.

Stereo-chemistry is the science of the study of the spatial configuration of the
atoms and groups constituting the molecule in chemical compounds. The foundations of stereo-chemistry were laid by the work of Louis Pasteur on tartaric acid in 1850.

A stereoscope is an optical instrument producing an impression of depth or solidity. As early as the 1930s the technique of 3-D films shown to an audience wearing stereoscopes of a
red glass filter for one eye and a green glass filter for the other eye were common in Britain.

Sterling silver
Sterling silver is an
alloy of silver and copper.

A stethoscope is an instrument employed in medicine (and safe
cracking) for the purpose of listening to the sounds produced in the body. Stethoscopes are generally two rubber tubes forming a Y arrangement. One tube goes in each ear and at the end of the single leg is a cup or microphone which is placed against the patient's body.

Stewing is a method of
cooking somewhat similar to boiling. Less water is used, however, and the juices and food values are drawn out, whereas in boiling they are sealed in. It is an economical but slow method of cooking meat.

A stimulant is a drug that
acts upon the brain to increase alertness.

Stock Exchange
Stock Exchange is a market for dealing in shares, stocks, bonds and other securities existing in most important financial centres of the world. In most cases Stock Exchanges have developed from informal meetings of 18th century commission agents and brokers.

Stocks are two boards with semi-circular holes, set one above the other within two posts, and padlocked so as to confine the legs of a seated person just above the feet. Formerly every
parish had stocks fixed in some public spot in which petty offenders were confined as punishment.

Stocks and Shares
Stock is the capital of a company, divided into shares of a given amount which are transferable. Stock is always paid up, shares need not be, but shares cannot be divided into parts.

Stoicism is an ancient
Greek philosophy. It is essentially a practical philosophy, the source of its ethics being the ideal of the wise man after the pattern of Socrates, who perceives that the true good of man lies not in outward objects, but in the state of the soul itself. A follower of Stoicism is known as a Stoic.

Stone Age
Stone Age is the name in anthropology for the period of human culture before the discovery and use of metal when man made his tools and weapons mainly of flint, but sometimes of other stones, and later of bone, horn and ivory or wood.

Stonehenge is the principal prehistoric
monument in Great Britain. It consists of a group of large stones arranged in a circle on Salisbury Plain.

A storm is a violent atmospheric disturbance caused by unequal atmospheric pressure and often occurring suddenly.

Stramonium is a drug obtained from the seeds and leaves of the
thorn-apple. The chief constituent is an alkaline daturine. Stramonium was once used at treat bronchial spasms in asthma.

Strategy (derived from the
Greek strategia, meaning "army leadership") was originally a military term describing the general direction of a campaign and higher leadership, as distinct from tactics which describes the actual handling of troops on the march.

Strathspey is a Scottish
dance said to have originated in the Strath valley of the Spey around the start of the 18th century.

see "

The stratosphere is that region of the upper
atmosphere where the temperature ceases to fall with increasing height above the earth's surface, and either remains constant or slightly increases.

Stratum is a geological term describing a
mass of sedimentary rock (a strata) of great horizontal extent, which was deposited more or less continuously on the bottom of former seas or lakes, or sometimes on the surface of flat plains or deserts. Stratified rocks are mostly sandstones, shales and limestone.

A street is a road with houses along one or both sides of it.

Streptomycin is an

A strike is the chief bargaining weapon of a labour body, and consists of a voluntary stoppage of work with the object of obtaining better conditions or resisting worsening ones.

Strontium is a metal
element with the symbol Sr of the alkaline-earth group.

Strychnine is a
poisonous alkaloid obtained from the dried seeds of nux vomica and other species of Strychnos. In small does it is administered as a heart stimulant.

A submarine is a vessel capable of travelling both on and below the surface of the sea. The first practical submarine was built in 1620 by Cornelius van Drebbel. It was made of wood covered with greased
leather, and was propelled from the inside by oars passing through flexible sleeves. The crew was supplied with air by means of a pipe which led to the surface. It was demonstrated on the Thames and James I made a trip in it.

A subsidy is a pecuniary grant by the
State to the costs of private enterprise without expectation of a direct return.

Sucrose is cane
sugar. It is formed by the chemical combination of glucose and sucrose. It occurs naturally in sugar-beet and sugar-cane, in sweet fruits and in roots such as carrots.

Suet is the fatty
tissue surrounding the kidneys of oxen and sheep. It is used in cooking.

Suffrage is the right to express an opinion by voting on political questions, applied in particular to the right to vote at parliamentary elections.

see "

Sufiism was a movement of revolt against the rigid law and wearisome ritual of Islam in
Persia. It developed into a pantheistic mysticism which, tinged by the teachings of Zoroaster, adopted also some Buddhist theories of life.

Sugar is a sweet, soluble

chemistry, the sugars are a group of carbohydrates, soluble in water and having a sweet taste. The group includes glucose, lactose and saccharose.

Sulfasalazine is a sulfonamide drug used to treat ulceration and
bleeding during the active phase of ulcerative
colitis. Its anti-inflammatory action reduces tissue destruction in the colon.

A sulphocyanate (sulphocyanide, thiocyanate) is a salt of thiocyanic
acid and is usually obtained from gas-purification residues.

see "

Sulphonal (Dimethylmethane diethylsulphone) is a hypnotic manufactured by the interaction of
acetone and ethyl mercaptan in the presence of zinc chloride and the oxidation of the resulting product with potassium permanganate.

Sulphonic Acid
Sulphonic Acids are acids having an
organic group combined with the group SO2OH.

Sulphur is a non-metallic
element with the symbol S. It has a relative hardness of 2 and a melting point of 108 degrees Celsius. Its symbol is S.

Sulphuric Acid
acid has the formulae H2SO4.

Sulphurous Acid
Acid (H2SO3) is a solution of sulphur dioxide in water.

Summary Jurisdiction
Summary Jurisdiction is the power conferred on Justices of the Peace to deal summarily with offenders instead of sending them for trial on indictment.

A summons is an order to appear in
court to answer a complaint.

The sun is the
star at the centre of the solar system.

Sunday is the seventh
day of the week.

Sunday School
Sunday Schools were founded by Robert Raikes, a Gloucester printer, in 1780 to provide education to children who worked such long hours during the week in the new factories that no weekday education was possible for them.

A sundial is an instrument for measuring the time of
day from the shadow cast by the sun shining on a style or gnomon onto a graduated surface.

Sunn Hemp
Hemp (Bengal Hemp) is a fibre somewhat similar to flax, obtained from the stem of the plant Crotolaria juncea and used for making rope.

Sunstroke (heat-stroke) is a disorder produced by exposure to the
sun or very hot air.

Supernova is the explosive death of a

Superphosphate is a manure made by mixing
calcium hydrogen phosphate with gypsum.

Supertax was an additional income tax first levied by the Finance Act of 1909 upon incomes of over 5000 pounds a year at the rate of 6d in the
pound for every pound by which the income exceeded 3000 pounds.

Surd is an
algebraic term to describe a quantity not expressible in rational numbers, such as the cube root of 3.

Surface combustion
combustion is a method of causing a mixture of air and gas to burn by bringing it into contact with a suitable porous surface. Usually this consists of a diaphragm of porous refractory material, to one side of which a mixture of gas and air is supplied under a low pressure.

Surface tension
Surface tension is a property characteristic of liquids, by which the surface behaves as if it were covered with an elastic stretched
skin. The effect is due to the fact that at the surface the attraction between the molecules of the liquid is unbalanced, surface molecules being attracted towards the body of the liquid, whereas in the body of the liquid a molecule is attracted equally in all directions.

A surplice is a loose white vestment of varying length, with wide sleeves; worn by the clergy, and usually by a choir at divine services.

Surveying is the art of measuring the shape and size of parts of the
earth's surface with a view to representation on a reduced scale. It is employed in map making and is the essential preliminary to all civil engineering works.

Suttee (
Sati) is the practice in India of burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre.

A swamp is a level or low-lying expanse of ground saturated with

The swastika is an ancient religious
symbol dating from Neolithic times, and occurring in ancient Greek and Egyptian art. It has the form of an equal armed cross with the ends of the arms all bending in the same direction at right angles. It was introduced into Europe in the 16th century and used extensively in Christian art. It was adopted by Hitler as his symbol.

Swaythling cup
The swaythling cup is a table tennis

Swearing is the act of declaring upon oath. The term has also come to include the use of profane language, which under an act of 1847 is a criminal offence in
Britain when such language is used on the street.

A sweepstake is a form of gambling in which those taking part pay money into a common fund which, after the deduction of expenses, is divided between those who have drawn certain numbered tickets.

Sweetbread is the name given to the
pancreas, or thymus of the calf or lamb used as a food.

Swimming is the art of supporting oneself and propelling oneself through the

Swiss is a term used to denote someone or something from

Syllabub is a beverage made from a mixture of
milk, wine and sugar.

A syllabus is an outline of a course of study, giving only the headings for the subjects.

Symbiosis is the association of two organisms each helping the other.

A symbol is something which represents something else.

A synagogue is a
Jewish place of worship.

Syndicalism is a doctrine of government, a development of
trade unionism, its aim being the abolition of parliamentary government and capitalism and the substitution of trade unionism as the controller and owner of each particular industry.

A syndicate is a group of persons associated temporarily for the purpose of buying and re-selling a specific business or other property, or for forming a limited liability company
prior to the issue of shares to the public.

Syphilis is a venereal disease (
VD, STD) due to the micro-organism Treponema Pallidum. It is usually transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person.

Syriac is a Semitic language and a
dialect of Aramaic. It was the literary language of the early Eastern Christians and after the 5th century split into East and West Syriac.