St. Brendan (C.E. 484-578)
A semi-legendary Irish saint best known for his 7-year voyage in search of the "Land of the Saints," i.e., the Isle of St. Brendan, supposedly in the mid-Atlantic, which Isle legend has him finding and living upon; "Set out in the fifth century to discover an Island he believ'd was the Paradise of the Scriptures" 134; Isle, 703; 712; Well of Saint Brendan, 724; Great Website on St. Brendan & Possible 5th Century Visits to America; Wikipedia entry

27; 39; 85

St. George Parry
389; knife maneuver

St. Helena

74; Island and British territory in the south Atlantic Ocean, 1920 km off the coast of southwest coast of Africa; it was annexed by the Dutch in 1633, then annexed and occupied by the East India Company in 1659; became a British territory in 1833; coffee, 78; 105; 133 |Jamestown Webcam

St. Kenelm's
200; 211

Saint Nicholas

St. Omer
222; Le Maire teaches at a school there, 268

St. Peter

Sandwich, Lord (1718-92)

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, took part in the prosecution of Sir John Wilkes, was associated with Dashwood and the "Mad Monks of Medmenham Abbey"; for his corruption was nicknamed Jemmy Twitcher. The "Sandwich" was invented in 1762; Sandwich, 262, 366, 367, 720

Sal Si Puedes

Sally Lunn
199; a baked good


Sandy Bay
127; 159

170; village about 8 miles east of Stroud, and Mason's hometown; 719 Google Map

Sappho's Fragment 95
96; Sappho of Lesbos (@630BC) is considered one of the great Greek lyrist-poets (she wrote her poems to be accompanied by a lyre). Socrates called her "The Beautiful" and Plato wrote about her, "Some say there are Nine Muses. How careless they are! Behold, Sappho of Lesbos is the Tenth!" Sappho spent most of her life on the Greek island of Lesbos. Only one of Sappho's poems survives in its entirety; the rest are fragments, one of which is #95 which W. T. Wharton translates: "Evening, thou that bringest all that bright morning scattered; thou bringest the sheep, the goat, the child back to her mother." Pynchon used "Hesperus" - the Goddess of Evening - which is often used instead of "Evening". Wikipedia entry

Savage Mountain


251; "At the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, just below the point where the southern coast of Asia minor joins the western coast of Syria, lies the town of Scanderoon, the ancient city of Alexandretta. This is the seaport for Aleppo, ancient Haleb, about one hundred miles to the east and a little south, for centuries a trading centre whence go caravans of merchandise to the towns far down the Euphrates, and where are brought the grains and wool that come in return." (from: The Arab Horse, Chapter II, "Arabia, And Some of the Bedouins" by Spencer Borden; New York, 1906); Scanderoon/Alexandretta was also the site, in 1628, of Sir Kenelm Digby's (carrying Letters of Marque from King Charles I) victory against French and Venetian galleys anchored there.

Schess, Frederick
509; Waggoner on M&D crew

730; "Scottish mountain"; mountain in Perthshire, Scotland; Maskelyne and...

580; German for whipped cream

259; River flowing through the middle of Philadelphia and emptying into the Delaware (which separates Philadelphia from New Jersey). Its source is higher up in the state, in Schuylkill County. Pronounced SKOO-gull, "-kill" being derived from the Dutch for "river" or "canal". In the 18th century, the Schuylkill marked the western boundary of Philadelphia; MAP

380; members of a Protestant sect founded by Kaspar von Schwenkfeld (c.1490-1561), a German mystic. The sect's doctrines most resembled those of the Quakers. In 1736, 40 families emigrated to Pennsylvania where they maintained a distinct existence.



413; Martinus Scriblerus, a character invented by the Scriblerus Club formed around 1713 by Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, and others. They collaborated on The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, a satire intended to ridicule lack of taste in learning; it was belatedly published in 1741.

243; O.E.D.: fret, North, M19, origin unknown, mist or drizzle coming in off the sea; a sea fog

21; "Sixth-rate" on which M&D sail to Cape of Good Hope


Seaton Prize
116; The Seatonian Prize was set up in 1750, being awarded to any Cambridge graduate for the best poem on "the perfections or attributes of the supreme being." See also Christopher Smart and...

13; a telescope meant to view only the zenith (the point in the sky directly above); MORE; Wikipedia entry

31; racing Yorick in Chester Town, 756

532; American Indian tribe; 571; Maiden, 554; 609

Senzacapo, Count
118; Italian: "without a head"

Serpents &c.
135; Worm of Slavery, 147; 153; 196; 226; 231; 242; 245; 344; 352; 594; 591; Serpent-mound, 595; 673; 676; "deadly watersnake" 690; 770

seventh Wrangler
437; See seventh Wrangler

Seven Years' War (1756-63)

The last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great European powers. Basically, it was France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden and Russian versus Prussia, Hanover and Great Britain. The French and Indian War in the colonies was part of it and was settled by the Treaty of Paris. See also Battle of Leuthen. Wikipedia


542; aka "Bad Energy"; 545; 547; 573; 601; 615; 649; 683; 692

Shakespeare, William
351; 690; Tragedy of Hypatia, 559;

289; abattoir

169; soft, undressed Chinese silk or fabric made from same

Sharpe, Governor Horatio
575; Governor of Maryland, and one of the Commissioners appointed by Lord Baltimore to settle the boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania, at the time of the surveying of the M-D Line

Shaula, second Altitude of
71; a star, Scorpii (Shaula); 72

536; tribe that kidnapped Eliza; 595; 663

Shelby, Captain Evan (1719-1794)

A historical figure mentioned in Mason's Mason's Journal Entry. Immigrated from Tregaron, Wales, in 1735, with his wife, Letitia (Cox) Shelby. Though the family had historically been loyal to the Church of England, they became Presbyterians after coming to British America. Owned a plantation near Hagerstown in Frederick (now Washington) County. Shelby lost a great deal of money when Pontiac's Rebellion disrupted his lucrative fur trade business, and two years later, the business' records were destroyed in a house fire. Consequently in December 1770, the family moved to the area near Bristol, Tennessee, where they built a fort and a trading post. Would later be involved in the first Invasions of the Chickamauga Towns. His son, Isaac, became the first governor of the state of Kentucky (1792). From Isaac Shelby's entry. See [1] for military service.

497; 499; 548; and Tom & Catherine Wheat, 576; Welshman, 581; 585; a surveyor, 586; Shelby's Mound, 598; "fighting in the West" 754; Historical Record

Shelby Seat

Shelton, Mr.
13; Shelton Clock, 121;


Shippen, Mr.
293; wealthy Tory Loyalist and member of Governor's Council in Philadelphia, and one of the Commissioners appointed by the Proprietors of Pennsylvania to settle the boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania, at the time of the surveying of the M-D Line; 325; 773

Shippen, Peggy
308; daughter of Mr. Shippen; married Benedict Arnold in June 1778.

601; city in Pennsylvania which borders Franklin and Cumberland counties. Founded July 1730. Named after Edwin Shippen.

Shirburn Castle

Shockey, Staphel
496; M&D pause at his house near Antietam Creek

Short, Mr.

98; of the Royal Society; made Gregorian reflector for M&D's telescope; 270; in the running for Astronomer Royal, 438;

258; the cook

Shovell, Sir Cloudsley
323; Captain whose ships crashed onto the Rocks of Scilly


Sideling Hill
601; One of the best outcrops in the northeastern U.S.A. is located in the panhandle of Maryland along route 48. Known as Sideling Hill, the outcrop exposes a syncline in the Valley and Ridge of the Appalachians, where younger Mississipian strata lie upon Devonian strata. 850 feet of sedimentary rock are exposed in the road cut, and consist of clastics ranging from shale to conglomerate, including coal measures and a rather enigmatic diamictite near the base. [1]

Silbury Hill
Silbury Hill lies about a mile south of the Avebury Henge and is situated in a slight dip just north of the A4 and can be reached from the adjacent car park although visitors are discouraged from climbing the mound. The mound was built around 2660 BC by Neolithic farmers who subsisted on wheat, barley, oxen, pigs, and sheep. In this area there is substantial evidence of goddess worship, and the goddesses are typically portrayed in the squatting (birthing) position. Silbury Hill is probably the most mysterious Neolithic site in Europe with many theories being expressed as to the purpose of its original construction. Although some believe it was the burial place of King Zil, along with a golden horse, several excavations rule this out as no trace of any type of burial was found. Some people believe that it was built to represent the mother goddess, with the mound sybolising the pregnant womb. It was constructed over a period of probably about 30 or 40 years, around 2500 - 2700 BC which makes it contemporary with the megaliths at Avebury and also with the pyramids in Egypt.598; 748; More on Silbury Hill

Singleton, Captain John
469; in whose meadow M&D sink a marker post

Sir Cloudsley
130; Maskelyne's drink at his local on St. Helena

107; the Dog Star; The Dog Star, Sirius, is the brightest star in the sky, and frequently used in navigation; moreover, it's a paired star (not unlike Mason and Dixon)">MORE on ThomasPyncon.com


Six Nations
513; 531; 571-72; 636

Sixty-six, the

437; In Cambridge University and at Trinity Colege, Dublin, a "sizer" is an undergraduate receiving an allowance from the college to enable him or her to study and, formerly, required to perform certain menial duties.

47; aka Iskenderun, a southern Turkish seaport; 251


527; town in Gloucestershire, about 2 miles north of Stroud

"a Gothick Pursuit" 275; "In all Virginia, tho' Slaves pass'd before his Sight, he saw none. That was what had not occurr'd. It was all about something else [...]" 398; 692-93; Dixon accosting slave-driver, 695

Slough, Mr.
342; where the Paxton Boys leave their horses. A "slough" is, according to Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, "a place of deep mud or mire."

52; Fifer on Seahorse

Smart, Christopher (1722-71)

116; "Christopher Smart, who was tossed in the madhouse for his incessant praying (in the street, for the most part), constantly asked what creativity was, what rationality and irrationality were. His poems let loose a portion of the imagination which the age of reason made a point of keeping fettered with social norms and conventional religion; in this way his raptures were related to the scenes of redemptive or escapest madness we see in the literature of Sensibility." From this website; Smart's published works include Poems on Several Occasions (1752), The Hilliad: An Epic Poem (1753), A Song to David (1763), Horace Translated into Verse (1767), and Jubilate Agno; Smart and Samuel Johnson

Smedley, Lord

Smith, Captain John
10; Captain of the Seahorse; 349;

Smith, Matt

Smith, Old Sam

638; Lancaster Sheriff and adversary of Thomas Cresap. Smith was a Pennsylvanian who had at one point (1736) burnt Cresap's home to the ground while attempting to arrest him for the murder of Knoles Daunt.

understand (defined by content; word invented by Pynchon?), 25; smoke, 294; understand, 364;

643; dog

Snares of Ranelagh


633; child of Gudrid and Thorfinn Karlsefni, and the first white child known to have been born in America.


Snowball, Billy

Snow, Mr.
243; Keel-Bully who takes Dixon out and they drift to "America"; Etymological Musings

Snowy Owl Year

Soames, Jack "Fingers"
53; 699 (?)

Society of Jesus
223; Jesuits organization; Socko Stoombray
647; Spanish: Se acostumbre. The text translates this correctly, "one gets used to it."


Sons of Liberty
564; 570


Soupçon de Trop
378; French: "Too Much Suspicion" or "A Bit Much"; "local Repaire [den]"

South Mountain

South Mountain is the northern extension of the Blue Ridge Mountain range in Maryland and Pennsylvania. From the Potomac River near Knoxville, Maryland in the south, to Dillsburg, Pennsylvania in the north, the 70-mile (110 km) long range separates the Hagerstown and Cumberland valleys from the Piedmont regions of the two states. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail follows the crest of the mountain through Maryland and part of its portion in Pennsylvania. From WIKI 478; 486; 491;


"una Criatura Ci'clica, asi eres" - "a cyclical creature, so you are" (432); "la Obra": "work" (522); "Pues Entonces": "Now then" or "Well then" (523); "Siempre Alguien derrama las Judias": "Someone always scatters the Jewesses" (523) ["Judias" also means "beans" - thus, what Zarpazo's really saying is "someone always spills the beans" (thanks to Benjamin Schei); "Viudita": "Little widow" (535); "!indale, mis hijos!": "come on/hurry up, my sons!" (549)

Spanish Visitor
515; 524; 530; See [x-z.html#zarpazo">Zarpazo</a>

Spears, Mr.
659; lives "where Braddock Road meets the Bank of the Yochio"

Spinney, Mr.
454; on M&D crew

Spit, Guy
457; "Pass-Bank Bully" on M&D crew; 546

Squire's Line

Squivelli, Mr.
177; LOrecchio Fatale ("The Fateful Ear")

Staindrop Church



Stamp Act

353; This law passed by the British government in 1765, levied the first-ever direct tax by Britain on the Americans, requiring payment of a tax on items such as papers and dopcuments, including newspapers, that were produced in the colonies. Special stamps were to be affixed to the papers as proof that the tax had been paid. The uproar this act created in the colonies resulted in George III repealing it in 1766; 394; 405; 564

Star Trek
154; "They styl'd it 'Trekking,' and themselves 'Trekkers.'; 486; "Live long and prosper"; [Leonard Nimoy stated in an interview that he "borrowed" the "Vulcan salute" from a hand symbolin Orthodox Judaism; it is a blessing by the priests (Kohanim which symbolizes the Hebrew letter shin, the first letter in the word Shaddai (Lord)]

Stations of the Cross
158; a series of 14 pictures or carvings portraying the Passion of Christ, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his burial, i.e., (1) Jesus condemned to death, (2) made to bear the cross, (3) his first fall, (4) meets his mother, (5) Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross, (6) Veronica wipes Jesus' face, (7) his second fall, (8) women of Jerusalem weep over him, (9) falls a third time, (10) stripped of his garments, (11) nailed to the cross, (12) dies on the cross, (13) taken down from the cross, (14) placed in the tomb; 267; 314; 724





101; what the Dutch at the Cape call the rifles with the Pentacle sign, 342;

Stewart, Reverend

473; Dialogue in alternate lines of verse, used in disputation in Greek drama, and characterized by antithesis and repetition.

443; Swede Axman on M&D crew; 465; Zarpazo in disguise? 545; 602; 610; 692; 706; 738

473; wooden stakes used for tallying the chains measured along the line

Stone, Reverend Mr. Edmund
690; In 1750, the Rev. Edward Stone of Chipping Norton, England, isolated from a willow tree the first of a group of analgesic drugs derived from salicylic acid (from the Latin "salix," which means "willow"). The acetylated salicylic acid, having fewer side effects than Rev. Stone's original, is better known as aspirin. It has become the most popular, effective, universally used reliever of pain. Source

210; a Stone Age circle of standing stones, some still connected across the top with lintels, used as a cosmic calendar and for religious ceremonies. It is located east of center of a large area of flat land known as Salisbury Plain; 595; 749

Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of(1593-1641)

226; English statesman who was originally opposed to King Charles I, but then became a royalist. While lord deputy of Ireland, he promoted despotic policies in order to solidify Charles' dominion. When rebellion broke out in Scotland in response to the harsh policies, Strafford was blamed and, vigorously prosecuted by John Pym and Sir Henry Vane, he was beheaded.

Strikes of '43 and '50
244; MORE


167; 197; Wolfe's Men arrive, 312; Churs of, 414; 501; Google Map


Stuart Charters

595; William Stukeley (1687-1765) was a British antiquarian known as the "Arch-Druid." He did valuable objective fieldwork at Stonehenge and Avebury, but his later attempts to link them to the Druids lost many of his colleagues. He wrote Itinerarium Curiosum (1724) about his travels around Britain.

399; river surrounding Hades; "Monongahela is the" 663

subjunctive hopes, 345; laws of nature and common sense, 365

205; Latin: "successor" or "substitute" or "provider of relief"; "O sublime" 655

Sullivan, Mr.

Sumptuary Laws

313; 321; 390; 419


Sutton Pool


Sweet, Mr.
454; on M&D crew

202; "glide like" 516

Swivett, Mr.
192; in The George


8; (1) the loss of one or more letters in the interior of a word (as in scarr'd); (2) faintness due to temporary loss of oxygen to the brain

Szabo, Zsuzsa

535; Hungarian for "Susan Taylor"; "operator of the automatick Battle of Leuthen" on M&D crew; 551

Szeged, Truce of

A ten-year truce between the Hungarians and Turks in which Turkish Sultan Murad agreed not to cross the Danube River. Szeged, city in southern Hungary, in Csongrad County, at the confluence of the Maros and the Tisza rivers. Szeged's industries produce chemicals, rubber, glass, furniture, and textiles, and carry on an extensive trade in paprika, wood, corn, and wool. It is the site of the University of Szeged, formerly Jozsef Attila University (1921), which includes the Szeged University of Medicine (1872), and landmarks include the remains of a 13th-century tower and a large, two-spired cathedral. Szeged was a trade center and military stronghold for the Arpad kings, who ruled Hungary from 1000 or 1001 until the early 14th century. The city was under Turkish rule from 1542 to 1686. It was partly destroyed by a flood in 1879 and later rebuilt; 591; 594


  1. Geology Website
Mason & Dixon Alpha Guide
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