Discworld Wiki
Advertisement
Men-at-arms-cover

Men at Arms is the 15th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett first published in 1993. It is the second novel about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch on the Discworld.

Plot[]

Edward d'Eath, an Assassin and son of a down-and-out noble family, becomes convinced that the restoration of the Ankh-Morpork monarchy will solve the social change in the city which he blames for his family's humbling. He researches the history of the royal family and determines that Carrot Ironfoundersson is in fact the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Captain Samuel Vimes, captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, prepares for his imminent wedding to Sybil Ramkin, the richest woman in Ankh-Morpork. He also must deal with a new group of recruits that he has been required to take on for the sake of diversity: Cuddy (a dwarf), Detritus (a troll), and Angua (a werewolf—but Carrot is unaware of this, and believes she is included because she is female). When a string of seemingly random murders occur among the Guilds of the city, Lord Vetinari forbids Vimes to investigate in a successful ploy to ensure Vimes does investigate. Cuddy and Detritus are forced to work together, resulting in them becoming friends as they overcome their deep-seated racial enmity. Angua works with the talking dog Gaspode, and also forms a romantic connection with Carrot, who loses his virginity to her but handles the discovery that she is a werewolf poorly.

It turns out that d'Eath has stolen the gonne, the Disc's first and only handheld firearm, from the Assassins' Guild, with the intention of discrediting Vetinari's government through the murders. Any possessor of the gonne seems to become obsessed with the device. After d'Eath reveals his plan to Dr. Cruces, head of the Assassin's Guild, Cruces murders him and takes up the plan himself. The Watch prevents Cruces from killing Vetinari, but Cuddy and Angua are killed in the process. Vimes and Carrot confront and disarm Cruces, and Carrot helps Vimes resist the gonne's allure. Cruces gives Carrot the evidence that he is the royal heir, upon which Carrot kills Cruces with his sword and has both the evidence and the dismantled gonne buried with Cuddy. Angua gets shot 3 times by Cruces but since she is a werewolf she can only be killed with a silver weapon so is revived upon the moon's rising.

Vimes and Ramkin are married. Recent events have raised the Night Watch's profile, bringing a slew of new recruits. Carrot visits Vetinari, who is expecting Carrot to make personal demands as he is now in a strong position to blackmail the Patrician. What Carrot actually brings is a request for Vetinari to implement a plan for reforming the City Watch into an effective, integrated, comprehensive police force with better working conditions. Vetinari accedes, making Carrot Captain of the Watch and elevating Vimes to the recreated position Commander of the Watch, and the rank of Knight.

Popular References and Annotations[]

The title of the book is a double pun, both on the professional standards of the Watch (a man at arms being a professional warrior) and on the lack of actual men in the Night's Watch (only Vimes and Colon can be classified as men, as Corporal Carrot considers himself a dwarf, Constable Cuddy is a dwarf, Constable Detritus is a troll, Constable Angua is both a werewolf and female, the Librarian is an orangutan, and Corporal Nobbs was disqualified from the human race for shoving)

All page references are from the Harper/Prism edition

Page 2 - Edward d'Eath's name is an obvious play on the word 'Death" but it is in fact an old English name. The De'aths came over with William the Conqueror, and pronounce their name 'Dee-ath'. The family was originally from a town in Belgium called Ath, hence d'Ath or 'from Ath". The old British TV series, "The Avengers" used the name for one of its villains for the same deadly connotations,

Page 3 - Gaspode, the mutt, asks "Any chance of a bone? No, no, sorry, bad taste there" Pratchett plays on the dog wanting a bone to chew on, the bone obviously being the remains of the senior member of the d'Eath family and eating a human bone being in bad taste as well as not tasting particularly good given its origin and the fact that it has been buried for some time.

Page 5 - The iconograph box which has a brownie inside that paints pictures is a reference to Kodak's first mass-produced affordable camera which was called the "box brownie". A brownie is also the name of a helpful type of goblin.

Page 8 - Edward d'Eath's slide show of the kings and queens of Ankh-Morpork is similar to a Roundworld Powerpoint presentation. The royals include King Paragore, King Veltrick III, Queen Alquinna IV, Webblethorpe the Unconscious and Queen Coanna, plus an upside down vase of delphiniums by mistake which prompts Edward d"Eath to send Blenkins the butler to the duty torturer for "a little something off the ears". Pratchett is playing with the standard barbershop request. As an aside, in previous times barbers were also surgeons so would be skilled in ear removal if they had a sideline as a torturer. Removing a piece of ear was a form of warning or punishment by gangs so Pratchett makes the joke work on a number of levels.

Page 9 - the very old sharp sword and the ring from the reign of King Tyrril resonate with many Roundworld legends, notably the King Arthur legends. Rings may be sent from one party to another as tokens of love, distress, identification, used as signets, and so forth and are perhaps the most useful pieces of jewelry for purposes of communication or of intrigue. In Arthurian romance, Eluned's ring turned its wearer invisible and Gawaine's true identity was revealed with a ring and a piece of parchment. The Ring of Dispel could dispel any enchantment and was given by the Lady of the Lake to Lancelot. A fairy gave it to him in Le Chevalier de la Charrette, which he used to cross the Sword Bridge. And of course Excalibur is Arthur's sword.

Page 10 - Lord Rust thinks, "Young Edward thinks the touch of a king can cure scrofula" Scrofula is a condition in which the bacteria that causes tuberculosis causes symptoms outside the lungs. This usually takes the form of inflamed and irritated lymph nodes in the neck. It is now called “cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis”. It was known as the King's Evil and until about the 18th century people in England and France believed that it could be cured by the 'Royal touch' - the laying on of hands by the King or, in England, also by the Queen regnant. This 'ability' was seen as a mark of the esteem in which God held these monarchs. Pratchett uses a personification of scrofula in the Colour of Magic.

Page 11 - 12 - The nobles list of previous rulers of Ankh-Morpork give the reader an idea of the state of things prior to Vetinari's arrival on the scene and make it clear why there isn't any support for Edward d'Eath's proposal to revive the monarchy and change the status quo: Homicidal Lord Winder is a major character in The NIght Watch, Deranged Lord Harmoni sounds like he is anything but harmonious and Laughing Lord Scapula, while his name simply means the shoulder blade, resonates with the Mafia. These illustrious rulers follow Nersch the Lunatic and Frenzied Earl Hargarth.

Page 12 - Lord Monflathers takes his name from two disastrous WWI battles; Mons and Flanders. This is not surprising given the fact that his ancestor led 600 men (the same number as in the Charge of the Light Brigade) to glorious defeat at the Battle of Quirm.

Page 12 - Twurp's Peerage is the directory of all the nobility of Ankh-Morpork and its satellites, describing their lineage and titles. It is a takeoff on Burke's Peerage. In colloquial English, "berk" and "twerp" are both pejorative names for an obnoxious, silly person. Berk was originally the cruder of the two deriving from the 1930s as a shortened version of Berkeley Hunt, the hunt based at Berkeley Castle, in Gloucestershire. In Cockney rhyming slang, hunt is a rhyme for cunt, giving the word its original slang meaning.

Page 13 - "Find the man who put the sword in the stone in the first place" Something no one thinks about when the sword is pulled out of the stone.

Page 13 - "'My nurse told me,' said Viscount Skater, 'that a true king could pull a sword from a stone.'" This very clearly another reference to the legends of King Arthur and Excalibur.

Page 14 - "In a million universes, Vimes didn't find the pipes" Pratchett explores the idea of multiple universes, diverging and converging through out the Discworld series as well as in his Long Earth series with Stephen Baxter. In Night Watch, Vimes is actually transported to one of these alternate realities.

Page 17 - "Sergeant Wimbler" was Corporal Nobbs drill sergeant during his military service.

Page 17 - "[...] the upturned face of Lance-Constable Cuddy, with its helpful intelligent expression and one glass eye." This is a reference to the TV detective series Columbo. Peter Falk, who played the part of Columbo had a glass eye and he was short.

Page 17 - "Silicon Anti-Defamation League had been going on at the Patrician, and now --" This is a reference to Roundworld's Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

Page 19 - "Constable Angua had mastered saluting first go" Since Angua is a werewolf and Wolf Cub Scouts are expected to salute as part of their ceremonies, it is not too much of a stretch to suppose Pratchett is deliberately making that connection. Either that or he is simply suggesting that she is the most advanced of the new recruits.

Page 20 - Carrot says to Angua, "But you're a w - " Throughout this section Pratchett hints that Angua is something other than ordinary. She can talk to Gaspode the dog, She pads around softly and has mastered the Watchman's walk. Here, Carrot clearly is going to say 'woman' but 'werewolf' also starts with 'w'.

Page 21 - "Stop stop, unlicensed thief" says Mr. Flannel. Readers of other Discworld novels will know that all thieves are members of the Thieves Guild so that theft is regulated and no one person is targetted excessively. Legitimizing robbery ensures that thieves pay their taxes to the city coffers. Here n' now, as an unlicensed thief, can expect to be dealt harshly by the Guild if caught by them. Flannel takes his name from the British slang expression meaning to use bland fluent talk to avoid addressing a difficult subject or situation directly.

Page 21 - "'Oh, nil desperandum, Mr Flannel, nil desperandum,' said Carrot cheerfully." "Nil desperandum" is a genuine old Latin phrase, still occasionally in use, meaning "don't despair".

Page 22 - Beano the Clown is based on the British comic anthology first published in 1938. It took its name from a "beano", colloquial English (in the '30s, at least) for a good time, usually a day out, a variation of 'beanfeast'.

Page 24 - Appropriately, given the fact that Beano is a clown, Death does a 'knock knock' joke when collecting him and, not surprisingly given it is Death, fails miserably.

Page 25 - "Here be Dragns" (Latin: hic sunt dracones) means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea monsters and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps where potential dangers were thought to exist.

Page 26 - Vimes regularly identifies where he is in Ankh-Morpork by the feel of the street through his thin cardboard soles.

Page 27 - The Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons resonates with all the real and pseudo care and rehabilitation facilties for every type of animal imaginable in Roundworld.

Page 27 - "One quite small step" resonates with Neil Armstrong's famous words from the moon "One small step for man"

Page 31 - "Chubby was not a happy dragon. He missed the forge" Discworld and Roundworld both seem to have a tendency toward well meaning but misguided people rescuing creatures who do not want to be rescued.

Page 31 - In Sergeant Colon's speech and procedures as he trains the new watch, Pratchett pokes fun at the similar trend in Roundworld on procedure over actual actions - talking about it rather than doing it.

Page 31 - Cuddy describing his double headed throwing ax as a "Cultural weapon" resonates with the debate over the Sikh dagger, the kirpan.

Page 32 - 35 "I comma square bracket....) The oath of allegiance to the Watch with all the punctuation as it is written on the form is a common Pratchett device. Vimes swears the oath the same way in Night Watch. Pratchett plays with the two meanings of oath as in a swearing of allegiance and just a swearing.

Page 34 - "Lance-Constable Detritus" Lance-Constable is the lowest rank for a member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, the entry level watch position. The name is taken from the army rank "Lance Corporal" Detritus, like all Trolls, except for sea trolls, takes his name from rock formations and associated items. Detritus is rubble such as gravel, sand, silt, or other material produced by erosion.

Page 35 - "Steal the secret of Fire from the gods" is a reference to Prometheus stealing fire from the gods for mankind in Greek mythology. Fingers Mazda in Discworld couldn't fence because it was too hot so he got burned. Pratchett is playing with the slang terms for dealing with stolen goods. Fingers being a common name to someone who is 'light fingered' ie a thief, 'burned' meaning that he took a loss, 'too hot' meaning that no one would dare buy it. Finally Mazda, as well as being a car manufacturer, as well as deriving from Ahura Mazda. He is also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hoormazd, Hormazd, Hormaz and Hurmuz, and is the creator deity in Zoroastrianism. He is the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is "lord", and that of Mazda is "wisdom".

Page 35 - The King's shilling, sometimes called the Queen's shilling when the Sovereign is female, is a historical slang term referring to the earnest payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, although the practice dates back to the end of the English Civil War. To "take the King's shilling" was to agree to serve as a sailor or soldier in the Royal Navy or the British Army. It is closely related to the act of impressment. The practice officially stopped in 1879, although the term is still used informally and there are some cases of it being used still in the early 20th century, albeit largely symbolically. It was not used by the police force in Roundworld.

Page 36 - The Trolls and Dwarfs marching resonates with the Catholic IRA and the Protestant Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in Northern Ireland.

Page 36 - "'Remember,' he said, 'let's be careful out there.'" The desk sergeant in Hill Street Blues used to say this in each episode of the TV series, at the end of the force's morning briefing.

Page 37 - Angua says, "Not miss. Carrot says I don't have any sex while on duty". The double entendre here plays on the Watch being unisex and therefore equal opportunity and having sexual intercourse on duty.

Page 39 - "'Morning, Mr Bauxite!'" Bauxite is the name of the red-coloured rock that contains aluminium ore and since all all Trolls except for Sea Trolls are made of stone, this explains the double entendre in the following line where the Dwarf ringleader says to the Troll "Your mother was an ore" Pratchett is playing with the word for prostitute (whore) and the fact that so she is in fact an 'ore'.

Page 43 - Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler and his 'sausage ina bun" are regular features in all the Discworld novels although he often branches out into other entrepreneurial fields.

Page 44 - "Mr Morecombe had been the Ramkins' family solicitor for a long time. Centuries, in fact. He was a vampire." In other words: a bloodsucking lawyer, Mr. Morecombe's name is likely a shout out to the great British comedy duo Morecombe and Wise although there is a town of called Morecambe in Lancashire.

Page 46 - - [p. 42] "[...] turn in their graves if they knew that the Watch had taken on a w--" This line is more foreshadowing but is funnier in retrospect because, since Angua is a female, the logical ending of the word is W (oman) unless the clues have been followed closely.

Page 48 - 49 - Angua's conversation with Gaspode give a further hint that she must not be human if she can speak the same language as a dog.

Page 51 - "'No one ever eats the black pudding.'" Not very surprising at the Assassin's Guild since black pudding is made with blood.

Page 52 - "Captain Vimes paused at the doorway, and then thumped the palm of his hand on his forehead. [...] 'Sorry, excuse me -- mind like a sieve these days -- [...]'" Acting like a bumbling fool, making as if to leave, then smacking his head, 'remembering' something in the doorway, and unleashing an absolute killer question is exactly how TV Detective Columbo always catches the criminal.

Page 57 - "The head honcho..honchette... honcharina... honchesa" Pratchett is playing with the various ways languages convert a male role into a female role using a word 'honcho' that doesn't use any of those endings. French, Italian, Spanish.

Page 58 - The name of Vimes' ancestor, Old Stoneface, is based on Oliver Cromwell's nickname, Old Ironsides. Old Stoneface plays the same role as Cromwell did in ridding the kingdom of an unjust king and ending the monarchy, albeit temporarily in the case of England but permanently in the case of Ankh-Morpork.

Page 59 - "Chopping off queen's heads and fighting their cousins every five minutes" is a reference to Henry VII lopping off Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard's heads and the War of the Roses between the Lancasters and the Yorks.

Page 59 - "There was a surviving son, I think. And a few mad relatives" This resonates with the rumours surrounding the Romanov dynasty after the Russian Revolution and also hints that there is someone out there who is heir to the throne (Carrot).

Page 60 - The Post Office motto "Neither rain nor snow nor glom of nit can stay these messengers about their duty" is spelled incorrectly because, as the reader finds in the 33rd Discworld book, Going Postal, the letters have been stolen to use on someone else's sign. The motto itself comes from the Herodotus quotation used on the General Post Office in New York City which reads: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" which has become an unofficial motto of the US Postal service. The Herodotus quotation refers to a system of mounted postal couriers used by the Persians when the Greeks attacked Persia, around 500 BC.

Page 62 - Leonard of Quirm is based on Leonardo da Vinci. Both dissect bodies, create the equivalent of a helicopter and a flying machine with flapping wings. The 'turning-the-wheel-with-pedals-and-another-wheel-machine' is clearly an exercise bicycle.

Page 63 - The Patrician was not a gardens type of person. Pratchett regularly references David Nobb's The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin in his novels and this line is the kind of statement Reggie's pompous son in law Tom regularly makes when he says he is 'not a (fill in the blank) kind of person'.

Page 63 - Bloody Stupid Johnson is a regular feature in Pratchett's novels, always creating something that does not work the way it was intended - the Mail Sorter in Going Postal and the bathroom in Unseen University.

Page 64 - "Capability Brown, Sagacity Smith, Intuition De Vere Slade-Gore" Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1715-1783) actually existed, and was a well known landscape gardener and architect. His nickname derived from his frequent statement to prospective employers that their estates held great "capabilities". The first names of Sagacity Smith and Intuition De Vere Slave are plays on Capability's name.

Page 64 - "It contained the hoho, which was like a haha only deeper." A haha is a boundary to a garden or park, usually a buried wall or shallow ditch designed not to be seen until closely approached. The ho hos resonate with 'hole hole' that has been abbreviated however they are small, cylindrical, frosted, cream-filled chocolate snack cakes with a pinwheel design based on the Swiss roll and made by Hostess Brands.

Page 65 - "We - that is my predecessor - thought it should serve as a warning and an example" Cruce demonstrates the characteristics of a typical politician, quickly putting the blame on his predecessor and rationalizing keeping a deadly weapon much like the justifications used for keeping biological weapons or continuing to use torture methods such as waterboarding in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

Page 66 - "...since twelve o'clock was established by consensus. Generally the first bell to start was that on in the Teachers' Guild, in response to the universal prayers of its members". Not surprising, given the teachers' desire to be rid of their charges as soon as possible.

Page 66 - "the tongueless and magical octiron bell of Old Tom in the Unseen University clock tower, whose twelve measured silences temporarily overruled the din." Pratchett plays with the concept that Unseen University's bell would naturally be a silent one so that it would not give away the 'unseen' aspect of the university's location. Naming the bells in a tower is a common practice in churches and cathedrals, Old Tom would normally refect the name of one of the deeper toned bells but in this case it would produce one of the deeper silences.

Page 66 - "Dr. Cruces backed and filled desperately" This expression means to vacillate, or to be undecided. This term comes from sailing ships, where it signifies alternately backing and filling the sails, a method used when the wind is running against a ship in a narrow channel. The sail is hauled back against the wind and braced so that the tide or current carries the ship forward against the wind. Then the sail must be swung around and filled, to keep the ship on course. The term's figurative use for indecisiveness dates from the mid-1800s. Dr. Cruces' name is the formal plural of Crux', the word for Cross' in Spanish. It not only suggests 'cross' but also 'crucify' or 'excruciating' and 'the crux of the matter'.

Page 67 - Bjorn Hammerhock's description of the Gonne resonate with the standard Smith and Weston or Colt revolvers. Bjorn's name is a standard Dwarf style name. Bjorn means 'bear'. Hammer is an appropriate name for someone working with tools and metal. Hock means to pawn an item.

Page 69 - "It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their armpit (after pounding their thumb with a hammer) and shout,"Oh-random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum" or "Aaargh, primitive-and-outmoded-concept-on-a-crutch". Pratchett's atheistic swearing reflect the world outside of religion. The latter in Christian swearing would be "Christ on a crutch"

Page 69 - "SINCE YOU BELIEVE IN REINCARNATION.... YOU'LL BE BJORN AGAIN" Death seems to have become an enthusiast of bad puns and jokes told in his own inimitable style, moving on from Knock Knock jokes to this obvious bad pun - born again meaning reincarnation. Clearly his delivery needs work, as Bjorn doesn't get it. Bjorn Again is also the name of an Australian band with a repertoire that consists entirely of Abba covers.

Page 70 - "'Hand you will look after hit,' he shouted, 'You will eat with hit, you will sleep with hit, you --'" Colon is possibly starting to channel Sgt Hartman from Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam war movie Full Metal Jacket: "Tonight, you pukes will sleep with your rifles. You will give your rifle a girl's name because this is the only pussy you people are going to get. [...] You're married to this piece.", etcetera.

Page 74 - "'I think perhaps Lance-Constable Angua shouldn't have another go with the longbow until we've worked out how to stop her... her getting in the way.'" There is an old myth that the Amazons of legend cut off their right breast to make using a bow and arrow more effective but anyone who has seen modern women archers in action knows that this is just a sexist myth. This fake “fact” first surfaced in 490 BC when a patriotic Greek historian attempted to force a Greek meaning on the foreign word “Amazon.” Because “mazon” sounded something like the Greek word for “breast” and “a” meant “without,” he claimed the name meant that the Amazons cut off one breast so they could draw a bow. Not only was his dodgy idea rejected by other Greeks of his day, but no ancient artist ever bought the notion – all Amazons in Greek and Roman art are double-breasted.

Page 75 - "A fine body of men" . Colon is clearly using the term 'men' as in 'human' rather than referring to the male of the species, whereas Angua is thinking the opposite. The discussion continues along these lines on the following page. Pratchett plays with this again in Monstrous Regiment".

Page 79 - "The last thing you needed was some Watchmen blundering around.....like a loose siege catapult" Apart from the Gonne, Discworld is still in the earlier stages of weapon development so he couldn't be blundering around 'like a loose cannon' yet.

Page 80 - "There's a bar like it in every big city. It's where the coppers drink." Quite stereotypical of course, but the bar from the TV series Hill Street Blues is one that comes to mind.

Page 80 -"'That's three beers, one milk, one molten sulphur on coke with phosphoric acid --'" Phosphoric acid is in fact an ingredient of Coca Cola. It is part of the 0.5 % that is not water or sugar.

Page 80 - "'A Slow Comfortable Double-Entendre with Lemonade.'" This is a play on the Roundworld cocktail called a 'Slow Comfortable Screw', or, in its more advanced incarnation, a 'A Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up against the Wall'. This drink consists of Sloe Gin (hence the 'slow'), Southern Comfort (hence the 'comfortable'), Orange Juice (which is what makes a screwdriver a screwdriver and not merely a bloody big vodka; hence the 'screw'), a float of Galliano (which is in a Harvey Wallbanger; hence the 'up against the wall'), served in a long glass.

Page 81 - "They stared at the drinks. They drank the drinks." Again, and again. This scene resonates with so many bar scenes from television and movies, from Hill Street Blues, mentioned above, to Cheers.

Page 82 - "like a mighty sequoia beginning the first step toward resurrection as a million Save the Trees leaflets. Pratchett takes a shot at members of the enviromental movement's hypocrisy; protesting deforestation while living in a wooden house or using paper, demanding an end to oil production while driving a car to the protest, wearing synthetic clothing and heating their homes with fossil fuels. Wearing all 'natural' clothing which if made of cotton is an environmental disaster, etc.

Page 84 - "GONNE" Pratchett plays with the word's various meanings such as "gone" ie missing. But in the days before standardized spelling, 'Gonne' was an older spelling for 'gun' and can be found as far back as the works of Chaucer.

Page 84 - "The moon would be up soon" Angua's concern make it pretty clear that her 'problem' isn't that she is a w (oman) but a w (erewolf).

Page 85 - Carrot askes "Do you know what 'policeman' means?" .... "It means 'man of the polis". That's an old word for city". In fact, that is exactly what policeman means. From the 1530s, "the regulation and control of a community" (similar in sense to policy); from Middle French police "organized government, civil administration" (late 15c.), from Latin politia "civil administration," from Greek polis "city" (see polis).

Page 86 - "A survey by the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Merchants.....found 987 women who gave their profession as 'seamstress' Oh...and two needles." The term 'seamstress' was used in the Roundworld as well as in Discworld as a euphemism for 'prostitute' on census forms. Garment industry occupations were extremely low paying, often attracting young females, and when the wages or lack of work were not sufficient, the women fell into the 'trade'. On census forms a clue to the real nature of the occupation can be gleaned by reviewing the number of people in a residence and the presence of an older female as head of the household - more than just a boarding house.

Page 86 - "Smells like...a bit like someone's thrown away an old privy carpet?" Nothing like the smell of old wet dog, which Angua conveniently pretends she can't smell.

Page 87 - Jimkin "Bearhuggers Old Persnickety" resonates with Jim Bream Bourbon or Corn Whiskey and "Old Persnickety" resonates with Old Pulteney Scotch Whiskey.

Page 89 - More foreshadowing when Angua is taking off her clothes, particularly since the unlicensed thief Bundo Prong is terrified by the sight of a dog for ever more. Particularly after she 'trots' away.

Page 92 - "If you could see an eighth distinct colour.. it'd have to be a ...something sort of like a greenish purple" Both green and purple are secondary colours. Green is made up of the primary colours yellow and blue. Purple is made up of the primary colours red and blue. The resultant colour would be a brown. The eighth colour is octarine in Discworld, a colour humans cannot see.

Page 92 - "Werewolfs could spot another werewolf across a crowded street" This line resonates with the Rogers and Hammerstein song Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific. A stranger and a room instead of a werewolf and a street.

Page 92 - "Yo, bitch" Pratchett is playing with the urban slang greeting and the fact that Angua in her werewolf state is in fact a 'bitch' or female wolf.

Page 93 - Gaspode asks Angua if she "rips hearts out". Another play on words with a double meaning. Since she is a werewolf she could rip the literal heart out of a person and eat it (except she is mostly vegetarian) and since she is a gorgeous female she could rip the figurative heart out of a potential suitor.

Page 98 - The Duke of Eorle is a play on the classic 1962 doo-wop hit by Gene Chandler, Duke of Earl.

Page 98 - "now...we have a city where grocers have as much influence as barons." This is a reference to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whose father was a grocer. Pratchett also uses this reference in Going Postal.

Page 98 - "that's against nature, in my humble opinion" and Page 99 "One of the thoughts jostling for space was that there was no such thing as a humble opinion." Pratchett as stated that the Duke of Eorl's conversational style was a bit of a dig at the way discussions on the net are typically held. People posting to Usenet newsgroups will often prefix even the most dogmatic monologues or megalomaniacal statements with the words "In my humble opinion...", in a (usually futile) attempt to render themselves invulnerable to criticism. The qualifier is used so often on the net that it even has its own acronym: 'IMHO'.

Page 99 - Lady Omnius takes her name from "omni" meaning all but it also resonates with 'ominous' which this kind of supposed all knowing intellectual nonsense is.

Page 99 - "people were more respectful and knew their place. People put in a decent day's work, they didn't laze around all the time. And we certainly didn't open the gates to whatever riff-raff was capable of walking through. And of course we also had law." For the upper classes in both Discworld and Roundworld, the world of privilege keeps them insulated from the realities of life so that their world remains a comfortable one. So the sentiments of the Duke are not uncommon within that world. But increasingly this line is reflecting the views of many ordinary and even poor people in supposedly advanced societies who think that the world was a better place in the 'good old days'. People conveniently forget that life was often brutal and short, with no safety net, poor health outcomes, high infant and childbirth mortality and widespread poverty and dwell instead on the few positives and the false perceptions - the idea of a safer simpler time. In Roundworld, this type of thinking has led to the rise of the ultra-right, the increase in the number of dictatorships and/or the racism of anti-immigration policies where people in countries such as Russia long for the good old days of the Soviet Union empire, the USA sees increasing racial tension against African Americans and moves to stop Mexican migration north, Britain and France (to pick on only two) have seen the rise of Farange and LePen, Australia has immigrant detention centres on Manus and Nauru Islands, and countries which initially embraced democracy such as Hungary, Turkey, South Africa and many other African countries (again to pick on only a few) slide closer and closer to, or have become, dictatorships.

Page 99 - 100 - The various lords and ladies and Vimes' thoughts in response, regarding the privilege of being born into the right class and the sense of entitlement it brings, have countless parallels in the Roundworld, whether the privileged position is inherited old or new wealth.

Page 100 - "[...] that bastard Chrysoprase, [...]" Chrysoprase as an applegreen variety of chalcedony, used as gem, but literally from the Greek words 'chrusos', gold and 'prason', leek. Chalcedony is a semi-precious blue-gray variety of quartz, composed of very small crystals packed together with a fibrous, waxy appearance. Note how both the 'gold' etymology and the 'waxy appearance' perfectly match Chrysoprase's character as the rich, suave, uptown Mafia-troll. Chrysoprase is a regular in Discword novels although his name is spelled 'Crystophrase' in Wyrd Sisters.

Page 101 - "dwarfs would indeed eat dog, but only if they couldn't get rat" Often the prejudice against another race is expressed in their dietary habits. The comment about eating dog is used to target those from South East Asia and Indo-China.

Page 101 - "notice how small their (dwarfs) heads are?...very limited cranial capacity, surely. Fact of measurement" Pratchett explores and exposes the pseudoscience known as craniology in other novels as well, notably in Night Watch. Phrenology was the pseudoscience that tried to link personality and character to head shape which was developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796 and was popularized in the Victorian era by Europeans wishing to justify their racism toward their subjects in their various colonies. In Night Watch Captain FindtheeSwing's calculations 'prove' that Vimes has 'the eye of an mass murderer'.

Page 104 - "interesting examples of dwarf bread" Dwarf bread is characterised by being as hard as rock (in fact it often has bits of gravel forged - not baked - into it. It can be used as a weapon and the most important example is the Scone of Stone, a take of on Scotland's Stone of Scone.

Page 104 - "We're ...looking for whoever killed Chubby." Lady Ramkin' lack of interest in the plight of the dwarfs, trolls and others is in direct contrast to her interest to animal welfare - a common trait in Roundworld as well where the animal beating story draws calls for punishment far in excess of a similar human related incident.

Page 109 - "'What can you make it?' Carrot frowned. 'I could make a hat,' he said, 'or a boat. Or [...]'" This line is from the 1980 movie Airplane! (renamed Flying High in some countries). The joke is repeated with a variance on Page 115 by Sendivoge.

Page 111 - "genteelly paraphrased by a string of symbols generally found on the top row of a typewriter's keyboard" illustrates the standard way of expressing a swear word in 'family friendly' publications @#$%&^ all symbols on the keyboard's top row.

Page 111 - Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler is a regular feature in Pratchett's novels with his assorted schemes for conning people and providing them with very dodgy fast food items, most famously his meat pies and sausage ina bun.

Page 112 - "Doctrine of signatures...If a plant looks like a part of the body, it's good for ailments peculiar to that part. There's teethwort for teeth, spleenwort for..spleens, eyebright for eyes...these even a toadstool called Phallus impudicas" . Toothwort is so named because of its toothlike shaped leaves not for its dental properties. Maidenhair speenwort is a fern that can be used as a poultice for snake bite or bee stings. Eyebright, also known as Euphrasia is commonly used for minor eye issues like styes or pink eye. The mushroom, Phallus Impudicus is the Stinkhorn fungus, and it has been described as a large, phallus-shaped, pallid, woodland fungus smelling very strongly of rotten meat, and usually covered with flies. The Latin name translates quite literally as "Shameless penis". It is not edible.

Page 115 - Everyone knows trolls can't even count up to four" In fact, as the footnote explains, really trolls are simply counting in base 4, many taking the place of our base 10 'ten' and lots taking the place or our 'hundred'.

Page 115 - Sendivoge the Alchemist Guild secretary takes his name from a Polish alchemist named Michael Sendivogius. Evidently, his business ethics were more along the lines of CMOT Dibbler than befitting a scientist.

Page 117 - "A lot of equipment had been moved away, however, to make room for a billiard table. [...] 'My word. Perhaps we're adding just the right amount of camphor to the nitro-cellulose after all --'" In reality, nitro-cellulose (also known as guncotton) is an extremely explosive substance that was discovered by people trying to make artificial ivory for billiard balls. Camphor is flammable in its own right.

Page 118 - "'Oh well. Back to the crucible." Pratchett is playing on the word "crucible" here since as well as being alchemist-speak for 'back to the drawing board' (a crucible is a container used in high-temperature melting), there is also the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where the World Snooker Championships are played.

Page 119 - "No. 1 powderl Sulphur, saltpeter and charcoal. You use it in fireworks. Any fool could make it up. But is looks odd because it's written back to front." This is a clue that it has been written by Leonard of Quirm who is famous for mirror writing. As in ancient China, the alchemists know that the described compound can be used for fireworks but have not grasped its potential as gunpowder in a weapon.

Page 119 - Leonard of Quirm is based on Leonardo da Vinci. The Mona Ogg is a take off on his painting the Mona Lisa whose eyes (rather than teeth) appear to follow you around the room. He also invented 'men with wings' (ie a flying machine).

Pade 120 - "Lightning lemons.....putting the metal rods in the lemons". In fact, a lemon can be turned into a battery to produce electricity in the manner described.

Page 121 - Thomas Silverfish's experiments with octo-cellulose continue in Guards Guards and Moving Pictures.

Page 121- "Ennogeht," said Cuddy, turning the paper round and round. "T-h-eg-o-n-n-e". Leonard of Quirm is famous for writing backwards but of course turning the paper around would not reverse the letters.

Page 121 - "knocker....shaped like a pair of artificial breasts" Pratchett plays with the colloquialism for breasts - as in a 'nice pair of knockers'.

Page 123 - "I keep on forgetting: is it crying on the outside and laughing on the inside? I always get it mixed up." The 1946 song "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)", with music by Bernie Wayne and lyrics by Ben Raleigh was popularized by Dinah Shore, Andy Russell, and Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra (with vocal by Billy Williams). It also resonates with the 1970 Smokey Robinson and the Miracles hit, Tears of a Clown cowritten by Robinson, Hank Cosby and a 17 year old Stevie Wonder.

Page 123 - 'He held out his hand hopefully. "Don't shake it," Colon warned.' This, like the whitewash bucket over the door is another in the standard repetoire of clowns everywhere. In this case the shocking buzzer in the palm of the hand trick.

Page 124 - The clown anthem "March of the Idiots". is a clown take off on Tchaikovsky's March of the Toy Soldiers from the Nutcracker.

Page 125 - "Dr. Whiteface" is based the white faced clown in the pairing of Pierrot and Harlequin in the Commedia dell'arte. The white clown evolved from the Pierrot character. Originally, Harlequin's role was that of a light-hearted, nimble and astute servant, paired with the sterner and melancholic Pierrot, the leader who directed Auguste (based on Harlequin) to do his bidding.

Page 127 - "How many dishonorable discharges have you had?" "Lots," said Nobby, proudly. "But I always puts a poultice on 'em." Pratchett is playing with two meanings for discharge; one being the dismissal from service for inappropriate actions and the other being a bodily fluid leakage that needs medical attention.

Page 128 - "How long would you say?" "About 5'9", I'd say." This line, in which Nobby confuses the length of time the clown has been dead with his length, ie height, resonates with the Monty Python Lifeboat Sketch in which the one castaway says to the other "How long is it" (meaning how long in time has it been) and the other responds with "That's rather a personal question!" thinking the question relates to how well endowed he is.

Page 129 - "They keep extracting the urine" is a fancy way for Fred, who has been reading to improve his vocabulary for the new recruits, to say "They keep taking the piss."

Page 131 - "Possibly, if you fought your way through the mysterious old coats hanging in it, you'd break through into a magical fairyland full of talking animals and goblins, but it'd probably not be worth it." This is a reference to the children's classic The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. See also the annotation for p. 22 of Sourcery .

Page 133 - "I'm on the path, he thought. I don't have to know where it leads. I just have to follow." This is almost a direct quote from a scene in David Lynch's cult TV series Twin Peaks:

Agent Cooper: "God help me, I don't know where to start."
Hawk: "You're on the path. You don't need to know where it leads. Just follow."

Page 135 - "cautiously raising a decoy helmet on a stick" The decoy helmet on stick is a reference to the tactic from WW I where soldiers in the trenches would put a helmet on a stick and lift it above the trench line to draw the enemy's fire and thus provide their location for counter-fire. Pratchett and Vimes uses this tactic in Night Watch as well.

Page 135 - Zorgo the Retrophrenologist. Zorgite is a metallic copper-lead selenide, found at Zorge, in the German Harz Mountains. Like all Trolls, except for Sea Trolls, his name is mineral based.

Page 136 - In the Dwarfish bar, Carrot says, "It pays to keep your ear to the ground to which Angua replies, "That'd certainly be easy here." As she explains, since they are closer to the ground in the very low ceiling bar, their ears are closer to the ground too. Needless to say, short jokes are not a popular item with Dwarfs.

Page 137 - [p. 119] "'It's Oggham,' said Carrot." Ogham is the name of an existing runic script found in the British Isles (mostly in Ireland) and dating back at least to the 5th century. See the annotation for p. 219 of Lords and Ladies.

Page 137 - The menu: Soss, egg, beans and rat etc resonates with the Monty Python's Viking sketch involving spam in everything, rather than rat. Pratchett however said, "It's not really Python. Until recently transport cafes always had menus like that, except that 'Chips' was the recurrent theme. I used to go to one where you could order: Doublegg n Chips n Fried Slice, Doublegg n Doublechips n Doublebeans n Soss.....and so on... The key thing was that you couldn't avoid the chips. I think if anyone'd ever ordered a meal without chips they'd have been thrown out.

Note for UK types: this place was the White Horse Café at Cherhill on the A4 near where Eddie Cochran, the man behind “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody,” was killed on April 17, 1960 when the taxi carrying him from a show in Bristol, England, crashed en route to the airport in London, where he was to catch a flight back home to the United States. Gene Vincent, another passenger in the car broke his collarbone.

Page 138 - "threw up allegro ma non troppo." In music allegro ma non troppo means a tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played allegro, but not too much so. In otherwords, moderately.

Page 138 footnote - "Slumpie, Jammy Devils, Fikkun haddock, Distressed Pudding, Clooty Dumplings, and not to be forgotten, the Knuckle Sandwich." Slumpie bears a similarity to Roundworld's scouse. Distressed Pudding is similar to Bread Pudding or the Yorkshire Sad Cake. A Clootie Dumpling is a Scottish dessert traditionally made of dried fruit, spices, oatmeal or breadcrumbs, flour, and beef suet. Fikkun Haddock is an obvious play on Finnan Haddie with a fucking twist. Finnan Haddie is a Scottish dish made with smoked haddock. And the knuckle sandwich is of course a punch in the mouth. The Jammy Devils are a pastry with a jam filling but are also a Scottish rock and roll band - whether they were around when the book was written or were known to Pratchett is undetermined.

Page 138 and following - For those who have difficulty in understanding what the Gargoyle was saying, here is a translation into English of his side of the dialogue:

"Right you are."
"Cornice overlooking broadway."
"No."
"Ah. You work for Mister Carrot?"
"Oh, yes. Everyone knows Carrot."
"He comes up here sometimes and talks to us."
"No. He put his foot on my head. And let off a firework. I saw him run away along Holofernes Street."
"He had a stick. A firework stick."
"Firework. You know? Bang! Sparks! Rockets! Bang!"
"Yes. That's what I said."
"No, idiot! A stick, you point, it goes BANG!"


Page 139 footnote - "[...] the strangest, and possibly saddest, species on Discworld is the hermit elephant."

Roundworld's hermit crab (which can be found on islands like Bermuda) behaves similarly: it has no protective shell of its own, so it utilises the shells of dead land snails. The reason why the hermit crab is one of the sadder species in our world as well is given in Stephen Jay Gould's essay 'Nature's Odd Couples' (published in his collection The Panda's Thumb): the shells that form the crabs' natural habitat are from a species of snail that has been extinct since the 19th century. The hermit crabs on Bermuda are only surviving by recycling old fossil shells, of which there are fewer and fewer as time goes on, thus causing the hermit crab to become, slowly but surely, just as extinct as the snails.

Page 142 - Bloody Stupid Johnson built the "the Quirm Memorial, the Hanging Gardens of Ankh, and the Colossus of Morpork.'" The last two items are equivalents of two of Roundworld's 'seven wonders of antiquity': the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes. The Quirm memorial is likely the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. There is also a similarity between the Colossus of Morpork and the sequence in Rob Reiner's 1985 movie This Is Spinal Tap where a Stonehenge menhir, supposedly 30 feet high, is constructed to be 30 inches high, and ends up being trodden on by a dwarf.

Page 143 "[...] the kind of song where people dance in the street and give the singer apples and join in and a dozen lowly match girls suddenly show amazing choreographical ability [...]" Pratchett is likely just referring to a generic musical stereotype but there are a number of musicals that fit the bill for this reference. The Matchgirls is a musical by Bill Owen and Tony Russell about the London matchgirls strike of 1888. It premiered at the Globe Theatre, London, on 1 March 1966, directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne. Many Pratchett fans think he was thinking of the number 'Who Will Buy?' from Oliver!, the musical version of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist but that is not known.

Page 144 - "Lettice Knibb...She was just the lady's maid to Queen Molly." This is a reference to the Lord and Lady of Misrule which Pratchett also used in Night Watch. At the midwinter festival a Lord and/or Lady of Misrule (the Beggar King or Queen) at Twelfth Night. A long succession of mock kings have ruled over winter holiday merrymaking in Europe. In ancient times they presided over feasts held in honor of the Roman festival of Saturnalia (see also Zagmuk). In the Middle Ages the boy bishop and the Lord of Misrule directed certain Christmas festivities (see also Feast of Fools). Twelfth Night celebrations, however, came under the special supervision of another mock ruler: the King of the Bean. In past centuries the English, French, Spanish, German, and Dutch celebrated Twelfth Night, or Epiphany Eve, with a feast. The Twelfth Night cake not only provided dessert, but also helped to facilitate an old custom (see also Christmas Cake). While preparing the cake the cook dropped a bean, coin or other small object into the batter. The man who found this object in his slice of cake was declared "King of the Bean." If a woman received the bean, she became queen and appointed a man as king. The king presided over the rest of the evening's activities. In some areas the king chose his own queen. In others, a pea was also added to the cake batter and the woman who found the pea in her serving of cake enacted the role of "queen." Everyone else became a member of the royal court. At some parties the courtiers carried out their role by announcing the mock ruler's every action. Cries of "the king drinks" or "the king coughs" cued others to follow suit. The mock rulers might also give silly commands that the court was expected to carry out. The French saying, il a trouvé la fève au gâteau, which means "he found the bean in the cake," comes from this Twelfth Night custom and means "he's had some good luck.".

Page 145 - Carrot requests a "a length of string and a nail". This trick is used to crudely calculate trajectory of a bullet as Carrot demonstrates.

Page 146 - "'Some in rags, and some in tags, and one in a velvet gown... it's in your Charter, isn't it?'" This comes from the nursery rhyme Hark! Hark!. The Mother Goose version goes:

Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark,
The beggars are coming to town;
Some in rags, some in tags,
And some in velvet gown.

Opies' Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes gives the last two lines as:

Some in rags, some in jags,
And one in a velvet gown.

Terry's household nursery rhyme book must strike a balance between these two versions. The rhyme is said to be about the mob of Dutchmen that William of Orange brought over with him to England in 1688, with the "one in a velvet gown" being the Prince himself. It has also bee said to be a reference to Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, forcing monks to beg on the streets for a living.

Page 150 - [p. 130] "'A sixteen, an eight, a four, a one!'" .....'You're a natural at counting to two." Since trolls have silicon brains like a computer, naturally they'd be able to think in binary. Every number, no matter how large can be represented in binary (29, for instance, is 11101; sixteen + eight + four + one). Cuddy is therefore absolutely right when he points out to Detritus: "If you can count to two, you can count to anything!" See annotation on Page 115 for explanation of Trolls counting in base 4 when they have not been taught the other numbers like 8, 16 and 29. So since they are used to base 4 it makes sense for Cuddy to teach Detritus these numbers early in the education process since they are all multiples of the Troll's number 4 which is 'many'. 8 is 'many, many' and 16 is 'lots' (many, many, many, many). Lots (4x4) is the Trolls' equivalent of Roundworld's one hundred (10x10) in base 10.

Page 151 - "Sham Harga's coffee was like molten lead" "'That,' said Vimes, 'was a bloody awful cup of coffee, Sham.' [...] 'And a doughnut'." This entire scene is a loose parody of Twin Peaks, where the protagonists are forever eating doughnuts and drinking "damn fine coffee".

Page 151 - "'And give me some more coffee. Black as midnight on a moonless night." In one of the early Twin Peaks episodes, Agent Cooper praises the coffee at the Great Northern Hotel, and is very precise in ordering breakfast, specifying the way the bacon etc. should be cooked and asking for a cup of coffee which is "Black as moonlight on a moonless night". Although the waitress at the Hotel is considerably less inclined to nitpick than Sham Harga, she also makes a comment along the lines of "That's a pretty tough order".

Page 152 - "So someone is telling meat pies" Discworld Cockney rhyming slang - 'meat pies - lies'.

Page 152 - Fred Colon is still clearly working on improving his vocabulary as he says the were given the "derriere velocity". Pratchett makes sure the reader notices the mock French words for 'bum's rush' because Colon's use of language is important shortly afterwards.

Page 154 - "'[...] clown Boffo, the corpus derelicti, [...]'" "Corpus delicti" is a Latin phrase meaning the victim's body in a murder case.

Page 154 - "The whole nose business looked like a conundrum wrapped up in an enigma [...]" This is a paraphrase of a famous quote by Winston Churchill, referring to Russia: "It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key."

Page 155 - Vimes thinks, "But fireworks weren't a weapon". The Chinese thought the same thing initially after they invented fireworks in the 2nd Century BC. They didn't use gunpowder in warfare until 904, as incendiary projectiles called "flying fires." Its use was soon expanded to explosive grenades hurled from catapults. The third step was to use gunpowder as a propellant. Its first such use was recorded in 1132 in experiments with mortars consisting of bamboo tubes. Mortars with metal tubes (made of iron or bronze) first appeared in the wars (1268-1279) between the Mongols and the Song Dynasty.

Page 157 - "So they (the Assassins) had put the Gonne safely under lock and key" This scene is reminiscent of Japan's response to guns from about 1600 to 1840. The shoguns realized that their armies of samurai warriors could be wiped out by peasants with guns which would jeopardize their own positions so severely restricted their use and distribution (contrary to popular opinion they did not completely ban them - they could be used against vermin with permission for example).

Page 157 - "'He went into Grope Alley!'" When Cuddy and Detrius are chasing Cruces down Grope Alley, Pratchett mentions that the origin of the name is "fortunately" lost in the mists of time. Grope Alley is based on Threadneedle Street in the City of London. Threadneedle Street was originally called 'Gropecunte Lane'. Its name stems from the medieval era when street names reflected the occupations conducted there - Baker Street, Market Square, etc. The name comes from Grope and Cunt (ie. a place where prostitutes practiced their trade). The earliest known use of the name is from about 1230 and the last one was in 1561. When the activity on the street changed or people became more sensitive to inappropriate or crude names, the street name was often changed. Grope became Grape for example in York and was changed completely to Magpie in Oxford. Since Threadneedle Street (ex Gropecunte Lane) is now the site of the Bank of England some would consider the original name to be more appropriate. There's also a Grope Alley in Shrewsbury, getting its name from the Tudor buildings on either side almost meeting each other at roof level, causing one to have to grope along in the darkness.

Page 160 - Captain Quirke's name is an obvious play on Captain Kirk from Star Trek.

Page 162 - '"That's what 'policeman' means: a man for the city'. Not many people know that. 'The word 'polite' comes from 'polis', too. It used to mean proper behaviour from someone living in a city.'" Carrot is quite correct as to the origin of police. It comes from Middle French police ('public order, administration, government'), in turn from Latin politia, which is the romanization of the Ancient Greek πολιτεία (politeia) 'citizenship, administration, civil polity'. This is derived from πόλις (polis) 'city'. However 'polite' comes from the Latin 'polire', to polish.

Page 162 - "Vimes had believed all his life that the Watch were called coppers because they carried copper badges, but no, said Carrot it comes from the old word cappere , to capture. Carrot is correct. The term copper was the original word, used in Britain to mean "someone who captures". In British English, the term cop is recorded (Shorter Oxford Dictionary) in the sense of 'to capture' from 1704, derived from the Latin capere via the Old French caper. The OED suggests that "copper" is from "cop" in this sense, but adds that the derivation is uncertain. Many imaginative, but incorrect stories have come up over the years, including that cop refers to the police uniform's copper buttons, the police man's copper badge, or that it is an abbreviation for "constable on patrol", "constabulary of police", or "chief of police"."

Page 164 - The concept of a pork futures warehouse is another of Pratchett's twists since pork futures are not a physical product but a promise to buy pork products at a future date and price.

Page 166 - "He pushed his hot food barrow through streets broad and narrow, crying: 'Sausages! Hot Sausages! Inna bun!'" This is a reference to the old Irish folk song 'Molly Malone':

In Dublin's fair city
Where the maids are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
She wheels her wheel-barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying "cockles and mussels alive alive-o"

There is a statue to the supposed original Molly Malone (no evidence supports the existence of a specific person apart from the fact that there were female fishmongers who, due to poverty, likely doubled as prostitutes and both Molly and Malone are common Irish names). To honour her or the song, a statue was put up in Dublin and it is considered good luck to caress her breasts (both very polished). It is known by the Dubliners as "The Tart with the Cart".

Page 167 - The troll checking out CMOT Dibbler's ethic food says, "yuk...It's got all ammonites in it". The troll, expecting pure rock is not expecting it to be contaminated with foreign particles, like finding a cockroach in your bun.

Page 168 - The secret passageway within the walls of the Palace has many Roundworld equivalents. Secret rooms were common in medieval castles as a way of hiding from attackers and also spying on guests. Passageways allowed the inhabitants to escape or access food or water sources. Marie Antoinette escaped from the Palais de Versaille during the French Revolution via a secret passageway and the Palais had a whole section of royal apartments hidden behind the walls.

Page 169 - Leonard of Quirm has clearly invented the exercise bicycle. For more on Leonard see annotation page 119.

Page 169 - "'I call it a flapping-wing-flying-device, [...] It works by gutta-percha strips twisted tightly together.'" This time, Leonard has invented the rubber-band-powered model aeroplane.

Page 169 -] "[...] wondering how the hell he came up with the idea of pre-sliced bread in the first place." From the saying about most inventions: "the greatest thing since sliced bread".

Page 170 - "'My cartoons,' said Leonard. 'This is a good one of the little boy with his kite stuck in a tree,' said Lord Vetinari." The reference to Charlie Brown's struggle against the kite-eating tree in Charles M. Shultz's comic strip Peanuts will be obvious to most readers, but perhaps not everyone will realise that in Leonardo da Vinci's time a cartoon was also a full-size sketch used to plan a painting.

Page 170 - "I call it my 'Handy-note-scribbleing-piece-of-paper-with-glue-that-comes-unstuck-when-you-want'." Leonard as Pratchett points out may be a good inventor but he is terrible at coming up with a marketable name. These are Post-It Notes.

Page 171 - "I am afraid it has....escaped" The pregnant pause before the punchline. Pratchett is saying that "the gonne has gone".

Page 171 - "The Patrician picked up a pile of sketches of the human skeleton." Leonard of Quirm shares the same drawing ability with Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci's drawings of the human body are exquisitely done.

Page 172 - "It's a model of my spinning-up-into-the-air-machine". This is clearly Leonard's helicopter.

Page 173 - "'They do things like open the Three Jolly Luck Take-away Fish Bar on the site of the old temple in Dagon Street on the night of the Winter solstice when it also happens to be a full moon.'" 'Dagon' is the Hebrew name for the god Atergata of the Philistines; half woman and half fish. It was a Dagon temple that the biblical Samson managed to push down in his final effort to annoy the Philistines (Judges 16:23, "Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.") H. P. Lovecraft also uses the entity Father Dagon as the leader of the Deep Ones in some of his horror stories. Pratchett confirmed that the inspiration for his Dagon goes back to the original source, not Lovecraft's incarnation. It is therefore not surprising that opening a Fish Bar on the site of temple to a fish god is a bad move.

Page 174 - "If you wind a spring one way, all its energies will unwind the other way. And sometimes you have to wind the spring as tight as it will go....and pray it doesn't break". Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for the spring but of course Vetinari is thinking that he might have pushed Vimes too far.

Page 176 - '"Should his eyes be flashing on and off like that?' said Dibbler". Detritus is silicon based as noted before so is exhibiting the same characteristics that a computer trying to reboot does.

Page 177 - When the Troll Detritus gets locked in the pork futures warehouse, he creates an elaborate "theory of everything" equation all over the walls, in an attempt to pass the time until he is rescued. He gets everything down to one final equal sign "=" before being rescued. Knowing Pratchett's frequent references to Douglas Adams' Hitch hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it is pretty clear that the answer to the equation is 42 with Discworld having the Question, and the Hitch Hiker's having the answer.

Page 178 - ] "[...] Dibbler, achieving with his cart the kind of getaway customarily associated with vehicles that have fluffy dice on the windscreen [...]" After WWII when pilots returned home, the tradition of carrying dice for good luck was translated into hanging them from your vehicle's rearview mirror and the fuzzy dice meaning continued to be for good luck. In the late 40s and 50s, no hot rod was complete without them and they became a symbol of 'dicing with death' - a willingness to race your hot rod on the street. Now it is considered to be nostalgic.

Page 179 - Cuddy asks Detritus "How many fingers am I holding up?" Detritus responds, "Two and one?". Clearly his silicon brain isn't up to speed yet as he is back counting in binary.

Page 181 - "'Chrysoprase, he not give a coprolith about that stuff.'" Coprolith is a fossilised turd.

Page 183 - "Go around waving clubs at the drop a thing you wear on head." The expression is 'drop of a hat'.

Page 184 - "'He say, you bad people, make me angry, you stop toot sweet.'" "Toute de suite" means immediately in French and is usually mispronounced like this by people who only learned basic French in school or for comic effect.

Page 185 - "'C. M. O. T. Dibbler's Genuine Authentic Soggy Mountain Dew,' she read." Pratchett indicated that he was not referring to Mountain Dew, the American soft drink, but is using the term in its original meaning, as a colloquialism for whisky -- particularly, the homemade 'moonshine' variety. There have been a lot of jokes based on this old euphemism for whiskey in the names of various North American Bluegrass bands; The Soggy Bottom Boys, The Foggy Mountain Boys and the Foggy Hogtown Boys to name a few.

Page 185 - "It ain't got no proof. Just circumstantial evidence." Pratchett is playing with two meanings of proof here. The burden of proof meaning hard facts not circumstantial evidence and the proof of an alcohol like Soggy Mountain Dew - its percentage of alcohol.

Page 192 - "VIA CLOACA" The major sewer in ancient Rome, running down into the Tiber, was called the Cloaca Maxima. Anything with 'Via' in its name would have been a street or road. The Cloaca Maxima was actually a tunnel.

Page 193 - "Cirone IV me fabricat" - Cirone the Fourth built me in dog Latin. According to Google translate this really says Cirone IV it makes me.

Page 198 - In response to Vimes agonizing that it has all been a waste of time, Carrot says, "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness." This expression means that it is more worthwhile to do some good, however small, in response, than to complain about the situation.

Page 199 - "Quirke wasn't a bad man.....He dealt more in that sort of ...low-grade unpleasantness which slightly tarnishes the soul of all who come into contact with it.* Rather like British Rail. For non-British readers, BritRail was the national railway system that was privatized in the 1990s by the Conservative government. Both before and after, the company exhibited all the trademark bureaucracy of an unwieldy monolithic corporation with the associated lack of concern or interest in their clients - the travelling public.

Page 203 - "Consider orangutans. they can talk but choose not to do so in case humans put them to work, possibly in the television industry. Pratchett may be commenting on the level of intelligence of the average TV host. There have been a few orangutan models in the entertainment industry, notably Manis who played Clyde as Clint Eastwood's sidekick in the 1978 box office hit Every Which Way But Loose and the sequel Any Which Way You Can as well as in the 1984 movie Cannonball Run II.

Page 204 footnote - "I'm sure there was a rain forest around here a moment ago" The rain forest homes of the orangutan have been largely decimated by clearcutting to make palm oil plantations.

Page 205 - the "Interchangeable Emmas" are upper middle class young women involved in keeping busy with a variety of good works like the Dragon Sanctuary. Their name resonates with Jane Austen's novel Emma and heroine of the same name who was always busy 'helping' her friends.

Page 207 - "heated by an ancient geyser" Non-British readers might wonder at the water being heated by a natural hot springs like Yellowstone National Parks, Old Faithful. A 'geyser' in Britain is a gas-fired water heater through which water flows as it is rapidly heated.

Page 207 - "[...] huge scrubbing brushes, three kinds of soap, a loofah." Loofah is a genus of tropical climbing plant bearing a fruit, the fibrous skeleton of which is used for scrubbing backs in the bath.

Page 208 - "Soap him head" Pratchett is playing with the dismissive phrase "soak your head" said to someone who the speaker is frustrated or annoyed with as well as the idea that applying soap to something like a ring will help it slide off the finger easier.

Page 210 - Vimes says, "Thank you Willikins. What's your first name?" If Vimes understood servants, the upper class and butlers in particular he would know that in real life and in fiction they are never referred to by any other name than their surname.

Page 210 - "'Hi-ho -- '-- hi-ho --' 'Oook oook oook oook ook --'" The best-known song in Walt Disney's 1937 full length animation movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is sung by the seven dwarfs (also referenced on p. 73 of Moving Pictures) and starts:

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
It's off to work we go


Page 211 - "'He said "Do Deformed Rabbit, it's my favourite",' Carrot translated." Running gag. See also the annotation for p. 162 of Small Gods and p. 36 of Moving Pictures where Victor says, "'Mainly my uncle did "Deformed Rabbit"... 'He wasn't very good at it, you see.'"

Page 213 - "the King's shilling" See annotation page 35.

Page 213 - "there wouldn't be all this trouble around the place if we had a king." See annotation page 99.

Page 214 - "someone sawed up a stone" To which Detritus replies "Hah! Anti-siliconism". Since Trolls are made of rock (silicon based) cutting up a rock would not be popular with them in the same way that being treated as an object (slavery, colonialism) is not popular with African Americans and natives. Siliconism also has links to belief in alternate value systems other than technology but whether Pratchett was thinking along this line is unknown.

Page 214 - "That is what a king does if you're useful. He makes you a knight." "A night watchman in crappy armor is about your metier." Pratchett plays with the two meanings of the homonym. A knight, who was a man who served his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armor and night time, in this case a cop who works the graveyard shift . Pratchett's drawing the reader's attention to Colon's use of the French 'metier' with the slanty thing over the 'e' emphasizes that this line will be important shortly.

Page 214 - '"someone who could shove s sword into a stone...a man like that, now, he's a king.' 'A man like that'd be an ace,' said Nobby." In a deck of cards the Ace is the highest valued card so is superior to a king.

Page 215 - "They keep better time than demons or water clocks or candles. Or those big pendulum things". Demons are a Discworld means of keeping time. The watch/clock has one inside who moves the dials around or announces the time loudly when prompted. Water clocks use the flow of water to measure time and are one of the oldest time-measuring instruments. The bowl-shaped outflow is the simplest form of a water clock and is known to have existed in Babylon, Egypt, and Persia around the 16th century BC. Other regions of the world, including India and China, also have early evidence of water clocks, but the earliest dates are less certain. Some authors, however, claim that water clocks appeared in China as early as 4000 BC. A candle clock is a thin candle with consistently spaced marking that, when burned, indicates the passage of periods of time. While no longer used today, candle clocks provided an effective way to tell time indoors, at night, or on a cloudy day (the disadvantage of a sun dial). The earliest reference to their use occurs in a Chinese poem by You Jiangu (AD 520). A pendulum clock is a clock that uses a pendulum, a swinging weight, as its timekeeping element. The advantage of a pendulum for timekeeping is that it is a harmonic oscillator: It swings back and forth in a precise time interval dependent on its length, and resists swinging at other rates. From its invention in 1656 by Christiaan Huygens, inspired by Galileo Galilei, until the 1930s, the pendulum clock was the world's most precise timekeeper, accounting for its widespread use.

Page 215 - "A Watch From, Your Old Freinds in the Watch" An obvious play on 'watch', a time piece and 'Watch', the members of the Watch who patrolled the streets in the days before the police force. Note the misplaced comma and the incorrect order of "i" before "e" except after "c" in "friends".

Page 216 - Carrot "could lead whole armies....He's got a dream" - another hint that Carrot really is the heir to the throne but also a reference to Martin Luther King's famous "I've got a dream" speech.

Page 217 - "Skully Muldoon" is a reference to Dana Scully and Fox Mulder from the television series The X Files.

Page 218 - "And I expect you've got a cooking pot...do you own at least two-and-one-third acres and more than half a cow". In earlier times taxes were based on such things as how many windows or fireplaces your house had. Pratchett carries it to an extreme since without a cooking pot you could not eat and survive.

Page 219 - "The Trolls have set fire to the Palace" The dwarfs are ravishing Mrs. Poppley. Pratchett plays with the way misinformation and rumour spread and create distrust, prejudice and the threat of violence in the way the various groups describe what they have heard the other groups are doing.

Page 222 - "'All right, no one panic, just stop what you're doing, stop what you're doing, please. I'm Corporal Nobbs, Ankh-Morpork City Ordnance Inspection City Audit -- [...] Bureau ... Special ... Audit ... Inspection.'" Nobby is imitating Eddie Murphy. Pratchett commented: "Almost a trademark of the basic Murphy character in a tight spot is to whip out any badge or piece of paper that looks vaguely official and simply gabble official-sounding jargon, which sounds as if he's making it up as he goes along but nevertheless browbeats people into doing what he wants. As in: 'I'm special agent Axel Foley of the Special ... Division ... Secret ... Anti-Drugs ... Secret ... Undercover ... Taskforce, that's who I am, and I want to know right now who's in charge here, right now!' Cpl Nobbs uses this technique to get into the Armoury in Men at Arms"

Page 223 - "'Have you got one of those Hershebian twelve-shot bows with the gravity feed?' he snapped. 'Eh? What you see is what we got, mister.'" This is straight from The Terminator. Arnold says to the gun shop owner: "Have you got a phase plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?" and the shopkeeper responds: "Hey, just what you see, pal". There's also a WYSIWYG resonance here, see the annotation for p. 45 of The Science of Discworld .

Page 224 - "A little bow like this wouldn't scare a man like you, because it's such a little bow. It'd need a bigger bow that this to scare a man like you." "Now the one behind you, that's a big bow" This line resonates with many movie lines including Crocodile Dundee (Now that's a big knife).

Page 226 - "evil looking glaive" A glaive is a broad sword.

Page 226 - "'Oh, wow! A Klatchian fire engine! This is more my meteor!'" Nobby is trying to sound more upper class using 'meteor' when he means to use the French word 'metier' (which Fred's used on page 214) . But Pratchett is playing on the meaning of 'metier' with 'meteor'. Initially the reader is led to believe he is referring to something which puts out fires but it soon becomes apparent that he is talking about a flame thrower type device - a fiery ball projector and a meteor is a fiery ball.

Page 228 - "'No sir! Taking Flint and Morraine, sir!'" These two trolls first appeared as actors in Moving Pictures. Like all Trolls, except Sea Trolls, their names are related to rock. Flint is a a sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, Moraine is the rock debris left behind when a glacier retreats. Terminal moraine marks the end of the glacier's advance. Lateral moraine is on the sides.

Page 228 - "'Now that', said Colin, ' is what I call an alibi"'. Clearly of all the TV and movie alibis that turn out to be untrue, being dead is the best possible excuse.

Page 229 - "Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness." This is based on the old saying: "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness", a line which Carrot uses earlier on Page 198.

Page 229 - "'Lord Vetinari won't stop at sarcasm. He might use' -- Colon swallowed -- 'irony.'" This resonates with the Monty Python's 'Dinsdale' sketch:

Vercotti: I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.
Interviewer: What did he do?
Vercotti: He used sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.
Presenter: By a combination of violence and sarcasm the Piranha brothers, by February 1966, controlled London and the South East.


Page 229 - "Clowns give me the creeps" The fear of clowns is called coulrophobia and given the history of clowns is not a surprising phobia. Evil clowns, contrary to popular opinion, are nothing new. Long before real life mass murderer John Wayne Gacy, who dressed as Pogo the clown to entertain children at birthday parties, led to numerous slasher clown movies such as the 1988 Mike Meyer's Out of the Dark, there were evil clowns. The Greeks and Romans had clowns and clowns performed at court in the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, the jesters and fools who entertained kings while wearing bizarre costumes, which presaged the bright outfits worn by today’s clowns, were often dwarfs or those who were deformed in some way - dwarfs, hunchbacks (to use the vernacular of the time) and so were seen as sinister or abnormal. Only later on did they diverge into two groups; clowns or court jesters on the one hand and circus or sideshow freaks on the other. The original Bozo the clown character was a town fair or circus figure who insulted and shamed passers-by into such an angry state that they were eager to pay money to thrown balls at a target to knock him off his perch into a tank of water. The first modern clown as we’ve come to accept them was Joseph Grimaldi, a hugely popular British entertainer in the late 18th century. It didn't take long after his emergence for artists and authors to realize the potential for depicting a person wearing a grotesque mask in disguise for someone creating murder and mayhem. Leoncavallo’s short opera from 1892. I Pagliacci, ends with an obsessive, paranoid and insanely jealous clown going on a Shakespearean knife wielding rampage, stabbing his wife, her lover, and himself to death. The first film ever produced by the newly-formed MGM Studio was He Who Gets Slapped (1924) a highly stylized and deeply disturbing silent film about a masochistic and vengeful Parisian circus clown (based on an early 20th century Russian novel by Leonid Andreyev, which was turned into a stage play and a 1916 film before being translated into English in 1922). DC Comics 1940s creation the Joker led to both the comic book series and the resultant Batman movie. The 1986 Stephen King creation of Pennywise the clown in It led to the 1990 TV mini series of the same name as well as later movies, Since then the number of evil and malevolent clowns is too extensive to list here.

Page 230 - "Have we got an appointment?" asks Carrot. "I've got an iron ball with spikes on," Nobby volunteered. Pratchett is playing with the word 'point' here as Carrot explains further on when he says "An appointment is an engagement to see someone, while a morningstar is a large lump of metal used for viciously crushing skills. It is important not to confuse the two..." The morning star is any of several medieval club-like weapons consisting of a shaft with an attached ball adorned with one or more spikes. Each used, to varying degrees, a combination of blunt-force and puncture attack to kill or wound the enemy.

Page 233 -"I really couldn't say" is a line that resonates with Francis Urquhart in the BBC series House of Cards who said "You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment"

Page 234 - "'I mean, I don't mean well-endowed with money.'" The double entendre relates to the conventional stereotype that both under-sized males as well as black males are 'better-endowed' than white males. Hence the joke: 'What is fifteen inches long and white?' Answer: 'Nothing'.

Page 236 - Carrot pauses before asking one final question of Dr. Whiteface. This is a standard technique used by the TV detective Colombo. The long pause when the criminal thinks he has got away with the crime, followed by the incisive question that skewers him.

Page 238 - "I bet it does. I bet it does." This resonates with the Monty Python's Candid Photography (Nudge Nudge) sketch which Pratchett has referenced in many of his novels, notably A Hatful of Sky and The Truth..

Page 238 - "'Shall we be off... Joey, wasn't it? Dr Whiteface?'" Another Grimaldi reference. See the annotation for p. 108.

Page 239 - ] "'All those little heads...'" Clowns' faces are trademarked and cannot be copied by any other clown (unlike clothes or a specific act). If you are a clown, you can send a photograph of your face to the Clown and Character Registry, where the face is then painted on a goose egg (a tradition dating back to the 1500s) and stored in a registry at Wookey Hole in England.

Page 243 - Carrot's comments to Angua "A clown wouldn't wear another clown's face" flow from the above (Page 239) annotation.

Page 244 - "Angua looked at the sky.....'I'll find somewhere to change into something more suitable.'" Pratchett is playing with a number of references here. Clearly Carrot thinks she is going to change into something more suitable for being incognito instead of a policeman's uniform. Based on her looking at the sky, Angua is clearly thinking about changing into a werewolf. And the line is also the common movie pickup line where the woman is changing into something more suitable for the evenings activities, like a flimsy negligee easily removed. The line originates in a slightly altered form from the 1930 film Hell's Angels when Jean Harlow said: "Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?"

Page 246 - Foul Ole Ron's standard line throughout the Discworld series is "Bur'r'em! Millennium hand and shrimp!" Pratchett came up with the catchphrase "Millennium hand an' shrimp...", by feeding a random text generating program with a Chinese takeaway menu (shrimp) and the lyrics to the They Might be Giants song, "Particle Man" (Millennium hand).

Page 246 - "'Stuffed with nourishin' marrowbone jelly, that bone,' he said accusingly." All through the 1960s and 1970s, TV commercials for Pal ("Prolongs Active Life") dog food used to claim that it contained "nourishing marrowbone jelly", and showed an oozing bone to prove it.

Page 246 - Gaspode says, "There's rats along there that'll make your hair stand on--" Gaspode is a terrier type dog and they were originally bred to catch and kill rats.

Page 248 - "Gonnes don't kill people. People kill people." This is the slogan of the US National Rifle Association and is the standard jargon used to argue against any form of gun control each time another mass murder takes place in the USA.

Page 250 - Gaspode says, "That's a name that tolls a bell." The correct expression is 'rings a bell' which describes something that jogs one’s memory. Many believe that rings a bell is a reference to the pioneering work of Ivan Pavlov, who discovered the conditioned reflex in a famous experiment involving dogs, which would be appropriate in this case since Gaspode is a dog. Except it isn't true. The more likely source is that in earlier times the bell on the church tower or the hand bell of the town crier was used to summon attention. Pratchett alters the expression to convey a slightly different meaning to the phrase. The tolling of the bell on the church tower signalled a death, so by combining the two expressions, Pratchett is hinting to the detectives that there is a connection between the various deaths in the novel and Edward d'Eath, something the reader already knows. John Donne used this concept in his famous poem in which he asked, 'And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee'.

Page 250 - "What about wolfbane....Don't it kill you?" Wolfbane (aconite) is highly toxic and can kill humans, never mind werewolves. It has been hypothesized that Alexander the Great and Ptolemy XIV Philopator were murdered via aconite. In April 2021, the president of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, promoted aconite root as a treatment for COVID-19. Subsequently, at least four people were admitted to hospital suffering from poisoning. It has various mythic properties associated with werewolves. Some believe it repels or kills them. Some believe that growing it in the garden will keep them away. Some believe that if a werewolf ingests it when they are in human form, it will enable them to keep their human mind when they transform into a wolf.

Page 250 - "Used to be as rich as Creosote" The line is a reference to the Roundworld expression "as rich as Croesus" but there is also a connection between Creosote and King Midas and his touch as well as to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan and Omar Khayyam's The Rubaiyat. Creosote is the Seraph of Klatch and one of the richest men in Discworld. Croesus was the king of Lydia, who reigned from 585 BC until his defeat by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 547 or 546 BC. Croesus was extremely wealthy and his defeat had a major impact on the Greeks, providing a fixed point in their calendar.

Page 252 - "'It's Bluejohn and Bauxite, isn't it?' said Carrot." The ore bauxite is explained in the annotation for page 39. Blue John Stone is found nowhere in the world but amongst the rocks of Treak Cliff Hill, Castleton. Blue John Stone is now only mined in two caverns: Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern. This mineral, a colour banded form of fluorspar, is so beautiful that it has been prized for many hundreds of years. The origin of the name 'Blue John' is thought to have come from the French 'bleu et jaune', meaning 'blue and yellow'. Another theory is that the name 'Blue john' was termed by 18th century miners to separate the blue / purple stone from Zinc Sulphites, known locally as 'black jack'.

Page 253 - "'Remember, every lance-constable has a field-marshal's baton in his knapsack.'" "Every French soldier carries in his cartridge-pouch the baton of a marshal of France." Said originally by Napoleon, though of course he would have pronounced it as "Tout soldat francais porte dans sa giberne le baton de mere'chal de France." Note that on page 264 Detritus repeats the phrase as "You got a field-marshal's button in your knapsack", while on page 269 Cuddy creatively manages "You could have a field-marshal's bottom in your napkin".

Page 253 - "'Only two-er things come from Slice Mountain! Rocks... an'... an'...' he struck out wildly, 'other sortsa rocks! What kind you, Bauxite?'"

Detritus in drill sergeant mode replays a scene from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, in which sergeant Foley (played by Louis Gossett, Jr) has a conversation with a new recruit as follows:

Sgt Foley: "You a queer?"
Sid Worley: "Hell no sir!"
Sgt Foley: "Where you from, boy?"
Sid Worley: "Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, sir."
Sgt Foley: "Ah! Only two things come out of Oklahoma. Steers and queers."

A very similar exchange also occurs in Stanley Kubrick's movie Full Metal Jacket. Only there the offending state is Texas. And the Sgt's language is a bit more, um, colourful. See also the annotation for page 70.

Page 256 - "That's why it's called evidence. It means 'that which is seen'. Pratchett loves to throw in these little 'educate the reader' lessons in etymology, Some are correct, others are puns and others are completely and deliberately off base. In fact, this one is correct, if somewhat narrow in scope. “Evidence” derives from the Latin noun evidentia, which combines the prefix e[x], meaning out of or from, used in many senses, with the verb videre to see, notice, or observe, but also to ascertain by inquiry or consideration. Evidentia means that which is evident and also the quality of being manifest not only to the eyes but to all the senses.

Page 258 - "I've got some sick leave coming up." To which Carrot replies, "I think that's very probable, if you hang around." The obvious allusion is that if he doesn't leave town in a hurry, Carrot will make sure that he is hospitalized and not able to.

Page 259 - "Being a werewolf meant having the dexterity and jaw power to instantly ripp out a man's jugular..... But Angua....preferred the vegetarian option. Most large predators go for the jugular so that the victim suffocates and or bleeds to death quickly and can theoretically do the least amount of damage to the attacker with horns or hooves. Wolves operate this way and the victims of werewolfs in classic movies and tales are described as having their jugulars ripped open. Only Pratchett would play with the concept of a werewolf's natural tendency toward blood and killing being secondary to the werewolf's human nature - in this case a vegetarian - which would make meal time in wolf form a problem.

Page 261 - Big Fido, the leader of the dog Guild, says "Spiritually all dogs are wolves". This comment and the other dogs reactions to it, is particularly apropos because about the time the book came out, dogs were reclassified from the separate species canis familiaris to the subspecies canis lupus familiaris, making every dog a wolf - even a poodle.

Page 261 - The description of Big Fido, the poodle, fighting every dog until he is the alpha dog of the pack resonates with countless prison and gang movie plots where the new man on the block takes on the gang or inmate leader to become the new alpha male. It also resonates with the stories of Jack London The Call of the Wild and White Fang. See annotation Page 266)

Page 263 - "'You just shut up, Abba Stronginthearm!'" Pratchett is playing with the name of the Swedish pop group Abba, one of whose members was Bjorn Ulvaeus. Obviously, by Discworld logic, if Bjorn is a typical dwarf name, so is Abba. Not to mention the 'Bjorn Again' pun Death makes on p. 69. Bjorn Again is the name of an Australian band with a repertoire that consists entirely of Abba covers.

Page 263 - "'Aargh! I'm too short for this shit!'" This phrase originate from US forces slang during the Vietnam war, where the tour of duty was fixed so the 'grunts' knew exactly how long, to the day, until they were due back in 'the world'. A short-timer was one who didn't have long to go and therefore didn't want to put himself at undue risk -- hence "I'm too short for this shit". Another popular reference to this expression is "I'm too old for this shit", a catchphrase for Danny Glover's character in the Lethal Weapon series of movies. Pratchett added that "'I'm too short for this shit' is a line that has appeared in at least two grunt movies. I had intended Cuddy to use it in the sewers..."

Page 264 - "Tomorrow, But it had better be tomorrow." This line resonates with the soliloquy from Shakespeare's MacBeth, Act 5, Scene 5, which Pratchett uses in several of his novels, notable Wyrd Sisters (see annotations Page 236 (Page 218 - Penguin Edition):

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;

Page 264 - "This is your club with a nail in it. You will eat it. You will sleep on it! When Detritus says jump, you say....what colour!" This line also resonates with Stanley Kubrick's 1987 movie Full Metal Jacket and the line from Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann, "Tonight, you men will sleep with your rifles. You will give your rifle a girl's name because this is the only pussy you people are going to get."

Page 264 - See annotation page 253 regarding the field-marshal. Detritus repeats the phrase as "You got a field-marshal's button in your knapsack", while on page 269 Cuddy creatively manages "You could have a field-marshal's bottom in your napkin".

Page 266 - "the wolves of Big Fido's dreams....had names like Quickfang and Silverback". This is a reference to the novels of Jack London White Fang and The Call of the Wild. It is also likely a reference to Silver Fang -The Shooting Star Gin which was a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Takahashi between 1983 to 1987 and made into an anime TV series. Both the White Fang and Silver Fang series deal with dogs that have gone wild and joined a wild dog and wolf pack respectively, much like Big Fido envisages, Pratchett has also hidden a more subtle play on words in the first syllable of each word which when combined spell "Quicksilver" the colloquial name for Mercury. Mercury was the messenger to the other Roman gods, and was cunning, eloquent and devious all of which apply to Big Fido. The term 'mercurial' quick to change moods originates from this god and also apply to Big Fido.

Page 266 - The scene where the dogs execute the other dog for "fetching a stick" resonates with inner city gangs, the Mafia, prison inmates, etc. Human type traits that animals do not exhibit in the wild. This kind of scene is a common one in movies and novels of that genre.

Page 267 - The scene with the sniper, at the top of the Tower of Art, shooting innocent passersby resonates very clearly with what was at the time the deadliest mass shooting in USA history - the University of Texas at Austin tower shooting of August 1, 1966. The perpetrator, 25-year-old Marine veteran and sharpshooter, Charles Whitman, killed his wife and mother before using the University of Texas clock tower as a sniper's nest to kill 15 people, including a pregnant woman, and wound 31 before being killed by police. There have been countless mass murders in the USA since then but most consider this the genesis of the trend toward random rather than targetted attacks, which were the norm before this date. It remained the deadliest mass murder in USA history until the MacDonald's murder in San Diego, California in 1984 and is one of those defining and remembered moments for people of that generation much like the Twin Towers attack of Sept 11 were in 2001. In their own way, each was a signal that no one was safe, no matter how innocent.

Page 269 - Cuddy says, "You could have a field-marshal's bottom in your napkin". This is a reference to the line originally said by Napoleon "Every French soldier carries in his cartridge-pouch the baton of a marshal of France." and referred previously on page 253 as "'Remember, every lance-constable has a field-marshal's baton in his knapsack.'" and again on page p. 264 when Detritus repeats the phrase as "You got a field-marshal's button in your knapsack", Each time the phrase gets progressively more confused, like the childhood game 'telephone'.

Page 271 - Gaspode says "Clothing has never been a thingy of dog wossname.....Two metasyntactic variables there. Sorry." This is a particularly brilliant Pratchett play on words that is easy to overlook. A metasyntactic variable is a placeholder name - words that can refer to things or people whose names do not exist, are temporarily forgotten, So in the example given Gaspode has forgotten the proper word for "thingy" and also "wossname" and has used a placeholder to get his message across - in this case something like "clothing has never been a 'condition' of dog 'deportment'. It is also a specific word or set of words identified as a placeholder in computer science and specifically computer programming. These words are commonly found in source code and are intended to be modified or substituted before real-world usage. In the computer language "Python" the placeholder names, the principal metasyntactic variables are 'spam', 'ham' and 'eggs' which are all from Monty Python's (hence the programming language name) sketch Spam. Pratchett was familiar with computer language and regularly uses Monty Python references in his works so this is not likely a coincidence.

Page 272 - "'I thought you rolled around on the floor grunting and growing hair and stretching,' he whimpered." This is a reference to the famous werewolf transformation scenes in the 1981 horror movie An American Werewolf in London.

Page 274 - "'So we're looking for someone else. A third man.'" This is an obvious reference to the 1949 film The Third Man which was based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene. Pratchett said: "It may be that there is a whole generation now to whom The Third Man is just a man after the second man. And after all, it wasn't set in Vienna, Ohio, so it probably never got shown in the US :-)" The novel contains a couple of other resonances with The Third Man. In the film, the British, French, American and Russian occupation troops in Vienna patrol the city in groups of four, one from each country, to keep an eye on each other. Carrot sends the Watch out in similar squads of a human, a dwarf and a troll. The final chase through the sewers under the city also mirrors the film. It also resonates with Les Miserables which Pratchett uses extensively in Night Watch.

Page 274 - "There was a birthmark at the top of his left arm. It was crown shaped". This is more foreshadowing that Carrot is in fact the heir to the Ankh-Morpork throne.

Page 277 - "His idea of a good time is showing you the Colossus of Morpork" See annotation Page 142.

Page 277 - "And shortly afterward that, for Corporal Carrot, the Discworld moved. And didn't even both to stop to cancel the bread and newspapers." Pratchett is of course playing with the old question "did the earth move for you?" - a reference to having extremely good sex. This hyperbole first appeared in Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), “But did thee feel the earth move?” It has been repeated, usually in humorous fashion, ever since. He is also using "moved" literally as in the case of Discworld moving through space and ends with the idea of 'moving' meaning to change living location where the normal practice when moving house is to cancel the newspaper deliver and the bread delivery - both services largely a thing of the past in most parts of Roundworld.

Page 277 - "He'd patrolled the Whore Pits often enough, although Mrs. Palm and the Guild of Seamstresses were trying to persuade the Patrician to rename the area The Street of Negotiable affection." As stated before streets in medieval times were usually named for the trade that was plied there hence Gropecunt street. Later on when this became 'politically incorrect' these streets were renamed to such things as Grape Street. Mrs. Palm, being a 'seamstress' wants to retain a connection to the trade but in a more dignified form.

Page 278 - "He missed the glint of moonlight on the metal from the top of the tower" See annotation page 267

Page 279 footnote - "'As I was a-walking along Lower Broadway, [...]'" Pratchett said, "While there are 789456000340 songs beginning "As I was a-walking...", and I've probably heard all of them, the one I had in mind was 'Ratcliffe Highway'." 'Ratcliffe Highway' (version which can be found on the album Liege & Lief by Fairport Convention) starts out:

As I was a-walking along Ratcliffe Highway,
A recruiting party came beating my way,
They enlisted me and treated me till I did not know
And to the Queen's barracks they forced me to go    

Page 282 - "'Hand off rock and on with sock!'" This is the Discworld Troll version of an old military yell to get the soldier or sailor up in the morning: "Hands off cocks, on with socks!". Since Detritus is a Troll it makes sense he would use the word 'rocks'.

Page 283 - '"Special clock-work thinking helmet." Cuddy coughed. "These big bits are cooling fins, see?"' This is another reference to the similarities between the silicon based Trolls and the silicon base of a computer chip (like the earlier use of binary). Computers use a cooling fan to enable the processor to calculate without overheating and failing.

Page 284 - "So we've got a clockwork soldier, have we?" said Colon. "We're a real model army, we are." As well as being a play on Detritus' helmet fan and a clockwork soldier being a toy that would be in a child's model army, this is also a reference to the New Model Army. Besides supplying the name for a Goth music group, the New Model Army was the Parliamentarian army which turned the tide of the English Civil War, and ensured the defeat of King Charles I.

Page 287 - "'Yes, sir. Their cohorts all gleaming in purple and gold, sir.'" This is a reference to Lord Byon's 1815 poem The Destruction of Sennacherib:

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold...
The sheen of his spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

A cohort is not an item of clothing or armour but a division of the old Roman Army: the tenth part of a legion, 300 to 600 men.

Page 288 - "interchangeable Emmas" see annotation page 205.

Page 288 - "There were already a couple of ushers in place, ready to ask guests whose side they were on." Pratchett is playing with the tradition from Christian, heterosexual weddings that the bride's parents sit in the first row on the left side of the aisle, while the groom's parents sit n the first row on the right side. The guests and family of the bride sit in the rows behind the bride's parents on the left, and the groom's friends and family on the right. The ushers ask the guests as they arrive if they are "with the bride or groom" to get them to the appropriate side. But given Vimes' lower class background Pratchett's words are also a comment on status - are you on the side of the hoi poloi or royalty. It is also likely a reference to the political and union protest song "Which Side Are You On?" written in 1931 by activist Florence Reece and popularized by Pete Seeger and later by Billy Bragg among others. Pratchett used this reference in Night Watch in reference to the people Vimes was leading at the barricade.

Page 289 - "Him, Fred Colon, well and truly up the Ankh without a paddle" The correct expression is of course 'up the creek without a paddle' which means 'in a difficult situation and unable to get out of it". Readers of the Discworld novels would know that this would not be a problem in Ankh-Morpork because the Ankh is so polluted that it solid so you could walk ashore.

Page 290 - "[...] Fondel's 'Wedding March' [...]" Fondel is clearly taken from Händel, composer of Roundworld's Wedding March. Given Pratchett's penchance for double entendres it seems probable that he is playing with 'fondle' and 'handle' as well, both associated with stroking or feeling with the hand. The additional accompaniments of Flatulence and Humorous Chicken Squawk resonate with the kinds of additions Spike Jones or later Frank Zappa added to their musical pieces. "Cocktails for Two" by the former, and almost anything by the latter come to mind.

Page 290 - "'[...] it's got the name B.S. Johnson on the keyboard cover!'" B.S. Johnson is Ankh-Morpork's 'brilliant' mad inventor. particularly of organs. Johann Sebastian Bach's initials are 'JSB', which is 'BSJ' backwards, and Bach was of course also involved in organ music. Pratchett mentioned numerous times both online and o in The Discworld Companion) that he did not choose the name with this intention at all - still the rumour persists.

Page 290 - "Lady Deirdre Waggon's Book of Etiquette" is a take off on Isabelle Beeton's 1861 book Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.

Page 296 - "'Who would have thought you had it in you,' said Vimes, [...]" This is a reference to the sleepwalking scene in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act V, Scene I in which Lady Macbeth says, "Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" See the annotation for Page 227 (Page 210 - Penguin Edition) - of Wyrd Sisters .

Page 298 - "I got the Power," said Gaspode. "The Power" was a 1990 dance song and debut single by German Eurodance group Snap! but the original reference was in the Bible from Proverbs 18.21 (KJV) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" and the line and its variants has been used countless times and in all media since then. Gaspode has the power to give commands just like a human that dogs simply can't not obey - ultimately the power of life and death.

Page 299 - The chase scene involving Big Fido, Angua and Gaspode resonates with any one or all of countless movies from Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 Vertigo and Brian de Palma's 1987 The Untouchables to James Bond's famous rooftop chases.

Page 301 - The scene where Gaspode holds onto Big Fido by the collar to stop him from falling to his death, also resonates with the movies mentioned in the annotation for page 299. Like many of the Bond style movies, Big Fido rejects being saved by his opponent, preferring death. When he realizes that Gaspode is holding him up by his collar, the symbol of his enslavement, he twists away and falls to his death - or immortality.

Page 302 - "You and me, kid, Together! We could have made it!" Just You and Me, Kid is a 1979 American comedy film starring George Burns, Brooke Shields. There was also an American children's TV series called You and Me Kid which premiered on The Disney Channel at launch on April 18, 1983. Whether Pratchett was referencing either of these or was simply thinking of similar lines used in both On the Waterfront and Raging Bull or other movies is not known.

Page 302 - "'BIG FIDO' 'Yes?' 'HEEL"" Death clearly has the power discussed on Page 298 as well because Big Fido has to obey him and follow him into the Afterlife.

Page 304 - "'Detritus! You haven't got time to ooze!'" This is another reference to Predator, the Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie (see also the annotation for p. 254 of Moving Pictures ) in which he says, "I ain't got time to bleed!".

Page 305 - "'There's no need,' said Vetinari, trying to smile and stand up. 'It's just a flesh -"' This is an obvious unfinished reference to the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the fight scene with the Black Knight where he says, after various parts of his body have been chopped off "It's just a flesh wound."

Page 308 - "It was important to ensure that rumours of his death were greatly exaggerated." This is a paraphrase of a famous quip Mark Twain cabled to the Associated Press after they had reported his demise.

Page 309 -

"That's Detritus the troll, sir."
"Why's he sitting like that?"
"He's thinking, sir."

The image of Detritus sitting thinking resonates with the famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin known as The Thinker. Although made of bronze, its placement on a stone plinth and and its patina make it look like it is made of stone, the same material as Detritus.

Page 312 - The evil man will "gloat. They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar." This is another reference to just about every film involving nearly every evil villain in movie history, from the 1947 silent film The Perils of Pauline where the villain ties the heroine to the railway tracks and stands nearby gloating while the train approaches, instead of simply killing her, to all the James Bond movies where the villain gloats when he has Bond in his clutches, the list is huge. The concept of gloating villiain goes back much farther than the movies, however. Many of Shakespeare's plays have gloating villains in them but in those cases their speeches are designed to add to the plot rather than simply to give the hero time to figure out a way out of the predicament.

Page 311 - 313 - The scene where Vimes and company are pursuing Dr. Cruces through the Ankh-Morpork sewers resonates with the 1949 movie by Carol Reed, The Third Man which Pratchett references on page 274 (see annotation for that page). It also draws heavily on the 1862 novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo in which Jean Valjean escapes through the sewers of Paris carrying Marius' injured body as well as any number of 'hero pursuing villain' type movies.

Page 313 - Dr Cruces says, "May I suggest you step back, sire? I'd prefer not to shoot you." By the way Cruces, addresses him and acts, Carrot knows that Cruces will not shoot him because he is the heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork. If he shoots Carrot, any hope of restoring the monarchy are gone.

Page 314 - "Six shots. That's six shots, you bastard! I've got you now!" A standard revolver had six chambers so if six shots have been fired there are no more bullets in the chambers. The line itself is a reference to Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, when Harry Callahan says, "'] Uh uh. I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Now to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this exciteme. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”'

Page 317 - "The law, you sons of bitches" This line, resonates with the Judge Dredd weekly British comic anthology which began in 1977, "I am the law, come and be judged". The 1995 Sylvester Stalone movie of the same name was based on it. In fact, Vimes makes a conscious effort not to be the law, judge and jury in spite of the best efforts of the gonne.

Page 318 - "The cracked bronze bell in the Teachers' Guild began the chime, and had midday all to itself for at least seven clangs before the Guild of Bakers' clock, running fast, caught up with it." This is a very subtle Pratchett joke that is easy to miss. A Bakers' dozen is 13 instead of 12 (originally to stop bakers from shortchanging their customers by making smaller buns in the regular dozen. So naturally a Baker's clock is going to chime at a different rate than a regular clock so that no one is shortchanged.

Page 320 - "Captain? Badge 177, captain, It's never had more than dirt on it". Pratchett plays with the theme of what makes a good man go bad and whether the ends justifies the means. There are countless novels, short stories and movies that explore this idea as well as real life examples. Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader in the Star Wars antholgy. Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde in the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, In one short story by Canadian author Eric Nichol The White Knight as the good knight gradually does more and more bad things "for the right reasons" until his armour becomes black as soot. Whether or not Pratchett is thinking of any one trope in particular is not known, although this line does resonate with the 1948 movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and the line "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"

Page 320 - "Cling, bing, a-bing, bong..." This scene where Vimes faces down Dr. Cruces bears many similarities to the final fight in the 1965 Sergio Leone directed spaghetti Western 'For a Few Dollars More'. Vimes is prepared to kill Cruces after the clocks stop chiming and then has to wait out the music from the pocket watch that Carrot bought for him. In 'For a Few Dollars More', the bad guy, Indio, has been letting a watch chime, telling his victims to go for their gun when the chimes stop (of course he always draws first and kills them). At the end of the film, Indio challenges the bounty hunter Mortimer to kill him when the music from his pocket watch ends. When it does end, a second, identical pocket watch chimes and they wait that out too, before Mortimer kills Indio. Pratchett commented on the connection, "[...] when the play of Men At Arms was done a couple of months ago, [Stephen Briggs]'s people actually went to the trouble of getting a recording of the 'right' tune for the watch. It was interesting to hear the laughter spread as people recognised it..."

Page 321 - "It's all there, sire,"....Everything written down. The whole thing. Birthmarks and prophecies and genealogy and everything. Even your sword. It's the sword." Cruces provides the conclusive evidence that Carrot is the heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork. See annotation page 313. Carrot knows Cruces will not kill the man he is attempting to put on the throne so pretends to study the evidence while, humouring Cruces while looking for an opening to stop him.

Page 322 - "Pray you never face a good man, Vimes thought. He'll kill you with hardly a word." See annotation page 312 regarding an evil man gloating.

Page 322 - "Yes, yes. But he called you sire, I heard him -" To which Carrot replies. "Just a trick of the echo, I expect, Mr. Vimes." Vimes gets his first inkling of Carrot's real identity which Carrot dispels.

Page 322 - The scene when Carrot nails the villain Dr, Cruces to a stone pillar with his sword, and then cleanly pulls the sword from the stone (and the villain's body) is a play on the King Arthur legend where Arthur draws the sword Excalibur from the stone to become king and so clearly confirms that Carrot is really the king of Ankh-Morpork.

Page 326 - "Personal isn't the same as important". This line was first used by Granny Weatherwax in Lords and Ladies and is a personal philosophy of Pratchett. In this case it causes Vimes a bit of confusion when Carrot utters these words. In essence Carrot is saying that people have an obligation to the greater good of mankind over their own personal interest and desires. For a more complete discussion on the expression and its use in the various Pratchett novels check out http://scholar-blog.blogspot.com/2005/07/personal-isnt-same-as-important.html

Page 327 - "'They call me Mister Vimes,' he said." In the Sidney Poitier movie In the Heat of the Night the most famous line (and indeed the name of the sequel) is Poitier saying: "They call me Mister Tibbs.

Page 327 - "Fondel's Wedding March" and "Monstrous Organ" see annotations page 290.

Page 328 - "There was a small priest who gave the general fill-in-the-deceased's-name-here service" This cynical remark resonates with the kind of religious funeral services common in the Roundworld before the rise of 'celebrations of life' which personalized the whole funeral industry.

Page 328 - "instead of the rattle of soil there was a very final spat" Clearly Carrot has disposed of the gonne in Cuddy's grave, never to be used again. This is made clearer in Carrot and Vimes conversation that the coffin was heavier than expected for a small dwarf and that no one found the gonne.

Page 330 - Carrot says to Vimes, "Really sir? I couldn't really say I noticed." Pratchett references Francis Urquhart from the Michael Dobbs's House of Cards trilogy of novels and television series regularly in his novels. Francis Urquhart's favorite catchphrase was "You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment", or a variation thereon. This line has major similarities to Urquhart's style.

Page 330 - "Lord Vetinari tensed very slightly." Clearly Vetinari has figured out that Carrot has a legitimate claim to the throne and is expecting him to try to oust him as ruler of Ankh-Morpork.

Page 331 - "A department for, well, we haven't got a name for it yet,, but for looking at clues and things like dead bodies" This idea of Carrot's foreshadows the introduction of forensics to Ankh-Morpork which the dwarf Cheery Littlebottom will eventually lead.

Page 331 - "a special unit using dogs, which could be very useful, and Lance Corporal Angua can deal with that since she can, um, be her own handler some of the time" - when she is in werewolf form but also since, as a werewolf she can communicate with the dogs in their own language.

Page 331 - The dialogue between Carrot and Vetinari gives a good indication of why Carrot does not want to take his rightful position as ruler of Ankh-Morpork.

"Do you know, sir, I never even considered that you'd say no?"
"You didn't?"
"No, sir."
"I'm intrigued.  Why not?"
"It's all for the good of the city, sir.  Do you know what the word 'policeman' comes from?  It means 'man of the city', sir.  From the old world polis."   

Clearly Carrot realizes that, while Vetinari is a 'tyrant', he has the good of Ankh-Morpork as his main focus so why would he say no to making the city safer. The word "police" comes from Middle French police "organized government, civil administration" (late 15c.), from Latin politia "civil administration," from Greek polis "city". The Greek politeia, meaning government, which came to mean its civil administration. So 'policeman' does in fact mean man of the city.

Page 332 - Carrot expands on the above when he says, " Because I could command the Watch. Because... people should do things because an officer tells them. They shouldn't do it just because Corporal Carrot says so. Just because Corporal Carrot is... good at being obeyed." Clearly Carrot is hinting to Vetinari that he knows he is the heir to the throne but has no interest in being obeyed because of some divine right of kings but because, as officer of the Watch, he is the superior officer in charge of maintaining the rule of law. In effect he is letting Vetinari know that by acceding to Carrot's demands, Vetinari can continue as ruler of Ankh-Morpork.

Page 332 - "'Would he accept?' 'Is the High Priest an Offlian? Does a dragon explode in the woods?'" This is a reference to the various Roundworld expressions like "Does a frog have a watertight asshole? - In this case the Roundworld parallel is "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "Does a bear shit in the woods?"

Page 333 - 334 - "I'm sure I couldn't say where, sir." Another Francis Urquhart style comment from Carrot regarding where the evidence has gone - likely in Cuddy's grave with the gonne. Particularly given Carrot's follow-up words that it is "well guarded".

Page 334 - "'Like a fish needs a... er... a thing that doesn't work underwater, sir.'" This line is based on the quip attributed to feminist Gloria Steinem: "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." The bicycle is not yet known on the Discworld to anybody but the Patrician and Leonard of Quirm and in typical Leonard of Quirm fashion, his name for it leaves a lot to be desired from the marketing point of view.

Page 334 - "But if there was some pressing need...perhaps he'd think again." Carrot leaves the avenue open that if Vetinari doesn't do a good job of ruling Ankh-Morpork perhaps his claim to the throne and the evidence in its support will resurface, but in the meantime he will just do an honest day's work, like a king should do.

Page 335 - "It's (the throne) just gold foil over wood". Pratchett makes comment on the fact that appearance is often not mirrored by reality and that society is more about image rather than fact. This resonates with 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum which led to the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, in which the Wizard on the throne is a fake.

Page 335 - "I've got someone who's always ready for a walk around the city." In werewolf form it is a bit like taking your dog for its daily walk.

Page 336 - "Have you ever wondered where the word politician comes from?" In fact politician comes from the word politic (n.) "the political state of a country or government (early 15c.), from Old French politique and Medieval Latin politica; see politic (adj.).

Page 336 - "Vimes had grown to recognize that blindness to the position of "i"s and "e"s and that wanton cruilty to the common comma." Pratchett has poked fun at the vagaries of the English language and spelling in other novels and in Going Postal jokes about misplaced commas, particularly on greengrocer signs.

Page 337 - "I'm no one's mas-" Although Vimes has now joined the upper class he still refuses to accept the separation of class. He continues to treat all as equal.

Page 337 - "Including undead? It says here open to all, regardless of species or mortal status. " Pratchett is giving a nudge to the inclusive nature of today's society with its desire to ensure that everyone is included. The line also foreshadows the zombie Reg Shoe joining the Watch in JIngo.

Page 337 "You mean we could have vampires in the Watch?" says Vimes, to which Carrot replies "Very good for night duty, sir. And aerial surveillance" Along with Dwarfs and Trolls, Pratchett is foreshadowing the modernization of the Watch in future novels with the addition of Sally von Humpeding in Thud . Clearly being vampires they will only be able to do night duty.

Page 337 - "And always useful if you want to stake out somewhere" Pratchett plays with the common way of killing a vampire by driving a stake of wood through its heart and a 'police stakeout' where a suspect is placed under surveillance.

Page 339 - 340 - "plus you've got to allow for days off, two grandmother's funerals per man - god knows how your undead'll sort out that one, maybe they get time off to go to their own funerals" Pratchett pokes fun at the common excuse given by employees for taking a day off work with pay "my grandmother died". Clearly you can't have two grandmothers dying every year, year in and year out. Furthermore if the undead's grandmother continues to exist , albeit in an altered form, are the undead really entitled to a day off for their grandmother's funeral.

Page 341 - Despite the best intentions of Carrot and Gaspode's professed comments, Gaspode quite clearly does not want a happy home by a fire wearing a bow and sporting a new name of "Mister Huggy". He prefers the streets.

Translations[]

Men at Arms (1993) by Terry Pratchett also appeared as:

  • Translation: Helle Barden [German] (1996) Helle Barden (two puns, meaning Clever Bards or - if the title is spoken as one word - Halberds
  • Translation: Te wapen [Dutch] (1996) means To Arms)
  • Translation: Le guet des orfèvres? [French] (2000) means The Watch of the Goldsmiths
  • Translation: Fegyvertársak [Hungarian] (2009) means Comrades in Arms
  • En man på sin vakt (Swedish) means A Man on Guard
  • Въоръжени мъже (Bulgarian) means Armed Men
  • Muži ve zbrani (Czech) means Men in Arms

External links[]

Advertisement