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Facts in Rip Van Winkle

Facts Examples in Rip Van Winkle:

Rip Van Winkle

10

"the foot of Antony’s Nose..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Anthony’s Nose is a peak along the Hudson River named so by its close proximity to rock formations named St. Anthony’s Face. Other myths on the name’s origins exist, but Irving himself gives one in his satirical work A History of New York and states that it comes from a trumpeter named Antony on Henry Hudson’s ship.

"the noise of the balls, which, whenever they were rolled, echoed along the mountains like rumbling peals of thunder..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Ninepins is a game where nine pins are set up to be knocked down by a rolled ball. Its presence here confirms the origin of the mysterious sound that Rip mistakes as thunder. Also, note how seriously the strangers are playing what is supposed to be an amusing sport. There is something ominous going on here, something unnatural, and it is a clear sign that a foreboding event will occur.

"galligaskins..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Galligaskins were loose trousers or breeches common in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the story takes place in the 18th century, Irving may be using this word for comedic effect: the galligaskins emphasize the “wild” look Rip’s son displays because such clothes were out of style.

"Indian corn..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

The corn here is referred to as “Indian corn”, because it was cultivated by the Native Americans and is also known as maize or flint corn. While the kernels vary in color, with purples, reds and blues, it is the same species of corn that we are familiar with today as a decoration during harvest time or Halloween. Because of its hard outer shell that keeps it from spoiling when dried, it is ideal for preserving for the winter.

"flavor of excellent Hollands..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Hollands, or jenever, is a traditional liquor of the Netherlands. The strong spirit flavored with juniper berries is, apart from their clothing, another way of identifying the strange men as Dutch.

"junto..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

“Junto” here refers to the Junto, a club formed and led by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1729. Its members were from varying backgrounds and they exchanged ideas about morals and philosophy, actively discussing topics such as politics, science, and strategies for self improvement. Its use here is ironic: despite referring to them as sages and philosophers, Irving has made it clear that the men on the bench before the inn are nothing of the sort.

"a Queen Anne’s farthing..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

The farthing was an English coin with the value of a quarter of a penny, making it the smallest English coin minted for general use in Britain. Queen Anne delayed production of farthings in her reign due to market saturation, and so while a design existed for a Queen Anne’s farthing, they were never minted for mass distribution. Only about 400 “pattern” (design proof) coins reached the market, contributing to a misconception that there were only three Queen Anne’s farthings made, making it an exceptionally rare and valuable coin.

"a Waterloo medal..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Two years before the publication of “Rip Van Winkle,” the original Waterloo medal was issued by Prince George (later King George IV) of England to the entirety of the English forces present at any of three significant battles against Napoleon’s French army in June of 1815. This action was a source of controversy within the British army, as the medal was the first to be granted equally across all ranks and many did not believe that it was appropriate to reward soldiers simply for doing their jobs.

"sugar-loaf hat..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

A sugar-loaf hat is a brimmed hat shaped like a rounded cone. The name is a reference to the shape of the loaves of sugar imported to Europe from the Americas.

"sycamore..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

The American sycamore tree, platanus occidentalis, is a large species of maple known as a shady, ornamental tree with decent quality wood for construction and craft. These trees can grow to impressive proportions of around a hundred feet in height and six feet in diameter.

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