Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Charlie Chan Dictionary for Charlie Chan at the Opera

This week is another entry into our Charlie Chan dictionary, from Charlie Chan at the Opera, taken from Rush Glick's extensive notes on his website--Always with our thanks, Rush!!

ARIA: (1) A solo vocal piece with an instrumental accompaniment, as in opera. (2) An air; a melody.
(Charlie Chan: "Much applause tonight after beautiful aria.")
BARITONE: A male singer or voice with a range higher than a bass and lower than a tenor.
CHAISE LONGUE: (French: long chair; pronounced like "chase long") An elongated seat or couch with a support for the back at one end and a seat long enough to support the legs and feet. [It can be made so the lower half can separate like an ottoman.]
(Whitley: "I laid her on the chaise longue.")
HAM (slang): A performer who overacts or exaggerates.
(Sgt. Kelly: "None of you hams are leaving the theatre until this thing is cleared up.")
PRIMA DONNA: (1) The leading woman soloist in an opera company. (2) A tempermental, conceited person.
SOUP AND FISH (slang): A tuxedo or other men's evening wear. The earliest citation for "soup and fish" in the Oxford English Dictionary comes from a P.G. Wodehouse in 1918, but it may be assumed that the phrase was in common usage for some time, probably since the 19th century, before Wodehouse invoked it.
(Charlie Chan: "Please, do not need soup and fish.")
TELETYPE: Trade name of a device that can send typed messages over telephone lines to a receiving device.


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