Notes to A Russell in the Undergrowth

In case you’re not familiar with some of the slang, word-play and references I’ve used, you may find these notes helpful.

book cover




Book cover:
A Russell – my initial and surname
– a rustle: a soft, muffled crackling sound caused by the movement of dry leaves

Undergrowth – small trees, bushes, ferns, etc growing beneath taller trees


Unanswerable Rules– Logique:

– French for Russian

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Unusual Partners:

Batman and Robin… Hood
– Batman and Robin: superhero duo ‘The Caped Crusaders’
– Robin Hood: heroic outlaw in English folklore

Write wrongs
– right wrongs: redress injustice/ avenge

– Duke Ellington: American composer, pianist and bandleader of a jazz orchestra
– Duke of Wellington: Anglo/Irish soldier and statesman, British hero of the battle of Waterloo

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– battle fought in 1815
– ‘Waterloo’: 1974 song by Swedish pop group Abba

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– Elvis Presley: American singer, often referred to as ‘The King’
– King Kong: film in which the eponymous monster is a colossal ape

Run out of steam
– lose energy or interest in continuing

John Wayne
– American actor, also known by his nickname ‘Duke’. Frequently starred in Westerns (including The Cowboys, 1972)

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Bo Peep
– “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep”: popular English nursery rhyme. Bo Peep is frequently illustrated as wearing a bonnet and smock and carrying a shepherd’s crook

Let’s get the flock out of here
– “let’s get the fuck out of here” (vulgar): “let’s leave”
– flock: a group of sheep

O’er hill and vale
– poem “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. “I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er hills and vales…”

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Lost for words
– cannot think of anything to say

Daf’ idyllic
– daft: foolish / infatuated with
– idyllic: extremely happy, peaceful or picturesque
– daffodil: plant bearing bright yellow flowers with a long, trumpet-shaped centre

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No Number Four:

– burrowing mouse-like rodent

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– bluebottle: a common blue fly

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–alien machine-organism in the television science fiction series ‘Doctor Who’

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Definitive Answer:

– town hall

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Buzzes off
– goes away
– buzzes: emits a low, continuous humming sound

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