Wonderland Glossary

This glossary contains words, phrases, locations and holidays used both in Lewis Carroll's books and in the 2010 film.


TB – from the Tim Burton film.

TLG – from the book Through the Looking-Glass.

Non-italic parentheticals are speculation.

Main Glossary

bandersnatch – n. – A creature under the Red Queen’s control. It is large, with a barrel chest and fore-paws that are quite dexterous. Its covered in pale, shaggy fur with dark grey spots, and has a somewhat flat (though not pug) face, with a wide mouth that has multiple rows of teeth and a long tongue. It does not speak, but seems at least somewhat intelligent. Evidently it has venomous (or otherwise poisonous) claws, wounds from which will ‘putrefy’ unless treated by someone with evaporating skills—barring that, they may also be treated with the saliva of the Bandersnatch itself. Unknown whether the Bandersnatch is a singular creature, or merely one of a species. (def. from TB; Bandersnatch is mentioned in TLG poem.)

borogove – n. – A ‘shabby-looking’ bird with its feathers sticking out all around, that resembles ‘something like a live mop’. (TLG)

bread-and-butterfly – n. – 1. An insect having the body of a crust of bread and wings that are thinly-sliced bread with butter; its head is a sugar-lump. It subsists on weak tea with cream. (TLG)

brillig – n. – About four o’clock in the afternoon; the time you begin broiling things for dinner. (TLG)

buttered fingers – n. – An ingredient in pishsalver. Appear to be severed fingers twice the size of average fingers, cooked or preserved, presumably in butter. (TB)

ezel – high, go up (unclear whether this is a preposition or a verb) (TB)

fairfarren – intj. – ‘May you travel far under fair skies.’; synonymous with English ‘farewell’, presumably. (TB)

frumious – adj. – Filthy, and with a very bad smell. (TLG)

futterwacken – 1. n. A dance of great joy; 2. v. To do this dance. (TB)

gallymoggers – adj. – Crazy. (TB)

gimble – v. – To make holes, as though with a hand-drill. (TLG)

guddler – n. – Thief.

gyre – v. – To ‘go round and round like a gyroscope’; to spin. (TLG)

jabberwocky – n. – The Red Queen’s champion. The Jabberwocky looks to be a sort of dragon, with six limbs: four legs and two wings. It speaks in a low voice, and has a forked, snake-like tongue (it may also have a corresponding Jacobson’s organ, from the movements of the tongue in the film), as well as forward-facing eyes. Its wings are observably used as much for walking as flying, and its blood has highly magical properties. The Jabberwocky is the subject of a poem, and from there we can surmise that it is also native to the Tulgey Wood. There is only one Jabberwocky. (def. from TB; Jabberwocky did appear in TLG poem, and appeared as a sort of dragon)

jubjub bird - n. – A monstrous bird, under the control of the Red Queen. It has a large crest, stubby, broad wings, and seems to be a very primitive bird, possessing teeth and a well-developed tongue as well as a beak, and long legs that resemble those of a theropod dinosaur. Its plumage is heavily striped, which may be to confuse prey, and it has a long neck and large red eyes. Conrasting to its long legs and neck, the Jubjub has a relatively short tail. It makes a low, husky shriek. (def. from TB; Bird was mentioned in TLG poem)

klotchyn – intj. – Listen up!; Pay attention! (TB)

mimsy – adj. – A portmanteau of ‘flimsy’ and ‘miserable’. (TLG)

noge – v. – To go low, or down. (unclear whether this is the preposition ‘down’ or something more like ‘duck!’) (TB)

nunz – intj. – Don’t go! (immediateness implied; or perhaps ‘nunz’ means both ‘don’t go’ and ‘not now’, rather than both at once.) (TB)

Oraculum – n. – A calendrical compendium of all the days of Underland, from its beginning to end, each day having its own title and illustration. (TB)

orgal – prep. – To the left. (TB)

outgrabe – v. – Past tense of ‘to outgribe’, which is ‘something between bellowing and whistling, with a sneeze in the middle’. (TLG)

Outlandish – 1. n. An old language spoken only in the Outlands, adopted by the Underland underground resistance as a secret code in the revolution against the Red Queen; 2. adj. Someone from the Outlands (notes: second definition extrapolated; resembles Scottish Gaelic in sound; may be the primary language of the Jabberwocky poem.) (TB)

pishsalver – n. – A potion that makes one shrink. (TB)

rath – n. – A green pig. (TLG)

rocking-horse fly – n. – 1. An insect made entirely of wood; it gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch, and lives on a diet of sawdust and sap. (TLG) 2. An insect that resembles a live rocking horse with two pairs of long, independent wings (much like a dragon- or damselfly); its urine is used as an ingredient in pishsalver. (TB)

saganistute – n. – A wise person of poetry and vision. (note: may be a portmanteau or slurring of ‘sage’ and ‘astute’) (TB)

scut – n. – Vulgar slang for buttocks. (note: ‘scut’ is a real English word, referring specifically to the tail/bottom area of a rabbit, deer, or other short-tailed mammal.) (used in TB)

shukm – 1. v. To excrete. 2. n. Excrement. (TB)

slithy – adj. – A portmanteau of ‘lithe’ and ‘slimy’. (TLG)

sloth – adv. – Slowly. Outlandish. (TB)

snap-dragonfly – n. – 1. An insect with a body of plum-pudding, with wings of holly-leaves and a head made of a raisin soaked in brandy and set alight. Its diet is frumenty and mince pie, and it nests in Christmas boxes. (TLG) 2. An insect with the body of a dragon and two pairs of long, transparent wings that move independently (as a dragonfly). (TB)

stang – prep. – On the right side; to the right. Outlandish. (TB)

slurvish – adj. – Selfish; self-centered. (TB)

tove – n. – A creature native to the Tulgey Wood. A cross between a badger, a lizard, and a corkscrew. They make their nests beneath sundials and live on cheese. (TLG)

upelkuchen – n. – A cake that makes one grow. (TB)

wabe – n. – The grass plot around a sundial. (TLG)

wishful thinking – n. – An ingredient in pishsalver. Appears to be a white substance with the consistency of crème fraîche or clotted cream. Measured in tea- and tablespoons.

worm fat – n. – An ingredient in pishsalver. Kept in a shaker, which means it is likely a powder or particulate. (TB)

yadder – adj. – Far away; beyond. ‘It’s way yadder the crossing in Snud.’ (TB)

zounder – intj. – Behind you! (note: implied ‘you’? Possibly just the preposition ‘behind’?) (TB)


Crims – The central land of Underland. Salazen Grum is located in Crims. (TB)

Gummer Slough – A dangerous swamp of thick, viscous mud. (TB)

Outlands – An untamed land to the west of Witzend. Said to be both barren and barbarous. (TB)

Queast – A land to the east, but not in the least. (Unknown what ‘but not in the least’ means.) (TB)

Salazen Grum – A port city; where the Red Queen lives. (TB)

Snud – Southern Underland. (TB)

Tulgey Wood – A thick wood in Underland. (TLG)

Underland – The real name for the place Alice originally called Wonderland. (TB)

Witzend – A western land where the Mad Hatter and the March Hare were born. Witzend is right next to the mountain range separating Underland from the Outlands. (TB)


Downal wyth Bluddy Behg Hid! – ‘Down with the Red Queen!’ – The slogan of the Resistance. Outlandish. (TB)

Naught for usal – ‘It’s no use trying.’ Outlandish. (TB)

Slurking urpal slackush scrum – Cursing, unknown translation. Outlandish. (TB)


Horunvendush Day – The day the Red Queen took control of Underland. (TB)

Gribling Day – n. – The day Alice will return to Underland. (TB)

Quillian Day – The day following Alice’s return. (TB)

Frabjous Day – The day Alice slays the Jabberwocky and frees Underland from the oppression of the Red Queen. (def. from TB; Frabjous Day was in TLG, unclear in TLG whether it was similar in meaning to ‘happy day!’ or whether it referred to a specific day.)