APF Chapter 3: Discworld Annotations [Prev Page] [Index] [Next Page]

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A Hat Full of Sky

Annotations | Information | Quotes

- [p. 19] "Miss Tick was a sort of witch-finder"

A neat reversal of the Roundworld witch-finder concept (in the same vein as the Witch Trials). See the annotation for p. 109 of Good Omens .

- [p. 39] "Kelda Jeannie was from the Long Lake clan, up in the mountains -- and they did write things down."

This could well be the Nac Mac Feegle clan from Carpe Jugulum. The lake they settled at wasn't actually named but, looking at the Lancre Mapp, it certainly is long. And they do indeed write things down: "We of the Nac Mac Feegle are a simple folk, but we write verra comp-lic-ated documents".

- [p. 47] "'There can only be one, is that not so?'"

Highlander, again. See the annotation for p. 6 of Carpe Jugulum .

- [p. 52] "'It's a shamble'"

On Roundworld, the word shamble has no magical connotations, as far as I know. The thing Miss Tick has created would probably be called a focus, or a talisman, or perhaps, somewhat misguidedly, a dream catcher.

- [p. 73] "a dobby stone"

The idea that stones with holes in them are magical first appeared in Guards! Guards! On the Discworld, they were first called 'dobby stones' in the Thieves' Guild Diary, after a con-man called Dobby Stone.

Here on Roundworld, 'dobby stones' are hollow stones with a hole in the top, into which are poured offerings of milk to spirits. In Scotland they did something similar, offering milk to Gruac, a goddess who watched over cattle.

Stones with holes are generally considered lucky, and are sometimes called hagstones. There are also slightly different stones with holes called brownie stones (a dobby is another name for a brownie). Which brings us back to the Nac Mac Feegle.

- [p. 79] "Professor Monty Bladder's Three Ring Circus"

It is difficult to believe that a British humorist could call a circus owner "Monty" by coincidence.

- [p. 93] "The ill-fated First Expedition to the Loko Region"

The story of this expedition is told in The Science of Discworld. The former inhabitants of Loko seem to have specialised in Meddling With Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.

- [p. 136] "Mrs Earwig"

Mrs Earwig first appeared in the Discworld short story 'The Sea And Little Fishes', where she challenged a centipede to an arse-kick... sorry, questioned Granny Weatherwax's authority.

In some ways the second half of A Hat Full Of Sky is as much as sequel to The Sea and Little Fishes as it is to The Wee Free Men.

- [p. 179] "'It's pronounced Ah-wij,' said Mrs Earwig coldly."

In the BBC television comedy Keeping Up Appearances, the snobbish, Mrs Earwig-like Hyacinth Bucket always insists her name is pronounced "Bouquet".

- [p. 185] "Lovely to look at/Nice to hold/If you drop it/You get torn apart by wild horses"

A sign occasionally seen in gift shops, except the last two lines are normally "If you break it/Consider it sold".

- [p. 230] "'What ha' I done to be among this parcel o' rogues?'"

Reference to A Parcel O Rogues In A Nation by Robert Burns:

Fareweel to a' oor Scottish fame
Fareweel oor ancient glory
Fareweel even tae oor Scottish name
Sae famed in martial story
Noo Sark runs o'er the Solway sands
Tweed runs tae the ocean
Tae mark where England's province stands
Such a parcel o' rogues in a nation

Much of the rest of Awf'ly Wee Billy's outburst reflects traditional Scottish curses.

- [p. 289] "The Ducking Stool was very popular among young children on such a hot day."

Ducking stool type things are popular at modern fairs, but the significance of their presence at Witch Trials goes without saying. (See also the annotation for p. 54 of Witches Abroad .)

- [p. 317] "'I'm telling you this as a friend.'"

A phrase Mrs Earwig used to Granny Weatherwax in The Sea And Little Fishes, prompting Nanny Ogg to think that "Nobody even remotely friendly would say a thing like that."

- [p. 323] "There were no judges, and no prizes."

In The Sea And Little Fishes Mrs Earwig does set up a judging panel, and spends ten dollars on a trophy cup. However, given how that turned out it is unsurprising she has not tried it again.

- [p. 333] "When I'm old I shall wear midnight, she'd decided."

"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple", the opening line of Jenny Joseph's 1961 poem Warning.

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