Glossary for “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth”

Adam and Eve—the first man and woman, according to Genesis.  God created Adam first, out of the dust of the ground, and then he made Eve, from Adam’s rib.

Autoharp—a musical instrument with 15-20 strings and a box-like structure that the musician strums.

Beatitudes—blessings bestowed by Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount.”  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” is one of the beatitudes.

begat—fathered a child or children, as in, “Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob and Esau.”

benediction—a final prayer, usually at a church service.

brachiopods—marine animals with hard shells that are alive now and have ancestors that appeared during the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Carboniferous ages.

Cain and Abel—in Genesis, the first two children of Adam and Eve.  Cain became jealous of Abel and killed him.

Cincinnati Arch—a geological formation in what is now the Cincinnati area that pushed the Ordovician layer up to the surface.  (See July 4 blog entry).

coral—early sea animals with a plant-like shape, prevalent in the Ordovician age.

Creation—In the Bible, God is said to have created the earth and its creatures in six days.  Fundamentalists believe this happened 6000 years ago.   Mainstream scientists believe the universe began with just one particle that kept expanding (as described by Miss Sizemore) 14-15 billion years ago.

crinoid—a flower-like sea animal known also as a “sea lily” that was alive during the Ordovician era.

cubit—a measure mentioned in the Bible, the distance from elbow to the end of the middle finger; about a foot and a half.

curriculum—a course of study; the courses one takes as a fifth grader, for example.

enrol—how a trilobite (see trilobite) protects itself; it rolls into a ball.

eras—this is the name Mary Mae gives to the various periods in the earth’s history.  For instance, there is the Ordovician era, or “age” (see Ordovician Age).

Falls of the Ohio—a stretch of the river at Louisville, Kentucky, that was impassible for boats until the locks and dam were built.

Flexicalymene—one of the most common of the trilobites that lived during the Ordovician age in the area now making up southern Ohio.

fossils—remnants of early life.  Could be tracks, or a replica of an early animal.  When a sea animal, such as a trilobite, died, the fleshy part rotted out and limestone drifted in.  This hardened and the shell broke away, leaving a replica of the animal.

fundamentalist church—a church emphasizing the “fundamentals” of Christianity—interpreting every word of the Bible as literal truth.  Mary Mae’s Remnant Church of God is fundamentalist.  “Remnant” means a small surviving piece, left over from a larger piece.

Genesis—the first book of the Bible, in which the creation of the universe is described.  Also includes the stories of Adam and Eve, their temptation by the Devil, and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden; the murder Abel by Cain; and the story of Noah’s Ark.

high blood—a term sometimes used in Appalachia for “high blood pressure”  Granny has “high blood” and is probably concerned about having a heart attack.

home schooling—learning and studying at home, usually with a parent or parents.

Ice Age—when the earth was covered with glaciers.  Miss Sizemore discusses the most recent Ice Age in southern Ohio that took place about 50,000 years ago.

I-71—a major highway that leads north through Ohio, from Cincinnati through Columbus to Cleveland, and south, from Cincinnati to Louisville.

John 3:16—a verse in the New Testament of the Bible promising eternal life to anyone who believes that Jesus is the son of God.

Judgment Day—many Christians believe that after one dies, one stands before God in judgment.  One’s life is reviewed and God decides whether one will go to Heaven or Hell.

Komodo dragon—a fierce lizard found only on three Indonesian islands off Japan.  Their teeth and saliva are so poisonous that one can die from a small bite.

limestone—a stone in which many fossils are found, and from which many fossils were created through time.

moraine—a pile of debris, usually gravel, pushed along by a glacier and left after it melts.

Noah’s Ark—in Genesis, an enormous boat built by Noah to house two of each kind of animal.  God was displeased with humanity and decided to drown all but Noah and his family.  When the flood waters receded, Noah, his family, and the animals, re-populated the earth.

Ordovician age—a period of time occuring between 440 and 500 million years ago.

parable—a story that teaches a lesson.  “The Parable of Mustard Seed,” one of Jesus’s parables, teaches that a tiny seed can grow into something beautiful and mighty.

pipe organ coral—a coral made up of tubes that was common in what is now southern Ohio during the Ordovician age.

Rapture—believed by some Christians to be a time when God will swoop down and carry away all Christians who believe in Jesus.

red shift—in astronomy, lines in the spectrum turning red, signaling that light or an object is moving away.

saving souls—Mary Mae, her mother, and her great-granny hope to “save souls” by distributing John 3:16 stickers that promise eternal life to those who believe that Jesus is the son of God.

sponges—a form of sealife found around what is now southern Ohio during the Ordovician era, and which is found in oceans today.

Temptation—In Genesis, after God tells Adam that he is not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” a serpent approaches Eve and tempts her to eat.  Because she, then Adam, eat the fruit, they are banished from the Garden of Eden.

trilobite—a sea animal that lived during the Ordovician age.  A trilobite had three lobes (tri- means three) and the ability to roll itself into a ball for protection (enrol), like a pill bug.

Tyrannosaurus rex—the largest of the meat-eating dinosaurs.  Could grow to 40 feet in height.  Lived during the Cretaceous Period, approximately 85-65 million years ago.

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