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Master of “The MASTER OF 534 Definition: A person who

Ceremonies CEREMONIES introduces speakers, players,
(EMCEE) enters” or entertainers. Context: At
the top of the show the
EMCEE is introduced and
invites the audience into the
space. Emcee’s are typically
found in Cabaret and jazz-
style night clubs.
Cabaret “Now presenting, 534 Definition: a restaurant
the Cabaret providing liquor and
Girls!” entertainment (as by singers
or dancers.) Also see:
Context: The EMCEE is
starting the performance.

Compartment A compartment of 535 Definition: a separate

a European division or section.
railway train. Context: Cliff is introduced
on a train from the
Berlin “Berlin, Ernst 535 Definition: a major city in
Ludwig.” Germany. A hub for arts and
Context: Ernst introduces
himself to Cliff on the train
on the way to Berlin. During
the 1920’s and 30’s Berlin
was the cultural epicenter of
Chamber pot “And I empty the 538 Definition: precursor to the
chamber pot.” toilet.
Context: Schneider is singing
about the woes of her life. It
is also a symbol of her lower
status in society, the fact
that she is using a chamber
pot instead of an indoor
Remington “Open the 541 Definition: easy to transport
Remington.” typewriter, popular in the
Context: Sitting alone, Cliff
pulls out his typewriter to
attempt to write.

whoopee “We make a large 549 Definition: wild revelry.

whoopee!” Context: Ernst is trying to
convince Cliff that they
should have a small party.
Linden “The branch of 562 Definition: a deciduous tree
the linden is leafy with heart-shaped leaves
and green” and fragrant yellowish
blossoms, native to north
temperate regions.
According to Germanic
history, it is the tree that is a
symbol of love, fertility,
prosperity, fidelity,
friendship, peace, justice,
altruism, and good luck.
Context: In the patriotic
song “Tomorrow Belongs to
Me” the native Germans
sing of the foliage of their
country. It is a homage to
the land itself and the
greenery, not unlike
Edelweiss is to Austria.
Rhine “The Rhine gives 562 Definition: The Rhine is a
its gold to the European river that begins in
sea” the Swiss canton of
Graubünden in the
southeastern Swiss Alps,
forms part of the Swiss-
Liechtenstein, Swiss-
Austrian, Swiss-German and
then the Franco-German
border, then flows through
the German Rhineland and
the Netherlands and
eventually empties into the
North Sea. In culture: “Das
Rheingold” is also the first
opera in Wagner’s Ring
Cycle, and Wagner was one
of the Nazis favorite
Context: Another landmark
of Germany, the patriots
sing of their native land. Not
unlike “From Sea to Shining
Sea” might be sung in “God
Bless America”.
Fatherland “Oh Fatherland, 562 Definition: a person's native
fatherland, show country, especially when
us the sign” referred to in patriotic
terms. Also, specifically
Germany under Hitler’s
control. Context: This
denotes the rise of
nationalism during the rise
of Hitler’s regime, which is
made apparent in the song
“Tomorrow Belongs To Me”.
Sleepwalking “And now you’re 563 Definition: formally known
sleepwalking. Is as somnambulism,
that better” Sleepwalking is a behavior
disorder that originates
during deep sleep and
results in walking or
performing other complex
behaviors while asleep.
Context: Sleepwalking is a
metaphor used by Cliff to
explain how he and Sally,
amongst other characters,
are turning a blind eye to the
political changes taking
place during the dangerous
rise of the Third Reich.
Bloomers “We were utterly 564 Definition: women's loose-
wild—smoking fitting knee-length
cigarettes and not underpants, considered old-
wearing fashioned. Context: Sally
bloomers” describes her girlhood,
already indicating that she
was rebellious and
unconventional from a
young age, not complying to
traditionalism or old
fashioned femininity.
Marks “I pay you 565 Definintion: the basic
seventy-five monetary unit of Germany
marks” (until the introduction of the
euro), equal to about 45 US
dollars. Context: The literal
payment Ernest is offering
Cliff for smuggling work.

Prosit “Here-drink up! I 566 Definition: an expression

mean, Prosit!” used as a toast when
drinking to a person's health.
No literal translation from
Yiddish to English. Context:
Cliff wants to make a toast
to the engagement and does
so in American slang, but
then adjusts to a German
term to be more familial
with his hosts.
Ermine “And also cousin 566 Definition: the white fur of
Herman / had to the stoat, used for trimming
pawn his garments, especially the
mother’s ermine” ceremonial robes of judges
or peers. Context: An
extreme symbol of wealth
that must be pawned off to
pay the bills in the Emcee’s
number “Sitting Pretty”.
Ermine was a great symbol
of status and wealth in
1930s Germany.
Sisters under the “I see we are— 568 Definition: Of two or more
skin after all—sisters people, to have thoughts or
under the skin” feelings in common, despite
other obvious differences
between them. Context:
Fraulein Kost says this to
Fraulein Schneider after she
sees that they have both had
men stay the night in their
bedrooms. It is a reference
to their being something
similar between the two
very different women after
all, but also suggests a
sexual undertone with the
word “skin”. In all bluntness,
Kost is suggesting that
Schneider is a prostitute like
Gramophone The lights fade, 571 Definition: First recorded in
except for a spot 1887; originally a trademark;
on Fraulein apparently inversion of
Schneider’s phonogram now obsolete
Gramophone name for a phonographic
cylinder. Context: This is the
instrument through which
we hear “Tomorrow Belongs
To Me”, and is a remnant of
the party. It is a common
form of entertainment
during the 1930s, but is now
considered obsolete. The
spotlight on this set piece
reminds us of the time
period as well as the gravity
of the music that comes
from it.
Swastika ERNST LUDWIG 573 Definition: a symbol in the
enters. He has a form of an equal-armed
swastika cross with each arm
armband on his continued at a right angle,
overcoat. used (in clockwise form) as
the emblem of the German
Nazi party.
Context: Herr Ernst wears
this to the party after
coming from a meeting. This
is the first sign of Nazism in
the play and is significant
because it implies that even
our friends and neighbors
can be Nazis. It immediately
causes Cliff to distrust Ernst.
Mein Kampf “I’ve been reading 573 Definition: a 1925
your leader’s autobiographical book by
book / Ah, yes. Nazi Party leader Adolf
Mein Kampf” Hitler. The work describes
the process by which
Hitler became antisemitic
and outlines his political
ideology and future plans
for Germany.
Context: This is the first
mention of Hitler, beyond
broad references to a
changing political stratum.
Cliff says the man must be
insane, to which Ernst takes
Flapper “At any rate— 573 Definition: a fashionable
now I find myself young woman intent on
a flapper-I enjoy enjoying herself and flouting
the party” conventional standards of
Context: These were the
types of women who visited
Cabaret clubs in the 1920s
and 1930s. Ernst seeks one
out because he is looking for
a girl with a looser sexuality.
Schnapps “Shnapps? You’ve 574 Definition: a strong alcoholic
had enough” drink resembling gin and
often flavored with fruit.
Context: A typically, German
drink, Herr Schultz drinks
this in affirmation of his
Gemran identity, making it
all the graver when it is
insisted that he is not a
German. The party-goers
enjoy this fruit-based drink
at the engagement party for
a man who owns a fruit
Meeskite “Now—the only 574 Definition: A Yiddish word
word you need to (in the world of the play) to
know to describe an ugly man or
understand my woman.
little song is a Context: A song typically cut
Yiddish word: from most productions, this
‘Meeskite’” derogatory Yiddish term
refers to a man or woman
who is extremely ugly, to
which Herr Schultz sings a
parody song. This inspires
the later song “If You Could
See Her”, which ends on the
line “She wouldn’t look
Meeskite at all”. This is
considered particularly
offensive to those of the
Jewish faith.
Nazis “I saw that one 579 Definition: a member of the
can no longer National Socialist German
dismiss the Nazis” Workers' Party. A person
with extreme racist or
authoritarian views.
Context: This is the first time
Nazis are mentioned in the
play and it is in the fear that
even those we know very
well could have joined the
party. The Nazi party was
gaining traction during this
Communists “And if the 583 Definition: a political and
Communists economic system in which
come--I will still the major productive
be here—renting resources in a society—such
rooms” as mines, factories, and
farms—are owned by the
public or the state, and
wealth is divided among
citizens equally or according
to individual need.
Context: Another political
ideology growing at this
time, Fraulein Schneider
fears the changing stratum.
Steamship “And I’ll cable 584 Definition: a ship that is
home for propelled by a steam engine.
steamship fare” Context: Cliff and Sally are
making plans to leave on a
steam ship to cross the
Atlantic and get to America,
which is likely the way Cliff
got to Europe before the
play begins.
Chelsea “I used to have a 587 Definition: an affluent area
girl friend know of West London, bounded to
as Elsie with the south by the River
whom I shared Thames.
four sordid rooms Context: Sally sings of her
in Chelsea” dear friend Elsie, with whom
she lived in Chelsea, a fun
and lively town, where they
lived independently and
Nollendorfplatz “I’ve taken a 588 Definition: a square in the
room on the central Schöneberg district
other side of the of Berlin, Germany.

Seville Oranges “I have brought a 588 Definition: a bitter-tasting

small farewell orange used for marmalade.
gift. Seville Context: A parting gift from
oranges. Herr Schultz, who owns a
Delicious” fruit shop. Throughout the
play, exotic and fresh fruit
have been given as sweet
offerings to characters
whom he cares about.
Mazel “Mazel. That is 588 Definition: a Jewish phrase
what we all need” used to express
congratulations for a happy
and significant occasion or
Context: Usually a
congratulatory term, in this
context, I believe it to mean
“good luck”
Hals and “Hals and 589 Definition: Literally meaning
beinbruch beinbruch. It 'neck and leg fracture'.
means neck and Probably corrupted from
leg break” Yiddish (hatslokhe un
brokhe, “success and
Context: The equivalent to
“break a leg,” this is Sally’s
expression of good fortune
when she has gotten her job
back at the club and has had
an abortion. It is another
example of her turning her
back on the dangers of the
political world and living in
the happy fantasy world of
the Cabaret.