A Streetcar Named Desire
Glossary (Pgs. 124-129)

Page
Word/Term/Phrase
Meaning/Explanation
124
ATO pin
What one of Blanche’s “old beaus”, Mr. Shep Huntleigh, gave her to wear in her last year of college. The ATO Pin symbolizes Alpha Tau Omega, one of the oldest and most prestigious college fraternities in the United States. It was founded after the Civil War by Virginia Military Institute student Otis Allen Grazebrook, who sought to unite North and South by forming a national fraternity.
ATO_Pin.jpg

124
Biscayne Boulevard
Where Blanche said she ran into Shep Huntleigh, who then asked her to join him on a cruise in the Caribbean. It’s located in Florida, beginning from Miami’s Central Business District and going through the swanky downtown area.
124
Tiffany diamonds
What a drunken Blanche is wearing on her head in scene ten; she remarks that it’s made out of rhinestones, to which Stanley sarcastically replies that he though it was made out of Tiffany diamonds. Tiffany & Co. is New York City-based store selling luxurious fine jewelry and silverware. They’re best most known for their high-quality diamonds, which have adorned the bodies of American aristocrcay (e.g. the Vanderbilts, the Astors), Hollywood starlets, and European royalty; it’s considered a symbol of wealth and high-society glamour.
Tiffany&Co.jpg

125
“Red letter night”
A colloquialism for a night of success or good fortune; in this case, “You having an oil millionaire and me having a baby.” (Stanley, 125)
125
“Put on the dog”
To dress up and make a show of wealth or elegance, usually in relation to something positive. Stanley remarks that he and Blanche both have this opportunity in the wake of their individual good news.
126
“Casting my pearls before swine”
What Blanche regrets doing in her life; sharing something of valuable with those who are not appreciative of it. It stems from a Biblical sermon in which Jesus proclaims, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Sermon on the Mount).
127
Mardi Gras
An annual New Orleans holiday celebrating “Fat Tuesday”, or the day before Ash Wednesday. It marks the three-day celebration preceding the fasting season of Lent, but despite its religious origins, it’s most known for its decadent and usually vulgar street parades, the biggest of which takes place in the French Quarter. Stanley refers to Blanche’s dress as a “worn-out Mardi Gras outfit,” which symbolizes her role as a fraying Southern belle.
128
Western Union
An American communications company that was best known for exchanging telegrams before it discontinued the service. Blanche tries to send a telegram to Shep Huntleigh through Western Union, in an attempt to escape Stanley’s grasp and her current decaying environment.
129
Blue piano
Mentioned earlier on in the play, it “expresses the spirit of life which goes on there,” describing Blanche’s sense of hopefulness in addition to loneliness. It grows louder when she is trying to call Shep Huntleigh, showing that her hope is indeed rising.
Source: http://www.old.uni-bayreuth.de/departments/anglistik/ST-Williams1.htm

Good website: www.bartleby.com (The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition.