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5Folfe (Stpmologp. 

















Intkoduction i — xxviii 

English Words Coebupted 1 — 456 

Foreign Words Coekupted 457 — 514 

Proper Names Corrupted 515 — 567 

Corruptions due to Coalescence of the Article . . . 568 — 591 


Additions and Cokeections 608 — 664 


By Folk-etymology is meant the influence exercised upon words, both as to 
their form and meaning, by the popular use and misuse of them. In a special 
sense, it is intended to denote the corruption which words undergo, owing 
either to false ideas about their derivation, or to a mistaken analogy with 
other words to which they are supposed to be related. Some introductory 
remarks on the predisposing causes of this verbal pathology and its sympto- 
matic features may conveniently find place here. 

In every department of knowledge a fertile source of error may be found 
in the reluctance generally felt to acknovvledge one's ignorance. Few men 
have the courage to say " I don't know." If a subject comes up on which we 
have no real information, we make shift with our imagination to eke out what 
is wanting in our knowledge, and with unconscious insincerity let " may be " 
serve in the place of "is." Another infirmity of mind which helps to foster 
and perpetuate the growth of errors is the instinctive dislike which most men 
feel for everything untried and unfamiliar. If, according to the accepted 
maxim, " the unknown ever passes for magnifical," it is no less true that in the 
majority of instances the unknown arouses active feelings of suspicion and 
resentment. Tliere is an Arabic proverb, says Lord Strsaigiord, An-ndsu a'ddun 
mdjclhalu, of which the French C'est la mesintelligence qulfaitla guerre is a feeble 
shadow, and which we may freely translate " When men see a strange object 
which they know nothing of they go and hate it " (^Letters and Papers, p. 86). 
The uneducated shrink from novelties. A thing is new, i.e. not like any- 
thing in their past or present experience, then it is " unlikely,'' unsafe, 

Thus, significantly enough, in Spain, a country which has more yet to learn 
than most in Europe, novedad, novelty, is in common parlance synonymous 
with danger. Reformers in all ages have had unhappy experiences of this 
popular feeling. To leave the common track is to be delirious {de lird), if 
not something worse. Fust, the innovating printer, is in general belief no 
better than Faust, who juggles with the fiend. How the attitude of the 
popular mind towards ihe vast field of human knowledge will be influenced 
by this prejudice may easily be imagined. When it is a foregone conclusion 
that the only thing that will be, or can be, is the thing that hath been, every 
phenomenon which refuses to adapt itself to that self-evident axiom will be 


doubted or ignored ; and, if it persists in obtruding itself as an obstinate fact, 
it must be manipulated somehow till it fits in with the old formula. This 
unreasoning conservatism of the populace, which has handed down many an 
ancient superstition and delusion in the region of Folk-lore, has had a marked 
effect in the province of language also. Multitudes of words owe their present 
form, or present meaning, to the influence exercised upon them by popular 
misconceptipn. The Queen's English is for the Queen's subjects ; and if 
they treat it like the Queen's currency — thumb it into illegible smoothness, or 
crooken it for luck, or mutilate it now and then if suspected as a counterfeit, 
or nail it fast as an impostor whose career must be stopped — who can say them 
nay? "They will not use a foreign or strange word until, like a coin, it has been, 
to use the technical term, surfrappe with an image and superscription which 
they understand. If a foreign word be introduced, they will neither not use 
it at all, or not until they have twisted it into some shape which shall explain 
itself to them" (Farrar, Chapters on Language, p. 138). For if there is one 
thing the common folk cannot away with, it is an unknown word, which, 
seeming to mean something, to them means nothing. A strange vocable 
which awakes no echo in their understanding simply irritates. It is like a 
dumb note in a piano, which arouses expectation by being struck, but yields 
no answering sound. Every one has heard how O'Connell vanquished a 
scolding fishwife to tears and silence with the unintelligible jargon supplied 
by Euclid. Ignotum pro horrifico ! 

" If there's any foreign language Qread to them] which can't be explained, 
I've seen the costers annoyed at it — quite annoyed," says one intimate with 
their habits in Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (vol. i. p. 27). 
He read to them a portion of a newspaper article in which occurred the words 
noblesse and qui nest point noble nest rien. " I can't tumble to that barrikin " 
[understand that gibberish], said a young fellow, "it's a jaw-breaker." 
" Noblesse ! " said another, " Blessed if I know what he's up to," and here 
there was a regular laugh. 

The feeling of the common people towards foreigners who use such words 
is one of undisguised contempt. It seems supremely ridiculous to the bucolic 
Englishman that a wretched Frenchy should use such a senseless lingo. 
Why say oh when it is so much more obvious to say " water ' in plain 
English ? How perverse to use K-e for " yes," and then noo for " we" ! If 
any word from his vocabulary be adopted, it must, as contraband goods, pay 
heavy toll ere it pass the frontier. It must put on an honest English look- 
before it receives letters of denization — Quelques choses must pass as kick- 
shaws, and haut goAt as hogo. To the unlettered hind still, as to the Greeks 
of old, every foreigner is a mere " bar-bar-ian,'' an inarticulate jabberer. 

Nay, even a foreign garb awakens our insular prejudices. Should an 
Oriental stranger pace down the street of any of our country villages in all 
his native grace and long-robed dignity, he would, to a certainty, be pro- 
nounced a "guy," and might congratulate himself if he escaped with beino- 
ridiculed and not hooted and pelted by a crowd of grinning clod-pates. If 
he would but condescend to change his barbaric turban for the chimnev-pot 

introduction: ix 

of civilization, and his flowing robe for a pair of strait trousers, and, perhaps, 
beflour his bronzed countenance, so as to " look like a Christian," he might then 
go his way unmolested, and probably unobserved. It is much the same with the 
language he imports. The words of his vocabulary must be Anglicized, or 
we will have none of them. They will be regarded with suspicion till they 
put on an honest English dress and begin to sound familiar. The unmeaning 
bihuhti fa water-carrier) must become beastie ; sipahi must turn into sepoi/ or 
(as in America) into seapoy ; Sirdju-d-daula must masquerade as Sir Roger 

Thus Barker sawb aya, cover the Jem, is the popular transmutation in the 
Anglo-Indian lingo of the Hindustani hahlr ka sahib aya khahir dijo, i. e. " a 
stranger has come, please give the news" (Duncan Forbes). 

The Margrave of Baden Dourlach was called by the people the Prince of 
Bad-door-lock (Horace Walpole, Letters, vol. ii. p. 208). 

Longbetty was the popular form at Durban of the name of the S. African 
chief Langabalele (Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects, Srd Series, p. 354). 

Bellerophon, the ship that carried the first Napoleon into exile, became the 
BuUyniffian, and another vessel, the Hirondelle, was known as the Iron Devil. 
The Franctireurs became the Francterrors (Andresen, Volkselymologie, p. 26). 

In a similar way the lower classes in Hungary often deface foreign names 
when they are contrary to euphony, and try to transform them into compounds 
that shall have a meaning as Hungarian words ; Lord Palmerston, for in- 
stance, was called Pal Mester (Master Paul), Prince Schwarzenberg, the 
Governor of Transvlvania, was known as Sarczember (The tribute man), and 
Prince Reuss Kostritz as Rizskdsa (Rice pudding). — Pulszky, in Philolog. 
Trans. 1858, p. 23. 

The Romans contrived to make the one word serve for a guest, a stranger, 
and an enemy — pretty good evidence that those ideas were intimately asso- 
ciated in their minds. In English, too, "guest," " host," and " hostility " 
have the same underlying identity : and to our verbal guests, at all events, it 
must be admitted we as hosts are often hostile. We give them a Procrustean 
reception by enforcing conformity to our own manner of speaking, and our 
treatment of alien words, or even native words \vhich happen to look like 
strangers, is intolerant and arbitrary. In popular and colloquial speech these 
mutilations and abbreviations abound. If a word appears to be of undue 
length it must submit to decapitation. Hence 'bus, 'van, 'plot, 'wig, 'drawing- 
room, &c. If the head is spared, the tail must go. Hence cab', cit', gin, 
mob', phiz', tar (= sailor), wag', slang cop (^ capture), spec, &c. 

Sometimes a word is simply cut in two and each half, worm-like, has hence- 
forth a life of its own. An old game at cards was called lanturlii in French ; 
this became lanterloo in English (lang-trilloo, in Shadwell's A True Widow, 
1679). The latter part of the word yielded loo, the former lanter, and lant, 
the names still given to the game in Cumberland and Lincolnshire. " At lanter 
the caird lakers sat i' the loft" (Dickinson, Cumberland Glossary, E. D. S.). 
So Alexander yields the two Scottish names Alec or Aleck and Saunders. 
Sometimes, again, nothing but the heart or dismembered trunk is left in a 


middle accented syllable, as in the slang 'tec, a detective, and sometimes the 
word, if not quartered, is clean " drawn" or eviscerated, as in alms, proxi/, sexton, 
prov. Eng. skeg (for " suck-egg"), the cuckoo. 

But of all the tricks that the mischievous genius of popular speech loves to 
play upon words, none is more curious than the transformation it makes them 
undergo in order that they may resemble other words in which some family 
relation or connexion is imagined. This is Folk-etymology proper. If the 
word does not confess its true meaning at once, we put it on the rack till it 
at least says something. " The violent dislike which we instinctively feel to 
the use of a word entirely new to us, and of which we do not understand the 
source, is a matter of daily experience ; and the tendency to cfwe a meaning 
to adopted words by so changing them as to remove their seemingly arbitrary 
character has exercised a permanent and appreciable influence on every lan- 
guage" (Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 66). 

In the world of animated nature the curious faculty with which many 
creatures are endowed of assimilating themselves to their surroundings in 
colour and even shape is one of the most interesting phenomena that engages 
the naturalist. It is one chief means such animals have of securing them- 
selves against their natural enemies, or of eluding the notice of their prey. 
Thus the boldly-striped skin of the tiger enables it to crouch unobserved 
amongst the stalks and grass of the jungle ; the tawny lion exactly counter- 
feits the colour of the sandy plain over which he roams ; the russet feathers of 
the woodcock render him scarcely distinguishable from the withered leaves 
amidst which he lurks. Fishes will imitate to a nicety the exact colour of 
the bottom over which they swim, changing, it is said, as it is changed ; 
while the so-called "leaf insects" of Ceylon simulate the very form and 
veining of the foliage amongst which they live. It is due to this protective 
mimicry that the white Arctic foxes are often enabled to escape the pursuit of 
their natural enemies amongst perpetual snows. In the domain of philology, 
something verv analogous to this may be observed. A word conspicuous by 
some peculiarity of foreign shape or sound only gains immunity by accommo- 
dating itself to its new habitat. It must lose its distinctive colour, and 
contrive to look like an English word in England, like a French word in 
France, if it is to run free. This pretence of being native when indeed 
foreign is made by many words in every language. Thus hanr/le, Jungle, toddy, 
which look familiar enough, are accommodations of Hindustani words ; 
aioiiing, curry, jackal, caravan, are Anglicized Persian words ; caddy is 
IMalayan ; jerked-heei is Peruvian. So Fr. redingote is only a travesty of 
Eng. riding-coat, as old Fr. goudale, goud-fallot, are of Eng. good ale, good 
fellow. Many French words are Scotticized out of all resemblance ; blen- 
shaw, Burdyhouse, gardeloo, killyvie, jigot, proochie, are not at once recognizable 
as blanche can, Bordeaux, gare de I'eau, qui Id, vive, gigot, approchez (Jamieson). 
An immense number of English and Latin words are imbedded in Welsh, 
but so Cambrianized that they pass for excellent Welsh ; cv:ppwrdd, llewpart, 
ffoddgraff, pwrcas, sowgart, are disguised forms of cupboard, leopard, photo- 
graph, purchase, safeguard ; and cysylltu, sicllt, ystwyll (— Epiphany), of Lat. 


conso/idare, solidus, Stella (the wise men's star). See Rhys, Lectures on Welsh 
Philology, p. 7-i. Similarly Gaelic abounds in borrowed words, which, like 
stolen children, are disfigured that they may not be reclaimed. Thus Arm- 
strong's Dictionary gives prionnsa, p-iomhlaid, probhaid, prionntair, which 
merely stand for .prince, prelate, profit, printer ; Campbell cites daoimean for 
diamond, and probhaisd (lord mayor) for provost. Similarly in Gaelic, Lat. 
oblatum takes the form of abhlan, scecidiim of saoghcd, apostolus of abstol, epis- 
copus of easbuig ; discipulus becomes deisciopud ; sacerdos, sagart ; baptizave, 
baist ; consea-are, coisrig ; confortare, comhfortaich (vid. Blackie, Language 
and Literature of the Highlaruis, p. 31). Adbhannsa, moision, coitseachan, 
deasput, phairti, represent Eng. advance, motion, coaches, dispute, party 
(Campbell, Tales of W. Highlands, vol. iv. p. 167). Bhaigair, fiidair , reisi- 
meid, are the Eng. words beggar, powder, regiment, in disguise (Id. p. 183). 
So lukarn, karkara, aikeits, are Gothicized forms of the Latin lucerna, career, 
acetum ; in Hebrew sanhedrin is a loan-word from Greek sunedrion, while it 
lends siphonia to the Greek as sumphonia. Who would recognize at a glance 
the Greek prosbole in the Rabbinical Pruzbul, " the defence," a legal docu- 
ment (Barclay, The Talmud, p. 81). 

In the same way the Northmen often adopted bastard Greek words into 
their own tongue. Thus, from Hagiosophia, the famous church of St. Sophia, 
they made their jS^gisif; from the Hippodrome, their Padreimr. So Elizabeth 
became Ellisif Hellespontum was twisted into Ellipallta, Apulia became Puls- 
land, Sdtalias-guU became Atals-Fjord. See Prof. Stephens, Old Northern 
Runic Monuments, p. 964. 

Even within the limits of our own language the likeness assumed by one 
word to another is so deceptive that dictionary-makers have over and over 
again fallen into the mistake of supposing a radical identity where there was 
only a superficial and formal resemblance between them. Cutlet, for example, 
seems very naturally to denote a little cut off a loin of mutton, a " chop," as 
we also call it ; and cutler seems equally suggestive of one who has to do with 
such cutting instruments as knives and razors. Accordingly Richardson, with 
easy credulity, groups both these words under the verb to cut, not penetrating 
the English disguise in the one case of Fr. cdtelette, a little rib (from c6te, Lat. 
costa), and in the other of Fr. coutelier or cotelier, Lat. cultellarius, the man of 
knives (Lat. cultellus, a knife). Similarly clipper, a fast sailing vessel, from 
the analogy of cutter, readily falls into a line with clip, to speed along, and has 
often been ranged as a derivative under that word, with which it has really no 
connexion, as will be seen at p. 66. The same lexicographer also confuses 
together press and p-ess-{gang), stand and standard, a banner, tact and tactics, 
and thinks an earnest is a pledge given of being in earnest about one's bargain 
or agreement — words totally unrelated. 

Again rantism, an old pedantic word for an aspersion or sprinkling of 
water, especially in the rite of baptism, has nothing to do, as Richardson 
imagined, with the verb to rant,or, as Johnson puts it, with "the tenets of the 
wretches called vanters," being simply the Greek rhantismos, a sprinkling, 
adopted bodily (Trench, On Some Deficiencies in our Eng. Dictionaries, p. 22). 


" We but an handful! to their heape, but a rantisme to their baptisme."— 
Bp. Andrewes, Of the Sending of the Holy Ghost, Sermons, p. 612 fol. 

Pitfalls like these await word-mongers at every turn, and there are few 
but tumble into them sometimes. I may mention one or two which I was 
nearly caught in while engaged on this work. Meeting the word greensick- 
ness in ^uck\mg{Fragmenta Aurea, 1648, p. 82), and The Spectator (No. 431), 
the chief symptom of which malady is an unnatural longing for unwholesome 
food, I was for a time tempted to see in this the Scottish wexh green or grene, 
to long {e.g. in Dalyell, Darker Superstitions of Scotland, p. 206), from A. Sax. 
gyrnan, to yearn, georn, desirous. However, it really bears its true meaning 
on its face, it being, as Johnson says, "the disease of maids, so called from 
the paleness which it produces," from green, used for pale ; and so its scientific 
name is chlorosis, from Greek chloros, green, Welsh glaswst, from glas, green, 
pale, proving my too ingenious conjecture to be unfounded. Again, on dis- 
covering that the Low Latin name for the common wild cherry is Prussus 
avium, and having read that Pnissic acid can be made (and I believe is made) 
from the kernels of cherries and other stone-fruit, I concluded for the moment 
that Prussic acid must be that manufactured from the Prussus. Further in- 
vestigation showed me that it was really the acid derived from Prussian Blue, 
as witness the Danish blaasyre, " blue-acid," Ger. herlinerhlausaure, " Berlin- 
blue-acid," — that colour having been discovered by a Prussian at Berlin. 

A similar blunder, though plausible at first sight, is Tyrwhitt's theory that 
the old expression hotfot or hotfoot, with all speed (Debate between Body and 
Soul, in Mape's Poems,]). 339), or/ote hote (Gower, Chaucer), is a corruption 
of an old Eng. hautfote, adapted from Fr. haut pied, as if with uplifted foot, 
on the trot or gallop (see Cant. Tales, note on 1. 4868). The suggestion 
might seem to derive corroboration from Cotgrave's idioms : — 

" S'en aller haut le pied, To flie with lift-up legs, or as fast as his legs can 
carry with him." 

" Poursuivre au pied leve. To ioWow foot-hot or hard at the heels.'' 
However, as impetuosity and quick motion are often expressed by heat 
(cf. 'Hotspur ; "A business of some heat" Othello, i. 2 ; heats in racing ; and 
Shakespeare speaks of a horse "heating an acre"), this supposition seems un- 
necessary, and is certainly wrong. The worst of it is that learned men have 
had such confidence in the truth of their theories that they have sometimes 
even altered the spelling of words that it may correspond more closelv to the 
fancied original. Thus abominable was perverted into abhominable, voisinage 
into vicinage, and many other instances will be found below. 

Dr. J. A. H. Murray, remarking that Abraham Fleming's alteration of 
old Eng. bycoket, a military cap, to abacot {Holinshcd, p. 666, 1587), was 
doubtless in accordance with some etymological fancy, adds that all the cor- 
ruptions of the English language have been thus caused. " The pedants of 
the sixteenth century, like the sciolists of the nineteenth, were strong for 
' etymological spelling' ; their constant tinkering at the natural and historical 
forms of English words, to make their spelling remind the eye of some Latin 
or Greek ^^■ords «ith which they were thought to be connected, was a curse 


to true etymology. They exemplify to the full the incisive remark of Prince 
Lucien Bonaparte that 'the corrupters of language are the literary men who 
write it not as it is, but according to their notions of what it ought to be.' " — 
At/ienceinn, Feb. 4, 1882, p. 157. 

Julius Hare had long before given expression to much the same opinion : — 
" A large part of the corruptions in our language has arisen, not among 
th€ vulgar, but among the half-learned and parcel-learned, among those who, 
knowing nothing of the antiquities of their own tongue, but having a taint of 
Latin and Greek, have altered our English words to make them look more 
like their supposed Latin or Greek roots, thereby perpetuating their blunder 
by giving it the semblance of truth. Thus nobody now doubts that island is 
connected with isle and insula, rhyme with pu9fJi,o;, whereas if we retained the 
true spelling Hand and rime, it would have been evident that both are words 
of Teutonic origin, and akin to the German Eiland and Reim. Such corrup- 
tions, as having no root among the people, as being mere grafts stuck in by 
clumsy and ignorant workmen, it is more especially desirable to remove. 
Their being more frequent in our language than perhaps in any other is 
attributable to its mongrel character : the introduction of incongruous analo- 
gies has much confounded, and ultimately blunted that analogical tact, which 
is often found to possess such singular correctness and delicacy in the very 
rudest classes of mankind: and the habit of taking so many of our derivatives 
from foreign roots has often led us to look abroad, when we should have found 
what we wanted at home. For while the primary words in our language are 
almost all Saxon, the secondary, as they may be called, are mostly of French, 
the tertiary of Latin origin ; and the attention of book-mongers has been 
chiefly engaged by the latter two classes, as being generally of larger dimen- 
sions, and coming more obtrusively into view, while our Saxon words were 
hardly regarded as a part of our learned tongue, and so were almost entirely 
neglected. On the other hand, a great many corruptions have resulted froJn 
the converse practice of modifying exotic words under the notion that they 
were native ; and this practice has prevailed more or less in all countries " 
[Philological Museum, i. 654). Thus our unfortunate vocabulary has been 
under two fires. The half-learned and the wholly unlettered have alike con- 
spired to improve «'ords into something different from what they really are. 

" Ignorance has often suggested false etymologies ; and the corresponding 
orthography has not unfrequently led to false pronunciation, and a serious per- 
version of language." Thus the old word causey came to be spelt causeway, 
and life-lode was turned into livelihood, and the pronunciation, as Dr. Guest 
observes, is now generally accommodated to the corrupt spelling ; but he was 
certainly too sanguine when he wrote, thirty-five years ago, "that no one who 
regards purity of style would, under any circum stances, employ terms so 
barbarous" (Philological Proceedings, 1848, vol. iii. p. 2). 

"It is usual," says Thomas Fuller, "for barbarous tongues to seduce words 
(as I may say) from their native purity, custome corrupting them to signifie 
things contrary to their genuine and grammatical notation " {Pisgah Sight, 
1650, p. 39). The working of this principle of misconstruction has left its 


mark on the Authorized version of our Bible. " In some cases the wrong 
rendering of our translators arose from a false derivation which was generally 
accepted in their age. Thus akeraios (Matt. x. 16, Phil. ii. 15) is rendered 
'harmless' [as if originally 'hornless,' from a, not, unAkeras, a horn], instead 
of 'simple, pure, sincere' [lit. 'unmixed,' from kemnnumi]. So also eritheia 
(Rom. ii. 8, Gal. v. 20, &c.) is taken to mean 'strife, contention,' from its 
supposed connexion with ens, whereas its true derivation is from eritkos, 'a 
hired partisan,' so that it denotes 'party-spirit'" (Bp. Lightfoot, On a Fresh 
Revision of the New Testament, p. 137). 

In our nursery tale Folk-etymology has clothed Cinderella's foot with glass 
in the place of minever. It is now generally believed {e.g. by Mr. Ralston 
and M. Littre') that the substance of la petite pantoufle de verre in Charles 
Perrault's story of Cendrillon (1697) "was originally a kind of fur called 
vair — a word now obsolete in France, except in heraldry, but locally preserved 
in England as the name of the weasel [see Fairy, p. 116] — and that some 
reciter or transcriber to whom the meaning of vair was unknown substituted 
the more familiar, but less probable, verre, thereby dooming Cinderella to 
wear a glass slipper." Balsac, so long ago as 1836, affirmed that the j>an- 
toufle was sans doute de menu vair, i.e. of minever {The Nineteenth Century, 
Nov. 1879). 

Thus it is not alone the form of a word that undergoes a metamorphosis 
from some mistaken assimilation, but its signification gets warped and per- 
verted from a false relationship or analogy being assumed. Many instances 
of this reflex influence will be found throughout this volume. An early in- 
stance is exhibited, it is supposed, in the name of the tower of Babel, origi- 
nally Bab-el or Bab-bel, " the gate of God or Bel," which by the quaint 
humour of primitive times had been turned to the Hebrew word " Babel," or 
"confusion" (Stanley, Jewish Church, vol. i. p. 7). But Babel or Bab-ilu is 
itself a Semitic translation of the older Turanian name Ca-dimirra, "gate 
of God" (Sayce, Trans, of Soc. of Bib. Archceology, vol. i. p. 298). 

Similarly, with regard to the early belief in a stone-sprung race {>.l6ivo; 
yovo;, Pindar), human beings are represented as having been created out of 
stones in the Greek legend of Deucalion and Pyrrha, from a notion that ?\aoi, 
people, was derived from ?^;, a stone (Von Bohlen, Genesis, ii. 170), just as 
if we were to connect "people'' (Welsh pobl), with "pebble" (old Eng. 

The fact is, man is an etymologizing animal. He abhors the vacuum of 
an unmeaning word. If it seems lifeless, he reads a new soul into it, and 
often, like an unskilful necromancer, spirits the wrong soul into the ■(vrong 
body. In old writers we meet the most ludicrous and fanciful suggestions 
about the origination of words, quite ^-sorthy to range with Swift's ostler for 
oat-stealer, and apothecccrt/ from a pot he carries. Alexander Neckam, in the 
twelfth century, delights in " derivations " like '■^passer a patiendo," " ardea 
quasi ardua" " alauda a laude diei" '■'■truta a trudendo" '■^ pellicanus, the 
pellican, so called because its skin {pellis) when touched seems to sound 
{canere) by reason of its roughness" {De Naturis Rernm, I. cap. 73). C)tlier 


mediaeval etymologies are equally amusing, e.y. Low Lat. colossus, a giavf- 
stone, i.e. cok/is ossa, "bones-keeper" {Prompt. Pan\ s.v. Meiiioiyal) ; Lat. 
nepos, a spendthrift, from negans passum, sc. ad bonum, not a step taking. to 
anything good {Id. s.v. Neve) ; '■' sepulchra, id est, semijmkhru, halfe faire and 
beautiful" (Weever, Fii/iera/ Monuments, p. 9, 1631), "extra nitiduni, intus 
foetidum " (T. Adams, Sei-mons, ii. 466). Durandus thinks that Low Lat. 
poUantrum, a tomb or mausoleum (for polyandrum, the place of " many men "), 
is irom pollutum antrum, a polluted cave; and cemetery, "from cimew which is 
sweet, and sterion which is station, for there the bones of the departed sweetly 
rest " ! {Si/mbolism of Churches, p. 102, ed. Neale). Philip de Thaun, in his 
Norman-French Livre des Creatures, derives Samadi, Saturday, from semuns, 
seed (1. 261) ; Septembre from Lat. imber, rain; furmi, an ant, IjaX. formica, 
because "/wt est e porte wee" (1. 502), it is strong {fm-tis) and carries a 
crumb {mica); perdi.v, partridge, so named because it loses, peii {perdit), its 
brood. Equally whimsical is his affiliation of vercex, a wether, on ver {vermis^, 
a worm (1. 56.3). In the Malleus MaJeficarum, 1520, it is explained that the 
etymology of Lat. femina, a woman, shows why there are so many more female 
sorcerers than male, that word being compounded of _/e {^ fides), faith, and 
minus, less, the woman having less faith (p. 65, see R. R. IMadden, Phantas- 
mata, i. 459). Mons, it was believed (apparently on the Tertullian principle 
of its being impossible), was derived a momndo, " A mount hath his name of 
mouyng" (WyclifFe, Unprinted Works, p. 457, E. E. T. S.), just as '•'■Stella a 
stando dicitur, — A star, quasi not stir " (T. Adams, Sermons, i. 455). Indeed 
Thomas Adams is much given to these quaint derivations ; so is Thomas 
Fuller, whose style and vein are very similar. Devil for Do-evil is one of the 
suggestions of the former (ii. 41), while the latter is responsible for compliment 
from completi mentiri {Joseph's Parti-coloured Coat, 1640) ; malignant, as a 
political nickname, " from malus ignis (bad fire) or malum lignum (bad fewell)" 
{Church History, bk. xi. p. 196) ; — the latter already hinted parenthetically by 
Quarles, with allusion to the forbidden tree, " totus mundus in maligna {mali- 
ligno) positus est" {Emblems, I. i.); — avcodile, from the Greek ;)^poKo'-5'Ei^05, or 
the Saffron-fearer, "proved by the antipathy of the Crocodiles thereunto" 
( Worthies of England, i. 336). To Fuller also is due " Needle quasi Ne idle, 
the industrious instrument " {Id. ii. 50), for a parallel to which he might have 
adduced the somewhat similar Lithuanian word nedele, a week, originally the 
Sabbath, from ne, not, and dielo, labour, and so denoting " the day of rest " 
(Pictet, Origines Indo-Europeenes, ii. 601 ; compare negotium, business, from 
nee otium, " not leisure "). As other old guesses which did duty as etymologies, 
may be noted Ascham's war, from old Eng. werre (Scot, waur), that thing 
which is wirrse than any, and lesing, a lie, as if losing ; Peacham's penny, from 
Greek wmcc, poverty, as if the poor man's coin {Worth of a Penny, ^p. 30, 
repr. 1813) ; Latimer's homily from homely, as if a familiar discourse; Henry 
Smith's marriage from merry age, " because a play-fellow is come to make 
our age merry" {Sermons, p. 12, 1657) ; mastiff irom mase-thief; Ben Jonson's 
constable froni cyning and staple, " a stay for the king" {Tale of a Tub, iv. 2) ; 
rogue " from the Latine erro, by putting a G to it" ! {Conversations with Drum- 


mond, p. 34, Shaks. Soc.) ; and harlot " from Arloite, mother of William the 
Conquerour " (Ibid.), — the last notion being found also in Camden, Reinaines, 
p. 159 (1637), and Cartwright's The Ordinary; Spenser's elf, "to weet 
quick" (F. Queene, 11. x. 71), as if ffl^ from alife, alive, like old Eng. wici//f, 
which has both these meanings, just as the old feminine name Ailive is the 
same as jElfwine, elf-darling (Yonge, Christian Names, ii. 349) ; his com- 
mentator, E. K., rather extracting Elfes and Goblins from the Guelfes and 
Gibelines (S/iep. Calender, June, Glosse on Faeries). Another fancy of Spenser's 
is that Germany had its name from certain brothers, Lat. germani, the sons 
of Ebranck, 

" Those germans did subdew all Germany 

Of whom it hight." Faerie (Queene, II. x. 22. 

An older writer accounts for the name in a way not less ingenious : — " Wei 
nyghe all y' londe that lyeth north-warde oner the see occean of brytayne is 
caS\e:A germani CI . For it bryngyth forth so moche folke. Germania comyth 
of germinare that is for too borge and brynge forth " (Polycronicon, P. de 
Treveris, 1527, f. 184). As correct as either, probably, is Carlyle's assertion, 
" German is by his very name, Guerre-man, or man that wars and gars " 
(French Revolution, Pt. II. bk. iii. ch. 2). Erasmus affirms that Sunday 
(Sonntag) is " called in the commune tongue of the Gerraanes Soendack, not 
of the Sonne as certayne men done interprete but of reconcilynge " {On the 
Commandments, p. 162, 1533), as if like sohn-opfer, expiatory sacrifice, from 
{rer-)sbhnen, to reconcile. Bracton says Low Lat. ringoe (belts, evidently z: 
Eng. rings) are so called because renes girant, they encircle the rejns (/)e 
Legibus, bk. i. cap. 8). " Baptisme," says Tindal, " is called volo-wynge in 
many places in Englande, bycause the preste sayth volo " (in Sir Thomas More, 
p. 49), the true word being f idling, from A. S-dx.fullian, to whiten, cleanse, 
or baptise. 

Many quaint popular etymologies occur in the Old English Homilies (2iid 
ser.) of the 1 2th century, edited by Dr. R. Morris ; e.g. fader is a name 
given to God, " for that He us feide," formed or put us together, or because 
hefedeth (feedeth) us (p. 26); a king is so cleped, "for that he kenneth" 
(p. 45) ; Easter " is cleped estre dai, that is estene da ( = dainties' day, p. 99) ; 
old Eng. hinrlre, deceit, is explained to be from bihindeii, behind, " for it 
maketh a man to be behind when he weened to be before " (p. 213). In the 
same volume (p. 99) is given an old folk-etymology of the A. Sax. word hftsel, 
the sacrifice of the mass (Goth, hunsl, a sacrifice), as if Hu sel, " How good ! " 
from hu, how, and sel {= seely, Ger. selig), good. " This dai is cleped estre 
dai that is estene da, and te este is husel, and no man ne mai seien husel, wu 
god it is"; i.e. "This day is called Easter Day, that is dainty day (day of 
dainties), and the dainty is the housel, and no man may say how good it is." 

The Wycliffite Apology for the Lollards seems to have 'derived priest, old 
Eng. prest, from hai. prceeM, "he is over (the flock)," at least it more than 
once translates prmesse by " to be pn'stis " (pp. 2, 4). WyclifFe himself spells 
" imvileges" priiKelegies, evidently to suggest a connexion with Lat. jirarns 


crooked, wrong ; " They meyntenen false praueleyies agenst charite & good 
conscience" {Utiprinted Works, p. 139, B. E. T. S.). 

Coming down to later times, borel, or borrell, an old word meaning rustic, 
clownish, illiterate, as in " borel folk " (Chaucer), " boi-rel men " (Gascoigne), 
was supposed to refer to " the rudenesse and simplicity of the people that are 
seated far North," as if derived from Lat. borealis, belonging to the north 
country, as in Bishop Corbet's Iter Boreale (or Journey to the North), 1648 
(so " Aurora bwealis," the Northern lights) ; " Which no doubt is intimated by a 
vulgar speech,'' says The OptickGlasse of Humors, 1639, p. 29, "when we say 
such a man hath a borreU wit, as if we said boreale ingenium." The word is 
really from old Fr. burel (borel, bureau), coarse woollen stuff of a russet 
colour (Lat. burrus, reddish, Greek purros, fiery red), and so means coarsely 
clad as a peasant is, frieze-like, rude, plebeian ; to which usage we find numerous 
parallels, e.g. russeting and russet-coat, a clown (Hall, Satires, i. 3) ; " poor 
grogran rascal " (B. Jonson) ; Gaelic peillag, coarse cloth, also a peasant ; Fr. 
grisette, a grey clad wench ; It. bizocco, coarse cloth, also clownish, rude ; and 
with the phrase '' borrel wit " we may compare " coarse freize capacities, ye 
jane judgements" (Two Noble Kinsmen, iii. 5, 8), and Shakespeare's '■'■russet 
yeas and honest kersey noes " {Love's L. Lost, v. 2, 413). See also Diez, s.v. 
Biijo, and Skeat's Notes to P. Plo^wman, pp. 208, 249. 

" How be I am but rude and borrell." 

Spenser, Shep. Calender, Julv. 

" They deem a mighty lord 
Is made by crown, and silken robe, and sword ; 
Lo, such are borel folk." 

W. Morris, The Earthly Paradise, p. 318. 

Another word which readily lent itself to popular etymologizing ^vas 
sincere (old Fr. sincere, Lat. sincerus), pure, unmixed, which formerly had a 
material significance rather than an ethical, as in P. Holland's " sincere 
vermilion." The original signification was conceived to be free from 
alloy or mixture, as honey, is which is without wax, sine cerd. Thus it is 
recorded of Fran9ois de Sales, " Un jour quelqu'un luy demandoit ce qu'il 
entendoit par la sincerite : ' Cela mesme, respondit-il, que le mot soune, c'est a 
dire, sans cire. . . . S9avez vous ce que c'est que du miel sans cire ? C'est 
celuy qui est exprime du rayon, et qui est fort purifie : il en est de mesme 
d'un esprit, quand il est purge de toute feintise et duplicite, alors on I'appelle 
sincere, franc, loyal, cordial, ouvert, et sans arriere pensee ' " (L'Kyjrit du F. 
De Sales, ii. 73, ed. 1840). 

Dr. Donne no doubt had the same conception in his mind when, contrasting 
the covert nature of bees' working with the open labours of the ant, he wrote, 
"The Bees have made it their first work to line that Glasse-hive with a crust 
of Wax, that they might work and not be discerned. It is a blessed sincerity 
to work as the Ant, professedly, openly " {LXXX. Sermons, 1640, p. 713). 

Then we have OYeT-hnv\'%"^ sergeant quasi see argent" {Characters, 1616); 


Sir John Davies's world, so named because it is whirled round, though 
Hampole had already resolved it into wer elde, worse age {Pricke of Conscience, 
1. 1479) ; Verstegan's heaven from heave-n, the heaved up ; otherwise 

" Which well we Heaven call ; not that it rowles 
But that it is the hauen of our soules.'' 

G. Fletcher, Christ's Trivmph after Death, st. 45 (1610). 

Richardson may end the catalogue with his curious remark, " Writing 
from the heart [Lat. cm-'] as the very word cor-respondence implied'" {Clarissa 
Harlowe, iv. 291). 

Some of the instances above quoted were doubtless, like 'Rowe\Vsfi)olosopher 
for philosopher, and Southey's futilitarian for utilitarian, with many others 
similar in The Doctor, merely humorous suggestions not seriously believed in 
by their originators, and so deserve to be ranged only with such coinages of 
" the Mint-masters of our Etymologies " as those mentioned by Camden, 
" for they have merrily forged Monet/ from My-hony, Mayd as my ayd, Symohy 
see-money, Stirrup a,stayre-up, &o." {Bemaines, -p. 34, 16.37). While rejecting 
these, however, Camden accepts as reasonable, not only the derivation of God 
from ffood, and Deus from Jso;, " because God is to be feared," but also, which 
is more strange, " Sayle as the Sea-haile, Windor or Window as a doore against 
the winde [see below, p. 441], King from Conning, for so our Great-grandfathers 
called them, which one word implyeth two most important matters in a 
Governour, Power and Skill" (ibid.'). 

Many of the corruptions we meet in old writers are intentional and jesting 
perversions of the true form of the word, and are therefore not folk-etymo- 
logies proper. Such, for example, is bitesheep, or biteshipe, a satirical corrup- 
tion oi bishop (in Fox, Book of Martyrs), to denote an unfaithful shepherd who 
ravages his flock instead of feeding them. In the Becords of the English 
Catholics under the Penal Laws, vol. i. (ed. Knox), mention is made of one 
Tippet, a student of Doway, being " brought before the bitesheepe of London 
and ar Recorder " (1578). This spelling was not invented by Bale (as the 
Saturday Beview states, vol. 46, p. 761), since we iind in old German writers 
bisx-schaf for bischof (Andresen, Volksetymologie, p, 36). 

Fischart, in the 16th century, has many ingenious and humorous word-twists, 
Jesiiwider(Ant\-Jesu) iorJesu/ten,Jesuite>; a Jesuit; Pfotnngram, foot-grief, for 
podagra, the gout; Saurezahnen, "sour-teeth," ior Sarazenen; Notnarr (narr = 
fool) for Notar; Bedtorich (as if from rede, speech ) for Bhetorik ; Vntenamend (as 
if from unten, beneath) for fundamentum ; maulhenkolisch (as if down in the 
mouth) for melancholisch (Andresen, p. 33) ; the latter recalling Moll-on-the- 
coals, an Ayrshire word for a gloomy-minded person, a ludicrous perversion 
of the word melancholy (Jamieson). Allkiihmisterei, " All-cow-mistery," is 
Pastor Schupp's rendering oi Alchimisterei, Alchemistry ; and Zanktiiffeh a 
good twist that some German Socrates gave to Zantippe w\\en applying it to 
his scolding wife (as if from za)ik, a quarrel or bickering). 

Coming now to deal with Folk-etymologies properly so called :— 

" The nation always thinks that the word must have an idea behind it. 


So what it does not understand it converts into wliat it does ; it transforms 
the word until it can understand it. Thus, words and names have their 
forms altered, e.(/. the French ea-evisse becomes in English a-mcfish, and the 
heathen god Soantevit was changed by the Christian Slavs into Saint Vitus, 
and the Parisians converted Mons Martis into Mont-martre " (Steinthal, in 
Goldziher's Mythology among the Hebreios, p. 440). 

" People in antiquity, and even in modern times those who are more 
affected by a word than a thought, were fond of finding in the word a sort of 
reflexion of the corresponding thing. Indeed, many component parts of 
ancient stories owe their existence only to such false etymologies. Dido's 
oxhides and their connexion with the founding of Carthage are only based on 
the Greek byrsa, a misunderstood modified pronunciation of the Semitic 
bh-ethd, ' fortress,' ' citadel.' The shining Apollo, born of light, is said to be 
born in Delos, or Lycia, because the terms Apollon Delios and LyMgems 
were not understood. The Phenician origin of the Irish, asserted in clerical 
chronicles of the middle ages, only rests on a false derivation of the Irish 
word, ' fena, pi. fion, beautiful, agreeable.' Even the savage tribes of 
America are misled by a false etymology to call Michabo, the Kadmos of the 
red Indians (from michi, 'great,' and wabos, 'white') a 'White Hare.' 
Falsely interpreted names of towns most frequently cause the invention of 
fables. How fanciful the operation of popular etymology is in the case of 
local names is observable in many such names when translated into another 
language. By the Lake of Gennesereth lies Hippos, the district surrounding 
which was called Hippene. This word in Phenician denoted a harbour, and 
is found not only in Carthaginian territory as the name of the See of 
St. Augustine, but also as the name of places in Spain. The Hebrew ck6ph, 
' shore,' and the local names Ydphd (Jaffa) and HaifA, are unquestionably 
related to it. But the Greeks regarded it from a Grecian point of view, and 
thought it meant Horse-town. Did they not call ships sea-horses, and 
attribute horses to the Sea-God ? Then the Arabs directly translated this 
'IwTTo;, Hippos, into Kalat al-Husdn; husdn being 'horse' in modern Arabic'' 
(Goldziher, Mythology among the Hebrews, pp. 331-332). 

A good woman, the hostess of the inn, proud of her skill in etymology, 
once assured Wordsworth the poet that the name of the river Gi-eta was taken 
from the bridge which surmounted it, the form of which, as he could see for 
himself, exactly resembled a. great A. 

In provincial German we find the name Beauregard transformed into 
i?M?-e»^(J»-« (Boors-garden); BeUe Alliance atWaXerloo changed into Duller dans, 
" Thunder dance;" a Westphalian mine called Felicitas commonly known as 
Flitzentasche ; Philomelenlust, a grove at Brunswick, changed into Vielmanns- 
lust; Cheval blanc, an inn at Strassburg, becomes blanke Schwalbe ; Brums 
Warte, a district in Halle, becomes braune Schwarte (Andresen, Deutsche 
Volksetymologie, p. 45). 

The gypsies, both in England and on the continent of Europe, have a 
rough and ready way of giving a Rommany meaning to towns they visit, some 
fanciful resemblance of sound suggesting the new form. Thus Bedford 


becomes Redfoot {Lalopeerd) ; Doiicaster, Donkey-town {Milesto-gav) ; Lyons, 
Lion-town {Bombardo) ; Augsburg, Eyes-toicn (Jakkjakro foro), &c. (Smart, 
Dialect of Eng. Gypsies, pp. 11 and 87). 

The common gypsy name Boswell, as if '■^Buss-well," they translate into 
Chumomisto, from ckoom, to kiss, and misto, well ; while Stanley becomes 
Baryor, as if "s^owe-folk." A more curious metamorphosis still is that by the 
Spanish gypsies of Pontius Pilate (Sp. Poncio Pilatd) into Brono Aljenicato, 
i.e. " Bridge-fountain," Poncio being confused with Sp. puente (hat. pons), a 
bridge, and Pilato with Sp. pila, a pillar, especially that of a fountain 
(G. Barrow, Romano Lavo-lil). In our own local etymology Lancaster is 
said to have its name from one Lang Kester or long Christopher, who, like the 
saint so called, used to carry people across the Lune in the time previous to 
bridges {Notes and Queries, 4th S. xii. 27). 

" Either be Caesar or Niccolo " is a popular Italian folksaying (G. Giusti, 
Proverbi Toscani), i.e. a man or a mouse. Niccold here stands for no histo- 
rical Nicholas of proverbial insignificance, but is a personification in the 
mouths of the people of It. nichilo, nothing, Lat. nihilum, often in the middle 
ages spelt nichilum ; the saying is therefore only a modern version of " Aut 
Caesar aut nihil." A similar perversion is annigulate, Anglo-Irish for anni- 
h'date, "If you do I'll annigulate you" (W. Carleton, The Battle of the 
Factions). A somewhat similar perversion is that by which " Teste David cum 
Sibylla," in the Dies Irce, has been transformed into " David's head," testa 
David, by the Trasteverini, who use it as a by-word for something enig- 

Underneath the window of the cell of Roland's Tower in Paris were 
engraven the words Tu Oka, " Pray thou." " The common people," says 
Victor Hugo, " whose plain common sense never looks for profound meanings 
in things, gave to this dark, damp, loathsome hole the name of Trou aux 
Rats" (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, bk. v. ch. 2). 

M. Gaidoz observed that in the German invasion of 1870 popular etymo- 
logy ran riot, and as many outrages were committed on the French language 
as on the people. But retaliation was sometimes made on the enemy. M. 
de Brauschitsch, the Prussian prefet in Seine-et-Oise, was known by the 
people as M. Bronchite,-~a.xiii indeed he had them by the throat. In Lorraine, 
the peasants called the soldiers of the landwehr " langues-vertes.'- During 
the siege of Paris the national guard always spoke of the casemate in which 
they hid themselves {on se cachait) from the projectiles of the enemy as la 
cachemate. At the same period „ woman was found searching everywhere to 
g^t &ome huile d' Henri V. for her child: the desideratum was merely 
huile de ricin ! 

" Donnons un exemple de ce proce'de populaire dela deformation des mots. 
C est ainsi qu en fran9ais le nom de courte-pointe d6signe une sorte de couver- 
ture, bien qu'il n'y ait la, comme le fait remarquer M. Littre, ni courte ni 
pomte. Le mot vient du latin culcita puncta, quisignifie "couverture pique'e " 
et avait donne regulierement en ancien fran9ais coulte-pointe. Coulte n^ se 
comprenant plus a ete deformd en courte qui semblait fournir un sens De 


merae de rallemand Sauerkraut " herbe sure " nous avons fait choua-o4te, qui 
n'est pas la traduction du mot alleraand et qui a de la crollte quand le mets 
en question n'en a pas. Voila ce qu'on appelle une etyraologie populaire. 

"Les mots de ce genre sont en linguistique de veritables monstres ; car les 
lois qui president a la generation du langage voient alors leur action paralysoe 
par une influence etrangere. L'instinct de la fausse analogie, on pourrait 
presque dire du calembour, fait €chec aux regies de la plionetique, et le mot 
en question acquiert des lettres adventices auxquelles il n'avait pas droit, 
comme les monstres de I'histoire naturelle acquierent des membres nouveaux. 
Ces mots, deformes par I'etymologie populaire, echappent aux lois ordi- 
naires du langage comme les monstres aux lois de la nature. La bosse ne 
rentre pas dans le type normal de I'liomme, et pourtant elle existe chez un 
certain nombre d'hommes. Eh bien, il v a dans toutes les langues beaucoup 
de mots bossus qui vivent, se melent aux autres mots du dictionnaire, et qui 
cachent si bien leur infirmite qu'elle echappe a tout autre personnes qu'aux 
linguistes " {Rerue Politique et Litteraire, No. ,35, p. 830). 

To be distinguished from true folk-etymologies are those intentional per- 
versions of words which for the main purpose of raising a laugh, or supporting 
the vrai-semblance of the character, are put into the mouth of illiterate per- 
sonages in works of fiction, such as Sirs. Malaprop, Mrs. Partington, Mrs. 
Brown. To this class belong ]\Irs. Quigley's honey-seed for homicide, canary 
for quandary, calm for qualm, in Shakespeare ; Mrs. Honeysuckle's " clients 
\haX &UB in fm-m,a paper" in Webster's Westward Ho ; and Lackland'sjooc- 
cupations, losopkers, diricksstories, extrumpery, and nomine in Randolph's Hey 
fm- Honesty, instead of occupations, philosophers, directories, extempore, and 
horn ily. 

To the same category of jocularity prepense belong Costard's " Thou hast 
it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends" (ad ungueni). Love's Labour's Lost, v. 1, 
80 ; "a stay-at-home-at-us tumour" in one of Lever's novels, as if a sluggish 
one, toujours chez nous, for steatomatous, tallow-like ; Coleridge's favourite 
author Spy Nozy (Spinosa), which the eaves-dropper regarded as a personal 
allusion to himself (Biographia Literaria, ch. x.) ; Sam Weller's " have-his- 
carcass" for habeas corpus; "delicious beam-ends" in Anthony Trollope's 
Dr. Thorne (ch. xl.) for delirium tremens, of which a slang corruption is 
triangles ; Sham Elizas for Champs Elys'ees in Russell's Memoirs of Moore^ 
iii. 171 ; Punch's coaly-hop-terror for coleoptera, which is, perhaps, also the 
original of crawly-whopper, a' black-beetle, mentioned by Dr. Adams in the 
Philolog. Soc. Travis. 1859, p. 96. Such also are Deborah Fimdish, an old 
corruption of De Profundis ; Solomon Daoid, a cockney form of solemn 
affidavit ; and the " Angry cat " which, spoken by a Jewish costumier, does 
duty for Henri Quatre {Punch, vol. Ixx. p. 78). And so in many modern 
works of humour. " Those long sliding opra-glasses that they call tallow- 
scoops " is an ingenious make-up, individual, and not popular. When Mrs. 
Ramsbottom in Paris bought " some sieve jars to keep popery in," she gave 
for the moment a familiar and homely ring to those strange and outlandish 
words Sevres and pot-pourri, with a lofty disregard to mere propriety of 


meaning. If those forms were generally and popularly accepted they would 
be folk-etymologies. As it is they are a mere play on words. In the following 
instances, thrown together at random, but all fairly authenticated, we may 
see the mischievous genius of folk-etymology more undoubtedly at work. 
" The poor creature was that big, sir, you can't think. The doctor said there 
was a porpoise inside her." I conjecture it was nothing worse than s. polypus. 
A servant man has been heard to convert an Alpine-stock into a helping -stick.. 
A cook who used antipathies for antipodes also spoke of " the obnoxious gales" 
at the time of the equinox. Another asked leave to attend " the aquarium 
service " on the death of the last pope, evidently a requiem. A Devonshire 
maid informed her mistress she had " divided her hair into three traces" for 
tresses. An Irish domestic spoke of " trembling coals," i.e. trendling or trund- 
ling., round, rolling coals, Cumberland trunlins. " As for my husband," 
remarked a pastrycook, " poor man, he is a regular siphon'' Another Irish 
woman of diminutive stature complacently described herself to a lady hiring 
her services as " small but wicked'.' Wicked here, as sometimes in provincial 
English, is manifestly a corruption of Yorkshire wick., lively, active, nimble, 
properly alive, another form of quick, A. Sax. cwic, as in " wick as an eel " 
( Whitby Glossary), the word being confused with wicked, old Eng. wicke, 
wikke. In the Cleveland dialect a very lively young man was characterized 
as " T' wickest young chap at ivver Ah seen " (Atkinson), and in a Yorkshire 
ballad occurs the line : — 

" I'll swop wi' him my poor deead horse for his wick." 
Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England, p. 210 (ed. R. Bell). 

In Scotland needcessity is commonly used for necessity {e.g. Whitehead, 
Daft Davie, p. 190); in England ill-convenientiox inconvenient, equal-nomical 
for economical, human cry for hue and cry, natural school for national school, 
hark audience for accordion, queen wine for quinine wine, uproar for opera, 
cravat for carafe, in Ireland croft. Notes enquiries for Notes and Queries, have 
all been heard. A lady of my acquaintance always uses tipsomania for dipso- 
mania, a natural confusion with the word tipsy, and less pardonably trans- 
forms acetic into Asiatic acid. " Would you like it square-edged or bible- 
edged ? " asked an upholsterer of a lady ordering a sofa (Notes and Queries, 
4th S. xii. 276), meaning no doubt bevil-edged. " This here is the stage front 
or proceedings," said a Punch-and-Judy showman pointing to the proscenium 
(Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, iii. 53). Jeremy Taylor's old 
pulpit in Uppingham Church is shown by the sexton as " Geriral Taylor's 
pulpit, or Gen'l'man Taylor's, I don't mind which " (Sat. Review, vol. 50, p. 
422). The Wardevil is a London cabman's attempt to give a native appear- 
ance to the Vaudeville Theatre. A Hampshire parish clerk when a certain 
passage came round in the psalms always spoke of " snow and vipers " fulfilling 
His word. Another of that fraternity would strike in " Thur go the shibs, 
and thur's that lively thing, whom thou's made take hee's bastime thurin " 
{Chambers Journal, 1874, p. 484). " Aye, sir," said an old sexton, "folks 
like putting up a handsome memorandum of those that are gone." " The old 


gentleman likes telling antidotes of his young days." " We set up a soup- 
kitchen, and a report gets about that it is Horsetralian meat" (Miss Yonge, 
Womankind, p. 294), which suspicion of hippophagy is quite enough to con- 
demn it. " Shall I let out the white uns or the dark uns" inquired a Hamp- 
shire man of his master, whose fowl he kept, ingeniously discriminating 
between the Dwkings and a lighter-coloured breed that happened to be in his 
charge. The same man, an invaluable factotum, once expressed an opinion 
that a hemp holder would do for the pony, meaning thereby a halter. A 
young farmer of East Anglia with a liking for fine phrases appropriated 
" otium cum dignitate," and assured his friends that he enjoyed his " oceans- 
come-dig-my-taty," apparently ^ plenty as the result of his potatoe digging. 
According to a Stratford-on-Avon MS. quoted in the last edition of Nares, 
it was the business of a juror at an inquest to inquire whether the person 
found dead was " a. fellow of himself " i.e. &felo de se. 

In a wretched farrago of a book entitled The Bosicriicians, by H. Jennings 
(p. 41), the author evolves the word scara-bees, or the imperial " Bees" of 
Charlemagne, out of the Latin scarabceus, a beetle. It occurs also in MoufFet's 
History of Insects, and in Beaumont and Fletcher. A New York paper once 
used Sanscript for Sansa-it. The Americans of the Southern States, having 
already 'eoonery as a descriptive word for Whiggery, from the shifty habits of 
the racoon, transformed chicanery into shee-coonery, as it were feminine Whig- 
gery. The lower orders in Ireland have got jackeenery, as if the conduct of 
a jackeen or cad, out of the same word. " The physic is called ' Head-e- 
cologiie^ or a sure cure for the head-ache," explains a showman in Mayhew's 
London Labour and the London Poor, vol. iii. p. 56, referring to eau-de- 
Cologne. An old woman in a country village to whom it was recommended for 
an obstinate toothache, gratefully remarked that the power of that 0-do-go- 
alrmg was, indeed, wonderful (Nomen omen). Another belonging to Surrey 
observed, " Doctor has give me this here stuff, and ray ! I do believe it's 
silver latiny" {^Notes and Queries, 5th S. x. 222), and sal volatile it was. 

This word-twisting, or, as Ben Jonson calls it, " wresting words from their 
true calling," is especially observable, as might be anticipated, in the case of 
learned and unusual words, such as the names of diseases, medicines, or 

' Thus we hear of complaints as extraordinary as " the ' hairy sipples,' 'green 
asthma,' and 'brown creatures' of the English poor'" [Monthly Packet, vol. 
xxiii. p. 253), which seem to be disguised forms of erysipelas, tenesmus, and 
bronchitis. The last disease also takes the different forms of hrowngetus, brown- 
chitis, and brown-typhus. " He's down with a bad attackt of brown a-isis on 
the chest," said a Sussex peasant of his neighbour (Parish, Sussex Glossary, 
s.v. Down'). Information of the lungs is not uncommonly met with. So, in 
German, diphtheritis has been turned into gifteristik, as if from gift, poison, and 
gastrische fieber into garstige fieber (Andresen, p. 42). 

" It often happens that gardeners become acquainted with new plants, or 
new species of old plants, that are brought to them under a foreign name ; not 
understanding this name, they corrupt it into some word which sounds like it, 


and with which they are already familiar. To this source of corruption we 
owe such words as dandylion {dent de lion), rosemary (ros marinus), gillyflower^ 
{girofle), quarter sessions rose (desquatre saisons), Jermalem artichoke (girasole)" 
&c. (Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 57). Southey mentions that the Bon 
Chretien pear is called by English gardeners the Bum-Gritton {The Doctm; 
p. 349, ed. 1848), French gardeners having already manufactured Bon. 
Chretien out of Gk. Panchrestos, universally good. 

Other gardener's mistakes are China oysters for china asters, Bleary eye for 
Blairii {rosa). Bloody Mars for Fr. Ble de Mars. An Irish dancing-master pro- 
fessed to teach his pupils to go through "petticoatees and coatylongs (cotillons) 
with the Quality" (P. Kennedy, Banks d the Boro, p. 136). Another Irish 
peasant made misty manners out of misdemeanours (Carleton, Traits and 
Stories, i. 309, ed. 1843). Polly Ann and Emma Jane have been observed as 
negro corruptions of Pauline and Imogen. " We have heard of a groom who, 
having the charge of two horses called Othello and Desdemona, christened 
them respectively Old Fellow and Thursday Morning. Lamprocles, the name 
of a horse of Lord Eglintoun's, was converted by the ring into ' Lamb and 
Pickles.' The same principle may be seen at work among servants ; we have 
heard a servant systematically use the word cravat for carafe, and astonish a 
gentleman by calmly asking him at luncheon, " If she should fill his a-avat 
with water ? " (Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 57). 

Peter Gower, the Grecian and "mighty wiseacre,'' who, according to 
Leland's Itinerary (temp. Hen. VIII. ed. Hearne), first introduced the 
mystery of masonry into England, having learned it of the " Venetians " 
(= Phcenicians), is none other, as Locke first pointed out, than Pythagoras, 
Frenchified into Pythagore, Petagore, and then turned into a naturalized 
Englishman. Worthy to keep him company is Paul Podgam, not this time 
a Christianized heathen, but a personified plant. 

" An old man in East Sussex said that many people set much store by the 
doctors, but for his part, he was one for the yarbs [^herbs], and Paid Podgam 
was what he went by. It was not for some time that it was discovered that 
by Paul Podgam he meant the fern polypodium" (Parish, Sussex Glossary). 
A German apothecary has been asked for Ole Peter, for umgewandtem Napo- 
leon, and even for umgewandte dicke Stiefel (a "quick-thick-boot" !), when the 
real articles wanted were oleum petroe, unguentum Neapolitanum, and unguen- 
tum digestivum (Andresen, Deutsche Volksetymologie, p. 40). In the Americo- 
German broken English of the Breitmann Ballads, Cosmopolite becomes 
^'- moskopolite, or von whose kopf QheadJ ish bemosst [^=: bearded] mit expe- 
rience " (p. 17, ed. 1S71), mossyhead being a German college phrase for an 
old student ; and applaud becomes ooploud (up-loud), " For sefen-lefen 
minudes dey ooplouded on a bust" (p. 136) ; applause, vp-loudation (p. 1 38) ; 
while Guerillas appears as Grillers. 

Amongst other ingenious word-twists which may be heard in Germany are 
canaillenv'ijijeln for caiairienvogeln, frontenspitselm frontispiece, sternlichtern for 
stearinlichtern, rundtheil for roiidelle, erdschocke for artisrhocke, erdapfel for kar- 
toffel, the last being, indeed, a partial reversion to the original meaning, as 


hartoffel itself stands for tartufol. It. tartufola, tartufo, from Lat. terrce tuber, 
earth tuber. Andresen, in his Volksett/mologie, also mentions the popular cor- 
ruptions bibelapthek, paiieisen, seeldnder, biefstiick, for bibliothek, partisane, 
cylinder (:=hat), beefsteak (of which a further corruption is the French 
waiter's hiftek du pore'). So the unpopular ^ererfaj-OTe was cleverly turned into 
schand-arm ; the French pear-name beurre blane ( = Ger. butter-birne) was 
naturalized as beerblang (where Low Ger. beer = Mid. High Ger. Mr, a pear) ; 
and bleu mourant, a faint or sickly blue, acquired a prettier form in blumerant, 
with its apparent relationship to blume. Kellerassel (cellar millepes) is more 
familiarly known as kelleresel, "cellar ass;" but this again is an unconscious 
reversion to the right meaning assel, a wood-louse, being identical with Low 
Lat. asellus oniscus, Greek 'ivo^ and ovidKoq. In prov. German pfeifholter, a 
butterfly, is a corruption oi feif alter, and maul-rose of malve, the mallow. 

The good folk of Bonn, with their thoughts running on apples, sometimes 
degrade aprikosen, apricots, into mere appelkosen. The Westphalians have 
coined a word glaszeiig, as if glass-ware, out of klaszeug, signifying properly the 
presents supposed to be given by the good St. Klas, or Santa Glaus, i.e. St 
Nicolaus (see Andresen, Deutsche Volksetymologie, p. 38). 

Many of the corruptions which words have undergone are doubtless due to 
the wear and tear of 

" Time, whose slippery wheel doth play 
In humane causes with inconstant sway. 
Who exiles, alters, and disguises words." 

J. Sylvester, Du Bartas, 1621, p. 173. 

" Our language hath no law but vse : and still 
Runs blinde, vnbridled, at the vulgars will." 

Id. p. 261. 
Or, as Tennyson expresses it : — 

" A word that comes from olden days. 
And passes through the peoples ; every tongue 
Alters it passing, till it spells and speaks 
Quite other than at first." 

A word having been once thus altered, we must be content to take it as it 
is, and pass it current for its nominal value. For example, to take a word 
commented on by De Quincey : — 

"The word country-dance was originally a corruption, but having once 
arisen, and taken root in the language, it is far better to retain it in its collo- 
quial form : better, I mean, on the general principle concerned in such cases. 
For it is, in fact, by such corruptions, by offsets on an old stock, arising 
through ignorance or mispronunciation originally, that every language is fre- 
quently enriched ; and new modifications of thought, unfolding themselves in 
the progress of society, generate for themselves concurrently appropriate ex- 
pressions. Many words in the Latin can be pointed out as having passed 
through this process. It must not be allowed to weigh against the validity of 


a word once fairly naturalized by use, that originally it crept in upon an abuse 
or corruption. Prescription is as strong a ground of legitimation in a case of 
this nature as it is in law. And the old axiom is applicable— Fieri non 
debuit, factum valet. Were it otherwise, languages would be robbed of much 
of their wealth. And, universally, the class of purists, in matters of lan- 
guage, are liable to grievous suspicion as almost constantly proceeding on half 
knowledge, and on insufficient principles. For example, if I have read one, 
I have read twenty letters, addressed to newspapers, denouncing the name of 
a great quarter in London, Mary-le-bone, as ludicrously ungrammatical. The 
writers had learned (or were learning) French ; and they had thus become 
aware that neither the article nor the adjective was right. True— not right 
for the current age, but perfectly right for the age in which the name arose : 
but, for want of elder French, they did not know that in our Chaucer's time, 
both were right. Le was then the article feminine as well as masculine, and 
bone was then the true form for the adjective" ( Works, vol. xiv. p. 201). 

Karl Andresen observes in the preface to his Deutsche Volksetymologie 
(1876), that it is a strange fact that his own volume, notwithstanding the very 
curious and interesting nature of the subject, was -the first work of the kind 
professedly devoted to popular etymology, and he expresses his surprise that 
philologists should have so long neglected it. M. Gaidoz accounts for this by 
remarking : — " La raison de la negligence ou pour mieux dire du dedain que 
les linguistes montrent a I'e'gard de I'etymologie populaire est que celle-ci ne 
se ramene a aucune loi, et qu'ils etudient de preference les phe'nomenes qui 
peuvent se raraener a des lois. Peut-etre aussi voient-ils d'un oeil de defiance 
et de mecontentement des faits en quelque sorte hors serie exercer une influence 
perturbatrice sur le de veloppement mathemathique des lois generales du langage. 
11 faut pourtant tenir compte de I'influence exercee sur le langage humain par 
le raisonnement et la volonte de I'homme. II est aise de voir, ne fut-ce que 
par I'exemple des langues vivantes, et malgre Taction conservatrice de la litt^- 
rature et de la grammaire, combien sont puissantes ces tendances qu'on peut 
reunir sous le nom ^analogie, par exemple dans la conjugaison dont I'analogie 
cherche a detruire les irregularites et meme la variete" {Revue Critique, 19 
Aout, 1876, p. 118). 

The same judicious writer elsewhere gives the following summary of the 
whole subject : — ^" L'etymologie populaire joue un certain role dans le develop- 
pement des langues, et elle s'applique d'abord aux mots et aux noms etrangers, 
puis aux mots savants et aux termes techniques, en d'autres termes, a tons les 
mots et a tons les noms auxquels la conscience linguistique du peuple n'est 
pas habituee. Dans les mots ordinaires de la langue, I'usage fait qu'on voit 
distinctement en eux, non la combinaison de sons ou de lettres qu'ils ferment, 
mais la chose meme qu'ils representent. Ce sont des monnaies que le peuple 
passe comme il les a re9ues, sans s'occuper d'en regarder I'effigie ou d'en lire 
la legende, puisqu'il sait qu'elles sont bonnes. Les mots de la langue ordi- 
naire frappent son oreille des son enfance, et sa curiosite ne s'y arrete pas, 
parce que ces mots sont pour lui des choses. II n'en est pas de meme des 
mots etrangers ou inusites qu'il entend pour la premiere fois. Sa curiosite 


est mise en jeu, et comme il a una tendance a croire que tout mot a une sig- 
nification, il cherche et se laisse guider par une ressemblance de son avec des 
mots deja connus. II en arrive de la sorte a deTormer les mots par fausse 
analogie. Cette tendance est dans la nature des choses, et les puristes 
auraient bien tort de s'en indigner" {Bemie Politique et Litter aire, No. 36, 
p. 831). 

" How many words," says an old writer, " are buryed in the grave of for- 
getfuUnes ? growne out of vse ? ^vrested awrye and peruersly corrupted by 
diuers defaultes ? we wil declare at large in our booke intituled, Simphonia 
vocum Britannicarum" (A. Fleming, Caius of Eng. Dogges, 1576, p. 40, repr. 
1880). This promise I think was never redeemed. A part of his projected 
plan I have here endeavoured to carry out, by forming a collection, as com- 
plete as I could make it, of words which have been corrupted by false deri- 
vation, or have in some way been altered or perverted from their true form or 
meaning by false analogy. Such words may be conveniently ranged under 
one or other of the following analytical groups (see Farrar, Origin of Lan- 
guage, p. 58) :— 

1. Words corrupted so as to be significant and in some sense appropriate ; 
such as acorn, amhergreaae, aureole, battlement, belfry, blindfold, buttress, carnival, 
cais cradle, cause-way, chittyfaced, cockatoo, counterpane, court-card, crawfish, 
dewlap, excise, fairway, flushed, furbelow, geneva, hanger, hastener, hollyhock, 
instep, meregrot, runagate, touchy, traveller's joy, wormwood, &c. 

2. Words corrupted so as to convey a meaning, but one totally inappro- 
priate, though sounding familiarly to the ear ; such as battle-door, cast-me- 
down, cheese-bowl, fairmaids, farthingale, featherfew, gingerly, goose-horn, 
hammer-cloth, stick-a-dove, titmouse, wheat-ear, wise-acre, &c. 

3. Words corrupted so as to give rise to a total misconception, and conse- 
quently to false explanations ; such as attic, bitter-end, cannibal, horn-mad, 
humble-pie, hurricane, husband, &c. 

4. Words which, though not actually corrupted from their true shape, are 
suggestive of a false derivation, and have been generally accepted in that mis- 
taken sense ; such as camlet, carp, colonel, cozen, crabbed, fratery, God, hawker, 
henchman, hop-harlot, hussif incentive, muse, recover, tribulation, world, &c. 

In this latter case it is the meaning of the word that has got warped from 
some mistaken relationship or incorrect analogy having been assumed. Many 
instances of this reflex influence of the form on the meaning will be found. 
Fuller, for instance, remarks that men who being slow and slack go about 
business with no agility are called " dull Dromedaries by a foul mistake 
merely because of the affinity of that name to our English word Dreaming 
^compare old Sax. drdm, a dream, ^ Icel. draumr, Dut. droom'\ applied to 
such who go slowly and sleepily about their employment ; whereas indeed 
Dromedaries are creatures of a constant and continuing swiftness, so called 
from the Greek word Apofj-o;, a Race" {Worthies of England, vol. ii. p. 385). 

In popular Italian belief the plant comino or cummin is supposed to have 
the power of keeping animals and young children from straying from home, 
or a lover near his mistress, owing to an imagined connexion of its name with 


Lat. cominus, close at hand, near (De Gubernatis, Mythologie des Plantes, p. xx.). 
The people of the Abruzzi in a similar manner fancying some relationship 
between the plant-name menta and It. rammentare, to remember, lovers in 
that region are accustomed to present a sprig of mint to each other as a me- 
mento, with the words : — 

" Ecco la menta, 

Se si ama di cuore, non rallenta." 

{Id. p. 236.) Compare the popular misconceptions with regard to the word 
aimant, s.v. Aymont, p. 16. 

I have thought it well, for the sake of completeness, to notice those words 
which, though not really corruptions at all, have long passed for such, from 
men through an excess of ingenuity not being content to take a plain word 
in its plain meaning, such I mean as beef-eater, fox-glove, John Dm'y, Wehh- 

To the English words I have appended a collection of foreign words which 
have undergone similar corruptions, and also lists of words which have been 
altered through agglutination of the article, or through being mistaken for 
plurals when really singular, or vice versd. 

I have to thank Professor Skeat for his great good-nature in looking over 
many of my earlier sheets, and in setting me right in several instances where 
I had gone wrong. It is needless to say that I had his invaluable Etymohgieal 
Dictionary always in use, so far as it was issued when going to press ; but 
from letter R to the end I could only make use of it for my Additions and 
Corrections. I am also indebted to Mr. Wedgwood for kindly making a few 
suggestions which I have utilized. 




Aaron. A popular name for the 
arwm plant, Gk. hiron, Lat. arum, a 
corruption into a more familiar word. 
(Prior, Pop. Navies of BritisWFlants.) 
It was sometimes called Barha-Aron, 
as if "Aaron's beard" (Gerard, Her- 
hal, 1597, p. 685). 

Abbey. The Somerset name of the 
white poplar tree, the Dutch aheel, 
whence 0. Eng. ahele, abeel, of which 
this is a corruption. The origin is Low 
Latia albellus, whitish. 

He attempts to destroy her child hefore 
birth with the leaves of the abbey-tree. — D. 
IVitson, Old Edinburgh, vol. i. p. IT'S. 

Another side of the garden was girt with 
five lofty jagged afce/e-trees. — A. J. C. Hare, 
Memorials of a Quiet Life, vol. ii. p. 147. 

Abhomination, an old mis-speUing 
of " abomination " (Lat. ahominatio, 
from abonvinor, ah and omen), some- 
thing to be deprecated as evil-omened, 
as if it were derived frora ab and homo, 
something ahen from the nattire of 
man, or inhuman. 

The Hebrews had with Angels conversation. 
Held th' Idol-Altars in abhomination. 

Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 273 (1621). 

Holofernes the pedant censures the 
pronunciation of the " racker of ortho- 

This is ubhominable, — which he would call 

hovels Labour^s Lost, v. 1. 1. 27 
(Globe ed.). 

AhJiomdnable is found in the Promp- 
torium Pa/rvtdorum (c. 1440) and the 
Apology for LoUa/rd Doctrines ; ahliomi- 
namyoun in Wycliffe's New Testament ; 

while Puller presents the form abhomi- 

The Rev. Jonathan Boucher actually 
assumes the etjrmology to be ab and 
homo and defines the word as unmanly, 
unworthy of a man I — (Fitzedward 
Hall, Modern English, p. 159.) 

Abide. Frequently found in old 
writers with the meaning to expiate, 
atone, or pay the penalty for, some 
wrong- doing, is a confounding of the 
old Eng. verb abie, abeye, abegge, A. 
Sax. abicgan, to buy, redeem, or pay 
for, with abide, A. Sax. abidan, to ex- 
pect or wait for. 

Let no man abide this deed 
But we the doers. 

Shakespeare, Julias Casar, iii. 1. 1. 94 
(Globe ed.). 
If it be found so, some will dear abide it. 
Ibid. iii. 2. 1. 119. 
Ay me ! they little know 
How dearly I abide that boast so vain. 

Milton, Par. Lost, Bk. IV. 1. 86. 

Listances of abie are the following — 
For if thou do,- thou shalt it dere abie. 
Chaucer, Chanones Yemannes Tale, Prologue. 
Yet thou, false Squire, his fault shalt deare 

And with thy punishment his penance shalt 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, IV. i. 53. 
Yf I lyue a yere he shal abye it. 
Caxton, Reynard the Fox (1481), p. 11 
(ed. Arber). 
Yf he wente out .... to stele myes to a 
prestes hows and the priest dyde hym harme 
sholde I abye that. — Ibid. p. 30. 

In both these in8tances,and elsewhere, 
the editor incorrectly prints aby [d] e. 
Spenser, on the other hand, some- 



( 2 ) 


times uses ahie incorrectly instead of 
abide, to endure or suffer, e. g. — 

Who dyes, the utmost dolor doth abye. 
F. Queene, III. iv. 38. 

But patience perforce, he must abie 
What fortune and his fate on him will lay. 
Ibid. III. X. 3. 

Able, is old Eng. hable, Fr. habile, 
Lat. hahilis, " haveable," manageable, 
fit, apt (from haheo, to have). We stiU 
say habilitate, to en-able, not ahilitafe, 
habit, not obit (cf. also habilaments, 
fittings, clothes; dishahille, undress). 
The word seems to have been assimi- 
lated to — perhaps confounded with — 
old Eng. abal, strength, ability, "};in 
abal and craft," Gcedmon, 32, 9, which 
Ettmiiller connects with a root, form, 
aban, to be strong. {Lex. Anglo-Sate. 
B. V.) See Diefenbach, Ooth. Sprache, 
i. 2. 

Able, or abuUe, or abylle. Habilis, idoneus. 
Promjitonum Parvulorum, 1440. 

Which charge lasteth not long, but vntill 
the Scholer he made hable to go to the Vni- 
versitie. — R. Ascham, Schotemaster, p. 2-i (ed. 
Arber), 1570. 

Abeam- or Abeaham-coloueed, as 
applied to the hair in old plays, is a 
corruption of auburn, which is spelled 
ab)-on in Hall's Satires (ui. 5, " abron 
locks "). Shakespeare, Cor. it. 3. 
(foho) speaks of heads, " some brown, 
some black, some abram " {vide Nares). 
The expressions Cain-colou/red and 
Judas-coloured for a red-haired person 
may have contributed to this mode of 
spelling. In old German it is found 
as abranuch, abrdumisch. In old Eng- 
lish, where the word occxu-s in the 
forms of abron, aburne, aborne, it de- 
notes a colour inclining to white, e. g. — 

He's white-hair'd. 
Not wanton-white, but such a manly colour. 
Next to an aborne. 

Two Noble Kinsmen, iv. 2. 1. 123 (Quarto, 
1634, ed. Littledale. See his note, p. 155. ) 

It is another form of alburn, white, 
Lat. alburnum. 

It. alburno, the white part of any timber, 
also the whitish colour of womens haire which 
we call an Alburne or Aburne colour. — Fl'orio, 
New World of Words, 1611. 

Abraham's Balm, a popular name 
for a kind of willow, is probably a cor- 
ruption of Abrahams-boom {i. e. Abra- 
ham's tree), a Dutch name for the Vitex 

Agnus- Gasius. — Britten and Holland, 
Eng. Plant-Names, p. 4 (E. D. Soc). 

AcoEN, has generally been regarded 
as another form of "oak-corn," e.g., 
A. Sax. ac-corn, ac-ccern, mceren, as if 
from an, &c, an oak ; so Ger. eichel, as 
if from eiohe, oak. Old Eng. forms are 
ohecorne, aecha/rne (Ortus), accorne 
(Prompt. Parv.), alcehorne (Florio, s. 
V. Acilone). Compare, however, Icel. 
akarn, Dan. agern, all near akin to 
Gothic akran, fruit, originally a crop, 
field-produce, from Goth, ahrs, a field, 
Icel. akr, Gk. agrds, Lat. ager, A. Sax. 
mcer, Ger. acker, our "acre." See 
Diefenbach, Goth. Sprache, i. 31. Dean 
Wren notes of the oak, 

Besides the gall, which is his proper fruite, 
hee shootes out oaherns, i.e. ut nunc vocamus 
acornes, and oakes apples, and polypodye, and 
moss." — Sir Thos. Browtie, Works, vol. i. p. 
203 (ed. Bohn). 

See Akehornb. 

Act oe Paet, in the phrase, " I wUl 
take neither act ncrpa/rt in the matter," 
is a corrupted form of the old Scottish 
law term, " To be art and part in the 
committing of a crime, i. e., when the 
same person was both a contriver and 
acted a part in it."^ — BaAley. L. Lat. 
artem et partem habuit (Jamieson). 
See Davies, 8upp. Eng. Glossary, s. v. 

Acknawleging his sinnes, bot na art nor 
part of the King's father's murdour wherfor 
he was condemnit. — Jas. Melville, Diary, 
1581, p. lir (Wodrow Soc. ed.). 

AcwEEN, the Anglo-Saxon name for 
the squirrel, which Bosworth and 
EtmiUler rank imder the heading of 
derivatives from ac, in company with 
ac-bedm and others, as if it was the 
animal that lives in the oaks (Ger. 
eichorn), is really rrlcelandic ikwni, and 
that, according to Cleasby, is a cor- 
ruption of the Latin and Greek scimrus, 
" the shadow-tail," the diminutive of 
which, sciurulus, yields our sgmrrrel. 
Cf. O.Eng. ocguerne, Lambeth HormMes, 
p. 181. 

Addee. a. Sax. mttor, so spelt as if 
denoting the poisonous snake, from 
mttor, attor or ator, poison, Prov. Eng. 
atter, Dan. cedder, Icel. eitr (like Icel. 
eitr-ornvr, "poison-worm," the viper), 
is a corrupt form of A. Sax. naddre, a 
snake (mistaken for an mddre), Welsh 


( 3 ) 


fuidr, Irisli nafhair, originally perhaps 
a water snake, Lat. matrix, " the 
swimmer," a serpent. — (W. Stokes, 
Irish Glosses, p. 46 ; Diefenbach, Ooth. 
Spraclie, ii. 93.) Compare addircop 
(Palsgrave) ^ attcrcop, a spider ; also 
natter -jach, a (venomous) toad (Suf- 
folk), and Ger. nutter, an adder. In S. 
Matt, xxiii. 33, where Wychffe (1389) 
has "3ee sarpentis, fruytis oi edd/ris," 
the A. Sax. version (995) has " ge 
ncedd7-an and nceddrena cynn." The 
poisonous nature of the adder is fre- 
quently dwelt on in old Eng. writers. 

We ben alse Jie nedre hie liaueS longe liued, 
and we longe leien in sinne. Hie hauefS 
muchel atter on hire [i.e. We ai*e as the adder, 
she hath lived long, and we lay long in sin. 
She hath much venom in herj. — Old Eng. 
Homilies, XII. Cent. 2nd Ser. p. 199 (ed. 

Jie Neddri of attri Onde haue seoue Kundles 
[The adder of poisonous envy hath seven off- 
springs]. — Ancreu Riule (1225), p. 200. 

J>e attri neddri [slea<5] alle Jjeo ontfule [The 
poisonous adder (slayeth) all the envious]. — 
Id. p. 210. 

Danne J^e neddre is of his hid naked, 
and bare of his brest after. 

Bestiary (ab. 1250) 1. 144, Old 
Eng. Miscellany, p. 5. 
In swete wordis Jje nedder was closet. 

Tfte Bahees book,\,. 305, 1. 207 

Eddyr, or neddyr, wyrme. Serpens. — 
Promptorium Parvidorum (1440). 

Topsell says of the adder : 

Although I am not ignorent that there be 
which write it Nadere, of Natrix; which sig- 
nifieth a Watersnake, yet I cannot consent 
vnto them so readily, as to depart from the 
more vulgar receaued word of a -whole 
Nation, because of some likelyhoode in the 
deriuation from the Latine. — Historie of' 
Serpents, p. 50 (1608). 

Adjust. So spelt as if the primitive 
meaning were to make just or even, 
to set to rights, and so Pr. adjuster, " to 
place justly, set aptly, couch evenly, 
joyn handsomely," Cotgrave; O. Fr. 
adjouster, to add, set or put unto, It. 
aggiustare, " to make iust, even, or 
leueU " (Florio), Prov. ajoatar. Diez 
is of opinion that these words are de- 
rivatives not of just, giusto, but of O. 
Pr. joste, juste, Prov. josta. It. giusta, 
Lat. juxta, near, as if adjuxta/re, to set 
near together. Hence also Sp. justwr, 
O. Ft. joster, juster, Eng. "to joust" 
and "jostle." 

Admiral, an assimilation of the older 
form anviral, amyrayl, Sp. almirante, 
Portg. amiralh. It. amtniraglio, to 
"admire," "admirable," as we see in 
the Low Latin forms, admiralis, odmA- 
ralius, admiraldas, adiivirans, adnviran- 
dits(Spehnan, Olossarium, s.v.); admi- 
rahiles and admiralU in Matthew Paris, 
O. Pr. admraulx (Selden, Titles of 
Honour, p. 103.). 

Amiral is from the Arabic amir, a 
prince or lord (compare Heb. amir, 
head, top, summit). " Amerel of the 
see, AmireUus." — Prompt. Pa/rv. 0. 
Pr. halnvyrach, an admiral (Cotgrave), 
seems to have been assimilated to Gk, 
halmyros, the briny sea. 

Engehnann supposes that amiral is 
shortened from Arab, anm/r-al-hahr, 
commander of the sea, but the oldest 
meaning of the word in French, as M. 
Devic observes, is a general or com- 
mander of troops. 

Sir Lancelot . . . slew and detrenched 
many of the Romans, and slew many knights 
and admiralU [^ erairs or Saracen chiefs, 
Wright]. — Malory, Historie of King Arthur, 
1634, ch. xciv. 

Admiral occurs in Layamon's Brut., 
A.D. 1205. 

It may be noted that the handsome 
butterfly called the adnviral is also 
known as the admirable, which was 
probably its original narae. 

Much difference there is about the original 
of this word, whilst most probable their 
opinion who make it of Kasteru extraction, 
borrowed by the Christians from the 
Saracens. These derive it from Amir, in 
Arabick a Prince, and "aXiq;, belonging to 
the Sea, in the Greek language ; such mix- 
ture being precedented in other words. 
Besides, seeing the Sultan's dominions, in 
the time of the Holy War, extended from 
Sinus Arabicus to the North Eastern part of 
the Midland-Sea, where a barbarous kind of 
Greek was spoken by many, Amirall (thus 
compounded) was significantly comprehen- 
sive of his jurisdiction. Admirall is but a 
depraving oiAmirallin vulgar mouths. How- 
ever, it will never be beaten out of the heads 
of common sort, that, seeing the Sea is scene 
of wonders, something of wonderment hath in- 
corporated Itself' in this word, and that it hath 
a glimps, cast, or eye of admiration therein. — 
T. Fuller, Worthies of England, vol. i. p. 18 
(ed. 1811). 

Advance, \ so spelt as if com- 
Advanta&e, J pounded (like ad- 
venture, ad/verse, etc.) with the Latin 


( 4 ) 


preposition ad, to, are derivatives of 
Fr. avancer, avantage (It. avanza/re, 
vantaggio), which are from avant, for- 
ward, Lat. ah-ante. 

Other mistaken assimilations of the 
first syllable of a word to prepositions 
are — 

Enl(wge for O. Eng. alarge (Wyoliffe), 
Fr. eslargir, Lat. ex-largior. 
• Engrieve (Chaucer, Spenser) for ag- 
grieve. Entice, Fr. attiser. 

Invpa/ir for appadr. Imposthume for 

Invoice, from It. avviso (advice). 
Ensample for example. 

Encumber for O. Eng. acombre, ac- 
comhre {Townley Mysteries). 

Encroach for accroach, Fr. accrocher. 

Embassy, an amhassage, Low L. am- 

hascia, Lat. amhactus. 

Advowtey, ^ an old word for advl- 

AvowTET, ♦ tery. O. Fr. avoufrie, 

as if a breach of one's marriage vow 

(Fr. voue), is a derivative from Lat. 

a^MWeriMm through the ProvenQal forms 

azulteri, aiilteri, avulteri, just as Lat. 

gladius yields Prov. glazi, glai, glavi, 

Fr. and Eng. glcdve ; and Lat. vidua 

jdelds Prov. vevza, veiwa (Diez). 

Duke Humfi'ey aye repined. 
Calling this match advouirie, as it was. 
Mirror for Magistrates [Nares]. 
The pharisees brought a woman taken in 
Caxtim, Reynard the Fox, 1481, p. 73 
(ed. Arber). 
Euen such vnkindnesse as was in the lewes 
... in committing aduoultrie and hordom. — 
R. Ascham, The Schoolmaster, 1570, p. 56 (ed. 

Avouire {i. e. a-outre'=:a{d)uUer) oc- 
curs in the Norman French Vie de 
Beint Auban, 1. 62 (ed. Atkinson). 

JSglogues. Spenser's spelling of ecZo- 
gues from a mistaken theory that — 

They were first of the Greekes, the in- 
ventours of them, called Mglogai, as it were 
tdywv or alyowfji.m \oyoi, that is, Goteheards 
tales. — General Argument to the Sheplieards 

" Eclogue " of course is the Gk. 
ehlogS, a choice poem, a selection. So 
E. E.. his conmaentator thinks it neces- 
sary to note that Idyllia is the proper 
name for Theocritus's pastorals "and 
not, as I have heard some fondly guesse 
. . .ffcecJiZia, of theGoteheardsin them" 
( Spenser, p. 472, Glohe ed.). 

Aelmesse, > an Anglo-Saxon word 
Ai-MASSE, \ for a charitable deed, 
our "ahns," so spelt as if derived 
from cbI, fire, and mcesse, an oblation, 
the mass, " a burnt offering " (so Bos- 
worth and H. Leo), is really a corrupt 
form of L. Lat. elimosina, Gk. Elee- 
mosune, an act of pity or mercy, whence 
It. limosina, Sp. limosna, Fr. cmmone 
(almosne). This word has been pecu- 
liarly unfortunate in the treatment it 
has received at the hands of popular 
etymologists. Thus Brother Geoffrey 
the Grammarian, c. 1440, when regis- 
tering the word " almesse, or almos, Eh- 
mosina, roga " [ ? a pyre, a burnt-offer- 
ing] , vouchsafes the information that 
" Elimosina is derived from el, which 
is God, and rrwys which is water, as if 
water of Ood ; because just as water 
extinguishes fire, so alms, elimosina, 
extinguishes sin." Florio similarly 
defines It. Elimdsina, " a word com- 
posed of E'li, that is to say God, and 
Mois, that is to say water, that is to 
say Alms or water of God to wash 
sinnes away." " Elimosiniere, an Al- 
moner, a giuer of almes or Gods water." 

In Mid. High. German the word 
(Ger. almosen) takes the form of almu- 
osen, as if containing al and nvuos 
(pap, food), and sometinaes oi arnvuosen, 
as if from a/rm, poor-food. 

Aerolite, a corrupt spelling of aero- 
lith, air-stone, from the Greek lithos, a 
stone, just as chrysolite is for chrysolith, 
" gold-stone," from a desire probably 
to assimilate these words to others 
terminating in ite, such as anthracite, 
malachite, &c. So coproUte for co- 

Aeey, > in old Eng. also spelt " aire, 
AiEEY, 5 cdry, a Nest of Hawks 
or other birds of prey " (Bailey), 
Low Lat. aerea, a nest (Spelman, Olos- 
scuriurn), as if so called from the amy 
or aerial height at which the eagle 
builds (Lat. aereus, 1 airy, 2 elevated), 
is derived from Fr. aire, an eagle's nest, 
airerto make a nest oi airy (Cotgrave). 
See AiB. 

An eagle o'er his aiery tow'rs 
To souae annoyance that comes near his 
Shakespeare, King John, act v. ec. 2. 


( 5 ) 


Another frequent corruption is eyrie, 
eyerie, as if for ey-ry (old Eng. eij, an 
egg), i. e. egg-ery, a collection of eggs. 

Afford, so spelt as if connected with 
Fr. affm-er, affeurer, is a corruption of 
old Eng. iforiien of the same meaning, 
cf. geforiian, to further or help 
(Morris), avorthi in Bp. Pecock. 

Do l^ine elmesse of J?on Jiet Jju maht 
ifoi'^ien. — Old Eng. Homiiies, 1st ser. p. 37 
(E. E. T. S.). 

See Oliphant, Old and Mid. English, 
p. 179. 

Aghast, so spelt from a mistaken 
analogy with ghastly, " ghost-Uke," is 
an incorrect form of old Eng. agasf, a 
participial form from A. Sax. egesian, 
to ternfy, Goth, usgaisjan, from A. 
Sax. egesa, ege, " awe," fear, Goth. 

J)e deouel schal set agesten ham. 

Ancren Riwte (1225), p. 212. 
Wallace ■was spedy and gi-etlye als agast. 
Henry the Minstrel, Wallace, Bk. i.I. 230 
(ab. 1461). 
Of euery noyse so was the -wi'etch agast. 
Sir Thos. Wiat, Satires, i. 1. 39 (ab. 1540). 
There sail ane Angell blawe a blast 
Quhilk sail mak all the warld agast. 
Sir D. Lindsey, The Mimarche, Bk, iv. 1. 
5586 (1552). 

Another corrupt spelling is agazed, 
as if to imply standing at gaze, with 
eyes fixed and paralyzed with fear. 

As ankerd fast my sprites doe all resorte 
To stand agazed, and sinke in more and 
Lord Surrey, Songes and Sonnettes, 1557. 
The French exclaim'd, The deril was in 
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him. 
Shakespeare, Hen. VI. Pt. I. i. 3. 

See ho'wever Prof. Skeat, Etym. Diet. 
s. V. 

Agnail. This word in aU prohabUity 
has nothing to do, as its present form 
woiild suggest, with the naAls of the 
fingers (A. Sax. angnagl(1), pain-nail). 
It was formerly spelt agnel, agnayle, 
angnayle, and denoted a corn on the 
toe, or generally any hard sweUing. 
It is doubtless the same word as Fr. 
angonailles, botchis, (pockie) bumps, 
or sores (Cotgrave), It. anguinaglia, a 
blain on the groin, " also a disease in 
the inside of a horse's hinder legs," 
(Plorio). AngmnagUa, as Diaz shows. 

is for inguinalia, a disease or affliction 
of inguine, Lat. inguen, the groin or 
flank (Sp. engle, Pr. aine). 

Palsgrave (1530) has " agnayle upon 
one's too," and Turner, Herbal, speaks 
of " angnaijlles and such hard swel- 
linges," Florio of " agnels, wartles, 
almonds, or kernels growing behind 
the eares and in the necke " (s. v. 
Pdno) . 

The inner flesh or pulp [of a Gourd] is 
passing good for to be applied to the agnels 
or corns of the feet. — Holland, Pliny's Nat. 
Hist. ii. 36 (1634). 

Frouelle, An Agnell, pin, or warnell in 
the the [? toe]. — Cotgrave (ed. 1660). 

Agassin, A corn or agnele in the feet or 
toes. — Id. 

Ghiandole, Agnels, wartles, or kernels in 
the thi'oat. — Florio. 

AiE, word for a person's mien, 
manner, or deportment (Fr. air. It. 
aria), as if the subtle atmosphere, or 
aura, which envelopes one and ema- 
nates from his idiosyncrasy, is a con- 
fusion of " air " := Lat. aer, with quite 
a distinct word, Old Fr. aire, family, 
breeding, natural disposition. This 
aire, derived from Lat. area, seems to 
have gone through the transitions of 
meaning : (1) a space of ground for 
building, (2) a dwelling or nest (whence 
our airy, or eyry, an eagle's nest), (8) 
race, family, disposition, quality. So 
old Eng. debonaire, good-natured, Fr. 
debonnaire, was originally apphed to 
" un fauoon de bonne air," of a good 
nest, i. e. breed or strain — well bred 
and consequently well conditioned. 

See Littre, Histoire de la Langue 
Frangadse, tom. i. p. 61. 

Prof. Skeat thinks that L. Lat. area, 
an eyrie, is itself only a corrupted form 
of Icel. wra-hreiir, " eagle's-nest " 
{Etym. Diet. p. 10). 

AiEBELL, a name for the Campanula 
rotund/ifolia, is corrupted from the 
commoner name Hairhell. The old 
forms of this word are Ha/re bell and 
Hare's bell (Britten and Holland, Eng. 
Flant-Names, p. 34). 

Akehoene, an old mis-speUing of 
acorn (Urry, Ghaucer, p. 364). Other 
old forms of the word are ahernel, 
akeron, akker, akkern, akran, and 
akyr (Britten and HoUand, Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 9). See AcoKN. 


( 6 ) 


Akerspiee, "J provincial words, 

AcEESPiEE, >• meaning to sprout or 

AcKEESPEiT, J germinate, corrupt 
forms of acrospyre (from Greek akros 
and speira) to shoot at the extremity. 

They let their malt akerspire. — Regiam 
Majestatem, p. 293 (Wright). 

A more corrupt form hechlespire is 
found in some counties. 

Alacompane, an old name for the 
plant Inula Helenium (BuHein, Booh 
of Simples), as if from a French a la 
compagne, is a corruption of the old 
Latin name enula campana, through 
the forms elecampane and alUcampane, 
used in Cheshire. (See Britten and 
Holland, Eng. Plant-Names, p. 11.) 

Albatross, as if connected with Lat. 
alhus, white, is corrupted from the older 
form alcatraz (e. g. in The Mirror for 
Magistrates), which is the name of the 
bird in Portuguese and Spanish. 

" Alcatraz, a kind of fowle like a 
seamew " (Minshew), old Fr. algatros. 
M. Devio has shown that alcatraz is the 
same word as Portg. alcatruz. Span, alca- 
duz, Arab, al-qadiis, a vessel for draw- 
ing water, having originally been given 
as a name to the pehcan, which was 
beheved to fill its huge bill with water 
and convey it to its young ones in the 
desert (Chardin). For this reason the 
pehcan is called by the Arabs sagqa, 
" the water-carrier." 

Alfin. ^ The old EngUsh name 

AwEYN. < for the piece in the game 
of chess which we now call a bishop is 
a corruption of its oriental name, 
Arabic Al-fil, " The Elephant," Persian 
Pil or JPil (compare the borrowed 
words Icel. fill, Swed., D&n.fU, an ele- 
phant). In Eussian it is called slonie, 
an elephant (vid. D. Forbes, History 
of Ghess, pp. 40, 210). 

Awfun of Jje chekar, Aljinus. — Prompto- 
rium Pm-v. c. 1440. 

Al/'yn, a msin of the chesse horde, avl/in. 
— Patigrave, 1530. 

Al-fil was assimilated in Enghsh to 
alfin, an oaf or lubber, just as fil be- 
came in O. French fol, a fool. An 
Itahan corruption is dalfino, " adolphin, 
also a Bishop at Chesse," — Florio ; Old 
French dauphin, as well as auphin, 
aufin ; compare Span, and Portg. alfil ; 
It. alfino, alfido; Low Lat. alfilus, al- 
phinus (Devic). 

All amoet, dejected, for a la mori. 

Shall he thus all amort live malcontent? 
— Greene, History of Friar Bacon, 1594. 

What, all a mart ! How doth my dainty 
Nell i.—Peele, Edward I. (1593), p. 392, ed. 

What all a mort? No meny counte- 
nance ? — Chettle, Kind Harts Dreame, 

Allan, a name in Cornwall for 
October 31st, is a curious condensation 
of Allhalloween, i. e. The Eve of Alh 
hallows or All Saints Day. 

At St. Ives, " Allan Day," as'it is termed, 
is one of the chief days in all the year to 
hundreds of children, who would deem it a 
great misfortune were tliey to go to bed on 
Allan Night without their Allan apple to hide 
beneath their pillows. A large quantity of 
apples are disposed of in this manner, the 
sale of which is termed Allan Market. — K. 
Hunt, Pop. Romajices of West of England, 
2nd Ser. p. 177. 

All and some, a very common phrase 
in old Eng. meaning all together, one 
and all. It is a corruption of alle in- 
same, all i-some, zr all together ; in- 
same, A. Sax. cet-samne, together, from 
sain, samen, together (see Notes and 
Queries, 6"' S. II. 404). 
The lady lawghed and made good game 
W'han they came owte all in-same. 

The Wright's Chaste Wife (ab. 1462) 
1. 602 (E. E. T. S.). 
[He] bade assemble in his halle, 
In Pantheon alle in-same. 

Stacuons of Rome, 1.792 (E. E. T. S.). 
Uppon holy Jjoresday J^er on his nome 
Heo weren i-gedered alle i-some. 

Castel ofLoue, 1. 1418 (ab. 1320). 
Sir, we bene heare all and some, 
As boulde men, readye bonne. 

Chester Mysteries, ii. 87 (Shaks. Soc). 
His wife tolde him, all and some, 
How Dane Hew in the morning would come. 
A Mery Jest of Vane Hew, 1. 41 (Early 
Pop. Poetry, iii. 136). 
Now stop your noses, readers, all and some. 

Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, ii. 457. 
Two hours after midnight all and some. 
Unto the hall to wait his word should come. 
W. Morris, Earihly Paradise, ii. 478. 

Allaways, the Lincolnshire word for 
the drug aloes (Peacock), assimilated 
apparently to carraways. 

Alleluia, a popular name for the 
wood-sorrel (BaUey), sometimes also 
called lujulasaiA luzula, is held by Coles, 
.Adam in Eden, 1657, and Withering, to 
be a corruption of the Italian name 
Juliola ; see, however. Julienne iufra. 


( 7 ) 


Florio (1611) has " Lwggiala, an 
hearbe very sharps in taste." 

Alley, the Lincohishire word for the 
aisle of a church, of which probably it 
is a corruption. 

Alley, a boy's marble of a superior 
description to the ordinary clay ones, 
is probably a shortened form of ala- 
iaster, of which material it is said 
(in the language of the toy to 
hare been made. 

Mr. Pickwick enquired '* whetlier lie had 
won any alley tors [? = taws] or commoneys 
lately (both of which I understand to be a 
particulai- species of mai'bles much prized by 
the youth of this town)." — Dickens, Pick- 
wick Papers, ch. xxxiv. 

Allkjatob, It. alligatore, so spelt 
as if a derivative of Lat. alliga/re, to 
bind (cf. hoa constridor), is a corruption 
of the older word alagarto, which is the 
Sp. lagarto with the article el {al) pre- 
fixed, Lat. lacerta, a hzard. However, 
if awriterin the Penny GyclopcBdia,s.y., 
be correct, lagarto is itself a corruption 
of a native Indian word legaieer. 
Ealeigh mentions alegartoes in his 
History of the World, fol. p. 150. 

Jonson spells it alligarta in Bartho- 
lomew Fair, act ii. sc. 1. Mrs. Malaprop, 
as every one knows, gave the word a 
new twist into " an allegory on the 
banks of the Nile." Fer contra, the 
lizard seemed to the Ettrick Shepherd 
a diminutive aUigator. 

There's nane [serpent] amang our mosses, 
only asks, which is a sort o' lizards, or wee 
alligators. — Nodes Ambrosian<E, vol. i. p. 145. 

All Saints' Woet, a popular name 
of the Hypericum And/roscsmum, is a 
mistaken rendering of the French name 
toute-saine (Tutsan) "AU-heal." 

Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names (B. D. Soc). 

Allyant, a variety of alieni, the old 
Enghsh spelling of alien, from a desire 
apparently to accommodate it to 
" alliant or ally, one that is in league, 
or of kindred with one (Blount, 1656), 
sc. one's enemy." 
Yonder cometh Richmond over the fflood 

with many allyants out of ifan* countrye, 
bold men of bone and blood ; 

the crowne of England chalengeth hee. 
Percy, Folio MS. vol. iii. p. 241, 1. 145-148. 

If any alyant in his absence durst aduen- 
ture him seluen to visitt or inuade, our most 
valiant realme. — Ibid. vol. i. p. 21.5, 1. 60. 

HaUiweU and Wright [in Nares] 
while quoting " Among alyoAJmtes 
[=: strangers, aUens] he had easily 
cured very many of all kyudes of dis- 
eases" [Paraphrase of Brasmus, 1548), 
confound this word with allyaunte, 
alhed, akin, in More's Utopia, 1551. 

Aliant, an ahen, occurs in Ooverdale 
(Judges xix., Jer. vhi.) and A. V. 1611 
(Job xix. 15, Lam. v. 2). 

Almeey, an old Eng. word for a 
cupboard, otherwise spelt aunwy, " a 
Cupboard for the keeping of cold and 
broken victuals " or other alms, as if 
for almonry, cf. " awmehry or a/wniery, 
Pjleemosina/i-ium " [Prompt. Parv.). It 
is the same word as Ger. aimer, quasi A. 
Sax. almerige, Sp. almario and armaria. 
Low Lat. alma/>'ia, armaria, Pr. 
a/rmoire; all (according to Diez) from 
Latin arma/rium, a chest for holding 

Almari] or almery, Almarium. — Prompt, 

Almery of mete kepynge, or a saue for 
mete. Cibutum. — Ibid. 

Almery, aumbry, to put meats in, unes 
ahnoires. — Palsgrave. 

Almond, is derived from Er. amande, 
Proven9al amanda, and these from 
dmandola, which was supposed to be a 
diminutival form, but really represen- 
ted the TiHtiD. amygdala {&k.. ajj,iySa\.ti). 
The etymologieally correct form would 
be something Uke amandel, cf. It. 
mandola, Ger. mandel. See Date. 

So the French ange has been formed 
from cmg-el by dispensing vidth the 
supposed diminutival termination el 
{PMlog. Soc. Proc. vi. 41). 

Alpine, a Cheshire name for the 
plant Sedmm Telephium, is a corruption 
of Orpine (Britten and Holland, Eng. 
Plant-Names, p. 12, E. D. Soc), Fr. 
orpin, contracted from orpinnent, which 
is from Lat. auripigmentum, with 
allusion to the golden- coloured flowers 
of one species. 

All-plaistee, a provincial corrup- 
tion of alabaster (Yorkshire), which in 
old Enghsh is frequently spelt ala- 
hlaster. cf. Yallow-plastee, infra. 
Her alahlaster brest she soft did kis. 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, Bk. III. 2, xlii. 

Ambebgeeasb, a corruption of Fr. 
ambregris. Grey amber [gris amber. 





Milton, Pa/r. Reg. ii. 344). So verdi- 
grease for vert-de-gris. 

Jacobus de Dondis, the Aggregator, 
repeats ambergreese, nutmegs, and all spice 
amongst the rest. — Burtatij Anatomy of 
Melancholy, 16th ed. p. 436. 

A mass of this Ambergreese was about the 
third year of Kintf Charles found in this 
county [Cornwall] at low water. — Fuller, 
Worthies of England, rol. i. p. 206 (ed. 

A fat nightingale well season 'd with pep- 
per and ambergrease. — S. Marmion, The 
Antiquary, act iv. so. 1 (1641). 

Ambey, \ a cupboard or pantry, is 
Aumbry, j the Fr. armoire, origin- 
ally achestinwhicliarmswere kept. The 
word was sometimes spelt almery, and 
being appHed to the general receptacle 
of broken meat such as would be given 
in ahns, was confounded with quite a 
different word, aunvry or almomry, the 
oflice or pantry of the aivmhrere, 
awmnere, or almoner, the alms dis- 
penser. Wedgwood. 

Amoeeide, ) old Scotch corruptions 

Emebant, S of the word emerald, 
O. Eng. emeraud. The EngUsh word 
traces its origin to Gk. sma/ragdos, 
ma/ragdos, which may be the same 
word as Sansk. marakata, a beryl, 
(Piirst), cf. Heb. hareheth, a beryl. (See 
Spealcer's Commenia/i-y, Ex. xxviii. 17.) 

Ampeezand, an old name for " &," 
formerly &, the contracted sign of ei 
(:=and); the Criss-Cross row of the 
old horn-books commonly ending in 
X, y, ji, &c, 6f . These final characters 
were read " et cetera," "etper se, and." 
When the modem & was substituted for 
6f, this came to be read " and per se, 
and," of which amperzand, ampus-and, 
ampassy, are corruptions. Similarly 
the letters A, I, 0, when standing by 
themselves as words, were read in 
speUing lessons " A per se, A," " I per 
se, I." Chaucer calls Creseide " the 
floureaud aperse of Troie and Grece." 

But he observed in apology that it [z] 
was a letteryou never wanted hardly, nud he 
thought it had only been put there to ffnish 
ofi'th' alphabet like, though ampus-and would 
ha' done as well, for what he could see." — 
Adam Bede, ch. xxi. p. 205. 

In the Holdemess dialect, E. York- 
shire, it is called parseyand. See And- 
PUSSY-AND, infra. 

Anbebry, or anlxiry or amhury. 

A kind of wen, or spongy wart, growing 
upon any part of a horse s body, full of 
blood. — The Sportsman's Dictionary, 1785. 

Lincolnshire nanberry, from A. Sax. 
ampre, a swollen vein, which still sur- 
vives in the Dialects of Essex and the 
East counties as amper, and in the 
South-Eastem counties as ampery, de- 
cayed, unhealthy (Wright, Proinndal 

\fri ampres were an mancyn ler his to-cyme 
[i.e. three blemishes were m mankind before 
His coming]. — Old. Eng. Homilies, XII. Cent. 
1 Ser. p. 237 (ed. Blorris). 

Ampre may possibly be connected 
-with old Eng. ample, ampulle, a 
globular vessel, Lat. ampulla, some- 
thing inflated. Of. Er. ampoule, a 
small blister, wheal, powke, or rising 
of the skin (Ootgrave). 

Anchovy owes its present form to a 
mistaken notion that anchovies or 
anchoveys was a plural, whereas our 
forefathers used formerly to speak of 
" an anchoveyes." 

Acciuga, a fish like a Sprat called Anchioues. 
— Florio, New JVorld of Words, 1611. 

Anchoyh, ou Anchoies, The fish Anchoveyes. 
— Cotgrave. 

Anchoves (fish). Anchou, anchoies, 
anchoyes (poisson). — Sherwood, English- 
French Diet. 1660. 

We received the word probably from 
the Dutch, who call the fish anchovis ; 
but compare Fr. ancJwis, Portg. an- 
cJiova, &c. 

Ancient, an old and frequent cor- 
ruption of ensign, Fr. ensigne, Lat. 
insignia, denoting (1) a flag or banner. 

full of holes, like a shot ancient. — The 
Puritan, i. 2. 

It was a spectacle extremely delightful to 
behold the Jacks, the pendants, and the 
ancients sporting in the wind. — Don Quixote, 
p. 669 (ed. 1687). 

(2) a standard-bearer. 

'Tis one lago, ancient to the general. 

Othello, ii. 4. 
Master, Master, see you yonder faii-e ancyent ? 
Yonder is the serpent & the serpent's 
head. ^ 

Percy, Folio MS. vol. i. p. 303. 1. 77. 
"Enseigm, An Ensigne, Auntient, 
Standard bearer." — Cotgi-ave. 

Enseigne, it vfo^A^. appear, was con- 
founded with ancien. 

This is Othello's ancient, as I take it. 

Othello, actv. sc. 1. 



Andiron, whatever be the origin of 
this word, iron probably is no real part 
of it, as we see by comparing the old 
foi-ms au"nder7}s {Fronvpiorium, 1440), 
aiondyern (Palsgrave, 1530), andyar 
(Horman, 1519), old Fr. andder, andin, 
Low Lat. andcna, anderius. 

Further corruptions are Endieons 
and Handikons. 

And-pussey-and, -j Printers' names 
Ampds-and, J for the character 

Ampeezand, j &, are corrup- 

tions of the old expression, " and per 
se, and," applied to it, I believe, in the 

The pen commandeth only twenty-six 
letters, it can only rang-e between A and Z ; 
these are its limits — 1 had forgotten and- 
pussey-and! — Southey. Letters, vol. i. p. 

Popular etymologizing has busied 
itself here to some purpose. 

The sign & is said to be properly called 
Emperor's Hand, from having been first in- 
vented by some imperial personage, but by 
whom the deponent saith not. It is com- 
monly con'upted into Q] Ampazad, Zumpy 
Zed, Ann Passy Ann. — TThe Monthly Packet, 
vol. XXX. p. 448. 

The character was also sometimes 
called anpasty, anpassy, anpa/rse 
(Wright), i.e. "and per se." 

Angbl-touohe, an 0. Eng. name for 
the earth-worm, is said by Nares to be 
from the French anguille. More pro- 
bably it is the twitch (A. Sax. twicce), 
or worm for angling with. (See Fhilo- 
logical Transactions for 1858, p. 98.) 

I made thee twine like an angle-twitch. 
— Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire Courtship, p. 28. 

Tagwormes which the Cornish English 
terme angle-touches. — Carew (^Couch, E. Corn- 
wall Glossary). 

Angee nails, a Cumberland word for 
jags round the nails, as if connected 
with angry, in the sense of inflamed 
(Dickinson, Gumberland Glossary, E. D. 
Soc.) is a corruption of ang-nails. See 
Agnails supra. 

Angle-dog, in Prov. English a large 
earth worm, is a corruption of A. Sax. 

Ankye, a borrowed word for a " re- 
cluse, Anacliorita" (Prompt. Parv.), Gk. 
anadioretes (awithdrawer, aherinit), in 
old Eng. and A. Sax. ancer, has been 
assimilated, regardless of meaning, to 

the word " amltyr of a shyppe, Aneora," 
A. Sax. ancer. The A. Sax. word was 
probably regarded as a compound of 
an, alone, and cerran (=versari), as if 
one who hves alone (qui solus versatur), 
like Gk. mdnachos ("monk"). Bos- 
worth actually ranges dneer as a deri- 
vative under an, one, alone. 

A curious piece of popular etjrmology 
is given in the Anoren Biwle, ab. 1225. 

For J)i . is ancre icleoped ancre, & under 
chirche iancred ase ancre under schipes 
borde, uorte holden J)'et schip, \>et uSen ne 
stormes hit ne ouerworpen. Al so al holi 
chirche, ^et is schip icleoped, schal ancren 
oSer ancre ]>et hit so holde, j>et tea deofles 
puffes, Jjst beoS temptaciuns, hit ne ouer- 
worpe. (P. 142.) 

[i.e. For this (reason) is an anchoress called 
an anchoress, and anchored under the church, 
as an anchor under a ship's board, for to hold 
that ship, that waves or storms may not over- 
throw it. Even so all holy church, which is 
called a ship, shall anchoresses, or the anchor, 
so hold, that the devil's puffs, which are 
temptations, may not overthrow it.] 

Lady Fayth ... is no Ankers, shee dwels 
not alone. 

Latinmv, Sermons, p. 58 verso. 

Anny seed, a corrupted form of 
anise seed, quoted by Dr. Prior from 
The Englishman's Doctor. 

The Promptoriwm Pa/rvulorum has 
" Aneys seede or spyce, Anetum, ani- 
sum " (o. 1440). 

Anointed, in provincial Eng. em- 
ployed to denote a worthless, reprobate, 
good-for-nothing feUow, e.g. "He's 
an anointed youth," in the Cleveland 
dialect nointed, has generally been un- 
derstood to be a perverted usage of the 
ordinary word, as if it meant conse- 
crated, set apart, or destined to evU 
courses and an evil end. (So Mr. 
Atkinson, Glossary, s. v.) 

It is, without doubt, a corruption of 
the French anoiente (Eoquefort) , another 
form of aneanti, brought to nothing, 
worthless, good for nothing. Wichf 
has anyntische, anentysch, to bring to 
nought, destroy (Ps. Ixxiv. 9, &c.) 

Another guess, meaning different, 
of another description, dissimilar, is a 
corruption of the older phrase another 
gates, or other gates, i.e. other ways. 
Compare Scot, this gate, this way, 


( 10 ) 


This will never fail 
Wi' them that this gate wooes them. 
Ramsayj Christ^s Kirk on the Green, 
canto ii. 
Our race to heaven [is] another gates 
business. — Frank, Sermons, vol. i. p. 436. 

His bringing up [requii-es] another gates 
marriage than such a minion.— LiH^, Mother 
Bombie, act i. sc. 3. 

He would have tickled you othergates 
than he did.— Twelfth Night, v. 1. 

Hudibras, about to enter 
Upon another gates adventure, 
To Ralpho cali'd aloud to arm. 

Butler, Hudibras, Pt. I. canto iii. 
This is quite another-guess sort of a place 
than it was when I iirst took it, my lord. — 
The Clandestine Marriage. 

You bean't given to malting of a morn- 
ing — more's the pity — you would be another 
guess sort of a man if you were. — Tales by a 
Barrister, vol. ii. p. 353 (1844). 

Her's another gess 'oman than Dame. — 
Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire Coartship, p. 12. 

My lady Isabella is of another guess mould 
than you take her for. — Horace IValpole, 
Castle of' Otranto, ch. ii. 
So Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield, ch. xix. 
I am constrained to make another giiesse 
divertisement. — Comical History of Francion, 

1 co'd make othergess musick with them. 
— Flecknoe, Love's Kingdom, 1664. 

Wolfe BaiTington came. Quite another 
guess sort of pupil. — The Argosy, Dec. 1870, 
p. 447. 

Somewliat similarly "any Mndest 
thing," is a Devonshire phrase for 
" any hind-is thing " (an old genitive, 
A. Sax. cynnes), and so oldEng. allcins, 
no Icennes, nonkyns, &c. 

Anthymn. Johnson's amended spell- 
ing of anthem, as if a hymn sung in 
parts or responsively {anti). It is so 
written by Barrow. The old forms 
are antem, anteme, antempne, antephne, 
A. Sax. aniefn, from Lat. and Greek 
antiphona, It. and Sp. antifona. (Vide 
Blunt, Annotated Booh of Common 
Prayer, p. Ixii.) 

Fr, antienne, an antem. — Cotgrave, 
Hymnes that are song interchangeably 
in the Church, commonly called Antemes. — 
Hanmer, Translation of Socrates, 1636. 

A volume that has run through 
many editions (SuUivan's Dictionary of 
Derivations) actually gives as the origin 
anti and hymnus, alleging the following 
passage from Bacon in support of it, 
" Several! quires, placed one over 
against another, and taking the voices 

by catches, antJieme-toise, gave grSat 

On Sondaies and holidaies masse of the 
day, besides our Ladymasae, and an an- 
thempne in the afternoone. — Ordinaunces 
made for the Kinges [Hen. VIII. 's] household, 

Efter hire vine hexte blissen tel in ]je 
antefnes. — Ancren Riwle (ab. 1225), p. 42. 

" After her live highest joys count in the 
anthems," where another MS. has anlempnes, 

Antient, a frequent mis-spelling, as 
if connected with Lat. antiqims, of 
ancient, which is a derivative of Fr. 
ancien, 0. Fr. aingois. It. anziano, Sp. 
andano, Prov. anoian, all from Lat. 
ante ipsiim (Diez). It is the customary 
form in vsrriters of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 

So in this last and lewdest age 
Thy antient love on some may shine. 
Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, 1650. 

It must have been by a slip of the 
pen that such an orthographical purist 
as Archbishop Trench speaks of " the 
antient world" in his latest work 
(Medioival Church History, p. 393), as 
he elsewhere always uses the spelling 
" ancient." 

Anti-masque, so spelt as if denoting 
an interlude opposed {anti) as a foil or 
contrast to the more serious masgue, 
was perhaps originally antieh-niasque, 
a form put by Ben Jonson into the 
mouths of two of his characters. Bacon 
in his Essay Of Masques and Triumphs 
(1625), says of Anti- Masques, 

They haue been commonly of Fooles, 
Satyi'es, Eaboones, Wilde-men, Antiques 
(p. 540, ed. Arber). 

And Wright quotes antick =: an anti- 
masque from Ford. 

Sir, all our request is, since we are come, 
we may be admitted if not for a masque for 
an antie-masque . — Jonson, The Masque of 
Augurs (1622), p. 631, Works (ed. Moxon). 

Sir, all de better vor an antic-mask, de 
more absurd it be, and vrom de purpose, it 
be ever all de better.^id. p. 632. 

Anxious, Baebakous, &c., a mis- 
spelling of anxius, barha/rus, to bring 
them into conformity with such words 
as glorious, famous, odious, &c. {glorio- 
sus, famosus, oddosus). 

Appaeent, in the phrase " heir ap- 
parent"," would seem naturally to mean 
the manifest, evident, and unques- 
tioned heir, Lat. apparens. 


( 11 ) 


Fabyan, however, writes it "heir 
paraimt," which Eichardson thinks is 
for paravaunt, Pr. paravant, before, in 
front (like pa/raunter for paraveniv/re). 
He imderstands apparent, therefore, to 
be from old Fr. aupa/ravant, meaning 
the heir who stands foremost, or first 
in the order of succession. So Spenser 
speaks of one of the Graces. 

That in the midst was placed paravaunt. 
Faerie Queene, VI. 10. xv. 

In the Alliteraiwe Poems (XIV. cent.) 
Sodom is described 

As aparamit to paradis J^at plantted \>e 
drystyn.— B. I. 1007. 

It may, however, only mean next of 
kin ; compare Fr. apparenU (from 
parens) of Kin, or neer Kinsman, 
unto. — Cotgrave. 

Apple-pie, in the phrase " Apple-pie 
order," seems to be a poptdar corrup- 
tion of cap-d-pie (Fr. d-e pied en cap), 
with reference to the complete equip- 
ment of a soldier fully caparisoned 
from head to foot. The apple-pie bed 
of schoolboys is an arrangement of the 
sheets by which head and foot are 
brought close together. 

Take an Englishman Capa pea, from head 
to foot, every member he hath is Dutch. — 
Howell, Instructions/or Forrein Traveil, 1642, 
p. 58 (ed. Arber). 

Appleplexy, a vulgar corruption of 
apoplexy. Pohsh in The Magnetic Lady, 
iii. 3, turns it into happyplex. 

But there's Sir Moth, your brother, 
Is fallen into a fit o' the happyplex. 

Ben Joiisoii, Works, p. 448 (ed. Moxon). 

Arbour, so spelt as if it described a 
bower formed by trees (Lat. a/rbor, a 
tree). Sydney, for instance, speaks of 
" a fine close a/rbor " — 

It was octrees whose branches so interlaced 
each other that it could resist the strongest 
Tiolence of eye-sight. — Arcadia [in Richard- 

It is really a corruption of harbour, 
oldEng. herberwe, though the two words 
are distinguished in the following : — 

To seek new-refuge in more secret harbors 
Among the dark shade of those tufting arbors. 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, 1621, p. 194. 

They have gardens . . . with their barbers 
and bowers fit for the purpose. — Stubbes, Ana- 
tomie of Abuses, 1593. 

Wynter, all thy desyre is the belly to fyll : 
Betf were to be in a grene herber, where one 
may have his wyll. 
Debate betwene Somer and Wynter, I. 58. 

An older form of the word is erba/r 
or herber, which was used sometimes 
in the sense of a bower, sometimes in 
that of a garden, e. g. " Erba/re, 
Herbarium." — Prompt. Parvulorum, c. 

Of swuche flures make J;u his herboruwe 
wiSinnen i>e suluen. — Ancren Riwle (ab. 
lT2i), p. 340. 

" Of such flowers make thou his bower (or 
lodging) within thy self." The Latin version 
here has herbarium. 

AKCHANaELL, appears in company 
with various other birds in the Bomaunt 
of the Rose (1. 915), " With finch, with 
larke, and with archangell," and trans- 
lates the French mesange (also 7iia/renge) 
a titmouse or tithng. — Cotgrave. 

The word was perhaps interpreted 
to be compounded of mes ( = pins) and 
ange, an angel. It is really a corrupted 
form of the Low German meeseke, 
Picardian maisaAngue, Icel. meisingr. 
Other forms are old Fr. masange, 
"Wallach. masenge, Eouchi masinque. 

This corruption was the more 
natural from birds being often called 
angels by old authors in accordance 
with the saying of Thomas Aquinas 
" Ubi aves ibi angeli : " e. g. wa/riangle, 
an old Eng. name for the shrike or 
butcher-bird, Ger. wurgengel, i.e. the 
worrying or destroying angel (vid. 
Cotgrave, s. v. Ancrouelle) ; Ger. 
engelchen (httle angel), the siskin. 
Similarly G. Macdonald calls a butter- 
fly "the flower-angel" {The Seaboard 
Pa/rish, p. 414). Compare 

The dear good angel of the spring, the night- 

Ben Jonson, Sad Shepherd, ii. 2. 

And aerie birds like angels ever sing. 
Barnabe Barnes, Spiritual Sonnets, x. 

Not an angel of the au'e, 
Bird melodious or bird faire, 
[Be] absent hence. 
The Two Noble Kinsmen, i. 1. 1. 16 (1634). 

See Littledale's note in loco, and Prof. 
Skeat's note on Vision of Piers Plow- 
man, xviii. 24, 33, where he traces the 
idea of the excellence of birds to the 
expression " volucres cceli," the birds 
of heaven, Matt. vui. 20. 


( 12 ) 


Aechichocke, aB old mis-spelling of 
a/rticholce (Turner, Herbal, 1551-1568), 
as if compounded with Gk. a/rchi. 

" Artichoke " is itself a corrupted 
form of Fr. artichaut, Sp. artichofa. It. 
articiocco, from Gk. a/rtutilid, heads of 
artichoke (Devic). But compare the 
Arabian al cha/rsjof, Sp. alccurchofa 
(Dozy, Scheler), or Arab, al hhwrcMf, 
as Engelmann transcribes it. 

The latter part of the word has been 
sometimes understood to refer to the 
core of the vegetable, which is likely to 
stick in the thi-oat, and is in Lincoln- 
shire called the cliodk. 

It was sometimes spelt hoA-tichoake, 
Oring'oes, hartwhoakes, potatoe pies, 
Provocatives unto their luxuries. 
The Young GatUinis Whirligigg, 1629. 

Low. Lat. corruptions are a/rticadus 
and wrticodus. 

Akchimasteyb, an old corruption 
of alchenvistry in Norton's OrcKnall of 
AlcJieme, as if the chief of moAstries 
or " arch-mystery " (see Mysteby). Old 
Eng. alTcamistre, Old Fr. a/rquemie. 
Maisti'yefull, mei*veylous and Archimastrye 
Is the tincture of holi Alkimy • 
A wonderful! science, secrete Philosophie. 
Ashmote, Theatrvm Chemicum Brit. p. 13. 

In the Proheme to his curious poem 
Norton says : — 

This Boke to an Alchimister wise 
Is a Boke of incomparable price. 

Op. Cit. p. 8. 

Plorio gives " Archvnvisia, an alchi- 
mist," and Ardiimia for Alddmia. 
New World of Words, 1611. 

Fuller says that Alasco, a Pole, 

Souf;ht to repair his fortunes by associat- 
ing- himself with these two Arch-chemists of 
England [viz. Dr. Dee and Kelley, the 
Alchemists].' — Worthies of England, vol. ii. 
p. 473 (ed. 1811). 

Aegosy, a ship, a merchant-vessel, 
is a corruption of Ragosine, i. e. a Vessel 
of Bagosa or Bagusa, influenced pro- 
bably by the classical Argo in which 
Jason went in search of the golden 
fleece. The old Fr. argousin, the 
lieutenant of a galley (Cotgrave), which 
wotdd seem to be connected, is the 
same word as It. aguzzitio, and a cor- 
ruption of alguazil, Sp. alguadl, Arab. 
al-wazir, the vizier (Devic). 

Your argosies with portly sail . . . 

Do overpeer the petty traffickers, 

That cui'tsy to them. 

Merchant of Venice, i. 1. 1. 9. 

See, however, Douce, Illustrat'ions, 
in loco. 

Aek, recently used for citadel or 
stronghold, as if identical with arlc, a 
place of safety (Lat. area), is a corrup- 
tion of Lat. arx (arcs), a defence, bul- 
wark (from a/rcco, to keep off), seem- 
ingly mistaken for a plural. 

Lord Hartington said that he had no infor- 
mation concerning the defences of Candahar; 
but it is well known that its ark, or citadel, is 
naturally untenable against artillery. — The 
Standard, July 30, 1880. 

Aembeust, a corruption of arialest, 
arblast ; cf. old Dan. arhurst, Icel. 
arm-hrysti, a cross-bow, Ger. a/rmhrust, 
as if an arm fired from the breast 

Aeow-blastb, ) an old spelling of 

Aeweblast, 1 the word arhlasi, 
arbalest {a/rcu-balista, bow-catapult), a 
cross-bow, as if derived from the old 
Eng. word a/rwe, an arrow, and blast, 
to expel forcibly. Arow-blasters is 
Wyoliffe's word for crossbowmen, 2 
Kings, viii. 18. 

The form all-hlaiosters occurs in 
Morte Arthure, 1. 2426 (c. 1440, E. E. 
T. S. ed.), aireblast (air-blast!) in 
WilUam of Palerne, 1. 268. 

Aequebuss, It. arrcliibuso, a/rcobugia, 
is the Dutch haech-busse or haech-buyse, 
Dan. hage-bosse, Get. hahenbiidise, L e. 
a gun, iusse, Ger. biichse, fired from a 
hooked or forked rest, haedc, hage, 
haken. The word when borrowed was 
altered in form so as to convey a mean- 
ing in the vernacular, as if a derivative 
from a/rco, Lat. a/rcus, a bow. Hence 
the words a/rcobugia, Fr. a/rquebus, 
Eng. a/rqaebuss. Sir S. D. Scott, how- 
ever, thinks that the word was origi- 
nally a/rc-et-bus, " bow and barrel " 
(Dutch bus. Low Ger. busse) in one 
{The British Army, vol. ii. p. 262), and 
so Zedler. It was sometimes called 
the arquebus a croc (Scott, p. 268). 
See also Speknan, Glossary, s. v. Bom- 

Aeeant, thorough, downright, noto- 
rious, as apphed to a knave or a fool, 
seems to be the same word as old Eng. 
and Scot, a/i-gh, arch, Scot, arrow, A. 
Sax. ean-g, cowardly, Dan. arrig, arrant, 
rank, Ger. a/rg, Icel. argr, a coward 
(cf. Gk. M-gos, idle, lazy), conformed 


( 13 ) 


to old Eng. mrant, errawnt, wandering 
about, vagabond. Low Lat. cvrga was a 
contemptuous term for a stupid, lazy, 
or mean-spirited person. — Spehnan, 
Glossariuin, s. v. 

Pusillanimitas, J)et is, to poure iheorted, 
& to arch mid alle eni heih Jnng to underni- 
meu. — Ancren Riwle (ab. 1225), p. 202 
(MS. C). 

Pusillanimity, that is, too poor hearted 
and too cowai'dly withal any high thing to 

Dotterel. So do I, sweet mistress, or I am 
an errant fool. — May, The Old Couple, iv. 1 

Old Eng. wrgh, wfwe, cowardly, lazy, 
Scot, arrow, A. Sax, earg, Gk. drgos 
(a-ergos, not working), curiously cor- 
respond to arrow, the swift dart, O. 
Eng. a/rwe, A. Sax. earh, from earh, 
earg = Gk. drgos, sioift. 

Aeeow-boot. The first part of the 
word is said to be a corruption of ara, 
the native name of the plant which 
yields this substance and grows in the 
West Indies. Arrow-root is also a popu- 
lar name for the arum (maculatum), of 
which perhaps it is a corruption, thotigh 
a kind of starch resembling arrow-root 
is actually made from its tubers. As a 
Suffolk name for the Achillea MillA- 
foUum, it is a perversion of ^/arrow-root, 
just as Green arrow is of Green yairrow 
(Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 17). 

Aesmetbick, a common old spelling 
(it is found in Lydgate and Chaucer) 
of the word arithmetic, as if it were the 
metric art. The Low Lat. form a/ris- 
metica is probably from It. (vrismus, 
risma, for Gk. arithmds (number). Cf. 
Sp. resnia, Fr. rame, Eng. " ream." 
Arsmetrike is a lore : jput of figours al is 
fit of drau3tes as me drawe]> in poudre : & in 
numbre iwis. 

S. Edmund Confessor, 1. 224 (ab. 130.5).— 
{Phitolog. Soc. Trans. 1858, p. 77.) 

Aethue's Wain, an old popular name 
for the constellation of the Great Bear, 
has arisen, in all probability, from a 
confusion of Arthur, Keltic Arth, Art, 
Arthwys [ai.Ard, high), the name of the 
legendary British prince, with Welsh 
arth, a bear, Irish a/rt, the same word 
as Lat. a/rctus, Gk. a/rhtos, a bear,, 
especially the constellation so-called 
(whence our "arctic"), Sansk. nX-s7ia, 

(1) the bright, (2) a bear, (3) Ursa 
Major. Cf. Welsh alban arthan, the 
winter solstice ; Arab, duhh, a bear, the 
constellation. In particular, Arcturus 
(Gk. Arhiouros, the Bear-guard, a star 
ia Bootes) would readily merge into 
ArtUurus. Gawin Douglas caUs it 
Arthurys-hufe . 

Arthur's slow wain rolling his course round 
the pole.— Yonge, Hist, of Christian Names, 
ii. 12j. 

Similarly the Northern Lights were 
sometimes called " Arthm-'s Host." 

Arthur has long ago been suspected of 
haying been originally the Great Bear or the 
bright star in his tail. — Quarterly Review, ro\. 
91, p. 299. 

Sir John Davies writing on the ac- 
cession of Charles I., says : — 
Charles, which now in Arthure's seate doth 

Is our Arcturus, and doth guide the waine. 

Poems, vol. ii. p. 237 (ed. Grosart). 

Aetogeapye, an old speUing of or- 
thography, as if compounded with art. 
How spellest thou this word Tom Couper 
In trewe artograjue. 

Interlude of the tour Elements (Percy Soc), 
p. 37. 

AsHOEE, a West country word for a- 
jajr, i.e. on the jar (the phrase which so 
perplexed Mr. Justice Stareleigh), A. 
Sax. on cerre, Old Scot, on cha/r, on the 

A Wiltshire girl I have heard ask 
her mistress, " Shall I leave the door 
ashore, mam ? " 

Ask, a provincial word apphed espe- 
cially to keen biting winds, or Hash 
(pronounced ash) in the Holdemess 
dialect, E. Yorkshire, stiff, bitter, tart, 
is Icel. hashr, "harsh." 

Aspect, an incorrect Scottish form 
of aspicTc, IJ'r. aspic the asp {Jamieson). 

Aspio, a term of cookery for a species 
of jelly served as a condiment with 
dishes, Pr. aspic (as if from being cold 
as a snake or aspio ! — Littre), was so 
called from having been originally 
made with espic, or spihes of lavender, 
as one of its ingredients. — Kettner, 
Book of the Table, p. 47. 

Aspic, the herbe Spickenard or Lavander 
Spike. — Cotgrave. 

Ass-PAESLEY, ) a popular name 
AssE-PEESELiB, j for the plant 


( 14 ) 


chervil. The first part of the com- 
pound is probably a corruption of old 
Eng. and Fr. ache, parsley, such pleo- 
nasms being not uncommon. — Britten 
and Holland, Ung. Plant-Names, 
p. 19. 

WiJ) alisaundre J>areto ache & anys. 
Bdddeker, AUeng. Dichtungen, p. 145, 1. 14. 
AsTEE, } an old corruption of 
AsTun, J Easter, owing to a false 
derivation explained iu the following 
quotation from Mirk's Festival of 
Englyssche Sermones. 

Hit is called astur day ... for welnyg in 
y ch place hit is )>e maner to do J>e fyre owte of 
\>e halle at J)is day, and J>e astur )><■ hath be 
alle \>e wyntur brand w' fyre and baked 
wt smoke, hit schall be J>i3 day araed w' grene 
rysshes and sote flowrus. 

Aster, also spelt astir, aistre, and 
eatre, is an old Eng. word for a hearth 
or fire-place, O. Fr. aistre, L. Lat. 

So b' ye mowe w' a clene concienoe on 
astur day receyue |je clene body of owre 
Lorde Ihu criste. — Festiall of Englysshe 
Sennones. See Hampson, Med. Aevi Kalend. 
vol. ii. p. 24. 

Two otherpopular etymologies of the 
word are given in the Old EngUsh Homi- 
Ues edited by Dr. E.Morris, "}jis daiis 
cleped estrene dai, fiat is a/ristes dai, for 
\>aA he {lis dai aros of dea8e " (2nd Ser. 
p. 97), i. e. " This day is called Easter 
day, that is, day of arising, because 
He arose from the dead on this day." 

" Jiis dai is cleped estre dai )>at is 
estene da, and te este is husel" {Ihid. p. 
99), i. e. " This day is called Easter 
day, that is, day of dainties, and the 
dainty is the housel." 

AsTEEiSKS, for hysterics in the lan- 
guage of the street folk. 

" Lemontation of Judy for the loss of her 
dear child. . She goes into atterisks," says a 
Punch and Judy exhibitor in Mayhew's 
London Labour and the London Poor, vol. iii. 
p. 53. 

Compare Steeakles. 
AsTONY, ) These, as well as 0. 
Astonish, ( Eng, astome (Chaucer), 
are perversions of astound (regarded 
perhaps as a past participle astoun-ed), 
A. Sax. astundian, to stupefy (cf. stunt, 
stupid, sturdan, to stun, or stupefy), 
and assimilated to Fr. estonner, "to 
astonish, amaze, daunt, ... to stonny, 
benum, or dull the sences " (Cotgrave), 

as thunder does, from a hypothetical 
Latin ex-tona/re. Thus astomed was 
regarded as equivalent to thunder- 
struck (Gk. emlrontetos), dunder-head 
(=num-skull), Massiager, ThePictu/re, 
ii. 1. 

Besides astonied (A. V. Joh, xvii. 8), 
we find astonyid, astoneyed, WycUffe 
(Lev. xxvi. 32, Deeds ii. 6), stoneid, 
stoneyd, stonyed (Ibid. Gen. xxxii. 32, 
Matt. X. 24), astonned, HaU (Eich. III., 
fol. 22 b) North speaks of Alexander 
being astonied, i. e. stunned, with a 
blow from a dart on his neck {Pluta/rch, 
p. 751), and Holland of the torpedo 
being able to astonish, or bemmib, those 
that touch it. 

Astonyed, or a-stoyned yn mannys wytte. 
Attonitus, consteriiatus, stupefactus, per- 

Astoynyn, or hrese werkys (al. astoyn or 
brosyn). Quatio. — Promptorium ParvuLorum 
(c. 1440). 
Vor her hors were al astonied, & nolde after 

Sywe nojser spore ne brydel, ac stode Jjer al 

Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle (ed. 1810), p. 

An old MS. recommends " coste " as 
a suffreyn remedie for sciatica and to \>e 

membris ]>&X ben a-stonyed. — A. Way, Prompt. 

Parvubrum, p. 94, note 4. 

Attendant, Defendant, Gonfldamt, 
&c., for the more strictly correct forma 
attendent (Lat. aUenden{t)-s), defendent 
{defenden(t)-s), &c., frona the mistaken 
analogy of words like inhabitant, vigi- 
lant, mdlitant, ignorant, arrogant, from 
Lat. inhabitan(^t')-s, vigilan(t')-s, &c. 
Respondent, correspondent, preserve 
their primitive form. 

Attic, the name given to a room at 
the top of the house, Fr. attiguc, has no- 
thing to do with an Attic style of archi- 
tecture. It seems to have been bor- 
rowed from the Hindus, as it closely 
corresponds to Sanskrit at't'aka (in 
modern pronunciation attah), the 
highest room of an Indian house, from 
a'tt'a, high, lofty. (Heb. attili, a portico, 
can be only a coincidence.) Prof. Gold- 
stiioker {Philological Transactions for 
1854, p. 96). Similarly verandah, 
Portg. vaira/nda, is from Sansk. varanda, 
a portico. 

Eev. Isaac Taylor is therefore mis- 
taken in tracing the Attics of a house 


( 16 ) 


to the upper tiers of columns displayed 
in Attic architeoture {Wcn-ds and Places, 
p. 424, 2nd ed.). 

Attone, a very frequent old speUing 
of atone, to set at one those that are at 
two, J. e. at variance, as if to at-tone, 
to bring them to the same tone, or into 
concord, to harmonize. 

Accorder, to accord, — to attone, reconcile 
parties in diflFerence, — Cotgrave. 

Attinieinent, a louing again after a breache 
or falling out. — -Baret, Atvearie, 1580. 
High built with pines that heaven and earth 
G. Chapnmn, Odysseys, 1614, Bk. ix, 1. 266. 
He that brought peace and discord could 
Dtyden, Poem on Coronation, 1661, 1. 57. 
I am comming forth to make attonement 
betwixt them. — R. Bernard, Terence in 
Jinglish, 1641. 

White seemes fayrer macht with blacke 
attone. — Spenser, F. Queene, III. ix. 2. 

For the old use of atone compare — 

[jis Kyng & J)e Bmt were at on. 

Robert of Gloucester, p. 13. 
If my death might be 
An oiTring to atone my God and me. 
Quartes, Emblems, iii. 6 (1635). 
I was glad I did atone my countryman and 

Cymbeline, i. 4, 1. 42 (Globe ed.). 

Udal speaks of a " triactie of atone- 
•mente" (Erasmus, Luke, p. 118), and 
Bp. Hall of 

Discord 'twixt agreeing parts 
Which never can be set at onement more. 
Satires, iii. 7 (ed. Singer, p. 68). 
Fleshely action .... doth set foes at 
freendship, vnanimitie, and atonement. — 
A. Fleming, Caius's Eng. Dogges, 1576, p. 36 
(repr. 1880). 

AuELONG, also awelonge, aweylonge, 
an old English word defined oMongus in 
the PronvptoriumPwrvulorum, elsewhere 
avelonge, Suffolk avellong, as if com- 
pounded with A. Sax. awoh, obUque, 
is an evident corruption of ohlong. 

AuKEOLE. A luminous appearance 
encompassing the head of a saint in 
Christian art is termed an " aureole." 
This is generally imagined to represent 
the classical Latin a/u/reola {sc. cmona), 
a diminutive of aurea, and to mean 
" a golden circlet," as indeed it is 
generally depicted. It is highly pro- 
bable, however, that, not aureola, but 

areola (a little halo),^ a diminutive of 
m-ea, is the true and original form, 
ariole in French, and that the usual 
orthography is due to a mistaken con- 
nection with awum, gold, just as for 
the same reason v/rina became, in 
Itahan, awrina," It. arancio became Fr. 
orange, L. Lat. poma aurantia ; G-k. 
oreichalcos became Lat. aurichalciim. 
This is certainly more hkely than that 
it is a diminutive of aiira, a luminous 
breath or exhalation, which is the view 
put forward by Didron in his Gli/ris- 
tian Iconography (p. 107). He quotes 
a passage from an apocryphal trea- 
tise, De Transitu B. Marias Virginis, 
which states that " a brilliant cloud 
appeared in the air, and placed itself 
before the Virgin, forming on her brow 
a transparent crown, resembling the 
aureole or halo which surrounds the 
rising moon " (p. 137). Here, ob- 
viously, areola would have been the 
more correct word to have employed, 
and it is the one which recommended 
itself to De Quinoey. He writes — 

In some legends of saints we iind that 
they were born with a lambent circle or 
golden areola about their heads. — Works, 
vol. XT. p. 39. 

So correct a writer would not have 
apphed the superfluous epithet of 
"golden" to this "supernatural halo," 
as he subsequently terms it, if the 
word were to him only another form 
of aureola. 

Prom his use of the word in "Queen 
Mary " (act v. so. 2), it might be 
supposed that Tennyson connected 
" aureole " with au/rum — 

Our Clarence there 
Sees ever such an aureole round the Queen, 
It gilds the greatest wronger of her peace, 
Who stands the nearest to her. 

George Macdonald has been in- 
fluenced apparently by the same idea. 

The aureole which glorifies the sacred 
things of the past had gathered in so golden 
a hue around the memory of the holy cot- 
tager. — David Elginbrod, p. 265. 

Awreola, in the ecclesiastical sense 

' This bright phenomenon was called by 
the Romans area — a word which runs exactly 
parallel with the Greek hal6s, meaning 
(1) a plot of ground, (2) a threshing-floor, 
(3) a halo round one of the heavenly bodies. 

" llorio, o. V. 


( 16 ) 


of a golden discus, is not found in 
Mediffival Latin (vide Du Cange). Dr. 
Donne, who understands by it a crown 
of gold, traces its origination as fol- 
lows — 

Because in their Translation, in the 
vnlgat Edition of the Roman Church, they 
find in Exodus [xxv. 25] that word Aureolam, 
Fades Coronam aureolam^ Thou shalt make 
a lesser Crowne of gold ; out of this diminu- 
tive and mistaken word, they have established 
a Doctrine, that besides those Corona aurea, 
Those Crownes of gold, which are communi- 
cated to all the Saints from the Crown of 
Christ, Some Saints have made to them- 
selves, and produced out of their owne ex- 
traordinary merits certaine Aureolas, certain 
lesser Crownes of their own, whereas in- 
deed the word in the originall in that place 
of Exodus is Zer Zehab, which is a Crowne 
of gold, without any intimation of any such 
lesser crownes growing out of themselves. 
— LXXX., Sermons, p. 743, fol. 1640. 

AxEY, a provincial word for the ague 
used in Sussex and in the Eastern 
States of America (L. J. Jennings, 
JField Paths and Oreen Lanes, p. 46), 
is a corruption of access (perhaps re- 
garded as a plural), Fr. acces, a fit or 
attack of illness, " accez de fielure, a 
fit of an ague," Cotgrave, Lat. acces- 

Feveres, axes^ and the blody flyx [pre- 
vailed] in dyverse places of Englonde. — 
Warkworth's Chronicle, p. 23, ab. 1475 
(Camden Soc). 

Wyth love's axcesse now wer they hote, 
now colde. 

Bochas, Fall of Princes (in Wright, 
Prov. Diet.). 

Thou dost miscall 
Thy physick ; pills that change 
Thy sick Accessions into setled health. 
H. -Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, 1650, 

Aymont, an old English word for a 
diamond, occurring in Dan Michel's 
Ayenbiie of Inwyt (or Remorse of Con- 
science), 1340 (E. E. T. S. ed.). 

Hi despendej) follich hare guodes ine 
ydelnesses uor bost of J^e wordle ac uor to 
yeue uor god hy byeth harde ase an aymont, 
—p. 187. 

(i.e. " They spend their goods foolishly 
in idleness for boast of the world, but 
for to give for God they be hard as a 
ddamond, or as adoAnant.") 

So the MS., but Mr. Morris, the 
editor, thinks it necessary, for clear- 
ness' sake, to print it "an [di]aymont." 
There can be little doubt, however, 

that there is no omission in the MS., 
and that aymont is the old French 
aymant or crnnant (cf. Sp. imam), which 
seems to have been a more customary 
form than diamant. Cotgrave gives 
" aimant, a lover, a servant, a sweet- 
heart ; also, the Adamant, or Load- 
stone." " Liamani, a DiamonA ; also, 
the Loadstone : (instead of Aymant)." 
He also has " Guideymant, the needle 
of a sea-compasse." " Diamond," Pr. 
diamant, and " adamant," are both 
(as is well known) derivatives of the 
Latin adamas, adamantis, Gk. adamas, 
" the invincible," the diamond, later 
the magnet. The French form affords 
an interesting example of a word being 
corrupted in accordance with a popu- 
lar acceptation. The adamant, or load- 
stone, on account of its attractive 
power in drawing iron to itself, and 
the steady affection with which it 
remains true to the pole, was regarded 
as the loving stone, and transformed 
into aimant. That this popular con- 
ception is not a mere assumption, but 
one widely traceable even in our own 
language, the following quotations wiU 
make plain — 

How cold this clime ! and yet my sense 
Perceives even here thy influence. 
Even here thy strong magnetick charms I 

And pant and ti-emble like the amorous 
John Non-is, Miscellanies (1678), The 

In Chinese the magnet is called 
"the affectionate stone " (Kidd, China, 
p. 371), in Sanskrit "the kisser," 
bumbaha. " Wliat loadstone first 
touched the loadstone ? " is one of a 
series of posers that Thomas FuUer puts 
to the naturalists of his day, " or how 
first /eM it in love with the North, rather 
affecting that cold climate than the 
pleasant East, or fruitful South, or 
West ? " 

[A wider question is that proposed by 
Charles Kingsley, " Wliat efficient cause is 
there that all matter should attract matter ? 
... If we come to Jinal causes, there is no 
better answer than the old mystic one, that 
God has imprest the Law of Love, which is 
the Law of His own being, on matter." — ■ 
Letters and Memories of lus Life, vol. ii. 
p. 67.] ■' ' 

Is there anything more heavy and unapt 
for motion than iron or steel 1 yet these do 



so run to their beloved loadstone as if they had 
a sense of desire and delight. — Bp. Hall 
(1634), Works, vol. xi. p. 93 (Oxford ed.). 

Sylvester says of the loadstone, that 
it acts 

With unseen hands, with vndisoerned 

With hidden Force, with sacred secret 

Wherewith he wooes his Iron MisterisSj 
And never leaves her till he get a kiss ; 
Nay, till he fold her in his faithfiill bosom. 
Never to pai't (except we, lone-less, loose- 
With so finne zeale and fast afifection 
T/ie stone doth hue the steel, the steel the stone, 
Du Bartas, Diitine ]Veekes and Workes, 
p. 67 (1621, fol.). 

Th' hidden loue that now-adaies doth 

The Steel and Loadstone, Hy^drargir'e and 

Golde ; . . . . 
Is hut a spark or shadow of that Loue 
Which at the first in everything did moue. 
Ibid. p. 202 (fol.). 

The Anglo-Norman poet Philippe de 
Thaun, in his Bestiary, about 1125, 
says that the loadstone is a symbol of 
the Incarnate Lord. 

06s en guise d^aimant fud, puis que en char 

fud apai'ut . . .■ 
Si cum la pere trait le fer, e Jhesu Christ nus 

traist d'enfer. 

fVright, Popular Treatises mi Science in 
Mid. Ages, p. 126. 

" God was in guise of loadstone when he ap- 
peared in Hesh . . . 

As the stone draws the iron, so Jesus Christ 
us drew from hell." 

If it be a mysterious thing 
Why Sieel should to the Loadstone cling ; 
If we know not why Jett should draw 
And with such kisses hug a straw. 

Howell, Familiar Letters, Bk. iv. 44 
What makes the loadstone to the North ad- 

uance? . . . 
Kind Nature first doth cause all things to 

Loue makes them daunce and in iust order 

Sir John Davies, Orchestra, 56 (1596). 
What was the loadstone, till the use was 

But a foul dotard on a fouler mistress ? 

T. Randolph, The Muses' Looking Glass, 
iii. 2 (1638). 

On the other hand, it may be re- 
marked as illustrative that the attrac- 
tive power of love is often compared to 
that of the magnet. 

I find that I love my Creator a thousand 
degrees more than I fear him; methinka I 
feel the little needle of my soul touched with 
a kind of magnetical and attractive virtue, 
that it always moves towards Him, as being 
her summum bonum, the ti*ue center of her 
Happiness. — Howell, Bk. ii. 63 (1639). 

MUton, speaking of women, says they 
are — 

Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw 
Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets. . 
Draw out with credinous desire, and lead 
At will the manliest, resolutest breast. 
As the magnetick [== magnet] liardesi iron 
draws . 
Paradise Regained, Bk. ii. 1. 161-169. 

On this passage the commentators 
quote — 

But if the fair one once look upon you, 
what is it that can get you from her? she 
will draw you after her pleasure, bound hand 
and foot, just as the loadstone draivs iron. — 
Lucian, Imagines. 

Flagrat anhela silex, et amicam saucia sentit 
Materiem, pUicidosque chalyhs cognoscit amores. 
Sic Venus, etc. 

Clauaian, Idyllium. 

That a stone so named should be 
esteemed of sovereign virtue in love- 
charms is quite in accordance with 
popular logic. The following hint to 
jealous husbands is given in a chap- 
book entitled Les Admirables secrets 
du Grwtid Albert. 

Si un homme veut savoir si sa femme est 
chaste et sage, qn'il prenne la pierre que Ton 
appelle aimant, qui a la couleur du fer, . . . 
qu U la mette sous la tete de sa femme ; si 
elle est chaste et honnSte elle embrassera son 
mari, si non elle se jettera aussit6t hors du 
lit. — Nisard, Histoire des Litres Populaires, 
tom. i. p. 161. 


Baccalaureate, the adjectival form 
of " bachelor," pertaining to the degree 
of bachelor at a university, Fr. hacca- 
laixreat, late Latin haccalaurius, as if 
one crowned with a chaplet of lamrel 
berries (baccm laiiri), a corruption of 
Low Latin haccala/rius (see Spelmto, 
Glossarium, s.v.). Of. It. haccala/ro and 
hacaaUo, a kind of laurel or bay ; Fr. 
bachelier. The original meaning of 
bfiecalmus seems to have been (1) the 
proprietor of baccalaria (in L. Latin of 
ninth cent.), a rural domain, properly a 
oo?«-farm, from lacca, a mediseval form 


( 18 ) 


of Lat. vacaa (and bo in Italian, Florio); 
(2), a young knight who takes service 
under a superior ; (3) a young man of 
inferior dignity ; (4) an unmarried 
youth. Gf. Wallon, hauchelh, a young 
girl (Sigart). 

A sounder man 

In mind and body, than a host who win 

Your baccalaureate honours. 

E. C. StedTimn, Lyrics and ld:,USj 1879, 
The Freshet. 

The haccalamrens was perhaps re- 
garded as one who had successfully run 
the gantelope of all his examiners, with 
reference to the Latin proverb, "Bacu- 
lum Icmrewm gesto " (I carry the staff 
of bays), said of those who having been 
plotted against, happily escaped the 
danger (Erasmus, Adagia). Others 
have imagined that he who had ob- 
tained his first degree at the university 
was said to have gained a herry of the 
hay, an earnest of the entire chaplet. 
Dante says : — 

II baccetlier s' arma, e non parla, 
Fin che '1 maestro la quistion propone. 
Paradise, xxiv. 46. 
The bachelor, who arms himself, 
And speaks not, till the master have pro- 
The question. Carey. 

Backeag, and Bageag, an old name 
for the wine produced at Bacha/rach on 
the Bhine. 

I'm for no tongues but dry'd ones, such as 

Give a fine relish to my backrag. 

Old Plays, vol. ix. p. 285i (in Wright). 

Bacharaoh is said to be a corruption 
of Bacchi wra, having been of old a 
favourite seat of the wine god. — 0. 
Bedding, On Wines, p. 215. 

Baokstone, a north country word 
for a girdle or griddle, also spelled lah- 
stan, is a corruption of the O. Norse 
hahstjarn, i.e. "bake-iron." 

Badger, an old word for " one that 
buys com or other provisions in one 
place in order to sell them in another, 
a Huckster " (Bailey), stiU used provin- 
cially for a dealer, has been confounded 
with badger, the name of the animal, 
which is an Anghoized form of Pr. bla- 
dder (orig. bladger) a corn-dealer ; Low 
Lat. bladarius, whence also its Fr. 
name blaireau (Skeat, Wedgwood). 
This false analogy has actually led 

Webster to connect broker with hroek, 
a badger ! 

To badger was orig. to barter, to 
haggle with. The word is a disguised 
form of Old Bng. bager, beger, a buyer 
(from buggen, A. S. lycgan, to buy), 
with an intrusive d, as in ridge (North. 
rigg), bridge {brig), ledger, abridge, 

De beger bet litil Jiar-fore =the buyer bid- 
deth little for it, — Old Jing. Homilies, vol. ii. 
p. 213. 

(See Dr. B. Morris, Add/ress to PMlo- 
log. Soc. 1876, p. 17.) 

We have fellows amon^ us, the engrossers 
of corn, the raisers of price, sweeping away 
whole markets ; we call these badgers. — , 
Adams, Sermons, i. 17. 

Fuller says " Higglers, as bc^uhting them 
[i.e. carrying provisions] to London — Hence 
Bagers." — Worthies o/' England, vol, ii. p. 381 
(eil. 1811). 

Holland has " a kinde of hucksters or 
badgers." — Camden's Brittania, p. 555, fol. 

One of the duties of the " Maire of Bris- 
towe " was to assist and counsel the bakers 
" in theire byeng and barganyng with the 
Bagers, such as bryngeth whete to towne, as 
wele in trowys, as otherwyse, by lande and 
by water." — English Gilds (ed. Toulmin 
Smith), p. 424 (E. E. T. S.). 

Wee will ryde like noe men of warr ; 
but like poore badgers wee wilbe. 
Percy, Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 205, 1. 30. 

Licences to "badgers" to buy and 
sell corn are found among the Quarter 
Sessions records of the time of Queen 
Elizabeth. — A. H. A. Hamilton, Hid. 
of Qua/rter Sessions, p. 26. 

In Queen Anne's reign one Bichard 
Tulhng is licensed in Devonshire to be 
" a common Drover of Cattle, Badger, 
Lader, Kidder, Carrier, and Byer of 
Corne."— Jc^. p. 270. 

Bad-money, ) north country words 
Bawd-money, \ for the plant Gen- 
tian, are corruptions of its name Bald- 
money, which see. 

Baffle, so spelt as if a verbal fre- 
quentative formation similar to raffle, 
shuffle, snuffle, stifle, &o. (Haldeman, p. 
178), has not been satisfactorily ex- 

Dr. Morris rightly remarks that 
"Baffled, as applied by a Norfolk pea- 
sant to standing corn or grass beaten 
about by the wind, or stray cattle, adds 


( 19 ) 


greatly to our knowledge of the modem 
term" {Address to Philolog. Soc, 1876, 
p. 16). Older forms of the word are 
hafful (Hall, Ohron.s Spenser, F. Q. 
VI. viL. 27) and haffoule. 

A religion that baffoules all Temporal 
Princes. — Bp. Hall, WoHis, fol. 1634, p. 

These are from Fr. baffouer (and 6a/- 
foler, adds Nares), " to baffle, abuse, re- 
vile, disgrace, handle basely in terms " 
(Cotgrave). I hold this haffoUer (baffoler) 
to be contracted from has-fouler, to 
trample down, just as haculer, haccoler 
(Cotgrave) is from has-culer. The orig. 
meaning, then, would be to trample 
upon, afterwards to iU-treat, or put to 
scorn (a recreant knight, &c.). Prof. 
Skeat and Wedgwood, with less likeli- 
hood, deduce the word from a Scottish 
verb hauohle, to treat contemptuously. 

Baffling winds are perhaps from Old 
Fr. ieffler, to deceive ; It. heffcure. 

Baggage, a contemptuous term for a 
worthless woman, a wench following a 
camp, as if a mere encumbrance, like 
Ger. lumpewpack; Dutch stoute zah, a 
saucy wench, a naughty pack (Sewel, 
Dutch Bid. 1708), is a naturalized form 
of Fr. hagasse, " a baggage, quean, 
jyll, punke, flirt " (Cotgrave) ; It. hag- 
ascia, Sp. hagasa. Old Fr. haiasse, a 
woman of light character. These words 
seem to be connected with Arab, hagi, 
a word of the same meaning, hagez 
shameful. In Sanskrit hliaga is lewd- 
ness (vulva), and hhaga-ihakshaka, a 

You baggage, let me in ! 

Comedy of Errors, iii. 1. 

The English word was very probably 
associated with the old Eng. hagage, 
meaning sciun, dregs, refuse, just as 
d/rah is akin to d/raff. 

When brewers put no bagage in their 

G. Gascoigne, The Steel Glas, 1. 1082, 1576 
(ed. Arber). 

Scum off the gi'een baggage from it and it 
will be a water. — Lupton, Thousand Notable 
Things [in Nares]. 

Hacket speaks of " a haggage wo- 
man" {Life of WilUams, ii. 123 [Da- 
vies, Supp. Eng. Gloes.} ). 

Baien-woet, ) names for the com- 

Ban-wood, S mon daisy in the 

Cleveland district, are corruptions of 

an older name, but whether this was 
A Sax. Idn-wyrt (bone-wort), or an old 
Eng. hane-ivort, or some other word, is 
not easy to determine. Perhaps ban, 
bone, here may be a perversion of 
belUs, the Latin name, just as tow-fire 
or 6oTOe-fire is for boslfyr. [?] In the 
North of England the daisy is still 
known as the bonefloiver (Britten and 
Holland, Eng. Flant-Names, p. 57). 

Balance, in etymological correctness, 
ought to be spelt hilance, being the 
same word as It. bilancia, Lat. bilano-s 
{hilanx), Ut. a pair {Us) of scales (lanx). 

The French balance, which we have 
adopted (Prov. balans, Sp. balanza), 
seems to have been altered, under the 
influence of a false analogy, to 0. Fr. 
halant, Mod. Fr. hallant, oscillating, 
hanging — Fr. baler, Wallach. baler, It. 
ballare, to dance up and down. 

The French, however, have retained 
the proper form in the book-keeping 
term bilan, a balance-sheet of debit 
and credit. 

Bald-etebeow, a curious North of 
England name for the plant Anfherms 
Cotula, is a corruption of Balder Brae, 
so called from its whiteness resembling 
the dazizling brow of Baldur, the north- 
em sun-god (Britten and Holland, 
Eng. Plant-Names, p. 23). 

Compare Swed. bcddersbra, loel. Bal- 
d/rs-hrd, and old Eng. Baldwr herbe 
(Cockayne, Leechdoms, iii. xxsi.). 

Bald-money, ) popular names for 
Bawd-money, ) the plant Mew {Ile- 
um Athamanticum), are corruptions of 
its old Latin name valde bona, " very 
good " (Prior). For the change of 6 
to m, compare mona dies, an old French 
perversion oi'bona dies (Cotgrave) ; It, 
vermena, Lat. verbena; O. Eng. primet, 
now privet; Lat. mandibula, Sp. 6am- 
diiula; A. Sax. hr&nvn, Eng. raven; 
termagant, Fr. Tervagant ; cormorant 
and corvorant, &c. Britten and Hol- 
land agree with Sir W. J. Hooker 
that the first part of the word is a cor- 
ruption of Baldu/r, the Apollo of the 
North, to whom this plant (Uke Bal- 
der's Brae) was dedicated {Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 23). 

Balled, the old form of bald {balUd, 
WycUffe, Levit. xui. 41), as if to denote 
round, smooth, and polished, like a 


( 20 ) 


billiard- bfliZi! (Tyrwhitt, Eiciiardson) ; 
" hallyd, oalvus," Prompt. Pa/rv. (cf. 
" halhew, or pleyn," Id.; O.Eng. hal^, 
Bmooth?). Bal-d seems to be the same 
word as Welsh hal, white-streaked, 
Lith. halu, Gk. phal-ios, white (of. 
Cumberl. holy, a white-marked horse ; 
W. Cornw. hall-eye, a white or wall- 
eye). BalA; the white sun-god, is pro- 
bably near akin. — Thorpe, N. Myth, i., 
185. The nominant quality therefore 
of a hairless head is its gleaming eur- 

His head was balled and schon as eny glas. 
Chaucer, C. T. Prologue, 1. 198. 

Eobert of Gloucester says that WiUiam 
the Conqueror was 

Gret-wombede & ballede & bote of euene 

Morris, Specimens, p. 15, 1. 408. 
Whanne the pie sawe a balled or a pilled 
man, or a woman with an liighe forhede, the 
pie saide to hem, "ye spake of the ele." 
• — Knight of La Tour Landry, p. 22 
(E. E. T. S'.). 

BaZfchead, occurs in K. Alysa/under, 
1. 6481. 

Balliaeds, Spenser's orthography of 
" billiards," as if from the halls that 
game is played with {Mother Hiohherd's 
Tale), whereas its name is really de- 
rived from the French hillard, the cue ; 
hillot, hille, a stick. 

Balm-bowl, a Cleveland word for a 
vase de chamhre (matelld). Mr. Atkin- 
son compares an Icelandic hamhur, a 
pot or bowl (Haldorsen), and thinks 
there may be a connexion with the 
Teutonic harme. But this seems 

Balsamynte is an old name of the 
plant {tanacetum) halsamita, of which 
it seems to be a mere modification 
(Britten and Holland). 

Bandog, as if a dog hanned or cursed 
for its savagenesB, was originally a 
hand-dog, i.e. one hound or chained : 
Pr. chien hande, Dutch, hand-hond. So 
the "lime-hound" was one held in a 
leash {Uani, 0. Fr. liam-en, Lat. Uga- 
men). Bxit the Danish honde-hwnd 
seems to be the husbandman's {bonde) 
dog, a farm-dog. Tie-dog was another 
name for an animal of unusual fieree- 

As a tie-dng I will muzzle him. 
Death of R. F.arl of Huntingdon, 1601. 

Mastive, Bandog, Alolossus. 

Baret,' Aliiearie, 1580. 
We ban gi'eat Bandogs will teare their skins. 

Spenser, Shepheard's Calender, Sept. 
Make bandog thy scoutwatoh, to barke at a 

Tusser, Five Hundred Pointes, 1580 
(ed. E. D. Soc. p. 20). 
The tie-dog or band-dog, so called bicause 
manie of them are tied up in chaines and 
strong bonds, in the dale time, for dooing 
hurt abroad. — Harrison, Description of Eng- 
land, pt. ii. p. 44. 

See also Caius, Of EngUshe Boggest 
1576, p. 43 (repr. 1880). 

The fryer set his fist to his mouth 

And whuted whues three : 
Halfe a hundreth good band-dogs 
Came running over the lee. 
plobin Hood and the Curtail Fryer, 

Bands, a frequent misspelling of 
hanns [i.e. proclamations) of marriagej. 
with evident allusion to the bonds or ties 
of matrimony. More than once I have 
received a written request from rustic 
couples to have their "bands put up." 
Dan Michel calls the married "y- 
bounde mid hende, ' ' bound with a band. 
—AyenUte oflnwyt, p. 220 (1340). 

Art and industry can never marry those 
things whose bands nature doth forbid.— 
Fuller, Truth Maintained, 1643, p. 10. 

The brethrein ordained Mr. Robert Wat- 
soune to proclaime hir bandis, and to proceed 
with themariage. — Presbytery Book of Strath- 
bogie, p. 1 (1631), (Spalding Club). 

Banisters, a very common corrup- 
tion of halusters when placed as a 
guard to a staircase, perhaps from a 
supposed connexion with Prov. Eng. 
han, to stop, shut in, hanrdn, that which 
is used for shutting or stopping (Somer- 
set). Balusters, Fr. halustres, seem to 
have been originally the same as Low 
Lat. halistarice, the shot-ports for 
smaller cross-bows [halistce) along the 
gunnels of the medieval galley (see 
Yule, Ser Ma/rco Polo, vol. i. p. Ixvii.). 
Cf. It. halestriera, a loophole (Florio, 
1611) ; O. Sp. hwrahustes, halahustes, 
turned posts like pillars to support gal- 
leries (Minsheu, 1623), ba/rahustar to 
cast weapons [Id.). The It. halaustro 
seems to have been assimilated to la- 
lausto (Gk. halaustion), a pomegranate 
flower. Somewhat similarly crenelU, 
Fr. creneau, 0. E. camel, denoted both 
a battlement and a loophole (see Gastel 
of Love, ed. Weymouth, p. 77). 


( 21 ) 


Banwood, and Bairnwokt (Cleve- 
land dialect), the daisy, seem to be the 
same as the A. S. idn-wtjrt, bonewort 

In battill gyrss burgionys the banwart 
G. DoitgUSf EneadoSf But xii. Pi-oloiig, 

Mr. Cockayne says that in old Eng- 
lish hanwyrt was the name of the wall- 
flower, from hana, a man-slayer, in 
allusion to the bloodstained colour of 
its petals, just as it is still frequently 
called " the bloody warrior;" and that 
afterwards the word was applied to the 
daisy on account of its red-tipped pe- 
tals {Lceclidoms, &o. vol.- iii.). 

Bakb, to, to shave or trim the beard — 
a verb that seems to owe its origin to a 
mistaken idea that a harher is one who 
harbs. Cf Butch. 

Cooke and 1 to Sir G. Smith, it being now 
niglit, and there up to his chamber and sat 
talking, and I barbing against to-morrow. — 
Pi^pya, Diary (ed. Bright), vol. iii. p. 316. 

Bakbed, when applied to horses {as 
in Shakespeare's " barbed steeds," Bich. 
III. i. 1,1. 10):^covered with armour, 
is a corrupted form of the older word 
harded, Fr. hwrde, furnished with hwrde, 
or horse-armour (Skeat, Et. Did.), 
assimilated seemingly to larh, a Bar- 
bary horse. 

Baebeeey, the shrub so called, does 
not derive its name from its berries, 
but is corrupted from the Latin her- 

Barybaryn tre (barbery), Barbaris. 

Prompt. Parvuhrum, c. 1+40. 

Fr. "herheris, the barbarie-tree " 
(Cotgrave). Prof. Skeat adds Arab. 
harhdris, IPers. ba/rha/ri [Etym. Diet.). 

Barge, to scold in a loud abusive 
way, used in most parts of Ireland 
(e.g. Antrim and Down Glossary, Pat- 
terson, E. D. S.), as if to use the strong 
language of a bargee or barge-mam,, is 
the same word as Scot, bmirge, to lift 
up the voice in a strong loud manner 
(Bamff Glossary, Gregor), bargain, to 
chaffer, Scot, bargane, to fight, O. Fr. 
bargmgner, to wrangle (Cotg.), from 
baragomn, confused speech, gibberish, 
whence slang barrihin. 

Hee thinks no lenguage worth knowing 
but his Barragouin, — Overbury, Works, p. 84 
(ed. Rimhauit). 

Baragouin is from Celt, bar a gown 
bread and wine (W. Stokes, Ir. Glosses, 
p. 52). 

Baeguest, an apparition in the form 
of an animal, as if one that arrests a 
traveller (hke the Ancient Mariner), 
believed in the northern counties (as 
the Swed. kirhe-grim, Dan. hirhe-vair- 
sel) to be a harbinger of death. It is, 
no doubt, a corruption of bier-ghost, 
Ger. balir geist, Dan. baa/re geist (Sir 
W. Scott). See Atkinson, Cleveland 
Glossa/ry, s. v. Henderson, Folklore of 
the N. Counties, p. 239. 

He had been sufficiently afraid of meeting 
a barguest in his boyish days.' — Southey, The 
Doctor, p. 577 (ed. 1848). 

Baeley-men, a Lancashire word for 
the petty officers of the manorial courts 
leet or baron. In other places, and in 
old documents, they are called burley- 
men, burlimen, or bye-law men, e.g. : 

Item there be appointed foure bitrley-men 
for to se all paines that are made to be kept. 
— Records of' the Manor of ^cotter, anno 1586. 

All these words are corruptions of 
byre-law-men, law of the byre or town ; 
Icel. bcBr. See By-law. 

Baeley-sugae, or sugar-bai'ley, is 
said to be a corruption of the French 
Sucre hrule, " burnt sugar ;" suare d'orge 
being a re-translation of our corrupted 
term, but this is doubtful. 

Babman, is probably not correlative 
to ba/r-moAd (as in Ger. Kellner to Kell- 
nerinn), one who attends at the bar or 
buffet ; but the modem form of old 
Eng. berman, a kitchen-porter. 
)jer the herles mete he tok, 
J)at he bouthe at J;e brigge ; 
\>e bermen let he alle ligge, 
And bar l^e mete to ]>e castel. 

Havetok the Dane, 11. 873-877 
(ab. 1280). 
Weoren in ])eos kinges cuchene 

twa hundred cokes, 
& ne maei na man tellen 
for alle J?a bermannen. 

La^amon, 1. 8101. 

This berman is A. Sax. hoer-mann, a 
"bear-man" or porter, from beran. 
Bar is not foimd in the earliest Eng- 

Bak-mastee, a name given in the 
mining districts of Derbyshire and 
Yorkshire to the officer or agent who 
superintends the mines, is a corruption 


( 22 ) 


of the older term herghmaster =: the 
German hergmeister. Fuller spells it 

The Barge-master keeps hia two great 
courts twice a year in Barge-Moot-Hall. — 
Worthies, Derby-shire, vol. i. p. 251 (ed. 

Baem-beack, or ha/rn-hrack, an Anglo- 
Irish term for a currant cake, is a cor- 
ruption of the Irish haArm hreac, 
" speckled bread," old Ir. hcdrgen hrecc, 
from hwlrgen or hdirghean, or ha/ran, 
bread, cake, and hreac, speckled (so. 
/yith currants and raisins) ; so hreacog 
is a little cake. (See "Whitley Stokes, 
Irish Glosses, p. 52 ; Pictet. Origines 
Indo-Europ., torn. ii. p. 313.) 

On St. Bridget's eye every farmer's wife 
in Ireland makes a cake called bairin hreac. — 
Vallancey, Antiquity of Irish Language, p. 

He was always welcome to a share of 
our tea and barne-breac of an evening. — 
Russet, Memoirs of Thomas Moore, vol. i. p. 

Baenaby, in " Bishop Barnahy," a 
Suffolk name for thelady-bird(Wright), 
as if sacred to S. Barnabas, is no doubt 
for hwrney-hee, or hv/rney-hee, its name 
in East Angha, which is understood as 
hurrde hee, i.e. fiery beetle (Eng. Dia- 
lect Soc, B. 20). See also PMlolog. 
8oc. Trans. 1859, p. 86. This insect is 
universally associated with fire, and a 
burning house in which his children 
are in danger of being consumed 
{Kelly, Indo-European Tradition, p. 94 

Burnie bee, burnie bee, 
Tell me when your wedding be. 
HaUiwell, Nursery Rhymes, p. 100. 
Of. Chambers, Pop. Shymes of Scot- 
land, p. 43 ; Atkinson, Cleveland Glos- 
sary, s.v. Oowlady. 

Babnacle, the name of a species of 
goose [Anser hernicla), or hernacle, is 
said to be a corruption of Norweg. 
ba/i-n-gagl, a sea-goose (T. Edmonston, 
Shetland and Orhney Glossary, Pbilo- 
log. Soc. Ed.). Cf. Icel. bdra, a wave. 
The word was assimilated to harnacle, 
the name of the sliell-fish, from which 
the bird was then imagined to be pro- 
duced. See M. Miiller, Lectures, 2nd 
ser. p. 602. The form hernekke occur- 
ring in Alex. Neokam (died 1217) would 
seem to show that the Norweg. word 
is the corruption (Be. Nat. Berumi, lib. 
I., cap. xlviii.). 

Bamakylle, byrde. Bamacus, bamita.— 
Prompt. Parvulorum. 

There are founde in the north parts of Scot- 
land, & the Hands adiacent, called Orchades, 
certaine trees, whereon doe growe certaine 
shell iishes, of a white colour tending to 
russet; wherein are conteined little liuing 
creatures : which shels in time of maturitie 
doe open, and out of them gi-ow those little 
liuing things ; which falling into the water, 
doe become foules, whom we call Baniakles, 
in the north of England Brant Geese, and in 
Lancashire tree Geese. — Gerard, Of the Goose 
tree, or BarnaUe tree. Herbal, p. 1319 (1597). 

Baenaclbs, a slang term for spec- 
tacles, as old at least as the 16th cen- 
tury, as if a pair of limpet-shells so 
called (Ir. harneach), these barnacle- 
shells being sometimes pierced by 
children, and fitted to the eyes in sport. 
It is, however, the same word as the 
following, found in the provincial 
French dialects, herniques, spectacles 
(Berri); bornifeeZ, near-sighted (Langue- 
doc) ; hornicle, a squint eye ; borndcler 
to squint (G-eneva, Jura) ; hornier, to 
be blear-eyed (Douai) ; hourgna, to 
squint (Limousin) ; horni, blind 
(LangTiedoo) ; Fr. horgne, It hornio. 

M. Miiller thinks that the word was 
originally hernicula, herynicula, for 
herylUcula, from O. Fr. hericle, Proven- 
9al herille, from heryllus ; as we speak of 
" pebbles," of Ger. hrille, spectacles (2nd 
ser. p. 534). 

Cotgrave says, "Bericles, corruptly 
for Besycles, a paire of spectacles : Ea- 

Others, with less probability, see in 
barnacles a corruption of hinocles, 
binocuU,'with. r inserted, as in pimpernel, 
Fr. pimprenelle ; beside It. pimpinelh, 
Low Lat. hipinella, bipinrmla (two-, 

lacke. Your eyes dassell after your wash- 
ing, these spectacles put on. 

Grimme, They be gay bamikels, yet I see 
never the better. 

Damon and Pithias, 1571, Old Plays, 
i. 240 (ed. 1825). 

Baeonet, in old Acts of Parliament, 
e.g. in the statutes of Bichard II., is a 
corruption of Banneret, as if it were 
connected with Bcuron (Selden, Titles 
of Honour, p. 736). 

Low Lat. hanerettus, he who carries 
the banner," homo ad vexillum," would 
easily be confounded with bajronettus, 
a diminution of ba/i'o, the man par ex- 


( 23 ) 


cellcnoe, akin to Lat. vir. See, how- 
ever, Spelman, Olosswrium, s. vv. 

Barren, so spelt as if conneotecl witli 
old Eng. " ha>Tyn dorys, or ojier shyt- 
tynge (pessulo, repagulo)," Pronvpt. 
Parv. ; and accordingly understood to 
denote ba/rred up, so that no fruit can 
issue, sterile (Tooke, Bichardson) — e.g. 
when the Lord " fast closed up all the 
wombs of the house of Abimelech" 
(Gen. XX. 18), He rendered them "bar- 
ren." The older forms are ' baryne ' 
{Prompt. Pa/rv. 1440), 'bareyn' (Wy- 
cliffe. Gen. xxv. 21), derived from 
Norman-French Iwraine. 

Terra ert idunques veine de tut en tut 
baraine. — Philip de Thaun, Livre des Creci- 
tures (12th cent.) 1. 848, ed. Wright). 

Old Fr. hwrdigne. In 1 Samuel, 
where Hannah, whose womb the Lord 
had "shut up" (ch. i. v. 5), declares 
"that the barren hath borne seven" 
(ch. ii. V. 5), the old Fr. rendering 
(12th cent.) is "la ba/rdigne plusurs en- 
fantad " (Bartsch, Ghrestomathie). 

Other forms are old Fr. hrehaigne ; 
Wallon, hrouhagne, braine ; Breton, 
h-echafi (of. Dut. h-aech, barren ; Ger. 
brack, fallow), Bas. Bret. braJien. 
He is a gull, who is long in taking roote 
In baraine soyle, where can be but small 

E. Guilpin, Skialetheia, Epigram 20, 1598. 

Baekow-team, a jocular Scotch term 
for a raw-boned, awkward-looking per- 
son (Jamieson). Lieut.-Col. Cunning- 
ham thinks that it is a corruption of 
ba/rathrum, an abyss or devouring gulf 
— e. g. in Ouy Mannering where Meg 
Merrihes calls Dominie Sampson "you 
black barrowtram of the kirk," pre- 
paratory to the order " gape, sinner, 
and swallow." 

Compare, "Marry, and shall, you 
ba/i-aihrum of the shambles." 

Massiager, A New Way to Pay Old 
Debts, iii. 2. 

Base, an old word for a smaU kind 
of ordnance (Wright). It would seem 
to be the same word as berche (also 
barce), an old French word for " the 
piece of ordnance called a Base " 
(Cotgrave), for berce or bersc, derived 
from bercer, berser, meaning to shoot or 
hit with an arrow, originally to batter 
with a ram, Lat. berbex, vervex. See 

The naraes of ancient offensive in- 
struments, it is well known, were com- 
monly transferred to their modern 

Base-boen, illegitimate, seems to 
have originated in an assumption that 
iasta/rd meant one of base or low bhth, 
Mid-Eng. bass, Fr. bas; so Welsh 
basda/rdd ( ? a borrowed word), as if 
from bas, low, and tardd, issue. Fuller 
has "base chUd " (Oood Thoughts in 
Bad Tifnes, p. 255, ed. Pickering). So 
Diefenbach, Goth. Sprache, i., 281. 

V^hj bastard? Wherefore 6ase ? 
When my dimensions are as well compact, . . 
As honest madam's issue ? Why brand they 

With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, 

base ? King Lear, v. 2. 

Bastm-d, however, old Eng. bast 
(" baaste, not wedlock," Prompt. Pa/rv., 
cf. Gael, baos, lust), is either (1) 
old Fr. fils de bas or bast, son of a 
pack-saddle, i.e. irregularly begotten, 
"on the wrong side of the blanket" 
(Mahn, Scheler), or (2) Icel. basta/rir 
^ hcBsingr " one bom in a cowhouse," 
or boose, Icel. lass (Goth, bansts), Hke 
hornungr (from horn) a " comer-child," 
Ger. winJcel-Mnd, one bom in some 
hole or corner (cf. " Ditoh-dehvered of 
a drab," Shaks.). See Cleasby and 
Vigfusson, p. 771. 

Out, you base-borne rascall." — Marston, 
The Malcontent, i. 6 (1604). 

Reinold .... bestowed Antioch on 
Frederick, base sonne to Frederick the Em- 
perour. — T. Fuller, Holy Warre, p. 168 

Henry Fitzroy . . confuted their Ety- 
mology, who deduced Bastard from the 
Dutch words boes and arl, that is, an abject 
nature ; and verifyed their deduction, deriv- 
ing it from besteaerd, that is, the best dispo- 
sition. — Worthies, vol. i. p. 341. 

Basilicock, an old corruption of 
basilish, Lat. basiliscus, Gk. basilishos, 
the kingly or crowned serpent (a trans- 
lation of uroeus, which is from Copt. 
ouro, a king : Bunsen and Eawhnson). 
It is a fabulous animal, often identi- 
fied with the cockatrice, which was 
supposed to kill by a glance of its eye. 

" (janne is he [J>e enuious] of i>e kende of 
be baseli/coc." — Ayenhite of Jnwiyt (1340), p. 
28 (E. E. T. S. eS.). 

The basiiicok sleth folk by venime of his 
sight. — Chaucer, Persones Tale. 


( 24 ) 


It is a basilisk unto mine eye, 
Kills me to look on 't. 

Shakespearej Cymbeline, act ii. so. 4. 

Bassinette, a term for an infant's 
cradle, as if (like the old hassinet, a 
helmet), a diminutive of Fr. hassin, a 
basin. It is plainly a corrupted form 
pf hercecmnette, from herceau, a cradle. 
This latter word is from bercer, to rock 
to and fro, to swing Hke a battering- 
ram, 6er?)ea!, another form of Lat. vervex. 
Batteb, an old Scottish wojrd for a 
small cannon, as if that which batters 
walls (Fr. battre), is also found as bat- 
ta/rd, from Fr. bata/rde, old Fr. basta/rde, 
ti demy cannon (Cotgrave). Of, Bumpbe. 
Battledooe, the hght bat with 
which the shuttlecock is bandied to 
and fro, is a corrupted form of the 
Spanish batidor or batadm; a striker, or 
beetle, from batir to beat. Formerly it 
denoted the beetle used by laxmdresses 
in beating and washing hien. 

5at (//(ioure,orvp'asshjngebetylle. — Prompt, 

Batiildore, betyll to bete clothe^ with. — 

The curious phrase " not to know B 
from a battledoor," expressive of igno- 
rance or stupidity, meant originally 
not to know one's letters — the old 
horn-book resembling a battledoor in 
shape. The modem card-board which 
has superseded this is still called a 
battledoor by some of the Lincolnshire 
folk, who have the saying, " He does 
'nt know his ABC fra a battle- 
door." (See Peacock, Glossary of Man- 
ley and Gorringham, E. D. S.) Com- 
pare Dutch " Abeehwdfje [i. e. A B- 
board] a Battledoor, Criscrossrow " 

One whose hands are hard as battle doors 
with clapping at baldness. — Histrio-Muntix 
(1610), act ii. 1. 138. 
While he was blinde, the wenche behinde 

lent him, leyd on the flore, 
fllany a iole about the nole with a great 
buttil dore. 
A Jest How a Sergeaunt wolde leme to 
be a Frere, 1. 260. 

Battlement, apparently a defence 
in time of battle, a fortification. Prof. 
Skeat is no doubt right in regarding it 
as only another form of Fr. bdtiment, 
old Fr. bastillement, from old Fr. bas- 
filler, to fortify (whence " bastile "), 
bastir, to build {Etym. Diet.). 

At vch brugge a berfray on basteles wyse ( A^ 
each bridge a watch-tower on the fortifica- 
tions appeared). — Alliterative Poems, B. 1. 
11 8r (ed. Morris). 
In the same poem we find 

\>e borS baytayled alofte (The city fortified 
aloiit), 1. 1183, and batelment, 1. 1459. 
Grape-loaded vines that glow 

Beneath the battled tower. 
Tennyson, Dream of Pair Women,!. S%0, 

Beam, a ray of light, A. Sax. beam, 
(beamdari), has generally been regarded 
as the same word as beam, A. Sax. 
beam (Goth, bagms, a tree), (Skeat, Ett- 
miiller), just as "ray " itself (radius) ia 
akin to '.'rod," MUton's " long-level'd 
rule of streaming light " (Comus, 1. 

Benfey identifies it with Sansk. 
bha-ma, light (root bha, to shine, to 
sound), which is probably right. Old 
Eng. beme, a trumpet (Frielce of Con- 
science, 1. 4677, A. Sax. beam), is nearly 

Beans, a slang word for money, has 
been regarded as a corruption of the 
French biens, goods, property. How- 
ever, the analogy of lupini, lupines, 
used as money on the Latin stage, and 
ai Lavo, the name given to money by 
the Fiji Islanders, from its resemblance 
to the flat round seeds of the Mimosa 
scandens, shows that the word may 
well be imderstood in its natural sense. 

Acosta mentions that the Spaniards 
in the West Indies at one time used 
cacao-ni:^ts for money. 

Beak Coote, as if the coot which 
hawks at bea/rs, is a corruption of Bwr- 
hut, the hunting eagle of Eastern 
Turkestan, which is trained to fly at 
wolves, foxes, deer, &c. (Atkinson's 
Or. and W- Siberia, 493; see Yule, 
Marco Polo, i. 355). It is spelt "bur- 
goot" in T. E. Gordon's Boof of the 
TForfd, p. 88. 

Beastie, a vulgar Anglo-Indian 
term for a water-carrier, is a corruption 
of the native Hindustani word bihishti, 
"the heavenly man" from hihisM, 

Beaufin, Beefin, Biffin, are various 
names for a sort of apple peculiar to 
Norfolk, but which is the original or 
more correct form is not easily deter- 
mined. It is said to be called beefin, 


( 25 ) 


from its colour resembling that of raw 
beef! The first spelling would seera 
to indicate a fruit, beau et fin. But in 
either case there is a corruption. 

Beaver, the lower part of a helmet, 
is a corruption of Fr. baviere, due to 
confusion with "beaver hat" (Skeat, 
Etym. Diet.). 

Become, to suit, fit, or set off to ad- 
vantage, as when a certain dress or 
colour is said to become one (decere), a 
distinct word from become, to happen, 
be-cuman, is the modern form of A. Sax. 
be-cwenian, from cweman, to please or 
profit ; compare Ger. beqiiem, con- 
venient. See Comely. 

Pilatus wolde 5a <5am folce ge-cweman. 
— S. Mark, xv. 15 (A. Sax. vers.). 

Bedridden : the passive form of this 
word is puzzhng. As it stands it 
would seem to denote one that was 
ridden or pressed by his bed, rather 
than one who lay upon it — the paraly- 
tic man as he returned home with his 
burden, rather than as he came for cure, 
borne of four. It is the A. Sax. bed- 
rida, bedreda, or bedredda, a deriva- 
tive from Tidan, to ride, rest on, or press ; 
and so denotes one who habitually 
keeps his bed: 0. Eng. "bedered-man 
or woman. Decumbens, clinicus," 
Prompt. Pa/rv. (cf. bedlawyr, Decum- 
bens, Id,). Similarly, hofrede is one 
who keeps his house (hof), a sick man. 
The form bed-rid was probably mis- 
taken for a past parte, and then 
changed to bed-ridden. 

Priest-ridden, may be a modem for- 
mation on the same model, as if over- 
mastered by priests, as Sindbad by the 
old man of the mountain ; but really 
corresponding to an A. Saxon preosi- 
rida, one that rests wholly on his priest. 
Professor Erie advances the extraordi- 
nary notion that bed-rida is for be- 
d/rida, past parte, of bedrian ! {Philo- 
logy of the English Tongue, p. 23.) 
tieke I was^ and bedred lay, 
And yhe visite me nouther njght ne day. 
Hampole, Pi-icke oj Conscience, ab. 1340, 
1. 6198 (ed. Morris). 
There is an honest man, 
That kept an olde woman 
Of almes in hyr bed 
Liyng dayly beddered, 

Doctour Doubbte Ale, I. 338. 
Old bedridden palsy. 
Tennyson, Aylmer's Field, 1. 178. 

Bbepbatee, a popular designation of 
the yeomen of the guard on duty at 
the Tower, has been considered a cor- 
ruption of Fr. bwffetier, one who keeps 
the bvffct. Fr. buffet formerly meant 
a cupboard of plate, and the collection 
of plate set forth on a sideboard (Cot- 
grave) ; and the chief duty of these 
yeomen may have been to guard the 
crown jewels and coronation plate 
there deposited. There is, however, no 
such word as buffetier in Cotgrave, and 
buffeteur, which he does give, means a 
purloiner of wiue. 

Though this corruption is quoted by 
Andresen, M. Miiller, Trench, and 
others, it is open to grave suspicion, 
as there is no evidence whatever that 
these yeomen were ever called buffe- 
ticrs. Mr. Pegge states, indeed, that 
the office of carrying up the dishes to 
the royal table continued to be a branch 
of their duty up to the time when he 
wrote, 1791 (Gurialia, p. 31), but he 
denies that they had anything to do 
with the buffet. 

Sometimes I stand by the beef-eaters, and 
take the buz as it passes by me. — The Specta- 
tor, No. 625 (1714). 

Bathurst is to have the Beef-eaters. — Horace 
Walpole, Letters, vol. i. p. 176 (1742), ed. 

But these gentlemen of the Guard 
have been noted of old for their pre- 
dilection for beef. 
Hear me you men of strife ! you that have 

Long time maintain'd by the dull Peoples 

At Lyon's, Furnifold's, and Clement's Inne ! 
With huge, o're-comming Mutton, Target- 
Beefe, that the queasie siomacVd Guard would 

Sir William Davenant, Works, 
fol. 1673, p. 237. 
A foreigner, visiting England in 1741, 
describes the Yeomen of the Guard as 
follows : — 

Une Troupe d'Anglo - Suisses, qu'on 
nomme Vomen of the Card, et par derision 
Roast-beef ou Beef-eaters, c'est a dire Man- 
geiirs de Bceuf, remplissent la .Salle des Gardes 
et en font les fonctions. — Letires de M. le 
Baron Bielfield (1763), torn. i. Lett. xxix. (in 
Scott, British Army, vol. i. p. 530). 

Cowley, also, in his poem entitled 
The Wish, plainly impUes that these 
portly yeomen were notorious for their 
consumption of beef : — 



And chines of See/ innumerable send me, 
Or from the stomach of the Guard defend me. 
Marvell, in his Instructions to a 
Painter about the Dutch Wwrs, 1667, 
has these hnes : — 

Bold Duncomb next, of the projectors chief, 
And old Fitz Harding of the eaters beef. 
Those goodly Juments of the guard would 

(^As they eat beef) after six stone a day. 
Cartwright, The Ordinary, ii. 1 (1651). 

The yeomen are often spoken of as 
The Ouard in ancient documents : Sir 
S. D. Scott, The British Army, vol. i. 
p. 513. An instance of the early use 
of the word heefeater is there quoted 
from a letter of Prince Eupert's, dated 
1645 (pp. 515-516). The large daily 
allowance of beef which was granted 
for their tahle renders the term in its 
obvious sense quite appropriate (p. 

In the old play of Histrio-Mastix 
(1610), Mavortius dismisses his serving- 
men with the words — 

Begone yee greedy beefe-eaters ; y'are best : 
The Callis Cormorants from Dover roade 
Are not so chargeable as you to feed. 

Act iii. 1.99. 

Beeld, a N.W. Lincolnshire word for 
likeness, fao-simile — e.g. " She's the 
very beeld o' her brother when she's 
a man's hat on" (Peacock) : as it were, 
build (beeld being "to build") seems 
to be identical with Dutch beeld :=. Ger. 
hild, figure, portrait, likeness. 

Beeves, a Sussex word for bee-hives, 
whence it is corrupted (Parish, Sussex 

Begger, has generally been regarded 
from a very early period as being only 
another form of bagger ; the bag which 
he carried about for the reception of 
alms or broken victuals being the dis- 
tinctive mark of the mendicant. So 
Skinner, Bailey, Richardson, Wedg- 
wood. The Dorset folk say to bag for 
to beg. Just as pedlar, 0. E. pedder, 
was one that goes about with a ped or 
pannier, and maunder, a begger, one 
that goes about with a mamnd, or 
basket, whence maund, to beg, in Ben 
Jonson (see Nares, and Sternberg, 
Northampt. Glossary) ; so begger, it was 
conceived, came from bag. Compare 
Ir. pocain-e, a begger, from poc, a bag 
or poke ; Gasl. haigeir, a begger, from 

hag. Wedgwood adduces similar in- 
stances of "to beg," being originally to 
carry a scrip or wallet, from Welsh, 
Ital., Dan., and Greek. In the Cleve- 
land dialect, " To tak' oop wi' t' begg- 
ing-pooah," or "begging-poke," is to 
be reduced to beggery ; Fr. etre au 
bissac (Le Eoux, Diet. Gonmgue), "solet 
antique bribas portare bisacco " (Rabe- 
lais, Pantagruel, iv. 3). Thus the wallet 
and staff was the standard "round 
which the Netherland Gueux, glorying 
in that nickname of Beggars, heroi- 
cally rallied and prevailed" (Carlyle, 
Sartor Besartus, ui. 3). Compare also 

Hit is bsggares ribte uorte beren bagge on 
bac. — Ancren Riwle, p. 168. 

Beggers witli bagges \>e whiche brewhouses 
ben here churches. — Vision of Piers Plowman, 
X. 1. 98, C. (ed. Skeat.) 

Bagges and beggyng he bad his folk leuen. 
— Piers Plowman's Crede, 1. 600 (ed. Skeat). 

Bidders and beggers- taste a-boute eoden, 
Til heor Bagges and tieore Balies- weren [brat- 
ful] I-crommet. — Vision of P. Plowman, Prol. 
41, text A. 

That maketh beggares go with bordon and 
bagges. — Poiitica/i'ons'S, p. 150(CamdenSoc.). 
I dreame it not the happy life 
The needie beggers bug to beare. 

Turbervdie, Sonnettes, 1569. 

But what found he in a ' 
Percy's Folio MS. i. 49, note. 

A n old patcht coat the Beggar had one . . . 
and many a bag about him did wag. — Ibid, 
p. 14. 

Mr. H. Sweet, however, commenting 
on the word bedecige, to beg, in K. Al- 
fred's version of Gregory's Fastorcd 
care (p. 285, 1. 12), thinks that O. Eng. 
hedecian, bedegian (from biddan, to beg) 
passed through the stages heggian, beg- 
gen, into our modem beg (p. 486, 
E.E.T.S.). Prof Skeat adopts this 
view, remarking that the word was 
forced out of its true form to suit a 
popular theory. Diefenbach had al- 
ready connected it with Goth, bidagvd, 
a begger, bidjan, to ask, Bav. baiggen 
(Goth. Sprache, i. 294). 

Behind hand : this curious idiom, 
apphed to one in arrears with his work 
or in money matters, seems to be a 
corruption of Old Eng. behinden, back- 
ward (opposed to forward or well to- 
wards the front). 

He him raakelS to ben fcj/imden, of Jjat he 
weueS to ben biforen. — Old Eng. Homilies, 
2nd ser. p.2i:i (ed. Mon'is). 


( 27 ) 


See Oliphant, Old and Mid. Una. 
p. 193. 

Beholding, a very common perver- 
sion of beholden. Old Bng. beholdyn, in 
old authors. 

I came .... to take my leaue of tliat 
noble Lndie lane Grey, to whom I was ex- 
ceding moch beholdlnge. — R. Aschum, Schole- 
master, bk. 1. (1570), p. 46 (ed. Athev). 

The chm-ch of LandaiFe Tras much behold- 
ing to him. — Fuller, Worthies, ii. 164 (ed. 

Belfey, so spelt as if it denoted al- 
ways tlie tower where the hells are 
hung, is the French heffroi, O. Eng. 
hercfreit, O. Fr. herfroi, iefroit, a watch- 
tower ; M. H. Ger. hercvrif, from her- 
gen (to protect) and frid (a tower). — 
Wedgwood, Diez. 

At vch brugge a berfray on basteles "vvyse. 
— Alliterative Poems (xiv. cent.), p. 71, 
1. 1187. 

A b&wfray that shal have ix fadome of 
lengthe and two fadome of brede. — Caxton's 
Vegecius, sig. 1. 6. 

In Lincolnshire a helfry is any shed 
made of wood and sticks, furze, or 
straw (Peacock). 

The beffroy, in ancient mihtary war- 
fare, was a movable tower of wood, 
consisting of a succession of stages or 
storeys, connected by ladders, and 
diminishing in width gradually from 
the base. The name was afterwards 
given to any high tower (Sir S. D. 
Scott, The British Army, vol. ii. p. 

Mr. Cosmo Innes holds that the two 
round towers of Scotland "were used 
as helfreys, probably before bells were 
hung in buildings, and when the mode 
of assembling a congregation was by a 
hand hell rung from the top of the hell 
tower." — Scotland in the Mid. Ages, p. 
290. It is difficult to suppose that in 
writing this passage the author did not 
connect helfreys with bells. 

Bellibone, an old Enghsh word for 
a lovely woman, is a corruption of the 
phrase helle et honne. 

Pan may be proud that ever he begot 
Such a Bellibone. 
Spenser, Hhepheards Calender (April). 

The fact of woman being sometimes 
termed man's rib may have favoured 
the corruption. E. K.'s gloss on the 
passage is : "A Bellibone, or a honmhell. 

homely spoken for a fayre mayde, or 

Bell-kite, a vulgar name in Scot- 
land for the hald coot, old Scottish held 
cytfp, of which it is a corruption. 

The coot, Welsh cwt-iaa; has its name 
from its short tail, cwt. 

Bellycheeke, an old word for good 
living : — 

A spender of his patrimony and goods in 
beltycheere and unthriftie companie. — Nomen- 
clator, 1385. 

It is a corruption of an older form, 
belle-chere, i.e. good cheer. 
For God it wote, I wend withouten doute. 
That he had yeve it me, because of you, 
'I'o don therwith mine honour and my prow. 
For cosinage, and eke for belle-chere. 
Chaucer, The Shipmannes Tale, 1. 13336-9 
(ed. Tyrwhitt). 
Gluttonie mounted on a greedie beare, 
To belly-cheere and banquets lends his care. 
Sam. Rowlands, The Four Kjuives (1611, 
&o.), p. 117 (Percy Soc. Ed.). 

Belly-bound, the name for a certain 
kind of apple [? in America] is said to 
be a corruption of helle et bonne (Scheie 
De Vere, Studies in English, p. 205). 
Cf. Prov. Eng. hellihorion, a kind of 
apple, East (Wright). See Bellibone, 
a fair maiden. 

Benjamin, "B enjoin, the aromaticall 
gumme called Benjamin " (Cotgrave), 
is a corruption of Benzoin, It. belztiino, 
belguinoi Span, henjui, Portg. heijoim, 
aU from Arabic, luban djawi {'hdn- 
djdwi) "incense of Java," i.e. of Su- 
ruatra, called Java by the Arabs 
(Dozy, Devic). In the dialect of 
Wallon de Mons, benjamine is a cor- 
ruption of balsamine (Sigart, Olossadre 

Bent-wood, a north of England 
word for ivy [hedera helix), is a cor- 
ruption of Scotch hen-wood, hind-wood; 
compare Bind-with. 

Bequest, that which is bequeathed, 
from A. Sax. be-c/iveian, to be-quoth, 
influenced in form by a false analogy 
to request, inquest, &c. 

Berry, an old Eng. word for a 
squall, or sudden storm, is a corruption 
oiperrie (Harrison) ; "pyry or Storme, 
Nimbus " {Prompt. Ptwv.) ; "pyrry, a 
storme of wynde, orage," Palsgrave ; 
" Sodain piries," Hall, Ghrordele, 17 


( 28 ) 


Hen. VI. ; " gnsdo di uento, a gust or 
herw or gale of -wind," Plorio, 1611. 
" Pirries or great stormes " (Sir T. 
Elyot, The Gouernour). 

Croscia d' acqua, a suddaiue showre, a 
storme, a tempest, a blustring, a benyy or 
flaw of many windes or stormes together. — 
Fk'Ho (1611). 

Tourbillon, a gust, flaw, berri£, sudden blast 
or boisterous tempest of wind. — Cotgrave. 

Vent, a gale, flaw, or berrie of wind. — Id. 

We hoised seall with a lytle pirhe of est 
wind, and lainshed furthe. — /. Mdoille, Diary 
(1586), p. 252 (WodroiT Soc). 

See Fwrie (Nares), Scotch, pirr, a 
gentle breeze ; Icel. hyrr, a fair wiad ; 
Dan. I'm-, Swed. lor. Of. Skeat, Eiym. 
Bid. s.v. Pirouette. ' 

Beetbam, the name of a plant, has 
no connexion with the Christian name 
of the same sound, but is a corruption 
of the Lat. pyretlwum, Gk. purethron, 
a hot spicy plant, from pur, fire. The 
same word, by a different process, has 
been converted into Peteb (which 

Beseen, used by Chaucer and Spen- 
ser in the phrase well-heseen, comely, 
of good appearance, is a corruption of 
old' Eng. Tnsen, example, appearance 
(Dr. E. Morris, Pricke of Conscience, 
p. 283). See Bison. But query? 

Arayd in antique robes downe to the 

And sad habiliments right well beseene. 

Fairie Queene, I. xii. 5. 
Thus lay this pouer in great disti'esse 
A colde and hungry at the gate, . . . 
So was he wofuUy beseiie. 

Gower, Confesaio A mantis, vol. iii. p. 35 
(ed. Pauli). 
Defoe uses heseen for attire, clothes. 
See Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossary, s.v. 

Beware, a cant term used by street 
showmen for a drink or beverage, is 
doubtless corrupted from It. hevere 
(Lat. hihere), many other words of this 
class having an Itahan origin — e.g. 
nanti, none, It. niente ; dinali, money, 
It. (Una/ri ; casa, house. It. casa ; Iteteva, 
bad. It. cattivo ; vada, look, It. vedere ; 
otter, eight, It. otio ; carroon, a crown, 
It. corona. In the "mummers' slang," 
" all beer, brandy, water, or soup, are 
beware." — Mayhew, London Labour 
and London Poor, vol. iii. p. 149. 

It is the same word as old Eng. 
"Beuer, drinkinge tyme " (Prompt 

Pa/i-v.), Prov. Eng. bever, an afternoon 
refection (Suffolk). In the argot of 
Winchester College, beever is an allow- 
ance of beer served out iu the after- 
noon, and beever-time the time when it 
is served out (H. 0. Adams, Wylce- 
haimca, p. 417). 

Bbzoes, a Gloucestershire word for 
the auricula, is a corruption of bear's 
ears (Lat. ii/rsi OMricula), so called from 
the shape and texture of its leaves. — 
Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 40 (E. D. Soc). 


old name for the game of cup and 
ball, is a corruption of bilboquet, Fr. 
billeboquet ; boquei seems to be for boc- 
guet (the iron of a lance), the pro- 
jecting point on which the ball (Kile) 
was caught. But cf. Prov. Er. bilboter, 
to totter or waver (Sigart, Gloss. Mon- 

I am ti-ying to set up the noble game of 
bilboquet against it [whist]. — Horace Walpole, 
Letters, vol. i. p. 237 (1743). 

Bile, the common old Eng. form of 
boil, an inflamed swelling, and still used 
by the peasantry both in England (e.g. 
Lincolnshire, Brogden, Glossary, s.v.) 
and Ireland, has no connexion with 
bile (Lat. bilis), as if attributable to de- 
rangement of the liver. That there 
is no real analogy is shown by the 
cognate words, Icel. bdla, a blain, or 
blister ; also the boss on a shield (a 
protuberance), Lat. bulla, a bleb or 
bubble (Ger. beule, a boil ; Dutch buile, 
Swed. bula) — all probably denoting a 
bhster or bubble,the result of ebullition, 
and so akin to Icel. bulla, Eng. to boil, 
Lat. (e)bullvre. So eczema, a trouble- 
some skin disease, is the Greek ehzema, 
a boiling over, a pustule. 

Ettmijller gives A. Sax. byle, a blotch 
or sore. 

Buyl, a Bile, boss. 

Buyl, a Purse. 

Sewel, Dutch Diet. 1708. 

Wychffe has the forms Ule, byil, biel, 
beel (Deut. xxviii. 27, 35 ; Ex. ix. 9). 

His voices passage is with Biles be-layd. 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 438 (1621). 

Byle, Sore, Pustula. — Prompt Parvulorum 
(c. 1440). 

Dyeing houses . . . within are the botches 
and byles of abhomination. — Whetstone, Mir- 
ourfor Magistrates of Cyties, 1584. 


( 29 ) 


Thou ai't a byle. 

King Lear, ii. 4. 
The leaues of Asphodel seme for . . , red 
and flat bites, gout-rosat, Sauce-fleame, ale- 
pocks, and such like vlcers in the face. — 
Holland, Plinies Nat. History, vol. ii. p. 128 
(1634) fol. 

Bosse, ... a botch, bile, or plague sore.— 

So A.V. LevH. xiii. 18, 20 (1611). 

Billy, a slang word for stolen metal 
of any kind. (Hotten), is probably a 
corruption of Fr. hillon, bullion. 

BiLLTAED, an old spelling of hilliard, 
as if it were the ya/rd or rod with which 
the bille or ball is struck. 

Bille, a small bowle, or billyard ball. 

Billart, the sticke wherewith we touch 
the ball at billyards. — Cotgrave. 

It is from the Fr. hillmrd, originally 
a curved stick for striking the ball — 
Low Lat. hilla/rdtis, from billa z^pila, a, 

BiND-wiTH, a popular name for the 
clematis vitalba. It is diiiicult to say 
what connexion, if any, exists between 
this and the following words, or which, 
if any, are corrupted words : Soot. 
hindwood, henwood, ivy ; hindweed, 
henweed, htmwede, ragwort ; O. Eng. 
henwyt-tre, henewith ire {Prompt. Parv.), 
perhaps the wood- bine ; Icel. hein-viiir 
(bone-wood), salix arbuscula ; Swed. 
hen-ved (bone-wood), the wild-cornel; 
Dan. fcecTO-'iJeed (bone-wood),the spindle- 
tree {euonymus). 

BiRDBOLT, the fish gadus lota, is a 
corruption of barhote (Latham). 

So Nares gives turholi from Witts 
Recreation, as another form of turhot. 

Burbote, or barbate, is Lat. harbata, 
the bearded fish, hke " barbel." 

BiRD-OAGE Walk, in St. James's Park, 
so called as if bird-cages were hung 
there, is said to be a corruption of 
bocage walk {Philolog. Soc. Proc. vol. v. 
p. 139). This is doubtful. 

Bird Eagles, a Cheshire name for 
the fruit of the Gratcegus Oxycamtha. 
Eagles or Agles is the diminutive of 
hague, the more common name of the 
haw in Cheshire. [A. Sax. haga.] — 
Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 42. 

BiscAKB, a provincial form of " bis- 
cuit," Fr. ins-evAt (Lat. bis-eoct{Ms), i.e. 

dmis-coct, literally, tivice-cooht ; Icel 
tvi-baka, Ger. zwiebaoh. 
She had Useakes and ale with the Dos's Meat 

Ballad of the Dog's Meat Man. 
Bis-ca^es would have suppUed a 
transitional form. 

Bishop's-Leaves, a popular name for 
the plant scrophularia aquatica, arose 
probably from a misunderstanding 
of its French appellation, I'herhe dm, 
siige, as if siege were used here in its 
ecclesiastical sense of a bishop's see, 
instead of its medical — the herb being 
considered remedial in hsemorrhoidal 
affections (Prior). 

Bishop's-wort, a. Sax. hiscop-wyri, 
as a name for a plant, seems to have 
been originally a translation of the 
Latin hibiscus, which was confounded 
with Episcopus. 

Bison, in the phrase " to be a holy 
bison " — more correctly spelt in the 
Cleveland Olossary " a holy bisen," i.e. 
" a holy show," a gazing-stock, a 
spectacle — is A. Sax. hysn, bysen, an 
example ; Icel. bysn, a wonder, a 
strange and portentous thing. 

A common menace which the wo- 
naen of Newcastle-upon-Tyne use to 
each other is, " I'll make a holy by son 
of you." — Brand, Pop. Antiquities, vol. 
i. p. 487 (ed. Bohn). 

Jje bodys of (je world in Jjair kynde, 

Shewes us for bisens to haf in mynde. 

Hanipole, Pricke of' Conscience, 
1. 1026 (ab. 1340). 

Bitter end, in the modem phrase 
" To the bitter end " :=: d outrance, was 
originally a nautical expression, to the 
end of the bitter, which is " a turn of a 
cable about the timbers called bites (or 
bitts)," Bailey. Probably the same word 
as bite, or bight, a bend or coil, bought (1 
Sam. XXV. 29, marg.), Dut. bogt, Dan. 
bugt. See Dr. Nicholson in N. and Q., 
6th S. III. 26, who quotes from Capt. 
John Smith, Governor- General of 
Virginia : "A Bitter is but the turn of 
a Cable about the Bits, and veere 
[slacken or pay] it out little by Uttle. 
And the Bitter's end is that part of the 
Cable doth stay within board " (Sea- 
man's Orammar, p. 30). But this 
hitter's end became altered into hitter- 
end. Adrn. Smyth in The SaMor's 


( 30 ) 


Word-Booh has " Bitter end. That part 
of the cable which is abaft the bitts, 
and therefore within board when the 
ship rides at anchor. . . . And when a 
chain or rope is paid out to the hitter 
end no more remains to be let go." 

Black abt, a literal rendering of the 
Sp. magia negra, a phrase formed from 
nigronicmoia, which is itself a corruption 
of the Gk. nehromanteia, as if connected 
with niger, black. Compare It. negro- 
mcmte, nigromamte, Span, and Portg. 

Nj^omSincy,Nigromancia, — Prompt, Parv. 
Let's also flee the furious-curious Spell 
Of those Black-Artists that consult with Hell. 

/. Siikester, Works, p. 773 (1621), fol. 

See Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossa/ry, s.v. 

Blanch, an old spelling of hlench, to 
shrink, or flinch, as if to grow pale or 
white (blanche, Fr. llanc), old Eng. 
hlench, to turn aside (game, &o.), lead 
astray, deceive ; A. Sax. hlencan, to 
make to hUnh (Skeat, TStym. Diet.). 
Cf. Icel. hlehkja, to impose on. 

Latimer has hlctunchers for hlenchers. 

Even now so hath he certayne blaunchers 
longing to the market, to let and stoppe the 
light of the Gospell, and to hinder the Kinges 
proceedings in setting forth the worde and 
glory of God. — Sermons (1548), p. 23, verso. 

Nu a uleih mei eilen ]pe and maken \>e to 
blenchen [Now a fly may hurt thee and make 
thee shrink]. — Ancren Riwle, p. 276. 

Abuten us he is for to blenchen. 

IVIid alle his mihte he wule us swenchen. 
Old Eng. Homilies, 1st ser. p. 55, 1. 14. 

Saw you not the deare come this way, hee 
flew downe the wind, and I beleeve you have 
blancht him. — Lilly, Gallathea, ii. I. 
Here and there wanderers, blanching tales 

and lies. 
Of neither praise nor use. 

G. Chapman, Odysseys. xi. 492. 

Sylvester has blanch rz avoid, omit 

O ! should I blanch the Jewes religious 

Dn Bartas, p. 52. 
If my ingratefuU Rimes should blanch the 

Id. p. 54. 

Blancmanger : the latter part of this 
word is said to have no connexion 
with manger, to eat. The old spelling 
was hlanc-mangier, and hlanc-mengier, 
a corruption of ma-en-sire, i.e. " fowl- 
in-syrup," which is the chief ingredient 

of the dish in old recipes. Its other 
names — Blanc Desire {i.e. de sire, " of 
syrup "), Blanc desorre, Blanc de sorry, 
Blanc de Surry — are of similar origki. 
— Kettner, Book of the Table, pp. 211- 
213. But where is this 'ma{?)-en-sire to 
be found ? 

The Liber Cure Oocorum, 1440 (edi 
Morris) gives recipes for Blonlce desore 
(p. 12) and Blanc Maungere of fysshe 
(p. 19). Minsheu gives {8pan. Diet. 
1623), Manjar bianco, a white meat 
made of the breast of a hen, milke, 
sugar, rice beaten, mixed all together. 

Blaze, a white mark, on the face of 
an animal, or made on a tree by strip- 
ping off a portion of the bark — so spelt 
as if to denote a bright, flame-hke 
streak — is the same word as Ger. hlasse, 
a white mark (hlass, pale, wan) ; Swed. 
bids, Dan. blis, a face-mark ; Prov. Ger. 
llessen, to mark a tree by removing the 
bark (WestphaUa) ; Ger. bletzen. Com- 
pare Fr. blesser. 

They met an old man who led them to a 
line of ti'ees which had been marked by 
having a part of the bark cut off ; trees so 
marked are said to be blazed, and the patch 
thus indicated is called a blaze. — Southey, 
Life of Wesley, vol. i. p. 74, ed. 1858. 

Blaze, in the phrase " to blaze 
abroad," to proclaim or make widely 
known, as if to cause to spread Hke 
wild-fire, is properly to blow abroad or 
trumpet forth, old Eng. hlasen, to blare, 
A. Sax. bl&san, Dut. blazen, Icel. lldsa, 
Goth, (uf-) blesan, all = to blow (Skeat). 
With his blake clarioun 
He gan to blasen out a soun. 

Chaucer, House of Fame, iii. 711. 

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death 
of princes. 
Shakespeare, Julius Crnsar, ii. 2, 1. 31. 

That I this man of God his godly armes may 

Spenser, Faerie Queetie, I. xi. 7. 

He began to publish it much and to blase 
abroad the matter.—^. V. S. Mark, i.45. 

Latimer has to blow abroad, and Hall 
(1550) to blast abroad, =. to pubUsh. See 
Eastwood and Wright, BibleWord-looh, 
p. 67. 

But when the thing was blazed about the 

The brute world howling forced them into 


Tennyson, Merlin and Vivien. 



Blazes, in sundry colloquial com- 
parisons impljring vehemently, ex- 
tremely, in a very high degree, as 
" drunk as blazes," is said to have 
been originally hlaizers, or votaries of 
8. Blaize or Blasius, in whose honour 
orgies seem formerly to have been held. 
" Old Bishop Blaize" is still a public 
house sign (N. and Q. 6th S. II. 92), 
and Miusheu speaks of " St. Blaze his 
day [Feb. 3] , about Candlemas, when 
country women goe about and make 
good cheere, and if they find any of 
their neighbour women a spinning that 
day they burne and make a blaze of 
fire of the distaffe, and thereof called 
S. Blaze his day (I)." See Brand, Fop. 
Antiq. i. 51 ; Chambers, Boole of Days, i. 
219 ; N. and Q. 6th S. I. 434. Phi-ases 
like a "blazing shame" (r= burning) 
seem to be different. A naval officer 
turning in after a very wintry watch 
told his fellows " It was as cold as 
hlazes." De Quincey says of a horse 
" He went like Hazes." 

I remember, fifty years since, or more, at 
one of the Lincoln elections, hearing a man 
in the crowd say to another, speaking of the 
preceding night, " We got drunk as Blaizers." 
I never could make out what he meant. 
Yesterday 1 was reading" Sir Thomas Wyse's 
Impressions of Greece, and, speaking of the 
reverence for St. Blaize in Greece (who is 
also, as you know, the patron saint of the 
English woolcombers), and how his feast was 
observed in the woollen manufactories of the 
Midland Counties, he says, " Those who took 
part in the procession were called ' Blaizers,' 
and the phrase ' as drunk as Blaizers ' origi- 
nated in the convivialities common on those 
occasions." So good " Bishop and Martyr" 
Blaize is dishonoured as well as honoured ia 
England, and very probably in Greece. — 
Life of Richard Waldo Sibthorp, by Bev. J. 
Fowler, 1880, p. 227. 

Bleae one's eye, an old phrase for 
to deceive (Shaks. Tarndng of Slwew, 
V. 1, 1. 120), is, accordiag to Prof. 
Skeat := Prov. Swed. hlvrrafojr augu, 
to hlv/r, or dazzle before the eyes [Etym. 

Bleaey eye, a cottager's attempt at 
Blm/rii, the scientific name for a species 
of rose first raised by Mr. Blair, of 
Stamford Hill, near London. — S. E. 
Hole, Book about Boses, p. 154. 

Bless, an old verb meaning to guard, 
preserve, must be distinguished from 
bless, A. Sax. bletsioM, i.e. bU^-sian, to 

make bUthe or iKss-ful, with which it 
has sometimes been confounded. It is 
old Eng. blessen, hKssen, hlecen, to pre- 
serve, turn aside, lessen ; Dut. bleschen, 
to quench (Morris), for be-leschen, of. 
Ger. losclien, to queneli, discharge. 

From alle uuele he seal hlecen us. — Old 
Eng. Homilies, 1st ser. p. 57, 1. 64. 
[Aaron] Ran and stod tuen Hues and dead. 
And Sis fier blessede and wi<5-drog. 

Genesis and Exodus, 1. 3803 (ah. 1250). 
So sorely he her strooke, that thence it 

Adowne her backe, the which it fairly blest 
From foule mischance. 

Spenser, F. Qxieene, IV. vi. 13. 

Their father calls them [Simeon and Levi] 
*' brethren in evil" for it, btesseth his honour 
from their company, and his soul from their 
secrecy, Gen. xlix. 6. — T. Adams, The City 
of Peace, Works, ii. 322. 

Heaven bless us from such landlords. — 
Country Farmer's Catechism, 1703 [Nares]. 

Bless, to brandish (Spenser) seems 
to be akin to Fr. hlesser, to wound, slash. 

Burning blades about their heades doe blesse. 
F. Queene, I. v. 6. 

Blindfold seems to have no al- 
lusion to the fold (A. Sax. feald) of 
material that covers or blinds the eyes, 
but is a corruption of the old Eng. 
blindfellede, from the verb blindfellen. 
Ohphant, Old and Mid. Eng., p. 280. 

He {jolede al [juldeliche jjet me hine blind- 
fellede, hwon his eien weren )3us ine schend- 
"lac iblinfelled, vor to Siuen |3e ancre brihte 
sibie of heouene. — Ancren Riuile, p. 106. 

He suffered all patiently that men him 
blindfolded, when his eyes were thus in 
derision blindfolded for to give the anchorite 
bright sight of heaven. 

BufFetes, spotlunge, blindfellunge, jiornene 
crununge. — id. p. 188. 
\>e Gywes fiat heolde ihesu crist. Muchele 

scheme him dude. 
Blyndfellede. and spatten him on. in jjen ilke 
Old Eng. Miscellany, p. 45, 1. 272. 

Blyndefylde, excecatus. — Prompt. Parvw- 

Where the Heber MS. has blyndfellyd. 
Blyndfellen, ormake blynde, exceco.— frf. 

Prof. Skeat says blindfellen is for 
hlimd-fyllan, to strike blind; Mqd.'Eng. 

Blind-man's-buff seems to be a 
corruption of blind-mam-buck, as " in 
the Scandinavian Julbock, from which 
this sport is said to have originated, 


( 32 ) 


the principal actor was disguised in 
the skin of a buck or goat " ( Jamieson). 
The name of the game in German is 
blinde-Kuh, "bhnd-cow;" in Scotch, 
hlind-ha/rie, helly-hUnd, hellie-mantie, 
Ohache-hlynd-mcm, Joekie-hlind-mcm ; 
in Danish hUndehuk. The Prompiorium 
Pa/rvulorim (ab. 1440) gives " Pleyyn, 
huk hyde, Angulo," which, however, 
may perhaps be the game of hide and 
seek. Bough, in Martin Parker's poem 
entitled BUnd Mans Bough, 1641, may 
be regarded as the transitional form. 

The Dorset name is hlind-buck-o' - 
jDeavy (Davy's bhnd buck). In most 
countries it is an animal, not a person, 
that is represented as being bhnd in 
this game — e.g. in addition to those 
ah-eady mentioned, Portg. cah-a ciega, 
(blind goat), Sp. galUna ciega (blmd 
hen). It. gatta orha (bhnd cat), nwsca 
cieca (blind fly). — {Philohg.Soc.Trans. 
1864, Dorset Glossa/ry, p. 43). 

Similarly the game of hide and seek 
is in the Dorset dialect hidy-huck .- cf. 
hide-fox. Samlet iv. 2. 

He has a natural desire to play at blind- 
man-bujfa,U his lifetime. — Randolph, Works, 
p. 394(1651)ed. HazUtt. 

Bloody Maes, a popular name for 
a kind of wheat, is a curious corruption 
of Fr. Ble de Mo/rs. — Britten and Hol- 
land, Eng. Plant-Names, p. 52 (E. D. 

Bloomeey, a melting - furnace, a 
foundry, an Anglicized form of Welsh 
plymwiaeth, lead-work (Gamett, Phi- 
lolog. Soc. Proc. vol. i. p. 173), from 
Welsh pliom zi Lat. plumlum. But O. 
Eng. hloma is a lump of metal taken 
from the ore. 

Massa, daS vel btoma. — Wright's Vocabu- 
laries (10th cent.), p. 34. 

Blooming- Sally, a North of Ireland 
name for the flowering (Lat.) salix, or 
wlUow (Bpilobium angustifolium). — 
Britten and Holland. So Sweet Cicely 
and Sioeet Alison have no connexion 
with the similar woman's names. 

Blot, in the phrase " to hit a hlot," 
to flud out a defect or weak ijoint in 
anything, is not, as one might suppose, 
the same word as hlotoh, a stain or 
mark on a fair surface, but taken from 
the game of backgammon, where Hot 
is a man left uncovered, and so liable to 
be taken — a vulnerable point. Exactly 

equivalent is Ger. eine hlSsze treffen : cf. 
Swed. gSra hlott, to make a Hot, or ex- 
posed point. It is the Ger. llozs, Dan. 
and Swed. hlott, Scot, hlout, hlait, aU 
meaning naked. Vid. Blaokley, Word 
Gossip, p. 84. Cf. Icel. hlautr, soft, and 
so defenceless. 
Quarles says that Vengeance 

Doth wisely frame 
Her backward tables for an after-game : 
She gives thee leave to venture many a bht; 
And, for her own advantage, hits thee not. 

EmbleTtis, Bk. iv. 4 (1635). 

Blue as a Razoe, a proverbial ex- 
pression, which Bailey explains to be 
for blue as azure [Dictionairy, s.v.). 

Blue-bottle : Dr. Adams beheves 
that hottle in this word for a fly is a 
diminutive of hot, a grub or maggot 
(Gael, hoius ; — ? from its producing 
these) — O.Eng. Wor-hottles heiagiound. 
for wor-hots. — Philolog. Soc. Tram. 
1859, p. 226. 

Now, blue-bottle'! what flutter you for, 
sea-pie^ — Webster, Northward Ho, i. 3. 

Blue-mange, a vulgar Scotch cor- 
ruption of hlancmange. 

No to count Jeelies and coosturd, and blue- 
mange. — Nodes Ambrosianm, vol. i. p. 64. 

Blundeebus, which seems to be a 
later name for the old harquebus, which 
was fired from a rest fixed in the 
ground, is not probably (as generally 
stated) a corruption of Dutch donder- 
bus, Ger. donnerhiiahse, but another 
form of the word blanter-hus. Blanter- 
bus seems originally to have been 
plamtier-lus, a derivative doubtless of 
Lat. planta/re, Pr. planter. It. piam- 
ta/re, denoting the firearm that is 
planted or fixed on a rest before being 
discharged. Blunyierd is a Scotch 
word for an old gun. 

King James, in 1617, granted the 
gunmakers a charter empowering them 
to prove aU arms — " harquesbusse 
{plantier-busse, alias blanter-busse), and 
musquettoon, and every caUiver, 
musquet, carbine," &c.~Original 
Ordnance Accounts, quoted by Sir S.D. 
Scott, The British Army, vol. i. p. 405. 

I do believe the word is corrupted, for I 
guess it is a German term, and should be 
Donnerbuolis, and that is thundering guns; 
Donner signifying thunder, and Buch a 
gun. — Sir James Turner, Pallas Armata, 
p. 173 (1683). 


( 33 ) 


Sir S. D. Scott, strangely enough, 
adopts tliis later account, explaining 
blunder in the old sense of stupefying 
or confounding. — {British Army, vol. ii. 
p. 303.) 

Blunt, money (cant), is said to be 
from the French blond, used in the 
sense of silver ; so " browns " for half- 
pence, and "toyn," a very old cant term 
for a penny =z Welsh gioyn (white), 
a silver coin. " Blank," an old Eng. 
word for a kind of base silver money, 
is from the French 6Za»c, white — " inon- 
noye blanche, white money, ooyne of 
brasse or copper silvered over : " Cot- 
grave. "3 blcmckes is a shilling :'" The 
Post of the World, 1576, p. 86 (in 

Blush, in the phrase " at the first 
blush," is a distinct word from blush, 
to be suffused with redness, being the 
old Eng. blusoh, look, view, glance. 
Thus, when Campion, in his HiMo^-ie of 
Ireland, 1571, speaks of "A man of 
straw that at a blush seemeth to carry 
some proportion " (Beprint, p. 167), he 
means at a glanee, at first sight. This 
b-lush is, perhaps, related to A. Sax. 
Idcian, to look ; Gk. leusso, to behold ; 
as b-lush, A. Sax. blyscan, to redden, 
Dut. blosc, are to Dan. blusse, to blaze ; 
Lat. lucere, Icel. hjsa — both being 
traceable to the Sansk. root ruch, to 
shine (Benfey). 

A good instance is this concerning 
Lot's wife : — 

Bot >e balleful burde, J)at neuer bode keped, 
Blusched by-hynden her bak, ))at bale forto 

Alliterative Poems, p. 65, 1. 980 (ed. Moms). 
);enne com Ihesu crisf so cler in him seluen, 
after Jje furste blusch- we ne miste him bi- 


Joseph of Arimathie, ab. 1350, 1. 656 
(E.E.T.S. ed.). 
Thou durst not blushe once backe for better or 

but drew thee downe ffuU- in that deepe hell. 
Death and Life, Percy Folio MS. vol. lii. 

p. 72, 1. 388. 
Methinks, at a blush, thou shouldest be 
one of my occupation. — Lilly, Gallathea, ii. 
3 (vol. i. p. 234, ed. Fairholt). 

A " Contemporary Beview"-er lately 
(Dec. 1878) singled out for remark the 
following sentence: "In the garden 
lay a dead Jackal, which, at the first 
h,l took to be a fox," from a book 

entitled West and East, and affixed a 
sic! to the word blush, as if to say, 
" Utterly incredible as it may appear, 
it actually stands so ! " Evidently he 
did not know that blush means a look 
or glance. 

BoAE THISTLE, a widely-spread popu- 
lar name for the carduus lanceolaius, 
is a corruption of Bur Thistle. — Brit- 
ten and Holland, Eng. Plant-Names, 
p. 54 (E. D. Soc.) 

Similarly, bores is a Somersetshire 
word for burs (Id. p. 58). 

Board, to, a vessel, so spelt as if the 
original conception was to go on boa/rd 
and take possession of the deck, whereas 
it meant at first simply to come along- 
side, Pr. aborder, "to approach, ac- 
coast, abboord ; boord, or lay aboord ; 
come, or draw near unto; also to ar- 
rive, or land at:" Cotgrave. Fr. boi'd, 
Icel. bwi, a margin or border, esp. 
the side of a ship {e.g. leggja bori toS 
bori, to lay a ship alongside of another 
so as to boa/rd it) ; O. Eng. to boord zz. to 
approach, address (Spenser, Lilhe). 
" Board," a plank, is, however, a word 
nearly akin. Cf. " accost," Fr. costoyer, 
" to accoast, side, abbord, to be by the 
side of: " Cotgrave {adcostam). "Lap- 
land ... so much as accosts the sea " 
(FuUer, Woi-thies, i. 257). 
Spenser speaks of the river 

Newre whose waters gray 
By faire Kilkenny and Rosseponte boord 
[i.e. flow by the side of]. — Faerie Queene, IV. 
xi. 43. 

They both yfere 
Forth passed on their way in fayre accord, 
Till him the Prince wiui gentle court did 
bord \=^ accost]. 

Id. II. ix. 2. 
Affect in things about thee cleanlinesse 
That all may gladly board thee, as a flowre. 
Geo. Herbert, The Church-Porch. 

Mrs. Page. Unless he know some strain in 
me .... he would never have boarded me in 
this fury. 

Mrs. Ford. " Boarding," call you it?, I'll 
be sure to keep him above deck. 

Shakespeare, Mei-ry Wives of Windsor, 
ii. 1, 94. 

Bodkin, an old word for a species of 
rich cloth, a tissue of sUk and gold, is 
a corruption of baudlcin (Gascoigne), 
or baudequin, Pr. baldaquin, Sp. balda- 
quino. It. baldacchino, from Baldach, 
Bagdad, where it was manufactured. 


( 34 ) 


The Icelanders corrupted the word 
into Bald/rsskinn, i.e. " Balder's skin." 

The better sort have vestes potijmitie gar- 
ments of party-coloured silks' some bein^ 
Satten, some (iold and Silver Chamlets, and 
some of Bddkin and rich cloth of gold, 
figured. — .Sir Thos. Herbert, Travels, p. 313 

At this day [Bagdad] is called Valdac or 
Baldach. — Id. p. 242. 

He hanged all the walls of the gallery . . . 
with riche clothe of bodkin of divers colours. 
— Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, Wordsworth, 
Edcks Biog., vol. i. p. 447. 

Bog-bean, a popular name for men- 
yanthestrifoUaia. Notwithstanding its 
French synonym, trefle des ma/rah, Dr. 
Prior holds it to he a corruption of the 
older forms huolt-liean or huches-heane. 

BoLT-SPEiT, a frequent spelling of 
how-sprit (Bailey, Richardson), the 
sprit or spar projecting from the how of 
a ship ; Dutch hoeg-spriet, Dan. hug- 
spryd, as if one straight as a holt or 
arrow. The French have corrupted 
the word into heaupre. 

Kennett explains holtsprit as the sprit 
or mast that holts out (1695) : Eng. 
Dialect Soc, B. 18. 

BoND-GBACE, an old name for a 
hanging border or curtain attached to 
a bonnet or other head-dress to shade 
the complexion from the sun, is a cor- 
ruption of the older word BoM^rroce, Fr. 

You think me a very desperate man . . . 
for coming near so bright a sun as you are 
without a parasol, umbrellia, or a bondgrace. 
— Sir Wm. Davenant, The Man's the Master 

Bonne-grace. The uppermost flap of the 
down - hanging taile of a French-hood ; 
(whence belike our Boongrace). — Cotgrave. 

The attire of her head, her oarole, her 
borders, her peruke of hair, her bon-grace 
and chaplet. — Holland, Trans, of Plini/. 

The Nomenclator, 1585, defines um- 
hella to be a hone-grace. 

BoNE-FiEE, an old spelling of hon- 
jvre, from a belief that it was made of 

Bakloria, a great bonefire or feude ioy. — 

The word is still vulgarly pronounced 
so in Ireland, and probably elsewhere. 

Some deduce it from fires made of bone, 
relating it to the burning of martyrs, first 
fashionable in England in the reign of King 
Henry the Fourth. But others derive tlie 

word (more truly in my mind) from Boon, 
that is good and Fires ; whether good be taken 
for merry and chearfull, such fires being 
always made on welcome occasions. — Ful- 
ler, Good Thoughts in Bud Times, p. 181 (ed. 

Drayton's spelling is hoon-fire (Poly, 
olhion, 1622, song 27), and so Fuller, 
Mixt Contemplations, 1660, Part i. xvi. 

In worshipp of Saint lohann, the people 
wake at home, and make three maner of 
fyres : oone is ckne bones, and noo woode, 
and that is called a bone-fiire; another is clene 
woode, and no bones, and that is called a 
woode fyre, for people to sit and wake |here- 
by ; the thirde is made of wode and bones, 

and it is called Saynt lohannys fyre 

\\yse clerkes knoweth well that dragons 
hate nothyng more than the stench of bren- 
nynge bones, and therefore they gaderyd as 
many as tliey mighte fynde and brent them; 
and so with the stenche thereof they drove 
away the dragons, and so they were brought 
out of greete dysease. — Old Homilii, quoted 
in Hampson's Med. Katendarium, vol. i.' p. 

A slightly different version of this 
quotation is given in Brand's Populm- 
Antiquities, vol. i. p. 299 (ed. Bohn). 

The best bone-Jire of all is to have our 
hearts kindled with love to God. — Richard 
Sibbes, Works (ed. Nichol), vol. iii. p. 198. 

Stowe gives the same account as 
Fuller :— 

These were called bonfires, as well of 
good amity amongst neighbours, that, being 
before at controversy, were there by the 
labour of others reconciled, and made of bit- 
ter enemies loving fnends ; as also for the 
virtue that a great fire hath to purge the in- 
fection of the air. — Survey of London, p. 307, 
ed. 1754. 

Mr. Fleay observes : — 

The singular words " everlasting bon- 
fire" [in Macbeth, ii. 3] have been mis- 
understood by the commentators. A bonfire 
at that date is invariably given in the Latin 
Dictionaries as equivalent to 'pyra or rogm ; 
it was the fire for consuming the human body 
after death : and the hell- fire differed from 
tlie earth-fire only in being everlasting. — 
Shakespeare Maniiut, p. 247. 

Whether the word be spelt hone-fire, 
as if from hone, or, as at present, bon- 
fire, as if a fire made on the receipt of 
good (Fr. hon) news (Skinner, Johnson), 
it has superseded A. Sax. hcel-fyr [? Scot. 
hane-fire} , from heel, a bm-uing, a funeral 
pile : of. Icel. hdl, a flame, a funeral pile ; 
Soot, hale, a beacon-fagot. So Belt 
taine, the Irish name for the 1st of 


( 35 ) 


May, according to Cormac's Olossary, 
is hil-tene, the goodly fire then made by 
the Druids (Joyce, Irish Names of 
Places, p. 198) ; as if from hil, good, 
and tene, a fire. Bil here is probably 
akin to hoel, hdl. The A. Sax. heel- 
hlcBse still survives in the Cleveland 
bally-hleeze, a bon-fire. 

Mr. Wedgwood identifies the first 
part of the word with Dan. haun, a 
beacon, comparing Welsh ban, high, 
lofty, whence han-ffagl, a bonfire. 

BoNB-SHAVE, a provincial word for 
the sciatica, is a corruption of the old 
Eng. " honschawe, sekenesse, Tessedo, 
Sciasis:" Prompt. Parvuhrum. Other 
forms are honeshawe, hoonschaw, hane- 
scha/we, perhaps from A. Sax. ban and 
sceorfa (Way). 

Bonny - clabber — an Anglo - Irish 
word for thickened milk or buttermilk, 
used by Swift, Jonson, and others — is 
from the Irish baine, badrme, milk ; and 
claba, thick. Ford spells it borvny- 
elabbore, and Harington {Epigrams, 
1633) bony-elabo. 

Itisagainstmy freehold, my inheritance, . . . 
To drink such balderdash or bonnyclabber. 
Jonson, The New Inn, act. i. sc. 1. 

O Marafastot shamrocks are no meat, 
Nor bonny clabbo, nor green water-cresses. 
The Famous History of Captain Thos. 
Slukeley,\. 814(1605). 

Boon, in such phrases as " to ask a 
boon," is derived from Icel. b6n (A. 
Sax. bene, hen), a prayer or petition : 
with a collateral reference in popular 
etymology to boon (as in boon com- 
panion, z: Fr. Ion compagnon), Fr. bon, 
a good thing, a benefit. 

Bone or g^aunte of prayer, Precarium. — 
Prompt, Parvulorum, 

And yif ye shulde at god aske yow a bone. 
—The Babees Book, p. 5,1.117 (E. E. T. S.). 
What is good for a bootless bene ? 

Wordsworth, Works, vol. v. 
p. 52, ed. 1837. 

HoweU, in his Letters, has boon voyage 
for Fr. bon voyage. 

Boot and Saddle, a military term, 
the signal to cavalry for mounting, is 
explained by Mr. Wedgwood to be a 
corruption of Fr. boute-selle, put on 
saddle, one half the expression being 
adopted bodily, and the other trans- 
lated {Fhihlog. Trans. 1856, p. 70). 

Boute-selle, the word for horsemen to 
prepare themselves to horse. 

Bouter selle, to clap a saddle on a horse's 
back. — Cotgrave. 

Stand to your horses ! It's time to begin : 
Boots and Saddles ! the pickets are in ! 
G. J. Whyte-MeloUk, Songs and Verses, 
p. 154 (5th ed.). 

Boots, or Bouts, quoted by Dr. Prior 
as a popular name for the marsh mari- 
gold, is a corruption from the French 
name houtons d'or, " golden buds." 

Boots, in the old phrase, " Such a 
man is got in his boots "■ — i.e. he is very 
drunk, or has been at a drinking-bout : 
Kennett, 1695 (E. Dialect. Soc. B. 18) 
— seems to be corrupted from bouts, as 
we stUl say, " He is in his cups." 

BooziNG-KEN, an old slang term for 
a beer-shop or public-house, as if a 
ckinhing - house, from the. old verb 
booze, bowse, to drink deeply ; Dut. buy- 
sen, bvAjzen, to tipple, which Wedgwood 
deduces from buyse (Scot, boss, old Fr. 
bous, bout), a jar or flagon. Cf. old 
Eng. bous, drink. 

Wilt thou stoop to their puddle waters 
. . . bousing, carding, dicing, whoring, &c. — 
Sam. Ward, Life of Faith,ch. viii. (1636). 

The word was introduced by the 
Gypsies, and is identically the Hindu- 
stani bilze-hhdna, i.e." beer-shop," from 
biizd, beer (Duncan Forbes). 

In Jonson's Masque of The Meta- 
morphosed Gipsies, 1621, a gipsy says : 
Captain, if ever at the Bowzing Ken 
You have in draughts of Darby drill'd your 
men .... 

Now lent) your ear but to the Patrico. 

My doxy stays for me in a bousing ken. 
The Roaring Girl (1611), Old Plays, 
vol. VI. p. 90 (ed. 1825). 
As Tom, or Tib, or Jack, or Jill, 
When they at bowsing ken do swill. 

Brome, The Merry Beggars, 1652 
(O.P. X. 316). 

Bouzing-oan, a drinking cup, occurs 
in dignified poetry {Fa^ri^ Queene, I. 
iv. 22). 

To crowne the bousing kan from day to 
night. — G. Fletcher, Christ's Victorie on 
Earth, 52. 

BoEE-coLE, an old name for a Sjpecies 
of cabbage, is perhaps a corruption of 
broccoU; but compare Dut. "boerelcool, 
peasant cabbage (Prior). 

Bosh Butter — a name given to a 
spurious imitation of the genuine com- 


( 36 ) 


modity (sometimes called Butterine), 
lately introduced into the London 
market from Holland, as if from losh ! 
an exclamation of contempt — is an 
AngUoized form oi Dutch BosscheBoter, 
from Hertogenhosch (Fr. Bcis-le-Duc), 
the place where the stuff was manu- 
factured. So Bosjesman, a man from 
the Bush (Dut. hosch, hoschje). 

Boss, used by Bp. John King for an 
elephant's trunk, as if the same word 
as toss, a protuberance ; Fr.fcosse, seems 
to be merely the accented syllable of 

Curtius writeth of the elephant that he 
taketh an armed man ~with his hand. , . He 
meaneth the boss of the elephant, which lie 
uaeth as men their hands. — Lectures on 
Jonah, 1594, p. 238 (ed. Grosart). 

BoTHEEY-THEEE, a Yorkshire name 
for the elder {samhwcus mgra) — i.e. hot- 
tery-tree; hottery beiugfor bar-tree (pro- 
nounced bortery) or bore-tree, perhaps 
with reference to the bored or hollow 
appearance of the pithless wood. So 
lottery-tree r: bore-tree tree. Compare 
beem-tree z= tree-tree, and Ass-paesley, 

Bottle, in the proverbial saying, 
" To look for a needle in a loiile of 
hay," is old Eng. hotel, a bundle, from 
Fr. botte. 

Botelleof hey, Fenifascis. — Prompt. Parv. 

Methinks I iiave a g'reat desire to a botite 
of hay. — Midsummer N. Dream, iv. 1, 1. 37. 

Tailor. What dowry has she [a mare] t 

Daugh. Some two hundred bottles, 

And twenty strike of oates. 

The Two Noble Kinsmen, v. 2,1. 64. 

Bottom, in the old phrase, " to be in 
the same bottom," i.e. to have a com- 
munity of interests, is the A. Sax. 
hytme, a ship (Ettmiiller, 304, al. 
byine), connected with byt, butt, boat. 
Hence bottomry, the insurance of a 

We venture in the same bottom that all 
good men of all nations have done before us. 
— Bf. Bull, Sermons, vol.ii. p. 216. 

Bottom, an old word for a cotton 
ball, still in provincial use (see Pea- 
cock, LincolnsJdre Qlosscury], origi- 
nally the spool or knob of wood on 
which it was wound, is another form 
of button, Old Eng. and 0. Fr. boton 
(Fr. houton), Welsh botwm, a boss. 
Hence the name of Bottom the 

Botme of threde (al. botym). 
Botwn, Bote, fibula, nodulus. 

Prompt Parv. 
George Herbert, writing to his 
mother (1622) says : — 

Happy is he whose bottom is wound up, 
and laid ready for work in the New Jeru- 
salem. — I. Walton, Lines, p. 304 (ed. 1858). 

Bound, in such expressions as " out- 
ward bound," "homeward bound" 
(generally applied to vessels), "I am 
bound for London," is a corruption of 
the old Eng. word boun, bowne, Joom, 
or bone, meaning, prepared, equipped, 
or ready (for a journey or enterprise), 
Icel. buinn, past parte, of bua, to make 
ready, which is akin to Ger. bcumn 
(to till). 

Brother, I am readye bowne, 
Hye that we were at the towne. 
Chester Mysteries (Shaks. Soc), vol. ii. p. 7. 
Sir, we bene heare all and some, 
As boulde men, readye bonne 
To drive your enemyes all downe. 

Id. p. 87. 

BoDEN, a boundary {Homilet, iii. 1), 
is a corruption of old Fr. bonne (Fr. 
borne), a 6oMm-d-ary, assimilated to 
bourn, a (limitary) stream. 

BowEE, an American term for the 
highest card in the game of Euchre, is 
the German bauer or peasant, corre- 
sponding to our knave (Tylor). 

EowEE, originally rueaning a cham- 
ber, N. Eng. boor, A. Sax. bur, Icel. 
bur, Ger. hauer, owes its modem signi- 
fication of an arbour made by inter- 
lacing branches to a supposed connec- 
tion with bough, A. Sax. boh and log. 

Bowyee's Mustabd, as if the Bow- 
maker's Mustard, an old name for tlie 
plant Thlaspi a/rvense, is a corruption 
oiBoioers-, Botires-, or Boor's-Mustard, 
from Dutch Bauren-senfe. Compare 
its name Ghurl's 2lf'«sif(»-d( Britten and 
HoUaud, Eng. Plant-Names, p. 58). 

Box, the front seat of a coach, as if 
originally the chest or receptacle in 
which parcels were stowed away, is the 
same word as Ger. bock, Dan. buh, de- 
noting (1) a buck or he-goat, (2) a 
trestle or support on which anything 
rests, (3) a coach-box in particular. 
Wedgwood compares Polish koziel (1) 
a buck, (2) a coach-box, hozly, » 
trestle. For similar transitions of 


( 37 ) 


meaning see my Wordhunter's Note- 
Booli, pp. 230 seq. 

Box, in the phrase "to box the 
compass," i.e. to go round the points 
naming them in their proper order, 
has not been explained. It has pro- 
bably nothing to do with 60a;, the old 
name for the case of the compass. It 
may have been borrowed from the 
Spanish mariners, and be the same as 
the nautical word to lox =: to sail 
around, Sp. ho.v-ar, hoxea/t- (Stevens, 
1706) ; cf. Sp. hoxo, roundness, com- 
pass, circuit. 

BoxAGE, used by Evelyn for shrub- 
bery, wooded land, is apparently a cor- 
rupt form of boscage. See Davies, Siijip. 
Eng. Glossary, s.v. 

Bean-new, an incorrect spelling of 
hrand-neiv, i.e. " fire new," fresh from 
the forge, just made. Shakespeare has 
the expression fire-new. Burns spells 
it h-ent new, i.e. burnt new. 

Nae cotillon brent new frae France. 
'Jam O'Shajiter (Globe ed. p. 93). 

Compare flam-new ( W. Cornwall Glos- 
sary, E.D.S.) ; span-new {Haveloh tJie 
Dane), 0. Norse spdn-nyr, i.e. " chip- 
new," fresh from the carpenter's bench 
(A. Sax. sp6n), and Swed. spillerny, 
" sphnter-new." 

Brass, a vulgar and colloquial term 
for impudence, effrontery, is generally 
regarded as a figurative usage derived 
from the composite metal so called, 
just as we speak of "a brazen hussy," 
a "face of brass," i.e. hard, shameless, 
unblushing. The word occurs in the 
Cleveland dialect, where Mr. Atkinson 
identifies it with the old Norse hrass 
of the same meaning {not in Cleasby). 
Compare Icel. hrasta, to bluster, Ger. 
hrasten, Dan. brashe, to boast, brag, Ir. 
bras, a lie, h-asa, boasting, brasadre, a, 
liar. North uses it in his Examen, see 
Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossary. 

Bkawn, a West of England word for 
the smut in wheat, is a corruption or 
contraction of old Eng. braneorn, which 
has the same meaning { TJstilago sege- 
tum), i.e. bren-corn, what burns or 
blasts the com. 

Bread-stitch, in Goldsmith, an in-' 
con-ect form of braid -stitch. Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Glossary. 

Bkeak, in the expression " to break 
in a horse," as if to crush his spirit, 
has probably no direct connexion with 
h'eak ( ^ frangere) . 

Brake is a bit for horses, also a 
wooden frame to confine their feet. 
Compare Icel. brdh, a tanner's imple- 
ment for rubbing leather, Dutch braalce, 
a twitch to hold an animal by the nose. 
A brahe to check the motion of a car- 
riage is the same word. The correct 
form, therefore, would be " to brake." 

Bbeast-Summee, an architectural 
term for a beam employed like a lin- 
tel to Support the front of a building, 
is a corruption of bressumer (Glosswi-y 
of Architecture, Parker), where h-es- 
seems to be for hrace, as in Scotch 
h-ess is another form of brace, a chim- 
ney-piece, and -sumer, is 0. Eng. somer, 
a beam. 

Brest Summers, are the pieces in the out- 
ward part of any building;, and in the middle 
floors, into which the girders are framed. — 

Contrefrnntail, ... a haunse or breast sum- 
mer. — Cotgrave. 

Bkbd, in the expression " a weO.-hred 
man," is probably not the past parti- 
ciple of the verb to hj-eed (A. Sax. bre- 
dan), as if gentle birth, not manners, 
maketh man, but akin to Icel. bragi, 
manners, fashion (:=z bragr, habit of 
life, manner), also look, expression, 
whence old Eng. bread, appearance 
(Bailey), and Prov. Eng. "to braid of 
a person," meaning to resemble him, 
have his appearance or the trick of his 
favour, Scotch to hreed, as "ye breed o' 
the gowk, ye have ne'er a rime but 
ane " (:= Icel. bregir). So when Diana 
protests in All's Well that Ends Well, 
act iv. sc. 2 : — 

Since Frenchmen are so braid. 
Marry that -will, I live and die a maid. 
The meaning seems to be that which 
Mr. Wedgwood assigns to it, " Since 
Frenchmen are so mannered." Cf. 
A. Sax. bredian, to adorn, bragd, bregd, 
a device, &c., Ettmiiller, 318. In the 
same way "a loell-bred person" is one, 
not necessarily well bom, but well- 
mannered. Breeding was formerly 
used for the education or bringing up 
of a child, and bred for educated. 

My eldest son George was bred at Ox- 
ford. — Vicar of' Wal<ejietd, ch. i. 


( 38 ) 


Thanka to my friends, who took care of my 

And taught me betimes to love working and 


Or. Watts, The Sluggard. 
You wer to be sent to my Ladye Dromond, 
your Cousine germaine .... to be hredde in 
the Protestant religion .... I resolved to go 
to France, wher your gi*andmother had re- 
tired herself .... with the intention to work 
upon her to send for vou, and bread you with 
herself in France. — A breijfe narration of the 
services done to Three Noble Ladt/es by Gilbert 
Blakhall. See Presbytery Book of Strathbogie, 
p. xxi (Spalding Club). 

Perhaps the most that should be said 
is that hired here has been assimilated 
to, or confounded with, hraid (braid-ed), 

Beeech, a verb formerly in use 
meaning to ilog, as if to strike on that 
portion of the body so named, is, ac- 
cording to Mr. Wedgwood {Etymologi- 
cal Sid. S.V.), the same word as Prov. 
Ger. britschen, priiselien, to strike with 
a flat board (in Low Dutch called a 
hritze) ; Dutch hridsen, Swiss brdischen, 
to smack. 

X view the prince with Aristarchus' eyes, 

Whose looks were as a breechivg to a boy. 
Marlowe, Edward the Second (p. 218, 
ed. Dyce). 

Had not a courteous serving-man convey'd 
me away while he went to tetch whips, I 
think in my conscience ... he would have 
breech'd me.— -J?. Tailor, The Hog hath Lost 
His Pearl (0. Plays, vi. 369, ed. 1825). 

Beeeches, bo spelt as if denoting 
clothing for the hreech, that part of 
the body where its continuity is hrohen 
(! as if breach). Compare hreche, an 
old word for the hinder part of a deer 
J>e water dude vorth hys kunde, & waxe 

euere vaste . . , 
(lat yt watte hys brych al aboute. 

Robert of- Gbucester, Chronicle, 
p". 322 (ed. 1810). 
Here's one would be a ilea (jest comicall !) 
Another, his sweet ladies verdingall. 
To clip her tender breech. 

Marston, Works, vol. iii. p. 290 
(ed. Halliwell). 
This has actually been regarded as 
the tme etymology of the word by 
Eichardson and others. It is reaUy 
the same as North Eng. hreeks, A. Sax. 
fri'ec, ircec, plural of Iroc, Icel. hrcekr, 
plu. of Irdh; old Fr. bragues, braies. 
Span, bragas, Breton bragez, Welsh 
brycan, Gaelic h-iogis, Lat. hraccB, 

trowsers ; Irish br6cc (also brog), a shoe, 
whence Anglo-Irish brogue (Whitley 
Stokes, Irish Olosses,^. 119). Compare 
the two meanings of Fr. cha/usse, and 
our hose. 

Breeches, bracoB, &o., are of Celtic 
origin, being identical with the Gaelic 
brcBcan, tartan, from hreac, party- 
coloured, variegated, describing the 
plaid or striped cloth worn from time 
immemorial by the Celts (Cleasby, Icel. 
Did. B. V. Br6h). Cf. "Versicolore 
sagulo, Iracas, tegmen barbarum iri- 
dutus," Tac. Hist. 2, 20; " braes vir- 
gatse," Propert. iv. 10, 43. 

It may be observed that breeches is 
really a double plural. For the Celtic 
broc or h-og, having been adopted into 
old English, was treated as a native 
word, and had its plural formed by 
internal vowel change. Just as 0. Eng. 
fut, boc, gos become in the plural fit 
(feet), bee (books), ges (geese), so Zwoc be- 
came brec (breek) ; and accordingly we 
find bracccB in the Promptorinm Pa/tim- 
lorum (c. 1440) defined in EngHsh 
by " breche or h-ehe ; " cf. " breclie of 
hosen, braies," Palsgrave (1530). Wy- 
cUffe has bregirdle, breeches-band (Jer. 
xui. 1, 4, 6), for brelce-girdle- 
Thou breech of cloth, thou weede of lowlines, 
Thou hast not feared to mayntayne thy cause. 
Thyniie, Debate between Pride Sf Lmoliness, 
p. 63 (Shaks. Soc). 

Beiae-boot pipes are really made 
from the roots of the white heath, Fr. 
h'uyere, of which briar is a corruption, 
being imported chiefly from Corsica. 
Bruyire,, Milan brughiera, Low Lat. 
bruairium, are akin to Breton brng, 
heath, Welsh hrwg. Briar is A. Sax. 

Beick, a slang term of approval, a«j ■ 
" He is a regular brick," a thoroughly '; 
good fellow. Some wonderfulnonsense 
about this word is vented in The Slang 
Dictionary (Hotten), and Brewer's Dic- 
tionary of PJtrase and Fable. 

■It is, perhaps, a survival of A. Sax. 
bryce, useful, profitable, and so good, 
which is the philological counterpart of 
Lat. frvgi, worthy, honest. Bryce is 
from brucan, to enjoy or profit, whence 
0. Eng. hrouhe, Scot, brmch, to use, 
enjoy (Mod. Eng. to brooh, cf. Ger. 
brauchen), corresponding to Lat. frag 
in fru{g)or, frueius, fruges. Compare 


also A. Sax. h-ice, use, old Eng. hriche 
(Old Eng. Miscellcmy, E.E.T.S. p. 12), 
Gotli. hruks. An amusing coincidence 
is presented by Heb. tob, good, and 
Arab, tob, a brick, Coptic and Egyptian 

Beick-wall, a corruption of hricoll 
or hricole, a term at tennis. 

Bvicole, a brick-wall ; a side stroake at 
tennis, wherein the ball goes not right for- 
ward, but hits one of the wals of the court, 
and thence bounds towards the adverse party. 
Bricoler, to toss or strike a ball sidewaies, to 
give it a brick-wall. — Cotgrave. 

What are these ships but tennis balls for 
the wind to play withal ? tost from one wave 
to another ; . . . sometimes brick-wal'd against 
a rocke. — iViaraiort, Eastward HoBj ii. 1, 1603 
(vol. iii. p. 24, ed. Halliwell). 
Heer, th' Enginer begins his Ram to reai-e, . . . 
Bends heer liis Bricolj there his boysterous 

Brings heer his Fly-bridge, there his batt'ring 

J. Sylvester, Work<i, p. 9r6 (1621). 

These words are from the Mid. H. 
German hrechel, a " breaker." Com- 
pare It. hriccola, Sp. hrigola. Low Lat. 
bricola, a catapult. 

Beidal, so spelt as if it were a simi- 
lar formation to " espousal," " be- 
trayal," "denial," &c., is corrupted 
from the old form hride-ale, the ah- 
drinking or carousal in honour of the 
h-ide. Bride-ale is still, in the Cleveland 
dialect, the name of the draught pre- 
sented to the wedding party on its re- 
turn from church. 

Harrison, in his Description of Eng- 
land in the time of Elizabeth, rejoices 
that the Beformation had swept away 
. . idle wakes, guilds, fraternities, church- 
ales, helpe-ales, and soule-ales, called also 
dirge-ales, and heathenish rioting at bride- 

O. Norse hrud-ol, A. Sax. hryd-eala. 

Ale was even used as a synonym for 
a festival or holiday, as in the Prologue 
to the Play of Pericles, 1. 6, " ember 
eves and lioly ales." In addition to 
those already mentioned, we flhd 
Easter ales, WMtsun ales, Leet ales. 
Clerk ales. Lamb ales, Midsummer ales, 
&c. Arval, a funeral feast, old Scand. 
arfol (inheritance alej, Hampson, Medwi 
Aevi Ealend, vol i. p. 283. 

None of these martial, and cloudy, and 
whining marriages can say that godliness was 
invited to their Bride-ale. — Henry Smith, Ser- 
mons, 1667, p. 23. 

A man that's bid to a hride-ale, if he have 

And drink enough, he need not vear his stake. 
B. Joiison, Tale of a Tub, ii. 1. 
The Presbyterie Buih of Aberdeen, 
1606, speaks of the "intoUerable abomi- 
nations that falls out at the penny bry- 
delUs, speciaUie of drunkennes and 
murder" (T)a,lze\l, Darker Superstitions 
of Scotland, p. 293). 

BKiDB-GBooMis a corruption of bride- 
gome, old Eng. bridgome, A. Sax. bryd- 
guma, i.e. the bride's man, from a con- 
fusion oigome, a man (Goth, guma, Lat. 
homo), with grome, a groom, a servant, 
0. Fr. gramme. 

Ffor it es bryde, and God es brydegome. — 
Hampole, Priclie of Conscience, 1. 8809, ab. 

And Jje wyse maydines . . . yeden in mid 
l>e bredgome to \>ebredale. — Ayenbiteof Inwyt, 
p. 233 (1340). 

Brief, a provincial word, meaning 
prevalent, frequent, plentiful, is pro- 
bably a corruption of rife. 

"Wipers are wery brief" (vipers are 
very plentiful), Pegge, Alplwhet of Ken- 
ticisms, 1736. I have heard a County 
Wicklow woman remark: " The small- 
pox, I hear, sir, is very brief in Dublin." 
A use of the word in 1730 is quoted in 
Plan-che's Corner of Kent, p. 171, and 
see Sternberg, Northamvpton Glossary, 
s. V. 

Bkimstonb, a corrupted form of the 
old Eng. hren-stone or hryn-stone, i.e. 
" bum-stone," from 0. Eng. brerme, A. 
Sax. hryne, a burning, byrnan, to bum; 
Icel. brennistein. 

The word is also found as brimstan 
(Nortlmmbrian Psalter, 1250) ; brinstan 
in the Cv/rsor Mundd (14th century) : — 

Our lauerd raind o J>am o-nan, 
Dun o lift, fire and brinstan. 

1. 2841, Cotton, MS. ; 

where the other versions have brim- 
stane and brimston; brumston in the 
Debate between Body and Soul (xiii. 
century) : — 
Bothe pich and brumston, men mySte fif mile 

have the smel. 

Mupes, Poemi (Camden Soc), p. 339. 

Wychffe (1389) has brenstoon, bryn- 
stoon, brumston, and brymstoon. 

Bkook-lime, a popular name for the 
plant Veronica Beccabunga, seems to 
be a corruption of the older names 


hrohlembe, hrohlemp, hroclempe (what- 
ever may be the origin of these), as if 
it was so called from growing in the 
lime or mud (Lat. Imius) of hroohs. 
Markham (1637) spells the word 
h-ochelUiemjpe, as if =" brittle-hemp " 
{'EngUsh Housewife's Hoiishold Phy- 
sicke, p. 23). 

Mr. Cockayne says hroclempe is for 
hroclemJce, and lemhe =: Icel. leumki, 
Dan. lemmihe [?] , old Eng. hleomoc in 

Beook-tongub, an old name for the 
hemlock (ci'cwfaTO'Osa), is a corruption 
of old Eng. brocl>ung. — Britten andHol- 
land, Eng. Plcmt-Names, p. 66 (E. D. 

Bboth, in the Anglo-Irish expres- 
sion, "the broth of a boy," is probably 
from the Irish brutli, power, strength, 
heat, adjectivally, pure, imaUoyed ; 
which is akin to hmitMm, to boil, h'idth, 
hroth, boiling, broth. Of. brigh, essence, 
power, strength, Eng. " brew ; " It. 
h-io, spirit. 

Beotheelinge, an old word for a 
nincompoop, as if a younger brother, 
is a corrupted form of hritheling, bretlie- 
ling, a rascal, or worthless fellow, con- 
nected with O. Eng. hwthel, a black- 

Quod Achab thanne : There is one, 
A brothel, which Micheas hight. 

Gower, Conf, Amantis, iii. 173 
(ed. Pauli). 
AJwlyng, bryitding,/ Load wiji-vten lawe. 

Old Eiig. Miscellany, p. 185, 1. 12. 
Ete H mete by smalle morselles ; 
Fylle not thy mouth as done brothellis. 

The Babees Book, ab. 1480, p. 18 
Th6 said Moyne their young King 
was but a Brotherlinge, 
& said if Vortiger King were, 
he wold bring them out of care. 

Percy Folio M.S'. vol. i. p. 426, 1. 133. 

Bbown Bess, a familiar name for 
the old-fashioned regulation musket. 

Bess is the ec^uivalent of -buss in 
hlunder-huss, arque-btiss ; Ger. hiichse, 
Flemish buis, Low Ger. biisse, Dut. bus, 
Fr. base, tube, barrel; and so is equiva- 
lent to " Brown barrel." 

You should lay brown Bess ower the garden- 
dike, and send the hail into their brains for 
tiiem. — Nodes Ambriisiaiicp, vol. i. p. 171. 

This is the bix of the Amerieo-Ger- 

man Ungo of the Breitmcmn Ballads, 
"Shoot at dat eagle mit yotir Me" 
(p. 37, ed. 1871). A piotm-e of the old 
Brown Bess is given by Sir S. D. 
Scott, The British Army, vol. ii. p. 

If we had not the cognate words It. 
husare, bugia/re, to perforate, bmso, hu- 
gio, perforated; 0. Sp. buso, a hole 
(Diez), we should have been tempted 
to connect Fr. buse, a gun-barrel (of. 
busine, a pipe — Cotgrave), with buse, a 
falcon or buzzard (Ger. buse, Lat. 
buteo), the names of firearms being most 
commonly derived from birds. 

Beown-beead, bread made with bran, 
is not improbably a corrupted form of 
the old word bran-bread. — Skeat, Htym. 

They drew his brown-bread face on pretty gin.s. 
Bp. Corbet, Poems, 1648, p. 211 (ed. 1807). 

Bbowngetus. A poor Irish woman, 
suffering from bronchitis, always spoke 
of her complaint as an attack of brown- 
gehis. The form hrown-typlms has also 
been heard, and in Sussex brown-titvs. 

The German brdune (brown), as a 
name for the quinsy or croup, is a 
cm-ious parallel. This disease is said 
to have been so named from being at- 
tended with blackness (see KUian, s.v. 

Bkown study. This somewhat pe- 
cuhar expression for deep contempla- 
tion, total pre-occupation, and absent- 
mindedness, is one of considerable 
antiquity. It is supposed to be a per- 
version of the old Fr. embronc, (1) bent, 
with head bowed down; (2) sad, pen- 
sive, moody, thoughtful. Compare old 
Span, broncar, to bend ; It. bronciare, 
to stumble, probably from Lat. promis, 
through a ioim prornoare (Diez). Cot- 
grave gives an old verb, " embroncherr, 
to bow or hold down the neck and 
head, as one that is stonied . . ., also 
to hide the face or eyes with hands, a 
cloth, &c." The French and Provencal 
eiiihvn, thoughtful, was perhaps con- 
founded with embruni, embrowned, 
darkened, obscured. But of. " Si les 
pensees n'y sont pas tout-^-fait noires, 
eUes y sont au moins gris-brun." — 
Madame Sevigne, Lettres, torn. iv. 
p. 9. Compare gris, dull, fuddled. 


( 41 ) 


Le iioir dit la fennete des cueurs, 
Gris le ti'avail, et tanne les langueurs ; 
Par ainsi c'est langaeur en travail ferme, 
Gris, tanne, noir. 

C/emeiiE Marot, RondeaiLr^ xliii. 

Compare Ger. Hester, Swed. b)'sfer=z 
(1) brown, " bistre ; " (2) gloomy, grim, 
dismal. Compare also Gk. halcliaina, (1) 
to empurple, (2) to be troubled and 
anxious; porphuro, (1) to be dark- 
coloured, (2) ponder, be thoughtful, 
perplexed {II. xxi. 551, Od. iv. 427) ; 
pho'enes melmnoii, amphimelainai, black 
tlioughts, painful ruminations. 

Lack of company will soon lead a man into 
!( brown sfi«/y. — Manijest Detection oj Use oj 
Due, ^c, 1532, p. 6 (Percy Soc). 

It seems to me (said she) that you are in 
some brown study what coulours you might 
best wear. — i-i//y, Kuphues, 1579, p. 80 (ed. 

Another commeth to muze, so soon as hee 
is set, hee falleth into a brown stttdtf, some- 
times his mind runues on his market, some- 
time on his .iourney. — Henry Smith, Sermons, 
1657, p. 308. * 

1 must be firme to bring him out of his 
Browne stodie, on this fashion. — The Mariage 
oj- IVittand Wisdome,j>. 13 (Shats. Soc. ed. ). 
I'aith, this brown study suits not with your 

Your habit and your thoughts are of two 

BenJonson, The Case is Altered, 

Donner la muse d, to amuse, or put into 
dumps; to drive into a brown study. — Cot- 

Songe-creux, one that's in his dumps, or in a 
brown study. — Id. 

At last breaking out of a brown study, he 
cried out, ConcLusum est contra Manichtnos. — 
Howell, familiar Letters, bk. iii. 8 (16Jti). 

They live retir'd, and then they doze away 
their time in drowsiness and brown studies. — 
Norris, Miscellanies, 1678, p. 126 (ed 8th). 

He often puts me into a brown study how 
to answer him. — The Spectator, J\'o. 286 

A zeem'd in a brown stiddy. — Mrs. Palmer, 
Devonshire Courtship, p. 4. 

Unconnected, perhaps, are Ir. bron, 
mourning, grief; brcmach, sad, sorrow- 

Bubble, to cheat, corresponds both 
in form and meaning to Ital. buhholare, 
to cheat, derived from bubhola, a hoopoe, 
a bird which in many languages has 
been selected as a synonym for a fool 
or simpleton; e.g. Fr. dupe, duppe 
(whence our " dupe "), Bret, houperik, 
Polish dudeh, = (1) a hoopoe, (2) a 
simpleton. Thus to bubble is " to gull," 

or ■• pigeon," or " woodcockize," or 
make a goose or booby of one ; cf. It. 
pippionare, ¥v. dindonner. The older 
form of bubbola is pupola, puppula 
(Plorio) for upupula, dim. of Lat. 
upupa, the hoopoe, so called apparently 
froir^ its cry, supposed in Greek to be 
pou, pou (where, where!). Its Persian 
name is pii^u. However, we find in 
EngUsh ^^ Bubble, a bladder in water, 
also a silly fellow, a cully" (Bailey); 
(cf. Manx bleb, an inflated pustule, also 
a fool ; and/ooZ itself, tiom folUs, an in- 
flated ball), and bubble, a cheating 
scheme of speculation, which would 
seem to show that the word is of native 

And so here 1 am bubbled and choused out 
of my money .—Mui-phy, The Citizen, ii. 1. 

Hume, a man who has so much conceit as 
to tell all mankind that they have been bubbled 
for ages! — Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides, p. 

The dustman, bubbled flat. 
Thinks 'tis for him, and doffs his fan-tailed 
Jas. and Hor. Smith, Rejected Addresses, 
p. 142. 
T. L. O. Davies quotes an instance 
of bubbleable = cheatable, 1669 {Supp, 
Ung. Glossary). 

Buck-bean. ) The plant so called, 
BuOKES-BEANE J (menyanthestrifoUata), 
is the Dutch bocks-boonen, German 
boclcsboJme. The latter words, however, 
are corruptions, it would seem, of 
scharbocVs -boonen or -bohne, " scurvy- 
bean," the plant being considered a 
remedy for the scharbock, or scurvy, 
Lat. scorbut-us (Prior). 

Buckles, Hokse, a Kentish name for 
cowshps {primula veris), is probably a 
corruption of paigles, the E. Anglian 
name for that plant. — Britten and Hol- 
land, Eng. Plant-Nantes, p. 70 (E. D. 

Buck-mast, the mast or nuts of the 
beech, A. Sax. bdc, Ger. buche, Swed. bole, 
Dut. beuTce, boeke. 

BucKKAM. This pleonasticaUy mas- 
cuUne word is a corruption of Er. bou- 
gran or bowrgrain, Prov. bocaran, boque- 
rwn. It. bucherame (apparently from 
buchera/re, to pierce with holes) a coarse, 
loosely - woven stuff. " Bourgrain, 
Buckeram," Cotgrave. It has been 


( 42 ) 


suggested that Bohharanv/as the origi- 
nal form, stuff frora Bohhara; but this 
needs confirmation. 

BucKSOME, an old spelling of hiixom 
(bending, pUant, obedient), as if 
" spirited, or hvely as a huch " (vid. 
Nares, s.v.) ; old Eng. hwlisum, " bow- 
some," from A. Sax. huga/n, to bow. 

Vago, louely-faire, .... handsome and 
buckesome. — Florio,It. 'Diet. 

Bucksnme, brisk and jocund. 

Kennett,169b (E. Dialect Soc. B. 18). 

Shea now begins to grow buchsome as a 
lightning before death. — Armin, Nest of' 
Ninnies, p. 5 (Shaks. Soc). 

And if he be til God bovsom. 
Til endeles blis at ]je last to com. 

Hampflle, I'ricke of Conscience^ 1. 85 
(ah. 1340). 
Lorde, J30U make me to be hauxsome euer 
mare to \>\ byddynges.^Re/i^iuus Fieces in 
Prose and Verse, p. 19 (E.E.T. Soc). 

BucK-THOKN, Mid. Lat. spina cervina, 
a popular name for the plant rliamnus 
catharticus, seems to have originated 
in a blunder, the German hux-dorn 
{zzGk. pux-ahcmtha) being mistakenfor 
hoclcsdorn, i.e. " box-thorn" for " buck's- 
thorn " (Prior). 

Buck- WHEAT, the name of the poly- 
gotmm fagopyrum, is a corruption of , 
Dut. hoek-weit, Ger. huch-weizen, i.e. 
" beech-wheat," so called from the re- 
semblance of its three-cornered seeds to 
beech-nuts. Another corrupted form is 
the older German hauch-weizen, as if 
"beUy-wheat." The French have trans- 
formed it into hoiiquette. In the Montois 
dialect of French, houcan-couqiLe (as if 
" griddle-cake ") is for Flem. hoehweit- 
hoeh (Sigart). 

Budge, an old adjective, meaning 
pompous, grave, severe, solemn, has 
never been satisfactorily explained. 

While the great Macedonian youth in nonage 

grew, . . . 
No tutor, but the budge philosophers he knew, 
And well enough the grave and useful tools 
Might serve to read him lectures. 

Oldham, Praise of Homer, stanza 4. 
The solemn fop, significant and budge, 
A fool with judges, amongst fools a judge. 
Cawper, Conoersation, p. 123 
(ed. Routledge). 
O foolishness of men ! that lend their ears 
To those budge doctors of the Stoick fur. 
Milton, Camus, I. 706. 

Poore budge face, bow-case sleeve : but let him 

Once furre and beard shall priviledge an asse, 
Marston, Scourge of 'Villanie (1699), ill. j. 

Prom the context in which hudgs 
occurs in the two latter passages, a far- 
fetched connexion has been imagined 
with 'budge, an old word for lamb's- 
wool, or fur, with which imiversity 
hoods used to be tr imm ed (Warton, 
Eichardson, Nares), and so the word 
was conceived to mean grave as a 
doctor, or wearer of budge, scholastic, 
pedantic. Bailey actually defines 
Biidge-Bachelors as " a company of men 
oloathed in long gowns, hn'd with 
Lamb's Fur, who accompany the Lord 
Mayor of London, etc." 

These explanations, I beheve, are 
altogether on the wrong scent. That 
the word has no such learned origin is 
proved by the fact that it still hves in 
the mouths of the peasantry in Sussex, 
where one may hear a sentence hke 
this : " He looked very hudge [i.e. grave, 
solemn] when I asked him who stole 
the apples " (Parish, Sussex Olossairy). 
This is the softened form of the old 
and Prov. Eng. word bug, proud, pom- 
pous, conceited, tumid, great. (Cf. hrig 
and 'bridge, rig and ridge, to egg and edge, 
dog and dodge, d/rag and dredge, etc.). 

Bugas a lord (HaltiweU). 

As bug as a lad wiv a leather knife ; As bug 
as a dog wi' two tails (Holderness Uialect, 
E. Yorks. K.D.S.). 

^'ou need-na be so bug, you're non of the 
quality {Brogden, Lincoins. Glossary). 

" To be quite buggy about a thing," 
i.e. proud ; also self-important, churUsh 
(East Angha, E. Dialect. Soc. B. 20). 

These are bugg-words that aw'd the women 
in former ages, and still fool a great many in 
this. — liavenscrojt. Careless Lovers, 1673. 

Another form of the word is bog : — 
The cuckooe, seeing him so bog, waxt also 
wondrous wrothe. 
Warner, Alhions England, 1592 (Wright). 

'i'he thought of this should cause ... thy 
600- and bold heart to be abashed. — Rogers, 
l\aamanihe Syrian, p. 18 (^Trench, Defcieuies, 
&c.,p. 17). 

East Angha, " Boggy, self-important, 
churHsh " (E. Dialect. Soc. B. 20). 

Still another form is hig, which from 
meaning proud, puffed-up, tumid, now 
only means great, though we still say 
"to look big," meaning to look proud. 
Similarly stout (Ger. stolz) once meant 
proud, but now fat, corpulent. 



The Bischope . . with a grait pontificalitie 
and hig countenance . . braggit he was in his 
awin oitie. — James Metvilte, Diary, 1586, p. 
245 ( Wodrow Soc). 

Wlio ever once discover 'd insolency in 
him, or that he bore himself with a big oai-- 
riHge to any man ? — T. Plume, Life of Haeket, 
1675, p. xlvii. 

Thejf [the monks] did presently think 
themselves aliciijus momenti, and did begin 
to look big and scornfully on their brethren. — 
Farimton, Sermons, vol. iv. p. 417 (ed.Tegg). 

Cheval de trompette, one that's not afraid of 
shadowes ; one whom no big nor hug words 
can terrific. — Cotgrave. 

Faroloni, high, big, roving, long or bug 
wordes. — Fiorio, 

The primitive meaning underlying 
all these words, whether biidge, or lug, 
or hog, or h'g, is awe-inspiring, just as 
hwge was originally awe-full, terrify- 
ing, and awful in modern slang means 
gi-eat of its kind. Near akin, there- 
fore, is old Eng. hug or hugge, anything 
that frightens or scares, a ghost or 
spectre, hoggart, hogle, Welsh hwg, a 
hobgoblin, Wallon houga, a monster to 
terrify infants. 

These hogies of the nursery are de- 
graded survivals of a word once full of 
dignity, its congeners being — Slavonic 
hog, God, lord ; old Pers. haga, a lord ; 
Zend hagha, Sansk. hhaga, a lord, a 
liberal master, "apportioner of food," 
from hhaj, to share or distribute. Com- 
pare our own loi-d, A. Sax. lildford, 
" loaf-provider," and It. Frangipam., as 
a family name. 

Budge of Couet, an old English 
phrase for a gratuitous allowance of 
provisions, originally, " Avoir houche a 
Court, to eat and drink Scot-free ; to 
have budge-a-court, to be in ordinary at 
Court." — Cotgrave. 

Bowge of courte, whyche was a liverye of 
meate and dryncke. — tiuioet. 

Ben Jonson spells it houdge of cou/rt 
(Masque of Augurs) ; Stowe, houch of 
am/rt [Survey of London), Wright. 

See also Sir S. D. Scott, The British 
Army, vol. ii. p. 364, who quotes 
Bouche de Courte from an indentiu-e 
between the Earl of Salisbury and 
William Bedyk, his retainer, to whom 
it is guaranteed. 

Bugle, small glass pipes, sometimes 
made like little trumpets, used as orna- 
ments on women's dresses, is LowLat. 
hugulus, prob. from M. H. Ger. houc 

(Icel. haugr), a circular ornament 
(Skeat) ; and so the same word as old 
Eng. huchle, a curl (Yorks. huckle-horns, 
curved horns) ; Pr. houcle, Dan. hugle, a 
boss or bulge, and distinct from hugle, 
the horn of the huculus or bidlock. Of. 
Fr. haucal, a glass violl . . long necked 
and narrow mouthed (Cotgrave). 

BuLFisT, a provincial name for the 
puff-ball fungus, =: the Swedish and 
German hoflst, whence also the Low 
Latin hovista. ? for hall-foist, i.e. puff- 
ball. See Fuzz-Ball. 

Twrma de tierra, a puffe, a bull fist. — Min- 
sheu, Span. Diet., 162o. 

Pissaulict, a furse-ball, puckfusse, pufBst, 
or bul/ist. — Cotgrave. 

Bull, a blunder, an absurd or self- 
contradictory statement made with the 
most unconscious naivete, supposed in- 
correctly to be indigenous in Ireland 
{Bos Hihemicus). 

An Irishman may be described as a sort of 
Minotaur, half man and halt bull; " semi- 
bovemque virum, semivirumque bovem," as 
Ovid has it. — Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet, 

It is doubtless the same word as 
Mod. Icel. bull, nonsense, bulla, to talk 
nonsense, hterally hubbies, inflated, 
empty talk, from Fr. hulle, Lat. bulla, 
a bubble ; It. holla, a bubble, a round 
glass bottle {ct. fiasco, in Itahan a flask 
of thin glass easily smashed). Nowell 
says, " Life is as a hull rising on the 
water" (Davies, Supp. E. Glossan-y). 
When the German students flung a 
Papal buU into the river saying. Bulla 
est ! (It's a hull or bubble,) Let's see if 
it can swim I (Michelet, Life of Luther,) 
they meant it was empty verbiage, " full 
of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 
So Lat. ampulla, a globular flask, in 
Horace is used for bombast, and am- 
pullairi is to talk bombastic nonsense. 

Compare Eng. blather, to talk non- 
sense, Icel. hla^r, nonsense, and hlaSra, 
a bladder. Sir Thomas Overbury 
writes of " a poet that speaks nothing 
but bladders." 

She was brought to bed upon chairs, if 
that is not a bull.—Reliquiie Heariiianie, i'eb. 
14, 1720-21. 

Every in order was to speake some pretty 
apothegme, or make a jest or bull, or speake 
some eloquent nonsense to make the company 
laugh. — Athenie Oxonienses, Life of Wood, 
sub ann. 1647, ed. Bliss, p. 35. 


( 44 ) 


The word is found as early as the 
fourteenth centiu-y in the OiirsorifMmtfo': 

Quilk man, quilk calf, quilk leon, quilk 

fuxul [:= fowl] 
I sal you tel, wit-vten hid. 

1. 21269 (E.E.T.S. ed.). 

I may say (witbout a Bull) this contro- 
versy of yours is so much the more needless, 
by how mucli that about which it is ( Refor- 
mation) is so without all controversy need- 
ful. — Chas. Herte, Ahab's Fall, 1644, Dedica- 

"Why, Friend," says he [Baron Trevers], 
..." 1 myself have knowne a beast winter'd 
one whole summer for a noble." "That was 
a Bull, my Lord, I beleeve,"Bays the fellow. 
— Thorns, Anecdotes and Traditions, p. 79 
(Camden Soc). 

Coleridge {Biogra'pMa Literaria, ch. 
iv. p. 36) has a philosophical disquisition 
on " the well-known bull, ' I was a fine 
child, but they changed me.' " He 
says : " The hull consists in the bringing 
together two incompatible thoughts, 
with the sensation, but without the 
sense, of their connection." 

Sydney Smith says: "A hull is an 
apparent congmity, and real incon- 
gruity of ideas, suddenly discovered." 
It is " the very reverse of wit ; for as 
wit discovers real relations that are not 
apparent, buUs admit apparent rela- 
tions that are not real." — WorJcs, -vol. i. 
p. 69. 

BuLL-BEGGAE, a terrifier of children 
(Bailey), is, according to Wedgwood, a 
corruption of Welsh hwhach, a scare- 
crow or goblin, and with this he com- 
pares Dut. hulle-hah, a bugbear. 

Children be afraid of bear-bugs and bull- 
beggars. — Sit' Thomas Smith. 

He also gives Dut. hullemann. Low 
Dut. hu-mann, =: Eng. bo-man. 

Kaltschmidt explains the word as 
" der Bettler mit eitier Bulle,'' [? with 
a papal license to beg] ! ( German Diet, 
s.v.) Compare Qex. popanii, a bugbear, 
apparently connected with pope. 

Mr. Wirt Sites says the bwbach is 
the house-gobhnwhom the Welsh maids 
propitiate with a bowl of cream set on 
the hob the last thing at night {British 

Sigart compares Montois heuheu, 
Languedoc hahau, a ghost to frighten 
children, Fr.baheau (Ohssaire Montois, 
p. 85). 

BuLL-FiNCH, is probably not a native 
compound of bull, significant of large- 
ness, with finch, but the same word 
as Swedish bo-fifih, the bull-finch or 
chafiinch, apparently the house-fimch, 
the bird that frequents the bo, or home- 
stead ; Icel. hdl, Dan. bol. Compare 
hull fist =1 Swed. hofist, a puff-ball. The 
Cleveland name of the chaffinch is hull- 
spirik; in Danish it is oaReA bog -frnke, 
i.e. the beech- (or mast- ) finch, which is 
perhaps a fresh corruption. 

Bull-finch, a term well known in 
the hunting-field for a stiff fence, is a 
corruption of hull-fence, one strong 
enough to keep in a bull apparently 
(see T. L. O. Davies, 8upp. Eng. Oloi- 
sary, s. v.). 

AVhen I see those delicate fragile forma 

[sc. ladies] crashing through strong huli- 

Jniclies I am stnick with admiration. — G. J. 

Whyte-Melville, Hiding Recollections, p. 122 

(7tfi ed.). 

The same writer has a rebus on the 
word in his Songs and Verses, p. 127. 
My first is the point of an Irishman's tale; 

My second's a tail of its own to disclose ;. . . 
The longer you look at my whole in the vale, 

The bigger, and blacker, and bitterer it 

Bullies, a Lincolnshire form of 
BuLLACE, a wild plum, otherwise spelt 
hullis (Skinner), hulles (Turner), bohs 
{Prompt. Pa/i-v.), holays {Grete Herball], 
and bullions, as if to denote the bullet- 
like shape of the fruit (Sp. holas, Lat. 
bulla, a bullet) : Prior. It is probably 
a corruption of the French name bello- 
cier, " a buUace tree, or wild plum-tree " 
(Cotgrave). Professor Skeat,in a note 
to Tusser's Five Hundred Pointes (where 
it is spelt hoollesse), thinks the word is of 
Celtic origin, akin to Ir. bulos, a prune. 
— E. D. Soc. ed. Glossary, s.v. Davies 
quotes "haws and bullies " from Smol- 
lett, and bull-plum IroiaFoote. {Supp. 
Eng. Glossary.) 

Bull-teeb, a Cumberland word for 
the elder {Bambiicus nigra), is a cor- 
ruption of the word hur-tree or bore-tree, 
which is frequently applied to it. 

BuLLY-EooK, an old Eng. word for a 
noisy, swaggering feUow. 

\V bat says my bully-rook ? Speak scholarly 
and wisely.— Men-j/ IVives of Windsor, Kti. 
sc. 3. 

The word, as Mr. Atkinson remarks, 


( 45 ) 


is doubtless essentially identical with 
the Cleveland lullyrag, ballyrag, lalrag, 
to scold 01- abuse soundly (cf. LowGer. 
huller-hvoh). In modern Enghsh the 
word has shrunk into hully. 

Dorset, lallywrag, Hereford hellrag — 
perhaps, says Mr. Barnes, from A. Sax. 
heahi, evil, and ipregun, to accuse. — 
{Fhilolog. Soe. Transactions, 1864). 

Bulrush, the smyns lacKsMs, O. 
Eng. holeriish, i.e. the rush with a hole 
or stem (Dan. hul, Icel. hulr, holr) ; so 
buhvarh, originally an erection of lole.s 
or logs. — Skeat. Messrs. Britten and 
Holland, however, consider it as being 
merely hull-rush, the large rush. 

Tiiey are deceived in the name of liorse- 
radish, horse-mint, bull-rush, and many more: 
conceiving therein some prenominal con- 
sideration, whereas, indeed, that expression 
is but a Grecism, by the prefix of hippos and 
bona ; that is, horse and bull, implyino^ no 
more than great. — Sir Thomas Browne, Works, 
vol. i. p. 215 (ed. Bohn). 

BuMBAiLiFF, a sheriffs officer, a cor- 
ruption of "bound bailiff" (Black- 
stone). But see Skeat, Etym. Did. s. v. 

Bum-boat, a long-shore boat, Dan. 
homhaad (Perrall and Eepp, pt. 2, p. 58), 
seems to be from Dut. boom, a harbour- 
bar (? a harbour), Swed. bom. Cf. 
another Eng. word=Dut. 6oom, another 
form oibodevi, bottom (Sewel). 

The prototype of the river beer-seller of 
the present day is the bumboat-man. Bum- 
boats (or rather Bauni-boats,^h3X is to say, the 
boats of the harbour, from the German Baum, 
a haven or bar) are known in every port 
where ships are obliged to anchor at a dis- 
tance fi'om the shore. — Mavhew, London 
Labour and London Poor, vol. ii. p. 107. 

BuMPEE, a full glass, as if a brimmer 
when the liquor bumps or swells above 
the brim (Lat. vinum coronare), is really 
a corrupted form of humbard or bom- 
bajrd, used formerly for a large goblet 
(Shakes. Tempest, ii. 2), properly a 
mortar to cast bombs (see Skeat, Etym. 

Compare Pr. bourrabaquin, a great 
carousing glass fashioned like a cannon. 
— Cotgrave. 

Then Rhenish rummers walk the round, 
In bumpers every king is crowned. 

Dryden, To iiir G. Etherege, 1, 46. 
The bright-headed bumper shall sparkle as 

Though Cupid be cruel, and Venus be 
coy ... . 
Then croum the t^U goblet once more with 
champagne ! 
G. J. Whyte-Melville, Songs and Verses, 
p. 244. 
The old word humpsie, tipsy, may 
have contributed to this use of bumhard. 
Tarlton, being a carousing, drunk so long 
to tlie watermen that one of them was 
bumpsie. — Tarlton's Jesis, p. 8 (Shaks. Soc). 

Burden, the refrain or recurring part 
of a song, is a corrupt spelling of the 
old EngUsh hordon, Sp. bordon. It. bor- 

The burdon of a song, or a tenor and keep- 
ing of time in musicke. Also a humming 
noise or sound. — Florio. 

Fr. bowdon, " a drone, or dorre-bee, 
also the humming or buzzing of bees" 
(Cotgrave) ; Low Lat. bv/rdo{n), a drone, 
an organ-pipe. 
Yng. But there is a hordon, thou must here it, 

Or ellys it wyll not be. 
Hu. Than begyn and care not to ... . 
Downe, downe, downe, &c. 
Interlude of the Four Elements, p. 51 
(c. 1510), Percy Soc. 
The wife of the snoring miller 
Bare him a burdon a ful strong, 
Men might hir routing heren a furlong. 
Chaucer, The Reues Tale, 1. 4162. 
O moaning Sea, I know your burden well, 
'Tis but the old dull tale, tilled full of pain. 
Songs of Two Worlds, p. 219. 

The word has been further corrupted 
into hmihen. An anonymous poet sang 
of " Christmas Good Will," in 1879, as 
follows: — , 

It sounds from Angels' voices, 
It sounds o'er hill and dale. 
The echoes take the burthen up. 
Repeat the gladsome tale. 

Burnet, another name for the herb 
pimpernel, " so called of Bv/rn, which it 
is good against " (Bailey), is a shghtly 
disguised form of Fr. brunette, from 
ti-un, brown, according to Dr. Prior, 
with allusion to its dark flowers; 
whence also one species of it was called 
prunella, i.e. brimella. 

Burnish, an old word for to prosper, 
flourish, or grow fat, as if to shine 
or be sleek, in fine condition (not regis- 
tered in the dictionaries), is perhaps 
a violent transposition of the verb bur- 
gen (into burnege, bm-nish), sometimes 
spelt burgeon, to grow big or prosperous, 


( 46 ) 


to swell or bud forth. In Leicestershire 
and Northampton, harrmsh is to grow fat 
(Sternberg). Cf. Northampt. frez for 
fwrze, loaps for wasps, hv/rwish for hru- 

Her hath a' feathered her nest and bur- 
msh'd well a' fine since her com'd here. — 
Mrs. Palmer, Deionshire Courtship, p. 42. 

Breake off the toppes of the hoppes .... 
bicause thereby they barnish and stocke ex- 
ceedingly. — R. Scot, PUuforme of u, Hop- 

Fuller prophesied of London : 
It will be found to burnish round about to 
every point of the compasse with new struc- 
tures daily added thereunto. — Worthies, ii. 
49 (ed. 1811). 

The clustering nuts for you 
The lover finds amid the secret shade ; 
And where they burnish on the topmost 

With active vigour crushes down the tree. 

Thomson, Seasons, Autumn. 

According to Bailey, hwi-msh " is also 
used of Harts spreaduig their Horns 
after they are firay'd or new ruhb'd;" 
and hii/rgeon " to grow big about, or 
gross, also to bud forth." From Fr. 
hov/rgeon, a bud, which appears to be 
from 0. H. Ger. hwrjan, to lift, push up 

When first on trees bourgeon the blossoms 
soft. Fuirjax, Tasso, vii. 76. 

It may be that harnish was the orig. 
form, a derivation of la/i-n (lairn), 
meaning "to child," teem, or be pro- 

BoESTER, a Surrey word for a drain 
under a road to carry off water, is a 
corruption of old Eng. barstoiv, a 
covered-in place, from A. Sax. beorgan 
and stow. 

Buey-Pbar. The first part of the 
word is corrupted from Fr. hev/rre, from 
teivrre, butter, which this pear was com- 
pared to for softness, just as we speak 
of vegetable-marrows and marrow-fat 
peas (vid. ed. MiiUer, Etymologische 
Woerterluch, s.v.). 

" Foire de hewee, the butter Peare, a 
tender and dehcate fruit." — Cotgrave. 

Another corruption is " Bwrrel Pear, 
the Bed Butter Pear " (Bailey), as if a 
russeting, from O. Eng. lorel, 0. Fr. hu- 
rel, Prov. hwrel, reddish-brown, russet. 

The Germans have popularly cor- 
rupted Fr. hewrre Uanc, the beun-e pear, 
into heerblang. 

BtrsKiN, a half-boot, bears a decep. 
tive resemblance to Scot, hushing, dress, 
as if clothing for the legs (O. Eng. hush, 
to dress oneself). It is really for Iws- 
hin, Dutch hroosken (Sewel, 1708), It, 
horzacchini, from iorsa (Fr. 6oitr«e), 
Lat. and Gk. hwrsa, a leathern case, 
also a "purse," and so r:pMrsefcm, a 
small leathern receptacle. 

A payre of bushings thay did bringe 
Of the cow ladyes currall winge. 

Herrick, Poems, p. 475 (ed. Hazlitt). 

Busy, used in W. Cornwall in the 
sense of needs, requires, e.g. " It es 
husy aU my money to keep house," 
" It es lusy all my time " (Miss Court- 
ney, E. D. S.), seems to have been in- 
fluenced by Fr. hesoin. 

Busy-sack, a slang term for a carpet 
bag (Hotten), is no doubt a corrupt 
form of hy-sack, French hissao, hesace, 
a bag opening into two parts (Lat. 
Insacoiiim), It. Msaccia, Sp. hisaza. 

Butch, To : a verb manufactured 
by the Lancashire folk out of the word 
butcher, to denote the act of slaughter- 
ing cattle {Glossary of Lancashire Dia- 
lect, Nodal and Milner). As "player," 
" runner," and other words significant 
of agency, are derivatives from verbs, 
it was supposed, by a false analogy, 
that " butcher " (O. Eng. and 0. Fr. 
locher, a luah-elajer,) implied a verbal 
forra also, and to hutch was devised ac- 
cordingly (see Buttle). To huch or 
hutch is in use also in the Cleveland 

I shall be batching thee from nape to rump. 
Sir H. Taylor, Philip van Artevelde, 
II. iii. 1. 

Similarly Quarles has inferred a verb 
to hdberdash from haherdctsher. 

What mean dull souls in this high measure 

To haberdask 
In Earth's base wares, whose greatest trea- 

Is dross and trash. 

Emblems, Bk. ii. Emb. 5 (1634). 

Cf. to hurgle from hurglar (Bartlett, 
Diet, of Americanisms; Daily News, 
Oct. 28, 1880). 

In the northern counties of England, 
to datle or daitle zz to work by the day, 
to go a datUng, are verbal usages evolved 
out of dataler, a day workman, also 
daitle-man, which words are for day- 


( 47 ) 


faler, day-iale-man, i.e. one who works 
by day tale (Icel. dagatal), whose labour 
is told or reckoned by the day. — Notes 
and Queries, 5th S. viii. 456. 

Step into that bookseller's shop and call 
me a dau-taU critic- — Stenie, Tristram Shandy, 
Tol. iv. chap. xiii. 

Butter-bump, ^ The name of this 

Bittern. i bird, also called hi- 

tour, O. Eng. hittour, iotm; Scot, hewter, 
Fr. lutor, It. hiitwe, is said to be a cor- 
ruption of its Latin name hoiaurus, so 
called from its hull hellowing, hoatus 
tawri. Cf. the names roJir-trummel, 
O. Eng. mire-drumhle [lm'mp:=to boom] . 
— Jolin's British Birds in their Haunts, 
p. 414. 

Butaurus quasi bootauriis dicitur eo quod 
mugitumtauriimitarividetur.^/-l/ei. Necliam, 
Be Kat. Rerum, cap. liv. (died 1217). 

Botowre, byrde, onocroculus, botorius. — 
Prompt. Parv. 

In Guy Mannering it is called the 
Bull of the hog. 

Then blushed the Byttur in the fenne. 
The Parlament of Bijrdes, 1. 87. 
And as a bittour bumps within a reed, 
" To thee alone, O lake," she said, " I tell." 
Dryden, Wife of Bath, 1. 19i 
(Globe ed. p. 598). 

Many a fertile cornfield . . . has resounded 
far and wide with the deep, booming, belloW' 
ing cry of the Bittern. — J. C. Atkinson, Brit, 
Birds' Eggs, p. 82. 

Another corruption is hottle-hump 

Butter-cup. Dr. Prior thinks that 
this word is a corruption of hutton-cop, 
i.e. button-head, comparing the French 
louton d'or, the bachelor's button. The 
form hutton-cop, however, seems alto- 
gether hypothetical. 

Buttery is not the place where 
huUer is kept, as larder is the place for 
lard, and pantry iat poms, bread, but a 
store for hutts or hottles, Sp. hoteria 
and hotilleria, a "butlery." 
Bedwer Jje botyler, Kyng of Normandye, 
N om al so in ys half a uayr companye 
Of on sywyte, vorto seruy of ]>e botelerye. 
Robt. of Gloucester, p. 191 (ed. 1810), 
ab. 1295. 
In to the Biittri/. 

Bears, two tonne hoggesheads a xlviii" the 
tonne, vi\ 
The Losely Manuscripts (1556), p. 11. 
In the nonage of the world Men and Beasts 
had but one Buttery, which was the fountain 

and River. — Howell, Familiar Letters, Bk. ii. 
54 (1639). 

To it [the fonda] frequently is attached a 
cafe, or botilleria, a bottlery , and a place for 
the sale of liqueurs. — Ford, Gatherings from 
Spain, p. 168. 

Butt, Fr. hotie, is the same word as 
Sp. hota, a large, pear-shaped leathern 
bottle (whence Sp. hotilla, Fr. houteille, 
our " bottle ") ; and so very nearly akin 
to hoot, a leathern covering for the 

Bota, a hoot to weare, a bottle, a buskinne. 
— Minsheu, Spanish Diet. 1623. 

For a description of the Spanish hota, 
see Ford's Oatherings from Spain, pp. 

The Welsh hivytty, a pantry or but- 
tery, if the same word, has been assimi- 
lated to hwyta, to eat, take food. 

Buttery, a Yorkshire word for the 
elder tree [Samhucus nigra), is a cor- 
ruption of its common name, hortree, 
or hore-tree. See Bothery-three. 

Buttle, To, a Lancashire verb, to act 
as butler, and developed out of that 
word, as if hutler were one who huttles. 
So Butch is a feigned verb, to perform 
the functions of a hutcher ; and tynke, to 
play the tinker, occurs in the curious 
old play of The Worlde amd the Ghylde 
Manhode. But herke, felowe, art thou ony 

craftes man 1 
Folye. Ve, syr, I can bynde a syue and tynke 

a pan. 

Old Plays, Vol. xii. p. 324. 

So the Scotch have made a verb to 
awrch or arch, to take aim or shoot, out 
of a/rcher. 

Buttress, apparently a support that 
hutts up, or props, the main building, as 
if from Fr. houter, to support (boutant, a 
buttress) — older forms hutrasse, hoterace 
(Wycliffe), hoteras, hretasce, is really 
the same word as old Fr. hretesse — the 
battlements of a waU (Cotgrave), hre- 
tesche, hretesque, also hrutesche (Matt. 
Paris), It. hertesea, a rampart, all seem- 
ingly for hrettice, a boarding (Ger. hrett, 
a board), Mke lattice, from Fr. latte, a 
lath. Brattice, a fence of boards, is 
therefore the same word (see Skeat and 
Wedgwood). ^'Betrax of a walle (al. 
hretasce, hretays), Propugnaculum." — 
Prompt. Parv. 

Bio-ge brutage of horde, bulde on Jw walles. 
Alliterative Poems, p. 71, 1. 1190. 


( 48 ) 


To patch the flaws and buttress up the wall. 
Drydejij Absalom and Achito])het, 1. 802. 
By-law, the law of a company for 
the regulation of their traffic, as if, 
like "by-word," "by-play," something 
heside, or subordinate to, the State law 
(Dan. iylov), is only another form of 
" hyrlm.0, burlaw, laws established in 
Scotland with consent of Neighbours 
chosen unanimously in the courts called 
Burlaw Courts." — Bailey. Icel. bceja/i'- 
log, " byre-law," i.e. the law (log) of 
the hcer, town (also farm-yard). See 
Cleasby, p. 92 ; also Spelman, who 
qaotesBellagiTies, a medieval corruption 
(^zbilagen), Glossarium, p. 94. 


Cabbage, for old Eng. caboclie (old 
Fr. cahuce, It. cappuccio, a httle head), 
simulates the common termination -age 
(Pr. -age, It. -aggio, Lat. -aticus, Halde- 
man, p. 109) in voyage, savage, &c. 

Cabbage, to pilfer or purloin (slang), 
especially applied to the pilfering of 
cloth by tailors, is a corrupted form of 
Belgian Tcabassen, to steal ; Dutch ha- 
bassen, to hide, to steal (Sewel), origi- 
nally to put in one's basket ; Dut. ha- 
bas, a basket ; Fr. cabas, Portg. cabaz, 
Sp. cabadio, Arab, qafas, a cage ; and 
so to bag, to pocket ; cf. Fr. empocher 
(perhaps, our "poach "). Cumberland 
" cabbish, to • purloin " (Dickenson, 
Supplement, E.D. S.). 

Not to be confounded with this is the 
old heraldic and hunting term, to cab- 
bage zn to take the head off. 

As the hounds are surbated and weary, the 
head of the stag should be cabbaged in order 
to reward them. — Scolt, Bride of Lammer- 
moor, ch. ix. 

This is another form of to caboshe, 
from Fr. caboclie, the head. 

Caboshed, is when the Beast's Head is cut 
oiF close just behind the ears, by a section 
parallel to the face, or by a perpendicular 
downright section. — Bailey. 

Caoheoope Bell. I quote this word, 
not having found it anywhere else, on 
the very insufficient authority of Dr. 
Brewer (Diet, of Phrase and Fable, 
S.V.), who explains it as a bell rung at 
funerals when the pall was thrown over 
the coffin, from Fr. cache corps, "cover- 
corpse " (?). 

Calender, old Eng. calendre (Leech- 
doms, Wortcv/nming and Starcraft, ed. 
Cockayne, vol. i. p. 218), an old name 
for the plant coriander, is a corruption 
of coliander, coliaundre (Wycliife, Ex. 
xvi. 31), another form of " coriander," 
still named col. by apothecaries. Com- 
pare coronel and colonel. 

Calf, the fleshy part of the leg be- 
hind the tibia, is the Irish calpa, colpa, 
and colbhtha (while colbthac is a calf or 
heifer, and colpa, a cow or calf!). 

Hcec tibia, colpa. — Medieval Tract on Latin 
Declension (ed. W. Stokes), p. 7. 

Near akin are collop, and Lat. pulpa, 
flesh (Wedgwood). It is curious to 
note tarb, the bull (of the thigh, or the 
loin), glossing exugia in the Lorioa of 
GUdas, which elsewhere is glossed ge- 
scinco (shank). — Stokes, Irish Glosses, 
pp. 139, 144 (Irish Archaeolog. Soc). 
Cf., perhaps, Lat. tawms, interfemi- 

Calm. The I has no more right to 
be in this word than in comld. It was 
probably assimilated to halm, halm,, 
palm, psalm, &c., in English ; though 
the word in other languages also has 
the I : e.g. Fr. calme, It., Span., Portg., 
and Prov. calma, denoting sultry 
weather, when no breeze is stirring; 
all from Low Lat. cauma, the heat of 
the sun ; Greek hauma, heat, burning. 
In Provengal, cliaiime signifies the time 
when the flocks repose in the heat of 
the day, and caumas =;heat (J. D. Craig, 
Handbooh to Prov.) ; cf. " caimias, hot, 
Gascon " (Cotgrave). In old Eng. the 
form caivme is found. 

For a similar intrusion of an I, com- 
pare It. aldace, from Lat. audax, aldire 
from audAre, palmento from paumento 
(pavimentwm) ; so we find in Scottish 
walm (G. Douglas)for wa/ux =.was, and 
wolxfoxwoux ^wox; walkenioTwauken, 
to waken, and awoaTIc (Dunbar) for 
awake. Al is often pronounced as a%, 
e.g. talk, stalk, walk, falcon, cawTc 
(Bailey) for calk, O. Eng. fa/ute for 
fait, caud/ron (WyoUffe) for ccddjron, 
Hawkins for Hal-kins, MaukinioiMd- 

Oawna may have become cakna, 
from a supposed connexion with Lat. 
color, heat ; Span. " OaUna, a thick, 
sweltry air, rising like a fog in hot 



weather " (Stevens, 8p. Diet. 1706), 
Langued. oalimas. 

Swed. qualm, sultry weather, is per- 
haps the same word assimilated to Dut. 
and Ger. qualm, steam, exhalation ; 
Dan. qualm, close, oppressive; qualtne, 
to feel siokish ; Eng. qualm; Dan. qucele, 
to stifle, torment, quell. Of. Mrs. 
Quickly, " sick of a calm," 2 Hen. IV. 
ii. 4, 40. 

Forto behald, It was a glore to se 
The stablit "wjndis and the cawmiit see. 
G. DougUts, Eneados, Bk. xii. Prolong, 
1.52 (1513). 
Calme or softe, wythe-owte "wynde, Calmus, 
tranquillus. — Prompt. Parmdorum, ab. 1440. 
AH these stormea, which now his beauty- 
Shall tui-ne to caulmes, and tymely cleai'e 
Spenser, Sonnets, Ixii. p. 582 (Globe ed.). 
A blont hede in a caidme or downe a wind 
is very good. — R. Ascham, Toxophilas, 1545, 
p. 137 (ed. Arber). 

Camel leopard, an occasional mis- 
spelling and vulgar pronunciation of 
camelo-pard, the animal which was re- 
garded as partaking of the nature of 
the camel and the pard, Lat. camelo- 

All who remember the old staii-case of 
Montague house have felt that there is limit 
to the exhibition of a giraffe which had been 
received at a period so remote that it was de- 
scribed as a ^^ camel leopard." — The Athemeiim, 
Oct. 13, 1877. 

Camels, a W. Cornish word for oamio- 
tnile flowers (E. D. Soc). 

Camlet, a stuff made of wool and 
goats' hair, Fr. camelot, anciently called 
camellotti, is not named from the camel, 
out of whose hair it was supposed origi- 
nally to have been woven, but is de- 
rived from Arab. Jchamlat, which is 
from hhartd, pile or plush. — Yule, Ser 
Marco Polo, vol. i. p. 248. 

In Scotch the word was corrupted 
into chalmillett. 

For chainelot the camel full of hare. — Jas. I. 
of Scotland, The Kingis Quhair, stanza 157 
(ab. 1423). 

And then present the mornings-light 

Cloath'd in her chamlets of delight. 

Herrick, Hesperides, Poems, vol. i. 
p. 48 (ed. Hazlitt). 

Damaske, chamolets, lined with sables and 
other costly fun'es . . . are worne according to 
their seuerall qualities. — G. Sandys, Travels, 
p. 64. 

Canary, a corruption of quandary, 
which Mrs. Quickly employs, confound- 
ing it, probably, with canary, an old 
name for a quick dance. 

The best courtier of them all could never 
have brouglit her to such a canarii. — Merry 
Wires of Windsor, ii. 2, 63. 

Quandary itself seems to be a cor- 
ruption of O. Eng. wa,ndreth, dif&oulty, 
perplexity ; Icel. vandrceisi (Wedg- 

Oandlegostes, a curious old name 
for a plant, probably the orchis mns- 
cula, which Gerarde {Berhall) calls 
grmdlegosses (Britten and Holland, 
"Eng. Plant-Names, p. 85). On account 
of its double bulb or tuber, and two- 
coloured flowers, this plant is often 
popularly known by names expressive 
of a pair, or of the two sexes, e.g. Lords 
and Ladies, Adam and Eve, Gain and 
Abel. It would seem, then, that the 
original of gandle-gosses was gander- 
gosses, i.e. gander and goose. 

Kandlegostes is goosegrasse. — Gerarde, Sup- 
plement unto the Generall Table. 

In Dorset and Gloucester the orchis 
is called goosey -gander. 

Cane-apple, an old word for the 
arbutus unedo, which "hath come to 
us from Ireland by the name of the 
(7ame-apple " (Parkinson). The first 
part of the word is the Irish Gaihne. 
— Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names, p. 14 (E. D. Soc). No such 
word, however, occurs in O'Donovan's 
edition of CBeUly's Irish Diet., nor in 
W. Stokes's Irish Glosses. 

Cannibal, formerly ccmibal. Span. 
canibal, a corrupted form of carihal, a 
native of the Caribbean islands, as if 
savages of a canine voracity {see Skeat, 
Etym. Diet.). 

They are people too were never christened ; 
They know no law nor conscience; they'll 
devour thee, 

they 're cannibals ! 

Beaumont and Fletcher, Wit without Money, 
T. 2. 

Cannon, as a term at bilhards, is 
said to have denoted originally a stroke 
on the red ball and a white, and to be 
a corruption of earrom or ca/i'om, a con- 
tracted form of Fr. caramhole, the red 
ball; cm-amboler, to make a double 
stroke, or ricochet ; Sp, cwambola. 


Cantankerous. This curious popu- 
lar word, meaning peevish, cross- 
grained, ill-tempered (Sheridan; see 
T. L. O. Davies, 8^t.p. Eng. Olossa/ry), 
would seem to be a compromise be- 
tween cant, to whine, and ranoorous. 
It is really, I think, for contehorous, or 
coniaherous, quarrelsome, from O. Eng. 
contekour, a quarrelsome person ; con- 
teh, contake, a quarrel. 

Contek so as the bokes sain 
Foolhast hath to his chamberlain. 
By whose counseil all unavised 
Is pacience most despised. 

Gowefj Confessio Amantis, vol. i. 
p. 318 (ed. Pauli). 
That contek sprong bituene horn mani volde. 
— Rofcei-t of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 470 (ed. 

To J)ise bo3e belongejj alle ualshedes and 
]>e gyles and ^e contaches. — Ayenbite of' Inwyt, 
1340, p. 63 (ed. Morris). 
Wyoliffe has contake and contek. 
The other heiden hisseruauntis, and slowen 
hem, ponished with contek. — Matt. xxii. 6 

A Coward, and Contacowre, manhod is pe 

The Abce of Aristotill, 1. 36. 

Capee cornee way, a Oimiherland 
word for diagonally (Dickinson) ; a 
corruption of cater corner way [see 
Cater). So " caper-cousins, great 
friends (Lane.)" — ^Wright, for cater- 

Cap-stern, sometimes found for cap- 
stan, Fr. cdbestan, Sp. cabrestante (a 
standing goat?), a windlass. Horace 
Walpole speUs it capstamd. 

He invented the drum capstands for weigh- 
ing heavy anchors. — Anecdotes of Painting, 
(ed. Murray), p. 267. 

Gapstring in the following descrip- 
tion of a sea-fight seems to be the 
same word. 

I pierced them with my chace-piece 
through and through. Part of their cap- 
string too I, with a piece abaft, shot over- 
board. — Heywood and Rowky, Fortune by 
Land and Sea, act iv. sc. o (36.55). 

Compare Ger. hock, a buck or he- 
goat, also a trestle or support; the 
"hox" of a coach. So Pol. koziel, a 
buck; kody, a trestle (Wedgwood). 

8p. cabra, Fr.chevre, (1) a goat (Lat. 
eapra), (2) a machine for raising 
weights, &c., a "crab." 

" Chevron," Fi. chevron, Sp. cabrio, a 

rafter, from chtvre, &c., a goat. Com- 
pare a/ries, a battering-ram. 

Malm and Professor Skeat, however, 
who think the original form is Sp. caies- 
trante, deduce the word from Sp. cabes- 
trar, Lat. capistrare, to tie with a 
halter (Lat. capi^trum). 

CARC-iBEN, the A. Saxon name for a 
prison, as if the house [mm) of carh or 
care [care), (ef. O. Eng. cwalm hmse, 
"death-house," aprison: AnarenBiwk, 
p. 140), is a manifest corruption of Lat. 
ca/rcer, which also appears as a borrowed 
word in Gothic karkaa-a (Matt. xi. 2). 

Caee-awaybs, caraways (Pr. cani), 
as if they were good for dispelling 
ca/res. Gerarde spells it ca/ruwaie, and 
says, "it groweth in Caria, as Dios- 
corides sheweth, from whence it took 
its name." — Herlall, p. 879. 

Haile of care-a-wayes. — Davies. Scourge of 
Folly, 1611 (Wright). 

Cf. " ca/re-awey, sorowles." — Frompt. 
Paw. Thos. Adams, in his sermon, 
A Contemplation of the Herbs, under 
the heading cm-e-away, has : " Soli- 
citous thoughtfulness can give him no 
hurt but this herb care-away shall easily 
cure it" (Works, ii. 467, ed. Nichol). 
Caraway, itself an altered form of 
carwy (Prompt. Parv. p. 62), Pr. card, 
cf. Portg. cherivia, (al)-caravia, is from 
Arab, karcmia, from a Greek karma 

Care- Sunday, a provincial name for 
the fifth Sunday in Lent, like the related 
words Chare Tlmrsday, the day before 
Good Friday, Ger. char-freitag. Good 
Friday, Gharwoche, Passion week, all 
said to be derived from an old Teutonic 
word cara, preparation [? gajrd\ , be- 
cause the day of the crucifixion was 
Dies Parasceves, Gk. paraskeue, the pre- 
paration day of the Jews. See Hamp- 
son, Med. Aevi Kalendarium, i. p. 178; 
Grimm, however, connects old Ger. 
ka/ifreita.g with 0. H. Ger. chara, grief, 
suffering, Old Sax. cara, Goth, kara 
(Worterbuch, B.\.). So old Eng. care, 
A. Sax. cearu, mean grief. The proper 
meaning, therefore, of Care-Sutimj 
and GhoA-e-Thv/rsday is the Sunday 
and Thursday of mourning (see Diefen- 
bach, Ooth. Sprache, ii. 444). Cm-ling 
Sunday, as if the day on which carUngs, 
or grey-peas, are eaten, seems a popu- 


( 51 ) 


lar corruption (Atkinson, Cleveland 
Glossary, s. v.). 

Carnation, so called now as if it de- 
rived its name from its flowers being 
of a flesh colour (Lat. caro, ca/rnis, 
flesh), wasformerly more correctly spelt 
coronation, being commonly employed 
in cliaplets, cwotocb (Prior). 

So in German coi'wtce has become 
Jcamksz : cf. Carneuan. Gerarde, 
however (1597), spells it Ca/rnation, 
and identifies it with "Clone Gilli- 
flower" {Herhall, p. 472), which sug- 
gests that coronation may be itself' the 

Bring Cormiations, and Sops in wine, 
Worne of Paramoures. 

Spenser, Sliepheards Calender, April, 1. 139. 

Carnelian, a mis-spelUng of cornelian 
sometimes found, as if it meant the 
flesh-coloured stone (earn-, flesh), Ger. 
ka/)-neol, whereas it is Fr. cornalinc. It. 
cornaUno, cwniola, from cornu, so called 
on account of its ^oj-m-like semi-trans- 
parency. Cf. Ger. hor'iistein, and 
" onyx," Gk. onux, the finger-nail ; 
perhaps also Fr. naei-e, It. naccaro, 
mother-of-pearl, connected with Sansk. 
nakhara, a nail. 

Carnival, the festivity preceding 
Lent, Fr. and Sp. cm-naval, It. ca/rne- 
vale, " Shrovetide, shroving time, when 
flesh is hidden farewell" (Florio), as if 
from ca/)-o {ca/rnis) and vale — "Flesh 
farewell! " — is really an accommodation 
of carnelevale, a corrupt form of Low 
Lat. carne-leva/men, a solace of the 
flesh. The Sunday before the begin- 
ning of Lent was called Dominica ad 
carries levandas. Compare also the 
names of Shrovetide, CarnAcapium, 
Oa/rnivora, Mardi-gras, &c. — Hampson, 
Medii Aevi Kalendarium, i. p. 158. 
This feast is named the Carnival, which 
Interpreted, implies " farewell to flesh : " 
So call'd, because the name and thing agree- 
Through Lent they live on fish both salt 
and fresh. 

Buron, Beppo, vi. 

Carol, an architectural term for a 
small closet, or enclosure, to sit in 
(Parker, Glossary of ArcMteeiwe, s.v.). 
It is also spelt ca/rrol, carrel, carole, 
carola, quarrel ; and is corrupted from 
Low Lat. quadnrellus, a square pew. 

Carola, a little Pew or Closet. — Bailey. 
Carrel, a Closet or Pew in a Monastery. 

Carola is applied to any place enclosed 
with skreens or partitions, in Normandy 
and elsewhere in France the rails themselves 
are termed carolea. Also this tenn was ap- 
plied to the aisles of French churches whicli 
have skreened chapels on one side. — Parker, 
Glossary of Architecture. 

In the west walk [of the cloisters] are the 
places prepared for the carols of the monks, 

or theii' studies, to sit and write in ; 

they were so called probably from their being 
square, carrels, or qaarrts. — Id. 

So quarrel, a square of glass, and 
anciently a square-headed arrow, is 
from quad/relhis; and carillon, a, chime, 
is Uterally a peal of four bells, L. Lat. 
quadrillio; Uke qiiad/rille, a dance of 

Carousal : strange as it may seem,' 
this word has probably no connexion 
with carouse, a drinking-bout. Prof. 
Skeat says that in its older form, 
cm-ousel, it meant a pageant or festival, 
being derived from Fr. cm-rousel. It. 
caroseMo, a tilting-match ortournament, 
corrupted (under the influence of ca/n-o, 
a chariot), from garosello, a diminutive 
form of garoso, quarrelsome (cf. gm-a, 
' strife, perhaps = Fr. guerre). Gm-ouse, 
formerly gm-ouse, is from Ger. ga/r aus 
(a bumper drained), "right out." 

Carp, Mid. Eng. carpen, old Eng. 
Jcm-pe, to speak, to tell (Icel. Icarpa, to 
boast), owes its modern sense of speak- 
ing with sinister intent, fault-finding 
or cavilling, to a supposed connexion 
with Lat. carpere, to pluck, to calum- 

Other of your insolent retinue 
Do hourly carp and quarrel. 

King Lear, i. 4, 1. 221. 
Bi crist, sone, quafi (je King, to carpe \>e so);e. 
William ofPalerne, 1. 4581. 

(See Prof._ Skeat, Etym. Diet, s.v.) 
Carpyn, or talkyn, Fabulor, confabulor, 
garrulo. — Prompt. Parv. 

So gone thei forthe, carpende fast 
On this, on that. 

Gower, Conf. Amantis, vii. 
Many was the bird did sweetly carj)e, 
Emong the thornes, the bushes, and the 
F. Thynn, Pride and Lowliness, ab. 1570, 
p. 8 (Shaks. Soc). 

Carriage, which appears to be a 
similar formation to voyage, wharfage. 


( 52 ) 


parentage, townage, nuwriage, is a more 
thoroughly naturalized form of caroch 
(Jonson), Pr. carosse, Sp. carroza, It. 
carrozza, carocmo. To the latter has 
been assimilated It. hmvcmo, hiroccio, 
our " barouche," which originally 
meant a two-wheeled vehicle, from 
Lat. hi-roius. Cf. Pr. hrouette, for hi- 
rouette (Diez). Ga/rriage, the carrying of 
a parcel, " caryage, vectura, caria- 
gium " {Prompt. Parv.), or the thing 
carried, baggage (A. V. 1 Sam. xvii. 
22), is a distinct word, 0. Fr. cariage, 
It. ca/rriaggio. 

Madam .... must be allow'd 
Her footmen, her caroch, her ushers, pages. 
Massinger, The Renegadn, i. 2 (p. 136, 
ed. Cunningham). 

At this time, 1605, began the ordinary use 
o{ carochea. — Stow, Annates, p. 867 (1615). 

They harnessed the Grand SigniorsCorodc?!, 
mounted his Cauallery vpon Curtals, and so 
sent him most pompously .... into the 
Citty. — Dekher, Seii£n deadly Sinnes of London, 
1606, p. 20 (ed. Arber). 

He hurries up and down ... as a gallant 
in his new caroch, driving as if he were mad. 
— T. Adams, Mystical Bedlam, Sermons, i. 

Caeey-all (American), a waggon, 
corrupted from Cmiole. 

Carteidge is an Anglicized form of 
Pr. cartouche. It. cartocoio, a ease made 
of paper (It. can-ta, Lat. cliarta), assimi- 
lated to such words as partridge, or 
mistaken for carte (zicard) and ridge. 
G. Markham further corrupts the word 
to cai-talage ( The Souldier's Accidence, 
p. 36). 

" Cartridges " seem to be found first 
in the works of Lord Orrery in 1677. 
Sir James Turner in 1671 calls them 

Casement — " Make the doors upon a 
woman's wit and it will out at the 
casement" (As YouLilcelt, a. iv. sc. 1) 
— seems to be confounded sometimes 
with "casemate," a loophole. 

At Mochrum ... a medieval castle long 
in ruins has been partly rebuilt on the old 
lines, nothing being altered in the thickness 
of the walls . . . and very little in the holes 
or "casements" which admit the light. — Sat. 
Review, vol. 50, p. 542. 

The tumid bladder bounds at every kick, 
bursts the withstanding casements. — Shaftes- 
bury, Characteristichs, vol. iii. p. 14 (1749). 

The Eye, by which as through a cleare 
christall Casement wee discerne the various 

works of Art and Nature. — J. Howeltj For- 
rein Travell, 1642, p. 12 (ed. Arber). 

Casemate, Pr. casemate, Sp. casamata, 
It. casa-matta, (1) a house of slaughter 
(from casa, and Sp. mata/r. It. mazzare, 
Lat. mactare, to slaughter) — i.e. a cham- 
ber in a fortress from which the enemy 
may be securely slaughtered, (2) a 
loophole or opening to fire on the 
enemy. " Gasamatta, a casamat, a 
canonrie or slaughter-house, so called 
of Engineers, which is a place built low 
under the wall or bulwarke not arriv- 
ing unto the height of the ditch, and 
serves to annoy or hinder the enemie 
when he entreth the ditch to skale the 
wall" — (Plorio, 1611). Compare Fr. 
mewrtriire, Ger. mord-heller, a loop- 

Cash, the name which we give to the 
Chinese copper coins which are strung 
together on strings through a hole in 
the middle, is the same wprd as the 
Eussian cheh or clwhh, and a corruption 
of the Mongol ^'os, Chinese fsien, fi:om 
a false analogy to the Enghsh word 
" cash," Fr. caisse. Vid. Prejevalsky, 
Mongolia, vol. ii. p. 3. 

Cashier, to dismiss one from his 
office, is a corruption of the older word 
casseer, Ger. cassiren, Dut. 'kctsseren,sl\ 
from French casser, " to cass, casseere, 
discharge " (Cotgrave) ; Sp. cassa/r, to 
casseer (Minsheu) ; Lat. cosscm's, to 
render null {cassus) : see Cast. The 
phrase " to break an officer " seems to 
have originated in a misunderstanding 
of this word. 

Excepting the main point o{ cashiering the 
Popes pretended Authority over the whole 
Church, those two abuses were the first 
things corrected by Authority in owe Realm. 
— Bp. Hacket, Century of Sermons, p. 124 

Cast, in the idiom " to cast about," 
to look for a plan, to contrive, plot, 
meditate, search — "He casi about how 
to escape " — as if he turned or cast his 
eyes every way — looked roimd, seems 
to be only a modern usage of old Bng, 
cost, to contrive (A. Sax. costian, to ti-y, 
prove, tempt, old Swed. hosta, Dut, 
koste, try, attempt), which was some- 
times written cast ( =: conceive, con- 
sider). See Dr. B. Morris, E. E. AlUU- 
rative Poems, p. 137. But query. 


( 53 ) 


Caste for to goon', or purpose for to don' 
any othyi- thynge, Tendo, intendo. 

Caste warke or disposyn', Dispone. — 
Prompt. Parv, 

A mare payne couthe na man in hert east 
jjan fis war, als lang als it sukl last. 

Pncke of Conscience, 1. 1918 (ab. 1340). 
AUe mans \jfe casten may be 
Principaly m Jpis partes thre. 

Ibid. 1. 432. 
Bi a coynt compacement • caste sohe sone, 
How bold 3he mist hire bere • hire best to 
William of Paleme, 1. 1981, ab. 1350 
(ed. Skeat). 
Than cast I all the worlde about 
And thenk, howe I at home in dout 
Have all my time in vein despended. 

GoweVj Conf. Amantis, vol. i. p. 317 
(ed. Pauli). 
Who ever casts to compasse weightye prise 
And thinks to throwe out thondering words 

of threate, 
Let powre in lavish cups and thriftie bitts of 
Spenser, Sheplieards Calender, Oct. 1. 105. 

She cast in her mind what manner of salu- 
tation this should be. — A. V. S. Luke, i. 2y 

And ever in her mind she cast about 
For that unnoticed failing in herself. 
Which made him look so cloudy and so 

Tennyson, Enid, 1. 892. 

Hence, no doubt, cast =: to calculate, 
as "to cast a horoscope," or "to cast 
up a sum in addition." 
[He] arsmetrike raddein cours: in Oxenford 

wel faste 
& his figours drouS aldai : & his numbre 

S. Edmund the Confessor, 1. 222 (Philolog. 
Soo. Trans. 1858). 

Cast, applied to old clothes, as if 
something thrown aside as useless, is 
probably for cassed, found in old writers 
— French, casser, " to casse, casseere 
[cashier] , discharge, tume out of ser- 
vice" (Ciotgrave) ; which is from Lat. 
cassa/re, to render null and void ( casstis ) . 
See Oashiek. North and Holland 
speak of soldiers being cassed; and 
in Othello (ii. 3) lago says to the 
"casliier'd Oassio" (1. 381), "You are 
but now cast in his mood," 1. 273. 

We will raise 
A noise enough to wake an alderman. 
Or a cast captain, when the reck'ning is 
About to pay. 

W. Cartm-ight, The Ordinary, iii. 4 

Put now these old cast clouts . . . under 
thine armholes. — A. V. Jerem. xxxviii. 12. 

He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana. 
— As You Like It, iii. 4, 16. 

Castle, the chess piece. It. castello 
and torre, so called from rocco, its 
proper name, being confounded with 
rocca, a rook, fortress, or castle. The 
Italian rocco, our " rook," is the French 
roc, Sp. roque, Persian ruJeJi, all varia- 
tions of the Sanskrit roTca, a boat or 
ship, that being the original form of the 
piece. — D. Forbes, History of Chess, 
pp. 161, '211. Devio connects the word 
with old Pers. rolih, a warrior or knight. 

Castle, as used in Shakespeare (Tro. 
and Ores. v. 2, 1. 187) and HoUnshed 
(ii. p. 815) for a helmet, must be a 
representative of the Latin cassida, 
cassis, a helmet. 

Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head. 
— Shakespeare, 1. c, 

Cast-me-down, a corruption of the 
word cassidone, cassidonia, a species of 
lavender, which is itself a corruption 
of its Latin name, stcechas SidonAa 
{'chas-Sidonia), the stcechas from Sidon, 
where it is indigenous. 

Stechados, Steckado, or Stickadove, Cassi- 
donia or Castmedown. — Cotgrave. 

Some simple people imitating the said 
name doe call it cast-me-doume. — Gerarde, 
Herball, p. 470. 

Castoe Oil, a corruption of castus- 
oil, the plant (ricinus communis) from 
the nuts or seeds of which it is ex- 
pressed having formerly been called 
Agnus castus (Mahn, in Wehster's 
Diet.). The word was doubtless con- 
founded with, or assimilated to, cas- 
toreum, " a medicine made of the Hquor 
contained in the smaU bags which are 
next to the beaver's [or castor's] groin, 
oily, and of a strong scent " (Bailey). 

Cat, a nautical term applied to va- 
rious parts of the gear connected with 
an anchor, e.g. " Gat, a piece of timber 
to raise up the anchor from the hawse 
to the forecastle ; " cat-head, " catt-rope, 
the rope used in hauling up the cat " 
(Bailey); to cat, to draw up the anchor 
(Smith, Nautical Bid; Falconer, Ma- 
rine Bict.). Compare Dutch Jcai, a small 
anchor; Icatten, to cast out such ; hatrol, 
a pulley. It is beyond doubt the same 
word as Lith. Icatas, Bohem. hotew. 
Buss, and old Slav. Icotva, an anchor, 


( 54 ) 


meaning at first probably a large 
stone ; cf. Sansk. hdtha, a stone (Pictet, 
Originee I. Ewop.i. 133),. and the Ho- 
meric ewnai, stones used as anchors. 

Cat, in the story of WMUington and 
his Cat, it has been considered with 
some reason, is a corruption of the old 
substmitive aoat or achat, trading {e.g. 
Le Grand, FahUaux, tom. i. p. 305), 
from acheter, to buy (Eiley). — Scheie 
de Vere, Studies in EngUsh, p. 205 ; M. 

Cat or DOG-wooi,, " of which cotto or 
coarse Blankets were formerly made " 
(Bailey, s. v. cottwm). Gat here is a 
corruption of the old Bng. cot, a matted 
lock; Ger. hotze, a shaggy covering; 
Wal. cote, a fleece. " Got-ga/i-e, refuse 
wool so clotted together that it cannot 
be pulled asunder " (Bailey). 

Bog-wool is for dag-wool, cf. dag- 
lochs, the tail- wool of sheep (see 
Wedgwood) ; and old Eng. dagswcan, a 
bed-covering, " daggysweyne, lodix," 
Prompt. Parvulorvmi. 

Catch, a word used by Howell and 
Pepys for a small vessel (see T. L. 0. 
Davies, 8iip. JSng. Ohssan'y), as if hke 
yaclit (Dut. jagt), a vessel for pursuit, 
is a corruption of hetch, It. caicclvio, " a 
little cocke bote, skiffe or scallop " 
(Plorio) ; from Turk, gaig, a skiff or 

Catch-pole, ] Scotch terms for the 

Cache-pole, rgame of tennis, are 

Catchpule, ) corrupted forms of 

Belgian kaetsspel, i.e. "chase-game," 

the game of ball : cf. kaetshal, a tenuis- 


Catekumlyng, an old Eng. corrup- 
tion of catechumen, a person catechized 
or under instruction preparatory to 
baptism, as if compounded with imme- 
lyng (JRobt. of Ohucestei; p. 18) — i.e. 
corneUng, a stranger, new Sirrival, a 
proselyte — occurs inLangland's Vision 
of Piers Plowman, 1377. 
Why sowre couent coueytath' to confesse 

and to hurye, 
Rather Jjan to baptise barnes' jjat ben cate- 
Pass. xi. 1. 77, text B. (ed. Steat) ; 

where another MS. has cathecu- 

Catek, to cross diagonally, or eater- 
ways, in the Sm-rey dialect (Notes and 

Queries, 5th S. i. 361), is evidently a 
corruption of Fr. quatre, as in ccder- 
cousins and cater-caf. Compare Pr. 
cairtayer (which Littre derives from 
quatre), corresponding to our verb to 
quarter, to drive so as to avoid the ruts 
in the road. 

Cater-cousin, an intimate friend, a 
parasite, as if a friend for the sake of 
the catering, is really a fomih cousin, 
Fr. quatre. 

Es havn't a' be cater cousins since last hay- 
harvest. — Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire Courtship, 
p. 61. 

Sleep ! What have we to do with 
Death*s cater cousin ? 

Randolph, Aristippus, Works, p. 23 
(ed. Hazlitt). 

So O. Eng. catereyns =: guadrai'm, 
farthings. See Cater. 

Catebpillee — old Eng. " catyrpel, 
wyrm amongefrute, "ProjTipf. Pan. — 
is corrupted from old Fr. chaite pelenae ' 
(Palsgrave, 1530), "hairy cat." Cf. 
Norman carpleuse (? ■=. caier-peleme). 
It. gattola, Swiss teufels-haiz, " devil's 
cat" {AAa,ras,Philog.8oc. Trans. 18S0, 
p. 90). The last part of the word 
was probably assimilated to piller, a 
robber or despoiler. 

Latimer actually uses it in this 
sense — 

They that be children of this worlde (as 
couetous persons, extorcioners, oppressours, 
caterpilters, usurers), thynke you they come 
to Gods storehouse ? — Sermons, p. 158, recto. 

Cater, moreover, being an old name 
for a glutton, the whole compoimd 
would be understood as a " gluttonous- 

Horace writes of an outragious cater in 
his time, Quicquid quaesierat ventri donabat 
avaro, whatsoever he could rap or rend, he 
confiscated to his couetous eut. — Nash, Pierce 
Pmilesse, 1592, p. 49 (ShaEs. Soc). 

Catgut, the technical name for the 
material of which the strings of the 
guitar, harp, &c. are made. It is really 
manufactured from sheep-gat (ride 
Chappell's History of Music, vol. i. p- 

That sheep's guts should hale souls out of 
men's bodies. — Much Ado about Nothing, 

So it may be conjectured that tlie 
word is a coi-ruption of kit-gut, kit being 
an old word for a smaU viohii. Com- 


( 55 ) 


pare Ger. Icitt, Mtt, a lute, and hUze, 
icatze, a oat. Or catlings, small strings 
for musical instruments (Bailey), may 
be connected with cJdtterUngs, Ger. 
kuttelen, "guts." 

Hearsay. Do you not hear her guts already 
Like kit-strings? 

aiicer. They must come to that within 

This two or three years : by that time she'll 

True perfect cat. 

W. Cartwright, The Ordinary, i. 2 

Unless the fidler Apollo get his sinews to 
make catlings on. — Trailus and Cresn. act iii, 
BO. 3. 

Play, fiddler, or I'll cut your cat's guts 
into chitterlings. — Marlowe, Jew of Malta, 
act iv. (1633). 

Mr. Timbs (Popular EiTors Ex- 
plained, p. 64) points out that the old 
reading for cats-guts in Gymbeline is 
calves' -guts. 

Cat-handed, a Devonshire term for 
awkward, is a corruption of the word 
which appears in Northamptonsliire as 
heck-handed, left-handed (Sternberg); 
in the Craven dialect gauk-handed, in 
Yorkshire gawk, awkward ; gawkshaw, 
a left-handed man, Fr. gauche. 

Gingerly, gingerly ; how unvitty and cat- 
handed you go about it, you dough-cake. — 
Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire Courtship, p. 33. 

Cat in the pan, to turn cat in the 
pan, or cat in pan, are ancient phrases 
for becoming a turn-coat or time-server, 
changing with the times and circum- 
stances. They are evident corruptions, 
but of what ? Not hkely of the name 
Catapan, a title which was assigned to 
the chief governor of the naetropohs of 
Lombardy in the tenth century, when 
the " poUcy of Church and State in that 
proviuce was modelled in exact sub- 
ordination to the throne of Constanti- 
nople " (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 
Ivi.) ; Notes and Queries, 5th S. viii. 
148. The original was perhaps " to 
turn a cate " or cake. 

In W. Cornwall " to turn oat-in-the- 
pan" is hteraJly to turn head over 
heels while holding on to a bar 
(E. D. S.). 

I am as very a tumcote as the wethercoke of 

Poles [Paul's] ; 
For now I will call my name Due 

Disporte, fit for all soules, ye. 
So, so, findly 1 can turne the catt in the 
The Mariage of Witt and Wisdome 
(Shaks. Soo. ed.), p. 24. 
Damon smatters as well as he of craftie 

And can tourne cat in the panne very pretily. 
R, Edwards, Damon and Pithias, 1571 
(0. P. i. 206, ed. 1827-). « 
When George in pudding time came o'er 

And moderate men look'd big, Sir, 
I turn'd a cat-in-pan once more, 
And so became a Whig, Sir. 

The Vicar of Bray, 

Minsheu, in his Spanish Diet. 1623, 
gives " Trastrocadas paldbras, words 
turned, tlie cat into the pan." 

Lord Bacon, in his Essays, uses the 
phrase in a different sense : — 

There is a Cunning, which we in England 
call. The Turning of the Cat [Latin _/etem] in 
the Pan; which is, when that which a man 
sayes to another, he laiea it, as if another 
had said it to him. — Of Cunning, 1625 
(Arber's ed. p. 441 ). 

" To savour," or " smeU, of the pan," 
seems to have been a common cant 
phrase in the time of the Beformation 
for to change one's views — e.g. West, 
Bishop of Ely, said of Latimer : "I 
perceive that you smell somewhat of the 

I hear of no clerk that hath come out lately 
of -that College, but savoureth of the frying 
pan, though he speak never so holily. — Bp. 
Nihke, 1530 (see Eadie, The English Bible, 
vol. i. p. 183). 

Cats and dogs. To eain : the origin 
of this expression has never been satis- 
factorily explained. A correspondent 
of Notes and Queries (5th S. vui. p. 
183) suggests that it is a perversion of 
an Italian acgua a catinelle e dogli, rain 
in basins and casks. The phrase acqua 
a catinelle is used by Massimo d'Azegho 
in his Niccolo de' Lapi, vol. i. p. 97, ed. 
1841, Paris ; Acgua a bigonce, "rain in 
tuns," buckets of tain, is also found. 
But is such a popular expression hkely 
to be of foreign origin ? Ohien, in the 
French phrase, une plvde de chien (a 
heavy shower), has the same deprecia- 
tory and intensive force as in bru4t de 
chden, querelle de clvien. Probably tliis 
is just one of those strong intensive 
phrases in which the poptdace dehghts. 
In the dialect of the WaUon de Mons, 
pleuvoi a dik et dak is to rain in tor- 

CAT S-OE ABLE ( 56 ) 


rents (corresponding to a German reg- 
nen dich und ['? an] dach, " thick on 
thatch : " cf. risch und rasch, hUng und 
Mang, &e.). 

Cat's-ceadle, the children's game of 
■weaving a cord into various figures 
from one to the other's hands alter- 
nately, is a corruption of cratch-cfi'adle, 
the word cratch being the usual term 
formerly for a manger, rack, or crib 
(Fr. creche), of interlaced wickerwork. 
Lat. craiicius, crates. If, as Nares 
affirms, the game was also called 
scratcli-eradle, this account may be re- 
ceived without hesitation, and an aUu- 
sion may be traced to the manger- 
cradle of the Sacred History. 

These men found a child in a cratch, the 
poorest and most unlikely birth that ever wag 
to prove a Kin^. — Bp, Hacket, Century of 
Sermnns, 1675, p. 143. 

Sche childide her firste horn gone, .... 
and puttide him in a cracche. — WycliffCj Luke, 
ii. 7(1389). 

This game in the London Schools is called 
Scratch-scratch, or Scratch'Cradie. — Britton, 
Beauties of Wittshire, 1825. 

Oat-stones, i.e. battle-stones, erected 
in various parts of England, and espe- 
cially in Derbyshire, in commemoration 
of battles having been fought there. 
From the Celtic catli, a battle ; cf. Ard- 
cath in the Co. Meath, Lat. cateia, &c. 

On the east side of [Stanton] Moor were 
three tall isolated stones, which in Rooke's 
time [i.e. 1780] the natives still called Cat 
Stones, showing clearly that the tradition 
still remained of a battle fought there. — 
Fergusson, Rude Stone Monuments, p. 146. 

Catsup, or hetchup, a corruption of 
hifjap, the oriental name for a similar 

And for our home-bred British cheer, 

Botargo, Cuts-up, and Caveer. 

Swift, Panegyrick on the Dean, 1730. 

Caulifloweb is, properly, not the 
flower of the (Lat.) cauUs, cabbage, but 
asformerly spelt, coK2/^or2/(Cotgrave) — 
i.e. cole-floris, Fr. choufleuri, the flower- 
ing cole (Skeat). 

Cole Flirrie, or after some Coliejiorie, hath 
many large leaves sleightly endented about 
the edges.— Geracdc, Herbatl, p. 246 (1597). 

Cadsed-way, Fuller's spelling of 
causey — e.g. History of Camhridqe, in. 
.19 (1656). 

Builders of Bridges . . . and makers of 
Caused-waks or Causways (which are Bridges 

over dirt) . . . are not least in benefit to the 
Common-wealth. — Worthies of England, vol, 
i. p. 32 (ed. 1811). 

Causeway (Isaiah, vii. 3, marg.), 
also sometimes written causey-way, 
caused-way (q. v.), and cajwcewey, 
cawcy wey (Fronipt. Poa'v. 1440), was 
originally causey (1 Chron. xxvi. 16, 
18 ; Prov. xv. 19, marg. ; Milton, Far. 
Lost, X. 415) ; causeis in Camden's 
Britain, fol. pp. 515, 750. It is the 
French chaussee, old Fr. caucMe, 
Norm. Fr. chaucee, Vie de St. Aulan, 
1. 531 ; Sp. and Portg. calzada, from a 
Latin caldata (sc. via), a road laid 
down with limestone or chalk [cah), 
Low Lat. calceta. Compare It. seU- 
oiata, or slab-pavement. In W. Corn- 
wall cawnse is a flagged floor, and 
cawnse-way, a paved footpath. 

A blazing starr seen by several people in 
Oxon, and A. W. saw it in few nights after 
on Botley Causei/ (1664). — Life of Anthony a 
Wood (ed. Bliss), p. 140. 

The rode on then all 3 : 

Vpon a ffaire Causye. 
Percy, Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 428, 1. 319. 

Celery, a corruption (through a 
mistaken analogy to other words be- 
ginning in eel-) of the older name 
'' sellery, a saUad Herb " (Bailey). Cf. 
Ger. selleri, It. sellari, plu. of sellaro, 
from Lat. seKnum, Gk. selinon. The 
word is comparatively modem, not 
being found in Gerarde, 1597. 

Celeey-leaved ranunculus. This 
expression is said, I know not on what 
authority, to be a corruption of seek- 
ratus ranunculus {Fhilolog. Soc. Froc. 
vol. V. p. 138). 

Cellar, the canopy of a bed, a cor- 
ruption of It. cielo, Fr. del, "Cellar for 
a bedde,c!eZ de lit" — Palsgrave; Lesclair- 
dssement ("Wright) ; " ceele or seek, a 
canopy" (Glossary of ArcMtectwrsj 

_ Cbntinel, a corrupt spelling of sen- 
tinel, Fr. sentinelle (one who keeps his 
beat or path, 0. Fr. sente), as if like 
centurion, connected with Lat. centvm. 
Sir J. Turner speaks of " the forlorn 
centinels, whom the French call per- 
dus."—Fallas Armata, p. 218 (1683). 

Two men who were centinels ran away. — 
Horace IVulpole, Letters (175^), vol. ii. p. 
286. ^ /> 

Coming up to the house where at that time 


( 57 ) 


some centinelU were placed, and gating out 
of her coiicli " she " says, make way there, I 
am the Duchess of Devonshire. — Life of Bp. 
Framptoit {ed. T. S. Evans), p. 194. 

Spenser has centonell {F. Q. I. ix. 
41), Marlowe centwnel (Dido, II. i.). 

Cento, a poem made up of scraps of 
different verses, Lat. cento, as if of a 
hmidred pieces [centum), is a corrupted 
form of the Greek kentrun, of the same 
meaning, originally a patch-work, from 
Jcentron, a prick (or stitch ?). 

Centbe, 1 an architectural term 
Centering, ^ for the wooden mould 
Gentry, j or frame upon which an 
arjh is built, would seem, naturally- 
enough, to be the centre (Lat. centrum) 
around which the masonry is con- 
structed. It is really an alteration of 
Fr. cintre, " a centry or mould for an 
Arch," Cotgrave; cintrer, to mould an 
arch, from Lat. cincturare, to encircle, 
cinctura, a girdle, It. cintwra. 

Centry-garth, an old name for a 
burying-ground, is a corruption of 
cem'try, cemetry, cemetery (Glossary of 
Architecture, Parker). 

At Durham the unworthy dean . . . de- 
sti'oyed the tombs in the Centerie garth. — M. 
E. C. Watcott, Traditions and Customs of 
Cathedralsj p.^26. 

Cess, a word used in the southern 
counties of England and in Ireland to 
call dogs to their food, or to encourage 
them to eat. " Cess, boy, cess! " is no 
doubt another form of the old word 
sosse (Palsgrave, 1530), or sos, dogs' 
meat, G^el. sos, a naess. 

Sos, how(nd)ysmete. Cantabrum. — 
Prompt. Paroulorum, ab. 1440. 

Cess-pool is of the same origin (see 
Skeat, Et. Diet. s. v.). 

Cess, a tax, a mis-spelling of sess, 
from assess, under the misleading in- 
fluence of Lat. census, It. censo, "a 
sessing," Florio. 

Chaff, badinage, as if light, fruitless 
talk, conversational husks (like Ger. 
haff, (1) chaff, (2) idle words; A. Sax. 
ceaf), would seem to be the sajne word 
as Liuoolns. chaff, to chatter (Dut. 
Iceffen), old Eng. cliefle, cheafle, idle 
talk ; N. Eng. chaff, the jaw ; A. Sax. 
ceafl, 0. E. chawl, to chide, "give jaw;" 
Cleveland chaff, to banter (Icel. hdfa). 
The Ancren Sdwle warns against words 

that " uleoten Seond te world ase deS 
muchel cheafle " (p. 72)— i.e. flit over 
the world as doth much idle-talk, and 
says that the false anchorers " chqfle^ 
of idel " (p. 128)— chattereth idly. The 
phrase "to c/icr/ a person," i.e. to make 
fun of him, to ply him with jeering 
remarks, was probably influenced by 
chafe, to make hot, to exasperate (Fr. 
chauffer), as in the following — 

A testy man . . . chaffs at every trifle. — 
Bp. Hall, Contemplations, Bk. vii. 2. 

The boys watched the stately barques . . . 
or chafed the fishermen whose boats heaved 
on the waves at the foot of the promontory. — 
F. \V. Farrar, Eric, p. 155 (1859). 

" Why then," quoth she, " thou drunken ass, 

Who bid thee here to prate ? " . . . 
And thus most tauntingly she chaft 
Against poor silly Lot. 

The Wanton Wife of Bath, 1. 40 (Child's 
Ballads, vol. viii. p. 154). 

A thirde, perhapps, was hard chaffing with 
the baylie of his husbandry for gevinge viiiJ. 
a day this deere yeer to day laborers. — Sir 
J. Harin^ton, Treatise on Playe, NvgOiAntiqua^, 
vol. ii. p. 176. 

Chamois-leather is considered by 
Wedgwood to have only an accidental 
resemblance to the name of the chamois, 
or wild goat, and to be a corrupted 
form of the older word shammy. This 
he compares with Ger. sdndsch, Swed. 
samsh, which some explain as Samo- 
gitian [Icel. Sam-land in Russia] lea- 
ther ; but he prefers connecting with 
Dut. samt, soft and pliable, Prov. Eng. 
semmit (Ger. s&mAsch, soft). In most 
Em-opean languages, however, this 
leather is called by the name of the 
chamois or shamoy. See chamois and 
ysard in Cotgrave, Ger. gemsenleder, 
Swed. stengetsldder ; cf. old Eng. che- 
verel, from Fr. chevreul, the chamois or 
wild goat. It is perhaps worth noting 
that in the Gipsy language cJiam is 
leather, chamische, leathern (Borrow), 
tschanvm (Pott). 

Champaign, a flat or plain country 
(Deut. xi. 30 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 2, marg.), 
a corruption of the older and more 
correct form, champian, or cliampion, 
in Shakespeare champain (Leair, i. 1) — ■ 
ther g (as in Fr. champagne, It. cam- 
pagna) being inserted from perhaps a 
supposed connexion with pagus, paga- 
nus. Compare Fr. compagne, Ger.' 
hompan, a companion, one who eats 



bread (Lat. pams) with {cum) another, 
n commensaMs ; and see E. Agnel, In- 
fluence du Langage Populaire, p. 112. 

Chance-medley, an accidental en- 
counter, is said to be a corruption of 
Fr. chaude meslee, or melee, a mingling, 
broil, or skirmisli, in the heat of the 
moment, and not in cold blood. See 
Chaudmallet, L. Lat. chaudmella 
( Spehnan). 

Joab for obeying the King's letter and 
putting Uriah but to chance-medley is con- 
demned for it. — Bp. Andrewes, Pattern of 
Catechistical Doctrine, 1641 (Anglo-Catholio 
Lib.), p. 184. 

Changeling, a chUd changed, also a 
fool, a sUly fellow (Bailey) ; an oaf or 
elvish child left iu exchange by the 
fairies for a healthy one they have 
stolen away. " The word changeling 
impUes one ahnost an idiot, evincing 
what was once the popular creed on 
this subject; for as all the fairy chil- 
dren were a little backward of their 
tongue, and seemingly idiots, therefore 
stunted and idiotical children were 
supposed changelings " (Brand. Fop. 
Antiq. ii. p. 74). The word is probably 
not a hybrid, but formed from old 
Eng. change, a fool, cluing, cang, hang, 
foohsh, which occur repeatedly in the 
Ancfren Bdwle (ab. 1225) ; the popular 
superstition, as in other cases, being 
invented afterwards to explain the 

We beoiS changes )jet weneS mid lihtleapes 
buggen eche bhsse. — Ancren Riwle, p. 362 
(MS. C). 

( We be fools that ween to buy eternal bliss 
with trifles.) 

{lis is al (jes canges blisse. — Id. p. 214. 

Compare the following : — 
From thence a Faery thee unweeting reft, 
There as thou slepst in tender swadling 

And her base Elfin brood there for thee left : 
Such men do Chaungelinges call, so chaung'd 

by Faeries theft. 
Spenser, F. Queene, I. x. 65 (ed. Morris). 
When larlcs 'gin sing/ Away we fling. 
And babes new-born steal as we go 
An Elf instead/ We leave in bed. 

And wind out laughing, ho, bo, ho ! 
Pranks of Puck, Illustrations of Fairy My- 
thology, p. 169 (Shaks. Soc). 
that it could be proved 
That some night-tripping fairy had ex- 
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay. 
Shalcespeare, 1 Hen. IV. i. 1, 1. 86. 

Lament, lament, old abbies, 
The Faries lost command ; 
They did but change priests babies, 
But some have cnangd your land : 
And all your children sprung from thence 

Are now growne Puritanes ; 
Who live as changelings ever since 
For love of your demaines. 

Bp. Corbet, Poems, 1648, p. 214 

(ed. 1807). 

Candlelights Coach is made all of Horn, 

shauen as thin as Changelmges are. — Dekker, 

Seti^n deadly Sinnes of Londmi, 1606, p. 29 

(ed. Arber). 

As for a Changeling, which is not one child 
changed for another, but one child on a 
sudden much changed from it self; and for 
a Jester .... I conceive them not to belong; 
to the present subject. — T. Fuller, Holy State, 
p. 170 (1648). 

Chap, a colloquial and rather vulgar 
word for a man in a disparaging sense — 
a fellow, a boy, as if shortened from 
chap -man (just as merchant is used in 
old writers for a fellow, e.g. Shake- 
speare's " saucy merchant ; " Rom. and 
Jul. ii. 4 ; and customer in modem par- 
lance has much the same meaning). It 
is reaUy, however, derived from the 
Gipsy word for a child or boy, wMob 
is variously spelt chaho, tschabo, chavo, 
and chaVby. Cuffen in queer-cuffefn,, an 
old slang term for a magistrate, and 
perhaps chuff, " cove," are the same 

Cofe, a person. Cuffen, a manne. — T. Har- 
man, Caveat for Cursetors, 1566. 

An' ane, a chap that's damn'd auldfarran, 
Dundas his name. 

Burns, Works, Globe ed. p. 11. 

Chae-coal, a corruption of cha/rh 
coal, " to chark " being an old word 
for to burn wood (Bailey). 

She burned no lesse through the cinders 
of too kinde affection, than the logge dootli 
with the helpe of charke-coles. — fell-Troth, 
The Passionate Moi-rice, 1593, p. 80 (Shaks. 

Oh if this Coale could be so churched as to 
make Iron melt out of the stone. — Fuller, 
Worthies, ii. 263. 

To charke seacole in such manner as to 
render it usefull for the making of Iron.— 
Id. ii. 382. 

It [peat] is like wood charked for the 
smith. — Samuel Johnson, A Journey to th 

I saw Sir John Winter's new project of 
chamng sea-coale. — J. Evelm, Diary, July 

Cha/rh-coal was no doubt the coal 



that cha/rhs (Prov.Eng.), that is, clinks, 
or gives a metallic sound; W. Coi-n- 
wall cherk or chare, a half-burnt cinder. 
Cf. cUnk&r. Wycliffe has charhith =z 
creeks, Amos, ii. 13. Prof. Skeat is, I 
think, mistaken in giving char, to turn, 
as the first part of the word {Eiym. 
Diet.) ; but char-h (like har-Tc, tal-h, 
&c.) may be a frequentative of char. 
Kaltschmidt, in his English-German 
Dictionary (Leipsic, 1837), gives 
" Chark-coals, Charks, Holzhohhn." 
" Chark, verkohlen (Holz)." Compare 

Chabe Thursday, the Thursday in 
Passion Week, the day before Good 
Friday, Ger. Ghar-freytag, from an old 
word eara, grief, mourning ; see Cabe 
Sunday. Perhaps a connexion was 
imagined with the French chair, flesh, 
because "Upon Chare Thursday Christ 
brake bread unto his disciples, and bad 
them eat it, saying it was his flesh and 
blood." — Shepherd's Kalendar [Nares]. 

Chables' Wain, a corruption of A. 
Sax. Carles woen, Georles ween, the con- 
stellation of the churl's (or husband- 
man's) waggon, Swed. Karl-vagnen, 
Dan. Karls-vognen, Scot. Charlewan 
(G. Douglas, JSneid, p. 239, ed. 1710). 
Nares says itwas so named in honour 
of Charlemagne I English writers gene- 
rally twisted it into a compliment to 
Charles I. or II. ; e.g. a curious volmne 
bears the title : " The most Gloriovs 
Star or Celestial Constellation of the 
Pleiades or Cha/>-les Waine. Appearing 
and Shining most brightly in a Miracu- 
lous manner in the Face of the Sun at 
Noon day at the Nativity of our Sacred 
Soveraign King Charles II. . . . Never 
any Starre having appeared before at 
the birth of any (the Highest humane 
Hero) except our Saviour. By Edw. 
Mathew, 1662." 

May Peace once more 
Descend from Heav'n upon our tottering 

And ride in Triumph both in Land and 

And with her Milk-white Steeds draw Charles 

his Wain. 
J. Howell, The Vote or Poem-Royal, 1641. 

In England it goes by the name of " King 
Charles' Wain." — J, F, Blake, Astronomical 
Muths, p. 59. 

Septemtrio, )x)ne hataiS laewede menn 
carles-win. (Septemtrio, which unlearned 

men call carl's- wain.) — Wright, Popular 
Treatises on Science in the Middlt Ages, p. Iti, 
Cockayne, Leechdoms, iii. 270. 

Ursa Major is also known as the 
Plough, A. Sax. }pisl ; similarly the 
Greeks called it Hdmaxa, the waggon, 
the Latins platistrum, septem-triones, 
temo, the Gauls Arthur's chariot; Icel. 
vagn and OUn's vagn; Heb. as, the 

Weever says the " Seuen Babaurers 
[?] in heven" in the epitaph of Arch- 
bishop Theodore, are the 

Seuen stances in Charles Waine. 
Funerall Monuments, p. 248 (1631). 
Brittaine doth Tnder those bright stai-res 

remaine, ■ 
Which English Shepheards, Charles his waine, 

doe name ,- 
But more this lie is Charles, his waine, 
Since Charles her royall wagoner became. 

Sir John Davies, Poems, vol. ii. p; 23f 

(ed. Grosart). 

Augustus had native notes on his body and 

belly after the order and number in the stars 

otCharles' Wain. — Sir Thomas Browne,Works, 

vol. ii. p. 536. 

Chaelotte, the name of a confec- 
tioner's sweet dish, as a Charlotte 
Busse, seems to have no connexion 
with the feminine name, but to be a 
corruption of old Bug. " Chairlet, dys- 
chemete. Pepo." — Prompt. Parv.liiO; 
Forme of Cary, p. 27 ; which is perhaps 
(as Dr. Pegge thought) a derivation of 
Fr. chair, flesh being one of the chief 
ingredients of it. Mr. Way supposes 
it to have been a kind of omelet. But 
to judge by the following recipe it 
must have been more like a custard. 

Take swettest mylke, Jjat ):ou may have, 
Colour hit with safron, so God jje save ; 
Take fresshe porke and sethe hit wele, 
And hew hit smalle every dele ; 
Swyng eyryn, and do jjer to ; 
Set hit over }:e fyre, fienne 
Boyle hit and sture lest hit brenne ; 
VVhenne hit Welles up, jjou schalt hit kele 
With a litel ale, so have );ou cele ; 
When lilt is inoSe, jiou sett hit doune, 
And kepe hit lest hit be to broune. 

Liber Cure Cocorum, 15th cent. p. 11, 
ed. Morris. 

Hoc omiaccinium, charlyt. — Wright's Vo- 
cabularies (15th cent.) p. 241. 

Chaem, applied to the song of birds, 
as if descriptive of their enchanting or 
seductive strains (cf. Fr.Benw, a canary, 
ht. a " siren "), 


Sweet ia the breath of Morn, her rising 

With charm of earliest birds. 

Milton, Par. Lost, iv. 641, 
has nothing to do with eha/rm, an en- 
chantment (from Lat. carmen, a song), 
hut is Prov. Eng., clia/rm, chirm, a con- 
fused murmuring noise, as, " They are 
all in a charm" ("Wilts. Akerman), 
"They keep up sitch a chinn" (B. 
Anglia, Spurdens). A. Sax. cyrm, ceorm, 
a noise, uproar (cf. ceorian, to murmur, 
O. E. chirr e, to chirp). 
Sparuwe is a cheaterinde brid, cheatereS 

euer ant chirme^. 
(Spari'ow is a chattering bird, chattereth ever 

and chirmeth.) 

Ancreii Riwle, p. 152 (ab. 1225). 
How heartsonje is't to see the rising plants ! 
To hear the birds chirm o'er their pleasing 

A. Ramsay, The Gentle Shepherd, i. 1. 

So Spenser speaks of the shepherd. 
Charming his oaten pipe unto his peres. 

Colin Clonics Come Home Again, 1. 5. 
Whilest favourable times did us afford 
Tru libertie to chaunt our charmes at will 1 
The Teares of the Muses, 1. 244. 

Chaemed-milk, or Oharm-milk, a 
North Eng. word for sour milk (Wright) , 
is a corruption (not probably of cliarn 
(i.e. churn) milh, buttermilk, but) of 
cha/r-mdlk, i.e. charredor turned (sour). 
Cf. Kentish chaiTed drink, drink turned 
sour, Lincolnshire chmi-hed (Skinner, 
1671). Here the m of milh has got 
attached to char-, as by a contrary 
mistake in char{k)-coal the k has 
merged into the -coal. 

Lait beure, Butter milke ; charme milhe. 
Nomenclator, 1585. 

Ohartee-house, a corruption oiChar- 
treuse (sc. maison). It. Gertosa, a house 
or monastery of the Carthusian order 
of monks, so called from the mountain 
of Chartreuse in Dauphine, where St. 
Bruno buUt his first monastery. 

Chasbmates, in Heywood's Sierar- 
chie, is a corruption of casemates, q. v. 

Chaudmallet, an Aberdeen word for 
a blow or beating, is evidently, as Ja- 
mieson observes, a reUc of another 
Scotch word chaudmelle, a sudden 
broil or quaiTel, Fr. chaude meUe. 

Chaumbeeling, an old Anglicized 
form of Er. chamberlain, O. Fr. cham- 
hrelene (cf. 0. H. Ger. chamerling). 


Luue is his chaumberling. 

Aneren Riwle, p. 410 (ab. 1225). 

Chaw, a frequent old spelling of Jaw 
(A. V. Ezek. xxix. 4 ; xxxviii. 4), chewe 
in Surrey's Sonnets, as if that which 
chaws or chews [Bible Word-Booh, s. v.) 
is not probably a derivation of A. Sax. 
cedwan, to chew, having no immediate 
representative word in A. Saxon, but, 
like jowl, A. Sax. ceole, ceafl, geagl, is 
in direct relation vsdth O. Dut. kauwe, 
Dan. kjoBve, a jaw ; cf. Scaud. kaf, 
Prov. Eng. chaffs, " the chaps," Greek 
gamphai, Sansk. jambha, the jaws (see 
Skeat, s. v. Champ), jabh, " to gape," 
(Benfey). The word was probably in- 
fluenced by Fr.joue, the cheek, 0. Fr. 
joe. Cf. O. E. "joue, or chekebone, 
Mandibula," Prompt. Parv., and chaul 
(WycUffe), chawle, iawle, old forms of 

Leuel-ranged teeth be in both chaws alike. 
— Holland, Pliny N. Hist. xi. 37. 

Here's a Conqueror that's more violent 
than them both, he takes a dead man out of 
my chaws, who stinks, and hath been four 
days in the sepulchre. — Hachet, Century of 
Sermons, p. 569 (1675). 

Check- LATON, a kind of gUt leather. 
Tn a jacket, quilted richly rare 
Upon checklaton, he was straungely dight. 
Spenser, F. Q. VI. vii. 43. 
It is a corruption of the 0. Eng. " cio- 
latotm," as if it were checkered or che- 
quered, and adorned with the metal 
called laton. It is the Fr. ciclaton, Sp. 
ciclaton and ciclada, from Latin cydas, 

Cheeeupping cup, an old phrase for 
an exhilarating glass, which occurs ia 
the old ballad. The Greenland Voy- 
age :— 

To Ben's, there's a cheerupping cup ; 

Let's comfort our hearts. 

(Nares, ed. Halliwell and Wright.) 

As if " the cup that cheers " and ine- 
briates, is a corrupt form of chirruping ' 
cup, or "chirping cup," in Howell, 
Fam. Letters, 1650, i.e. which makes 
one chirp or sing (Bailey). 
Let no sober bigot here think it a sin. 
To push on the chirping and moderate bottle. 

B. Jonson, Rules for the Ta7)ern Academy 
( Works, p. 726). 

Cheese, in the slang phrase "That's 
the cheese," meaning it is all right, 
commeilfaut, is literally "That's the 


thing." The expression, like many- 
other cant words, comes to us from the 
Eommany or Gipsy dialect, in which 
cheese, representing the Hindustani 
chiz, denotes a thing. In the slang of 
the London streets this is further me- 
tamorphosed into " That's the Stilton," 
and " That's the Gheslvire." 


Sir Lybius noe longer abode, 
but after him ifast he rode, 
la under a chest of tree. 

Percy Folio MS., vol. ii. p. 461, 
1. 1261. 

Cheese-bowl, an old English name 
for the poppy (Gerarde, Skmner, &c.). 
" Gheseholle, Pavaver." — Promptoriiim 
Parvuhrum. It is a corruption of the 
word chesbol, chesbowe, or chasholl, so 
called from the shape of the capsule, 
Fr. chasse, in which its holl is en- 

Oliette, Poppy, Chesbols or Cheesebowles. — 

Drummond spells it chasbow. 
The brave -carnation speckled pink here 

The violet her fainting head declined, 
Beneath a drowsy chasbow. 

Poems, p. 10 (Lib. Old Authors). 

Cheqtjer-teee, an old and provincial 
name for the service tree, is said to be 
a corruption of the word choicer (or 
cTtofce-pear), which was also applied to 
it (Prior). 

Chereybum, a provincial word (De- 
vonshire, Holdemess, &c.), fora cherub, 
a corrupted form of chemhim. 

Chest-nut, O. Eng. chesten, would 
more properly bear the form of chastnut 
or castnut, as we see when we com- 
pare its congeners, Dut., Dan., and 
Ger. hastanie, Fr. chastagne, chdtaAgne, 
Lat. castanea, Greek hdsfanon, i. e. 
the tree brought from Gastana in 

Chaucer correctly spells it chastein. 
The word was probably considered to 
be a compound of chest and nut, with 
some reference to the case within which 
it is enclosed. Compare 
Like as the Chest-nut (next the meat) within 
Is cover'd (last) with a soft slender skin, 
That skin inclos'd in a tough tawny shel, 
That shel in-cas't in a thick thistly fell. 

Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 299 (1621). 

Bosworth gives an Anglo-Saxon 
form, cisten-iedm, which is an evident 
assimilation to ciste, a chest. The Irish 
understood the word to be chaste nut, 
nux casta, caUing it geanm-chnu. The 
following curious form occurs iu Lihius 
JDisconius ; — 

Chests, " The playe at Chests," was 
the old name of the game of chess, 
from a false analogy perhaps to " the 
game at tables," i.e. backgamnaon. 

They respect not him except it be to play 
a game at Chests, Primero, Saunt, Maw, or 
such like. — Lingua, sig. E verso, 1632. 

The title of a curious old volume is, 
" The Pleasaunt and wittie Playe of 
the Gheasts renewed, with instructions 
how to learne it easely, and to play it 
well. Lately translated out of Italian 
and French : and now set forth in Eng- 
lishe by lames Eowbotham. Printed 
at London by Eoulande Hall." 1562. 

Chicken-heaeted is perhaps iden- 
tical with the Scot. Mclcen- or highen- 
hea/rted, faint-hearted, which Jamieson 
connects with Icel. and Swed. kiJcn-a, 
to lose spirit. The Cleveland hechen- 
hearted means squeamish, and this Mr. 
Atkinson compares with old Dan. hieh- 
hen, squeamish, Cleveland, heck, keC' 
ken, to be fastidious. 

Chickin, a Venetian coin, checkin 
(Skinner). "An hundred chickins of 
very good golde." — Passenger of Ben- 
venuto, 1612. (Nares.) 

I am sorry to hear of the Trick that Sir 
John Ayres put upon the Company by the 
Box of Hail-shot .... which he made the 
World believe to be full of Chequins and Turky 
Gold.—Howell, Letters (1626), Bk. I. iv. 28. 

It is a corruption of the Itahan coin, 
seguine, also found in the form chi- 
quinie, and cecchines (Ben Jonson, 
Volpone, i. 4.). It is the It. cecchino, 
zecchino, from cecca/re, zeccare, to coin, 
zecca, the miat, Arab, sihhah, a stamp 
or die (cf. Fr. cicherm in Cotgravezr 
sequenie, a carter's frock). There is a 
similar Anglo-Indian term ehickeen, 
chick, and sicca, equivalent to four 
rupees. Hence perhaps the slang 
phrases, chicken stakes, chicken hazaird. 

"And a little chicken hazard at theM , 

afterwards," said Mr. Marsden. — Bulwer 
Lyttoii, Night and Morning, ch. ix. 

Chick-pea, a corruption of 0. Eng. 
oich-pease, It. cece, Lat. cicer. 

If the soile be light and lean, feed it with 
such grain or forage seed as require no great 


( 62. ) 


nourishment . . . excepting the cich-pease. 
— Holland, Pliny's NaturuU History, torn. i. p. 
576, fol. 1634. 

Child, as used for a knight, is not 
found in the oldest English, though we 
read of Child Mamioe, Child Waters, 
and the Child of Ml, in the F&rmj Folio 

Christ thee aaue, good child of Ell ! 

Christ saue tliee & thy steede ! 

Vol. i. p. 133. 

It is best remembered by reason of 
Lord Byron's CMlde Sa/rold's Pilgrim- 
age. The word is not, as might be 
supposed, analogous to Span, infante, 
a prince, from Lat. infans, a child ; or 
to old Eng. valet, vwrlet, a title of 
honour, originally a boy. It is in all 
probability the result of confounding 
two distinct words, A. Sax. beorn, a 
chief, hero, or prince (M. E. lurn), and 
A. Sax. learn (M. E. ham), a child or 
" bairn." 

The latter word is from A. Sax. heran, 
to bear or bring forth, one who is borne 
(Lat./ero), while heorn is akin to Gaulish 
hremws, a king, Ir. harn, a nobleman, 
Pers. hdri, Sansk. hharatha, a sustainer, 
from the same root bhar (Lenormant). 
Bea/rn, he whois borne (by his mother), 
and beorn, he who bears up or supports 
(the state, &c.), are thus radically con- 
nected. Compare also A. Sax. bora 
(bearer), a king. In the following hne 
we have the two words together : 
William J>at hold barn- jiat alle fcui'nes praisen. 
William of Palerne, 1. 617, 1350 
(ed. Skeat). 

Childken's daisy, a Yorkshire name 
for the "hen and chicken" variety of 
the common daisy, is no doubt a cor- 
ruption of the cMlding daisy, i.e. the 
daisy producing young ones, just as 
chAldnng audiweed is a name for fAago 
germanica (Britten and Holland). 
Shakespeare, it will be remembered, 
speaks oi " ihe ohdlding autumn," i. e. 

Chin-cough, the whooping cough, 
has nothing to do with the chin, but 
should properly be spelt chinh-cough, 
being the same word as Soot. Mnhhost, 
Dutch kinkhost, Ger. heichhusten, a 
cough that takes one with a hink, i. e. 
a catch in the breath, a total suspension 
of it (Ut. a hitch or twist in a rope, Icel. 
kengr). Similarly c7iar-coaZ should pro- 
perly be chark-coal, and pea-goose, as 

we see from the early editions of Beau- 
mont and Fletcher, and Asoham's 
Scholemaster, was originally peak-goose^^ 
peaking or peakish meaning simple. 
Compare also clog-weed, a corrupt form 
of the name keyc-logge [i.e. keck-hch), 
anciently given to the cow-parsnip. 

Quinte, the French word for a severe 
cough that comes in fits (? as if every 
fifth hour), seems to be for quingue, a 
modification of the same word, Belg. 
kincken, Ger. keichen, which gives us 
our chincough ; just as in the Rouohi dia- 
lect quintousse is for qvAncousse = Belg. 
kinckhoest : (compare old Pr. ainte for 
ainque, encfre, and quintefeuille for 
quinquefeimlle) . In the dialect of Ba- 
yeux the form is cUnke, in the Wallon 
of Liege oaiMoule, caicoule, whence 
perhaps coqueluche, whooping-cough 
(Scheler). It is also spelt kin-cough 
(Lincoln), king-cough, or kink-cough, a 
cough that takes one with a paroxysm 
called a chink or kink. (Compare 
Devonshire kick, to have an impedi- 
ment in one's speech.) " (jIb erbe y- 
dronke in olde wyne helpiji Jie kynges 
Iwste," and "skyrewhite" (= skerret) 
heals " )je chynke and }je olde coghe." 
(15th cent. MS., Way, Prompt. Parv. 
p. 97.) 

It was well known that he never had but 
one brother, who died of the chin-cough, — 
Graves, The Sipiritual Quiiote, vol. i. p. 36. 

Here my lord and lady took such a chink 
of laughing, that it was some time before 
they could recover. — Henry Brooke, The Fool 
of Quality, vol. i. p. 95 [Ha'U, Modem EiigUsk, 
p. 2201. 

Hohhole Hob! 
Ma' bairn's gotten 't kink cough, 
Tak'toff! tak'toff! 

Charm in Henderson, Folkhre of 
N. Counties, p. 228. 

Chinneb, a word for a grin in use at 
Winchester College, is an evident cor- 
ruption of Lat. cacMwrms. (H. C. 
Adams, Wykeliamica, p. 418.) 

Chisel, a slang term for to cheat, as 
if to take a shoe off anything (! Slamg 
Diet.), is Scottish cMnzel, to cheat, to 
act deceitful, either a frequent, form of 
clwuse, or from Belg. kwezelen, to play 
the hypocrite (Jamieson). [?] 

Chittyfaced, a colloquial expression 
for a baby-faced or lean-faced person 
(Wright), as if having the face of a cMi 
— a contemptuous word for a child or 


( 63 ) 


little girl. " GMtieface, a meagre 
starveling young cliUd." — Bailey. 
Another spelling is cMcheface. E. Corn- 
wall chifter-faced, as if from chitter, 
thin. All these words are corruptions 
of Ghichevache, a mediseval monster 
who was fabled to devour only patient 
wives, and being therefore in a chronic 
state of starvation for want of food was 
made a byword for leanness. Its name 
is formed from old Eng. and Fr. cJiiche, 
meagre, starving, and vache, a cow. 
In Lydgate's ballad of Ghichevache and 
Bicm-ne occurs the following description 
of this " long homed beste," 
Chichevache this is my name ; 
Hungry, megre, sklendre, and leene, 
To show my body I have grete shame. 
For hunger I feele so great teene : 
On me no fatnesse "will be seene ; 
By cause that pasture I finde none 
TherfoT I am but skyn and boon. 
Dodsley's Old Pkj/s, vol. xii. p. 303, ed.l827. 

Chaucer warns women not to be 
like Grisilde, 

Lest Chichevache you swalwe in hir entraille ! 
The Clerkes Tale, 1. 9064 (ed. Tyrwliitt), 

where another reading is Ghechiface ; 
and so in Cotgrave, 

Chiche-face, a cbichiface, sneake-bill, etc. 

Choke, a name popularly given to 
the inner part of the oA-tichohe cone 
(Gynwra Scolymus), or "flower al of 
threds " as Gerarde defines it (Herball, 
p. 991), as if the part that would choho 
or stick in one's throat if swallowed, 
has arisen manifestly from a misunder- 
standing of the word artichoke. 

"The choke" of this vegetable was 
authoritatively defined in The Field 
(Sept. 21, 1878) to be "the internal or 
filamentous portion." 

Chokefttl, completely filled, as if so 
full that one is likely to choke, is a cor- 
rupt form of chock-full, or chuck-full, 
i. e. full to the chock, chuck, or throat 
(Prov. Eng.). Cf. O. Scot, chokkeis, 
the jaws, loel. kok, the gullet. 

I like a pig's chuck. — M. A, Courtney^ W. 
Cornwall Glossary, E. D. S. 

Chops, the jaws, as if the instru- 
ments which chop, mince, or cat up 
one's food (Dut. Ger. happen, Gk. kOji- 
tein, to cut), is an incorrect form of 
chaps, N. Eng. chaffs, chafts, jaws, 
Swed. kaft, Icel. kjaptr (Skeat). See 

Cheysoble, a form of cruoible (Low 
Lat. crudbolum, aUttle oruse or crock), 
used by Bishop Jeremy Taylor as 
if called from the gold, chrysos (Gk. 
chrusos), which it served to melt. See 
Ti-ench.,EngUsh, Past andPresent,'Lect. 
V. With c^use compare Dutch kroes, 
h)-uysR, Dan. kruus. The word oruaihle 
itself, Lat. crudbolum (0. Eng. oroselett, 
croislet, Chaucer), owes its form to a 
mistaken .connexion with Lat. cruc-s 
(arum), a cross, the sign sometimes 
marked upon the vessel as an omen of 

Peter. What a life doe I lead with my 
master, nothing but blowing of bellowes, 
beating of spirits, and scraping of croslets! 

Lilly, Gallathea, ii. 2 (Works, i. 233, 
ed. Fairholt.) 

Chdkn-owl, a popular name for the 
nightjar, seems to be a corruption of 
its other name jar-otvl, or churr-owl, 
so called from " the whirring or jarring 
noise which it makes when flying " 
(H. G. Adams), with an obhque refe- 
rence to its reputed habit of milk-steal- 
ing, whence its names caprirmdgus and 
goatsucker. This is supported by the 
nsune might-char , another form oi night- 
jar, Cleveland eve-chw/rr. In the latter 
dialect the bird is said to churr in its 
nocturnal flight, i. e. make a whirring 
sound (A. Sax. ceorian). — Atkinson. 

Its loud churring or jarring note, as it 
wheels round a tree or clump of trees, is 
often enough heard by many a one to whom 
its form and size and plumage are nearly or 
utterly strange. — J. C. Atkinson, Brit. Birds' 
Eggs, p. 70. 

Chylle, an old English term for an 
herb, is defined dlium vel psilUumi 
[^Gk. psylUon, flea-wort] in Promp- 
torium Parvulorwn, and is evidently 
corrupted from that word tmder the 
influence of " chyllyn for colde, fri- 
gudo." — Id, 

Chymist, a mis-spelling of chemist, 
common among members of the phar- 
maceutical profession — I have noticed 
it on two apothecaries' shops within a 
stone's throw of the Crystal Palace — 
as if from Gk. chymos (x"tioQ), the art of 
distilling juices from simples, &c. Che- 
mistry, as well as alchemy, is derived 
from chemia, the science of medicine, 
literally the Egyptian art, from Ghemi, 
Egypt, where the art of medicine was 



cultivated in the darkest ages of an- 
tiquity (Bunsen, Egypt, vol. i. p. 8). 
OAemi means either " the black soO," 
or the land of Ham or Khem (the sun- 
burnt or swarthy), from the Shemitic 
root ham or cham, to be hot (Eawhn- 
son, Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 19). In the 
Middle Ages books of alchemy, necro- 
mancy, and m.agio were- ascribed to 
Ham. — B. Gould, Old Test. Legends, 
vol. i. p. 138; Paber, Prophetical 
Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 368. Ghemia 
was the native name of Egypt, also 
Kame, i.e. Black (Plutarch, Be Is. et 
Osir. xxxiii.) = Ham [Psalms, Ixxviii. 
cv.). Eupolemos says that the word 
Ham was also used for soot. 

Ewald thinks that the name refers 
to the dark, sooty complexion of the 
Egyptians {History of Israel, vol. i. 
281). The Arabs call darkness, " the 
host of Ham " (jaysM ham). 

Homer speaks of the infinity of drugs 
produced in Egypt, Jeremiah of its 
" many medicines," and PUny makes 
frequent allusion to the medicinal 
plants produced in that country. — Wil- 
kinson, Ancient Egyptians, ed. Birch, 
vol. ii. p. 417. 

He must be a good Chymist who can ex- 
tract Martyr out of Malefactor. — Fatler, 
Worthies, ii. 497. 

Honey, and that either distilled by bees 
those little chymists ( and the pasture they fed 
on was never a whit the barer for their biting) 
or else rained down from heaven, as that 
which Jonathan tasted. — Fuller, The Holy 
Warre, p. 29 (1647). 

When we sin, God, the great Chymist, thence 
Drawes out th' elixar of ti-ue penitence. 

Herrick, Noble Numbers, Works, ii. 413 
(ed. Hazlitt). 

T. Adams has chyme, to extract che- 

What antidote against the terror of con- 
science can be chymed from goldl — God's 
Bounty, Sermons, i. 153. 

Chymme belle, an old English term, 
is defined in the Promptorium Pa/rvu- 
hrum (c. 1440) by cimbahim, a cym- 
bal (old Eng. chymhale), of which word 
it is probably a corruption, Lat. cym- 
hahim, (Jk. kumbalon. 

His chymbe-belle he doth rynge. 

K. Alimunder. 

The word being mistaken for a com- 
pound, chymhe or cJdme acquired an in- 
dependent existence. 

CiDEKAGB, an old name for the plani 
waterpepper. Polygonum hyd/ropiper, is 
the French cid/rage, which is a corrup- 
tion of cul-rage, also spelt cmrage (Cot- 

CiELiNG, ) the former spelling being 
Ceiling, j that of the authorized 
version (1 Kings, vi. 15 ; Ezek. xli. 16 
marg.), as if connected with Er. oseZ, It. 
cielo, a canopy or tester, Low Lat. 
coslum, the interior of a roof. It seems 
to be a corrupted form oi seeling (Cot- 
grave, s. V. Lamhris), from the old verb 
to seel, meaning to pannel, or wainscot, 
e. g. " Plancher, to seele or close with 
boards." — Cotgrave. This is the verb to 
del in A. V. 2 Chron. iii. 5, Jer. xxii. 14, 
i. e. to cover with planking. Wedgwood 
thinks to seel here is the same as seal= 
to make close. Cf. " ceel, sigillum," 
" ceelyn wythe syllure, celo." — Prompt. 
Parv. " These waUys shal be celyd 
with cyprusse." — Hormcn. But Prof. 
Skeat holds del, coelum, to be the true 
origin : c and s are certainly often con- 
fused in early writers, as seareloth for 

Loe how my cottage worships Thee aloofe, 
That vnder ground hath hid his head, in 

It doth adore Thee with the seeling lowe. 
G. Fletcher, Christs Victorie on Earth, 
19 (1610;. 
As when we see Aurora, passing gay. 
With opals paint the seeling of dathay. 
Sylvester, Du, Bartas, p. 25 (1621). 
The glory of Israel was laid in a Cratch, 
. . . and dost thou permit us to hve in sieled 
houses ? — Bp. Bucket, Century of Sermons, 
1675, p. 9. 

CiNDEE is for O. Eng. sinder, syndyr, 
A. Sax. sinder, Ger. sinter, Icel. sindit 
(with which (jleasby compares Lat. 
scintilla, a spark), but conformed to Fr. 
cendre, Lat. ciner. In Welsh sinddr, 
sindw, is scoria, dross, cinders. I find 
that this also is the view of Prof. Skeat, 
who identified the word with Sansk. 
sindhu, " that which flows," slag, dross. 
{Etym. Diet.) 

Scoria, sinder. — Wright's Vocabularies, ii. 
120, col. 1. 

[The Glossary here printed is from a JIS. 
of the eighth century ; almost the oldest 
English MS. in existence. This takes tke 
word back nearly to a.d. 700.— W. W.S.] 

CiNGULAR, a wild boar in his fifth 
year (Wright), as if from Fr. dnq, five 


( 65 ) 


(Compare oincater, a man in his fiftieth 
year, Id.), is a corrupt form of the Low 
Lat. singularis (epur), a wild boar, so 
called from its solitary habits (cf. Greek 
/iuvtoe, the lonely animal, the boar). 
Hence comes Fr. sanglier, It. cinghiale 

When he is foure yere, a boar shall he be. 
From the sounder [^ herd] of the swyne 

thenne departyth he ; 
A synguler is he soo, for alone he woU go. 
Book of St. Albans, 14.96, siap. d. i. 
They line for the most part solitary and 
alone, and not in beards. — Topsell, Fouifooted 
Beasts, 1608, p. 696. 

CiTKON, a musical instrument, a cor- 
rupted form of cittern ("most barbers 
can play on tlie dttefn." — B. Jonson, 
Vision of DeUgJtt), or oitlier, Lat. 
cithara, a lyre or " guitar." 

Shawms, Sag-buts, CitroiLs, Viols, Cornets, 
Flutes.— Siflcester, DuBartas, p. 301 (1621). 

Civet, as a term of cookery, Fr. ciaiet 
de Uivre, denotes properly the chives, 
Fr. cive (Lat. cepa), or small onions with 
which the hare is jugged, to form this 
dish. — Kettner, Boohofthe Table, p. 127. 
Cotgrave gives " civette, a chive, httle 
BcalUon, or chiboU," and " cive, a kind 
of black sauce for a hare." 

Civil, in the Shakespearian compari- 
son, " Civil as an orange " (Much Ado 
about Nothing, ii. 1), is evidently a 
jocular play on Seville, a place famous 
for its oranges. 

He never learned his manners in Swill, 

Apius and Virginia, 1575 (O. P. xii. 
375, ed. 1827). 

ix tonne of good Ciuill oyle [i.e. Seville 
oiY].— Arnold's Chron. (1502); repr. 1811, 
p. 110 

Thei had freighted dyuers shippis at Cyuill 
with diuej-s merchaundicis. — Id. p. 130. 

What Ciuill, Spaine, or Portugale affor- 

deth . . . 
The boundlesee Seas to London Walles pre- 

ii. Johnson, Londons Description, 

Clear-bye, 7 old popular names for 
See-bbight, j the plant salvia scla- 
rea, are corruptions of the word clary, 
otherwise called Godes-eie or oculus 
OJwisti. On the strength of these names 
it was regarded as a proper ingredient 
for eye-salves (Prior). Gerard says it is 
called "in high Dutch scharlach [scar- 

let I] , in low Dutch scharleye, in Eng- 
hsh CloD-ie or Clccre eie." — Herbal, p. 
627 (1597). See Goody's eye. 

Cleft, a fissure, so spelt as if a 
direct derivative of cleave, is more pro- 
perly clift, O. Eng. chjft, clifte, Swed. 
Myff, a cave (Skeat, Et. Bid.). 

i>e deuyll stode as lyoun raumpaunt 
Blany folk he keighte to hell clijte. 
Legends of the Holy Rood, p. 205, 
I. 258. 
I will put thee in a clift of the rock. — A. 
V. Exodus, xxxiii. 22. 
Than I loked betwene me and the lyght. 
And I spyed a clyfte bothe large and wyde. 
J. Heywood, A Mery Play betwten 
Johau lohun the Husband, Tyb his 
Wife, &;c. 

Clever. There is httle doubt, as I 
have elsewhere contended (Word- 
hunter, ch. X.), that this word is a 
modern corruption of the very common 
old Eng. adjective delive/r, meaning 
active, nimble, dexterous, Fr. delivre, 
free in action. It is probable that de- 
liverly was the form that first under- 
went contraction in rapid pronuncia- 
tion — thus, d'Uverly, gliverly, cleverly 
— and that deliver then followed suit 
(gliver, clever). The word was no doubt 
influenced by, and assimilated to, old 
Eng. diver, quick in seizing or grasp- 
ing (from cliven, Stratmann), capax. 
"Te deuel cliuer on sinnes" (0. E. 
Miscellany, p. 7, 1. 221, Morris), Scot- 
tish, clevertis, " scho was so cleverus of 
her cluik" (Dunbar). Cf. O. Eng. 
diver, a claw. This is well illustrated 
in the ballad of Tlie Last Dying Words 
of Bonny Ileck. 

Where good stout hares gang fast awa, 

So cliverly I did it cluw, 
With pith and speed. 

But if my puppies ance were ready . . . 

They'll be baith diver, keen, and beddy. 

It is certain that clever did not come 
into use till deliver was already obso- 
lete, and was at first regarded as a 
somewhat vulgar and colloquial term, 
like can't, don't, sha'n't, and other 
contractions. Prof. Skeat could not 
find an earher example of the word 
than cleverly, in Hudibras, 1663. But 
Thos. Atkin, a correspondent of Ful- 
ler's, writing to him in 1657, says 
that one Machell Vivan, at the age of 
110, " made an excellent good sermon, 
and went deaverly through, without 



the help of any notes " (Worthies of 
England, ii. 195, ed. 1811). Cf. Prov. 
Eng. clever through, uninterrupted, 
■without difficulty. 

If it be soo yt all thynge go c/j/uer currant. 
— Paston Letters, 1470 (toI. iv. p. 451, ed. 

That is, dlyver (clyver) current, run 
free and smooth. 

His pen went, or pretended to go, as cle- 
verly as ever, — Dickens, David Copperjield, 
ch. XV. 

So Hood, in his valedictory poem to 
Dickens on his departure for America : 
May lie shun all rocks whatever ! 

And each shallow sand that lurks. 
And his passage be as clever 
As the best among his works. 

A deceptive instance of a much 
earher date appears in Sir S. D. Scott, 
Hist, of the Brit. Army, vol. i. p. 287, 
where a letter of Senleger's, 1543, is 
quoted describing the kernes as " bothe 
hardy and clever to serohe woddes or 
raaresses." The v7ord in the origi- 
nal, however, is delyver {State Papers, 
vol. iii. p. 444, 1834). This unconscious 
substitution of the modern form for the 
earlier is interesting. 

In the Prov. dialects clever still re- 
tains the old meaning of active, dexte- 
rous, weU-shaped, handsome, as "a 
cZeuer horse," " a clever wench." In the 
17th century it was used in the sense 
of fit, proper, suitable, convenient. 

It were not impossible to make an original 
reduction of many words of no general re- 
ception in England, but of common use in 
Norfolk, or peculiar to the East Angle coun- 
■ ti-ies ; as . , . clever, matchly, dere, nicked, 
stingy, &c. — Sir T. Browne, Tracts, 1684 
(T^oris, iii. 233). 

I can't but think 'twould sound more clever. 
To me and to my Heii'S for ever. 

Swift, Imit. of Horace, Bk. ii. sat. 6. 

If you could write directly it would be 
clever. — Gray, Letters. 

These ckver apartments. — Cowper, Works, 
V. 290. 

See Fitzed. Hall, Modern Enqlish, 
p. 220. 

Clipper, a fast-sailing vessel, as if so 
named from its clipping pace through 
the water, like cutter from its cutting 
along, is derived by a natural meto- 
nymy from Ger. klepper, a racehorse 
or quick trotter. Compare Dan. Mep>- 
per, Swed. Iclippare, Icel. Uepphestr. 
Ger. Jclepper (formerly /ctopper, Icleppher, 

and hlopfer) gets its name from the 
pace called Tclop (compare trot and 
trah), expressive of the clattering or 
clapping sound (Map) made by the 
horse's hooves as they go hlipp-Mapp or 
hUp-und-klap (Grimm, DeutsckesWor- 
terbuch, s. v.). Similarly the Latin 
poets use sonipes, " sounding-foot," as 
a synonym for a horse. 

Clipper is still used in English for a 
fast-paced hunter. 

When the country is deepest, I give you my 

'Tis a pride and a pleasure to put him along, 
O'er fallow and pasture he sweeps like a 

And there's nothing too high, nor too wide, 

nor too strong ; 
For the ploughs cannot choke, nor the fences 

can crop, 
This clipper that stands in the stall at the 


G, J. W, Melville, Songs and Verses, 
p. 99. 

Mr. Blackmore, writing of the time 
of the Peninsula War, assigns a dtffe-' 
rent origin, but not a correct one : 

The British corvette Cleopatra-cum-Animio 
was the nimblest little craft of all ever cap- 
tured from the French ; and her name had 
been reefed into Clipater first, and then into 
Clipper, which still holds way. — AliceLorraine, 
vol. iii. p. 2. 

Clock, aname for the common black- 
beetle in Ireland and the North of Eng- 
land, seems to be a compressed form 
(g'loch) of Scotch goloch, a beetle 
(Philological Trans., 1858, p. 104; 
Sternberg, Northampton Olossamj). Cf. 
cloak, a blaokbeetle (Dalyell, Ba/rhir 
Superstitions of Scotland, p. 564). 

In Scotland gelloch or gelloch is a 
contracted form of gavelock, an earwig, 
so called from its forked taU ; gavelock 
also meaning a crowbar slightly divided 
at the end, A. Sax. gaflas, forks, gafa- 
loc, a javelm. In the goloch, the allu- 
sion is to the fork-hke antennse. Jamie- 
son gives clock-hee as synonymous with 
fleeing goloch, a species of beetle. See, 
however, Gamett, PJdlological Essays, 
p. 68. 

Clog- WEED, an old name of the cow- 
parsnip, is a shortened form of fej/c- 
logge (Turner), i.e. keck-loch (A. Sax. 
leac), or hex-plant (Prior). 

Close sciences, Gerard's name for 
the plant hesperis matronalis, is a oor- 


ruption of close soiney, the double va- 
riety, as opposed to single soiney — sdney 
having arisen probably from its specific 
name Bamascena being understood as 
Dame's scena. Compare its name 
Dame's violet (Prior). 

Fr. " Matrones, Damask, or Dames 
Violets, Queens Gilloflowers, Rogues 
GUloflowers, Close Sciences." — Cot- 

Cloud-berries, a popular name for 
the plant rubus chamcBmorus, so called, 
according to Gerard, because they grow 
on the summits of high mountains. 

Where the cloudes are lower than the tops 
of the same all winter long-, whereupon the 
people of the countrie haue called tliem 
Cloud berries. — Herball, 1597, p. 1568. 

More probably they get their name 
from old Eng. clud, a cliff (Cockayne, 
Leechdoms, &c., vol. iii. Glossary). 

Clouted cream, a corruption of 
clotted, as if it meant fixed or fastened ; 
"clouted ' ' properly meaning fixed with 
douts or nails (Fr. clouette, clou). In a 
manner curiously similar, the Greek 
verbs gomphoo (yo/i^ow), to nail, and 
pegnunai {rrriyvvvaij, to fix, were ap- 
plied to the thickening or curdling of 

Clover, is not, as it seems at first 
sight, and as Gay calls it, " the chven 
grass," but a mis-spelling of the old 
Eng. and Scot, claver, A. Sax. cloefre, 
" clubs," Lat. clava. Cf. Fr. trifle, 
" clubs " at cards (Prior). " Ossitriphi- 
lone, a kiade of Glauer or Trifohe." — 

And every one her call'd-for dances treads 
Along the soft-flow'r of the ciaver-grass. 

G. Chaprmin, Homer's Hymns, Tn 
Earth, L 26. 

CocK, an Anglo-Irish verb meaning 
to bend down and point the ends of a 
horse's shoes in order to give him a 
surer footing in frosty wea,ther, as if 
another usage of coch, to turn up, erect, 
or set upright, is corrupted from old 
Eng. calk or cauh, of the same mean- 
ing, which occurs in Kennett's Paro- 
cJiAal AnUquities, 1695 (E. Dialect Soc. 
Ed. p. 9). The origin is Lat. calc-s, the 
heel, calceus, a shoe, calcea/re, to shoe ; 
cf. calcwre, to tread, whence 0. Fr. 
cauquer, 0. E. oaulc, "calk." Horse- 
shoes so treated were called calhins. 

On this horse is Arcite 
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the 

Did rather tell than trample. 

The Two Noble Kinsmen (1634), v. 4, 
55 (ed. Littledale, New Shaks. 

To cog is, I believe, the form used in 
modern English. 

Ramplin, caivkes on a horse-shoe. — Min- 
sheii. Span. Diet., 1623. 

Calking, or catiking, of horseshoes, i.e. to 
turn up the two corners that a horse may 
stand the faster upon ice or smooth stones. — 
Kennett, Paroch. Antiq. (1695), E. D. S. 
£. 18. 

Brockett has, " Gawker, an iron 
plate put upon a clog." 

Cock, the faucet or stop-cock of a 
barrel, is perhaps that which caulcs, or 
calhs it, or keeps it from flowing, as a 
tent (O. Fr. cau/iue) does a wound 
when thrust into it. 

CoCK-A-HOOP, exulting, jubilant, has 
often been understood to mean with 
crest erect, like a triumphant cock, as if 
from a potential Fr. coq a hupe. Coles, 
Lat.-Eng.Did., explains it by cristas eri- 
gere (cf. Fr. acoreste, having a great 
crest, or combe, as a oocke, cockit, proud, 
saucy, crest-risen, Cotgrave, and hupi, 
proud, pluming oneself on something). 
The older form however is " Cock on 
hoop," i.e. " the spiggot or cook being 
laid on the Jwop, and the barrel of ale 
stunn'd, i.e. drunk without intermis- 
sion, and so=:at the height of Mirth 
and Jolhty." — Bailey. In Pifeshire 
it is used for a bumper, or as an adj.= 
half seas over (Longmuir). 

I have good cause to set the cocke on the 
hope and make gaudye chere. — Palsgrave, 
Lesclarcissement, 1530. 

Nares quotes from Tlie Honest 
Ghost : 

The cock-on-hoop is set, 
Hoping to drink their lordships out of debt. 

Folks, it seems, were grown cock-on-hoop — 
but the heegh leaks of the meety were sean 
brouo-ht laa. — W. Button, A Bran New Wark, 
1. 195(E. D. S.). 

However, it is to be noted that the effigy 
of a cock (the fowl) stuck above a hoop, was 
a common tavern sign in the olden time. 
The Cock on the Hoop is mentioned in a 
Clause Roll, 30 Henry VI., and still existed 
as a sign in Holborn in VT9o.—Lurv)ood and 
Hotten, Hist, of Signboards, p. 504. 



CocKAPPAKEL, a provincial word, 
quoted by Skinner (Eiynwlogicon, s. v.), 
as of frequent use in Lincolnshixe, 
and meaning "great pomp, great pride 
in a small matter ; " lie identifies with 
tlie French quelgu' appa/reil. Compare 

Cockatoo, a crested parrot, is not a 
derivation of cock, but a corruption 
of the older form cacatoo, which is 
from the Malayan hahatua, Hindu- 
stani Tcdkdtud, a word imitative of its 
cry, Fr. cacatocs, Dut. haketoe (Sewel, 

The Hebrew name tucciim seems to re- 
semble the tutitk, and tuti/k of the Persians 
. . . meaning, perhaps, the crested pan-ot, 
which we call cacatoo, — ScHpture lUustratedj 
Pt. i. p. 108 (1814). 

Sir Thos. Herbert says that in Mau- 
ritius are 

Cacatocs, a sort of PaiTat whose nature may 
well take their name from xaKov wov [evil 
egg] it is so fierce and so indomitable. — 
Travels, p. 403 (1665). 

The Physick or Anatomie Scheie, adorn'd 
with some rarities of natural things, but no- 
thing exti'aordinary save the skin of a Jaccall, 
a rarely colour'd Jacatoo or prodigious large 
parrot, &c. — J. Evelyn, Diary, July 11, 1654. 

CocKATKiOE, old Eng. cokedrill, coco- 
drille (Wycliffe), a fabulous beast sup- 
posed to be hatched by a cock from the 
eggs of a vipeir (0. Eng. otter), is a cor- 
rupted form of Sp. cocairiz, cocad/riz, " a 
serpent called a Basiliske, or Cocka- 
trice" (Minsheu), and that a corrup- 
tion of cocodrillo, " a serpent, a Croco- 
dill " (Id.), Fr. cocatrix. The same 
word as crocodile. 

The death-darting eye of cockatrice. 

Rom. and Jul. act iii. sc. 2. 

Cocatryse, basillscus, cocodrillus. — Prompt. 
Parv. (1440). 

Idlenis is a cockadill and greate mischefe 
breeds. — The Mariage of' Witt and Wisdome, 
p. ,58 (Shaks. Soc. ed.). 

The Welsh word is eeiUog-neidr, 
exactly ^ coch-atter, or " cock-viper " 

CocK-BEAiNED, light-headed, silly, is 
perhaps from Gaehc caoch, empty, hol- 
low, Welsh coeg, foolish, empty, and so 
akin to O. Eng. cokes, a fool, "coax," 
to befool. 

Doest thou aske, cock-braind fool 1. 

B. Bernard, Terence in English, 1641, 
p. 162. 

CocK-CHAFEE, probably a corruption 
of clock-chafer. See Clock. 

Cock-eyed, squinting, from Gaehe 
caog, to wink, shut one eye, squint 
(Skeat), akin to Lat. emeus, bhnd. 

CocK-HOKSE, in the weU - known 
nursery rhyme 

Ride a cock-horse 

To Banbury cross, &c., 

would seem to be another form of the 
Lincolnshire word cqp-fe»'se, (l)aohild's 
name for ahorse ; (2) a child's toy like 
a horse (Peacock). As cop, cop ! in that 
dialect is a call- word for a horse, cop- 
horse would be a similar formation to 
puss-cat, moo-cow, haa-lamh, and other 
nursery compounds. 

And there he spide 
The pamper'd Prodigall on cockhorse ride. 
Taylor, the Water Poet, Workes, p. 119, 

ed. 1630. 
Sometimes he would i-ide a cock horse with 
his children — equitare in arundine longi.— 
Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, Pt. ii. sec. 2, 
6, iv. (1651). 
A knave that for his wealth doth worship 

Is like the divell that's a-cock-horse set. 

Taylor, the Water Poet. 

Mr. Dennis thinks he has discovered 
an early representation of the " cock- 
horse," the hippolectryon or "horse- 
cock" of Aristophanes, in abiform chi- 
maera depicted on an ancient Greek 
vase ! — Cities and CenieteriesofEtrwrici, 
vol. ii. p. 83, ed. 1878. 

CocKiE-LBBKiE, } the Scotoh name 
CoCK-A-LEEKiB, S for & soup made 
apparently of a cock, boiled with leeh, 
is said by Kettner to be a corruption of 
cock and malachi, a dish of the 14th 
century, which he regards as com- 
pounded of ma, a fowl (?), and lesche, 
leached, " licked," or beaten small, Fr. 
alachi {Book of the Table), 

Cockle, in the curious phrase " the 
cockles of the heart," has never been 
explained. It occurs in Eachard's 
Observations, 1671, " This contrivance 
of his did inwardly . . . rejoice the 
cockles of his hea/rt" (Wright), In de- 
fault of a better I make the foUowing 
suggestion. As we find corke, a provin- 
cial word for the core or heart of fmit 
(Wright), so cockle may be for corde, 
corkle, or corcule, an adaptation of the 
Latin coreulum, a little heart, and the 


expression would mean the core (Fr. 
cceur), or "heart of heart," but why the 
word occurs in the plural I cannot say. 
Similarly cochle, gith, cockil, cochelis, 
coklis, Wychffe, A. Sax. cocceZ, seems to 
be from Lat. corchorus, a wild pulse 
(but see Skeat, Htym. Diet. s. v.). Cf. 
bushin for bv/rshin, gin, old Eng. grin. 

CocKLE-STAiES, a name sometimes 
given to winding stairs (Wright). The 
first part of the word is a distinct for- 
mation from Lat. cochlea, Greek hoch- 
lias, meaning (1) a snail, (2) a snail- 
shell, (3) anything spiral hke a snaU- 

Shakespeare correctly describes the 
"hodmandod," or "house-bearer" 
(Hesiod) as " cockled snails." — Love's 
Labour's Lost, iv. 3. 

CocKLOACH, or cocMoche, an old word 
for a fool or a coxcomb, e.g. "A couple 
of Oocfctoc7ies."— Shirley, WiUy FaAr 
One, a. 2 [in Wright] , is no doubt from 
Fr. coqueluche, a (fool's) hood (hke co- 
qmllon, a fool's hood, or a hooded fool, 
Cotgrave) — a derivative, not of coq, but 
of Lat. cucullus, a hood, It. cocolla, cu- 
cula; compare It. coccale, a guU, anoddy 

Fr. coqueluche, whooping-cough, is 
probably a variety of coquelicot, the 
cry of a cock, from its crowing sound. 

Cock-loft, i.e. the cop- (head-, or 
top-) loft in a house. Wright {Frov. 
Diet.) quotes coploft from a MS. Inven- 
tory dated 1658. So a " cock " of hay 
for a cop, A. S. copp, a head, apex, and 
" cock-web," provincial for " cob- 

" Cockmate," which occurs in LUy's 
Euphues, seems to be a corruption of 
the more common word "copesmate." 
CocJcshot, a shot taken at an object 
resting on the top of a wall, a rock, &c., 
is probably for cop-slwt, atop-shot. 

He left the cockleloft over his brother's 
chamber in the first quadrangle. — Life of An- 
thony a Wood (sub anno 1650), p. 45, ed. 

Such who are built four stories high are ob- 
served to have little in their cock-loft. — Ful- 
ler, Worthies, vol. ii. p. 104 (ed. 1811). 

These are the Tops of their houses indeed, 
like cotlojts, highest and emptiest. — Fuller, 
Holy State, p. 40 (1648). 

CocKMAN, a Scottish word for a sen- 
tinel, is a corrupted form oigochmin or 

goTcman, Gael, gochd/man, a watchman 

CoCKQTiEAN, an impudent beggar, a 
cheat, originally feminine, is from Fr. 
coquine, the fem. form of coquin, a beg- 
gar, poor sneak, any base scoundrel or 
scurvy fellow. 

Cot-quean seems to be the same 
word. Vid. Kennett, Paroch. Antiqui- 
ties, Glossary, s. v. Cock-boat. 

OocKQUEEN is also an old word for a 
female cuckold, probably the same 
word as cot-quean (q. v.). B. Jonson 
spells it cucquean. 

Queen luno not a little wroth 

Against her husband's crime. 
By whom she was a, cockqueene made. 
Warner, Albion's England, ir. 

CoCKBOACH. "Without question," 
says Mr. Fitzedward Hall, "it is from 
the Portuguese cajroucha, ' chafer,' 
' beetle,' and was introduced into our 
language by saUors." — Modern Eng- 
lish, p. 128. However, Icahherldk in 
Dutch is a blaokbeetle, " a certain 
Indian insect" (Sewel, 1706), which 
Nares would identify with cocoloch, an 
ambiguous term of abuse employed in 
Beaumont and Fletcher, Fovv Plays in 
One. Cocoloch would readily become 
cock-roach. Cf. Dan. IcaTcerlaJc, a cock- 

OocK-ROSE, a Scotch name for the 
wild poppy, is probably the same word 
as Picard. coqriacot, Pr. coquericot, co- 
quelicot, Languedoo caca/raca, all de- 
noting (1) the cry of the cock, " coqvs- 
ri-co!" (Wallon cotcoroco), (2) the 
cock, (3) from the red colour of its 
crest, the poppy. (Cf. Fr. coquerelles, 
red berries of nightshade, &c., coqueret, 
a red apple, Cotgrave.) For this gene- 
ralizing of the word "cock" in the 
sense of red, compare the German cant 
phrase, " Den rothen Hahn auf 's Dach 
setzen," "To make the red cook crow " 
z^ to set fire to a house ; just as in 
French argot rif, riffe (from ruffo), " the 
red " = fire. Diefenbach, however, 
thinks that each meant originaUy the 
red bird, comparing Welsh coch, red. 
It is more hkely to have been named 
from its cry. 

Cock's-bones, eoch's passion, &c., by 
coch, a corruption of the name of the 


( 70 ) 


Deity, slightly disguised, as is common 
in most languages, to avoid the open 
profanity of swearing. So OM's hodd- 
Mns, German Jcotz anipotz, Potz leich- 
nam I Heirr Je [sus] , Pr. corhleu, ventre- 
hleu, morthleu, pa/rtleu (i.e. corps de 
Dieu, &o.). " Bones sbBod!" (Play of 
Stucley, 1605, 1. 67) ; nom de ga/rce 1 
(Rabelais) for nom de grace ! 

Speake on, lesus, for cockes bioode. 
For Pilate shall not, by my hoode, 
Doe Thee non amysse. 

Chester Mysteries, The Passion (Shaks. 
Soc), vol. ii. p. 41. 
Men, for cockes face ! 
Howe longe shall Pewdreas 
Stande nacked in that place ? 

Id. The Crucijixion, p. 57. 
A ! ffelowe ! felowe ! for cockes pittie ! 
Are not thes men of Gallalye ? 

Id. p. 137. 
Yes, by cockes bones that I can. 

The Worlde and the Chylde, 1522 
(O.P. xii. 324, ed. 1827). 

CocK-STOOL, a corrupt form of cuch- 
ing-stool, a seat of ignominy, old Eng. 
cohstole, cohestole, cmchestole, in which 
scolding or immoral women used to be 
placed formerly as a punishment. It 
is from old Eng. " cakkyn, or fyystyn, 
caco." — Pronipi. Pa/rv. ; cf. goging-sfoole, 
sedes stercoraria. See Chambers' Booh 
of Days, i. p. 211, and Way's note 
on Culcstole [Prompt. Pa/rvuhrum). 
An old Scotch law against thieves de- 
clares that " for a payr of shone of iiij. 
penys he aw to be put on the cuh stull." 
— 0. Innes, Scotland in the Mid. Ages, 
p. 190. 

CocKSDEB. This e:spreseion, which 
is now obsolescent and vulgar, was for- 
merly in general use even in the most 
dignified writings. Whatever be its 
origin, whether it be compounded with 
the Irish coc, manifest, or with Welsh 
cocs, the cogs or indentations on a 
wheel (and the certainty and exactness 
with which cog meets and fits into cog 
strikes every observer of machinery in 
motion), or whether, and this is only a 
particular case of a cog, and indeed 
the most probable theory, the expres- 
sion be taken from the certainty with 
which the cock of a gun discharges its 
function, in any case it can scarcely 
be anything to do with the farmyard 
cock. "As sure as a gun " is a collo- 
quial phrase often heard among the 

lower orders. The cock of a gun is the 
modem representative of Fr. cache, the 
nick or notch of an arrow, or " the nut- 
hole of a crossbow " (Cotgrave), Prov. 
coca. It. cocca, Bret, coch, Gael, sgoch. 
We steal as in a castle, cock-sure. 

Shakespeare, 1 Hen. IV. ii. 1. 
For looke whome he iudgeth to be good, he 
is sure, he is safe, he is cocke sure. — Latimer, 
Sermons, p. 55, verso. 
Now did Orandia laugh within her sleeve. 
Thinking all was cock-sure. 

Thalina and Clearchus, p. 89. 
Whiles the red bat doth endure, 
He maketh himself cocksure, 

I thought myself cocksure of bis horse. — 
Pope, Letters [Latham], 

It occurs also in George Herbert's 
Country Parson. 

CocKWAED, an old corruption of emk- 
old, O. Eng. kokewold, kukwald, orig. 
one cokol-ed, i.e., cuckoo-d, wronged as 
a hedge-sparrow is by a cuckoo, Lat. 
caaulus, O. Fr. coucoul. 

Her happy lord is cuckol'd by Spadil.— 
Young, Satire VL 

King Arthur, that kindly cockward, 
bath none such in his bower. 

Percy Folio M.S. vol. i. p. 65, 
1. 94. 
Then maried men might vild reproacles 

scorne, .... 
Then should no olde-Cocks, nor no coch- 

olds crow. 
But euerie man might in his owne ground 
Tom Tel-Troths Message, 1600, 1. 677, 
(Shaks. Soc.) 

CocK-WEB (North), a corruption of 
coh-wel (A. S. coppa, Dut. kop, a spider), 
just as a cock of hay is for cop. 

Cocky, a colloquial word for pert, 
brisk, saucy, swaggering {provincial 
Eng. to cock, to swagger impudently, 
apparently as a cock does in his own 
yard), is probably another form of 
Lancashire cocket, lively, vivacious, 
also keck, pert, Uvely, which is nearly 
related to A. Sax. cue, cweoc, cwic, quick, 
aUve. Cf. Dan. kick, hardy, pert, Ger. 
kech (Philological Transactions, 1855, 
p. 270). In old English cocken seems 
to mean to be impudent, and cocker, 
an insolent fellow, e.g. in The Pro- 
verhs of Alfred the httle man, it is 
said, " wole grennen, cocken, and chi- 
den" (1. 688), while the red man "is 


( n ) 


Cocker, ]>d, and horeling" (1. 704). — 
Old Eng. Miscellany, p. 138 (Morris). 

Cocoa. The beverage so called is a 
mis-spelling of the Mexican word cacao, 
from a confusion with cocoa, the fruit 
of the nut-bearing palm. 

Cod, a vulgar word in Ireland for a 
silly, contemptible fellow, an ass, and 
as a verb, to hoax or humbug (Patter- 
son, Antrim and Down Olossa/ry), is a 
clipped form of codger, an old hunx, a 
queer old fellow, Prov. Eng. cadger and 
codger, a tramp, a packman or pedlar, 
from cadge, to carry, also to beg. 

The Cistercian lads called these old gentle- 
men [pensioners] Codds, — Thackeray, The 
Newcomes, ch. Ixxv. 

See Davies, Supp. Glossary. 

CoD-a:ppEL, an A. Saxon name for the 
quince (Somner), is possibly a corrup- 
tion of its classical name cydonium, 
Gk. hudonia {•mela), so called from 
Cydon, a place in Crete. Hence It. 
and Sp. cotogna, Fr. coing, O. Eng. 
come, " quince." 

Codling, 1 a species of hard apple, 
CoDLiN, J as if one that requires 
codling {coddUng) or stewing before it 
can be ea,ten, pomumcoctile (so Skinner, 
Bailey, Eichardson, Wedgwood, Prior), 
was formerly spelt guodUng, Norfolk 

In July come .... Ginnitings, Qjiad/ins, 
— Bacon, Essays (1625), p. 536 (ed. Arber). 

QuadUn is evidently shortened from 
the older guerdling, denoting a kind of 
hard apple, probably (Uke " warden 
pear") one fit for keeping, from the 
old adjective quert, guarte, soiind, firm, 
lasting. For the interchange of qu and 
c, cf. Prov. Eng. cothy, sickly, A. Sax. 
c6^, akin to Fris. quad, bad (Etmiiller, 
391) ; queasy n A. Sax. cyse, squeamish. 
Querdluvge, appuUe. Duracenum. — Promp- 
torium Paruuiorum (1440). 

Whose linnen-drapery is a thin 
Subtile and ductile codlings skin, 

Herrick, Hespend£s, Poems, vol. i, 
p. 97 (ed. Hazlitt). 

Cohort, adivision of the Boman army, 
Lat. cohors, the tenth part of a legion, 
originally an enclosed yard. Co-hor(i)s, 
co-hort-is, in its primitive signification 
was probably understood to be a yard 
or garden (hort-us) going with {co-, 
cum) a house, it being a corrupted form 

of the older word chor{f)s, or cor{t)s. 
That the prefix co- is no organic part 
of the word is evident from its con- 
geners in other languages, e. g. Greek 
chdrtos, Lat. hortus, Qoth.'garda, Scand. 
ga/rdr, A. Sax. geard, Eng. gard-en, 
ya/rd; cf. also It. corte, Welsh cwrt, 
Eng.' cpv/rt. See, however, Pictet, 
Origines Indo-Ewrop., tom. ii. p. 265 ; 
Curtius, Grieeh. Etymol. i. p. 168. 

CoLD-PEOPHET, a Corruption appa- 
rently of the older forms ' ' col- prophet ' ' 
and " cole-prophet," a false prophet. 
Oole is an old Eng. word naeaning 
falsehood, deceit, or craftiness. It 
may be recognized probably in the old 
French word cole, given by Boyer in 
his French Diet., 1753, as equivalent 
to " hourde, mensonge, Sham, Bam, 
Fun." Gold-prophet occurs in Knolles' 
History of the Turls, 1014 (1603), and 
Scot's Discovery of Witches (1665). In 
thieves' cant. 

Cole Prophet is he, that when his malster 
sendeth him on his errand, he wyl tel his 
answer thereof to his maister or he depart 
from hym. — The XXV, Orders of Knaues, 

The older form is col-prophet, where 
the prefix col means false, deceitful, as 
in col-fox, a crafty fox (Chaucer). Cf. 
O. Eng. holsipe (-col-ship), deceit, and 
colwarde, deceitful, " colwarde and 
croked dede ." — Alliterative Poems, p. 
42, 1. 181 (ed. Morris). 
And cast it be colis- with her conceill at 
Richard the Redeles, iv-. 24 (1399), 
ed. Skeat. 
Nor colour crafte by swearing precious coles. 
Gascoigne, Steel Glas, 1. 1114, p. 80 
(ed. Arber). 

Colleague, for Lat. collega, one 
chosen with another [con and legere), 
Fr. collegue, so spelt as if it denoted 
one leagued with another. 

Colonel, a corrupt spelling of coro- 
nel, i. e. the chief or coronal captain of 
a regiment, as if it meant the com- 
mander of a column (It. colonna). 

Theyr coronell, named Don Sebastian, came 
foorth to intreate that they might pai-te with 
theyr armes like souldiours. — Spenser, State of 
Ireland, p. 656 (Globe ed.). 

We took our spelling seemingly from 
It. " colonello, a Cwonell of a Regiment " 
(Florio, 1611). Cf. Sp. " coronel, a. collo- 


( 72 ) 


nell ouer a regiment " (Minslieu, 1623). 
See Okownee. 

On this word Sir S. D. Scott re- 

We probably received it from the Spaniards. 
It was CoraneU and Crownell here at first, and 
Coronello is still the Spanish Cor that rank. — 
The British Army, vol. ii. p. oQo. 

Franfois, Erie of Bot.hewall, tuk upe bands 
of men of weare underthe conduct of Co?'one// 
Hakerston. — James Melville, Diary, 1589, p. 

Thus Anneus Serenus . . . came by his 
death, with diners coronels and centurions, 
at one dinner. — Holland, Pliny Nat. Hist., ii. 
133 (1634). 
Coronell, Coronell ; 

Th' enemie's at hand, kils all the centries. 
Sir John Suckling, Brennoralt (16-18), p. 2, 

CoLOURBiNE, the columbine {aqwi- 
legia ■vulgrm-is) is said to be so called in 
Linoohi {Note to Tiisser, Fiue Himdn-ed 
Points, &C.-E. D. Soc. Ed. p. 272). 
A further distortion of this again is the 
Cheshire cwranbtne (Britten and Hol- 

CoLTSTAFP, otherwise called a stang, 
a provincial word for a, long pole on 
which a husband who had been ill-used 
by his wife was compelled to ride, 
amidst the jeers of his neighbours, is a 
corruption of colestaff or cowlstaff, a 
staff used for carrying a tub called a 
cowl. Burton speaks of witches " riding 
in the air upon a coulstaff, out of a 
chimney-top." (Wedgwood, in iV". ^ 
Q. 5th S. vii. p. 212.) Richardson 
observes that Holland renders fustes 
by clubs and coid-sfavcs. 

Cowk tre, or soo tre, Falanga, vectatorium. 
■ — Prompt. Parvuloriim. 

Go take up these clothes here quickly. 
Where's the c.iwl-stajfl — Mei-iy Wives of 
Windsor, act iii. sc. 3. 

Fr. tini a Colestaff or stang. — Cotgiuve. 
The Gyants spitt sickerlye 
was more then a cou-lt tree 

that he rosted on the bore. 
Lihius Disconins, Percy, Fol. MS. vol. ii. 
p. 440, 1. 679. 

aiounting him upon a cole-staff which .. . 
he apprehended to be Pegasus.— iir J. Suck- 
ling, The Goblins, iii. 1. 

Comb, To, the modem form of the old 
Enghsh kemb or ceinb, A. Sax. cemhan, 
perhaps owes its present spelling to a 
desire to assimilate it to the Latin 
comere, to dress the hair. But it may 
be only a verbalized form of the sub- 

stantive com5, A. Sax. camh. " Oomht 
for hemynge, Pecten." — Prompt. Pwrv.. 

Every line, he says, that a proctor writes 
... is a long black hair, kemb'd out of the 
tail of Antichrist. — B. Jonson, Bartholomew 
Fair, i. 1. 

My ship shall kemb the Oceans curled backe. 
Jacke Drums Entertainementy act iii., 
I. 325 (1616). 
He, not able to kembe his own head, became 
distracted. — Fuller, Worthies, ii. 539, 

With silver locks vnkemb'd about her face. 
— Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 399. 

Comb, a West country word mean- 
ing to sprout or germinate (Wright). 
It is the old Eng. come, Ger. heirnen, to 
germinate, Icel. heima, O. H. Ger. a/r- 
cliinit ( =z germinat). — Vocab. of 8. Gall. 
7th cent. 

Comys, of malte, pululata. — Prompt. Parv. 

To shoote at the root end, which malsters 
call commyng. — Harrison, Description of Eng- 
land. (Vid. Way, Prompt. Parv. p. 324.) 

Lincolnshire malt-comh, dried sprouts 

CoMESSATioN — a Word for revelling 
found in old writers (e. g. Bp. Hall), 
Lat. comessatio, so spelt as if from 
comedo, an eating together — in strict 
propriety should be comissation, from 
comissa/ri (=Gk. komdzein), to revel.— 
Trench, English Past and Present, p. 
345 (ed. 10th). 

Latimer complains of the old trans- 
lation of Eomans xui. 13, " Not in eat- 
yng and drinkyng." 

1 maruell that the English is so translated, 
in eating and drinkyng ; the Latine Exem- 
plar hath. Won commessutionibus, that is to say, 
iVot in to much eating and drinkyng. — Ser- 
mons (1552), p. 229. 

Comfort is the form that covifit 
assumes in N. W. Liacolnshire (Pea- 

Commission, an ancient slang term 
for a shirt, Itahan camida. Low Lat. 
camisia (whence also Er. cliemise). It 
ocom-sin Harman's Gaveat orWanmng 
for Common Cursetors, 1573. 
Which is a garment shifting in condition, :, 

And in the canting tongue is a Commission. 

Taylor, the Water Poet, 1630 (in Skng 

CoMMODOR, a corrupted form of Span, 
and Portg. comendador, one put in 
charge, from Lat. commendare, has ac- 
quired a deceptive resemblance to Lat. 


( 73 ) 


commodus, commodare. Mr. George 
Marsh {Lectures on the English Lan- 
guage, p. 100) holds it to be a corrup- 
tion of Portg. eapHao mor, or " chief- 
captain." Southey(if!rters,vol. ii. p. 70) 
quotes the form comdor from an old 
Catalan author who claims it to be a 
native word of his own country. 

Common, an Anglo-Irish term for a 
stick crooked at the end, used for strik- 
ing the ball in the game of hurling (C. 
Croker, Ballads of Ireland, p. 155), is 
a corrupted form of Ir. caman (pro- 
nounced comaun),iroui the wide-spread 
root caiti, crooked, bent. 

The game itself is called commony, 
Ir. cainanachd. 

Compare Welsh cam, crooked ; 
" clean ham" (Shakes. Cor. iii. 1. Cot- 
grave s.v. Hehours.) ; Lat. camirus ; 
"a caniber nose, a crooked nose," Ken- 
nett, FarocJdal Antiqiidties (E. D. Soc. 

Common Place was anciently a fre- 
quent corruption of Common Pleas, the 
court so called. 

Unto tlie common place 1 yode thoo, 
Where sat one with a sylken hoode. 
J. Lydgate, London Lijckpeny, stanza 4 
(ab. 1420). 
He sayeth they are to .seke 
In pletyng^e oftheyr case 
At the Commune Place, 
Or at the Kynges Benche. 
J. Skeltonj Why come ye nat to Courte, 
1. 315 (1522). 

CoMPANioN-LADDEE, on board ship, 
was originally the stairs that led up to 
the quarter-deck (above the cabin), 
Dutch kompanje or hampanje (Sewel), 
the quarter-deck (? the fighting deck, 
from hanipen). 

CoMPASANT, a sailor's word for the 
electric flame which hovers around the 
mast-head, is a corruption of the 
Spanish name cuerpo santo. — Smyth, 
Sailor's Word-BooTc. 

Complaisance. Sir Henry EEis men- 
tions this name as having been given 
to the electrical hght, sometimes called 
St. Elmo's Fire, or Castor and Pollux, 
by the captain of a vessel, when he ob- 
served it playing around the mast-head. 
— Brand, Pop. Antiquities, iii. 400. 
It was a further perversion of corpu- 
sanse, corposants, which is a sailor's 

corruption of the Spanish name cuerpo 

While baleful tritons to the ship-wreck guide, 
And corposants along the tacklings slide. 
Maxwell, Foeins, p. 103 (Murray repr.). 

Compound, an Anglo-Indian term 
for the enclosure around a bungalow, is 
probably of Portuguese origin. 

Compare Sp. campana, a field. 

Comptroller, an old and incorrect 
spelling in Thomas FuUer and others 
of controller, one who keeps a counter- 
roll (Fr. controlle, or countre-rolle) of 
the accounts of others, and so checks 
and overrules them. 

Cownt rollare, {coiintrolloure), contrarotu- 
lator. — Prompt. Pai-vttlorum. 

Eichardson quotes counterrolment 
from Bacon, and conteroler from Lang- 

Know I have a controul and check upon 
you. — Sir M. Hale, The Great Audit. 

The spelhng comptroller assumes a 
connexion with " compt," Fr. compter, 
" accomptant,"&c. (^accountant, &c.), 
Lat. computare. 

CoMEOGUB, a conscious corruption by 
the Ehzabethan dramatists of the word 
comrade, which is itself a warped form 
oi^camrade," Fx.oamerade, a chamber- 
fellow, from camera (cf. Lat. contuher- 
nalis). The word was adopted into 
Irish as comrada, and probably regarded 
as a derivative of com, with, and radh, 
speech (whence comhradh, discourse), as 
if a gossip or talk-mate. 

You and the rest of your comrogues shall 
sit disguised in the stocks. — Ben Jonson, The 
Masque of Augurs (ed. JVIoxon, p. 630). 

Tho' you and your come-rogues keep him 
out so late in your wicked college. — Swijt, 
Mury, the cook-maid, to Dr. Sheridan. 

CoNDOG, an old humorous corrup- 
tion of concur, as if cur here meant a 
worthless dog. 

Alcumust. So is it, and often doth it hap- 
pen, that the just proportion of the fire and 
all things concurre. 

Raffe. Concurre? Condogge! I will away. 
— Lilly, Gallathea, iii. 3 ( Works, i. HiT, ed. 

Nares says that in Cockeram's Dic- 
tionary " agree " is defined " concurre, 
cohere, condog." 

Connection, Reflection, a very 
common mis-spelling of connexion, Pr. 


connexion, from Lat. connemo ; reflexion, 
Fr. reflexion, Lat. reflexios from the 
mistaken analogy of words like affec- 
tion, Fr. affection, Lat. affectio ; collec- 
tion, Fr. collection, Lat. collectio. 

CoNNYNG EETHE, an old perversion of 
the word cony garth, an enclosure for 
rabbits, a rabbit warren, as if com- 
pounded of ccmig, cony, and erthe, 

Connyngere or connynge erthe, Cunicula' 
rium, — Prampt. Pavvulorum, c. 1440. 

Conigare, or cony earth, or clapper for 
conies. Vivarium. — Huloet, 

"The cowyngerthe pale," MS. 1493, 
quoted by Way. Other corruptions 
are cowyger, connynger, conigree, con/i- 

Consort, the usual spelling in old 
writers of concert, a musical entertain- 
ment, as if from Lat. consorif)s, and 
denoting an harmonious union, a mar- 
riage of sweet sounds, is from It. con- 
serto, an agreemeiit, accord, conserta/re, 
more commonly written (borrowing 
the from concento, harmony) con- 
certare, " to proportion or accord to- 
gether, to agree or tune together, to 
sing or play in conBort." — Florio, (Lat. 
consero, consertus). 

The music 
Of man's fair composition best accords 
When 'tis in consort, not in single strains. 
Ford (in Richardson). 

There birds sing consorts, garlands grow, 
Cool winds do whisper, springs do flow. 
Marvell, Poems, p. 65 (Murray repr.). 

Compare also the following : — 

Jubal first made the wilder notes agree, . . . 
He called the echoes from their sullen cell, 
And built the Organ's city, where they 

dwell ; 
Each sought a coTisort in that lovely place, 
And virgin trebles wed the manly base. 

Marvett, Poems, p. 73. 

If good as single instruments, they will be 
the better as tuned in a Consort. — Fuller, 
Worthies of England, vol. i. p. 2 (ed. 1811). 

CoNTErvE, a modern corrupt spelling 
of old Eng. controve (0. Fr. con-trover 
= con-trouver, to find out, invent), 
assimilated to a/rrive, derive, swvive, 

fiis may be said, als \>e boke proves 
Be [jam (jat new gyses controves. 

Hampole, Pricke of Conscience (1340), 
1. 1560. 

Cook-eel, a provincial term for a 
certain kind of bun used in East Anglia, 
is no doubt (as Forby suggests) a cor- 
ruption of the French cogmlle, it being 
so called from its being shaped like a 
BcaUop-sheU. Compare "Pain CoqwilU, 
A fashion of an hardcrusted loaf e, some- 
what like our Stillyard Bunne."— 

In the Wallon dialect cogmlle is a 
very small cake (Sigart). 

Cookies, a Scotch word for a certain 
sort of tea-cakes, is probably, like cook- 
eels, a corruption of Fr. coquille. 

Selkirk bannocks, cookies, and petticoat- 
tails, — delicacies little known to the present 
generation. — Scott, Bride of Lammermoar, 
ch. xxvi. 

Cool. In Ireland a cool of hitter is 
a small tub of that commodity, and 
cool-hutte); as opposed to fresh, is 
butter salted slightly and packed into 
a tub. Cool here is clearly the same 
word as the Prov. Eng. cowl, a tut, 
altered somewhat so as to convey the 
idea oi freshness (Scot, caller) ; W. Corn- 
wall cool, a large tub to salt meat in. We 
may perhaps compare A. Sax. cound, 
cowel, cawl, a basket. Compare Colt- 
staff, O. Eng. cuuel-staf. Gen. md 
ExodMs, 1. 3710. 

Soo, or coidI, vessel. Tina. — Prompt. Panii- 
lorum, ab. 1440. 

Cowls, vessel, Tina. — Id. 

Couil or Coul (1) a tub with two ears to be 
carried between two persons on a coul-staff; 
(2) any tub (Essex). — Kennett, Parochial Anti- 
quities (E. Dialect Soc. ed.). 

Cheese llii. per pound, and tub butter lid, 
— Register of Streat^ tiussex (Sussex Archffi- 
olog. Coll. vol. XXV. p. 129). 

Quaffe up a bowle/ As big as a cowle 
To beer drinkers. 
Herrick, Hesperides, Works, ii. 345 
(ed. Hazlitt). 

CoppiN-TANK, or copped tanke, a com- 
mon term in old authors for a high- 
crowned or copped hat, is a corruption 
of the expression " a copatain hat," 
found in the Taming of the Shrew, act 
V. sc. 1. The form cop-tank occurs in 
North [Translation of Plutarch) and 
coppled hat in Henry More. 

CoEDWAiNEB. ThisveryEngHshlook- 
ing word for a shoemaker is a natu- 
larized form of Fr. cordonwier, 0. Fr. 
cordoannier, literally one that works in 
Cordwayne(,QTgeyisei,F. Q., VI.ii.6),or 


( 75 ) 


Spanish leather, leather of Cordova, 
Fr. cordouan, Sp. cordohan, It. cordo- 

The Maister of the Crafte of Cordi/nerez 
. . . hath diuerse tymez sued to the honorable 
Mayor.— English Gilds, p. 331 (E. K. T. S.). 

Of their skins excellent gloves are made, 
which may be called our English Cordovant. 
• — Fuller, [Vortkies, ii. 553, 

Cork, a Scotch name for a species of 
lichen {lecanora tattarea), Norwegian 
horJije, is said to be a corruption of an 
Arabic word into one more familiar. — 
Prior, Names of British Plants (2nd 

Corking pin, a term used in Ireland 
and Scotland for a pin of unusually 
large size, seems to be corrupted from 
a calking or cauking pin. Bailey de- 
fines calk " to drive oakham and 
ivooden pins into all the seams." In 
N. W. Lincolnshire a cauker is anything 
very big, especially a great lie, while 
cm-ker (as Mr. Peacock suggests, for 
caulker) is an incredible assertion, 
"Well, that is a corker 1" Compare 

Cawker, anything abnormally large. — Hol- 
derness Dialect, E. Yorks, 

The Scotch have corkie and cwkin- 
preen for the largest kind of pin. 

When you put a clean pillowcase on your 
lady's pillow, be sure to fasten it well with 
corking-pins. — Swift, Directions to Servants 

Corks, a provincial word for cinders 
(Lancashire), Wright, as if from their 
lightness, is, without question, a cor- 
rupted form of coaks, of the same 
meaning, or colkes, standard Eng. coke, 
which Mr. Wedgwood deduces from 
Gael, caoch, empty. 

So corke, the core of fruit (Wright), is 
for colke. Cf. Lincolnshire orawk, a core, 
Cleveland goke. 

A rounde appel of a tre, 

Jat even in myddes has a cnlke. 

Humpole, Pricke of Conscience, ah. 1340, 
1. 6444. 

Cawk, the core of an apple, also crawk and 
gawk. — Holderness Dialect, E. Yorks, 

Corn-acre, an Eng. corruption of 
the Anglo-Irish word con-acre, the name 
given to a certain tenure, or sub-letting, 
of land in Ireland — a partnership (ex- 
pressed by con) in the cultivation of an 
aore, one supplying the seed and labour, 

another the land and manure, and the 
profits being divided. 

He had a large farm on a profitable lease ; 
he underlet a good deal of land by con-acre, 
ov corn-acre.— A. Trollope, The Macdermots of 
Balli^cloran, ch. xv. 

This eloquent and reverend defender of the 
cause of the tenant is in the habit, however, 
of charging as much as eight or ten pounds 
for a field in con-acre, that is, for one season's 
crop.— TAe Standard, Dec. 2r, 1880. 

Corporal, a heteronjrm for Pr. capo- 
ral. It. oaporale, as if the petty com- 
mander of a corps, instead of head of a 
squadron (cap, capo, oapid). Cf. " Gap 
d'escadre, a corpora!!." — Cotgrave, and 
" captain," i.e. capitaneus, the head- 
man (Ger. haupt-man), " Galo de 
esquadi-a, qui caput et qui caeteris 
prseest."— Minsheu. Holinshed uses 
corporals, and Stowe corporals of the 
squadrons, for captains (Sir S.D.Scott, 
The British Army, vol. i. p. 523). 

Cosmos. " Their drinke called (7osmos, 
which is mares milke, is prepared after 
this maner." — Journal of Frier Wm. 
de Buhruquis, 1253, in Haklujrt, Voy- 
ages, p. 97 (1598). 

A corruption of koumis or kurm'z, the 
habitual drink of most of the nomads 
of Asia. 

Their [the Tartars'] drink is mare's milk 
prepared in such a way that you would take 
It for white wine, and a right good drink it 
is, called by them kemiz. — Ser Marco Polo, 
vol. i. p. 224 (ed. Yule). 

CosT-MARY, the plant so-called, as if 
costus MaricB, owes its name to a mis- 
understanding of Pr. coste amere, Lat. 
costus amarus. 

Cot-quean (an effeminate man), pi-o- 
bably for cock-quean, and that perhaps 
a corruption of the French coqmne, " a 
cockney, simperdecockit, nice thing." 
— Cotgrave. Goqudn, " a poor sneak, 

Who like a cot-quean freezeth at the rock. — 
Hall, Satires, iv. 6. 

Got, however, in N. W. Lincolnshire 
is a man or boy who cooks or does other 
womanly work (Peacock) ; in Ireland, 
a molVy-cot. 

[A husband of an effeminate character] in 
several places of England goes by the name 
of a '^ cot-queen." I have the misfortune to be 
joined for life with one of this character, who 


( 76 ) 


in reality is more a woman than I am. He 
could preserve apricots, andmake jellies, &c. 
— The Spectator, No. 482 (1712). 

Cotton, " to agree, to succeed, to 
hit " (Bailey), still used in the collo- 
quial phrase, "to cotton to a person," 
meaning to take kindly to him, to take 
a liking to him, as if to stick to him as 
coiton would (Bartlett, Dictiona/ry oj 
Americamsms, 1877, s. v.), or to lie 
smooth and even, like cotton, e.g. 

It cottens well, it cannot choose but beare 

A pretty napp. 

Family of Love [in Nares]. 

It will be found, however, that the 
old meaning of the word is always to 
agree, harmonize, coincide, 6t in well. 
It is evidently an old British word still 
surviving, and has nothing to do with 
cotton, being identical with Welsh 
cyduno, cytuno, to agree, consent, or 
coincide, from cydun, cytun, of one 
accord, imanimous, coincident, hterally 
" at one (un) together " [cyd, cyt). 
" To cotton to a person " is then to be 
at one with him. Dr. Skinner, with a 
wrong affiliation, but true etymological 
instinct, deduced the word from Lat. 
co-adunare {Etymologicon, 1671, s. v.). 

Doth not this matter cotton as I would 1 — 
Lilly, Campaspe, iii. 4 (1584). 

A, sirra, in faith this geer cottons. — Mariage 
of Witt and Wisdome, 1579, p. 29 (Shaks. 

Styles and I cannot cotten. — History of 
Capt. Stukeley, B. 2. b. 

Our secure lives and your severe laws will 
never cotton.— T. Adams, The Fatal Banquet, 
Sermons, i. 181. 

Couch, left-handed, a provincial cor- 
ruption of Fr. gauche. 

CoucH-GEASs, the popular name of 
triticum repens, a corruption of quitch- 
or guiih-grass, A. Sax. cwice, quice, i.e. 
the quich or vivacious plant. Soot. 
guichen, Ger. cjueche, Lincolnshire 
wiclcs (from wich, ahve), it being very 
tenacious of life, with some allusion 
perhaps to its habit of growth lying 
along the ground ; cf. Dorset, cooch, to 
He, Fr. coucher. So Dan. qvilc-grces, 
Norweg. gvichu, &c. See Diefepbach, 
Goth. 8prache, ii. 483. 

Could, a modem corruption of the 
more correct form coud, from a false 
analogy to would, sJwuld, where the I is 
an organic part of the word. A simi- 

larly intrusive I is seen in moult fof 
mout (moot, Lat. mutwre), calm (for 
caume), halsam (Heb. bdsam), nolt fox 
nowt (neat-cattle), &c. Ooude or cowjie 
is the perfect of can, to cunne, = (1) 
to know, and, as knowledge is power, 
(2) to be able (See Phdlolog. Soc. Proc. 
vol. ii. p. 153) ; A. Sax. cuie. 

Well couth he tune his pipe and frame his 
Spenser, Shepheard's Calender, Januarie. 

The child could, his pedigree so readily 
[^conned, knew]. — Campion, Historie of 
Ireland, 1571 (Reprint, p. 162 . 

Some of the bolder purists, such as 
Tyrwhitt, Prof. George Stephens, and 
(if I remember right) the brothers 
Hare, have consistently written coitii— 
e.g., the first expresses his wonder that 
Chaucer "in an advanced age coud 
begin so vast a work." — Introd. to 
Canierhury Tales, p. 1. See also 
Stoddart, Philosophy of Language, 
p. 286. 

The more we go into its history the more 
we become convinced that the / has no place 
in it. It occurs in none of the other tenses, 
and in none of the Participles in any language 
except our own. The Anglo-Saxon preterite 
was cu]>e, and the Scotch is coud. — Lathifit, 
Preface to hictionary, p. cxxx. 

His felow taught him homeward prively 

Fro day to day til he coude it by rote. 

Chaucer, Prioresses TaU, 93. 
They coulhe moch, he couthe more. 

Gower, Conf. Amantis, iii. 50 (ed. Pauli). 

A lewed goost I'at kovlje not knowe jje cause. 

Treviso, Hi^den's Polychronicon. 

Gret wonder is how tliat he couthe or mighte 
Be domesman on hir dede beauts. 

Chaucer, Menkes Tak. 
I dyd hym reverence, for 1 ought to do so. 
And told my case as well as I coode. 

Lydgate, London Lychpeny. 
The fyrste was Fauell, full of flatery, 
Wyth fables false that well coude fayne atale. 

Skelton, Bouge of Courte, 1. 134. 
Haruy Hafter that well coude picke a male. 
Skelton, Works, ed. Dyce, i. 35. 
Whiche was right displesant to the kyng, 
but he coude nat amende it.—Berners, Froismrt, 
fol. 43. 

CouNTEB, the name of two prisons 
in Old London, sometimes spelt cotnipter, 
as if derived from count, Lat. convpu- 

_ Old Eng. " Cowntowre, CompHcato- 
rium " (Prompt. Faro., where Way 
seems to mistake the meaning). Per- 


( 77 ) 


haps from A. Sax. cwea/i-iern, a prison. 
Cf. 0. Fr. carfre, chatre, chartre (scar- 
cer), Bartsch [?] . 
A yonker then began to laugh, 
'Gainst whom the Major advano't white 

And sent him to the Compter safe, 
Sans parly. 

The Dagonizing of' Bartholomew Fair 
(c. 1660). 

Counterpane, a corruption of the 
more ancient word " counterpoint," as 
if to imply that it was formed o{ panes 
or squares coitnter-changed, or disposed 
alternately, like patch-work. Pr. 
centre-point, also coute-pointe, coulte- 
pointe, is from coultre (It. coltre, Lat. 
culaitra, culcita, a cushion), a duvet, 
andipuncia, stitched, quilted. A French 
corruption is courte-point, " short- 
stitch." See Quilt. 

In ivory coffers I have stuff'd my crowns ; 
In cypress chests my aiTas countejyoints. 
Turning of the Shrew, ii. 1. 1. 351. 

Synonym in old Eng. is "Fw-poynf, 
bed hyllynge [ = coveriug] . Pulvi- 
narium, phimea, culcitra punctata." 
— Prompt. Parvuloram. 

Counter-pane, as a correctly formed 
word, means the duphcate or respond- 
ing sheet of an indenture (Kennett, 
Paroch. Antiq., 1695, E. D. S., B. 18). 

Country - dance, a corruption of 
contra dance, i.e. one where the part- 
ners are arranged in two lines con- 
fronting one another, Pr. contredanse. 
It. coniradanze. 

I canti, i balli, .... che a noi sono per- 
venuti con vocabulo Inglese di contradanze, 
Country Dunces, quasi invenzione degli In- 
glesi contadini. — Vtnutij Delie Antichi d^Er- 
colaii, p. 114. 

The English country-dance was still in esti- 
mation at the courts of princes. — T. De 
Quincey, Works, vol. xiy. p. 201. 

In a note he adds — 

This word, I am well aware, grew out of 
the French word contre-danse ; indicating the 
regular contraposition of male and female 
partners in the first arrangement of the 
dancers. The word country-dance was there- 
foreoriginally a corruption ; buthaving once 
arisen and taken root in the language, it is 
far better to retain it in its colloquial form. 

A country-dance of joy is in your face. — 
Fielding, Tom Thumb the Great, act ii. sc. 4 

Each man danced one minuet with his 
partner, and then began country dances. — 

Horace Walpole, Letters (ed. Cunningham"), 

vol. i. p. 82(1741). 

I country-danced till four. — Id. p. 84(1741). 

We learn from the Vicar of Walcrfidd, 
ch. ix., that when the two fashionable 
ladies from town wanted to make up a 
set at this dance, the rosy daughters 
of farmer Plamborough, though they 
"were reckoned the very best dancers 
in the parish, and understood the 
jig and roundabout to perfection, yet 
were totally unacquainted with country 

CouKT-CAEDS, a modern corruption 
(owing no doubt to the names Kings 
and Queens) of "coat-cards," so called 
from the long dresses with which the 
figures are depicted. 

The Kings and Coate cardes tliat we use 
nowe were in olde times the images of idols 
and false gods. — Northhrooke's Treatise against 
Dicing, 1577, p. 142 (Shaks. Soc). 

1 have none but coate cardes. — Florio, Second 
Frutes, 1591, p. 69. 

And so in Minsheu's Spanish Dia- 
logues, p. 26. 

Carl a di fiojura, a cote-card. — Ftorio. Cf. 
Jonson, New Inn, i. 1. 

" Cwoat cards " is still a form in use 
in Cumberland (Dickinson, Glossary, 

Compare the Dutch jas, a coat, and 
jas-haart, a trump-card. It. " Ga/rta 
dipunto, a carde that hath no coate on 
it."— Florio, 1611. 

Here's a trick of discarded cards of us ! we 
were ranked as cools as long as old master 
lived. — Massinger, The Old Law, iii. 1 (p. 
574, ed. Cunningham). 

Cover, when used as a hunting term 
for the retreat of a fox or hare, as if 
that which covers it, is an incorrect form 
oi covert, i.e. a place covered [with brush- 
wood, &c.] , " an umbrage or shady 
place " (Bailey), Fr. couvert, " a woody 
plot, a place full of bushes and trees " 

A couert for deere or other beastes, Latibu- 
lum . . . umbraoulum. — Buret, Alvearie. 

[He] stole into the covert of the wood. 
Shakespeare, Rom. and Jul. i. 1. 

Chapman uses closset in the same 

From the green clossets of his loftiest reeds 
He rushes forth. 

Homer's Hymns, To Pan, 1. 27. 


Similarly when it i8 said that " covers 
were laid " for so many at a dinner, 
cover is for Fr. co^wert, a knife and 
fork, a plate and napkin for one 

I muste go before the breakfastinge covers 
are placede and stande uncovered as her 
Highnessecometheforthe. — Sir J. Harington, 
NugtE AniiquiE, ii. 213. 

CovEEiNG-SEBDS, " A sort of oomfit, 
vulgarly called covering-seeds," is men- 
tioned in the Rich Closet of Itcwities, 
quoted by Nares. It is doubtless a 
corruption of the old English carvi, 
M. Lat. cand semina, carraway seeds. 
Compare carvis-calces, a provincial name 
for cakes made with carraway seeds 

Cover-keys, a Kentish name for the 
oxHp, also covey-lceys, a corruption of 
culverkeys, said to be so called from its 
A;ei/-like flowerets expressing the form of 
a culver or dove (Britten and Holland), 
but more probably a perversion of cul- 
verhins, little pigeons. 

Cover-lid, a corrupt form of coverlet, 
— covei'let itself, though bearing all the 
appearance of a diminutival form (cf. 
eJiaplet, cmselet, ringlet, &c.), being the 
French ccmvre-lit or " cover-bed." 
Loves couches cover-lid, 
Haste, haste, to make her bed. 

Lovelace, The Rose, Poems, ed. 
Singer, i. p. 8. 
Wycliffe has cover-lyte, 4 Kings, viii. 
15 (1389). The form coverlyght is also 
found in old wills dated 1522 (Wright, 
Homes of Other Bays, p. 414). 

Cow-BEBHY, a name for the fruit of 
the Vitis Idcea, arose probably from a 
blunder between ^Jacci'm'ttm, the whortle- 
berry, and vaceinus, pertaining to a cow 

CowcnMBER, an old corruption of 
cucunibeir, e.g. " concombre, A cow- 
cumber." — Nomenclator, 1585. Skinner 
spells it so in his Etymologicon, 1671. 

Pickled cowcumbers 1 have bought a pecke 
for three pence. — Taylor, the Water-Poet, 

In their Lents they eate nothing but Cole-, 
worts. Cabbages, salt Cowcumbers, with other 
rootes, as Radish and such like. — Hakluyt, 
Voiages, vol. i. p. 242 (1598;. 

Oow-HEART, I corruptions of the 

Cowherd, \ word cowa/i-d. With 

but sUght difference of foi-m this word 

is to be found in raore than one lan- 
guage of modem Europe, and in each 
the difference of form seems to have 
arisen from an attempt to trace a con- 
nexion and educe a meaning which 
did not really belong to it. For in- 
stance, the French coua/rd, 0. French 
coarrd, was regarded as cognate with 
the 0. Spanish and Provengal coa (Fr. 
queue), a tail, as if the original signifi- 
cation was a taller, one who flies to the 
rear or tail of the army. Thus Cotgrave 
translates the phrase, "faire la queue," 
" to play the coward, come or drag he- 
hind, march in the rere." 

The Italian codardo in like manner 
was brought into connexion with the 
verbs " codaire, to tail, codAare, to follow 
one at the taUe" {coda). — Plorio. 

The Portuguese form is cola/rde, also 
covarde {:= couard), which seems to 
have resulted from an imagined rela- 
tionship with cova, It. covo, al-cow, Sp. 
alcoha, Arab, al-qobhah (the recess of a 
room, "alcove"). A coward was so 
called, says Vieyra, " from cova, a cave, 
because he hides himself." Identically 
the same account is given of the Spanish 
coharde in Stevens' Dictionary, s. v. 

As to our English word, some per- 
sons, I would venture to assert, have 
looked upon the coward as one who has 
ignominiously cowered beneath the on- 
slaught of an enemy, comparing the 
Italian covone, " a squatting orcowring 
fellow," " from covare, to squat or 
coure" (Plorio), just as the "craven" 
was supposed to be one who acknow- 
ledged himself beaten, and craved for 
mercy. Both derivations, however, 
are equally incorrect. Another origin, 
more improbable still, was once pretty 
generally accepted, and the form of the 
word was twisted so as to correspond. 
The coward, it was thought, must surely 
be a cow-heart, one who has no more 
spirit or courage than the meek and 
mild-eyed favourite of the dairymaid. 
" Cowheart," indeed, is still tlie word 
used in Dorsetshire, and " cow-hearted" 
occurs in Ludolph's EtJmpia, p. 83 
(1682). Compare also " corto de cora- 
con, cow-hearted" (Stevens' 8p. Diet., 
1706) ; " CoUa/)-d, a coward, a dastard, 
a cow " (Cotgrave) ; " The veriest foro 
in a company brags most " {Ibid., s.v. 
Crier) ; " Craven, a cow " (Bailey). 


It is the cawish terror of his spirit 
That dares not undertake. 

( ?9 ) 


King Lear, iv. 2. 

To cow is nearly allied to Icel. Mga 
of the same meaning. 

In the Holdemess dialect of E. York- 
shire, caffy (calfy) and cauf-hea/rted are 
similarly used in the sense of timid, 

Spenser, if we may judge by his 
spelling of the word, considered cow- 
herd to be the primitive form, as he 
tells of the shepherd Coridon : 

W]ien he saw the fiend, 
Through cowherd feare he fled away as fast, 
Ne durst abide the daunger to the end. 

Faerie Queene, VI. x. 35. 

This is also the usual orthography in 
Chapman's Homer — 

Ulysses, in suspense 
To strike so home that he should fright from 

His cowherd soul, his trunk laid prosti'ate 

there. Odysseys, xviii. 128. 

The French and Italians, though 
they erred in their explanations, were 
certainly right in recognizing gueue and 
coda respectively (Lat. cauda) as the 
source of coua/rd and codardo. It is 
not, however, because he tails off to the 
rear that the dastard was so called, nor 
yet — for this reason also has been as- 
signed — because he resembles a terror- 
stricken cur who runs away with his 
tail between his legS. It is true that 
" in heraldry a lion borne in an escut- 
cheon, with his tail doubled or turned 
in between his legs, is called a lion 
coward." Still it was not the heraldic 
Hon, nor the fugacious dog, nor even 
the peaceful cow, but a much more 
timid and unwarhke animal, which 
was selected as the emblem of a person 
deficient in courage. It was the hare 
— "the trembler," as the Greeks used 
to call her; "timorous of heart," as 
Thomson characterizes her in the 
" Seasons " (Winter) ; " the heartless 
hare," as she is styled in the " Mirror 
for Magistrates," ii. p. 74 (ed. Hasle- 
wood); the " coward ra.a,ukm," Burns. 

In mediaeval times the famiUar name 
of the hare was coua/rd, cuwaert, coart 
(= scutty or short-tail), just as bruin 
is stiU of the bear, and chanticleer of 
the cock. (See Grimm, Reinha/rt Fuchs, 
pp. ccxxiii.-ccxxvii.) Compare Pro.v. 

volpilk, cowardly, from Lat. vulpecitla, 
a fox (Diez). 

For further information the reader 
may consult my Leaves from a Word- 
hunter's Note Book, p. 133, seq., from 
which much of the above has been 

OftheHareHuntyng . , . Ifenyfyndeof 
hym, where he hath ben, Rycher or Bemond, 
ye shall sey, '' oiez A Bemond le Tayllaunt, 
que quide trovere le coward, ou le court cow." 
— Le Venery de Twety (temp. Ed. II.), Reliqu. 
Antiq. vol. i. p. 153. 

I shall telle yow what I sawe hym do yes- 
terday to Cuwaert the hare. — Caxton, Reiinard 
the FoT, 1481, p. 7 (ed. Arber). 

The foxe sayde to the hare, Kywart ar ye a 
colde, how tremble ye and quake so, be not 
a ferd. — Ibid. p. 42. 

Compare in old French (14th cent.), 
Li amans hardis 
Vaut mieus que li acouwardis. 

Jehan de Conde, Bartsch Chrisio- 
mathie, p. 372. 

Norman Fr. cuard. Vie de 8t. Auhan, 
1. 474 (ed. Atkinson). 

>eonne he kene [let was er cueard. [Then 
he (becomes) bold that was before a coward.] 
— Ancren Riwle, ah. 1225, p. 288 (text C). 

To be of bold word atte mete, 6c co,wurd in (le 
Robt. of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 285 
(ed. 1811). 
con ella cazar por les campifias 
Liebres cobardesy conejos viles. 

Lope, Hermosiira de Angelica. 
[1] scarce everlook'd on blood 
But thatoi coward hares, hotgoats, and venison. 
Shakespeare, Cymbeline, iv. 4, 37. 
CowiTCH, an Indian seed producing 
itching, is said to be from the native 
name Mwach. [Fhilolog. Trans., 1855, 
p. 69.) 

CowKBBP, a Pifeshire word for the 
plant Heracleum SpJiondyliimi, is a 
corruption of the synonymous word 
cowheehs Icow-heek] , i. e. cow-kex, a 
large kind of keck. —Britten and Hol- 
land, Eng. Plant Names, p. 122. 

Cow-LADT-STONE, > a Scotch word 
CoLLADY-STONE, ) for quartz. Ja- 
mieson thought it might be corrupted 
from Fr. caAlleteau, " a chack-stone or 
little flint-stone." — Ootgrave. Many 
French words have been adopted by 
the Scotch. 

Cow-SHOT, an old name for the cu- 
shat or ring-dove, stiU used in Lanca- 


( 80 ) 


shire and probably other parts of Eng- 

Couloa ra7n{er, A Queest, Cowshotj Ring 
doTe, Stock dore, Wood-culver. — Cotgrave. 

The A. Sax. word is cusceote, which 
Bosworth resolves into cus (cow) -f- 
sceote. It is doubtless, however, a de- 
rivative of A. Sax. cusc, chaste ; cf. 
Ger. Jceusch; doves being generally 
regarded as patterns of conjugal fidehty 
and true love. 

Turtle ne wile liabbe no make bute on, and 
after J)at non, and forjii it betocnelS Jie cle- 
nesse. — Old Eng. Homilies (ISth cent.), 2nd S. 
p. 49. 

The wedded turtelle, with his herte true. 
Be trewe as turtyll in thy kynde 
For lust will pari as fethers in wynde. 
The Parlument of Byrdes, l-'arly Pop. 
Poetry, iii. iS3 (ed. Hazlitt). 

And love is still an emptier sound, 
The modern fair-one's jest; 

On earth unseen, or only found 
To warm the turtle's nest. 

Goldsmith, The Hermit. 

CowPENDOCH, > a Scottish term for 
CowPENDOw, S a young cow, to 
which word it has been partially as- 
similated, was originally colpindach, 
from the Gaelic colbhtacJi, a calf (Jamie- 
son), Ir. colhthac, a, cow or heifer, colpa, 
a calf. Compare Goth, kalbo, Ger. 
halh, A. Sax. calf, all connected with 
Sansk. ga/rhha, the womb (Benfey), and 
denoting any young animal. 

Cowslip, Prov. Eng. cowslop, cooslop, 
old Eng. cowslop, cowslope, coivslypp, 
A. Sax. cuslyppe, has generally been 
resolved into cow's-lip (A. Sax. cus -)- 
Uppe) ; cf. its Provencal name iivuseta. 
Reasons are adduced in Britten and 
Holland's Eng. Plant Names, p. 123 
(E. D. Soc), for considering it to be a 
corruption of Tceslop or heslip, A. Sax. 
ceseUb, cyselib, i.e. the prepared stomach 
of a calf (which the plant was supposed 
to resemble), used as rennet {lih, 
Swed. lope, Dan. lobe, Ger. lab, Dut. 
leb), for the making of cheese (A. Sax. 
cese, Swed. hSse, Lat. cctseus) ['?] . 

A view, however, put forward by 
Eev. E. GiUett is deserving of con- 
sideration. He thinks the old Eng. 
cuslyppe is to be analyzed as cu^slyppe, 
the last part of the word being from 
A. Sax. slupan, to paralyze ; the name 

(in Latin herla paralytica, or Kerha 
paralysis) being indicative of the seda- 
tive virtue of its flowers, wliich were 
used to cause sleep. — Cockayne, Leech- 
doms, &c., vol. iii. p. xxxii. Compare 
nwroissus, from Gk. ncwhad, to benumb. 
But slupan, from slip, means to relax, 
not to put asleep (W. W. S.). 

Coiosiope, herbe (al. cowslek, or cowslop), 

Herba petri, herba paralisis, ligustra 

Prompt. Parv, (c. 1440). 

Palsiewort was a name formerly 
given to this plant (vid. Cotgrave, s. v. 
Oocii). Ben Jonson boldly adopts the 
popular etymology — 

The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse, 
Bright day's eyes, and the lips ot' cows. 

Pans Anniversary, 1625 (ed. Moxon, 
p. 613). 

Prof. Skeat says that cowsUp (M. 
Eng. coushppe, Wright's Vocabuhnee, 
i. 162) was originally the sUp, slop, or 
dung of a cow, a "cow-plat." 

Cow's THUMB, in a curious old 
phrase, " (right) to a Cow's Thumb," 
quoted by Skinner (Etymologicon, s. v. 
Gow, 1671), and meaning "exactly," 
" according to rule," he explains as a 
corruption of the French a la coustwm, 
selon la coustume. 

You may fit yourself to a cow's thumb 
among the Spaniards. — T. Brown, Works, iii. 
26 [see Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossaryl. 

CoYSTEiL, in old writers used for a 
cowardly hawk, as if from coy, shy, is 
a corruption of the word Icestrel, which 
is also spelt castrel and coistrell. 

Like a coistrell he strives to fill himself 
with wind, and flies against it. — Overbmy's 

He's a coward and a Coystrill that will aot 
drink to my niece till his'brains turn o' the 
toe like a parish-top. — Shakespeare, Twelfth 
Night, act 1. sc. 3. 

Better places should bee possessed by Coy- 
strells, and the coblers crowe, for crying but 
ave Ca'sar, be more esteemed than rarer birds. 
— JV«s/i, Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication in 
the Deuill, p. 22 (Shaks. Soc. ed.). 

The Musquet and the Coj/sh-e/ were tooweai. 
Dryden, Hind and Panther, 1. 1119. 

Cozen, or cosen, to cheat, has been 
assimilated in form and meaning to 
cousin, formerly spelt cosin, cosyn, as if 
its original import was to beguUe or 
defraud one under the pretence or show 
of relationship, like Hamlet's uncle, 


( 81 ) 


who was " more than hin and less than 
hind." So Minsheu and Abp. Trench, 
Eng. Past and Present. 

Arc. Deere codn Palamon. 

P.*/. Cosener Arcite, give me language such 
As thou ha-!t shewd me feate ! 
The Two Noble Kinsmen, iii. 1, 1. 43 (1634). 

Mr. Littledale remarks that the two 
words were frequently brought together 
in this connexion, e.g. : — 

Cousin, Cozen thyself no more. 

Mons. Thotnas, i. 3, 

Cousins indeed, and by their uncle coze7ied 

Of comfort. Richard III., iv. 4. 

Bailler du foin a la mule. To cheat, gull, 
cousev, over -reach, cony-catch. — Cotgrave, 
s. y. Mule, 

Cousiner, to olaime kindred for advantage 
or particular ends ; as he, who to save charges 
in travelling, goes from house to house, as 
Cosin to the honour of every one. — Cotgrave. 

The true origin of the word has not 
hitherto been shown. I have little doubt 
that it is the same word as It. cozzonm-e, 
to play the craftie knaue (Plorio), origi- 
nally to play the horse-courser, horse- 
dealers being notorious for cheating 
(compare our "to jockey"), from coz- 
zone, a horse-courser, a crafty knave 
(O. Fr. cosson), Lat. cocio or coctio, a 
haggler, dealer. ( Of. Fr . cuisson, from 
Lat. cociio^n).) 

The Scottish verb to cozain, to barter 
or eichange one thing for another, 
seems to be another usage of the same 
word. In mediseval Latin cocCTO (cogroio, 
or cotio) was used especially for a class 
of beggars who used to extort ahns by 
cries, tears, and other impostiu:es. A 
Frankish law ordered " Mangones 
vagabimdi et cotiones qui impostims 
homines ludunt coeroentor" (Spehnan, 
OlossaHum, 1626, p. 172). The word 
thus became appUcable to any cheat or 

Valentine themperour, by holsome lawes 
prouided that suche as . . . solde themselues to 
begging, pleded pouerty wyth pretended in- 
firmitie, & cloaked their ydle and slouthfull 
life with colourable shifts and cloudy cossen- 
ing, should be a pa-petuall slaue and drudge 
to him by whom their impudent ydlenes was 
hewrayed.^^. Fleming, Cuius of ting. Dogges, 
1576, p. 27 (repr. 1880). 

So I may speake of these cousonages now 
in use, which till now not kuowne, 1 know 
not how to stile them . . . but onely by the 
generall names of consoruiges. — The seoerall 
notorious and lewd Cousonages of John West 
and Alice West, 1613, chap. 1. 

The cooz'ned birds busily take their flight 
And wonder at the shortnesse of the night. 
G. Fletcher, Christs Victorie in Heaven, 42 

The devil doth but cozen the wicked with 
his cates. — 5. Adums, Sermons, i. 217. 

Oeabbed, peevish, iriitable, has been 
generally understood to be " sour as a 
CT-(i6-apple," of a temper like ver-juioe ; 
thus Bailey gives " Grabbed (of crab, a 
sour apple), sour or unripe, as Fruit, 
rough, surly." " Orabbedness, sourness, 

Of bodie bygge and strong he was. 
And somewhat Crabtre faced. 

B. Googe, E^lags, 6fc., 1563, p. 117 
(ed. Arber). 
Sickness sours and crabs our nature. — 
Ghinville [Latham]. 

It is reaUy from North. Eng. crab, 
crabbe, to provoke, o)-ob, to reproach, 
Scottish crab, to fret. Of. Dut. tcribben, 
to quarrel, hrib, a cross woman, a shrew, 
hribbig, peevish, cross (Sewel). It was 
originally a hawking term, hawks being 
said to crab, when they stood too near 
and fought one with another. This is 
evidently the same word as Dut. hrab- 
ben, to scratch, Prov. Eng. scrab, and 
scrabble. It is curious to note the 
Prompt. Par?)«Zo»'Mm translating " crab- 
hyd, awke, or wrawe," by Lat. can- 
cerinus, as if hke a orab (cancer), or 

The strublyne of fulys crabis the visman. 
[The troubling of fools vexes the wise man.] 

Ratis Raving, p. 20, 1. 652 (E. E. T. S.). 
With crabyt men hald na cumpany. 

Id. p. 100, 1. 3509. 

That uther wakned upe the spreits of all 
guid brethring, and crabet the Court stranglie 
[i.e. irritated]. — Jas. Melville, Diary, 1574, 
p. 52 (Wodrow Soc). 

Whowbeit he was verie hat in all questiones, 
yit when it twitched his particular, no man 
could crab him. — Id. 1578, p. 65. 

The saise [= assize] wald nocht fyll 
[ — convict] him wherat the Court was verie 
crabbit.—Id. 1584, p. 218. 

A countenance, not werishe and crabbed, 
but faire and cumlie. — R. Ascham, The Hchole- 
master, 1570, p. 39 (ed. Arber). 

What doth Vulcan al day but endevour to 
be as crabbed in manners as hee is crooked in 
body? — Lilly, Sapho and Phao (1584), i. 1. 

After crysten-masse com ))e crabbed lentoun. 
Sir Gawayne, 1. 502. 
He regardes not the whips of the moste 
crabbish Satyristes. — Dekker, Seuen Deadly 
Sinnes of London, p. 34. 




How charming is diTine philosophy ! 
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose. 
Milton, Comus, 1. 476. 

Ceack Eegiment, one of great pres- 
tige, seems properly to denote a Irag 
regiment, one entitled to hoast of its 
achievements, from arack, O. Eng. 
c/rahe, to boast. Compare O. Eng. 
Irag, adj. spirited, proud, from Irag, to 
boast (orig. to make a loud noise, 
"bray," 'La.t.fragor), akin to Scot. Iraw, 
fine, and hrave. 

Crakynge, or boste, Jactancia, arrogancia. 
— Prompt, Pan^ulorum. 

A ffray-hair'd knight set up his head, 

And crackit richt crousely. 
Auld Maitland ; Child's Ballads, vol. vi. 
p. 222. 

Ohaven, a coward, so spelt as if it 
meant one who has craven, craved, or 
begged his life from his antagonist (A. 
Sax. crafian), and indeed so explained 
by Skinner and H. Tooke, was origi- 
nally and properly cravant, meaning 
overcome, conquered, old Pr. cravante, 
" oppressed, foUed, or spoiled with ex- 
cessive toyle, or stripes" (Cotgrave), 
Span, quehrantado, broken, from que- 
hrantar, Prov. crebantar, from Lat. cre- 
pare {crepan(i)s), to break. 

In a tryall by battel upon a writ of right 
the ancient law was that the victory should be 
proclaimed, and the vanquished acknowledge 
his fault in the audience of the people, or 
pronounce the horrid word Cravant. . . . and 
after this the Recreant should . . . become 
infamous. — Glossary to Gawin Douglas, 1710, 
s.v. Crawdoun. 

An early instance of oreaunt or cra- 
vant used as an exclamation in ac- 
knowledgment of defeat occurs in The 
Anoren Biwle (about 1225), where the 
heart is described as yielding to the 

LeiS hire sulf aduneward, and buhS him 
ase he bit, and S^ieiS creaunt, creauiit, ase 
sB'owinde. — p. 288. 

That is, "Layeth herself downward and 
boweth to him as he bids, and crieth * craven, 
craven I ' as swooning." 

His mangled bodie they expose to scorne. 
And now each cravin coward dare defie him. 
Fuller, Davids Hainous Siune, 47 (1631). 

Gryance in Sir Cauline appears to be 
a corrupt form of creoAince, cowardice. 
He sayes, No cr^ance comes to my hart, 
Nor ifaith I ffeare not thee. 
Percy's Folio MS. vol. iii. p. 7, 1. 93. 

Ceawdown, an old Scotch word for 
a coward, as if crawed down, or crowed 
down, as one cock is by another. Com- 
pare old Eng. overcrow, to insult over, 
Spenser, F. Queene, I. ix. 50. 

Becum thou cowart crawdoum recriand, 
And by consent cry cok, thy dede is dicht. 
Gawin Douglas, Bukes of Eneados, 
p. 356, 1. 28 (ed. 1710). 

It is not perhaps (as Jamieson sug- 
gests) from old Fr. creant and donner, to 
yield one's self vanquished, but another 
form of Prov. Eng. cradant and cra- 
vant, O. Eng. crauaunde, a coward or 
" craven :" compare Prov. cravantm, 
O. Fr. cravanter, to oppress or over- 
throw. (See Wedgwood, s.vV. Graven 
and Bea-eant). Cf. 0. Eng. cra\>min. 

He cared for his cortaysye lest crai>ayn he 

Sir Gawaiine, ah. 1320, 1. 1773 
(ed. Morris). 

Crawfish, a corruption of the old 
Enghsh orevish or crevice. See Cray- 

They set my heart more cock-a-hoop. 

Than could whole seas ot cram-fish soune. 
Gay, Poems, vol. ii. p. 100 (ed. 1771). 

I know nothing of the war, but that ve 
catch little French fish like crawfish. — Horace 
Walpnle, Letters (1755), vol. ii. p. 465. 

My physicians have almost poisoned me 
with what they call bouillons refraichissants 
.... There is to be one craw-fish in it, and I 
was gi'avely told it must be a male one, a 
female would do me more hurt than good.— 
Sterne, Letters, xlvi. 1764. 

Ceayfish is a corruptjon of 0. Eng. 
crevis, crevice (" Ligombeau, A sea crevice 
or little lobster," Cotgrave), or cremsh, 
from Fr. ecrevisse, i.e. O. H. G. fo-efe, 
Ger. hrehs, our " crab." 
Departe the crevise a-sondire euyn to youre 

The Babees Book, p. 158, 1. 603 
(E. E. T. S.). 
So " cancer the oreityce," p. 231; 
croMcs, p. 233. 

■ Sylvester remarks that in theincrease 
of the moon the more doth abound :— 
The Blood in Veines, the Sap in Plants, the 


And lushious meat, in Creuish, crab and 

oyster. Du Bartas, p. 82 (1621). 

This Sir Christopher [Metcalfe] is also 

memorable for stockmg the river Yower. . . . 

with Creuts/ies. — Fuller, I^orf/iies, ii. 533. . 

Crustaceous animals, as crevises, crabs, and 

lobsters. — Sir Thomas Browne, Worki,ii.&. 


( 83 ) 


Crazy, a provincial word for the 
buttercup, may perhaps be, as suggested 
by Dr. Prior {Popular Names of British 
Plants), a corruption of Christ's eye 
(craisey), oculus Ohristi, the mediae val 
name of the Marigold, with which old 
writei's confounded it. In some places, 
as the result of its name, its smell is 
beheved to make one mad {N. and Q., 
5th S. V. 364). Others regard it as a 
contracted form of oroio's eye. 

Ceeam-wabe, a Scottish word for 
articles sold iu booths at fairs, other- 
wise cream6^-y, from weam, crame, " a 
market-stall or booth, a pedlar's pack 
{creamer, a pedlar); and this from Dut. 
kraam, a booth, kraamer, a pedlar, Dan. 
hram, petty ware, Ger. hram. 

Ane pedder is called ane merchod or cremar 
quha beirs an pack or creame upon his bak. — 
Skene, De Verboi-um Significatione, 1597. 

Ckeasb-tiles, ) corrupt forms of 
Oeess-tiles, S crest-tiles, those that 
are fixed saddle-wise on the ridge of a 
roof {Glossary of Architecture, Parker). 
" Fmstiere, A Eidge-tyle, Creast-tyle, 
Eoof-tyle" (Cotgrave), from faiste, the 
ridge or crest. 

Tbaktile, roftile, ou crestile, — Stat, 17 Ed. 
IV. c. 4. 

Credence table, the small table on 
which the Communion vessels are 
placed, has only a remote connexion 
with the creeds of the church. It is Fr. 
credence, a cupboard of silver plate (Cot- 
grave), It. credenza, a buttery or pantry, 
also a cup-board of plate (Plorio), Low. 
Lat. credentia, a sideboard (Spehnan) ; 
It. oredentiere, a cup-bearer, a prince's 
sewer or taster, perhaps an accredited 
or trusty officer. Gredenza, then, would 
be the place where the dishes and cups 
were arranged and tasted before served 
up to the great table. 

Ceebpie, a three-legged stool in North 
Enghsh and Scottish, has ia all proba- 
bULty nothing to do with creep, but is a 
corruption of old Fr. tripied, a trivet 
(Cotgrave), Mod. Fr. trepied, from liSit. 
tripe{d)s, three-footed, tripetia, a three- 
legged stool. Cf. Ital. irepie and tre- 
piedi, a three-footed stool (Florio). Tr 
would change into cr, as Fr. craind/re, 
O. Fr. crembre, from Lat. tremere; Dan. 
trane zz Eng. crane; huchle-herry zz 
hv/rtle-herry, &c. 

The three-legged creepie stools . . . were 
unoccupied. — Mrs. Gaskell, Sylvia's Lovers, 
ch. ii. 

Bums says of the stool of repent- 
ance — 

When I mount the creejiie-chair, 
Wha will sit beside me there? 

Poems, p. 213 (Globe ed. 

Creeper, a trivet (T. L. O. Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Glossary), seems to be a 
further corruption. 

Cremona, the name of a certain stop 
in the organ, as if resembling the tone 
of the Cremona violin, is a corruption 
of Fr. cremome, Ger. hrummihorn, " the 
crooked horn," an old iustrument 
somewhat similar to a bassoon. See 
Hawkins, History of Music, vol. ii. p. 
245 ; Hopkins, History of tlie Organ, 
p. 124. 

In a letter in the State Paper Office 
(about 1515) occurs the following : — 

Ego dimisi unum Manicordium cum pe- 
dale in Grintwitz [Greenwich] : et nisi ves- 
tram Majestatem dredecim Cromhornes pro 
talia, non sum recompensatus, sed spero. — 
Ellis, Original Letters, 3rd Ser. vol. i. p. 203. 

Crest-marine, an old name for the 
plant Samphire ( Crithrmmimaritimuni), 
as if from its growing on the crest of 
land that rises above the sea, is a cor- 
ruption of Fr. christe-ma/rine, the popu- 
lar name of the same plant (otherwise 
called salicorne or iaoile), wlaich is it- 
self corrupted from Lat. cretlvmos, Gk. 
hrethmon (Littre). 

Christe-Marine, Sampire, rocke Sampire, 
CrestmariTie. — Cotgrave. 

The root of Nenuphar . . . assuageth the 
paine and griefe of the bladder : of the same 
power is Sampler, [margin] or Crestmarine. 
— P. Holland, Plinies Naturall History, tom. 
ii. p. 234 (1634). 

Croft. In Ireland " a croft of 
water " is the common term, especially 
among servants, for a water-bottle. It 
is probably a corrupted form of caraffe 
{c'raffe, craft, croft). Canon Farrar 
records an instance of the same word 
being transformed into cravat in the 
mouth of an Enghsh servant {Origin 
of Languages, 'p. 5T). It would be but a 
short step from cra/vat to croft. Fr. 
carafe. It. caraffa, Sp. Portg. ^arrafa, fr. 
Arab, qirdf, a measure, garafa, to draw 
water, otherwise spelt gharaf (Dozy, 
Devic). Littre thinks it may be from 
the Persian gardbah, a large-belUed 


( 84 ) 


glass bottle. In Italian giraffa (a 
giraffe, also), "a kind of fine drinking 
glasse or flower glasse " (Plorio), seems 
to be a corruption oi caraffa [garaffa). 

Cbosiee, old Eng. crose, crosse, Fr. 
orosse [cnsseron), the pastoral staff 
of a bishop, owes its present form to a 
confusion with " cross," Pr. crot'x, 
Lat. crux, with which words it has no 
direct connexion. The oldest forms of 
the word are in EngUsh croce, croclie, 
in French aroce, denoting a staff, Uke 
a shepherd's, with a curved head or 
arook, Fr. cfroc, Dan. hrog, Welsh crwg. 
Compare Ger. hrummstah. 

^^ Croce of a byschope. Pedum.'' — 
Prompt. Farv. (see Way, in loco). 
" Croce is a shepherd's crooke in our 
old English ; hence the staffe of a 
Bishop is called the croder or crosier." 
— Minsheu. The fact of a cross-bearer 
being called a eraser, croyser, or crocere, 
contributed to the confusion. 

Ceoss, meaning peevish, bad-tem- 
pered, irritable, as if one whose dis- 
position is contrary, perverse, or across 
that of others, not running in the same 
line but cross-grained, like thwart, per- 
verse (A. Sax. j>weor, Ger. quer, 
" queer ") ; frowaird, i.e. fromward ; 
Fr. reoeclie. It. rivescio, from Lat. rever- 
sus; It. ritroso, from Lat. retrosus {retro- 
versus). It, however, seems to be the 
same word as old Eng. crus, excited, 
wrathful, nimble ; North Eng. crous, 
crowse, brisk, pert, Prov. Eng. c/rous, 
to provoke (East), Swed. hrus-hufvud, 
Dan. /i:rMS-7iO'ue(i (" crowse-head "), ill- 
with confidence or some degree of 
petulance. The original meaning of 
the word was crisp and curly, from 
which it came to signify smart, brisk, 
then pert, saucy, and finally peevish, 
excitable. (See Atkinson, Cleveland 
Olossa/ry, s. v. Crous.) Conapare the 
popular phrase, "cross as two sticks." 
— Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossa/ry. Have- 
lok, when attacked by thieves, 
Driue hem ut, j^ei [z= though] he weren cniSy 
So doga'es ut of milne-hous. 

Havelok the Dane, 1. 1966 (ab. 1280). 

Cruse, captious, cross ; also croose, 
irritable, pugnacious, conceited. 

He's as croose as a banty cock, — Patterson^ 
Antrim and Down Glossary, E. D. S. 

It is noticeable that in Prov. English 

crup (? from Fr. crqie, crisp) has the 
twofold meaning of (1) crisp, brittle, 
short, and (2) sm-ly [? short-tempered] 

Ckoss-pdts, a Scotch term for funeral 
gifts to the church, is a corrupted form 
of cms-presands, or corps-presents (Ja- 
mieson). So cors, corse, is a Scotch 
form of cross. 

Ceow, or Ckow-bae, may perhaps 
be a corruption of the Provincial Eng- 
lish crome, a crook, crome in Tusser 
(1680), E. D. Soc. p. 38, cromle, Prompt. 
Parv. In the Paston Letters we read 
of a riotous mob coming with "long 
cronies to drawe down howsis." 

Compare the Irish cruim, crooked, 
A. Sax. cr-umh. Compare, however, 
the Irish cro = (1) strength, (2) an iron 
bar. Cotgrave spells it croe, " Pince, 
lb croe, great barre, or lever of iron." 
The cloven end of the implement was 
mistakenly assimilated to the powerful 
beak of the crow or raven, cf. Lat. 
cormis, Gk. Urax. Cotgrave uses aroe 
in a different sense : — 

Jables, the croes of a piece of caske ; the 
furrow, or hollow (at either end of the pipe- 
staves) whereinto the head-pieces be en- 
Get Crowe made of iron, deepe hole for to 

With crosse ouerfhwart it, as sharpe as astake. 
Tusser, Fine Hundred Poinfes, 1580 
(E. D. Soc), p. 98. 

Cbowd, 1 apparently a popular cor- 
Ceoud, ) ruption of crypt in the fol- 
lowing passage descriptive of the an- 
cient church of S. Faith, beneath old 
S. Paul's. 

This being a parish church dedicated to the 
honour of St. Faith the Virgin, was hereto- 
fore called EccLesia S. Fidis in Cryptis (or in 
the crovdes, according to the vulgar expres- 
sion). — Dugdale, Hist, of S. Paul's, p. 117. 

Croud = Crypt, Glossary of ArcM- 
tectu/re, Parker. 

Cryptoporticus ... a secret walke or vault 
under the gi'ounde, as the crowdes or shrowdes 
of Faules, called S. Faithes church. — Nonrnn- 

The Temple of the Holy Sepulchre .... 
bathe wonder many yles, crowdes, and vautes. 
— Py^Sry™-'^^^ of Sir R. Guylforde, 1506, 
p. 24 (Camden Soc). 

The origin of the word may be traced 
through O. Fr. erote, Prov. orota, Sp. 


( 85 ) 


Portg. gruta, It. grotia, Fr. groUe (our 
"grot," "grotto"), from Lat. crypta, 
Gk. h-upte, a hidden place. 

The close walks and rustic grotto ; a crypta, 
of which the laver or basin is of one vast, 
intire, antiq porphyrie. — Evelyn, Diary, 
Not. 29, 1644. 

Ceowner, also orownal, " the com- 
mander of the troops raised in one 
county" (Jamieson), a Scotch corrup- 
tion oi colonel (coronel). Cf. orownellioT: 
coronet, orowner for cwoner. 

The orowiier& lay in canvas lodges, high 
and wide, their captains about them in lesser 
ones, thesoldiers about all inhuts of timber. — 
Account of the Covenanters' Camp, temp. Chas. 
1. (in Baillie, Letters and JoiirnaUs, vol. i. p. 
211, ed. 1841). 

Groioner (zz orownell ir coronel or 
colonel) also occurs in Sir.T. Turner, 
Pallas Armata, 1627, p. 17. 

Cbuoible, a melting-pot. Low. Lat. 
cruoibolum, so spelt as if it were a de- 
rivation of Lat. o)-ux, crude, because it 
was often marked with the sign of a 
cross. So Chaucer calls it a croislet or 
croselett. It is, however, certainly of 
the same origin as cruse, Dut. kroes, 
kruyse, Dan. kruus, Fr. creuset, a cup 
or pot, Ir. c/fuisgin, a pitcher, pot, or 

Crtjbls, \ a Scotch word for the 
Ceuelles, I scrofula, or King's evU, 
is a corruption of the French ecrouelles, 
which is from Lat. sorofula through a 
form scrofella. O. Fr. escrovele, whence 
0. Eng. scroyle, a scrubby or shabby 
[i.e. scabby] fellow. This word cruels 
is still in use in Antrim and Down 

A MS. account of The Order of K. 
Charles [I.] entring Edinhwrghe, p. 23, 
preserved in the Advocates' Library, 
says, that on the 24th of June, 1633, 
he " their solenmlie offred, and after 
the pfEringe, heaUit 100 persons of the 
m-uelles or Kings's eivell, yong and 
olde." — J. G. Dalyell, Darker Super- 
stitions of Scotland (1835), p. 62. 

Ceumb, numh, thunib, ^ old Eng. 
orume, A. Sax. cruma, num{-en), ]>ur>i-a, 
seem to owe their present spelling with 
a final 6 to a false analogy with dumh 
(A. Sax. dMrnh), tomb (Greek tunibos). 
So limb (q.v.) was formerly lim, A. Sax. 

Crush, a word used in the eastern 
counties for gristle, cartilage, or soft- 
bones, perhaps mentally associated 
with the verb to crush, is a shortened 
form of crussel (or crustle) of the same 
meaning used in Suffolk, old Eng. 
orusshell or oruschyl, aU=A. Sax. gristel, 
which indeed itself probably denotes 
that which must be ground like grist, 
or crunched, before swallowed. 

Crnschylbone, or grystylbone (crusshell), 
cartilago. — Prompt. Furvulomm. 

Bailey gives orussel as an old word 
for gristle. 

Crusty, in the sense of short-tem- 
pered, irritable, testy, is perhaps a cor- 
rupt form of the old English cwst, 
which has the same meaning {e.g. 
Cursor Mundi (14th cent.), p. 1100). 
Compare Belgian and Dutch koreel, 
angiy, choleric, testy. In Irish crosda 
is morose, captious, crabbed, and cros- 
tacht perverseness (O'Eeilly). The 
Yankee cussedness, perversity, wrong- 
headedness, is of the same origin. 

She is thought but a curst mother who 
beats her child for crying, and will not cease 
heating until the child leave crying. — John 
Owen (1680), [Vorks, vol. xiii. p. 341 (ed. 

As curst and shrewd 
As Socrates' Xantippe. 

Taming of the Shrew, act. i. sc. 2. 
They are never curst but when they are 

Winter's Tale, act iii. sc. 3. 

So the old proverb " God gives a cu/rst 
cow short horns." 

Similar transposition of letters is 
common, e.g. Dut. korst, a crust, kors- 
tig, crusty ; cursen (Beaumont , and 
Fletcher) for christen, hirsome for 
chrisom; 0. Scot, corslinge for crossling; 
grass, A. Sax. gcers; bird, A. Sax. brid, 
elapse, and clasp. The French encroutS 
(crusty), fuU of prejudices, and s'en- 
crouter, to grow stupid, are founded on 
the conception of becoming encrusted, 
indurated, unimpressionable, stolid. 

There are some dogs of that nature that they 
barke rather vpon custome then curstne.Hse. — 
Thos. Lodge, Workes of Seneca, p. 915 (1614). 

Cursedly she loked on hym tho. 

A Mery Geste of Frere and the Boye, 

Pray for thy crusty soul \ Where's your re- 
ward now ? 

Beaumont and Fletcher, The Bloody 
Brother, iii. 2. 


( 86 ) 


Compare custwrd ^ O.Eng. crtistade, 
O. F. croustade, orig. a crusted tart. 
Somewhat similarly Prof. Skeat thinks 
eurse may be a perverted use of Scand. 
horsa, to make the sign of the Jcors, 
hross, or " cross." Of. Heb. laurak = 
to curse or to bless, Lat. sacer, sacred 
or accursed. 

Ckutohes, a Sussex word for broken 
pieces of crockery (Parish, Olossa/ry), 
is probably from Fr. cruche, a pitcher, 
Welsh crwc. 

CucBLBKE, the Anglo-Saxon word 
for a spoon, which Bosworth ranges 
under c3c, a cook, as if a cooking utensil, 
is evidently the Latin cocMeare or coch- 

Cuckold, a Somerset word for the 
plant Burdock, a corruption of the 
A. Sax. coccel, darnel, tares, cockle. 

CncKoo-BONE, a name applied to a 
bone at the lowest extremity of the 
spine, attached to the os sacrum, Lat. 
OS coccygis, Greek Tcohhux, cuckoo. 

At the end of the Holy-bone appeareth the 
Rump-bone called os coccygisy because it ia 
like a cuckoos beake. — Crooke, Description of 
the Body of Man, p. 981 (1631). 

It is in all probability only another 
form of Lat. coayim (coesim), the hinder- 
part, coxa, the hip, Greek hochone (for 
koxone). Curtius, OriecMsch, Etymo- 
logie, i. 123 ; ii. 283. 

Cdckoo-pint, ) a popular name for 
CucKOO-PiNTLE, ) the ax-um viacula- 
tum, a supposed corruption, is said to 
have no reference to the bird so named, 
but to be the A. Saxon cucw, hving 
(Prior) ; Yorkshire cuchoo-point (Brit- 
ten and Holland). 

But Mr. Cockayne quotes old Eng. 
cohe-pintel, gauh-pyntell, and shows it 
was so called, because it flowers at the 
time of the coming of the geac or 
cuckoo {LeecMonis, &c. vol. iii. Glos- 
sary). This is undoubtedly right. 
Cuddy, ) a North British word for 
CuDDiE, i an ass, as if identical with 
cuddy, the pet name for Cuthbert, which 
has long been a favourite appeUatiou in 
the North of England out of veneration 
for the famous saint of that name. The 
much - enduring disposition of the 
donkey was, perhaps, suggestive of the 
saintly character, to say nothing of its 
wearing the cross, just as the patient 

camel is nicknamed by the Arabs AK- 
Ayub, "Father of Job." It would 
be curious if Cuthbert, expressive of 
" noted brightness " (Yonge, Christian 
Names, ii. 417), came to be apphed to 
an animal notoriously stupid. The 
word is not a native Scottish term, 
and was originally slang. It was in 
all probability borrowed from the 
Gypsies, the ass being their favourite 
animal, as Jamieson remarked, and so 
may be of oriental origin. Guddy there- 
fore may be identical with HindiistSni 
gadhd, gadhi, an ass (? Persian gudda), 
with which Oolebrooke would connect 
Sansk. gcurdahha. But in the Siahp8sh 
dialect of Cabul giida is an ass, Malay 
Jcudha, near akin to Sanskrit ghota, a 
horse, originally " the kicker," from 

fhut, to strike back (see Pictet, Origines 
ndo-Europeenes, tom. i. p. 352). In 
Modern Greek gdda/ros is a donkey. 

England being a dull counti-y — a Ghud- 
distan or Cuddyiand^ as they say in the East 
— keeps up oli fashions. — Andrew Wikon, 
Edinburgh Essays (1856), p. 160. 

James Simson, writing of the Scottish 
Gypsies, speaks of 

The droll appearance of so many cuddies— 
animals that generally appear singly, but 
when driven by gipsies come in battalions. — 
History of the Gipsies, p, 46. 

A cuddy's gallop's sune done. — A, Hish>p, 
Proverbs of Scotland, p. 16. 

Guddy, cudden, an old provincial 
word for " a Nizey, or a silly fellow " 
(Bailey), is probably a derived usage. 
In the Cleveland dialect cuddy is a 
hedge-sparrow (Atkinson), so called, 
perhaps, from its resemblance in colour 
to an ass, just as Northampt. doney, a 
sparrow (elsewhere dunnock), donkey, 
and Soot, donie, a hare, are all from 
O. Eng. don, dun. 

CuDSHOE, an affected mispronuncia- 
tion of the interjection " Gadso " 
(which is itself a corruption of It. 
oazzo) in the old drama. 

CuLLBNDEE, a popular spelling of 
colander, which is apparently an in- 
correct form of colader (cf. Span, cola- 
dero, a strainer, sine, a colender. — Min- 
sheu), like messenger, porrenger, passen- 
ger, for messager, porridger, passager. 
A derivative of Lat. colare, to strain. 

I am a witnesse that in the late war his 
owne ship was piero'd like a cuUendar.—J. 
Eoelyn, Diary, May 31, 167S!. 


( 87 ) 


«f, ) an old word for a badge 
ST, 3 or distinctive mark, in 


Ben Jonson and others, is a corruption 
of cogmkance, that by which one is 
Icnown (Lat, cognoscere), from a desire, 
perhaps to assimilate it to other words 
like cully, cullion, &c. 

Onion. But what badge shall we give, what 
culUson 7 — B. Jonson, The Case is Altered, iv. 4. 

OuLVER-KEYS, an old popular name 
for a meadow plant, probably the 
orchis Ttwrio, is apparently a corruption 
of cidverhins, i.e. Utile culvers or pigeons 
(A. Sax. culfre), to which its flowers 
were fancifully resembled. Compare 
the name of the plant columbine from 
Lat. columha, a pigeon. With the ter- 
miuation compare raon-hey, ion-hey. 

The form covey-heys, may sometimes 
be heard ia Kent, applied to the oxhp. 

Cup, as a medical term to draw 
blood by scarifying under a glass 
wherein the air is rarefied, derived as 
it were from the citp-like shape of the 
glass, is a corruption of Fr. couper, to 
out, O. Fr. copper. 

I should rather substitute couping glasses, 
applied on the legs. — Ferrand, Love Melan- 
choiy, p. 340. 

It [pleurisy] is helped much 'bj cupping; I 
do not mean drinking. — T. Adams, The Soul's 
Sickness, Works, i. 487. 
They bled, they ciipp'd, they purged; in 
short, they cured. 

Pope [^Lathani], 

Cdely-floweh, a Lincolnshire word 
for a cauliflower (Peacock, Glossa/ry of 
Words used in Manley, Sfc). 

CuRMtTDGEON, SO Spelt, no doubt, to 
suggest a connexion with cur, used as 
a term of contempt, is an altered 
form of corn-mudgin, which Holland 
in his Livy uses to translate frumen- 
tarius, a corn-dealer, especiaUy in the 
sense of a regrator, one who engrosses 
and hoards up the com in time of 
scarcity, and then " a covetous hunks, 
a close-fisted fellow " (Bailey), in ac- 
cordance with the Proverb (xi. 26) 
"He that withholdeth com, the people 
shall curse him." Corn-mudgin is for 
com-mudging, i.e. corn-hoarding; mudge 
being zz O. Eng. much or mich, to hide 
(Skeat). Compare " Pleu/re-pain, a 
nigardiy wretch ; a puhng mdcher or 
miser, dec." (Id.). 0. Pr. mucer, to hide. 
The popular hatred of the corn-hoarder 

is exhibited in the Rhenish legend of 
BishoJ) Hatto, and in a baUad Ucensed 
in 1581, 

Declaring the gi-eate covetousness and un- 
mercifuU dealing of one Walter Gray, some- 
tyme Archehisshop of Yorke, whoe having 
peat abundance of corne, suilred the needie, 
in the tyme of famyne, to die for want of 
relief, And of the fearful! vengeance of God 
pronounced against him. — Registers of the 
Statinnei's' Company, vol. ii. p. 150 (Shaks. 

Cormorant (formerly corvorant, as if 
com-vorant) seems to have been used in 
the same sense. 

His father is such a dogged old curmudgeon, 
he dares not for his ears acquaint him with it. 
— Hey wood dif Rowley, Fortune by Land &^ Sea, 
1655, p. 46 (Shaks. Soc). 

When the Cormorants 
And wealthy farmers hoord up all the graine 
He empties all his garners to the poore. 

No-Body and Some-body, I. 320 
(ab. 1600). 

The covetous cormorants or corn-morants 
[i.e. corn-delayers] of his time. — W. Smith, 
The Blacksmith, 1606. 

OuERiNTS, a corruption of Corinths, 
or "raisius of Corinth," Fr. raisins de 
Oorinthe, they having been originally 
brought from that place ; Welsh grawn 
Gormih, i.e. Corinth berries. 

We founde there rype smalle raysons that 
we calle reysons of Corans, and they grow.e 
chefly in Corynthy, called nowe Corona, in 
Morea, to whome seynt Poule wrote sondry 
epystolles. — Pylgrymage of Sir R. GuylJ'orde, 
1506, p. 11 (Camden Soc). 

The fruits are hereof called in shops by the 
name of Passularum de Corintho ; in English 
Cun-ans, or small Raisins. — Gerarde, Herbal, 
p. 727 (1597). 

Take raysyns of Corauns j^erto. 
And wyte wynne |;ou take also. 
Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 16 (1440). 

Take . . . Raysonifsof Coraunce & myncyd 
Datys, but not to small. — The Babees Book, 
p. 212(E. E.T. S.). 

The chiefe riches thereof [of Zante] consis- 
teth in currents, which draweth hither much 
trafficke. — G. Sandys, Travels, p. 5. 

Curry, an Indian dish, origiually a 
native term. Hind. Mri (a making), a 
made dish, a curry, from harnd, to make 
(Sansk. fccw, Icri, to make), seems to 
have been assimilated to the existing 
word cwry (Fr. corroyer, It. correda/re), 
to prepare or make ready. Mahn de- 
duces it from Pers. hhurdi, broth, juicy 



CuERY FAVOUR, a phrase which Pro- 
fessor Nichol brands as a " vulgairfsm " 
{Prim&r of EngUsh Gomposition), and 
the Satwday Review " does not much 
like" (Jan. 4, 1879), is at all events 
no pa/fvenu in the language. G. Put- 
tenham, in his Arte of English Poesie, 
1589, says — 

If moderation of words tend to flattery, or 
soothing, or excusing, it is by the figure 
Paradiastole, wliich therefore nothing im- 
properly we call the Currif-favelt, as when 
we make the best of a bad thing, or turne a 
signification to the more plausible sence ; as 
to call an unthrift, a liberall Gentleman.— 
(P. 195, ed. Arher). 

If thou canst curreii fauour thus 
■ Thou shalt be counted sage. 

Tasser, Works, 1580, p. 148 (E. & S.). 

It is a corruption of cwry favel, to 
curry, or smooth down, the chesnut- 
horse, Fr. eU-iller fcmveaa} Ootgrave 
quotes a proverb, " Tel etrille fauveau 
gm •puis le mord. The imgratefull jade 
bites him that does him good; " this 
is found in a fourteenth century Eo- 
mance, which went by the name of 
Torche-Fauvel or Estrille-Fauvel. (Le 
Eoux de Lincy, Proverhes Frangwis, 
torn. ii. p. 36). Compare " curryfauell, 
a flatterer, estrille." — Palsgrave, 1530. 

Sche was a schrewe, as have y hele, 
There sche currayed favetl well. 

How a Merchant did his Wijfe betray j 
1. 203. 

The phrase assumed its meaning of 
cajohng from a confusion of f(wel, the 
yellow-coloured horse, with favel, an 
old word for flattery (in Langland, 
Occleve, Skelton, &c.), i.e. It. favola, a 
lying tale, Lat. fabula. See Prof. 
Skeat's Note on Piers the Plowman, 
Vision of. Pass. ui. 1. 5, Text c. 

In the ancient cant of thieves the 
phrase is used for a sluggard. 

He that will in court dwell, must needes 
ctirrie fabel .... ye shal understand that 
fahel is an olde Englishe worde, and signified 
as much as favour doth now a dayes. — 
Taoerner, Proverhes or adagies gathered out of 
the Chiliudes of Erasmus, 1562, fo. 44. 

Cory fauell is he, that wyl lie in his bed, 
and cory the bed hordes in which he lyeth in 
steede of his horse. This slouthful knaue 
wyll buskill and scratch when he is called in 
the morning, for any hast. — The XXV, 
Orders of Knuues, 1575. 

' So also Douce, Illustrations to Shahesveare, 
p. 291. 

To curry a temporaiy favour he incurreth 
everlasting hatred. — Adams, Sermons, i. 284. 

To curry was once used indepen- 
dently for to cajole, with reference 
to the "soft smoothing of flattery" 

Jjey curry kinges & her back clawejj. 
Fierce the Ploughman's Crede, 
1394, 1. 365 (.ed. Skeat). 

CuESE, in the vulgar phrase " not to 
care a cwrse for a thing," is a corrup- 
tion of the old Enghsh Icars or Jeers, a 
cress, A. Sax. ccerse ; Dutch hersse, Ger. 
kresse, Fr. cresson, " the herb tearmed 
hars, or cresses," "cresson alenois, 
kerse " (Cotgrave) ; which was made a 
by- word for anything trivial and worth- 

So herson is a Lancashire form of 
christen, "Feather Adam nother did 
nor cou'd kerson it " (View of the Lanca- 
sJwre Dialect). See also H. Tooke, 
Diversions, p. 360 (ed. Taylor). 

Wysdom and Wit now is nat worth a cane. 
Langlarid, Vision of Piers Plowman, 
Pass xii. 1. 14, Text c. 

Anger gayneS the not a cresse. 
Alliterative Poems, The Pearl, I. 343, 
(ed. Mon-is). 

Of paramours ne raught he not a hers. 
Chanter, The MUleres Tale, 1. 3754. 

To-morrow morning (if Heaven permit) I 
begin the fifth volume of Shandy — 1 care mt 
a curse for the critics. — Sterne, Letters, xviii. 

That man never breathed, .... forwhose 
conti'ibutions to the Magazine I cared one 
single curse. — Wilson, Nodes Ambrosiante, 
vol. i. p. 259. 

I care not a curse though from birth he 
The tear-bitter bread and the stingings of 
If the man be but one of God's nobles in 
spirit — 
Though penniless, richly-soul'd, — heart- 
some, though worn. 

Gerald Massey, The Worker. 

A long list of examples in Norman 
French, such as "not worth an onion, 
a head of garlic, a nut, a lettuce, a 
thread of silk," &c., will be found in 
Atkinson's Vie de 8eint Auban, p. 67. 

Thereof set the miller not a tare. 

Chaucer, The Reves Tale, 3935. 

This Absolon ne raughte not a bene. 
MiUeres Tale, 1. 3770. 



Compare the expressions " I don't 
care a straw," " not a rush," Fr. il ne 
vauf 'pas un zest {i.e. a wahmt-skin), 
Lat. nauci, flood, nihili {i.e. ne-MU), 
pendere; Greek ha/rdaniizo, to talk idly, 
lit. chatter about cresses (kdrdamon), 
hards mse , at a hair's value, &o. 

" Not worth a rush " seems origi- 
nally to have meant not deemed of 
sulficient importance to have fresh 
rushes strewed on the floor for one's 
rebeption, at least so it is suggested by 
the following passage : 

" Strange have gi'eene rushes when daily 
quests are wot worth a rush. — hilly^ Sapho 
and Phao, ii. -1 (1584). 

C0BTAIL, a corruption of the older 
form to curtail, as if from the French 
com-t tailler, to cut short, or as if it 
meant to shorten or dock the tail [Cf. 
0. Fr. courtaiilt, It. cortaldo]. Thus, 
esqueui, which Cotgrave defines as "cii/r- 
tall, curtailed ; untaUed, without taile, 
deprived of a taile," would now be 
translated " curtailed." An old writer 
speaking of the knavery of dealers in 
horses says : — 

They can make curtails when they list, 
and againe set too large taiLes, hanging to 
the fetlockes at their pleasure. — Martin Plar- 
haiCs apologie to the belman of Loiidotjy 1610, 
Sig. G. 

The curtal Friar of the Eobin Hood 
Ballads was evidently of the Franciscan 
order of monks who were ridiculed for 
the short habits they wore in obedience 
to their founder's injunction (Staveley, 
Bonvish Horseleech, ch. xiv.), 0. Eng. 
cwtal, a short cloke or coat. In the 
old canting language of beggars, 

A curtail is much like to the upright man, 
but hys authority is not fully so great. He 
useth commonly to go with a short cloke, like 
to grefi friers, and his woman with him in 
like liuery. — The Fratemitye of Vacabondes, 

Shakespeare has " a curtail dog" for 
cm-tal, in Gomedy of Errors, iii. 2, 
Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 1, and 
Howell defines a curtail or curtal as 
"a dog without a tail, good for any 
service." — Bid. of Fou/r Languages. 

Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall quotes, as 
authorities for the verb to cwtall, 
Thomas Campion (1602), Ancient Griti- 
cal Essays, vol. ii. p. 165 ; Thos. James, 
Treatise of the Corruption of Scriptwe, 
1612, pt. ii. p. 59; Heyhn, Ecclesia 

Vindicata (1657), pt. i. p. 132 {Moderrt 
English, p. 185). 

Curtail dogs, so taught they were 
They kept the arrows in their mouth. 
Ingledew, Ballads aiid Songs of York- 
shire, p. 52. 

CuBT-HOSE, the nickname of the 
eldest son of the Conqueror, a corrup- 
tion of Eobertus Curtus (M. MiillerJ 
Chips, iii. 301). So cat-house, an old 
species of battering-ram, was originally 
cattus, so called from its crafty approach 
to the walls. It. gatto, " a hee-oat, 
Also an engine of warre to batter walls " 
(Florio). Gattus, " machina belli " 
(Spelman, Glossary), " a werrely holde 
that men call a barbed catte " (Caxton's 

Curtilage, " a law term for a piece 
of ground, yard, or garden-platt, be- 
longing to, or lying near a house." — 
Bailey, from Low Lat. curtis. The 
word is a derivation not of curtus, but of 
Lat. chor{t)s, cohor{t)s, a yard, whence 
also It. corte, Fr. cour, Eng. cou/rt, 
Welsh cwri. C. Kingsley curiously 
spells it courtledge (Davies, Supp.Eng. 

CuETLB-AXE, and CuBTLAX, a cor- 
ruption of " cutlass," really Fr. coute- 
las. It. cortelazo, coUellaccio, from Lat. 
cuUellus (dim. of culter, a knife), but 
understood as if a curtal or short axe. 
Skinner spells it curtelass, and explains 
it as ensis hrevicn- {Etymologiaon, 1671). 
Cf. Dut. hortelas (Sewel). 
For with my swor[r]d, this sharp cartle axe, 

I'll cut asunder my accursed heart — ■ 

Locrine, 1586. 

A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh, 
A boar-spear in my hand. 

As You Like It, i. 3, 1. 119 
(Globe ed.). 
Dear ware this Hanger and this Curtilax. 
The Roaring Girl, i. 1 (1611). 
There springs the shrub three foot aboue 

the grass 
Which fears the keen edge of the Curtelace. 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 181 (1621). 

A still further corruption was curtaxe. 
With curtaxe used Diamond to smite. 

Spenser, F. Queene, iv. 2, 42. 

Custard winds, a Cleveland word 
for the cold easterly winds prevalent 
on the N.E. coast in spring, is probably, 
Mr. Atkinson thinks, a corruption of 
coast-ward winds. 


( 90 ) 


Cut-heal, a popular name for the 
Valerian, Dr. Prior thinks may be from 
Dut. Icutte, A. Sax. cmS, it being used 
in uterine affections. 

CuTLASH, a corruption oicutlas found 
in N.W. Lincolnshire, and elsewhere. 

He . . . gave him one B]ow a-cross his 
Belly with his cutlash. — Cha&, Johnson, Lives 
of Highwai/men, ifc, 269 (1734). 

A good hog for an old cutlash. 

Id. p. 234. 
A villanous Frenchman made at me with a 
cutlash. — Blachnore, Maid oj Sker, vol. i. p. 11. 

It is also found as cutlace. 
With Monmouth cap and cutlace by my side. 
A Satyre on Hea Officers ( 0, Plays, 
xii. 375, ed. 1827). 

Cutlet, so spelt probably from a 
notion that it denoted a little cut of 
meat. It is really the French cotelette, 
a little rib of mutton or other meat, 
diminutive of cote, a rib or side, and 
this again is from the Lathi casta. The 
older French form was costelette. 

Costelkttes de pore, the span-ibs. — Cotgrave. 

To join in a costelel and a sallad. — North, 
Life of Lord Guilford, i. 91 [see Daoies, Supp. 
Lng, Glossaiy^. 

Coast is said to be a Sussex word for 
the ribs of cooked meat, particularly 
lamb (Parish, Glossa/ry). 

Sir Beaumains smot him through the cost 
of the body. — Malorif, King Arthur, 1634, 
vol. i. p. 253 (ed. Wi-ight). 

Cuttle-fish, O. Eng. " Codulle, 
fysche. Sepia" [Promjpt. Parv.). A. 
Sax. cudele. " Loligo, a fyshe whiohe 
hath his head betwene his feete and 
his bealy, and hath also two bones, 
cone lylce a knife, the other lyke a 
penne." — Elyot. It is from this bone, 
which bears a considerable resemblance 
to a flint Icmfe or celt (Fr. {coutel) cou- 
teau), and may often be picked up on 
the shore, that the fish is supposed to 
take its name. Cf. the names cousteau 
de mer, Welsh mor-gyllell, "sea-knife." 
The German name, however, is huttel- 
jisch (? from huttel, entrails, guts) ; 
0. Dut. huttel-visch. The word in 
Enghsh has been corrupted from 
cuddle, cudle, under the influence of the 
foreign names. 

CwELOA, an Anglo-Saxon name for 
tlie plant colocyniMs, Gk. IcololcuntMs, 
given by Bosworth, is evidently a natu- 
ralized form of the foreign word, as if 

connected with cweUan, to kill or quell, 
from its powerful action when adminis- 
tered as a drug. See Gerarde, Eer- 
hall, fol. p. 769. 

Cycle, a pedantic spelling of sicUe 
(Lat. secula, a cutter, from seeo), as if 
so called from its circular shape and de- 
rived from Greek cychts (icvkKoq); cf. 
Fr. dele =. a shekel. — Cotgrave. 

The corn . . . wooed the cycles to cut it. 
Fuller, Pisgah Sight, fol. 1650, p. 161. 

Messena was at the first called Zaucle," of 
the crookednesse of the place, which signi- 
fieth a cycle. — G. Sandys, Travels, p. 244. 

Cyder, for sider or syder, the com- 
mon form in old writers, Lat. sicera, 
Greek siherd, Heb. shelcar, has appa- 
rently been assimilated in spelling by 
the learned to cyd-oneum, a beverage 
made out of the cydonia or qTiince, a 
kind of perry. Pepys spells it syder. 
Diary, vol. ii. p. 113 (ed. Bright). 

Shehar (Prov. xxxi. 4) was originally 
a sweet wine ; in later times, when 
widely spread by means of Phoenician 
commerce, only a kind of beer. — Ewald, 
Antiquities of Israel, p. 86. 

Sothli he schal be greet bifore the Lord, 
and lie schal not drynke wyn and si/dir. — 
Wyclife, Luke i. 15 (1389). 

He ne drincjj win ne btor. — ^4. Sai. Version 

Sihera, says S. Jerome, " in the 
Hebrew tongue is every drink which 
can inebriate, whether it is made from 
grain, or from the juice of apples, or 
from honey, or the fruit of the palm " 
(Epist. ad Nepolian). Initial C and S 
were formerly almost interchangeable, 
and we still write cele^-y for selery (It. 
sellari, Lat. selinon), ceiling for seeling, 
cess for sess, &c. 

Cygnet, foi-merly cignet (Fr. eigne), 
a young swan, so spelt as if connected 
with Lat. cygnus, a swan. Fr. eigne, 
however, is identical with 0. Fr. and 
Span, cisnc, from Low Lat. cecinus, a 
swan, and quite unconnected with cyg- 
nus (Diez). 

Cypher. An organ-pipe is said to 
cypher when it continues sounding, 
when the note on the key-board is not 
struck. It is doubtless the same word 
as 'Welsh, sihrwd, to murmur, to whisper, 
French siffler, Sp. chifla.r, Prov. sillar 
(from sifilare = sihilare) ; Prov. Eng. 
sife, siff, to sigh (Devonshire, &c). 


( 91 ) 


Compare It. dfolare and ciuffola/re, to 
whistle, dfello, a piper, a whistler, 
zuffmure, to whistle or whisper, zuffo- 
Iwre, to pipe ; Arab, sifr, whistling, 
dffer, to whistle ; Heb. sqfdr, a trumpet. 

Cypbess koot, or Sweet Cypress, 
popularly so called, is an assimilation 
of its Latin name cypertis {longus) to 
the well-known tree-name cypress, 
Lat. mipressus, Greek kuparissos. 

Ctpetjs, otherwise spelt cypress and 
dpres, an old name for a species of fine 
transparent lawn, as if the stuff intro- 
duced from Cyprus, has been considered 
the origin of the word crape (Abp. 
Trench, Stuckj of Words, Lect. iv.). 
The direct opposite is, I think, the case. 
Crape, Fr. arepe, old Pr. crespe, which 
Cotgrave defines "Cipres, also Cobweb 
Lawne," Scot, crisp, have their origin 
in Lat. orispus, and are descriptive of 
the crisp and riveUed (Fr. crespi) tex- 
ture of the material. Minsheu de- 
scribes cipres as " a fine curled linen, 
Lat. lyssus crispata." Cipres, there- 
fore, was the same as crape, and pro- 
bably is only another form of the same 
word altered by metathesis, thus, vrispe, 
old Eng. cryspe ; cripse (crypse) in Prov. 
Eng. ; cirps in A. Saxon, cyrps; oipr{e)s, 
cypr{e)s; similar transformations being 
not unusual, e.g. grass for gwrs, A. S. 
goers ; cart for crat, A. S. ermt ; hirsten, 
kirsen (Bums), for clwisten, &c. 
Blak with crips her [^ hair], lene, and 
somdel qued. 
Wright, Pop. Treatises on SciencBj 
loth cent., p. 138, 1. 283. 

Jamieson gives cryp (? for aryps) as 
an old Scotch word for crape, old Eng. 

Nelle with hir nyfyls of crisp and of sylke. 
Townky Mysteries, Juditium (15th cent.). 

A Cyprus not a bosom 
Hides my poor heart. 

Twelfth Night, iii. 1. 
Lawn, as white as driven snow, 
Cyprus, black as e'er was crow. 

Winter's Tale, iv. 3. 
About her head a Cyprus heau'n she wore, 
Spread like a veile, vpheld with siluer wire. 
G. Fletcher, Christs Victorie in Heauen 

(1610), 59. 
And sable stole of cipres lawn 
Over thy decent shoulders drawn. 

Milton, 11 Penseroso, 1. 36. 
Over all these draw a black cypress, a veil 
of penitential sorrow. — J. Taylor, Holy Dying, 
p. n (ed. 1848). 

Exactly similar in origin, and nearly 
related, are Fr. ci-epe, a pancake, old 
Eng. cryjjjes, fritters (Wright), cryspels 
(Forme of Cwy), Scot, crisp, a pancake, 
i.e. something fried tOl crisp. 

Cryspes fryeS- — Book of Precedence, p. 91 

Cyst-beam, the Anglo-Saxon name 
for the chestnut tree, as if connected 
with cyst, fruitfulness, goodness, cystig, 
bountiful, liberal, is a corruption of 
Lat. cast-aneus. See Chestnut. 

Cythoen, an old Eng. form of "cit- 
tern , " the musical instrument, is quoted 
by Carl Engel, Musical Myths a/nd 
Facts, i. p. 60. 


Dab, in the ooUoq^uial phrase "to be 
a dab at anything," i.e. clever, expert, 
has probably no connexion with dab, 
to hit (the mark), or dapper, spruce 
(Goth, ga-dobs, fitting), but is a corrup- 
tion of adept (Lat. adeptus, proficient), 
misunderstood as a dep'. Cf. North 
Eng. dabster, a proficient. 

Dainty. This word, when used in 
the sense of fastidiously nice, finicking, 
delicate, O. Eng. deynte, deinte, is pro- 
perly a subs. = pleasantness, from 
O. Fr. daintie, and that from dain, fine, 
quaint, Lat. dignus, worthy. Cf. dis- 
dain, to deem unworthy (Skeat). 

For deynte i>at he hadde of him : he let him 

sone bringe 
Before ]je prince of Engelond : Adelstan Jje 


Life of S. Dunstan, 1. 36, Philolog. 
Soc. Trans., 1858. 

And he resawyt thaim in daynte, 
And hyr full gretly thankit he. 
Barbour, The Bruce, bk. iv. 1. 142 
(ed. Jamieson). 

When used in the special sense of a 
delicacy, something nice to eat, the 
word was probably confounded with 
Welsh dantaeth, a dainty, something 
toothsome (from dant, dwint, tooth), 
Scot, dadntith, daintess. 

Thow waxes pur, Jjane fortone wil |;e wyt. 
And haf na dantetht of l>i sone na delite. 
Bernardus, De Cura Rei Famularis, 
p. 14, 1.334 (E. E. T. S.). 


{ 92 ) 


To tell here metus was tere/ That was served 

at here sopere, 
There was no dentethus to dere/ Ne spyces to 

Sir Degrevant, 11. 1409-1412, The 

Thornton Romance, p. 236. 

Ahof dukes on dece, with dayntys serued. 

Alliterative Poems, B. 1. 38 (ed. 


Jacob here made daintif of lentils. 

T. Adams, Politic Hunting, 
Worhs, i. 5. 
So that for lack oideintie mete, 
Of which an herte may be fedde, 
I go fastende to my bedde. 

Gower, Conf. Amantis, vol. iii. 
p. 25 (ed. Pauli). 

When we say, therefore, that a per- 
son is dainty about his food and fond of 
dainties, we use two really distinct 
words — the former akin to dignity, the 
latter to dentist. 

Dames, an old Enghsh name for the 
game of draughts, Fi: dames, would 
seem to have been borrowed from 
Egyptian dameh, if that be the primi- 
tive word. 

The modern Egyptians have a game of 
draughts very similar in the appearance of 
the men to that of their ancestors, which they 
call dumeh, and play much in the same manner 
as our own, — Witkinson, Ancient Egyptians, 
ed. Birch, vol. ii. p. 58. 

Another game existing in the Middle Ages, 
but much more rarely alluded to, was called 
dumes, or ladies, and has still preserved that 
name in French. — Wright, Homes of other 
Days, p. 235. 

In French and Provenqal damier is a 

Dame's violet, a popular name for 
the hesperis matronalis, is a corruption 
of Pr. violette de Damas, "damask 
violet " (Lat. viola Damascena), as if 
it were violette des dames (Prior). 

Damsel, "the damson (Damascena), 
a variety of the pnmus domestica." 
(Holderness Glossary, Eng. Dialec. Soc, 
Yorks., Cheshire, and North of Ireland.) 
— Britten and Holland. 

They are called damascens of the citie of 
Damascus of Soria. — Passenger of Benvennto, 
1612 (Nares). 

Modern Damascus is a beautifull city. 
The first Damask-rose had its root here, and 
name hence. So all Damask silk, linen, 
poulder, and plumbes called Damascens. — 
r. Fuller, Pisgah Sight, bk. iv. ch. i. p. 9 

Darbies, a slang term forhandcufis, 
is said to be in full Johrmy Barbies, a, 
corruption of Pr. gens-d'armss, applied 
originally as a nickname to pohoe- 
men [?]. 

We clinked the darbies on him, took him as 
quiet as a lamb. 
Scott, Guy Mannering, ch. xxxiii. 

But the old term was "Father 
Derbie's bands." 

To binde such babes in father Derbies lands. 
G. Gascoigne, The Steel Glas (1576), 
1. 787. 
See also T. L. 0. Davies, Supp.Eng. 
Glossary, s. v. 

Daekle, to gloom or be dark, a 
fictitious verb, formed from darkUng, 
understood as a present participle. 
BoA-hling^ia the dark, is really an 
adverb, like 0. Eng. hackling, jUdUng, 
headUng. See Geovel and Sidle. 
Out went the candle, and we were left dark- 

Shahespeare, K. Lear, i. 4, 1. 237. 
Darkling they join adverse, and shock un- 
Coursers with coursers justling, men with 

Dryden, Fahmwn and Arcite, bk. iii. 

1. 590. 

Bp. HaU has the phrase " to go dark- 

lings to bed." 

D'Arcy Magee, in one of his songs, 

A cypress wreath darkles now, I ween, 
Upon the brow of my love in green. 
Founder's Tomb .... darkles and shines 

with the most wonderful shadows and lights. 

— Thackeray, Neiccomes, ch. Ixxv. 

See T. L. O. Davies, Supp. Eng. 
Glossa/ry, s.v. 

Modern poets often use darkling as 
an adjective. 
To-night beneath the lime-trees' darkling 

The dying sun's farewell is passing sweet. 
W. H. Pollock, The Poet and the 
Mme, 1880. 
On darkling man in pure effulgence shine. 
Johnson, The Rambler, No. 7. 

Dash it I This expletive does not 
probably, as we might suppose, repre- 
sent the typographical euphemism of a 

dash, as ia " d it," but the Fr. 

deshait, dehait, dehet, affliction, misfor- 
tune (Ut. dis-pleasure, from 0. Fr. hait, 
pleasure), as an imprecation equivalent 


( 93 ) DAY-NETTLE 

to Cursed I 111 betide I This in old Eng. 
appears as the interjection datheit, 

Da]jeit hwo it hire thaue ! 
Da]>eit hvro it hire yeue ! 
Havelok the Dane (ab. 1280), 11. , 
296,300. SeeSkeatjGtossaty, 
Dahet habbe that ilke best 
That fuleth liia owe nest. 

. The OwLand the NiE^htiiigale, 
1. 100 (Percy Soc). 

Dasibekdb, an old Eng. word for a 
simpleton (? as if a dazed heard), affords 
a curious instance of corruption. It is 
another form of dozeper, dosseper, origi- 
nally one of the doseperis, Pr. les douze 
paws, the twelve peers of France. See 


Al so the dosse pers 
Of France were Jjere echon, ))at so noble were 
and fers. 

Robt. of Gloucester, p. 188. 
Sir Cayphas, I saye seckerly 
We that bene in companye 
Must needes this dosebelrde destroye. 
The Chester Mysteries (Shaks. Soc), 
vol. ii. p. 34. 

Date, the fruit of the palm-tree, Fr. 
datte, old Pr. dacie, have been formed 
from dactle, dactyle ; of. Span, and 
Prov. daM, Flem. dadel, Ger. dattel, 
Lat. dadylus, Greek ddldulos, (1) a 
finger or dactyl, (2) a finger-shaped 
fruit, a date ; these latter words from 
their termination being mistaken for 
diminutives (Kke hernel, satchel, &o.). 
Similarly almond, Fr. amande, has 
been evolved from amandle, Dut. 
a/mandel, Prov. almandola; and Fr. 
"ange from angel. 

Date, frute, Dactilus. — Prompt Parvulo- 
rum, 1440. 

Dactyle, the Date-grape or Finger-grape. 
— Cotgrave. 

A. iisiK.Jingeriepla [:= dates], ^Ifric. — 
Cockayne, Leechdoms, ii. 368. 

A man. might have been hard put to it to 
interpret the language of ^sculapius, when 
to a consumptive person he held forth his 
fingers ; implying thereby that his cure lay 
in dates, from the homonomy of the Greek, 
which signifies dates and fingers. — Sir Thos, 
Browne, •IVorhs, vol. iii. p. 344 (ed. Bohn). 

Davy Jones's Looker, in the sailor's 
phrase "He's gone to Davy Jones's 
Locker," i.e. gone to the bottom, 
drowned, or dead, it has been supposed 
may originally have been Jonah's locker, 
in aUusion to the position of the pro- 

phet when swallowed up, and " the 
earth with her bars was about him for 
ever" (Jonah, ii. 6). Davy, as being a 
common prenomen of all the Welsh 
Joneses, was then, perhaps, arbitrarily 
prefixed. See T. L. 0. Davies, Supp. 
Eng. Glossary, s.v. David seems to 
have been a favourite name, for some 
reason, among seamen, certain navi- 
gation instruments being called David's 
staff and David's quad/rant (Bailey). 

So was he descended .... to the roots 
and crags of them [the hills], lodged in so 
low a cabin, that all those heaps and swel- 
lings of the earth lay upon him The 

meaning of the prophet was, that he was 
locked and warded within the sti'ength of the 
earth, never looking to be set at liberty again. 
— Bp. John King, On Jonah (1594), p. 174, 
col. 1 (ed. Grosart). 

Dawn, a corruption of the old word 
dawing or daying, A. Sax. dagung, the 
becoming day, a substantive formed 
from the O. Eng. verb to daw, A. Sax. 
dagian, to become day (dceg), Icel. 
deging, so spelt as if a past participial 
form, like drawn (from A. S. dragan), 
sawn, horn, &c. 

Dawyn', Auroro ; Dayyn', or wexyn day 
(^dawyn), Diesco.- — Prompt. Pai-vulorum. 

The dayng of day. — Anturs of Arthur, 
xxxvii. (Camden. Soc). 

To dawe as the day dothe, adjourner, I'aube 
se crieve. — Palsgrave, 1530. 

In his bed ther dawelh him no day. 

Chaucer, The Knightes Tale, 1. 1678. 

Hii come to her felawes in dawynge. — 
Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 208 (ed. 

Bi nihte ine winter, ine sumer ij>e 
dawitnge. — Ancren Riwk (ab. 1225), p. 20. 
When )je dawande day dryStyn con sende. 

Alliterative Poems (14th cent.), C. 

Dat-beeey, a provincial name for 
the wild gooseberry (Courtney, W. 
Oorwwall Olossa/ry), is undoubtedly a 
corruption of its common popular name 
thape, or theabe, + herry, the ^ or & 
being merged in the ensuing h, so that 
the word became tha'-herry, and then 

Day-nettle, a north country name 
of the plant galeopsis tetrahit, is for 
deye-nettle, i.e. the nettle injurious to 
lahowrers, old Eng. deyes, whom it is 
believed to affect with whitlows. — 
Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant- 
Names, pp. 140, 150. 


( 94 ) 


Day-woman occurs in Shakespeare 
for a servant whom we would now call 
a dairy-maid, Perthshire dey. 

She is allowed for the day-woman. 
Love's Labour's Lost, i. 2. 1. 137. 

Bey-wyfe occurs in Palsgrave (1530), 
deye in Chaucer and Prompt. Parvulo- 
rum (c. 1440), with the same meaning. 
Compare Swed. deja, a dairy-maid, 
Icel. deigja. Bcdry, the place where 
she pursues her occupation (O. Eng, 
deyrye) stands to dey, as fairy {f eerie) 
does to fay, huttery {i.e. hutlery) to 
hutler. Bay-limise for dairy still is 
found in S. W. counties of England. 
It is this word day or dey, in the 
general sense of maid, that occurs in 
la-dy, A. Sax. hlcef-dige, the "loaf- 
• maid." It is generally understood to 
be the " kneader," connected with 
Goth, deigan, to knead. But it is never 
applied except to a female, and seems 
to mean specifically a "milk-maid," 
not a baker. Cf. Hindustani, ddi, a 
mUk-nurse, " Lucy and her Daj/." Cf. 
Prov. Ger. daiern, to fatten a calf with 
milk (WestphaUan); and Dan. die, milk, 
the breast, gi/ve die, to suckle, diehroder, 

His daye \>e is his whore awlenc<5 hire mid 
clones [The maid that is his whore he adorns 
with clothes]. — Old Eng. HomiUes,i2ih cent. 
2nd ser. p. 168. 

The goodnesse of the earth abounding with 
deries and pasture. — Fuller, Worthies, vol. ii. 
p. 1. 

The dey, or farmwoman, entered with her 
pitchers, to deliver the milk for the family. — 
Scott, Fair Maid of Perth, ch. xxxii. vol. v. p. 
329, ed. 1857. [Deyiuoman occurs a few lines 

Deadman's Day, an East Anglian 
name for the 20th of November, St. 
Edmund's Bay (E. D. Soc. reprints, 
B. 20), of whicla it is evidently a cor- 
ruption, 't Edrmm's day. Cf. Tantlins 
for 8t. AntJwUns, Tails for 8t. mi's, 
Tanns for 8t. Ann's, Tooley for 8i. 

Deae me 1 a vulgar exclamation of 
mild surprise, is supposed to be a cor- 
ruption of It. Bio miol It is rather 
from Fr. Biev, me (aide), old Fr. madia ! 
Similar is the exclamation in the Alex- 
ander Romance madeus! which stands 
for m'aide Beus ! (0. Fr. Beus, God. — 
W. W. S.) In Irish fiadha is " good 
God," "a testimony," and fiadh is a 

" deer," but this is no more than a 

Madia, In good sooth; as true as I \m- 
or (instead of Ce m'ait Di^u) So God help 
me. — Cotgrave. 

Deary me ! Deary me ! forgive me, good m, 
but tliis yance, I'll steal naa maar. — W. Hut- 
ton, A Bran New Wark, 1. 343 (E.D.S.). 

My informant Jack did'nt seem quite ao 
sanguine as the clergyman, for he uttered 
that truly Northumbrian ejaculation, "Bear 
kens ! " in a highly interrogative manner.— 
N. and Q. in Dyer, Eng. Folklore, p. 225. 
Then did ideas dance (dear safe ua !) 
As they'd been daft. 

A. Ramsay, Epistle to Arbuckle, 1719. 

" Dear help you ! " " Dear love you ! " are 
in use in N. Ireland (Patterson, E. D. S.). 

Debentuee, a bond in acknowledg- 
ment of moneys owing, is an altered 
form of delentwr {Blount, Bacon), 
" There are due," the first words of a 
bond written in Latin. Cf. iAel, he 
owes, credit, he trusts, tenet, he holds. 

It has been assimilated to temnf, 
censure, enclosure, and many other 
words in -ure, Lat. -v/)-a. 
Father John Burges,/ Necessity urges 
My woeful cry/ To Sir Robert Pie : 
And that he will venture/ To send my dehm- 

B. Jonson, Underwoods, Ixxv. 

Deck, in the following passage— 
Thou didst smile. 
Infused with a fortitude fi'om heaven, 
When I have deck'd the sea with di'ops liill 

Tempestj act i. sc. 2. 1. 155— 
is most probably a corruption of the pro- 
vincial word deg, to bedew or sprinkle 
(so Dyoe, Clark, and Wright). Other 
forms of the word are Cleveland (fojj, 
Icel. doggva, Swed. dugva, to bedew, 
and Icel. ddgg, Dan. and Swed. dug, 
Prov. Swed. dagg, zz " dew." 

Decoy, the modem form of the older 
word duch-coy, from the mistaken ana- 
logy of words like devour, decry, deWe, 
depose, denude, deploy, &c. Dwd-coi/s 
or coy-ducks (which occurs in Eush- 
worth's Historical Collections, and is 
the word still in use in N. W. Lincoln- 
shire) are tame ducks trained to entice 
wild-fowl into a net or coy. "Goj, 
a duck decoy." — Holderness dialect, 
E. Yorkshire. See Ooy-duck, Davie!, 
8upp. Eng. Glossary. 

Compare Dutch eende-hooi, "a duck- 
cage," i.e. for catching ducks, and 


( 95 ) 


kooi-eend, a decoy duck; Fr. canar- 
diere; "Decoys seu Duck-coys," Wil- 
lughby, 1676. See Evelyn, Dia/ry, 
Sept. 19, 1641. 

Similarly Fr. enjolei; to wheedle, 
meant etymologioaUy to encage, from 
geole, O. F.Jaiole, a cage. Decoy seems 
generally to have been confomided 
■with 0. Eng. to coy or acoie, to make 
coy or quiet, to tame, to allure (so 
Eiohardson, s.v.). See Haldeman, 
Affixes, p. 56. 

St. Basil says that some in his time did 
sprinkle sweet ointment upon the Wings of 
tame Pigeons, and sent them abroad, like our 
cot) Ducks, to fetch in the wild Flocks that 
tliey might take delight in them, and follow 
them home. — Bp. Racket, Century of Serrmms, 
1675, p. 802 (fol.). 
Women, like me, as ducks in a decoy, 
Swim down a stream, and seem to swim in 

Crabbe, The Parisli Re^ster, Works, 
p. 137 (ed. Murray)! 

Defame, the modern spelling of old 
Eng. diffame, Sp. desfamer, Fr. diffamer. 
It. dAffama/re, Lat. diffamare, to dis- 
fame (like disgrace, dishonour, disfigwre), 
from a false analogy to words such as 
debase, degrade, defend, &c. Bo defer is 
for dif-fer. 

All J^at dijfam£ man or woman wherfor her 
state and her lose is peyred. — J. Myrc, In- 
structions for Parish Priests, p. 22, 1. 708 
(E. E. T. S.;. 

Delice, " The fayre flowre Delice," 
Spenser, The 8hepheards Calender, 
April, 1. 145, so called as if the flower of 
delight (deUce),tflos delicia/rum, is a cor- 
ruption ot fleur-de-Us, the iris. E.K.'s 
comment is, " Flowre deUee that which 
they use to raisterme flowre deluce, 
being in Latin called Flos delitiarum." 
Custarde royall, with a lyoparde of golde 
syttynge therein, and holdynge a Jtoure 
delyce. — Fabuan, Chronicks, 1516, p. 600 
( Ellis's repnnt). 

If sin open her shop of delicacies, Solo- 
mon shews the trap-door and the vault ; 
.... if she discovers, the green and gay 
flowers of delice, he cries to the ingredients 
[= goers in] Latet anguis in herba — The 
serpent lurks there. — T. Adams, The Fatal 
Banquet, Sermons, i. 159. 

Fleur-de-lis itself is said to be a cor- 
ruption oi fkur-de-Louis, from its hav- 
ing been adopted as his badge by Louis 
VII. of France. Compare the old Eng. 
name^wre de luce. 

Cardeno lirio, a Flowre-de-lice, or Flowre- 
de-luce. — Minsheu, Spanish Diet., 1623. 

Bring rich carnations, /ouier-t/e-Zuces, lilies. 
The chequed and purple-ringed daffodillies. 
B.Jonson, Fan s Anniversary, Works, 
p. 6io. 

There is a legendary helief that the twelve 

first Louis signed their names as Lciys, and 

tliat fieur-de-lys is simply a corruption of 

fleur-de-Loi/s. — F. Marshall, Inlernational 

Vanities, p. 200. 

The vj a flour had fond, 
Clepit delice, 

Booke of Precedence, p. 95, 1. 47 
(E. E. T. S.). 

John Birch .... heareth azure three 
Flower deluces. . . . This Flower in Latin 
is called Iris, w'"" word stands also for a 
Rainbow whereto it some what resembleth 
in Colour. Some of the French confound 
this with the Lilly. — T. Dingley, History 
from Marble, p. cli. (Camden Soc). 

And as her Fmit sprung fi'om the Rose and 

(The best of Stems Earth yet did e'er pro- 
Is tied already by a sanguine Race .... 
So may they shoot their youthful Branches 

The surging Seas, and gi'aff' with every shore. 
J. Howell, The Vote or Poem-Royal, 
II est certain que, ni en pierre, ni en metal, 
ni sur les medailles, ni sur les sceaux, on ne 
trouve aucun vestige veritable defleurs de lis 
avant Louis le Jeune ; c'est sous son regne, 
vers 1147, que I'ecu de France commenya 
d'en etre seme. — Saint Foix, Ess. Hist. Paris, 
(Euvres, tom. iv. p. 107. 

A further corruption seems to have 
resulted from a misunderstanding of 
flower-de-luce as "flower of light," 
flos luais, with some reference perhaps 
to its name Iris, in Greek ourania, 
which denotes also the heavenly bow 
or rainbow (Gerarde, Herhall, p. 50). 

The azure fields of heau'n wear 'sembled 

In a large round, set with the_;?oiij'r5 of light, 
Ihejiow'rs-de-luce, and the round sparks of 

That hung vpon the azure leaues, did shew. 
Like twinkling Starrs, that sparkle in th' 
eau'ning blew. 
Giles Fletcher, Christ's Victorie on Earth, 
42 (1610). 

A lily of a day 

Is fairer far, in May, 
Although it fall and die that night ; 
It was the plant and flower of light. 
B. Jonson, Underwoods, Ixxxvii. 3. 


( 96 ) 


Dbmain, J also formerly demean, an 
Demesne, S estate, lands pertaining 
to a naanor-house, so spelt as if con- 
nected with old Eng. demain, demene, 
to manage, Fr. demener, and meant to 
denote those lands which a lord of a 
manor holds in his own hands (BaUey), 
in his demain, management, or control ; 
just as, according to Chaucer, Alexander 
All this world welded in his demaine. 
The Monkes Tale, 1. 14583 (ed. Tyrwhitt). 

and so in another place 

His herte was nothing in his own demain. 

Similarly old Fr. demaine, It. de- 
manio (Florio). 

I find one William Stumps .... bought 
of him the demeans of Malmesbury Abbey 
for fifteen hundred pound two shillings and 
a halfpenny. — T. iuller, Worthies, Tol. ii. 
p. 452 (ed. 1811). 

These are all corruptions of the cor- 
rect form domcuin, Fr. domaine. It. do- 
minio, Lat. dominium, a lordship or 
domimon. Milton speaks of Eome's 

Wide domain, 
In ample territory, wealth, and power. 

Paradise Regained, iv. 81. 

Domaine, A demaine, a mans patrimony or 
inheritance, proper and hereditary posses- 
sions, those whereof he ia the right or ti'ue 
Lord l^dominus']. — Cotgrave. 

Domanium properly signifies the King's 
land in France, appertaining to him in pro- 
perty. . . Thedomams of the Crown are held 
of the King, who is absolute lord, having 
proper dominion. — Wood, Institutes, p. 139 
(In Latham). 

licmains . . are the lord's chief manor-place 
with the lands thereto belonging, terr<B domi- 
nicales.—Blount (Latham). 

The spelling demesne is owing to an 
idea that these were lands held in 
mesne, an old law term, by a mesne 
lord. Speknan says " Bonvinicam is a 
forensic word . . in Enghsh the De- 
mcuine, which some write wrongly De- 
meane and Demesne, as if it were sprung 
from Fr. de mesne, i.e. peculiar to one- 
self, and not from Lat. dominicum" 
[Glossary, 1626, p. 224). 
A gentleman of noble parentage. 
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly trained. 

Shakespeare, liomeo and Ju/ie(, iii. 5, 181. 

Demean, often used in the sense to 
lower, degrade, or make mean, as " I 
wouldn't demean myseK to speak to 
him," is a modern and popular per- 
version of the verb demeam, to cbmport 
or behave oneself, Fr. se dim^ner. 

whence demeanov/r. It has no con- 
nexion with mean, low, base, A. Sax. 
mcene. "Yours as you demean your- 
self " was the phrase with which Queen 
Elizabeth sometimes concluded her 
Be you so valiant as ye say, & of so greate 

That so great ioye demeaneth, Of what coatr6 

be yet 
Debute between Somer and Wynter, 1. 8. 

See, sir, thus far 
We have demeaned fairly, like ourselves. 
Heywood and Rowley, Fortune by Land 
and Sea, p. 19 (Shaks. Soc.) 

An Holy Scripture does not demean itself, 
nor exhaust itself on matters alien to its very 
highest purpose, when it largely occupies 
itself herein. — Abp. Trench, S. Augustine as 
an Interpreter, ch. iv. 

Demi- John, a large wicker- cased bot- 
tle (compare " black- Jack "), anciently 
damajan. It is a corruption of the 
Arabic damagan, which came from the 
Persian glass-making town of Dama- 
ghan (Tylor). It is sometimes called 
a Jemmy-Jolm [Slang Did.). 

A French corruption of the same is 
dam^-Jeawne, which MM. Littre and 
Devic deduce from the Arabic (in theu 
transhteration) danidjana, a large glass 

It. damigiana, as if " a young lady" 
(Busk, Folklore of Borne, p. 364). 

Denize, \ an old verb for to natura- 
Dennize, ) hze (Hohnshed), evolved 
out of the word denizen, a naturalized 
citizen, O. Pr. denzein, or deine-ein, 
" one within," from 0. Fr. deinz {— 
dans, Lat. de intus, within), opp. to /or- 
ein, "one without." Formed on the 
model oinaiwalize, dmUze, pretty much 
as if citize were formed out of citizen. 

Dent, the mark left by a blow, a less 
correct spelling of dint, A. Sax. dyrd, 
Icel. dyntr, dytir, as if an in-dent-ed 
mark, an in-dewi-ation, or notch made 
by a tooth (Lat. den(t)-s). Cf. "i)«»« 
(of Dens), a notch about the Edges," 
" in Heraldry of an outline notched in 
and out." — Bailey; "Denfi/n'.orynden- 
tyn', Indento." — Prompt. Fan. 

J>e lif sone he les- J)at lauSt ani dint. 

William ofPalerne, 1. 1234 (1350) 
(ed. Skeat). 
Now made a pretty history to herself ' ,» 
Of every dint a sword had beaten in it. 
Tennyson, 'Elaine, 1. 19' 


( 97 ) 


Descey, to spy out, as if to (yry out 
on disoovering somethmg that has been 
looked for (of. Fr. descrier, to cry down, 
decry, and Lat. explorare, to search a 
wood, &c. with cries), is according to 
Prof. Skeat merely a shortened spelling 
of O. Fr. descrire, to describe, Lat. 
desarihere. Cf. 0. Eng. discryve. 

A maundement went out fro Cesai August 
that al the world schulde be dkcryiied. — 
Wycliffe, S. Luke, ii. 1 (1389). 

J>us sal dede visite ilk man. 
And yhit na man disciyue it can. 
Hampntej Pricke of Conscience, 1. 1897. 

Descrihe was formerly used in its 
Latin sense "to mark or trace out" 
(Wright and Eastwood, Bible Word- 
book), as we still say " to describe a 
cu'ole ; " whence the meaning to mark 
or observe. The identity of the words 
descry and describe was soon forgotten. 
Thus hath my pen described, and descrifd, 
Sinne with his seuen heads of seauen deadly 
J. Lane, Tom Tel-Troths Message, 1600, 
1. 704(Shaks. Soc). 
I described his way 
Bent all on speed and mark d his aery gait. 
Milton, Par. Lost, iv. 567. 
Ye shall therefore describe the land into 
seven parts. — A. V. Joshua, xviii. 6. 

Who hath descried the number of the foe? 
Shakespeare, Rich. 111. v. 3. 
If thou, my sone, canst descrive 
This tale, as Crist him self it tolde, 
Thou shalt have caase to beholde. 

Gower, Conf, Amantis, vol. iii. p. 38 
(ed. Pauli). 
Ho coujre kyndeliche" with colour discriue, 
Yf alle i>e worlde were whif o)jer swan-whit 
aile >ynges? 

Lungland, Vision of P. Plowman, 
C. xxi. 1. 215. 
In that tyme that Octavianus was Em- 
peroure of Rome ... he sent oute a com- 
maundement to discrie all the world : . , and 
this discroying was made frist [by] Cyrinus 
that then was bisshop of Cyrie. — Legend of 
the Three Kings ( Chester Plays, p. 271, Shaks. 

Deuce, a common expression ap- 
parently equivalent to the devil, as in 
" The deuoe ! " " The deuce and all ! " 
" It is deuced hard luck ; " cf. " Buce 
take you, i.e. the Devil, or an evU spirit, 
take you I " (Bailey), as if identical with 
deuce, the two of dice, taken as a syno- 
nym of bad luck. Similarly Ger. daus 
= (1) deuce at cards, (2) the dickens I 

In the mystical doctrine of numbers 

two has always been considered un- 
lucky as being the first of the series of 
even numbers. The Pythagoreans re- 
garded the unit as the good principle, 
the d^ad as the evU one ("Wilkinson. 
And. Egypt, vol. ii. p. 496, ed. Birch), 

The Number of Two. 
God hates the duall number; being known 

The lucklesse number of division : 
And when He blest each sey'rall day, whereon 

He did His curious operation ; 
'Tis never read there, as the fathers say, 
God blest His work done on the second day. 
Herrick, Noble Numbers, Poems, p. 423 
(ed. Hazlitt). 
Men therefore deem 
That equal numbers gods do not esteem. 
Being authors of sweet peace and unity, 
But pleasing to th' infernal empery, 
Under whose ensigns Wars and Discords fight. 
Since an even number you may disunite 
In two parts equal, naught in middle left 
To reunite each pait from other reft. 

C. Marloioe, Hero and Leander, Works, 
p. 303, ed. 1865. 

The exclamation Deus! occurs fre- 
quently in Haveloh the Dane (ab. 1280), 
as "Deus!" quoth ubbe, "hwat may 
Ks be ? " 1. 2096. Sir F. Madden and 
Prof. Skeat think this is merely Lat. 
Deus I God I naturaUzed in Norman 

There is no doubt, however, that duce. 
Low Lat. ductus, dnisius, was an old 
word for some demon, spectre, or bogie, 

Bugge, or buglarde, Maurus, Ducius, — 
Prompt. Paronlorum, 1440. 

Thyrce, wykkyd spyryte, Ducius.— Id. 

To this, says Mr. Way, the origin of 
the vulgar term, the deuce, is evidently 
to be traced. 

Certaine deuills whome the Frenchmen 
call Duties [quos dusios Galli nuncupant] , doe 
continually practise this yncleannesse and 
tempt others to it, which is affirmed by such 
persons, and with such confidence that it 
were impudence to denie it. — S. Augustine of 
the City of God (xv. 23) Englished by J. H. 
1620, p. 561. 

Devil, as a term in cookery, " to 
devil a fowl," " devilled bones," to broU 
■with, abundance of pepper, &o., was 
perhaps originally to divel, i.e. to dis- 
member, or tear asunder the wings, 
legs, &c. as preparatory to cooking, 
Latin di-vellere. But query ? 

"Devil" (z: Satan), it may be ob- 
served, in old writers, such as Bishop 
Andrewes, is commonly spelt dn/vel. 



( 98 ) 


Dew-beeby, the rubus ccbsvus, is 
properly the dove-henry, so called from 
the colour of its fruit, Ger. tauhen-heere, 
Norw. col-hdr; from A. Sax. dMita, Dut. 
dwif, a dove (Prior). Cf. Bav. taub-ber, 
dove-berry (Wedgwood). 

Dewlap. This word has generally 
been explained as meaning the pendii- 
lous part of the neck of a cow, which 
seems to lap or lick the deiv 1 (see 
Eichardson, s.v.). 

It is the same word as Dan. doglcep, 
where dog, is a distinct word from dug, 
dew, and IcBp is a pendulous fleshy part, 
a lobe. The Swedish is drog-lapp, which 
seems to be the original form, and to 
mean the trailing lobe or lappet of flesh, 
from diraga, to drag, trail, or sweep 
along the ground (cf. drog, a dray or 
sledge). So Icel. dogUngr, a draggle- 
tail, seems to be for droglingr. An 
old Eng. name for the same is frcet- 
Iwppa (Vocabulary, 10th cent., Wright, 
p. 54). 

Here thou "behold'st thy large sleek neat 

Unto the dew-Laps up in meat. 

Herrick, Hesperides, Poems, i. 247 
(ed. Hazlitt). 
The vnotious duhpps of a snayle. 

Id. n. 472. 

Dewsiers, a Wiltshire word for " the 
valves of a pig's heart always cut off 
and thrown away" (E. D. Soc. Re- 
printed Olossa/ries, B. 19), which has 
been regarded as a corruption of Jew's 
ears (Grose), — Jew's ears being actually 
the name of a worthless fungus, — can 
scarcely be other than a perverted form 
of old Fr. jusier, Wallon jugie, Mod. 
Fr. gesier (Lat. gigerium), the entrails 
of a fowl, especially the gizzard. In 
old English giserne was synonymous 
with gwrbage (Prompt. Parvuloruni). 

Dickens ! or The Bichins (tahe it) ! 
This vulgar exclamation must be the 
same, Dr. Jamieson remarked, as the 
Scotch daihins ! of simUar import, and 
this for ddlkin or deelkin, i.e. demlkin, 
the I, as so often, being silent. 
And of every handful! that he met 

He lept ouer fotes thre : 
" What devilkyns draper," sayd litell Much, 

" Thynkyst thou to he ? " 

A LyteU Geste ofRobyn Hode, 1. 292 (Child't 
Bailads, V. 57). 

I cannot tell what the dickens his name is 
my husband had him of. — Shakespeare, Merry 
Wives of Windsor, iii. 1. I. 20. 

Diddle, to cajole or cheat one out of 
anything, is an assimilation to fiddle, 
piddle, to trifle, &c., of didder, old Eng, 
dyder, A. Sax. dyder-ian, dyd/rian, to 
deceive. Ettmiiller connects with this 
Dut. dodderig, and Eng. "dodge" 
(Lex. Ang.-Sax. p. 562). 

Diek's cordial, an old name for an 
apothecary's electuary, is a corruption 
of Biascordivm,. — Skinner, Prehgom, 

Diet, a dehberative assembly, Low 
Lat. dieta, as if derived from dies, the 
day of assembly, like the German words 
Land-tag, Peichs-tag. 

Cf. dieta, a day's work or journey 
(Spehnan, Bailey). 

It is, however, as Lord Strangford 
has pointed out (Letters and Papers, p. 
172), the same word as A. Sax. thM, 
a nation, Goth. tJiiuda, Ir. tuath, Obcm 
tuta, Umbrian tota, Lith. tauta, whence 
A. Sax. theodiso, O.H.G. diwtish, Ger. 
deutsch, " Dutch." Or the word may 
not improbably have been assimilated 
to Lat. diceta, Gk. diaita, way of Hving, 
arbitration, whence comes " diet," a 
prescribed regimen of food. 

DiocEss, a mis-spelling of dieoese 
(Greek dioihesis), from a false analogy 
to such words as recess, excess, abscess, 
&c., for which The Times newspaper is 
generally held responsible, is found re- 
peatedly in the anonymous Life ojBf. 
Frampton, who was deprived in 1689, 
e.g. "He came to reside in his own 
diocess wholly," p. 129 (ed. T. S. 
Evans). Dr. South also speUs it so, 
and Cotgrave, s. v. Diocese. 

That apperteynithe to the ordinaries in 
whos diocesH ther said churchis bee in.— 
Warham, 1525, Ellis, Orig. Letters, ser. 3rd, 
vol. ii. p. 36. 

Dischorde, an old spelling oidascmi, 
as if from dis and ehorde (chords not 
in unison), instead of from dAs and cc/ft 
(hea/rts at variance) ; cf. 0. Fr. descorder, 
to quarrel. 

Oftentimes a dischorde in Musiok maketh » 
comely concordaunce. — E. K(irke), Ep- to 
Gabriel Harvey, prefixed to The Shepheiirds 

In the seventh century the Sevillian guitar 
was shaped like the human breast, because, as 
archbishops said, the chords signified the pul- 
sation of the heart, d corde. The instrumenU 
of the Andalucian Moors were strung after 
these significant heartstrings — pne string 


( 99 ) 


being bright red, to represent blood, anotber 
yellow, to indicate bile, &c. — Ford, Gatherings 
from Sp.iin, p. 333. 

Similarly accord, notwithstanding ac- 
cordion, and concord in music, are not 
derivatives of chord (Greek chm-de, 
whence Fr. corde, "cord"), but of 
cm-[d)s, the heart. 

Heart ■with heart in concord beats, 
And the lover is beloved. 


DiSHLAGo, 1 North country words 
DiSHYLAGiB, J for the plant colt's- 

foot, are corruptions of its Latin name 


DiSTKAUGHT Is an incorrect assimi- 
lation of distract, e.g. " The fellow is 
distract" (Oom. of EiTors, iv. 3 =:Lat. 
dia-tractus, dragged asunder, confused, 
deranged ; 0. Bng. destrat), to raught, 
the old p. parte, of reach (like tatight, 
&c.). Similarly Shakespeare has ex- 
traughtior extract:=:extracted: "Sham'st 
thou not, knowing whence thou art ex- 
traught:'~3Hen. VI. ii. 2. 1. 142. The 
Latin past parte, was frequently adopted 
into English, e.g. afycte (::: afflicted), 
Rogers; acquit, expiate (Shakespeare); 
compact (id.); captivate (Hammond); 
consecrate, confuse (Chaiicer) ; complicate 
(Young) ; exalt (Keats), &c. 

As if thou wert distraught and mad with 
Shakespeare, Richard III. iii. 5, 1. 4. 

Ere into his hellish den he raught . . . 

She sent an arrow forth with mighty draught, 

That in the very dore him overcaught, . . . 

His greedy throte, therewith in two dis- 
Spenser, Faerie Queene, IV. vii. 31. 

With present feare and future griefe dis- 
G. Fletcher, Christs Trivmph over Death, 
44 (1610). 

Do when used in sundry idiomatic 
phrases, in the sense of to avail, profit, 
thrive, prosper, suffice (Lat. prodesse, 
valere), is a distinct verb altogether 
from cfo (^zfacere), A. Sax. ddn (Dut. 
doen, Ger. thun), being the modernized 
form of old Eng. dow, to avail, Prov. 
Eng. and Scotch dow, to be able, to 
profit, to thrive, A. Sax. dugan, to pro- 
fit, help, be good for ; and near akin to 
Dutch deugen, Swed. duga, Dan. due, 
Ger. taugen, O. H. Ger. tugan, Icel. 
duga, to help, be strong, sufiice. 

Such phrases are, " That will do,"::z 

That win suffice (Jam satis eat) ; "This 
will never do," Jeffrey's rash and time- 
confuted dictum, meaning, This poetry 
will never succeed, thrive, or be good 
for anything ; " If he sleep, he will do 
well " (John xi. 12), i.e. He will thrive, 
or recover (A. Sax. version, he hy}> hal, 
Greek aoi9n<TETai). The Cleveland folk 
say of a patient who lingers long, " He 
nowther dees nor dows." Other York- 
shire phrases are, " March grows, never 
dows," meaning early blossoms never 
tlirive, and " He'll never dow, egg nor 
bird " (Atkinson, Cleveland Glossary, 
p. 150). 

Dugan is also found in old Eng. with 
the meaning to suit or become, e.g. " as 
Drihtin deah " {Legend of 8. Katherine, 
p. 99), " as it becometh a lord." We still 
say, " that will do very well for him " 

We find the two verbs, do ( = faoere) 
and do [dow zz valere), side by side in 
our familiar greeting, "How do you do 
(cfoiu) ? (Quomodo valetis ?) And in 
this from Cotgrave : " Atrophe. In a 
consumption, one with whom his meat 
doives [= prodest] not, or to whom it 
does [=facit] no good." Corapare 
also the following : — 
And now he gaes daundi'in' aboot the dykes, 
And a' he dow do is to hund the tykes [^ 
valet facere] . 
Lady Bailiie, Were na mil Heart Licht 
I wad Dee. 

" No5t dowed bot f>e deth' in pe depe 
stremej." — Alliterative Poems (ab. 
1360), Tlie Deluge, 1. 374 (ed. Morris), 
i.e. nought prevailed but death. So 
douthe =z dowed (availed), in Havelok 
the Dane, U. 703, 833. 
Some swagger hame, the best they dow, [ ^ 
are able] 

Some wait the afternoon. 
Burns, The Holy Fair (Globe ed.), p. 19. 

A' the men o' the Mearns downs, do mair 
than they dow.— Scott, The Black Dwarf. 

Of the same origin are doughty, old 
Eng. dohty, A. Sax. dyhtig, Dan. dyg- 
tig, Swed. dugtig, Ger. tiichtig, mighty, 
able; A. Sax. diigui, Ger. tugend, 
valour, virtue, &c. 

As instances of the confusion between 
the two words, compare such phrases 
as "It did admirably" (for O. Eng. 
douthe, availed), " I have done very 
well " (for 0. E. ydought, fared, pros- 


( 100 ) 


Dog, a provincial word for a small 
pitcher (Wright), is prohably the same 
word as Ital. ihga, " a wooden vessell 
made of dsale or harreU-boards " 
(Plorio), L. Lat. doga, a vessel, de- 
rived from Gk. doche, a receptacle. 

Dog cheap, which has generally been 
supposed to be a perversion of the old 
■phrase good-cheap, "god-kepe" in Man- 
deviUe, is really, I believe, a corrup- 
tion of an original dag-cheap, or dagger- 
cheap, i.e. pin-cheap, a phrase used by 
Bishop Andrews. 

But with us it is nothing so ; we esteeme 
faiTe more basely of ourselves : wee set our 
wares at a very easie price, he [the devil] 
may buy us even dagger-cheape, as we say. — 
Seven Sermons on the Wondsrfull Combate be- 
tween Christ and Sathan, p. 51 (1642). 

" I do not set my life at a pin's fee," 
says Hamlet (act i. so. 4). In colloquial 
phi'ase, he held it dagger-cheap or dog- 

Honour is sould soe dog-cheap now. 
ButUid on the Order for muking Knights, 
temp..}^ames I. 

So dog would be another form of old 
Eng. dagge, It. and Sp. daga, A. Sax. 
dale, dole, Ger. dolch, a dagger, or sharp 
instrument for piercing, Icel. ddlkr, . a 
pin, O. North Runic dalca, and cognate 
with Scot, dlrh or dm-k, Gael. dMrc, a 
poniard, Ir. dealg, a pin, a thorn, a 
skewer, Dan. dollc. In Prov. English 
dauk is to prick or stab (compare Dog- 
wood, i.e. dag-wood, so called from 
skewers being made of it). Bale or dole, 
according to Bosworth, denotes a toy or 
trifle, as well as a brooch or buckle ; so 
that dale-cheap, pronounced dazvlc- 
cheap, would accord well, both in sound 
and meaning, with dog-cheap. 

With the above we may compare 
picksworth, a Scotch word for a thing 
of the slightest value — prick being a 
pin, or skewer ; and ' ' no worth a prein- 
head," an expression for anything not 
valued at the head of a prein or preen, a 

" Alle Jjeos )jinges somed . . ne beo8 
nout wur^ a nelde," — AU these things 
together are not worth a needle, — occurs 
in the Anaren Biwle (ab. 1225), p. 400 
(Camden Soc). 

However, Prof. Skeat identifies this 
atfix with Prov. Swed. dog :z: very, 
Platt-Deutsch dSger, very much. 

I have bought seven hundred books at a 
purchase, dog-cheap — and many good — and I 
have been a week getting them set up in my 
best room here. — Sterne, Letters, xvii. 1761. 

Daggar, an old term for the dog iish 
(Smyth, Sailor's Word-look), presents 
a close parallel to dagger- and dog- 
cheap. Dog-stone, a name of the plant 
orcMs mascula, is spelt dag-stone ia 
Holme's Acadenvy of Armory, vol. ii. 
p. 56. 

It is, notwithstanding, quite possible 
there may have been some such phrase 
as "As cheap as a dog." Shakespeare 
has "As dank as a dog" (1 Ee%. 
IV. ii. 1), on which Dyoe (Sjemarh, 
&c., p. 105) appropriately quotes from 
the Water Poet : — 

Many pretty ridiculous aspersions are cast 
vpon Dogges, so that it would make a Dogge 
laugh to heare and vnderstand them : As I 
haue heard a Man say, I am as hot as a 
Dogge, or, as cold as a Dogge ; I sweat like 
a Dogge (when indeed a Dog never sweates), 
as drunke as a Dogge, hee swore like a 
Dogge ; and one told a Man once, That his 
Wife was not to be beleev'd, for shee would 
lye like a Dogge. — Worhes, The Woridrunnes 
OH Wheeles, p. 232 (1630). 
Thou doggid Cineas, hated like a dogge, 
For still thou grumblest like a masty dogge, 
Compar'st thyself to nothing but a dogge ; 
Thou ."iaith thou art as weary as a dogge. 
As angry, sicke, and hungry as a dogge, 
As dull and melanchoUy as a dogge, 
As lazy, sleepy, idle as a dogge. 

Sir John Davies, Epigrammes, 19. 

An other certain man complaining that he 
was euen doggue wearie, and cleane tiere(i^ 
with goyng a long iourney, Socrates asked, 
&c. — N. tjdaU, Apnphthegmes of ^-asmmy. 
(1542), p. 8, ed. 1877. ' 

There is a Scotch expression dcg- 
thick, meaning as intimate, or thick, as 
two dogs. 

Dog-fish was originally the dog-fish, 
or dagga/r-fish ; at least, Gotgrave gives 
agvdllat, a kind of dog-fish " that hath 
tivo sharp and strong prickles on Iwr 
hack, and thereof may be termed (as 
she i^ by the Germans) a Thorn-hound" 
[? DornhuUe] . It may be from these 
prickles, or dags, Pr. agwlles, that the 
fish got its name. Compare agiMh, a 
needle, also a long small fish, called a 
Hornback (Gotgrave). 

Dogged, sullen, morose, obstinate, 
can scarcely be a derivative of dog, as 
we never say that a person resembling 


( 101 ) 


a sheep, or pig, or swine in disposition 
is sheeped, or pigged, or swLtied, but 
sheepish, piggish, swinish. The older 
signification was somewhat different. 

DnggydSy malycyowse. Maliciosus, per- 
versus, bilosus. — Prompt. Fat-vuhiwn (ab. 

It is probably the same word, 
radically, as Scotch dodgie, irritable, 
bad-tempered, dudgeon, ill-temper, 
suUenness, formerly spelt dogion 
(Nares), Welsh dygen, grudge, malice, 
dueg, melancholy, spleen (Spurrell). 
Cf. Fr. doguin, brutal, quarrelsome 
(Roquefort), Wallon dogtier, to butt or 

The fals wolf stode behind ; 
He was doggid and ek felle. 

PoUticut Songs (temp. Edward I.), p. 199 
(Camaen Soc. ). 

Wiltshire folk use the word as rr 
very, exceedingly, e.g. "dogged cute" 

Do&OEREL, } " pitiful poetry, paltry 
DoGGKEL, S verses " (Bailey), as if 
rime de c/iiem(Tyrwhitt), has been con- 
nected with G-er. dichier, a poet (Hal- 
deman, Afices, p. 209) ; cf. dichterling , 
a poetaster, Flemish dichtregel, verse 
(Olinger). This is quite conjectural. 
Compare Icel. grey-ligr, paltry, from 
grey, a dog. 

Here is a gallimaufrie of all sorts . . . and 
Clownes plaine Dunstable dogrelt to make 
them lau^n. — The Cobler of Canterbime, Ep. 
to Readers, 1608. 

Dogs, an Essex word for the dew, is 
a corruption of dag. See Deck. 

Dog-sleep, an expression used in 
Ireland for a light slumber easily 
broken, might be conjecturally identi- 
fied with the Icelandic phrase " a* sitja 
upp viS dogg," to rechne upon a high 
pillow, to he half erect in bed, where 
dogg seems to be a pillow (Cleasby, 
p. 101). 

Dogwood, the cornus sangidnea, has 
been supposed to derive its name from 
its unfitness for a dog to eat 1 (Parkin- 
son), or from its astringent bark being 
medicinal in the case of dogs (F. G. 
Heath, Ov/r Woodland Trees, p. 487), 
especially mangy dogs (Sat. Review, 
vol. xlvi. p. 605). 

The word was, without doubt, origi- 
nally dag-wood, the wood that skewers 

were made of, old Eng. dagge, A. Sax. 
dale (see Dog-oheap). Compare its 
other names — Prick-wood {prich being 
an old word for a butcher's skewer), 
8hewer-wood, and Gad-rise (i.e. A. S. 
gad, a goad, and Jms, a rod). — Prior. 
So dog-wool, coarse wool (Bailey, s. v. 
Cottum) is for dag-wool. 

Cornus. Kpavei'a. Cormier, cornier, corneil- 
lier. The wilde cherrie tree : the dog-tree : 
the tree of the wood whereof batchers muke 
their pricks. — NomencUUor. 

Compare such names as Spindle- 
tree, Ger. Spindelhaum, pirmlioUz, It. 
fusaggine, Ger. nadelholtz, pfriemhraut. 

The dog-rose is a translation of Lat. 
rosa canina, so called apparently be- 
cause the root of a wild rose was a 
" sure and Soueraigne remedy for them 
that are' bitten with a mad dog." — 
Holland, PUnys Nat. Hist., vol. i. p. 
220 (1634). 

Doll would seem to be a shortened 
form of Scotch dally, a girl's puppet, 
O. Eng. daly, a plaything, a die (zr Lat. 
talus), Eng. dally, to trifle, or play. 
Thus Morison speaks of a vain woman, 
" Wha's like a dally drawn on delf or 
china-ware " (Jamieson). Prof. Skeat 
further compares 0. Dut. dol, a whip- 
ping-top, Dut. dollen, to sport, dol, mad 
(Etym. Diet., s.v.). The probability is, 
however, that doll is just Doll, the 
shortened and familiar form of Do- 
rothy, a typical female name (as Moll 
(Mai) of Mary, Hal of Hixr-ry). In 
Scottish doroty is a doll, and a very 
small woman. Compare Fr. mario- 
nette, a puppet, orig. little Marion, 
Mary, or Molly (Cotgrave, Diez), and 

Bichardson notes that in Cooper's 
Lat. Diet. 1573, "O httle pretie Doll 
polle" [i.e. Dorothy Mary] is the ren- 
dering of capitttlum lepidissimiim. 
The old name for these playthings was 
habies or poppets. For similar appli- 
cations of proper names to famihar ob- 
jects or utensils, cf. Prov. Eng. dolly, a 
washing beetle or chum dash ; ietty, a 
clothes drainer (Northampt.) ; ma/akin 
(i.e. Mal-kin, httle Molly), a baker's 
mop ; peggy, a night hght (Lincoln.) ; 
thomasin, or tamsin, a frame for airing 
linen (Kent) ; spinning-Zewwi/, Jenny- 
quiek, an Italian iron (Devon.), roast- 
iag-Jaok, &c. 

DOLLY OIL ( 102 ) 


Mr. Henry Morley, in his Memoirs 
of Ba/rtholomew Fair, says: — 

Dolls, now so dear to all young daughters 
of England were not known by that name 
before the reign of William and Al ary . . . . 
Fewer dolls certainly were nursed ; and of 
these the Bartholomew Babies, elegantly 
dressed and carefully packed in boxes, seem 
to have been regarded as the best. In 
Nabbes' comedy of "Tottenham Court" 
(1638) this phrase occurs, "I have packed 
her up in't, like a Bartholomew Baby in a 
box. I warrant you for hurting htr." Poor 
Robin's Almanac for 1695 says, " It also tells 
farmers what manner of wife they shall 
choose : not one trickt up with ribbens and 
knots like a Bartholomew baby." . . W hen 
some popular toyman, who might have called 
his babies pretty Sues or Molls or Polls, 
cried diligently to the ladies who sought fair- 
ings for tLeu- children, " Buy a pretty UoH " 
(it was at a time too when tlie toy babies were 
coming more and more into demand), the con- 
quest of a clumsiness was recognized. Mo- 
thers applied for dolls to the men at the stalls, 
and, ere long, by all the sralls and toybooths 
the new cry of " Pretty Doll " was taken up. 
We have good reason to be tolerably certain 
that Bartholomew Fair gave its familiar name 
to a plaything now cherished in every English 
nursery. — pp. 259, 260, ch. xvii. 

Doll has often been regarded as a 
mutilated form oiidol {e.g. Todhunter, 
Account of Dr. Wm. Whewell, i. 63), 
Uke, d/ropsy, from O. E. ydropsy ; and it 
is observable that when Spenser 

All as a poore pedler he did wend. 
Bearing a trusse of tryfles, at hys backe, 
As bells, and babes, and glasses, in hys packe. 
Shepkeards Calender, Maye — 
E. K.'s gloss is, " By such trifles are 
noted, the reliques and ragges of popish 
superstition, which put no smal rehgion 
in Belles, and Babies, s [cU.] Idoles . . 
and such lyke trumperies" (Spenser, 
Worhs, p. 463, Globe ed.). 

Dolly oil, the same as eel-dolly, a 
Scotch term for oil, is a corruption of 
Er. Ividle d'olive (Jamieson). 

Dolly-shop, a slang word for a shop 
where stolen property, or goods, are re- 
ceived in pawn, and charged at so much 
per day, is probably a corruption of 
tally-shop, one where a tally — that is, a 
score or account of moneys lent — is 
kept. Of. " talley-man, one who sells 
clothes, &c., to be paid by the week " 

The dolly-shops are essentially pawn-shops, 
and pawn-shops for the very poorest. There 

are many articles which the regular pawn- 
brokers decline to accept as pledges. ... A 
poor person driven to the necessity of raising 
a few pence, and unwilling to part finally 
with his lumber, goes to the dolly-mun, and 
for the merest trifle advanced, deposits one or 
other of the articles I have mentioned. — 
Mayhew, London Labour and London Poor, 
vol. ii. p. 122. 

The true origin of the name being ' 
forgotten, a large black wooden figurej ■; 
or doll, is frequently hung up, as a sign 
over the door of these shops, and from 
this they are supposed by Mayhew to 
have been called. 

Near akin to these caterpillars [pawn- 
brokers] is the unconscionable tatltf-maa. — 
Four J or a Penny, 1678 (Harl. Misc. iv. 

Donjon, I If these be not two dis- 
DuNGBON. < tinct words, it is not easy 
to say which is the original form from 
which the other has taken its rise. 

1. Donjon, a large tower or redoubt 
of a fortress (BaUey), Fr. donjon, don- 
geon, Prov. donjo, is from Low Lat. 
domnio {dominio), a commanding tower 
that dominates all the rest of the build- 
ing (Diez, Wedgwood, Skeat). 

2. Dungeon, a dark, strong-fenced 
place, old Er. doignon, dognon, dan- 
geon, Low Lat. dangio, is from Irish 
daingean, strong, secure, also a strong- 
hold or fort, daingnigim, a fortification 
(so ZeusB, Pictet, Origines, ii. 194, 
Whitley Stokes). In Stokes's Irish 
Ohsses, daiingen explains durus and 
firmus (p. 87). Dangan (a fortress or 
castle), frequently used as a place-name 
in Ireland, is the same word (Joyce, 
Irish Names of Places, i. 295). In the 
" Wars of the Gaedhil," ed. Todd, it is 
said, " They built duns and daingearta" 
(p. 41). 

Dungeon, a dark prison cell, may 
perhaps be a result of a popular con- 
fusion of the two words. 
I seigh a towre on a toff trielich ymaked ; 
A depe dale binethe' a dongeon )jere-Inne, 
With depe dyches & derke- and dredful of 

Langlund, Vision of P. Plowman (1377), 
Prol. 1. 16, text B. ed. Skeat. 

"Anon the donge it was for-dit" 
(the dtmgeon it was shut up). — Delate 
hetween Body and Soul, 13th cent. 
1. 286 (Camden Soo. p. 339), where a 
later version has " the dunqoun was 
for-dit " (p. 345). 


( 103 ) 


Vigfusson connects "dungeon"' with 
Icel. dyngja, a lady's bower, the common 
sense being that of a secluded chamber 
in the ianer part of a house or castle 
(Cleasby, Icel. Diet. p. IH). 

DosEBERDE, > a simpleton, as if a 
Dasibekde, J dozing, dazed, person, 
" a dazed beard," is really a degraded 
use of the word dozeper, a nobleman, 
one of the Douze-Fairs, or twelve peers, 
of France (see Le Grand, Fabliaux, 
vol. ii. p. 420). A connexion was 
imagined, apparently, with old Eng. 
dusi, fooUsh, A. Sax. dijsig. Mod. Eng. 
"dizzy," Scot, dosen, to stupify. 
Lygger of Colonye, and al so the dosse pei-s 
Of France were ^ere echon, Jjat so noble were 
and fers. 
Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, p. 188 
(ed. 1810). 
Iherejj nv one lutele tale. Jjat icli eu wille 

telle . . . 
Nis hit nouht of Karlemeyne ne of J>e 
Old Eng. Miscelluny (Monis), p. 37, 1. 3. 
Als he to Cai-lele was conunene, that conque- 

rure kyde, 
Withe dukes and with ducheperes. 

The Awnlyn of Arthiire. 
There is a dossiberde I would dere 
That walkes abrode wild were 
Whoe is his father 1 wotte nere. 

The Chester Plays, vol. i. p. 264 
(Shakspere Soc). 
Durihuccus, fiat neuer openej) his mou>, a 
dasiberde. — Medulla. 

Big looking like a doughty Doucepere 
At last he thus. 

Spenser, Faen£ Queene, III. x. 31. 

Double X, the name given to porter 
or beer of more than ordinary strength, 
as in " Guinness's XX," or "Double X," 
is probably a survival, in a somewhat 
disguised form, of the Lat. word duplex 
(misunderstood as douhle-x), which 
formerly was commonly apphed to such. 
. Thus the Fellows and Postmasters of 
Merton College were forbidden by the 
Statutes to drink cerevisium duplex, or 
strong ale. In Ma/rtini SchookU Liber 
de Gerevisia, 1661, he says there are 
three kinds of EngUsh ale, " Simplex 
cerevisia," which produces the same 
effect as a watery wine; " Potens cere- 
visia," commonly called duplex, which 
warms powerfully, and has the strength 
of potent wine ; and a medium ale, com- 
monly called Trihapennina [? three 
ha'penny], which warms but mode- 

rately. Cap. xxxvii. {Notes and Queries, 
6th S. ii. 523). There is a cm-ious old 
poem, entitled Doctow doubble ale (see 
Darly Pop. Poetry, vol. iii. p. 297, ed. 
HazUtt). Gascoigne mentions " dooble 
dooble beere." 

Had he been master of good double beer. 
My life for his, John Dawson had been here. 
Bp. Corbet, on J. Uauson, Butler of Christ- 
Church (16-18). Poems, p. 208, ed. 1807. 

DoWN-DiNNEE, in the Cleveland dia- 
lect an afternoon meal, is without doubt 
a corruption of the old word aandorn, 
orndorn, orndoorns, undern, a mid-day 
meal, stUl current in N. W. England 
(Atkinson). See Gen-dinnee. 

So " doivn-dinner, a mid-day meal in 
the field." — Holderness, Glossary (Eng. 
Dialect Soc). 

DowNEE, a slang word for sixpence, 
apparently another form of "tanner," 
which, hke " tanny" (Utile), is derived 
from the Gipsy tawno, little. 

Deagonwoet. Dragon here is a cor- 
ruption of Tarragona in Spain, whence 
it comes, says Mr. I. Taylor, Words 
and Places, p. 408, 2nd ed. 

This, however, is quite a mistake. 
It is rather the Eng. name tarragon, 
that is a corruption of dragon, its 
French name, It. dragontea, Lat. dra- 
contium and di-acunculus (see Gerarde, 
Herball, p. 193). Phny calls it d/ragon 
{dracunculus), and says its root " is 
somewhat red, and the same wrythed 
and folded round in manner of a Dra- 
gon, wherupon it took that name " 
(Holland's translation, 1634, vol. ii. 
p. 200). 

Deakb, a popular name for darnel or 
cockle, is a corruption of drawh or 
d/ravicje, Dut. dravig, Welsh Arewg, 
Bret, d^aoh (Prior). 

Deaught (A. V. Matt. xv. 17 ; Mark 
vii. 19) and Draught-house (2 Kings x. 
27), old words for a latrine, or house of 
ofiEice. Draught here is a corruption of 
dn-af, draffe, = faeces, dregs, refuse; dirt, 
which WycUffe spells draft (Ps. xxxix. 
3), Icel. dx-af, A. Sax. dn-tfe, drof. See 
Eastwood and Wright, Bible Word- 
Booh, s. V. 

And wij) \>e Serde J;e wolf he werde , 
Wiji duntes drof him al to draf . 
Legends of the Holy Rood, p. 141, 1. 
(ed. Morris). 



ilang them, or stat them, drown them iu a 
Shakespeare^ Tiinon of Athens^ v. 1. 

There was ... a goddesse of the draught or 
Barton, Anatomii of Melancholy, Pt, 2, 
Sec. 1, Mem. 3. 

The worst of the three is a thick, cloudy, 
misty, fog^gy air, or such as comes from fens, 
moorish grounds, lakes, muckhils, draughts, 
sinks, where any carkasses or carrion lyes. — 
Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, I. 2, ii. 5. 

Deawing-eoom, a meaningless con- 
traction of withd/rcumng-room, a room 
for retiring to after dinner. 

After dinner into a withdrawing-room ; and 
there we talked, among other things, of the 
Lord Mayor's sword. — Pepys, Diary, Sept. 2, 

Debss, in colloquial usage to drub, 
chastise, or beat soundly, as in the 
phrase "to give one a good d/ressing," 
is the same word p,s Prov. Eng. dresli, 
" to thresh," A. Sax. Yersccm, Icel. 
]>resTya, Goth. ]>rishjan, O. H. Ger. 
d/rescan, Ger. d/reschen, Dan. tcerslca, but 
assimilated by false analogy to Fr. 
dressm- (Lat. dai-ecUare), to set right. 
So, in the Cleveland dialect, d/ress (pro- 
nounced derse) is not only to set in 
order, but to beat, chastise, thrash 
(Atkinson). Compare the phrase, "I'll 
dress [sometimes trim] his jacket for 
him," Scotch "to dress one's doublet," 
i.e. to give him a sound thrashing, Ger- 
man einen d/reschefi. 

The Devonshire form is d/ras7i, to drub 
with a stick. 

Chell baste tha, chell stram tha, chell drash 
Exmoor Scolding, 1. 94 (E. D. S.). 

Now you calvee-skin impudence, I'll thresh 
your jacket [Beats him <iut"|.^-l'. Randolvh, 

Aristippus, 1630, Works, p. 10. 

Dkilling, a coarse cloth used for 
trousers, is a corruption of Ger. d/ril- 
lich, ticking, which is itself corrupted 
from Lat. triUc-a, trilix, tliree-threaded 
stuff (Skeat). 

Drop, in the phrase "to d/i-op a curt- 
sey," seems to be a corruption of the 
older word dop, to make a bow or curt- 
sey, orig. to dAp, or duck, or bob (of. 
" The learned pate duchs to the golden 
fool."— Shaks.), Swed. doppa, to dip, 
Dan. dJile, Dut. dx>open, Goth, daupjan. 

Cf. O. Eng. doppar, a diver or dob- 

The Venetian dap, this. 

B. Jonsmi, Cyuthias Revels. 
We act by fits and starts, like drowning men, 
But just peep up, and then dop down again. 
tiryden, 1682, Works, p. 452 (Globe ed.). 

Compare the intrusive r in shnll for 
slwll, Fr. afrodAlle for affodille, hoarse, 
groom, pursy, vagrant, treasure, &o. 

Deop, in the provincial Eng. " wrist 
drop," a disease of painters, and 
"dropped hands'' := paralyzed, ac- 
cording to Mr. Cockayne is the same 
word as old Eng. d/i-opa, the palsy of a 
limb (Leechdoms, vol. iii. p. 8), from 
d/)-oppen, the p. parte, of drapam (A. Sax, 
di-epan, to stiike, d/i-epe, a blow). Cog- 
nate words would then be Icel. d/repa, 
Dan. dy-cshe, Ger. treffen, to strike. Icel. 
d/)'ep is used for a disease (cf "plague," 
Gk. plage, a blow), and we stiU speak 
of a paralytic stroke. 

Deopsy, old Eng. yA-opsie, a natu- 
ralized form of Fr. hyd/ropisie, Lat. hy- 
drops, Gk. hud/rops, the watery disease 
(from hudor, water), and confounded 
possibly with A-qp. Compare gout, Fr. 
goute, supposed to come from a humour 
or drop (Lat. gutta) settling in the 

And loo ! sum man syk in ydropesie was 
bifore him. — Wyctiffe, S. Luke, xiv. 2 
(1389). [A. Sax. version, " swo. W(eter-seoc 

Drought, an incorrect form (assimi- 
lated to thought, &c.) of d/routh, 0. Eng. 
Avugth, drouhthe (in Ireland pro- 
nounced drooth), A. Sax. d/ruga^e, dry- 
ness, from dirugian, to dry. Cf. you{g)t\ 
dearth, growth, &c. So height is incor- 
rect for Ughth (Milton). The Sussex 
folk use d/rythe, " Drythe never yet 
bred dearth " (Parish, Glossary, p. 38). 

" Drowte, siccitas." — Prompt. Pw- 
vulorum, 1440. "Dyere time, rayn, 
drul]>e."—Ayenlite of Inwyt, 1340, p. 

WiJ) cold ne wij) heete, wij) weete ne wi)> 
Trevisa, Polychronicon, 1337, lib. i. cap. 41. 
Now for di-ieth the fields wear all vndone. 
G. Fletcher, Chiists Victorie in Heaven, 81 

Brought is the ordinary word in tlie 
-A.. Version, but drouth in. MiLton, Cole- 
ridge, and Tennyson. 


( 105 ) 


He is tax'd for drowth 
Of wit, that -B-ith the cry spends not his 
mouth. Carew, Poems, 1642. 

As one, whose drouth 
Yet scarce allay'd, still eyes the current 

Miltnn^ Pur, Lost, vii. 66. 
Summer drouth, or singed air 
Ivever scorch thy tresses fair. 

Comiis, i. 928. 
The traveller . . . is liable to mistake . . . 
the mirage of drouth for an expanse of refresh- 
ing waters. — Coteridgej The Friend^ vol. i. 
p. 99. 

I look'd athwart the burning drouth 
Of that long desert to the south. 

Tennyson, Fatima, 1. 13. 
My one oasis in the dust and drouth 
Of city life! 

Id., Edwin Morris, 1. S. 
Ask any [Irish] proprietor, more especially 
if a farmer, and he would tell you " We're 
ruined, ruined entirely, with the drought " — 
perhaps he'd have called it " druth." — Chas. 
Lever, One of Them, ch. vi. 

Deuggeeman, an old form of drago- 
man, an interpreter, 0. Eng. truckman 
(? as if a barter-man), It. dragomanno 
and twcimanno, Fr. drogman and 
trucheman, from Arab, targoman, which 
is a derivative of targama, to explain. 
Compare Heb. meturgeman, an inter- 
preter (Bdersheim, The Jews, p. 119), 
from targem, to traiislate( whence ta/rgum 
and mettirgdm, "interpreted," Ezra,iv. 
7), which is itself from rdgam, to bring 
together, construe, translate. 

The form dragman occurs in Kyng 
Alexaunder, p. 141 (ed. Weber). 

In Mid. High German dragoman as- 
sumed the form of tragemunt (or trouge- 
munt), as if denoting the mouth-bearer 
of the party. 

Thus with ryght lyghte and joyous hertes, 
by wamynge of our drogemi and guydes, we 
comp all to Mounte Syon. — Piitgrymage ofSi/r 
R. Guyljorde (l.'JOe), p. 56 (Camden Sdc). 

Here the Vizier Bassas of the Port .... 
consult of matters of State, and that pub- 
likly, not excepting against Embassadors 
Drogermen, lightly alwayes present. — Sandys, 
Travels, p. 62. 

The day of audience being come they were 
introduced with the usual solemnity, and then 
by the Druggerman or Interpreter he stated 
his case. — Life of Bp. Frampton (ed. T. S. 
Evans), p. 72. 

Their druggerman did desire them to fall 
down, for otherwise he should suffer for their 
contempt of the King. — Pepys, Diary, Aug. 
17, 1666. 

Dey, in the sense of tedious, weari- 
some, devoid of interest, as " a di-y 
book," " a dry sermon," is the same 
word as the Northern dree, tedious, 
Prov. Eng. d/reigh, Scot, driegh, Icel. 
d/rjugr, substantial, slow and sure. 
Cf. Swed. Aryg-mil, a long mile, en 
d/ryg hah, a heavy book, Dan. d/i-iri. 

" I am very weary, Mrs. , and wet 

through ; could you find me a glass of 
wine 1 " She did not reply, like the old 
Scotchwoman, " Get up into pulpit witli 
you ; you'll be dry enough there." — T. Jack- 
son, Curiosities of the Pulpit, p. 344. 
The moor was driegh, an' Meg was skiegh. 
Burns, There was a Lass. 

In N. Ireland the people say, " It's 
a dreegh jab (a wearisome job), a dn-eegh 
road (a tedious road)." — Patterson, 
(E.D. S.). 

A dreigh drink is better than a dry sermon. 
— A. Hlslop, Proverbs of Scotland, p. 17. 

These two words, though spelt diffe- 
rently, are really the same. They are 
no doubt akin to the old verb drye, to 
endure, undergo (Scot, dree), A. Sax. 
dredgan, to suffer; cf. Goth. d/riiigan, 
to serve as a soldier (Diefenbach, 
Goth. Sprache, ii. 641). 
Also in contemplacion there ben many other 
That drawen hem to disert and drye muche 
Political Poems, ii. 64 (ed. Wright). 

Full gray>ely got3 J)is god man' & dos godeS 

In dry5 dred & daunger. 
Alliterative Poems, 1360, Cleanness, 1. 342. 

Dky-eot, the name of the plant 
merulius laorimans, is, according to 
Dr. Prior, a corruption of tree-rot, from 
A. S. treow and rotian. 

Dtjck, \ a familiar caressing term 
Ducky, ( for a child or other object 
of affection, notwithstanding the ana- 
logy of the Latin anaticula, " little 
duck I " used as a word of endearment 
in Plautus, is not a metaphorical em- 
ployment of the name of the bird (like 
"pigeon," "dove," &c.), but identical 
with Danish d-uMce, a baby or puppet 
(Wolff), Ger. doche, a doll or puppet, 
Shetland diicMe, a doU or little girl ; 
with which we may compare Scotch 
tohie, a fondling term for a child (Ger. 
toche), Swed. tMg, siUy, Icel. t61d, a 
simpleton. This is more likely than 
that it should be connected with North. 



Eng. duchy, a woman's breast, and 
mean a "suckling" (cf. dug, daugh- 
ter, Greek thug-ater). 

Mrs. Sanders, in Bardwell v. Pick- 
wick, thought that Mr. Sanders had 
called her a "duck " in his love-letters, 
because "he was particularly fond of 
duchs " for dinner, which was only a 
particular form of the common philolo- 
gical error. 

Duck, } a Dorset word for the 
DucKiSH, S twihght, as "In the duch 
of the evening," is certainly a corrup- 
tion, Mr. Barnes tliinks, of A. Sax. 
]pe<yrc-ung, which has the same mean- 
ing (Philolog. Soc. Trans. 1864, Qlos- 
sa/ry, p. 54). 

It is more probably, I think, from 
dush, O. Eng. dose, deosc, changed by 
metathesis into dues, docs, as in A. Sax. 
tux for tuse, a tusk ; dix for disc, a dish ; 
dai, O. Eng. drit. Cf. Icel. dokh-, dohkr, 
dark [Gleashy, 113). 

Duck-eggs, is a comical corruption 
of ducats, in the old play of Patient 
Grissell, by Dekker, Chettle, and 
Houghton {Shakspere Society Ed. 
1841, p. 88). 

Cousin, you promised to help her to her 
duck-eggs, for all her paper and ponds are 

If tlie Lyon had beene eating a ducke, it 
had beene a rare device worth a duckat or a 
ducke-egge. — Camden, Hemuines Concerning 
Bi'itaine, 1637, p. 166. 

The ducat was an Italian coin, so 
named from the word dueaius, duchy 
(It. dnicato), occurring in its legend. 

Ducking-stool, an incorrect way of 
writing cucking-stool, an ancient and 
well-known machine for punishing 
scolding wives. Gucking-stool, origi- 
nally z^ cathedra stercoris, is akin to 
Icel. kuka (cacare), Manx cugh (ster- 
cus), another name for it being goging- 
stool, A. Sax. gong-stole, a close-stool, in 
the form of which it was sometimes 
made (Wedgwood). Another old cor- 
ruption of the word is cockstule, coeh- 
stoll, for cuck-stool. 

Prof. Skeat maintains that the two 
stools of punishment were always dis- 
tinct {Piers Ploioman, Notes, p. 61); 
but at aU events the terms were some- 
times used interchangeably. — Cham- 
bers, Booh of Bays, i. 211. 

The oldest word is certainly cMih 

The pilory and the cucking-stol beth i-mad for 

Poem on the Reign of Edward 11. Polit, 
Songs, p. 3i5 (Camden Soc). 

Stocks for the men, a ducking-stool for 
women, and a pound for beasts. — Boswell, 
Life of Johnson, vol. iii. ch. x. p. 193 (ed. 

In a quarter sessions record of the 
time of James I., the constables are 
directed to cueke one Agnes Fringe as 
a skolster or scold (A. H. A. Hamil- 
ton, Quajrter Sessions, y. 85), viz. to 
duck her 

In a chair curule 
Which moderns call a cucking-stool. 

DuLCiMELL, the old name for the 
dulcimer, Itahan " dolcemeUe, a musi- 
call instrument called a Buloimell or 
Dulcimer, also hony sweet " (Plorio), 
as if the sweet-toned. So Sylvester says 
a siren " Powres-forth a Torrent of 
mel-Melodies." — Bu Bartas, p. 434. The 
latter part of the word is more likely 
to be from Greek melos, tune, than 
meli, mel, honey. 

Bulcimer is a corrupted form of dul- 
cimel (of. marmalade, Portg. ma/rmeh, 
a quince, from Greek melimekn, 
"honey-apple "). 

Durance, in the sense of imprison- 
ment, painful restraint, as in the phrase 
" durance vile," is a corrupt form of 
the old word duress, hardship, severity, 
imprisonment, Fr. duresse, from Lat. 
dmritia. A connexion was imagined 
with endu/rcmce, suffering. 

Do you by duresse him compell thereto, 
And in this prison put him here with me. 
Spenser, Fuene Queene, IV. xii. 10. 

So );at duel was to deme' jje duresse \>bX he 

William oj Palerne, 1. 10r4 (ed. Skeat). 
Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts, 
Is m base durance and contagious prison. 
Shakespeare, 2 Hen. IV. v. 5, 1. 35. 

Bemg so infeebled with long durante and 
lard usage, that he could not stand, he had a 
chair allowed him, and had the painfull ease 
to Bit therein. — T. Fuller, Worthies, vol. i. 
p. 3i3 (ed. 1811). 

Dutch Cousins, an expression mean- 
ing intimate friends, used along the 
coast of Sussex. 


( 107 ) 


Yea, he and I were reg'lar Dutch Cousins ; 
I feels cjuite lost without Cim. — IK. D. Parish, 
Sussex Blossary. 

This is, doubtless, a wliimsioal cor- 
ruption or perversion oi gemian-cousins, 
or cmisitis-german, from the old Eng. 
word germane, near akin, Lat. germa- 
nus, sprung from the same stock or germ. 
Compare the following : — 
And to him said; "Goe now, proud Mis- 

Thyselfe tliy message do to germtm deare. 

Spenser, Fuerie Qtieene, Bk. 1. cant. v. 13. 

Those that are germane to him, though re- 
moved fifty times, shall all come under the 
hangman. — Shakespeare, Winter^s Tate, iv. 4, 
1. 802. 

The greatest good the Land got by this 
match was a general leave to marry Cousiu- 
genrums. — Fuller, Worthies, vol. ii. p. 62. 

The phrase " A Dutch uncle " is no 
doubt of similar origin. 

Milverton . , . began reasoning with the 
boys, talking to them like a, Dutch uncle (^l 
wonder what that expression means) about 
their cruelty. — Sir A. Helps, Animals and their 
Masters, p. 131. 

Dye-house, a Gloucestershire word 
for a dairy, or day-house. Bee Day- 


Eager, a peculiar violence of the tide 
in some rivers causing them to rise with 
great suddenness, so spelt as if derived 
from Prov. Eng. eager, angry, furious, 
mLat. acer (Wright), is the A. Sax. 
egor, ocean, connected with ege, awe, 
terror (Ettmiiller) ; cf. wgir, the stormy 
ocean (Thorpe, North. Myth. vol. i.). 
Other forms are higre and aher. 
Akyr of the see Bowynge, Impetus maris. 
Prompt. Parvutorum. 
Its more than common transport could not 

But like an eagre rode in triumph o'er the 
Dryden, Th'renodia Augustalis, 1. 134. 

Eagle- WOOD, the aloe. The native 
Indian name of this tree is aghil, Sansk. 
agaru, whence Heb. ahalim or ahaloth 
(Low Lat. agallochum), Septuagint. 
aluth, Gk. aloe. The first Europeans 
who visited India, on account of the 
similarity of sound, called the aghil, 
" lignum aquilcs," " aqidla/ria," "eagle- 

wood," Pr. hois d'wigle, Ger. adler-holz 
(Smith, Bihle Diet., vol. i. p. 52). See 
also Dehtzsch on Song of Songs, iv. 

It seems that the Sanskrit name is 
itself a corrupted word. 

The " agallochum " is called aguru. or 
agaru in Sanskrit; it is mentioned as mats- 
rial for incense in the RSmSlyana; agura 
means '' not heavy," and as the incense is 
made out of the decayed roots of the tree 
C'aquilaria agallocha"), the Sanskrit name 
might seem applicable. Another name , how- 
ever, of the Agallochum, in Sanskrit, is " an- 
arya-ja " produced among non-Aryans, i.e. 
barbarians, and, I believe, the wood is chiefly 
brought from Cochin China and Siam. In 
that case, aguru may be only an approxima- 
tion to some foreign word, and an attempt to 
give to that foreign word a meaning in San- 
skrit. Aghil is only a modern pronunciation 
ol aguru. — M. Miiller, in Pusey, Lectures on 
Daniel, p. 647. 

Eab, the name for a spike of corn, 
bears a deceptive resemblance to that 
for the organ of hearing. It is A. Sax. 
ear, a contracted form of ceoMr, O. H. 
Ger. ahir (hahir, spicas. — Vocab. ofS. 
Gall, 7th cent.), Goth, ahs, Ger. iihre, 
Scot, icker, the radical idea being that 
of sharpness, root ac, as in the cognate 
A. Sax. egl, egle, an ear of corn. 

A daimen-icAcr [occasional ear] in a thrave, 
'S a sma' request. 
Bums, ^Vorks, p. 54 (Globe ed.). 
But Thou with corne canst make this Stone 

to eare. 
What needen we the angrie heau'ns to fear ? 
Let tliem enuie vs still, so we enioy Thee 
G. Fletcher, Chrisfs Victorie on Earth, 
20 (1610). 

Ear, an obsolete word for to plough, 
A. Sax. ei-ian (c£ Icel. erja, Goth, arjan, 
Lat. ararre), occurring in the authorized 
version of the Bible (Gen. xlv. 6, Is. 
XXX. 24, &c.), and Shakespeare, has 
sometimes been mistakenly used as if 
it meant to form into ea/rs (of com), to 

Pegge quotes from the Earl of Mon- 
mouth's translation of BoccaUni(p.ll), 
" The plowers of poetry . . . had good 
reason to expect a rich harvest, but 
when, in the beginning of July, the 
season of ea/)-ing began, they saw their 
sweat and labours dissolve aU into 
leaves and flowers." — Gentleman's 
Magazine, May, 1755. 

EABDH-WICGE ( 108 ) 


Eaedh-wicge, a Saxon eor^e-wicga, 
an old corruption of ear-wicga, the ear- 
wig, as if it meant the "earth-wig:" 
wicga being the word for an insect, a 

Earl's money, 1 Provincial Eng. 
AiELES MONEY, > words for money 
Arlbs money, ) advanced to con- 
firm a bargain, Scot, airle-penny, ear- 
nest-money, are corruptions of 0. Eng. 
ernes, Gael, earlas, Pr. arrhes, Lat. 
a/rrha, arrhabo, Gk. arrabon, a deposit, 
a word introduced by the Phoenicians, 
Heb. erabhdn, a pledge. 

Earning, a North of England word 
for cheese-rennet (Halliwell, "Wright), 
is the modern form of A. Sax. mrmng, 
a running, then a running together, 
coagulation, iromcernan, yrnan, a trans- 
posed form of rinnan, to run, Dut. ren- 
nan, Ger. rennen ; so we find Prov. 
Eng. ea/i-n, to cm-die milk, and earn, to 
run. Compare rennet, formerly runnet, 
of the same origin ; and Ger. lab, Dan. 
l^be, Swed. liipe, O. Norm, hlaup, ren- 
net, from Dan. lipbe, Swed. liijpa, O. 
Norn, hlaupa, to run together, coagu- 
late ; Cleveland dialect lomered, curdled 
(Atkiason). See also liming, rennet, 
Old Gauntry and Farming Words, 
E. D. S. p. 164. 

Easel, Ger. esel, Dut. ezel (=:Lat. 
asellus, a Uttle ass). The orthography 
apparently influenced by " ease." Cf. 

Ease {to), to take away trouble, pain, or 

Easel, an instrument that painters set their 
pictures on, for the better and more ready 
performance of their work. — Vyche, Eng. 
DictUnuiry, 1740. 

Compare our " clothes' horse," Pr. 
chevalet ; It. cavaletio, a nag and a tres- 
sel (Florio) ; It. asinone, an ass, the 
mounting of a cannon [Id.); Greek 
JcilUbas, an easel, from Icillos, an ass ; 
gauntree, from cantherius, a packhorse ; ■ 
0. E. somer, a packhorse, a bedstead ; 
Scot, mare, a scaffold support, Lat. 
equuleus, &o. 

Easing-spaerow, a Sliropshire word 
for the house-sparrow, is for easen, — i. e. 
eavesen, or eaves, — the eaves-sparrow, 
A. Sax. efese, Goth, uhizva, a porch, 
O. H. Ger. opasa, which glosses atrius 
{atrium) in the Vocabulary of 8. Gall 
(7th cent.). Cf. 0. Eng. evesunge. 

He efnede hire to niht fuel fiet is under 

[He compared her to a night fowl that is 
under the eaves.] Ancren Riiote, p. 142. 

Eat -ALL, an old word for a glutton 
or ravener, by which the Nomendaior 
glosses Pamphagus, Oinnivorous, is no 
doubt really an altered form of A. Sax. 
etol, gluttonous, given to eating (A, 
Sax. etan, to eat). Conapare Wit-ail. 

Mannes sunu com etende and dryncende, 
and hi cwefta);. Her ys ettu/-man. — A. Sax. 
Gospels, a. Matt. xi. 19. 

Eaton, an old North country word 
for a giant, which Camden took to be a 
corrupt form of heathen, is A. Sax. don, 
eoton, a giant (Beowulf), a voracious 
monster {= Lat. edo-n) from etan; 0. 
Eng. eatande ; in later Enghsh Mn 
(e.g. Cotton, Burlesques, p. 266); Icel. 
jiitunn (Thorpe, No^'th. Mythology, vol. 
i., p. 148), Dsai. jette. 

He wes swa kene and so strong 
Als he were an eatande. 

Lii^amon, p. 58. 

The common sort of people doe plainly say 
these Roman workes were made by Giants, 
whom in the North parts they use to call in 
their vulgar tongue Batons, for heathens (if 1 
be not deceived ) or Ethnicks. — Camden, tmiu. 
by P. Holland, fol. p. 63. 

Edge, a N. Irish word for an adze 
(Patterson), as if significant ofits sharp- 
ness ; Scottish eitdi ; both corruptions 
of adze, old Eng. adse, adese, A. Sai. 

Eel-Dolly, 1 a Scotch word for oil, 
Oyl-Dolly, ) is a corruption of the 
Prench hvAle d'olive (Jamieson). 

Egg-beery, a Cumberland word for 
the bird cherry {prunus padus),in.wiao'k 
dialect it is also caUed ehberry and 
heckberry (Dickinson, (?Zossar2/,p.xxi.). 
Other forms are hag-berry, hachlmil, 
and hedge-berry . All except the last are 
corruptions, as is shown by the Swedish 
name hdgg applied to the same plant. 
Cf. A. Sax. hege, a hedge, N. Eng. ky, 
a wood. 

Elder, a Lincolnshire word for the 
udder, of which no doubt it is a cor- 
ruption, being in some places pro- 
nounced edder. 

Em, a colloquial form oithem, printed 
'em in books, as "Take 'em to you" 
(Eowe), as if a contracted form oithem, 


( 109 ) 


really stands for old Eng. hem, ace. plu. 
of hs. Cf. it for 0. E. Int. 

The other Iielden his sernauntis and slowen 
hem. — IVticlijfe, S. Matt. xxii. 6. 

He sende hem J?ider fol son 

To helpen hem wi^ hoc. 

Morris and Skeat, Specimens, ii. 46, 1. 8. 

EMB.iTTLED, fumished with hattle- 
menfs or fortifications, as if put in battle 
array [en hatadlle), is for O. Er. em- 
hastille, fortified. See Battlement. 

His combe was redder tlian the fin corall, 
Enbuttelied, as it were a castel wall. 

Chaucer, Cant. Tales, 1. 14866. 

Spurr'd at heart with fieriest energy 
To emhattail and to wall abont thy cause 
With iron-worded proof. 

Tennyson, Sonnet to J, M. K., 1. 8. 

Ember Days, ^ " So called," says 

Ember Week, S Bailey, " from a cus- 
tom anciently of putting Ashes on their 
heads on those Days, in Token of Humi- 
hation." Thiscustom, however, is quite 
imaginary, being invented to account 
for the name. 

The Latin name is Jejuwia quatuor 
ierKporvmi, " The Ember-Days at the 
Four Seasons " {Prayer Booh), or more 
concisely quatuor tempora. Derived 
from this are the Dutch quaterfemper, 
Danish hvatemher, German quatemher, 
Spanish temporas, Fr. quatre-temps. 
Other forms are Icelandic imh'V^dagar, 
Dan. tamper-dage, Swed. tamper-dagar. 
(The Icelandic word has been traced 
to the Latin imber, and by others to an 
old woman named Imbra .') Hampson 
(Medii Aevi Kalendarium, vol. ii. p. 
326) quotes from an old MS., "The 
Quater Temper shalle be this weke, 
callede the Tmber Dayes." 

Temper or Tember (perhaps imder- 
stood as Thember or Th'emher Days) 
might seem to be the origin of our 
".Ember Days." 

Compare the French " Les quatre 
temps. Th'Ember dales ; four weeks 
in the yeare appointed for publike 
fasts." — Cotgrave. 

But the true origin is seen in the A. 
Sax. form ymbren-wuce for Ember week, 
i.e. ymb-rene, or ymbe-ryne, a running- 
round, or recurring period. Hence 
embring weeks in Tusser and others. 

In the Anwen Riwle, about 1225, the 
word appears as Umbridawes, a word 
compounded with old Eng. umbe (=: 

Greek amphi), as if the days that come 
round periodically. 

Ve schulen eten . . . eueviche deie twie, 
bute uridawes and umbridawes. — p. 412 
(Camden Soc). 

Ye shall eat . . . every day twice, except 
Pridays and Embertlays. ^ 

Perhaps the true account is that evi- 
ber is a sort of a compromise between 
'temper and ynibren, and assimilated by 
false derivation to embers, ashes. 

After J)e opynyon of men, and diverse 
ciintreyes speclie, those quatuor tempora be 
called ymher duyes, cause whi,,olde fadirs on 
tho dayes whan they shuld fast, Jiei wolde ete 
cakes }pt were bake vndir ■ jie asshes in J;e 
ymbers and fjt was callid panis subcinereus, 
j't is to say, brede vndir asshes ; so J)t in etyng 
brede undir asshes in Jie ymhres Jiei re- 
membreed Jjt J>ei were but asshes, and they 
shulde to asshes torne ageyn. — Homily of the 
15tfe century (quoted in Hampson, Medii 
Aevi Kalendarium, vol. ii. p. 413). 

A similar misimderstanding must 
have got footing in Ireland, where 
Ember week is csJlei 8eaclidmhain-na- 
luaitlwe, " week of ashes." 
I take from hym baptym, with the other 

And Sufferages of the churche, both amber 
dayes and lentes. 

Bale, hynge Johan, p. 41 (Camden Soc). 

He used often to punish his body with 
discipline, especiallie every Fridaie, great 
Sainctes eves, and at the fower ti/mes of Ember 
weeke. — Wordsworth, Eccles. Biography, vol. ii. 
p. 82 (ed. 1810). 

Next him sat Hildebrand, and he held a 
hering in his hand, because he made Lent : 
and one pope sat with a smock sleeve about 
his necke, and that was he that made the 
imbering weekes, in honor of his faire and 
beautinill curtizan Imbra. — Tarlton, Newes 
out of Purgatorie, p. 64 (Shaks. Soc), 

Emperiall is used in Hopton's Oon- 
coi'danme of Yeares, 1612, pp. 34, 85, 
for the empyreal or empyrean, a medise- 
val name for the sether or fiery heaven 
(Greek, empyros, fiery), which seems 
to have been confounded with imperial. 
BaUey defines " Empyrcevmi cmlum, the 
highest heaven in which is the throne 
of God." 

Of the first Heaven— the Philosophers had 
no knowledge of this Emperiall Heauen : onely 
the scriptures teach us to belieue the same ; 
and is called the Emperiall Heauen, by reason 
of the clearnesse and resplendency : It is im- 
moueable, made by God the first day he be- 
gan his creation of the world .... where (as 
it is thought) remaineth the humanity of 


( no ) 


Jesus Christ, and hath therein thi-ee Hierar- 
chias, holy orders, or principalities. — Hop- 
toiiy he. cit. 

If these inferior Orbs were rowled vp, 
And the Impenall heauen bar"d to my view, 
'Twere not so gracious, nor so much desir'd, 
As my deare Kafherine is to Pasquils sight. 
Jacke Drum:) Entertainementy act iii. 
1. 295 (1616). 
Whoso hath fi'om the Empijreall Pole, 
Within the centre of his happy Soule, 
Receiv'd som splendor of the beams divine. 
Must to his Neighbour make the same to 

Sylvester, Da Bartas, p. 151 (1621). 
The Emperialt Heaven is one thing, the 
materiall or visibleHeaven another. — William 
Streutj The Dividing of the iiooJ\ p. 5, 1654. 

Dante curiously enough calls the 
ninth heaven " regal." 

Lo real manto di tutti i volumi 

Del mondo, che piu ferve e piii s'avviva 

Neir alito di Dio. 

Parudiso, xxiii. 112-114. 
The robe, that with its regal folds enwraps 
The world, and with the nearer breath of God 
Dotli burn and quiver. Carey. 

Emeod, [ the old Eng. word for an 

Embeadd,) emerald, when apphed 
to the disease known as piles, A. V. 
emerods (1 Sam. v. 6), is a corrupted 
form of Ticsmrods, liemmds (Burton, 
Anatomy of Melamclwly), It. emor- 
roidi', Fr. hemorroides, "haemorrhoids," 
Gk. hmmorrJwides, "flowing with 

The Spaniards corrupted the word 
into 'mordydes (Minsheu). 

Anemerod [r= emerald] esteemed at 50,000 
crowns. — I^orth's Plutarch, Life of Augustus. 

Emerau-ntys, or emerowdys, Ernorruis. — 
Prompt. Parvuhrum. 

Enceinte, old Fr. enceincte, great 
with child, It. incinta, ungirt, also 
with child (Florio), Low Lat. incinda, 
pregnant, that is, without a cincture, or 
girdle (Isidore of Seville), or, as the 
French say, " femme sans corset " 
(Soheler). All these words seem to 
have been corrupted by false etymo- 
logy from Lat. incien{t)s, pregnant, 
breeding, childing, which is near akin 
to Greek igliiws {i.e. enhuos), pregnant, 
Sansk. fwi, to swell (Cm-tius, Oriech. 
Etym. i. 126). Enceinte, an encircling 
wall or boundary, is therefore a dis- 
tinct word. 

Enohesoun, a common old Eng. cor- 
ruption of occasion {e.g. Wycliffe, Gen. 

xxivii. 5), as if compounded with the 
preposition en {in) (so ensampk for ex- 
ample), the intermediate forms being 
achesoun, achaison. 

For it semes ))at J>e Kyng had grete encheson. 
Hampole, Pricke of Couscieiice, 1. 5790. 

Ends errand, a Scottish expression 
meaning " a special design," is no 
doubt, as pointed out by Jamieson, a 
corruption of anes errand, a single 
errand, for the nonce, or one special 
occasion ; anes beiug the genitive of an, 

Endue, from the Lat. induo, to 
clothe, has been confounded with en- 
doio (Fr. en and dower, L. Lat. indotare), 
to furnish with a dowry (Fr. douaire, 
L. Lat. dotarium), then to supply with 
any gift. This is evidently the case in 
Genesis xxx. 20, "God hath endued me 
with a good dowry." — Dotavitme Deus 
dote bona. — Vulgate; " And with Sans- 
foyes dead dowry you endew." — Spenser, 
E. Queene, 1. iv. 51. In Luke xxiv. 
49, however, the word is used in its 
proper meaning, " Until ye be endued 
with power from on high," where the 
Greek has enduo, Vulgate imho, to 
clothe. Another instance is presented 
in the Versicles at Morning Prayer, 

Priest. Endue thy ministers with righteous- 

Answer. And make thy chosen people joy- 

These words are taken from Ps. 
cxsxii. 9, "Let thy priests be clothed 
with righteousness, and let thy Saints 
sing with Joyfulness " (P. B. version), 
where the Vulgate has " Sacerdotes tui 
induantur justitiam, et sancti tni ex- 

Clothe the in clennes, with vertu be iniute, 
And God with his grace he wyl the sone 

The Coventry Mi^steiies, p. 204 
Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred . . ., 
Some fitt for reasonable sowles t' iiidew. 
Some made for beasts, some made for birds to 

Spenser, F, Queene, III. vi. 35. 

End-irons, ) corrupted forms of 
Hand-ikons, j andirons, iron bars to 
support the ends of the logs burning on 
the hearth, the former occurring in the 
margin of A. Version of Ezek. xl. 43, 
the latter in Quarles' Judgment and 


( lU ) 


Mercy (Repr. 1807), "Let heavy cynics 
.... be Imndlrons for the injurious 
world to work a heat upon," p. 147. 

Older forms are awndyryn, andijrons. 
" Iron " is no part of the original word, 
cf. O. En", awnderne {Prnmpt. Farv.), 
andyar, 0. Fr. andirr, Pr. landier. Low 
Lat. andena. Andedos occurs in 
Charlemagne's capitular, Be Villis Im- 
periaUbvs, a. 42 (a.d. 812). 

Enemy, a Lincolnshire name for the 
anemone, of which word it is a corrup- 
tion, through the common mispronun- 
ciation anenome, or anenemy, being mis- 
understood as an enemy. "The com- 
mon people call them emones." — Coles, 
Adam in Eden, 1657. 

Doon i' the woild enemies. 
Tennyson, Northern Farmer, Old Style. 

(Britten and Holland, p. 169.) 

Enemy, a Scotch word for an ant 
(Fife), is a corruption of A. Sax. oemete, 
an emmet, which in other parts is 
called emmsck, ema.ntin, enanteen. Simi- 
lar, perhaps, is the meaning of the fol- 
lowing from Wright's Provincial Dic- 
tionary, " Enemis, an insect, Shrop- 

ENaiiAND. So far back as the time 
of Procopius England was popularly 
regarded by the people on the oppo- 
site shore of the continent as the land of 
souls or departed spirits. It is still 
believed in Brittany that a weird boat 
laden with souls is ferried across the 
Enghsh Channel every night, and the 
point of departure is either Boe ann 
anavo, " the Bay of Souls," near Eaz, 
or La Bwie des Trepasses, " the Bay of 
the Departed," at Ga/rnoet (see Tylor, 
Prim. Gultwe, ii. 59 ; Keary, Daivn of 
History, 175 ; Lewis, Astronomy of An- 
cients, 494 ; Maoquoid, Pictwes and 
Legends from Normandy and Brit- 

It has been conjectured that this 
superstition arose from a misunder- 
standing of England, formerly Enge- 
lamd, as engle-land, " the Angel land," 
engel being an angel in German, A. 
Saxon, &c. 

So Ger. englisch,B,nge\ic, and Enghsh. 
The historic pun of Pope Gregory the 
Great wUl occur as illustrative. 

J>u ueir bimong wummen, auli bimong 
engles, Jju meiht don Jjerto [Thou fair among 

women, nay, among angels, thou mightest 
add thereto].— 4 racrere Riwk, p. 102. 

In German folk-lore we still hear of a 
Realm of the Dead, which is said to be 
situated in " Engel-land." Engel-land in 
German literally means both the land of the 
Angels and of the English. In the former 
sense Engel-land is a later semi-Christian 
transfiguration of the former Teutonic Home 
of the angel-like Light Elves — good fays who 
were said to be more beautiful than the sun. 
In Anglo-Saxon we find the Home of the 
Light Elves mentioned as Engla earii. — A'. 
Blind, The Nineteenth Centurif, No. xxviii. 
p. 1110. 

Enhance, old Eng. enhaunce, en- 
haunse, seems to be a natural com- 
pound of en and old Eng. haunce, to 
raise or lift up, a nasalized form of 
Prov. Eng. Jmuse, to heave up (Ang. 
Ir. hoosh), hauzen (Peele), from Fr. 
Jumsser, to heighten, lift (= It. ahan-e, 
Lat. (?) altiare, to make high, alius). 
Cf. " Hawncyn', or heynyn' (al. 
hawten, or heithyn vp), exalto, elevo." 
— Prompt. Parv. So a city wall is said 
to be enhaunsed (MS. in Way). " En- 
Jiance, exaltare." — Levins, Manipwlus, 

It is, however, identical with Prov. 
enansa/r, to advance or put forwards, 
from enans (^ inante], forward (Skeat, 

He puttide doun mysty men fro seete, and 
enhaunside meke. — Wycliffe, S. Luke, i. 52 

Entail, in its modern and popular 
acceptation to produce a necessary re- 
sult, as when a measure is said to " en- 
tail serious consequences," is probably 
generally supposed to mean " draw in 
its wake, or tail, or sequele " (cf. " a 
matter of consequence," i.e. having a 
following, sc. of results). 

As a law term it means to limit an 
estate to a certain Une of descent (to 
settleunchangeably), orig. to abridge or 
cut it off, from O. Fr. entailler, to cut, 
It. intagUare, whence intaglio, a cut 

Entice, so spelt as if compounded 
with en {in), from the idea of drawing 
in or inveigling a person, is a corrupt 
form of attyce (Barclay, Shyp of Fooles, 
1509), to excite, inflame, or kindle, 
from Fr. attiser, to kindle, lay one brand 
near another (Cotgrave), It. attizzare, 
to stir up the fire, provoke to anger 

EOTUL-VABB ( 112 ) 


(Plorio); and these from Fr. tison. It. 
tizzo, Lat. titio, a firebrand. 

To tliefte shall they you soone attyse. 
Ancient Poeticui TractSj p. 11 
It is his owne lust . . . that entises him to 
sin. — Bp. AiidreweSy Sermons, p. 7.52. 

EoTTJL-VAEB, the word for Italians in 
Beda {Hist. Ecdes., 2, 4), as if " the 
gluttonous men " (A. Sax. eotol, eatol, 
etol, voracious, from etan, to eat ; of. 
eoion, eton, a devouring giant), is a natu- 
raUzed form of liaUoi, hteraUy " Italy- 

Ephesian, a name given in Galloway 
to the pheasant (Jamieson), is an evi- 
dent corruption of old Eng. fesan, fe- 
saun, old Fr. faisan, Lat. phasiana, i.e. 
the Phasian bird, from the Fhasis in 
He com him-self y-charg:ed • wi conyng & 

Wifi J'csuuns & feldfares • and ojjer foules 


WiUiam of Palerne, 1. 183 (ed. Skeat). 
Take goode brothe, |:erin Jjou pyt 
jiy fesauntes and ^y pertryks, fjat men may 

Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 23 (ed. Morris). 
Goe silly soules that doe so much admire 
Court curious intertainment and fine fare 
May you for mee obtaine what you desire 
I for your fowles of Fhasis do not care. 

T. FulUr, David's Haiiious Sinne, &^c., 
1631, p. 72 (ed. Grosart). 

Episode, so spelt and pronounced as 
if denoting something sung in addition, 
like epode, ode, should in strictness be 
episodOike metlwd, period, synod), being 
the Greek epeisodos, an additional entry 
(into a story), something adventitious. 

Equekry, an officer who has the 
care of the horses of a prince, so spelt 
as if derived from equus, a horse (so 
Bailey), is properly the stable man, 
from Fr. eeu/rie. Low Lat. scwia. 

EtjTJiPAGK was once mistakenly re- 
garded as a compound of Lat. mguus, 
equal, like egmpoise, equinox, &c. Thus 
" (Equipage, order," is E. K.'s gloss on 
Spenser's line — 

With queint Bellona in her equipage. 
The Sheplieard's Calender, Oct., 1. 114. 

But let these translations be beheld by un- 
partiai eyes, and they will be allowed to go 
in e<iuipige with the best Poems in that age. 
— T. Fuller, Worthies, vol. i. p. 411 (ed. 
1811). ^ ^ 

Equip, formerly eslcip, esquip, from 
Fr. eqvAper, esquiper, Sp. esqm'far, was 
originally to fit out a ship (It. scJufo, 
O. H. G. skif, G^th. ship), M. MuUer, 

To esquippe or fournish ships with all abi- 
lements. — Cooper, Thesaurus, 1573. 
See Verstegan, Bestitution of Becakd 
Intelliqence, p. 205. 

Eed-ling, eordlvng, or aer^Ung, the 
A. Saxon name for the bittern or heron, 
as if from eord, eori, the earth, is a cor- 
ruption of Lat. m-dea, Gk. erddn.os, a 

Eeeant, " In Law, is applied to Jus- 
tices who go the circuit " (Bailey), as 
^wandering judges (Lat. e/rramtes, from 
errare, to wander) ; it is really derived 
from Fr. erre, a way or course (Cot- 
grave), 0. Fr.eire, a journey, Pr. errer, 
O. Fr. ed/rm- (L. Lat. itera/re), to jour- 
ney, all from Lat. iter, but confounded 
with erra/re. Scheler even thinks that 
the Juif errant is of similar origin. So 
" Justices in eyre," are justices on a 
journey ; explained by Spehnan as 
" Justiciarii itinerantes, or eiranies, for 
iter is also called errm-" (Ghssariwm, 
p. 240, 1626). 
Tuelf hundred as in 3?r of grace & nintence, 

ich vnderstonde. 
The eire of Justize wende aboute in the 

kobt. of Gloucester, Chronicle, f. 517 
(ed. 1810). 
Ell-ant, in the sense of notorioBSi 
rank, is a corruption of Aekant, which 

Take heede of those, ''for they are errmmt 
theeues. — Thos. Lever, Sermons, lo50, p. 66 
(ed. Arber). 

Eescen, an old Eng. word for the 
hedgehog (? fide Somneri), as if from 
ersc, a park or warren, is a corruption 
of an original seen in 0. Eng. vrehn, 
urclwne, O. Fr. eri^on, Sp. erizo, Fr, 
hei-isson, Lat. ericius. 

_ Edtopian, Milton's spelling, "Atlan- 
tick and Eutopiam politics, wliich never 
can be drawne into use, will not mend 
our condition" (Areopagitica, 1644, p. 
51, ed. Arber), as if from Greek en, 
well, and topos, a place, is a mistaken 
form of Utopian, from ou, not, and 
topos, a non-existent place, "Kenna- 
quhair," or No man's land. 


( 113 ) 


EvEE, ) Provincial names 

EvEE-GEASS, V for the darnel, lo- 
EvERY, J Hum perenne, are 

corruptions of its French appellation 
imaie ; so called from its power to ine- 
h-iate or make drunk (iwe). Of. Ger. 
rawschhorn, Plena, dronckaeri, Lat. lo- 
lium temulenium. See Eay-geass. 

EvEEHiLLS, a Northamptonshire 
word, sometimes contracted into errils, 
for a field or enclosure, ori|;inally an 
allotment of common land to a parti- 
cular proprietor, is a corruption of 
several, a portion severed or set apart, 
" a divided enclosure " (Kennett, Pa- 
roeh. Antiq., 1695). 
Of late he's broke into a several 
Which doth belong to me, and there he spoils 
Both corn and pasture. 

Sir John Oldcastle, iii. 1. 

Sternberg, JSforihampt. Glossary. 

It is easy to see how constantly re- 
curring phrases like " John's several," 
" His several," would degenerate into 
" John's everal," " His everal." So in 
compounded words the initial s of the 
latter part is often swallowed up in the 
final s of the prefix, especially in the 
case of ex (:= ehs), e.g. execrate for ex- 
secrate (cf. consecrate) ; exert for ex- 
sert (cf. insert); exist for ex-sist (cf. 
insist) ; expect for exspect (cf. inspect) ; 
expire for ex-spire (cf. inspire) ; extant 
for exstant (cf. instant) ; extinct for 
ex-stinct (cf. instinct) ; extirpate for ex- 
stirpate; exude for exsude; exult for 
ex-sult (ci.insult) ; exuperate (Browne) 
for exsuperate. 
Why should my heart think that a several 

Which my heart knows the wide world's 

common place ? 

Shakespeare, Sonnet cxxxvii. 

Truth lies open to all ; it is no man's se- 
veral. (Patet omnibus Veritas ; nondum est 
occupata.) — B. Jonson, Discoveries, Works, p. 

Some are so boy sterous, no severalls will hold 
them, but lay all Offices common to their 
power. — T. Fuller, Holy and Profane State, 
p. 234 (1648). 

EvEKY WHERE, old Eng. eaverihiver 
{Legend of S. Katherine, p. 37), is no 
compound of every, everich, but a cor- 
ruption of ever-gehwmr, ever yiuhere ; 
ever being the usual 12th century prefix 
(Ohphant). So handy -work is iorJiand- 
gcweoi'c, Imnd-yioorh. 

Excise, apparently a portion cut off 
or excised (Lat. excisus) from a com- 
modity in the way of duty, a tax, hke 
talliage from Er. tailler, to cut. Prof. 
Skeat, however, shows that this is a 
mere mis-speUing of acme, Dut. ahsys, 
ahsiis, Grer. acoise, and these corruptions 
of O. Fr. assis, assise, an assessment 
(Lat. assessus). — Etym. Diet., s. v. Ac- 
cise occurs iu Howell, Letters, Bk. i., 
vii. (1619). 

All the townes of the Lowe-Countreyes 

doe cutt upon themselves an excise of all 

thinges towarde the mayntenaunce of tlie 

■ warre. — Spenser, State of Ireland, p. 669 

(Globe ed.). 

ExcEEMENT, frequently used in old 
writers for the hair or nails, is literally 
an " out-growth " from the body, an 
excrescence (Lat. excrementum, from ex- 
crescere, to grow out), and has no con- 
nexion with excrement, the excreta, or 
parts separated by digestion (from Lat. 
excerno, to sift out), with which it has 
sometimes been confounded, e. g. by 
Eichardson. Thus Fuller says that 
Elisha was mocked by the children 
" For lacking the comely excrement of 
haire on his head." — Fisgah-Sight of 
Palestine, p. 249 (1650). 

If that ornamentall excrement which groweth 
beneath the chin be the standard of wisdome, 
they [goats] carry it from Aristotle himself. 
— Worthies of England, vol. ii. p. 633 (ed. 

Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, 
as it is, so plentiful an excrement ? — Shakespeare, 
Comedy of Errors, ii, 2, 1. 79. 
Above all things wear no beard : long beards 
Are signs the brains are full, because the 

Come out so plentifully. 

Randolph, Amyntas, i. 3, Works, p. 282 
(ed. Hazlitt). 

Pliny saith that the thorn is more soft than 
a tree, and more hard than an herb ; as if it 
were some unkindly thing, and but an un- 
perfect excrement of the earth. — T. Adams, 
Forest of Thorns, Works, ii. 4:78. 

The following passages show how 
the two words were confounded. 

Expulsion is a power of nutrition, by 
which it expells all superfluous excrements and 
reliques of meat and drink, by the guts, blad- 
ders, pores ; as by purging, vomiting, spit- 
ting, sweating, 'urine, hairs, nails, 6lc. — Bur- 
ton, Anatomy of Melancholy, I. 1, ii. 5. 

Haires are bodyes engendred out of a su- 
perfluous excrement of the third concoction, 
terrified by the naturall heat . . One vajior 



( 114 ) 


continually solliciting& vrging another, they 
are wrought together into one body ; euen as 
in Chimneys we see by the continuall ascent 
of Soot, long strings of it are gathered as it 
were into a cbaine. The difl'erence is, that 
the straightnesse of the passages of the Skin, 
where through the matter of the Haires is 
auoided, formeth them into a small round - 
nesse, euen as a wire receiueth that propor- 
tion whereof the hole is, where through it is 
drawne. — H. Crnoke, Description of the Body 
o/Itfa)!, p. 67(1631). 

Exhale, sometimes used by Shake- 
speare as meaning to draw out (Clark 
and Wright), seems to be a confusion 
of Lat. exhala/re, to breathe out, with ' 
Eng. hale, to draw or drag, Dan. hale, 
Dut. halen, to pull or draw. Thus 
when Pistol defies Nym to mortal com- 
bat, and bids him draw his sword, he 
says — 
The grave doth gape, and doting death is 

Therefore exhale. 

Henry V. ii. 1, 1. 66. 

And when King Henry's corpse be- 
gins to bleed in the presence of Glou- 
cester, Lady Anne says — 

*Tis thy presence that exlwks this blood. 
Richard III. i. 2, 1. 58. 

ExTASY, a mis-spelhng of ecstasy, 
sometimes found, like the French ex- 
tase, as if from the Greek ex and tasis, 
the state of being over strained, instead 
of from eh and stasis, being beside one- 

There is nothing left for her but to fly to 
the other world tor a metaphor, and swear 
qu'elle etoit tout extasiee — which mode of 
speaking is, by the bye, here creeping into 
use, and there is scarce a woman who under- 
stands the bon ton but is seren times a day in 
downright extasy. — Sterne, Letters, xxiii, 

In the same authour [Florilegus] is re- 
corded Carolus Mag-nus vision an. 885, or 
extasis, wherein he saw heaven and hell after 
much fasting and meditation. — Burton, Ana- 
tomy of Melancholii, III. 4, i. 2. 
Eftsoones she thus resolv'd ; that whilst the 

Gods . . . 
Were troubled, and amongst themselves at 

To set upon them in that extasie. 

Spenser, F. Qweene, VII. 6, xxiii. 

Joel breaks into an extasy as he sees the 
spirit of God poured out "on all flesh." — 
Sami. Cox, Expository Essays, p. 119. 

This carried the heart of olde Simeon into 
such a holy extasie of religious delight, that 
earth could hold liim no longer, but he must 

needs, as it were, breake prison, and leape out 
of his olde body into heauen. — G. Fktcher, 
Reward of the Faithfull, 1623, Poems, p. 27 
(ed. Grosart). 

ExTEME, an old Eng. perversion of ., 
esteem (Lat. mstimm-e), as if compounded,! 
with the preposition ex. Hall reports ' 
how " certain Soottes of the isle of Bri- 
tayne eate the fleshe of men .... 
extemyng this meate to be the greatest 
deinties." — Henry V. fol. 8 a. 

ExTEEics, a common corruption in 
Scotland of the word hysterics (Jamie- 
son). See Asterisks, High steikes, 
and Steeacles. 

Eye, as an article of millinery, the 
correlative term to a hook, which it 
serves to catch, being indeed its coun- 
terpart and inseparable concomitant, 
as in the expression "hooka and eyes," 
seems to be a metaphorical use of the 
name of the organ of sight. It is pro- 
bably a corruption of the German oese, 
which has the same meaning. 

Ose is given in Eumpf, Teclmoh- 
gisches Worterbuch, as meaning a ring, 
loop, link, hoop, or eye of a rope, hook, 
&o. Auge, however, is used in a simi- 
lar way. Cf. O. Eng. oes = eyes, 15th 
cent. (Wright), and eyelet-hole, Fr. 

It is perhaps the same word that in 
old writers appears as o or oe, in the 
sense of a spangle or oh-clet. 

Yon fiery oes and eyes of light. 

Midsum. N. Dream, iii. ?. 

Oes or spangs, as they are of no gi-eat cost, 
so are they of most glory. — Bacon, Of Mosjuw 
and Triumphs. 

Eye, used, as formerly, in the sense 
of a tint or shade of colour, is probably 
from A. Sax. hiw, hue, colom-, appear- 
ance (of. eawian, to show or manifest), 
Swed. hy, Goth, hiwi, appearance, 
colour (Diefenbach, ii. 656). 

The ground indeed is tawny. 
With an eye oi green in it. 

Tempest, ii. 1. 
Red, with an eye of blue, makes a purple. 
— Boyle, Experiments touching Colours. 

The Shakespearian verb eye, to ap- 
pear, is perhaps the same word. 
IMy becomings kill me, when they do not 
Eye well to you. 

Antony and Cleop. i. 3, 1. 97. 

Eye, a prov. word for a brood or 
nest, as "an eye of pheasants" (OW 


( 115 ) 


Country and Fm-ming Words, E. D. S., 
p. 80), seems to be a corruption of Fr. 
nid, a nest (Skeat). 


Fag. a person is said to be fagged 
when wearied or tired out. This has 
been regarded as a corruption o{ flagged, 
become limp (It. fiacco, Lat. flaccus), 
or as a contraction of fatigui (S. De 
Vere, Studies in English). The original 
meaning, I think, is beaten (cf " dead 
beat," Sussex flogged, tired out), fag 
being a sHghtly disguised form- of the 
old Yerhfeag or feague, to beat. " To 
Feag, to beat with rods, to whip, whence 
fagging signLfieth any manner of beat- 
ing." — Baaley. 

"Fag, to beat or thrash." — Wright. 
Hence probably iiiefag of pubhc schools. 
Diefenbaoh connects it with A. Sax. 
fmge, about to die, Swed. feg, loel. feigr, 
Scot, fey (Goth. Spmche,!. 380). 

But flagged was certainly used in the 
same sense as fagged. 
Flugg'd reines aweete [? swell, Lowell] plump 
with fresh-infused joyes ! 


Davies, Sup-p. Fng. Glossary, gives 
instances of fag, sb. r: fatigue (Miss 
Austen), and fag, to toU or drudge (M. 
D'Arblay, Dickens). 


word they are no doubt corruptions. 
Fairy ioi faery (Fr. f eerie, an assembly 
oifees), probably owes its present form 
to an imagined connexion with fair, as 
in the title of a modem novel, "Fairer 
than a Fairy." In Wales they are 
called Tylwith teg, " the Fair family." 
In Iceland the elves of light were " fair 
of face," in distinction from their dark 
subterranean brethren (Dasent, Oxford 
Essays, 1858). Other names for them 
are white nymphs, white ladies, witte 
wyven (Douce), albatoB muKeris (More- 
sin), hlamquettes in the Pyrenees. 

In the Glossary to G. Douglas (1710) 
it is explained that the drudging elves 
get their name of Brownies from their 
swarthy colour, " as these who move in 
a higher sphere are called Fairies from 
their fairness." The true origin is fay. 

\ Scottish names for 
) the fairies, of which 

Fr./&, Portg. fada, from L. Lat. fata, 
a goddess of fate. 

With Nymphis and Faunis apown euery 

Quhilk_/a7-e/i)ttis or than elfis clepin we. 

G. Douglas, Bukes of Eneados, p. 252, 
1. 45. 

Fairly, when used as an intensive 
adverb, meaning downright, whoUy, 
altogether (Lat. omnino), as in " I am 
fairly Tgnzzled," "fairly exhausted," &c., 
is an evident corruption of 0. Eng. 
ferly, wondrous, wonderfully, i.e. fear- 
like, A. Sa.x.fcer-Uc. So Scottish /airZi/ 
few, surprisingly or wondrous iew, ferly 
few (Jamieson). Wedgwood (s. v. Fear) 
quotes from B. Brunne, " He felt him 
hevy and/erZj/ sick." 

Lo, -o, ueorlich god word [jet te hoh Job 
seide. — Ancreii Riwle, p. 148. 

fpe pore man hente hyt vp belyue, 
And was }>erof {uljerly blyjje. 

Robt. Manning, Handtyng Sinne, 
1. 5620. 
So in the Alliterative Poems (ab. 
1360), the Cities of the Plain when set 
on fire fairly frightened the folk that 
dwelt in them. 

Ferly flayed >at folk • )>at in jjose fees lenged. 
p. 64, 1. 961). 
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw, 
I'm sure it's winter _/atrii/. 

Burns, Poems, p. 211 (Globe ed.). 

Faibmaids, otc fermades, i.e.fumadoes, 
smoked pilchards. 

" Eating fair maids and drinking 
mahogany " (gin and treacle), is a pro- 
verbial expression in the west of Eng- 
land. Hunt, Drolls, ^o., of W. Eng., 
h. 245. 

And then ( by the name of Fumadoes) with 
oyle and a lemon, they [pilchards] are meat 
for the mightiest Don in Spain. — Fuller, Wor- 
thies, vol. 1. p. 206. 

Dried, sowced, indurate fish, as ling, fn- 
mados, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haber- 
dine, poor-John. — Burton, Anatomy of Me- 
lancholy, I. 2, ii. 1. 

Faib-way, a sea term used in charts, 
denoting the best course for a vessel 
through shoals or other difficulties, is 
without doubt the German FaJvrweg, a 
thoroughfare or highway, a "/csre-way." 
(GourpsireFahrwasser, navigable water. 
A "fair wind " also may be for /are-wind. 
Gar. Fahrwind.) The Scotch word is 
fa/reioay, Swed. fa/rvag, a high road, 
Icel. fcwveg. 


( 116 ) 


Paiey, a provincial name for the 
weasel, also called, a fare or vare or 
va/ry (Somerset, Cornwall and Devon), 
is the old Fr. vair, from Lat. varivs, 
parti-ooloured. The word in the mouth 
of a Sussex man underwent a further 
corruption and became a 'pharisee 
(Parish, Sussex Glossary). " Vare wi- 
geon " is a name for the smew in N. 
Devonshire (in Norfolk, "the weasel 
duck ") from the resemblance of its 
head to that of a weasel (Johns, Brit. 
Birds in their Haunts, p. 526_). 

Faith, 0. Eng. feyth, feitJi, an Angli- 
cized form of O. Fr. fei, feid {zz Lat. 
fidem), which has been assimilated to 
other abstract words like truth, ruth, 
health (Skeat, Etym. Bid.). 

Fall, in the exclamation " A fall ! A 
fall ! " used by the whale fishers on the 
sight of their prey, is a corruption of 
the Dutch Val! Val! i.e. " A whale ! 
A whale ! " 

A whaler empties its crew — clothed and 
half-naked — into the boats when at any mo- 
ment of the day or night the glad cry is 
raised of " A fall ! A fail ! "—The Standard, 
AoT. 7, 1879, p. 2. 

False- sweae; The Leicestershire 
folk say that a person who has com- 
mitted perjury is "false-sworn." It is 
doubtless a popular corruption of /or- 
stoea/)-, forsworn (Evans, Leicestershire 
Words, p. 145, E. D. S.). 

Fancy, an attempted explanation of 
pansy (Prior), not altogether beside 
the mark, as pansy itself is from the 
French pensee, thought. 

Fangle, used for something trivial 
or fantastic, " as new f angles, new 
whimsies." — Bailey. Nares quotes an 
instance from Gayton, and this from 
Wood's AthencB, " A hatred to fangles 
and the French fooleries of his time." 
Shakespeare has f angled. 
Be not, as is oav Jangled world, a garment 
Nohler than that it covers. 

Cymbeline, v. 4, 1. 134. 

These words originated in a mistake 
about the composition of the words 
newfangled (Palsgrave, 1530), new- 
fangledness {Fref. to P. Booh), less cor- 
rect forms of newf angel (Chaucer, 
Gower), newfanglenes (Fref. to A. V.). 
Prof. Skeat shows that new-fangel is 
compounded oifangel {faitvgol) and new. 

ready to fang or seize on new 
{Etym. Bict.). 

Fakmee, one who cleanses, in the 
old words jokes-farmer (Beaumont and 
Fletcher), gong-farmer (Stowe), a la- 
trine-cleaner, is a distinct word from 
farmer, the food (A. Sax. fea/rme] sup. 
plier, and farrmer of revenue who man- 
ages it for a fixed sum {fjrma, of. " Jer- 
myn, or take a };inge to/erme, sAfmmm 
aooipio." — Fi-ompt. Fa/rv.), being a de- 
rivative of old Eng. /erme, Prov.Eng. 
farm, to cleanse, A. Sax. fea/rmian, and 
akin to Prov. and old Eng. fey, feigh, 
or fow, to cleanse, Ger. fegen, Dan, 
feje, Icel. faga; also Icel. fagr, A. Sax. 
fceger, " fair." 

I ferme a siege or priuy, i'escure.— Pals- 
grave, Lescluircissement, 1530. 

Firmarius, given in other MSS. JMna- 
rius and fwmarius, in the Prompt. Far- 
vulorimi (c. 1440), as equivalent to 
" racare of a pytte," is due to a false 

Faethee, is a mongrel form, — a cor- 
ruption oifa/rrer. Mid. Ung. ferrer,fem, 
old Eng. fyrra, the comparative of /or, 
Mid. Eng. /er, old Eng. /eor, from false 
analogy to further. So farthest tax far- 
Now sen a ryghtwis man salle scliyne als 

Als }:e son dose, Jian mon he gyf lyght 
Ais fer als ):e son dose and_/er?'er. 

Hampole, Pricke of Conscience, 1. 9154 
(ab. 1340). 

Fwrther (Mid. Eng. fortlher, ferthr, 
old Eng. fu/rthor) is the oomparative, of 
forth. Stoddart, Philosophy of Lan- 
guage, p. 286 ; Morris, Historical En^. 
Qramma/r, p. 94. 

Farthingale, a corruption of tk 
older form vardingale, Pr. iiertugdh, : 
vertugadin, Sp. verdugado, a hooped 
petticoat, from Sp. and Portg. vwikjo, 
a rod, a plait, and that from verde, wi 
dis, a green twig. 

We shall not for the future submit ourselTO 
to the learning of etymology, which migM 
persuade the age to come that the farthingnle 
was worn for cheapness, or the_/i»'teliiio for 
warmth.— Spectator, No. 478 (1712). 

The history of the French vertugain 
being forgotten, it was explained to be 
a veriu ga/rdien, a safe-guard, from its 
rendering it impossible to approach tie 
wearer except at arm's length ! Jamie- 


( 117 ) 


son gives us a Scotch word vardingard, 
and Ital. gua/rdinfante, ■which must be 
a further corruption. 

With these Ferdm|-a/estlieGownsof Women 
heneath their wastes were pent-housed out 
far beyond their bodies, so that posterity will 
wonder to what purpose those bucklers of 
paste-board were employed. Some deduce 
the name from the Belgick Verd-gard ( derived, 
they say, from Virg, a Virg-in, and Garder, 
to keep and preserve) ; as used to secure 
modesty, and keep wantons at a distance. 
Others more truly fetch it from Vertu and 
Gaile ; because the scab and bane thereof, the 
first inven tress thereof being known for a light 
House-wife, who, under the pretence of mo- 
desty, sought to cover her shame, and the 
fi'uits of her wantonness. . . . But these 
Verdingales have been disused this fourty 
years. — Fullerj Worthies of England, vol. ii. 
p. 221. 

Fashion brought in the farthingale, and 
carried out the farthingale, and hath again 
revived the farthingale from death, & placed 
it behind, like a rudder & stern to the body, 
in some so big that the vessel is scai-ce able to 
bear it. — Bp. John King, Lectures on Joruih, 
1594, p. 2'-'7 (Nichol's ed.). 

I warrant you they had bracelets, and ver- 
dinggales, and suche fine geare. — Latimer, 
Sermons, p. 280, verso. 

What compass will you wear your farthin- 
ShaJce^eare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, 
ii. 7, 1. 51. 

The Queene ariv'd with a traine of Portu- 
guese ladies in their monstrous fardingals or 
guard-infantas, their complexions olivader 
and sufficiently unagreeable. — J. Evelyn, 
Diary, May 30, 1662 (p. 284, A. Murray 
Tir'd with pinn'd ruffs, and fans, and partlet 

And busks, and verdingales about their hips. 
Bp. Hall, Satires, IV. 6, 1. 10. 

Fashions, a disease of horses, the 
farcy, a corruption of Fr. farcins, farcin 
(Lat. farciminum, orig. a gtuf&ng). See 
Davies, 8upp. Eng. Glosswry. s.v. 
Infected with the fashions. 

Taming of the Shrew, iii. 2. 

No, sirra, my horse is not diseased of the 
fashions. — Copley, Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 

They are like to die of thefazion. — Greene, 
Farewell to Folly, Introd. 

It. farcina, "the farcin, farcies, 
fashions or creeping ulcer in a horse." 
— Florio. a. Ger. fasch. 

^'Fashion! " says a Wiltshire farmer to his 
new-fangled granddaughters, " Ha ! many a 
good horse has died o' the fashion !" — Aker- 

Davies quotes from Sterne " a farci- 
cal house," one fit for the reception of 
fa/rded patients {Supp. Eng. Glossary). 

Favour, to curry, is a corruption 
of the old phrase to curry favel, which 
meant originally to curry the yellow- 
coloured horse, favel ; but the punning 
allusion to favel, favelle, signifjrlng 
flattery (from Lat. fabula) eventually 
predominated, and gave the phrase the 
meaning of to flatter or cajole. See 


Men of worschyppe that wylie not glose 
nor coryfavyl. — Gregory's Chronicle of London 
(1461), p. '214 (Camden See). 

Sche was a schrewe, as havey hele. 
There she currayedfuvell well. 

How a Merchant did his Wyfe betray, 
1. 203. 
Curryfauell, a flatterer, estrille. — Palsgrave. 
{Sheat, Notes to P. Plowman, p. 43.) 

Faunt, an old Eng. word for a child 
(Wychffe, Exod. ii. 3, &o.), so spelt asif 
a mutilated form of infaunt, an infant 
( Lat. infan{t)s, one who cannot speak), 
is no doubt the same word as old Pr. 
fan, faon, feon, a young animal, off- 
spring (our " fawn "), through fedon, 
fceton, from Lat. foetus. Hence also 
Walach. fet, a child, Sard, fedu, pro- 
geny (Wedgwood). The excrescent t 
(as in tyran-t) is common. 

At \)e fote jjer-of {ler sete a faunt, 
A mayden of menske, ful debonere. 
Alliterative Poems, A. 1. 162 (ed. 
In Legends of the Holy Bood (E. E. 
T. S.), Christ is called — 

Godes sone and maydenes faunt. 

P. 145, 1. 424. 

" Faunch (deer) " is perhaps the same 
The white faunch deer of the hawthorn glen 

Makes light of my woodcraft and me. 

G. J. Whyte-Meloille, Songs and Verses. 

Feasestkaw, an old corruption of 
the word festu, the name given formerly 
to a straw or small stick used in point- 
ing out to children their letters. Later 
forms are feskue and fescue, all from 
Lat. festuca, a straw. See Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Glossary, s.v. Festrawe. 

Festuca, a feskue orfeasestraw that children 
use to point their letters.— Florio (1611). 

But what seest thou a festu in the eise of 
thi brother, and thou seest not a beme in 
thin owne eiSst—Wycliffe, S. Matt. vii. 3. 


( 118 ) 


This eloyster . . . arched with stone hath 
in y" work our hlessed Lady shewing her son 
to read w* a fescue & books. — T. Dingley, 
History from MarbU, clxx. (Camden Soc.)- 

A Festure, penna, festuca. — Lemns, Mani- 
pulus, 1570, p. 192, 21. 

Peathekfbw, ] provincial names of 

Peatheefold, the plant feverfew, 

Featheefowl, / the Pyrethrum pa/r- 

thenium, so called from its being a 

febrifuge (Lat. febris fuga, what puts 

fever to flight). 

To these I may adde roses, violets, capers, 
fetheifew. — Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 
"I6th ed. p. 436. 

Other old corruptions are fedyrfoy 
(Prompt. Parv.) unAfetherfewell ; while 
provincial forms are featherfull, feather- 
feverefox, feverfotdlie. (See Britten and 
Holland, Eng. Plant-ifames, p. 176.) 

Feathee-stone. Dr. Brewer {Bid. 
of Phrase and Fable), giving no autho- 
rity, more siio, quotes this word as 
meaning " a federal stone, or stone 
table at which the ancient courts baron 
were held in the open air, and at which 
covenants [fosdera] were made " [?] . 
Wycliffe has federed, bound by cove- 
nant (Prov. xvii. 9). 

Pell, a Scotch word for very (valde), 
sometimes spelt feil and fele, as in the 
expression "He's a fell clever lad" 
(Lady Nairne), is from the old Eng. 
feel, pure, true (Ohphant, Old and Mid. 
Eng. p. 76). But compare A. Sax. 
fela, much, O. Eng. fele (Get. viel), 
which was perhaps confounded with 0. 
Eng. /eZ, cruelly. 

Ych haue \jo\ed. for (jy lone woundes fele 
sore. — Boddeker, Alteng. Vichtungen, p. 173, 

Felteykb, an old Eng. name for the 
plant FrytlwcBa centamriwrn, as if fell 
trick, is evidently a corruption of its 
Latia name fel terras (Dutch eerdegall, 
Eng. earth-gall, Cotgrave s.v. Sacotin), 
so called from its very bitter taste. 

Feltryhe, herbe, Tistra, fel terre, centaurea. 
— Prompt. Parvulorum. 

It may have been regarded as that 
with which women trick their "fell of 
hair," it being commonly used as a 
hair-dye formerly. See Way (note in 
lac. dt.). 

Female, so spelt from a false analogy 
to male, with which it has no con- 

nexion. It is the French femelle, Lat. 
femella, for feminula, a diminutive of 

And in euenynges also 3ede males fro 
femeles. — Vision of P. Plowman, B. xi. 331. 

Dr. Donne spells the word /cemaM. 
Liv'd Mantuan now againe, 
That fmmall Mastix, to limme with hij 

This she Chymera, that hath eyes of fire. 
Poem^, 1635, p. 97. 
Sylvester speaks of palms 

Whose lusty Femals willing 
Their marrow-boyling loues to be ftilfill- 

ing . . . 
Bow their stifl' backs, and serue for passing- 

Vu Bartas, p. 180 (1621). 
Male, best or fowle, uofemel. Masoulua,— 
Prompt. Parv. (1440). 

I will conclude that neither Vipers iii- 
gender with Lampreys, nor yet the femdl 
vipers kill the male. — Topsetl, Historie of 
Serpents, p. 296 (1608). 

In The Two Noble Kinsmen (v. 1, 
140), Emilia addresses Diana as one 

Who to thy femall knights 
AUow'st no more blood than will make a 
The form femmale occurs early in 
Alliterative Poems (14th cent.), p. 57, 
1. 696. 

Penny, an old country word for 
mouldy, as "fenny cheese " (Worlidge, 
Diet. Rusticum, 1681), as if the same 
word as fenny, boggy (cf. Goth, fani, 
mud), is only another form of virmey, 
vinnowy, or vinnewed, mouldy, A. Sax. 

Peeeet, which would more regularly 
be spelt furet (like the cognate word 
"furtive "), owes its present form pro- 
bably to a mistaken idea that the 
original was ferette, a dim. of /ere, Lat. 
fei-a, as if the "little wild animal." 
Compare Pr. furet and furon. It. 
fv/retto, from Lat. fiir, a thief, Lan- 
guedoc/we, a mouse, just as "mouse" 
(Ger. maus, Lat. Gk. mus) is from 
Sansk. mush, to steal (vid. Pictet, Orig. 
Indo-Eur. ii. 441). 

forette, or ferette, lytyll beste. [Mid. 
Lat.] Furo,furetus, velfurunculiu. — Promyt, 
Parv. c. 1440. 

The Latines call this beast Vinerra, and 
Furo, and Furetus, and Furectiis, because . . • 
it preyeth vppon Conies in their holes and 
liueth. vppon stealth. — E. Tapsell, Fourefooted 
Beasts, p. 216 (1608). 


( 119 ) 


Ferret, an old name for some 
species of woven silk fabric, is a cor- 
rupted form of It. fioretto, Fr. fieuret, 
GeT.floreti, from Tiat. flos, a flower. It 
perhaps originally bore a flowered pat- 
tern. "It. fioretti, course /errei silkes." 
- — Florio. Another name for it was 
flirt, jkurt, ot floret, silk. 

When perchmentiers put in noyerret-silke. 
G. Gascoigne, 2'he Steel Glas, 1. 1095 

Ferrule is the French virole, " an 
iron ring put about the end of a staff, 
&c., to strengthen it, and keep it from 
riving" (Cotgrave), Sp. virola, con- 
nected with It. viera, a ring, virer, to 
turn around. Corrupted from a false 
analogy to fen-wm, iron. The older 
form is verrel, verril (Bailey). 

Festraw, a corruption of festue or 
fesciK, Lat. festuaa, a straw or wand 
used to point out the letters to a child 
learning to read. In E. Cornwall it 
appears as vester (T. Q. Couch). 

All that man can do towards the meriting 
of heaven is no more than the hfting up of a 
festraw towards the meriting of a kingdom. — 
I'hos. Brooks, Apples of Gold (1660), Works 
(ed. Nichol), vol. i. p. 213. 

We have only scapt the ferular to come 
under the yescii of an ImpHinatur. — Milton, 
Areopagiticu, 1644, p. 56 (ed. Arber). 

Fetch, the apparition of one who is 
still aUve, is probably a corruption of 
the Scandinavian vcett, a supernatural 
being (Icel. vmttr ^ wight, Cleasby, 
720). So vmite-lys, the vsett's candle, 
would be the origin of the fetch-candle 
(Wedgwood). But in Manx faaish is 
a ghost or apparition. 

Fetlock appears to be another form 
of feet-loch, and has so been understood, 
either as the joint of a horse's leg 
whereby the foot is iater-loched with 
the tibia (Skinner, Eichardson), or as 
the loch of hair which grows behind the 
foot. Mr. Wedgwood, however, thinks 
that the word is the same as Swiss 
flsdoch, fislooh, Dut. vitsloh, vitloh (?), 
the pastern, from Low (Jer. fiss, Swiss 
fisel, a lock of hair, Dut. vezel. In 
Cornwall it is called the fetterlock 

Fetterfoe, in Promptorium Farvu- 
lorumfeder-foy, a corruption oi feverfew. 
See Fbathbefew. 

Feud, an inveterate grudge, enmity, 
a private war, is A. Sax./ce^S, hatred, 
Low Lat. /aMof, (Charlemagne, Capitu- 
lary), Ger. fehde, Goth, fjathwa (akin 
to fiend, foe, root pi, to hate), mis- 
takenly assimilated to feud, a fief. 
Low Lat. feiidum. This latter feud 
has been evolved out of Low Lat. 
fettdalis, a vassal (= Icel. fc-dial), 
mistaken for an adjective (Skeat). 
Coward Death behind him jumpit 
W'i' deadly feide. 
Bams, Poems, p. 43 (Globe ed.). 

Feverefox, a corruption oi feverfew. 
See Featherfew. 

Fewterer, an old term for a dog- 
keeper, or he who lets them loose in a 
chaoe (Bailey), so spelt as if connected 
with 0. Eng. /eufe, the scent or trace 
of a beast of chase, " Fewte, vestigium " 
(Prompt. Pa-i-v.), " He fond i>e feute al 
fresh." — WilKam of Palerne, 1. 90. It 
is really derived from O. Fr. viutre, 
viautre (Fr. vautre), a hunting dog. 
It. veltro, L. Lat. veltrum, from Lat. 
vertragus, properly a Gauhsh word from 
ver (intensive particle) +trag (Celtic := 
Gk. Tpexo, to run), "the very swift" 
(W. Stokes, Irish, Glosses, p. 44). 

Amongst serving-men, worse, worse than 
the man's man to the under-yeoman^/euJiere/'. 
Webster, Appltis and Virginius, iii. 4. 
If you will be 

An honest yeoman-fewterer, feed us first 

And walk us after. 

Massinger, The Picture, v, 1. 

Fiddle-de-dee I As the exclamation 
Bosh I (compare Ger. Possen I meaning 
Nonsense 1) has in all probability no 
connexion with the Gipsy hosh, a 
fiddle, though George Borrow asserts 
the contrary, it seems likely that the 
interjection fiddle-de-dee ! instead of 
being derived from the popular name 
of the violin, is a naturahzed form of 
the Italian expletive Fed4dd/io ! (fede 
and Iddio) "God's faith!" 'Sfaith I 
just as Dear me I dea/r ! are appa- 
rently from Dio wvio ! dAo 1 Fiddle- 
stick I would then be a further corrup- 

"Fediddio!" exclaimed Francesco Cei, 
"that is a well-tanned San Giovanni." — G. 
Eliot, Romola, ch. viii. 

Similarly Crimini ! an interjection 
of surprise, Mr. Wedgwood thinks is 
It. crimine; cf. ci-ymardas! Gracious! 
(Devonshire CowtsMp, p. 12). 


( 120 ) 


Fieldfare, the name of a bird sup- 
posed to have been so called from its 
cliaracteristic habit oi faring oi moving 
across the fields (so Isaac Taylor, 
Words and I'laces, p. 160, n. 2nd ed.), 
Old Bng. feldefwre and felfa/i-e in the 
Fromptorium Farvuloi-iimi (ab. 1440), 
is a corruption of A. Sax. fealefor, 
fealafor (Ettmiiller), from fealo, fealav, 
tawny, yellowish, Lat. flavus. In 
Cumberland it is called the fell-faw, or 
" mountain gipsy," as if from fell, a 
mountain (Ferguson, Glossary, s.v.)- 
Compare Fr. fauvette, a small bird, a 
warbler, from Fr. fauve, Lat. flavus 

Glaucium, .... A felfare, or (as some 
thinke) a coote. — Nomenclator. 

Feldfa/re also, however, is found in 
old English (Skeat). 
Wijj fesauns & feldf ares' and olper foules 

William of Paleme, 1. 183 (ab. 1350). 

FiGAEDE, an old Eng. word for a 
roebuck used in Wycliffe's Bible, Deut. 
xiv. 5, is a corrupted form of Lat. 
pygm-gus, Gk. pugargos, " white- 
rump." The word was perhaps in- 
fluenced by A. Sax. fvrgen-gdt, a moun- 
tain-goat, fwgen-hucca. 

File, a slang term for an artful per- 
son, formerly a thief or pickpocket, 
from Prov. Eng. feal, to hide, 0. Eng. 
felen, Icel./eZa, Goth., filhan, to conceal. 
Near akin is fil-ch, fil-k, and perhaps 
Fr. filou. " To Feale, velare, abscon- 
dere." — Levins, Mamipulus (1670), p. 

The greatest character among them was 
that of a pickpocket, or, in truer language, a 
Jile.—H. Fielding, Jonathan Wild, J3k. iv. 
chap. xii. ( Works, p. 590). 

Fillet, an Anglicized form of Fr. 
filet, a little thread, hovafil, Lat. fihim. 
An old form is felet (Fasten Letters), 
Low Lat. feleta (1394, in Way), and 
the orig. meaning a band worn across 
the forehead consisting of hnon em- 
broidered with gold {Ortus). It is 
worth considering whether it is not a 
corruption oi phylacterium (filatermm), 
to which it closely corresponds, and 
by which indeed it is glossed in the 
Frompiormm Farvulonvm, " FyleUe, 
victa, philacterium." Compare It. 
filaierio, a precious stone worn as an 
amulet (Florio), the same word, with 

its close resemblance to filaierie, jUor 
iera, a web, a woof. LowLat./Zafemm 
is used for a girdle {cordeliere), while 
filetum is a net (Du Cange). 

Forsothe thei alargen her jilaieries.—Wy- 
clife, S. Matt, xxiii. 5. 

FiLL-HOKSE, or Fillar, "that horse 
of a team which goes in the rods."— 
Kennett, ParocMal Antiqmties, 1695 
(E. Dialect Soc. ed.), is a corruption 
of thill-horse, one that goes in the tUlh 
or shafts (A. Sax. i>il, _ Icel. inli), 
Northampt. filler and thiller (Stem- 

Come 3'our ways ; an you draw backward, 
we'll put you i' theyi7/s. — Shakespeare, TroUus 
and Cressida, iii. 2, 1. 48. 

F is very frequently substituted for 
th, e.g. Wiltshire fusty for tlmsty (E. 
D. Soc. Beprmt B. 19), 0. Eng. afurst 
for athirst (P. Plowman, C. x. 85), and 
th for f, e.g. thetches tor fitches, thorough 
for furroiB (W. Elhs, 1750) ; Leicester, 
throff tor froth (Evans). 

The traces of the hindmost or phili-horge 
are put on an iron hook.- — W. Mlis, Mod, 
Husbandman, I. 39 (1750). 

Thou hast got more hair on thy chin than 
Dobbin my Jill-horse has on his tail. — Mer- 
chant of Venice, ii. 2, 1. 100. 

FiLLY-BAG, an Enghsh pronimcia- 
tion of Gaelic feile heag, i.e. feile, a kilt 
or covering, and heag, little (Campbell, 
Tales of W. Highlands, vol. iv. p. 

FilmFeen, (owes its name, perhape, 

Filmy Feen,Uo the latter part of 
Hymeno-phylliim, its Latin denomina- 
tion, just as fillyfindillan is an Irish 
adaptation of the (Spirsa) fiUpm- 

Find, in the sense of to support, pro- 
vide, or supply with provisions, as 
when servants are hired at a certain 
wage "all/oMjid," or otherwise "to 
find themselves," and as when a ship 
is described as " well/oMmd,"is a pecu- 
liar use of the word find, to discoverj 
A. ^a,^.findan. It is old Eng._/i/m(fe, 
" Fyndin, helpyn', and susteinyn' hem 
Jjat be nedy. Sustento. Fyyndninge, 
or helpynge in bodyly goodys at nede. 
Exhibicio, subvencio." — Fromptmum 
Fa/rvuloi-um (ab. 1440); influenced ap- 
parently by Prov. Eng. and Scottish 
fend, to support, provide for, or shift 
(for oneself ), whence fenJy, managing, 


( 121 ) 


thrifty, Cleveland./eTOcia6Ze, industrious, 

He must fend for himself as well as he 
can. — Wright. 

Bay gives " To Fend, to shift for, 
from dpfend " {North Country Words), 
Fr. defend/re, to preserve, niaintaine, 
sustaine (Ootgrave). Compare 
Helme and hawherke both he hent 
A long fauchion verameut. 
to fend them in his neede. 
Percy's Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 61, 1. 76. 
I assayed him, & he fended weele. 

Id. vol. i. p. 365, 1. 346. 
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill, 
Till they be fit to fend themsel. 

Barns, Poems, p. 33 (Globe ed.). 
Some saith that in paying this demaund 
they should not be able to Jynde thair wifes 
and childre, but should be dreven to send 
theym a begging, and so to geve up" their 
fermes. — Ellis, Original Letters (date 1525), 
3rd Ser. vol. i. p. 363. 

Finding vfas used for the exhibition 
or support of a student at the Univer- 

I have a fetherbeed with a boullster for 
Master Wyllam VVellyfed sone that ys at 
Cambreg at yowre mastershype Jt/ndeng. — 
Ellis, Original Letters (1533), 3rd ber. vol. ii. 
p. 238. 

Compare old Eng. and Scot, findy, 
full, substantial, supporting (A. Sax. 
find/ig), as iu the proverb — 

A cold May and a windy 
Makes barns fat andjindti. 
By husbondry of Swiche as God hire sente, 
Shejonnd hireself and eke her doughtren two. 
Chaucer, The Nonnes Preestes Tale, 
1. 14834. 
My fader and my frendes founden me to scole. 
Langtand, Vision of P. Plowman, vi. 
36 (text C). 
Fiat uoluntas tua • fynt ous alle [jynges. 

Ibid. 88. 
If a labouring man should see all that hee 
gathereth and spendeth in a yeare in a chest 
it would not jinde him halfe a yeare, yet it 
Jindeth him. — Latimer, Sermons, p. 304, verso. 
As for the wicked, indeede God of his ex- 
ceeding mercy and liberality fndeth them. — 
Id. p. 1.57, verso. 

Firman, a decree of the Turkish go- 
vernment, so spelt as if derived from 
0. Eng. fkm, Portg. jvrmar, to sign, 
seal and confirm a writing (formerly 
phirman), is properly the Persian far- 
man, a mandate, order, Hindustani 
fa/rmiln, and fa/rmdnd, to command, 
Sansk. pramdna, decision. A firm is 

properly the confirmatory signature 
{Sp.firma) peculiar to a trading com- 
pany, under vsrhich it does business, 
from Sp. and Portg. jvrmar, to sign or 

Long attendance we danced ere we could 
procure a Phirman for our safe ti'avel. — Sir 
Thos. Herbert, Travels, p. 224 (1665). 

Fish, a counter used at cards to mark 
the state of the game, owes its shape 
and name to a mistaken etymology, 
being really the Anglicized form of Fr. 
ficlie, used in the same sense. It is a 
derivative of ficJier, to fix (as a peg at 
cribbage), then to mark, a by -form 
springing from the Latin figere, to fix. 
Curiously enough Fr. poisson (a fish) 
seems formerly to have been used for a 
peg fixed in the ground. In the metri- 
cal account of the siege of Carlaverock 
in the time of Edward II., we read of 
tents being erected " with many a pin 
driven into the ground," — meint poisaon 
en terreficMe (Nichols's translation, p. 

It is, however, the last quoted word 
which is identical with our fish. Com- 
pare O. Eng. ficche, to fix, ficcMng, fix- 
ing, " No but I schal se in his hondis 
the ficcMng of nayhs. ... I schal not 
bUeue."— WycUffe, St. John, xx. 25. 

He was not long in discovering that staking 
shillings and half-crowns, instead of counters 
and "Jish" . . . was a very different thing to 
playing vingt-et-un at home with his sisters 
lor love. — Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, 
Pt. I. ch. xi. 

Fist-ball, 1 popularnamesforthe 

FuEZE-BALL, ) fungus lycoperdon, or 
puff-ball. The first part of the word 
represents Gei. feist, Dut. veest (crepi- 
tus), alluding to the pop or offensive 
explosion of dust it makes when broken. 

In Suffolk it is called a foist. Dry- 
den caUs it a fuzz-hall. Bacon a fuzzy- 
hall. See BuLFiST. 

There is a bag, or fuzzy-ball, growing com- 
mon in the fields . . . full of light dust upon 
the breaking. — Sylva Sylvarum, Works, vol. 
ix. p. 264 (ed. 1803). 

Fives, also spelt vives, a disease in 
horses, a swelling of the glands, is from, 
the French avives, Ger. feifel, Sp. ahi- 
vas. It. vivole, L. Lat. vivolcB, the glands 
of a horse. M. Littre holds that Fr. 
avives is from vive, because horses were 
supposed to contract the disease from 
drinking eoMX vies or vavivees ! 


( 122 ) 


Flash, a Suffolk word for to trim a 
hedge by cutting off the overhanging 
brush [Old Gauntry and Farming 
Wwds, E. D. S. p. 143), is no doubt a 
corrupted use oi plash, to cut and lay a 
hedge, orig. to interweave its spreading 
branches into a fence, to pleach or plait 
it (Fr. plesser, Lat. pUcare). See 

Flat, a set of rooms comprised in 
one storey of a house, as if all upon the 
one level, is the Icelandic fkt, A. S. 
flett, Dan. fled, O. H. G. flazi, Prov. 
Orer.fletz, a dweUing, chamber, room, 
house. 0. Eng. vlette, a floor {La^a- 
men's Brut, ab. 1205). 
I schal stonde lijni a strok, stif on ]iis Jiet. 
Sir Gawayne, 1. 294 (ab. 1320). 
But fayre on kneus ]iey schule hem sette, 
Knelynge doun vp on thejiette. 

J. Myrc, Instruction for Parish Priests, 

1. 273 (E. E. T. S.) 

An hep of gii'les sittende aboute the^et. 

Potitieat Songs, p. 337, 1. 309 (temp. 

Ed. II.). 

I felle vpon Jjat floury _/?a3f. 

Alliterative Poems, p. 2, 1. 57. 
Flet, a floor, a story of a house, commonly 
ajiat. — Jamieson, Scottish Diet, 

Scot.jfei, a saucer, Banff /ai (Gregor), 
znplate, platter, 

Flattbe dock, a Cheshire word for 
pond weed. Flatter is for jloter ^^ float- 
ing ; compare " floter-graese," gramen 
fluviatile {Gerarde, Herball, p. 13) ; old 
Eng. fleathe, the water-lily, fleot wyrt, 
float wort (Cockayne, Leechdoms). 

Flavour is probably identical, as 
Wedgwood notes, with Scottish flewa/re, 
fleure, a smell, scent (Gawin Douglas), 
Freneh_^Mrer, to yield an odour, which is 
merely another form (? influenced by 
Jlev/r) of flairer (Scheler), 'Prov. flairar, 
Lat. fragrare, to yield a scent. Flaur 
{J&mieson), flaivare, no doubt became 
jlavoivr from the analogy of savour. 
Old Eng. flayre, flaume. 
And alle swete savours )>at men may fele, 
Of alkyn thing ]p&t here savours wele, 
War noght bot als stynk to regard of Jjat 

J>at es In Ipe cet^ of heven swa fayre. 

Pricke of Conscience, 1. 9015-9018. 
So hechftauorei of frytes were. 

Alliterative Poems (14th cent.), p, 3, 
1. 87. 
Flbegabie, a Scotch word for a whim 
(Jamieson), is a corrupt form oifeegary, 

i.e. a vagary, a wandering thought 
(from Lat. vagari, to wander), with a 
mistaken reference to flee. 

Fe^iirii,c[.d. Vagary, avagando, a roving or 
rooming about. — Bailey. 

In the Holdemess dialect of E. York- 
shire it takes the form of frigary; m 
W. ComwaU. flay-gerry (M. A. Court- 

Flight of states. FUght in this 
CTirious expression is perhaps the same 
word as the Icelandic flet, a set of 
rooms, O. H. Ger. flazi, Prov. German 
flstz, A. San-fliett, and so would mean 
the series of stairs joining one flat or 
storey with another. See Flat. 

Flinty-mouse, said to be a name for 
the bat in some parts of England (T. P. 
T. I)yer, Eng. Folhlore, p. 115), is a 
corruption of the word flitienrmouie, old 
'Eng.flfyndermotise, fliichermouse ( B. Jon- 
son), Ger. fljedermaus. Cf. 0. Eng, 
vUnd/re, a moth (Ayenbite, 206). 

Thenne cam . . . the fiynderrnowsAai Hii 
wezel.- — Caxton, Reynard the Fox, 1481, p. 
112 (ed. Arber). 

Giddy Jiitter-mice with leather wings. 

B. Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, ii. 2 
(p. 500). 

Fliet, according to Prof. Skeat, is 
the same word as Scottish _/JjVd, to i&t, 
fliirdie, giddy, A. Sax.jffecw-diam, to trifle, 
fleard, a foolish thing, a piece of folly 
{Etym. Bid.). Cf. Banff, flird, to trifle, 
with the notion of going from place to 
place, "He's a fArdin' aboot bodie, 
he'll niver come to gueede " (W. 
Gregor, Banff. Glossa/ry, p. 48). The 
old form of the word isflu/ri. 
Hath light of love held you so softe in her 

Sing all of greene willow ; 
Hath fancy provokte you ? did love you in- 
ti-ap 1. 

Sing willow, willow, willow; 
That now you be Jlurting. and will not 
The Gargems Gallery of Gallant Imentism, 
1578, p. 133 (ed. 1814). 
Skars and bare weedes 
The gaine o' th' mai-tialist .... 
.... nowjiurted 
By peace for whom he fought. 
The Two Noble Kinsmen, i. 2, 1. 19, 1634 
(ed. Littledale). 
It is probable that in the sense of 
amorous trifling the word has been in- 
fluenced both in form and meaning by 
Fr. "fiev/reter, lightly to pass over; 


( 123 ) 


only to touch a thing in going by it 
(inetaphorically from the little Bees 
nimble skipping from flower to flower 
as she feeds)," — Cotgrave ; just as the 
cognate word in Spanish, jhrear, means 
"to dally with, to trifle" (Stevens, 
1706). Anyone who has observed a 
butterfly skimming over a gay parterre 
on a hot summer's day will admit that 
its " airy dance " is no unapt compari- 
son for the course of that frivolous and 
ephemeral creature, whether male or 
female, which is known as " a flirt." 

( 1 ) With regard to the form, compare 
the term " flurt-siik," i.e. " floret silke, 
cowrse silke " (Ootgrave, s.v. filoselle), 
from the French flewet (Ger. floret- 
seide), and so := " flowered " sUk; like- 
wise the heraldic term " crosse flurt " 
(FuUer, Church History, ii. 227-228, 
ed. Tegg), q.d. croixfleuretee, a flowered 
cross, "croixfkyrencee" (Cotgrave). 

■A- py5t coroune 3et wer jjat gyrle, . . . 
'Wyihjiurted flowreS perfet vpon. 

Alliterative Poems, p. 7, I. 208 
(14th cent.). 

(2) With regard to the meaning, in 
many languages an inconstant lover 
is compared to a bee or butterfly which 
fUts hghtly from flower to flower. See 
The Wordr-Hunter's Note-Booh, p. 35, 

The rose of old, they say, was white, 
Till Love one day in wanton flight. 
Flirting away from flower to flower, 
A rose-tree brushed m evil hour. 

Temple Bar Mag, No. cxxvi. 
p. 285. 

A gay insect in his summer-shine, 
The fop, light-fluttering, spreads his mealy 

Thomson, Seasons, Winter. 

The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, 
And sport and flutter in the fields of Air, 
Pope, Rape of the Lockj 1. 66. 
And as for the bee 
And his industry, 

I distrust his toilsome hours ; 
For he roves up and down 
Like a " man upon town," 

With a natural taste for flowers. 

C. Lever, Oyie of Them, ch. vii. 

From a difi'erent point of view, a 
oomphment or pretty love-speech is 
called in French wne fleurette, " Cida- 
lise est joUe et soufire la fleurette " 
(Le Boux, Diet. Comique, p. 270). 
Hence ^Mre^er,babiUer, dire des riens 

Floeamor or Florinier, Fr. fleur 
d'amour, owes its name to its Latin 
appellation amaranthus being mis- 
understood as if compounded of amor, 
love, and anthus, flower (Prior). 

Flotilla, a small fleet, is a Spanish 
word, dimin. form oiflota, a fleet, akin 
to Fr. fi^tte (0. 'Er.flfite), flatter, to float, 
from Lat. fluctuare, to swim, fluctiis, a 
wave. It was no doubt influenced by 
the really distinct words A. Sax. flota, 
a ship, Icel. fl,oti, a raft, Dut. vloot 

Flower, a Sussex word for flaor, of 
which it is a corruption. Cf. Flower- 
hanh and Floor-hank, an embankment 
at the foot of a hedge. Similarly in 
the French phrase a flew de, on the 
same level, fl£ur seems to be corrupted 
from Ger. flar, Dut. vloer, our " floor " 

Phylerno gettes Phylotus faste by the graie 
bearde, and by plaine force puUes hym doune 
on the flower. — Riche His Farewell (1581), 
p. 208 (Shaks. Soc). 

Flower armour, in Tusser, Fine 
Hunch-ed Fointes of Good Huslandrie, 
1577, Flower armor in ed. 1580 (E. D. 
Soc. p. 95), a name for the plant ama- 
ranthus, is a corruption of Floramor, 
which see. 

Flush, in the sense of level, a car- 
penter's term, has not been explained. 
It is perhaps only a softened form of 
Ger. flach, level, flat ( = Greek plaa>, a 
plain surface). 

Flush, a Wiltshire word for fledged 
(E. D. Soc. Reprints, B. 19), is a per- 
verted form of oli'Eng. flygge (Norfolk 
flagged), able to fly, from A. Sa,-K.fliogan, 
to fly. They " am ryght flygge and 
mery." — Paston Letters, iv. 412. 

Flygge, as bryddys. Maturus, volatilis. — 
Prompt. Purvulorum (c. 1440). 

Prov. Eng. fliggurs, birds that can 
fly. Hence the slang term "fly," 
knowing, wideawake, able to shift for 
oneself. Of the same origin, no doubt, 
is " a. flush of ducks," i.e. aflight ; "to 
flMsh a covey," to make it take wing 
(Sussex, to ^'S'^i); and Shakespeare's 
"as flush as May " {Hamlet, iii. 3) = 
fuU-blown, mature ; Wilts flitch, pert, 


( 124 ) 


Fledge was used formerly where we 
would now use " fledged." George 
Herbert calls skeletons — 

The shells oi fledge souls left behinde. 
The Temple, Death. 

And says that pigeons — 

Feed their tender offspring, crying, 
When they are callow ; but -withdraw their 

When they are fledge, that need may teach 

them flying. 


To zee the crisimore, by peep o' day, in 
his leet scrimp jerkin, like a bard that isn't 
flush. — Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire Courtship, 
p. 26. 

The birds have flushed and flied. — M. A. 
Courtney, W. Cornwall Glossary, E. D. S. 

Flee, astutus, calidus. — Levins, Manipalus, 

Flushed, in suoli phrases as "fiushed 
with success," "flushed with victory," 
as if heated, excited, so that the face is 
suffused by a flush, of blood from the 
accelerated action of the heart, is really 
a corruption of the older expression 
fleshed, the metaphor being taken from 
the chase — dogs becoming more eager 
and excited when once they have tasted 
the flesh of their prey. " The Hounds 
are flesh' d and few are sadd." — Old 
BaUad in Nares. Bailey gives 
"Flushed, Fleshed, encouraged, put 
in heart, elated with good success." 
Similarly flusher, a provincial name 
for the shrike or butcher bird (Atkin- 
son, Brit. Bwds' Fggs, p. 31), must 
originally have been flesher, an old 
word for a butcher ; cf. its names, Lat. 
Icmius (butcher), " murdering pie," 
Ger. neuntodter, it being a slaughterer 
of small birds. 

Attin6, provoked, incensed, also fleshed or 
fastened on. — Cotgrave. 

His whole troops 
Exceed not twenty thousand, but old soldiers 
Flesh'd in the spods of Germany and France, 
Inured to his command, and only know 
To fight and overcome. 

Beaumont and Fletcher, The False One, 

The tyrant Ottoman .... is fleshed in 
triumphs. — Glanville, Sermons [Latham], 

So fleshment in Shakespeare for the 
elation or pride of victory. 

[He] in the fleshment of this dread exploit 
Drew on me here again. 

King Lear, ii. 2, 1. 130. 

Although they were flesh'd villains, bloody 

Richard III. iv. 3, 1. 6. 
Full bravely hast thou fl^esh'd 
Thy maiden sword. 

1 Hen. IV. V. 4, 1. 132. 
He that is moat fleshed in sin commits it not 
without some remorse. — Hales, Rem. p. 165 

A prosperous people flushed with great 
victories. — Bp. Atterbury, Sermons [Latham]. 
Such things as can only feed his pride 
and flush his ambition. — South, ii. 104 
Lo ! I, myself, when flush'd with fight, or 

hot, . . . 
Before I well have drunken, scarce can eat. 
Tennyson, Idylls, Enid, 1. 1508. 

Fodder, food for cattle, is an altered 
form of food, A. Sax. fdda, confused 
perhaps with the cognate words, Icel. 
fd^r, Ger. futter, which denote (1) a 
lining, (2) a quantity of hay, fodder. 
Cf. Goth, fodr, a sheath. It. foden, 
lining, a sheath, Dut. voeren, to hne, 
O. Fr. forre, (l) a sheath, case (Eng. 
fw)-), (2) fodder (Eng. forage). Could 
the food of cattle possibly have been 
regarded astheUning of their stomacbs, 
as the justice had his fair round paunch 
with good capon Uned ? 

Theca, fodder. Coriti, hoge-fodder. — 
Wright, Vocabularies (10th cent.), p. 41. 

FoGLE, a slang word for a handker- 
chief — ^perhaps of University origiu— 
seems to be merely an Anghcized form 
of Lat. /ocafe, a neck-cloth {torfa/ucak, 
from fauces, the jaws), on the model of 
slang ogle, an eye, := Lat. oculusjuggh 
r= Lat. jocuhts. 

The bird's-eye fogle round their necks has 
vanished from the costume of inn-keepers.— 
A. Trotlope, Can You Forgive Her, vol. i. 
p. 96. 

"If you don't t&ke fogies and tickers — . . • 
If you don't take pocket handkerchers and 
watches," said the Dodger, reducing his con- 
versation to the level of Oliver's capacity, 
" some other cove will." — C. Dickens, Oliver 
Twist, ch. xviii. 

FoLKSAL (Norfolk), the forward part 
of the vessel, where the sailors hve ; as 
if the sail or hall of the folk, for fore- 
castle {PMlolog. 8oc. Trans. 1855, p. 

Fool, in " gooseberry fool," it has 
often been said, is corrupted from the 
French fouler, to crush ( Graham, BooJi 
ahout Words ; Kettner, Booh of tk 


( 125 ) 


Tahle, p. 221 ; Sai. Beview, Feb. 24, 
1877, p. 243). 

Fouler, however. It. follaure, seems 
only to have been used for trampHng 
or crushing with the feet, to throng, 
and not in the general sense of mash- 
ing or reducing to pulp. A parallel is 
nevertheless afforded in Fr. marc, the 
residuum of pressed fruits, which 
Scheler derives from marcher, and 
macaroni from maccare, to bruise or 
ci-ush. So jam was probably at first 
i}cviii jammed or crushed, and then pre- 

Fall to your cheese-cakes, curds, and clouted 

\o\iX fools, your flawns. 

Ben Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, 
act i. sc. 2. 

It. rauioli, a kinde of clouted creame or 
foole. — Flot'io. 

In the old cookery book, Liber Cure 
Cocorum, ab. 1440, /oZe (the old spell- 
ing of fool) occurs in the sense of a thin 
paste made of flour and water, e.g. in 
compounding a Crustate of fiesshe the 
direction is given — 

Fyi'st make a fok ti-ap [=: dish] )jou mun 
(p. 40, ed. Morris). 

And for Tartlotes — 

Make a fole of doghe, and close bis fast 
(p. 41). 

It is probable that fool, like Fr. fou, 
fol, being applicable to anything light, 
frothy, or unsubstantial, was used spe- 
cifically for a dish consisting of cream, 
&c., whipped into a froth, — food the re- 
verse of solid and satisfying. We may 
compare with this vol-au-vent, origi- 
nally vole et vaine, an idle empty thing ; 
vole, light puff paste ; souffle, a dish 
made with eggs beaten into froth, &c., 
from souffler, to puff or blow ; and our 
own trifle, moon-shine, and perhaps 
sillabub (Prov. Eng. sillybauk), as 
names for light sweet dishes. The 
primitive meaniug of fool (Lat. follus) 
seems to be something puffed up or 
inflated hke a foot-baU {The Word- 
Hunter's Note-Booh, p. 209). Other- 
wise we might have supposed the word 
to have denoted a dish so dehcious 
that it ensnared, or befooled one, into 
over-indulgence, hke the Itahan " Gac- 
cia sapiente [' wise-catcher '] , a kinde 
of Custard or Deuonshire white-pot or 
Lancashire /ooZe." — Florio, 1611. 

FooTY, paltry, mean, contemptible, 
until recently only in provincial use, 
has no connexion with foot, as a would- 
be etymologist once imagined, compar- 
ing Lat. pe(d)jor and pe{d)s, as if low, 
base (A. E. Fausset, Horn. Iliad), is 
N. 'Eng. fouty, poor, mean, Hast foutry 
(Wright), Soot, fouty, mean, also ob- 
scene, indecent ; compare Scot, f outre, 
fouttour, a term of the greatest con- 
tempt, French fouiu, a scoundrel, a 
fellow of small account, from foutre, to 
leacher (Cotgrave), Ija.t. fuitiere. 

A foutre for thine office ! 
Slmkespeare, 2 Hen. IV. v. 4, 1. I"i0. 

Mr. Atkinson, however, compares 
Swed. futtig,TpaXtry {Cleveland Glossary, 
p. 197). 

Forced meat, stuffing, i.e. fa/rced 
meat, from fmxe or force, to stuff or 
cram, Fr. farcer, Lat. fardre, to 

Farcyd, as metys. Farcitus. — P rampi. 

Better, I wys, then Amadis de Gaule, 
Or els the Pallas /orced with Pleasure. 
F. Thynne, Debiiti' between Pride and Lowliness, 
(ab. 1568), p. 67 (Shaks. Soc). 

Wit larded with malice, and malice forced 

with wit. 
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, v. 1, I, 63. 

Force him with praises. 

Ibid. ii. 3. 

If this be the fruit of our life .... to fill 
and farce our bodies, to make them shrines 
of pride .... I know not well what to say 
to it. — Bp. Andrewes, XC Sermons, fol. p. 

Fors hit with powder of canel or gode 
gynger. — Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 31 (1440). 

Farse ]po skyn and perboyle hit wele. — Id. 
p. 26. 

Farce thy lean ribs with hope, and thou wilt 

grow to 
Another kind of creature. 

Massinger, Believe As You List, iii. 2. 

Force, in the phrase " to force a 
lock," it has been supposed is a cor- 
ruption of Fr. faulser, to pierce or 
breakthrough (Wedgwood). Compare 
" Faulser les gonds. To /orce, orbreake 
asunder, thehindges" (Cotgrave). At 
aU events, Shakespeare uses forced as 
meaning "falsely imputed," izfaulse, 
forged, feigned. When Leonato dis- 
owns his child with the words, " Take 
up the bastard," Pauhna rejoins. 


( 126 ) 


For ever 
Unvenevable be thy hands, if thou 
Tiikest up the princess by that forced base- 
Which he has put upon 't ! 

The Winter's Tale, ii. 3, 1. 78. 

FoEGETFiTL is by a mistaken analogy 
compounded with -ful, the original 
form being old 'Eng. forgitol ; similarly 
swicful in Lasamon's Brut (ab. 1205) is 
for swicol, deceitful {Oliphant, Old and 
Mid. Eng. p. 247). Compare 0. Eng. 
gifol, — Prov. Eng. givish, openhanded, 
the opposite of the old word gripple 
(Hall, Satires), griping, stingy, which 
must be from a form gripol ; witol, 
knowing, sometimes corrupted to wit- 
all ; etol, a glutton, &o. 

Forget, 0. Eng. forgitan, meant 
originally "to throw away," then to 
dismiss from memory, root gha(n)d, 
Lat. {pre-)liendo (Sweet, Gregory's Pas- 
toral bare, p. 482). 

Ten fling ben t>e letten men of here scrifte 
.... J^orgetelnesse, nutelnesse, recheles, 
shamfestnesse, &c. — Old Eng. Homilies, 2nd. 
Ser. p. 71 (12th cent.). 

FoRE-GO, to give up, a mistaken 
orthography oi for-go, A. Sax. for-gan, 
from the false analogy oi fore-run, fore- 
see, fore-know, fore-hode, &o., where /ore 
is A. Sax. fore (= Ger. vor), before. 

For-go, however, like for-lid, for- 
hear, for-gei, forsake, contains the par- 
ticle (A. S., Dan., Icel.) for, — Ger. ver. 
"Flesohs forgon oper viseh (To forgo 
flesh or fish)." — Ancren Biwle, p. 8. 

Foreign, spelt with g from a false 
analogy with words like reign, arrraign, 
&o. The more proper form would have 
been forain or foran. Of. Spanish 
forano, Fr. foradn, Lat. foraneus, from 
foris, abroad. See Sovereign. The 
brotliers Hare used the form forein 
(Guesses at Truth), Chaucer foreyne. 
An intrusive g was formerly found in 
many other words, e.g. Gower writes 
atteigne, ordeigne, restreigne. 

To be safe from the fm'reine enemy, from 
the wolfe abroad, is a very great benefit. — 
Bp. Andrewes, Of the Giving Cmsar his Due. 

Fcrt-einers may take aim of the ancient 
English Customs ; the Gentry more floting 
after forrein fashions. — T. Fuller, The Holy 
and Profane State, p. 106 (1648). 

Our modern word is perhaps, to some 
extent, a representative of old Eng. 
fewrene, distant, A. Sax. feorron, far 

away (from /eorr, far), merged into the 
French word. 

A king Jjet luuede one lefdi o{ feorrene 
londe. — Ancren Riwle, p. 388. 

Deer waeron manega vri{ feorran (There 
were many women afar off). — S. Matt, xxvii. 
55 (A. Sax. Vers.). 

So moche folc offurrene londe: jjat J)u 
clipest herto. — Lives of Saints, S. Katherine, 
1. 20 (Philolog. Soc. 1858), ab. 1310. 

FoEB-SHOEE. The first part of the 
word seeing to be the Icelandio fja/ra, 
the ebb-tide, the beach, as in fjm'u-lori, 
the sea-board (see Cleasby and Vig- 
fusson, S.V.), Shetland fiorin, the ebb 
shore, Norweg. fjora (Edmonston, 
Philolog. Soc. Trans. 1866). 

FoREYN, 1 acess-poolordrain(Gfo«- 
FoEEiNB, J sary of Arehiteetwre, Par- 
ker), is probably a derivative from 
Lat. forica (cf. Lat. foria, diarrhoea, Fr. 
foire), and assimilated to the old word 
foreine, as if a place without (foraneus). 
From forica comes also forahers, a cant 
term for the latrines at Winchester 
In to a chambre forene )je gadelyng gan 

jjat kyng Edmond com ofte to, & in );e dunge 

Hudde hym \>ere longe, fjat none man nas y 
Uobt. of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 310. 

FoEEMOST, SO spelt as if denoting 
most (i.e. mo-est, superl. of nw),fore or 
forward, is a corrupt form of 0. Bng. 
formest, foremeste (Maundeville), Le. 
O. Eng. /o?'me (A. S. forma), a superla- 
tive of fore, -1- -est, and so a pleonastic 
form (as if firstest, primiissi/nms). See 
Morris, Accidence, p. 109. 
[jere fie pres was perelouste' he priked in 

William of Palerne, 1. llyl, ab. 1340 
(ed. Skeat). 
Form (pronounced form, with the o 
as in no), (1) a long seat or bench, (2) 
a class of pupils (originally) occupying 
the same bench, has generally been re- 
cognized as identical with /orm (rhym- 
ing with stm-m), Lat. forma, a shape, 
figure, or model. They are kept sepa- 
rate, however, in the Promptorkim Pof- 
vulorum (ab. 1440). 
Forme, Forma. 

Foorme, longe stole. Sponda. 
And so in Bailey form and fowm. 
As Lat. forma, a model or rule (cf. 


( 127 ) 


formula) , corresponds to Sansk. dha/rma, 
an established rule, law, from the root 
dhar, to stand firm, so form, old Fr. 
forme, Low Lat./ormni, a choir stall or 
bench, in all probability corresponds 
to Greek th/ro-nus (for thor-nus), thrd- 
nos, fhre-nos, a, seat, bench, or stool, 
TisA. forxis, a row of seats in the circus, 
all from the same root dJiar, whence 
also Lat. fwmus. Compare old Lat. 
formiis, warm, r: Gk. thermos ; Lat. 
foris, zz Gk. fhura, Sansk. dvar. 

How drink gaed round, in cogs an' caups, 
Amang thefumn and benches. 

Bums, Poems, p. 18 (Globe ed.). 

It would not as well become the state of 
the chamber to haue easve quilted and lyned 
forms and stools for the Lords and Ladyes to 
sit on (which fashyon is now taken up in 
every raarchawnts hall) as gi-eat plank^orms 
that two yeomen can skant remoue out of 
theii' places. — Sir J. Harington, Nugte An- 
tiquie, vol. ii. p. 173. 

FoBSAKE, a compound of Eng. sake, 
A. Sax. sacan, to strive, fm'-sacan, to 
contend against, seems to have been 
assimilated in meaning to A. Sax. for- 
secgan, io for-say, deny (Ger. ver-sagen), 
refuse, and then in a secondary sense 
to renounce, give up, abandon. 

S. Peter . . . departed leavyng behinde him 

Velvet Breeches, and this bricklayer whoybr- 

sooke to goe into 
Heaven because his wife was there. 

Greene, Newes both from Heaven and Hell, 
If a man me it axe, 
Six sithes or seven, 
1 forsake it with othes. 

Piera Plowman. 
And who-so be chosen in ofiyce of Alder- 
man, and he forsake [i.e. refuse] ye offyoe, he 
shal paie, to amendement of ye list, j . li. wax. 
— English Gilds, p. 103 (ed. Toulmin Smith). 
Thou maist nat forsaken (=:negare non 
possis). — Chaucer [in Richardson]. 

Spenser has the form to forsay as 
well as to forsake. 

Her dalliaunce he despis'd, and follies did 

Faerie Qtieene, Bk. II. vi. 21. 
But shepheard must walke another way, 
Sike worldly sovenance [= remembrance] he 

Shepheard s Calender, Maye (Globe ed. 
p. 458;. 
Shepheardes bene_/brsai/(i 
From places of delight. 

Id. lulye (p. 467, 1. 69). 

Founder, a N. Ireland word for a 
cold or catan-h, as " The boy has got a 
founder" (Patterson), is a corruption 
of Fr. morfondre, to catch cold, from 
moroe, mucus, and fonAre, to melt, 
cause to run. From the first part of 
the same word comes O. Eng. mwr, a 
cold. So to founder (of a horse), to 
coUapse, is Fr. se fondre, "to melt, 
waste, consume away, to sinke down 
on a sudden " (Cotgrave) ; Lat. fun- 

Fox, a term for a sword frequent in 
the EHzabethan dramatists, may per- 
haps be the French faux, faulx, Lat. 
falx, a " falchion." 

Thou dy'st on point of fox. 

', Hen. V. iv. 4. 

William Sharp for bilboes, /o«s, and Toledo 

The Famous History of Captain Thos. 

Stukely, I. 574 (1605). 
O, what blade is't ? 
A Toledo, or an English Fox. 
Webster, The White Devil, sub fin. 

Fox, a cant term for to make, or 
become, drunk, perhaps akin to Fr. 
fausser, as if to disguise (?). Of. also 
the French fausser, or faulser, to pierce 
or broach a cask, whence faussei, a, 
faucet for a hogshead. Fuller uses 
fauxety for faussete (falsity) (Davies, 
8upp. Eng. Olossa7-y), with allusion to 
Guy Faux. 

Dr. Thomas Pepys dined at my house . . . 
whom I did almost fox with Margate ale. — 
Oct. 26, 1660, Pepys' Diary (Bright's ed. vol. 
i. p. 205). 

Malligo glasses_/ba,' thee. 

Middleton, Span. Gipsey, iii. 1. 

But as the humble tenant that does bring 
A chick or eggs for 's offering, 
Is ta'en into the butt'ry, and does fox 
Equal with him that gave a stalled ox. 

J. Jephson, Commendatory Verses to 
Lovelace's Poems. 
Then /ox me, & He fox thee ; 
then lets agi-ee, & end this fray. 
Percy Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 54, 1. 43. 

The sole contention who can drink most, 
and fox his fellow soonest. — Burton, Anatomy 
of Aelancholy, I. 2, ii. 2. 

It is worth noting, however, that in 
Icelandic fox is a fraud or deception 
(Cleasby, 167), and perhaps to fox is to 
beguile or fuddle one. Fuzzed (=z 
fuddled) is perhaps related. 


( 128 ) 


Foxed. A print or book is said to be 
foxed, when the paper has become 
spotted or discoloured by damp. In 
Warwickshire the same term is applied 
to timber when discoloured by incipient 
decay. It is, no doubt, the same word 
as the West country foust, soiled, 
mouldy, and fust, to become mouldy, 
Scot, foze, the same. Compare fouse, a 
Craven form of fox. Fust is from 
O. Fi.fuste, "fusty," originally smelling 
of the cask {fust, from Lat. fusiis). 
" They stanke like fustie barrells." — 
Nash, Pierce Penilesse, p. 33. 

Pox-GLOVE. It might be argued 
with some plausibility that this is a 
corruption of folh's-glove, just as Fox- 
hall in Pepys' Diary (May 29, 1662), 
now Vauxhall, is a corruption oiFulhe's 
Hall. The Digitalis, with its fingerlike 
flowers suggesting a glove, is considered 
sacred to the " good people " or fairy 
folks in most parts of the British Isles 
and Ireland; witness the names, Che- 
shne. Fairies' Petticoat ; East AngUa, 
Fairy -tliimhle; N. Eng. Witches' -thim- 
lle ; Irish, Fairy-cap, Fairy-hell, Fairy- 
weed, Fairy-glove. In Welch it is called 
menyg ellyllon, "fairy's gloves," hysedd 
y ellyllon, " fairy's-fingers," hysedd y 
cwn, " dogs'-fingers." In Irish sid- 
heann, from sidhe, a fairy, where sid- 
heann, pronounced sheeaun, the folks' 
plant, has a confusing resemblance to 
sinneach, or sionnach, pronounced sMn- 
nagh, the fox. Other Irish names are 
siothan-sleihhe (connected perhaps with 
ble plant." Cf. also " Lady's-fingers," 
Ger. fmgerhut, French gantes de notre 
dame ; " gantelee, the herb called Fox- 
gloves, our Ladies gloves " (Cotgrave), 
old Eng. wantelee, Cumberland and 
Yorks. Fairy-fUigers, Whitby Fox-fin- 
gers ; Low Lat. cirotecaria, from Gk. 
cheirotheke, a glove. 

See The Gardener's Chronicle, July 
15, 1876, p. 67; Lady Wilkinson, 
Weeds and Wild Flowers ; Joyce, Irish 
Naiines of Places, 2nd Ser. p. 311 ; Hunt, 
Eomances and Drolls of the West of 
England, vol. i. p. 127 ; Crofton Croker, 
Legends of Killarney, p. 14 ; Britten 
and Holland, Fng. Plant Names, E. 
D. Soc, p. 178 ; Cockayne, Leechdoms, 
Wortcunning amd Starcraft, vol. iii. 

The old English form Foxes ghfa 
(Cockayne, Leechdoms, &o., vol. i. p. 
266) shows that the obvious meaning 
is, after all, the correct one. 

Buglosse, foxes glofa. — Wright, Vocah\ii- 
lanes (11th cent. ', p. 67. 
The Norwegian name is rev-Uelde, 
"fox-bell." Fox's glove is not a more 
whimsical name for the d/igitalis than 
cuckoo's breeches in French for the cow- 
slip (hrayes de cocu), and cuckoo's hook 
in Welsh for the wild hyacinth {hwtias 
y gog). 

Fox's PAW, TO MAKE A, is quoted by 
Mr. Scheie de Vere {Studies in EngUsh, 
p. 205), as a provincial phrase, and ex- 
plained to be a corruption of Pr. faire 
un faux pas. I cannot find it men- 
tioned elsewhere, and his other inac- 
curacies and mistakes, even on the 
same page, would render his authority 
for this assertion very desirable. 

Fractious, peevish, umnanageable, 
bears a deceptive resemblance to Lat. 
fractus, broken, weak, Shakespeare's 
fracted, fracture, &c. It is, no doubt, the 
same word as Prov. Eng. fratclied, res- 
tive (Wright), Cleveland fratch, to 
quarrel, or squabble angrily (Atkinson), 
old Eng. "fracchyn [to creak] as newe 
cartys, al. frasMn." — Prompt. Pan. (so 
Skeat, Ftym. Diet.). Cf. perhaps Scot. 
frate, to chafe by friction, 0. Eng./j'ea<, 
to scold. 

Feamb, in the following passage of 
the Authorized Version is probably 
generally understood as meaning "He 
could not shape his lips so as to pro- 
nounce it rightly," as if an unusual 
use oiframie, A. Sax./remma»,tomake, 
do, effect. 

He said Sibboleth ; for he could not/ramc 
to pronounce it right. — Judges, xii. 6. 
The real meaning is " He could not 
succeed, was not able, to pronoimce it 
right," 0. Eng. and Scot. /ra»ie, to suc- 
ceed, A. Sax./rewMTO, to profit, " HwsBt 
frema]j ssnegma menn " [What profitetb 
it any man] . — S. Matt. xvi. 26. Cf. 
Icel. frenija, to further. Both fremim 
and fremman are froin fram, strong, 
good,/re?ne, useful (Bttmiiller,p. 370), 
Ut. to further or -put foi'wa/rd (fram). 

In the Leicestershire dialect /roDW, 
to contrive or manage to do a thing, is 
stiUinuse; e.g., "A cain't/recmtodew 


( 129 ) 


nootlunk as a'd ought." — Evans, Glos- 
sary, p. 154 (E. D. S.). 

Framynge, or afframynge, or wynnynge. 
Lucrum, 1/molumentum. — Promptorium Par- 

When they came to the Shaw burn, 

Said he, " Sae weel we frame, 
I think it is convenient 
That we should sing a psalm. 
Battle of PhUiphaugh,n. 13-16 (Child's 
Ballads, vol. vii. p. 133). 

" Well, how's that colt o' yours likely to tarn 
out ? Wheea ! 't frames weel." The new ser- 
vant "frames well," when appearing likely 
to fill her place well, — Atkinson, Cleveland 
Glossarif, p. 199. 

In the following the word is dif- 
ferent : 

He could well his glozing speaohes /ranw. 
Spenser, F. Queene, III, viii. 14. 

His wary speech 
Thus to the empyreal minister hefrajned, 
Milton, Par. Lost, v. 460. 

Feateky, ) an old word for the re- 

Peatby S feotory of a monastery 
(see Tyndal, Wwhs, ii. 98, Grindal, 
Worhs, 272, Parker Soo. Edd.), as if 
the common-room of the brotherhood 
(fratres), is a corruption oi freitour, or 
"freyiowre " (Prompt. Parv.), 0. Pr. 
refretmr, Low Lat. refectorium. Cf. fer- 
ma/ry for infermary. " Fraier-house, 
or Fraiov/r, the refrectory or hall in a 
monastery" (Wright). 

See Skeat, Notes to Piers the Plow- 
man, p. 97. 

Similarly Fr. frairie, an old word for 
a feast or repast (e.g. " Un loup etant 
de frairie." — La Fontaine) has been 
misunderstood as another usage of 
frairie, a confraternity met together for 
purposes of festivity (Cheruel, Diction- 
rudre Bistoriqae des Institutions, torn. i. 
p. 452). 

Afrayter or place to eate meate in, refec' 
torium,. — Willuil, Dictionary, ed. 1608, p, 250. 

Freres in here_/reJ(our shuUe fyude Jpat tyme 
Bred with-oute beggynge. 

Langland, Vision of Piers the Plowman, 
Pass. VI. 1. 174, text C. 
Where so ever sum eate, a serten kepe the 
froyter.—Bate, Kynge lohan, p. 27 (Camdeu 

Fermery and fraitur with fele mo houses. 
Pierce Ploughmans Crede, 1. 212 
(ed. Skeat). 
Concernynge the fare of their /roi/ter, 
I did tell the a fore partly. 

But then they have gest chambers, 
Which are ordained for strangers. 

Rede me and be nott wrothe, 1528, 
p. 85 (ed, Arber). 
The words " Refectory " and " Fratri) " or 
" Frater House " — " dpmus in qaa fratres una 
comedunt in signum' mutui amoria " — are 
practically synonymous. Indeed " Fratry " 
was at one time the more popular designation 
in England, though Carlisle is probably the 
only place where it has survived the crash of 
the Dissolution. So obsolete, in fact, has the 
term become, that it's very meaning has been 
forgotten. — Saturday Review, vol. 51, p. 267. 

Freckle, so spelt as if a dimin. form 
oifreah, a streak, like specMe, spangle, 
&c., is an altered form of O. Eng. 
frecken (Palsgrave, 1530), frakne 
(Chaucer), frakine (Prompt. Parv.) ; 
and so in the cognate languages, Swed. 
frakne, loeLfreknMr. We may perhaps 
cf. A. Sax. fracness, turpitudo, a dis- 
figurement (EttmliUer, p. 365). "A 
Freken, neuus." — Levins, Mampulus, 
1570, 60, 46. 

Febe, frequently in old Eng. used of 
ladies in the sense of lovely, amiable, 
noble, esp. in the combination " fair 
and free," " feyr and fre," and often 
apphed to the Virgin Mary, as in the 
carol " When Christ was bom of Mary 
free," is perhaps a distinct word from 
free, at liberty (= Goth, freis). Its 
congeners seem to be A. Sax. freo, a 
fair woman, O. Sax./n, Lombard, frea, 
a lady, Frigg, the Northern Venus, 
Freyia (cf. Ger. from-, Thorpe, N. My- 
thology, i. 33) ; also A. Sax. fred, lord, 
Goth, frauja (Ettmiiller, p. 371, Die- 
fenbach, Goth. Sprache, p. 398). Con- 
firmatory are Scot, frea, a lady, fre, 
beautiful, frely, a beautiful woman, 
Icel. fri, a lover, Dan. frier, a wooer, 
loel.frjd, to pet, Goth, frijon, to love, 
Sansk. pri, to love or please. 
She is fayi' and she is fre. 

Havelok the Dane, 1. 2876. 
The maid/re, that here the [Jesus] 
So swetlich under wede. 

ReliquiiE Antiqute, vol. ii. p. 193. 
Ysonde men calleth that fre, 
With the white hand. 

Sir Tristrem, p. 179 (ed. Scott), 
ab. 1250. 
Jjis maiden is suete ant fre [= noble] of blod, 
briht & feyr, of milde mod. 

Boddeker, Alteng. Dichtungen, p. 218, 1. 7. 
Menskful maiden of myght, 
feir a,nt fre to fonde. 

id. p. 168, 1. 8. 


( 130 ) 


For first whan ]>ejre was in f;e forest fownde 

in his denne, 
In comely cloJjeB was he clad* for any kinges 


William of Paleme, 1. 505 (ed. Skeat). 

Freebooter, Ger. freiheuter, Dan. 
frihytter, Dutch vrijhuiter, are supposed 
to be corruptions of the It. flihustiero, 
American filihusier, from the Spanish 
flildte, Icelandic _^2/ (fley-Mtr ?), a swift 
ship, a "fly-boat." Vid. Cleasby, Ice- 
landic Diet. s. V. Fley, p. 160. Oomipare 
O. Pr. frihustier (Scheler), Fr. flibustier, 
O. 'Eng.JUhustier, a pirate or buccaneer, 

De Quincey using the worcL flihustier 
remarks that in the United States 
JovuTials it is always -written filUhusters. 
He adds incorrectly, 

Written in whatsoever way, it is under- 
stood to be a Franco-Spanish eon-uption of 
the English word freebooter. — Works, vol. i. 
p. 6. 

Fkeed-stool, a seat near the altar in 
churches to which offenders fled for 
sanctuary (Bailey, Wright), so spelt 
perhaps from the idea that they were 
there freed from punishment, is a cor- 
rupted form of A. Sax. frii-stol, " seat 
of peace," an asylum (Chron. Sctxon, 

Fuller says that on the church of St. 
John of Beverley, Athelstan " bestowed 
a, freed- stool with large privUedges be- 
longing thereunto." — Chwrch Hist. II. 
V. 9. (see Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossary, 
s. v.). Spelman says that the inscrip- 
tion on this seat was, " Haec sedes la- 
pidea Freedstol dicitur. i. Paois cathe- 
dra."— GZossaiwrn., p. 298 (1626). 

Similarly free-hoa/rd, a strip of land 
outside the fence of an estate only par- 
tially belonging to the proprietor, some- 
times spelt frith-hord, must originally 
have been " a border of peace," /riS, a 
neutral territory. 

Febe-martin, the name given in 
many parts of England to a female 
calf of twins, when the other is a male ; 
such an animal beingregarded as barren, 
and I beheve with good reason. Free 
here seems to be a contracted form of 
ferry seen in Scotch ferry-cow, one not 
in calf. Compare Scotch/eroio, not carry- 
ing a calf (of. A. Sax. /ear, loel.farri, 
a bullock). Martin is the same word 
as Scotch mart, a cow or ox, so called 

from being usually slaughtered at Mar- 
tinmas for winter provision, Ir. mart; 
cf. Mod. Gk. marti, a fatted sheep for 
the festival of San Martino. 

Free-mason, a word first found, it is 
said, in a document dated 1396, " La- 
thomos vocatos^emaceoms," i.e. "stone- 
cutters called freemasons," is regarded 
by some (G. F. Fort, Early Eist. aid 
Antiqmties of Freemason/ry, pp. 189, 
seqq. ; Scheie de Vere, Studies in Eng- 
lish) as a contracted form oifrere-magon, 
a brother-mason, a term constantly 
used in the Order. Fr. franc-magon, 
Ger. frei-maurer, &c., are late forma- 
tions, prob. borrowed from the English; 
but an early instance of frere-magon is 
a desideratum. In the Journal de I'avo- 
cat Barbier, Mars, 1737, it is said "Nos 
seigneurs de la cour ont invente tout 
nouvellement, un ordre appele des/ri- 
massons, S, I'exemple de I'Angleterre " 
(Cheruel, Diet. Historique des Institu- 
tions, s. V. Soci&tes Secretes). 

The Company of Masons, otherwise call'd 
Free Masons, were us'd to be a loving Brother- 
hood for many ages ; yet were they not regu- 
lated to a society, till Hen. 4. Their arms 
sable, on a cheuron between 3 castles argent, 
a pair of compasses of the first, — J. Homil, 
Londinopolis, p. 44 f 1654). 

French, a Scotch corruption of finch, 
a small bird, as hull-french, green-french, 

French disease, probably a mis- 
translation of galle (a skin disease), gd- 
leux, &c., as lif identical with Oallus. 
Cf. French crown, Nares. 

Frensicke, in Levins, Mannpuhs 
Vocabulorum, 1570, 121, 1. 28 (glossed 
phrenetiaus), as if compounded with 
sicTc, is a corrupt form oi frenzie,fmiir 
sical =: mad (see Davies, Sitpp. Eng. 
Glossa/ry, s. v. v.), 0. Eng. " Frenesy,' 
sekenesse, Frenesis, mania." — From^t, 
Parv. Lat. Greek, ph~enesis, disorder 
of the phren, or senses. 

Fresher, a small frog (Norfolk). 
From 0. Eng./rosc/ie,/ross7ie (WyoUffe), 
Qer.frosch, Dan./rosfc (afrog). "Froke, 
orfrosche, Bana" {Pr. Parv.). 

I thought by this a lyknesse whiche hier a 
fore tyme byfylle to the frosshis. — Caxtim, 
Reynard the Fox, p. 37 (ed. Arber). 

Feesh-wold, ^ the Cleveland form of 

Frbsh-wood, S threshold, i. e. thresh- 

wold, A. Sax. fiersc-wald, hoisc-wold 


( 131 ) 


"Wycliffe has frexfoold 
Compare O. Eng. fursti 

(Zeph. i. 9). 

= thirsty. 

Feet, a stop on the handle of a 
stringed instrument, orig. a thin metal 
band, is no doubt the same word as O. 
Fr. frete, for feretie, dimin. of fer, an 
iron. Bo fret, to corrode or eat away, 
is a contracted form of for-eat (see 
Skeat, Etym. Diet., s. v. v.), and Ger. 
frett of fetret. 

Frieze, in architectiu:e, the part of 
the entablature between the architrave 
and cornice, has often been confounded 
with frieze, coarse cloth (so Cotgrave, 
Diez). There can be little doubt that 
the orig. meaning was an ornamental 
band (of sculptured work, &c.), and 
that the word is identical with Fr./reze, 
a ruff, O. Span./reso, " a kind of fringe 
or silke lace, or such Uke to set on a 
garment" (Minsheu), Ital.frisOtfregio, 
a fringe, lace, border, an embroyderie 
or any ornament and garnishing about 
clothes ; also a wreath, crowne or chap- 
let (Florio), a variety oi frigio, a kind 
of worke in Architecture, also a kind of 
tune or melodie (Id.). There is httle 
doubt that these Itahan words are from 
Lat. phrygius, meaning embroidered, 
also apphed to certain stirring strains 
of music. The Phrygians appear to 
have been celebrated for their skill in 
embroidery, as Plautus uses phrygio :^ 
embroiderer (It. frigions). Moreover 
in Low Lat. phrygium and plwysum 
were used for an embroidered border. 

As for Embroderie it selfe and needle-work, 
it was the Phrygians inuention : and here- 
upon embroderers be called in Latine Pkry- 
giones. — Holland, Plinies Nut. History, vol. 
1. p. 228(1634). 

Fringes. " Biding the fringes," a 
phrase once used in Dublin, is a cor- 
ruption of " Biding the franchises," a 
custom formerly observed by the Cor- 
poration (Irish Pop. Superstitions, p. 

Feisket, " an unrecorded word " 
(Grosart) in Su* John Davies' Enter- 
tainment of Q. Elizabeth at Harefield 
( Works, vol. ii. p. 246), is most probably 
a frog, a diminutive of old Eng. frosTc, 
A. Sax. frosc, frox (Icel. froshr, O. H. 
Ger. /rose, Gev.frosch). Bee Fresher. 

Yesternight the chatting of the pyes and 

the chirkinge of the frisketts did foretell as 
much [viz., the commg of strangers]. — Op. 

The word was apparently conformed 
to frisk, to leap. 

i5o can {Sor up swUcfroskes here. 
[Then came there up such host of frogs.] 
Genesis and Exodus, 1. 2969 (ab. 12o0). 

Frisky, in Meadow Frisky, a Suffolk 
name for the plant festuca pratensis, is 
a corruption of fescue. (Britten and 

Frizzle, a Scotch word for a steel to 
strike fire irom a flint, and for the 
hammer of a gun or pistol, as if to 
burn up quickly as hair does in the fire, 
seems to be a corruption of the syno- 
nymous Fi. fusil (Jamieson). 

Frog, a part of a horse's foot, " a 
Frush on a Horse's foot " (Bailey), 
" Frush, the tender Part of a Horse's 
Heel, next the hoof" (Id.). Frog here 
is a corruption of old Eng. frush (for 
fursh, forg), the forked part, Fr. fowrche, 
fourchette, from Lat. fwrca, a fork. It. 
forchetta, " a disease in a horse called 
the rmiuing frush" (Florio). Compare 
for the form of the word, frogon, a prov. 
word for a poker (Wright), Lincolnshire 
fruggin, =: Fr. fourgon, an Oven-forke, 
(Cotgrave), It.forcone, a great fork. For 
the meaning compare Ger. galel, (1) a 
fork, (2) a horse's frog. And yet, curious 
to observe, the Greek word, hdtrachos, a 
frog, denotes (1) the reptile, (2) a part 
of a horse's foot. 

Sfettouare is by Grisoni taken for the 
opening or cutting of the frush of a horse 
away. — Florio, Neuj World of Words, 1611. 

Frog (of a horse) : frush :: frog (the 
reptile) : Ger. frosch (cf. Prov. Eng. 
fresher, a young frog). 

The Frush is the tenderest part of the 
hooue towardes the heele, called of the Italians 
Fettone, and because it is fashioned like a 
forked head, the French men cat it Furchette, 
which word our FeiTers, either for not know- 
ing rightly how to pronounce it, or else per- 
haps for easinesse sake of prouunciation, do 
make it a monasillable, & pronounce it the 
Frush. — Topsell, History of Foure-fooled 
Beasts, p. 416, 1608. 

Frog, an embroidered ornament on 
a coat or frock, seems to have been 
originally a frock- or frog -ornament. 

Frogge, or frohe, munkys abyte, Flocus. — 
Prompt. Panmlorum (1440). 


( 132 ) 


Low Lat. froccus and floccus, a long 

He is none of your second-rate riding- 
masters in nankeen dressing-gowns, with 
brown _/?'0o-s, but the regular gentleman atten- 
dant on the principal riders. — C. Dichens, 
Sketches by Boz, p. 72 (ed. 1877). 

Feontbr, a Scottish term for a ewe 
in her fom-th year, is contracted from 
four-winter (A. 8ajX.feower-wintra,qaa.d- 
riennis). Similarly frundel, a North 
country word for a measm'e of two pecks 
(Bailey), also spelt frundelK, furundel, 
is for fourthen-deal or fu/rthindele (A. 
Sax./eor<5a?i d&l), the four&i part (? of 
a bushel), like halfendeal and eytendele. 

Compare Scot, gimmer, a one year old 
lamb, Icel. gynibr, Welsh gafr, a one- 
year old goat, from gam (ghiam), O. 
Welsh gaem, winter (= Mems, Greek 
cheimon), (Ehys, Welsh Philology, p. 
432) ; G-k. cMmaira, orig. a ivinterling 
goat ; PrOY. Eng. quinfer (for twinter, 
i.e. two-winier), Lincolns. iwiniy, a 
sheep of two winters ; Frisian, enter, 
and twinter, a colt of one, and two, 
winters old ; Lat. himus, trimius, for K- 
himus, tri-himus, two and three winters 
old {hiems). 

Fhontispiece, so spelt as if to denote 
the piece that fronts a book, is a corrupt 
form of Old Eng. frontispice, Fr. fronti- 
spice, Lat. frontispidum, from /rows and 
aspicio, the front of a building. 

The Windows also and the Balcone's must 
be thought on, there are slirewd books, with 
dangerous Frontispices set to sale. — Milton, 
Arenpagitica, 1644 (ed. Arber, p. 60). 

What can be expected from so lying a 
t'rontispke, but suitable falshooda? — t'ulkr, 
Mixt Contemplations. 

Such, both for Stuff, and for rare artifice, 
As might beseem som royall Frontispice. 

Sylvester, Du Barius, p. 464 (1621). 

The word in German is sonaetimes 
popularly corrupted into frontenspitze, 
as if from spitze, a head or point. 

Similarly the preface is not, as might 
be imagined, the foreface to the book, 
but the fore-speech, A.-Sax. fore-sposc, 
Lat. prcB-fatiiim, what is said before- 
hand to the reader. 

Fkown, always used now with the 
specific meaning " to knit the brows or 
wrinkle the forehead " (BaUey), as if 
akin to frounce, Fr. fronser le front, to 
frown or knit the brows (Cotgrave), Le 

fronds du sourcil, the knitting of the 
eyebrows (Id.), S-p.fruncir las cejas,to 
frown, corresponding to a Lat. fron- 
tiare, to contract the forehead (front). 
Wright [Frov. Diet.) gives frownce, a 
frown or wrinkle; "With that sehe 
/roMMcei/i up the brow "( Gower) ; "J'roMiti. 
ynge, Fruncaoio, rugaaio" [Prompt, Par- 
vulorum). Etymologists, however, are 
unanimous in identifying the word with 
Fr. (re-)frogner, (re-)frongner, to look 
sullen, frown. It. (in-)frigno, frowning, 
Lombard, frignare, make a wry face, 
whine, Prov. Swed. fryna, Horweg. 
fr'mjna, the same (Diez, Scheler, Skeat). 

He seeth her front is large and pleine 
Withoutey'rounce of any greine. 

Gower, Confebsio Ainantis,Yo\. iit 
p. 27 (ed. Pauli). 

Some frounce their curled heare in courtly 

Spenser, F. Queene, I. iv. 14. 

FuLMEKDE, an old name for the pole- 
cat, O. Eng. fulmarde, so spelt as if 
compounded of O. Eng. ful, foul, and 
Fr. merde, dung, filth (Lat. merda), with 
allusion to its offensive smell, and so 
actually understood sometimes [e.g. 
Smiles, Life of a Scotch Naturalist, p. 
116), is an incorrect form oi fowmart, 
fulmart, which " are contractions of 
foul martin, a name apphed to it in 
contradistinction to the sweet martin 
on account of its disgusting odour" 
(Bell, History of British Quai/rupeh). 

For J>e fox and )>e foulmert jpai ar botht fals. 
Bernurdiis, De Cum Hel Familiaiis, 
p. 20, 1. 74. 

In the churchwardens' accounts of 
the parish of Kendal for the year 1666, 
among the various sums paid for the 
heads of vermin are twopence for that 
of a " foulmart," and foiu'pence for that 
of a ■' cleanmart " {Transactions of ih 
Gumherland and Westmoreland AnMq. 
and Archceolog. Sodety, 1877). 

Foumart therefore is not compoiinded 
with Fr. fouine, the foiae or beech- 
martin (Cotgrave), Lat. fagina (Wedg- 
wood, Morris). 

()e fox & \iE fobmrde to [je fiyth wyndeS. 
Alliterative Poems, p. 52, 1. 634. 

On the nighte tyme . . . nyghtecrowea and 
poulcattes, foxes and _/imm«r(/es, with all other 
vermine and noysome beastes, vse mooste 
styrringe. — R. Ascham, Toxophilus, 1M5, 
p. 52 (ed. Arber). 


( 133 ) 


Haue yon any rats or mise, polecats or 

weasels ? 
Or is there any old sowes sick of the measles ? 
I can Aestxojfulmers and catch moles. 

The Mariage of Witt and IVisdome, p. 39 
(Shaks. Soc). 

A Fidmare, martes. — Levins, Manipulus, 
1570, 28, 47. 

Fulsome, a word generally used now- 
only of flattery or praise, in the sense 
of gross, extravagantly overdone, is 
given by almost every dictionary as 
another form oi foul-some, from A. Sax. 
ful, foul, impure. It is probably, how- 
ever, the same word as Old Eng. follh- 
summ, which appears in Orminn (about 
1200) in the sense of compliant, and 
this I take to be a derivative of A. 
Sax. folgian, to follow, foU^henn in Or- 
minn ; the original meaning then would 
hefollow-scme, fawning, imitative, apish 
Kke a parasite. Compare 
Fotwi/nge of manerys or condycyons, Imitacio. 
Prompt Pufv. 

Similar words are humoursome and 
haxom (= bow-some), apt to humour 
or bow to the wishes of another. 

When Shylock describes Jacob's fraud 
upon Laban, he says the skilful shep- 
herd peeled certain wands and 

Stuck them up before the fulsome ewes. 

The word here makes best sense when 
understood as meaning " sequacious," 
apt to follow where led, ready to imitate 
or copy [so. in their ofispring] what is 
set before them [viz. the parti-coloured 
rods] . Merchant of Venice, i. 3, 1. 88. 

There is no doubt, however, that at 
an early period the word was understood 
as a compound oifull, e.g. the Frompto- 
rium Farvulorvm, has " Fulsiinesse of 
mete, sacietas," and Golding in his Ovid 
renders pleno ubere by "fulsome dugs." 
This tart is swate and /ii/some [= cloying]. 
M. A. Courtney, W. Cornwall Glossary, 
E. D. S. 
And so in old English — 

8e vii fulmm geres faren [the seven abun- 
dant years pass]. — Genesis and Exodus (ab. 
1250), 1. 2153. 

We ben as fulsom i-founde • as );ou3 we fed 

Alexander and Dindimus, 1. 497 (ab. 
In hals 

Carthusian fasts sindfulsome Bacchanals 

Equally I hate. Meane's blest. 

Dr. Donne, Poem.s, 1635, p. 130 
(Satire IL). 

His lean, pale, hoar, and withered corpse 
grew fulsome, fair, and fresh. — Golding- 
ITrench, Select Glossarii]. 

Later writers seem generally to have 
connected the word with foul (A. Sax. 
ful). Thus Bp. Hackett says, some " to 
prove that everything without Faith is 
fulsom and odious," reported the unbe- 
lieving Jews to be " nasty smelling " 
(Century of Sermons, 1675, p. 805 ; and 
so Bp. Hall, who in his Occasional 
Meditation,, cxxviii., "On a flower-de- 
luce," says, " This flower is but un- 
pleasingly fulsome for scent " (1634, 
Woi-ks, xi. 172, Oxford ed.). 

Fulsome, foedus. — Levins, Manipulus, 

The worst [air] is . . . where any carkasscs 
or carrion lyes, or from whence any stinking 
fulsom smell comes. — Burton, Anatomtf of Me- 
lancholy, I. 2, ii. V. (p. 157, ed. Ifith). 
But one poor walk . . . 
So fulsome with perfumes that 1 am fear'd, 
iUy brain doth sweat so, 1 have caught the 
plague ! 

B. Jonson, Every Man out of His 
Humour, ii. 2 (p. 43). 

They [the Jews] have a kind of fulsome 
scent, no better than a stink. — Howell, Letters, 
Bk. I. 6, xiv. (1633). 

Scot, fowsum is used with both mean- 
ings, (1) rather too large, luscious {full), 
(2) filthy, nauseous (foul). 

Fumitory, the name of the fumaria 
officinalis, so spelt as if having the same 
termination as pell/itoi'y, territory, fac- 
tory, promontory, refectory, oratory, dor- 
mitory, is corrupted from Fr. fumitcrre, 
" earth-smoke," Lat. fumus terrre, it 
being an old belief that this plant was 
generated without seed from the fumes 
or vapours rising from the earth (see 
Prior, S.V.). Compare godliuma, a San- 
skrit word for wheat, literally the smoke 
or incense of the earth. 

Another corruption is It. fummo- 

Fond, a sum of money set apart for 
a certain purpose, a store or supply of 
anything, TJie Funds, Government 
Stock paying interest, the same word 
as Fr. fond, " A Merchants Stock, 
whether it be money, or money worth." 
The word, both in French and English, 
has heen generally regarded as a deri- 
vative of Lat. fundus, an estate, land as 
a permanent source of income, the foun- 
dation of wealth. 


Fond, a merchant's stock, however, 
is plainly a contraction of old French 
fondegue, a merchant's ware-house or 
storehouse (Ootgrave), also spelt fon- 
dique, fondnc, = It. fondaco, Span, fun- 
dago, a storehouse, Portg. alfandega, a 
custom-house, all which are from the 
Ar&hio fonduq, ahouse to receive strange 
merchants, a dep&t or hostelry. The 
Arabic word itself comes from the 
Greek pandocheion (" the aU-reoeiver "), 
an inn (Devic), or pandolteion, adopted 
in the later Hebrew as pMMtZajCMishna). 
Thus fund, stock, Fr.fond, has only an 
accidental resemblance to fond, land, 
Lat. fundus, to which it has been as- 

FuKBELOw, a corruption of Fr. fal- 
lala (" un volant "), Ger. falhel, Sp./«r- 
fala, a flounce, and akin to Fr. fariboles, 
flim-flams, nonsense, Eng. fallal, It. 
farfalla, a butterfly, &c. 

See the quotation from The Spectator, 
under Faethingale. The word is said 
to have been invented in the 17th cen- 
tury by M. de Langlee, marshal of the 
King's armies (Cheruel, Dictionnaiire 
des Institutions, s. v. Falhala). 

Compare " Flounces, feathers, fallals, 
and finery." — Thackeray (see Davies, 
Supp. Eng. GIossoa-ij, p. 231). 

FuBLOUGH, a soldier's leave of ab- 
sence, is (as Bailey noted) a corruption 
of Dutch ver-lof (= for-leave) ; of. Dan. 
forlov, Ger. verlauh. When first intro- 
duced the word was probably pro- 
nounced "furlof," and spelt furlough, 
from analogy to cough, trough, &c. The 
written word then being more common 
came to be mistakenly pronounced fu/r- 
low as at present. Words hke cough 
have undergone great changes of pro- 
nunciation, e.g. " Hie tussis, the cowe." 
— Wright, Vocabula/ries (15th csnt.), p. 
267 ; " Bowghe, al. row, Hispidus." — 
Prompt. Pa/rv. 

Cf. W. Cornwall, Iroft ^= brought, 
hoften = bought ; Prov. Eng. dafter = 
daughter, &c. "Whoso him hethoftj 
Inwardly and oft." — Old Epitaph in J. 
Taylor's Holy Dying, ch. iii. 9, 6. 

Pnss-BALL, \ the name of a weU- 

Fuzz-BALL, ) known fungus (ii/cqper- 

don), is not so called from the fine dust 

or fuzzy matter which it contains, but 

is a corruption of O. Eng. /s, a blowing, 

fizz, feist, foist, = Fr. vesse. Cf. vem 
de hup, " The dusty, or smoakie Toad- 
stoole, called a Fusse-hall, Puckfusse, 
Bull-fyste, Pufiyste, Wolves-fyste."- 
Cotgrave. See Bulfist. 

The latter part of puch-fusse is iden- 
tical with the first part oi fuzz-hall. 

PufFes Fistes are commonly called in Latine 
Lufi Crepitus, or Woolfes Fistes ; in Italian 
Vescie de Lupo ; in English PufFes Fistes, & 
Fusxbals in the north. — Gerarde, Herhal, p. 
1386 (1597). 

A little _/t(s(-6aU pudding standee 
By ; yett not blessed with his handes. 
Berrich, Poems, p. 471 (ed. Hazlitt). 


Gabriel Hounds, the name given 
in the Northern counties of England to 
a yelping sound heard in the air at 
night, resembling somewhat the cry of 
hounds, and behoved to portend deatk 
or calamity. In Leeds this pheno- 
menon is called gabhle-retchet, and is 
held to be the souls of unbaptized chil- 
dren flitting restlessly around their 
parents' abode (Henderson, Folklore of 
the N. GounUes, p. 99.). The Devon- 
shire word is Wish-hounds (or Odin's 
Hounds), Cornish Dandy-dogs (Kelly, 
Indo-European Tradition, p. 281; 
Hunt, Drolls, ^c, of W. England, p. 
150), Welsh OwmAnwm, Sell Hounis; 
cf Dan. Belrdkher, of the same mean- 
ing. The noise in question is undoub- 
tedly the cry of a flock of wild geese 
passing overhead. 

The old English word for the weird 
sound was Gahrielle rache, or Qabriel 
ratches, rache or ratche being a hound 
(A. Sax. rcBcce), and Gabriel being a 
corrupted form for an old ■worigaharen, 
a corpse, the whole, therefore, signify- 
ing a corpse-hound (zz Dan. Mghmd, 
cf. 0. Eng. lich fowle). " Lyche, dede 
body, Funus, gabares .... in Oabml 
dicit [? diciturj gaba/ren, vel gabbaren." 
— Prompt. Parvulorum. See an excel- 
lent note in Mr. Atkinson's Cleveland 
Glossary, p. 203, where he quotes Oah- 
ba/rcB vel Gabbares, dried corpses or 
mummies, from Facciolati. S. Augus- 
tine says that the Egyptians call fteir 
mummies Gahbaras (Serm. c. 12), and 
Wilkinson observes that the word stUl 


( 135 ) 


used for a tomb in Egypt is gah; or 
gohber {Ancient Egyptians, iii. p. 462). 
However, Gabriel is, according to the 
Babbias, the angel of death for the 
people of Israel whose souls are en- 
trusted to his care. The Talmud de- 
scribes him as the spirit that presides 
over Thixnder. (Wheeler, Noted Names 
of Fiction, p. 143.) 

He the seven birds liatli seen, that never part, 
Seen the Seven Whistlers in their nightly 

And counted them : and oftentimes will stai-t — 
For overhead are sweeping Gabriel's 

Doomed with their impious Lord, the flying 

To chase for ever, on aerial gi'ounds ! 

Wordsworth, Poems of' the hnaghmtion, 
Pt. II. xxix. 

In an old Hst of Colliers' " Signes and 
Waminges " was one : 
If Gabriel's houndes ben aboute doe no worke 

tliat daye. 
Dr. Plott mentions a noise he heard in 
the air which he j udged to be a flight of wild 
geese; but the miners at that time (16.50) 
judged it to he caused by the hounds of the 
angel Gabriel. — Cassell's Magazine, vol. ii. p. 
126 (New Series). 

This wild cry is in some parts of 
Yorkshire regarded as a warning of ap- 
proaching death. 

Oft have I heard my honoured mother say 
How she hath listened to the Gabriel Honnds — 
'J'hose strange, unearthly, and mysterious 

Which on the ear through murkiest darkness 

And how, entranced by superstition's spell. 
The trembling villager not seldom heard 
In the quaint notes of the nocturnal bird. 
Of death premonished, some sick neighbour's 


John Holland, 

See Monthly Packet, vol. xxiv. p. 126. 

Gad-fly has generally been con- 
sidered another form of goad-fly, from 
A. Sax. gad, a goad. However, that 
compound is not found in the oldest 
English ; it may very probably be the 
same word as gand-fluga, the Icelandic 
name of the insect, the loss of m in a 
word being of frequent occurrence, as 
in goose for gans, tooth for tonth. Gand- 
fluga itself is synonymous with Icel. 
gald/roj-fluga, i.e. the witch-fly or fly- 
fiend, such as the oestrus that persecuted 
the boviform lo in the Prometheus 

Gadling, an idle person (Bailey), as 
if a vagrant or vagabond, one who goes 
gadding about (cf gadabout, Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Glossary), is old Eng. 
gadeling, a companion or comrade, A. 
Sax. gad-eUng, from gmd, society, com- 

A lujjer gadelyng was ys sone, bojie at one 

Uobt. of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 310 
(ed. 1810). 
Jjou shalt hauen a gadelini^, 
Ne shalt j^ou hauen non o^er king. 

Havelok the Dane, 1. 1122. 

Gad so ! I think I have met this 
form of trivial oath in some of the 
older dramatists, as if a disguised foi-m 
of " So help me Godl" 

It is probably a corrupted form of 
O. Eng. catso, a low term of reproach, 
It. cazzo, a petty oath (Florio), and so 
a remnant of the phallic abjuration of 
the evil eye, like the vulgar Spanish 
carajo 1 

Mai. Lightning and thunder ! 
Pietro. Vengeance and torture ! 
Mai. Catso! 

Webster, Tlie Malcontent, i. 1 (1604). 

An Hebrew born, and would become a Chris- 
Cazzo, diabolo ! 

Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, iv. 1 (1633). 

Gainage, all plough tackle and im- 
plements in husbandry (BaUey), Gain- 
ERY, tUlage or husbandry, the profits 
thence arising (Id.), is the French gag- 
nage, pasturage, pastiu?e-land, from O. 
Pr. gaigner. It. guadagnare, and these 
from O. H. Ger. weidenon, to pasture. 
These words bear no connexion with 
goAn, profit, Icel. gagn. (See Skeat, 
Etym. Diet. s. v. Gain.) 

Gainly, graceful, elegant, suitable, 
0. Eng. gain, now only used in the 
negative word ungainly, so spelt as if 
connected with gain, as we say that 
anything attractive gains upon one, or 
is winning. It is identical with Icel. 
gegn (Swed. gen, Dan. gjen), serviceable, 
ready, kindly, (of a road) short (as in 
N. Eng.). Cf. Prov. Eng. gain, handy, 
convenient ; gadnsome (Massinger) . 

fiat art so gaynly a god & of goste mylde. 
Alliterative Poems, p. 57, 1. 728 
(ed. Morris). 
To wham god hade geuen alle jititgayn were. 
Id. p. 44, 1. 259. 


( 136 ) 


Gait, a person's manner of walking, 
formerly always spelt gate, generally 
miderstood as the way he gaeth or goeth 
(Eichardson), Scot. " gae your own 
gciAt" has no connexion with the verb 
to go. Gate, a manner or way, orig. a 
path, street, or entrance (Icel. gata, 
Goth, gatwo), is that by which one gets, 
or arrives, at a house or place, from A. 
Sax. gitan, to get or arrive at (Skeat). 
Cf. old Eng. " Get, or maner of custome. 
Modus, consuetudo." — Prompt. Fcvrv.; 
" Get, or gyn' (or gyle), Machina." 
Him thought he rode al of the newe get. 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales, Prologue, 1, 684. 
Good gentlemen, go your gait, and let poor 
Tolk pass. 

King Lear, iv. 6, 1. 242. 
All the griesly Monsters of the See 
Stood gaping at their gate, and wondered 
them to see. 
Spenser, Faerie Queene, III. iv. 32. 
She hadna ridden a mile o' gate. 
Never a mile but ane. 

Sir Roland, 1. 30 ( Child's Ballads, 
vol. i. p. 225). 
They beare their bodies vpright, of a stately 
eate, and elated countenance. — G. Sandys, 
Travels, p. 64. 

A man's attire, and excessive laughter, and 
gait, shew what he is. — A. V. Ecclus. xix. 30. 
An' may they never learn the gaets 
Of ither vile wanrestfu' pets ! 

Burns, Poor Maitie, p. 33 
(Globe ed.). 

Galdeagon, a Scotch word for a sibyl 
or prophetess, has nothing to do with 
a dragon — as had the ancient sorceress 
Medea — but is a corrupted form of Ice- 
landic gald/ra-Tcona, a witch (ht. a sor- 
cery-woman), from giaMr,A.Sax.(jreaHo»', 
song, charm, witchcraft (Cleasby). 

Gale, a weU-knowu word in Ireland 
for rent due, or the payment of rent, is 
a contracted form of O. Eng. gavel, 
which is also spelt gabel, A. Sax. gafol, 
Pr. gabelle, It. gahella, all apparently 
from the Celtic. Cf. Ir. gabhail, a 
taking, Gaelic gabhail, a lease, tenure, 
or takmg, from gahh, to take or hold ; 
Welsh gafael. 

He seyb (;at he is godes sune, and is a ded- 

lich mon. 
And he vor-beod oesares gauel [= tribute]. 
Old Eng. Miscellany, p. 46, 1. 329. 

Gale, in the Scotch phrase " a gale 
of geese," i.e. a flock of geese, is a con- 

tracted word from loel. gagl, a \rild 
goose (Cleasby), which is evidently 
formed from the verb to gaggle, to make 
a confused noise, especially used of 

A faire white goose bears feathers on her 

That gaggles still, much like a chattering pye, 
T. Churchyard, Pkasunt Conceit 
penned in Verse, 1693. 
Ga^e/3/Jt', or cryyii' as gees. Clingo. 

Prompt. Parvulorum, '■» 
They gaglide fforth on the grene, ffor they 
greved were. 

Deposition of Ricluird II. p. 18 
(Camden Soc). 
ioielinge, chattering, occurs in The Ouil ani 
Nightingale, 1. 40. 

Gallic disease, morbus galKeus, 
owes its name, perhaps, to a confusion 
of gallus, galUcus, with Fr. galle (gale), 
a galling or itching of the skin, a scab 
or scurf, galleux, scabby, " galoise, a 
scurvy trull, scabby quean, mangy 
punk." — Cotgrave. 

My Doll is dead i' the spital 
Of malady of' France. 

Hen. V. act v. so. 1. 

Galligaskins, " a sort of wide slops 
or breeches used by the inhabitants of 
Gascoign [or Gascony] in France."— 
BaUey. This definition seems to have 
been invented to account for the name. 
The word is probably for gwrigascam or 
ga/rguesguans, from 0. Fr. gan-gueiqms 
(Cotgrave), a corrupt form of gregues- 
ques (otherwise gregues, 0. Eng. gregs, 
wide slops)=: Ital. Grechesco, " GreeMsh 
trowsers " (Skeat, Wedgwood). 

Others [make] straight trusses and diuells 
breeches, some gaily gascoynes, or a shipmans 
hose.— T. Nash, Pierce Penilesse, 1592, p. 20 
(Shaks. Soc). 

Sir Rowland Russet-Coat, their dad, goes 
sagging euerie day in his round gascoynes of 
white cotton. — Id. p. 8. 

Gallo-shoes, a corrupt speHing of 
galoches, as if Gallic shoes. 

Galloches, or galloshoes, are the wooden 
sabots worn by the French peasants, and the 
name has been transferred to the overshoes 
of caoutchouc which have been recently in- 
troduced. — I. Taylor, Words and Places, p. 
425 (2nd ed.). 

Similarly Diez thinks Fr. galoche, Sp. 
galocJia, It. galosaia, are from Lat. gal- 
lica, a Gallic shoe. These words are 
really derived from Low Lat. cakpedk, 
(calop'dia), a wooden shoe, and that 

GALL0W-GLA8S ( 137 ) 


from Greek JcaTo-pddnon, a " wood- 
foot" or last (Soheler, Brachet). 

Gallachej Callopedium. 

Galache, or guloclie, vndyr solynge of 
mannys fote (al. galegge), Crepitum, Crepita. 
— Prompt. PavmUorum (ii40). 

Ne coude man by twenty thousand pai-t 

Conb'efete the sopliimes of his art ; 

Ne were worthy to unbocle his galocJi^ 
Chancer, Squiere^ Tale, 1. 10869, 

The Gild of Cordwainers were bound 
to make search for aU 

Botez, botwez, schoez, pyncouz, galegezy 
and all other ware perteyning to the saide 
crafte, which is desceytously wrought. — Eng. 
GildSf p. 332 (ed. Toulmin Smith). 
As is fe kinde of a knyghf jiat comefi to be 

To geten hus gilte spores' and galoches 
W. Langlandj Vision of Piers Plowman, 
C. xxi. 12. 

It is curious to find galoshes, now 
suggestive of a valetudinarian curate, 
thus an essential part of a mediseval 
knight'sequipment. Compare GaZZozza, 
" a kind oigcdlages, star-tops, or wooden 
pattins " (Florio, ifew World of Words, 
1611), as if connected with gaJlozzare, 
gaileggiare, to cooker or pamper. 
My hart-blood is wel nigh frorne, I feele, 
And my gatage growne last to my heele. 
Spenser, Shepheards Cal., Feb., 1. 244. 

Pepys mentions that Lady Batten on 
Nov. 15, 1665, dropped "one of her 
goloshes" (Diary, vol. iii. p. 304, ed. 
M. Bright). 

GAMiOw-GLASS. This English-looking 
word for a native Irish soldier (cf. O. 
Eng. gallow, to frighten), spelt gallin- 
glass in Hist, of Captain Stukehj (see 
Nares), is Irish galloglach, a fighting 
gillie, from giolla, a servant, and gleac, 
a fight (O'Eeilly). 

Spenser says an armed footman the 
Irish " call a galloglass, the which name 
doth discover him to be also auncient 
English, for gallogla signifies an Eng- 
lish servitour or yeoman" (State of 
Ireland, p. 640, Globe ed.), erroneously 
regarding it as compounded of gall, a 
foreigner, an Englishman, and oglach, 
a servant or soldier. 

A mighty power 
Of gallow-gUisses and stout kernes 
Is marching hitherward in proud array. 

2 Hen. VI. iv. 9. 

Gally-pot, 1 originally grZej/e-poi, Dut. 
Gallipot, \ gley-pot, glazed pottery. 

Similarly glazed tiles were called galley- 
tiles (Wedgwood). 

You may be sure he is but a gallipot, full 
of honey, that these wasps horer about. — 
Adams, The Soul's Sickness ( Works, i. 503). 

Gambol, an incorrect form of the 
older word gamhold (Phaer), or gam- 
hauld (Udal), for gmnhaud (Skelton), 
which stands for O. Fr. gambade, a 
gambol. It. ganibata, a kicking about 
of the legs (gamba), Skeat. Here the I, 
which was originally an intruder, has, 
cuckoo-like, supplanted the rightful 
letter d. 

Game, in the slang plirases " a game 
leg," " a game finger," i.e. crooked, 
disabled, is in all probability derived 
from the Welsh and Irish cam, crooked, 
Corn, gam, Indo-European verbal root 
hami,to bend (vid. Pictet, Origines Indo- 
Ewrop. torn. ii. p. 213). So the word, 
though unconnected with game, to sport 
or play, would be akin to gambol. For 
"gambols, games or tumbling tricks 
played with the legs," as Bailey defines, 
is from the French gambiller, gambier, 
to wag the legs, leap (cf. gambader, to 
show tumbling tricks), and these words 
from gambe, jambe, a leg. Cf. Somer- 
setshire gamble, a leg, Eng. slang 
gamh, a leg. It. and Sp. gamba (viol di 
gamba, " a leg-violin "), O. Sp. camba, 
cama ; also Eng. gammon. It. gambone, 
Pr. jambon, Ir. gambun, a leg. But 
gambe, the leg, as in most beasts, is a 
limb remarkable for bends and crooks, 
and so is allied to 0. Fr. gambi, bent, 
crooked, Gk. hampe ("as crookled as a 
dog's hint-leg " is a Lincolnshire pro- 
verb), from the root cam, crooked, seen 
in 0. Eng. ham, wrong, slang gammy, 
bad, worthless, &o. Of. gambrel, a 
crooked stick, and cam/rel, Welsh cam- 
bren ; Devon, ganvmerel, the small of 
the leg ; Davy 0am, crooked David ; 
Greek Mrmnaros, Lat. carmnarus, a 
lobster, from its twisted claws (cf. 
"tortoise," from Lat. tortus, twisted.) , 
O. Fr. gamma/re, gambre, Swed. hum- 
mer, whence Fr. homa/rd. Eng. ha/m 
(the bent or curved part) probably 
stands to gam(b), cam, as Swed. hum- 
mer does to camvma/rus. 

Those [calves] are allowed for good and 
sufficient whose taile reacheth to the joint of 
the haugh or gambrill, — Holland's Pliny, fol. 
1634, torn. i. p. 225. 


C 138 ) 


Scott speaks of "the devil's game 
leg " (St. Bonan's Well). See Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Glossa/ry, s.v. 

Gambone, an occasional mis-spellmg, 
from a notion that it had something to 
do with hone, of gammon, part of the 
leg of a pig, Fi.jamhon, O. Fr. gambon, 
from gamhe, a, leg, radically the same 
word as ham. See Game. 

Gammon of bacon, formerly -written Gam- 
bone. — Reliquiie HearniantK, Oct. 16, 1710 
(Lib. Old Authors,!. 207). 

The custom of the gambone of bacon is still 
kept up at Dunmowe. — Ibid. iii. 73. 

Gammon, a slang word for to delude 
or cheat one, and as an interjection 
ga/m/mon I hmnbug 1 nonsense ! is a cor- 
rupted form of the old Eng. gamene, to 
mock, Icel. gaman, fun. Hence As- 
cham's spelling gamn, gamming. 

Gamninge hath ioyned with it a vayne pre- 
sente pleasure. — I'oxophiliiSj 1545, p. 51 (ed. 
Hweet sceal ic <Sonne buton . . . habban me 

Saet to gamene. 
[What can I do but hold it in mockery.] 

King Alfred, Gregory's Pastoral, p. 249, 
Part I. 
Nowe by [my] soverante I sweare, 
And priucipallitie that I beare 
In hell pyne, when I am theii', 
A gamon I will aseaie. 

The Chester Plays, vol. i. p. 201 
(Shaks. Soc.) 
And adam is to eue cumen, 
More for erneste dan for gamen. 
Genesis and Erodus, 1. 411 (ab. 1250). 
They gammons him about his driving. — 
Dickens, Pickwi£k, ch. xiii. 

See Davies, Supp. Eng. Olosswry. 

Gammouthe, the gamut, Palsgrave, 
1530, a corrupt spelling. Gamwiismade 
up of ganvme {= Greek gamma, G.), the 
old name of the last note of the musical 
scale, and iii the first note formerly of 
the singing scale. 

His knavery is beyond Eia, and yet he 
saves hee knows not Gam ut. — J. Lilly, 
Mother Bombie, ii. 1. 

New physic may be better than old, so may 
new philosophy; our studies, observation, 
and experience perfecting theirs ; beginning 
not at the Gamoth, as they did, but, as it were, 
at the Ela. — T. Adams, Sermons, vol. i. p. 472. 

Gandbeglass, an old popular plant- 
name, is, no doubt, another form of 
gandlegoss, or gandergoose, the orchis. 
See Oandlegostes. 

Among the daisies and the violets blue. 
Red hyacinth, and yellow daifadil, 
Purple narcissus, like the morning rayes, 
Pale ganderglass and azure culverkayes. 

I. Walton, Compleat Angler (1653), 
p. 22 (Murray repr.). 

Gaeganet, so spelt by Stanyhurst 
(Davies, Supp. Eng. Ghssa/ry, s. v.), as 
if iti meant a coUar or chain encircling 
the gaffgate or throat, as gorget, a piece 
of armour, does the gorge (cf. gargoyk, 
gargel, orig. a throat, gargle, &o.),isn 
corrupt form of carcanet, a jewelled 

Gaen, an incorrect modern coinage, 
meaning to store grain, formed from 
ga/rner, a granary (O. Fr. gender, for 
grenier, Lat. granaria) , i.e. a " grainery," 
as if that which garns. 

Ye symbols of a mightier world 

That Faith alone can see — 
Where angels gam the golden grain. 
Haiuest Hymn, The Guardian, 1880. 

Gaenet, a provincial name for the 
fish trigla Mrundo (SatcheU, E. D. S.), 
is a corruption of gurnet, old Eng. gw- 
na/rd, from Fr. grognard, grongna/rd, as 
if " the grunter," in allusion to the 
grunting noise (Fr. grogner) it makes 
when taken out of the water. Com- 
pare orooner, another popular name for 
the same fish. 

Gattbeidge, the name of a species 
of cornel tree to which Dr. Prior as- 
signs a (hypothetical ?) French form 
gaitre rouge, is a variant of gaiter, 0. 
Eng. gaitre, the cornus sangwnea, and 
a derivative of A. Sax. gad, Icel. gaMr, 
a goad or pin. It is also called Frid 
timber (Gerard, p. 1283). 

A day or two ye shul ban digestives 

Of wormes, or ye take your laxatives, . . v 

Of catapuce, or o{ gaitre-beries. 

Chaucer, The Nonnes Preestes Tali. 

Gauntlet, in the phrase "running 
the gauntlet," is corrupted from the 
older expression ' ' to run the ga/dl/>p6> 
i.e. to run through a company of sol- 
diers, standing on each side, making a 
Lane, with each a Switch in his hand to 
scourge the Criminal" (Bailey), Scot. 
goadloup (a distinct corruption), Swod. 
gat-lopp — gata meaning a lane or path 
(= Ger. gasse), and lopp, a course, or 
the act of running, akin to leap. Thsi' 
word was probably introduced into 
England, as Dr. Dasent remarks, m 


( 139 ) 


the time of the Thirty Tears' War. 
(Jest and Earnest, vol. ii. p. 25.) The 
German phrase is gassen laufen. 

Some said, he ought to be tied neck and 
heels; others that he deserved to rare the 
ganthpe. — H. Fielding, Hist, of a Foundling, 
bk. vii. oh. 11. 

Having rode f/ie^aunt/ethere . . . a tremen- 
dous battery of stones, sticks, apples, turnips, 
potatoes, and other such variety of mob am- 
munition was opened upon him. — Southey, 
Life of Wesley, vol. ii. p. 21 (ed. 1858). 

Synonymous is the Scotch word loupe- 
garthie, running through the hedge, or 
enclosure, raade by the soldiers. 

GrATTNTREE, a frame to set casks on, 
a corruption of gauntre or gaimtry, Pr. 
chantier, " a Oauntrey, or Stilling, for 
Hogs-heads, &c., to stand on" (Cot- 
grave), from Lat. cantherivs, (1) a 
horse, (2) a prop, a trestle. Hence 
also It. cantiefre, Portg. cantiero, Bavar. 

Cantherius is the same word as Gk. 
Tcanthelics, Tcanthos, a pack-ass, akin to 
Zend Tcathva, an ass. 
Meanwhile the frothing bickers, soon as filled, 
Are drained, and to the gauntrees oft return. 
Grahame, British Georgics. 

So a mare in Scotch, and a horse in 
Prov. EngUsh, are used for a frame or 
cross-beam upon which something is 

A hogshead ready horsed for the purpose of 

T. Hardy, Under the Greenwood 
Tree, vol. i. p. 13. 
See Pullet. 

Gavelkind, an equal division of a 
father's lands at his death among all 
his sons (Bailey), takes its present 
form from a supposed derivation from 
old Eng. gamel (A. Sax. gafol), tribute, 
and hmd, as in man-hind. Verstegan 
supposed it was give-all-Mnd, i.e. "Give 
aU children " [sc. a share] ! It is 
merely an adaptation of Irish gabhail- 
dne, a family (oine) tenure [gabhaM), 
Skeat. See Gale. 

Gawky, awkward, ungainly. It is 
difficult to suppose that this word has 
not been influenced by Fr. gauche, left- 
handed, awkward, which indeed seeras 
to be connected. Soheler compares 
gauUck hand, left hand, which Bailey 
gives as a N. Eng. word. Of. also Yorks. 
gawTeshaiw, a left-handed man (Wright). 
The immediate origin, however, is 

D, ) a dog that hunts by 
B, J night, Lat. 

gawTc, a cuckoo, metaphor, a simple- 
ton, geek (Shakespeare), A. Sax. gedc, 
Icel. gauhr, Ger. gauch, a cuckoo, a 
fool. (B6eQ\es±,I!tym.Bict.) Gawish, 
foolish (Adams, i. 502), gavij, gauvy, 
gawcum, a simpleton (Prov. Eng.), are 
perhaps connected. 
Conceited gowk ! puff'd up wi' windy pride. 

Bams, Brigs of Ayr (Globe ed. p. 26). 
Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks, and fools . . . 
May sprout like simmer puddock-stools. 

Id. Verses at Selkirk (p. 122). 


(Bailey). The first part of the word is 
probably a corruption of the Low Latin 
name, notwithstanding this statement 
of TopseU : 

The gasehound, called in latine Agasceus, 
hath his name of the sharpenes and stedfast- 
nes of his eie-sight . . . For to gase is ear- 
nestly to view and behold, from whence 
floweth the deriuation of this Dogs name. — 
Historie of Four-Footed Beasts, 1607, p. 179. 

Du Cange gives no such word, how- 
ever, as agasosus. 

Gazels, a Sussex word for black 
currants (Parish, Glossary), is probably 
from Pr. groseilles, corrupted to gosels, 
just as goose-herry of the same origin is 
for groos-herry. 

Gemini I an exclamation of surprise, 
as if a heathenish adjuration of the con- 
stellation of the Twins, Lat. Gemini, is 
identical with Ger. JemAne! Dut. 
Jem/y,Jermnil (Sewel), which are shor- 
tened forms of Lat. Jesit domine (An- 
dresen, Volksetymologie, p. 129), or per- 
haps merely from Jesu meus (It. Giesu 
mio). Similar disguised oaths are Ger. 
Je ! Serrje ! Jerum! Potz! (for GoUs) ; 
Eng. La! Law! for Lord! 

Geneva, a name for gin, as if it came 
from the place so called, is a corruption 
of the Prench gemibm-e, Dut. jenever, It. 
ginepro, all from Lat. juniperus, the 
juniper (Prov. Eng. jenepere, old Eng. 
jenefer), the berries of that tree being 
employed as an ingredient in its manu- 

Theriaque des Alemans, the juice of Gineper 
ben-iee extracted according unto Art. — Cot- 

In Spanish formerly there was the 
one word ginebra for the town of 
Geneva and the tree called juniper 


( 140 ) 


The junipers are of immense size and 
flavour tin the Himilajra] ; but most people 
prefer to have their junipers by way of Hol- 
land or Geneva. — Andrew Wilson, The Abode 
of Snow, p. 83 (2nd ed.). 
As if gin came from Geneva as Hollands 
do from Holland. 

The poor muse, for less than half-a-crown, 
A prostitute on erery bulk in town, . . . 
Clubs credit for Geneva in the mint. 

Youna, Satire IV. 
'Tis a sign he has ta'en his liquor ; and if you 

An officer preaching of sobriety, 
Unless he read it in Geneva print. 
Lay him by the heels. 

Massinger, The Duke of Milan, i. 1. 

Genii, a name given to certain power- 
ful beings in the Arabian mythology, 
as in Tales of the Oemii, is corrupted 
from Arab, jirm, under the influence 
of the Lat. genius, a tutelary spirit. 
See Keightley, Fairy Mythology, p. 25. 
Pars, jiwih frouijan, spirit, life, Turkish 
jiTMi, a spirit, yaw, a soul. Mr. I. Taylor 
compares Chinese sMn or jin, spirit, 
Etruscan hin, a ghost (Etruscan Re- 
searches, p. 108, seq.). 

The Arabians and Persians had an equal 
advantage in writing theii' tales from the genii 
and fairies, which they believe in as an article 
of their faith. — H. Fielding, Hist, of a Found- 
ling, bk. xvii. ch. 1. 

And when we came to the Lapland lone 
The fairies war all in an-ay, 

For all the genii of the north 
War keeping their holiday. 

Ilogg, The Queen's Wake. 

What need, then, that Thou shouldest come 
to my house ; only commission one of these 
genii of healing, who will execute speedily 
the eiTand of grace on which Thou shalt send 
him. — Abp. Trench, Miracles, p. 228 (8th ed.). 

Gentry, gentility, nobleness, gentle- 
ness, is a corruption of the older form 
gentrise (perhaps mistaken for a plural), 
O. Fr. genterise, for gentiUse (? Lat. 
gentiUtia), Skeat. Genterise in Ancren 
Vor case J>at mySte come, vor hyre gentryse. 

Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 434. 
J>is iesuB of hus gentrise shal louste in peers 

Vision of Piers the Plovmian, C. xxi, 
21 (Skeat). 
To have pride otgentrie is right great foly. 
Cfmucer, Persones Tale, De Superbiu. 
\>e geniryse of luise & lerusalem )>e ryche 
Wats disstryed wyth distres, & di-awen to \>e 

Alliterative Poems,- p. 70, 1. 1160 
• (ed. Morris). 

If it will please you 
To show us so much gentry and good will. 
Shakespeare, Hamlet, ii. 2, 1. 21. 
But, think you, though we wink at base re- 
A brother's death can be so soon forgot! 
Our gentry baffled, and our name disgrac'd! 
Heywood and Rowley, Fortune by iMnd 
and Sea, p. 19 (Shaks. Soc). 
Gentry and baseness in all ages jar ; 
And poverty and wealth are still at war. 
. Id. p. 42. 

The modern meaning of " gentle- 
folks," a collective noun, opposed to the 
commonalty, as if the aggregate of the 
gent or gentle, arose probably from a 
false analogy to words like infantry, 
yeoma/n/ry, soldiery, &c. 

Gerfalcon, \ I think it may be 

Gyrpaloon, • shown that all these 

GiERFALCON, words are false deri- 

vationsfrom an assumed connexion with 

Lat. gyrare, to move in circles, or with 

Ger. geier, a vulture. 

The old Eng. form is gerfaucm ' 
(Prompt. Pa/rv.), Low Lat. gero-falco, 
and this is, I think, for Merofaucon, 
the sacred falcon (Greek Merbs). " Ger- 
falcon sacre." — Palsgrave. For the 
meaning compare Greek hiefram, a hawk 
or falcon, from Meros, sacred (zz Etnis- 
can aracus) ; O. Eng. saker, Fr. saere, 
It. sagro, a hawk, from Lat. saeer, 
sacred ; Ger. weihe, O. H. Ger. wih), a 
kite, from weihenjto make sacred. 

The Mod. Greek word gierdU, a fal- 
con, from hierax, shows that Jmro-fdco 
would readily pass into gero-falco and 

The transition from Mer- to ger- or 
jer is of frequent occurrence, e.g., Oera- 
pigra, an old Eng. name for a drug, 
in Boohe of Quinte Essence, p. 3 (B.E.T. 
Soc, otherwise spelt ierapigra, p. 29), 
Span, geripliega, " a drug called Ewa 
Piora " (Minsheu), from ^ Greek Mm 
pihra. Old Eng. gerarchie (Gower, G. 
A. iii. 145), It. and Sp. gerarcJiia, for 
Merarchia, and so Dunbar speaks of 
" the blisfull soune of chera/rchy " [Th 
Thrissill and the Bois, cant. ix. 1503). 
Low Lat. gerohotana for hierolotana. 
Old Eng. gerihjdbum (LeecMoms, ^c, 
Cockayne), for hierihulbvM,. So It. 
geroglifico, a Hieroglyphic ; geracliMe, 
another form of Ideradte, " falcon- 
stone" (Plorio), Lat. hieraaiiis; compare 
also Jerome, Fr. Gerome, Sp. Oero: 


( 141 ) 


LowLat. Oeronomus,iroia Hieronymus; 
Jcw-TOwfe, a tributary of the Jordan, from 
Gk. Mieromaas ; Jerusalem and Hierou- 
salem, Ilierosoluma ; jacynth zz. hya- 
cinth; Fi.jusguiame from hyoscyamvas, 
henbane, &c. 

If this view be correct, then the forms 
gler -falcon, gyr-falcon, L. Lat. gyrofalco, 
have been corrupted by false deriva- 
tion. Geicrfalke, a ger-faloon in Ger- 
man, is according to Karl Andresen an 
assimilation of the Lat. gyrofalco, the 
falcon of circling flight, to Ger. geier, a 
■vulture. (Compare Greek Mrhos, the 
circling flier, a falcon.) 

'Tis well if among them you can clearly 
make out a lanuer, a sparrow-hawk, and a 
kestril, but must not hope to find your f;ier 
falcon there, which is the noble hawk. — Sir 
Thos. Browne, Of Hawks and Falconry, Works 
(ed. Bohn), vol. iii. p. 218. 

If I beare downe thee, 

The Jerffaucon shall goe with mee 
JVIaugi'e thy head indeed. 
Percy Folio MS. Tol. ii. p. 451, 1. 976. 

Professsor Pictet points out that 
saare, L. Lat. sacer, a falcon, has really 
only an indirect connexion with sacer, 
sacred, the former being the Arab, sakr, 
Pers. shahrah, a falcon (cf. Sk. gahima, 
a vulture), traceable to Sansk. gahra, 
strong, powerful, whence also comes 
Lat. sacer, sacred (of. Eng. hale, whole, 
and holy). In exactly the same rela- 
tion Gk. hierax stands to hieros, which 
:= Sansk. ishira, strong, sound, lively. 
On the saoredness of the falcon, see 
Gubematis, Zoological Mythology, vol. 
ii. ch. 2. 

Germander, Fr. gaman&ree, a hete- 
ronym from Gk. chammd/rys, a low oah- 
leaved plant, xajiai, on the earth, and 
SpuQ, oak (Haldeman), assimilated to 
" oleander." 

Ghostpel, a strange speUing of gos- 
pel, froih a confusion with ghost, ghostly 
(— spiritual), used by Giles Fletcher, 
who speaks of 

Nonnius translating all Sainct John's 
Ghostpel into Greek Terse. — Christs Victorie 
in Heaven, To the Header, 1610, p. 115 (ed. 

Prof. Skeat has shown that gospel is 
not originally the " good spell " or story 
(A. Sax. gdcl), as has been generally as- 
sumed from the time of Orminn, who 
says " GoddspeH onn Ennghssh nem- 
mnedd iss god word and god ti]iewnde,'" 

but A. Sax. godspell (A. Sax. God), i.e. 
" God's story," viz. the life of Christ. 

Camden took a correct view of the 

The gladsome tidings of our salvation which 
the Greeks called Evangelion, and other Na- 
tions in the same word, they [the old Eng- 
lish] called Godspel, that is, Gods speech. — 
Remainesconcerning Britaine, p. 25 (ed, 1637). 
And we hen proued J)e prijs' of popes at Rome, 
And of gretest degre* as godspelles tellef;. 
Pierce the Ploughman^ s Crede, 1, ^57 
(ed. Skeat). 

Gibberish, generally understood, in 
accordance with its present spelling, to 
be derived from gihber, to chatter or talk 
inarticulately (Wedgwood), is probably 
a corruption of theoldEngUshGeJeWs/ior 
Gebrish, that is, the uninteUigible jargon 
of alchemy, so called from Gebir ( Gibere 
in Gower, G. A. iii. 46), the founder 
of the Arabian school of chemistry and 
a proHflc writer on alchemy, who flou- 
rished about the beginning of the 9th 
century. Geber-ish modelled on Scot- 
tish, Irish, Swedish, &c. 

All you that faine Philosophers would be, 

And nightand day inGeber's Kitchin broyle, 
Wasting thechipps of Ancient Hermes Tree, 
Weening to turne them to a pretious Oyle, 
The more you worke the more you loose and 
Sir Edward Kelle, Ashmole's Theatriim 
Chemicum, p. 324. 

Thus I rostyd and boylyd as one of Gebers 

And oft tymes my wynnynge in the Asks I 
George Ripley (1471 ), up. cit. p. 191. 

This extraordinary work, with its 
ever-recurring enigmas about the Green 
Lion, Hermes Bird, &c., and cabahs- 
tical language, is, as Ashmole truly re- 
marks, " difiicult to be throughly and 
perfectly understood." It ie, in fact, 
gihherish to the uninitiated. Such out- 
landish words as we find here and in 
Chaucer's Ghanones Yemannes Tale, 

with its 

Viols, croslettes, and sublimatories, 
Cucuribtes, and alemhikes eke, 

would naturally make the art which 
employed them a byword for unintel- 
Ugible speech. Compare Pr. grimoire, 

' Similarly Norton in his Ordinall (ch. vii. 
sub init.) uses Gebars Cookes for Alchemists. 


( 142 ) 


uniateUigible tali, originally exorcisms, 
from gramma/ire, literature, Latin. 

Fuller, for instaBce, commenting on 
the words of Sir Edward Kelley, quoted 
above, makes the remark, 

As for the high conceit he had of his own 
skill in Chemistry it appeareth sufficiently in 
the heginning of his own works, though I 
confess myself not to understand the Geberlsh 
of his language. — Worthies of' England j vol. 
ii. p. 473(ed. 1811). 

If we could set it down in the ancient 
Saxon, I meane in the tongue which the Eng- 
lish used at their first an-ivall here, about 
440 yeares after Christs bii'th, it would seeme 
most strange and harsh Dutch or Oebrish, as 
women call it. — Camden, Renuiines concerninge 
BHtaine, p. 22, 1637. 

The Lyon Greene, 
He ys the meane the Sun and Moone be- 

tweene ; 
Of joynyng Tynctures wyth perfytnes. 
As Gefre?- thereto beryth wytnes. 

Geo. Ripkif, Compound of Alchymie 
(Ashmole, p. 125). 

The best approyed Authors agree that they 
[guns] were invented in Gei-manie by Ber- 
thold Swarte, a Monke skilfiiU in Gebers 
Cookery or Alchimy. — Camden, Remaines, p. 
19 (1637). 

Ben Jonson in The Alchemist puts 
into the mouth of Subtle such plu-ases 
as " imbibition," " reverberating in 
Athanor," " to the Aludels," &c., on 
which Surly observes 

What a brave language here is ! next to 

And a little afterwards. 

What else are all your terms. 

Whereon no one of your writers 'grees with 

other 1 
Of your elixir, your lac virginis, 
Your stone, your med'cine, and your chry- 

sospei-me, . . . 
Your oil of height, your tree of life, your 

Your marchesite, your tutie, your magnesia, 
Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your 

panther ; 
Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your 

Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heau- 

tarit, . . . 
And worlds of other strange ingredients, 
Would burst a man to name? 

Act ii. so. 1. 

In the same scene Subtle asks, 

Is Ars sacra 
Or chrysopoeia, or spag^Tica, 
Or the pamphysic, or panarehic knowledge, 
A heathen language? 

To which Ananias replies, 
Heathen Greek, I take it. 

Act ii. sc. 1 ( Works, pp. 248, 250). 

Peter. It is a very secret science, for none 
almost can understand the language of it. 
Sublimation, almigation, calcination, rubifica- 
tion, encorporation, circination, sementatioc, 
albification, and fermentation ; with as many 
termes impossible to be uttered, as the arte to 
bee compassed. 

Raffe. Let mee crosse myselfe, I never 
heard so many great devils in a little moniies 
mouth. . . . What language is thisl doe 
they speak so? — J. Lilly, Gallathea, ii. 3 

On the studied obscurity of writers 
on alchemy, the " Viccar of Maiden " 
remarks in his EwnUng of the Greene 
Lyon, that their 

Noble practise doth hem teach 

To vaile their secrets wyth mistie speach. 

He had sworn to his master 
That all the secrets I schould never undog ^ 
To no one man, but even spread a Cloude 
Over my words and writes, and so it shroud. 

The occurrence oigiVbryslie, however, 
in The Interlude of Youth, 1557, renders 
it possible that geberish may itself be 
the corruption, though the hard g of 
gibberish, dissociating it from gibber 
(jabber), seems to point the other way. 
He plag'd them all with sundry tongues' con- 
Such gibrish, gibble-gabble, all did fangle. 
Some laugh, some fret, all prate, all diflerent 

wrangle ; 
One calls in Hebrew to his working mate. 
And he in Welch, Glough whee comrage doth 
John Taylor, The Severall Seiges,S\C.,ofthe 
Citty of Jerusalem (1630). 
Strike, strike our saile (the Master cries) 

Vaile misne and Sprit-sail : but he cries in 

For, in his face the blasts so bluster ay. 
That his &ea.-gibberish is straight born away. 
/. Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 491 (1621). 

[The bmlders at Babel] 
Som howl, som halloo, sum do stut and strain, 
Each hath his gibberish, and all striae in rain 
To finde again theii- know'n beloved tongue. 
Jd. p. 555. 

Another alchemist, who, if he did not 
originate a word expressive of unmean- 
ing language, at least had it sometimeB 
fathered on him, was Paracelsus, for- 
merly often called Bombast. 

" Bombast swelling blustering non- 
sense, also fustian " (Plorio), is perhaps 

GILLY-FLOWEB ( 14,3 ) 


the same word as iomhase, bombasin 
(see Fuller, Worthies, ii. 239), cotton 
stuff formerly used for padding, but in- 
fluenced by a reference to him who as- 
sumed the high-sounding name Aureo- 
lus PhUippus Theophrastus Paracelsus 
Bombastus, and was notorious for his 
" loud boasting " and " braggadocio " 
(FrisweU, Varia, p. 166). Hence the 
pame of the biu'lesque hero Bombastes 
Furioso, designed to out-Herod the in- 
flated nonsense of modem tragedies. 

Dr. Donne speaks of " the vain and 
empty fulness in Paracelsus' name." 
— Essays'in Divinity (1651), p. 119, ed. 
Jessop. According to Ignatius Ms Con- 
clave (p. 123), when Lucifer asked him 
who he was, and he answered, " Philip- 
pus AureoluB Theophrastus Paracelsus 
Bombast of Hohenieim," Satan trem- 
bled at this as if it were some new kind 
of exorcism. Ben Jonson says alche- 
mists " pretend, under the specious 
names of Geber, Arnold, Sully, Bombast 
of Hohenhein, to commit miracles in 
art " (Mercury Vindicated From the 

Bumbastus kept a devil's bird 
Shut in the pommel of his sword. 
Butler, HudibraSy Pt, II. canto iii. 

GiLLY-FLOWEE, a Corruption of gillo- 
fer, gilofre, or gilly-vor (which occurs in 
the Winter's Tale, iv. 4), Pr. gi/roflie. 
It. garofalo, Mod. Gk. garophalo, Lat. 
caryophyllum, Gk. haru6phullon. 

Barberies, Pinks, or Shops [sops] of wine, 
feathered Gitlmers, small Honesties. — Cot- 

Gelofre, Ancren Riwle, p. 370; gilo- 
fre, Kyng Alixaunder, p. 280 ,• ielofer, 
Skelton, Phyllyp 8pa/rrow, 1. 1053 ; 
gerraflour, G. Douglas, Eneados Pro- 
hug. Buh XII. 

With cloves of gelofer hit broch jjou shalle. 
Liber Care Cocarum, p. 26. 

All maner of flowers of the feld and gar- 
dennes, as roses, gelevors, — H. Macht/n, Diary, 
1559, p. 203 (Camden Soc). 

Gin, a snare, trap, a cunning device, 
0. Eng. gynne, seems to bear some re- 
lation to O. E. engyn, Fr. engin, a fraud 
or mechanical instrument, an engine. 
It has also been derived from loel. 
gitma, to dupe (Skeat). It seems to 
me to be a native Enghsh word, re- 
presenting A. Sax. girn, gym, trans- 
posed forms of grin, gryn, a snare or 

trap (compare Prov. Eng. girn, to grin 
with the mouth ; urn for run ; urd for 
red (red); grass, A. S. gxrs, &c.) : r 
being omitted as in speah, for A. Sax. 
sprecan. The two words, however, are 
found co-existent and distinct at an 
early date. 

Swa sw4 grin he becymjj on ealle [as a 
snare it cometh on all]. — A. Sax. Vers. S. 
Luke xxi. 35 (995). 
And panteris preuyliche' pight vppon Jje 

With grennes of good heere' \ia,t god him-self 

Richard the Redeies, Pass ii. 1. 188 
(1399), ed. Skeat. 
1 fand the woman mar bitter na the ded, 

quhilk is 
The gyrne of the hunter to tak the wild bestis. 
Ratis Raving, p. 21, 1. 695 (ed. 
Satan . . . setteth his snares and grinnes. 
Udal, Erasmus, p. 37 verso. 

"The gren shal take him by the 
heele," Genevan Version, Job xvui. 10; 
" The proude ... set grennes for me," 
Id. Ps. cxl. 5, and so Ps. cxli. 9. The 
A. v., 1611, in these passages has grin, 
which the printers have now changed 
to gin. 

Even as a bird/out of the foulers grin. 
Stemhold and Hopkins, Ps. cxxiv. 7 
Laqs, a snare, ginne, or grinn£. — Cotgrave. 
But vnder that same baite a fearful grin 
Was readie to intangle Him in sinne. 
G. Fietchei; Christs Victorie on Earthy 
29 (1610). 
So j^at we mai noght negh it nere 
Bot-if we may with any gyn 
Mak |;am to do dedl^ syn. 

Legends of the Holu Rood, p. 96, 1. 
318 (E. E. T. S.) 
Ihesus as a gyaunt* with a gttn come|) Sonde, 
To breken and to bete a-doun- alle Jiat ben 
a-gayns hym. 

Vision of Piers the Plomwan, 
C: xxi. 264. 
Uele ginnes hejj {le dypuel vor to nime fiet 
volk be f?e fjrote. — Ayenbiie of Inwyt, p. S-i 

|;et ne is agryn of ]>e dyeule. — Id. p. 47. 
No Ermines, or black Sables, no such skins, 
As the grim Tartar hunts or takes in Gins. 
J. Howell, The Vote or Poem-RoyalL 
1.17 (1641). 

GiNGEELY, in the phrase "to walk 
gingerly," is perhaps frona an old Eng- 
lish word gingraUc, like a (A. Sax.) 
gingra, or young person, from A. Sax. 


( 144 ) 


ging, young, tender. So the meaning 
would be to walk mincingly, trippingly, 
or delicately, as Agag came to Saul (1 
Sam. XV. 32) = Greek, a^pSig jiaivuv 
(Euripides). In provincial English 
ginger means dehcate, brittle. 

Prithee, gentle officer, 
Handle me gingerly, or I fall to pieces. 
Massinger, The Parliament of Lme, v. 1. 

After this was written I found that 
gingerly is actually the word used by 
Bp. Patrick to describe Agag's gait. 

He came to him with a soft pace, treacling 
gingerly (as we speak) after a nice and deli- 
cate manner. — Commentary, in loco. 

Mistris Minx . . . that lookes as simper- 
ingly as if she were hesmeared, and lets it as 
givgerly as if she were dancing the canaries. 
— T. Nash, Pierce Peniksse,i592, p. 21 (Shaks. 

Measter . . . was slinking down, tiptoe, so 
gingerly, shrumping his shoulders, that he 
mist his vooting. — Mrs. Palmer, Devonshire 
Courtship, p. 25. 

Walk circumspectly, tread gingerly, step 
warily, liftnot up one foot till ye have found 
sure footing for the other. — John Trapp, Com- 
mentary, 1647 (1 Peter iii. 17). 

Alkr a pas menu, to go nicely, tread gin- 
gerly, mince it like a maid. — Cotgrave. 

Archbishop Trench quotes gingerness 
from Stubs's Anatomy of Abuses, 1585, 
" Their gingerness in tripping on toes 
hke young goats " (On some Deficien- 
cies in owr English dictionaries, p. 22). 

Ginger is found in Kemble's Charters, 
and gingra in the Anglo-Saxon version 
of the Gospels, with the meaning of 
younger. "Ac gewurSe he swi sw4 
gingra, se 6e yldra ys betwux eow 
(Luke xxii. 26, a.d. 995)," But he that 
is the elder among you becometh even 
as the younger. 

Dus art tu ging and newe, 
ForSward be Sutrewe. 
Morris, Old Eng. Miscellany, p. 7, 1. 214. 
^eginge wimmen of <5in lond, 
faiger on sigtB and softe on hond. 

Genesis and Exodus, 1. 4050. 

GiNGEELiNE, an old word for " a 
yellowish colour" (Wright, Diet, of 
Prov. and Obsolete English), does not 
mean <7?'m(/er-coloured, as it would seem 
at first sight, but is a corruption of It. 
gialloUno, a diminutive of jrmHo, yellow. 

Giullolino, a kinde of colour called now 
adaies a Gingirline. — Ftorio, New World of 
Words, 1611. 

From this perhaps come ginger, a 

pale red colour, and ginger-pated, red- 
haired (Wright). 

GiNGLBS, an incorrect form in Fuller, 
" The gingles or St. Anthony his fire " 
(Church Hist. IX. i. 60), of shingles, so 
called because it sometimes encircles 
the patient like a girdle, Lat. oingula. 

Gin slings, a slang name for a beve- 
rage composed of gin, soda water, 
lemon, and sugar, is said to be a cor- 
ruption of John Collins, the name for- 
merly given to it, and still in use in 
America. The transitions must have 
been John-G'llings, John-slihgs, 6in- 
slings. John Collins, its inventor, was 
a well-known waiter at Limmer's Hotel, 
Conduit Street. (Notes and Qttme8,6th 
S. ii. 444). 

Gist, an old orthography of guesi,, a 
receiver of hospitahty, O. Eng. gest, 
A. Sax. gaest, gest, perhaps from some 
confusion with giste, a lodging (cf giii- 
nen, to lodge, gistninge, hospitality), all 
wliich words occur in the Anoren iMiofe 
(ab. 1225). 

5if eni haueS deore gist (= guest, p. 
68) ; " f;e gode pilegrim . . . hieiS toward hie 
giste " (= lodging, p. 350). 
{;ai toke Jjair gesting [^ lodging] in )« tun. 
Cursor Mundi, Mmi'is Spec. p. 71, 1. 71. 

The contrary change is found in 
GtTEST-TAKEE, which See. 

GiTHOEN, an old corruption of gittem, 
0. Eng. giterne, gyterne (Prompt. 
Parv.), 0. Fr. guiterne, another form of 
guiterre, guitare, a " guitar," all from 
Lat. cithara, Greek Ktlidra, a lyre ; of. 
Chaldic hathros, a harp (Dan. Hi. 5). 

Twa or thrie of our condisciples played 
fellon Weill on the virginals, and another on 
the lut and githoru. — J. Melville, Diary, 157*, 
p. 29 (Wodrow Soc). 

Herrick has the strangely corrupt 
form gotire. 

Touch hut thy lire, my Harrie, and I heare 

From thee some raptures of the rare gotire. 

Hesperides, p. 296 (ed. Hazlitt). 

Glacis, an easy slope in fortification, 
Fr. glacis, apparently a place as smooth 
as ice (glace), from glaaer, to cover with 
ice (Littre). It is perhaps only Low 
Lat. glatia, smoothness, from Ger. 
glait, smooth, even ; glatte, smooth- 
ness (Mahn). The old Fr. form is 
glassis (Cotgrave). Compare Fr. gKS- 


( 145 ) 


ser, to glide, from Ger. gUi-sen, glit- 

Glanck, to strike and turn aside, as 
an arrow from a tree, or a lanoe fr-om 
a breastplate, apparently to be re- 
flected like a gleam of light, or touched 
as by a hasty look which is instantly 
averted, is, according to Dr. R. Morris, 
a nasahzed form of O. Eng. glace, to 
glance, to polish, from Pr. glacer, 
glaoier, to shp or slide [as on ice, 
glacies] . Compare — 

Glactfiigej or wronge glydynge of boltys 
or arowys (al. g'lansyng'), Devolatus. — 
Prompt. Parvuloruni. 

Suche gladande glory con to me glace. 

Alliterative Poems, p. 6, 1. 171 (see 
note, p. 152). 

This seems shghtly doubtful. Prof. 
Skeat compares Prov. Swed. glinta, 
glcinta, to slide or glance aside {Etym. 
Diet. s. v.). Cf. Scot, and O. Eng. ghnt, 
to shde or sUp. 

The damned arrow glanced aside. 

Tennijson, Oriana, 1. 41. 

Glass-slippee, Vr.pantoufle de verre, 
the material of Cinderella's famous 
shpper in our version of the story, 
according to Mr. Kalston is altogether 
a mistake. In the oldest French ver- 
sion the word employed with reference 
to it is veir, the heraldic term for pearl, 
and this in the course of transcription 
must have been altered to verre, glass. 
The shpper probably was merely em- 
broidered with pearl. Others have 
supposed that Perrault's panfovfle de 
verre is a corruption of pantoufle de 
voir, i.e. a shpper of squirrel fur. 

From a similar play on words voir, 
the heraldic fur, is represented by 
pieces in shape of little glass pots, 
verres, argent and azure. — Chambers, 
CyclopcBdia, s.v. Fur. In old Eng. 
verres are glasses. 

She . . . . lepte upon the horde, and threw 
downs mete, and drinke, and brake the 
veiTes, and spilt alle that there was on the 
horde. — Book of the Knight of La Tour- 
Landry, p. 27 (E. E. T. S.). 

Glass-woem, ) old and provincial 
Glaze-woem, S words for the glow- 
worm, the former used by Moufet, the 
latter by Lily. The first part of the 
word is identical with Scot, gloss, a 
glowing fire, glose, a blaze, loel. glossi, 
yBi blaze, Prov. Swed. glossa, to glow. 

glasa, a glowing, M.H. Ger. glosen, to 
glow. Cf. Mid. Eng. glisien, to shine, 
Ger. gleisscn. Another old name for 
the insect is gloherde or ghiMrd. 

Gloey-hole. It was long a puzzle to 
me why a cupboard at the head of a 
staircase for keeping brooms, &c. 
(Wright), or a person's " den " or retreat, 
which is kept in chronic htter and un- 
tidiness, or in general any retired and 
uncared nook, should be popularly 
called a glory-hole. I have Uttle doubt 
now that the first part of the word has 
nothing whatever to do with glo^'y, 
renown (Lat. glwia), but is the same 
word as old Eng. " gloryyn', or wythe 
onclene |)ynge defoylyn'. Macule, de- 
turpo." — Prompt. Parvulorum. 

Compare Prov. Eng. glory, and 
glorry, greasy, fat ; Cleveland, glor, 
mere fat, glor-fat, excessively fat (Atkin- 
son). Fletcher has "not all glory fat " 
(HaUiwell), and Fuller says that the 
flesh of Hantshire hogs — 

Though not all ghtre (where no bancks of 
lean can be seen for the deluge of fat) is no 
less delicious to the taste and more whol- 
some for the stomack. — Worthies of England, 
vol. i. p. 401 (ed. 1811). 

Cf. also O. Eng. glare, mire, and 
Scot, glorg, to bemire. Thus glory- 
hole is no more than a dfrty hole, an 
untidy nook. The paraUehsm of Fr. 
gloriette (Sp. glorieta), a bower, for- 
merly a httle room in the top of a 
tower, is curious. 

Gloze, to flatter, 0. Eng. glosen, has 
often been regarded as only another 
form of to glaze, to- throw a gloss, or 
bright lustrous appearance, over one's 
language, to speak in a pohshed spe- 
cious style : cf. " Glacyn or make a 
Jjynge to shine, Olasinge in scornjmge, 
Intulacio " [Frompt. Farv.) ; " I glase 
a knyfe to make it bright, je fourbis " 
(Palsgrave) ; O. Eng. glisien, to gHsten, 
Ger. gleissen, to shine, also to dissemble 
or play the hypocrite ; Icel. glys, finery, 
and glossi, a blaze, Soot, glose, gloze, to 
blaze. For the meaning, cf. " Smooth 
not thy tongue with filed [= polished] 
talk." - Tlie Fassionate Pilgrim, 1. 306 
(Globe Shaks. p. 1056) ; and compare 
the following : — 

These . . . are vanitas vanitatum; that 
file, and glaze, and whet their Tongues to 
Lies, the properest kind of Vanitie ; which 



( 146 ) 


call Euill, Good, and Good, Euill (sood 
Deuills) for a Reward. — S. Purchas, Micro- 
cosmus or The Hutorie of Man, p. 621 (1619). 
Every smooth tale is not to be beleeved ; 
and every glosing tongue is not to be trusted. 
~~H. Sinlthj SennoTiSj 1639. 

Gloze meant originally to interpret 
or explain, to make a comment or 
gloss, Fr. glose, Lat. glossa, a word re- 
quiring to be explained, Greek glossa, 
a tongue, a foreign word (needing ex- 
planation) ; hence glosswry. The con- 
notation of deception, flattery, is per- 
haps due to the confusion above. 

Glose textys, or bookys, Gloso. 
GlosyTl', or flateryn', Adulor, blandior. 
Prompt. Parmiloriim. 
Loke in )je sauter glosed 
On ecce enim ueritatem dilexisti. 

Langland, Vision of P. PlowmaUj 
vii. 303, text C. 

Wher-on was write two wordes in J>is wise 

Ibid. XX. 12. 
Ac tho hii come, hii nadde of him, bote is 

olde wone, 
Glosinde wordes & false. 

Robert of Gloucester, p. 497 (ed. 1810). 
For he could well his glazing speaches frame 
To such vaine uses that him best became. 
Spenser, F. Queeue, III. viii. 14. 
And as the aubstaunoe of men of worsohy ppe 
that wylle not glose nor cory favyl for no 
parcyallyte, they cowthe not undyrstond that 
alle thys ordenaunce dyd any goode or harme. 
— GregOT\j's Chronicle of London (1461), 
p. 214 (damden Soc). 

Well, to be brefe with outen glnse, 
And not to swarve from our purpose, 
Take good hede what I shall saye. 

Rede me and be nott wrothe, 1528, 
p. 39 (ed. Arber). 

GoADLoup, a Scotch word for the 
military punishment called the gants- 
lope in modern Enghsh, both which 
words are corruptions of Swed. gast- 
lopp, a " lane-course." See Gaunt- 

Goat, a Lincolnshire word for a 
sluice or drain. 

" A goat, or as you more commonly 
call it a sluice." — Instruction for a 
Committee of 8 ewers, lG6i (Peacock). 

O. Eng. "gote, or water schetelys, 
Aquagiwm " (Prompt. Pa/rv. ab. 1440) 
Northampton, gout (Sternberg). 
As water of dyche, 
Ojjer goteS of golf bat neuer charde. 

Alliterative Poems, p. 18, 1. 608. 

As gates out olguttars. 

K. Aleiaunder, p. 163. 

The Three Goats, a tavern sign at 
Lincoln, was originally the Thrm 
Oowts, gutters, or drains (Ger. gosse), 
which are known to have existed there 
(M. Miiller, (7/wps, vol. ii. p. 530). Bay 
gives as a Northumberland word Gofe, 
a flood-gate, from A. Sax. gedtcm, to 
pour [of. gedtere, a pourer, Orosiug], 
Dut. gote. 

Other forms of the word are gcwi, 
gut, gutter, goyt, got, a drain or water- 
course (cf. Fr. igout). An old church 
in Lincoln still bears the name of 
8. Peter at Gowts. We ought, perhaps, 
to connect these words with gutter, 
O. Eng. goiere ; but cf. O. Fr. goutiere, 
a channel for drippings (Lat. 

GoAT-WBED, a pop. name of the plant 
JEgopodium podegraria, seems to be a 
corruption of its other name, gout-weed 
and gout-wort. 

GoD-«ppBL, i.e. " good-apple," a, 
gttasi- Anglo- Saxon name for the quince 
(Somner), is apparently a corruption 
of CoD-^ppEL, which see. 

Goggle, in goggle-eyed, having full 
rolling eyes, Ir. gogshmleach, from gog, 
to move shghtly, and siMl, the eye, is 
used by Wycliffe as equivalent to Lat. 
codes, with which it has probably no 
connexion (Skeat). Gocles, one-eyed, 
is a Latin corruption of Gk. hylchps 
(Mommsen), or from ca (=. one) -f 
oculus (Bopp). 

It is good to thee for to entre gogil j/ied in 
to rewme of God, than havynge twey y3en 
for to be sent in to belle of her.— S. Mark 
ix. 47. 

Gold, a Somerset name for the sweet 
willow, formerly called gcmle {Myrim 

Good, in the Scottish expression " to 
good, or guid, a field " (Jamieson), mean- 
ing to manure it, as if to do it good, or 
ameliorate its condition (cf. W. Corn- 
wall goady, to fatten), Uke the Latin 
phrase Iceta/re agrum, to make a field 
joyful, to manure it (whence tocwnen, 
It. letame), is the same word as Dan. 
gitjide, to dung or manure, Swed. g^ 
to manure, or make fat, Shetland gv3r 
den, manure (? compare Hind. kM, 
dung, manure). But GfflL mailmA, 
to manure, is from maith, good. The 


( 147 ) 


•verb good, to make good, was once in 

Greatness not gooded with grace is like a 
beacon upon a high hill. — T. Adams, God's 
Bounty, Sermons, i. 151. 

G-ooDiES, a colloquial name for sugar 
sweetmeats given to children, as if 
"good things," like Fr. bonbons, has 
been identified by Mr. Atkinson with 
Prov. Swed. gutia/r, sweetmeats, Swiss 
guteli. It is perhaps the Gipsy goodly, 
gudlo, sugar, sweet. 

Good-bye, a corruption of God be 
wi' ye, just as "good speed " is some- 
times incorrectly used for " God speed 
(you)." " Ood speed, fair Helena ! " 
(Mid. N. Bream, i. 1). 

God B' w' y'! with all my heart. 

Sir J. buckling, Fraginenta Aurea, 
1648, p. 40. 
AUan Eamsay ends his poetical 
Epistle to James Arhuckle (1719) 
with — ■ 

Health, wit, and joy, sauls large and free, 
Be a' your fates — sae God be wC ye. 
You are a treacherous villaine, God bwy yee. 
Marston, The Malcontent, i. 5, Works, 
ii. 216 (ed. Halliwell). 
Time. G odden, my little pretie priuat Place. 
Place. Farewell, godhwy Time. 

Sir J. Davies, Poems, ii. 249 (ed. Grosai't). 
Shaking me by the hand to bid me God- 
by'e, [he] said he thought he should see me 
no more. — J. Evelyn, Diary, May SI, 1672. 
God buy you, good Sir Topas. 

Twelfth Night, iv. 2, 1. 108 (1st 

So spelt, perhaps, from a confusion 
with " God save you," bvy ■=. redeem. 

It has often been supposed that the 
words good and God are etymologically 

If that opinion were not, who would ac- 
knowledge any Godi the verie Etimologie 
of the name with vs of the North partes of 
the world declaring plainely the nature of 
the attribute, which is all one as if we sayd 

food [bonus'] or a giuer of good things. — G, 
'uttenham. Arte of Eng. Poesie, 1589, p. 44 
(ed. Arber). 

God is that which sometime Good we nam'd, 
Before our English tongue was shorter 

Nath. Baxter, Sir Philip Sydney's 
Ourania (1606). 
An indifferent man may judge that our 
name of the most divine power, God, is . . . 
derived from Good, the chiefe attribute of 
God. — Camden, Remaines, 1637, p. 33. 

They have long been proved to be 
fundamentally distinct : good (A. Sax. 
gdd, Goth, gods) either zi (1) fit, suit- 
able (Fiok), or (2) = Sansk. hhyata, 
famous, known (Benfey) ; whereas 
God (A. Sax. God, Goth, guth) prob. 
=:Pers. hhoda, Tcliuda, God, i.e. Ichavud 
(self) -f- ay (coming), (Johnson, Pers. 
and Arab. Did.), Zend hhadhata, self- 
existent (Diefenbach, Goth. 8pr. ii. 416). 
On the Eunic monuments Ku]i is God 
(G. Stephens, Thor the Thunderer, 
p. 32). Bums uses Gude {=: good) 
for God : " Gude keep theefrae a tether 
string! " (Works, p. 33, Globe ed,). 

Goodman. Messrs. Eastman and 
W. A. Wright in their excellent Bible 
Word-Booh, make a suggestion that 
goodmhan, an old Eng. word -for the 
master of the house (e.g. Prov. vii. 19, 
Matt. XX. 11) or a yeoman, is a corrup- 
tion of A. Sax. gummann or guma, a 
man (whence brydguma, a bride-grrooTO), 
and that good-wife [or goody, cf. house- 
wife and )viissy'\ was formed in imita- 
tion of the corrupted word. 

Gunmiann, which occurs in Beowulf, 
would seem to be a pleonastic com- 
pound of guma (which has been re- 
ferred by Grimm to A. Sax. gedman 
(gyman), to care, guard, keep, or rule) 
and man. However, goodman is found 
in old Eng. for the master of a house, 
so there are no grounds for this sug- 
gested corruption (see Skeat). More- 
over guma ~ O. H. Ger. gomjO, Goth. 
guman, Lat. homo (Fiok). 

The said day [Nov. 25, 1646] compeired 
William Seifvright . . . being accused of 
sorcerie, in alloting and giuing over some 
land to the old goodman (as they call it) 
[^ devil], — Presbiftery Book of Strathbogie, 
p. 71 (Spalding Club). 

Good years, in Shakespeare, is a 
corruption of the word " goujeres," a 
loathsome disease, from Fr. gouge, a 
punk or camp-wench. " The good 
yeeres shall devoure them flesh and 
fell."— iear, v. 3 (fol.). 

"What the good-jer!" is Dame 
Quickly' s expletive in The Merry Wives 
of Windsor, act i. sc. 4, 1. 127. 

Goodger, a provincial word for the 
devil, may be the word intended. (Vid. 
Notes and Queries, 5th S. v. p. 202.) 

A'scat the things about as thof tlie goodger 
was in en. — Devonshire Courtship, p. 8. 

GOODY'S EYE ( 148 ) 


Seeke not, I pray you, that that pertaineth 
not to you. What a goodt/ere haue you to 
doe to meddle in hLs matters ?— rT. 'North, 
Morall Phibsophie of the Ancient Sages, 1601, 
p. 22 verso. 

Who at her first coming, like a simple, 
ig'norant Wooman, after her homely manner, 
tJius bluntly saluted him : " What a good 
yeare. Master More, I mei'vaile what you 
mean." — Wordsworth, Eccles. Biography, vol. 
ii. p. 139 (ed. 1810). 

The corruption was made perhaps 
with a reminiscence of the Italian 
phrase — 

Mai* anno, an ill yeere, continuall trouble, 
vsed in Italie for a Curse to ones enemie, as 
II mal' anno che Dio ti dij, an ill yeere God 
giue thee. — Fiorio. 

So in Chaucer — 
God g;iTe the monke a thousand last quad 

Prologue to The Prioresses Tale. 

Which seems to mean " God give the 
monk a thousand (fold) hurden of 
bad years." 

Goody's eye, a Somerset name for 
the plant sahia scla/rea, is a corrup- 
tion of another popular name Ood's 
eye (Britten and Holland). Godes-eie, 
Christ's eye, and Ghar-eye, seem free 
renderings of its Low Lat. name sclarea 
{? ex-clarus). See Cleae-eye. 

Oculus Christi is also a kinde of Clarie, but 
lesser. — Gerarde, Herbal, p. 627 {l&'JT). 

GooL-FRENOH, Somerset word for the 
goldfinch. In Antrim it is called the 
gold-flmch and gold-spring (Patterson). 

Goose, a certain symptom of the lues 
venerea, a bubo, frequently alluded to 
in the old dramatists, is perhaps a cor- 
ruption of gougeres, vid. Good-years. 

Goose, a tailor's iron for pressing 

Come in, taylor ; here you may roast your 
goose. — Macbeth, ii. 3. 

The word probably meant originally 
any large mass of iron, compare Swed. 
gos, a pig of iron, Ger. gam, a great 
lump of melted iron, Fr. gueuse, " a 
great lump of melted iron, rude, and 
unfashioned, even as it comes from 
the furnace" (Cotgrave, in Eabelais 
gueuse), all no doubt near akin to Ger. 
guss, metal, founding, gusseisen, cast 
iron, giessen, to pour, to found, gosse, a 

The term goose would readily be ap- 

plied to a mass of melted metal from 
the analogous usage of sow, pig, Gk. 
debpMs, a dolphin, &c. T. Eow, in the 
Oentleman's Magazine, June, 1774, re- 
marks that smoothing-irons "were 
made at first of hammered iron, but 
now are generally made of sow-metal, 
but are still called irons." Belated 
words are, 0. H. Ger, giuzan, Swed, 
giuta, Dan. gyde, A. Sax. gedtan, Goth. 
gjutan, loel. gj6ta, to cast metal. 

I beg on my knees to have Atropos the 
tailor to the Destinies ... to heat the iron 
goae of mortality, and so press me to death. 
— Massinger, The Virgin Martyr, iii. 3 (p. 19, 
ed. Cunningham). 

Goose, used as a synonym for a 
simpleton or fool, is, as Bishop Stanley 
has observed, a " proverbial hbel " on 
a bird remarliable for its intelligence. 

It has qualities, we might almost say of 
the mind, of a very singular character. . . . 
There are no animals, biped or quadruped, 
so difficult to deceive or approach, their sense 
of hearing, seeing, and smelling bein^ so 
extremely acute ; independently of which 
they appearto act in so organized and cautious 
a manner, when feeding or roosting, as to 
defy all danger. — History of Birds, p. 352 
(7th ed.). 

Among the ancient Egyptians the 
fiHal affection of the goose was con- 
sidered so exemplary to men that it 
was made the ideograph of "a son." 

It may credibly be thought also, that this 
creature hath some sparks (as it were) of 
reason, understanding, and learning.— Hoi- 
land, Pliny's Nat. Hist. vol. i. p. 280, 1634. 

Accordingly, a band of crusaders in 
the time of our Henry II., saw nothing 
ridiculous in having a goose carried m 
a standard at their head. Indeed, it 
is only in modem times, and that as 
we shall see through a verbal miscon' 
ception, that the name of this wise bird 
has become the very antithesis of its 
true character. Its carefulness has 
been warmly eulogized by Soaliger, 
who declares it the very emblem of 

When Frederick Nausea, Bishop of Vienne, 
desired in his panegyric on St. Quintin to 
convey a fitting idea of the sobriety, chastity, 
and vigilance of that eminent personage, he 
could not express himself more forcibly ttua 
by asserting the holy and virtuous man 
closely resembled a goose. Had folly bM" 
esteemed a prominent characteristic of the 
bird, the saint would hardly have been 
likened to it ; but it is only ignorance of the 


( 149 ) 


dtu'kest hue that ventures to poi'tray the 
goose as deficient in sagacity or intelligence. 
— Comhill Magazine, vol. viii. p. 203. 

I would suggest, therefore, that goose, 
in the sense of simpleton, is a survival 
of the Scandinavian gusi, a fool, found 
in Swedish, derived from old Swed. 
gusa, to blow (cf. "gust"). — G. Ste- 
phens, Old Nwthern Bunic Monuments, 
p. 925 ; just as O. Norse gdli, a fool 
(Dan. gal, mad), is near akin to a gale 
of wind (Wedgwood) . Windy inflation 
is the root idea of " fool," and many- 
other words of the same signification. 

Here lyes Benjamin Johnson dead, 
And hath no more wit than [a] goose in his 

B. Johnson's Conversations, iSfc, p. 36 
(Shaks. Soc). 

GoosEBEKRY. Whatever be the ori- 
gin of this word, whether it be akin 
to the German hroMsheere, the rough 
hairy berry, from hroMS, rough (com- 
pare Dan. stikkelsbaer, Swed. stichelbdr, 
" the prickly berry," andperhaps Dutch 
hruysbeezi, from hroes, frizzled, bristly, 
Sp. crespina, Lat. uva crispa), which 
seems most probable, or, as Dr. Prior 
thinks, from Pr. groseille (which is it- 
self a corrupted form from Ger. hraii- 
sel), it certainly has no connexion with 

The Dutch hruysleezi has been assi- 
milated to hruys, a cross. Oarherry, 
the North country name for this fruit, 
is according to Mr. Atkinson akin to 
A. Sax. and Norse gar, a point or 
prickle, and gorse, the prickly plant 
(Cleveland Glossa/ry, s.v.), which in 
N. W. Lincolnshire is called gross 
(Peacock), whence perhaps goss-herry 
(" Prickly goss and thorns." — Tempest, 
iv.-l) ; but this is unlikely. Mr. Timbs 
says that roasted geese used in the 
olden time to be stuffed with goose- 
berries, and thence came their name 
(Nooks amd Corners of Eng. Life, 
p. 163), but this is more than doubtful. 
Gooseberry may be for grooseberry, as 
speak for spreah, speckh for spreckle, 
gin for grin; compare Welsh grwys. 
Prof. Skeat says the orig. form must 
have been groise-herry, where groise m 
M. H. Ger. krus, curling, crisped, i.e. 
hairy, and so "goose-berry" is the 
hairy-berry. A Scotch form is groser. 

George Gordoune being cited befor the 

session of Rynie for prophaneing the Sabbath, 
by gathering grosers in tyme of sermon . . . 
appealed to the presbyterie. — Presbytery 
Book of Strathbogie (1636), p. 9. 

GoEDiAN, used absurdly by Keats as 
a verb meaning to knot, from some 
confused reminiscence of the fabled 
" Gordian knot," so called because 
tied by Gordius, King of Phiygia, with 
the oracular prediction that whoever 
should undo it would reign over the 
entire of Asia. 

She had 
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me 

mad ; 
And they were simply gordian*d up and 
Endymion, Bk. I. Poems, p. 19 (ed. 1869). 

GooSE-DANCiNG, a kind of masque- 
rade, indulged in at Christmas and 
other festivals in Cornwall, ScUly 
islands, &c., originally geese dancing, 
i.e. guise dancing (dance-deguise), a 
species of mumming performed by the 
gwizards or masquers. — Hunt, Broils, 
^c. of West of England, i. 37 and 307. 

The young people exercise a sort of 
gallantry, callea Goose Dancing, when the 
maidens are dressed up for j'oung men, and 
the young men for maidens; thus disguised 
they visit their neighbours in companies, 
where they dance and make jokes upon what 
has happened on the island. — Heath, Islands 
ofSciUy, p. 125(1750). 

Compare Scot, gyser, a mummer, 
and gyse, to masquerade. 

The loons are awa through the toon gyrin'. 
— Gregor, Banff Glossary, p. 72. 

Disguise was the old English word for a 
masque. — Ben Jonson, The Masque of Augurs. 

See also M. A. Courtney, W. Corn- 
wall Glossary, s.v. Giz' JDanee, and 
P. Q. Couch, E. Cornwall Glossary, 
S.V. Goosey Dance. 

GoosE-HOEN, Scottish giise-horn, as 
the ingredient of a recipe, sounds as 
apocryphal as "pigeon's imlk," or as 
the "goat's wool" and "ass's fleece" 
of the ancient classics. It is a curious 
corruption of Scot, gwissern, Linoolns. 
glvizzern (Bailey, 1753), old Eng. gys- 
erne (Prompt. Pm-v.) and giser, the giz- 
zard of a fowl, Fr. gesier, from Lat. 
gigemmi. Compare Git-hoen for git- 
tern, CiTHOBNB for cittern. Goshorne 
in the Beliguce Antig. vol. ii. p. 176, is 
probably the same word. 

A Powder for the winde in the body. Take 


( 150 ) 


Anniseed, Caroway-^eed, Jet, Amber-greese., 
red Coral, dried Lemon or Orange peels, 
new laid Egg shels dried, Dates Stones, 
pillings of Goose-horns of Capons & Pigeons, 
dried Horse-radish-roots, of each half a 
Scruple in fine powder well mixed, and take 
half a Scruple thereof every morning in a 
Spoonful of Beer or white Wine. — The 
Queens Closet Opened, p. 77 (1658). 

Goose-share (Turner, Herhall), or 
Goose-sha/reth, a name for the plant 
galmm apmine, is a coiTuption of its 
old name goose -hemffe (W. Coles, 
Adam in Eden), A. Sax. gos-hegenfe, 
"goose-hedge-reeve," the reeve that 
guards the hedge and arrests the geese 
passing through (Prior). SeeHAlEOUGH. 

Grateron, the small bur called Goose-share, 
Goose-grass, Love-man, Cleaver, and Claver. 
— Cotgrave. 

■ GouKSTtJLE, a Scotch word for an in- 
strument of punishment, as if a " fool's 
stool," from gouh, a fool, is a corrup- 
tion of cack-stool. See Cock-stool. 

On the 24th Feb. 1564. James Gardiner 
" for iniuring of the provest publicklie," was 
" sett on the goukstulis four houris on the 
merkat day." — Linlithgow Burgh Records 
(Daliiell, Darker Superstitions of' Scotland, 
p. 684). 

Geaft, a modem and corrupt form 
of graff, O. Eng. graffen, to insert a 
scion, where the final t is perhaps due 
to the p. participial form grafi^zgrafted ; 
graff, a scion, Fr. greffe, is properly 
a slip pointed Hke a pen or pencil, Lat. 
grwphium, Gk. graphion, a writing in- 
strument (Skeat). On the other hand 
lift is sometimes used as a p. parte, as 
if zz lifed, " The ark was lift up " 
(Gen. vii. 17, xiv. 22, &o.), and ballast as 
if ballas'd, " Their weak hallac't souls " 
(Ford, Honor Triumphant, 1606). 

They also .... shall be graffed in ; 
for God is able to ^rajf them in again. — A. V. 
Rom, xi. 23. 

Giyfftin, or graffyn, Insero. — Prompt. Par- 

Grufte, or gryffe of a tree, ente. — Pals- 
grave, 1530. 

Grain, in the phrase " Against the 
grain," i.e. running counter to one's 
natural iuchnation or disposition, as 
the saw or plane does against the direc- 
tion of the fibres in wood, called its 
grain, is possibly a popular corruption 
of " Against the gre," which was also 
in use with the same signification, 
Fr. gre, wish, hking, humour (e.g., a 

gre, mal gre). The phrase " to take in 
gre, or gree," i.e. in good part, kindly, 
is common in old writers ; Pepys says, 
" He is against the gre and content 
of the old Doctors made Judge" (Diary, 
March 27, 1667). 

Similarly the Scottish threat, " I'll 
gie him his gray," i.e. a drubbing (as 
if payment, full satisfaction, his heart's 
desire), is no doubt a ludicrous use of 
Fr. gre, desire (cf. faire gre), Jamieson. 
In vulgar English this sometimes ap- 
pears as " I'LL give him his grains." 

Our judgments must needs give assent to 
God; but because his precepts go against 
the grain of our affections .... we settle 
upon the Grecian resolution, though more 
seriously, not to be so troubled for our souls 
as to lose a moment of our carnal delights.— 
T. Adams, Sermons, vol. i. p. 198. 

Grains, a Prov. word for the prongs 
of a fork ( Old Country Words, B. D. S. 
p. 145). Grain, used also for the junc- 
tion of a branch with the tree, and for 
the bifurcation of the body, the groin 
(cf. Ir. gabhal), is loel. grein, a branch, 
a fork. 

A Grain-staff,3. Quarter-Staff, with a short 
pair of Tines at the End, which they call 
Grains. — Ray, South and East Country Words. 

Geameecy, also spelt Grammerey 
(as if grand merd, great thanks, " gran- 
dem mercedem dot tihi Deus," i.e. God 
give you a great reward), " I thank 
you " (Bailey, Skeat), and so Chaucer: 
Grand mercy, quod the preest, and was ful 

The Chanones Yemannes Tale. 

is a corruption of Grant mercy ! 

We see the beginning of what was to 
become a well-known English oath, 
says Mrs. Oliphant, in 

Ye, he seyde, graunte mercy. 

Robt. Manning, Handlyng Synne, 
p. 323 (1303). 
She saith : Graunt mercti, leve sir, 
God quite it you, there I ne may. 

Gower, Conf. Amnntis, vol. iii. p. 317 
(ed. Pauli). 
Scottish folk corrupted it into Oray 
mercies ! as an exclamation of surprise 

Grampus, " a fish like a whale, bnt 
less " (Bailey), formerly spelt grrnid- 
pisce, as if the great fish. But as no 
such form is found in French, the word 
is probably a corruption of A. Sax. 
hrdnfisc, a whale-fish (Mahn). 


( 151 ) 


Give me leave to name what fish we took ; 
they were Dolphins, Bonetaes, Albioores, 
Cavalloes, Porpice, Grampassii (the Susmari- 
niis), &o. — Sir Thos. Herbert, Travels, p. 401 

Grange, an old Scotch corruption of 
grains, the branches of a burn towards 
the head. See Grains. 

At Threeburn Grange, in an after day, 
There shall be a lang and bloody fray. 
Thomas of Erceldoiiue, 

Gbant, from 0. Fr. graunter, groan- 
ier, originally craanier, creanier (from 
Low Lat. creanto/re, credentare, to as- 
sure, accredit), influenced perhaps in 
spelling by confusion with O. Fr. ga- 
rantir, of the same meaning (Skeat, 
Etym. Diet.). But of. grate beside Lat. 

Gkape-shot, a quantity of broken 
pieces of iron and miscellaneous mis- 
siles discharged from a gun, is evi- 
dently another form of Icel. grdf, sleet, 
used poetically of arrows, the form in 
prose being hra/p, krofpi. The curious pa- 
raUehsm, however, of Swed. d/ruf-hagel, 
grape-shot, from drufva, a grape, must 
be taken iato consideration. 

Compare Gray's "Iron sleet of arrowy 
shower," Vir^'s "ferreus ingruit 
imber" (Mn. xii. 284), and "Hastati 
spargunt hastas, fit ferreus im6er" (Bn- 
nius, Ann. viii. 46). 

Gray's line seems modelled on Mil- 

Sharp sleet of arrowy showers. 

Par. Regained, iii. 323, 

and this on Spenser's "sharp showre 
of arrowes " (F. Queene, V. iv. 38). 

In old Enghsh shower is a storm of 
arrows, a battle, A. Sax. scur. 
Th6 shall haue many a sharpe shower, 
both the King & Tryamore, 
They shaU never haue peace. 
Percii Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 112, 1. 929. 

Compare A. Sax. isern-scur (iron- 
shower), a battle, scur-beorg, a battle- 

Oft gebM isern scur, 
))onne str^ia storm . , . 
Scoc ofer scyld-weall. 

Beowulf, 1. 3116 (8th cent.). 
Oft he abode the iron-shower ; the storm 
of arrows flew over the shield-wall. 

Geass-man, a Scottish term for a 
tenant who has no land, but is only a 
"cottar," seems a paradoxical forma- 
tion. However, the word has nothing 

to do with grass. Another form of it 
is gerss-man, or gers-man, for gersom- 
wian, i.e. one who pays gersom, gressom, 
or grassom, which is a sum paid to a 
landlord by a tenant on entering a 
farm, old Eng. gersom, payment or 
reward, A. Sax. gaersuma, a fine or pre- 
mium, gersume, a treasure. Holland 
says Norwich paid " an hundred shil- 
lings for a gersume [a fine] to the 
queene" {Gamden, p. 474). 

He ne bere<5 no gursum. — Ancren Riwle, p. 

Grass-widow, a provincial term for 
a woman who is a mother and not 
married, also for a wife in the absence 
of her husband. It might seem that 
grass here is for grace, pronounced in 
the French fashion, old Eng. gras, as if 
a widow by grace or courtesy ; indeed 
the Suffolk form is grace-widow (Moor). 
A grass hand is a term used among 
printers, and means (I believe, for I 
cannot find it in any glossary) a tem- 
porary or supernumerary workman, a 
hand by grace or sufferance, as it were, 
in contrast to the regular and perma- 
nent staff of employees. 

The word, however, is not pecuhar 
to Enghsh. In Low German it appears 
as gras-wedewe, in Swedish as grixs- 
enha, ht. "grass-widow" (Tauchnitz 
Diet.) , Prov. Dan. grcBsenka. Compare 
the nearly synonymous Ger. stroh- 
wittwe, " straw- widow." It has been 
conjectured that the Scandinavian 
words, which are doubtless the origi- 
nals of our own, are colloquial forms 
oi grcBdesenka, from gradig, longing (our 
"greedy"), meaning one who yearns 
or longs for her husband in his absence, 
like the Belgian hcBchwedewe, from 
hcBcken, to feel strong desire. Cf. old 
Eng. grees, greece, a step, from gradus, 
(See Atkiason, Cleveland Olossa/ry, p. 
231.) OradAg, Dan. graaMg, is cog- 
nate with Gotliic gred/as, Ir. gradh, love 
(agra), Sansk.j'Wd^, to desire or long for. 

Grass, heart of. To take, a corrup- 
tion in old authors of the once familiar 
phrase " to take hea/rt of grace," i.e. to 
be of good courage. 

Persuaded thereunto by her husbandes 
lelosye, [she] tooke harte atgrasse, and would 
needes trie a newe conclusion. — Tell-Trothes 
New-Yeares Gift, 1693, p. 23 (New Shaks. 
Soc. ). 



Taking hart at grasse, drawing more neere 
him, I praied him to tell me what Purgatory 
is. — Tarlton's Jests, p. 57 (Shaks. Soc). 

Graving - dock is probably con- 
sidered by most persons to be derived 
from grave, to dig out or excavate 
("gravynge, or delvynge, Fossio." — 
Prompt. Pa/rv.). It was originally a 
dry dock where the bottom of a ship 
could be pitched or graved, i.e. smeared 
with graves or greaves, grease or refuse 
tallow, Prov. Swed. grevar. 

To grave a ship [sea-term] to preserve the 
calking by dawbing it over with tallow, train- 
oil, &c., mix'd. — Bailey, Diet. 

Geavy, a corrupt spelling apparentlji 
of old Eng. grovy, "Hec promulada, 
grovy." — Wright, Vocahula/i-ies (15th 
cent.), p. 266. The original meaning 
seems to have been ^^oi-Uquor, potage, 
from old Eng. greovaz=o]la, (A. Sax. Vo- 
cabulary, 10th or 11th cent., Wright, 
p. -288). The word perhaps was con- 
founded with grave, graves, grea/ves, tal- 
low refuse, from which indeed Prof. 
Skeat derives it. But gravy does not 
seem to have meant fat, but the juice of 
the meat. Chapman speUs it grea/oy, 
and distinguishes it from fat, " Their 
fat and greavde" (Odys. xvui. 63). . 

Gkay-mile, I a name for the plant 

Geay-mylb, j Uthospermum officinale 
(" gray millet ") in Turner, Herhal, ii. 
40, GraynviU in Cotgrave, O. Eng. 
forms gromel, grumelle, gremM, and 
gromwell, Fr. gremil. The Latin name 
of the plant having been gramem (or 
grarmm) soKs, and miUirni, these words 
may have coalesced into the above 
popular names (Prior). 

Boddeker says the origin is Lat. 
granum milii. 

Asa gromi/l in grene grene is Jie grone. — 
Johori, 1. 37 {Alteiig. Diclitungen, p. 146). 

In milium so/is, the epithet of the sun 
hath enlarged its opinion ; which hath, indeed, 
no reference thereunto, it being no more than 
tithospermon, or grummel, or rather milium 
soler; which as Serapiou from Aben Julie! 
hath taught us, because it grew plentifully 
in the mountains of Soler, received that ap- 
pellation. — Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudadoxia 
E-pidemica, Works, vol. i. p. 214 (ed. Bohn). 
Gilofre, gyngure, & gromyli/oun.. 

Alliterative Poems, 'p. 2, 1. 43. 

Geaze, to scrape slightly and super- 
ficially, formerly spelt grase, seems to 
be merely an assimilation of rase (Fr. 

raser, to touch or grate on a thing in 
passing by it.- — Cotgrave), to graze, to 
crop the surface of the sward as cattle 
do (lit. to grass), or perhaps to graie 
(Skeat). So Fr. grat is not only a 
scratching or scraping, but pasture or 
grazing for cattle (Cotgrave). 

Great, a colloquial expression for in- 
timate, famiUar, favourite, fast friends, 
as "They are very great with the 
Browns," was formerly in general use ; 
also for favourite, much affected, as 
" That is a great word of yours." The 
Dorset folk have "to be gret" (=veiy 
friendly), Barnes; the Scottish griis 
" They two be very gret." — Sternberg, 
Northampton Glossa/ry. 

A little National School girl in Ire- 
land once explained that the Cate- 
chism phrase, " to be in charity with all 
men," meant " to he great with them." 
Bp. Hall remarked that " Moses was 
great with God" [Contemplations, Bk. 
vii. 1). 

Lady Castlemaine is still as great with the 
King. — Pepys's Diary, vol. ii. p. 5 (ed. M. 

"No snail " 's a great word with him.— iJ. 
Brome, A Jovial Crew, v. 1 (1652). 

The Lord Boid was grait with the Regent, 
and haid a cusing in our College. — J. Mel- 
ville, Diary, 1.578, p. 69 (Wodrow Soc). 

As to the origin of this word it is 
difficult to speak with confidence. Put- 
ting aside A. Sax. grii, peace (notwith- 
standing the analogy of si6, related, from 
A. S. sib, peace) ; A. Sax. gredda, the 
bosom; Ir. gradh, dear, beloved (Sansk. 
grdh, to desire), we may probably see 
in this "great" a derivative of A. Sax. 
gretan, to know familiarly (orig. to 
welcome or "greet"), Ger. griissen. It 
is possible, however, that it is identical 
with " great," large, — to be thick being 
a phrase quite analogous, — and may 
mean "of much account," "of high 
value." In the provincial dialects the 
two words are kept distinct, e.g. " Thai 
bee turble grait " (= very close friends), 
hnt gurt {=: magnus) (P. T. Elworthy, 
Gramviar of W. Somerset); while in N. 
England gryth is intimate, and grait, 
gert, is great. 

" He docs not Top his part " — A gre it word 
with Mr. Kdward Howard. — BucdrnffAami 
The Rehearsal, Key 1704, p. 70 (ed. Arber). 

As great as the Devil and the Earl of Kent. 
— Swijl, Polite Conversations. 


Grecian Stairs, at Lincoln, origi- 
nally the Greesen, i.e. the steps, plural 
of the old Eng. greese, grize, or gree, a 
step.— M. Miiller, Chips, ii. p. 531. 

Greece, in the phrase a haii of 
Greece, a fat hart, in old haUads, is for 
"hart oi grease," O.Fr. graisse, fatness 
(gras, fat, Lat. crassus). 

Which of you can kill a bucke, 

Or who can kill a doe ; 
Or who can kill a hart of Greece, 
Five hundreth foot him fro. 
IngUdeiv, Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire, 
p. 53. 

Grey, when used specifically for a 
horse or steed, bears a curious resem- 
blance to, and may possibly be the same 
word as, the Gipsy grey (Pott), grye 
(Smart), gra (foreign Gipsy, Borrow, 
Grellman), a horse. Of. Hind, ghord, a 
horse, ghori, a mare. However, it raust 
be remembered that horses frequently 
got names from their colour, e.g. Bay- 
ard, Liard, Blanchard (Scot, hhnk), 
Pavel, Ball, Sorrell, Dun, Grizzle, and 
cf. " Scots' Greys." 
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, 
That cost thy life, my gpallant grey ! 

Scott, Lady oftlie hake, I. ix. 
He look'd — he knew the raven's prey, 
His own brave steed: — "Ah! gallant ffr«/.'" 

Id. IV. XX. 
" Gae saddle to me the black," he cried, 

" Gae saddle to me the gray ; 
Gae saddle to me the swiftest steed, 
To hie me on my way." 
Lord Barnaby, 1. 48 {Child's Ballads, 

vol. ii. p. 309). 
He spurr'd the gray into the path, 

Till baith his sides they bled. 
Auld Maitlaud (^Ibid. vol. vi. p. 225). 

.Grey bird, a name for the thrush 
in W. Cornwall (M. A. Coiirtney), and 
Sussex (Parish), recalls its Fr. name 
grive, which is perhaps akin to griveler, 
to pilfer {gripper, " gripe," &o. — 
Soheler), as if the plunderer, sc. of the 
vines. Of. the names, Ger. iveind/rossel, 
weingart wgel; mavis, Fr. mauvis 
( ? imderstood as malum vitis) ; and 
the proverb " SoM comme une grive." 

Grey-hound, so spelt as if called 
from its grey colour, A. Sax. grmghund, 
greghund (from grceg, greg, grey), is 
l)roperly the Graian or Greoian (A. Sax. 
Grcec, Chic) dog, canis grams. Scot. 
gray dog. — So I. Taylor, Woi'ds a/nd 
Places, p. 415 (2nd ed.). 

Among the diners kinds of hunting Dogs 
the Grey-hound or Grecian Dog, called The- 
reuticos or Elatica (by reason of his swift- 
nesse) .... deserueth the first place. — 
Topsell, Historic of Four-Jooted Beasts, 1608, 
p. 14»t. 

Grehownde (al. gresehownde), Leporarius. — 
Prompt. Puroulorum. 

It was also known in Scotch as the 
grey, grew (cf. old Eng. greiu z:: greek), 
grewhund, and grewan (Jamieson), old 
Eng. grewnd. 

'The counterpart of this conversion 
of graian into grey occurs in an old 
epigram on Lady Jane Grey, who " for 
her excellency in the Greek tongue was 
called for Greia, Graia, and this made 
to her honour iu that respect. 

Miraris lanam Graio sermone valere ? 

Quo nata est primdm tempore, Graia fuit. 
Camden, Remaines, 1637, p. 163. 

Similarly in Spanish galgo, a grey- 
hound, is from gallicus canis (Diez). 

Compare spaniel, the Spanish dog, 
Lat. molossus, a mastiff (i.e. the Molos- 
sian, from Epirus), tiirhey, Fr. dinde 
(pouletd'Lide), Ger. halehuter, canary, 
and many other bfrds and animals 
named after the countries from which 
they were introduced or were sup- 
posed to come. 

Otherwise we might identify the first 
part of the word with Icel. grey, Gaelic 
gregh, Ir. grech, a hound. Spehnan 
says : "A Greyhound, Ovidio canis GalU- 
ciLs, sed proprie magis Britanndcus " 
[Glossa/rium, 1626, s.v. Ganis). A dis- 
tinct corruption is old Eng. grif-hound 
{King AVysaunder, 1. 5284), with which 
agrees old Dutch griip-hund (Kilian), 
as if the dog that grips its prey. 

In the Constitutions of King Canute 
concerning Forests occur the words : — 

Nullus mediocvis habebit nee custodiet 
Canes, quos Angli Greihounds appellant. — 
Spelmun, Glossarium (1626), p. 290. 

Tristre is \>er me sit mid i>e greahundes forte 
kepen \:e hearde. [A tristre is where men 
wait with the greyhounds for to meet the 
herd]. — Anci'en Riwle, p. 332. 

(je hare yernfi, );e gryhond hym uol3"Jj 
[The hare runneth, the greyhownd him fol- 
loweth]. — Ayenbite of Inwyt, p. 75 (1340). 
As Sonne as I can renne to the laye. 
Anon the greyhondys wyl me have. 

E. Eug. Miscellanies, p. 46 (Warton 

The Greyhownde called Leporarius, hath 
his name of this word Gre, which word 
soundeth gradus in latine, in Englishe degree. 


Wi' jumping and thumping 
The verra girdle rang. 

Burns, Works, p. 48 (Globe ed.). 

Griffin, a term applied in India to 
a novice or green-horn. Can this be 
from Fr. griffon, griffoneur, one who 
writes badly, and so a backward pupil, 
a novice or bejaune ? 

GBia. The proverbial expression 
" Merry as a grig " is probably a cor- 
ruption of the older " Merry as a Oreek" 
The word has been generally under- 
stood to mean a small, wriggling eel, 
so called perhaps from its colour, A. 
Sax. grceg, gray, just as another fish 
has been named a "grayling." As 
"grig," however, is a provincial term 
also for the cricket, as it were the gray 
insect, in Icelandic grd-magi, "gray- 
maw" (compare the "gray-fly" of 
Milton's " Lycidas "), it is more natural 
to suppose that the phrase is synony- 
mous with another equally common, 
" as merry as a cricket; " the cheerful 
note of the cricket, even more than its 
lively movements, causing it to be 
adopted as an exemplification of merri- 
ment. Holland has "grig hens" 
(Phny, i. 298), cf. W. Cornwall grig- 
gan, a grasshopper (M. A. Courtney, 
E. D. S.). 

The high-shoulder'd grig, 
Whose great heart is too big 
For Ills body this blue May mom. 
Lord Lytton, Poems (Owen Mere- 

But grig is probably a popular sub- 
stitute for Oreek. Gotgrave, for example, 
explains gouinfre, " a madcap, Mierri/ 
grig, pleasant knave," gringalet, "a 
merry grig, pleasant rogue, sportfuH 
knave." Cfrec, gregeois, griesehe, gregue, 
are various French spellings of the word 
Oreek (compare " gregues, foreign hose 
[i.e. Greek], wide slops, gregs" (Cot- 
grave) ; and the word gringalet, a merry 
grig, may be only another form of 
grigalet or gregalet, a diminutive of 
grec, i.e. a greekling, grmaidus, n being 
inserted as in the old French term for 
holy water, gringoriane, a corrupted 
form of gregoriane, " so termed," says 
Gotgrave, "because first invented by 
a Pope Gregory." 

From the effeminacy and luxurious 
living into which the later Greeks de- 
generated after their conquest by the 

Because among all dogges these are the most 
principall, occupying the chiefest place, and 
being simply and absolutely the best of all 
the gentle kinde of houndes. — A, Fleming, 
Cairn of Eng. Dogges, 1.576 (p. 40, repr. 

Yet another false etymology is this 
of Fuller's : — 

I have no more to observe of these Grey- 
hounds, save that they are so called (being 
otherwise of all colours), because originally 
imployed in the huntins of Grays ; that is, 
Brocks and Badgers. — Worthies of England, 
vol. ii. p. 4 (ed. 1811). 

Grid-iron, formerly spelt gyrdiron 
(Levins), gredyrnej'WyclxSe (Ex. xxvii. 
4), is a corruption of old Eng. gredire, 
a griddle, another form of Welsh 
grMell, gradell, a griddle, also a grate 
(SpurreU), Ir. greidell (haec creteUa). 
These words, as well as old Welsh 
gratell, are from L. Lat. graticula, for 
craticMla, a dim. of cratis, a hurdle, a 
barred grate (Zeuss ; Whitley Stokes, 
Irish Olosses,-p.4S; Ebel, GelUcStuiMes, 
p. 101). A griddle is thus a gratel or 
little grate. Prom the same source 
come It. gradella, Pr. greille, Eng. grill 
(Diez). Prof. Skeat less probably holds 
to a Celtic origin, and so HaJdemann 
{Afiees, p. 178). 

Nes Seinte Peter .... istreiht o rode, 
and Seint Lorenzo ^e gredil. [Was not 
S. Peter stretched on the cross, and S. 
Lawrence on the gridiron']. — Ancren Rimle, 
p. 362. 
Vp a gredire hi leide him se))J3e ; ouer a gret 

fur and strong 
To rosti as me dej? verst flesc. 

Juife of it. Quiriac, Legends of Holy 

Rood, p. 58, 1. 504 (E. E. T. S.)." 

\>e King het bat me scholde anon : vpe a 

gridire him do 
And roste him wib fur & pich. 

Life of S. Christopher, 1. 203 (Philolog. 
Soc. 1858, p. 65). 

Grifdyryne, Graticula, craticulum. 

Rost yryn, or gradyryn, craticula, crates. 
Prompt. Parvuiorum (1410). 

Jje gredime & jje goblotes garnyst of syluer. 
ALliteratine Poems, p. 73, 1. 1277 
(14th cent.). 

Their Boucan is agredirore of fowre cratches, 
set in the ground, a yard high, and as much 
asunder, with billets laid thereon, and other 
stickes on them grate-wise. On this they 
rost the flesh. — Purchas, Pilgrimages, America, 
Bk. viii. ch. 5, § i. p. 1037. 

The Scotch have altered griddle to 


( 155 ) 


Romans, their name became a b3rword 
for lon-vivants, good fellows, or con- 
vivial companions. 

She [Maria Ctesarissa] abruptly vented 
herself in these expressions, " Greece la 
grown barbarous and quite bereft of its 
iormer worth ; not so much as the mines of 
valour left in you, to reach forth unto pos- 
terity any signes that you were exti'acted 
from brave ancestors .... The merri/ Greek 
hath now drowned the proverb of the valiant 
Greek." — T. FulLer, The Profane State, p. 465 

The boonest Companions for drinking are 
the Greeks and Ge}-mans ; but tlie Greek ia 
the merrier of the two, for he will sing, and 
dance, and kias his next companion ; but the 
other will drink as deep as he. — Howell, Fam. 
Letters (1634). Bk. ii. 54. 

" No people in the world," it has 
been said, " are so jovial and merry, so 
given to singing and dancing, as the 
Greeks " (P. Gordon). So Bishop HaU, 
in his " Triumphs of Rome," having 
spoken of the wakes. May games, 
Christmas triumphs, and other con- 
vivial festivities kept up by those trnder 
the Roman dition, adds these words — 
" In all which put together, you may 
well say no Greek can be merrier than 
they.". In Latin, grcecari, to play the 
Greek, meant to wanton, to eat, drink, 
and be merry. 

[They drank cupsj sometimes as many 
together as there were letters contained in 
the names of their misti'esses. Insomuch that 
those were provei'bially said to Greeke it, 
that quaft in that fashion. — Sandys^ Travels, 
p. 79. 

Shakespeare says of Helen, " Then 
she's a merry Oreeh indeed " (Troilus 
and Cressida, i. 2), and the phrase 
occurs repeatedly in other vsriters of 
the same period. Cotgrave defines 
averlan to be " a good fellow, a raad 
companion, merry Greeh, sound drunk- 
ard ; " while Miege gives " a meiTy 
grig, un plaisant conipagnon," and 
" They drank till they all were as 
merry as grigs " occurs in " Poor 
Robin's Almanac," 1764. We can 
easily perceive that the latter phrase, 
both in sound and signification, arose 
out of, or was at least fused with, the 
older one " as merry as a Greek." 
That the connexion between the two 
was remembered and recognized so 
late as 1820 is proved by the following 
quotation, which I take from Nares — 

A true Trojan and a mad merry grig, 
though no Greek.— Barn. Jon™, vol. i. p. 54. 

Matthew Merygreeke, the "needy 
Humorist" in Udall's Ralph Boister 
Bolster (1566), says : — 

Indeede men so call me, for, by him that us 

Whatever chance betide, I can take no 
Act i. sc. 1 (Shaks. Soc. ed. p. 2). 
I'll cut as clean a caper from the ladder, 
As ever merry Greek did. 

Masslnger, The Bondman, v. 3 (sub 
In Sussex grig by itself means gay, 
merry. " He's always so grig " (Parish, 
Glossary, p. 50). 

I left the merry griggs .... in such a 
hoigh yonder ! such a frolic ! you'll hear 
anon. — R. Brome, A Joviui Crew, i. 1 (1652). 
Let us hear and see something of your 
merry grigs, that can sing, play gambols, and 
do feats. — Id. ii. 1 . 

Geimask, in the old play of The 
Women's Conguest,1671 CSiaieB). "No 
more of your grimasks," seems to be a 
corruption of grimaces, under the in- 
fluence of mask. 

Grinning swallow, a Scottish name 
dieswally, are corruptions of A. Sax. 
grundswelge (Britten and Holland). 

Gbizzle, a name for the gooseberry 
in some parts of Scotland, is a cor- 
rupted form of grosel, Fr. groseille, Lat. 

Geoom, formerly any kind of man- 
servant, seems to be a corrupted form 
of old Eng. gome, A. Sax. guma 
(^ O. H. Ger. gomo, Lat. homo, stem 
gamon, the " earth-bom," akin to Lat. 
humus, the ground, Gk. chamai. Pick), 
the r being due to a confusion with 
Icel. grom/r, a boy, O. Dut. gram, 0. Fr. 
gromme, whence gromet, a valet, and 
gourme de chamih-e (See Scheler, s.v, 
Gourme) . 

And gomes of gowrlande sail get vp Jrar 
baneris. — BerTuirdus de cura rei famulians,, 
p. 26, 1. 117(E. E. T. S.). 

Hire meiden mei techen sum Intel meiden 
j:et were dute of forto leornen among gromes 
[=boys]. — Ancreii Rii^le, p. 422. 
Ich am nou no grom, 
Ich am wel waxen. 

Havelok the Dane, 1. 790. 

Geounds, the dregs or sediment of 
coffee or other liqiiids, so spelt as if it 


( 156 ) 


signified the ground or bottom precipi- 
tated by a liquor (A. Sax. grund), is 
really the same word as grouts, the lees 
or grains left after brewing, with n 
inserted, as is common, A. Sax. grut 
(Lmce Boo. iii. lis. Cockayne), Dutch 
gruyte, Low Dutch gruus, Gal. gruAd, 
dregs. Norm, grut, connected with 
grit, groats, A. Sax. gredt, Ger. griitze. 
Cf. W. Cornwall grudglings, dregs, Ang. 
Ir. gradiians, " Groundes, lyse of any 
lycoure, &"(Palsgrave, 1530). " Grown- 
desope of any lyooure, Fex, sedimen" 
(Prompt. Faro. c. 1440). Orminn, 
about 1200, says " Mss winniss drunn- 
kenn to l^e grund" (vol. ii. p. 133) ; he 
means, no doubt, to the lees, and not 
as Mr. Ohphant curiously interprets 
it, " down to the ground " ^ omnino 
Old and Mid. English, p. 219). 

A' com'd in heal'd witli .... grute 
[coTered with mud]. — Mrs. Palmer, Devon- 
shire Courtship, p. 6. 

Grute, Greet, coiFee grounds, finely pul- 
verized soil Growder, soft granite used for 
scouring. — M. A. Courtney, W. Cornwall 
Glossary, E. D. S. 

The nasalized form is also found in 
Celtic grunndas, dregs. 

Geoundsel, the name of the plant 
Senecio, assimilated to groundsel or 
groundsil, the threshold of a door 
(Bailey), was oiigmaRjground-swallov}, 
A. Sax. grund-swelge, from swelgan to 
swallow or devour. It is still called 
in Scotch and Prov. Eng. grundy- 
swallow (Prior). Compare, however, 
Ir. grunnasg. An old form of the 
word is groundswell, as if that where- 
with the earth teems. 

This groundswell is an Iieavbe mucli like in 
shape vuto Germander. — P. Holland, Plinie's 
Nat. Hist. (1634), vol. ii. p. 238. 

Senecio, grund-swylige. — Wrighfs Vocabu- 
laries, p. 68. 

Levins has the corrupt form grene- 
swel (Manipulus, 56, 1570), but not 
grounsoyle, p. 215 (as Skeat), which is 
a distinct word. 

Geovel. This verb seems to have 
originated in the mistaken notion that 
groveling, in such phrases as " to lie 
groveling," was a present participle. 
The word, however, is really an adverb 
and to be analyzed, not into grovel -1- 
ing, but into grove -I- ling, i.e. groof- 
loiig, along the groof or groufe, an old 

English word for the beUy. Similar 
forms are headling and headlong, flat- 
ling and flatlong, da/rkUng and darhlong. 
Prof. Skeat, I find, has come to the 
same conclusion, comparing Icel. ligg- 
Ja a grufu, to lie on one's belly (Cleasby, 
218). " They fallen groff, and crien 
pitously." — Chaucer, 0. Tales, 1. 951. 

The Lord steirit upe an extraordinar mo- 
tion in my hart, quhilk maid me atteaos, 
being alean, to fall on gruifftothe ground.— 
J. Melville, Diary, 1571, p. 24. 

Layin mysel doun a' my length on my 
grufe and elbow. — Wilson, Noctes Ambrosianis, 
vol. i. p. 293. 

Grovelynge, or grovelyngys, Suppine.— 
Prompt. Parv. 

To make grufelynge, supinare. — Cath. 

ft is natures check to us, to have our head 
beare upward, and our heart groiiell below,— 
Bp. Andrewes, Sermons, p. 753 (fol.). 

Grouelyng to his fete fiay felle. 
Alliterative Poems, p. 33, 1. 1120 
(14th cent.). 

Flat on the ground himself he grooeling 

Syloesterj Du Bartas, Div. Weeha 
S; Workes, p. 338 (1621). 

Holland (1609) has the spelling 
grovelong, and womhelyng in Kyng AM- 
sounder (1. 5647) occurs in a like signi- 
fication. Somewhat similarly, to lant, 
a piece of modem slangfor putting one's 
self on regimen as Mr. Banting did, 
was the audacious coinage of some 
laconic wit who resolved that gentle- 
man's name into a present participle. 
The verb to sidle owes its existence 
to a like mistake (see infra); and 
to darkle has been evolved out of the 
adverb da/rkUng. Compare edgling 
(Cotgrave, s.v. Az). 

People .... rush upon death and chop 
into hell hlindling. — Ward, Sermons, p. 57 
(ed. Nichol), 1636. 

Gbow-geain, an old corruption of 
grogrami, formerly spelt grogran, from 
Fr. gros grain, stuff of a coarse grain. 

Wither in his Satires speaks of 

Turkey Graw-graines, Chamblets, Silken Rash, 
And such like new devised foreign trash. 

Banffshire grow-grey, understood as 
cloth made of the natural grey wool 
as it grows, is doubtless the same 

She keeps hir man weel happit wee grow- 
g rey. — Gregor, Banff G lossary . 


( 157 ) 


Growler, a slang term for a four- 
wlieeled cab, refers to its slow pace cora- 
pared with the two-wheeled hansom, 
and is only another form of " crawler," 
compare old Eng. growl, to crawl ; 
growling, the premonitory shivering of 
ague ; apparently akin to Fr. grouller, 
grouiller, to move, stir, give signs of 
life, . . to swarme, abonnd, or break 
out in great numbers (Ootgrave), gros- 
ler, orosler, orouler, to shake, tremble. 
These latter forms seem to be from O. 
Fr. crodler (m-oiler), Prov. crotlar, from 
Lat. corotulare, to roll together (Diez). 
" He died of lice continually growling 
out of his iSeshe, as Scylla and Herode 
did." — Udal, Erasmus's ApopMhegmes, 
1564. On the other hand crawl was 
sometimes used for growl. See Davies, 
Supp. Eng. Olossa/ry, s. w. • 

Gttaed-fish, a provincial name for 
the Belone vulgaris (i.e. needle-SiBh), is 
a corruption of its ordinary name gar 
or gar-fish, from A. Sax. gar, a spear, 
Icel. geirr, so called from its sharp- 
pointed snout. Compare its other 
names, gore-hill, long-nose, sea-needle, 
sea-piTce, wha/up-fish, i. e. curlew-fish 
(Satchell, E. D. S.). 

Guerdon. If the rights of every word 
were strictly regarded, instead of guer- 
don we should use some such form as 
wUhloan, or witherloan. Our Anglo- 
Saxon forefathers had the word wiier- 
ledn for a recompense, literally, lean, 
a loan, wage, or reward, w<5er in return 
(or as a set-off, &c., for work done), 0. 
H. Ger. widarlon. This word being 
adopted into the Eomance languages, in 
which Lat. donMm, a gift, was farniliar, 
but lean. Ion, strange, was changed into 
guiderdone in Italian (Low Lat. wider- 
donum), guerredon (as if "war-gift ") 
and guerdon in old French, galajrdon 
(for gada/rdon) in Spanish. From the 
French we received back our mutilated ■ 
loan-word, as guerdon. (Diez.) 

It is good to senie suche a lorde that gar- 
doneihe his seruaunt in suche wise. — Book of the 
Knight of La Tour-Landry, p. 4(E. E. T. S.). 

[They] doen their serriee to that soveraigne 

That glory does to them for guerdon graunt. 
Spenser, F. Queene, I. x. 59. 

Guest, an old form of ghast or ghost. 
Soot, ghaist, as if the soul were regarded 
as an inmate of the bodily house. 

Breathlesse th6 lyen, 
Gaping against the moon ; their guests were 

Percy Folio MS. vol. i. p. 232, 1. 401 (ghosts, 
Lyme MS. J. 

Guest-taker, another form of gist 
taker (otherwise agister), quoted by 
Mr. Wedgwood from Bailey, meaning 
one who takes in cattle to pasture (Fr. 
giste, gite), as if one who plays the host 
to his neighbour's cattle. (Philolog. 
Trans. 1855, p. 69.) 

Oiste is from gesir, to lie (Lat. jacere), 
and means properly a resting-place ; 
of. Fr. ci git, here Kes, common in epi- 
taphs. The gist of a matter is how it 
lies. Holland uses gist for a halting- 
place ornight's lodging. "The guides . . 
cast their gists and journeys " (Idvy, p. 

Kennett says that "to gise or juice 
ground, is when the lord or tenant 
feeds it not with his own stock, but 
takes in other cattle to agist or feed it." 
— Parochial Antigmties (1695), B. D. 
Soc. Ed. p. 13. 

Guinea-pig, is supposed to be a cor- 
ruption of Gv/iana-pig, as it came from 
S. America, and chiefly from Brazil 
(Skeat, Etym.Bict.). 

Gum, when used in the sense of an 
exudation or secretion from a sore, the 
eyes, &c., is a corruption of old Eng. 
gownd (pus, sanies), A. Sax. gund, 
matter (Lmce Boc, I. iv. 2, Cockayne). 
Compare Hind, gond, gum. 

Gownde of jje eye. Ridda albugo. — Prompt. 

The adjectival form of the word, 
generally applied to the eyes, is gunded, 
gownd/y, gunny (Yorks.), gownd/ye (Skel- 

In the following from Shakespeare 
gowne seems to be the same word, in 
the sense of secretion : — 
Our poesy is as a gowne which uses [oozes] 
From whence 'tis nourisht. 

Timon of Athens, i. 1 (1st Fol. 1623). 

When the same writer, with refer- 
ence to horses, speaks of 
The gum down-roping from their pale-dead 

the word is possibly the same. 

So the red-gum, an eruptive humour 
mentioned in Langham's Garden of 
Health, 1579, is "reed gownde," in Pals- 


( 158 ) 


grave, 1530, " Bedgownd, sekenesse of 
yonge chyldryne, Scrophulus," in the 
Prortvptoriiim Farvulorwm, ab. 1440. 

Sadegownde, Vision of Piers Plow- 
man, c. xxiii. 83 (on which See Prof. 
Skeat's note). 

In Gawain Douglas's Sohes ofEnea- 
dos, gwm is used for an exhalation or 
mist, see Olosscury, s. v. 

Devonshire Barn-gum, some inflam- 
matory skin disease, is perhaps Badrn, 
or child's gum {Exmoor Courtship, 1. 
557, E. D. S.). 

As soon as ever he saw the child he said 
just as we did, that it was nothing in the 
world but the red gum. — Jane Austen, Sense 
and Sensibilit)!, vol. iii. oh. 1. 

GtJM-DEAGON, 0. Eng. draga.nt, Fr. 
dragagant, altered from iragacantlie, 
Greek tragahdntha, the "goat-thorn," 
Spanish dra-gante, " a kinde of gumme 
that bumeth " (Minsheu). In Latin the 
form dragantum is found as well as 

GuTTA Pekcha, so Called as if ffom 
Lat. guUa, a drop, denoting the exuda- 
tion from the tree, is an AngKcizedform 
of the Malayan name, getahper^ah,i.e. 
" gum of Sumatra" (Soheler), some- 
times spelt gatah pertcha (Devio). 
PercJia (or as the French spell it, 
Pertjah) is the native name for Sumatra, 
whence the gum was originally brought, 
being obtained there in abundance. (P. 
M'Nair, Perak and the Malays.) 

Gyr-palcon, apparently so called 
from its gyrating ilight, like old Eng. 
"wheel-hawk," "Fulco, hweal-hafoc." 
— Wright's Vocabularies, p. 77; but 
see Gekpalcon. 

Girqf'alcones a giro dicti sunt eo quod in 
girum et circuitus multos tempus expendunt. 
■ — Aleic. Neckam, De Nat. Rerum, chap. xxvi. 


Hack-bkrby, a North-country name 
for the fruit of Prunus Padus, is a cor- 
ruption of Heg-herry, i.e. Hedge-berry, 
A. Sax. hege, hedge. Cumberland chil- 
dren say " we caw them hegherries be- 
cause they heg our teeth," ie. set them on 
edge.— Britten and Holland, Plant- 
Names, p. 253. Another corruption is 

Hackbush, an obsolete name for a 
heavy hand-gun (Wright), is an evident 
corruption of haquebut, i.e. a "hook- 
but," according to Sir S. D. Scott, from 
its stock being hooked or bent. (TAe 
British Army, vol. i. p. 258), but see 
Aequbbdss, supra. 

Wright also gives the form shagebush, 
Harquebush occurs in Elizabefli'a in- 
stnictions to the Erie of Bedford (Scott, 
op. oit., p. 351). 

Hackbct, ) old names for the arque- 
HagbuT, ) bus (O. Fr. haquebuie, asif 
connected with buter, to thrust), are 
corruptions of Dut. haahhis, the gun, 
bus, with a hook, hook, or support from 
which it was fired. 

Had bather, an idiomatic use, as in 
the sentence " I had rather starve than 
be dishonest," meaning I prefer, wish 
sooner (Lat. malo, i.e. ma^e-volo), seems 
to have been evolved out of the cUpt 
and colloquial idiom I'd rather. Pud 
rather, for I would ratJier, i.e. I should 
will or wish rather, misunderstood as 
1 'ad rather, I had rather. The phrase 
in other moods and tenses consequently 
does not exist. Cf. " I had as Hef," and 
see Craik, English of Shakespeare, p. 
Than such faire words I'de rather the fowle, 

Vntuned schreeching of the doleful! owle 
Or heare the direfull mountaine-wolfe to 

T. Fuller, Davids Heavie Punishment, 26 

I had rather be a kitten and cry mew. 

Shakespeare, 1 Hen. IV. iii. 1. 

I had rather be a dog and bay the moon. 
Id., Julius CtEsar, iv. 3. 

Haggard, thin, worn-looking, so 
spelt as if the original meaning was 
farouche, wild-looMng, Kke a haggard 
or untamed hawk ; of. " hagard, that 
has a fierce or wild look." — Bailey. 
, It is really, says Prof. Skeat, a corrup- 
tion of hogged (Lestrange, Gray), i.e. 
thin and scraggy like a hag or witch 
(Etym. Diet. s. v.). 

Bailey, however, gives " hagger, lean, 
thin," which surely must be equated 
with Ger. hager, thin, hagern, to grow 
lean (cf. Cornish hager, ugly, "Welsh 
hagr). Scheler notes that in German 
hager -folk (lean-falcon ) is a popular cor- 
ruption oiliaga/rt-falk, a haggard-falcon. 

0. Pr. heingre, lank, Norm, haingre, 


sickly, which might seem to be allied, 
are from Lat. mger, sick, with an in- 
trusive n. A haggard hawk is one used 
to hve in the liedges or hags (A. Sax. 
hege), as a ramage was one that lived 
in the branches (rames), cf. savage 
(salvage), Kving in the woods (sUvcb). 

No colt is so unbroken, 
Or hawk yet half so haggard or unraann'd ! 

B. JoiisoUj The Sad Shepherd, act iii. sc. 1 
(Works, p. 501). 
Fancy, that wild and haggard faculty, 
Untiimed in most, and let at random fly. 
Was wisely govempd, and reclaimed by thee. 

J. Oldham, Upon the Works of B. Jonson, 3 

The first yeere of her trade she is an eyesse, 
scratches and cryes to draw on more affec- 
tion : the second a soare : the third a ramage 
whoore; the fourth and fift, she's an inter- 
mewer, preies for herselfe, and ruffles all she 
reaches; . . . now shee growes weary and 
diseas'd together . . . the next remove is 
haggard, still more cunning ; and if my ai't 
deceive me not, more crazy. — Sir Thos. Over- 
burii. Characters, Works, p. 83 (ed. Rimbault). 

Dryden has the curious spelling hag- 

Some haggared Hawk, who had her eyry nigh, 
Well pounced to fasten, and well winged to 


The Hind and Panther, Part III. 1. 1116. 
His wild disordered walk, his haggered eyes. 
Id. Part 1. 1. 166. 

Hag-bopes, a Somerset name for the 
wild clematis or traveller's joy, from A. 
Sax. hege, hage, a hedge, Dut. haag. 

Haie-gbass, an imitation of its Latin 
name aira (Prior). 

Haibup, ) North country names 
Haikough, > for the plant gfaMitmapa- 
rine, or goose-grass, also hay-rough, are 
corrupt forms of ha/r'if, its name in other 
places [not from aniraagined Fr. heriffe, 
rough, bristling, as Britten and Holland, 
p. 242, which is merely a misreading of 
herisse, with long s's, in Cotgrave ; but] 
O. Eng. hayryf, A. Sax. hegerife (Som- 
ner), apparently iarhege-reafaoi "hedge- 
reaver," hedge-robber, so called from 
its habit of catching or laying hold of 
anything that touches it. For the same 
reason it was called " of som Philan- 
thropos, as though he should say, a 
mans friend, bicause it taketh hold of 
niens garments." — Oerard, Herbal, p. 
964. Compare its names cleavers and 
catch-weed ; and country-lawyers, a 

Leicestershire word for brambles, as 
fleecing what they seize on. 

Hayryf, herbe, Rubea. — Prompt. Parvulo- 

The whole plant is rough, and his rugged- 
nes taketh holde of mens vestures and wool- 
len garments as they pass by. — Gerard, Herbal 
(1597), p. 964. 

Haiky-mouse, and Aiby-mouse, 
names for the bat in W. Cornwall 
(Courtney), are perhaps corrupted 
forms of A. Sax. hreremus, a bat (the 
rearing or flying mouse, from hreran, to 
agitate), Prov. Eng. rere-mouse. 

Half an eye, in the phrase " one 
may see it with half an eye," i.e. at a 
glance, easily, seems to have meant 
originally with half one's ordinary 
sight {acie dimidiatd), old Eng. halfen- 
eye (like half en-deal), a term which 
Spenser applies to the one-eyed Mal- 

And our curate is called no double 
A papiste London throughout ; 
And truth is it, they do not lye : 
It may be sene wyth halfe an eye. 
Doctour Doubbk Ale, 1. 210 (Early 
Pop. Poetry, vol. iii. p. 313). 
So perfect in that art was Pai'idell, 
That he Malbeccoes halfen eye did wyle ; 
His halfen eye he wiled wondrous well. 
And Hellenors both eyes did eke beguyle. 
Spenser, Faerie Queene, III. x. 5. 
What craft, deceite and robbery can there 
bee in dice playing ? Are not the little dice 
cast downe vpon the table, that euery man 
may see them that hath but halfe an eye, and 
may easily tell euery pricke and poynt vpon 
them ? — J. Noi'thbrook, Treatise against Dic- 
ing, Dancing, &c., 1577, p. 117 (Snaks. Soc). 

Half-pace, a technical word for a 
raised floor, platform, or dais, is a cor- 
rupt form of the old word hal-pace or 
haJ-pas, which apparently stands for 
hault-pace, Fr. hatit pas, "high step," 
old Eng. hauiepace (Hall's Ohrondcle). 
See Glossa/ry of Architecture, s.v. 

Each stair also in the half way having a 
pause or half-pace which is very large and 
square, flagg'd with Porphyre, and lined at 
the sides with a brighter coloured Marble 
than the rock, which divides tbe double stair, 
and above the half-pace winds the contrary 
way to what it is below. — Sir Thos. Herbert, 
Travels, 1665, p. 147. 

Half seas ovee, a popular phrase 
for partially drunk, tipsy, is perhaps a 
modification of the old expression upsee, 
understood as over sea, frequently used 

HALI-WOBT ( 160 ) 


by old writers in the phrases to drink 
upsee Butch { Jonson), and upse-freeze 
(Dekker), said to be for op zyn fries, 
"in the Frisian fashion" (Nares). 
Thus the meaning would be half way 
to total inebriety. Wright gives over- 
seen := tipsy (Prov. Diet.) which may 
be connected. 

To title a drunkard by we (loath to give 
him such a name so gross and harsh) strive 
to character him in a more mincing and 

modest phrase, as thus One that 

drinks upse-freeze. — T, Heywoodj Philocotko- 

Hali-wokt, i.e. Holy Wort, an old 
Eng. name for the plant Fumaria 
bulhosa, ia a corrupt form of Hole-wwi 
or Hollow-root, RaxMx cava (Cockayne, 
LeecJidoms, &c. vol. iii. Glossary : Ger- 
ard, Eerhall, p. 930). 

Halloween, according to Mr. Oli- 
phant, is not, as generally understood, 
a contraction of [All] Hallow's een. All 
Saiats' Eve(n), but the modernized 
form of old Eng. halehenes (or haleiene) 
in the Anoren Bdwle, p. 94, A. Sax. 
halgana (sanctorum), a genitive plural. 
He observes that some churches dedi- 
cated to All Saints or All Hallows 
were formerly called All Hollcmds. — 
Oliphant, Old and Mid. Eng. p. 272. 
The Ancren Bmole has also the form 
Al/re halewune dei (p. 412). So Hallow- 
mass (Shakespeare) is for All Hallows' 
Mass, from Mid. Eng. Jialowe, a saint, 
A. Sax. hdlga (See Skeat, Etym. Bid. 


\>e Tapeners .... fram alle halowenett/d 
for here work shuUen take for jie cloth 
xviij .d. : firam j^e annunciation of oure lady, 
and of |;at tyme for to an-o)jer tyme of ai- 
habwene, ij.s. — English Gilds, p. 351 (Ed. 
Toulmin Smith). 

Uor alle his haluwene luue [For the love of 
all his saints]. — Ancren Riwle, p. 330. 

About all-hallantide (and so till frost 
comes) when you see men ploughing up 
heath ground, or sandy-ground, or green- 
swards, then follow the plough. — I. Walton, 
Coinpleut Angler (1653), chap. xii. 

Frydaye, thatwas the xxx. day of Octobre, 
we made sayle, but the wynde arose eftsones 
so cotrariously ayenst vs, that we were fayne 
to faj'le to an acre by the coste of the sayd 
yleofAlango, .... and there we lay Sater- 
daye, Alhalowe Euyn, all daye. — Pylgrirmige 
o/' Syr R. Guylforde, 1506, p. 59 (Camden 

Hammek-bleat, a name for the snipe 
in the Cumberland dialect. From the 

resemblance of the summer note of the 
bu'd to the bleat of a goat, it has been 
called in French chevre volant, in Scotch 
the heather -hleai (Johns, British Birds 
in their Haunts, p. 447). Hammer- 
hleai is probably a corruption of 0. 
Norse Jinfr, A. Sax. hafer, a goat, and 
bleat (Ferguson, Glossary, s. v.). The 
snipe is also called in Scotch the earn- 
(neagle) hleafer, heron-hhiter, andyarn- 
hUter. In Libia's vocabulary (10th 
cent.) occurs " Bicoca, hcefer-Umte vel 
pun " (Wright, Vocabula/riss, p. 21, and 
again s. v. Bugiuni, p. 28) ; A. Sax. 
hmfer-hlxt, bleating of a goat. 

When you say that in breeding-tim6 the 
cock-snipes make a bleating noise, and I a 
drumming (perhaps 1 should rather have said 
a humming) I suspect we mean the same 
thing. — G'. White, Nat. Hist, of Selbornt, 
Letter 39. 
The laverock and the lark, 
The baukie and the bat, 
The heather-bleet the mire-snipe, 
How many birds be that ? [Ans. Three.] 
Chambers, Pop. Rhumbs of Scotlxind, p. 42 

Hammer-cloth, the covering of a 
coach-box, is said to have been origi- 
nally hamper-cloth, the box in early 
times having been nothing more 
than a large pannier, hamper, or 
hanaper. The hanaper, old Eng. hamj-- 
pere {Prompt. Parv.) was a receptacle, 
sometimes made of wood, for cups, Pr. 
hanap, A. Sax. Amcep. T. L. 0. Davies 
quotes an instance of ha/mer-cloth from 
a document of the time of Queen Mary 
(Supp. Eng. Olosswry). 

I have not been able to verify this 
derivation, but it seems more probable 
than that ha/mmer denotes a (bear-sldii) 
covering, Icel. hamvr (A. Sax. hcmw), 
a covering, as asserted in Phihlog. 8oc. 
Trans. 1855, p. 32. So, however. Prof. 
Skeat, who regards it as an adaptation 
of Dut. hemel, an arched roof, " the 
testem of a couch [not "coach"]."— 

Hammeegeate is the disguise that 
the verb to emigrate assumes in N. W. 
Lincolnshire (Peacock, Glossa/ry). 

Handcuffs. This word for manacles, 
as if euphemistically cuffs for the licmdt, 
is a corruption of A. Sax. hcmd-ayps 
(which was perhaps mistaken for a 
plural), cops or cosp denoting a fetter 
(of. cispan, to fetter). In provincial 


( 161 ) 


Enfclish cops is still used for the con- 
necting crook of a harrow, and cosp 
for the fastening of a door. Welsli 
cyffion, stocks [?Eng. gyves], cosp, 
punishment, Gael, ceap, stocks, also to 
catch or hold, Lat. caprrc, are probably 
related. Slanica, Jiandcops. — Wright's 
Vocahdaries, p. 95. 

Handicraft, a corruptian of hand- 
crnft, A. Sax. hand-crceft, a trade, from 
a false analogy to handiworh, I. e. hand- 
iworlc, O. Eng. liond-iiverc, A. Sax. 
hand-geweorc, geiveore being another 
form oiiveorc (see Skeat, Efyni. Did., 

Hence risen learned men in ecbe estate, 
Cooningr in handii craft and facultie. 
F. Thtjnn, Debute between Pride and Lowli- 
ness (ah. 1568), p. 22 (Shaks. Soc). 

Hand-op-gloey, the hand of a per- 
son who had been hanged prepared with 
certain superstitious rites, and used by 
housebreakers "to stupify those to 
whom it was presented, and to reader 
them motionless, insomuch that they 
could not stir any more than if they 
were dead." See an account of the 
charm by Grose, translated from Les 
Secrets du Pefit Albert (1751), in Brand, 
Fop. Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 278 (ed. 

The whole formula probably arose 
from a misunderstanding of the French 
term main-de-ghire, a. nteme for the 
mcmdragora, a plant of notoriously 
magical properties, and a corruption of 
iixandragore, which Cotgrave gives with 
the alternative forms mandegloire and 
mand/regloire. " 3Iain de glaire, the 
name of a pretended charm made with 
the root of mandragoras prepared in a 
certain manner, to which impostors 
attribute the power of doubling the 
money to which it is apphed. It is an 
alteration of mandegloire, which in its 
turn is an alteration of mandragore. 
Eesulting from this disfigurement of 
the word is main-de-gloire, the name of 
another pretended charm, which is 
made with the hand of one who has 
been hanged, enveloped in a grave 
cloth" (Littre). 

Here is the description of it given by 
Mr. Dousterswivel: — 

De liand of glory is vary well known in de 
countries where your worthy progenitors did 
live — and it is hand cut oiF from a dead man, 

as has been hanged for murther, and dried 
very nice in de shmoke of juniper wood; and 
if you i)ut a little of what you call yew wid 
your juniper, it will not be any better — 
that is it will not be no worse — then you do 
take something of the fatsh of de hear, and 
of de badger, and of t\p gieat eber, as you 
call de grand boar, and of de little sucking 
child as has not been cliristeued (for dat is 
very essentials), and you do make a candle, 
and put it into de lumd of g lorn at de proper 
hour and minute, witli de proper ceremonish, 
and he who seeksh for treasuresh shall never 
find none at all. — Scott, The Antiquarii, chap, 

For the remarkable " Stainmore 
story" about the Hand of Glwy, see 
Monfhlij Paclict, vol. xxiv. p. 253. 

From the earliest times the man- 
drake has been used for charms and 
love philtres (Gen. xxx. 14), whence its 
name Circsea, and " Devil's apple " an 
Arabic name for its fruit. It really 
possesses a soporific and intoxicating 
power, and was formerly used as an 
ansesthetic, like chloroform at present. 
" It is an ordinary thing to drink it . . 
before the cutting or cauterizing, 
pricking or launcing of any member, 
to take away the sence and feeling of 
such extrerae cures. And sufficient it 
is in some bodies to cast them into a 
sleep with the smel of Mandrage against 
the time of such Chirurgery. ' ' — -Holland, 
Pliny's Nat. Hist, vol. ii. p. 235. See 
also Bochart, Opera, vol. iii. p. 865. 
Compare Mandeagon. Hence, no doubt, 
the supposed stupifying power of the 
main-de-gloire. The belief that it was 
produced under the corpse of one 
hanged may have contributed to the 
ghastly form assumed by the charm. 

There haue been many ridiculous tales 
brought vp of this plant, whether of olde 
wines or some runnagate surgeons or phisick- 
mongers. . . . Thay adde further, that it is 
neuer or verie seldome to be founde growing 
naturally but vnder a gallows, where tlie 
matter that hath fallen from the dead bodie, 
hath giuen it the shape of a man. — Gerarde, 
Herbal, p. 281. 

Handieons, a corrupt form of and- 
irons [Glossai-y of Arcliitect^we, Parker). 
See s. V. Endieons, the quotation from 

Handsenyie, a word used in old 
Scotch writers for a standard, token, 
or standard-bearer (Jamieson), is a 
corruption of the Scotch an.senye, or 


( 162 ) 


ensenyie, old Eng. ancien, ancient, Pr. 
enseigne, " ensign," Lat. insignia. 

Handsaw, in the proverbial expres- 
sion " to know a hawk from a handsaw " 
(Hamlei, ii. 2, 396), was no doubt origi- 
nally a hemshaiv, which is a corruption 
of the older form heronsewe, apparently 
altered from Pr. hh'onneav,, a young 
heron, under the influence of hernshaw, 
a heronry, a shaw or wood frequented 
by herons (Skeat). 

Minerva's hermhaw and her owl 
Uo both proclaim, thou shalt control 
The course of^hings. 
B. Junson, The Masque of Augurs (1622). 

Handwhyle, an old Bng. word for a 

short space of time, A. S. hand-hwil, as 

if the turning of a hamd (Jiand-hwyrfl), 

Thus Langland says the Latin fathers. 

Harowede in an hand-whifle'a\ holy Scripture. 

Vision of Piers Ptowmany C. xxii. 272 

(ed. Skeat). 

Herkings now a hondqwite of a high cas. 

Altiierative Troy-book, 1. 7346 (E. E. T. S.). 

HandwMle, in consequence of the in- 
stability of the aspirate, may veiy well 
be for and-while, a breathing-tiuie, 
which gives a much better sense, from 
the old Eng. ande, aande, breath, other 
forms being onde, oonde (Prompt. 
Parv.), ende, Scot, aynd, Icel. anda, to 
breathe, Swed. dnde (cf. Lat. an-imus, 
Gk. an-emos). The Scotch have hand- 
while, hanlawhile. Old Eng. and, 
breath, was sometimes written hand, 

His nese ofte droppes, his hand stynkes. 
Hampole, Pricke of Conscience, I. 775. 
While itself (Goth. Ivaeila) seems origi- 
nally to have meant a rest, a cessation 
of labour, a period of repose, being im- 
mediately akin to Eunic huiler, he re- 
poses, or sleeps (G. Stephens), Goth. 
\g3,)hueilan, Icel. and Scand. hvila, 
hviie, 0. H. G. wilon, to rest. 

Gray correctly describes a hand/while 
in his Ode on the Spi-ing — 

Still is the toiling- hand of care. 
The panting herds repose, &c. 

Handy, a word used in the North 
of Ireland and elsewhere for conve- 
nient, near, as if "close at hand," e.g., 
" The church is qiiite handy," is a cor- 
ruption (and indeed a reversion to the 
radical meaning) of the old English 
hende, near, later hendi, A. Sax. gehende. 

Ge witon Sast sumor ys gehende [Ye know 

that summer is near]. — A. S. Version, S. 

Luke, xxi. 30. 

An oSer stret he makede swiSe hendi. 

Layamon, Brut (ab. 1205), vol. i. p. 206. 
I nas neuer 5et so hardi- to nesh hira sohende. 
William ofPalerne, 1. 278 (ab. 1350) 
ed. Skeat. 

Nothing can lie so handu together as our 
two estates. — H. Fielding, Hist, of a Found- 
ling, book vi. ch. 2. 

Handy seems also to be used in Wilt- 
shire as a preposition =: near, as Prof. 
Skeat quotes from the Monthly Maga- 
zine, 1812, "hand^i ten o'clock" (E. 
D. Soc. Eeprint, B. 19). 

Hangee, a broad, short, crooked 
sword (Bailey), so spelt as if named 
from its hanging by the side, just as the 
straps by which the weapon was sus- 
pended from the belt were also formerly 
called hangers. Similarly hcmgm; its 
name in Dutch, seems to be from 
hangen (Sewel, 1708). 

Zagaglia, ... a iauelin. Also a Turkish 
Bword or Persian Cimitary. Also a short 
bending sword called a hanger. — Florio, Ital. 
Diet. 1611. 

Mahus, a faulchion, hangar, wood-knife.— 

In the one .hand he had a pair of saddle- 
bags, and in the other a hamper of mighty 
size.— H. Fielding, Works, p. 693 (ed.l84i). 

The word is really a corruption of 
the Arabic hhandjar, a sabre, whence 
also Pr. cangia/r, hhanjar, and aljmge 
[■zz al-lihandjo]-), Devic. 

Yataghan, kandjar, things that rend and 

Gash rough, slasK smooth, help hate so many 


Browning, A Forgiveness. 

Eawlinson would identify the Persian 
hhandjar with the saga/ris of the Mas- 
sagetsB, comparing the Armenian saa; 
Lat. securis (Herodotus, vol. i. p. 351). 
Purther corruptions seem to be w/m'w- 
gar, whiniard, and Whinyaed, which 

Hangnail, a piece of abraded skin 
beside the finger-nail, so called as if to 
denote that which hangs beside the 
nail, Prov. Eng. angnail, A. Sax. mg' . 
naegl, apparently that which wngmsMt: 
the nail (from ange, pain, trouble), ihe 
same word as old Eng. 

Laser fetcheth out by the roots the agneU 
or corns in the feet. — Hoilund's Pliny, io\. 
1634, torn. ii. p. 13-1. 


( 163 ) 


5[ardshkew, "a kind of wild mouse" 
(Bailey), a corrupted form oi erd-shreiv, 
or earth-shrew, the shrew-mouse. 

Hakdymouse, a Northampton name 
for the shrew-mouse, is a similar cor- 

Toparagno, a Night-bat. Also the hardie- 
shrmi'. — Florio, New World of Words, 1611. 

Hake's beakd, a popular nanae for 
the plant mullein (also formerly called 
Bear's heard, Florio, s. v. Verhasco), is 
perhaps a, mistaken translation, says 
Dr. Prior, of its Italian name tasso 
harlasso (as if bearded badger), which 
is itself a manifest corruption of the 
Latin Thapsus Verhascum. 

Harpees-cobd, a corruption of harp- 
sicord in old writers, Fr. harpechorde 

Arpicordo, an instrument like Clarigols 
called a harpers cord. — Florio, Neiu World of 
Words, 1611. 

Haepins iron, a corrupt form of 
harpon-iron, a harpoon, formerly spelt 
ha/rpon, Fr. harpon, Dut. harpoen, It. 
to/rpagone, from Lat. harpago(n). 

Captain Andrew Evans striking one at the 
Moritius with his harping iron, and leaping 
into the sea to make short work with his 
Stelletto, was so crusht by the Mannatee 
who circled him, that he died .shortly after. 
—Sir Thos. Herbert, Travels, 1665, p. 27. 

After a long conflict it [a whale] was 
kill'd with a harping yron, struck in the head, 
out of which spouted blood and water by two 
tunnells, and after a horrid grone it ran quite 
on shore and died. — /. Evelyn, Diary, June 
3, 1658. 

Haeping Johnny, a Norfolk name 
for the plant Sedum Telephiim, is 
clearly a corruption of Orpine (Johnny). 
See Orphan John. 

Harridan, a contemptuous term for 
an old woman, a withered old beldame, 
which has been regarded as a deriva- 
tive of hairried, worried, exhausted, 
worn out (Bichardson), is most pro- 
bable an Anglicized form of Fr. aridelle, 
or haridelle," a lean or carrion tit ; an 
ill-favoured fleshless jade ; also, an 
Anatomy, or body whereon there is 
nought left but skin and bone" (Cot- 
grave), and that a derivative of aride, 
dry, withered, without sap (Lat. ari- 
dus.). In Mod. French haridelle is also 
applied to a thin scraggy woman. In 
the Wallon dialect tnvtte is an Ul-con- 

ditioned horse, cow, or ass (Sigart), 
Liege hwrotte. Compare crone, origi- 
nally a toothless old ewe, jade, abroken- 
winded horse, rampihe, a decayed old 

What Lapland witch, what cunning man, 
Can free you from this haridan > 

Parson, Imitations of Horace, lib. i. ode 34. 
But just endured the winter she began, 
And in four months a batter'd Harridan. 
And nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and 
Pope, Poems, p. 472, 1. 25 (Globe ed.). 

C'est le propre d'un cheval puissant, et a 
I'eschine forte, quand il part promptement, 
et est ferme en son arrest. Une haridelle qui 
court la poste, ira plusieurs pas apres qu on 
luy a tire la bride. Qui est cause de cela! 
C'est sa foiblesse. — L'Esprit da Franpois de 
Sales, torn. i. p. 146 (,ed. 1840). 

Harrier, a modem orthography of 
harier, as if (like harrier, a kind of 
buzzard) named from its harrying its 
prey (so Bailey), disguises its true 
meaning, har{e)-ier, or hare-hound 

Harry Soph, or Henry Sophister, 
a name at Cambridge for one who has 
kept all his terms but has not taken 
his degree, was probably originally 
Sarisoph, i. e. ipiao^og, valde eruditus 
(Wordsworth, Unmersity Life in Eigh- 
teenth Gent. p. 644). 

Harvest-row, a Wiltshire word for 
a shrew-mouse, probably corrupted 
from harvest-sJm-ow or -shrew (B. 
Dialect Soc. Eeprints, B. 19). 

Haskwoet, an old name for the plant 
campanula irachelium, as if good for 
the hash or hoarseness, appears to have 
been adapted by Lyte from the Grerman 
halscrxiyt (neck-plant). He says they 
are "soveraigne to cure the payne and 
inflammation of the necke, and inside 
of the throte." — Britten and Holland, 
p. 244. Cf. Cleveland ha/use, the neck, 
n Scand. hals. 

Hastener, a tin screen used to re- 
flect the heat of the fire on meat when 
roasting, so called as if it derived its 
name from hastening the operation, is 
really a corruption of the old and pro- 
vincial Eng. hosteler or hastlere, " jiat 
rostythe mete (orroostare), assator, as- 
sarius." — Prompt. Parvulorvmi; " Has- 
tener, a screen for the purpose of has- 
tening the cooking of meat (!)." — Stern- 


( 164 ) 


berg, Nortliainpfon Glossary. Similar 
words are haistry, the place for roasting 
meat ; hastery and liasieletes, a kind of 
" rostyd mete ; " Prov. Eng. haste, to 
roast ; 0. Fr. hastcur, Lat. Jiastator, he 
who roasts; all from Pr. haste {hate), a 
spit or broach, hnMelle, a skewer, as it 
were the spear (Lat. hasta) on which 
the meat is transfixed and suspended 
before the fire. 

In the Wallon dialect of N. France 
hate-levee, a piece of roasted bacon, 
seemingly une piece levee a la hate, or 
dressed in haste, is of similar origin, 
being from Flemish hasten, to roast. 
Dr. Sigart thinks that levee here is a 
corruption of Flem. lever, a fiver, and 
that the dish originally (like Fr. hi'de- 
reau, Flem. snede lever) consisted of 
pig's liver grified (Dictiormaire du 
WaMon de Mons, p. 208). 

Hatch-hoen, a Lancashire word for 
an acorn or acharne, Cheshire atcliern. 
See Acorn. 

Hatchment, an escutcheon erected 
over the door where a person has died, 
is a corruption of atcMevement, an old 
spelling of achievement, i.e. a coat-of- 
arms commemorative of some exploit 
achieved by himself or his ancestors. 
The word has been assimilated to 
hatchment, the ornament of a sword- 
hilt, hatch, to engrave with lines heral- 
dically, to inlay vidth silver, to adorn ; 
Fr. hacher. H is often found prefixed 
to a word where it has no right to be, 
e.g. old Fr. hache (Cotgrave) = ac/ie, 
parsley; hermit for eremite i hostage iov 
ostage ; howlet for owlet ; huisher, heme- 
raulds (HoUand) for usher, emeralds ; 
holder (Ascham) for alder ; in the in- 
scriptions of the catacombs hossa, lior- 
dine, hoMtum, &c., are found for ossa, 
ordine, ohitum, &c. Compare Hos- 

Similarly, it ought to be hit, as it 
once was. Usher was formerly huscher 
(Tristrem, p. 40), Fr. huissier ; able, 
hable (Lat. liahiUs) ; ariiclmka, harti- 
chohe ; ugly, hugly (Levins) ; ostler, 
hustler ; ortolan, hortolan ; a/rhotir, har- 

On the other hand, harmony used 
once to be spelt armony ; Ivymn, ymn ; 
hellebore, ellebm-e (Holland) ; hypocrite, 
ipocrite ; heresy, formerly erisie ; host, 
0. Eng. oste; hermit, formerly and pro- 

perly, eremite. In old texts harm, hend, 
herl, helder, howle, hox, &o., are frequent 
forms of oA'm, end, ea/rl, elder, owl, ox, 

As a remarkable instance of the per- 
versity of Cockney pronunciation may 
be mentioned Holborn, originally Old 
Bourne, which has lately been changed 
back again into 'Olborn. A song be- 
ginning "As I was going up 'Olhorn 
'ill," was some years ago popular in the 
music halls of Loudon. 

Hattee, in the phrase, " As mad as 
a hatter," a proverbial libel on a quiet 
class of tradesmen — stereotyped for the 
present generation in the excellent 
fooling of Alice in Wonderland — is per- 
haps a popular survival of the old Eng- 
lish word hetter, meaning furious, 
violent, inflamed with anger. It still 
survives in various senses in the Pro- 
vincial dialects, e.g. hetter, ill-natured, 
bitter, keen (North), spiteful, malicious 
(Northampt. Sternberg); Scot, heitle, 
fiery, irritable ; Cheshire hattle, wild ; 
A. Sax, hoetol, hot, furious, from A. Sax. 
hut, hot ; Icel. heitr, Swed. het. Com- • 
pare also O. Eng. hethele, a hot iron ; 
hotter, to boil (North) ; hotterin, boiling 
with passion (Craven) . Thus the phrase . 
would mean, As mad as a person hot 
with passion — Ira breads furor. Cf. 
" But for her I should ha' gone Iwihe- 
ring mad." — Dickens, Hard Times, 
chap. xi. Compare also Goth, haiis, 
wrath, hatan, to hate, connected with 
Sansk. h'anda, hot, flaming, passionate 

Hatterliche, hetferly in old Enghsh 
=: violently, angrily, fiercely. 

He het hatterliche sti'upen hire steortnaket. 
—Liflude of S. Julhiiia (1230), p. 16 fE. E. 
T. S. ). [lie bade savagely to strip her stark- 

He braydes to Jje quene, 
& hent hire so hetterly ' to haue hire a-sti'an- 

William of Paleme, 1. 150. 

The Alliterative Poems say of Jonah : 
Jjen hef [ = heaved] vp )je hete & heterl} 

breniied . . . 
Witlj hatel anger & hot, heterly he callpj- 
P." 102, 1. 4Sl. 

Hatture is an old spelling of hotter- 
On heom is mony yrene beond, 
|:at is hattnre |;ene Jje brond. 
Old Eng. MiiceUaiiii, p. 151, 1. 254. 

An absurd comparison has been in- 

HAUF-BOGK'T ( 165 ) 


stituted with the French "II raisonne 
eomme une hultre." An oyster may be 
stupid, but scarcely mad. 

Hauf-rock't, a word apphed to a 
simple, half-witted person in the Hol- 
derness dialect (E. Yorkshire), pro- 
nounced auf-raoli, as if to denote one 
not sufficiently rooked in the cradle. It 
is really a corruption of anf-, alf-, or 
elf-wclced, rooked by the fairies, a 
changeling. Half-rocked in Wright. 

So Cumberland hofe-ihicl-, foolish, is 
no doubt for aitf-ihich, i.e. thick or 
intimate with the fairies (A. Sax. n-'Jfr, 
Icel. aJfr), "not all there," but partly 
in another world ; Lonsdale lioafcn, a 
half-witted person; Cleveland hoaring, 
hoavish, hawvisli, aiovish, awfish, silly, 
for elvinh; old Eng. ehnsch (Chaucer), 
Ger. elhiscJi. 

A meer chans^eling;, a very monster, an 
ante imperfect, her whole complexion sa- 
vours. — Burton, Anatomy of Melaiicjwln, III. 
ii. 4, 1. 

Haughty, a corrupt modern spelling 
of hauty, haut, hauU, Pr. hauU, Lat. 
alius, lofty, from a false analogy to 
such words as naughty, doughty, taught, 
camghi, where the g is organic. 

The h initial is probably owing to 
the reflex influence of Ger. hoch. Die- 
fenbach suggests a comparison with 
Prov. Eng. highty, pleasant, cheerful, 
A. Sax. hyht, hope, joy, &c. — Qoth. 
Spraclie, ii. 576. 

His corage also hault and fearce, which 
faylyd hira not in the very death. — Polydore 
Vet-gil, Eiii^Ush tiistory (temp. Hen. VIII. 
Camden Soc), p. 227. 

After that Mens strife-hatching- haut Ambi- 
Had (as by lot) made this lowe World's par- 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 287 (1621). 

Then stept forthe the duke of Suffolke . . . 
and spake with an hault countenaunce. — 
Cavendish, Lif'eofWohey, ll'ordsworth, Eccles. 
Biog. vol. i. p. 435. 

Milton speaks of the "jealous hauii- 
nesae of Prelates and Cabin Counsel- 
lours " [Areopagitica, 1644, p. 33, ed. 

But as ciuilitie and withall wealth en- 
creased, so did the minde of man g'rowe 
dajly more haultie and superfluous in all his 
deuises. — G. Puitenham,Arle of Eng. Poesie, 
1589, p. 52 (ed. Arber). 

There are some . . . like unto vessels 

blowne up with winde, filled with a hiiiitie 
spirit. — Wm. Cuujier, Heaven Opened (1611), 
p. 76. 

\Vho ever thinkes through confidence of 

Or through support of count'nance proud and 

To wrong the weaker, oft falles in his own 


Spenser, F. Queene, VI. ii. 2.'3. 

Haveedeil, a Cheshire name for the 
Narcissus, is a corrupted form of old 
Eng. affadyl, Lat. and Greek asphode- 
lus, the " daffodil," 0. Pr. affrodiUe 

Hawboy, more commonly written 
hautboy, a corruption of the Fr. haut 
hois. See Hoboy. 

Now give the Jmutboys breath ; he comes, he 

Dryden, Alexander s Feast, 1. 5.^. 
They skip and dance, and marrying all their 

To Timbrels, Hawboys, and loud Cornets 

Make all the shoars resound, and all the 

With the shrill Praises of the Lord of Hoasts. 
J. Sylvesier, Dn Bartas, p. 364 (1621). 

Hawkee has been supposed to have 
somethiag to do with haiohs, and to 
have had its origin in days of falconry, 
when the man who bore the " cadge " 
or cage on which the hawks were 
perched was known as the cadger. 
Hawker, an ordinary Enghsh term for 
a travelling merchant or "colporteur," 
has a similar origin (!). — Sat. Review, 
Jan. 81, 1880, p. 144. " Hawker " has 
no more connexion with "hawks" than 
"cadger" with "cage." It is a dis- 
guised form of huaher (fem. huckster), 
from old Eng. hack, to peddle, Prov. 
Eng. huker (Atkinson, Gleveland Glos- 
sary), Ger. Iwcker, hbker (prob. one who 
runs up the price, akin to auctioneer). 

If we will stand huching with him, we 
might get a great deale more. — Up. Andrewes, 
Temptation of Christ, p. 51 (1642). 

Belated words, then, are old Eng. 
oker, increase, usury, Ger. wucher, 
Dut. woeker, and Lat. augere, to in- 

Hwkstare (al. hukstere), Auxionator, auxio- 
nati-ix. — Prompt. Parvulomm. 

^HCciojioi-iHS, a hukstere: Auccio, ekynge : 
Auccionor, to merchaunt and huh. — Medulk, 

I hucke, as one dothe that wolde bye a 


( 166 ) 


thing good cheape, le karcelte, and le mar- 
chande. — Palsgrave. 

Prof. Skeat thinks that the hucl-er 
(Dut. heulcer, Dan. hohre) meant origi- 
nally "a crouoher," one who 7iucks,i.e. 
hows or stoops, under a burden (sc. a 
pedlar's pack), comparing Dut. hucJcen, 
to stoop, Icel. hohra, to crouch. 

I hear thee not at all, or hoarse 
As when a hawker hawks his wares. 
Tennysojij The Blackbirdf Poems, p. 68. 

Hawk-nut, a corruption of Jiog-nut 
(hunhtm flexuosum), sometimes found. 
— Britten and Holland, p. 245. 

Haws. This name for the fruit of 
the haw-thorn arose from the supposi- 
tion that hmu-thorn was the plant that 
bears haws, whereas its name really 
imphes the thorn which grows in the 
haw, hay, or hedge, A. Sax. haga, 
hege, Ger. hage (Prior). They are 
provincially known as hagues or hangs. 

Hay, in the old military term "to 
draw up in Hay " (it occurs in Capt. I. 
Cruso's Military Discipline, 1689), i.e. 
in single line, in a row hke a hedge 
(A. Sax. hege), ::: Fr. en haie, L. Lat. 
haia. — Scott, The British Army, vol. ii. 
p. 15. 

Hay-suck, 1 Provincialnamesforthe 
Hay-sag, f hedge-sparrow, the for- 
mer in Gloucestershire, the latter in 
Leicestershire, are corruptions of the 
old English heisugge, A. Sax. hege- 

Other corrupted forms probably are 
the Leicestershire hedge-jug, a kind of 
titmouse, and, in the Eastern coun- 
ties, hay-jach, the white-throat. See 

3et tbu singst worse thon the hei-sufn^e, 
3at fiisth bi gruiide among the stubbe. 
The Owl and Nightingale, 1. 506 
(Percy Soc). 

Hazel, as a colour name, applied 
generally to eyes of a greyish brown, 
has been regarded as an abbreviation 
of " hazel-nut-coloured," hke chestnut. 
This seems doubtful when we compare 
A. Sax. hasu, dark grey, tawny (ap- 
plied to a wolf or eagle), Icel. Jioss, 
grey, dusky (Cleasby), corresponding 
to Lat. crnsius, grey (usually of the 
eyes, probably hazel), and perhaps 
connected with Sansk. gjdna-s, smoke, 
and qjama-s, dark-coloured (Curtius, 

ii. 128). If this be the origin, the word 
is near akin to haze, originally a grey 
mist (Skeat). In Northampton hazel 
is appUed to mould or loam ; in Cleve- 
land a roan-coloured beast is described 
as haded (Atkinson). 

All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of 
hazel eyes. 

Tennyson, Lockshy Hall, 1. 28. 

Hazekd. In the North of Ireland 
linen is said to be hazerded when par- 
tially dried. " Them clothes are not 
dry at all; they're only hazerded" (Pat- 
terson, Antrim and Down Glossary, 
E.D.S.). This is the same word as 
Prov. Eng. haze, to dry linen, 0. Eng. 
hazle, to dry, O. Fr. hasler, to expose 
to the sun, bleach, hasU, sun-burnt, 
Northamp. hazzled, dry and rough (of 
the skin), A. Sax. haso, dry, Acts, husky, 
hoarse ; cf. Sansk. gush, to diy. 

Thou who by that liappie wind of thine 
didst hazle and drie up the forlorne dregges 
and slime of Noahs deluge. — Rogers, Naaman 
the Syrian, p. 886 (1641;. 

Head-gkow, or head-grove, a Shrop- 
shire word for after-grass (Hartshome, 
Salopia Antigua), is a corruption of 
old Eng. edgrow, Prov. Eng. edgrew 
(Cheshire), which, according to Bp. 
Kennett, is from A. Sax. ed, again 
( := Lat. re-), and growan. 

Edgrow ( al. ete growe), gresse. Bigeiinen, 
regermen. — Pronipi, Parv. 

The first part of the word is, how- 
ever, evidently the same as Prov. Eng. 
eddish (variously corrupted into etch, 
ersh, esh), A. Sax. edisc, after-math, 
which may be equated with the 0. H. 
Ger. word azuuisc, which glosses cwl- 
tura in the Vocabulary of S. Gall (7th 
cent.), Goth, atisks, a cornfield (Mark 
ii. 23). 

Heabse, "among Hunters is a Hind 
in the 2nd Year of his (I) Age" (Bafley, 
Diet. B. v.), evidently a corruption of 
the Ger. hirsch, a stag, a hart, origi- 
nally, no doubt, the "horned" animal, 
'akin to Greek heraiff-s, horn, Hke 
Esthon. hirw, a stag, Welsh carw, Lat. 
cervus, and Eng. Imrt, A. Sax. heart. 
See Diefenbach, Goth. Sprache, ii. 539. 

Heiaet, in the somewhat pecuhar 
idiom, " to learn by hea/rt," may just 
possibly be a coiTuption of rote, Scotch 
ratt {^..g.,ratt rime, a poem repeated by 



rote), i.e. ruf, routine, or a beaten way. 
"Boot, of vse and custome (rot, or vse 
in custom). Habitus, consuetudo." — 
Prompt. Fwrv. 

For the metathesis of rote, rati ( ? 
hrat) into hart, heart, compare Dan. 
orne, a wild boar, with provincial Norse 
rone, Icel. runi, Shetland ninnie; 
"horse," A. Sax. Ws, with Arcs; "hard," 
Goth, hardu-s, Gk. Mrios, and Icrdtos ; 
"run," with A. Sax. yrnan, O. E. urn, as 
'wrdio!rred(rud). " Heart," thoiigh used 
for the intellectual faculty in other 
languages (e.g. Lat. re-cord-ari, to re- 
member), does not seem to have been 
so used in Enghsh. 

A good memory to learn and get tlie Parts 
by heart or wrote [rote]. — Address to the 
Readers, Duchess ofNewcastle's i^tatjs, 1662. 

Hea/rt, O. Eng. hurte (Life of BeJcet) 
is in Sanskrit hrid, and Greek kardia 
is in Doric hradia. 

Hbaet at gkass, i.e. heart of grace, 

Lyly, Euphues (ed. Arber), pp. 65, 274. 


Thou takest hart of grasse, wyfe, not hart of 

Cum gTasse, cum grace, syr, we grase both 
in one place. 

Heifmood (Spenser Sec. ed.), p. 140. 

[N'. & Q. 4th S. III. No. 56, p. 76.] 

I could not but smile at the madde merrye 

docti-ine of my freend Richard, and therefore 

taking hart at grasse, drawing more neere 

him, 1 praied him to tell me what Purgatory 

is, and what they be that are resident there. 

— Tarltons Neioes out of Purgatorie, 1590, p. 

57 (Shaks. Soc). 

These foolish puling sighs. 

Are good for nothing, but to endanger but- 

Take Iieart of grace, man. 

W. Cartwright, The Ordinary, act i. sc. 2 

Heart Liver, a name for the plant 
medicago mactdata, is a corruption of 
the more common term Heart-clover. 
— Britten and Holland. 

Heart-seed, a Buckinghamshire 
corruption of Heart's-ease (viola tri- 

Heather-bill, a Banff name for the 
dragon-fly (Gregor), elsewhere in Scot- 
land called the ather-hill, i.e. adder- 
bUl, in allusion no doubt to its long 

Heather-bleat, a Scottish name 
for the snipe, is a corruption of old 

Eng. hcefer-hlcete, 

goat-bleat. See 

Heathnicall is Pliillip Stubbes' 
spelling of the word ethrUcal (Greek 
ethnicos, pertaining to the Gentiles), 
which he also gives as Jiethnicall (Ana- 
tomie of AUtses, 1585, pp. 211, 222, ed. 
1836), evidently misled by the false 
analogy of heathen, the heath-dweller. 
" Bentley would hardly have discom- 
mended Stubbes' word ; for he gravely 
tells us : ' The word heathen comes 
from tevij."~-Worhs, vol. iii. p. 129." — 
Fitzedward Hall, Modern English, p. 

The Consul of Rome and his wife were both 
Ethnicks.—A. V. Translators to the Reader. 

Heavel, \ provincial names for 

Evil-eel, J the conger (Satchell), 
Scot, heawe-eel, all from Swed. hafs-dl, 
sea-eel, conger, from Swed. and Icel. 
haf, the sea, Dan. hav. Compare Shet- 
land haaf-fishing, deep-sea fishing, haof- 
fish, the great seal. 

Heaver (Kentish), acrab,fromA. Sax. 
hcefern (Lmtx Boc. I. iv. 2, Cockayne), 
and that from hcefer, a fork (hcBfer-hite, 
a pair of pincers). — Philolog. Soc. 
Trans. 1858, p. 101. 

Hcefer, meaning fork, is, however, 
hypothetical ; and A. Sax. hcefern 
(hceiern) is, perhaps, identical with 
Gk. harahos, Lat. cairabus, crabro, s-ca- 
rahcBUS, Egypt, hrh, clwb, chpr, a beetle. 
Cf. Cornish gaver, a crayfish (Polwhele). 
Or more probably, perhaps, like hafuc, 
hawk, it is akin to A. Sax. habban 
(Lat. capere), and means " the seizer." 

Heel, to lean over, as a ship does in 
a heavy wind, is a corrupt form of held 
or hild, O. Eng. helden, hilden, A. Sax. 
hyldan, heldan, to incline, tilt, or bend ; 
cf. Dan. helde, to slant (Skeat), Dut. 
hellen, to incline, bend, heel as a ship 

Heldyn', or bowyn', Incline, flecto, deflecto. 
Prompt. Parvulorum. 

Ye bote begynneth to hylde. 

Palsgrave, 1530. 

To heald, as when you pour out of a Pot. 
Ray, North Country Words. 

Me schal helden eoli and win beo<5e ine 
wunden [They shall pour oil and wine both 
into the wounds]. — Ancren Riwle, p 428. 

Heifer, 0. Eng. heafre, A. Sax. 
heafor, would seem originally to have 


( 168 ) 


meant the bounding animal (cf. Lat. 
v'ltulus, a calf, and vitulari, to skip), 
from the Sanskrit root cap, camp, to 
go (? or bound) ; whence also comes 
in Greek hdpros, the boiinding boar, in 
Latin caper, the bounding goat, Scand. 
hafr, and A. Sax. haefer, a he-goat 
(near akin to heifer) ; and probably 
also Lat. cabaUtis, a horse, Ir. capall 
(cf. Sansk. aapala, swift. — Pictet, Oj'i- 
gines Indo-Europeenes, tom. i. pp. 347, 

Heafor seems to have been regarded 
as a compound word in old Enghsh, 
and is frequently written heuhfore, i.e. 
"high-stepper," with allusion to its 
rearing and frisky movements, as if 
from hedh, high, and fwran, to go (Ett- 
miiller, and Morris, who compares 
heah-deor, a roe-buck. Accidence, p. 87). 
Other old forms are liehfere [Prompt. 
Farv.), hecfcn'de, Prov. Eng. lieclnfor, as 
if from heck, an enclosure, hke Dutch 
hoJclieling, a heifer, from hok, a pen. 

Prof. Skeat thinks the last part of 
the word is A. Sax. fi'.ar, an ox, and 
that the original meaning of hedh-fore 
was " a high (i.e. full-grown) ox." But 
the word seems always to have meant 
specifically a young cow. 

\'ou are cruel in compelling your childrpn 
(for weiilth) to goe into loathed beds, for 
therby you make them bond-slaues : what 
ploughman is so foolish to yoake young hec- 
jars and old bullocks togetlier? yet such is 
your husbandry. — T. Decker, Seuen deadly 
Sbines oj London (1606), p. 44 (ed. Arber). 

Height, a corruption of the older 
form lieigfh (Holland's Camden's Bri- 
tain, p. 637), highth, heighthe, A. Sax. 

And all strong ston wall • sterne opon hei]ye. 
Ltiiigimil, Pierce lite Ploughman's Crede, 
1. 'JIS. 
Heiithe, Altitude, Culmen. — Prompt. Pur- 

The a-^cending pile 
Stood fix'd her stately Iti^Jiih. 

Milton, Par. Lost, i. 723. 
In tlie middle part of tlie Quire there stood 
two Cherubins, made ofOliue wood, couered 
all ouer with fine gold, whose faces and 
formes were like vnto young children, tlie 
heighth of them was ten ells. — Llinerurium, 
Triiuels of the Holy Palriurchs, Sc, 1619, p. 

Hell-eakes, spring-teeth rakes, so 
called " on account of the great quan- 
tity of work they dispatch in a short 

time" (Old Country and FoA-ming 
Words, E. D. S., p. 121), is a corruption 
of the older form heel-rahes, or per- 
haps of ell-rakes, which is also found. 

Helpmeet, a very common corrup- 
tion of the word help-mate, under the 
influence of Genesis ii. 18, "I wiU 
make him an help meet for him," i.e. 
suitable for him. Helpmeet, therefore, 
is merely help-fit. 

Woman .... (is) a. helpnwet to the Teu- 
ton. — Cox, Mythology of Aryan Nations, vol. 
i. p. 67. 

It is so spelt also in Miss Yonge, 
Womankind (passim) ; Dasent, Oaford 
Essays, 1858, p. 212 ; Paber, On Re- 
generation, p. 107 ; Eoberts, Oriental 
Ilhtstrations, p. 3 ; Contemporary Se- 
view, April, 1876 ; Oua/i-dian, Sept. 22, 
1875 ; Clement of Alexandria, Trans, 
in Ante-Nicene Library, vol. i. p. 128 ; 
Charles Kingsley, Life, vol. i. p. 467 ; 
Hawlcsfonc, vol. i. p. 85 (2nd ed.). 

The man whom we have recommended as 
a stimulating helpmeet proves unsatisfactory. 
— The Saturday Review, July 24, 1880, p. 

The word translated help-meet {(zer) is 
masculine. — M. D. Conway, Detnonology and 
Devil-Lore, vol. ii. p. 80. 

Help-mate seems a correct formation, 
like the old word copesmate. 

Mr. Fitzedward HaU, who strangely 
enough holds help-mate to be a corrup- 
tion of help-meet, quotes the compound 
meet-help from Bp. Sprat (1692), and 
"meet helper" from WiOiam Strode 

He adduces instances of the classical 
word helpmate from Macaulay, Foots, 
Centlivre, Colman, Wordsworth, Lamb, 
Southey, Kingsley, and Euskin.— 
Modern English, p. 156. 

HENB.iNE, A. Sax. henne-helle, "a 
hen-bell." Perhaps the original form 
was hengc-helle, hanging bell, especially 
since, in mediffival Latin, the plant 
was called symphoniaca, a ring of bells. 

With tlie experience of its poisonous 
quality, and the natural tendency to explain 
an unaccountable name into something intel- 
ligible, Henbell has become Henbane. — Prior. 

Henne-helle, the hyoscyamus, occurs 
in LocrJidoms, Wortciinning, &c., ed. 
Cockayne, vol. i. p. 94. 

Henchman, formerly spelt hcinsnum 
(Bailey), hcnscman (Udal), hemlmmn 


( 169 ) 


{Flower and the Leaf, 1. 252), and 
henxman, is probably for heng'st-man, 
a " horse-man " or groom, from old 
Eng. Jiengest, a horse (of. Dut. and Ger. 
hengst, a horse) ; so Spelman, Blount, 
1691, and Skeat, Etym. Bid. 

He}ixme}i, vj enfauntes, or more as it shall 
please the king-e. — Household Book oj' Edward 
JF. p. 4-t (Antiq. Soc). 

Phrases as neatly deckt as my Lord Majors 
Jack Drains Eiitertriinementj act i. 1. 337 
Hei/ncemann (al. henchemaniie), Gerolocista. 
— Prompt. Parvulornm. 
Those Proctors of Beelzehub, Lucifer's hench- 

Randotph^ Tlie illumes Loohing-GtasSj 

act i. bC. 4. 

The very next dish was the mayor of a town» 

With a pudding of maintenance thrust in 

his belly, 

Like a goose in the feathers, drest in his gown, 

And his couple of hinch-botis boil'd to a 


B. Jonsoriy The Gipsies Metamorpliosed 
( Works, p. 626). 
" Malise, what ho ! " — his henchman came ; 
*' Give our safe-conduct to the Gramme." 
Scott, Ladif of the Lake, canto II. xxxv. 

At an early period the .word came to 
be regarded as haunch-man, as if one 
■who stands by the haunoh or side of his 
chief to support or defend him (Lat. 
tegere latus. — Horace), like flunhey, a 
"flanker," from Fi. flan'j^urr, "to be at 
one's elbow for a heljj at need " (Cot- 
grave) ; sidesman, formerly sideman, an 
assistant ; Soot, hackman ( =i It. codla- 
tore), a follower in war, a henchman. 
For the vowel change, compare Cum- 
berland hench, to jerk a stone from the 

Item my Lordis Hansman iij Vonge 
Gentyllmen in Houshold at their Frendis 
fyndynge ij =z v. — l^orthiimberland Haushotd- 
Book, p. 40. 

Haunsmen or Hanshmen (more frequently 
written Henchmen or Henxmen) was the old 
English Name for the Pages, so called from 
then' standing at their Lords Haunch or side. 
— Ibiti, Bp. Fercii's note, p. 434. 

This officer [the henchman] is a sort of 
secretary, and is to be ready, upon all oc- 
casions, to venture his life in defence of his 
master: and at drinking-bouts he stands be- 
hind his seat, at his haunch, from whence his 
title is derived, and watches the conversa- 
tion, to Bee if any one offends his patron. — 
Letters from Scotland, ii. 108 (1754;. 

In a memorandum of certain dresses 

delivered from the office of the Bevels 
to the City of London, for the corona- 
tion of Edward VI. occur, 

Two cotts of Imnclieinen, of tynsyll and 
orymsyn vellvett, panyd together. 

The Loselii Manuscripts, p. 68. 

Herald, 0. H. Ger. Rari-old(wb.ence 
strength," a warrior, has acquired the 
specific sense of an officer who makes 
proclamations from being confused 
with O. H. Ger. foraharo, a herald, 
from forharen, to proclaim (Skeat, 
Etyin. Did. s.v.). 

Herb of Eepentance, a popular 
nanae for the plant me, Lat. mta, from 
a confusion with me (A. Sax. hreoio-an; 
cf. Ger. reue), to be sorry. Otherwise 
Herb of grace. 

He must avoid the crimes he lived in ; 

His Physicke must be Rue (ev'n Rue for 

sinne ) 
Of Herb of Grace, a cordiall he must make; 
The bitter Cup of true Rejientance take. 

G. IViiher, Britains Remembrancer, 
p. .59 recto, 1628. 

I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace. 
Shakespeare, Richard Ij, iii. 4. 

The spirit . . . prescribes him three herbs ; 
first, rue, or herb of grace, which is repent- 
ance : this teacheth him to sorrow for his 
strife and emulation, and purgeth away the 
bruised blood. — T. Adams, A Contemplation 
of the Herbs, Works, vol. ii. p. 465. 

Herb Paris. Paris is here generally 
assumed to be a proper name, as in its 
Latin designation Paris quadrifolia. It 
is properly the genitive of pa/)-, a pair, 
he^-ha paris being the herh of a panr or 
betrothed couple, so called in reference 
to its four leaves being set on the stalk 
Uke a truelove-knot, whence its other 
name Herh Truelove (Prior). 

Herby-grass, a provincial corruption 
of Shakespeare's " herb o' grace " 
[Hamlet, iv. 6), a popular name of rue 
lOornUll Mag., July, 1865). Herbe- 
grass in N.W. Lincolnshire (Peacock). 
See Herb of Bepentance. 

Here, an old spelhng of ear, A. Sax. 
edre, from a not unnatural assumption 
that it was akin to hear, A. Sax. heran. 
The two words, though of distinct 
origin, bear a deceptive resemblance in 
the cognate languages, e.g. Icel. eyra, 
ear, heyra, to hear ; Dan. Ore and hbre ; 


( 170 ) 


Put. om- and hooren; Goth, auso and 

He rowned in one of his felawes heres, and 
saide, " after dyner y wille assaie my wifF, 
and bidde her lepe into the basin. — Book of 
the Knight of La Tour- Landry, p. 27 
(E. E.T.S.). 

Herynge of here, Auditus. — Prompt. Par- 
vulorum (King's Coll. MS.). 

Hebring-sue, a mistaken spelling of 
the name of the common heron, Eng. 
heronsew, heronshaw (see Handsaw], 
from a mistaken notion that the bird 
" pursues (0. Eng. sues) the herrings " 
(Atkinson, Cleveland Glossary, p. 258). 
Cf. herrin-seu (Holderness dialect), 
heronsewe (Chaucer), hernshaw (Spen- 

Hessians, 1 boots coming up 

Hessian-boots, J high on the legs 
(a word overlooked in, I think, all the 
dictionaries), as if boots resembling 
those worn by Hessian troopers, seems 
to be only the modem and pohte form 
of the old word " huseans, a sort of 
Boots or Spatterdashes " (Bailey), 
Scottish husMons, stockings without 
feet, gaiters. Hessians, then, are boots 
and gaiters in one, huseans; and this 
the more likely, as Hussicm is found as 
a popular pronunciation of Hessian. I 
have hedrd an Irishwoman say, " Let 
her catch a Hussian for herself, " mean- 
ing, "Let her get a husband of her 
own " (and not flirt with mine). Scot. 
huslnons is also found as hoesMns, 
hoshens (Jamieson), which is for Iws- 
hins, a diminutive of hose, old Eng. 
liohshynes (for lioslcynes, Skeat). 
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig, 
She dights her grunzie wi' a huskion. 

Burns, Works,-p. SOT (Globe ed.). 

" She wipes her mouth with a stock- 
ing" (not a " cushion ", as the Globe 
editor imagined). 
His hosen ouerhongen his hokschynes ' on 

eueriche a side, 
Al beslombi-ed in fen ■ as he );e plow folwede. 
Fierce the Plougltmans Crede (ab. 1394), 
1. 426(ed. Skeat). 

Similar in meaning was Fr. houseau, 
" a course drawer worn over a Stocking 
in stead of a Boot." — Cotgrave. 

The "Hessian boot " was introduced 
in the reign of George III. (J. E. 
Planche, Cyclopcsdia of Costume, i. 48.) 
In GiUray's caricature, " Monstrosi- 
ties of 1799," a beau wears "large 

Hessian boots," projecting above the 
knee in front, with pendent tassels (see 
Wright's CaHcaiure History of the 
Georges, p. 543). 

Beneath are ranged in rows all varieties of 
boots and shoes, from the vamped up Hes- 
sians and Wellingtons down to the faded 
white satin slipper. — Saturday Review, Aug. 
7, 1880, p. 170. 

Heyday I an interjection, assimilated 
like well-a-day, to alack-a-da/y, seems 
to be identical with Ger. hey da! heysa! 
hoity in hoity-toity ! and, perhaps, con- 
nected with 0. Fr. hait, pleasure, joy. 
It is spelt highday! in Shakespeare, 
Tempest, ii. 2, 190 (1623). The Uydmj 
(of youth, &o.) is really for high day 
(Mid. Eng. hey day). — Skeat. Smollett 
speaks of " the high-day of youth and 
exultation." See Davies, Supp. Eng. 
Glossary, s.v. High Day. 

Hic-COUGH, a frequent spelling of 
hiccup (formerly hiohock, Howell), a 
word meant to imitate the sound pro- 
duced by the convulsion of the dia- 

Senglot the hickock, a yexing. — Cotgrave. 

Compare Holstein Imckup, Fr. ho- 
guet (O. Eng.'/iic/cei), Swed. hicka, the 

Hew- HOLE, a provincial name for the 
green woodpecker {Pious vin-idis). — 
Johns, British Birds in their Ha/wnts, 
p. 295. A corruption of heighaw. 

Oriot, a Heighaw, or Witwall. — Cotgrave. 
Picard huyau, 0. Eng. hewel. 

It. sgaio, a birde called a Huhole. — Ftorio. 

But most the }iewel's wonders are, 

Who here has the holtselster's care ; 

He walks still upright from the root, 

Measuring the timber with his foot. 
Marvett, Poems, p. 33 (Murray repr.). 

The name heighaw is imitative of its 
laughing cry (Uke ha-ha! hee-limii! 
guffaw), akin to Sansk. kakh, to laugh 
(Lat. cachinnus) ; cf. its other names 
yaffle and yappingale, a barker. 

The undulating iiight and laugh-like cry of 
the Green Woodpecker used to be more com- 
mon than they seem to be now. — J. C. Atkin- 
son,, Brit. Birds' Eggs, p. 63. 

See Hiokway. 

Hickway, 1 old names for the wood- 

Hickwall, J pecker, still in provin- 
cial use. Hickwell, Bailey. 


( m ) 


Pic, a woodpecker, Hickwaii, Greenpeak. — 

ficchiouirde, a greene pecker or hiclte way. 
— Fto'io. 

Other forms are heyJtoe, heighaw, 
hygh-wlicle, hicMe, Inckol, and hecco. 
The laughing hecco, then the countevsetting 
jay. Drayton, Polyotbion, Song 13. 

See Hew-hole. 

Another popular name for this bird 
is Equal, Eaqual. 

I observe Mr. Morris spells the name I 
have written Eiiqitut in the tbrm Ecle. 1 have 
no idea of the origin or etymology of either 
form. — J. C. Atkinson, British Birds^ ^SS^t 
p. 62. 

These are evidently but different pro- 
nunciations of hichle, hiclwl, or hicJnuall. 

Hecco, in all probability, properly 
means the haclier, and was so called 
from its characteristic habit of pecking 
old timber in search of insects ; Picard. 
liequer, to hew wood. Compare It. 
piccMo, " a knocke, a pecke, a clap, a 
iob, a snap, a thumpe or great stroke. 
Also, a bird called a wood hacker, a 
wood wall, a wood pecker, a tree iobber, 
a IvicTcway, a iobber, a spight, a snapper ' ' 
(J?lorio). So Lat. picas was probably 
the pecher, Ger. haumhacher, Dan. trcB- 
pikher, W. cnocell y coed (knocker of the 
wood), Gk. druoholdptes (wood-striker), 
Swed. vedTcnar; and so another bh-d is 
called the nut-hatch. 

HiDDLE, To, to conceal or keep secret, 
a Scotch verb developed out of the 
word Mdlins, secretly, an adverbial 
form, as if it were hidling, a present 
participle. For similar mistakes, com- 
pare Gkovel and Sidle. Vid. Jamie- 
son, s.vv.. Notes and Queries, 5th S. 
VI. 210. 

High jinks, now sometimes used in 
the sense of a mad frolic, or great fun, 
was originally a Scotch game, some- 
what Uke forfeits, the penalties going 
to pay the reckoning for drink. This 
was sometimes written hy jinks, and is 
probably derived from liy, haste (A. Sax. 
hige), a,nd. jink, to dodge, cheat, or move 
nimbly, the game, as explained in a 
note to the following passage, requh-ing 
both dodging and quickness. 

Aften in ilaggy's at hy-jinks, 
We guzzl'd ycuds, 

Till we could scarce, wi' hale out-drinks, 
Cast off our duds. 
Ramsay, Etegy on Maggy Johnston (1711). 

The frolicsome company had begun to 
practise the ancient and now forgotten pas- 
time of High Jinks. — Scott, Guy Mannering, 
oh. xxxvi. 

And you wha laughing scud brown ale, 

Leave jinfcs a wee, and hear a tale. 

Ramsay, The Monk and the Milter's Wife. 
Our Batt can dance, play at high jinks with 

At any primitive orthodoxal vice. 

Batt ufon Batt, &c., 1694, p. 5. 

Miss Famine, who is the girl for our 
money, raises the question, whether any of 
them can tell the name of the leader and 
prompter to these high jinks of hell. — De 
Qninceij, Works, vol. xi. p. 85. 

HiGH-STKiKEs, slang for Hysterics. 

HiGHT, the perfect tense (" was 
called") of the old Eng. verb hatan, to 
call or be called, = 0. Eng. het, MM, 
corresponding to the reduplicated per- 
fect in Gothic haihait from haitan. 

The g seems to have crept in from a 
mistaken analogy with pig/ii := pitched, 
tight := tied. 

Johan hight that con, and Alayn hight that 

Chaucer, The Reeoe's Tate. 

HiGH-TAPEE, \ popular names for the 

Hag- taper, J jAsbntverhascttm Thap- 
sus, probably from A. S. hege or hega, 
a hedge, and taper, its stalks when 
dipped in grease being formerly used 
for burning (Prior). 

Verbasco. Taper-wort, Ling-wort, High- 
taper, Bigtaper. — Florin. 

Moulaine, MuUeine, WooU-blade, Long- 
wort, Hares-beard, Hig-laper, Torches. — Cot- 

Other names for it are herba lumi- 
naria, Gandlewich (N. Somerset), old 
Eng. Gandlewyrt {Leechdoms, Wcni- 
cunning, &o., ed. Cockayne, vol. iii. 

HiGH-YEAE-OLD, a Teviotdale word 
for a heifer or beast of a year and a 
half old, is a corrupted form of 
heiyearald, which is for hellier-, or half- 
year-, auld (Jamieson). 

HiLL-TEOT, a name for the plant 
dauaus coA-ota in the New Forest, is a 
corruption of the more frequent eltrot 
(Britten and Holland). 

HiNDEANCE is a hetcronym of the 
Belgian hindernis, i.e. hinder-ness, as- 
similated to entrance, semblance, &c. 
— Haldeman, Affixes, p. 113. 


( 172 ) 


HiPPODAME, a corrupt form of the 
name of "the sea-horse called in Greeke 
Hip^wtomos " (Topsell, Historie of Four- 
footed Beasts, p. 328), more correctly 
Mppo-potavios, " river-horse." 
They trembling stood, and made a long broad 

That his swift charet might have passage 

Which four great Hippodames did draw in 

teniewise tyde, 

Spenser, F. Queene, III. xi. 40. 

His, as the sign of the possessive 
case, in such phrases as "for Jesus 
Christ 7ms sake " (Prayer for all sorts 
and conditions of men), " The King his 
crown," " Grod his wrath," commonly- 
used in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
' centuries for what we would now write 
" Christ's sake," " The King's crown," 
" God's wrath," is a mistaken ortho- 
graphy of the old EngUsh genetival 
form -is ia " Ghristis sal;e," " Kingis 
crown," " Ooddes wrath." The posses- 
sive pronoun his heing anciently written 
in many instances is or ys. King-is eroicn 
readily resolved itself into King his 
crown. Compare — 

That enduryd fro Neixe yere ys day tylle the 
Anjmncyacyon of otire Ladynexte sovvynge. 
— Tl'. Gregory, Chronicle of London, p. 59 
(Camden Soc). 

And on Mary Magdelene ys day the kyng 

hylde hys counselle at Cauntyrbury wliythe 

a grete party of hys lordys. — Id. p. 178. 

The whiche is man and hus make " and moll- 

kre-is issue. 

Vision of Piers Plowman, xix. 236, text C. 

"Man and his mate and wife's 
issue " ( := mulieris proles) ; another 
MS. has actually improved this into 
" TiioiUere Jier issue." See SheSit, Notes, 
p. 282 in loco. 
Now mot ich soatere his sane ' setten to schole. 

Pierce the Ploughrtmns Crede, 1. 744. 
I presented vnto your liking Robin Good- 
Jeltow his newes. 
The Passionate Morrice, 1593, p. 49 
(Shaks. Soc). 

Hence when Chaucer tells us that 
" hevenes lorde " (or, as it might have 
been printed, "heaven Ms lord") 
"hath wonne Temis his love;" when 
Secretary William Knighte (1527) 
writes of "the Quene his affaires and 
secretes," and the Duke of Norfolk 
(1524) speaks of "the Quene is good 
favotu-," we can see at once that these' 
are manifest resolutions of the older 

English Venus-is love, the Quen-es 
affoAres. We even find " other mem Us 
lippes " in Ascham, and '^ women Im 
homys " in Lydgate, formed out of 
men-es lippes, and women-cs liormjs. 
Such later forms as " Queen Elizabetli 
her reign " are intensifications of the 
old error. See a fuU and interesting 
note in Mr. Fitzedward Hall's Modem 
English, p. 855, to which I am indebted 
for much of the above. 

The time-honom'ed formula of appro- 
priation, " John Nokes his book," has 
scarcely yet ceased among cotmtry 
folks to be inscribed on the fly-leaf of 
their bibles. When the old error as- 
sumes a learned garb it looks more 
grotesquely amusing. In a copy of 
Stephen's Name of the Beast, 1656, 1 
have seen a book-plate with the inscrip- 
tion, " Kichard Baker, ejus Liber, Nov. 
25, 1721," and in Cooper's Heaven 
Opened, 1611, the writing, "John Lea 
ejus Liber, 1752." 

Hives, a term (apparently modem, 
and overlooked in most dictionaries) 
for small risings in the skin attended 
with great itching, is a naturahzed and 
corrupted form of Spanish havas, de- 
noting (1) beans, (2) "also great [bean- 
Uke] pimples caus'd by too much Blood, 
or Heat of Blood." — Stevens, Sfan,. 
Diet., 1706, which is from hat. f aha, a 
bean. Compare It. " lentigini, pimples 
or freckles in the face red and wan 
like lentils." — Florio. 

HoAE-HOUND, \ the name of the plant 
HoRB-HOUND, J marruhiu7n,a.siiti:om 
A. Sax. hdr, hoary, and himd, a hound, 
is a corruption of the A. Saxon name 
hara.-lmne, or harhune (Cockayne, 
Leeahdoms, vol. iii. Glossary), where 
hune corresponds to Lat. cun-ila, Greek 
Icnn-ile, a strong-scented plant (Skeat). 
The curious form given by Bosworth, 
hara-hunig, " hare's-houey " (if autho- 
rized), is a fresh corruption. 

HoAEST, a Lincolnshire word for a 
cold on the chest, as if that wliich 
makes one hoarse (Lincolns. Iwarst), is 
a corrupt form of 0. Eng. Jwst, a cough, 
Dan. lioste, Dut. hoesfe, A. Sax. hwcost, 
a wheeziness ; cf. O. Eng. hoose, to 
cough (Pr. Parv.), Cleveland Iwoae, to 
wheeze. See Boast, in Davies, Sn^pp. 
Eng. Glossa/ry. 


( 173 ) 


HOBOY, in North's Phifarch [Life of 
Augustus) howhoij, a naturalized ibrm 
of Fr. hrutbois, Mod. Eng. ohoe, a high 
toned instrument of wood. See Haw- 

The Case of a Treble Hoe-hoii was a J\Iim- 
sion for him. — Sliaket-peare, 2 lienrq I K. iii. 2 

HoBTHRusH, \ provincial names for 
HoBTHRUST, j a spirit famous for 
whimsical pranks. The last part of 
the word seems to be identical with A. 
Sax. j3!/)'s, O. Norse ]iurs, a giant, or 

Eoh is perhaps the same as auh, au'f, 
alb, 0. N. alfr, an elf, seen in Oberon 
{Alberon), the dream goblin ; cf. Hoi- 
gohlin. It seems to be the same as the 
" lubber-fiend " of Milton's L' Allegro. 

HoGMANY, \ an old name given to 

HoGMENAY, / New Year's Eve, or a 
New Year's gift, in Scotland and the 
North of England, is said to be a cor- 
ruption of Au gui menez (On to the 
mistletoe !), the cry used by mummers 
at that season, and a survival of the 
Druidical cultus. Certainly a practice 
almost identical did prevaO. in France. 
Cotgrave gives an old word, " AguiUcm- 
neiif, and Aii-guy-V an-neuf, the voice 
of Country people begging small pre- 
sents, or new-years gifts, in Christmas ; 
(an ancient tearme of rejoyciag, de- 
rived from the Druides ; who were 
wont the first of January, to go unto 
the woods, where having sacrificed, 
and banqueted together, they gathered 
Misletow, esteeming it excellent to 
make beasts fruitfull, and most sove- 
raigne against all poyson." Menage 
states that in Touraine they say Agui- 
lanneu, that the Spaniards call presents 
made at Christmas Agmnaldo, and that 
in Normandy poor people when asking 
alms on the last day of the year, call it 

Hogmyne night was one of the festi- 
vals renounced by the Puritans (Law's 
Memwialls, p. 191). 

The cotter weanies, glad an' gay . . . 

Sing at their doors for Hogmanay, 


See Hampson, MecKi JEvi Kalenda- 
rium, vol. i. pp. 122-124 ; Brand, Pop. 
Antiqmiies, vol. i. p. 458 ; Cheruel, 
Did. des Institutions, s.v. G^ii. 

Hogg, formerly " Hogoo, a high 

savom- or reUsh " (Bailey), a popular 
corraption of Fr. haut gout. Compare 
fogo, an old slang word for a stench. 

It Avas hogi), I surmise, that suggested the 
vulgar Jogo, At lirst, probably, fogo was 
added to hogo, for the sake of jingle; and 
then, as the word, from resemblance to /iiiigft, 
Joli, intrinsically conveyed the idea of dis- 
gust, hogo Jogo was shortened to ,' Of 0. Again, 
in holt^ .'i):;i), the lialii may be a corruption of 
''"£'■ — ''■ ^■^""' ^i'"'"'" English, p. 127. 

To give the sawce a hogoe, let the dish 
(into which you let the Pike fall) be rubed 
with it [garliok]. — /. IValton, Compkat 
Angler, chap. vii. 165 i. 

Sure 1 am, our Palate-people are much 
pleased therewith, [garlick] as giving a deli- 
cious hault-gust to most meats they eat, as 
tasted and smelt in their sauce, though not 
seen therein. — T. Fuller, Worthies of Eng- 
land, vol. i. p. 206. 

Hogshead, supposed to be boiTOwed 
from old Dutch ox-hoofd, au " ox-head " 
(so Dan. ox-hoved, (jer.ox-hoft), a hogs- 
head. But compare the Irish tocsaid, 
the Gael, tocsaid, or, togsaid (perhaps 
from GaeHc tog, to brew. — Phihlog. 8oc. 
Trans., 1857, p. 69), a hogshead. 

He ate and drank, and when he had 
enough he went under a togs.iid (hogshead). 
— Cumphetl, Pop. Tales of the W. Highlands, 
vol. ii. p. 294. 

Hogshide is another mistaken ortho- 
graphy in Sir Thos. Urquhart's Trans- 
lation of Rabelais, bk. iii. ch. xv. 

The mysrewie of the kyngys galentys at 
Ludlowe, whenn they hadde drokyn i-nowe 
of wyne that was in tavernys and in othyr 
placys, they fuUe ungoodely smote owte the 
heddys of the pypys and hoggins hedys of 
wyne, that men wente wete-scliode in wyne. 
. — Gregory's Chronicle of London, 1460, p. 207 
(Camden Soc). 

There was gevyn commandement to the 
Lord Mayor, that there should be a great 
bonfyre at Powles Church door, and there to 
be set a hoggins head of lede and another of 
claret for the people to drink that wolde. — 
Grey Friars' Chronicle, March 9, 1,525. 
The other was by trade a Vintener, 
That had full many a hoggeshed looked*n. 

F. Thynn, Debate beiween Pride and Low- 
liness (ab. 1568), p. 30 (Shaks. Soc). 

HoG-TONE, an old Scotch corruption . 
of the word acton, which is also spelt 
aJceton, Jiaheton (Chaucer, Bime of Sir 
Thopas), hacrfueton (Spenser, Faerie 
Queene, II. 8, xxxviii.), Fr. liogueton, 
auqueion, Prov. alcoto, a cotton stuffed 
or wadded coat, Sp. algodon, cotton. 
The acton was a loose quilted frock 


( 174 ) 


worn under armour to prevent it bruis- 
ing the body, and was identical with 
the gambeson (Sir S. D. Scott, The 
British Army, vol. i. p. 201). 

HoiDBN, \ formerly a clownish ill- 
HoYDEN, / bred person of either sex 
(see Trench, Select Glossary, s.v.), is a 
naturalized form of Dutch hey den, (1) 
a dweller on the heath, a wild man, (2) 
a heathen, (3) a boor. The spelling 
was altered perhaps to accommodate 
it to the old verb hoit, or hoyte, to romp. 
" Let none condemn them for Eigs 
because thus hoiting with boys." — T. 
Fuller, Pisgah Sight, Pt. II. p. 110 

Vastibousier, A lusk, lubber, loggar-bead, 
lozell, hoiden, lobcock. — Cotgrum. 

Hold, " of a ship, that part between 
the Keelson and the lower deck where 
the Goods, Stores, &c are laid up " 
(Bailey), as if that which holds or con- 
tains the cargo, is really an altered 
form of 0. Eng. hole, the hollow part of 
a ship, A. Sax. hoi, a hollow or hole, 
Dut. hoi, a cavity, also the ship's hold 
(Sewel). Hull is probably the same 
word, just as the hull of pease was also 
formerly spelt hoole (Prompt. Pa/rv.). 

Hoole of a schyppe (al. hoile) Carina. — 
Prompt. ParviUorum. 

Other instances of excrescent d are 
the following : — Boun-d (homeward, 
&o., 0. Eng. houn), gizzair-d (O. Eng. 
giser), haza/r-d (Sp. aza/r), hind (a ser- 
vant, O. Eng. hine), moul-d, roun-d (to 
whisper), soun-d, stran-d (of rope), 
woun-d; of. hes-t, peasan-t (Fr.paysan), 
pheasan-t, parchmen-t, tyran-t, 0. Eng. 
ancien-t (= ensign), graf-t, O. Eng. 
al4em-t ; vulgar Eng. swoun-d, gown-d, 
to drown-d, schola/r-d, salmon-d,orphan-t; 
old Eng. vil-d, anvel-d, ganvmon-d, luh- 

Hold, \ as used of a player at the 
h5ld, / game of biUiards, who is 
said to have held a ball when he has 
driven it into one of the holes or 
pockets, is, according to Mr. Blackley, 
a grammatical perversion of " He 
holedit," misunderstood as lu>ld{Word 
Gossip, p. 74). The same writer main- 
tains that the verb to toll arose from 
told, in such phrases as " the kneU was 
told," i.e. counted, the number of con- 
cluding strokes being significant of the 

sex of the deceased, which was mis- 
understood as tolled. This seems very 

HoLDEB, a Wiltshire man's oorrup- 
tion of halter, as if that which holds in 
a horse, &c. Halter itself is an altered 
form of A. Sax. healfter, a noose or 
halter ; cf. 0. Dut. and G. hdfter 

Holes. The phrase to pick holes, 
meaning to find fault, as if to detect a 
weak spot (a chink in one's armour), 
as in Burns' lines — 

If there's a hole in a' your coats, 

I rede you tent it, 
A chield's amang you taking notes, 
arose, not improbably, from a mis- 
understandiQg of the Prov. Eng. to hole, 
meaning to calumniate, from A. Sax. 
hoi, detraction. 

Oil vor . . . hoaling and halzening, or cuff- 
ing a Tale. 
Exmoar Scolding, 1. 297 (E. D. S., see note 
p. 135;. 

HoLiDAME, an occasional corruption 
in old books of holidom or haUdoni, A. 
Sax. haUgdom, i.e. holiness, the Chris- 
tian faith, -dom being the same termi- 
nation as in Christendom; hingdom, 
Ger. heiligthum, Icel. helgid&im; so 
spelt as if to denote the holy Virgin, 
e.g. " So help me God and hoVAda/im." 
— BuUein, BooTo of the Use of Sich Men, 
1579, fol. 2 6. 

By my holy dam, tho I say it, that sliuld 
not say it, I thinke 1 am as perfect in my pipe, 
as Officers in poling. — facke Drums Enter- 
tainevient, act i. 1. 4 (1616). 

In Icelandic helgir d&marr denotes 
sacred relics. 

So helpe me god, and hoUydam, 
Of this 1 wolde not geve a dram. 
Heywood, The Four P's (Dodsley, i. 82, 
ed. 1825). 
I shalbe redy at scott and lotte, and all 
my duties tnily pay and doo .... so helpe 
me god and holiidnme, and by this boke. — 
English Gitds, p.' 189 (,E. E. T. S.). 

HoLioKE, i.e. holy oak {Holy Eoh, 
Huloet), an old form of the word holly- 
hock (Lat. Alcea), which seems to be 
from A. Sax. hoc, Welsh Iwcys, a mal- 
low. The first part of the word is hdbj 
not holly. See Hollyhock. 

HoLiokes, red, white, and carnations.^ 
Tusser, Fiue Hundred Pointes (E. D. Soc. 
p. 96). 


( 175 ) 


The word is spelt Iwlly-oah in Wliite 
and Markwick's Naiwalisis Calendar, 
hoUy-olces in Bacon, Of Oa/rdens (1625) 
(Essays, p. 557, ed. Arber). 
Bright crown imperial, kingspear, holyhocks, 
Sweet Venus-navel, and soft lady-smocks. 
B. Jonson, Pan's Anniverstiri^, 1625, Works, 
p. 643. 

HoLLiGLAS, a 16th cent. Scotch word 
for a character in old romances, is 
another form of Howleglas, Oiolglass, 
or Eulenspiegel, 

Holly-hock. HoUy- here has no- 
thing to do with the tree so called. Dr. 
Prior thinks that the original form 
may have been cauli- or coley-Tioch, but 
this seems altogether doubtful. Hock 
is evidently O. Eng. hocce, A. Sax. Iwc, 
the mallow, which is also called the 
Hock-herb. The incorrect form Jiolly- 
oak is found in G. White's Selborne, 
pp. 326, 330 (Nat. Hlust. Lib. ed.), and 
holU-oak in Skinner's Etymologicon, 
s.v. (1671). See Holioke. The old 
form of the word was Holy Jiocke, ap- 
parently so called because it was in- 
troduced from th^ Holy Land (ef. its 
Welsh name hocys lendigaid, i.e. 
" blessed mallow," Skeatj, whence 
corruptly holly-hock. 

Holy Hokke, oi* wylde malowe, Altea, 
malviscus. — Prompt. Parvutorum (1440). 

Rose d'outre mer, the garden Mallow, 
'called Hocks, and Holyhocks. — Cotgrave. 

Holm-oak, the ilex or evergreen oak, 
as if connected with holm, a water-side 
flat, is from O. Eng. holme, the holly 
{Prompt, Parv.), which is a corrupt 
form of holin, A. Sax. holen, holly. 

Ilex is named of some in English Holme, 
which signifieth Holly or Huluer, — Gerarde, 
Herbal, p. 1159. 

Holy-stone, the name given by 
sailors to the stone with which they 
scrub the decks, has not been explained. 
It is perhaps the same word as A. Sax. 
healh-stan (apparently a " covering- 
stone," from helan, to cover), cited by 
EttmiiUer (p. 458) from ^Ifric's Ghs- 
sa/ry, with the meaning of crust. The 
first part of healh-stan [hal-stan) would 
easUy be confounded with hdUg, holy, 
though rather akin to hell. Perhaps, 
however, healh- is really akin to healoc, 
a hoUow, Iwlh, hollow, with allusion to 
the light porous nature of pumice- 
stone — and BO the true form of the 

word would be holey-stone, the stone 
fuU of holes or hollows. For the same 
reason, perhaps, a perforated stone 
used as a charm is called in Cleveland 
a holy-stone. From a humorous mis- 
understanding, seemingly, of the first 
part of the compound, holy-stones of 
small size are known to sailors as 
"prayer-books" (Dana). Compare 

HoMB-LY, an old corruption oilwmily 
(Greek liomilia), as if a plain famihar 
discourse in the language of the com- 
mon people. 

But howe shall heereadthys hooke, as the 
Homilies are read? Some call them homelies, 
and in deed so they may be wel called, for 
they are homeli/ handled. For though the 
Priest read them neuer so well, yet if the 
parish like them not, there is such talking 
and bahling in the church that nothing can 
be heard : And if the Pavishe be good and the 
priest naught, he will so haoke and choppe 
it, that it were as good for them to be with- 
out it, for any word yt shall be understand. 
— Latimer, Sermons, p. 37, verso. 

A more curious corruption is humhles 
in Lever's Sermons, 1550 : — 

But the rude lobbes of the counti-ey, 
whiche be to symple to paynte a lye, speake 
foule and truly as they lynde it, and saye : 
He minisheth Gods sacraments, he slubbers 
vp his seruice, and he can not reade the 
humbles. — P. 65 (ed. ArberJ. 

HoNEY-MOON, as if mellis luna, " The 
first siveet month of matrimony," is no 
doubt the same word as leel. hjdn, a 
wedded pair, man and wife, hjdna-hand, 
matrimony, h/jdna-sceng, marriage bed. 
Another related word is Icel. hyndttar- 
manu'Sr, "wedding-night month." Hy- 
nott, the term applied to the wedding- 
night, is near akm to hju, family, man 
and wife, whence hju-skapr, matri- 
mony, and to hi-hyU, home, Ger. hei- 
rath, A. Sax hiwa, "hive," HeUaud 
hiwa, wife (vid. Cleasby and Vigfusson). 
Thus the real congener of honey-moon 
is not honey, A. Sax. hunig, but the 
hive in which it is made, A. Sax. to-, 
a house, Goth, heiva, akin to A. Sax. 
hina, one of the household, a domestic, 
or hind ; home, Goth, haims ; Lat. oivis, 
Greek keimai, Sansk. si, to Ue. Cf. Ger. 
heurdth, marriage. 

Marriage, like the useful bee, builds a 
house and gathers sweetness from evei'y 
flower, and labours, and unites into societies 


( 176 ) 


and republics. — J. Tuiilnr, The Murriage 

On the model of honey-moon, once 
translated nielKlune in the pages of 
Punch,, seems to have been formed Ir. 
mie-na-mallaJi, as if from mis, month, 
and mi'dla, genitive of mil, honey (but 
of. mnJlali, shamefaced, modest). 
The iHe-nfi-maliah now is past ■ 
O \Virra-Stliru ! Win-a-sthru ! 

Gerald Griffin, The Coiner, ch. vii. 
So Strength and Beauty, hand in hand, 
Go forth into the honey'd land, 
Lit by the love-moon g'olden grand. 
Geruld Masseti, The Bridal, Paeim,, p. 39. 

Other names for the honeymoon are 
Dut.wiftroodsifeeA; (white-bread-week), 
Swed. smehmdnad (caress month), 
Welsh mis yr ofiaeth, month of blan- 

Hook, in such cant phrases as, " I 
will, — with a hook," i.e. you may 
imagine it if you like, but I won't; I 
am only joking ; is the same word as 
lionx, hocus, hoolcey, Gipsy holcha, to 
lie (Borrow), hoolcer, liohkeny, a lie or 
deception ; Eomnanian Gipsy hohao, 
a he (Leland, Eng. Gipsies, p. 81). 
Hence hokey-pokey, lioms-pocus, hanky- 
panky, Gipsy huckeny pokee, a swindle. 
Hind, hoggu-hazee {Id. p. 141). 

A Hocus-pocus [=: juggler] . . . performed 
rare tricks of activity. — Sir T. Herbert, 
Travels, 1665, p. 133. 

HooKEE, a kind of fishing vessel of 
heavy build (Croker, Ballads of Ire- 
land, p. 151), is no doubt the same 
word as 0. Fr. hevrcque, by which 
Palsgrave (1530) explains " Hulke, a 
shyppe;" and "Hurque, a hulk" (Cot- 
grave) ; " Orque [for Hwque] a Hulk 
or huge ship " {Id.) ; Low Lat. hvlka, 
hulciis ; all from Greek hollcds, a ship 
that is towed, a ship of burden {iiXsas, 
from IXkhv, to drag). " Hidke, shyppe, 
Hulcus" {Ffompt. Tarculorum), is only 
a variant. See Skeat, Etym. Bid. s.v. 
Hulk. Scot, houk, a large ship. 

Their galleons, galleasses, gallies, vrcas, 
and zabras were miserably shattered. — Oldijs, 
Life of Raleigh. 

Hawker, a Vessel built like a Pink, but 
masted and ri£,'ged like a Hoy . — Baiteii. 
The meikle houk hym bare, wn^ Triton 

G. Douglas, Bules ofEneados, p. 321, 1. 55. 

Hourqu!', a Hulke or huge Flie-boat.— 

Hoop, a provincial Eng. name of ths 
bullfinch in Wiltshire, Cornwall, Som- 
erset, &c., is a corruption apparently 
of ope [cf. O. Eng. a nope for an one], 
alp {Systema Agriculturce, 1687), a 
bullfinch, alpe {Prompt. Parvulormn), 
also spelt olf, olph, aupe, and awbe. 

Be als just to aa-f-pis and owlis 
As unto pacokkis, pajiingais, or crennis. 
W. Dunbar, The Thri^ntl and the Rois, 18 
The tatling Awhe doth please some faacie 

G. Gascnigne, Complaynt of Philomene, 1576, 
p. 88 (ed. Ai-ber). 

Hooter, an American word for a 
whit, as " I don't care a hooter for 
him," seems to be a corruption oiiota. 
— Bartlett, Diet, of Americamsms, p. 
295 (4th ed.). 

Hope, in the military phrase a For- 
lorn Hope (Fr. enfans perdus), as if a 
body of desperate men who have aban- 
doned all hope of surviving, is the same 
word as Dut. hoop, a troop {verloren 
hoop, a lost, i.e. death-doomed, band), 
Swed. hop. Compare Ger. haufe, a 
crowd, O. Norse liopr, A. Sax. heap, a 
troop, Juip, a circle or band of men 
(Uke Lat. globus). These words seem 
to correspond to Pohsh kupa, Lat. 
cop-ia, just as Jiopie (nspemre), Dut. 
hoopen, Ger. hoffen, do to Latin cvp-io. 
With h6p, a hoop or a company, com-' 
pare ring (A. Sax. hring, loel. hin^r) 
in ring-leader, whence also harangue, 
to address a ring or crowd. (So Lat. 
turha is connected with turho.) Of. 
old Eng. lieep, a crowd, "The here 
sprange vp . . . . emonge an heep of 
wyuis." — Caxton, Beynard tlie Fom 
(1481), p. 16 (ed. Arber). 

Engla heapas, "troops of angels." — ^Ifric 
(see Cockayne, Spoon and Sparrow, p. 78). 

Among this princely heap, if any here . . . 

Hold me a foe. 

Shakespeare, Rich. III. ii. 1, 53. 

Blachanidas with his strangers gaae such 
a lusty charge vpon certaine slingera and 
archers, being the forlorne hope whom Philo- 
pcemen had put before the battel! of the 
Achaians to begin the Skirmish, that he ouer- 
threw them, and made tliem flie withall.— 
Sir Thos. North, Plutarehs Live^, p. Si% 

HoPHAELOT, an old name for a coarse 
kind of coverlet, is a corrupt form of 
hap-harht, from the old verb hap, to 


( 177 ) 


wrap or cover up, exactly eorrespond- 
ing to the jocular tenawrap-rascal, for 
an overcoat, current in the last cen- 
tury, e.g. "A Joseph, wra^-7-ascal," 
&c., is Gay's annotation on the sur- 
tout, " By various names in various 
countries known." — Trivia, hk. i. 1. 
57. Sap-harlot, a coarse covering, is 
found also in provincial English 

" Our fathers . . . have lieu full oft upon 
straw pallets, on rough mats, covered onelie 
with a sheet, under coverlets made of dags- 
wain or hophariots (1 use tlieir own termes). 
— Harrison, Descriptimt rf England, in Holin- 
shed's Chrojiicles, i. 188. 

A weU-known antiquarian explains 
the word as follows : — 

Harlot was a teim applied to a low class 
of vagabonds, the ribalds, who wandered 
from place to place in search of a living ; 
and the name appears to have been given to 
this rug as being only fit to be the lot or hap 
of such people (!). — Wright, Homes of Other 
Daifs, p. 415. 

The word is given by Bailey in the 
form of liapperlet and happarlet, which 
seems to be an assimilation to " cover- 

Happyn or whappyu' yn clo)jys.- 


These weders ar cold and I am ylle 
happyd. — Toionley Mysteries, p. 98. 

HoENDOON, a Cumberland word for 
a lunch about ten in the morning 
(Dickinson), a corruption of old Eng. 
undei'n, nine o'clock, a meal at that 
hour, properly "between-times," some- 
thing taken hetween breakfast and din- 
ner, old Eng. under, Ger. unter, Goth; 
undar, Lat. inter, between. 

HoEN-MAD, 1 raving mad, literally 
HoBN-woOD, / hrain mad, from A. 

Sax. hnernes, the brains (Fhilolog. 8oc. 

Proceedings, vol. iii. p. 94). Compare 

ham-pan, herne-pan, the brain-pan or 


I shall heipe thee witterlye. 
To take hym downe devoutlye 
Though Cayphas goe home-wood therby, 
And all his meanye. 

Chester Mysteries (Shaks. Soc), vol. ii. 
p. 68. 

[The editor, Mr. Wright, quite misunder- 
stood the origin of the word when he here 
suggested, " perhaps mad with jealousy," 
referring to a cuckold's "horns."] 

If I have horns to make one mad, let the 

proverb go with me, 
I'll be horn mad. 

Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 5. 

Unless yon are of a most settled temper, 
Quite without passion, I shall make you 
Horn-mad with j ealousy. 

S. Miirmion, The Antiquary, act ii. sc. 1 
Ho}-ne-wood he was, he was about to strike 
All those he met, and his own flesh to teai'e. 
Sir John Harrington, Ariosto, xxviii. 44. 
It will set him on a fire &make him horn- 
mad.— Holland's Pliny, fol. 1631, tom. ii. p. 

Yet I'm not mad. 
Nor horn-mad, see you ? 

Jonson, The iox, act iii. sc. 5. 

Did I tell you about Mr. Garrick, that 
the town are horn-mad after. — Thos. Gray, 

Compare Scot, hams, brains, Ger. 
htm, Swed. hjerna, Dan. hjeme, Icel. 
hvern or hv'&rn, bones of the head, 
Gotli. hivairnei, Lat. cranium, zz 
Kpaviov. " Hernys or brayne (or ha/>~- 
neys). Cerebrum." — Prompt. Parvu- 
'V*'itiiJi,f,fo, and/um .' 

I smell the blood of a Christian man ! 
Be he dead, be he living, wi' my brand 

I'll clash his hams frae his ham-pan ! 
Child Rowland and Burd Ellen, 1. 40 (Child's 
Ballads, i. 251). 

HoENS, when given to Moses as a 
distinctive mark, e.g. in Michael An- 
gelo's well-known statue, in an older 
figure in Boslin chapel, and in most 
mediaeval representations of the law- 
giver, afford a curious instance of a 
misunderstanding being stereotyped in 
stone. In Exodus xxxiv. 29, seqq. it 
is said that when Moses came down 
from the mount his face shone. The 
verb for this in the Hebrew is qaran, 
to emit rays, originally to put forth 
horns, from qeren, a horn. " This 
meaning has developed itself from a 
comparison of the first rays of the 
rising sun, which shoot out above the 
horizon, to the horns of the gazelle, a 
comparison which is met with in the 
Arabian poets." — Keil. So the correct 
translation of Habakkuk iii. 4 : — " He 
had horns coming out of his hand," 
would be, as in the margin, "bright 
beams." St. Jerome made unfortu- 
nately a similar mistake in rendering 
" his face shone " in the passage in 



( 178 ) 


Exodus, according to its primitive 
meaning, faciem esse cornuiam, " his 
face was horned." From this misren- 
dering sprang the homed Moses of the 
sculptors and painters, with some re- 
ference perhaps to horns as a symbol 
of power, which in this sense are as- 
signed to Alexander and others on 
coins. See Bp. Wordsworth on Ex. 
xxxiv. 29 ; Smith, Bihle Bid. s. v. 
Soii'n ; Gale, Gowrt of Gentiles, bk. ii. 
p. 13 ; Sir T. Browne, Works, vol. ii. 
p. 29 (ed. Bolm) ; Notes and Queries, 
5th S. ix. 453. 

Compare the use of Lat. corusca/re, 

(1) of animals, to butt with the horns, 

(2) of fire, to flash or gleam ; axii juha/r, 
a beam of hght, itovajuba, a crest or 
tuft of hair. 

Bishop Jeremy Taylor seems to have 
had a correct understanding of the 
matter, as he says the sun " peeps over 
the Eastern hills, thrusting out his 
golden horns, like those which decked 
the brows of Moses when he was forced 
to wear a veil, because himself had 
seen the face of God." — Holy Dying, 
p. 16, Oxford ed. 

Coleridge strangely enough, though 
bearing this passage in mind, stands 
up for the literal and material repre- 
sentation of the horns. 

When I was at Rome, among many other 
visits to the tomb of Julius II., I went 
thither on«e with a Prussian artist, a man of 
genius and great Tivacity of feeling. As we 
were gazing on Michael Angelo's Moses our 
conversation turned on the horns and beard 
of that stupendous statue ; of the necessity of 
each to support the other; of the superhuman 
effect of the former, and the necessity of the 
existence of both to give a harmony and in- 
tegritji both to the image and the feeling ex- 
cited by it. Conceive them removed, and 
the statue would become un-natural without 
being super-natural. We called to mind the 
horns of the rising sun, and 1 repeated the 
noble passage from Taylor's Holy Dying. 
That horns were the emblem of power and 
sovereignty among the Eastern nations, and 
are still retained as such in A byssinia ; the 
Achelous of the ancient Greeks ; and the 
probable ideas and feelings that originally 
suggested the mixture of the human and the 
brute form in the figure by which they rea- 
lized the idea of their mysterious Pan, as 
representing intelligence blended with a 
darker power, deeper, mightier, and more 
universal than the conscious intellect of man, 
than intelligence; — all these thoughts and 
recollections passed in procession before our 

minds.— Biographia Literaria, ch. xxi. p. 208 
(ed. Bell and Daldy). 

Cotgrave (s.v. Moyse) remarks that 
his — 

Ordinary counterfeit having on either side 
of the head an eminence, or lustre aiising 
somewhat in the form of a home, hath em- 
boldened a profane author to stile cuckolds, 
Parents de moyse. 

Pharaoh Miamun Nut is described 
on the monuments (b.c. 700) as "the 
lord of the two horns." — Brugsoh, 
Egypt under the Thcuraohs, vol. ii. p. 
250. In Arabic al-gazdld, " the gazelle 
rises" (= "The Hind of the Dawn," 
Ayyeleth hash-shaohar, of Psahn xxii. 
1), is a way of saying "the sun rises," 
his spreading rays suggesting theioms 
of the animal (Goldziher, Mythohgy 
among the Ilehreios, p. 178). 

HoEEiD-HOEN, a term of reproach 
amongst the street Irish, meaning a 
fool, or half-witted fellow, from the 
Anglo-Irish oTOadAdMm, Irish and Gaelic 
amadan, from amad, an idiot, corre- 
sponding to Sansk. amaii,, mind-less- 
ness, folly (^ Lat. a-mentia). 

What d'you mane, you horrid horn, Ly 
selling such stuff as that ? — Mayhew, London 
Labour and the London Poor, i. p. 207. 

You omadhawn ... I was only puttin' up 
a dozen o' bottles into the tatch of the house, 
when you thought I was listenin'. — W. Car- 
leton , Traits and Stories of Irish Peasantrtj, vol. 
i. p. 287 (1843). 

HoBSE, To, an old verb meaning to 
raise, elevate, especially one boy on 
the back of another for a floggiag, 
seems to be a corruption of Pr. hamser, 
or perhaps of hoise, Dut. hysseu 
(Sewel). Hausser (Prov. ausar, akaif, 
It. alza/re) is from Low Lat. altiare, to 
make high (Lat. altus). Compare Ke- 
HOESE. Of the same origin perhaps is 
the provincial word horse, a plank or 
cross-beam upon which anything is 

A hogshead ready horsed for the process of 
broaching. — T. Hardy, Under the Greenwood 
Tree, vol. i. p. 13. 

Andrew *was ordered to horse and Frank 
to flog the criminal. — H. Brooke, Fool of 
Quality, i. 232 [Davies]. 

Mr. Green remembered to have heard that 
the great Newton was horsed during the time 
that he was a Cambridge undergraduate.— 
Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, Pt. I. 
ch. ii. 

HoESE, a marine term for a rope 


( 179 ) 


made fast to one of the fore-mast 
shrouds (Bailey), as " the Jwrse of the 
yard-arm," "^seofthemizzen sheet," 
is a corruption apparently of the older 
form haiose, originally halae, from Icel. 
Mis, Dan. and Swed. hah, (1) a neck, 
(2) the tack of a sail, end of a rope ; 
leel. hMsa, to clew up a sail. The 
same word as hawser (see Skeat, Etym. 
Diet. S.V.). 

Horse, a thick rope used for hoisting some 
yard or extending a sail. — Falconer, Marine 

The French haussitfre, which has 
been partially assimilated to hausser, 
to hft, is the same word, having for- 
merly been written aussiere and hau- 
siere (Scheler). 

Horse-beech, a name of the horn- 
beam tree, is a corruption of the more 
correct word hurst-heech, the heeeh of 
the hurst, A. Sax. hyrst, or shrubbery 

HoESE-cocK, a Scotch name for a 
species of snipe, seems to be for horse- 
gouk, of a similar meaning, and both 
corruptions of Swed. horsgbh. 

HoESE-couKSEE, a horsB-dealer. 
Courser, here, old Eng. "Corsoure of 
horse, mango " (Prompt. Parv.), is a 
corruption of Fr. courtier, cowratier, a 
breaker, horsesoourser (Cotgrave), It. 
curatiere, a broker or factor who has 
the care (Lat. cu/i-a) or management of 
a business (Diez). 

He can horse you as well as all the corsers 
in the towne, courtiers de chevaulx. — Pals- 
grave, 1530. 

HoES-HEAL, I A. Sax. hors-helene. 

HoES-HEBL, 3 This plant owes its 
name to a double blunder about its 
Latin title inula Selenium. ; hinnula, a 
colt, being evolved out of inula, and 
heal or heel out of Hel-emiumi. It was 
on the strength of its name employed 
by apothecaries to heal horses of scabs 
and sore heels (Prior). 

HoESE MINT, name of the mentha 
sylvestris, has no connexion with horse, 
but is a corrupt form of Swed. hors- 
mynta. East is a horse in Swedish. 

HoESE-STEONG, I names for the 

Haesteong, J- ]^lant peucedanum, 

HoEESTEONG, J have no connexion 

with strong nor Jiorse, but are deriva- 

tives of Dut. har-strang, Ger. hm-n- 
'sirang, strangury, for which com- 
plaint it was considered a specific 
(Prior). Florio (s.v.PeMcedcmo) spells 
it hare-strang, Cotgrave (s.v. Peuce- 
dane), horse-strong and hore-strange ! 

HoETYAED, a frequent old spelling 
( Holland, Plirdes Natu/raM His- 
torie, vol. ii. p. 236) of meha/i-d, old Eng. 
orcerd and ortgeard, Scotch ivorcha/rd, 
wortchat, A. Sax. wyrt-geard, i.e. " wort 
yard " (cf. wyrt-tun, A. Sax. Luke xiii. 
19), as if a mongrel compound of Latin 
hortus, a garden, and Eng. yan-d. King 
Alfred uses the word ortgeard. 

To plantianne & to ymbhweorfanne swse 
SB cecrl de^ his ortgeard. — Gregory's Pastoral, 
p. 292 (ed. Sweet). 

[To plant and tend as the churl doth his 

Hyra feldas mid weortum hlowende, 
& hyra orcerdtis mid sepplura afyllede. 

Thos, Wright, Popular Treatises on 
Science (10th cent.), p. 10. 

[Their fields with plants blowing, and their 
orchards with apples filled.] 

For the loss of the initial lo compare 
ooze, O. Eng. woze ; old Eng. oof for 
woojf, and oothe for wood, mad, Ger. 
wuth {Prompt. Pa/rv.) ; Scot, oo for wool, 

Giardino, a Garden, an Hort-yard. — Florio. 

Cerasaro, a cherry man or hortyard. — Id. 

Built by sweete Siren ; said to be built by 

Sterne Phaleris : his Empires happy glory. 

Call'd, the Taxe hortyard of faire Cyprades. 

G. Sandys, Travels, p. 253. 

Luther called Paradise in his discourse of 
Germanie, a pleasant Garden, Eccl. 2. 
Munster an Orchyeard, and in the Bible it is 
called Eden. — Itinerarium, Trauels of the 
Holy Patriarch, &c., 1619, p. 73. 

Hostage, 0. Fr. hostage, has no right 
to the initial h (which has been pre- 
fixed from a false analogy to host, hos- 
tile, hospitable, &c.), as we see by com- 
paring It. ostaggio, Prov. ostatge, which 
are from Low Lat. ohsidaticum, from 
Lat. obsidatus, surety-ship, dbse[d)-s, a 
hostage (Diez). In old French the 
word seems to have been brought into 
connexion with hoste, an inn-keeper, 
and hostel, an inn ; compare Ootgrave's 
definition, "Hostage, An Hostage, 
Pawne, Surety, Pledg (A term of pay- 
ment being expir'd, the Debtor must 
deliver Hostages ; to wit, three or four. 

BOT G0GELE8 ( 180 ) 


wlio goe to an Inne, and there continue 
. . . untill lie have taken order." 

Hot Cockles, an old English game, 
a description of which will be found ia 
Brand's Popular Antigmtiea, vol. ii. p. 
421 (ed. Bohn), is said in Bailey's Bic- 
tionary, s.v., to be the French Hcmtea 
Ooguilles, but I cannot find that this 
expression was ever ia use as asserted. 
Skinner says " Hautes Ooguilles, i.e. 
verbatim Altse Cochleae, q^uia nates, 
quae aHquo modo rotunditate su& Coch- 
leas referunt, in hoc lusu, incurvato 
corpore, sustoUuntur." — Etymologioon, 
s.v. 1671. 

Aubrey says, " I have some reason 
to beheve that the word cocMe is an old 
antiquated Norman word which signi- 
fies nates." — Thom's Anecdotes and 
Traditions (Camden Soc), p. 96. 

Gochles here, however, may be only 
another form of cochals, an old Eng. 
word for the hips, which in the game 
became hot from striking ; compare 
hot-hands, a children's game where the 
hands of the two players are struck to- 
gether in a regular alternation. 

As at hot-cockles once I lay me down, 

I felt the weighty hand of many a clown. 


Cochal seems to be identical with 
the old Eng. hohyl, huclde, the hip (the 
Iwugh or hoeh ?), Prov. Eng. huggan, 
hug-hone, the hip, Lat. coxa, coxendise, 
hip, coram, the hinder part, Greek 
hoclione, JcohJcux. " Root, a Coclcal or 
huclde-hone," "kooien, to play at 
Gochals." — Sewel, Butch Bid. 1708. 

Cochai, a game that boyes used with foure 
fcucfcte-bones, commonly called cochaU. — No- 

Carnicol, a game with huckle bones called 
Cock-al. — Minsheu, Span. Diet. 16T3. 

Machyn, in his Biary (1554), relates 
how a " grett blynd here broke losse " 
and caught a servingman "by the 
hoTcyll-hone" (p. 78, Camden Soc). 
We may compare Gipsy coo/ufeooZos, Jcoka- 
los, cocal, a bone. Mod. Greek, hoTc- 

Nor made of glasse, or wood or stone, 

But of a little transverce bone ; 

Wliich boyes, and bruckel'd children call, 

( Playing for points and pins ) cockaLl. 

Hernck, Hesperides, p. 96 (ed. 

OocMe-hread, in "the wanton 
sport which," Aubrey tells us, "young 

wenches have," and which " they call- 
moulding of coclde-hread," is no doubt 
of the same origin, as it appears to 
have been an exercise performed by the 
players while squatting down on their 
houghs or "hunkers " (see Brand, vol. 
ii. p. 414). 

Hound's tree, a mistaken synonym 
of Dog- WOOD, which see. 

HouE, in the phrases good hour ~ 
"good luck," and in a good how ~ 
" with a good omen," luckily, happily 
(like Lat. /efo faustutngue sit, absit 
omen), is an adoption of Pr. a la honne 
heure, happily, fortunately, as if " in a 
good hour," where la bonne heme is 
perhaps a perverted form of le hon hew, 
good fortune, good luck. This word 
heur (old Eng. ure) has no connexion 
with heure, hour (Lat. hora), but is 
identical with old Pr. heiir, eiir, aur, 
Wall, aiveure, Prov. agw, augur, Sp. 
agiiero, from Lat. augwrium. Hence 
honheur, inalheur, and hewreux (not 
from horosus, as if timely, seasonable, 
but n; L. Lat. auguriosus), Diez, Sohe- 
ler. Compare the proverb, " Le hon 
heur tost se passe qui n'en a soing. 
Good fortune quickly slips from such 
as heed it not." — Cotgrave. Thus the 
proper signification of this expression, 
" In a good hour be it spoken," would 
be "with a good omen or augury (0. 
Pr. en hon aiir). It must be admitted, 
at the same time, that "hour " is used 
similarly in other Romance languages, 
e.g. Sp. en huena hora, norahuena, good 
luck. In the first of the following quo- 
tations good hour is imquestionaWy 
hon heur ( =^ honum augmriwm). 
Who, on the other side, did seem so farre, 
From malicing, or grudging his good, hour. 
That all Le could he graced him with her, 
Ne ever shewed signe of rancour or of jarre. 
Spenser, F. Queene, VI. x. 39. 

Yet myself (in a good hour be it spoken 
and a better heard) was never sick, neither 
in the camp nor the castle, at sea or on land. 
— Sir J. Hanington, Nuga Antiqum, vol. ii. 
p. 14. 

Yea, in a good howre he it spoken, T have 
tyl'd in London. — Copley, Wits, Fits, and 
Fancies, 1614. 

House-like, a fanciful spelling of 
house-leeh in Holmes and Lyte, as if 
named from its attachment to houses. 

Housings, the covering or trappings 


( 181 ) 


of a horse, so spelt no doubt from a 
confusion with house, Jiousing, just as 
coat is really akin to cote, hood to hut, 
cassoch to Lat. cctsa, a house (cf. Gk. 
Icdsas, housings). Compare " The wo- 
men wove hangings for the grove." — 
A. V. 2 Kings, xxiii. 7, Heb. "houses." 

The Satyres were first vttered in their hal- 
lowed places within the woods, . . , because 
they had no other housing- fit for great assem- 
blies. — G. Puttenhiim, Arte of Eiig. l*oem, 
1589, p. 51 (ed. Arber). 

The more correct form would be 
houssings, or houss (Dryden), from Fr. 
housse. Low Lat. housia, husia (perhaps 
for hulsia, akin to Dut. hulse, and htish, 
Skeat). Compare Welsh hws, a cover- 
ing, hwsan, a hood. 

Saw the superb funerall of the Protector. 
He was carried from Somerset House in a 
velvet bed of state di-awu by six horses, 
kouss'd with the same. — J. Evelyn, Diary, 
Oct. 22, 1658. 

HowBAiL, an old word for a simple- 
ton, another form of North Eng. hohhil, 
holhald, O. Eng. hoberd, of the same 
meaning. Cf. hoh, a country clown, 
ITohKnol, "a fained country name" 
{Shepheard's Oalender, Jan.). It is no 
doubt the same word as Hob, a tricksy 
spirit, Hoh-thrush (? for Hoh-thurse), 
which Mr. Atkinson regards as zz'06,= 
aub, := AiiB, :::: elf, just as Oberon = 
Aubcron ^ Alberon ( Gleoeland Glossa/ry, 
p. 263). Compare Cleveland hauvish, 
simple-witted, for aimish, 0. Eng. el- 
visch ; awf, a fool (" oaf"), also a fairy 
= O. Norse alfr, an elf. 
Ojjer hobbis 3e hadden of hurlewaynis kynne. 

Richard the Redeles, i. 90 (1399). 
Then to the Master of the daunsing schoole. 
And eke the JMaster of the dysing house. 
The worst of them no howbali, ne no foole. 
F. Thynn, Debate between Pride and 
Lowliness (ab. 1568) p. 48 
(Shaks. Soc). 
Ye shall not (she sayth) by hir will, marry 

hir cat. 
Ye are such a calfe, such an ass, such a 

Such a lilburne, such a hoball, such a lob- 
IV. Udall, Ralph Roister Doister (1566), 
iii. 3, p. 40 (Shaks. Soc). 
On lofte, sere hoberd, now ye be sett. 
The Coventry Mysteries, p. 325 
(Shaks. Soc). 

HowDiE, a name for a midwife in the 
northern counties, which Mr. Atkin- 

son holds to be corrupted from O. Norse 
jOd, parturition (Gleveland Ghssary, 
S.V.), has apparently been popularly 
assimilated to How-dec, How d'ye ? the 
customary sakitation of the sage femme 
on approaching her patient. In any 
case that popular etymology would 
seem to have influenced the form of 
the word. The Scotch verb hotod, to 
play the hoivdie, would then come from 
the substantive. Compare also Houdee, 
and Hou-do-ye, a sycophant or flatterer 
[who speaks one fair with poUte greet- 
ings] , as " She's an auld houdee." — 
Jamieson. Cf. Ger. ja-herr, and our 
" Hail-fellow-well-met," intimate as a 
boon companion. 

Wae Howdie gets a social night. 

Or plack frae them. 

Barns, Scotch Drink, Poems, p. 8 
(Globe ed.). 
Such was thy suddain how-dee [= greeting] 

and farewell, 
Such thy return the angels scarce could tell 
Thy miss. 

Fletcher [Nares]. 

In Ireland " a pretty hotv d'-ye-do " 
is a popular expression for an embroglio, 
contretemps, or disordered state of affairs ; 
otherwise a "mess" or "kettle-of- 
fish." Similar instances of coUocjuial 
phrases or interrogations originating 
new words or names for things are the 
following : — in vulgar French Gastw, an 
hospital, from Qu'-as-tu ? the doctor's 
first question, as if a " What' s-it-wi' - 
you?" : Tin Qu'as-tu-la{a,Whai-'ave-ye- 
there?), a custom-house officer [Diet, 
de V Argot Parisien, p. 82). Tin Vasitas, 
a little window to spy wlaat is passing, 
a casement, from Ger. Was ist das ? a 
" What-is-that " (Scheler). Un de- 
croche-moi-ga, an old clothes (or Hand- 
me-down) shop. So Gargantua, the 
name of Rabelais' gigantic hero, is a 
corruption of Que grand tu as! his 
father's first exclamation on seeing 
him ; and Kanevas was a nickname of 
Schubert from his habit of asking about 
every new acquaintance, " Kann cr 
was?" "What can he do?" Com- 
pare manna, originally man hu, 
" What is it ? " the inquiry made by 
the Hebrews when they first saw the 
substance upon the ground (Ex. xvi. 

HowLEB, ) the Lincolnshire name 
OwLEK, i of the alder tree, is a 


corruption of A. Sax. air, Prov. Eng. 
oiler, Ger. eller. 

HuoKLE-BEREiES, "1 popular names 

HuETS, [for bilberries 

Whoetle-beebies, ] ( Vacdmium) in 

Whoets, J various parts 

of England, are variants of hv/rtle- 

berries, itself a corruption of the old 

English heorot-beriges, "hart-berries," 

from heorot, a hart. 

HuDDBE-MOTHEE, an old corruption 
of hugger-mugger, clandestinely, in 
secret, which seems to be compounded 
of hugger, an old verb meaning to lie 
hid (cf. 0. Bug. hugge, to crouch 
huddled up, Icel. huka, to crouch, Ger. 
hocken), and mugg&r ^ Swed. i mjugg, 
clandestinely (cf. mug, much, to hide, 
O. Er. muchder, mucer, cur-mudgeon 
(Skeat); muggard, sullen (Exmoor). 
Thus the primitive signiiication would 
be "crouching in hiding," as a person 
does when concealing himself in a 
comer. Cf. Scot, mohre, to hoard ; O. 
Eng. moherer, a miser [Old Eng. Mis- 
cellany, p. 214). 

If ahotinge faulte at any tyme, it hydes it 
not, it lurkes not in corners and hudder" 
mother, but openly accuseth and bewrayeth it 
selfe. — K. Ascham, Toxophiltis, Ibib, p. S6 
(ed. Arber). 

And Set I pray \>e, leue brojier, 
Kede J^ys ofte, and so lete ojjer, 
Huyde hyt not in hodymnke, 
Lete other mo rede ]>ys boke. 
J. Myrc, Instructions for Parish Priests 
(ah. 1420), p. 62, 1. 2032. 

We hare done but gi'eenly 
Id hugger-mugger to inter him. 

Shakespeare, Hamlet, iv. 5. 

In Banffshire Ivudge-mudge is to 
whisper or talk in a suppressed man- 

The twa began to hudge-miidge wee ane 
anither in a corner. — Gregor, Banff Glossary, 
p. 83. 

Hum, \ old words for malt 

Humming, / liquor, especially strong 
ale. Humming seems to be a corrupted 
form of Low Lat. hummtiKna, beer, de- 
rived from Low Lat. humulus, huniblo, 
the hop, Icel. humall, Dan. and Swed. 
humle, Belg. Jiommel, the hop, A. Sax. 
hyniele [?J . Hum would be an abbre- 
viated form of this, as hoch for hoch- 
heimer, rum for rumbooze, &c. 

Fat ale, brisk stout, and humming clamber- 
Epilogue to Adelphi, 1709, LtisusAlteri 

Westmonasterienses, p. 8. 
A glass of wine or humming beer 
The heart and spirit for to cheer. 

Poor Robin, 1735. 
What a cold I have over my stomach; 
would I 'd some hum. — Beaumont and Fletcher, 
Wildgoose Chase, ii. 3. 

Compare the foUowing : — 

Bere, a drynke, Hummulina, vel hummuli 
potus, aut cervisia hummulina. — Prompt. 
Parv. c. 1440. 

Humble, in the sense of hornless, 
applied to a cow, ewe, deer, &c. {e.g. 
in the definition of holla, hollotr, in 
Cleasby's Icelandic Dictionary), is a 
corrupt form of Scotch and Northern 
Eng. hummiel, hummle, homyll, without 
horns; " Hummled, hornless, as 'a 
hummled coo,' a cow without horns." 
— Soldemess Glossary (Eng. Dialect. 
Soc). So hurmneld in the Cleveland 
dialect (Atkinson). Compare Scotch 
humUe, humloch, a hornless cow ; N. 
Eng. humble, Scot, hurtvmel, to break 
off the beards of barley witli a flaU. 
All these words are akin to Prov. Eng. 
hamel, to lame, Ger. hamvmel, a wether, 
A. Sax. hameUan, Icel. hamla, to maim 
or mutilate. 

Humble-cow, a cow without horns. — 
Parish, Sussex Glossary. 

That was Grizzel chasing the humbU-ctm 
out of the Close. — Scott, Guy Manneriiig, 
ch. ix. 

It will come outyet, like hommel corn. — 
A. Hishp, Scottish Proverbs, p. 192. 

The A. Sax. homela, homola, a per- 
son who has his head shaved for the 
pillory, a fool (Bosworth), is obviously 
the same word (compare Irish mad). 
The base is Goth, hamfs, manned ; and 
hamper, to impede, is substantially the 
same word (see Skeat, Etym. Diet., 


In the following citation from Hol- 
land's PUny (1634), humbled seems to 
bear the sense of broken, chapped, 

If one lay them [Rapes or Turnips] very 
hot to kibei or humbled heeles, they wil cure 
them. — Nat. History, torn. ii. p. 38. 

Humble-bee, a name for the wild 
bee (Copley, 1596, Whiting, 1638) some- 
times imagined to denote its inferiority 
to the hive bee, 0. Eng. humhjl-hee, is 


( 183 ) 


merely another form of hummel-lee or 
humming-hee, from the old verb hummel, 
to hum ; compare Ger. hummel, a hum- 
ble-bee, from ^mmew, to hum. Another 
name ^ven to the insect for the same 
reason is Immble-hee, Scot, humhee, hom- 
hell, hwnvml, Greek h&nibos. Hind. 
Ihawnra, Bengal, hhrnnra, Sansk. 6am- 
bhwra, the bee that lums or humbles — 
" faoit hombum " ( Varro). Compare 
drone, A. Sax. dran, and Sansk. druna, 
a bee. " Bombare, to hmn or buzze'as 
bees doe." — Florio, Rew Wwld of 
Words, 1611. 

Some authors [e.g. Dr. Johnson] inconver- 
sant in natural history have most erroneously 
imagined them in consequence of the above 
name to be destitute of a sting. — Shaw, Na- 
turatisfs Miscellany. 

Mekle Latyne he did mummill 
I hard na thing but htbmmill bummill, 
He schew me nocht of Goddis word. 
Sir D. Lyndesay, Kitteis Confesdoun, 
1.45 (IForfo, p. 581). 

So an old Lincolnshire woman once 
compared a drowsy preacher to a 
"bum'el-bee upon a thistletop," which 
recalls a similar remark of Tennyson's 
Northern Fwrmer — ■ 

I 'eerd *um a bummin' awaay loike a buzzard- 
clock ower my 'ead. 

Poems, p. 267 (1878). 
The loudest bummer's no the best bee. — A. 
Hislop, Scottish Proverbs, p. 283. 
Here is a box ful of humble bees, 
That stonge Eve as she sat on her knees, 
Tastynge the finite to her forbydden. 
Heywood, The Four P's (Dodsley, i. 
81, ed. 1825). 
Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing. 

Shukespeare, Troilus and Cressida, 
V. 10, 42. 
Lyke the humbling/ After the clappe of a 
Chaucer, House of Fame, lib. ii. 1. 531. 
A rich mantle he did weare. 
Made of tinsell jossamere, 
Dyde crimson in a maiden's blush ; 
Linde with a bumble bee's soft plush. 
Herrick, Poems, p. 431 (ed. Hazlitt). 

2 humming birds not much bigger than our 
humble bee, — Evelyn, Diary, July 11, 1652. 

Humble-pie, in the phrase " to make 
one eat humble-pie," meaning to hu- 
miliate him or bring down his pride, is 
a corrupted form and perverted use of 
the name of a dish once popular, viz., 
umble-jpie, a pie made of the v/mbles or 
internal parts of a deer. 

The homhuls of the do w. 

Carol (15th cent.) bryngyng in the 
Bores Head. 
Mrs. Turner ... did bring us an umble 
pie hot. — Pepys, Diary, vol. ii. p. 266 (ed. 

Lacy. What have you fit for breakfast?. . . 

Mar. Butter and cheese, and umbles of a 
Such as poor keepers have within their lodge. 
Greene, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay 
(1594), sub Jin. 
Skinner writes the word " humbles," 
and considers it, probably correctly, as 
derived from umbilicus, "the parts 
about the navel." It is, perhaps, from 
A. Sax. ]>umles, the bowels or thumbles, 
understood as th'umbles. An old spel- 
ling was numbles, e.g. 

PriEcordia, the numbles, as the hart, the 
splene, the lunges, and lyuer. — Elyot. 

Noumbles of a dere, or beest, entrailles. — 

Nowmelys of a beest. Burbalia. — Prompt. 
Parv. (vid. Way's note). 

Take the noumbles of calf, swyne, or of 
shepe, — Forme of Cury, p. 6. 

Then dress the numbles first, that Y recke 
Downe the auauncers kerne that cleueth to 
the necke. 
Book of St. Albans, How ye shall breke 
an Hart. 

The Sussex folk have devised on the 
same model the phrase " to eat cai-p- 
pie " for submitting to another person 
carping at one's actions. 

HnNttAKiAN, an old name for a species 
of horse, is borrowed from Fr. hongre, 
a gelding (also an Eunuch, a Himga- 
rian). — Cotgrave. The French name 
is sp,id to have originated in a mis- 
take as to the meaning of the German 
word Wallach, a gelding, Gantherius 
[compare Swed. vallack, a gelding, 
vallacha, to castrate, perhaps akin to 
Swed. gdlla, to geld, Greek gallos, a 
eunuch], which was popularly sup- 
posed to mean brought from Wallachia 
or Hungary, and therefore synonymous 
with Hongre or Hunga/rian (Wachter). 
But see the quotation from Topsell. 

Our English Horses have amediocrity of all 
necessary good properties in them ; as neither 
so slight as the Barbe, nor so slovenly as the 
Flemish, nor so fiery as the Hungarian. — T. 
Fuller, Worthies of England, vol. ii. p. 491. 

The Hunnes bring vp their Horsses hardly 
. . . These Hunnian Horsses, else where he 
calleth them Hunnican Horsses, and the same 
in times past Hunnes : but they are called a 


( 184 ) 


daies Vngarian Horsses. — Topsell, Histari/ of 
Four-footed Beasts, p. 288 (1608). 

Htion cey, an absurd orthography 
of Hue and cry, as if it had something 
to do with Sir Huon, famed in the ro- 
mances of chivalry. 

Scarce findes.the doore, with faultring foot he 

And still lookes back for fear of Hu-on cries. 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 193 (1621). 

Hue, a shout, is O. Fr. huer, akin to 
hoot. Compare Fr. huyer, " to hoot at, 
shout after, exolaime on, cry out upon, 
follow with Jme and cry." — Cotgrave. 

How shall 1 answer Hue and Cry, 
For a Roan-Gelding- twelve Hands hig:h ? 
Butler, Hudibras, Pt. II. cant. i. 1. 693. 

HuREiCANE. Thiswordwas once sup- 
posed in accordance with its spelhng to 
he a storm or tornado that hurries the 
canes away in the plantations, and a 
support for this derivation was sought 
in the Lat. word calanvitas, a calamity, 
an injury to the canes, calami (cf. hurle- 
Mast, a. whirlwind. — Wright). But 
hurricane, Fr. ouragan, Sp. huracan, 
Ger. orhan, is a corrupted form of a 
native American word, Hii/raJcan, the 

When the ships were ready to depart, a 
temble stoim swept the island. It was one 
of those awful whirlwinds which occasionally 
rage within the tropics, and were called by the 
Indians ^^ furicanes," or " uricans," a name 
they still retain with trifling variation. — W. 
Irving, Columbus, bk. viii. eh. 9. 

The Elements grew dreadful, the wind ror- 
ing, and the sea so sublime and wrathful, and 
for three days space raging with such fury 
that we verily believed a if erocoTie was begun, 
which is a vast or unwonted tumor in the 
Ayre, called Euroclydon in the Acts, a Tem- 
pest so terrible, that houses and trees are but 
like dust before it ; many ships by its violence 
having been blown a shoar and shattered. — 
Sir Thos. Herbert, Travels, 1665, p. 41. 
Not the dreadful spout, 
Which shipmen do the hurricane call, 
Constringed in mass by the Almighty sun. 
Shall dizzy with more clamour Neptune's ear. 
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, 
V. 2, 174. 

When the winds are not only wild in a 
storm, but even stark mad in a herricano, who 
is it that restores them again to their wits, 
and brings them asleep in a calm 1 — T. Fuller, 
Holy State, p. 122 (1648). 

Nor will any wonder at this wild Hericano 
blowing at once from all points of the Com- 
pass, wnen he remembers that Satan is styled 

the Prince of the power of the air. — T. Fuller, 
Pisgah Sight, pt. ii. p. 35 (1650). 

in the year of our Lord 1639, in November, 
here happened an Hirecano, or wild wind, 
which, entering in at the great East-window 
blew that down, and carried some part there- 
of, with the picture of Lord Coventry, .... 
all the length of the gallery.— T. Fuller, 
Worthies of England, vol. i. p. 338 (ed. 

Nash speaks of "furicanos of tem- 
pests," as if a mad raging wind. 

Hurts, a contracted form of Hurtle- 
terries or Whortleherries (Lat. vacoi- 
nium), which is to all appearance a cor- 
ruption of the A. Saxon Iieorotlerige, the 
"hart-berry" from heorot or Jieort, a 
hart. Similarly hindherry was an old 
name for the raspberry. 

Nothing more have I to observe of these 
Berries, save that the antient and martial 
family of the Baskervills in Herefordshire 
give a Cheveron betwixt three if uKsproper for 
their Arms. — Fuller, Worthiesof EngUind, vol. 
i. p. 271 (ed. Nichols). 

Hnrtberries — In Latine Vaccinia, most 
wholsome to the stomach, but of a very asti'in- 
gent nature ; so plentiful in this Shii'e, that 
it is a kind of Harvest to poor people. — T. 
Fuller, Worthies, Devonshire, vol. ii. 271 (ed. 

St Humphrey Baskervile .... beareth Ar- 
gent, a Cheveron Gules, between three Hewrts 
proper. These are a small round berry of a 
colour between black and blew, growing up- 
on a manifold stalk about a foot high on 
Mountains in Wales FoiTests and Woodland 
grounds. Some call them Windhen'ys, others 
Heurtle berries. They are in season with 
strawberries. They are called also Bill 
berries. — T. Dingley, History from Marble 
(temp. Chas. II), p. ccix (Camden Soc). 

Husband does not etymologically 
denote, as was long supposed, the land 
that holds the Iwuse together. It is the 
English equivalent of Swed. hushonde, 
Icel. hushdndi, which is properly a par- 
ticiple contracted from hushdandi or 
hushuandd ( iOndi being a tUler or owner, 
from Ma, to tOl, to occupy, Goth, go- 
hauan), and so the primitive meaning 
of the word is the master or good-man 
of the house (Cleasby). Tusser, there- 
fore, was mistaken when he wrote 
The name of a husband, what is it to sale? 
Of wife and the household the ba7id and the 

Tusser, 1580, E. D. Soc, p. 16. 

See my guardian, her husband. Unfash- 
ionable as the word is, it is a pretty word: 
the house-band that ties all together : is not 


( 185 ) 


that the meaning? — Richardson, Sir C. Gran- 
dison, vi. 375. iDavies, Supp. Eiig. Gteari/.] 
Camden pointed out the true origin : — 
Bond, that is Paterfamilias, as it is in the 
booke of olde terms belong-ina^ sometimes to 
Saint Augustines in Canterburie, and wee re- 
tains it in the compound Husband. — Remaines 
Concerning Brituine, 1637, p. 126, 

The following moralizing of a Scripture 
subject is therefore baseless : — 

The ties that bound her to the land of Moab 
had been snapped by the hand of death. In 
the death of her husband tliere was the dis- 
ruption of the house-band. In the deaths of 
her two sons who had become husbands, the 
only qtlier bands or bonds that could keep to- 
gether for Naomi a home in Moab were burst. 
— The Pulpit Cimimentary, Ruth (i. 6), p. 13 

The latine Terbe colere ... is to tille or to 
housbande, as grounde or -any other semble- 
able thyng is housebanded. — Udall, Apoph- 
thegmes of Erasmus, 1542, p. 265 (ed. 1877). 
You houiband, you harte, you joy & you 

You King & you Keyser, to her only trea- 

Apius and Virginia, 1575 (O. P. xii. 
346, ed. 1827). 

God defende thei should be so foolishe to 
give their maidens to their housebandes ; I 
would wish them rather themselves to take 
their menne. — Riche his Farewell to Militarie 
Profession, 1581, p. 129 (Shaks. Soc). 

Mr. Purnivall has an exhaustive 
excursus on " bondman," which has no 
connexion with hands or Innd'mg (of. 
Dan. londe, a peasant), in Bja. Percy's 
Folio M8., vol. ii. p. xxxiii. seq. He 
there quotes hus-honda (a householder) 
from A. Sax. Gospels (8th cent.), hus- 
hunda from Saxon Chronicle, 1048. 

Husky, somewhat hoarse and dry in 
the throat, has no connexion with 
husks, the dry coverings of seeds (nor 
yet with the Zend hiislco, dry !), but is 
probably another form of Prov. Eng. 
hashy, dry, rough, unpleasant feeling 
{e.g. Sternberg, Northanvpt. Glossary). 
Compare Lincolns. husk, dry, parched 
(Wright), N. Eng. and Scot, hask, 
dry, rough, parched (akin to Dan. 
hj/rsk, "harsh," 0. Eng. "hwrske, or 
haske, as sundry frutys, Stipticus." — 
Frompt. Pa/rv.). " He hath a great 
haskness (izasthma)." — Horman. Cf. 
perhaps 0. Eng. hoos, A. Sax. has, 
hoarse. Eiohardson and Skeat regard 
husky as a corruption oihusty or hausty, 
inclined to cough. 

HussiF, \ a widely diffused word for 
HuzziF, / a pocket-case for needles 
and thread, as if for huswife, house- 
tvife, which is sometimes the spelling 
used, Scot, hussey. According to Pro- 
fessor Skeat this is a corruption of Ice- 
landic husi, a case for needles. (Dic- 
kinson, Gumherland Glossary, s. v.) 

Mrs. Anne, I have dropt my hussy. — 
Richardso}!, Pamela, i. 162. ^Davies, Supp, 
Eng. Glossary.^ 

IcE-BONB, a provincial name for the 
aitch-bone or edge-bone of beef 
(Wright). See also Parish, Sussex 
Glossary, s.v. 

I remember a pleasant passage of the cook 
applying to him [Jackson] for instructions 
how to write down edge bone of beef in his 
bill of commons. He decided the ortho- 
gi-aphy to be — as I have given it — fortifying 
his authority with such anatomical reasons 
as dismissed the manciple leai-ned and happy. 
Some do spell it yet, perversely, attch bone, 
from a fanciful resemblance between its shape 
and that of the aspirate so denominated. — 
C. Lamb, Old Benchers of the Jnner Temple, 
Elia, p. 58 (ed. 1840). ' 

Ice-shackle, an old corruption of 
icicle, and still used provincially. The 
Dorset word is an ice-candle, the Cleve- 
land ice-shoggle. The word icicle is 
compounded of ice and ickle (Prov. 
Eng.), a stalactite, Prov. Swed. ikkel 
(a pointed object), A. Sax. gicel, " Stiria, 
ises gicel." — Wright, Vocabularies, p. 
21 ; Prov. Dan. egel. So the correspond- 
ing forms are Pris. is-jokkel, Prov. 
Swed. ais-ihkd, A. Sax. ises-gicol, Dut. 
ijs-kegel. Cf. Prov. Swed. is-stikkel. 
The daggers of the sharpened eaves. 
In Memarium, cvi. 
Ysekeles [al. iseyokels'] in eueses ■ Jjorw hete of 

be Sonne, 
Melteth in a mynut while • to myst & to 


Langland, Vision of Piers Plowman, 
B. XX. 228. 

The latter part of the word, -icMe, 
Scand. jokull (an icicle or ice-berg), is 
itself cognate with ice, A. Sax. is, Icel. 
iss, Zend i<;i (M. Miiller, Chips, iv. 248), 
which have been connected with Pers. 
yach, old Pers. yah, and Sansk. yacas, 
brightness, as if ice were originally 
named from its sparkling brilUancy 


( 186 ) 


(Pictet, Origines Indo-Burop. i. 96, 

and so Grimm). Thus we would have 

Yog- (bright) 


A. Sax. is 

Seand. jahi, jokuU 


Eng. ice 

Ikylj stiria. — Prompt. Parvubrum. 

Esclarcyl, en ychek (Gloss in Way). 

Iggle, and aigle, an icicle. — Eiwns, Leices- 
tershire Glossary, E. D. S. 

Otherwise ice (is, Ger. eis) might be 
identified with is, isa, the base of A. 
Sax. isen, iron, Goth, eis-wrn, Ger. eis- 
en, as if " the iron-hard." Prof. Skeat, 
with less probability, I think, regards 
iron (isen), as having got its name from 
ice (as i£ ice-en). Compare the follow- 

When the cold north wind bloweth, and 
the water is congealed into ice . . it clotheth 
the water as with a breastplate. — Ecclesixisticus, 
xliii. 20. 

So Greek pagos, pegos, " the fixed," rr 
ice, with which Prof. Blackie would 
equate Gaeho eigh, with the usual loss 
of initial p. Of. " Elvers . . . murmur 
hoarser at the fieeing frost." — Thomson, 

Ice-sickle, a corrupt form of icicle, 
the s of the first part of the old com- 
pound is-icMe having coalesced with 
the latter part. Compare Scouese. 
The [ongeyse syctes at the hewsys [:^eaveses] 

Cyt. and Upl. (Percy Soc. xxii. 3). 
Scoladura, any downe-hanging and drop- 
ping ise-sickles. — Florio. 

Ghiacciuoli, ice-sic/f/es. — Id. 
For it had snowen, and frosen very strong, 

With great ysesycles on the eues long. 
The sharp north wynd hurled bytterly. 
And with black cloudes darked was the 

The Hie Way To The Spyttel Hous, 1. 102 
(Early Pop. Poetry, vol. iv. p. 27). 
When Phoebus had melted the " sickles " of ice, 

With a hey down, &c.. 
And likewise the mountains of snow. 
Bold Robin Hood he would ramble away. 
To frolick abroad with his bow. 

Ritson, Robin Hood and the Ranger, 
XX. 11. 1-5. 

Idle-headed, the original expression 
of which addle-headed is a corruption, 
as if having a head fidl only of corrupt 
matter, Uke an addled egg,~" The 
moiildy chambers of the dull idiot's 
braiu," — and_so addle -pate, a simpleton. 

Addle means, not disease (Skeat), but 
corruption, and is from Welsh haM, 
rotten, corrupt, hadb/d, corrupted, 
hadlu, to decay (perhaps oiiginaUy to 
run to seed, hadu, from had, seedy ; cf. 
"seedy"). In Sussex addle-pool is a 
dunghiU puddle. On the other hand 
idle-headed (=:Dut. Udel van hoofie; 
empty-headed, mad. — KiKan), is from 
A. Sax. idel, empty, vain, Dut. HM, 
Ger. eitel, vain, conceited (correspond- 
ing to Greek itha/rds, pure, clear, as if 
sheer, downright. — Skeat). 

8a, swungon hig <5one, and idelne hine for- 
leton [They swinged him and sent him 
away empty]. — A. Sax. Gospels, St. Luhe, 
XX. 10. 

Hee [John Segar, a rescued seaman] be- 
came idle-headed and for eight days space, 
neither night nor day, took any naturall rest, 
and so at length died for lack of sleep. — Hak- 
luyt. Voyages, vol. ii. pt. 2, p. 108. 

Idel-gild, an A. Saxon word for 
idolatry, from idel, vain, idle, and gild, 
worship, has perhaps a conscious refe- 
rence to idoZ-worship, Lat. idololaMa. 
This word recalls the paronomasia of 
Habakkuk ii. 18, Heb. ^elil Hllem, 
"idle idols" (A. V. "dumb idols"). 
Compare — 

For Sour ydil idolus ' don Sou ille wirche. 
Alexand£r and Dindimus (ab. 1350), 
1. 764 (ed. Skeat). 

Idolatry, Pr. idolatrie, popular cor- 
ruptions of idololatry, idololatrie, from 
Lat. idololatria, Greek eidoh-latreia, 

So hippotamus (Topsell) is a popular 
pronunciation of hippopotamus; and 
ignomy occurs in Shakespeare for igno- 
miny, physnomy in Topsell ioi physiog- 

First IdoloUtros, whose monstrous head 
Was like an ugly fiend, his flaming sight 
Like blazing stars, the rest all different : 
For to his shape some part each creature lent ; 
But to the great Creator all adversely bent. 
P. Fletcher, The Purple Island, vii. 28 
(1633) ed. 1783. 

Ill-convenient, a widely diffused 
popular corruption of in-convenient, e.g. 
W. D. Parish, Sussex Glossary. 

Illusteious, an irregular formation, 
from a mistaken analogy to words like 
famous, glorious, industrious (= Lat. 
foffn-osus, glori-osus, industri-osw), of 
Fr. illustre, Lat. illustris {Ske&t, Mtym. 
Diet. S.V.). "Just like illusirioM is 


( 187 ) 


our forefathers' enomvious [Warburton] 
— from enormis or enorme — which we 
are not to account singularly mon- 
stnious, as the same forefathers wrote 
very allowably."- — F. Hall, Modern 
English, p. 289. 

Ill-thing, a Devonshire word for 
erysipelas or St. Anthony's fire, has all 
the appearance of being a corruption. 
It is perhaps from some O. Eng. word 
Uke adding (ylding), from cbU, celed, 
fire, like A. Sax. celedneys, a burning 
or inflammation (?). Cf. Devon, al- 
lernhatch, a burning boil, prob. from 
A. S. xlan, to burn, and lotch {Exmoor 
Scolding, 1. 24). 

Imbecil, formerly pronovmced im- 
hec-il, an old verb, used by Bp. Jeremy 
Taylor for embezzle, of which word it 
may be the original, and so the primi- 
tive meaning would be to enfeeble or 
impair a property or an3rthing entrusted 
to one, to waste, squander, or misap- 
propriate it. To imheeil is from Lat. 
inibecillus, feeble (cognate probably 
with iaceolus, Greek hahelos,^ weak, 
effeminate), but conformed to the verb 
to hezzle, to guzzle, drink hard, con- 
sume in riot. Thus Thos. Fuller 
speaks of some " that sit drinking and 
hezzling wine abroad, whilst ' their ' 
family are glad of water at home" 
{Commentary on Ruth, i. 1), and Bp. 
HaU speaks of a drimkard as " the 
Bwoln lezzle at an alehouse fire" 
(Satiree, v. 2). 

They swear, bezzel, covet, and laugh at him 
that tells them they sin. — T. Adams, Sermons, 
vol. i. p. 462. 

Time will come 
When wonder of thy error will strike dumb 
Thy hezzled sense. 

Marston avd Webster, The Malconteiit, 
1604, act ii. sc. 2. 

However, this hezzle may itself be 
from haceolus, an impotent, lewd per- 

' The old derivation of imbecillus was in 
bacuh, one that supports himself on a stick, 
just as in David's curse on Joab, " One that 
leaneth on a staff," is used to denote a weak, 
infirm person (2 Sam. iii. 29). In Icelandic 
certainly staf-karl, a " staflF-carle," denotes 
an old and infirm person, one, according to 
the Sphinx's riddle, who in the evening goes 
upon three legs. The radical character in 
Chinese for ni, sickness, infirmity, is the 
picture of a man leaning against a support. 
— Edkins, Chinese Characters, p. 26. 

son, and teazled is still used in Sussex 
for wearied out, exhausted (Parish, 
Glossary). Cf. " I embesell, Je cele " — 
Palsgrave, Lesdaardssement, 1530. 

They that by negligence imbecil other 
men's estates, spoiling or letting anything 
perish which is entrusted to them. — Taiilor, 
tioly Diiing, ch. iv. sect. viii. p. 168 (Ox- 
ford ed.). 

Compare with this — 

It is a sad calamity that the fear of Death 
shall so imbecil man's courage and under- 
standing. — Id. p. 99. 

Imhedlity was formerly used for 
weakness generally, e.g. Hooker speaks 
of obedience of wives as " a duty where- 
unto the very imhedlity of their nature 
and sex doth bind them" {Ecdes. Po- 
lity, vol. ii. p. 66, ed. Tegg). 

God by his mighty works convinceth Job of 
ignorance and of imbecility [= impotence]. 
— A. V. Heading to Job, chap, xxxviii. 

It should teach us . . . that we do not any 
way abuse and imbezell that substance that 
God means to grace. — M. Day, Doomes-Day, 
1636, p. 240. 

Mr. Haoluit died, leaving a fair estate to 
an unthrift son, who entbez&led it. — Fuller, 
Worthies of England. 

Henry More says that the Church 
" would not so much as embesell the 
various readings " of Scripture {Mys- 
tery of Godliness, b. vii. c. 11), and 
Howe, that time is "too precious to 
be embezzled and trifled away," see 
Archbishop Trench, Select Glossary, 
s.v. Embezzle. 

By theae Comets he would embezzle the ex- 
cellencie of his worke. — 2'hos. Lodge, Works 
of Seneca, V. 900 (1614:). 

By which Dealing he so imhezzkd his Estate, 
that when his Brother and he came to an 
Account, there remained little or nothing for 
him to receive. — Anatomy of tfie English Nun- 
nery at Lisbon, 1622. 

It would be a breach of my Triist to con- 
sume or imbezil that Wealth in Excessive 
Superfluities of Meat, Drink, or Apparel.— 
Sir M. Hale, Contemplations, pt. i. p. 312 
(ed. 1685). 

It is their [sluggards'] nature to waste and 
embezzle an estate. — Barrow, Sermons, Of In- 
dustry in general. 

The same view as I have here taken 
has been adopted by Professor Skeat 
{Notes and Queries, 5th S. x. 461), who 
quotes from a 15th century poem, The 
Lament of Mary Magdalen ; — 

Not content my dere love thus to quell 

But yet they must embesile his presence. 


( 188 ) 


He also adduces the following from 
Palsgrave (circa 1530). 

I embesyll a thynge, or put it out of the 
way, Je suhstrays. He that embesylleth a 
thyng intendeth to steale it if he can convoye 
it cleuly. 

" They " so imbtcill all theyr strengthe 
that they are naught to me. 

Drant, Horace, Sat. i. 5. 

This is imbesylynge and diminyshe of their 
power and dominion. — UcUiL, Revelation, 
c. 16. 

Finally, Archbisliop Sharp observes 
in his Sermons (vol. i.), that rehgion 
"wOl not allow us to embezzle our 
money in drinking or gaming." Bp. 
Andrewes uses the word in the modem 
sense, " The son must not falsely pur- 
loin or emliezzle from his parents " 
(Pattern of GatecMstical Doctrine, 1641, 
p. 187, Ang. Oath. Lib.). 

Imbeew, an occasional spelHng, as if 
connected with brew, of imbrue, to 
drench or soak, from Fr. s'emZwtter, "to 
imbrue or bedabble himself with." — 
Cotgrave ; " Embreuver, to moisten, be- 
deaw, soak in." — Id. (cf. descry and 
descrive), from embevrer, It. imbevere, 
Lat. imbibere, to drink in (Wedg- 

Implement, so spelt as if frotn a Lat. 
'hnpleinenhim, from implere, that wliich 
fills up or supplies one's need, a ser- 
viceable tool, is really the same word 
as employment, that which is employed 
in a handicraft or trade, from Fr. em- 
plier, employer, Sp. emplear, to imploy 
(Minsheu), which is only another form 
of imply, both being from Lat. impli- 
carre. The original meaning of employ 
would seem to be " to bring or twn 
info use," to introduce as a factor or 
means to an end. 

Compare the following : — 

Lysander solus, with a croio of iron, and a 
hutter, which he lays down, and puts on his 
disguise again. . . . 
See, sweet, here are the engines that must 

Which, with much fear of my discovery, 
I haTe at last procur'd. 

My stay hath been prolong'd, 

With hunting obscure nooks for tliese employ- 
The ll'idows Tears (1612), act v. sc. 1 
{Old Plays, vi. 192, ed. 1825). 

Of such dogges as keep not their kinde, 
... it is not necessarye that 1 write any 
more of them, but to banishe them as vn- 

profitable implements, out of the boundes of 
my Booke. — A. Fleming, Caius of Eng. 
Dogges, 1576, p. 34 (repr. 1880). 

Imposthume, an abscess, as if an 
"on-come," imposition, something laid 
on one as an infliction, is a corruption of 
the older form oposiitme, aposiem, Greek 
apostema, an abscess. 
[He] wringing gently with his hand the 

Made th' hot impostume run upon the gi'ound. 
Sylvester, Du Bartas, p. 123 (1621). 

The inner flesh or pulp [of a gourd] is 
passing good for to be laid vnto those impos- 
tumes or swellings, that grow to an head or 
suppuration (which the Greeks call Aposte- 
mata). — Holland, Pliny's Nat. Hist, ii, 38 

Bladders full of imposthume, sciaticas, lime- 
kilns i' the palm, incurable bone-ache, and 
the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter, take and 
take again such preposterous discoveries ! — 
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, W. 1, 28. 

Impoverish, a corrupt form of appo- 
verish, Fr. appovrlr, to beggar, opjJo- 
vrisse-menf, impoverishment, Lat. ad- 
pauperare, as if compounded with i'm= 
in (Skeat). For a similar corruption 
of the prefix, compare im-posthumr, en- 
sample, and in-swe for as-sure, Fr. as- 
sewer, Lat. ad-securare. See Advance, 
Entice, Invoice, and Inveigle. 

Impress, to constrain men to servo 
in the navy, as it were to press them 
into the service, is a corrupt form of im- 
prest, and has no connexion withraspress 
the derivative of Lat. impressns, im- 
primere, to press in. See Peess. 

If proper colonels were once appointed . . . 
our regiments would soon be filled withoutthe, 
reproach or cruelty of an impress. — Sam. 
Johnson, The Idler, No. 5. 

Incentive, that which provokes oi 
instigates, is commonly supposed to be 
connected with incendiary, inccndive 
(Eichardson), as if that which inflames, 
kindles, or set's one on fire (Lat. inoen- 
dere). The Latin incentivus, however, 
from which it is derived, is used of that 
which gives the note, or strikes up the 
tune, and sets the other instruments 
going, akin to incentor (" the same as 
incendiary." — Bailey!), a precentor, in- 
centio, a tuning up, all from in-einere, 
to play on an instrument. Incentive, 
therefore, is cognate, not withtoiwcnu, 
but with incantation and enchcmtiMnt. 
The stirring music of the band is an 
incentive to soldiers going into action. 



Milton, with apparently the false 
analogy in his mind, says of the fallen 
angels when preparing their infernal 

Part ijicentive reed 
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 
Par. Lost, bk. vi. 1. 520. 

Incaknacyon, in Turner, an old cor- 
ruption of Carnation, which see. 

Inch-pin, a curious old word for the 
lower gut of a deer (BaUey), and espe- 
cially its sweet-bread (Nares), has all 
the appearance of being a corruption. 
It is, perhaps, another form of linch- 
pin, used for a part of the stag attached 
to the doucets, and linch may be a 
softened form of old Eng. Unh, a sau- 
sage (Bailey), " lynhe or sawcistre, 
hiila." — Prom]pt. Pai'vuloruni; origi- 
nally a pudding or gut, e.g. " Andouille, 
a Unke or chitterling, a big hogs-gut . . 
seasoned with pepper and salt." — Cot- 
grave. So inMe, tape, is from O. Eng. 
lingel, 0. Fr. ligneul. 

Mur. I gave them 

All the sweet morsels call'd tongue, ears, and 
dowcets ! 
Rob. \\\iin and the hick-pin? 

Ben Jonson, iiad Shepherd, i. 2 ( IVorks, 
p. 49-1). 
And with the fatt, 
And well broyl'd inch-pin of a batt, 
A bloted eare-wigg, with the pythe 
Of sugred rush, hee gladds hym with. 
Herrick, Poems (ed. Hazlitt), p. 472. 

Income, a boil (Peacock, Glossary of 
Manley and Gorringliam, Lincolnshire. 
Ferguson, Cumherland Glossary.). 

The same word as old and prov. Eng. 
a/fbconie, uncome, an ulcerous swelling 
rising unexpectedly (Wright), properly 
an " on-come," identical with Icel. 
akoina, u-hvama, an on-come or visita- 
tion, a wound, an eruption (Cleasby, 
p. 41). Compare Scottish income and 
oncome, an access or attack of disease, 
otherwise anom-/aZZ(andperhaps Devon 
implngang, an ulcer, Somerset nimpin- 
gang, a whitlow), Fr. mal d'aventv/re. 

Adventitius morbus, syckenes that cometh 
without our defaute, and of some men is 
callyd an vncome. — Elyot. • 

A fellon, vncomme, or catte's haire [:=whit- 
\ovf^, farunculns. — Buret. 

What makes you lame? A tuk' it first wi' 
an income in ma knee. — Patterson, Antrim and 
Down Glossary, p. 55, E. D. S. 

Pterigio, a wnitflaw, an incom or fellon at 
the fingers ends. — Florio. 

The same [Persicai'ia] brused and bound 
vpon an impostume in the ioints of the fingers 
(called among the vulgare sort a fellon or 
vncome) . . taketh away the paine. — Gerarde, 
Herbal, 1597, p. 362. 

Indelible, an incorrect spelling of 
indelehle (Bacon), the old form, Fr. in- 
delehle, Lat. indclehilis, from false ana- 
logy to words hke hoiT-ihle, terr-ihle, 
Lat. liorribilis, terrihiUs (Skeat). 

Innermost, a double corruption of 
old Eng. innemest, A. Sax. innemest, 
i.e. innem (a superlative form ^ innest, 
Lat. imus) -f est (superlative suf&x), 
from a false analogy to inner (A. Sax. 
innera) and most. Inmost itself should 
rather have been inmest. Skeat, Etym. 
Diet. a. V. In. 

Bote J^e iiiemaste bayle, I wot, 
Bi-tokenei? hire holy maidenhod. 

Castel Off Loue (1320), 1. 809. 

Inqdike, a frequent spelling of on- 
quire, as if we took the word directly 
from Lat. inquiro, instead of mediately 
through Fr. enqueriv. So intend for 
old Eng. entende, Fr. entendre; inter, 
for old Eng. enter, Fr. enterrer ; intreat 
for entreat ; intrench for entrench, and 
interview for old Eng. enter-view, old 
Fr. entreveu. 

At the enter-view and voice of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, he (then a babe) gave a spring 
in the womb of Elizabeth his Mother. — Bp. 
AndreweSj Sermons, p. 66, fol. 

Instep. " It is clear that instep is a 
coiiTiption of an older instop or instup ; 
and it is probable that the etymology is 
from in and stoo}}, i.e. the ' in-bend ' of 
the foot ; and not from in and step 
which makes no sense." — Prof. Skeat, 
Etym. Diet. 

Le montant du pied, the instup. — Cotgrave. 

Poulaine, .... shooes held on the feet by 
single latchets running overthwart the instup. 

The forepart of this pedium is called the 
instep. — H. Crnohe, Description of' the Body of 
Man, 1631, p. 735. 

Interest, verb, to concern or engage 
the attention of a person, is an altered 
modem form of old Eng. interess, Fr. 
interesse, " interessed or touched in" 
(Cotgrave), It. inieressare, from Lat. m- 
teresse, to concern. From a confusion 
with interest, profit. 

Not the worth of any living wight 
May challenge ought in Heavens interesse. 
Spenser, Faerie Queeue, VII. vi. 38. 


( 190 ) 


If tins proportion " whosoever will be 
saved " be restrained only to those to whom 
it was intended, and for whom it was Com- 
posed, I mean the Christians, then the ana- 
thema reaches not the heathens, who had 
never heard of Christ and were nothing in- 
teressed in that dispute. — Dryden, Religio 
Laici, Preface (Globe ed.), p. 187. 

Not that tradition's pai'ts are useless here 
When general, old, didnteressedj clear. 
Id. Religw Laid, 1. 335. 

Intimate, in the sense of farailiar, 
close (friends), an incorrect form of the 
older word inUme (Digby), Fr. intinie, 
inward, hearty, deer, intirely affected 
(Cotgrave), Lat. intimus, innermost, 
intimate, due to a confusion with in- 
timaie, to bring in (news), announce 

Intrust money, a corruption of in- 
terest money (Peacock, Glossary of Man- 
ley and Corringham). 

Invoice has nothing to do with 
either in or voice, but, like many other 
book-keeping terras, comes from the 
ItaUan, and is a corrupted form of 
a/vviso, a notice or " advice " (Lat. ad- 
visus), a bill of particulars as to goods 
despatched, &c. See Inveigle. The 
word was perhaps influenced by Fr. 
envoi, a sending or consignment. 

Inveigle is not, as it appears, com- 
pounded with in (as if from It. invog- 
liare, to bring one to his will), but a 
corrupt form of Fr. aveugler, " to blinde, 
hudwmke, deprive of eyes, or sight " 
(Cotgrave), and so to entice or entrap, 
from aiveugle, blind. It. amocolare, all 
from Low Lat. ahoculus, eyeless, like 
amens, mindless. Wedgwood quotes 
from Froude, Hist., vol. v. p. 132, a 
document dated 1547, wherein the 
Marquis of Dorset is said to have been 
"seduced and aveugled by the Lord 
Admiral." The in was perhaps due to 
the icfea that the word meant to draw 
in or ensnare. 

This word " significatiue " . . . . doth so 
well serve the turn, as it could not now be 
spared : and many more like vsurped Latine 
and French words, as "methode," " methodi- 
cal! " . . . "inueigle," — G. Puttenham, Arte 
ofEng. Poesie, 1589, p. 159 (ed. Arber). 

Most false Duessa, royall richly dight, 

That easy was t' inveigle weaker sight. 
Upenser, Faerie Queene, I. xii. 32. 

For a similar foisting in of the pre- 
position in-, en-, compare invoice = It. 

awiso, an advice ; entice = Fr. attiser; 
ensample = excmiple ; enlarge = alargi 
(Wychffe), Fr. esla/rgir; engrieve 
(Chaucer, Spenser) =: aggrieve ; enaum- 
her = O. Eng. acombre and accombre 
{Townley Mysteries), &c. 

Perhaps a connexion was imagined 
with in/ueigh {inveMcle ?), Lat. invehere, 
to take or carry in (whence imvecticms, 

Ieon-haed, Yronhmd (Gerarde), old 
Eng. Isenhearde, further changed pro- 
vincially to JSfsellwrn (Cockayne), 
popular names for the plant Gentawrea 
nigra {Leechdoms, Wortounniiig, ^c, 
vol. iii. Glossary), are corruptions of 
Iron-head, another popiilar name for the 
same (Prior). Gerarde gives yronhard 
as a name of the knapweed (i.e. knob- 
weed), the same plant, which has "a 
scaly head or knop beset with most 
sharpe priokes " (Herhall, 1597, p. 

Ieon-mold. Th« latter part of this 
word is the same as mole, a spot on the 
skin, Scotch ma/il, A. Sax. mdl, Ger. 
mahl, a spot or stain, Swed. mal, Goth. 
mail, Sansk. mala, dirt, Greek mSas, 

One yron Mole defaceth the whole peece of " 
Lyly, Euphues, 1579, p. 39 (Arber ed.). 

Mole is an old Eng. word for a soil 
or smirch. 

J>i best cote, hankyn, 
Hath many moles and spottes • it raoste ben 
Langland, Vision of P. Plffwman, xiii. 
315, text B. 
It was moled in many places • with many sondri 

Ibid. 275. 

Isaac, a provincial name for the 
hedge-sparrow, is a corruption of hei- 
sugge, which is found in Chaucer :— 
Thou murdrer of the heysugge onthebraunch. 

The Assembly of' Foules, 1. 612, 
and in Owl and Nightingale, 1. 505. 

Heissagge, an Hedge sparrow. — Bailey. 

A. Sax. hege-sugge, where hege is 
hedge, and sugge (or sucge) apparently 
the fig-pecker, beocafioo, or titlark 
(Greek suhalis, = Lat. ficedula, from 
ficus). " Cicada, vicetula [=/ce(to!a]i" 
heges-sugge." — Wright's Vocabidaries 
(Mifric, 10th cent.), p. 29. See Hay- 


( 191 ) 


It is worth noticing how our peasants have 
recognized in birds " the sweet sense of kin- 
dred." The hedge-span-ow is still in some 
parts Isaac. The red-breast as long as the 
English language lasts, will have no other 
name than Robin, the Jean le rouge-gorge of 
Normandy". — The CornhUl Magaziney JulVf 

Isinglass, a kind of gelatine used in 
confectionery, formerly sometimes spelt 
icing-glass, as if a glassy substance for 
idng viandes or making jelly (Fr. 
gelee, from Lat. gelu, frost), is a corrup- 
tion of Dut. huyzenhlas, ising-glass 
(Sewel, 1706), Ger. hausenhlase, Dan. 
hus-Was, the bladder (bias, hlase) of 
the sturgeon (huyzen, hausen, L. Lat. 
huso), out of which it is manufactured 
on the Danube and elsewhere. 

Island, more commonly and cor- 
rectly written iland until far on in the 
18th century, is the A. Sax. edland, 
"water-land" (EttmiiUer, p. 57), also 
igland {Id. p. 35), from ig, an isle ; cf. 
Ger. eiland. A. Sax. ed, water, is the 
same word as Icel. a, O. H. Ger. aha, 
Goth, ahva, Lat. aqua. Compare 
ey-ot (ait), a Uttle island. 

The present orthography arose from 
a supposed connexion with isle, 0. Fr. 
isle, from Lat. insula (perhaps origi- 
nally a detached portion of the mainland 
which has taken a hound into the sea, 
in-sul-, Mommsen). We even find the 
spelling iseland, which would seem to 
imply that the s was sometimes pro- 

The Dogges of this kinde doth Callimachus 
call Melitseos, of the Iseland Melita, in the 
sea of Sicily. — A. Fleming, Caius of Eng. 
Dogges (1576), p. 20 (repr. 1880). 

The Persian wisdom took beginning from 
the old Philosophy of this Iland. — Milton, 
Areopagitica, 1644, p. 68 (ed. Arber). 

Ev'n those which in the circuit of this yeare. 
The prey of Death within our Iland were. 
G. Wither, Britain's Remembrancer, 
1628, p. 111. 

The German eiland, which seems to 
mean "egg-land," from ei, an egg, being 
fancifully regarded as swimming in the 
sea as the yolk does in the white of an 
egg, is of the same origin ; compare 
Dut. eyland (Sewel), Icel. eyland. 

Another corruption is presented in 
Mid. High Ger. einlant, as if a land 
lying alone [ein). Perversely enough 
isle (as Professor Skeat notes) was fre- 

quently written He or yle. Thus Robert 
of Gloucester says of England, 

[je see go> hym al a boute, he stont as an yle. 

Chronicle, p. 1, 1. 3 (ed. 1810). 
Base Neutrals, who have scandalized much 
And much endanger'd those who doe contend 
This lie from desolation to defend. 

G. Wither, Britains Remembrancer, 
1628, p. 115. 

Isle, " in architecture are the sides 
or loings of a building " (Bailey), an old 
speLUng of a4sle, which seems to be 
from Lat. axilla, a wing (cf Fr. aile), as 
if it denoted the parts isolated or de- 
tached from the nave. Isle, aisle, as 
appUed to the passage between the 
pews, seems to be a confusion of Fr. 
aile, with alUe, an alley or passage. 
Alley is the common word for it in 
Leicestershire (Evans). 

The isle had been spoiled of its lead, and 
was near roofless. — H. Hurington, Nugm An- 
tiquie, vol. i. p. vi. (1779). 

I started up in the Church isle witbe my 
Poetrie. — Id. p. xii. 

Nature in vain us in one land compiles 

If the cathedral still shall have its isles. 
Marvell, Poems, p. 91 (Murray repr.). 

The Cross Isle of this Church is the most 
beautiful! and lightsome of any I have yet 
beheld. — T. Fuller, Worthies of England, vol. 
ii. p. 436. 

For indeed, Solutum est templiim hoc, this 
temple of his body . . . The roofe of it ( His 
head) loosed with thornes; the foundation 
(His feet) with nailes. The side Isles (as it 
were) his hands both likewise. — Bp, Andrewes, 
Sermons, p. 487, fol. 

In one ile lies the famous Dr. Collins, so 
celebrated for his fluency in the Latin tongue, 
— J. Evelyn, Diary, Aug. 31, 1664. 

I WIS, \ quasi-archaic forms some- 
I wissE, J times used in pseudo-an- 
tique writings, as if the first pers. siog. 
of a verb to wis, meaning to know, is a 
mere misunderstanding of old Eng. 
iwis, ywis, certainly. 

Vor siker fjou be, Engelond is nou jjin, iwis. 
Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle, 
(Morris, Spec. II. p. 4). 
I wis your grandam had a worser match. 
Shakespeare, Richard III. i. 3, 102. 
An you play away your buttons thus, you 
will want them ere night, for any store I see 
about you ; you might keep them, and save 
pins, I wiiss. — Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, act 
IV. sc. 1. 

In the Percy FoUo MS. i-wis (with 
a hyphen) occurs frequently for A. Sax. 
geivis, certainly. 


The Sheriffe he hath Made a. cry 
heele have my head I-wis. 

Vol. i. p. 19, 1. 9. 
And what for Weeping much & warle, 
A-sleep,e I-wis this knight fell. 

Id. p. 146, 1. 59. 

But once at least it is mistaken for 
the pronoun and verb. 
3 pottles of wine in a dishe 
They supped itt all off, as I wis. 
All there att theii' partinge. 

Id. Tol. ii. p. 583, 1. 626. 

Jack-a-lbgs, a North Eng. word for 
a clasp knife, Scottish jockteleg. Tliis 
curious word is, according to Jamie- 
son, a corruption of Jacques de Liege, 
the name of a celebrated cutler, by 
whom this kind of knife was originally 

An' gif the custocts sweet or sour, 
V'Ji\jocktelegs they taste them. 

Burns, Hctlloween {Works, Globe 
ed. p. 45). 
Similarly, to stick a knife into any- 
thing "up to the law/prey " was an ex- 
pression formerly in use in Ireland, 
meaning up to the end of the blade, 
near the haft, where the name of a well- 
known cutler named Lamprey was 
commonly inscribed. 

Jack-call, "| is a corrupt form of 

Jackal, / Fr. chacal, G-er. scha- 

hal, Pers. shakal, Sansk. pigala, Heb. 

shual. Compare Gipsy yaccal and 

jiihel, a dog. 

The next being the noble Jack call, the 
Lion's Provider, which hunts in the Forest 
for the Lion's Prey. — A collection of strange 
and wonderful creatures from most parts of the 
world, all alive [to be seen in Queen Anne's 
time at Charing Cross]. — Memoirs of Bartho- 
lomew Fair, ch. xvi. 

Jach-call is also the spelling in the 
Spectator, 1711, and in Dryden [Plays, 
vol. iv. p. 296). 

A rabble of Arabians and Persians board- 
ing her and li^e jackalls with hunger-starved 
fuiy and avarice tearing her asunder. — Sir 
T. Herbert, Travels, 1665, p. 115. 

Heb. sliudl (or shughal), a fox or 
jackal. Song of Songs, ii. 15, is said 
to be from shoal, to go down, to bur- 
row. Dr. DeUtzsch (in loc. cit.) says 
this is quite a distinct word from the 

Persian-Turkish sJiaghal, our "jackal," 
which comes from the Sanskrit crgala, 
the howler. 

Jackeman, an old word for a cream 
cheese (Wright). 

Chease made uppon russhes, called a fresshe 
cheese, or jackeman. Junculi. — Klyot. 

The synonymous Fi.joncheejU.gvun- 
cata (from Lat. juncus, a rush), would 
lead us to suppose th&t jaclc-man was a. 
corrupted form of some word hke Fr, 
joncTiement, and that jonc was trans- 
formed into Joch or Jach. 

Fr. " Jonchee, a green cheese, or fresh 
cheese made of milk,thats curdled with- 
out any runnet, and served in a fralle 
of green rushes." — Cotgrave. 

It. " Giuncuta, any jimket, but pro- 
perly fresh cheese and oreame, so called 
because it is sold upon fresh rushes." 
— Florio. 

Junket is still a Devonshire word 
for curds and clouted cream, and to 
junket is to feast on similarly dehciouB 

Cf. Fr. fromage, from It. formaggio, a 
cheese, so called from the forma or 
frame on whichitis shaped. It is curious 
to note that junket, a delicacy, is ety- 
mologically near akin to the sailor's 
junk, notoriously coarse and unpalat- 
able fare, so called from being as 
tough as an old cable, originahy a rope 
made of rushes, Portg-^iMico (Skeat). 

Jack-of-the-Bdttery, a trivialname 
for the plant sedum acre. Dr. Prior 
ingeniously conjectures that it is a cor- 
ruption of Bot-theriacque (it being used 
as a treacle or anthelmintic) into hut- 
tery-Jack. But where is this Bot-theri- 
acque to be found ? 

Jack-stones, the name which chil- 
dren in Ireland (and probably else- 
where) give to the pebbles with which 
they play a game like the EngUsh Ms 
or dibstone, throwing them up and 
catching them alternately on the front 
and back of the hand. It is a corrup- 
tion of chack-stones, Scot, chuchie- 
stones, from chuclc, to toss or throw 
smartly out of the hand. 

Cailleteau, a clmck-stone or little flint stone. 
— Cotgrave. 

Every time their taes caught a bit crunkle 
on the ice, or an imbedded chmky-stane.— 
Wilson, Nodes AmbrostAina;, i. 102. 

The chucky-stones are oftener dry than wet 

JAOK B0BIN80N ( 193 ) 


at the side of the burn. — S. R. Whitehead, 
Daft Davie, p. 116. 

The Piirim of Scripture ... is conjec- 
tured the origin of jacks or chiicla in Scotland, 
as played with stones — perhaps derived from 
the barbarous Latinity jotticos. — Dali;eU, 
Darker Superstitions of Scotland, p. 523. 

Jack Eobinson. " Before one could 
say Jach Robinson," is a way of saying 
in an instant or jiffy. Halliwell quotes 
"from an old play," without further 

A warke it ys as easie to be doone, 
As tys to saye, Jacke ! robys on. 

So the original phrase would mean, 
Jack, on mth yow clothes ! This needs 

Jandbbs, an old English name for 
the jaundice (Fr. jaunisse, yellowness) 
still popularly in use in lieland and 
some of the western counties of Eng- 
land, the words being assimilated to 
the names of other diseases, glanders, 
malanders, sallenders, and regarded as 
a plural. 

Thence came the blaeke landers, the dis- 
coloured face, and the consumption of such 
as rotted inwardly. — Thas. Lodge, Translation 
of Seneca, 1614, p. 403. 

Jaulnisse, ihejaundies, also the yellows. — 

Jaunders, jaundice. — N. W. Lincolnshire 

Holland in his translation of Pliny, 
fol. 1634, speaks of " an old jaunise or 
overflowing of the gall" (vol. ii. p. 
134). The Holderness folk, E. York- 
shire, will inquire " Is it yallow joracfs, 
or black, she's gotten?" — Glossary, 
Eng. Dialect Soc. 

Janet-flowee, apparently the same 
asjonette, a Scottish name for the marsh 
marigold, which stands for Fr. jaunette 
( Jamieson). A little tawny dog of my 
acquaintance so named in a similar 
manner came afterwards to be fami- 
liarly known as Johnette, Johnny, and 

Jaunty, dashing, showy, fine, ele- 
gant, dandified. This word, which 
has evidently been assimilated to the 
verb to jaunt, is derived through the 
fonns jenty, genty, from Fr. gentil, 
pretty, fine, well-fashioned. 

Sae jimply lac'd her genty waist 
That sweetly ye might span. 
Bums, Bonnie Ann (Globe ed. 
p. 211). 

Jamieson defines genty as neat, ele- 
gantly formed, and of dress, giving the 
idea of gentility. Others forms are 
jauntee (Durfey),an evident imitation of 
the French pronunciation, janty (Wy- 
cherley, 1677), jainty {Spectator, vol. v. 
p. 236, 1711-12). Compare jew«ie (As- 
cham. Schoolmaster, ed. Mayor, p. 3), 
jantyl {■=. gentle), jentleman, jentiles, 
&o. So in 'French jante and gente are 
names for the felloe of a wheel (Cot- 
grave). Cf. Dut. jeni [a borrowed 
word] , neat, handsom. — Sewel, 1708. 
The word came in apparently in the 
18th century •with French fashions, 
and meant originally modish, styUsh, 
elegant — not buffoonlike, as Prof. Skeat 
says, mistaking the origin of the word. 
There seems to be no evidence of the 
existence of an Eng. word jaunt, to 
play the fool. 

Is it reasonable that such a creature as this 
shall come from a. Janty part of the town, and 
give herself such violent airs. — The Spectator 
(1712;, No. 503. 

Yonr janty air and easy motion. — Id. De- 
dication to vol. viii. 
Sober and gi-ave was still the garb thy muse 

put on, 
No tawdry careless slattern di'ess. 

But neat, agi-eeable, jaunty 'twas, 
Well fitted, it sate close in every place, 
And all became, with an uncommon air and 

J. Oldham, Upon the Works of Ben Jonson, 5, 
Poems, p. 66 (ed. Bell). 

Compare the spelling in the follow- 

Truely, you speake wisely, and like a.jan~ 
tleu;oman of foureteene years of age. — Mars- 
ton, Antonio and Mellida, Pt. I. act. v (vol. i. 
p. 63, ed. Halliwell). 

Jaw Box, \ Prov. words for a scullery 
Jaw Tub, ) sink (Patterson, Antrim 
and Down Glossary, E.D.S.), Soot, jaiv- 
hole (Guy Mannering) . Jaio is perhaps 
the same word as Fr. gdchis, puddle, 
slop, from gdcher, to rinse, old Fr. 
waschier, to soil, 0. H. Ger. waskan, to 
ivash. In Scottish jaw is to pour. 
Then up they gat the maskin-pat, 
And in the sea did Jaw, man. 
Burns, Poems, p. 221 (Globe ed.). 

Jemmies, an old provincial word for 
hinges (Gentleman's Magamne, Deo. 
1793), is the same word wliich is some- 
times pronounced jinvmers, jimmels, O. 


( 194 ) JESSE'S FLO WEB 

Eng. gimmal, gimmow, from Fr. jnnieUe, 
a twin, a pair (of hinges, rings, &c.), 
Lat. gemellus, from gemiwus. Herriok 
speaks of " a ring of jimmals," i.e. a 
double ring. 

Anamnestes, his Page, in a graue Satten 
suite purple, Buskins, a Garland of Bayes and 
Rosemary, a gimmal rinff with one linke 
hanging. — Lingva, ii. 4 (1632), sig. D. 
I think, by some odd gimmors or device 
Their arms are set like clocks, still to strike 
Shakespeare, I Hen. VI. i. 2, 1. 42. 

Prom the latter use of gimmer, as a 
contrivance or piece of machinery (so 
Bp. Hall), no doubt arose the slang term 
jenrniAj for a crow -bar. 
They call for crow-bars — jemmies is the 
modern name they bear. 

Barham, The Ingoldsby Legends. 

Jemmt, an old slang term defined 
in the following quotation : — 

A cute man, is an abbreviation of acute, . . 
and signifies a person that is sharp, clever, 
neat, or to use a more modern term, jemmy. — 
Gentkman's Magazine, Sept. 1767. 

Todd gives it in the meaning of 
spruce as a low word. It is evidently 
the same as Scotch jimrrvy, meaning 
handy, dexterous, neat, dressy, jimp, to 
leap, a.nd jimp, neat, gym, neat, spruce 

Jemmy-John, a large wicker-cased 
bottle, a corruption of demnjohn, itself 
a corrupted form of the Arabic damagan, 
and that from the Persian glass-making 
town of JDamaghan. 

Lord Strangford, however, derives 
dem/i-john, Fr. dwme-jaune, from the 
Lat. dimidiana {Letters and Papers, p. 

Jeopaedy, old Eng. juperdy, so spelt 
instead of jeopa/rty, old Eng. jupartie 
(juherte, Siege of Rhodes, 1419, pp. 
150, 155, Murray repr.; jeohertie, Har- 
ington), from an idea that the original 
was Fr.^eM perdu, a lost game. (Com- 
pare the old Fr. proverb, A vray dire 
perd on le ieu, rz. By speaking truth 
one jeopards aU. ) The correct old form 
"waajupcurtie or juperti, which occurs (for 
the first time, says Mr. Oliphant) in 
Lame Sirriz, a translation from the 
French, about 1280 ; and this is from 
Fr. jell parti, a state of the game equally 
divided, an even chance whether a 
player will win or lose, a hazardous or 

uncertain position. Tjrrwhitt quotes 
from Froissart, " lis n'estoient pas \ 
jeu parti centre les Franqois" {Chancer, 
p. 206, ed. 1860), and the mediaeval 
Latin phrase yocwsporii^Ms. A mediae- 
val game consisting of enigmatical 
questions and answers was called feyew- 
pa/rti. — Cheruel, Lictionnaii-e des Insti- 
tutions, tom. ii. p. 622. The primitive 
meaning is apparent in the following 
from a " Mery BaUett" (Cotton MS.), 
contributed by Mr. Fumivall to N. ^ 
Q. 5th S. xii. 445. 

Now lesten a whyle & let has singe 
to this Desposed companye, 
how maryage ys a mervelous thinge, 
A holly disposed Juperdie. 
It schuld be a grettere juperdy to Kynge 
Edwarde thenne was Barnet felde. — Wark- 
worth's Chronicle (ab. 1475), p. 20, Camden 

Men mycht have sen one euery sid begwn 
Many a fair and knychtly luperty 
Of lusty men, and of 3ong chevalry. 

Lancelot of the Laik, 1.'2548 (E. E. T. St.). 
Whan he thurgh his madnesse and folie 
Hath lost his owen good thurgh jupartie. 
Than he exciteth other folk therto. 

Cliaucer, Canterbury Tales, 1. 16:210-12. 
He set the herte in jeop^rtie 
With wishing and with fantasie. 
Gnwer, Conf. Amantis, vol. i. p. 319 
(ed. Pauli). 
So lang as fatis sufFerit hym in ficht 
To exerce pratikkis, iupertye and slicht. 
G. Douglas, Bukes of Eneados, 1553, 
p. 389, 1. 45 (ed. 1710). 

Jebked beef, dried beef, is a corrup- 
tion of the Peruvian chwrK, prepared 
meat (Latham). Prof. Skeat quotes :— 

Flesh cut into thiu slices was distributed 
among the people, who converted it into 
charqui, the dried meat of the country. — 
Prescott, Conquest of Peru, c. v. 

Jerusalem Artichoke, a corruption 
of It. girasole, " turn-sun," the sun that 
turns about, the sunflower. By a 
quibble on Jerusalem the soup made 
from it is called " Palestine " (Prior). 
It. girasole, " the turne-sole or sunne- 
flower " (Florio), is from giirare, to turn, 
and sole, the sun. 

Jesse's flower, a corruption of 
jessamne (from Persian jasmin, "fra- 
grant "), used by Quarles (0. S. Jerram, 
Lycidas, p. 78), from a false analogy, 
perhaps, to Aa/i-on's Beard, Solonwn's 
Seal, and similar plant-names. 


( 195 ) 


The lowly pink, the lofty eglantine ; 

The blushing rose, the queen of flowers and 

Of Flora's beauty ; but above the rest 
Let Jesse's sov'reign ftawer perfume my qualm- 

ing breast. Quarles, EmbleinSf v. 2. 

Jew's-beabd, a local name for the 
plant house-leek (E. I. King, Shetches 
and Studies), is a corruption of Fr. jou- 
harle, " Jove's-beard," Low Lat. Jovis 
larba, It. tarha di Giove, Prov. harha- 
gol, Ger. donnerhaert, " Thor's beard." 
Being sacred to the Thunder-god, and 
deemed a protection against lightning, 
it was freciuently planted on the roof of 
the house. 

One of the enactments of Charle- 
magne's Capitular Be ViUis Imperia- 
lihus (o. 70, A.D. 812) is " Hortulanus 
habeat super domum suam Jovis bar- 
ham." Hence its old Eng. name hami- 
wyrt, "home-wort," as well as ]iunar- 
imjrt, " thunder- wort " (Cockayne, 
Leechdoms, &c.). 

Howsleke, herbe, or sengrene, Barba Jovis, 
semper viva, jubarbium. — Prompt. Parva- 

Jew's ear, a popular name for a cer- 
tain fungus resembling the human ear, 
is a corruption of Judas' ear, Ger. 
Judas-sch/uiamm, Lat. auricula Judoe. 
It grows usually on the trunk of the 
elder, the tree upon which Judas is 
traditionally reported to have hanged 
himself. Richard Flecknoe, Biarium, 
1658, p. 65, speaks of a certain virtue 
of alder- wood which 

From Judas came 
Who hang'd himself upon the same. 
Vid. Brand, Pop. Antiquities, 
vol. iii. p. 283. 
For the coughe take Judas eare, 
With the parynge of a peare. 

Bale, Three Laws of Nature, 1562. 
O. Eng. oryelle is the alder-tree. — 
Prompt. Fanv. Vid. oreille de Judas. — 
Cotgrave. Cf. Chinese muh urh (Kidd's 
China, p. 47). 

In Jews' ears something is conceived ex- 
traordinary from the name, which is in pro- 
priety but fungus sambucinus, or an excres- 
cence about the roots of elder, and concerneth 
not the nation of the Jews, but Judas Iscariot, 
upon a conceit he hanged on this tree ; and 
is become a famous medicine in quinsies, sore 
throats, and strangulations, ever since. — Sir 
Thos. Browne, Works, vol. i. p. 214 (ed. 

There is an excrescence called Jew's-ear, 
that grows upon the roots and lower parts of 

trees, especially of alder and sometimes upon 
ash. — Bacon, Sijlva Sylvarum, Works (1803), 
vol. ix. p. 264.' 

The Mushrooms or Toadstooles which grow 
vpou the trunks or bodies of old trees, verie 
much resembling Auricula Indie, that is 
leives eare, do in continuance of time growe 
vnto the substance of wood, which the 
Fowlers do call I'ouchwood. — Gerarde, Herbal, 
p. 1385. 

The hat he wears. Judos left under the elder 
when be hanged himself. 
Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, act iv. 
sub iin. (1633). 

Jew's-harp, a small instrument of 
iron played between the teeth, Lincoln- 
shire Jew-trump. The first part of the 
word is probably the same that is seen 
in the synonymous Cleveland word 
gew-gow (Holderness geio-gaw), which 
Mr. Atkinson identifies with O. Norse 
giga, Swed. giga, a Jew's-harp, Dan. 
, gige, Ger. geige, a musical instrument. 
It was probably a Scandinavian inven- 
tion. Compare the following — 

They [the urns] contained .... knives, 
pieces of iron, brass, and wood, and one of 
Norway a brass gilded Jew's harp. — Sir Titos. 
Browne, Hydriotaphia, 1658, vol. iii. p. 21 
(ed. Bohn). 

Gewgaw seems originally to have 
been used in the special sense of a rustic 
musical instrument, e.g. " Pastor sub 
caula bene cantat cum calamaulS. The 
scheperd vndyr \>e folde syngythe well 
wythe hys gwgawe \>e pype." — Promp- 
torium Parv. s. v. Plowte (about 1440). 
The modern meaning of a trivial toy, 
a showy bauble, must then be a secon- 
dary one. 

Gugaw, idem quod Flowte, pype, giga. — 
Prompt. Parvulorum. 

' On this Mr. "Way remarks that Fr. 
gigue. It. giga (a fiddle), may be from 
Gk. gigras [? giggras] , a kind of flute. 
J. PoUux m.entions the gigla/rus as a 
small sort of pipe used by the Egyp- 
tians. — Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, 
vol. i.p. 487 (ed. Birch). If this should 
be connected, it would trace up our 
Jew's harp to a curious antiquity. 
let me hear some silent Song, 
Tun'd by the Jew's-Uump of thy tongue. 
Randolph, The Conceited Peddler, 
Works, p. 48. 
Is Clio dumb, or has Apollo's Jew's-tnimp 
By sad disaster lost her melodious tongue t 
Id., The Jealous Lmers, p. 114. 

Jews' tin, a name given in Cornwall 


( 196 ) 


to lumps of smelted tin found inside 
the so-ealled Jews' houses, which is per- 
haps for dshyi-houses, tshey or dzJiyi 
(old Cornish ty), a house, being used 
especially for smelting-houses (M. 
MiiUer, Chips, vol. iii.)- 

Probably this is merely house tm, or the 
tin found in the houses. — Chas. Kingsley, Life, 
vol. ii. p. 238. 

The title of Jews' House is given by the 
country people to an old smelting house — a 
narrow shallow pit with a small quantity of 
charcoal ashes at the bottom, and frequently 
pieces of smelted tin, the last being called 
Jeivs' Bowls. — J. 0. Halliwell, Rambles in Wes- 
tern Cornwall, p. 51. 

JiGGBE, a popular name for the West 
Indian flea, as if so caUed from its jig- 
ging or quick moveraent, is a natura- 
lized form of chigoe, its native name. 

Yet, how much is owing to themselves is 
plain from this circumstance, that numbers 
are crippled by the jiggers, which scarcely 
ever in our colonies affect any but the negroes. 
— Southey, Letters, vol. ii. p. 201. 

Jilt, to throw one over as a flirt does, 
is a contracted form of jillei, a diminu- 
tival form oijyll, a flirt, a hght woman, 
originally a common feminine name, 
derived from Julia. Thus Jillet zz. 
Juliet, Fr. JuKette, It. OiuUetta. The ex- 
pressions gill-flirt, flirt-gill, fldrt-gillian, 
are of frequent occurrence in old writers. 
This use of jill was prob ably determined 
by the similar word giglet, a giddy, 
wanton woman, old Fr. gigues, a jig- 
ging, flighty girl (Skeat). Qojockey, to 
cheat, was originally only the Scottish 
form of Jack. 

A jillet brak his heart at last, 
111 may she be ! 
Burns, Poems, p. 71 (Globe ed.). 

Jo, } in Scotch an endearing ex- 
JoE, S pression of famUiarity, as in 
" John Anderson, my jo," is said to be 
a corruption of Fr. joie, as if nwnjoie, 
my darling (Jamieson). Joy is also 
given as a Scottish word for darling. A 
large number of Scottish words, it is 
well known, are borrowed from the 
French. Bums says of Poesie : — 
And och ! o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd 
'Mid a' thy favours ! 

On Pastoral Poetry, Poems, p. 114 
(Globe ed.). 

John Dory, \ the name of this 

Johnny Dory, 3 fish is said to be a 

barbarous dismemberment and corrup- 

tion of "janitore, a name by which this 
fish is famiUarly known at Venice and 
elsewhere ; the origin of the term jam- 
tore, as apphed to the dory, seems to be 
the following : St. Peter, represented 
with the triple keys ' of hell, of hades, 
and of heaven ' in his hand, is called, 
in his quasi-official capacity, iljamtme 
(The Gate-keeper), and this fish, shar- 
ing with the haddock the apocryphal 
honour of having received the apostle's 
thumb-mark, is called in consequence 
8t. Peter's fish, "and by metonomy, il 
janitore." The ancient Greek name 
for the dory having been Zeus, i.e. 
Jupiter, it is not improbable the great 
saint of the Eoman church was chosen 
(as in other instances) to take the place 
of the dethroned Thunderer. (So Bad- 
ham, Prose Halieutics, p. 229.) We 
may compare with this, imperatore, a 
a popularname at Genoa for the sword- 
fish, so called because the Italian im- 
perators were commonly represented 
sword in hand. PUny gives in a hst 
of fishes, "the Emperour with a Sword, 
called Xiphias " (Holland's Trans., yoI. 
ii. p. 452, 1634). The Arabs call a cer- 
tain fish found on their coasts Sultcm 
el-Bahr, Sultan of the Sea. St. Peter 
having been ever regarded as the patron 
saint of fishermen and fishmongers, 
certain boats plying on the Thames 
were called Peter-hoats; the armorial 
bearings of the Fishmongers' Company, 
London, are his cross-keys ; watermen 
and fishermen were sometimes called 
familiarly Peter, Peter-men (Wright). 
Similarly a plant that grows on the sea- 
shore is called Saint Pierre or samphire, 
and a little bird that seems to walk the 
water, like the saint, is named the 
petrel. That the dory was familiarly 
known as St. Peter's fish the following 
wiU show : — 

It. P^sce San Pietro, a Dory or Gold- 
fish.— Fto-w, 1611. 

German, Petermann, Peter.'ifisch, the dory. 

French, St. Pierre, the John Dory; see 
Cotgrave, o. v. Poisson. 

DoREE, St. Peter's fish.—Bp. Wilkins, 
Essay towards a Philosophical Language, 1668. 

The faber mari7ius, ... we often meet with 
it in these seas, commonly called a peter-Jish, 
having one black spot on either side the 
body ; conceived the perpetual signature, 
from the impression of St. Peter's fingers, 
or to resemble the two pieces of money which 
St. Peter took out of this fish.— Sir Thus. 



Brawtie {Fishes of Norfolk, 16(58), Works, vol. 
iii. p. 328(ed. Bohn). 

We may perhaps compare Mod. 
Greek christo-psaron, the trout, and 
halilut, the holy fish. 

Holland seems to have derived the 
dory, or dwee as he spells it, from Fr. 
doree, gilded (It. dorata), and so Mr. 
Wedgwood, Philolog. Transactions, 
1855, p. 63, and Prof. Skeat. 

The Doree or Goldfish, called Zejis and 
Faber. — Pliny, Natitrall History, torn. i. p. 
247 (1634). 

Mahn (in Webster) thinks it is from 
jaune doree, the golden yellow fish, an 
uulikely combination. John or Johnny 
is no doubt only a popular prenomen 
Sisinjack-pihe, jack-daw, &c. The fol- 
lowing from Alexander Neckam, who 
died in 1217, seems conclusive, and the 
janitore theory therefore faUs to the 

Gustum doretE quae nomen sumpsit ab auro. 
— De Laiidibus DivirKE Sapientiie, 1. 561. 

Southey seems to have thought that 
the fish has its name from a human 

Would not John Dory's name have died 
with him, and so been long ago dead as a 
door-nail, if a grotesque likeness for him had 
not been found in the fish, which being called 
afler him, has immortalized him and his ugli- 
ness (yid. The Doctor, p. 310) 

Compare the old ballad oiJohn Dory 
in Child's Ballads, vol.viii. p. 194. 

Gayton in his Pleasant Notes upon 
Bon Quixot, 1654, raentions as popular 
heroes, quite as illustrious as Palmerin 
of England, " Bevis of Southampton, 
Sir Eglamore, John Dory, the Pindar 
of Wakefield, Eobin Hood, or Clem of 
the Cluff" (fol. p. 21). The name of 
the fish was no doubt assimilated to 
that of the well-known pirate. 

JoHNNY-DABBiES, a nickname for 
poUcemen, is said to be a corruption of 
the French gens-d'armes (Slang Diet. 
S.V.). Schandarm is a popular corrup- 
tion in German of the same word, as 
if from schand (shame) and arm (poor). 
Other forms are standairm in Aachen, 
and standdr, schandar in Bavaria 
(Andresen, Volksetymologie). 

JoKE-FELLOw, a Sootch word for an 
equal or intimate acquaintance (Jamie- 
son), is an obvious corruption of (ioit^r- 
fellow) yohefelloiv. 

Jolly-boat, an Anglicized form of 
Dan. jolle, a yawl, Dut. jol, Swed. julle. 
Yawl is the same word disguised by 
a different spelling. 

Jordan, an old name for certain 
household utensils of common use, 
occurring in Chaucer {Prologue to the 
Pardoneres Tale) and in Hollinshed, 
who speaks of " two jorden pots," is 
doubtless the Danish jord (jorden), 
earth, as if an earthen pot. Cf . jurnut, 
a provincial word for the pig-nut, Dan. 
jord-nipd. So turreen, i. e. a terrene 

Ich shal Jangly to )jys Jordan' witbhus Juste 
Langtand, Vidon of Piers Plowman, Pass. 

xvi. 1. 92 (text C). 
lurdone . . . Jurdanus, madetla. — Prompt, 

Joy-birds, a name commonly given 
by the country-folk about Tedworth, 
on the borders of Wiltshire and Hamp- 
shire (and probably elsewhere), to the 
jay-lirds or jays, which abound in the 
forest of Savemake, not far distant. 
This corruption is a curious instance of 
a reversion to the original meaning of 
a word, Fr. geoA, formerly gai, Prov. 
gai, jai, Sp. gaijo, the jay, denoting 
properly the bUthe and gay bird (with 
reference perhaps to its vari-coloured 
plumage), being derived from Fr. gai, 
Prov. gai, Sp. gayo, lively, gay. 

The jay was formerly used as a pro- 
verbial comparison for one exceedingly 

Heo [z= she] is dereworthe in day, 

Graciouse, stout, and gay, 

Genti!,jo/^/50 the jay. 
Lyric Poetry ( ab. 1320 ), p. 52 (Percy Soc. ), and 
'Boddeker, Altenglische Dichtungen, p. 169. 

JoYLY, an old spelling of jolly, as if 
another form of joyous, joyful. Jolly, 
Fr. joli, old Eng. joUf, old Fr. jolif, 
Ital. giuUvo, "iolly, glad, fuU of ioy" 
(Florio), are said to be derived from 
Icel. J6l, Yule, the season of rejoicing 
(Diez). Compare, however. It. giuUo, 
blithe, merry, giuUare, to glad or be 
iolly (Florio), and giullaro, a jester 
(giullare, to play the jester), shortened 
from giocola/ro, Lat. joaida/rius, jocu- 
Im-is, a jester. The speUing joyly is of 
frequent occurrence in the Apoph- 
thegms of Erasmus, 1542 :— 

Xenocrates the philosophier was of a more 


( 198 ) 


soure nature, a ioylie feloe in some other re- 

spectes. — P. xxTi. (Reprint 1877). 

That yemaie bee an hable manne, to enioie 

the possession of that ioyly fi-uictefull Seig- 

niourie. — Id, p. xxviii. 

I am that ioyly feloe Diogenes the doggue. 

—Id. p. 153. 

When I of any ioylUe ioy 
or pleasure do assaye. 
Drant, Horace, 1567, F. vi. verso. 

See Notes and Queries, 6th S. ii. 522. 
If-ye be suche ioytu felowes that ye feare 

not the wrathe or dyspleasure of officers, 

whan as ye do euyll, yet gTope youre owne 

conscience. — Thos. Lever, SemionSy 1550, p. 

45 (ed. Arber). 

Besides all that, my foote is woorth thy yard, 

So am Ijoliff&yre and precious. 
H. Thynn, Debate between Pride and Lowli- 
ness (ab. 1568), p. 12 (Shaks. Soc). 

Jubilee, a season of rejoicing (Lat. 
juhilwus), no doubt popularly connected 
with jubilant and jubilation, from Lat. 
jubilare, to shout for joy, to rejoice, is 
a distinct word derived from Heb. 
yobel, the sound of a trumpet, espe- 
cially on the year of remission (Smith, 
Diet, of Bible, i. 1151). However j/aiaZ, 
the root of yobel, and Lat. jubil-, are 
both probably imitative of aresounding 
cry or note. 

After which he proclaims a Juhile, which 
was celebrated with all maimer of sports and 
pleasures imaginable. — Sir Thos. Herbert, 
Travels, 1665, p. 10-1. 

Judas tree, a kind of carob tree, 
said to be so called because Judas 
Iscariot hanged himself thereon, Lat. 
arbor Judm [ = Cerois sihquastrum] , is 
apparently a mistaken rendering of Sp. 
an-bol JucUa, i. e. the bean tree, which 
gets its name from its bean-hke pods ; 
judia being the Spanish word for 
French beans (Minsheu). Gerarde says 
that " This shrub is founde in diners 
prouinces of Spaine," that it bears 
"long flat cods," i.e. pods, with seeds 
hke lentils, and that " it may be 
called in 'English. ludas-tree, whereon 
ludas did hang himselfe, and not 
vpon the Elder tree, as it is saide." 
— Herbal, p. 1240. It may however 
be noted against the above conjecture 
that Puloi mentions un carrubbio, a 
carob-tree, as that from which the 
traitor suspended himself [Morgante 
Maggiore, xxv. 77). 

Judy-cow, a name for the lady-bird 
insect in the dialect of Cleveland, may 

possibly be, as Mr. Atkinson suggests, 
a corruption of the French name vadie 
a Dieu (vache de JDieu), partly trans- 
lated and the rest corrupted (cow-de- 
Dieu), and then inverted (as cow-lady 
for lady-cow in the salme dialect, Frauen- 
Kuhlein, Bete de la Vierge), and so 
would result Dieu-de cow, judy-cow. 
All this, however, is only conjecture. 
Jug, a small pitcher, apparently a 
famihar name of endearment at first 
for that which suppUes drink to the 
couapany, Jug (Jugge, and Judge) 
being a woman's pet name, equivalent 
to Jenny or Jannet (see Cotgrave, s. v. 
Jehannette), but originally from Juditha 
(Yonge, Glwistian Names, vol. i.p. 63). 
It was formerly used as a canting term 
for a Hght woman, see Davies, Bupji. 
Eng. Glossary, s. v. In Leicester- 
shire jugg is still the name of sun- 
dry small birds, as bank-jugg, the wil- 
low-wren, hedge-jugg and juggywren 
for jenny-wren (Evans, E. I). S.). 
The earlier form of the word appears 
to have been jach, a name long given 
to a kind of leathern jug, and this is no 
doubt identical with A. Sax. ceac, a 
pitcher, which would become chach or 
jach (see Skeat, Etym. Diet. s. v. Jade 
(1). Old Eng. jubbe, a jug (Chaucer), 
probably contributed to the corruption. 

Jug, in the old slang expression, 
" The stone jug," for a prison, not- 
withstanding the curious parallelism 
of the Greek Tch'amos, denoting both a 
jug and a prison, is evidently a corrup- 
tion of the Scotch word jugg, generally 
used in the plural in the forms juggs, 
jougs, jogges, a kind of piUory in which 
the criminal used to be confined by an 
iron collar which surrounded his neck. 
It is the same word as Fr. joug, Dut. 
juh, Lat. jugum, a " yoke." A person 
confined in this instrument was said to 
be jogged ; the iron jug, with its par- 
tial and temporary confinement, readily 
suggested the name of stone jug for the 
more complete and protracted incarce- 
ration of the prison cell. The parish 
juggs were still to be seen a few years 
ago at the little country church of 
Duddingston, under Arthur's Seat, 
not far from Edinburgh (Notes and 
Queries, 5th S. x. 214). A representa- 
tion of one is given in CJiambers' Gyclo- 
~ia, s. V. 


( 199 ) 


Some vent to jug for dirty tays. 
C. G. Lelandj The Breitmawi BalladSj 
p. 15 (1871). 

The bretlirein ordained thaitn both, for 
thair drinking in tym of diviu service, and 
for thair suspect behaviour, to pay, ilke ane 
of thame, four merkis of penalte, and to sitte 
on the stoole of repentance tuo Soondays, or 
then to redeem thameaelfs be stand ina- in 
jog^is and brankis. — The Presbijteri/ Book of 
Sti-athbogie, 1631 (Spalding Cliib), p. 6. 

Quhen the minister said he sould cause 
put him in joggis, that thei hard him say 
that neither he nor the best minister vithin 
seven myles durst doe so much. — Id. 1614, 
p. 46. 

You had betther neither make nor meddle 
wid him ; — jist put him out o* that — but 
don't rise yer hand to him, or he'll sarve you 
as he did Jem Flanagan ; put ye three or four 
months in the Stone Jug. [Note, "A short 
periphrasis for Gaol."] — W. Carleton, Traits 
and Stories of Irish Peasantry, vol. i. p. 286 

" Six weeks and labour," replied the elder 
girl, with a flaunting laugh ; " and that's 
better than t/ie stone jug, anyhow; the mill's 
a deal better than the Sessions." — C. Dickens, 
Sketches by Boz, p. 187 (ed. 1877). 

Julienne. This soup owes its name 
to a curious series of corruptions, if the 
account given in Kettner's Booh of the 
Table he correct. One distiuctive in- 
gredient in its composition, it seems, is 
(or was) wood-sorrel, which in Itahan, 
as iu other languages, is popularly 
known as Alleluia, probably because 
its temate leaf was considered an em- 
blem of the Trinity. Alleluia became 
corrupted iuto luggiala (Florio), lujula, 
and juliola, and this name, on being 
introduced into France by Catherine 
of Medici's Itahan cooks, was finally 
Frenchified into Julienne. Cf. L. Lat. 
Luzula (campestris), called in some 
parts of Cheshire Ood's grace. 

J0LT-FLOWEE, a mis-spelliug of gilli- 
flower sometimes found, itself a corrup- 
tion of 0. Eng. gilofer, Pr. giroflee, It. 
garofalo, Mod. Greek garophalo, Greek 
harudphullon ("nut-leaf"). Low Lat. 
gariofihim. [Compare June-bating.] 
Thou caught'st som fragrant 'Rose, 
Som Julyfiowr, or som sweet Sops-in-wine, 
To makea Chaplet, thy chaste brows to binde. 

Sylvester, Uu Burtas, p. 304 (1621). 
The spelling has been influenced by the 
fact that, as Bacon observes, 

In luly, come Gillyflowers of all varieties. 
— £ssai/s, 1625, p. 556 (ed. Arber). 

It is observed, that Julyfiowers, sweet- 

williams, and violets, that are coloured, if 
they be neglected .... will turn white. — 
Bacon, Sytva Sylvarum, Works{ed. 1803), vol. 
ix. p. 246. 

Both stock-July-flowers and rose campion, 
stamped, have been successfully applied to 
the wrists in tertian or quartan agues. — Id. 
vol. ix. p. 268. 

Yonn Iulyflow*rs, or the Damaake Rose, 
Or sweet-breath 'd Violet, that hidden growea. 
G. Wither, BriUiins Remembrancer, 
p. 137 verso, 1628. 
You are a lovely July-flower, 
Yet one rude wind, or rufflmg shower, 
Will force you hence, and in an houre. 

Herrick, Hesperides ( Works, ed. 
Hazlitt), p. 92. 
The July-flower that hereto thviv'd, 
Knowing herself no longer liv'd. 

■Lovelace, Aramantha, Poems, ed. 
Singer, p. 93. 
The July-flower declares his gentleness; 
Thy me, truth ; the pansie, hearts-ease maidens 
Drayton, Ninth Eclogue, p. 436 (ed. 1748). 
Of flowers Jessamins, Roses, Melons, Tu- 
lips, Julitflowers, lac.— Sir T. Herbert, Travels, 
1665, p.' 128. 

Jump, as applied sometimes to a spe- 
cies of dance music, is a corrupt form 
of dump, a slow and solemn dance 
(Stainer and Barrett, Mtisical Dic- 
tionary). So jumpish is found for 
dumpish (Nares). 

Junetin [q. d. Apple of June\, a 
smaU apple, which ripens first (BaUey), 
sometimes spelled "June-eating " (com- 
pare Sp. mayota, May-fi-uit, the straw- 
berry), seems to be corruptedfrom genit- 
ing, also given by Bailey, " a sort of 
apple." Kettner, Booh of the Table, 
spells it joanneting (p. 34). 

Another form of the same word is 
jonette, an old Eng. name for an early 
ripe pear. 

As pees-coddea and pere-Jonettes ■ plomea and 

Vision of Piers Plowman, Pass. xiii. 
1. 221, text C. 

Professor Skeat is of opinion that 
this word, as weU as genniting, an early 
apple, is ultimately derived from JeoM, 
through probably 0. Fr. Jeanmet, Jean- 
neton, a diminutive, the reference being 
to St. John's day, June 24, when per- 
haps it became ripe. In his note, in 
loco, he quotes : — 

In July come . . . early peai-es, and 
plummes in fruit, ginnitings. — Bacon, Essay 
46 (1625, Arber ed. p. 556). 


( 200 ) JUST-BEAST 

Pomme de S. Jean, S, John's apple, a kind 
of soon-ripe sweeting. Hastivel, a soon-ripe 
apple, called tlie St. John's apple. — Cotgrave. 

This early apple or pear is still callecl 
St. Jean. — P. Lacroix, Manners, ^c, of 
Middle Ages, p. 116. 

The Joannetiiig or St. John Apple, 
like the Margaret, the Maudlin, and 
the Lukewards apple, reminds us of 
the old custom of naming fruits and 
flowers frona the festivals of the church 
nearest to which they respectively 
ripened or bloomed. Compare Lent 
Uly, Lent rose, Michaelmas daisy, Christ- 
mas rose, Ma/y (=: Hawthorn), Thistle 
Barnaby, Oang-floioer or Bogation- 
fbwer (Skinner), St. Barbara's cress, 
St. James wort, Si. John's wort, St. 
Peter's wort. Pasque-flower (zzl^aster 
flower), Fr.pasquerette (Cotgrave), Dan. 
pasTe-lilja, Ger. pfingst-rosen, Low Ger. 
pinhsten, the "Whitsuntide gilliflower. 
Especially we may notice here the 
German Johannis-apfel, -heere, -blume 
(= daisy), -kafer, -hraut, -ritte (= 
meadow sweet), -wurmchen, all of 
which make their appearance about the 
feast of St. John Baptist, or Midsum- 
mer's Day. (See Yonge, History of 
Christian Names,Yol.i. p. 110.) Finally 
we have the assertion of Messrs. Brit- 
ten and Holland that the John-apple or 
Apple- John, well known ia Cheshire, is 
so called because it is ripe about St. 
John's Day (Eng. Plant-Names, p. 
14). Gerarde gives a representation of 
a " Jennetting Peare, Pyra Prcecocia." 
—Herbal, p. 1267. 

Pomg-ranat trees, Fi^ trees, and Apple 
trees, line a very short time : & of these the 
hastie kind or JenUings continue nothing so 
large as those that bear and ripen later. — 
P. Holland, Pliny's Nat. Hist., vol. i. p. 495 

If you lone frute, forsooth, wee haue^'entt- 
iiigs, paremayns, russet coates, pippines, able- 
johns, and perhaps a pareplum, a damsone, I 
or an apricocke too. — Sir John Davies, Works, 
vol. ii. p. 248 (ed. Grosart). 

Yet, tho' I spared thee all the spring, 
Tliy sole delight is, sitting still. 
With that gold dagger of thy bill 
To fret the suimner Jenneting, 

Tennyson, The Blackbird, Poems, 
p. 68. 

Junk, a Chinese vessel, B^p.junco, so 
spe]t,perhaps, from some imagined con- 
nexion with the naval term junk (so 

Bailey), is a naturalizedform of Chinese 
chw'an, a ship (Skeat). 

Into India these Persees came ... in five 
•Tuncks from Jasquez. — 5ir T. Herbert, Travels, 
1665, p. 55. 

JuEY-MAST, " a yard set up instead of 
a mast, which has been broken down 
by a storm or shot" (BaUey), is pro- 
bably for an inju/ry mast. "With less 
hkelihood it has been considered to be 
a joury mast, i. e. a mast for the day 
(Pr. jour), temporary. Prof. Skeat 
holds the first part of the word to be 
a corruption of Dan. kiiire, driving, as 
if " a driving-mast," which does not 
seem very likely either. 

Just, when used adverbially in such 
sentences as " It is just ten o'clock," 
" The water was just to the knee," " He 
was just late," is a derivative, not of 
French ^Msfe, Jjid, Justus, but of French 
^'jouste, neer to, nigh adjoining, hard 
by, towards, beside," also old Fr. (16th 
cent.)_;'oMa!fe, It. giusta. Pro v. joste, from 
Lat. juxta, near. Hence also to joust 
or just, to come near, jostle, or tilt 
against each other, Fr. jouter, 0. Fr. 
jouster. It. giustare, Span.^Mstor, Prov. 
jostar. The primitive meaning oi juxta 
was adjoining, from jug-, the root oijun- 

•Mr. Oliphant remarks that the ear- 
liest use of just is in the sense of even,, 
right [i. e. of position] , e. g.. 

His hode was Juste to his chynne [Juita 
mentum]. — Percivaland Isumbras, 

" It is curious," he adds, " that Just should 
be found in this sense before its meaning of 
eqnitii appeai'ed in England." — Old and Middle 
English, p. 568. 

He evidently confounds here two dis- 
tinct words. 

JusTACOAT, a Scotch word for a waist- 
coat with sleeves, is said by Mr. Wedg- 
wood {Plvilological Transactions, 1855, 
p. 66) to be from Fr. just au corps. 
The Scotch forms in Jamieson are 
justicoat,justiecor, sknAjeistiecor, derived 
as above. 

Just-beast, a Sussex word for a 
beast taken in to graze, also called a 
joist-beast, a corruption of agist-heast, 
i. e. one taken for agistment or pasturage 

Compare Cumberland jyste, to agist, 
to put cattle out to grass upon ano- 



tlier'sfarm (Dickinson), Westm. 
fields," i.e. agisted {Old Country Words, 
E. D. S. p. 122). 


Kangaroo, a name popularly given 
in some places to a certain class of 
fungi. An enthusiastic mycologist, 
writing in the Saturday Review (Sept. 
1876), cites— 

The remark of a sbarpish lad who guided 
us not long ago tlirough the beautiful woods 
of Piercefield, and interrupted our triumph 
over a rare find of curious fungi with the 
caution, " You munna eat them kangaroos." 
We presently learned that this was the generic 
name which his careful mother had taught 
him to attach to mycologic growths. Two 
days later, a middle-aged bailiff pronounced 
upon a fungus on which we had stumbled 
that it was not a mushroom, but a canker. 

It is of this latter word, no doubt, that 
kangaroo is a corruption. 

Keelson, a piece of timber in a ship 
next to the keel, helsine (Chapman). 
Prof. Skeat observes that in the cognate 
languages the word bears the apparent 
meaning of "keel-swine," e.g. Swed. 
liol-svin, Dan. Ttjol-sviin, Ger. hiel- 
schwein ; but that those words were 
no doubt at first " keel-sj'H," as we see 
by comparing the Norwegian form kjol- 
svill. The suflBx svill (= Ger. schwelle, 
a sOl), not being understood, was cor- 
rupted (1) to swine, and (2) to son. 

Kenebowe, a curious old corruption 
otMmbo in the phrase " arms a-kimbo," 
as if in a keen (or sharp) low (or curve). 

The host ... set his bond iu kenebowe. 
Tale o/Beryn, 1. 1838 (ed. Furnivall). 

The proper meaning of a-Mmho is on 
kam how, " in a crooked bend " (Skeat, 
Etym. Bid. s. v.). For kam, see Game. 

Kenning, a Cornish word for a white 
speck forming on the cornea of the eye, 
as if a defect in the ken (= the sight). — 
Polwhele, Traditions and Becollections, 
ii. 607. It is a corruption of kerrmng 
also used, i. e. the growth of a kern or 
horny opacity. 

Kenspeckle, a Scottish word mean- 
ing easily recognizable from a distance, 
conspicuous, remarkable, is perhaps for 
conspeckable, Lat. conspicahiUs (^ con- 
spicuus), conspicuous ; just as ken is 

identical with Eng. con, to know, and 
kent, a long pole, with Lat. contus ; cf. 
hunsence, = consent. — Anwen B-iwle, ]). 
288. It is also in use in Lincolnshire 
(Peacock). In the Holderness dialect 
(E. Yorkshire) it appears as kensbaek; 
in Antrim and Down, kenspeckled 
(Patterson); in BaUey's Diet, ken- 

For the last six or seven years, these 
showers of falling stars, recurrent at known 
intervals, make those parts of the road ken- 
speckle (to use an old Scottish word) — i.e. 
liable to recognition and distinguishable from 
the rest. — De Qainceif, Works, vol. iii. p. 195. 

She thought it more prudent to stay where 
she was [on the top of the coach], thougli it 
might make her look kenspeckle. — Daft Davie, 
iSfC, S. R. Whitehead, p. 213. 

Keenel, an old word for a battle- 
ment, is a corrupt form of crenelle, old 
Er. ca/rnel, cn-enel (Mod. Fr. Cfr&neau), 
from aren, cran, a notch or indentation, 
Lat. arena. Hence " crenellated," fur- 
nished with battlements. In Low Lat. 
the word is spelt qua/rnellus (O. Fr. 
mur quernele), as if " foramen quadra- 
tum," a square aperture. 
Wallis & kirnels stoute )je stones doun bette. 
Langtoft, Chronicle, p. 326. 
On hym there fyl a gret kernel of ston. 
St. Graal, vol. ii. p. 388, 1. 432. 
And fie camels so stondejj vp-riht, 
Wei i-planed and feir i-diht. 

Castet of Loue, 1. 695, ab. 1320. 
jpe komli kemeles ' were to-clatered wijj en- 

William of Paleme, 1. 2858. 

Kekb-stone, an incorrect spelhng of 
curb-stone, that which cv-rhs or con- 
fines a pathway, and marks it off from 
the road, so written perhaps from an 
imagined connexion with Ger. kerbe, a 
notch, groove, or indentation. 

By the West side of the aforesaid Prison, 
then called the Tunne, was a fair Well of 
Spring water, curbed round with hard stone, 
but in the year 1401 the said Prison house 
. . . was made a Cestern for sweet water.' — J. 
Hffwell, Londinopotis, p. 77. 

Keeseymere, a fine stuff, is a corrup- 
tion of cassimere, the old form of cash- 
mere, a material originally brought from 
Cashmere in N. India. It was assimi- 
lated to kersey, the name of a coarse 
cloth originally, perhaps, manufactm-ed 
at Kersey, in Suffolk (Skeat). 

Kettle of Fish, a colloquial phrase 


( 202 ) 


for an embroglio, "mess," or contre- 
temps, a perplexing state of affairs, per- 
haps originally denoted a net full of 
fish, which, when drawn up with its 
plunging contents, is eminently sug- 
gestive of confusion, flurry, and dis- 
order. Compare hiddle {Mdellus), a fish- 
ing weir, and keddle or Icettle-net, a large 
stake-net. Compare perhaps Scot. Mttle, 
to puzzle or perplex. See Davies, Supp. 
Eng. Glossary, s. v., who quotes. 

Fine doings at my house ! a pretty kettk of 
Jish 1 have discovered at last. — Fieldingf 2 . 
Jones, blc. xviii. ch. 8. 

Key, formerly a common spelhng of 
quay, from an idea that it meant that 
which shuts in vessels from the high 
sea, just as lock is an enclosure in a 
canal. Thus Bailey defines " Key of a 
Eiver or Haven, a Wharf, also a Station 
for ships to ride, where they are, aa it 
were, loclced in with the land," and so 
Eichardson. But quay, Fr. quai, a dis- 
tinct word, is frona Welsh cae, cai, an 
enclosure. Compare W. caeth, bound, 
confined, which Ebel (through a forna 
cacht) deduces from Lat. captus (Gel- 
tic Studies, p. 100). 

Keyage, or botys stondynge, Ripatum. — 
Prompt. Parvuiorum. 

Quai, the key of a river, or haven. — Cot- 

Item, that the slippe and the keye, and the 
pavjment ther, be ouerseyn and repared. — 
Ordinances of Worcester, Eng. Gilds, p. 374 

I do not look on the structure of the Ex- 
change to be comparable to that of Sir The. 
Gresham in our Citty of London, yet in one 
respect it exceeds, that ships of considerable 
burthen ride at the very ketj contiguous to it. 
— J. Evelyn, Diary, Aug. 19, 16-11. 

It has twelve faire churches, many noble 
houses, especialy the Lord Devereux's, a 
brave kay and commodious harbour, being 
about 7 miles from the maine. — Id. July 8, 
The crew with merry shouts their anchors 

Then ply their oars, and brush the buxom sen, 
While troops of gathered Rhodiane crowd the 
Dryden, Cimon and Iphigenia, 1. 614. 

Key-oold, a frequently occurring ex- 
pression in old writers, as if to denote 
" as cold as an iron key." I would 
suggest, merely tentatively, that the 
origiaal was hele-cold, i.e. " chUl-oold," 
from A. Sax. cilan, to cIilH, Prov. Eng. 
heel, or Icele, to cool ; the word, as to 

its formation, being a kind of intensive 
reduplication, like tip-top, tee-total. Cf. 
heale, a cold, Lincolnshire. — Bay, M. 
Gauntry Words. 

Either they maiTy their childi-en in their 
infancy, when they are not able to know 
what loue is, or else matche them with in- 
equallity, ioyniiig burning sommer with keu- 
cold winter, their daughters of twenty yeares 
olde or vnder, to rich cormorants of three- 
score or vpwards. — J. Lane, Tetl-Trotlies H^ew- 
yeares Gijt, 1593, p. 5 (Shaks. Soc). 

Poor key-cold figure of a holy king. 
Shakespeare, Richard III. act i. sc. 2. 

A fire to kindle in us some luke-warme, or 
some key-cold affection in us to good. — Bp, 
Andrewes, Sermons, fol. p. 607. 

But compare the following : — 
For certes there was never keie, 
Ne frosen is upon the walle 
More inly cold, than I am alle. 

Gower, Confessio Amantis, vol. iii. p. 9. 

Keys, the Anglicized name of the 
local parliament of the Isle of Man, is 
evidently a corruption of the first sylla- 
ble of the vernacular name, Kia/re-as- 
feed, " The Four-and-twenty," so eaUed 
from the number of representatives. 

The power of making- and repealing laws 
rested with the Ketjs. — The Manx Society Pub- 
lications, vol. xiii. p. 113. 

Camden gives the fanciful explana- 
tion — 

The Keys of the Island ai'e so called because 
they are to lay open and discover the true 
ancient laws and customs of the island. — 
Britannia, Isle of Man (ed. 1695). 

Kick, a slang word for fashion, vogue, 
is not, as it might seem, a corruption of 
Fr. chic, but the same word as Prov. 
Eng. Jcich, a novelty, a dash, Mchj, 
showy (Norfolk), old Eng. " Kygge, or 
ioly (al. hydge), Jocundus, Mlaris."— 
Prompt. Parvuiorum. 
'Tis the kick, I say, old un, I brought it 
down. Dibdiit. 

I cocked my hat, and twirled my stick. 
And the girls they called me quite the kick. 
George Colimn. 

" He's in high kich " is a proverb in 
the Craven dialect. Compare Prov. 
Eng. hedge, brisk, lively (Suffolk), 
Scotch hichy, showy, gaudy, hidgie, 
cheerful ; Swed. hdch, brave, brisk, 
Ger. leech, akin, no doubt, to qmA; 
Icel. hijhr, another form of hvihr, quick, 
lively; O. H. Ger. hech, Dan. Uali. 
See Diefenbach, Goth. Sprache, ii. 482. 


In Banffshire they say, "He tried 
on 's kicks wee me," i. e. tricks ; and 
" She geed kickin' up the street," i. e. 
walkipg -with a silly haughty air (Gre- 

KiOK-SHAWs, French ragouts orsauces 
(Bailey), or generally any Ught made- 
dishes of an unsatisfying nature, is an 
Anghcized form of Fr. quelgue chose, 
"something," anything trivial, the ter- 
mination -shaw being perhaps mentally 
associated with pshaw I a term of con- 
tempt. The Germans have twisted the 
same word into geckschoserie, foolery, 
as if compounded with geek, a simple- 
ton (Andresen, Deutsche Volksetynw- 
logie, p. 40). Cf. our " gooseberry /ooZ" 
and " siUi-bub." 

Gervase Markham, in his English 
Housewife, alleges as instances of her 
skill " quelguechoses, fricassees, devised 
pastes," &c., and "Whitlock, in his 
Zootonvia, considers " guelgues clioses, 
made dishes of no nourishing." 

Paper Qiielk-chose never smelt in Scholea. 
— Duvies, Muse's Sacrifice, p. 5. 
Onely let mee love none, no not the sport 
From countrey grasse, to comfitures of Court, 
Or cities quelqiie choses, let not report 
My minde transport. 

Dr. Donne, Poems, 1635, p. 8. 

Bishop Hall has the word still tm- 
naturahzed, " Fine quelqtieschoses of 
new and artificial composition;" Cot- 
grave defines Fricandeaux as " quelk- 
choses made of good flesh and herbs 
chopped together," and Dryden shows 
the word in a state of transition. 

Limberham. Some foolish French quelque- 
chose I wan-ant you. 

Brainsick. Quelquechose ! ignorance in 
supreme perfection ! He means a kekshose. 
The Kind Keeper [in Wedgwood]. 

This latter form seems eventually to 
have been mistaken for a plural, as 
kickshoe is used by Lord Somerville 
(Memorie of the Some')'villes),s,ia.di kecsho 
in an old MS. cookery book (Wright 
s. V. Eyse). But kickshawses (Shaks. 
Twelfth Night, i. 3, 122) and kickeslwses 
(Featley) were formerly in use. 

She can feed on hung beef and a barley 
pudding without the help of French kickshaws. 
— The Ctiuntiy Farmer's Catechism, 1703. 

Ye shall haue a Capon, a Tansie, and some 
kiek-showes of my wits. — Jacke Drums hnter- 
tainement, act ii. 1. 424 (1616). 

Picking here and there upon kickshaws and 

puff paste, that have little or no substance in 
them.— Thos. Brooks, Works (Nichol's ed.), 
vol. iv. p. 134 (1662). 

Milton speUs it kicksJioes. 

Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short- 
legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any 
pretty little tiny kickshaws. — Shakespeare, 
2 Hen. IV. v. 1, 1. 29. 

Kidnap, to steal a child, i. e. to nab 
a kid; the latter slang term for a 
child being perhaps the same as Dutch 
and German kind, just as kip, another 
slang word, is the same as Dutch kni;p. 
See Davies, Supp. Eng. Glossary, s. v. 

Kidney, an assimilation to other 
words ending in -ey (such as attorney, 
chimney, money) of old Eng. Iddnere, 
which is a compound word meaning 
literally " beUy-reins." Kid (Prov. 
Eng. kite, the stomach) is A. Sax. cinS, 
the womb or stomach, Scaud. kviir, 
Goth, quijpus, and " neere of a beest, 
Een" (Prompt. Parv.)is akidney, "the 
reins," Dan. nyre. 

"Eeynoun, kydeneyre." — Old MS. 
See Prompt. Parvulorum, p. 353. I find 
that this is also identically the view of 
Prof. Skeat, Etyin. Diet. s. v. 

J3ei schul offre twey kideneiren. — Wycliffe, 
Levit. iii. 33. 

Take fio hert and >o my druv and Jje kydnere, 
And hew horn smalle, as I j^e lere. 

Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 10. 

Kilderkin, a small cask, a corrup- 
tion of Dut. kinde.ken, the same, origi- 
nally a " child-kin," and then a barrel 
of infantine dimensions, from kind, a 

KiLLESSB, 1 old words for a groove or 
CuLLiDGB, J channel (Parker, (xZossari/ 
of Architecture), are corruptions of Fr. 
couUsse, something that slides, a port- 
cullis, or the groove it slides in, from 
couler, to slide, to trickle, Lat. colare, 
to per-colate. 

KiLL-EiDGB, an ancient corruption of 
the name of the plant culrage {Poly- 
gonum hyd/ropiper), "Water-pepper, or 
arsenicke, some call it kill-ridge, or 
culerage." — Nomenalator, 1585. 

Curage,The herb Waterpepper . . Killridge, 
or culerage. — Cotgrave. 

Oiderage, another name for the same 
plant, is a corruption of Pr. cidrage. 
Gowitch, according to Mr. Cockayne, is 


( 204 ) KING-00U6E 

only another form of cul/rage [?] . — 
Leechdoms, vol. iii. Glossary, s. v. Ears- 

Kindness, a name given to a disease 
■which prevailed in Scotland a.d. 1580, 
was probably, as Jamieson suggests, a 
vulgar corruption of (quinance) squin- 
ance, squinancy, the old forms oi quinsy, 
from 'Bx.sq'amance, Lat. C2/wamc/je,Greek 
hunanche, a dog- throttling. 

King, a contracted form of old Eng. 
hining, A. Sax. cyning. Prom a mis- 
understanding of the cognate words, 
O. H. Ger. and old Sax. hurdng, O. Low 
Gar. ciming, Dut. homng, Swed. konung, 
Icel. Iconungr, as if derived from Goth. 
Tiunnan, Icel. kurma, Dut. hunnen, A. 
Sax. cunnan, to know and to be able 
(so Helfenstein, Gomp. Orammm; p. 
33), originated the idea that the Mng is 
properly he who can, or possesses power, 
because he kens or has cunning ; since 
knowledge is power, and might is right, 
according to Carlyle's favourite doc- 
trine. (So Verstegan, Smith, Bailey, 
Richardson ; also Jenkin on Jude, p. 

This etymology is of considerable 
antiquity. In a homily of the 12th 
century it is said, 

Elch man fie lede<5 is lif rihtliche ... is 
cleped king, for fiat he kenned eure to rihte. 
— Old Eng. Homilies, 2nd Sw. p. 45 (ed. 

King fi-om Conning, for so our Great-grand- 
fathers called them, which one word implyeth 
two most important matters in a Governour, 
Power and Skill. — Camden, Remaines Concern- 
ing Britaine, p. 34, 1637. 

The Commander over Men ; he to whose 
will our wills are to be subordinated, and 
loyally suri'ender themselves, and find their 
welfare in doing so, may be reckoned the 
most impoi-tant of Great Men. . . . He is 
called Rex, Regulator, Roi : our own name 
is still better; King, Xiinnm^, which means 
Ctfn-nin^, Able-man. — T. Carlisle, On Heroes, 
Lect. VI. 

Kinf^ is Kon-ning, Kan-ning, Man that/c7iou;5 
or cans. — Id. Lect 1. 

The only Title wherein 1, with confidence, 
trace eternity, is that of King. Konig (King) 
anciently /iL07t7jiTt^,means Ke7i-7iin^(Canning^, 
or which is the same thing Can-ning. Ever 
must the Sovereign of Mankind be fitly en- 
titled King. — Sartor Resartus, bk. iii. eh. 7. 

O. Eng. Mn-ing (old Frisian hining) 
meant originally "son of the kin," i.e. 
a chief chosen by the tribe (Ger. hur- 
fUrsf) ; kin- being the same word as A. 

Sax. cyn, a tribe or kin, Icel. hyn, 0. 
H. Ger. kunni, Goth, hum, race; and 
-ing, a patronymic termination, mean- 
ing " son of," as in Athel-ing, Woden- 
ing (Eask, A. Sax. Orammar, p. 78). 
So Diefenbach, OotJi. Spraclie, h. 464 ; 
Stratjnann, Skeat. Compare " The 
king is near of hin to us." — 2 Sam. 
xix. 42 ; A. Sax. i>edden, a king, from 
l>edd, the people ; \>eod-cyning (Beowulf, 
1. 2, and 3008), a king belonging to the 
people ; and A. Sax. d/iighten, a lord 
(Icel. drdttinn), from d/right {dir6tt), the 

The king is the representative of the race, 
the embodiment of its national beino;, the 
child of his people, and not their father. 
A king, in the old Teutonic sense, is not the 
king of a country, but the king of a nation. 
The Teutonic king is not the lord of the soil, 
but the leader of the people. — Freeman, The 
Norman Conquest, vol. i. p. 77. 

The king, says Cardinal Pole, is the head 
and husband of the people, the child, the 
creature, and the minister of the two— 
populus enim Regem procreat. — Id. p. 584. 

Dans I'origine, le peuple souverain cr6a dea 
rois pour son utility. — De Cherrier, Histoin 
de Charles VIII. i. 76. 

Nu ! ^in ciining ^6 cymjj to. — A. Saj, Vers. 
S. Matt, xxi.' 5. 
& fie wule he was out of Engelond ■ Edgar 

fiat rist eir was of Engelond • & kunde to he 
Robt. of Gloucester, Chron., Morris 
Spec. p. 15, 1. 422. 

He thought therefore without delay to rid 
them, as though the killing of his kinsmen 
could amend his cause, and make him a 
kindlii king. — Sir T. More, History of King 
Richard III. 

King, Ger. konig, has also been iden- 
tified with Sansk. ganaha, a father, 
which is rather a word closely related, 
root gan, to beget, whence genus, hin. 

King-cough, given by Bailey as a 
North country word for the cMn-anigh, 
or hooping-cough, is a corruption of 
kink-cough. (See Chin-cough.) It is 
found also in N. W. Lincolnshire (Pea- 
cock), in the Holdemess district, B. 
Yorkshire, and in Cumberland (Dickin- 
son). An old MS. of the 15th cent, says 
" fiis erbe y-dronke in olde wyne helpil' 
Jie Kynges hoste " ( = king-cough), 
while another heals " fie chynhe and I'e 
olde cogh" (Way). Skinner quotes 
kin-cough as a Lincolnshire word, and 
the verb kinchen, to breathe with dififi- 


( 205 ) 


culty. Compare Swed. Mk-hosia, cliin- 
cough, Dut. hink-hoest. 

Kingdom is properly no compound 
of Mng with the suffix -dom, as if the 
state or condition of a king, though it 
has long been regarded as such. The 
Old Bng. form of the word is Jdnedom, 
A. Sax. cyneddm, where the first part of 
the compound is cyne (adj.), royal. — 
Skeat, Etym. Did. 

Ich chuUe sclieaweu ... to alle kinedomes 
)jine scheomeful sunnen, to |ie kinedome of 
eor^e, & to {je kinedoine of heoaene. — Ancren 
Riuile, p. 322. 

[He] cowfie vche kyndam tokerue & keuer 
■when hyjn. lyked. 

Alliterative Poems, p. 85, 1. 1700. 

Kit, a small violin, contracted (per- 
haps under the influence of catling, and 
cat-gut, TdtUng and hitten) from A. Sax. 
cy there, a cittern, a word borrowed from 
Lat. dthwra, a lyre, whence also gwita/r 
and Ger. zither. 

Kitty, a provincial word for a wren 
{e.g. Parish, Sussex Glossary), is a cor- 
ruption of cutty, a name also given to it, 
descriptive of the shortness of its tail ; 
compare Welsh cwta, short, bob-taUed, 
cwt, a tail, or s-cut, amtiar, a coot, cwtyn, 
a plover. " The little Mtty-wren must 
once have been St. Catherine's bird," 
writes Miss Yonge, History of Chris- 
Han Names, vol. i. p. 270. 

Kitty-witch, a Norfolk word for a 
cockchafer, from the A. Sax. wicga, 
seen also in eax-wig. — Philohg. 8oc. 
Trans., 1858, p. 103. 

Knot, the name of a snipe-like bird, 
Tringa Ganutus, is said to have its 
name from King Oanute, with whom 
it was a favourite article of food 
(Camden). Cf. Jcnot, nodus, and Swed. 
icrmi, leel. Icnutr. 

The knot that called was Canutus' bird of old 
Of that great king of Danes his name that 
still doth hold. Drayton. 

Now as the Eagle is called JotIs Ales, so 
here [Lincolnshire] they have a Bird which 
is called the Kings' Bird, namely Knut's, 
sent for hither out of Denmark at the charge, 
and for the use, of Knut, or Kanutus, King 
of England. — T. Fuller, Worthies, vol. ii. p. 2. 


Laborinth, an incorrect spelling, as 
if connected with labo^- (Cotgrave), Low 

Lat. lahorinius, of labyrinth, Lat. laby- 
rinthus, from Greek lahurinthos. The 
Greek word has been regarded as 
another form of lavurinthos, from lavra 
(Xafpa) or laura {\aipa), a lane, as if a 
place full of lanes or alleys. It is pro- 
perly a corruption of an Egyptian 

Ladder to Heaven, a trivial name 
for the plant Solomon's seal. Dr. Prior 
conjectures that it may have originated 
in a confusion of seel de Salamon, or 
de Notre Da/me, with echelle de 8. or de 

Lady's smock, an old popular name 
for the ca/rdamine or cress, in North- 
ampton applied to the great bind weed. 
It was perhaps indefinitely used at first 
for any common plant with a white 
flower, and may possibly be the same 
word as old 'Eng.lustmoce (Lcece Boc, I. 
xxxviii. 3), A. Sax. teforeoca, lust wort, 
sundew (drosera) [?J . 

Lamb, in certain cant phrases, as " to 
give one lamb and salad," i.e. a sound 
thrashing, lamb-pis, a flogging, is doubt- 
less the same word as Prov. and old 
Eng. lam, to beat or drub, lamming, a 
thrashing (Lincolns.), originally to' 
strike with the hamd, Ir. lamh, 0. Norse 

Dauber, to beat, swindge, lamme, canvass 
throughly. — Cotgrave. 

De Tellers ash lam de Romans dill 

dey roon mit noses plue. 
Leland, The Breilmann Ballads, p. 104. 

I once saw the late Duke of Grafton at 
fisticuiFs, in the open street, with such a fel- 
low, whom he lamb'd most horribly. — Misscm, 
Travels over England, p. 305 (ed. 1719). 
Compare smack, to slap, to give a sound- 
ing blow to one, and Irish smac, the 
palm of the hand. However, the true 
cognation may be Icel. lama, to bruise, 
lame, A. Sax. lama; cf. Scot, lamp, to 

Lamb-mass, an old misunderstanding 
oi Lammas (Day), the iirst of August, 
"because the Priests used to get in 
their Tithe-iamis on that Day" 
(Bailey); " Lanvmesse, Festum ag- 
nm-um' ' ( Prompt. Parvtdorum, ab . 1440) . 
Lam is the ancient form of lamb. A 
mass said on that day was accordingly 
esteemed very beneficial to lambs 
(Southey, Common Place Book, vol. iv. 
p.^ 122). But Lammas is A. Sax. hldf- 

LAMB-SKIN-IT ( 206 ) 


mcesse, loaf-mass (in Saxon Chronicle, 
an. 913), the day when an offering of 
new wheaten bread was made, as a 
thanksgiving for the fruits of com. 

By ))is lyflode we mote lyue ■ tyl lammasse 

tyme ; 
And by |jat, ich hope to haue ' beruest in my 
Langland, Vision ofP, Plowman, C. ix. 315 

(ed. Skeat). 
Tbat tbe Sberiff and Bailly bunt tbe Wolf 
thrice in the Yeaa- betwixt St. Mark's day 
and Lambmass; and that the Country rise 
with them to that end. — Acts of Scot. Pari., 
Jac. VI., Par. 14, cap. 87. 

Lamb-skin-it, " a certain game at 
cards" (Bailey, Dictionary), as if to 
imply the game at which an innocent 
tyro would be ileeced, or as the phrase 
goes, a pigeon would be plucked (Chau- 
cer's "to pull a finch"), is a corrup- 
tion of Fr. lansquenet, " a Lance-knight, 
or German footman ; also, the name of 
a game at cards." — Cotgrave. See 

Lamb's quaktbes, a popular name 
for the plant atriplex patula, is perhaps 
only Lammas quarter, called so fi'om its 
blossoming about the 1st of August, the 
season when the clergy used to get in 
their tithes (Prior), A. Sax. hlaf-mcesse. 

Lamb's-wool, the name of an old 
EngUsh beverage, of which the chief 
ingredients were ale and roasted apples, 
is said to be a corruption of lamasool, 
from the "ancient British" la maes 
ahhal, "the day of apples," i.e. the 
autumnal feast of apple gathering, 
when it used to be drunk (Chamhers' 
Cyclopcedda) . In Irish indeed la is day, 
mas is collected, and aVIial is an apple, 
and formerly this drink, as well as 
apples, was partaken of at the autumnal 
feast of All Halloween (Brand, Pop. 
Antiq., i. 396, ed. Bohn), but this Celtic 
name needs confirmation. It is first 
mentioned, I tliink, by General Val- 
lancey, while lamhs-wool is found in the 
16th century. The Scotch word is 

Next crowne the bowle full, 
With gentle lamhs-wooU, 
Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger. 
Herrich, Poems, p. 340 (ed. Hazlitt). 
\yith Mahomet wine he dammeth with intent 
I'o erect his paschal lamb's wool Sacrament. 
Absalon's Xine Worthies (see Dryden's Poems, 
p. lOr, Globe ed.). 

Gerarde, writing in 1597, says : — 

The pulpe of the rested Apples . . mixed 
in a wine quart of faire water, laboured to- 
gither vntill it come to be as Apples and Ale, 
which we call Lambes Wooll . . doth in one 
night cure . . . tbe strangurie. — Herball p. 
1276, fol. 

Peele in his Old Wiues Tale, 1595, has: 
Lay a crab in tbe fire to roast for hmh's- 

wool. — p, 446, ed. Dyce. 

The lambs' -wool, even in the opinion of my 

wife, who was a Connoisseur, was excellent. 

— Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. xi. 

Lampee eel, a Scotch corruption of 
lamprey ( Jamieson), found also in pro- 
vincial English (Wright). 

The Lamprey, or, as it is called here [in 
Banffshire], the Lamper eel, is often met with. 
— Smiles, Life of Edward, theScotch Naturalist, 
p. 426. 

In W. Cornwall it is called the lumping 
eel (M. A. Courtney, Olossary,:E\. D.S.). 

Some odde palace lampreeVs that ingender 
with snakes, and are full of eyes on both 
sides, with a kinde of insinuated humblenesse, 
fixe all their delightes upon his brow. — /. 
Marston, The Malcontent, i. 5 ( Worlis, ii. 'il6, 
ed. Halliwell). 

Lamprey, Fr. lamproie, Sp. la/mprea, 
It. lampreda, has generally been under- 
stood to be from a Low Lat. lam-petra, 
i.e. lamhens petram, "hck-stone," from 
its attaching itself to rocks by its mouth. 
The Breton name lamprez, from lampr, 
sUppery, and Welsh lleiprog,iroTa lleip; 
"limber," probably point to the true 
origin, and in that case the above forms 
would be instances of corruption due 
to false derivation. For the inserted 
m compare limpet from Greek lepa{d)s i 
and limp beside Welsh lUpa, flaccid. 
Compare also Umber, Swiss lampig, 
Bav. lamnpecht, flaccid. 

Mylke of almondes Jjerto \>ou cast, 
jjo tenche or lampray do to on last. 

Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 10. 

Lampreys — In Latine Lampetrae, a lam- 
bendo petras, " from licking the rocks," are 
plentif'ull in this and the neighbouring Coun- 
ties in the River of Severn. A deformed 
Fish, which, for the many holes therein, one 
would conceive Nature intended it rather for 
an Instrument of Musick then for man's 
food.— T. Fuller, Worthies of England, vol. 
ii. p. 465. 

Lancegay, the name of an old wea- 
pon, apparently a spear or javelin, pro- 
hibited by the statute 7 Rich. III. 


He worth upon his stede gray, 

And in his hond a launcegay, 
A long swerd by his side. 
Chaucev, The Rime of Sir Thopas, 1. 13682. 
" Lawncegay, Lancea." — Prompt. Parv. 
Mr. Way thinks that lance-gaye (men- 
tioned byGuillaume de St. Andre in the 
14th cent.) or lance-guaye may be the 
same as the arahegaye of the Franks, 
and derived from the name of the 
Eastern or Moorish weapon, called 
assagay, arzegaye, or zagaye. L'assagay 
would readily pass into lancegay. Sp. 
"Azagdya, a iavelin, a Moores weapon." 
— Minsheu, is for al-zagaya. Prof. 
Steat thinks the word is contracted 
from lance-zagaye. De Comines men- 
tions that the Albanian Stradiots 
[=: urpaTiwrai] were armed with a short 
pike called an arzegaye pointed with 
iron at both ends. — Sir S. D. Scott, 
The British Army, vol. ii. p. 14. The 
assegai of savage warfare, a word with 
which we became painfully famihar in 
our conflict with the Zulus, is not a 
native term, but borrowed from the 
the Europeans. Cotgrave has zagaye 
and azagaye, "a fashion of slender, 
long and long-headed pike used by the 
Moorish horsemen." It is the Berber 
zagaya (Devic). 

The male sort from their infancy practise 
the rude postures of Mars, covering their 
naked bodies with massie Targets, their right 
hand brandishing a long but small Azasuay 
or lance of Ebony, barbed with iron, kept 
bright, which by exercise, they know how to 
jaculate as well as any people in the Uni- 
verse. — Sir Thos. Herbert, Travels, 1665, p. 23. 

That no man go armed, to here lauiicegaues, 
Gleyves, Speres, and other wepyn, in dis- 
torbynge of the Kvnges pease and people. — 
English Gilds, p. 388 (E. E. T. S.). 

To speake of lesser weapons, both defensive 
and offensive, of our Nation, as their Pauad, 
Baselard, Launcegay, &c., would be endlesse 
and needlesse, when wee can doe nothing but 
name them, — ■Camden, ReimiiTies Concerning 
Britaine, 1637, p. 204. 

Lance-knight, a foot soldier, French 
lansquenet, " a Lance knight, or German 
footman " (Cotgrave), is not, as Skin- 
ner thought, derived from lamce, biit a 
coiTuption of Ger. lands-lcnecht, a coun- 
try man, lit. a land's-knight. 

His garmentes were nowe so sumptuouse, 
all to pounced with gardens and jagges lyke 
a rutter [i.e. Ger. ritter, knightj of the 
launce knyghtes. — Sir W. Barlowe, Dialogue 
describing the originall Ground of these Lu- 

theran Faccions. — Southeu, Life of Wesley, 
vol. i. p. 358. 

The lansquenets were mercenaries 
that Charles VIII. took into his pay ; 
they composed a large part of the 
French infantry in the 16th century 
(Cheruel). Compare " Lanceman, a 
oompatriote or countreyman [LanJs- 
mann] ; a word which the Frenchman 
borrows of the Dutch to mock him 
withall. ' ' — Cotgrave. 

Well, now must I practise to get the true 

farb of one of these lance-knights. — B. Jonson, 
'.very Man in his Humour, ii. 2 ( Works, p. 9). 

Land iron, a corruption of andiron, 
Fr. landder, O. Eng. andyar, awnderne 
{Prompt. Parv.), Low Lat. andena, an- 
deria. The word has certainly no con- 
nexion with either land or iron. See 
Andiron, Endibon. 

One iyron potte and one land iiiron. — In- 
ventory, 1685 (in Peacock's Glossary ofManley, 

Langley-bbef, in W. Ellis's Prac- 
tical Farmer, 55, a corruption of langue- 
de-hceuf, a name of the HelmintMa 
EcMoides. ' 

Lantern, given in Wright's Diction- 
ary of Ohsolete and Provincial English 
as a word for a reading desk, is a cor- 
ruption of letteron, a lectern, Fr. luirin. 

Lectern was also spelt lettern, letirone, 
and leterone. See Prompt. Pan-vulwum, 
under the latter word. See Lectern. 

Lant-horn, so spelt with reference, 
probably, to the material with which 
it was commonly glazed, is a corrupt 
form of lantern, Fr. lanterne, from Lat. 
lanterna, laterna, itself a corruption (for 
lampterna) of Greek lampter, a light, a 

Our soules now-sin-obscured Light 
Shines through the Lanthom of our Flesh so 


Sylvester, Du, Bartas, p. 136 (1621). 
The Moon pull'd off' her veil of Light 
That hides her Face by Day from bight . . . 
And in the Lanthom of the Night 
With Shining Horns hung out her Light. 
Butler, Hudibras, II. ii. 1. 905. 
To thy judgement [she] looks like a mard 
in a lanthom, whom thou couldst not fancy 
for a world, but hatest, loathest and 
have spit in her face. — Burton, Anatomy of 
Melancholy, III. ii. 4, 1. 

With the form lant-horn may be 
compared Swed. Jwrn-lyMa, a lantern 
with horn sides. 



AsBer claims for King Alfred the 
honour of being the original inventor 
of horn lanterns, which by a skilful 
device he caused to be made of wood 
and cow's horns ; " Consilio artificiose 
atque sapienter invento, lanternam ex 
lignis et hovinis cormibus puloherrime 
oonstruereimperavit." — WiightjEssays 
on Archceology, vol. i. p. 179. 

Lanthobn Lilies, a Warwickshire 
name for the Narcissus, in the Isle of 
Wight lantern KUes, are corruptions of 
Lenten liUes, so called from the season 
of their flowering. — Britten and Hol- 

So the Scotch have lentrin kcdl and 
lanten kml, for " Lenten kail." 

Lantobn, a northern provincial word 
(Wright), meaning " at a distance," is 
a corruption of the French lointain. 
Similarly It. lanternare, " to goe loiter- 
ing about "(also "to makelanthornes"), 
lanternaro, an " idle loyterer " (Florio), 
are near akin to Dut. lenteren, Bret. 
landar (of. Diez, s. v. Lendore), our 
"loiter," (cf. Wedgwood, s. v.), Lat. 
lateo. So Icmterner, in Cotgrave, to dally, 
play the fool, or loiter. 

Lanyaed, a nautical term for a rope, 
is a corruption of French lamiexe, a long 
strap, O.Eng.famere (=ligula. — Prompt. 
Pwv., ab. 1440), lanyer (Palsgrave, 
1530), layner (Wychffe, Gen. xiv. 23), 
a thong, lamer (Chaucer) ; Norfolk 
la.nyer, the lash of a whip. Fr. lanm'e 
was perhaps originally a woollen band, 
Lat. ZaracwmSjfrom lana, wool (Scheler). 
Laner. — Holland, Gamden's Britannia, 
p. 542. 

Laplovb, a Scottish name for the com 
convolvulus, is apparently that which 
laps or enfolds the leaves, Scand. lof, of 
the plant,as in Prov. Swedish it is called 
luf-binde, the leaf-binder (Jamieson). 

Lap-stone, is not, as might naturally 
be supposed, the stone which the shoe- 
maker places in his lap to hammer 
leather upon it, but the cohhle-stone, 
from Dutch lappen, to cobble or patch, 
lapper, a cobbler, lapwerh, cobblery. 

Lapwing, the peewit, derives its name 
not from the lapping or flapping of its 
win^s, nor yet from their lifting, as if 
the old Eng. form were hleaf-ivinge 
(Leo), from A. Sax. hlifian, to rise, soar, 

be lifted up (Bosworth). Cf. its Prench 
name vannecm, the winnower, Lat. 
vanellus. The old forms lapwinhe. Vim- 
wynche, A. Sax. hledpewince, show tliat 
the word has nothing to do with lap or 
wing. The first part of the compound 
is connected with A. Sax. hledpan, to 
run or leap, says Prof. Skeat, the latter 
part with winh, O. H. Ger. winchen, M. 
H. Ger. winken, to vacillate, waver; 
so that the whole ("leap-winker") 
means the bird " that turns in run- 

Hy bye)) ase [je Ihapwimche jjet ine uel)* 
ffilth] of man makejj his nest. — Ai/enbUe of 
InwytClSiO), p. 61. 

iMpuiynke, or wype, byrde, Upipa.— 
Prompt. Parvutorum. 

Cucurata, hleape-wince. — Wright's Vocabv^ 
laries, p. 62. Leepwynke. — Wyciijfe. 

They begynne al redy to do wel, that one 
catcheth wel a chykeu, and that other a 
pullet. They conne wel also duke in the 
water after tapwynches and dokys. — Caiton, 
Reynard the Fox, 1481, p. 60 (ed. Arber). 

They will do it, and become at last imen- 
sati, void of sense ; degenerate into dogs, 
hogs, asses, brutes ; as Jupiter into a bull, 
Apuleins an asse, Lycaon a wolf, Tereas a 
Uip-uimg. — Burton, Anatomy of Metamholy, 
III. ii. 4, 1. 

Lark, a colloquial and vulgar term 
for a frolic, playing, sporting, or in- 
dulging in practical jokes (sometimes 
more emphatically called sJcy-la/rhing), 
as if to gambol and disport oneself like 
the merry bird of dawn, " The jolly 
bird of hght " (Lovelace), "Lafestiva 
lodoletta" (Aleardi). 

Earley, cheerfull, mounting Larke, 
Light's gentle vsher, Morning's dark, 
In men*y notes delighting. 
Sir John Davies, Hymnes to Astrtea, V. 

" We should be as gay as Im-lcs," says 
Mr. Brass in the Old Gwiosity Slop, 
ch. Ivi. " The kitchen boys were all as 
gay as larlcs." — T. L. Phipson, Biogra- 
phical Sketches of Violinists, p. 9. 

It is really a corruption of the old 
Eng. lak, A. Sax. lac, play, sport, 0. 
Eng. laik, to play, Gothic laiJes, sport, 
laikan, to skip or leap for joy. 

In the Gothic version of the parable 
of the Prodigal Son, when the elder 
brother returned, he heard laihiw, 
" larking," going on in the house {Luh 
XV. 25). 

And the answer of the ladies makes us 
aware that they ai-e fresh from larking in 


( 209 ) 


Ireland and France. — De Quincey, Works, 
vol. xi. p. 85. 

Late-wake, a corruption of lake-wake 
or lyhe-wake,i. e. body-watch, or waking 
of the dead, 0. Eng. liche-wake, from A. 
S. lie (a corpse) and wwcce (a watch) ; 
" Lyche, dede body."- — Pr. Parv. Of. 
Dut. Hjk, a corpse, Icel. lih, Goth. leik. 

Ne how Aroite is brent to aslien cold; 
Ne how the liche-wake wasyhold 
All thilke night, ne how the Grekes play 
The wake-plaies ne kepe I not to say. 

Chaucer, The Knightes Tuk, 1. 2960. 

** In gude ti'oth it will be a puir It^ke-wake, 
unless your honour sends us something to 
keep us cracking." 

" You shall have some whiskey," answered 
Oldbuck, "the rather that you have pre- 
served the proper word for that ancient cus- 
tom of watchmg the dead. — You observe. 
Hector, this is genuine Teutonic, fi-om the 
Gothic Leichnam, a corpse. It is quite erro- 
neously called Late-wake, though Brand 
favours that modem corruption and deriva- 
tion." — Scott, The Antiquary, ch&p. xl. 

Latchet, an old word for the thong 
of a shoe, as if that which latchs or 
fastens it (of. latch of a door), from the 
old verb latch, to catch or fasten, old 
Eng. lacche, A. Sax. Iceccan. It is 
reaUy a httle Zace,Pr. lacet (It. laccietto), 
from old Er. laqs, Lat. laquens, anoose. 
See The Bihle Word-Book, p. 287; 
Skeat, Etym. Bict. s. v. Laclict of a 
schoo, Tenea. — Pronvpt. Pai-uulorum. 
A latchet wherwith they fastened their 
legge hameys, Pasciola. — Baret, Al- 
vearie, s. v. Bande. 

A stronger then I commeth after me, whos 
shue latchett I am not worthy to stoupe 
downe and vnlose. — Tyndale, S. Marke, i. 7 

[Peahens] are wont to lay by night, . . and 
that from an high place where they perch : 
and then, vnlesse there be good heed taken 
that the eggs be Uitched in some soft bed 
vnderneath, Uiey are soone broken. — Holland^ 
Pliny's Nat. Hist. vol. i. p. 301 (1634). 

Latmne, a house of office, Lat. la,- 
trim, which would seem to be a deri- 
vative of lateo, to be hid, as if it meant 
a house or place retired, concealed, or 
kept out of view, is really a contracted 
form of toaWma (from toare, to wash), 
denoting (1) a bath, (2) a place that can 
be flushed or washed out, Ueu d'aisance. 
Cf. Fr. lavement. In Nash's Lenten 
Stuff e, " lanterneman or groome of 
Hecate's close-stoole " (Davies, Supp. 

Eng. Olossa/ry) looks like a corruption 
of latrine-man. 

Laudanum. " A medicine extracted 
out of the purer Part of Opiiim, so called 
from its laudable QuaUties" (Bailey) — 
as if from Lat. laus, laudis, praise — iB 
a corrupted spelling of Lat. ladanum, 
Gk. ledanon, the juice obtained from 
the plant lada or ledon, the oistus Greti- 
cus, Arab ladan ; cf. Heb. lot (translated 
"myrrh," A. V. Gen. xxxvii. 25). Some- 
what similarly the lark, Lat. alauda, 
was once supposed to take its name a 
laude diei, from its singing lauds (Neo- 
kam, Be Nat. Rerum, cap. Ixviii.). 

For the infirmities proper to the guts, & 
namely the worms there breeding Ladanum 
of Cypresse is soueraigne to be taken in 
drinke. — Hollands, Pllnys Nat. History, vol. 
ii. p. 253(1*34). 

Laystall, a dust-hole or ash-pit, 
seems to denote a stall where dust and 
rubbish may be laid, but is really a cor- 
ruption of laye-stowe (Fabyan) , an empty 
or unoccupied place, where any filth or 
rubbish may be thrown. Lay here is 
the old Eng. ley, leye, Scot, lea, untiUed, 
vacant, unoccupied, corresponding to 
Prov. Dan. leid, Ger. leede, Dut. ledig, 
of the same meaning (see Wedgwood, 
S.V.). Compare " IJai/, londenottelyd." 
— Prompt. Pa/rvulorum. Lea, a meadow, 
A. Sax. leah, and Prov. Ger. loh, a 
morass, are alhed (Skeat). 

This place of Smythfeelde was at y' daye a 
laye stowe of all order of fylth,& the place where 
felons, & other tiasgressours of y' Kynges 
lawis, were put to execucio. — Fabyan, Chro- 
nicles, p. 254 (ed. 1811). 

Scarse could he footing find in that fowle 
For many corses, like a gi-eat Lay-stall, 

Of murdred men, which therein strowed 

lay . 
Without remorse, or decent funerall. 

Spenser, Faerie Queene, I. v. 53. 

Lavendek-watee, French eau-de- 
lavande, the original signification, ac- 
cording to M. Scheler, being perfumed 
water for toilet purposes, esp. used in 
washing, It. lavanda z= lavage, from 
Lat. lava/re. But the lavender water of 
commerce is distilled from lavender. 

Law, in the compound words mother- 
in-law, father-in-law, &c., is not the 
same word as law = lex, as if a legal- 
mother, or a father in the eyes of the 
law (which those connexions are not), 


( 210 ) 


but the modern form of old Eng. lage, 
marriage, GotHo Kwga, marriage, liu- 
gan, to marry, Frisian logja, to give 
in marriage. 

To wife in lage he hire nam. 
Genesis and Exodus, 1. 2764 (ed. Morris). 
Thus parents-in-law properly means 
parents in (or by ) marriage. The above 
words are probably near akin to A. 
Sax. licgan, to lie down, Prov. Eng. to 
lig, whence leger, a bed, a "lair," leger- 
team, matrimony; Ughie, "concubin- 
age, which northward they call a UgKe " 
(Nicholson, on Oateclmm, 1661) ; com- 
pare Greek Uchos, lektron, bed, mar- 
riage, dlochos, a wife, &c. ; also A. Sax. 
logjan, to place or lay down. Stanyhurst 
uses lawdaughter and lawfather for 
daughter-in-law and father-in-law. 
Soon to King Priamus by lawi thus he law- 
father helpino^. 
Aeneid, ii. 354 lUavies, Supp. Eng. Glossary']. 

Law, in the phrase "to give one so 
much law," i.e. in running a race to 
allow one's competitor a start of so 
many yards or feet in advance, seems 
properly to mean a concession, and to 
be a corrupted form of A. Sax. leaf, 
leave, permission. (This law has with 
less probabiUty been connected with 
A. Sax. Idf, old Eriesic la/wa, what is 
left.— PUlog. Soc. Trans., 1855, p. 278.) 
So the O. Eng. " lefuUe, or lawfuUe, 
Licitus " {Prompt. Parv.),:=A. Sax. 
ledf-ful, permissible, leveful (Wychffe), 
was confounded with " lawfulle, legiti- 
mus" {P.P.), from A. Sax. lagu,la,w. 
These words were formerly kept dis- 
tinct, as in the old phrase "in lefull 
things and lawful " (vid. Way, Prompt. 
Parv.-p. 366). Cf. '' im-lough," bom 
Dutch ver-Zd/, leave; Dan. lov, leave 
(and lov, law), Swed lof. See Leave. 

This winged Pegasus posts and speeds 
after men, easily gives them law, fetches them 
up again, gallops and swallows the gi'ound 
he goes. — Samuel Wardj Life of Faith in 
Death (d. 1653). 

Law 1 ) a feminine expletive, is pro- 
La 1 ) bably not a corruption of 
Mr. Pepys' Lord I but a survival of 
old Eng. la, eala, wala, an interjection 
of surprise. In the Anglo-Saxon ver- 
sion of John ii. 4, Christ addresses his 
mother, " Ldwif, hwEetisme and Se ? " 
(Ohphant, Old and Mid. Eng., p. 72). 

Lawful, when used in the sense of 

allowable, permissible, as in " All 
things are lawful unto me, but all 
things are not expedient." — A.V. 1 Car. 
vi. 12, is no compound of Law aad full. 
It is the old Eng. lefvl, or leeueful,ie. 

Leful, written Leveful hy VViclif and de- 
rived fi'om the Anglo-Saxon leaf, English 
leave, signifies what is allowable, permissible, 
while lawful is what is legal, according to 
law. But we find in Old English authors 
constant mistakes in the use of the two tenns. 
Leful trespassed upon lawful, and in fact is 

so rendered in most of the glossaries 

This confuaioh of terms, at first perfectly 
distinct with respect to meaning and etymo- 
logy, seems to have arisen from an endeavour 
to give significance to a word, or to some part 
of a word that had lost the power of explain- 
ing itself. — Morris, Philolog. Soc. Transactions, 
186"<!-3, p. 86. 

It is nat leful to thee for to haue hir. — Wy- 
cliffe, S. Matt. xir. 4. 

Hit ys nat lawfull for the to haue her.— 
Tyndale, ibid. 

What don 3e this, that is not leefful in 
iahotisl—Wyctiffe, S. Luke, vi. 2. 

Lay figuee, as if the figure on which 
artists la/y the drapery as a study for a 
picture, was formerly called a "lay 
man," i.e. " a statue of wood whose 
joints are so made that they may be 
put into any posture" (Bailey, 1736). 
It is the Dutch lee-man, for lede-mcm, 
from led or lid, a joint, Ger. gUed, and 
so means a jointed figure hke a Dutch 
doU. — Wedgwood, Notes and Qmems, 
5th Ser. V. p. 436. 

The German word is gUedermmin. 
Compare A. Sax. Hi, Prov. Eng. Uth, a 
limb or joint (also the clove of an 
orange), 0. H. Ger. Ud, Goth. Uthas, 
and perhaps Eng. lithe, flexible, active 
Hmbed (Diefenbach, Ooth. Sprache, vol. 
ii. p. 142). 

The Spectator speaks of miUiners fur- 
nishing ladies with new fashions " by 
means of a jointed baby [i.e. doU] , that 
came regularly over once a month, 
habited after the manner of the most 
eminent toasts in Paris " (No. 277). 

With lay, a joint, Dut. lid, Ger. glkd, 
and lay, a song, Ger. Ued, compare 
Greek nielos, (1) a Umb, (2) a song. 

Lay-lock, a North country corrup- 
tion of Ulac {Holderness Ohssairy, Eng. 
Dialect Soc), Sp. Ulac, of Persian ori- 

"Sweet laylocks bloomed" oooum 



in the Scotch ballad, 'Twas within a 
imle of Eddnbmv' toon. 

Bacon in his Essays (1625) calls it 
"the Leiache Tree" (p. 556, ed. Arber). 
In some parts of Scotland the word is 
corrupted into lily-oak. 

A foantaine of white marble .... set 
round with six trees called lelach trees. — 
Siirveiff 1650 \_DavieSj Supp. Eng. Giossai'y'\. 

Leachewhite, an old word for a fine 
to punish fornication {Lease of Manor 
of Scatter, 1537), is a corruption of 
lecher-wite, from A. Sax. wite, a fine. 

Lead, an old word for a cauldron or 
kettle, as if one made of lead (Uke "cop- 
per" commonly used for a cauldron), for 
which that metal would be a particu- 
larly imsuitable material. It is pro- 
bably a corrupted form of Gaehc luchd, 
a pot or kettle, Irish luchd. 
Mowe hawme .... 
To burne vnder lead. 

Tvsser, 1580, E. D.Soc. p. 125. 
And y shal yeue fie ful fail- bred, 
And make be broys in fie led. 
Havelok the Dune, 1. 924 (ed. Skeat). 
Also beoiS his ese-puttes 
ase a bruf^en led. 
Old Eng. Miscelknii, p. 182, 1. 242. 

Then he led him into steddie 
werhaswas a boyling leade, 
& welling ■ Tppon Lie. 
Percy Folio MS. vol. i. p. 99, 1. 238. 
His eyen steep, and roUyng in his heed, 
That steiued as a foraeys of a teed. 
Chaucer, Prol. Cant. Tales, vol. ii. p. 7 
(ed. Morris). 
The xiij day of Marche Fryday, was a 
mayde boy Id in Smj'thield in a grete led, for 
poysenyng of many y' she had doon. — 
Chronicle (1540), Camden Miscellantf, vol. iv. 
p. 16. 

Leaguer, an old word for the camp 
of an assailing army, is an assimilation 
to league of Dut. leger, an army or 
camp {also a bed or lair, which is the 
same word), Hterally that which lies 
(in position before a town), from Dut. 
leggen, to lie. Hence to he-leaguer. Gf. 
Ger. lager. 

He shall suppose no other but that he is 
carried into the leaguer of the adversai-ies, 
when we bring him to our own tents. 
Shakespeare, All's Well that Ends Welt, 
iii. 6, 1. 28. 

Leaguer, a false spelling of the old 
word leiger, or ledger (Dut. legger), an 
ambassador, one who Ues (A. Sax. Me- 

gan) or resides in a foreign country to 
guard the interests of his own sovereign, 
as if it denoted one empowered to make 
a league or terms of peace. 

Rural shades are the sweet sense 

Of piety and innocense ; 

They are the meek's calm region, where 

Angels descend and rule the sphere ; 

When Heaven lies teaguer, and the Dove 

Duely as dew comes from above. 

H. Vanghan, Sacred Poems, 1650, p. 225 
(Repr. 1858). 

Sir Henry "Wotton's jest is explana- 
tory, " An Ambassador is an honest 
man sent to lye abroad for the Com- 
monwealth " (Beliqtiim Wottomiaiice, 
1672). So a ledger (book) is one that 
lies ready at hand on the desk (cf. O. 
Eng. a coucher), and ledger-hait is one 
that lies at rest or fixed (Iz. Walton, 
Complete Angler, p. 68, Eepr. Mur- 

Newes of my morning Worke . . . That 
sleepe is deaths /ei^er-ambassadour. — Sir T. 
Overbury, Newes, p. 189 (ed. Rimbault). 

Leason, a term of cookery denoting 
a thickening for sauces, is a corruption 
of Fr. liaison, what serves to bind them 
together (Kettner, Booh of the Table). 

Leather, used in Scotland, Ireland, 
and Prov. EngUsh, for to flog or beat 
soimdly, as if to lash with leather 
thongs (A. Sax. leier). It is the old 
Eng. USere, used in the same sense, 
Scot, leather, to belabour or work ener- 
getically (Gregor, Banff Olossa/ry) ; cf. 
A. Sax. (^t6-)lHian, to tear (to limb, 
from li^u, a limb), WSere, a sUng; Prov. 
Eng. liiher, supple, pUant, Uthe,toiaaM.e 
supple, Cleveland leathe. 

Hot him ut hetterliche — )je fule kur dogge 
— & tHere to him lu<Serliche mid te holie 
rode steue [Order him out sternly, the foul cur 
dog, and leather him severely with the staif 
of the holy rood]. — Ancren liiwte, p. 291. 

Leave. "When a person leaves, or de- 
parts from, a place or company {disce- 
dAi), he is said "to take his leave," and 
the word in either case is no doubt 
popularly supposed to be the same (as 
if discessionem capere). The true mean- 
ing of the phrase is "to take permis- 
sion " {licentiam capere), i.e. to with- 
draw ; leave being old Eng. leus, A. Sax. 
leaf, permission (from lyfan, to permit), 
and identical with the -lough of fw- 
lough (^ Dut. ver-lof permission to be 
absent, leave, Ger. wr-lauh), Icel. leyfi. 


( 212 ) 


Cf. " By your leave," with your per- 
mission, "to ask leave," "to give 
leave " (See Skeat, Etym. Did. s. v.). 
Therat alle the kynges loghe, 
What wondur was thowe ther were no 

swoghe 1 
They tolte ther leve that tyde ; 
With trumpys and with mery aonge, 
Eche oon went to hys own londe, 
With Toye and grete pryde. 
The Emperor Octavian (14th cent.), H. 1720- 
1725 (Percy See). 
But taketh his leve, and homeward he him 

spedde ; 
Let him heware, his nekke lieth to wedde. 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales, 1. 1219. 
And so it were to me lever, 
Than such a sighte for to leve, 
[f that she wolde give me leve 
To have so mochel of my will. 
Oower, Conf, Amantis, vol. iii. p. 8 
(ed. Pauli). 
Luf lokes to luf & his leue takes. 
Alliterative Poems, p. 48, 1. 401 (ed. Mon-is). 
These graces though they shall leave the 
fioule in Heaven, hecause she should not need 
them, yet they shall not forsake her while she 
abides in the porch, hut shut heaven doore 
upon her ere they take their leave. — D. Rogers, 
Naaman the Si/rian, 1641, Ep. Dedicatory, 
p. i. 

He that described his manner of departure 
from his mistresse, said thus not much to be 

I kist her cherry lip, and took my leaue : 
For I took my leaue and kist her; And yet I can- 
not well say whether a man use to kisse before 
hee take his leaue, or take his leaue before 
he kisse, or that it be all one husines. It 
seenies the taking leaue is by using some 
speach, intreating licence of departure : the 
kisse a knitting vp of the fai-ewell, and as it 
were a testimoniall of the licence without 
which herein England one may not presume 
of courtesie to depart, let yong Courtiers 
decide this controuersie. — G. Puttenham, 
Arte ofEng. Poesie, 1589, p. 181 (ed. Arber). 
In the following, lycence is used in the 
sense of leave of absence. 
'J'han for a space he taketh Lycence, 
God wot as yet he [be] payd for none ex- 
spence ; 
And so departeth. 

The Hye Way to the Spyttel Hous, 1. 495. 

Lectern, a reading-desk in a church, 
apparently that from which the lections 
(or lessons) of Scripture are read out of 
the ledionajry (Lat. lectio, a reading), 
and so given by Bichardson. It is really 
the Low Latin leotrinum, from Low 
Lat. lectrum, a pulpit or reading-desk, 
properly that on which a book rests. 

from Greek lektron, a couch (akin to 
Lat. leotus, a couch, litter, Ke, Imr, &c.). 
■ — Skeat. Compare concher, the re- 
gister-book of a corporation ; and ledger, 
an entry-book that lies (ready at hand), 
Ger. lager-huch. 

Leedging, used in the sense of heal- 
ing or cure in the Percy FoTao M8., is 
from Fr. alleger, to allay, assuage, or 
mitigate one's hurt, but confounded 
with leechinge, which is a various read- 
ing in loc. 

Sir Cawlines sicke, & like to he dead 

Without and a good leedginge. 

ffeitch yee down my daughter deere, 

Shee is a Leeche ffuU ffine. 

vol. iii. p. 5, 11. 37-40. 

Leese, a technical term used in the 
manufacture of playing cards, meaning 
to burnish or polish the cardboard by 
rubbing with a smooth flint, is cor- 
rupted from the French Ksser, to 
smooth or polish {Transaotions of 
Fhilolog. 8oc. 1867, p. 65). 

Left. The left hand is not, as has 
been often asserted, that which is left 
or unused, as is proved by the Belgio 
and Lower Saxon lufte, hicht, luohter. 
It may be akin to Lat. Icevus, left, 
Greek laios, Church Slavonic levii. 

Pictet thinks that Greek laios for 
lavios corresponds to a Sanskrit form 
lavya (lavandus, sinister). — Origines 
Indo-Ev/rop. tom. ii. p. 491 ; Curtius, 
Grisch. Etymologie, p. 328; Garnet, 
Fhilolog. Essays, p. 66. 

Lyft in old EngUsh seems to have 
meant weak, powerless, disabled 
(Skeat), and the left hand is in other 
languages often regarded as the useless 
liand, e.g. It. manca (the maimed), 
Prov. man seneco (the aged or weak 
hand). See Diez, s. v. Oauche. 

Leg powster, an old Scotch expres- 
sion for a state of health in contradis- 
tinction to death bed, e.g. a will made 
in leg powster, is a ludicrous corruption 
of the forensic phrase Uege poustie. 

Leisure, an assimilation to other 
words ending in -we, such as censure, 
figure, measwe, structwre (Lat. censwa, 
figura, &c.), of leiser, old Eng. leyser, 
old Fr. leisir, (1) to be permitted, (2) 
leisure, from Lat. licere, to be allowed. 
Similarly pleaswe from Fr. pladslr. 

Whan ))ou sees leysere >at he ne perceyue 

LEMON DAB { 213 ) 


]}i witte. — Langtoft's Chronicle, p. 229 (ed. 

Lemon dab, a certain species of dab 
or flounder, "is commonly called so at 
flsh-staUs" (BaShsiui, Prose HaUeutics, 
p. 358). The name is a corruption of 
Pr. Imiande ("limand dab"), platessa 
limanda, so called because its rough 
skin resembles, and is used for, a jUe, 
Uina. A somewhat similar fish is called 
a lenwn-sole, the scientific name of 
which is Solea Auriamtiaca, i.e. " Orange 
sole," apparently a fresh corruption. 

Lent, a Scotch term for the game at 
cards more commonly called Loo, as if 
(which Jamieson actually supposed) 
because it was played more especially 
during I/e»#, is a corruption of the word 
Lant, which is also found. 

Lant is merely the head, just as Zoo 
is the tail, of the word Lcmterloo (which 
was perhaps understood as Lant or 
loo), formerly spelt lang-irilloo (Shad- 
well, A True Widow, 1679, activ.) and 
lantraton (which Mr. 0. Wordsworth 
thinks is fvom Fr. Ventrefien, conversa- 
tion. — University Life in EighteenthCen- 
twry, p. 517). The origin is probably Pr. 
lanturhb, nonsense! (Skeat). Lant is 
stUl used for the game of loo in N. W. 
Lincolnshire (Peacock), and lanter in 
Cumberland (Ferguson). 

At hnter the caird lakers sat i' the loft. — 
Dickinson, Cumberland Glossary, E. D. S. 

Letteemaeeday, an old Scotch term 
for the day of the birth of the Virgin 
(Jamieson), is evidently a corruption 
of (our) Lady Mary's Bay. 

Lettbron, a Scotch term for a desk, 
is a corruption of lettrin, old Eng. let- 
torne, O. Fr. letrin, Fr. lutrin, a lectern, 
or reading stand. 

In silke t;at comely clerk was clad. 
And ouer a lettorne leoned he. 
Early Eng. Poems ( Philolog. Soc. 1858), 
p. 124, 1. 18. 

Lettuce is frequently found as the 
sign of an alehouse ; e.g. The Oreen Let- 
tuce is (or was) the designation of one 
in Brownlow Street, Holbom (Brand). 

Lettuce here, and in the sign of The 
Bed Lettuce, or as anciently spelt, " a 
red lettice " (Chapman, All Fools, sign. 
H 4), is a corruption of lattice, which, 
when painted red, was once the com- 
mon mark of an alehouse. Hence 

Shakespeare's " red-lattice phrases." 
— Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 2. 

As well knowen by my wit as an ale-house 
by a red lattice. 

The known ti-ade of the ivy bush or red let- 
tice. — Braithwait, Law of Drinking, 1617 
( Preface). 

First, you must swear to defend the honour 
of Aristippus, to the disffi-ace of brewers, ale- 
wives, and tapsters, and profess yourself a 
foe, nominalis, to maltmen, tapsters, and red 
lattices — Randnlph, Aristippus, 1630, Worlts, 
p. 13 (ed. Hiizlitt). 

All the vacation hee lies imboag'de hehinde 
the lattice of some blinde, drunken, bawdy 
ale-house. — Sir T. Oi>erbiiry, Characters, p. 
162 (ed. Rimbault). 

I take a corner house, and sell nut-brown. 
Fat ale, brisk stout, and humming clamber- 
I'll front my window with a frothy boar. 
And plant a new red lettuce o'er my door. 

Epilogue to the Adelphi, 1709, Lusus Alteri 
Westmonasterienses, p. 8. 

I am not as well knowne by my wit as an 
alehouse by a red lattice. — J. Marston, An- 
tonio and Meliida, Pt. I. act v. 

The alehouses are their nests and cages, 
where they exhaust and lavish out their 
goods, and lay plots and devices how to get 
more. Hence they fall either to robbing or 
cheating, open courses of violence or secret 
mischief, till at last the j ail prepares them for 
the gibbet. For lightly they smg through a 
red lattice, before they cry through an iron 
grate.' — T. Adams, The Forest rf Thorns, 
Works, ii. 480. 

Where Red Lettice doth shine, 
'Tis an outward sign 

Good ale is a traffic within. 

The Christmas Ordinary, 1682. 

He called me even now, my lord, through 
a red lattice. — Shakespeare, Ben. IV. Pt. II. 

See Hotten, Hist, of Signboards, p. 
375 ; Brand, Pop. Antiquities, vol. ii. 
pp. 351-355 ; Way, in Prompt. Pa/rv. 
s.v. Geny; Soane, New Curiosities of 
Literature, vol. i. p. 89. 

This lattice is said to have been originally 
the chequers, which were the arms of the 
Warrens, Earls of Surrey (chequy or and 
azure), and were affixed to public houses in 
order to facilitate the gathering of dues for 
those noblemen who had the grant of licens- 
ing them. — C. N. Elvin, Anecdotes of He- 
raldry, p. 167. 

S imil arly Lettice-cap, a coif of net- 
work, occurs in the plays of Beaumont 
and Fletcher, and is a corruption of 
lattice-cap. Minsheu, in his Spanish 
Dictionary, gives "A Lettise bonnet or 
cap for gentlewomen, Albanega ;" "A 


( 2U ) 


Lettise window, v. Lattise," and " Let- 
tise an herbe, Lecfmga." 

Levant. A defaulter who runs away 
from his creditors is said to levant, as 
if to go on a cruise to the furthest ex- 
tremity of the Mediterranean, a phrase 
of considerable antiquity; cf. in French 
" Faire voile en Levant, to saU East- 
ward; to be stolne, filched, or pur- 
lojmed, away" (Cotgrave). 

The Levant, as a word for the East, 
is from lever, to rise. It. levare, mean- 
ing the rising, or (as Gray calls it) 
" the levee of the Sun ;" and the phrase 
in question is a sort of calembow on the 
verb levei; to Uft or carry away, =z Eng. 
"to convey;" Sp. levantar, to hft up, 
raise, weigh anchor (Minsheu), de- 
camp. Our slang verb to Hft, meaning 
to steal (also to cl/ift), as in slwp-lifting, 
is of a different origin, being near akin 
to Goth, hlifan, to steal, hliftus, a thief, 
Gk. Idepto, Ideptes. To Levant, or sa{l 
for the Levant, is one of a numerous 
class of jocular phrases framed on the 
same model, with a quibbling allusion 
to local names ; e.g. the sleepy are said 
to be off to Bedfordshire or the Land of 
Nod ; the gullible are sent to the Scilly 
Isles or Greenland; the dinnerless to 
Peckham ; the bankrupt to Beggwr's 
Bush. In France, to be upset is aller a 
Versailles; a dunce is. recommended a 
course a Asnieres (as we might recom- 
m.end an impudent fellow to Brase- 
nose) ; a person is sent about his busi- 
ness by being despatched to the Abbey 
of Vatan (va-t-en). — Tylor, Macvullan's 
Mag. vol. xxix. p. 505. 

We in England bid him go to Jericho, 
an old phrase : — 

Let them goe to Jericho, 
And n'ere be seen a^aine. 
Merciu-ius Aulkus, March 25-30, 1648. 

He who snores in Leicestershire is 
one who comes from Hog's Norton 
(hogs' snorting !) ; the eccentric are 
said to live in Queer Street, or in Bo- 
hemia ; the fanciful are said to have 
castles in Ayrslvvre; a ne'er-do-weel 
who may one day be hanged is in 
Scotch a Hempshire gentleman. So in 
Ehzabethan English, one who deserved 
to be whipt was sent to Bircliing Lane, 
and if penitent bidden to come home 
by Weiying Gross ; those in want of 
food were Hungarians. The narrow- 

minded cit, or lover of good cheer, is a 
denizen of Oocagne, It. Gocagna. Com- 
pare also the French phrase " voyager 
en Oornouaille [to sail to Cornwall] , To 
wear the horn " (Cotgrave), i.e. to be 
cornutus, or to be made a cuckold, 
which is also found in Itahan, " Dorma 
die manda il ma/rito in GornouagUa 
senza barea, a woman that sendeth her 
husband into the land of Cornewale 
without a boat, that is cuokoldeth 
him " (Plorio). The nearest parallel, 
however, to levant is It. Picairdia, the 
country of Picardie, but used for a 
place where men are hanged; andwr' 
in picardia, to goe to the gaUowee, or 
to be hanged " (Florio), with allusion 
to pica/re, to rogue or cheat. 

Never mind that, man ; e'en boldly run a 
levant. — Fielding, History of a Foundtinf, 
bk. viii. ch. 12. 

The foUowing are in Fuller's Wor- 
tMes of England: — 

*' He was bom at Little Wittham " [Lincoln- 
shire] ... It is apply ed to such people as are 
not overstock'd with acutenesse. — Vol. ii. 
p. 7. 

" He must take him a house in Turn-again 
Lane " [London] . . is applied to tliose, 
who, sensible that they embrace destructive 
courses, must seasonably alter their mamiers. 
—Id. p. 59. 

He that fetcheth a Wife from Shrews-bury 
must can-y her into Staff'-ordshire, or else shall 
live in Cumber-land-. — Id. p. 254. 

" You are in the high way to Needham '' 
[Suffolk] — said to them who do hasten to 
poverty. — Id. p. 326. 

" He doth sail into Cornwall without a 
Bark". . . this is an Italian Proverb, where 
it passeth for a description (or derision rather) 
of such a man who is wronged by his wile's 
disloyalty. — Id. vol. i. p. 210. 
Then married men might vild reproaches 

And shunne the Harts crest to their hearts 

With cornucopia, Cornewall, and the home. 
Which theii' bad wiues bid from their bed be 
Lane, Tom Tel-Trolhs Message, 1. 676 
(1600), (Shaks. Soc). 

I repaired to Delphos to ask counsel of 
Apollo, because I saw myself almost arrived 
at Oraoesend, to know it I should bring up 
my son suitable to the thriving trades of this 
age we live in. — Randolph, Heii for Honestii, 
i. 1, Works, p. 388 (ed. Hazlitt). 

We may compare with the above : — 
in French, aller a Gachan (a village near 
Paris), to hide one's self {se cacher) 


( 215 ) 


from one's creditors. — Le Roux de 
Linoy, Proverhes Frangais, torn. i. p. 
329 ; aller a Patras, to be gathered to 
one's fathers (ad patres) ; etre de Lunel, 
to be a lunatic ; aller a Rouen, to go to 
ruin : in German, nach Bethlehem gehen 
(go to B«cZ-lam), and nach Bettingen 
gehn (to go to Bettingen, a village near 
Basle), for zu Bette gehen (to go to 
bed) ; Fr ist aus Anhalt (He is from 
Anhalt, as if haltan, he holds fast), 
meaning he is a miser ; Fr ist ein 
Anklamer (cf. airiklammem, to cling to 
one), he is importunate. — See Andre- 
sen, Volhsetymologie, p. 36. 

Level-coil, an old word used by 
Jonson and others for a riot or distur- 
bance (vid. Marvell's Poems, p. 117, 
Murray's reprint), is from the French 
leve cul, and originally signified a romp- 
ing game. " To play at levell coil, jouer 
a cul leve, i.e. to play and Uft up yaiw 
iaile when you have lost the game, and 
let another sit down in your place " 
(Minsheu); Provengal Ze«jai-coMa.. Com- 
pare French lascule, see-saw, from has 
and cul; hasculer (Ootgrave) ; old Eng. 
Upiails-all, a riotous game. 

As my little pot doth boyle ; 
We will keep this levell-coyte ; 
That a wave, and I will brings 
To my God, a heave-offering. 

Herrick, Noble Numbers, Poems, 
p. 425(ed. Hazlitt). 
So they did, & entered the parlour, found 
all this Uuell coyU, and his pate broken, his 
face scratcht, & leg out of joynt. — jR, Ar- 
min, Nest of Ninnies (1608), p. 28 (Shaks. 
Tav. How now ! What coil is here ? 
Black. Levet'Coil, you see, every man's pot. 
Beaumont and Fletcher, Faithful Friends, i. 2. 
Whose soul (perhaps) in quenchlesse fire 

doth broile, 
Whilst on the earth his Sonne keepes leuell 

Tat/lor the Water-Poet, Workes, 1630, p. 260. 
A daily deluge over them does boil, 
The earth and water play at level coil. 
Andrew Marvell, The Character of Holland. 

LicKSTONE, a hteral rendering of the 
name of the lanvprey, which was sup- 
posed to be Icmiiens-petram. 

Liege, often used as if meaning 
faithful, trusty, loyal, yielding true ser- 
vice, as a "liege man," a "Uege vas- 
sal." It is easy to see, says Prof. Skeat, 
that this sense is due to a false ety- 

mology which connected the word with 
Lat. ligatus (from ligare, to bind), as if 
hound to his lord by feudal tenure, 
owing allegiance. (SoSpelman, Bailey, 
Way.) In exact contradiction to the 
popular notion, the original meaning 
was free, and the word was appUed to 
the lord, as " oure lyge lord " (Robert 
of Gloucester). It is old Eng. lege, 
lige, Fr. Uge, old Fr. liege, Low Lat. 
ligius, 0. H. Gar. lidic, free to go 
one's way, from Udan, to go. A liege 
lord seems to have been a lord of a free 
band, and his lieges or men owed their 
name to their freedom, not to their ser- 
vice. See Skeat, Etym. Fiat. s.v. 
Lordinges, 5e ben my lege men- (jat gode ben 
& trewe. 

William of Palerne, 1. 2663. 
Lyche, lady or lorde, Ligius. — Prompt. Par- 

The Baron has been with King Robert his 

These three long years in battle and siege. 
Scott, Waverley, oh. xiii. 
.... Sterne fortunes siege, 
Makes not his reason slinke, the soules faire 

Whose well pais'd action ever rests upon, 
Not giddie humours, but discretion. 

Marston, Antonio and Metlida, Pt. II. 
act i. sc. 5. 

Life-belt probably means etymo- 
logicaUy a ftoi^-belt, from Dut. lyf, 
Swed. Uf, Ger. leib, the body. 

Compare Ger. Idh-hinde, a girdle, 
leib-gurtel, a body-belt ; Dutch hjf-hand, 
a sash or girdle ; Swed. Uf-roch, a close- 
fitting coat. 

LiFE-GUABD, i.e. hody-gaaxi, the first 
part of the word corresponding to Swe- 
dish "lif" ( rz Ger. leib, body), said 
to have been introduced in the I'hirty 
Tears' War (vide Dasent, Jest and Far- 
nest, ii. p. 25), but it is certainly older. 
Similar formations in Swedish are Uf- 
vaht, body-guard; Uf-page, lif-hirurg, 
page and surgeon in ordinary ; lif-d/ra- 
gon, dragoon of the body-guard. Com- 
pare Dutch lijf, the body, whence lijf- 
garde, lijf-schnihende, ahfe-guard ; Ger. 
leibga/rde, a body-guard. So Dut. lijf- 
hnecht (body-servant), a footman. 

The Swiss have leihgatiner (body- 
gardener), a blundering form of leih- 
ga/rde. See Life-belt. 

" The King's Body guaird of yeomen 
of the guard " was instituted by Henry 


( 216 ) 


VII. in 1485, probably on tbe model of 
" La Petite Oa/rde de son corps " or- 
ganized by Louis XI. in 1475. But 
the " King's Life Guards " are first 
mentioned in the reign of Charles I. 
See ElHs, Orig. Letters, 2nd S. vol. iii. 
p. 310. 

Know also that the Cherethites were a kind 
of ij/egarrf to King David. . . What unlikely- 
hood was it that Uarid might entertain Prose- 
lyte Philistines, converts to the Jewish reli- 
gion, if there were such, to be attendants 
abmU his body 1 Not to instance in the French 
Kings double gard of Scots and Switzars, as 
improper to this purpose. — T. Fuller, Pisgah 
Sight, 1650, p. 217. 

Then three young men, that were of the 
guard that kept the King's body, spake one 
to another. — A. V, 1 Esdms, iii. 4. 

Lift, an old verb meaning to steal, 
stUl used in shop-lifter, one who pilfers 
from shops, and cattle-lifting, cattle- 
stealing, has sometimes been under- 
stood as to raise, take up, and carry 
off (Eichardson), like It. levare, to take 
or set away, to remove, levante, an up- 
taker, a bold pilfrer (Plorio). It has 
nothing to do with lift, to raise, but is 
(like graf-t for graff) an incorrect form 
of liff, cognate with Goth. hUfan, Lat. 
clepere, Greek kleptein, to steal (Diefen- 
bach, ii. 669). Klepto-mamia is a mama 
for lifti/ng. 
And so whan a man wold bryng them to 

They wyll hym rob, and fro his good hym 

The Hye Way to the Spyttel Hous, 1. 298. 
Is he so young a man and so old a lifter ? 
Shakespeare, Troitus and Cressida, 
i. 2, 129. 

He that steals a cow fi*om a poor widow or 
a stirk from a cottar is a thief; he that lifts a 
drove from a Sassenach laird, is a gentleman- 
drover. — Scott, Waverley, chap, xviii. 

Like. To Uhe has often been under- 
stood to signify the attraction which 
we feel towards those who are Uke our- 
selves in tastes and dispositions ; nolle 
et velle eadem being one chief bond of 

Every beast loveth his like, ... all flesh 
consorteth according to kind, and a man will 
cleave to his like. — Ecclus. xiii. 16, 17. 

For ech ]ping louejj his iliche, so sai)j Jie hoc 
Early Eng. Poems, Judas Iscariot, 1. 66 
(ed. Fm-nivall). 
An hypocrite liketh an hypocrite because 

he is like unto him. — Bp, J. King, On Jomh 
(1594), Lect. ii. 

Compare also the following : 
For wel louus euery lud • [jat liche is him 

Alexander and Dindimus (ab. 1350), 1.1041. 

" Every man loves well what is Ulce 
to h