Page images
PDF
EPUB

to suppose was onee upon a time Low-Saxon or Dutch."— Editor of The Times newspaper.

As a wrong-headed conceit; an irrational proposition; a foolish scheme; a mad design. Er keye, V uitsiet; q. e. in this instance the fool peeps out in what he says; he that says this has a twist in his head; what he says smacks of the madman; we see the weakness of his head by what he proposes. Keye, a wrong-headed man, a perverse fool; also a frantic person, a man whose brain is turned; grounded on the thema ke-en, to turn, whence keeren in the same sense. Hij heeft een keye in de hop, means he has a twist in his head; he is a weak-headed man. Keye is as the participle present of ke-en, and thus a twisting or turning; hence also our word key, as that which is turned, and our quay, as that which is turned towards, by the boat or ship. But Crotchet, as one of the crooked lines between which by-words [phrases] arc placed or as a crooked line in a music book, is as the French crochet, in the same sense, and at bottom the same word with our crook, with the diminutive suffix, and the Dutch krook, kroke, a bend, a curve. Hence our word curl, as a metathesis of krol in the same sense; as well as the Latin curvus, curvare, and a long list of words too numerous for this article; at bottom crotchet in both the above senses resolves into a same thema. We say, "his ways are crooked," in the sense of his ways are unrighteous, not straight-forward, in a concurrent but stronger meaning, than that he is a crotchetty man; the one implying a wilful direliction of right, and so culpability, the other a natural defect, and so a misfortune. It is analogy of sound which has confused the form of the two words with us in literal form. Uitsien, to peep out, to peer out, and so to show itself slightly, or in a small degree. Keye 'r uitsiet, the sound of the first vowels being naturally absorbed in the preceding consonant k and the 'r taking their

place, sounds as krotseet would with us, and almost identically with our pronunciation of crotchet. 'R, er, there; and is the almost uniform original of our article a in point of sound and meaning.

FILTH.

"We entreat that the Filth may be first expunged from the book. Mr. Bellenden Ker has attempted to explain some of the nastiest savings of the lowest of the canaille. No one could have desired this information, even if Mr. Bellenden Ker could have given it,—which he cannot; and, in making the attempt, he is unnecessarily dirty, without being in the least degree useful."—Editor of the Times newspaper.

As nastiness, corruption, foulness. I suspect as vuylt (gevuylt), the participle past of vuylen, to foul, to defile, to dirt, and also to corrupt, to become putrid, to rot, used in a substantive sense; and thus as rottenness, and so foulness, nastiness; or corruption as the producer of nastiness To defile, to defoul, and to defoil, are the same verb differently spelt. Vuyl is the same word with our foul and the German faul. The thema is in vo-en, vu-en, whence vouwen, as our to fold, in the sense of to fold together, to plait, and so to wrinkle, make uneven, put out of order (to rumple). And the ground sense of foul has no reference to nastiness or stain, but is merely to that which is not in due order, and thus as that which is altered from its original appearance. Foul flesk, is flesh in an unduly altered state, in a disordered state, in a broken up state. We say, the " sea has a foul bottom," in the sense of a rocky, uneven, rough ground. The rope is foul of the anchor, is as the rope is disordered, or put out of order, entangled by the anchor. Foul linen, is as linen not in a due state. Foul weather, is as disordered (disturbed) weather, unsettled state of weather. To foil, in the sense of to defeat (derange), is the same word as the above vuylen. To foil his hopes, is to derange (to disorder) his hopes. A foil, as a point

less sword, to fence with it as a sword put out of its first state, by taking off the point, by flattening it into a harmless state, and is as the ellipsis offoiledsword or rapier. But a foil, as that under a jewel in order to show it advantageously, is as the Dutch 'folie, foelie, and the same word with the Latin folium, and the French feuille, as a thinly flattened substance. Vollen, our to full; voelen, our to feel; as well as foot, and a numerous tribe of other words, all spring from the thema vo-en. Our to soil, and to sully, and the French souiller, are one word. Of this another time.

"When that I this * Fooi.e storie rede • Mine eien wezin FOULEt, and sore also."

Chaucer.

"The holy bed Defoiled} of manage

(For once Defoiled may not be recovered),

The vice goth forth." Chadcf.r.

A DIRTY DOG.

As a phrase of contempt, imports the meaning that the person in question does not count amonij honest people, that the known baseness of his conduct renders him an outcast from the company of honourable persons. Er deer te doogh; q. e. in him offence to virtue; a bane to worth; a poison to merit; an evil to good; one that quarrels with honesty. A dirty man, is as—Er deer te man; q. e. in him you see a nuisance to mankind. A dirty action, is a&—Er deer t'achte sie aen; q. e. behold there an offence to respectability, an offence to all that is respectable among men. To be dragged through the dirt, in the sense of to be a sufferer through friendship or misfortune, as the partaker in another's ill conduct, and so to suffer for another in reputation, is as—Te bij draght de rouw,die deert;

* Unnatural, out of the usual course of things.

t Disordered by tears, filled with unusual moisture.

% Disordered, misused, injured.

q. e. he that is present bears the sorrow for it, the other does the mischief (commits the offence). Dirt, in the common sense of that word, is a metathesis of the Dutch drijt, filth, excrement, stercus, sordes. Deer, dere, offence, nuisance, mischief, hurt, harm; whence deren, deeren, to injure (offend, damage, hurt) and formerly in use among our older writers.

"For though fortune may nat an angel* Debe

From his hie degre, yet fel he (Lucifer, Satan) for his sinue

Down to hell, where as he is yet inne." Chaucir.

A SCOUNDREL.

In the well-understood sense. Er schae, hoon, dere helle; q. e. see there detraction, infamy, mischief in broad daylight; and thus as one who is clearly to be shunned [guarded against] by all who are not his fellows. Schat, schade, schade, detraction, damage. Dere, as in the preceding article. Hoon, disgrace, infamy. Helle, hel, helder, clear, shining out without a cloud, and here used adverbially. The words in the above order have the precise sound and meaning of scoundrel. The derivation of this term by Johnson, from scondaruolo, deemed by him an Italian word, grounded in the Latin abscondere, and in the sense of deserter, is a whim. It must not be forgot, that the sch in schai is pronounced as sk.

A Rascal.

In the usual sense. Er ras schat hel; q. e. there you at once see mischief in broad day (undisguised), you will quickly find the one in question an injury, a detriment, a nuisance, a mischievous fellow; but importing, by the word ras, (quickly, soon), a certain degree of concealment, a quantum siifficit of hypocrisy, which does not belong to the scoundrel, for that implies a barefaced (shameless) rascal, one

* Hurt, degrade, injure. Vol. i. Q you cannot mistake as such for even an instant. Hence we can say a mean rascal, but not with propriety a mean scoundrel. Johnson has been hoaxed \ into the etymology of rascal, as being the Saxon; term for a lean beast; or else misled by Bailey.

Pillorv.

As the structure on which persons are exposed to public gaze by judicial sentence. When justly decreed, a source of infamy to the guilty; when unjustly, to the judge alone. Pijle loerie; q. e. a scaffold-gazing; a structure on which persons are placed for exposure to public view. Pijle, pile, in the sense of structure, as when we say, "what a magnificent pile of building," in the sense of a magnificent edifice. The word is then as the participle present of pijlen, in the sense of to put piles together, stake by stake, and thus, as the forming a structure by such means, and then the structure itself. A funeral pile, a .pile of wood, are phrases where the word is used nearer to its original meaning; viz. pijle, pyle, stake, pile, as that which is stuck in. And to pile, is literally to put stakes together in any direction; but which meaning has in the course of use been extended to placing materials of any kind in any requisite position. The Latin has the adverb pilatim, in the sense of any thing placed close together; as, for instance, soldiers, and even parts put together to form an edifice. The thema is pi-en, to stick, to penetrate, andpielen, is as the frequentative form, and thus as, to stick successively or repeatedly. The French has the term pilori in the same sense as we have; and Menage derives it from the Latin pila, as pillar; but that word can never account for the second member of the term; viz. lory, lori. Loerie is as the participle present of loeren*, to look askance at, and so to look disdainfully at, and the 'same word with our to leer, and perhaps also with our to lour, in the sense

« PreviousContinue »