Page images
PDF
EPUB

self [be on the watch.] An apostrophe supposed to be uttered by one who perceives the approach of some prying treacherous personage as a friend or acquaintance of the person he gives the warning to, and infers the speaker is aware of his character. Besien, to look round, to make use of your eyes. Behoeden, to take precautions against, to guard, to protect.

HE HAS BROKE THE NECK OF THE BUSINESS.

An expression in reference to the interference of some more efficient agent in regard to the business in question; to the appearance of some more resolute personage than was concerned before in a concern that lingered. Hij haest vroegh dij necke; of dij besie hin hesse; q. e. he will soon be the death of you [destroy you], or you must look out and guard against his dagger ; the only chance you have left, against the sword of this fresh champion ia, to mind what you are about and not expose yourself against one who is duly prepared to put down the resistance you offer to him. Haest vroegk, very soon; b, v, and f interchange; gh and k also interchange in sound. Dij, thee. Necke as the potential form of the verb necken, to kill, to put to death, and evidently of the same stock with the Latin necare. Besien, to look carefully about, to provide against. Hin, hen, keen, from this time. Hesse, dagger, cutlass, parazonium. Vroegk, soon, early. V and f are the same aspirate. V and p are convertible sounds; the Dutch plat and our fiat are the same word. Gh and k represent the same sounds; smuig and smuicks are one word. The Dutch smokkelaar and our smuggler are the same. So that Vroeg and broke admit of, and are essentially, the same sound.

IT IS ALL IN MY EYE AND BETTY MARTYN.

A saying used in relation to some report [story] which is ''deemed groundless, as having no other foundation than the wish and fancy of the speaker; an affair in nubibus; a bare possibility. Het is al ein mei Ei! end bede je maer tije'n ; q. e. it is all upon a footing with a man's praying for it to come to pass; and thus it has no better foundation than a wish; it has no better ground than an "in case it should happen." Bede, prayer, petition, request. Tijen is the same word with tijden, in the sense of to go on, to come to pass; and so to happen ; for which we now use the verb to betide, formerly to tidd. Maer tije'n, should ever come to pass, and sounds Martyn. Je, ever, 'N, in, in. Bede was once also used by us for prayer.

"How ./Eneas
Told to Dido every cass
That him was Tidd upon the Be."—Chaucer.

"But well is mo, that evir I was borne
That thou beset art in so gode a place,

For by my troth in love I durst have sworne
The should nevir have Tidde so fair a grace."

Chaucer.

"A large coverchief of threde
She wrapped all about her hede,
But she forgate not her Psaltere;
A pair of Bedes *, eke she bere
Upon a lace all of while threde
On which that she her Bedis Iikde."

Chaucer.

I am aware the phrase has been laid to the account of the Latin words; hei mihi beate Martine?

* A poire of Bedes, a string of beads or Rosary, used by the Catholicks to reckon the prayers they say by. The phrase is the travesty of Er by er af bede's; q. e. it is by this here the praver is said off. See Articles: A pair of Bellows, and A pair ef 5Vngs, in the ensuing pages. A pair, in the sense of two, can have no reference to either of the three utensils intended by any of these terms. None of (hem are two, or double, as the utensils meant by those terms. We can say one shot, liut not one tongs nor one bellows.

IT IS ALL MOONSHINE. *

It is a mere appearance, nothing real. It is at inoe in schyn; q. e. it is all mere attachment in appearance; it is only the copy of affection ; it is a mere copy of the countenance, there is no reality in it. Moe, moede, affection, inclination towards, good intention in the mind. Schyn, schyn, form, outward appearance, a shadow, outside look. In, in.

TO LIVE LIKE A TOAD UNDER A HARROW.

To have lost all share in the controul of your own happiness from want of resolution; to suffer indignities from one over whom you were constituted the master, he that should have been looked up to by the other; and thus to permit the order of things to be reversed in regard to yourself. T'u leve lijcke er dood, under er haar vrouw; q. e. to you love is like deatk, the case is different with your wife; your affection is as painful as death to you, while your wife is delighted by your suffering. Implying in the case in question, his wife abuses the love he has for her, and takes pleasure in tormenting him. This seems thus to have been a fashion of a longer standing than one knew of for certain. T'u, to you. Leve, liefde, love. Lijcke, is like, resembles. Er, in your case, there. Dood, death, in German tod. Ander, quite another affair, quite otherwise, the reverse. Er, there. Haar vrouw, your wife, unless it is heer vrouw, and thus master wife; and I think it was. D and t are the same sound. V a mere aspirate and not sounded between two rs.

TO LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG.

In the sense of to make known that which he ought to have kept fast (secret); and by implication, to let loose that which 'was confided to him to be kept close (secret). T'u lette; die guijte houdt af de behaege; q. e. to you a disappointment; the villain obtains the pleasure of having betrayed you; a vexation to you, but to the rascal who commits this treachery a source of pleasure [fun]. As spoken by some friend who has witnessed the treachery alluded to in this expression, which is by way of a remark. T'u, to you. Die, he who, the one. Guijten, to play the villain, to serve any one a vile trick, to act like a rogue. Houden, to hold, to keep. Behaege, as the participle present of behaegen, to take pleasure in, to be made happy by. Houdt of, draws out of, and sounds out of. Behaeg sounds bag. Guijt, however different it appears in the form of letters, in pronunciation is scarcely distinguishable from cat.

IT ALL LIES IN A NUTSHELL.

The essence of the affair in question lies in a small compass, the rest is matter of course, form. Et al ley's; hin ernut schuijle, q. e. it is all mere formal matter; that which is of importance is hidden within it; the whole is mere form, the purport does not appear; the essential part is lost sight of, and the useless part only brought forward. Ley, form, manner. Nut, use, profit, benefit essential part. Schuijlen, to lie hid, to sculk, to keep behind, to lie in wait.

HEAD OVER HEELS.

In the sense of suddenly and with violence; as in the phrase "he fell head over heels." Heet over ijl 's; q. e. to be vehement is beyond proper haste; to be heated, excludes orderly activity. Heet, hot, eager, violent. Jjl, haste, hurry. Ijlens, hastily, in a hurry. Overijlen, to be in a hurry, to be over hasty. It is scarcely necessary to say the phrase head over heels could never have been constituted in this form of words in any one import. Ij is pronounced like our ee.

Canterbury Tale.

As in the phrase, it was all a Canterbury tale; said in regard to some dressed up fiction intended for a cover to an undue purpose; a blind to some attempt to impose upon the understanding through the feelings. Gaen-deur-by-eere-te-heel; q. e. to go on (get through) by the sole help of reiterated appeals to honour (to conscience, to known integrity, and so forth); that is by the stock in trade of an impostor. Literally to get through upon the score of honour; but in reference to one who has none. And indeed, appeals to honour and conscience are more recklessly used in aid and cover of fraud than in aid of honest intention, which speaks for itself. Experience shews it is by the mouths of the rankest impostors.these sacred appeals are unceasingly polluted. A Canterbury tale is always used in a sense, of which the mildest construction refers to some maudlin claim to virtues not openly called in question. Gann (formerly ganghen), to go, to gang. Deur, door, through, by means of. Here, honour, word of honour. Te heel, altogether, entirely. The d in deur has great affinity with t. Our thro' is at bottom a metathesis of dor (dore) the old form of deur, door. Cant, as hypocritical recitement, is simply the ellipsis of Canterbury tale. But cant [cant language] is I suspect as kwant (subandito) taal (language); and thus as the ellipsis of kwanttaal; q. e. rogue's language; conventional phraseology instituted among rogues for mutual communication, to the exclusion of those who are not in the mystery. All denominative words are necessarily ellipsises. G intermutates with k and c. The Dutch geen, none, and the German kein are the same word. D and t do the same; Dood and tod are one word. The four vowels which intervene to b and r in bijeere represent the sound of our M.

« PreviousContinue »