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I
CD
THE

GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

OP THE

AND MOKE ESPECIALLY OF

THE ENGLISH AND LOWLAND SCOTCH,

AND OF THEIR SLANG, CANT, AND COLLOQUIAL DIALECTS.

CHARLES JIACKAY, LL.D.


FELLOW OF THB EOTAL SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF DENMARK.

" Every word in human language has its podigree."The Duke of Somerset.
" Without a considerable knowledge of Gaelic, no person can make any proficiency whatever in philology."
-De. Murray, Late Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Edinburgh.

k LONDON :
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY
N. TRUBNER AND CO., LUDGATE HILL.
1877.
HAiYARD coueet LIMtArr

LONDON :
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS

THE PKINCE OF WALES,

DDKE OF KOTHESAY, EARL OF CARRICK, BARON RENFREW,

AND

LORD OF THE ISLES,

^liis Uolumc,

WHICH SHOWS TnE CONNEXION OF THE LANGUAGE

OF HIS SCOTTISH ANCESTORS

AND

OF THE EARLIEST KELTIC INHABITANTS OF GREAT BRITAIN

AND IRELAND

WITH SAXON, MEDIEVAL, AND MODERN ENGLISH,

18

DEDICATED

BY SPECIAL PERMISSION.

London, October, 1877.

A l
LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.
The Names marked toith (*) are those of Gentlemen deceased since the commencement of this Work.

H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. Caird, J. F., Esq., Greenock.


H.R.H. the Duke op Edinburgh. Cameron, Donald, Esq., of Lochiel, M.P.
H.R.H. Prince Leopold. Campbell, Colin, Esq., Greenock.
Church, George Earle, Esq., C.E.
The Highland Society of London. Cluny, Macpherson, of Cluny.
The Highland Society of Edinburgh.
The University of Aberdeen. Derby, the Right Hon. the Earl of.
The University op Edinburgh. Dufferin, Right Hon. the Earl of, Gov.-Gen.
The University of Glasgow.
The University of St. Andrew's. of Canada.
The University of Virginia, U.S. Dunmore, the Right Hon. the Earl of.
Dallas, A. Graut, Esq., Dunain, Inver
The Gaelic Society of London (2 copies). ness.
Argyll, His Grace the Duke of (5 copies). Davies, D. P., Esq., Liverpool.
Athole, His Grace the Duke of. Dewar, Captain James, Glasgow.
Ains worth, William Harrison, Esq. Doyle, Andrew, Esq.
Andrew, William Patrick, Esq.
Edmonston and Co., Messrs., Edinburgh.
Buccleuch, His Grace the Duke of (2 copies). Elder, Alexander Lang, Esq.
Bute, the Most Noble the Marquis of. Ellice, Edward, Esq., M.P.
Bald, John, Esq., Wells, Jedburgh. Ellis, Joseph, Esq., Monks, Balcombe,
Ballantine, James, Esq., Edinburgh. Sussex.
Barber, William, Esq., Reform Club. Evelyn, W. J., Esq., Wotton, Surrey.
Beaumont, James A., Esq. (2 copies).
Bennoch, Francis, Esq., F.S.A. Fellowes, F. P., Esq., Reform Club.
Blackie, John Stuart, Esq., Professor of Ferguson, Robert, Esq., M.P.
Greek, University of Edinburgh. Finlay, A. H., Esq., Greenock.
Blackwood, John, Esq , Edinburgh. Finlay, Alex. S., Esq., Castle Toward,
Blackwood, William, Esq., Edinburgh. Argyleshire.
Bosworth, the Rev. Dr. (Author of the
Fleming, John, Esq.
" Anglo-Saxon Dictionary "). Forbes, Dr. George, Delfur, Fochabers.
Boult, Joseph, Esq , Liverpool. Fraser, Donald, Esq., Reform Club.
Bourke, the Very Rev. Ulick J., Canon of Fraser, Thomas, Esq., Sheriff, Skye.
Tuam, and Principal of St. Jarlath's.
Boyd, John, Esq., St. John, New Brunswick
(2 copies). Gallenga, Antonio, Esq., Atheneeum Club.
Brown, James B., Esq., Selkirk. Gilbert, William, Esq., Reform Club.
Brown, Colin Rae, Esq., Oakleigh Park. Gillies, William, Esq., of Ardconnell, Oban.
Brown, Charles Herbert, Esq., Leach House, Godwin, George, Esq., F.S.A.
Colne, Lancashire. Grain, John Henry, Esq., Lewisham Hill.
Burns, William, Esq., Glasgow. Grant, John, Esq., Cardiff.
Burton, Walter, Esq. Grant, Donald, Esq., Poucoed, South Wales.
vi LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.
Hamilton and Brandon, His Grace the Duke Mackay, John S., Esq., Chamba, Punjaub.
of (6 copies). Mackay, Niel, Esq., Pencoed, Glamorgan.
Hartington, the Most Noble the Marquis of, Mackay, Robert, Esq., Montreal, Canada.
M.P. Mackay, William, M.D., Norton, Malton,
Hertford, the Most Noble the Marquis of. Yorkshire.
Houghton, Right Hon. Lord. Mackay, J. B., Esq., Totteridge, Herts.
Hall, J. Macalaster, of Tangy, Esq. (4 Mackay, Wm., Esq., Church St., Inverness.
copies). Mackay, William, Esq., Melness, Tongue,
Halley, Alexander, Esq., M.D. Sutherlandshire.
Hawkes, Geo., Esq., Cressingham House, MacDonald, James, Esq., 7, Lothbury.
Sutton, Surrey. MacDonald, James, Esq., Oriental Club.
Henderson, Geo., Esq., Jun., Heverswood, MacDougall, A. W., Esq., of Soroba (5
Sevenoaks. copies).
Hepburn, Robert, Esq. Mackinnon,Wm.,Esq.,Ballinakill( 1 0 copies).
Herz, James, Esq., Cheque Bank (8 copies). Mackinnon, W. A., Surgeon-Major, C.B.,
Hodgson, W. B., LL.D., Prof, of Political Staff, Aldershot.
Economy, Edinburgh. Mackinnon, Lauchlan, Esq.,Broadford, Skye.
Hood, Archibald, Esq., Cardiff. Mackinnon, P., Esq., Glasgow.
Houghton, J. A., Esq., Armsworth House, Mackintosh, E. W., Esq., of Raigmore.
Alresford. Mackintosh, Charles Fraser, of Drummond,
Hutcheson, David, Esq., Glasgow (4 copies). Esq., M.P.
Maclachlan and Stewart, Messrs.,Edinburgh.
Ingleby, C. M., Esq., LL.D. MacLauriu, Peter, Esq.
Inglis, Henry, Esq., of Torsonce. Macmillan, Rev. D., M.A., Edinburgh.
Macnair, Alex., Esq., St. Andrew's Square,
Kennedy, Donald, Esq., Boston, U.S. Edinburgh.
Kettle, Rupert, Esq., Wolverhampton. MacNeill, Duncan, Esq., Lothbury.
Macpherson, the Hon. D. L., Toronto,
Lome, the Most Noble the Marquis of. Canada.
Lovat, Right Hon. Lord (2 copies). Marignan, Field Marshal the Duke of,
Lawley, Hon. F. (2 copies). Count de Bustelli Foscolo.
Lewis. J. Delaware, Esq. Matheson, Sir James, Bart., Stornoway
Lubbock, Sir John, Bart., M.P. Castle, Lewes.
Matheson, John, Esq., Glasgow.
McArthur, L. G., Esq., Oban. Maxwell, Sir Wm. Stirling, Bart., M.P.
McConnell, James E., Esq., C.E. Milbank, Mrs. Frederick.
McGregor, P. Comyu, Esq., Brediland, Miller, Gavin, Esq., Glasgow.
Paisley. Mills, John, Esq., Manchester.
Mackay, Miss Minnie, Fern Dell. Mitchell, Joseph, Esq., C.E., London and
Mackay, Sir James Wm., Dublin. Inverness.
Mackay, Mrs., of Blackcastle and Carskae, Morfit, Dr. Campbell.
Edinburgh. Morfit, Miss Campbell.
Mackay, Donald, Esq., Ceylon. Morley, Samuel, Esq., M.P.
Mackay, Geo. F., Esq., Otago, New Zealand. Morrison, Alfred, Esq., Fonthill (6 copies).
Mackay, Geo. G., Esq., Oban, Argyleshire.
Mackay, H. Ramsay, Esq., Pelham House, Neaves, the Hon. Lord, Edinburgh.
Canterbury. Newmarch, William, Esq., F.R.S., &c.
Mackay, Hugh, Esq., Montreal, Canada.
Mackay, Isaac, Esq., 17, Brunswick Street,
Liverpool. Oxley, T. Louis, Esq., Reform Club.
Mackay, James, Esq., Victoria Road, Water
loo, Liverpool (3 copies). Paget, John, Esq., Reform Club.
Mackay, James, Esq., Roxburgh. Petter, G. W., Esq., Cassell, Petter AGalpin.
Mackay, John, Esq., Swansea (4 copies). Phene, John S., Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., &c.
Mackay, John, Esq., Ben Rcay, Montreal, Philipps, J. O. Halliwell, Esq., F.S.A.,
Canada. F.K.S., &c, &c.
LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. vii
Pope, Hon.-W. H., Prince Edward Island. Symonds, Arthur, Esq., Reform Club.
Priaulx, Osmond de Beauvoir, Esq.
Priestley, Dr., Hertford Street, May Fair. Thomas, Llewelyn, Esq., M.D., Weymouth
Street.
Reay, the Right Hon. Donald Mackay, Timmins, S., Esq., Birmingham.
Lord, The Hague (2 copies). Tully, Thomas, Esq., St. Stephen's Club.
Rosebery, the Right Hon. the Earl of. Tyndall, Professor John, F.R.S., LL.D., &c.
Rae, James, Esq., Reform Club.
Ramsay, John, Esq., M.P. Van der Vyver, the Countess.
Richardson, Francis, Esq., Juniper Hall, Van der Vyver, Mad"e. Bertha.
Mickleham.
Rogers, Rev. Charles, LL.D., Grampian Wolverton, Right Hon. Lord.
Lodge, Forest Hill. Walter, John, Esq., M.P.
Ward, Wm. Gibson, Esq., Perristou Towers,
Sutherland, His Grace the Duke of. Ross.
Stanhope, Right Hon. the Earl, F.S.A. Watkin, Sir E. W., M.P.
Southesk, Right Hon. the Earl of. Weir, Harrison, Esq.
Seymour, Lt.-Gen. Sir Francis, Bart.,K.C.B. Whalley, G. Hammond, Esq., M.P.
Salmond, Robert, Esq., of Rankineston. Wilson, Erasmus, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A.
Smith, Duncan, Esq., Glasgow. Wilson, Edward, Esq., Hayes, Kent.
Smith, James, Esq., Dowan Hill, Glasgow. Wolff, Sir H. Drummond, M.P.
Smith, Dr. Edward, F.S.A., &c. Wylie, J. L., Esq., Camilla Lacey, Mickle
Smith, Dr. Angus, Manchester (2 copies). ham, Surrey.
Spalding, Samuel, Esq., Spalding and Hodge.
Stratton, Dr., Plymouth. Young, Sidney, Esq.
INTRODUCTION.

IT has been a belief common to all the lexicographers and compilers


of English dictionaries from the earliest time at which such works
were undertaken, until the present day, that the English was originally
a Saxon or Teutonic languagemodified and extended by the Greek
and Latinintroduced into it in the first instance through the
medium of Norman French, and afterwards more directly from the
learned languages. Dr. Johnson was among the first to state this
opinion as a fact. He says in the Preface to his well-known
Dictionary, that continues to be the basis on which all our modern
works of the kindwhether English or Americanare founded ;
that " the two languages from which our primitives have been
derived are the Roman and Teutonic. Under the Roman I
comprehend the French and Provincial (Provencal) tongues; and
under the Teutonic range the Saxon, German, and all their kindred
dialects. Most of our polysyllables are Roman, and our words of
one syllable are very often Teutonic." A similar idea was expressed
before Johnson's time by the author of Gazophylacium Anglicanum
(1689), who set forth in his preface that " all (English) words almost,
except such as come from the French and the Latin, and their
adherents, owe their original to the English, Saxon, and Low Dutch
dialects of the ancient German ; for Spain did very little contribute
thereto, except that some few words have crept in by commerce,
which are only useful to such as trade thither." This author would
not allow that any portion of the original language spoken by the
Keltic inhabitants prior to the successive invasions of the Romans,
Danes, and Saxons, was adopted by the conquerors. "The Saxons,"
he said, " did endeavour the total destruction of the inhabitants ;
X INTRODUCTION.

and did effect it, saving some few that fled to the mountains of Wales
and Cornwall. Thus is it not reasonable to conjecture that the
languagethe ancient British (save what was preserved as before,
who, by a law of conquerors, were prohibited intercourse with the
Saxons) must die with the people ; and a new one, namely the Saxon,
be introduced in its stead?" Dr. Johnson, nearly a hundred years
afterwards, reiterated this reasoning and these supposed facts,
stating in his History of the British Language, prefixed to his
Dictionary,

" Though the Britains [Britons] or Welsh were the first possessors of this island, whose
names are recorded, and are therefore in civil history always considered as the
predecessors of the present inhabitants ; yet the deduction of the English language
from the earliest times of which we have any knowledge to its present state, requires no
mention of them ; for we have so few words which can with any probability be referred
to British roots, that we justly regard the Saxons and Welsh as nations totally distinct.
It has been conjectured that when the Saxons seized this country, they suffered the
Britons to live among them in a state of vassalage, employed in the culture of the ground
and other laborious and ignoble services. But it is scarcely possible that a nation,
however depressed, should have been mixed with another in considerable numbers,
without some communication of their tongue ; and therefore it may, with great reason,
be imagined that those who were not sheltered in the mountains perished by the
sword."
Recent historical researches prove abundantly (see especially
" The English and their Origin," by Luke Owen Pike, M.A.,
1866 ; " The Pedigree of the English People," by Thomas Nicholas,
M.A., Ph.D., 1868, and an "Introduction to the Study of Early
English History," by John Pym Yeatman, 1874), that the Keltic
inhabitants of England were not exterminated by the conquerors,
that the story of such extermination rests only on the authority
of one writer, Gildas, who lived and wrote in Brittany long
after the period of which he treats ; and that the Danish and
Saxon invasionsthough successful on the Eastern and Southern
coasts of the islanddid not extend so far into the Midland
Counties or into the "West, as to make the invaders numerically
superior to the original inhabitants. It is also clear on philological
grounds, that two branches of the Keltic language were spoken by
the people the Kymric, or Welsh ; and the Gaelic or Erse, that
spoken to this day in the Highlands of Scotland and Ireland, and
INTRODUCTION. xi

which .was formerly spoken in the greater part of England. The


proofs are, first, the Keltic names of places (London itself is a Gaelic
name) in every part of the British Isles ; second, the patronymics of
families, not merely Scottish, but English, which are clearly traceable
to the Gaelic ; and the incorporation into the language of many
hundreds of wordsused in the vernacularmany of them called
slang or cant, and declared to be unfit for the purposes of literature ;
and others, a puzzle to all philologers, who obstinately or ignorantly
refused to look for their roots in the only place where it was pos
sible to find them, viz.the Gaelic.
If the British people had really been exterminated, their language
would of course have been exterminated with them, at a time when
there were no printed books and few manuscripts to preserve it ; and
all that could have remained of it, would have been the names of moun-
tains, rivers, and important places, though it is possible that these
names might have perished also, and been superseded by new ones
given by the conquerors. A succinct statement and examination of
the theory of this mythical extermination of a whole people, will clear
the way for the philological question.
On the departure of the Romans the Britons were not only a
numerous but a highly civilized race as civilization was considered
in that ageand powerful enough, if they could only have managed
to agree among themselves, to assert and maintain their independence.
But they did not agree ; and the result was that they fell a prey
to the Saxons, whom one of their jealous princes foolishly invited
to take part in their internal commotions. All this is patent to every
body. But here the question arises, did the Saxons, and after them
the Danes, really gain such a complete mastery over the Britons as
to exterminate the greater portion of them and drive the small re
mainder into the mountain fastnesses of Wales, to the remote
extremities of Cornwall, and across the Forth to the other side of
the then formidable Grampians, that not even the Romans had
ventured to cross in their career of conquest? The answer to
this question until very recent times was always in the affirmative.
The ancient historians, and after them the modern school histories,
agreed in accepting this view of the case, and while admitting the
a 2
xii INTRODUCTION.

conquered English to be a mixed racemore mixed perhaps than


any other European peoplethey uniformly insisted that, in the reign
of Harold and his predecessors, the English people were Anglo-
Saxons, with a slight admixture of Danes and other Scandinavians,
and that the Kymri, and Kelts, were nowhere to be found except
in Cornwall, Wales, the Isle of Man, Ireland, and the Highlands
of Scotland. Careful criticism will show that this historical
statement is untrue. The great majority of the English people
at the time of the Conquest under William of Normandy were
Kelts. The Norman invaders were themselves of the same race
recruited to a great extent in Armorica, now called Brittanyand
this invasion, as far as numbers went, was a consequent augmentation
of the Keltic element in the British or English race.
The only authority for the commonly received statement, is Gildas.
Who was Gildas ? He was a monk, born in England in or about the '
year 514. His name implies that he was a Kelt, and is derived
apparently from gille or gil, a youth, and daorsa, captivity or bondage.
He went to Armorica, or Brittany, in 550, and at some time during
the ten subsequent years wrote his book called " De Excidio Britan
nia?," in which he told the melancholy story of the degeneracy, con
quest, flight, and extermination of the ancient and Gaelic- speaking
Britons. He declares that the Britons, reduced to a " wretched rem
nant," sent their " groans " to the Roman Consul Aetius, imploring
his aid against the Scots and Picts (who, it should be remembered,
were Kelts as well as they), stating " that the barbarians drove them
to the sea, and that the sea drove them back to the barbarians ; that
these two modes of death awaited them ; that they were either slain
or drowned." He adds, "that the Romans, affording them no
aid, their councillors agreed with that proud tyrant Furthrigern
(Vortigern) to invite the fierce and impious Saxonsa race hateful
to God and man. Nothing was ever so pernicious to our country.
... A multitude of whelps came forth from the lair of the barbaric
lioness. They first landed on the east shore of the island, and
there fixed their sharp talons. . . . Some of the miserable remnant
(of the Britons), being taken in the mountains, were murdered
in great numbers ; others constrained by famine, came and
INTRODUCTION. xiii

yielded themselves to be slaves for ever to their foes; others


passed beyond the seas with loud lamentations." This very melan
choly story was copied from Gildas a century afterwards, by the
"Venerable Bede," and three centuries afterwards by Nennius, and
thence found its way, unquestioned, into the ordinary histories of
England. Dr. Nicholas in his " Pedigree of the English" expresses the
greatest contempt for Gildas as an authorityasserts that there were
three or four persons of the name, and that he cannot distinguish
which was which ; but allowing, for the sake of argument, that he
was a real person, he asks how far is he to be considered an adequate
authority for the statements he makes ? By no means mistrusting
his own judgment in the matter, he nevertheless, supports his
conclusions by those of other writers, and notably by the most
illustrious of historians, Gibbon, and by Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy.
The former, speaking of Gildas, describes him as a monk, who, in
profound ignorance of human life, had presumed to exercise the office
of historian, and had strangely disfigured Britain at the time of its
separation from the Roman Empire. Sir Thomas Hardy proclaims the
narrative of Gildas to be " meagre," and " involved in a multitude of
words ;" that he has but an " indistinct acquaintance " with the events
he describes ; that he is confused and declamatory ; that his state
ments, except in very few instances, cannot be traced to any known
source ; and that when he comes to his own time he is, if possible,
more obscure than when he discusses those of a bygone age. As
regards his authorities, Gildas himself confesses " that he wrote more
from foreign relations than from written evidences pertaining to his
own country."
Having shown how little the authority of Gildas is to be depended
on, the next step in the inquiry is to ascertain whether his statement as
to the all but total extermination of his countrymen gains any cor
roboration from subsequent facts with which he and the men of his day
were unacquainted. If the Ancient Britons over the greater part of
England were exterminated in the sixth century, how could they be
numerous in any part of England in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and
tenth centuries? In the time of Athelstan, the Saxon king, five
hundred years after the arrival of Hengist and Horsa (if these were
xiv INTRODUCTION.

the names of real persons, and did not signify horse and mare, from
the devices on the banners of the invaders), communities of Kymri
(Kelts) speaking Keltic, and observing their own usages, were in
existence in the veiy heart of the kingdom of Wessex. In the reign
of Egbert, four hundred years after the days of Hengist and Horsa, it
appears from the " will of King Alfred," published in Oxford in 1788,
that the counties of Dorset, Devon, Wilts, and Somerset, were all
considered as belonging to the Weal-cynne (Welkin), the dominion
or kingdom of the Welsh, or Ancient Britons. " Throughout the
country, even in the central parts," says Dr. Nicholas, " such as
Bedford, Banbury, Potterton, Bath, we find so late as between the
years 552 and 658, mighty battles fought by the Britons proper of
those districts, who rose to avenge the oppressive exactions of their
conquerors, as is proved by the Saxon Chronicle under those dates.
During all this time," he adds, " West Wales, or Cornwall and Devon,
great part of Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire,
Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, West
morland, Cumberland, and the south of Scotland, as well as the
whole of Wales, the patria intacta of the Kymri, were in the
possession of those Britons who had hitherto kept themselves un
mixed with the Teutons." Regarding the manner in which the Britons
were disposed ofa hundred and twenty-five years after Gildas
wrote of their total exterminationa curious instance is recorded
in Camden's " Britannica," quoted by Dr. Nicholas. In the year
685, " Egfrid, King of Northumbria, makes a grant of the district of
Cartmel, with the Britons thereupon, to the see of Lindisfarne."
Cartmel is in Furness, Lancashire ; and it appears, as Dr. Nicholas
states, " that when an Anglo-Saxon king obtained the power of
absolute disposal of the native inhabitants of a whole district, he
exercised the power not by their extermination, not by their consign
ment to bondage, but by bestowing them as a holy gift to the Church,
thus handing them over to the best protection then existing." In
short, the researches of modern authors abundantly prove that
the Britons made a gallant fight against both the Saxons and the
Danes ; that neither the Saxons nor the Danes ever sought to exter
minate, but only to subdue them ; and that as time wore on, and
INTRODUCTION. XV

Saxon rule became more firmly established, the two races blended
together, and the Kelts became so Saxonified and the Saxons so
Keltified by constant intermarriage, that Danes, Saxons, and Kelts
gradually fused into one people, called the English. The last conquest
of England added to, and did not diminish, the Keltic element, inas
much as the Normans who came over with William were of Keltic
origin. This fusion of race was fortunate alike for Kelts and Saxons,
and produced not only a noble people, but a noble language. The
Kelts are martial, quick-witted, imaginative, musical, generous, and
rash, but lack continuity of purpose, and sustained energy ; while the
Saxons are solid, plodding, industrious, prudent, slow to anger, sure
to complete what they once take earnestly in hand, while they are
deficient in wit, fancy, and imagination. The Keltic poetry of
Shakespeare, Scott, and Burns is combined in the English character
with the Saxon energy and sound sense of such men as Watt, Stephen
son, Cobden, and Bright ; while the language that has sprung from
the two sources, promises to be the language of the world.
The Saxon monks who were the earliest historians of Britain wrote
at a time when the English language was in an inchoate form and had
not come into literary existence. They knew nothing whatever of the
ancient language that had been spoken by the British people, for
more than a thousand years before either Roman, Saxon, or Dane,
set foot on these islands. The language they employed was Latin,
and they derived such knowledge of Great Britain, and the Britons
as they possessed or laid claim to, from the Saxons and Danes who
by right of conquest had assumed the government, but more especially
from Julius Csesar and the Latin historians who had made mention
of the Roman conquest and partial occupation of the country. They
were acquainted with some of the myths and legends of the early
Britons, but these they either exaggerated, perverted, or misun
derstood, and presented as history a farrago of foolish romance, that
rested on no solid fact, and often had no better foundation than the
mistranslation of a British word, as in the case of the Goir-mhor
(Stonehenge) which they supposed to signify "chorea gigantum" or
the " dance of giants," and upon which misunderstanding they built
up many ridiculous legends to account for the title.
Xvi INTRODUCTION.

British historians of a later date, and after the hybrid Anglo-Saxon,


partially Keltic, but largely Teutonic, had developed into such
English as was spoken, and written in the times of Wicliffe and
Piers Plowman, took their cue from their monkish predecessors, and
represented the Britons, whether they were Kymri or Gael, between
whom they recognized no difference, as utter barbarians. No one
thought of verifying or even questioning the supposed facts that were
recorded ; so that error from small beginnings grew into monstrous
bulk, and still overshadows the page that purports to be British
history.
That the Britons on the first invasion of their island by Julius
Caesar, had attained a considerable degree of civilization, and profi-
I ciency in the arts of peace, is evident on the unimpeachable, because
unwilling, testimony of the great commander himself. According to
his showing they cultivated the land, possessed numerous flocks and
herds as well as horses, and were skilful artificers in all the known
metals. The formidable war-chariots which played such havoc in the
thickly serried ranks of the Romans, and of which Caesar has recorded
his salutary dread, could not have been constructed by savages. Nor
was the Druidical religion which the Britons professed, the dark and
bloody superstition that it has been for ages the fashion to represent
it, or a faith, whatever its errors and cruelties may have been,
inferior either in humanity or in sublime ideas of the great Creator,
to that of the Greeks and Romans. Hume borrowing the facts from
Caesar, represented the religion of the Druids " as one of the most
considerable parts of the government of the people. The Druids,
comprising the three orders of Priests, Bards, and Prophets, besides
ministering at the altar, and directing all religious duties, presided
over the education of youth ; enjoyed an immunity from wars and
taxes ; possessed both the civil and criminal jurisdiction ; and
decided all controversies among states and individuals. Whoever
refused to submit to their decrees was exposed to the severe penalty
of excommunication, forbidden access to public worship, and debarred
all intercourse with his fellows." Yet with strange inconsistency
the historian who rendered this high tribute to the Druids persisted
in calling them barbarians and cannibals ! Hume's example was
INTRODUCTION. Xvii

followed by nearly all succeeding historians until the recent period of


the equally prejudiced Macaulay. But as already observed, the
searching critical spirit and the fuller investigation of our times have
lifted some portion of the once almost impenetrable veil that hid
from our eyes the noble forms, and the venerable speech of our
British ancestors, from whom at this remote day, the living people
of Great Britain and Ireland have inherited some of their finest
qualities. It has been tardily discovered that we are not quite so
Teutonic a people as we have been for ages considered, and that even
our modern English, largely Teutonic as it became in consequence of
the Saxon and Danish invasion and partial conquest of the country,
had a threefold infusion of Keltic, both in its vernacular, and in its
literary speech ; first, the portion derived primarily from the Britons,
second, the portion derived from the Normans, whose language was
itself Keltic at second-hand, and third, from the Latin, all the principal
root words of which are older than the Latin of Csesar, by many
centuries, and traceable to the Keltic swarms that migrated from Asia
and overran Europe long before Greece and Rome had come into
national existence.
The true place of the Kelts in history has been well assigned by the
greatest of American writers, with a mind wholly uninfluenced by
the prejudice instilled by early English writers. Mr. R. W. Emerson,
in his " English Traits," affirms that the English, through these
Keltic or early British, " are of the oldest blood of the world ! "
"Some peoples," he adds, "are deciduous or transitory. Where are the Greeks? and
where the Etrurians 1 where the Romans ? But the Kelts are an old family of whose
beginning there is no memory, and their end is likely to be still more remote in the
future ; for they have endurance and productiveness. They planted Britain, and gave
to her seas and mountains names which are poems, and imitate the pure voices of nature.
They are favourably remembered in the oldest records of Europe. They had no violent
feudal tenure, but the husbandmen owned the land. They had an alphabet, astronomy,
priestly culture, and a sublime creed. They made the best popular literature of the
middle ages in the songs of Merlin, and the tender and delicious mythology of Arthur."
So much for the historical argument. Coming to the philological
we find that Dr. Johnson, the great English lexicographer of the
eighteenth century says of the " Erse," meaning the Scottish Gaelic,
" Of the Erse, as I understand nothing, I cannot say more than I have been told. It
is the rude speech of a barbarous people, who had few thoughts to express, and were content,
b
INTItODCCTlON.
as they conceived grossly, to he grossly understood. After what has been lately talked of
Highland bards, and Highland genius,1 many will startle when they are told, that the
Erse never was a written laiupiage, that there is not in the world an Erse manuscript a
hundred years old ; and that the sounds of the Highlanders were never expressed by
letters, till some little books of piety were translated, and a metrical version of the
Psalms was made by the Synod of Argyle.
Unaware that Irish and Scotch Gaelic are essentially the same
language, with a few orthographical differences, and more especially
the substitution of a dot for the letter h in the mode of expressing
the aspirate, Dr. Johnson attempted to depreciate the Scottish Gaelic
by comparing it unfavourably with the Irish. " The Welsh, and the
Irish," he said are cultivated tongues. The Welsh, two hundred
years ago, insulted their English neighbours for the instability of
their orthography ; while the Erse merely floated on the breath of the
people and could therefore receive little improvement."
Though Dr. Johnson visited the remarkable island of Iona, the
Sacred Isle of the Kelts, the seminary of learning and the nurse of
civilization at a time when all Europe, except the perishing Roman
Empire, was sunk in the deepest barbarism, he appears to have been
wholly unaware that long after the era of St. Columba, with whose
history he was familiar, the piratical Danes and Norsemen, in a series
of cruel and relentless invasions, persisted in for upwards of two
centuries, carried fire and sword into the Hebrides, and that they
destroyed all the records, muniments, and manuscripts that were
stored in the Holy Island, and that the absence of any very ancient
Gaelic manuscripts in Scotland is to be attributed to that cause.
The Welsh and the Irish were more fortunate in the preservation of
the written treasures of their language ; a fact of which Johnson was
aware, and of which he took advantage to decry the Scotch, the
favourite objects of his real or pretended aversion.
Leaving the question of the fabulous extermination of the Britons
and the consequent death of their language in England to the recent
historians, who have treated the subject so thoroughly as to render
necessary a new History of England, to be traced on the lines which
they have laid down, the attention of the reader must now be directed
to the proofs afforded by the English language itself ;
1 The rooms of Ossiiin.
INTRODUCTION. xix

First, that the Gaelic and other divisions of the Keltic, so despised
by Johnson and the succeeding writers whom his false teaching led
astray, prevails to a very large extent in the unliterary and colloquial
speech of the English people, and that it continually crops up in
apparently new, but in reality very ancient slang, or, as they are some
times called, cant words.
Second, that the Gaelic underlies all the languages of the
Western, and some parts of North-Western Europe, especially French,
Spanish, and Italian.
Third, that what is called Anglo-Saxon, should be designated
Kelto-Saxon, and that the word Angle, is a corruption of An Gael, or,
" the Gael."
Fourth, that the " Low Latin " of the Middle Ages, especially that
form of it which is used in law books, is composed of Keltic or Gaelic
words with Latin terminations.
Fifth, that large numbers of English words which Johnson and
others affirm to be "low, vulgar, and without etymology," are derived
from the Gaelic and the Kymric, where Johnson and his successors
could not or would not look for them.
Sixth, that the great Keltic swarms which before the dawn of
history proceeded from the heart of Asia and peopled Assyria, Baby
lonia, Egypt, Phoenicia, and afterwards Greece, Italy, Gaul, and the
British Islands, gave names to all the mountain ranges and great
rivers of Europe; and that these names are mostly Gaelic, though
sometimes Kymric.1
Seventh, that the Gaelic is akin to the Sanscrit and other ancient
and modern Oriental languages, and that it is probably, co-eval with,
if not anterior to Sanscrit itself, which was the language of the
priesthood and the literati ; whilst the Gaelic was the language of
the people.

* " That the Celtic is a dialect of the primary language of Asia, has received the sanction of that
celebrated philologist, the late Professor Murray, in his Prospectus to the Philosophy of Language.
That the Celts were the aborigines of Europe, and their language the aboriginal one, even
Pinkarton himself is obliged to admit. It is a point, on all hands conceded, that neither colonies
nor conquerors can annihilate the aboriginal language ofa country. So true is this, that, even at
the present day, the Celtic names still existing over the greater part of Europe, and even in Asia
itself, afford sufficient data whereby to determine the prevalence of the Celtic language, the wide
b 2
XX INTRODUCTION.

Much prejudice, the result of long and industriously circulated


error must be removed before these propositions will be generally
accepted, or in many instances so much as listened to. It will be
enough to quote the statements of two recent writers on the History
and growth of the English Language, to prove how deeply rooted
is the Saxon or Teutonic idea in the minds of scholars, and
what slight attention they have bestowed or are prepared to
bestow on the Keltic. Saxonism belongs to the historic period, but
Kelticism is prehistoric, and has to be judged not from the books
composed in a newer language, by men who did not understand the
old, but by its own internal evidence as well as by the topographical
and geographical nomenclature of the greater part of Europe, and
all Asia that is not Mongolian. The first of the writers from whom
it is proposed to quote is Mr. George P. Marsh, in his " Lectures on
the English Language," and the second is Professor Craik, of Belfast,
in his " Compendious History of English Literature and of the English
Language from the Norman Conquest," London, 1861. Both of
these writers insist upon the exclusively Teutonic foundation of the
English Language, and where they do not wholly ignore, they
strenuously depreciate the Keltic people and the Keltic tongues.
Mr. Marsh says,
" To one acquainted with the history of Great Britain, the comparative insignificance
of the Celtic element, both as respects the grammar and the vocabulary of English, is
a surprising fact, and the want of more distinct traces of Celtic influence in the develop
ment of the Continental languages is equally remarkable. Of European languages, the Celtic
alone has not propagated or extended itself, and it does not appear ever to have been

extent of their ancient territories, and their progress from east to west. The Roman language
unquestionably derives its affinity to the Sanscrit through the medium of the Celtic ; and to any
one who pays minute attention to the subject, it will appear self-evident that the Doric dialect
of the Greek, founded on the Celtic, laid the foundation of tho language of Rome. The Oothic,
over the whole extent of Germany and the greater part of Britain and Ireland ; the Phoenician, or
Moorish, in Spain, &c, &c, &c, are, all of them, merely recent superinductions ingrafted on the
Celticthe aboriginal root. Conquerors generally alter the form or exterior of the language of
the conquered to their own idiom ; but the basis or groundwork is always that of the aboriginal
language. The Roman language Oothicized produced the Italian. The Celtic in Gaul (with an
/ admixture of the lingua rustica Romano) Oothicized produced the French. The old British (a
dialect of the Celtic) Saxonized produced the English, &c, &e. Whoever would rear a philological
system radically sound (as far, at least, as respects the languages of Europe) must, therefore,
commence with the Celtic, otherwise he will derive the cause from the effectthe root from the
branches."Huddleston's Preface to " Toland's History of the Druids." 1814.
INTRODUCTION. xxi
employed by any but those rude races to whom it was aboriginal, as well as vernacular.
Nor has it in any important degree modified the structure, or scarcely even the
vocabulary of the "languages most exposed to its action. Two thousand years ago, if we
are to rely on the general, though it must be admitted, uncertain testimony of historical
narrators and inquirers, the British Islands, France, a large part of Switzerland, a
considerable extent of the coasts of the Adriatic, of the valley of the Danube, and of
Northern Italy, as well as portions of the Spanish peniusula, and an important territory
in Asia Minor, were, with the exception of small maritime colonies, of Italian, Greek,
and Phenician origin, inhabited exclusively by Celts."

In making this statement, to which Mr. Marsh gives but a feeble


and reluctant acquiescence, he is strictly accurate, but when he goes
on to assert that " the race is now confined to "Western and South
"Western England, the Scottish Highlands, Ireland, and a narrow dis
trict in Western France," he is not only in error with regard to
Western and South-Western England, but he leaves out of sight the
important truth that race and language are not identical, or else the
English-speaking negroes of the Southern States of the American
Union might claim to be considered Saxons, or, if the epithet be
preferred, Anglo-Saxons, and that all the white races of Europe
have become so amalgamated within the last thousand years, that
in our time it is difficult to say who is a pure Kelt, and who a pure
Saxon or pure Goth.
"In Wales alone," Mr. Marsh goes on to say, "did the Celts attain an elevated
original and spontaneous culture, and in their disappearance from their wide
domain, they have left indeed some ruined temples, some popular superstitions, as
relics of their idolatrous worship, but scarcely a distinguishable trace of their influence in
the character, the languages, or the institutions of the people which have superseded
them."
" The" ruined temples " of the Kelts, unless such stone circles as
Stonehenge be meant, would be difficult to discover; but, in
dependently of that subject, Mr. Marsh falls into the error of
confounding the Kymri and the Gael, and of imagining that the
language of the one was the language of the other, and that there
were no Britons but the Welsh.
Still under the impression that the Welsh were the only people in
the British Isles who were entitled to the name of Britons, he
argues,
"We may safely say that though the primitive language of Britain has contributed to the
xxii INTRODUCTION.
English a few names ofplaces, and of familiar material objects, yet it has, upon the whole,
affected our vocabulary and our syntax far less than any other tongue with which the
Anglo-Saxon race has ever been brought widely into contact. J might go too far in
saying that ice have borrowed numerically more words from the followers of Mohammed
than from the aborigines of Britain, but it is very certain that the few we have derived
from the distant Arabic are infinitely more closely connected with, and influential upon,
all the higher interests of man, than the somewhat greater number which we have taken
from the contiguous Celtic."
That Mr. Marsh is perversely wrong in the assertions which he
makes in this and the previous passages quoted from his work,
which is an admirable one, when it does not touch upon the qucestio
vezata of the Gaelic or Keltic, will, it is hoped, be apparent to every
impartial student of the following pages.
Mr. Marsh, in a final note to the various passages above quoted,
endeavours to guard himself against the not unnatural supposition
that his partisanship of the Teutonic, if it does not blind, somewhat
perverts his philosophic and critical judgment, and says,
" I am not here controverting the opinions of Prichard and other advocates of the
original Indo-European character of the Celtic languages, but I speak of the actual
relations of the Celtic, the Gothic, and the Romance tongues, through the period during
which we can trace their fortunes with historical certainty. The Celtic dialects, at the
earliest moment when we can be fairly said to know anything of their vocabularies, had
been long exposed to the action of Gothic and Romance influences."
No doubt this is correct : but the main fact that the Keltic lan
guages are of an older date than the " Gothic and Romance
influences," which were brought to bear upon them in the course of
time and the permutations of politics and nationalities, ought to have
inspired an inquirer after the truth, to hear and examine before he
condemned; and this Mr. Marsh, like Dr. Johnson before him, has
not done.
He remarks accurately that " Etymology has its fashions and its
caprices as well as other human pursuits, and Celtism seems just
now to be the prevailing epidemic in this department."
To this it may be retorted that the fashion or the caprice too long
prevalent among English philologists was in favour of Saxonism and
Teutonicism, and that if Keltism is an epidemic, it is one of
research and study, and has but succeeded a worse epidemic of
incredulity and contempt, bestowed upon an ancient history and a
INTRODUCTION. xxiii

venerable speech, both of which deserve the respect which all true
things ought to inspire.
Professor Craik, who as soon as he comes upon the known and
firm ground of English literature from the times of Chaucer to our
own, writes well and impartially, exhibits the Keltophobia, if such
a word may be coined for the purpose, that has afflicted nearly
all English writers, who have had to pass an opinion on the Keltic
languages originally spoken throughout all the British islands. He
says, in the earliest pages of his " Compendious History,"

" Neither the Welsh nor Hie Irish language and literature, can with any propriety be
included in the history of English literature and of the English language. The relation
ship of English to any Celtic tongue is more remote than its relationships not only to
German or Icelandic, or French or Italian or Latin, but even to Kussian or Polish, or to
Persian or Sanscrit. Irish and Welsh are opposed in their entire genius and structure to
English. It has indeed sometimes been asserted that the Welsh is one of the families of
the English. One school of last century philologists maintained that full a third of
our existing English was Welsh. No doubt, in the course of the fourteen centuries that
the two languages have been spoken alongside of each other in the same country, a
considerable number of vocables can hardly fail to have been borrowed by each from the
other ; the same thing would have happened if it had been a dialect of Chinese that
had maintained itself all the time among the Welsh mountains. If, too, as is
probable, a portion of the previous Celtic population chose or were suffered to remain
even upon that part of the soil which came to be generally occupied after the departure
of the Romans by the Angles, Saxons, and other Teutonic or Gothic tribes, the importers
of the English language and founders of the English nation, something of Celtic may
in that way have intermingled and grown up with the new national speech. But the
English language cannot therefore be regarded as of Celtic parentage."

In this passage the Professor imagines that the Kymric and not the
Gaelic was the speech of all the early Britons. He goes on to say,
" the Celtic words, or words of Celtic extraction, that are found in
it, be they some hundreds in number, or be they one or two thousand,
are still only something foreign."
To this assertion it is sufficient to reply that the purely Keltic
words which remain in the English vernacular, consisting as they do,
to a large extent of slang expressions, and of many others that cannot
be traced to any other European tongue, and which Johnson and
his successors abandon as " without etymology," cannot justly be
called foreign, whatever other epithet may be applied to them.
Again ignoring the Gaelic of Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man,
xxiv INTRODUCTION.

and confining himself to the idea of a Kymric infusion of elementary


words into the English, he says,

" It has been suggested that the Celtic branch must in all probability have diverged
from the common stem at a much earlier date than any others. At any rate in point of
fact the English can at most be said to have been powdered or sprinkled with a little
Celtic. Whatever may be the number of words which it has adopted, whether from the
ancient Britons, or from their descendants the Welsh, they are only single scattered
words. No considerable department of the English dictionary is Welsh. No stream of
words has flowed into the language from that source. The two languages have in no
sense met and become one. They have not mingled as two rivers do when they join
and fall into the same channel. There has been no chemical combination between
the Gothic and Celtic elements, but only more or less of a mechanical intermixture."

As if remembering, ere too late, that he occupied a Chair in an


Irish University, and that the Irish Gael, proud of their ancient lan
guage, might not be satisfied without some mention of their early
literature, the Professor endeavours though without any suspicion
that the Gaelic or Irish could have any claim to a share in the Eng
lish vernacular which he denied to the Kymric, to render a tribute
to the learuing of the people among whom his lot was cast.
" The earliest literature of which any remains still exists in any of the native languages
of the British Islands must be held to bo Irish. The Irish were probably possessed of
the knowledge of letters from a very remote antiquity. Although the forms of their
present alphabetical characters are Roman, and are supposed to have been introduced by
St Patrick in the fifth century, it is very remarkable that the alphabet, in the number
and powers of its elements, exactly corresponds with that which Cadmus is recorded to
have brought to Greece from Phoenicia." 3

There is a remarkable passage in Horne Tooke which relates to a


certain Northern language which he calls the Anglo-Saxon, and which
he imagines to be much older than the Latin or the Greek. The
Anglo-Saxon is not older than Latin or Greek except in those portions
of it which are derived from the Keltic. If, whenever he mentions
either the "Northern language" or the "Anglo-Saxon," we were
to substitute the word " Keltic," the result would be a striking testi-

Not exactly. The alphabet of Cadmus contained sixteen letters. That of the Irish and
Scotch Gaelic contain seventeen, in consequence of the addition of the/, or digatnma, which was
lost to Greek literature for a period of three thousand years. If A (which is the mark of the
aspirate) be considered a letterwhich it really is not in Gaelic any more than in Greekthe
Gaelic alphabet would consist of eighteen.
INTRODUCTION. XXV

mony, to the value of the evidence, brought forward in the following


pages, in support of the immense antiquity of the Gaelic. He says,

" Our modern etymologists become surrounded with difficulties, because they direct
their attention to the East (Rome and Greece) and not to the North. . . . They seem to
forget that the Latin is a mere modern language, compared with the Anglo-Saxon (Keltic).
The Roman beginning (even their fable) is not, comparatively, at a great distance. The
beginning of the Roman language we know, and can trace its formation step by stop.
But the Northern (Keltic) origin is totally out of sight, is entirely and completely
lost in its deep antiquity. . . . The bulk and foundation of the Latin language most
assuredly is Greek, but great part of the Latin is the language of our Northern (Keltic)
ancestors grafted upon the Greek. And to our Northern (Keltic) language the
etymologist must go for that part of the Latin which the Greek will not furnish ;
and there, without any twisting or turning, or ridiculous forcing and torturing of words,
he will easily and clearly find it. We want, therefore, the testimony of no historians to
conclude, that the founders of the Roman State and the Latin tongues, came not from
Asia, but from the North of Europe, for the language cannot lie. And from the
language of every country we may with certainty collect its origin. In the same
manner, even though no history of the fact had remained, and though another Virgil
and another Dionysius had again, in verse and prose, brought another iEneas from
another Troy to settle modern Italy, after the destruction of the Roman Government ;
yet, in spito of such false history or silence of history, we should be able from
the modern language of the country (which cannot possibly lie) to conclude with
certainty that our Northern (Keltic) ancestors had again made another successful irruption
into Italy, and again grafted their own language upon the Latin, as before upon the
Greek. For all the Italian which cannot be easily shown to be Latin, can be easily
shown to be our Northern (Keltic) language."

Home Tooke had devoted no attention to Keltic literature, to the


Keltic language, or to the migration of the Keltic races into Europe, or
he would not have fallen into the error of denying the Asiatic origin
of that great Keltic, which he wrongly calls Northern, speech, which
is the indubitableor, as might better be said, the undoubtable
predecessor both of the Greek and the Latin. It was not generally
known, or scarcely suspected in the time of Horne Tooke, though it
is now generally admitted by all who have studied the subject,
that the Kelts were a people of Asiatic origin, who spoke a
language as ancient as Sanscrit, and closely allied to it, of which
the Scottish and Irish Gaelic is a branch, and that from the heart of
Asia as population increased, they spread themselves into Assyria,
Phoenicia, Egypt, and the neighbouring countries, where they founded
a mighty civilization, and that afterwards in the course of many,
c
XXvi INTRODUCTION.

perhaps three or four thousand years, they overran the West of


Europe, Italy, Spain, Gaul, Ireland, Britain, part of Germany,
and Scandinavia. The names of all the rivers and mountains of
Europe are clearly traceable to this remarkable people, as philologists
in the present revival of investigation into the Keltic languages
are aware. And not only rivers and mountains, but continents
and kingdoms, received from this primitive race, the appellations
by which they are known to this day. The Egyptians, who
swarmed from the heart of Asia into new lands, when the old had
become over-peopled, just as the people of our isles have swarmed into
America, called the home of their race As-ia, or the " back country,"
from the Gaelic As, back, and ia (now obsolete), a country, in the
the same way as the Scotch, English, and Irish in America speak of
their first home as the " old country." They called Africaknown
to the Romans as LibyaAbh-ruitheach-ia (Av-ruic-ia), the country
of the flowing river, or the Nile ; and Italy, they called Eudail-ia,
from Eudail, cattle, and ia, country, the land of cattle and pastoral
wealth. But though these facts are known to the learned, few
are aware how many of the names of the gods and goddesses, and
the more or less fabulous heroes in the Greek and Roman
mythology, were immediately derived from the Egyptians, and before
them from the Babylonians and Assyrians, along with the religion
and the philosophy of Greece. The Greeks themselves did not know
how much they were indebted to foreign sources for the names of
their divinities, though the great Socrates had a suspicion of it. In
Jacob Bryant's "Mythology," vol. i. page 165, there is a quotation
from Socrates, which says,
" I am very sensible that the Grecians in general, and especially those who are subject
to foreigners, have received with their language many exotic terms. If a person should
be led to seek for their analogy or meaning in the Greek tongue and not in the language
from whence they proceeded, he would be grievously puzzled."
Jacob Bryant, though almost wholly ignorant of the Keltic lan
guages, and unaware of the helps to investigation to be derived from
those rich mines of words and ideas, says in another part of his work,
" Hecatueus of Miletus acknowledges that the traditions of the Greek were as ridi
culous as they were numerous ; and Philo confesses that he could obtain little intelligence
INTRODUCTION. xxvii
from that quarter ; that the Grecians had brought a mist upon learning, so that it was
impossible to discover the truth : ho therefore applied to people of other countries for
information. Plato owned that the most genuine helps to philosophy were borrowed
from those, who, by the Greek, were styled barbarians."

In the Appendix to this volume will be found the Keltic or Gaelic


derivation of many of the names of the Greek and Roman Divinities,
showing a clear connexion between the Assyrian, and the Egyptian,
and the Gaelic, as it has come down from remote antiquity to our
times, and affording a very singular support to the conviction of all
those who have found reason to believe in the early Eastern origin of
that language, or rather of that small and attenuated remnant of a
speech that is older than the oldest of empires, older than many that
perished thousands of years ago.
An equally remarkable proof of the almost imperishable vitality cf
the Gaelic, surviving in forms of speech, among various nations, with
out attracting the smallest suspicion on the part of the learned, as
to the meaning that the words were ever intended to convey, may
be found in the choruses, supposed to be mere gibberish, of the
popular songs of the English, the Scotch, the Irish, the Welsh, and
the French. The Fal, lal, la, the Tra, la, la, the Fa, lero, loo,
the Tooral, lonral, the Down, down, derry down, the' Tire lire, and
other apparently absurd collocations of syllables that do duty in
hundreds of widely diffused songs and ballads, and that have done
such duty for scores of generations as choruses to compositions
with which they have no real connexion, are relics of the once
solemn worship by the Druids of the Sun and the heavenly bodies.
These choruses, often repeated, fixed themselves upon the popular
ear and memory, and have flourished in the parrot-like repetition
of the unthinking multitude for ages after their original meaning
has fallen into oblivion. From the further elucidation of this curious
subject that carries us back to the time when Druidism was the
faith of all non-Roman Europe, the reader is also referred to the
Appendix, where he will find fully set forth, the true meanings of
the otherwise non-intelligible rhymes of the ancient races, that
masquerade unsuspected in the songs of the vulgar.
The uninformed who know nothing of the Kelticand the preju
c 2
xxviii INTRODUCTION.

diced who know little, and depreciate that littleassert that the Gaelic,
if once spoken throughout the British Isles, has left no trace, either
of words or of grammar, in the modern English language. That it
has left abundant traces in the words, will be evident to all who will
peruse without prejudice the " Gaelic Etymology " of the following
pages. As regards the influence of Gaelic upon English Grammar,
it is easy to show that the Gaelic idiom, lost in the Continental
languages, survives in English, and in English only. The phrase " I
am speaking," cannot be rendered in French or German or any other
Continental tongue, except by the simple, " I speak." " Je sais
parlant " or " Ich bin sprechend " would sound barbarously, or be
unintelligible to a French or German ear. The idiom, however, is
Gaelic, in which language it is constantly employed. The use of
the word " do " as an intensitive of a verb is another instance of
Gaelic origin. The French and the German, or any other European
nation, cannot say "I do love you," but the Gael use the word
" dean " in the exact sense of the English " do," and to these two
languages the word is restricted. The difference between the words
"do" or "make" supposed to be synonymous, is a subject that
merits a fuller investigation than is necessary or would be convenient
in these pages.
It is only the Gaelic and the English, and to a small extent the
French, which can use such expressions as " make haste," " make
ready," or " do make haste," or " do make ready." The French,
however, say "faites attention," make, not do attention ; and
" Faites-moi le plaisir," do or make me the pleasure. For "make
haste," the Gaelic has "dean cabhag" do or make haste or hurry, and
for " make ready," dean reidh, two phrases that in French would be
hdtez-vous or preparez-vous.
The common English salutation, " How are you ? " is not literally
translatable into any European language except the Gaelic. A French
man would not understand the inquiry if put into the form of Com
ment etes-vons ? Nor an Italian, if he wore asked, Come sietc ? Nor
a German, if he bad" to reply to Wie sind Sie ? But the words, if
translated into Gaelic, become Cia mar (ha sibh? which is an exact
verbal rendering of the English. The equally common English phrase,
" How do you do ?" partakes of the Gaelic idiom in the use of the
INTRODUCTION. xxix

first do, as an augmentative of the force of the second, but the final
w do " is a vulgar, and possibly not to be amended, corruption of the
old word doiv, to thrive, to prosper, to flourish.
Such vernacular English phrases as "lama going," or " a doing,"
or " a walking," are of Gaelic origin, and are not reproducible in
other European languages. All these examples show that the very
primitive grammar of the Gael has modified in English that of the
Teutonic, with which it came into contact, and that it largely
pervades our colloquial speech.
The prefixes ac and ag in so many English words derived imme
diately from the Latin seem to have been borrowed originally from the
sign of the Gaelic present participle ag or aig (ing) which precedes
and does not follow the root as in English. The English say drink-
ing, the French say buvant, but the Gael say ag ol. It is difficult to
account for this syllable on the hypothesis that ac is a corruption of ad,
in such words as ac-cede, accelerate, ac-cept, ac-claim, ac-commodate,
ac-company, ac-cord, ac-quire, agglomerate, agglutinate, aggrandize,
aa-gravate, Aggregate, and many others, where the root is in itself
sufficient to express the meaning without a prefix. In the words
acknowledge and acquaint, that are not derived from the Latin or
French, it is the same Gaelic ag or aig that does duty in expressing
the present participle before, instead of after the infinitive.
The orthography of the English and French languages shares with
the Gaelic, the peculiarity of making use of silent letters, and of
consonants that serve no other purpose, than to lengthen or
broaden the sound of a preceding vowel. As the Gaelic aspirate
modifies the sound of m or b into that of v or/, and of d into y at the
beginning of a word, and silences d altogether at the end if followed
by the aspirate, so in a similar manner the English g is silent in gnaw,
gnarl, gnat, gnash, and such Greek words as gnome and gnostic, and k is
silent in knave, knead, knee, kneel, knot, &c. The letters gh in the same
way are silent, and only serve to modify the sound of the preceding
vowel or vowels as in nigh, night, through, thought, plough, ought, and
others familiar to all who read and spell. The French sound the
singular and the plural of the third persons of their verbs alike,
but write them differently, and are clearly indebted to their Keltic
ancestors for this orthographical peculiarity.
XXX INTRODUCTION.

The Gaelic as now spoken in the Highlands of Scotland and in


Ireland has lost many words that it once possessedof which the
places have not been supplied by any new growthbut of which the
roots remain hitherto unsuspected in English, French, Italian,
Spanish, and even German, and of which many examples will be
found in the following pages. In reference to the words which
some etymologists, in their ignorance of the Keltic, derive from
what they sometimes call the Neo-Latin, and sometimes Low Latin,
Professor Max Miiller states in his " Lectures on the Science of
Languages," First Series, Lecture V., " That from the very beginning
the stock with which the Neo-Latin dialects started was not the
classical Latin, but the vulgar, local, provincial dialects of the middle,
the lower, and the lowest classes of the Roman Empire ;" to which
statement of a fact he might have added that all these Neo-Latin
words were Keltic or Gaelic, with a Latin terminal, many of which
have been incorporated in our law books, of which the word
" burglary " (page 64) is a notable example.
Anglo-Saxon in the same manner is largely a Keltic language. All
the words that it contains, which are not traceable to one or the
other of the Teutonic dialects are either from the Kymric or the
Gaelic. What is called the Anglo-Saxon or more properly the Saxon,
or Teutonic, may be looked upon as the father of the early English
language, but the mother, or grandmother, is unquestionably the
Keltic in one of its two great branches.
The last, and^one of the most striking of the proofs that the Keltic
tongues, instead of leaving no traces upon the literature of Europe,
has left many, is to be found in the fact that modern poetry is
indebted for the idea of rhyme and all its charm and grace to the
Gael and Kymri. Upon this point the Rev. Ulick J. Bourke, Canon
of Tuam Cathedral, and President of St. Jarlath's College, speaks
with authority in his excellent volume, " The Aryan Origin of the
Gaelic Race and Language," London, 1875. He says,
" Amongst the many important results from the modern study of Gaelic as a language,
and as a branch of philology, is the certainty that from the " dans," or songs of the
Kelts, has come the use of rhyme in modern European poetry In this way English
literary writers of the pastnot those of the present, who have written within the past
ten yearshave acted regarding the subject of rhyme in modern poetry. They knew
that rhyme is found at the present time in poetry of every language throughout Europe.
INTRODUCTION.
Where did it come from 1 Not from Latin poetry as practised by the Romans ; not
from the Greek, because the Greeks never knew anything about rhyme ; not from
Germany, for the ancient Germans did not regard rhyme as a requisite of poetic
composition. Men, ignorant of the true cause of an effect, like the philosophers of old,
who, not being able to account for the fact that a fluid ascended an exhausted tube, said
that it was because nature abhorred a vacuum, feign a cause rather than admit their want
of knowledge. Hence, not knowing the origin of rhyme, sciolists and mere literateurs
stated that it must have been borrowed from the Saracens.

"Men who have studied Irish poetry express their opinion forcibly and favourably on
the subject of rhyme, and say, with strong reason, that it is to the Kelts of Gaul and
Ireland, Europe owes the poetic property of rhyme in modern metrical composition.
" What says Zeuss, the greatest of German Keltic scholars ? and his authority alone is
worth that of a thousand others : ' In ea assonantia, origo prima assonantiae finalis est,
cultaj preesertim a populis recentioribus Europa?, quani dicunt rimum. ' And he shows in
a note that the word rimum (rhyme) is of Irish origin : 1 Quamvis ea vox computationem
poeticam indicans in vetustis libris Hibernicis non occurrat, frequentissimi tamen est usus.
Simplex Hibemica substantiva rim, inde derivatur rimire, computator.'
" The authority of Matthew Arnold, Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford,
ought, on a subject relating to English poetry, to have great weight with the English
reader; both because he is a man of great learning, especially in poetry, and is an
impartial witness on this special subject of Gaelic learning. He declares that ' rhyme is
the most striking characteristic of our modern poetry as distinguished from that of the
ancients, and a main source to our poetry of its magic charm of what we call its romantic
clement ; rhyme itself, all the weight of evidence tends to show, comes into our poetry
from the Kelts.' "

Though Gaelic, like the Latin and the Greek, seems destined at no
distant date to expire as a spoken language, it will not be allowed to
perish, any more than the classical tongues of Greece and Rome from
the memory and appreciation of the learned. It will afford another
exemplification of the fact, portrayed in eloquent words by Professor
Max Miiller (Lectures on the Science of Language, Second Series,
1861).
" That languages reflect the history of nations, and how if properly analyzed, almost
every word will tell us of many vicissitudes through which it passed on its way from
Central Asia, to India, or to Persia, to Asia Minor, Greece and Italy, to Eussia, Gaul,
Germany, the British Isles, America, New Zealand, nay back again, in its world-
encompassing migrations, to India and the Himalayan regions from which it started,
many a word has thus gone the round of the world and it may go the same round again
and again. For although words change in sound and meaning to such an extent that
not a single letter remains the same, and that their meaning becomes the very opposite
of what it originally was, yet it is important to observe, that since the beginning of the
world no new addition has ever been made to the substantial elements of speech, any more
than to the substantial elements of nature. There is a constant change in language, a coming
xxxii INTRODUCTION.
and going of words, but no man can ever invent an entirely new word. "We speak to all
intents and purposes substantially the same language as the earliest ancestors of our
race ; and guided by the hand of scientific etymology, we may pass on from century to
century through the darkest periods of the world's history, till the stream of language on
which wc ourselves are moving carries us back to those distant regions where we seem to
feel the presence of our earliest forefathers."
In studying Gaelic we in reality go back to the earliest dawn of
civilization. We find it to have been the language of a primitive,
but a highly poetical, and pure-minded people, who had attained
a high degree of spiritual and moral culture. The Gael, like the
early Hebrews, gave names to things without thought of immodesty,
and spoke of the functions of nature and of the physical formation
of man, without shame or the suspicion of indecency ; for what is
usually called indecency never exists among primitive communities.
They also gave simple names to simple ideas, that in the growth of
ages have become complex. When they spoke of what we now call
" fame " they called it fuaim, a sound, a noise, and when they uttered
the word glair, which we call " glory," they only meant " praise,"
or laudatory talk.
If in the compilation of this work, which has been a labour of love,
and has employed the author for many years in the never idle intervals
of other literary studies and pursuits, he has fallen into errors, few
or many, as no doubt he has, for want of knowledge, for want of care
and forethought, for want of thorough and exhaustive investigation,
for want of time, he has only to throw himself on the indulgence of
the critical and learned reader, and to plead the shortness of human
life, the limitation of the intellect, and the overshadowing abundance
of the cares that burthen us all. No philologist is, ever has been,
or ever can be, perfect in a study which might well overtask a life
of three times the traditional seventy years accorded to mankind ;
and in the statement of this fact the author rests his defence against
the possibly superior judgment that in after-time may find occasion
to expose his unintentional errors, or dispute his conclusions.
THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

OP THB

ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

A.A prefix to several English words, been bash, as in the following examples
and in many instances a contraction from Nares and Halliwett.
for at, on, or in, as, -shore, on shore
Neither bash I to say that the people of
or at shore; a-foot, on foot; long Rome invaded this isle, rather upon a greedy
a-coming, long in coming; come mind to encroach than as just title thereto.
Holland, Ammianus Marcellinus, 1609.
a-board, come on board. Mr. Max
And this bash not thou to do, in whose
Miiller, in the second series of his ancestors' time a senator was taxed and fined
Lectures on the Science of Language by the censor, that durst, while it was not
decent and seemly, kisse his own wife before
says : the daughter of them both.Ibid.
"We have not far to go to hear such And asil stood in this bashment, I re
phrases as ' he is a-going,' ' I am a-coming,' membered your incomparable clemencie.
instead of the usual, ' he is going,' ' I am Goweh, 1544.
coming.' Now the fact is, that the vulgar
or dialectic expression, ' he is a-going,' is far Abash, from the French esbahir, to
more correct than ' be is going.' . . . ' I am affrighten, which comes from the Latin ex-
going,' is in reality a corruption of ' I am pareo, if it be not likewise from the Spanish
a-going, i. e. I am on going.' . . . Thus, abaxar, to keep under, because inferiors aro
a-sleep is on sleep, a-right is on right, usually abashed when suddenly accosted by
a-way is on way, a-baek is on back, a-gain is superiors.Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
on gain (German entgegen), &c." Abash, originally to put to confusion from
Mr. Max Miiller is a notable autho a strong emotion, whether of fear, wonder,
shame, or admiration, but restricted in modern
rity, and all that he says on the subject times to the effect of shame. Abash is an
of language is entitled to respectful con adoption of the French esbahir, the origin of
which is to be found in the old French baer,
sideration. That the prefix a is some bier, to gape, an onomatopeia from the sound
times synonymous with on is evident ba, most naturally pronounced on opening
the lips. Hence bah ! the interjection of
from the phrases, a- foot and a-shore ; but wonder. WBDGWOOD.
that it is not invariably synonymous
with or a contraction of on, will appear The author of Gazophylacium Angli
from a critical examination of the word canum, unaware of the word bash, took
" again," q. v. the lead in a definition, which has been
accepted by every succeeding English
ABASH.To intimidate, to be intimi lexicographer from his day to the pre
dated, to shame, to make ashamed. sent. The French ebahir does not,
This word appears originally to have however, explain the word bashful, easily
B
2 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

shamed, timid, shy, modest. The true abhach, a terrier dog; abhagail, abha-
etymon would seem to be the gach, petulant, snappish, currish, ill-
CSarllC.Balhais (the I silent before tempered (said of a dog).
the aspirate, and pronounced ba-hash),
the forehead, the brow. The words ABRACADABRA.A word used by
brow-beat, to intimidate with severe the astrologers and by superstitious
looks; and affront, from the French people in the middle ages, written in
front, the brow or forehead, lend counte the form of a triangle, in successive
nance to this derivation; so that bash repetitions, each time with the omis
would be synonymous with brow-beat, sion of the final letter, thus :
as bashful would signify a person easily ABRACADABRA
brow-beaten, or easily put to shame ABRACADABii
by the severity or the impudence of ABRACADAB
ABRACADA
another, or easily overawed in the pre A BR AC A U
sence of a superior. See Pasii. ABRAC A
ABRAC
ABRA
ABET.To incite, to assist, and en ABR
courage. AB
A
This I think may not incommodiously
come from the Latin preposition, ad, to a A paper, or parchment, or piece of
bet, which in composition signifies, to stand metal, with the inscription in this form
by one, or bet on one's side.Gazophylacium
Anglicanum. was worn round the neck, and was sup
Saxon betan, to encourage, egg on, incite. posed to guard the wearer against fever
Bailey, 1731. or ague. The word appears resolvable
Old French abetter, from bet, the cry used into the
in setting dogs on their prey. Chambers.
(Satlic.Adhamhra (ahavra, or abra),
CSaellC.Ath (pronounced ah), a pre glorious, noble, excellent, illustrious ;
fix equivalent to the Latin re and the ceud, first, or a hundred; whence ad-
German wieder, again, or a second time. ham/tra-ceud adhamhra (avra, or abra-
See Again. ceud, abra), may either mean excellent,
Beat-hatch (from Beatha, life), to feed, a hundred times excellent; or excel
support, nourish, animate : whence ath lent, first excellent, or of the first ex
beathaich, or abet, to reanimate, to re cellence.
vive.
ABRAM (cant), naked ; Abram cove, a
ABIGAIL (slang).A lady's maid; strong thief, a poor man ; Abraham
more properly one of an ill-temper, men, or Abram men, the slang name
or tyrannical to her mistress ; a spoiled of a class of beggars in England in
favourite. the sixteenth century.
CSarlir.Abhagail, waspish, snap An abraham man is he that walketh bare-
pish, ill-tempered. armed and bare-legged and faineth himself
mad.Fraternitye of Vagabonds, 1575.
ABOYER (French).To bark like a fiJrarlt'C.Brama, unpolite, boorish,
dog. savage, uncivilized.
OaPlir.Abh, the barking of a dog ; IS pirir. Bram.
OF THE ENOLISH LANGUAGE. 3
ABYSS.A bottomless profundity. vative assis, signify a pound weight
Greek a, without ; jivo-aos, bottom. consisting of twelve ouncesthe deri
Chambers. vation from that language is not clear.
Greek Ajivaaos, unfathomable, from d aud
fivaaot or fivdos, depth.Wedgwood. It is probable that the true source of
diaflir. Aibheis (aivish), the deep " ace " is the
sea, the ocean ; aibheiseach, vast, void, CSacltC.As, out; i.e. that which
immense ; aibhidear, the devil, the puts out or effaces the value of all other
destroyer ; one who dwells in the abyss. cards in the suit that is played.
ACERBE (French). Bitter, sour;
ACCORD.To agree. ace/'i/Vy, bitterness, sharpness, acridity,
Concoud.Agreement.
sourness.
Discoud.Disagreement.
Latin acerbus, sharp ; acer, sharp, from
The second syllable of these words is root ac ; areo, to be sour. Icelandic skarjrt.
derived by English etymologists from German, sharf.Chambers.
the Latin cor, cordisthe heart. Under CSafliC.Searb (pronounced sharp,
accord, Mr. Donald, in Chambers, has or sharb), bitter ; Searbhag, a bitter
" derived from Latin ad, to, and cor, the draught; Searbhaigh, embittered; Scarb-
heart (with heart) ; under discord, he hachd, bitterness.
has Latin dis, privation, and cor, heart
ACHE.A pain, a pang.
(without heart) ; and concord, con, con From ach ! the natural expression of pain.
nexion, cor, the heart (connexion with So from the German ach ! alas ! the term is
the heart)." applied to woe, grief. Greek a\os, pain, is
formed on the same principle.Wedgwood.
r8f Uc.~-Cord, to agree, to adjust, to
CSarlir.Acaid,a pain, a hurt ; acaid-
settle; cordadh, agreement; ath chord,,
each, painful, distressing; aeaidiche,
to agree again ; mi-chordadh, discord ;
most painful ; acain, to sigh, to moan,
comh-chordadh, concord.
or sob in pain ; acaineach, plaintive,
ACCRUE.To increase, to grow to or querulous, distressing ; acainear, a
upon. mourner. Sanscrit aka, pain ; from ka,
happiness, and a, the negative particle.
French accroitre, to grow to, accrue ; Latin
ad, crescere, to grow to.Chambers. ACKNOWLEDGE.To avow, to con
<3afllC.Alh-chrulh, change of form fess, to admit a knowledge of.
or appearance by natural growth ; ath- Philologists have had a difficulty in
chruthacachd, regeneration, reformation ; accounting for the lirst syllable in this
ath-chruthaich, reconstruct, regenerate, word ; and Mr. Wedgwood has avoided
reform, increase by natural law. it altogether. The first attempt at
elucidation was made by the author of
ACE.The one of each of the four suits
Gazophglacium Anglicaiiuin, who says it
at cards ; or in the game of whist,
is " from the preposition ad, and the
the trump of which is the highest
Anglo-Saxon cnap a contraction of
card that can be played.
cnapan, to know." In this supposition
French as, Italian afso, from the Latin
as, assis, which signifies a single one. he has been followed by several later
Wedowood. writers. The word does not appear
A* the Latin word as, and its deri- among Herbert Coleridge's "Oldest
B >
4 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

Words in the English Language," and ethli, athal, nature, origin. Anglo-Saxon
elhel, native place, country.
the date of its introduction into litera
With good men's hogs or corn or hay,
ture is uncertain. It would seem to be I addle my ninepenee every day.
half Gaelic, half English and may
Where ivy embraceth the tree very sore,
either have had its source in the Kill ivy, or tree will addle no more. Tusser.
(BrarltC.Ailhiich, to know, to dis Wedgwood.
cern ; ailhneachd, knowledge, discern <2UarItC.Adh, prosperity.
ment, recognition ; aithneachail, intelli
gent, discerning; aithneachair, shall he ADMIRAL. The commander of a
known or acknowledged; or in the fleet. According to Kennett, the term
Gaelic prefix, ath, synonymous with the was not introduced into England
Latin re, prefixed to the English word before the latter end of the reign of
knowledge, as, ath-knowledge, which, Edward I.
with the addition of the initial k of From the Arabic emir, a lord or com
knowledge to the Gaelic ath or a, would mander, and the Greek iXiot, of or belonging
to the sea : q. d. Prince of the Sea. Minshew
become aknowledge, or acknowledge. takes it from Meer-al, above sea, the whole
sea, q. d. over the whole sea. Gazophylacium
ACQUAINT.To make known. Anglicanum.
Acquaintance.One who is known, According to some the word was obtained
in the wars with the Saracens of Spain, from
a companion. Emir Alma, or Emir of the water, which
Old French accointer, to make known ; readily resolves itself into the other word.
coint, informed of a thing ; from Latin Halliwell.
cognitus, according to Diez. The German Ultimately from Arab amir, a lord, but
has kund, from kennen, to know.Wedg probably introduced into the Western lan
wood. guages from the early Byzantine forms ame-
ras, ameraios, the last of which, as Mr. Marsh
fiSatltC.Ath-cinnfe, known again, observes, would readily pass into Mid-Latin
re-acquainted; cinnte, certainty, truth, amiraliut, with a euphonic I, admiraldut.
Wedgwood.
known with certainty; cinnteach, certain,
As the word "admiral " was not origi
sure; cinnteachd, certainty, assurance of
nally confined to a conqueror by sea, but
a person or a thing.
signified a high and mighty prince
ADDER.A venomous reptile, a viper. whether he were great by sea or land
Prom the Anglo-Saxon alter ; Belgian and as the Keltic nations had no occasion
adder; Danish eder. Gazophylacium An- to borrow from the Arabic or Byzantine,
glicanum.
Anglo-Saxon aethor, poison ; naeddre, an or to join an Arabic and a Greek word
adder.Cha m r km. together to signify a great sea-captain,
Garlic.Nathair, a serpent. The which the phrase did not originally
initial n has been transferred, in Saxon imply, the root ought to be looked for
English, from the noun to the pre in the Keltic languages.
ceding article, i. e. an adder instead of CSarliC.Ard, high, eminent; marail,
a nadder, majestic, magnificent; whence Ardmo-
rail, a title given to a great prince, and
ADDLE.To work with a will, to earn, corrupted for euphony into a-morail ;
to thrive. in French, amiral; and in English,
Swedish odla, to till, to cultivate the soil, admiral. The modern Gaelic is ard-
the sciences or the memory. To earn is to
get by cultivation or labour. Old Norse othli, mara, prince or chief of the sea.
Or THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 5

ADORATION.Worship. of fios (wisdom), and not from visum


Oration.A speech (from the Latin (sight), is traceable in the
orare), to pray (to speak to God), arlic.Ath,re, again, new, fresh;
but not used in this sense in Eng fios, knowledge, information, notice.
lish. An orator is one who speaks, Whence aih-fkios, new or fresh know
not one who prays. The origin of ledge or information. In Welsh, from
the Latin orare, to pray, as dis the same root, comes the word adwys
tinguished from orare, to speak, of a second summonsthe same as the
which the root is os, the mouth, French avis, a notice, an advertisement.
and ore, of the mouth, seems to be
the AGAIN. An adverb signifying the
(Gaelic.Aor, to entreat, to pray, to repetition of an act previously per
worship, to adore ; aoradh, worship, formed ; once more, another time,
adoration. Aor also means to join, to another action, another effort.-
adhere, to hold together. Compare this Mr. Max Miiller derives this word
idea (of adoration) with religion, from from the Anglo-Saxon on gain. In this
rellgo, to bind together. he but follows all other English etymo
logists. But neither he nor his pre
ADULTERY.The illicit intercourse decessors attempt to explain why two
of married people with those to whom such different words as " again " and
they are not married, violation of the " against " are, or can be traceable to the
marriage vow. same source, the one word signifying
Latin adulter, a paramour ; originally pro reproduction, and the other antagonism
bably only a young man, from adullus, or opposition. The German or Teu
grown up.Wedgwood.
tonic, of which Anglo-Saxon is to some
clflfc.Adliall, sin, corruption ; ad- extent a branch, have wieder, "again
hallach, sinful, corrupt; adhallranach, and noch ein mat, yet one time, or once
adulterous ; adhallranas, adhaltras, adul more for "again/' and enigegen for
tery. " against/' The true root of " again "
is the
ADVISE.To recommend, to counsel.
(Wilt.Ath ghin, to reproduce, to
Advice. Counsel.
regenerate, to generate or perform a
Avis (French).A notice, a recom
second time.
mendation to take heed.
The Gaelic prefix ath (a) answers
The Latin visum, from videri, to see, gave
rise to the Italian vino, old French vis. exactly to the Latin and English re,
Visum mihifuit, it seemed to me, would be and this is the syllable and not on, which
rendered in old Italian, fu viso a me. . . .
To be avised or advised of a thing would is prefixed to so many English words,
be to have notice of it, to be informed of it, which Mr. Max Miiller and others have
whence advice (in the mercantile sense), cited. This prefix is sometimes con
notice, news. To advise, in the usual accepta
tion of the term at the present day, is to joined with a word directly derived from
communicate our views to another, to give
him our opinions for the purpose of guiding the Gaelic, as again, or sometimes with
his conduct; and advice is the opinion so an Anglo-Saxon or English word, as in
given. Wedowood. the colloquial phrases"lam a-going,"
A dillerent etymology from the root " I am a-coming," " he is a-sleeping or
6 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

a-sleep," " he is a-doing of it," " she is It is strange that all our philologists have
marked the etymology of this word as un
a-talking." All these expressions con certain, as it may, I think, be satisfactorily
tain the idea of repetition derived from derived from the Italian ttgognare, to wish,
the Gaelic ath. " I am a-going, i. e. I to long for.Buockett, quoted by Wob-
CESTBB.
am continuing to go, or I am repeating
(Garlic. Gog, quick motion, nodding
the act of going "I am a-thinking,"
or shaking of the head, alertness,
"1 am continuing to repeat or renew
activity, to toss the head quickly in
my thoughts." To make all things
expectation, in pride, or in defiance.
a-new is to re-new all things ; to a- wake
With the prefix atli (a), signifying re
is to wake again ; to a-ttune is to tune
petition, the word becomes ath-gog, an
again; to be -thirst is not to be on
intensification of gog.
thirst, but to be repeatedly thirsty ; to
be a-cold is not to be on cold, but to
be cold continuously to suffer from a AGREE.To accord, to consent, to
repetition or reproduction of the cold. harmonize, to coincide with.
Now a days does not mean now on Agreement. Consent, concord.
days, but now and during a succession, Agreeable.Pleasant, agreeable, or
reproduction, and repetition of days ; pleasant to the senses; gratitude,
a-rise means rise again. This Gaelic a pleasant feeling, love given for
prefix is not to be confounded with the benefits conferred.
Greek prefix a occurring in many Eng Agreer (French).To accept, to re
lish words, and which signifies negation. ceive.
Gre (French).Will, favour.
AGE.A period or portion of life or Gree ( Lowland Scotch) .Agree, live
time. in peace and harmony.
Latin tetas, an age.Johnson.
French dge ; old French, edage ; Latin All these wordsby some philolo
alas, (Bvilas, from tecum ; Greek alatv ; gists derived from the Latin grains,
Sanscrit ayus, long life.Chambers.
Age, d'une forme bas latin, non conservee. pleasinghave an older origin in the
Littbe.
(Gaelic Gradh (gra), love, affection;
<Satlir.Aois, age, antiquity.
gradhaich, to love; alh-gradh, renewal
AGG.To irritate, to provoke, to con of love, agreement, concord after dis
tradict. cordance. The Lowland Scotch, to "bear
Egg on.To incite ; whence, by cor the gree," is from the same root, to bear
ruption and misplacement of the or win favour, acceptance, or victory.
aspirate, to " nag," to irritate by
small and vexatious complaints. AGRISE.To affright, to terrify, to
" She's an agg," or irritator, has astonish.
become " She's a ' nag.'"
Yet not the colour of the troubled deep
(Gaelic.Agadh, contradiction; agail, Those spots supposed, nor the fogs that rise
suspicious ; agairt, imputing blame. From the dull earth me any whit agrize.
Dbayton, Man in the Moon (Nabes).
AGOG. Open-eyed, alert, active, in All where was nothing heard but hideous cries
And piteous plaints that did their hearts
keen expectation. agrise. Du Babtas (Nabes).
Low French a gogo, to one's wish.John
son. (Gaelic- Grit, horror.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 7

AIM. To endeavour to hit a mark, though so quoted by Johnson. The


estimating by the eye the point and roots are
angle at which a missile must be (fliarlic. Cam, crooked; logha (boa),^
thrown. a bow, i. e. a crooked bow.
This word is derived by Skinner from old
French esmer, to point at, a word which I ALE. A drink prepared from malt and
have not found.Johnson. hops.
From the Latin eslimare, to consider, to This word may be possibly drawn from
reckon, to fix at a certain point or rate ; or the Greek aXe'a, heat. Gazophylacium Ang-
old French esmer, to purpose, determine, to licanum.
otter to strike, to aim or level at.Wedg
wood. From the Anglo-Saxon aele ; Icelandic bl ;
Gaelic ol.Chambebs.
(IVirlir. Aman,ama\n, to hit, to mark,
(SSf Iff. 01, to drink; olach, addicted
to aim ; aom, to bend, to incline, to
to drinking.
stoop (as one does in taking aim).
AIRLE-PENNY" (Lowland Scotch). ALIMENT. Food, nourishment.
The penny, or other sum, paid in Latin, alimenium.
advance as earnest, or precaution for CRar IlC. Alakh, to nourish, to nurse,
to feed; also to bear, to produce;
the fulfilment of a bargain.
CRadlC.Earal, prevision, caution, alach, a brood, a tribe, a generation ;
altrnmaich, to nurse; altruman, a
forethought.
nurseling.
AIRT (Lowland Scotch). A point of
the compass, the quarter fiom whence ALL.The whole, the totality, the en
tirety, everything, everybody.
the wind blows.
Gothic alls ; Old Norse allr ; Anglo-
Of a' the airis the wind can blaw, Saxon eall. Notwithstanding the double I, I
I dearly lo'e the west.Bubns. have long been inclined to suspect that this
fiUnflir.Aird, quarter of the earth, word is a derivative from the root d, ce, e, ei,
aye, ever. Certainly the significations ot ever
point of the compass ; airde, a high and all are closely related, the one implying
place, a height; ard, high, lofty, continuance in time, the other continuance
throughout an extended series on the parts of
supreme. a multifarious object, &c. Every one indi
cates all the individuals of a series ; every
AIT.A small island in a river or lake. man and all men are the same.Wedgwood.
Supposed by Skinner to be corrupted from CSafltf. Uile, all, whole, every;
islet.Johnson. .
JCyot, from eye, an island.Wedgwood. uileach, universal ; uile-ghlic, all wise.
(QafltCAitc, a place, a spot, a part. ALL A !The Druidical name of God or
A-KIMBO.The hand placed against the Sun, obsolete in Gaelic, but in-
the side in such a manner as to make inserted in the bes>t Gaelic dictionaries.
the elbow the point of two angles with The word is still used in Eastern
the side and shoulder. countries.
Crooked, bent, arched, from the Italian (Barlic.Alh, again, renewed ; lad
a sehemho.Johnson. the day, whence a. la, or alia! the re
In a cross position, with arms a kimbo on newed day, or an exclamation at sunrise
eacli hip.Ash. "Again the day ! " "Again the 6un ! "
There is no such word as sehemho, or
a xchanho, in the Italian dictionaries, ALLELUJAH, or Hallelujah.An
8 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGT

ejaculation of praise in religious not to come near the outstretched


worship. hand.
AUelujah, or Hallelujah, from the He Ail-off, from; according to Wedgwood, on
brew, " Praise ye Jehovah !"Worcester. i'.oof or luff, to the windward of a person.
A word of spiritual exaltation, " Praise Chambers.
God !"Johnson.
GVnrll'r.Lamh {lav), the hand, the
From the Hebrew halel, to praise, and
Yah, or Jah, Jehovah.Stormonth. arm; fad o laimA, far from the hand ;
CHilfliC.Alloil, glorious, noble, ex aih lamh (alar), ready-handed. In this
cellent, renowned ; alloileachd, glory, sense to hold aloof from a person would
renown, illustriousness; daoine alloil, signify to stand apart in an attitude of
men of renown; it alloil Ihuta, thou defence, and read}' to strike.
art glorious! aille, beautiful, pleasant,
agreeable ; luaidh, praise. ALPS. The high or snow-capped moun
tains of Europe.
ALLEMAND (French).A German. Alpine.Relating to the Alps.
Allkmagne. Germany. CVarlir.Aid, a high mountain, con
It has often been sought in vain to nected with the obsolete Gaelic alb, the
trace the etymology of the French words Latin albus, white, from their snow-
for Germany and the Germans. The covered summits; alba, Albain, Albuinn,
root seems to point to a remote time the mountain land, i. e. Scotland,
when the Keltic races were alone in pos whence Albyn ; albannach, a high-
session of the European Continent, and lander, a mountaineer.
when the Goths and Teutons made " Is Albannach a duineso," " He is a High
lander."Armsthono's Gaelic Dictionary.
their first irruptions to dispossess the
earlier comers. The invaders would be ALTAR.The high place in a church ;
called in the in ancient times the place where the
(ffinrlir. Alia, fierce, wild, barbarian; sacrifice was offered.
allamharach, a foreigner, a barbarian, The fire place on which sacrifices were made
an alienforeign, fierce, wild; allam- to the gods. Latin a/tare, which Hire
would explain from the Old Norse eldr, fire :
harachd, the state of being foreign and ar, or am, a hearth ; or perhaps the
barbarity ; allanta, ferocious ; all g/tloir, Anglo-Saxon em, or aern, a place; as Latin
lucema, laterna, a lantern, from luc-em,
wild noise or speech, gibberish, the lan leoh-tern, the place of a light.Wedgwood.
guage of the barbarians. The Germans (flSarliC.All, high, or a high place;
do not call themselves either Germans allair, an altar, a high place ; allach,
or Allemands, or their country Germany a grace at meat, spoken from the high
or Allemagne, but style themselves place where the priest, chief, or father
Deutsch, and their country Deutschland. of the family sat.
Germany was the name given by the
Romans, and Allemagne evidently by AM. First person singular of the pre
the Kelts, or Gael, to express their cha sent tense of t he verb to be.
racter of savage invaders. This important word is essentially
Celtic. Richardson derives it, as does
ALOOF.At arms' length ; at such a Johnson, from the Anglo-Saxon eom,
distance from a person or thing as and the Greek ei/u.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 9
The Greek tltu, besides its equivalentGothic or Teutonic words. In English,
application with the English am, is also Igo,
as already pointed out, it appears in the
and the latter may approach to the primitive
meaning, viz. motion, action ; that whichfirst person singular of the present tense,
causes m another or in ourself, a feeling, a
" I am speaking," for " I speak."
sensation ; that which has feelings or sensa
tions, lam; I cause feelings or sensations; In Gaelic it appears in the first person
I feel, or have feelings or sensations. singular and plural of the imperative
RlCHABDSON.
olam, let me drink; olamaid, let us drink;
The final m is no part of the originalin Latin, in the first person plural of the
word, but, ou the contrary, is the sign of the
the present tense mandamus, we com
first person singular. In other words, it is
the m in the Latin word sum, and the Greek
mand; amamus, we love; and in fact
word cfyu. , . . Can the so-called verb-
pervades in the form already specified of
substantive have been in its origin a demon
strative pronoun, or that / am is an abstrac
im, em, um, and bam, the whole of the
tion from I here, 01 some allied notion ? Mr.
Garrett has given many cogent reasons in Latin verbs, regular or irregular, all of
favour of this view, and I refer to his paper
which seem in conformity with its Gaelic
on the subject for the clue to this very obscure
etymon.Latham. etymon to mark their times or tenses.
In Italian it appears in the present of
As the English verb to be (so different
the indicative mood, the imperative, and
from the German set/n, the French etre,
the futureparliamo, we speak; par-
the Latin essere) is derived from the
liamo, let us speak ; parleremmo, we shall
Gaelic bith (th silent), existence, life;
speak.
so (am) the first person singular of the
In French it appears in the first per
present tense, a word that is so obscure
son plural of the preteritenous par-
in its origin to Dr. Latham and other
lames, we spoke; nous dindmes, we dined.
philologists, seems to be traceable to
In Greek, besides eifu, the first per
the same source in the
son plural of the present indicative takes
QSi&tUt.Am, time past, present, or om; TviTTOfiev, we strike.
future ; a circle, a season. In Spanish the am appears in habia-
In this sense I am would signify I, mos, let us have ; teniamos, let us hold ;
me, myself, exist in time, am conscious and in certain conjugations changes to
of time ; i.e. I live, I am. In the same em, as queremos, we ask.
manner the peculiarly English and The same form appears in the Hebrew
Gaelic use of the verb, as I am speak and Greekam-en, so be it, so it is, so
ing, I am breathing, I am writing ; for let it be.
I speak, I breathe, 1 write, would signify Am, signifying time or season, is
emphatically, " I live and speak," " I further exemplified in the Gaelic
live and breathe," " I live and write;" words amanna, times, seasons ; amanta,
or, in other words, employ time for the timely, seasonable; amantachd, timeli
purpose of those actions. The syllable ness, seasonableness; anamach, untimely,
am, which changes in Latin into em, unseasonable.
im, um, bam, and in Greek into om,
enters more or less into the conjugation AMAZEMENT. Bewilderment of
of all verbs in the Keltic languages, or mind, astonishment, great perplexity.
languages derived from the Keltic; but Amaze, to put one in a maze or labyrinth,
from the idle particle a; a maze (which see).
does not appear in the inflexions of Maze, a labyrinth, from the Belgian mcssen,
C
Ill Till: GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
to miss ; or from tlio Anglo-Saxon mase, a ANGLE.A corner.
gulf; for it is difficult to get out of the one The corner or point where two lines meet.
or the other. Gazophylacium Anglicanum. Latin anaulus; Greek <lyciAor, dyicor, a
From maze, a labyrinth, a place of per bend ; root, any, bent.Cuamuebs.
plexity and winding passages. Joukson.
Probably from the Saxon mase, a gulf. nflir. I'Miig, a comer; eangac/t,
Bailey. hooked, angular.
Icelandic massa, to jabber ; Provincial
English to mazlc. to wander as if stupefied. ANGLO-SAXON. These words are
Chamber/coot Wedgwood.
held to signify two German tribes
fiSarlif.Masan, delay, dilatorines of Angles and Saxons who invaded
indecision arising from perplexity; masa- and conquered England after the
nach, tardy, dilatory, perplexed. departure of the Romans. They
describe in their combination the
AMITAN (Lowland Scotch) A fool, present English, and a portion of the
a mad person, male or f .male ; one American people, as distinguished
yielding to excess of angjr. from the Keltic inhabitants of Scot
dSacltf.Amadou, a fool; amadanuh, land, "Wales, and Ireland. Angle has
foolish. been derived by nearly all philolo
gists from a supposed German tribe
ANAN (obsolete). An exclamation in in Jutland, and Saxon from the old
volving an inquiry used by one who German sales, sa.re, or seax, a short
has not heard what has been said to sword which the Saxons are said to
him, and who desires the remark re have carried in battle. England is
peated that he may hear and under supposed to signify the land of the
stand it. Angles, and is an abbreviation of
ntltr.An ? the interrogative par Angle-land. Hitherto no attempt
ticle. An Iv, so ?Is this you ? This has been made to trace the word
word is changed into am before the con Angle anterior to the time when the
sonants b,f, m, and p, as Am fac thu ? Saxons invaded Britain ; and seax,
Did you see ? The English an-an is this or saks, a sword, has been implicitly
particle duplicated. received as the root of the word
Saxon. The true root of Angle, and
ANCIENT.Very old. Johnson traces a very different and possibly more
this word no further than to the accurate source of Saxon, are to be
French ancien, which, in its turn, he found in the
derives from the Latin antiquus.
Mr. Wedgwood rejects anliquut, and (Starlit.An gaidlieal (d silent, pro
cites the Latin ante and the Italian nounced angai-eal), the Gael, whence,
anzeo, whence anziano. by the addition of the German word land
to the Keltic an-gai-eal, Angle-land, the
Ancien. Provencal ancian ; Espagnol
anciano ; Italian anziano, d'une forme neo land of the Gael. The Angles or Gael, if
latine antianus.Littiie. this derivation be correct, were the first
at lit.v/,intensitive particle, sig inhabitants of Britain, as well as a Keltic
nifying very, exceedingly ; scan (shan), colony of the same established in North
old, whence an-shean, exceedingly old. Germany, who at an after period re
OP TUE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 1 1

turned to the original land, alonj; with satisfactory. Anger is a fit of passion,
the neighbouring Saxons, Teutons, or or resentment, caused by a wrong done
German tribes. or attempted ; and the root seems to lie
Sagaineach, short of stature, thick iu the idea of quickness, or suddenness,
set, heavy of build. As the Belgian as will appear from the
tribes were called " Fir-f/olg," men with (Garlic Grad, quick, sudden, agile,
big bellies, the Saxons were called impetuous; an, a particle prefixed to
Sagaineach (afterwards by corruption numberless Gaelic adjectives, as an in-
Sastunach) , from their personal appear tensitive ; whence angrad, very quick,
ance, and not from the weapon which very sudden, very impetuous. Hence an
they carried. angry person is a person with a quick,
Anglo-Saxon, traced to these sources, sudden, or impetuous temper. In
would signify the Keltic or Gallic " Armstrong's Gaelic Dictionary " the
Saxons, a combination which truly de word angrach is represented as pro
scribes the modern English, and the vincial for angry.
Americans of English and British
descent. Angle-land is in French
ANIMATE.To give life, to inspire
Angle-terre, corresponding with the
with life. This word has its immediate
Gaelic an-galdheal-tir, the laud of the source in English in the Latin, and
Kelts or Gael. the Latin in the Greek. But under
lying the Latin and Greek are the
ANGRY. This epithet, as applied to
etymons in the
the state of a wound or sore in the
flesh, is probably of a different origin (Gaelic.An, an element, a principle,
from anger, indignation, wrath, and a breath; am, existence in time, time,
angry, wrathful ; and traceable to season ; whence an-am, the soul, the
the vivifying spirit, the breath of life, the
element of existence ; anaman, a little
(Garlic.loiigar, pus, purulent mat
soul, a darling, a little breath ; anamanla,
ter, corrupted humour ; iongarac/i, puru
full of soul.
lent festering; iongrachadh, suppuration.
This etymology suggests a curious cor
AXGRY. Incensed, wrathful. respondence between the poetic thought
Anger.Wrath. of the Gael, and the mythology of the
ancient Greeks. The Gaelic name of
A word of no certain etymology.
Johsson. the butterfly is anaman-de, the darling
or breath of God. The beautiful story
The idea of injury is very often expressed
by the image of pressure. . . . And the root of Psyche, the soul, the beloved of Cupid,
ang is very widely spread in the sense of com is known to every reader. " Psyche/'
pression : as in the German eng, compressed,
narrow. Latin angere, to strain, strangle; says Lempriere, " is generally repre
anguxtut, narrow. Greek ay^w, to strain, sented with the wings of a butterfly,
to compress. Wedgwood. to intimate the lightness of the soul, of
This idea of pressure as the root of the which the butterfly is the symbol ; and
word " angry " though ingeniously sup on that account, among the ancients,
ported by Mr. Wedgwood, is not wholly when a man had just expired, a butterfly
c 2
12 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

was represented fluttering above, as if ANTLERS.Stag's horns.


rising from the mouth of the deceased." French andouillers, the branches of a
The Gael have another word for the stag's horns, but properly andouiller is the
first branch, or brow antler; surandouiller,
butterfly, dealbhan-de, which is also the second. As the brow antlers project for
connected with the idea of the Divi ward, the word has been derived from the
Latin ante, before ; but the explanation has
nity, and the vital spark which He has not been satisfactorily made out.Wedg
breathed into all that live. Dealbhan- wood.
de may be translated, the picture, the The word "antler," as signifying
image, or the appaiition of the soul, or the homs of the deer, is probably due
of God. to the graceful and sportive manner in
which these animals toss their heads.
ANNEAL.To heat glass and metal Gaelic.Antlas, a frolic ; an/larach,
and then cool slowly, to render them frolicsome; antlar, a cattle fair or
less brittle ; to temper or prepare in market.
the furnace.
Saxon ealan.Johnson. APENNINES. A range of
Anglo-Saxon celan, oncelan, to set on fire, mountains in Italy.
burn, oake.Wedgwood. Gaelic.Ard, high; beinne, moun
Anglo-Saxon an, on, and Italian niello, tains.
a kind of black enamel on gold or silver ;
French neller, to enamel, to temper.Stoe-
month. APPANAGE.The portion of an estate
Gaelic.Innil, inneal, to prepare, to set apart by deed or covenant for a
order, or conform to the principles of particular purpose, more especially
art; innealta, well ordered, tempered, for the support of the younger sons of
prepared by art; innealtachd, conformity a great house. " Pannage " is a law
to art and rule. term for a portion of a forest legally
reserved to the neighbours for the
ANNULAR. Shaped like a ring. pasturage of certain animals, or for
Annual. Yearly, from the Latin the feeding of the hogs on the
annus, the year, or circle made by acorns or beech nuts that drop from
the earth round the sun. the trees. The origin of the word
Gaelic.Ann, a circle, a revolution, has given rise to much speculation,
a ring. and has been traced as far as the Low
or mediaeval Latin, which contained
ANON.Immediately, presently, by- many Keltic words with Latin ter
and-bye. minations. Johnson and many others
Derivation uncertain.Johnson, Ash. have been content to trace it to pants,
Anglo-Saxon on an, in one, jugiter, con- bread ; as if an appanage were that
tinuo sine intermissione.Lye. which was destined to provide bread
At one time, in a moment, ever and anon, for the person in whose favour it was
continually.Wedgwood.
established. Ducange has panagia,
Garlic.An, ain, ana, a negative panis benedictis ; and panagium, pro
particle, without; am, time; whence by appanagium.
corruption anon, without (the lapse of)
" Appanagium " is a mediaeval Low Latin
time, immediately. word which is thus explained in Ducange
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 18
(Ed. Carpcnt.) :" Census vel prcestatio pro and Latin aro, to plough ; though
jure pascendi porcos in silva domini." It is, the root may be traced to many of
in fact, the same thing as " pannaee " (see
Manwood's account of this forest right). As a the older Oriental languages, and to
legal term it is to be found in the old charters. the
Thus :" Item appanagio dictte forcstiE,
unde nostri di.xerunt appanagere pro porcos CSrilfltC.Ar, to plough ; araire, a
glandibus pascere ; " and so, " Ilz ont droit ploughman ; aran, bread ; arbhar, corn.
de franchises et libertez tels que nous avons
en notre dit forest, et sont en possession dc
prendre toutes lea bestes non herbaigees et ARBALETE (French).A cross bow.
appannaige'es." Arbaletrier. A cross-bowman.
The real etymology of the word seems
somewhat doubtful. Those who are curious Arblast.A cross-bow.
in such matters may find a dozen to pick and ARBLASTER, AltBALISTER. A CTOSS-
choose from in Menage. I am inclined to
think that it does not come direct from panis, bowman.
but that all the words, pascere, pastio, pas-
tinagium, pannagium, Ac., come from some With bowe and arblast there schoten to him
root which means " provision " generally (see Four hundred knightes and moe.
Ducange, in roc. Apanare). MS. Lacd, quoted by Halliwell.
" Appanage," therefore, is used in its most Of arblasties grete plentie were
correct sense when it is applied (as I applied None armour might their strengthe with-
it) to forestal right-: : or, to speak more cor stande.
rectly, the price of such a right, though it Chauceb, Romaunt of the Rose.
means sometimes one, sometimes the other.
It was the assertion of such right which The roots of this word in French and
enabled the Corporation of London to keep English seem to be the
open the forest (Epping) ; and their right in
respect of this " appanage," enured to the (SrneltC.Ar, battle; bail, to throw,
benefit of the public at large, and so became
their " appanage " also. Sir Wm. Vernon to cast; as, out ; whence an instrument
Harcourt, in Pall Mall Gazelle, Dec. 12, to throw out or propel missiles in
1874. battle.
The true root is the
ARBEIT (German).Work; arbeiien,
afliCBonn (pronounced pann), a
to work. The German language is less
bond, a bill, a security, a covenant ;
indebted to the Keltic than the Latin
banndair, one who draws up covenants
languages of the west of Europe ; but
or agreements; bann sAaor, free by law,
this word, which has not been adopted
licensed; bannaicA, to bind by force of
into Anglo-Saxon or into English,
law, to covenant ; atA bannaich (a-bann-
like its synonym, werken, to work,
aic/i or a-pannaich) , whence appanage,
has a primitive as well as high origin
that which is rebound, or resecured, and
in the
made firm by the law.
(fiarlir.Ar, to cultivate the earth,
APPLE JACK.A strong spirit, in to plough, to till the land ; biadA, food,
use in America, distilled from apples. sustenance.
CSacIiC. Ubhal {uval), an apple; So that arbeit is work upon the land
deoc/i (jocA), a drink; whence ubAal- for the production of food ; the earliest
deocA, or apple jack, a drink of apples. and noblest work performed by the
human race.
ARABLE.Applied to land which may
be ploughed or cultivated. This word ARCHANGEL.A chief or superior
is undoubtedly derived from the Greek angel.
14 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

Archbishop.A chief or superior tha sibh {ha she), you are. The r, in
bishop. the English are, is all but silent, and in
Archdeacon. A chief or superior ordinary conversation wholly so. The
dean or deacon. vulgar, we a'nt, for we are not, makes
Arch Enemy. The chief enemy, the no pretence at retaining this consonant.
devil. Tha, ha, and the English form are,
The word " arch " in these and other are nothing but strong aspirations,
instances derived immediately from the and among the earliest words ever
Greek apyr\, government, rule, headship, spoken by man to express the idea of
superiority ; but has its ultimate root life. In the " Grammar of the Pure
in the and Mixed East Indian Dialects," by
Herasim LebedefT, London, 1801, the
(BVafltC.Ard, high, supreme, chief. present tense of the verb to be, shows
a singular resemblance to and almost
ARDUOUSSteep, difficult to climb;
identity with the Gaelic, with the dif
whence metaphorically, anything that
ference that the Bengalee precedes the
is difficult to accomplish, as an arduous
verb by the pronoun, as in English,
task, an arduous duty.
French, and other European languages,
Latin ardum, high, lofty, difficult to reach. and that in Gaelic the verb comes first.
Wedgwood.
There is also the difference, which seems
(Garlic.Ard, high, chief, principal, to show that the Gaeiic is the older lan
mighty, noble, magnificent. guage of the two, that the aspiration
This word is applied not only to rocks tha, in the first person singular and
and mountains, as in such names of plural, receives a modification in the
places as Ard-gour, Ard-tomish, Ard- second and third persons in the Bengalee,
namurchan, and many others in the but remains unchanged in the Gaelic.
Highlands ; but to several qualities and
GAELIC. ENGLISH. BENGALEE.
offices, as ard-aigne, high-minded; ard-
Tha mi. I am. Ham ha.
chliu, high fame; a;-rf-cathair, a high
Tha tu. Thou art. Toom ho.
city, or metropolis ; ard-iigh, a high
Tha i. He is. Ooa hay.
king, suzerain, or emperor.
Tha sinn. We are. Ham log ha.
ARE. First, second, and third person Tha sibh. You are. Toom log ho.
plural, present tense of the verb to be. Tha iad. They arc. Ooa log hay.

This word, like the infinitive be and AREA.An open space, a field.
the first person singular of the present Arena.A field, or area of combat.
tense am (which see), is derived from Latin area, a threshing-floor, a hare plot
the Keltic, and not from the Saxon of ground, a court-yard, an extent of flat
element of the language. It is surface.Wedgwood.
identical in sound, though not ortho- Arena, the area in the central part of an
amphitheatre in which the gladiators fought
graphieally, with the Gaelic tha, which and other shows were exhibited. So called
does duty for all the persons, both sin because it was covered with sand.Wkbbteb.
gular and plural, of the present tense to (GaelicAr aire, slaughter ; arach,
be, as tha mi, pronounced ha mi, I am ; araich, a field of slaughter or battle.
OF THE ENGLISH LAXOl'AOE.

ARGENT (French).Silver, money. Scotch).Mono}- paid in advance as


Argentine.Silvery. a deposit, to seal a bargain.
Latin argentum, silver ; Greek apyos, Arrhe, earnest money, a deposit.Nugent's
bright.Chambers. French Dictionary.
Aries and arles penny, North country
(Garlic. Airgiod, silver, money, words for enrncst money given to servants.
wealth, money of any kind ; airgiod leo, Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaisms and
quicksilver, or live silver ; airgiod ruad/i, Provincialisms.
red money, i.e. copper; airgiodach,having (Gaelic. Earlas, iarlas, earnest
plenty of money or of silver. money, a pledge to complete a bargain.

ARGLE-BARGLE, Argol-Bakgol ARM.A weapon.


(Vulgar). To dispute, contend. Army.An assembly of armed men,
or men with weapons.
Me and the minister were just argle-
bargling a few words on the doctrine of the Latin arma ; Gaelic arm, a weapon, pro
camel and the eye of the needle.Mansie bably derived from the human arm.
Wauch. IVhcatley's Reduplicated Words Chambers.
ofthe English Language. The supposition that arm in the sense
(Gaelic.Iargall, a skirmish, a fight; of a weapon is derived from the arm
xargallach, contentions ; iargallas, churl of the human frame is incorrect. In
ishness, contentiousness. Gaelic the arm of the body is gair-
dean.
ARGOT (French).Cant, slang, the (GaelicAr, battle; arm, a weapon
language of thieves, tramps, and for battle ; airm, weapons ; armach, war
heggars, known only to the initiated. like, armed ; armaich, to arm, to gird on
(Gaelic.Arg, learning; argradh, in armour ; armailf, an army ; armailteach ,
genuity. trained to arms; arm coise, foot soldiers,
infantry; arm-lann, an armoury or
ARISE.To rise, to get up.
depot of arms ; armunn, a hero, a war
Old Norse risa, to rise ; Anglo-Saxon
arisan, to rise up ; rcosan, to rush, to fall. rior, a captain, a general ; arm-oilean,
Wedgwood. military discipline.
(Gaelic.Eirigh, to arise ; eiridh, the The Keltic languages, and even the
act of rising. German, have different words for weapon
and for the arm of the body. French
ARITHMETICThe art and science arme, a weapon ; and bras, the arm
of computation or numeration. Greek of the body; German waffen, arms,
dpiff/teco, I number. From the same weapons.
root are the Latin, Italian, French,
Spanish words for the same. ARM-GAUNT.An epithet applied
Gaelic. Aireamh, a number, by Shakspeare to Anthony's horse,
quantity ; aireamh, airmeidh, to number, which has excited many doubts as to
to compute ; aireamhack, an accountant, its meaning and etymology.
a numerator, an arithmetician; aireamh So he nodded.
And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed.
thomais, mensuration, mathematics.
A word peculiar to Shakspeare. Some
will have it lean-shouldered, some lean
ARLE-PENNY,Eki.e-Penny (Lowland with poverty, some lean as one's arm ; but
16 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
it seems to me that Warburton, though he GSafltCAth (a), again ; roiitn, to
failed in his proof, gave the interpretation share, to distribute, to separate ; whence
best suited to the text, " worn by military
service."Nahes. a/A roinnte (a roinnte), redistributed,
Hanmer reads arm-girt ; Mason suggests set apart again.
not unhappily termagant ; and Boaden arro
gant. It' the original lection be genuine, Roinnte is not only used as separated,
which I doubt, gaunt must be fierce, eager.
Staunton's Shakspeare. but as an adjuration to separate or stand
It may help to clear up the obscurity aside. It takes this sense in the pro
that envelopes this word to poiut at verb quoted by Mr. Staunton, and is
confirmed by a correspondent of Mr.
tention to a possible meaning in the
Halliwell {Archaic Dictionary), who
ffiaflir. Arm, armour ; armach,
writes, 1855 :
mailed, clad in armour; gann, scarce,
"The word roint is, or was thirty years
scant, partial ; whence arm gantachd ago, a common Lancashire provincialism. . . .
would signify with scarcity of armour, It denotes an angry or insulting mode of
saying, ' Stand aside ! get out of my way ! or
a horse not in the full trappings of war, out of my gate ! ' "
as was customary on great occasions,
but one only scantily or partially mailed. ARRANT.Thorough, in a bad sense,
as, an arrant knave.
AROYNT, or Aroint.This word is
A word of uncertain etymology, but pro
peculiar to Shakspeare, occurs in no bably from errant, which being at first ap
other author before or during his plied to its proper signification to vagabonds,
as an errant or arrant rogue, that is,a rambling
time, and is supposed, first in the rogue; but in time its origii.al signification,
passage of Macbeth, and being by its use understood to imply
Aroynt thee, witch ! something bad, was applied at large to any
thing that was mentioned with hatred or
and, secondly, in King Lear, Act iii. contempt. Bad in a high degree.Johnson.
Scene 4, Swiss urch, urchig, urig, pure, unmixed ;
Bid her alight Gothic airkens, good, sound; Old High
Then troth plight, German erehan, genuine ; Anglo-Saxon
Aroint thes, witeh ! aroint thee ! eorcnan stan ; Icelandic iarkna stein, a
precious stone ; Swiss uren, thoroughly bad,
to signify " avaunt, begone ! " By JSs ist uriges wetter, when it both ruins and
some the word has been conjectured snows.Wedgwood.
From the Anglo-Saxon and German arg,
to be a misprint for "anoint," and by bad.Chambers.
others for "a rowan free, witch I" the tiftaclfC. TJrranta (from ur, the
rowan, or mountain ash, having been beginning), thorough, complete, bold,
long held as a certain charm against uncompromising.
witchcraft and the evil eye. Mr.
Staunton rejects both of these inter ARROW. A warlike weapon dis
pretations, and cites a North country charged by percussion from a bow.
proverb,"Rynt, ye witch ! quoth Bessie All the etymological English Dic
Locket to her mother," as justifying tionaries derive this word from the
by popular usage, the employment of Anglo-Saxon are/re. Neither the
aroint by Shakspeare. But this leaves Teutonic, the Norman, or the Latin
the etymology of the word undecided. elements of the language afford the
A root offers itself for consideration in root. The German has pfeil, the
the French jVcche, and the Latin sagitta.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 17
The Anglo-Saxon and the English, covered shed over a rope-walk. They
though Mr. Wedgwood suggests the also find in the Arabic ddr-gana, a place
Swedish hurra, to whirl or hurl, seem of construction or work. A simpler de
both to be traceable to the rivation offers itself in the
(SacllC.Aroch, straight. (ffiarlic. Aros, a house, dwelling;
The English word "bolt," which inneal, an implement, an instrument;
formerly signified and still in poetical innil, to prepare, to equip, to fit out ;
composition signifies an arrow, as in whence aros-inneal, a house, or place
the "bolts of Jove," the "bolt of of implements (of war) .
Cupid," and thunderbolt, has a corre ARSON.The crime of wilfully setting
sponding sense to the Gaelic aroch, as fire to a house.
in bolt upright, bolt on end. Chaucer Latin ardeo, arsum, to burn.Won-
speaks of a lady CESTEE.
Mincing she was as is a joly colt, ffiaeltC.Aros, a house, dwelling,
Long as a mast and upright as a bolt. abode ; tein, thein, to set on fire.
ARSE.The breech, the fundament. Whence aros-thein, or aros-hein, house
This word was in common use among fire.
our ancestors less than two centuries ARYAN.A term applied to the group
ago, and was openly, and without sense of Indo-European, as distinguished
of impropriety employed by all classes. from the Semitic languages by Mr.
Though now relegated almost wholly Max Muller, and which has been
to the vulgar, and scarcely ever ad generally adopted by philologists.
mitted into print, it still subsists in Mr. Muller in explaining his reason
expressions not pertaining to the human for this classification, says that :
form, as in arse-board, or hinder board " Arya is a Sanscrit word, and in the
of a cart. It is also a term among later Sanscrit, it means noble, of a good
family. It was, however, originally a national
sailors for the end of a block or pulley name, and we see traces of it as late as the
through which a rope is drawn. The Law-Books of the Mavanas, where India is
still called Arya-avarta, the abode of the
ancient Gael, and indeed all primitive Aryas. In the^old Sanscrit, in the Hymns
peoples, had no indecent words. of the Veda, Arya occurs frequently as a
national name and a name of honour, com
(SSaeltf. Air-ais, pronounced ar- prising the worshippers of the gods of the
ais/i, to the back, backwards; from air, Brahmans, as opposed to their enemies, who
are called in the Veda, Dasyas. . . , The
on, of, or concerning, and ais, the back. etymological signification of arya seems to
be one who ploughs or tills, and is con
ARSENAL.A depot of arms, am nected with the root of arare. The Aryans
would seem to have chosen this name for
munition, and implements of war. themselves, as opposed to the nomadic races,
Etymologists have not sought further the Turanians, &c. The name was preserved
by the Zoroastrians, who emigrated from
than the French and Italian for this India to the north-west, and whose religion
word, with the exception of Messrs. has been preserved to us in the Zend-Avesta,
Engelman and Dozy, quoted by Mr. though in fragments only. Now Ariya in
Zend means venerable, and is at the same
Wedgwood, who not only find arzara time the name of the people."
as the Italian for dockyard, a place for Mr. Max Muller's authority as a
naval stores and outfit, but the Spanish philologist is high, but, with proper
atarazana and aiarazanal, a dock, or deference, it may be suggested that
D

18 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

he has mistaken the true root of this Ashes, dust: Gothic, az:o, Anglo- Saxon,
word, and that the proper clue is I asca, Esthonian, ask, refuse, dung.Wedg
wood.
to be found in the religion of the
(KatltC.As (obsolete), to kindle a
Brahmans, and the followers of Zo
fire; ais (pronounced ais/i), back, back
roaster; in sun-worship, and not in
wards, that which falls back or falls
agriculture; the same worship as that
down.
of the Keltic Druids of Britain.
(KatUc. Grian, the sun, aspirated ASIA.The name of the first inha
form Ghrian ! (pronounced yrian). A bited continent of the Earth.
ghrian (a' yrian), the sun. A ghrian It is doubtful whether the name is of
na h'og mhaduinn, the sun of the Greek or Easteru origin.Smith's Classical
early morn. Dictionary.
It is probable that the name is great
If this etymology be accepted,
ly older than the Grecian period, and
"Aryan" would signify something
that it was given by the Egyptians to
more than noble and venerable; and
the original home of the race ; the
would imply that the Aryans, like the
place from which sprang the successive
Druids, were priests or children of the
swarms that travelled westward from
sun. This explanation renders clear the
the interior and peopled Egypt, and
whole dissertation on this subject, which
afterwards Greece and Europe ; and
appears in Mr. Max Muller's Sixth
that its source is the
Lecture, First Series, on "The Science
of Language." (fiacltCAis, back; ia, country;
M.Pictet, "De l'Afnnite des Langues pronounced aishia, i.e. "the back coun
Celtiques avec le Sanscrit," lends no try," to the East ; used as the English-
support to the definition of Mr. Max Americans use the phrase " old country"
Miiller, nor does the Very Rev. Canon when they speak of the British Isles.
Bourke of Tuam. Both of these trace
" Arian " from the root ar, afterwards ASKANCE.To look askance, to take
written ard, high; and think that Arian, a sly and furtive look or glance.
like Armenian, signifies the people of a Old French, a scanche, de travers.Pals-
geave, quoted by Wedgwood.
high or mountainous country. The roots
Italian, schiancio, athwart, across; scan-
of Armenia in this sense would be ar or sare, t > turn aside. Dutch, schuine, aslant.
ard, high; monadh, mountain; ia, a Stobmonth.
country; Ardmona-ia. (ffiaeltC.Sgath,a shade; sgathan {ska-
The inhabitants of Persia were a collection an), a mirror in which you see the re
of nomad people, of the Indo-European stock, flexion, or shade of yourself, or another;
who called themselves by a name which is
given in Greek 'A/mtri, and which, with the sgathach, timid, bashful, furtively-look
kindred Median name of Arii, signifies noble ing; sgalhanaich, to look in a glass;
or honourable, and is applied especially to
the true worshippers of Ormuzd and followers ath sgalhanaich, to look again.
ofZoroaster.Smith's Classical Dictionary.
ASSESS.To adjust the incidence of
ASH, ASHES.The remnant or back a tax.
fall of anything which has been
Assess, to set, to fix the amount of a tax :
burned. French, asseoir, to sit : Latin, assidco,
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 19

sessum, to sit by ; Low Latin, to set or fix a is necessary to bring about a reconcilia
tax, from ad, to, and sedeo, to sit. tion." But the word does not ne
Ciiambeus,
cessarily express the idea of sacrifice ;
tVlCllCAth (), again; cis, a tax,
a person may atone for a wrong done to
impost, or assessment; cisle, a chest in another by the avowal of his sorrow
which the money is kept. and of his true repentance, if the of
fended person be of a kind and placable
ASSYRIA.A country of Western
nature. Possibly the missing root may
Asia celebrated in ancient history.
be found in the
acltr.Asur, new, fresh; ia, land, (Sadie. A//i a), again; toinn,
territory. tionn, turn, twine, whence nth toinn,
May not this have been the name ath tionn, to turn again (from the wrong
given to the land by the first colonizers to the right; to reconcile). Whence to
and immigrants from the interior of atone for" a wrong would signify to
Asia, the first home of the human race? turn from the wrong and cease to
pursue it, and return, or cause to return
ATOM. The smallest particle of to the right course. Tionnaidh, to"turn.
matter. to convert, to alter the 'position, to
Greek, nrop>; a, not, rc/iva, to cut (not change : ath-tionnaidh, to change'again,
to be further subdivided).Wobcesteb, i. e. from the wrong to the fright ; to
Chambebs, &c.
atone.
CViiiir. Dadum, a mote, a whit, a
jot, anything exceedingly small. ATTAR, or Otto.The essence or
ATONE.To expiate. cream of roses.
Philology has hitherto failed to trace Hindoo, utr, essence ; Arabic, itr, perfume.
Stobmonth.
this word to any satisfactory root. The
common acceptation is that it is derived (GSafltC JJachdar, cream, the top,
from " at one ;" " to be, or cause to be the summit, the superior or higher part,
at one " with an offended person, i. e. the essence.
" to be reconciled to him in consequence
ATTIRE. To dress ; clothing.
of an expiation." Johnson accepts this
Old French, atour, a hood; also a kind
etymology, as did his predecessor the of tire or attire for a woman's head. Damoi-
author of the Gazophylacium Anglicanum, selle ftaiour, the waiting woman that used to
dress or attire the mistress.Cotgbave.
who says :
The original sense of attiring was that of
" Attone, or rather atone; q. d. at one; preparing or getting ready for a certain pur
that is, friends again. But if you spell it pose, from the notion of turning towards it,
attone, it must be drawn from ad and tone, by a similar train of thought to that by
by a metaphor ; a consort or consonancy in which the sense of dress, clothing, is derived
music, representing the agreement of friends. from directing to a certain end, clothing
I choose the former." being the most necessary of all preparations.
Wedgwood.
Mr. Wedgwood who is the last philo Italian, tirare, to draw ; Old French, at-
logist who has essayed to explain the tirer.Chambebs.
origin of this word, says, " Atone is to (i&aEltC.Ath, again; tior, to dry.
bring at one, to reconcile, and thence Whence ath tior, to dry a person again
to suffer the pains of whatever sacrifice on coming from the bath ; a word ap
D 2
20 THE GAELIC BTYHOLOGl

plied to what the French call a dame or to a single branch of divination, but
demoiselle d'alour, who performs this observed the motions of the clouds, the
practice for a great lady. phenomena of the heavens, the rain,
the lightning, the thunder, the passing
ATTORNEY.One who acts instead of quadrupeds on their path, whether on
of another. In England the lower the right, the left, the front or the rear,
branch of the legal profession. the colour of animals, and all the little
Low Latin, attornaius, from ad, to, and accidents of daily life, such as the
torno, to turn.Wedgwood, Chambers, &c.
spilling of salt, or the shedding of wine.
Ga?!tC.Ath (<), again; dom, to hit
(Sari it-Agh (awe); aigh (some
(with the fist); dom, a fist; i.e. one
times written adit), prosperity, fortune,
who hits again in the place of his
joy ; aghach, adhach (pronounced aw-
principal, a deputy fighter or litigant ;
acti), with an aspirate, fortunate, pros
dornach, a pugilist ; dornag, a guantlet
perous, joyous, successful ; aghnhor,
(thrown down as a challenge).
agh'or, greatly fortunate.
AUBE (French). The dawn of day. Thus the Latin words, augur and
<5aclir.Abaich, abuich, to ripen, to augures, traced to their Keltic root,
mellow, to mature ; i. e. the faint light simply signify fortune-tellers, and have
ripening and maturing into the full no particular connexion with birds, as
glory of the day. all English philologists, except Dr.
Anthon, have hitherto supposed.
AUGUR.To foretell the future.
Augury.A forecast of the future. AVARICE.The intense desire of
hoarding or accumulating money.
Among the Romans one who foretold
events by observing the cries of birds ; a di Avare (French), a miser.
viner, a soothsayer. Latin avis, a bird, and Latin, avarns, covetous ; aveo, to desire,
gar, the root of garrio, to cry.Chambers. to rejoice.Wedgwood.
Augur, see Auspicious; Latin, auspex, from
avispex (as auceps, a bird-catcher, from avi- The Latin derivation for aveo, to
ceps), a diviner by the observation of birds. desire, does not fit the character of the
As the augur drew his divination from the
same source the element gur is probably the avaricious man so clearly as the
equivalent of spex in auspex ; and reminds
us of the Old English guars, to stare. (Sadie.Amharus (pronounced a-
Wedgwood. varus), suspicion, doubt, distrust; the
The term augur is commonly but erroneous prevalent disposition of a miser or
ly derived from avis, a bird, and garrio, to
chirp, on the supposition that the priesthood avaricious person; amharra (avara), sour-
originally drew omens merely from the notes tempered (French avare) ; amharrusack,
of birds. The true etymology ought very avarusach, distrustful, avaricious.
probably to be referred to some Etrurian
term assimilated both in form and meaning
to the Greek avyi), light (compare the German AWE.Fear, dread, terror.
aage, an eye), and thus the primitive mean
ing of augur will be a seer.Anthon's Awful.Dreadful, terrible, inspir
Classical Dictionary. New York, 1862. ing terror.
Though the Roman augurs studied From the Belgian and Teutonic acht,
the cries and flight of birds for signs achte, observance or respect. Gazophyla-
cium Anglicanum.
by which to guide their predictions, Gothic, agar, to be afraid; Anglo-Saxon,
they by no means confined themselves egc or aga, fear, dread.WoECESTER.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 21
Danish, ave, chastisement, correction, fear, This word, which now passes for a
discipline; Greek, dyi], wonder.Wedgwood.
vulgarism, is the original form used by
None of the foregoing derivations is Chaucer and others. It is found in
perfectly satisfactory. The Teutonic Bishop Bale's " God's Promises."
for ' awe ' is ehrfurcht, or furcht, and That their sinne, vengeance axeth continu
acht in that language does not signify, ally.Nahes.
as the author of Gazophylacium asserts, ' Ask ' is from the Anglo-Saxon ascian or
axian. Worcester.
respect or observance; butis synonymous
From the Anglo-Saxon acsian, ascian, the
with the English ' heed ' as in the Icelandic aeskia, German leischen.Wedg
phrase " sich in acht nehmen," to take wood.
heed to one's self. It is more likely (GadtC.Achanaich, to entreat, to
that the root is the beseech earnestly, to supplicate ; whence
(Gaelic.Adh (d silent), fate, for achaiu, a prayer, a supplication ; and
tune; whence adhbhail (ahvnl), vast, achanach, beseechingly, supplicatory ;
huge, awful, wonderful, fearful (like aisg, a request : this last word was
fate). * probably introduced into Gaelic from
the English.
AWKWARD.In a hesitating man
ner, unskilful, ignorant. AZURE.The purest blue, the blue
Old English, awk, wrong, left; Anglo- Saxon of the unclouded skies.
icard, direction ; i.e. in a wrong direction. From the French azur, Italian azurro,
Cham bees. Spanish azul, Persian lazurd ; all of them
from the Latin lazulis, a blue stone. Gazo
(Garlic.Ag, to hesitate, to doubt, phylacium Anglicanum.
hesitation ; agach, inclined to doubt. From the Persian lazur, whence lapis
lazuli, the sapphire of the ancients.Wedg
AWL.An instrument used by shoe wood.
makers for piercing leather. (Gaelic. Ur, fresh, young, beautiful;
as-ur, to renew, to refresh, to make
Anglo-Saxon, ael or aweel.Worcester.
German ahle, Old High German alansa, beautiful again, as the sky becomes
French alesne.Wedgwood. after the clouds and storms have passed
(Gaelic Adhal (aal), a hook. over.

AWMRIE. (Lowland Scotch).A


B.
chest; generally supposed to be de
BABY, or Babe.The new-born of
rived from the French armoire.
the human species, an infant.
(Gaelic.Amraidh, a cupboard; pro
A word, says Skinner, according to Menage
perly a recess in a cottage wall, done of Syriac origin. Skinner himself would
over with wicker work, as still seen in derive it from the Italian babbola, a babbo,
many parts of the Highlands; amar, but as it is purely vox infantilis, and the
infants of one country do not borrow it from
a receptacle, a vessel, a chest ; fraigh, the infants of another, it needs no foreign
a partition wall.Dictionary of the etymology. It consists of the repetition of
ha, the earliest because the easiest consonant
Gaelic Language, compiled under the uttered by children. Akin to it is the Greek
direction of the Highland Society of namras, iraira, the Hebrew ab, and the Syriao
abba, father.Eichabdson.
Scotland. 1828. In the nursery language of the Norman-
English, papa, mamma, baba, are the father,
AX.To ask, to inquire. mother, and infant respectively, the two
THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
latter of which pass into mammy and babby, in the phrases, " I have a bail cold ;"
baby and babe ; while the last with a nasal
forms the Italian bambino.Wedgwood. " He has a bad sore throat ;" " He has
Babe, French poupie, Latin pupa, a doll. a bad leg," &c.
Latham. Gothic, bauths, insipid.Junius.
Dr. Richardson's and Mr. Wedgwood's Dutch, quaad.Skinnee.
reasoning and its illustrations do not ap Bayed, past participle of bay, to bark at
or reproach.Hobne Tooke.
ply to the word " baby/' representing an Persian, bad, evil.Webstee.
infant; but to baba ox papa, as represent Written by Gower quad.Wobcesteb.
ing father. The word " baby " does not (SiacllC.Beud, mischief, hurt; beud-
exist in any European language but the ach, evil, iniquitous, hurtful ; beudaich,
English except in colloquial French, into to harm, to injure; beudag, a little,
which it has very recently been adopted, idle, slanderous, bad woman.
as bebe ; whereas if Dr. Richardson's
reasoning were correct, the word should BAGATELLE (French).A trifle, a
be as widely spread as "papa." The small thing.
new-born child, when beginning to Italian bagatella, a conjuror's trick.
speak, does not speak of itself, but of Chambebs.
French bague, a trifle, from Latin bacca,
its parents, its " papa " and its " mam a berry.Stoemonth.
ma," words that are known in all (SadlCBeag, little, small; tail,
languages and dialects. fee, wages.
fiRaeltr.Bed, living, alive, active,
lively ; from hi, to be, to exist ; whence BAGGAGE.A term of contempt
beo-heo ! a name not given to the infant applied to a woman.
by itself, but an exclamation of pleasure From the French bagasse, a prostitute.
Chambebs.
applied by the father or mother to From the Italian bagascia.Latham.
the living thing which has been given (GaelicBagaid (pronounced bag-
to them. age), a fat woman, a clumsy woman,
BACHELOR.An unmarried man. a coarse woman, a woman with a large
stomach ; bag, the stomach.
This is a word of very uncertain etymo
logy, it not being known what was its
original sense.Johnson. BAH ! An exclamation of contempt
Apparently from a Celtic root.Wedg at anything foolish.
wood. acllf. Bath (pronounced 6a),
Probably from the Welsh baclycn, a boy,
and lack, little.Chambers. foolish, childish, puerile, stupid; bath,
at lie.Bacail, a stop, a hindrance, a fool.
an impediment; bacalaire, an impeder, BAIL. A surety ; to give security
i. e. one who impedes by his celibacy the for a person's reappearance in a court
peopling of the world. See Balk. of justice, if he be allowed his liberty
BAD.Evil, wicked, not good, hurt until the day of trial.
ful. From the French bail, a keeper. Gazo-
phylacium Anglicanum.
This word is sometimes used, not in
the sense of the reverse of good, but BAILIFF.An officer of the sheriff,
iu the sense of pain, hurt, disease, as charged with legal functions of
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 2-'!

arrest and service. Also the manager foolish talk, nonsense ; Gaelic, ballart, noisy
boasting ; ballartaich, a loud noise.Wedg
of a farm, under the proprietor or wood.
tenant ; a steward of a house or CJratltC.Ballart, ballartach, noisy,
estate. boastful, braggart; ballartachd a pro
From the Italian baijlio, a foster father, clamation, a boast ; ballartaich, a noise,
which by a metaphor manifestly flows from
the Latin bajulo, to carry on one's shoulders. a shouting, a boasting ; bailisdeir, a
Gazophylacium Anglicanum. babbler; bailisdeireaehd, bluster.
From the Low Latin balliare, and French
bailler, to deliver.Worcester. BALK.To- frustrate, to hinder, to
CSacltC.Bade, a village, a town, a impede ; usually pronounced batch.
city ; whence the Scottish word baillie, Derived by Skinner from the Italian
the magistrate of a city, equivalent to valicare, to pass over.Johnson.
the English alderman ; Gaelic bailidh. To balk young lads in learning languages.
Locke, quoted by Johnson.
The Old Bailey in London means the From the Anglo-Saxon, Dutch, and Ger
old town, throwing back its origin to man balk and balken, a beam of wood, a log,
the pre-Saxon and pre-Roman times. piece of timber.Worcester.
To balk is to pass over in ploughing; to
Baile in Gaelic also signifies a farm, leave a thing unaccomplished ; to disappoint,
whence bailiff, in the sense of a steward to skip over. Icelandic balkr, the division
between two stalls in a cow-house. Swedish
or overseer. Bailiff, in the sense of a balka, to partition off (with a beam of
sheriff's officer, means a town's officer. wood).Wedgwood.
(Sarlic.Bac, to hinder, to prevent,
BAIT.The food, or pretended food, to frustrate one's design, to restrain ;
placed upon a hook to deceive and bacadh, a hindrance, an obstruction.
catch fish ; meat set to allure ; to
furnish with food on a journey, as to BALLUSTER, The column, or the
bait a horse. light rail that acts as a protection to
Anglo-Saxon balan, Icelandic beit, Swedish a flight of stairs ;corrupted into
bete, pasture.Stormonth. bannisters.
(SiarllC.Biad/i, food, to feed, to Ballustrade.A row of columns or
fatten ; biadhla, fed, baited ; biadhlach, a bannisters.
grazier, (rarely) au ostler. Said to be from balaustia, the flower of
the pomegranate, the calyx of which has a
BALAI (French). A broom. double curvature, similar to that in which
Balayer.To sweep. ballusters are commonly made. But such
rows of columns were doubtless in use
(iVirlC. Bealaidh, bealuidh, the before that name was given to them. The
broom, planta-geneta, of the sprigs of Spanish barauste, from bare or rare, a rod,
seems the original form of the word. . . .
which sweeping brooms were originally Baraudilta, a small balustrade, small rail
made. ing.Wedgwood.
aelic.Balladh, a wall, a defence ;
BALDERDASH.Nonsense, loud and sliorlan, stirean, thin, slender.
empty talk.
Anything jumbled together, an unnatural BALOW (Lowland Scotch).The first
mixture. A low word probably from the word of a lullaby used by nurses, and
Saxon bald, bold, and dash, to mix.Ash.
Balder, to use coarse language.Halli- well known to all lovers of poetry by
WBLL. the pathetic song,
Welsh, baldorddi, to babble, to ta'k idly; Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep,
Dutch, baliltrcn, to roa- ; Danish, bialdar. It grieves me sair to see thee weep.
n- THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

CRntltC.Ba, an injunction to sleep, security; anything ratified by the law ;


equivalent to the English " Bye ! bye \" and in this sense applying alike to
Laogh, the young of any animal; a marriage or other contracts between
calf ; a word used especially as a parties, or to penal liabilities incurred
term of endearment for a child. towards the State. See Appanage.
Banais, wedlock, the bonds of matri
BAMBOOZLE (Slang).To cheat, mony. Fear na baintue, the man of the
to deceive. wedlock or wedding ; Bean na baiunse,
Swift says bamboozle was invented by a the bride or woman of the wedding.
nobleman in the reign of Charles II.; but
this I conceive to be an error. The pro The Italian banda and bandilli are
bability is that a nobleman first used it in words traceable to the same root, a band
polite society. The terra is derived from the
Gipsies.Hottkn's Slang Dictionary. of thieves leagued together by a real
Bammel, to beat, to pummel : a Salopian or implied oath, or bond of fidelity.
word.Halliwell.
Bamboozle is from bam, a cheat ; to de BANQUET.A dinner, supper, or
ceive, to impose upon.Wobcestbb.
other repast of more than usual mag
Gaelic. Beum, a blow, to strike;
nificence.
basail, deadly, mortal.
This word, both in French and Eng
It would appear from the Gaelic lish, is commonly derived from the Italian
derivation that the original meaning of banchetto, the diminutive of banco, a
bamboozle was to deal " a deadly blow " bench; but the connexion of ideas
or "to kill." Probably the word in between a very large and splendid en
process of time was softened down in tertainment and a very small table or
English, so as to signify no more than bench is not obvious. Nares says :
to ruin a person by cheating him. " That what we now call the dessert, was
in early times called the banquet, which was
BANAL (French) . Common-place, placed in a separate room to which the guests
of the nature of a truism, not pro removed after they had dined."
found, unoriginal. He quotes from Massinger's Un
afltC.Banaily womanish. natural Combat:
We'll dine in the great room, but let the
BANNS. The public proclamation at music
And banquet be prepared here.
church of the names of men and
women who propose to be united in He also quotes the latest use of the
wedlock. This word is always used word in this sense from Evelyn's
in the plural. Memoirs, 1685 :
" The banquet (dessert) was twelve vast
Ban.To place under interdict by chargers piled up so high, that those who
force of law, to proclaim. sat one against another, could hardly see
each other. Of these sweetmeats the ambas
Banish.To decree by law the ex sadors tasted not."
pulsion of a person from his native As the word is peculiar to languages
country. that have a Keltic basis, and does not
All these words, of such opposite appear, except in a borrowed form, in
meanings, spring from one root, the any languages of Gothic and Teutonic
(fliaelic. Banu, a covenant, an ob origin (the Germans render " banquet "
ligation, an agreement, a bond, a , Gastmahl or Guest Meal), and as the
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

retirement of the guests after dinner to BANTLING. A name sometimes of


another and larger room for dessert and contempt, sometimes of affection, for
sweetmeats, was for the purpose of an infant.
joining the ladies and hearing music, From bairnling, a little child.Johnson.
as stated in Massinger, it is probable So called from the bands in which it is
that the true etymon is to be sought wrapped.Wedgwood.
in the Used only in low or droll style : perhaps
from bairn.Ash.
QSrStlit.Ban or bean, a woman;
A child born before the marriage of ita
banais, bainme, a wedding ; bainsean, a parents. Perhaps Jan-telling, or bane-
wedding feast; bainnseachd, feasting, telling.Richabdson.
hanqueting. Gaelic. Ban, a woman; altrach, a
If this derivation be accepted, a nurse, a fosterer ; banaltrach, a female
banquet was originally a wedding nurse; banallrachd, nursing, the business
breakfast or dinner, from whence, the of a nurse.
ideas being associated with the presence
of ladies, it was afterwards extended to BANYAN DAYS.A phrase employed
mean any elegant repast ; a dessert by sailors to denote the days when
after dinner, and any feast of more no animal food is served out : derived
than customary splendour and preten from the remembrance of childhood,
sion. when bread and milk days came round
twice or thrice in the week.
BANTER.To jest against a person, The Banians are a peculiar class among
in vulgar language to " chaff." the Hindoos, who believe in the doctrine of
metempsychosis, and therefore abstain from
A barbarous word without etymology, animal food. The phrase " Banian days,"
unless it be derived from the French badiner. when seamen have no meat served out to
Johnson. them, is probably derived from the practice
When wit hath any mixture of raillery, it of the Banians of Hindostan.Wobcesteb.
is but calling it banter, and the work is
done. This polite word of theirs was first (fVlflir. Bainne, milk; bonnach,
borrowed from the bullies in Whitefriars, Lowland Scotch, bannock, a cake ; ban~
then fell among the footmen, and at last
retired to the pedants.Swift, quoted in nachan, a cake made with milk.
Wbdgwood.
From the French badiner, to joke.Wob- BAB.A rod of wood or metal, to
CESTEB, ChAMBEBS, &C. mark the limits of a place set apart,
Unknown derivation, but probably ori
ginating in a slang word.Stobmontii. either for privileged persons, or for
Oarltr.Ban-tighearna, a lady-lord, criminals in a court of law ; also a
the mistress of the house, the lady- bolt to keep a door closed.
ruler. Bareier.A collection of bars.
Possibly the English word is from Baeeistee.An advocate who pleads
this root, and may have originated in at the " bar " before the judges.
the jocular accusation against a man, Baericade.A defence; parapet, a
that he was "henpecked," that "the protecting wall.
grey mare was the better horse," and All these words are traceable to
that he was under "petticoat govern the
(BSatltC.Ban, the top, a high place,
ment."
K
26 THE GAEUC ETYMOLOGY

a reserved place, the upper part ; barra, pruning knife ; bearraicke, a shaver, a
a court of justice; harradhal, a para barber.
pet ; barrack, to heap up ; barrachd,
superiority, height ; barra-bhard, a high BARGAIN.To negotiate in trade or
poet, a chief poet, a laureate ; barra iI, commerce, with the view of effecting
excellent, exceeding, surpassing. a sale or purchase. A bargain, any
thing particularly cheap, or advan
BARBARIAN.Uncivilized, savage. tageous to the purchaser.
Barbarous.Cruel, fierce. Scaliger writing against Festus, draweth
Barbar, the native name of a part of the it from an old Latin word bargenna. ' I had
coast of Africa. The Egyptians fearing and (would) rather derive it from the Italian per,
hating its inhabitants, used their name as a for pro, and the verb gaanare, to gain a
term of contumely and dread, in which sense profit. Gazophylaeiu m Anglicanum.
it passed to the Greeks, and thence to the From the Welsh bargen, and French bar-
Romans.Bbttce, quoted by Wobcesteb. gaigne.Johnson.
The original import of the Greek fidpfiapos, Bargen, Keltic British, a contract.
and the Latin barbartu, is to designate one Bailey.
whose language we do not understand. Old French, barguigner, to chaffer, bar
Then as the Greek* and Romans attained a gain, or haggle in the making of a bargain ;
higher pitch of civilization than the rest of the radical idea is the confused sound of
the ancient world, the word came to signify wrangling.Wedgwood.
rude, uncivilized, cruel.Wedgwood.
GSxHtliC.Barr, a crop, a growth ;
arlif. lfor#,cruel, fierce, ignorant, gin, to generate, to produce ; i. e. barr-
savage ; borbacM, ferocity ; borbarra, gin, something acquired by purchase,
barbarous, uncivilized, wild, untamed. that will " bear again," or be productive
BARBICAN.A beacon, a watch- in the future. Another derivation has
tower. The name of a street in been suggested in bathar (bar), goods;
London, so called from a watch-tower gann, gainne, want, hunger, greed;
on the ancient wall of the city. whence ba/kar-(bar) -gainne, i.e. want
Low Latin, barbacanna, probably from the of goods, or such want on the part of a
Persian baba-kaneh, an upper chamber. purchaser as conduces to a bargain.
Chambebs.
(ffiaclic.Ban, the top, the upper BARGE.A fat, heavy person, a term
most part ; beachd, observation, watch of contempt. (Halliwell.)
ing; beachd-ionaid, a watch-tower, a Bargy.Fat, corpulent, unwieldy.
beacon. Q&aeltC. Barrack, excessive.
BARE. Naked, uncovered, 6horn, BARK.A species of ship, poetically
clean shaven or cut. a boat ; technically, a three-masted
Perhaps from the Greek (pavtpos, clear ; vessel which does not carry a mizen
but it doth more than allude to the Latin
pareo from appareo, to be apparent. Gazo- sail.
phylacium Anglicanum. From the Italian barca, varea, q. d. var-
Anglo-Saxon, abarian, to strip off j bar, care, to row over a shallow place ; perhaps
naked.Wobcesteb. from the Greek (iapis, a kind of boat.Gazo-
Anglo-Saxon, berian, to make naked ; phylaeium Anglicanum.
German, bar, Icelandic, ber.Chambebs. Barca, Low Latin, a small ship.John
(BXafliC.Bearr, to shave, shear, clip, son.
crop, make bare ; bearrag, a razor, that French, barque, Old French, barge, German
and Danish, barke, Spanish, Italian and Low-
which bares the chin ; bearr-xgian, a Latin, barca, Icelandic, barler.Chambebs.
Or THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 27
The origin may be Old Norse, barki, the building in which soldiers are lodged. From
throat; then the bows or prow of a ship, the Gaelic barrack and barrachadh.
pectus navis, and hence, probably by a Chambers.
metaphor, as in the case of the Latin puppis,
barlcr came to be applied to the entire ship. CSarlic.ifarrae//, the lopped branches
Wedgwood. of trees ; barrachadh, a temporary hut,
Oaf lie.Bare, to rush, to move hovel, or cottage made of the branches
swiftly ; barca, a swift boat, or vessel ; of trees and brushwood (such as would
barcadh, rushing1 impetuously as of be made by soldiers in an enemy's
waves, or through the waves. country) ; barrachlach, brushwood and
trimmings of trees.
BARM (Lowland Scotch and Northern
English).Yeast, ferment. BARRATOR.A law term, one who
Barmie.Yeasty. stirs up strife, and provokes law
From burnt, Welsh.Johnson. suits.
The word is found in Shakspeare, Lily, Barratry.The stirring up of strife.
Beaumont and Fletcher, and other early
writers.Halliwell. French, barrateur, a deceiver : Low Latin,
Searching auld wives' barrels, barataria ; Italian, barateria, deceit ; bara-
tar, to cheat ; Old French, barat, deceit.
Och, hone, the day ! Wobcesteb.
That clarty barm should stain my laurels !
BtfBNS. <!&acliC.Beurradair, a satirist; a
Just now I've ta'en the fit o' rhyme, person who uses his evil tongue against
My barmie noddle's working prime.
Bubns. his neighbours.
(fiatlic.Beirm, yeast; aran gun BARRIKIN (Slang).Discourse, talk,
bkeirm, bread without yeast, unfer- attempted eloquence,
mented bread. d&aflil.Beurrachd, wit, eloquence.
BARNACLE.One of a family of
BARTER.An exchange of goods for
sedentary crustaceans.
mutual convenience and advantage.
From the French bemacle.Wobcesteb.
Manx, bayrn, a cap ; barnagh, a limpet ; Barter seems to have been named like
Gaelic, bairneach, a limpet, a barnacle ; bargain, from the haggling and wrangling
Welsh, brenig, limpets.Wedgwood. with which the business is conducted.
Wedgwood.
aelic.Bairneach, a limpet. From the French baratter.Johnson.
Old French bareter Chambers.
BARON.The lowest title in the here
arltC.Bathar (bar), goods, ware,
ditary peerage of England, Scotland,
merchandize; tairbhe, advantage, pro
and Wales. Also a title of nobility
fit; atharaich, to change.
in all the countries of Western
Europe. BASIN.A wide, open vessel, a dish;
t&atlit.Bar (obsolete), a man, a the hollow of a country that is drained
learned man ; baran, a great man. by a river.
French, bassin, Italian, bacino, Dutch,
BARRACK.A building for the ac back.Chambers.
commodation of soldiers, commonly (3*aeItC.Bas, the palm of the hand;
but erroneously used in the plural. the palm of the hand with the fingers
From the Italian and Spanish baracca, bent over it so as to contain water.
and the French baraque.Wobcesteb.
Literally a hut made of branches ; a iftpttir.Bas, shallow.
E o
THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGT

BASKETA small receptacle of in mind the horrible atrocities committed


wicker work, for carrying com with the sanction of the old kings of
modities. France, in the dreadful dungeons of
Basged, Welsh.Johnson. the happily abolished Bastile, the
(SiafltC.Bascaid, a basket; bas, the Keltic derivation of the word is but
hand ; caiteach, rushes, wicker-work. too appropriate.
iSgmtlC.Basg, plaiting, basket- <2SacltC.Bas, death; tiodhlaic {d
work ; basged, a basket ; basgedan, a silent), inter, bury; whence bas-tio-lak
little basket. [softened and corrupted into Bastile],
death and burial.
BASTARD.One born out of wedlock ;
French, bdtard. BATHE.To immerse one's self in
Apparently of Celtic derivation, from baos, water, for health or cleanliness.
lust, fornication ; Old French, Jils de bast, The primary meaning seems to be to
fils de bas. warm, then to warm by the application
He wa6 begete of basd God wot.Arthur of hot water; to refresh one's self in
and Merlin.Wedgwood. water whether warm or cold. . . . Hence
probably may be explained the name of
CRaeliC.Baos, baois, lust. Baice, as signifying warm baths to which
that place owed its celebrity.Wedgwood.
BASTE.A culinary term for moisten
GiatliC.Bath, to drown, to quench;
ing the meat that is roasting before
the sea, the deep water (Greek /9a0os).
the fire.
To rub the meat while roasting with a
stick (baton, baston) covered with fat. BAUBLE.A fool's plaything; and
Ciiambebs. in the ancient days, when monarchs
CRaeltC.Baisl, to immerse, to satu and great nobles entertained pro
rate (also to baptize with water) ; baiste, fessional jesters and court fools, the
immersed, saturated, moistened, watered ; wand or emblem of their office. This
baislidhe (obsolete) , the water that drips wand was generally ornamented with
from the eaves or roof of a house. bells, fringe, and hanging tassels.
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
BASTILE.A celebrated fort and And keeps the oath which by that god he
prison in Paris, demolished by the swears. Titus Andronicus.
people at the commencement of the Low Latin, baubella, French, babiole.
great French Revolution of 1789. Spelman suggests the French beau-belle,
masculine and feminine adjective for pretty.
Cowper sang, WoBCESTEB.
The Bastile
With horrid towers, the abode of broken The origin of the word is bab or bob, a
hearts. lump, and as a verb to move quickly up and
down {bob about and around) ; Gaelic, bab,
The word was adopted into English a tassel or hanging bunch.Wedgwood.
at the time of the Reform of the Poor Baubella in Low Latin signifies toys,
Laws in 1834, when it became the jewels, but that word being only found in
custom among those who considered the Hovenden, it is as probable that the English
may be the original as the contrary. Per
amended Law to be too hard and severe haps both are from the French babiole.
in its operation, especially towards the Nabes.
aged, to stigmatize the Union Work rafllC.Ba, a fool; ball, an instru
houses as "Whig Bastiles." Bearing ment; ballcluiche, a plaything; whence
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 29
la-ball, a bauble, a fool's instrument or tic-French beler, to bleat. From beul or
sign of office. bel, the mouth, comes bellow, the sound
proceeding from the mouth ; beulach,
BAWL.To bellow, to cry out lustily. large-mouthed, also garrulous or noisy ;
Bell.A hollow vessel of metal, that beulan, a little mouth.
struck by its tongue or clapper
produces sound. BAWDY.Lewd, obscene, pertaining
Bellow.To roar, to cry out lustily ; to illicit intercourse of the sexes, and
to roar like an enraged animal. to conversation connected therewith.
Bellows.A domestic instrument for Welsh, baw, dirt, filth, excrement. Jamie-
son says, from baugh, an interjection of
producing wind. disgust, equivalent to faugh !Wedgwood.
All these words are traceable to the From the Old French baude, hold, riotous
Gaelic leul, a mouth; though the ly joyOUS. WOBCESTEB.
philologists try hard to find another The idea expressed in this English
root in the Anglo-Saxon belan, to cry word is not necessarily significant of
out; which is itself derived from the disgust. The true root is the
Gaelic. CSafltC.Baodh, foolish, stupid, in
Bellow is from the Anglo-Saxon bellan, decent; baoth, profane, wicked, wild,
and Belgian bolcken, and French bugler, to
bellow or low as an ox ; Teutonic beller, to unseemly, contrary to good manners.
howl ; all of them from the sound. Gazo-
phglacium Anglicanum. BAWSAND (Lowland Scotch). Hav
Bellows is derived from the Saxon bilog; ing a white stripe on the face ; ap
perhaps it is corrupted from " bellies," the
wind being contained in the hollow or belly. plied to horses, cattle, or dogs.
Johnsou. His honest, sousie, bawsant face
The word balg, bolg, is used in several Aye get him friends in ilkaplace.
Keltic and Teutonic languages to signify an Bubns, The Twa Dogs.
inflated skin or case. Gaelic balg, bolg, a
bag, wallet, or belly.Wedgwood. afltC.Bathais (I silent), the fore
head (in man), the face (in animals).
Dr. Johnson's idea, adopted by Mr.
Wedgwood (without the absurd addi BE.To live, to exist.
tion that the wind is contained in the This word is one of the most ancient,
bellows, or instrument that propels it and most generally spread over the
to the fire), does not point to the true world ; and can be traced from the
derivation of this word. A bellows or Sanscrit through most of the languages
pair of bellows, is not a bag or belly of Asia and Europe. It is worthy of
containing wind, but a machine, which, note that the author of the Gazophy-
by means of an orifice or mouth, in lacium Anglicanum, one of the earliest
troduces air from the outer atmosphere, attempts to trace the etymology of
and expels it through another mouth or English words, makes no mention of
orifice on to the fire. the verb to " be," or of the substantive
QBfaeUc.Beul (pronounced bel), ge "being;" though he cites the prefix
nitive beil, a mouth, an opening, an "be," in such words as ie-speak, be-
orifice. Hence the patronymic Cam- praise, as common to all the Germanic
beul or bheul (anglicised into Campbell), languages and dialects, including the
crooked mouth ; whence also the Kel Anglo-Saxon.
30 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Be = Sanscrit bhu, Persian buden, Russian and also a blockhead?IIotten's Slang
buit, Anglo-Saxon beon, German bin (I am), Dictionary.
Dutch ben. Wobcestek. (SadlC.Beachd, judgment; beach-
Anglo-Saxon, beon, Gaelic, beo, living ;
Greek, ffios, life; Sanscrit, bhu, to be. dair, a keen observer, a critic, a judge.
Chambers.
Anglo-Saxon, beon, Gaelic, beo, alive ; beo- BEAM.A ray of light, from sun,
thach, a beast, a living thing^ ; Irish, bioth,
life, the world ; Greek, /Stot, life. The Irish moon, or star; or from a lamp, candle,
verb substantive is formed from a root bi; or other artificial contrivance.
the Welsh from a root ba, bu.Wedgwood.
Anglo-Saxon, beamian, radiare, to shine.
(Gaelic.Bi, to be; bi thusa! be And this Skinner declares to be from beam
thou ! bithidh, shall be ; biadh, nourish (arbor, German baum, a tree), because a ray
or beam represents the figure of a beam
ment, that which maintains life ; biast, drawn out in length !Richabdson.
a living thing (whence the English (Gaelic.Beum, a stroke; beum soluis,
beast) ; biadhchar, fruitful, productive a stroke or beam of light ; beum sfd, a
of life ; beo, lively, active ; bith, life. stroke or beam of the eye, ocular
BEACON.A light on a watch-tower, fascination.
a sign of danger, a signal.
Anglo-Saxon, beachen, a sign, a nod ; be- BEAR.To bring, to carry, to support,
ehian, to beckon.Stobmonth, Chambers, to endure, to bring forth young.
&c From the Saxon beoran, beran; and
dyadic.Beachd, watching, observa Gothic bairan. This is a word used with
tion; beachd-ionad, an observatory, a such latitude that it is not easily explained ;
we say, to bear a burden, to bear sorrow or
watch-tower. See Barbican. reproach, to bear a grudge, to bear fruit, and
to bear children.Johnson.
BEAGLE.A small dog used for hare- Latin, fero, ferre ; Greek qttpta, Gothic
hunting. bairan.Wedgwood.
Commonly referred to the French beugler, (Gaelic.Beir, to bear, to bring, to
to bellow ; which is, however, not applied to lay hold of, to bring forth, to produce.
the yelping of dogs. Moreover the name " Beir da mi cuac/i Jiona," Bear, or
according to Manage was introduced from
England into France, and therefore was not bring me a cup of wine.
likely to have a French origin.Wedgwood.
Celtic beag, little; or a corruption of" bea BEAR.A well-known quadruped ;
dle" from the idea of tracking.Chambers.
the French ours, the Latin ursus, the
(Gaelic.Beag, little; mil (aspirated wild beast of Western Europe.
shuil, pronounced huil), eye; whence
(Gaelic.Beithir (bei-ir), a bear, a
beagle, a dog with small eyes.
venomous serpent, any wild beast.
BEAK.The bill of a bird (French,
bee). BEARD.The hair upon the chin and
cheeks of a man.
(Gaelic.Beic, a point, a nib, the
bill of a bird. (Gaelic.Bearr, to shave, to shear;
bearrta, shaven, that which is shaven ;
BEAK (Slang) .A magistrate. i. e. the beard ; bearrag, a razor.
Ancient slang, beck; Saxon, beag, a neck
lace or gold collar, emblem of authority. Sir BEAST.A quadruped.
John Fielding was called the " blind beak " in
the last century. Query :if connected with French, bete, Latin, bestia.Johnson.
the Italian becco, which means a bird's beak, Latin, bestia, Gaelic, biast, an animal, per-
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 31
haps a living tiling ; beo, living ; Welsh, byw, BEER.A favourite liquor of the
to live.Wedgwood. Germanic and Anglo-Saxon race,
(Sadie.SUA, beatha, life ; heist, a compounded of malt and hops; the
beast; beittean, a little beast; blast, a German bier, the French biere.
beast; biastail, beastly. Some derive this word from the Hebrew
bar, frumentum, head-corn. Gazophyla-
BEAUTY.Anything that is pleasant cium Anglicanum.
to the senses, or the moral sentiments. Originally, doubtless, drink ; from the
root pi, drink, extant in Bohemia, piti, to
Beautiful.Full of beauty, or of drink. The Latin bibere is a reduplicated
loveliness. form of this root, which also appears in
Greek iria, mva>, to drink ; and in Latin po-
The word "beauty," is derived im tus. In Gaelic the word bior is used in the
mediately from the French beaute. The sense of water.Wedgwood.
original idea is that of light or splen (Sadie.Bior, water, rain, liquor,
dour, that which shines, the yellow or drink ; bioras, a water-lily ; bior-hhoga,
golden light of the sun. The German a water-bow, a rainbow; bior-dhorus, a
schon, beautiful, is akin to the modern water-gate, a flood-gate.
English thine, and the ancient English
sheen ; the last of which is synonymous BEG.To entreat, to ask, to pray, to
either with ' beautiful, or shining.' supplicate.
Gaelic. Buidhe, yellow, bright, Beggar.A mendicant.
shining. Akin to this was the obsolete Beg and beggar, or perhaps better bagger,
because they carry their provisions about
bSidh, beautiful ; bSidheaeh, to beautify ; with them in bags. Perhaps it may not in
boidhichead, beauty. elegantly be drawn from the Latin vagari,
to go from place to place. Gazophylacium
Anglicanum.
BECK.A friendly nod with the head From the German beggeren, to live upon
in sign of recognition ; Milton's lines, alms.Johnson.
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles, [Note.There is no such German word
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles ; as beggeren; but begehren signifies to
covet, to crave, to desire ardently. The
seem to establish a difference between German for entreat, pray, or supplicate
a nod and a beck. Mr. Wedgwood is beten."]
thinks that " beck, beckon," and " bea Skinner's derivation of this word from bag,
though it seems improbable at first, is un
con," are all from the same root, which doubtedly the true one. ... So, from the
he finds in the English " beck," to bow Gaelic bag, and baigean, a little, baigeir, a
beggar, which may perhaps be an adaptation
or nod. Tt is not easy, however, to con of the English word ; out in the same
nect " beacon " with a nod, though Mr. language, from poc, a bag or poke, is formed
pocair, a beggar.Wedgwood.
Wedgwood attempts it. The true
etymon is probably the Gaelic.Bag, a bag, also abig belly ;
bagaire, a beggar, also a man with a
GaelicBeic, a movement of cour
big belly ; baigear, a beggar, a mendi
tesy, a curtsey ; dean beic, make a sign
cant; baigeareach, inclined to beg, needy,
of courtesy (a curtsey) ; beiceill, cour
covetous.
teous, making curtsies.
Mr. Wedgwood thinks that " beck " BEGIN.To originate, to commence,
may signify the beak of a bird, and that to come into being.
" curtsey " may be derived from the Lexicographers long contented with
image of a bird pecking. tracing this word to the Saxon beginnen
32 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
(which word docs not do so much duty bubble (still preserved by the Gaelic diminu
in the same sense as " anfangen," the tive balgan), which affords the most obvious
type of inflation. The application of the
true Saxon or German for "begin") term to the belly, the sack-like case of the
have lately turned their attention to inflations, needs no explanation. Wedg
wood.
other sources, and fixed the root of its'
second syllable in the Sanscrit gin, and tfSat lie.Bolg, the belly, the womb ;
bolgaire, a man with a big belly ; balg,
the Greek yivtojiai, to generate. They
a bag, a wallet.
make no attempt to account for the
first syllable. Both however are trace BELT.An ornamented ligature a-
able to the round the waist, and over the breast
(j&arltC.Bith (be, the th silent), and shoulder, a fringe, a border.
life ; gin, to procreate, produce ; whence acltC.Bait, a belt, a border, a
begin, to procreate or " produce life." welt; BallacA, belted, welted, bordered.
Thus the first verse of the first chapter
of the Book of Genesis might be ac BERLINA.In the edition of Nares'
curately made to read, " In the produc Glossary by Halliwell and Wright,
tion of life God created the Heaven and this word, not included in the original
the Earth." Nares, is added, with this explanation,
BELFRY (French, beffroi).k clock " the pillory." Then follows a quota
tower. Though a clock is often found tion from Ben Jonson's Volpone.
in connexion with a bell to strike the Wearing a cap with fair long asses' ears
Instead of horns, and so to mount, a paper
hours, it does not appear that this Pinn'd on thy breast, to the berlina.
word has any reference to a bell, A reference to Ben Jonson gives
which is apparent from the French some anterior lines which throw a light
synonyme. on the etymology.
In England a false etymology has confined Thou, Corvino, shalt
the name of belfry, properly belonging to the Be straight embark'd from thine own house
church tower, to the chamber in the upper Round about Venice through the Grand
1 art of the tower in which the bells are Canale.
h ung.Wedgwood.
The true etymology is the " Berlina," in Italian signifies both a
pillory and a four-wheeled coach (the
CSatllC.Beachd (bea), watch, ob
modern Berlin is supposed to have .
serve ; frith, small, little ; whence
taken its name from the Prussian capi
the French beffroi corrupted in English
tal) ; but as in Venice, where the scene
into "belfry," a small place of obser
of Ben Jonson's play is laid, a four-
vation (in a church tower), commanding
wheeled or any other coach is an im
a view of a city or the surrounding
possibility, the punishment of the pillory
country.
must, if inflicted on the highway, have
BELLY.The stomach, the abdomen ; been inflicted in a gondola, a boat, or
the part of the body that contains other vessel on the Canal. This points
and covers the intestines. to the derivation of the word in the
Bellows, belly, the word balg, bolg is used (Starlit.Bior, water; biorlinn, bir-
in several Keltic and Teutonic languages to linn, a boat, a barge, also a pleasure-
signify any inflated skin or case. . . . The
original signification is probably a water boat.
0\> THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 33

BETRAY. To deceive treacherously CSarllC.Be, a woman; bheo {veo),


in breach of trust ; German betrugen ; active, lively, originally used in the
French IraMr. singular, a lively woman ; but acquiring
Treason (French trahhon).Breach a plural meaning in "bevy," a company
of allegiance to the sovereign. or assemblage of lively women ; or it
may be from be, a woman, and aibheis
Latin, tradere, Italian, tradire, French,
trahir. . . . Probably the unusual addition (aiveis), a great quantity.
of the particle be to a verb imported from
the French, was caused by the accidental BEZONIAN.This word is used by
resemblance of the word to the German
betrugen, which is from a totally different Pistol in King Henry the Fourth,
root.Wedgwood. who asks Shallow, ignorant of the
Gaelic. Treig, forsake, leave, aban death of the King,
don ; treigsinn, abandonment, desertion Under which king, Bezonian ? speak or die.
(treason) ; treigte, abandoned, deserted. To this line Mr. Staunton in his edition
of Shakspeare, appends the note. "A
BEVY.An assemblage of ladies. term of contempt derived it is thought
" This word," says Richardson, " is from the Italian bisogno, which Cot-
of unknown etymology." Johnson grave explains ; ' A filthy knave or
derived it from the Italian beva, a drink, clowne, a raskall, a bisonian, base-
and succeeding etymologists have fol humoured scoundrel.'" Mr. Halliwell
lowed in his track. defines it, "A beggar, a scoundrel, a
In Bailey's Dictionary, 1 781, "bevy" term of reproach frequently used by
is defined as meaning " three par the old dramatists."
tridges," a " bevy of roebucks," as a If this word be not derived from
herd of roebucks ; " bevy grease-," as bisogno, which signifies merely want
the fat of a roebuck ; and a " bevy of and distress, a condition in which a
quails," a flock of quails ; whence the man may find himself without meriting
word, he adds, is figuratively taken for the very hard words of Cotgrave, we
a knot or company of persons, as a must look for another root. It is ap
" bevy of gossips." He gives, however, parently a corruption of the
no clue to the etymology. Mr. Wedg (tfcat Itr.Baios, lust ; baoiseach, lust
wood adds the French bevee, a brood, ful, gross, fat, sensual, bawdy ; and ton,
to the Italian beva, as a possible root, the breech, the hips, the fundament;
but bevee is not French; at least the tonach, having large or broad hips ;
word does not occur either in the whence baioslhoneach (the t silent before
Dictionary of the French Academy, or the aspirate), fat in the buttocks, literally,
in that more recent of M. Littre. The bawdy buttocks; a phrase that might
Italians render the English "bevy" have been well suggested to Pistol's
by stuolo or adunata ; and the French mind by his friend Sir John Falstaff, who
by volte, troupe, or cercle. The French figures with Shallow in the same scene,
for a brood, which Mr. Wedgwood
supposes to be bevee, is couvee, the root BICKER.To quarrel.
of our English word, a " covey " of Bickering. Contention.
partridges. Originally to skirmish, to contend in petty
F
34 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
altercation. Scottish, bicker, probably from Variously derived from beguine, a member
root of pick.Cu ambers. of a Flemish religious order; Visigoth, a
Signifies, in Scotland, the constant motion western Goth ; and Spanish bigote, a mous
of weapons, and the rapid succession of tache.Chambers.
strokes in a battle or broil.Jamieson. It is probable that the true root of
The origin is probably therepresentation of
the sound of a blow with a pointed instru this much contested word must be
ment, by the syllable pick, whence the frequen sought in the French and Flemish
tative picker, or bicker, would represent a
succession of such blows.Wedgwood. beguine, a term given to themselves by
The sound or roar of battle or con the religious order which affected po
tention seems to be the leading idea, verty, austerity, and extreme humility,
and the root the and which was itself derived from the
GSillttit. Bene, lelc, roar, bellow; (GaelicBeag, little, mean, small,
beucach, roaring ; beuchadair, a roarer, a humble, of no account ; or from lochd,
blusterer, a bickerer ; beuehdaig, roaring, poor, needy ; which, if the guttural were
quarrelling loudly ; beiceil, loud noise. softened down as was usual with the
words derived from Keltic roots, would
1-tnmttC.Bicra, to quarrel, to fight.
easily have resolved itself into the more
BIDDY, Chickabiddy (Colloquial). euphonious bigot, significant of "the
Name for a chicken or other domestic pride that apes humility."
bird.
BILBOES.A sea-term, to signify
(fiarltr.Bid, to chirp.
either the stocks, or other place of
confinement, and ultimately a prison,
BIER.The framework or carriage on
as in the song of Dibdin :
which a corpse is conveyed to the
When in the bilboes I was penn'd,
grave. For serving of a worthless friend.
Anglo-Saxon, baer, German, bahre; Latin, A kind of stocks used at sea for the
feretrum, fero, to bear; French, biire, a punishment of offenders. ... A wooden piece
coffin.Worcester. of machinery used for confining the head of
According to Herodotus, the bier of the sheep is also so called.Halliwell.
ancient Egyptians was called bar.Arm
strong's Gaelic Dictionary. (Sraflic. Buaile, a stall for cattle;
(5 -Trite Bara, barradh, a barrow, a bo, a cow; whence buaile-bo (bilbo), a
bier. cow-stall, where the animal was confined
and prevented from straying.
BIGOT.A religious fanatic, an ir
rationally zealous man. BILL.A kind of pike or halbert,
Of uncertain etymology.Johnson, Ash, formerly carried by the English
Ac. infantry, and afterwards the usual
From the Italian bigio, grey, the colour weapon of watchmen.
of the dress worn by the religious order of
the Franciscans.Wedgwood. Hand-bill.A small bill used by
French, bigot, from the English phrase, By gardeners for pruning.
God, uttered as an oath by Rollo, Duke of Bill-hook.A bill with a hook at
Normandy, when he refused to Mbs the foot
of his father in law, Charles the Foolish. the end.
Camden. Lo ! with a band of bowmen and of pikese,
An old Norman word, signifying as much Brown bills and targeteers, four hundred
as De par Dieu, or, " For our God's sake." strong,
Cotorave. j I come. Edward II. (Nares).
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 35

German, beil, an axe; Dutch, bille, a stone pocket with a sound melodious to the
mason's pick.Stobmonth. ears of the thief who wants to appro
(GarlicBuail, to strike ; whence priate it.
the English bill, an instrument with
which to strike, fell, or cut. BIRD.The Saxon-English of this
word is "fowl," from the German
BILLIE (Lowland Scotch).A fellow, vogel, as in the Scriptural phrase,
a boon companion. " the fowls of the air." Fowl is nearly
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie. obsolete except as applied to domestic
Buens, The Tica Dogs. fowls or poultry. " Bird," or a small
(GarlicBalaoch, a lad, a young bird, seems to be derived from, and to
man, a herdsman, a fellow; balach, a be a corruption of the
fellow. (G arlicBrid eun, a little bird ; brid
(obsolete), little; brideag, a little wo
BILLOW.A large wave, a swollen
man ; brideach, a bride, a virgin. The
wave, a surging mass of water.
word is also used in Lowland Scotch, as
From the Teutonic bilg, Danish bolg, both
from bullio, or rather the Teutonic bellen, a term of endearment for a young woman,
to make a noise like a dog, as wares do, as in Campbell's ballad, " Lord Ullin's
rolling one on the back of the other!
Gazophylacium Anglicanum. Daughter,"
And by my word, the bonnie bird
Johnson derives "billow" from the In danger shall not tarry.
German bilge, but there is no such
word in that language. The true root BISMARE.Infamy, reproach, dis
is the grace.
Gaelic.Bolg, a belly, to bulge, to And he that brought hero to this bysmere
For here foly he shall answere.
swell; bolgach, swollen, puffed out, MS. Marl., quoted by Halliweix.
having a large protuberance. A bawd, a lewd person.Jamieson.
(Gaclir,Baois, lust, lewdness; mor,
BILLY (Slang).A silk pocket hand
great.
kerchief; a handkerchief with an
ornamental border. BIT.A portion.
Slue-billy, a peculiar handkerchief given This word is commonly supposed,
by boxers to their backers, of a blue ground,
after the analogy of the French morceau,
with red spots.Slang Dictionary.
a bit, from mordre, to bite, to express
(Garlic Bile (two syllables), a
the portion of anything that is bitten
margin, an edge, a border ; hileach,
by the teeth, as in the phrases, " give
bordered, edged, rimmed, and orna
me a bit," or a " bit of dinner." This
mented. etymology cannot however be accepted
in such expressions, " I do not care a
BIN (Slang). A pocket with money
bit," " I can't have a bit of peace," or
in it.
of sleep, a " bit of garden ground."
And the vestat (waistcoat) with the bins
so rorty. The Chickaleery Cove. Neither is it quite certain that the truo
(GarlicBinn, melodious; whence root of the word, in connexion with
by metaphor, money that chinks in the eating, is to be sought in " bite " or
36 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
that which is biiten. Possibly a clue as are ready to vote that black is white
to the derivation may be found in the in support of their party. Neither the
(Self lie.Biadh, food, nourishment, Latin nor the German, with any of
diet; to feed, to nourish; biadh madainn, their derivatives, have any root to
the morning meal, breakfast; biadh noin, which the word " black " can be fair
the noon meal, lunch or dinner ; biadh ly traced. The German synonym is
feasgair, the evening meal or supper ; schwarfz, which survives in the English
biadh bride, broken victuals ; biadhte, swarthy, deeply coloured and browned
fed, nourished. by the sun, and suggests a similar idea
as to the origin of the puzzling word
BITCH.The female of the dog, the "black," as opposed to and not cor
fox, the wolf, and some other animals. rupted from bleak, or white, as Mr.
A term of contempt or anger for a Wedgwood asserts. The true root seems
woman. to be the
Of uncertain etymology.Richardson. (Gaelic.Blathaich (th silent), to
From the Anglo-Saxon bicca, bicce.
Latham. warm, to make hot ; blalhas, warmth,
This word probably signifies a female, for heat; blathaichte, warmed, heated,
the French bictte is a hind.Websteb. whence blackened by the heat ; bias na
(Garlic.Bith, a woman ; bithe, of greine, the heat of the sun.
the female sex; bithis (bi/h and ise),
pudendum muliebris. Gaelic Dictionary BLACKGUAED. A man without
of the Highland Society, 1828. . morals, manners, or character ; a low
disreputable, ill-behaved, and vulgar
BLAB (Vulgar). To divulge a secret, person.
to blurt, to disclose a matter unneces This word does not appear in Gazo
sarily or inadvertently. phylacium Anglicanum (1689), nor in
From the Teutonic blapperen, the Latin the English Dictionary of Bailey (1731),
labia elabiare, to speak rashly or unadvised Cocker (1724), nor in Phillip's "World
ly. Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
Danish, blabbre, Old English, blabber, of Words" (1687).
from the sound.Chambers. A name originally given in derision to the
Gaelic. Blabaran, a stutterer ; lowest class of menials or hangers-on about
a court or great household, a scullions, and
blabhdach, garrulous ; blabhdair, plabair, .others engaged in dirty work. "A slave
a babbler. that within this twenty years rode with the
black guard in the Duke's carriage (i.e.
with the Duke's baggage) 'mongst spits and
BLACK.Niger, swarth, the reverse dripping-pans."Websteb.
of white. " I am degraded from a cook, and I fear
Originally bleak, pale, of the darkest that the Devil himself will entertain me but
colour, without colour.Chambebs. for one of his blackguard, and he shall be
sure to have his meat burnt." Old Play,
The original meaning of black seems to quoted in Nabes.
have been exactly the reverse of the present
sense, viz. shining, white. It is in fact The word is well explainedin a proclamation
radically identical with the French blanc, of the Board of Green Cloth in 1683, cited
white, from which it differs only in the in Notes and Queries, January 7th, 1854.
absence of the nasal.Wedgwood. " Whereas of late, a sort of vicious, idle, mas-
tcrless boys and rogues, commonly called the
These derivations are not satisfactory; Black-Guard, with divers other lewd and
loose fellows, vagabonds, vagrants, and wan
though they might be to such politicians dering men and women, do follow the Court
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 37
to the great dishonour of the same,We do now in its worst sense diminished to leg.
strictly charge all those so called the Slack- Slang Dictionary.
Guard as aforesaid, with all other loose, idle,
masterless men, boys, rogues, and wanderers, It is probable, considering the known
who have intruded themselves into His antagonism of the English tongue to
Majesty's Court and stables, that within the
space of 24 hours they depart."Wedg gutturals, that this word is a corruption
wood. of the
All the Dictionaries that now admit CKatltC.Bleachdair, acajoler, a flat
the word, agree in this derivation, from terer, a deceiver; bleachdaireachd, ca
the two words, " black " and " guard." jolery; leag, to pull down, or throw
But in reality the word is one, and pure down as a wrestler; from whence "black
Keltic, and as common to the colloquial leg," one who throws down, foils or fells
or Keltic-French, as to the Gaelic and another by cajolery and deceit.
Irish. Iu French, blague signifies loud,
offensive, abusive talk, and sometimes BLACK-MAIL.A tribute exacted
vainglorious boasting; blagueur is an by robbers and others for protection
insolent braggart. M. Francisque Mi in their own and neighbouring ter
chel admits it into his Dictionnaire ritories.
d?Argot as a word " bien connu et Mail.The letters despatched by the
generalement repandu." Post Office, in a bag.
fiSacltC.Blagair, a boaster, an im Gothic, maala, Anglo-Saxon, mat, Ice
landic, mala, Persian, mal, riches.Wob-
pudent boaster ; blagaireachd, loud cesteb.
boasting ; blagh, a blustering wind ; Black-mail; black as denoting the low
blaghair, a blusterer, a braggadocio ; coin in which the tribute was paid (Spel-
man) ; or, in a moral sense, as denoting its
blaghanla, boastful, blustering. illegality. Gaelic, mal, rent.Wobcesteb.
The word was slang in the days of Gaelic.Mal, rent, tribute; mala,
Ben Jonson, and the English people a bag or sack ; maladair, one who pays
misled by the sound appear to have rent or tribute.
Anglicized it into " blackguard," and
invented an etymology for it in an BLADDERED (Obsolete).Flattered,
English sense. In Belgian-French bla puffed up with pride.
gueur is sometimes call blagard, a still The Athenians bladdered up with pride
from their decay. The Sage Senator, quoted
nearer approach to the English " black by Nabes.
guard." fiSaeltC. Bladair, to flatter; bla-
BLACKLEG.A swindler, a cheat, daireachd, flattery, sycophancy.
who uses fair words to deceive, as BLADE (Slang).A man, a fellow;
distinguished from a robber or thief a dashing " blade," a roaring " blade."
who uses violence. In ancient times the term for a soldier.
The derivation of this term was solemnly " Knowing blade," a sharp, cunning fellow.
argued before the Court of Queen's Bench Slang Dictionary.
upon a motion for a new trial for libel, but CSarltC.Bleid,to importune, to beg;
was not decided by the learned tribunal.
Probably it is from the custom of sporting bleidir, a genteel beggar.
and turf men wearing black top-boots.
Hence blackleg came to be the phrase for a
professional sporting man, and thence for a BLAIDRY (Lowland Scotch).Fool
professional sporting cheat. This word is ish talk, sycophancy.
38 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

(Gaelic;Bladaireachd, flattery, sy BLAVER (Lowland Scotch). The


cophancy, idle talk; Lowland Scotch blue corn flower; any large wild
blethers. flower.
The com blue-bottle, North."Weight's
BLAND.Courteous, gentle, of mild Provincial Dictionary.
and pleasant voice and manner. All (G at lie. Blafh, a flower ; mhor,
the Etymological Dictionaries trace great, large (pronounced bla-vor).
this word and its derivatives blandish,
BLAZE.A flame.
blandishment, blandly, to the Latin
A blaze is so intimately connected with a
blandus, of which the root is the blast of wind as to render it extremely pro
(Gaelic.Blanda, gentle, mildly flat bable that the word blaze, a flame, is radically
identical with Anglo-Saxon Hasan, German
tering ; blandair, a flatterer, a mild- blaten, to blow.Wedgwood.
speaking man; blandar, cajolery, dis (Gaelic. Blathas [bios'], warmth,
simulation. heat ; am bias na greine, in the heat or
blaze of the sun.
BLARE.The loud sound of a trumpet;
to roar in anger, to break out into BLAZON.To spread abroad a report,
vehement speech. See Blore. to publish.
(Gaelic.Blor, a loud voice or sound ; Emblazon (In heraldry) .To design
llorach, noisy ; bloracan, a noisy person. a coat of arms or other heraldic
devices (French, blasonner).
BLARNEY (Vulgar) .Cajoling talk The origin of this word has given rise to
to a woman in courtship ; afterwards much discussion, and two theories are pro
posed, each of much plausibility ; first, from
applied to any form of verbal cajolery. the English blaze, blazen, to proclaim, to
Supposed by Grose to have been derived from trumpet forth, whence the French blazon,
thephrase "kissing the blarney stone," applied used among other senses in that of praise,
to incredible stories told of climbing to a commendation, blasonfunebre, a funeral ora
stone very difficult of access, on the top of tion. . . . The other derivation which Diaz
Blarney Castle, near Cork in Ireland. But treats as hardly doubtful, is from Anglo-
Dr. Johnson derives it from the French Saxon blwse, a torch, a flame, splendour.
balivernes, lies, frivolous talk.Wobces- The term would then bo applied to the armorial
TBB. bearings painted in bright colours on the
shield or surcoat, in the same way as we
(Gaelic.Bladhair (d silent), to flat speak of an illuminated manuscript,Wedg
ter; and nighean (gh eilent), the girl; wood.
i. e. blar-ni-an, blarneying or flattering (Gaelic.Blath, a shout, praise, re
the girl, i.e. cajoling and deceiving nown ; sonn, a hero, a stout man, a
her. warrior; whence blath, or bla-somi, the
praise of a hero.
BLASE. One who has tasted all
human enjoyment, and been disap BLE (French).Corn.
pointed in the flavour. Worn out with (Gaelic.Bleth, to grind; blelhle,
self-indulgence. A word recently bor ground, as corn.
rowed from the French, and that has
BLELLUM (Lowland Scotch).An
no synonym in English.
incoherent drunkard.
(Gaelic.Bias, taste, flavour, relish; Thou wert a blethering, blustering, drunken
blais, to taste ; blaiseamaich, to smack blellum. Bubns, Tarn o' Shanter.
with the lips when tasting. (Sadie. Blialum, confused speech,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 39

stammering, the incoherent utterances BLOODY.This common vulgarism,


of a drunken man. detestable if derived from " blood,"
would lose much of its offensiveness
BLETHER (Lowland Scoteh). To
if it could be traced to any other
talk idly or offensively.
source. Such phrases as a " bloody
(SafltC. Bleid, impertinence, ef fool," a " bloody impostor," a " bloody
frontery; bleidear, an impertinent per shame," and scores if not hundreds
son, a sycophant. of others, which are too current
BLOB.A vulgar term for the lower among the uneducated English, are
lip ; anything blunt and round. In probably derived from that Keltic
vernacular which philologists have
Lowland Scotch, a round drop, a
been accustomed to ignore.
" blob o' dew."
Blub.To swell, swollen, rounded. Swift writes to Stella, Windsor, 5th Oct.,
1711, " It grows bloody cold, and I have no
Blob or blub, to swell, from the German waistcoat here." In 1760, the poet Gray
blaken, to blow out, to swell.Wobcbsteb. wrote to Mason, " I have sent Musteus back
Blob, a bubble, a blister, a small drop of as you desired me, scratched here and there,
anything thick, viscid, or dirty. Bleb, blab, and with it also a bloody satire written
a drop, a blister, a blain.Wedowood. against persons no less than you and me by
She has a delicate lip ! such a lip ! so red, name."Notes and Queries, No. 15, 1873.
So hard, so plump, so blub ! (SaeltCBloide, a piece, a bit, a
Otway, Soldier's Fortune, 1681.
half; if this derivation be correct, a
GUacltC.Blob, thick-lipped ; blobach, "bloody fool" may merely signify a
one who has thick lips ; flub, a round bit of a fool, and " bloody strange "
lump, a drop ; plub-ceann, a lumpy rather strange, or very strange.
head.
BLORE (Provincial).In the Eastern
BLOKE (Slang).A man, a person,
Counties " blore " is to bellow like
an individual.
a bull. In Lincolnshire "blore"
Bloalc, or bloke, a man : block, the head ;
to block a hat, is to knock a man's hat over is the moan of a cow uneasy for
his eyes.Slang Dictionary. want of her calf, or from being in a
fi&aeltC.The, or plog, a block, a strange pasture. According to Mr.
round mass, a very large head, a boy, a Wright it also signifies a blast, or a
young man; plocach, a boy, a lad; blowing; and to weep with a loud
plocanta, a stout, sturdy person, or one moan.
with large cheeks; phcag,a fat woman. Blort.To chide in a loud tone.
Blurt.To express loudly a fact or
BLOOD (Slang). A smart young an opinion that ought to be con
man, a buck, a dandy, a fashionable cealed.
youth.
Derivation not known.Ash, 1775.
Blood, a riotous, disorderly person. From the Scottish blulter.Chambebs.
Gbose.
A fast or high-mettled man ; nearly obso Bluiter, to make a rumbling noise, to
lete in the sense in which it was used in blurt.Jamieson.
George the Fourth's time.Slang Dictio Scottish, a blirt of greeting, a burst of
nary. tears ; related to blutter-bludder, as splirt
to splutter.Wedowood.
(BiaeliC.Blaodh, a noisy person ; a Blurt is formed from blur, to obscure by
shout ; blaodhag, a riotous woman. some blot or stainblurred.-Richabdson.
40 THE GAELIC ETTMOLOGY

If the meaning of " blurt " as defined Blubber-lipped.Thick-lipped, hav


by Richardson and others is to speak ing lips swollen with excessive
out rashly and unadvisedly, the de weeping.
rivation cannot be from blur, to Bleb, blob, blub, blobber, have no doubt
obscure, for he who "blurts," common the same origin ; and bleb, Skinner says, is
from the German blaen, to swell.Richaed-
ly makes what he says but too plain son.
and clear. The true root of both A common, vulgar word ; but legitimate.
" blore " and " blurt " are to be sought Websteb.
in the (Q*aeltC.Blob, blobach, thick-lipped,
blubber-lipped ; blobaran, a stutterer,
(QfratltC.Blaor, a cry, a shout, a
loud lament; blbr, a loud voice, a also one who cannot speak plainly for
clamour; blbrach, clamorous, noisy; weeping. See Blob.
blbracan, a noisy person. See Blake. BLUDGEON.A thick stick used for
offence and defence; an instrument
BLOW.A stroke.
much in favour with foot-pads, ga-
The English language that receives rotters, and highway robbers.
increase from so many sources, has the
Bludgeoner, corrupted to Bludger.
word "blow" in a variety of un
A low thief who does not hesitate
related meanings. The wind " blows,"
to use violence.
the flower "blows," he "blows" his
Johnson gives no etymology of this
nose, he " blows " his brains out. The
word. It is not contained in any
substantive " blow," unconnected with earlier Dictionaries. Ash's Dictionary
any of these, and for which there is no
considers the etymology "doubtful."
corresponding verb is the Mr. Wedgwood has omitted it alto
CSatlie.BuiUe, to strike. The other gether. Richardson derives it from an
components of the language, the Ger implement to " fetch blood." Worces
man with schlagen, and the Norman- ter suggests the Gothic blyggwan, to
French with frapper, offer no roots or strike, and the Greek <f>\eyavov, a rod.
constituents. C&a?lit. Bloagh, strength ; dion,
BLOWEN (Slang).A woman of bad security, defence ; whence blaogh-dion
character; the associate of thieves, (pronounced blao-jion), a strong security,
and employed by them to trap and or defence.
rob the unwary. BLUFF.Loud, rough, outspoken.
Possibly the street term blowen, may
mean one whose reputation has been blown Bloughty, puffed, swelled. Old English.
upon and damaged.Hotten's Slang Dic Websteb.
tionary. Blaffen, to stammer.Stbatman's Old
English.
(SSacItC.Blaodh, a call ; eun, a bird. Dutch, blef, planus et amplus. The
BlaodJieun (d silent), a bird-call, applied word is probably derived in the first instance,
metaphorically to a woman who decoys from the sound of something falling flat
upon the ground.Wedgwood.
and entices men (for plunder).
(Srnelic.Blaodh, a shout, a loud
BLUBBER.To weep loudly, like a call; blaodhag, noisy; bind (obsolete),
child. fat, puffed, swollen.
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 41

BLUSTER.To talk loudly or offen BOBBERY (Colloquial).A disturb


sively ; to blow like a strong wind. ance, an uproar, an outcry.
Blustreden forth as beestes Booby.A silly young person who
Over bankes and hilles. laments or roars without sufficient
Piers Ploughman.
An augmentative of blast.Chambebs cause.
and Wedgwood. (Garlic.Bub, to bellow, to roar; bub-
Blustre (A.N.P), to wander or stray along ail, yelling, roaring, lamenting, outcry.
without any particular aim. Weight's
Glossary to Piers Ploughman.
BOBBY (Slang).A policeman, com
(Gaelic.Blad, a foul or abusive
monly supposed to be derived, like
mouth; bladhaslair (d silent before the
the synonymous " Peeler," from the
aspirate), a blusterer, a babbler, a bully,
name of Sir Robert Peel. The word,
one with an abusive mouth.
however, according to the author of
BOARD.A plank of wood, a table ; Hotten's Slang Dictionary, is older
food supplied at a common table, as than the introduction of Sir Robert
in the phrase "board and lodging;" Peel's police.
on " board " of a ship, i. e. on the (BJatltr.Boban, a boy, a big boy;
planks or deck of a ship. bobug, bobugan, a fellow ; a term either
(fiat lir .Bord, a table, a plank; bord- of affection or contempt for a big boy or
luing, the deck or board of a ship. lout.

BOAST.To vaunt, to brag, to ex BOCK (Provincial).To look upon one


press pride of one's self or one's ac disdainfully (Wright's Obsolete and
quirements or possessions. Provincial English).
From the Welsh host.Johnson. (Gaelic. Boc, bocadh, a frown.
Old English and Low German, host,
German, bausen, pausten, or briisten, to BODKIN.A kind of needle, a small
brag.Chambers. dagger, an instrument to prick with.
The radical meaning seems to be a crack
or loud sound, and when applied to vaunting Very likely from bodikin, a little body,
language, it implies that it is empty sound. from its smallness. Gazopkylacium Angti-
Wedgwood. canum.
aflic.Bosd, to boast; gun bhosd, The French bouter, to thrust, and the
English butt, exhibit a modification of the
without boasting; bosdail, vain-glo root (bod).Wedgwood.
rious ; bosdalachd, vain-glory, presump fiSrOfltC.Biodachan, a shoemaker's
tion, pride. awl ; a little dagger ; biodag, a dagger,
a dirk, an instrument with which to
BOB (Vulgar and colloquial).To nod,
pierce or prick ; bod, membrum virile.
to shake, to make a curtsey or
obeisance. BODY.The corpus, the human frame,
The etymologists afford no insight into the frame or physical substance of
the origin of this word.Richabdson. any animal or living thing. Low
A birthday jewel bobbing at their ears.
Dbyden. land Scotch, a person, a silly " body,"
(Gaelic Babag, a fringe, a tassel ; afoolish or silly person,a kind "body,"
anything easily moved by the wind or a good kind person.
by the action of the body. Bottom.The fundament.
G
42 THE GAELIC ETKMOLOGY
Bout (French).The end, the bottom, which foolish nurses frighten children ;
the substratum ; " un petit bout the devil with cloven hooves and horns
d'homme;" equivalent to the like a goat.
Gaelic bodach, and the Lowland
HSi&tlie. Boc, a he-goat ; bocan,
Scotch, " a wee bit hotly."
devil in the shape of a goat ; a goblin,
Anglo-Saxon, bodig, Gaelic, bodhag. It a spectre; baogh, a female spirit
seems the Bame word with the German bottich,
a cask. . . . The primary sense is the thick supposed to haunt dangerous rivers ;
round part of the living frame as distinguished baoghal, peril, danger ; baoghalach, wild,
from the limbs or lesser divisions ; thus the
whole material frame as distinguished from furious, destructive, dangerous; baogh-
the sentient principle by which it is ani alan, a silly fellow, liable to be fright
mated.Wedowood.
ened by bogies.
(TVacIif. Bod, membrum virile;
bodair, a fornicator, a dissolute and
BOGUS.Fraudulent, sham, unreal,
lascivious man, a debauchee ; bodagach,
pretended.
wanton, lascivious; bodach, a churlish
This word has long been popular in
old man or " body bodachan, a little
America, where it is supposed to be a
old " body " or man ; bodhag, bodkaig,
corruption of the name of one Borghese,
the human body ; bodhan, the seat, the
a notorious forger of bank notes. It
bottom, the breech, the buttock.
seems, however, like many other Ameri
Bod, which some hold to be synonym
canisms, to have been introduced by
ous with the Asiatic Buddha, is the true
Highland emigrants, and to be trace
etymon of the word "body." Divine
able to the
honours were paid to the bod or phallus
bythe earliest Oriental nations ataperiod fiSaeliC.Boc, fraud, deceit.
long anterior to authentic history.
BOIL.To heat water until it rages or
" The following," says O'Brien in the rises in bubbles and steam ; to place
Round Towers of Ireland, " is from one of
the Hindu Paranas. ' During the flood, any substance in water under these
Brahma, or the creative power, was asleep at conditions, from the French bouillir.
the bottom of the abyss ; the generative
powers of nature, both male and female, were It is customary to say that a man or
reduced to their simplest elements, the Lingam woman " boils " with rage, or that a
(Bod), and the Yoni (Pile). The Yoni
assumed the shape of the hull of a ship, while person is in a " boiling " passion. The
the Lingam became the mast. In this manner Old English word was seethe.
they were wafted over the deep under the
care and protection of Vishnu."' (BSnrllC.Boil, boile, madness, rage,
See under Peilho, a name of Venus, fury, passion.
and the Gaelic word Pile.
BOLLA (Italian Slang).A town.
Knmtit.Bod, to be, existence.
(SarltC.Baile, a town.
BOG.A miry, marshy, soft ground.
BOLT (Slang).To run away furtively,
Ground too soft to bear the weight of the
body ; Irish, bog, soft.Johnson. to disappear from one's creditors or
the law, to avoid danger expeditiously.
fiSaellC.Bog, soft; bogach, a swamp,
a quagmire, a bog. (EitieltC.Boll, a margin, whence,
metaphorically, to leave a wide margin
BOGIE.An imaginary monster with I between one's self and one's pursuers.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

BOLT.That which strikes, a thunder From the Dutch bommen, to make a hol
low sound.Wobcbsteb.
bolt, an arrow ; " a fool's bolt is soon To sound like a bomb, the firing of a cannon,
shot;" the "bolt" of a door, that the roar of the sea, the noise ot a drum, the
which strikes into the catch or socket, cry of the bittern ; to rush with violence, as a
ship under sail. Anglo-Saxon, byme, a trumpet,
acltc.Bnail, to strike; buailte, bommen, to drum, from the root of bomb.
struck. Bomb, Latin, bombus, Greek, fiofifios. An
imitation of the sound.Chambers.
BON (French).Good; bonus (Latin), (fixHtlic.Beum, a heavy blow, a
good. stroke; beum-sgeithe, the striking of
(SafltC.Buan, good, lasting, dura the shield ; beumadh-chlag, the ringing
ble; buanaich, to last, abide, endure; of bells.
buanas, perpetuity.
BOOR.One rude of speech, clownish,
BONE (Slang).To steal, privately unmannerly; a country labourer.
or surreptitiously. This word seems to have no connexion
A young gentleman from Belgravia, who with the German bauer, a peasant, a
had lost his watch or his pocket handkerchief, farmer; literally,a builder or constructor,
would scarcely say that it had been honed,
yet bone in old times meant among high and from bauen, to build ; or with the Dutch
low to steal.Slang Dictionary. boer, synonymous with the German.
(Gaelic.Buin, to take away; buinig, Neither the German nor the Dutch at
bninich, to obtain by conquest, to win, tach any idea of rudeness or clownishness
to acquire; buain, to pluck, to pull; to the bauer or the boer, any more than
to snatch away, to reap. the English do to the word " farmer."
BONNET.A soft covering for the CSaeltC.Bur, a clownish person, a
head, either of man or woman, as boor, a digger and delver; buraidh, a
distinguished from a hat, or covering blockhead, a lout; burachadh, digging
of a harder material. and delving, the rudest kind of labour ;
From the French bonnet.Johnson. buarachan, a cowherd.
(Bkltlic.Boineid, a bonnet, a cap.
BOOTH.French, boutique, Spanish,
BOOBY.A stupid fellow; a child bodega, a shop, a tent.
who cries in a difficulty instead of Bothy.A shepherd's house or cabin.
helping himself out of it. CSrafltC.Bo-tighe, a cow-house; both,
Literally a baby, a silly or stupid fellow, a cottage, hut, tent, bower, bothy.
from the root babe; German, bube.
Chambers. Hebrew, bet/i, a house.
diadtC.Bub, to roar, to lament Htgmric.Bwth, ahut,acabin; bwthyn,
loudly, to bellow ; buba, a roar ; buban, a small cabin ; budy, a house for cattle.
a fool, a coxcomb; bubanach, foolish,
BOOTY. The prizes of victory.
stupid.
French buiin, German beute, Italian,
BOOM.The solemn sound or stroke bottino, plunder.
of a large bell ; also the heavy roll Freebooter.A robber, one who
and roar of the waves upon the beach. makes war on his own account for
Here I, great Tom, the sake of plunder.
Sing loudly, bim-bom !
MotherHubbard, a Burlesque. Halliwell. Swedish byte, byla, to divide.Chambers.
n 2
44 THE GAELIC ETTMOLOGY
It is admitted that the French butin, Italian presentatives. The first settlements of
bottino, are derived from the German hcute. a pastoral people were around the folds
Wedgwood.
fiBratliC.Buaidh, victory, conquest. and enclosures of their cattle. Thus we
have the
HjjmuC.Budd, profit, gain.
CUaeliC.Buar, cattle ; ach, achadh, a
BORACHIO (Italian). A leathern field or enclosure ; whence buar-ach (bo
bottle. rough, burgh, burg, borg, &c), a field
Borraccina.A little leathern bottle, or enclosure for the cattle which formed
a bladder. the wealth of the community, and gra
Borachio, a wino skin, and metaphorically dually became a town.
a drunkard : Spanish. Borracha, a leather
bag or bottle for wine : Gaelic.Wedgwood. BOSH.Nonsense, idle talk.
CRatltC.Borracha, a bladder. A word lately introduced from our inter
course with the East, signifying nonsense.
BORE.A troublesome friend or ac The Turkish both, empty, vain, useless;
quaintance who pesters you with his agreeing in a singular manner with the
Scottish bou, hollow, empty, poor.Wedg
talk; a nuisance; anything which wood.
annoys or wearies. A writer in the Saturday Review states
The Gradus ad Cantabrigiam suggests the that bosh is coeval with Honor's novel, Hadji
derivation from the Greek fiapot, a burden. Baba, but this is a mistake. The term was
Slang Dictionary. used in this country as early as 1760. A
correspondent asserts that the expression is
Qtarlt'c.Bodhar (d silent), deaf; from the German botsch, answering to our
bodhair, to deafen, to stun with word swipes (small beer).Slang Diction
ary.
noise; bodhradh (bora), deafening, stun
(fiarltC. Baois (pronounced baoish),
ning with noise. idle talk, folly, lustfulness.
Boreas.The North, the blustering
or deafening wind. At the head BOSS (American English) .The chief
of the Gulf of Venice, a peculiarly or director of any trade, work, or
violent North-east wind prevails at business ; used originally in the days
some seasons, which is called the before the abolition of negro slavery,
Bora or the " deafener." to avoid the word master, which was
only employed to signify the relation
BOROUGH.Burgh (English), bourg between a slave-owner and his human
(French), burg (German) ; burgo chattel.
(Spanish), borg (Icelandic), pur (Hin-
(Sadie.Bos, the hand ; bos-bhuail,
dustanee) .
to clap hands, to praise ; bos-luath, nim
All these words are obviously from
ble or quickhanded ; bos-ghaire, applause
the same root; a root more primitive
by clapping of hands.
than the Anglo-Saxon beorgan, to pro
The word " bos," used in the sense of
tect, which both the earliest and the
the hand or directing hand of a business
latest philologists have agreed to accept.
in which all the men are called hands,
In the pastoral ages, from which the
would by metaphor signify the prin
words "trade," "market," "pecuniary,"
cipal hand, chief, or master.
and others have descended to modern
speech, sheep, cattle, and horses were BOTCH. To do anything ill, to
wealth, and their names were its re- cobble, to patch in a slovenly manner.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 45
Botcher.One who botches. and panattiere, and in Gaelic fuine-
(Garlic.Boidsear, a blockhead, a adair, which suggests the same de
stupid fellow. rivation as the Italian, from furnace, an
oven. Perhaps the French boulanger
BOTHY.A Highland hut. See was formerly not only a baker of bread,
Booth. as the word is now used, but what in
A house built of boards or boughs, to be modern English is called a pastry-cook,
used for a short time. Dutch, boed; Welsh,
bwth.Johnson. a maker of cakes, pastry, and similar
Neither the German bauen, to build, nor delicacies into which the bakers' ingre
the English abode, afford a satisfactory
derivation. Gaelic both, bothag, bothan, hut, dient flour, enters mainly with fruit,
tent, bower; Bohemian, banda, a hut. sugar, &c. The derivation is to be
Wedgwood.
found in the
Oarlie.ButA, a shop, a tent, a hut,
a small cot (Kymric, bwth, Irish, both) ; acItC.Buail, to strike, to beat, to
buthan, a little hut, a tent, a bothy. knead; bualadh, striking, kneading; an
nas, a dainty, a cake, a pasty ; builionn,
BOTTLE.A small vessel to contain a loaf ; builionnach, a baker of loaves.
liquor, commonly made of glass, but
formerly of wood, bladders, leather, BOUNCE.To spring from the ground
stone or earthenware. like an elastic ball when strongly
From the French bouteilU, Low Latin beaten against the earth; to leap.
buticula, Anglo-Saxon bitte, or perhaps it Metaphorically, to leap out of the
may be a diminutive of butte, as a butte of
beer.Gazophylacium Anglicanum. truth, as a bouncer, a great lie or
Bottle of hay, or bundle of hay ; French falsehood.
botal, diminutive of botte.Chambebs. Bouncing.Vigorous, active, capable
(Gaelic.Buideal, a cask. of leaping.
BOTTOM. The fundament. See From the Dutch bonzen, to strike.
Wobcesteb.
Body. From the Dutch bons, a blow.Chambebs.
(Gaelic. Bod, the trunk or frame, as The sound of a blow is imitated in Piatt
distinguished from the limbs; torn, a Deutsch by bums or buns, whence bumsen,
bamsen, bunsen, to strike against a thing so
protuberance, a rising, a hill. as to give a dull sound.Wedgwood.
BOUCHE (French).The mouth. (SSacliC.Bonn, a heel, a base, a
Boucher.A butcher, a provider for foundation ; bonnsaig, to leap, to dart,
the mouth. to spring from the ground, to bounce.
Picard, bouque ; Provencal et Espagnol, BOURD.To jest, to joke ; from the
boca ; Italien, bocca ; du Latin bucca, que
Ton rattache au Sanscrit bhuj, manger. French bourder (Old English and
Littbk. Modern Scotch).
(Garlic.But, a mouth, a lip; busach, A jest, a sport, a game; immediately from
having a large mouth. the French bourde in the same sense, and
that probably from a Keltic root. As the
Gaelic has also buirleadh, the language of
BOULANGER (French).A baker. folly or ridicule, it is probable that the Italian
This word has no resemblance to burlare (whence burlesque), to banter or
the synonymous words in the allied laugh at, must be referred to the same root,
according to the well known interchange of
languages. In Italian it is fomajo d and I.Wedgwood.
46 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

(Garlic.Beurra, satirical, witty, elo either a mischievous child, or a corpu


quent; buirte, a taunt, a jest, a witti lent or disagreeable old man.
cism; leurradair, a satirist, a wit, a (Gaelic.Bodach, a churlish old man,
jester (whence the Italian burlare, and a sorry fellow; bodachan, a little old
the French and English burlesque). man; bodachail, churlish, boorish, slo
venly ; bodachas, churlishness.
BOURRU (French).Rough in speech,
vulgar, rude, without manners. BOWSPRIT.A boom or spar pro
Boueeeatj. The executioner, the jecting from the bow of a ship.
headsman, the hangman, Jack (Gaelic. Spread, a projecting beam ;
Ketch. cran-sprebd, the bowsprit.
(Gaelic Burraidh, a blockhead ; BOX.A blow on the ear, to give
burralach, howling ; burr3 ghlasach, bru blows like a pugilist.
tally passionate; burr' sgaireachd, bru Minshew ingeniously derives this word from
tality. the Greek mix, or it being very probably of a
German original from the Teutonic pochen,
BOUSE. To drink lavishly, to carouse. to strike or smite. Gazophylacium Angli-
canum.
Botjsy, Boosy.Drunken. Danish, bask, a sounding blow ; Greek,
Then let him bouse, and deep carouse, mix, with a closed fist ; Latin, pugnam.
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er, Chambkbb.
Till he forget his loves and debts German, pochen, to beat ; Welsh, boeh, the
And minds his griefs no more. cheek.Wobcesteb.
Bums.
Dutch, buisen, French, boire, to drink. " Box " is a word of many meanings
WoBCESTEB. in English, but a " box on the ear," and
Booze, to drink until drunk or nearly so. " box," to fight with the fists, and a
The term is an old one. Harrison, in Queen
Elizabeth's days, speaks of bouzing and belly- " Christmas box," seem to be derived
cheere. Massinger also speaks of bouse. The from a different root from " box," a
term was good English in the fourteenth
century.Slang Dictionary. chest or casket, the Teutonic btichse;
Garlic.Bus, a mouth; busach, one the " box " seat on a coach, a country
who has a large mouth; whence "booze," "box" or villa, "boxwood," &c. A
to supply the mouth too frequently " box on the ear " implies a motion
with liquor. with, or a slap of the hand ; " box," to
fight, implies the use of the hands or
BOW.Any thing bent in the form of fists ; and a " Christmas box " means a
a semicircle; an implement with handsel or hansel, a gift from a liberal
which to discharge arrows, used be hand. In these senses the word is an
fore the invention of gunpowder. English corruption of the
Gothic, biugan, to bind; Anglo-Saxon, (Gaelic.Bos, the palm of the hand ;
bugan, to bend. Wobcbsteb. bosag, a slap on the cheek, ear, or
(Gaelic.Bogh, to bend ; bogha, an mouth ; boc, a blow, the swelling or in-
arch, a curve, a bend ; bogha nafiodlach, flamation produced by a blow.
the arch or bow of a violin ; bogha-frois,
the rainbow. BOY.A young man or lad, a male
child.
BOWDIEKITE.A northern English This word is not traceable to the
word in colloquial usage, signifying German or French roots of the language.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 47

The German synonym is knabe, and the the placing of an ornament ; " within
French gargon. The German bubc, brackets," a printer's term used for
which some have supposed to he the signifying a word or words enclosed
root, means a rogue, a boohy. Mr. parenthetically, thus : [enclosed pa
Wedgwood attempts no etymology. renthetically] .
Bailey suggests the Greek iraii, and fi&ae lieBrae, an arm ; whence the
the Editor of Chambers' and others, the French bras, and the English embrace,
Latin pupus ; Johnson quotes the Ger to enclose within the arms. Latin,
man bube, but adds that the etymology brachium.
is not agreed upon.
(BifatltC.Boidheach {boi-each), come BRACKISH.A term applied to river
ly, handsome, strong ; an epithet likely water when rendered unpalatable by
to be applied by a mother to her male the admixture of sea water from the
child. See Girl. intermingling tide.
Literally, spoiled, from the German and
BRABBLE.To quarrel; a brawl, a Dutch brack, wrack, refuse, spoiled.
clamorous contest. Chambers.
From the Belgian brabbelen, to scold ; but (ffiaelic. Brack, fermented, cor
it may be more safely drawn from the Latin rupted, putrified.
parabolare, to contend in words. Gazo-
phylacium Anglicanum.
From the Dutch brabbelen, to stammer. BRAE (Lowland Scotch).A hill side,
Worcester. a rising ground.
This pretty brabble will undo us all. Bray (Obsolete English).A rising
Shakspeaee, Titus Andronicus.
ground.
If drunkards molest the streets, and fall to
brabbling, knock you the malefactors down. Probably from the French compound
Beaumont and Fletcher. fautse braye, which means a counter breast
Oartic.Breab, to kick, to prance, work, covering the fosse of a fortified place.
Naees.
to spurn ; breabail, a kicking, a stamp Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doune.
ing, quarrelling. Burns.
CSrarlicBruach, a bank, brink, bor
BRACH.A shaggy dog, a dog used der, a steep ascent of a hill ; bruachag,
by poachers. precipitous, hilly.
Braconner (French) .To poach.
Braconnier.A poacher. BRAG.To lie or grossly exaggerate
Braqtje (French).A setter. in praise of one's self, or one's achieve
And couple Crowder with the deep-mouthed ments.
brach.Shakspeaee, Taming of the Braggart.One who brags, lies, or
Shrew.
Braconier, the berner, or man that held boasts unduly.
the hounds.Halliwell. From the French Gothic braguer, to go
Brath was the ancient Cornish name for stately or proudly ; and this manifestly from
a mastiff.Wright. the Latin paratus, ready or fit j for bragga
(BSarltC. Brach, a bear; brachach, docios consider what they are to speak or act
beforehand, lest they should be trepanned.
greyish, white and black, a large grey Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
dog. To walk in state, to boast, from the French
braguer, and the Dutch braggeren.Bailey.
BRACKET.A support in a wall for From the Dutch braggerenJohnson.
48 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Danish, brag, Icelandic, braka, to crack or (pronounced bray-antacK), judicial, ju
crash.Chambers. dicious, sensible, sound; breithnich (pro
Braguer, Lustig leben, aufschneiden (live
joyously, to boast). German and French nounced braynich), to conceive, to ima
Dictionary, Strasbourg, 1805. gine, to form a conception of in the brain.
(Gaelic.Breug, to lie, a falsehood;
BRAISE.A term in cookery, to stew
breugaire, a liar; breugach, lying, de
in a particular fashion.
ceitful, vain-glorious, boastful.
Brasiller (French).To broil.
Ceist bradaig air breugaich, Ask the
Brasier (French). A. clear fire.
thief if I'm a liar. Gaelic Proverb.
(Garlic.BratA, fire (Greek @pafa) ;
BRAGGET or Braggat.An ancient brataich, to kindle.
liquor, made of honey and ale fer
mented. BRAKE.A covert of fern or heather.
Bracket.A fermented liquor. Breckan (Lowland Scotch). The
Of Welsh etymology, said to he also a name mountain fern, also heath, heather.
for metheglin or mead.Nabes. Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green
And we have served there, armed all in ale, breckan,
With the brown bowl, and charged in brag- Wi' the burn stealing under the lang yel
gat stale. Ben Jonson. low broom. Burns.
Cyder or bracket, Noiselessly they flow, and clear,
With other liquors which they brew, By open wold, and cover'd brake.
Which our forefathers never knew. The Water Tarantella.
Poor Robin, 1765. Welsh, brvig, brake ; Gae\ic,fraoc, heather.
(Gaelic.Braich, bracha, malt, fer Chambers.
mented grain; brachadair, a maltster; (Gaelic. FraocA, heath, heather;
brachadah, fermentation. fraochach, heath-covered ; fraoch bheinn,
BRAID.Abordering upon a garment; heath-covered mountains.
to make a border to a garment, to BRAME.Grief, vexation, bitterness
weave together, to intertwine, to of spirit. Old English.
plait. That through long languor and heart
Anglo-Saxon, bredan; Dutch, breyden. burning brame,
Worcester. She shortly like a pined ghost became.
Icelandic, brega, Danish, bragdc, to weave. Spenser's Faerie Queene.
Chambers. (Gaelic.Breamas, grief, misfortune.
(Garlic.Breid, a kerchief, a napkin,
BRAN.The coarser part of grain and
or a piece of cloth of any kind, a woman's
meal, with the husks ground along
head-dress. Old English, brat, a rag.
with it.
BRAIN.The seat of the intellect and (Garlic.Pronn, the coarser parts of
the judgment in the human body, oatmeal ; bran, chaff, husks.
and of such degree of intelligence in
all the animal creation as the various BRANGLE.To quarrel, to contend
species and genera possess. (Obsolete or Provincial).
Anglo-Saxon, braegan ; Dutch and Fries- Biiangled.Confused, entangled.
landic, brein.Worcester. Branglesome.Contentious.
Dutch, breghe, breghen, breyne.Wedo- Heer I conceive that flesh and blood will
wood. brangle,
(Gaelic. Breith, judgment, wit, And murmuring reason with th' Almighty
wrangle.
imagination, decision ; breitheantach Du Bartas, quoted by Nabes.
OF THE ENGL H LANGUAGE. 49

(KflfllC. Brumglaid, confusion, braisead, forwardness, rashness, im


wrangling, disagreement ; brionglaid- pudence, effrontery ; bras-bhuilleach,
each, causing strife, contention, or con ready or apt to strike, impetuous in
fusion. striking (as in battle).
BRANTKS (Lowland Scotch).A hal BRAT.A word of contempt applied to
ter, a bridle; also an instrument for a child; a beggar's " brat," i.e. the
merly used for the punishment and ragged, squalid child of a beggar.
restraint of scolds. A brat, one come of an obscure parentage ;
Branks,This instrument is of iron, and a bastard ; from the Belgian fradde, both,
surrounds the head, while the mouth is without any offence, fiom the Anglo-Saxon
gagged by a triangular piece of the same mate bredan, to bring up. Gazophglacium
rial. There is one still preserved at Newcastle. Anglicanum.
Halliwell, 1855. Literally, a rag ; a contemptuous name for
An iron bit was preserved in the steeple of a child. Gaelic, brat, a rag. Provincial
Forfar, formerly used in that very place for English, brat, a child's pinafore.Chambebs.
torturing the unhappy creatures who were ac Brat, clothing in general ; the " bit and
cused of witchcraft. It was called the Witches' and the brat," food and raiment ; also a
branks. The word is also applied to a sort troublesome child.Jamieson.
of bridle used by country people in riding, or (fi.lf lie.Brat,& vag,a cloth ; bratach,
tethering cattle. Instead of leather, it has
on each side a piece of wood, joined to a a flag, an ensign, the colours of a regi
halter, to which a bit is sometimes added. ment ; bratag, a rag, an impudent girl.
Jameson.
CrSCltC.Brangas or brangus, an in BRAVE IT OUT (Slang.)To lie im
strument formerly used in the Highlands pudently to clear one's self of a diffi
for the punishment of scolds and slan culty.
derers ; brang, a horse's halter. Bravado.Boasting, blustering.
Bravo (Italian).A bully, a hired
BRASH (Lowland Scotch).An erup
assassin.
tion on the skin, a fit of illness.
These words have no relation to brave
Brashy.Delicate in constitution ;
in the sense of courageous, or heroic,
subject to frequent ailments or fits
except the similarity in sound, and are
of illness.
from an entirely different root, the
Wae worth that brandy 1 burning trash !
Fell source o' mony a pain an' brash. (Garlic.Brabhdadh (bh pronounced
Bubns, Scotch Drink. v), idle talk, swagger, bluster; brab/i-
(Garlic.Brais, a fit, a convulsion. dair, a swaggerer, a bully, a blusterer ;
BRASS (Slang).Impudence; a bra brabhdaireachd, bluster, braggadocio.
zen-faced hussy, an impudent woman. UpnUIC.Brawychu, to daunt, to
Literally a metal of the colour of glow terrify.
ing coal. Anglo-Saxon, braes, Icelandic,
bras, to solder ; French, braise, glowing BRAW (Lowland Scotch) .Fine, hand
coal, from the coals over which the solder some, beautiful.
ing is done.Cham bees.
Brazen-faced, impudent, shameless ; such From the French brave, or Teutonic,
a person is said to have rubbed his face with brautce (ornatus).Jamieson.
a brass candlestick.Slang Dictionary. (Gaelic. Breagh, fine, beautiful;
(Gaelic.Bras, keen, rash, impetuous, latha breagh, a fine day ; nighean breagh,
ardent, impudent ; each bras, a mettle a fine girl ; breachachd, finery, orna
some horse ; braise, rashness, bold ; ments; " Is breagh andealradh ni grian,"
50 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
" beautiful is the shine of the sun." habit, ceremony. If this be the de
Gaelic poem, quoted in Armstrong. rivation, it would imply that the " Man
ners that make the man " were taught
BRAWL. To contend loudly and
at Brazenose as well as the Classics.
angrily; a strife, a contention, a broil.
Bratcl is contracted from brabble ; brab BREAD.The Gaelic word for the
ble is from the Dutch brabbelen, or the
French brotiiller.Richardson. staff of life is aran, akin to ar, to
German, brullen; Dutch, brullen; French, plough, to till, to cultivate the land ;
brailler, to roar or bellow. Webster. and signifies the result of such culti
(Gaelic. Braodhlach, braodlaich, vation. The English "bread," im
braoileadh, a great noise, rixa discordia, mediately derived from the Saxon and
ingens strepitus; a burst of indignation ; Teutonic brod, seems to be of a
braoilich, a loud noise, a rattling sound. Keltic origin.
BRAWN.Muscle. (Gaelic.Brod, the choice or best
Brawny. Fleshy, muscular. quality of anything; the best quality
Transposition of Anglo-Saxon baren, plu of grain, with which bread is made ;
ral of bar, a boar; Italian, brano; Old French, brot, brod, to fatten, to feed, to live
braion, a lump of flesh.Chambers.
upon bread, or the best quality of corn
(Gaelic.Brain, big, bulky ; branna, or wheat.
brainn, the belly ; brannach, corpulent ;
brannaire, a corpulent man. BREE (Lowland Scotch) .Brewage,
BRAXIE (Lowland Scotch).A disease broth, spirit ; the " barley-bree."
among sheep, affecting the mouth ; (Sadie.BrigA, essence, substance,
the foot and mouth disease; bad mut juice, sap, pith, vigour. See Brick.
ton ; the flesh of a sheep that has
BREECHED.This word, in a sense
died of disease.
not usual, occurs in Shakspeare.
(Gaelic.Braic (obsolete), the mouth ;
There, the murderers
bragsaidh, a disease among sheep, the Steep'd in the colours of thtir trade, their
braxie. daggers
Unmannerly breech'd with gore.Macbeth.
BRAY.To grind or bruise into a This passage has puzzled all commentators.
The lower extremity of anything might be
powder ; " to bray a fool in a mortar." called the breech (as the breech of a gun), and
(Gaelic.Bra, a quern, a hand-mill. Dr. Farmer has quoted a passage which
proves that the handles of daggers were
BRAZEN-NOSE. One of the colleges actually so termed. . . . The true explana
tion is " having the very hilt or breech
of Oxford, founded in 1500, of which covered with blood."Nares.
the name has given rise to much (Gaelic.Breac, a spot, a stain, and
literary and antiquarian controversy. breachaichte, spotted, freckled, stained ;
Some maintain that the name arises from i. e. the daggers were spotted or stained
the brew-house, brasen-haus, of Alfred's with gore.
Hall; while others would derive it from the
Brazen nose, fixed on the top of the College
Gate. The first derivation is probably cor BREECHES (Scottish, Breeks).The
rect.Shrimpton's Guide to Oxford. name of this garment is derived in
(Gaelic. Bras-chaoin, quick and English from the word "breech,"
pleasait ; not, custom, manner, usage, which they cover. The Scottish
OF THE ENGL H LANGUAGE. 51

" breeks," which admits of no such Broth. The liquor produced by the
derivation is the boiling of flesh, soup.
a f ! i C.Brloga is, trousers, breech es ; Brew is from the Anglo-Saxon britean,
briogamach, having trousers. the German brauen, the Old French bruer.
Worcester.
From the Keltic word the Romans derived Broth, from the Anglo-Saxon briwan, the
bracca, breeches, trowsers ; and braccalus, Italian broda or brodo, the Spanish, brodio,
wearing such breeches or trews, as the Gauls, and the Gaelic brot.Worcester.
<fec.Ainsworth.
Braque (French).Pour culotte, caleeon (Sadie.Bruich, bruith, to boil, to
ou haut-de-chausses, " Sortir d'une affaire seethe, to simmer; and hence any li
braques nette," signifie sortir d'une affaire quor that has been boiled with ingre
sans en recevoir de prejudice ; si e'est un
combat, sans etre blesse\Le Rous, Die- dients ; beer, ale, broth.
tionnaire Comique.
BRIAR, Brier.A thorn, a rose, the
BREHON LAWS.-The ancient and brier-rose, the sweet briar.
unwritten laws of the Druids. The Anglo-Saxon, brar, brere; but probably
decisions of the judges. A collection from the Norn'an. In the patois ofNormandy
the word briire is still preserved; French,
of some of the Brehon Laws in Ire bruyhre, a heath.Wedgwood. \Bruyere,
land was made in the tenth century. i. e. a place covered with brambles and other
prickly shrubs ]
The actual date at which the Brehon Law
Tracts assumed their present form cannot be (ffiarlic.Briar, a thorn, a prickle ;
accurately fixed, but Sir H. Maine, on the bior, a thoin, a pin; biorach, briarach,
authority of the distinguished Keltic scholar, prickly, sharp-pointed.
Mr. Whitley Stokes, seems to consider that
the chief of them belong to the 10th and 11th BRIBE.A reward given to a man to
centuries of our era, though it is probable
that there may be found embedded in them induce him to do that, either good or
here and there fragments which may be as evil, which he might otherwise not do.
signed to a much earlier date. Like all
bodies of primitive law, they no doubt consist French, bribe de pain, a lump of bread ;
chiefly in the reduction to order and shape briber, to beg one's bread, collect bits of food.
of a mass of pre-existing custom, and ofcourse Hence Old English, bribour, a beggar, a
it is impossible to tell at what period in the rogue.Wedgwood.
history of the race some of these customs re The origin of the word is the Welsh briwo,
corded may have arisen ; but if we find to break; briw, broken, a fragment; bara
among these relics of Keltic antiquity, as is briw, broken bread.Hecart, quoted by
more than once the case, customs substantially Wedgwood.
identical with practices immemorial among The meaning of the French bribe is a
the Hindoos, it is not too hazardous to con
jecture that the common customs descended fragment, and the Old English bribour,
from a time when Keltic and Indian races a beggar, can scarcely be from the same
had not yet separated from the primitive
Aryan stock.Times, Feb. 10, 1875, Review root as briber, the rich man who gives,
of Sir H. S. Maine's Early History of not the poor man who receives. An
Institutions.
other root offers in the
CSacIlC.Breath, breifh, judgment ;
(Gaelic.Brib,a small sum of money;
breathaeh, breitheach, judicial; breith-
bribearachd, payment of a debt by
eanas, a decision.
driblets or small sums. The sense in
BREW.To produce beer or ale from which the word is used appears in the
the boiling of the proper ingredients ; following example given in MfAlpine's
also to compound or mix liquors, as Dictionary, " Am bheil thu brath am
in the phrase used in Shakspeare, brib sin a phaidheadh ?" Are you going
" Brew me a pottle of sack." to pay that small sum ?
u 2
52 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

BRIC-A-BRACA French word re woman ; priodi, to appropriate ; priodas,


cently introduced into English, signi a wedding. The author of the Gazophy-
fying costly old furniture articles of lacium Anglicanum says, " the word is
virtu, or curiosities. from the Anglo-Saxon brid, Belgic
Bric-a-brac.Objets vieux et de hazard, bruyd, Teutonic braud, and all of these
comme bahuts, ferrailles, tableaux, statuettes, from the Anglo-Saxon bredan, Teutonic
&c. Etymologic ;mot forme1 a l'imitation
de brie et de brae, deea et dela, d'une facon bruten, and Belgic brueten, to keep warm
ou de l'autre, de toute facon.Littbe. or cherish." Mr. Donald, the editor of
fiErclfllC. Breac, to carve, engrave, Chambers' Dictionary, adopts Mr. Wedg
embroider, cover with devices, to che wood's derivation, aud declares that
quer; breacadh, carving, embroidering, " bride signifies one who is owned or
ornamenting ; breacair, a graver, a car purchased." Bird, brid, and birdie, are
ver ; breacaireachd, the art of an en all terms of endearment, employed by
graver or carver; carved work, che the Lowland Scotch to female children,
quered work, highly ornamented work ; and to young ladies; and might sug
breach, spotted ; brice (the c pronounced gest a better derivation than the one so
hard like k), more spotted. uncomplimentary to the fair sex that
finds favour with Mr. Wedgwood and
BRICK (Slang).A good solid fellow, Mr. Donald. In Gaelic, bru, signifies
a regular brick. the womb, and in Modern French, a
Said to be derived from an expression of daughter-in-law, the same doubtless as
Aristotle's, " Ttrpayovos avnp."Hotten'b the Gothic brufhs, which Mr. Wedg
Slang Dictionary.
wood cites. Remembering the common
(jjrfl el it.BrigA, vigour, essence, pith ;
and tender phrase, "the wife of one's
brigheil, substantial, whence metaphori
bosom," it may be suggested that the
cally, a man to be depended upon, a
true etymon is to be sought in the
" brick."
CRaeltC.Bruit, the bosom; a pos
BRIDE.A woman about to be mar sible root for "bridal" is briodal, en
ried, or one newly married. dearment, loving attention ; brtodalach,
Bridal.The ceremony of marriage. fond of caressing; briodalaiche, a fondler,
No philologist has hitherto been able a caresser (as a bridegroom with his
to assign any other origin to the word bride). Without attempting to decide
bride, than the German braut, and the whether or not these Gaelic words are
Anglo-Saxon bruJd, and recently, the the true sources of the German braut,
Welsh priod. " Bridal " is supposed to and the English bride, Gaelic offers
mean the bride-ale, or the marriage still other words for consideration, all of
festivity, when ale was drunk by the them better than the Welsh priod. Breid
wedding guests. Mr. Wedgwood says, signifies a woman's head-dress, consist
" the Gothic bruths, means a daughter- ing of asquare of fine linen, neatly pinned
in-law, and the Old High German brut, round the head, and is generally put for
signifies spousa, conjux, nurus, and the the female badge of marriage, whence
German braut, a bride." He also sug " bride," the wearer of the breid; breid-
gests the Welsh priod, appropriated, fit, each, a married woman ; brideacA,a. bride,
owned ; also married, a married man or a virgin ; br'uleachail, like a bride ;
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 53

brideag, a little woman. Nor do these Anglo-Saxon, beort, shining, full of light.
Johnson.
words, suggestive as they all are, ex
From the Keltic-British brith, painted,
haust the possible Gaelic roots, as there or rather party-coloured. Gazophylacium
remain briadha, beautiful, elegant, well- Anglicanum.
dressed; briadhachd, briadhas, beauty, Gothic, bairhts, clear, manifest ; Icelandic,
biartr, Anglo-Saxon, beorht, Old High Ger
finery. man, praht, prac/U, clear sound, outcry,
Love, beauty, the bosom, endearment, tumult ; and at a later period, splendour.
The English bright was formerly applied to
and an article of attire as a symbol of sounds.Wedgwood.
marriage, all are included in the idea of aellC.BraigAt, a large, blazing
a " bride," and all of these are clearly fire, a bonfire ; braighteal, a beacon fire.
traceable in the Gaelic ; and each or any In old times the fire that the Druids had
one of these seems preferable to all on the top of mountains. This word must be
previous etymologies. the true etymon of the English word bright.
M'Alpine's Gaelic Dictionary.
BRIEF.The instructions given to a
BRILLIANT. Shining.
barrister for the conduct of his case,
Builler (French).To shine.
either for the plaintiff or thedefendant.
Espiut BiULLANT (French).Wit.
A short (or brief) account of a client's
case. Instructions to a counsel. Latin Brilliant, shining like a beryl or pearl;
brevis, short.Chambers. French, briller, probably from the Latin
beryllus, a beryl.Chambers.
artlC. Breitkeamh (pronounced L'efymologie donnde depuis longtemps de
bre-uv), a judge, and afterwards the berillus, sorte de pierre brillante, est bonne.
data on which to form a judgment or Brili iclat. Littee.
opinion. It would appear from the above au
thorities, that the word " brilliant " ori
BRIGAND.A robber, or freebooter, ginally meant solid and valuable, rather
inhabiting the mountainous districts than shining or showy. The derivation
of wild and unsettled countries, and from a pearl is not satisfactory.
thence descending into the plains for
aellC.Brigheil (bri-eil), solid, real,
the purposes of plunder.
efficacious.
Italian, briga, strife ; Mid-Latin, briga,
jurgia, rixa.pugna; Italian, Jriyare, to strive,
brawl, combat. Probably it was in the sense BRIM (Slang).A violent woman.
of skirmishers that the name of brigand was An irascible woman, as unpleasant and in.
given to certain light-armed foot-soldiers flammable as brimstone, from which the word
frequently mentioned by Froissart and his is contracted.Slang Dictionary.
contemporaries.Wedgwood. Brimo, the " angry and terrifying," a sur
ffiaflic. (Obsolete) Briogach, hilly, name of Hecate and Persephone.Smitu's
mountainous; braigh, braighe, the up Classical Dictionary.
lands, the " braes," the upper part of aellC.Brinneach, a hag, a coarse
anything or place ; braigheach, a moun woman; brin-nichte, hag-ridden; brimin-
taineer. bodaich, a mean disagreeable old person;
KnmrtC. Brig, a top, a summit ; broimeis, anger, irascibility ; broimseadfi,
brigant, brigantead, a highlander, a a furious burst of anger.
mountaineer.
BRIO (Italian). Vivacity, spirited-
BRIGHT.Shining,brilliant, lustrous, ness, vigorousness, gaiety. In mu
resplendent. sic, the direction- " con brio," means
54 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
to play the passage in a lively and having a mixture of black and
forcible manner. white.
aeltC. Brigh (bree), spirit, es A cow is said to be brocket when she has
sence, pith, energy. black spots or streaks mingled with white in
her face.Jamieson.
BRIONY.A climbing plant of two Brock, a badger ; so called from the white-
streaked face of the animal. From the Gaelic
varieties, the white and the black, breach, piebald, spotted.Wedgwood.
from which is extracted bryonia, a Brock, a badger. Pure Saxon. Used fre
medicinal bitter much used in homoeo quently as a term of reproach, as in Twelfth
Night, Act ii. Scene 5. "Marry! hang thee,
pathy. It is sometimes called the brock ! "Nabes.
wild hop. They gang as saucy by poor folk
Latin, from the Greek fipvovta, from bryo, As I would by a stinking brock.
to push ;. in allusion to its growth.-Wor Bubns, The Twa Dogs.
cester. (Baflie.Broc, a badger; breac, a
ffifldic. Brionn, brionnach, comely, badger, or brock, also a speckled trout ;
pretty, beautiful, bright ; brionn-shuil, breac, spotted, freckled, piebald, speckled;
a bright eye. each-breac, a piebald horse ; fear-breac,
BRISK. Quick, lively, active. a man deeply marked with the small
pox; breacan, a tartan plaid, so called
CSafltC. Briosg, quick, lively, alert,
from the mixture of colours, especially
active ; briosg, a start, a leap, a sudden
in the shepherd's plaid of black and
movement; Iriotgadh, briskness, activity,
white.
a very short space of time.
BROGUE (Lowland Scotch) .A trick,
BRISKET.The breast, or part of
the breast of an animal used for food. a lie.
A "brisket" of beef. You play'd on man a cursed brogue,
Black be your fa' !
French brichet, the brisket or breast-piece Bcbns, Address to the Deil.
of meat.Wedgwood.
Garlic.Breug, a lie ; breugach, de
1 a fltC. Brisg, brittle ; brixgeac,
ceitful, tricky ; breugaich, belie, falsify.
cartilage, gristle ; brisgeanach, the
crackling or skin of roasted pork.
BROGUE.An Irish or Scottish pro
BRITH (Lowland Scotch)." A term," nunciation or accentuation of the
says Jamieson, " which seems to mean English language.
strife or contention," and which he A corrupt dialect, a coarse shoe. Irish.
derives from the Swedo-Gothic, Johnson.
anger ; brigd, controversy ; brigda, to A particular kind of shoe, without a heel,
worn in Ireland, and figuratively used to
litigate. signify the Irish accent.Gbose.
(SatliC.Breith, judgment, decision, The connexion between a corrupt
sentence; breitheach, judicial. dialect and a shoe is not evident. The
true derivation is the
BROCK (Northern English and
Scotch).A badger. (BapIt'C Brog/i, brogach, strong,
Brocket, Bruckit (Lowland Scotch). sturdy ; brogalachd, sturdiness, activity ;
Variegated, spotted, striped, broganach, lively, jocose, sturdy, having
OP THE ENGL] i language. 55
the rough uncultivated dialect of the courtier, and speak of a courtier de
country, as distinguished from the polite chevaux, a horsedealer; a courtier de
and more cultivated speech of the vin, a wine agent. The Italian word
town. is sensale, which not only means a
broker and an agent, but a procuress,
BROGUES.Shoes. a pander, a pimp. The non-appearance
Brocarder (French) . To tan of any word resembling the English
leather. verb to "broke" suggests a native
Brodequin (French). A boot. root.
I thought he slept, and put To broke is to deal or transact a business,
My clouted brogues from oft' my feet, whose particularly of an amorous nature ; probably
rudeness from Saxon brucan, to be busy, used ad-
Answered my steps too loud. jectively, to seduce in behalf of another.
Shakspeabe, Cymbeline. Nabes.
Flamand broseken, ancien brosekin, d'a- 'Tis as I tell you, Colax, she's as coy,
pres Diez qui soupconne que ce mot flamand And hath as shrewd a spirit and quick conceit.
a etc" forme" de byrsa, cuir, par interversion. As ever wench I broked in all my life.
Brodequin, dans 1' ancien francais, a signified Daniet., Queen's Arcadia.
une sorte de cuir.Littbe.
And broke with all that can in such a suit
dSaeltC.Brog, a shoe ; brogan, a lit Corrupt a maid.
tle shoe; brog-chludaire, a shoemaker, Shakspeabe, All's Well that ends Well.
a cobbler. This is one of the very few One of Johnson's definitions of "bro
words that Dr. Johnson admits to be ker" is a pimp, a match -maker. Mr.
Irish or Gaelic. Howard Staunton, in his Glossary to
Shakspeare, defines the word as Shak-
BROKE (Obsolete).To do business speare uses it, to signify "a pander,
for others, to act as an agent. a procuress, a cheat." As the business
Broker.An agent, a middleman, a of a pander, which the word evidently
transactor of business on behalf of meant in early Englishand as its
another. modern synonym in Italian and French
Anglo-Saxon, brucan, to discharge an office ; still suggestsconveys no idea of fault
brocian, to oppress. French, broyer, to grind. finding, on which Mr. Wedgwood builds
Wobcesteb. his etymological hypothesis, but that
Broker, a pander, cheater, or lifter. Hol of flattery, cajolery, and lying, we
land's Leaguer, Todd.Nabes.
turn for another etymon, and find it
The name broker seems to have come to
us from the shores of the Baltic where the in the
term broker, bracker, or wracker, is used to
signify public inspectors appointed to class arlt'c. Breug, soothe, flatter, en
goods according to their quality. ... If we tice, cajole, lie; breugach, deceitful;
advance another step in the inquiry and seek breugadh, cajolery, deceit.
the origin of brack, and in the sense of rejec
tion, we shall probably find the original image These words apply to the business of
in the act of spitting, as the liveliest expres a pander or go-between, and while they
sion of disgust and contempt for the rejected
article.. German, brechen, Dutch, braeken, to clearly show the base origin of a now
vomit, &c.Wedgwood. honourable word, point how in process
The Germans call a broker a makler, of time they came to be employed
or fault-finder, and tadler, a censor, a with reference to the occupation of one
carper. The French use the word whose object is to sell, or dispose of the
56 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

goods of another, with a profit to himself brown, and may be grey, white, or
for his agency. black, and as many other animals have
as much claim to the epithet brown, such
BROOD.To meditate, to think over as the bull, the horse, the buffalo, the
anything, long and patiently. ass, the rat, the etymology is not wholly
This word is of a different origin satisfactory. Perhaps the clue may be
from " brood " the progeny or breed, or found in the well known habit of the
the act of brooding or hatching. animal of hugging its enemies or vic
(KadlC.Bruad, a dream (obsolete) ; tims to death ; and the word may be
bruada, a dream, a vision ; bruadair, to derived from the
dream ; bruadaraiche, a dreamer, a
ffiaelic.Bruan, to press, to hug, to
visionary.
squeeze.
BROOD.To sit upon eggs, like the
hen and other birds ; progeny, the BRUISE.To wound the skin or flesh ;
young of birds; metaphorically and to macerate, to crush.
contemptuously, the young of the Anglo-Saxon, brysan, French, Jriser, Celtic,
bris, to break.Chambers.
human species, as " a beggar and
Gaelic, bru, brisd, brist ; Portuguese, bri-
his brood." tar, to break.Wedowood.
From the Anglo-Saxon Bredas, Teutonic As a person's limbs or body may be
bruten, to sit upon eggs. It alludes to the
Greek /9/juw, to grow big with young. Qazo- bruised without being broken, the root
phylacium Anglicanum. does not seem properly traceable to
To he in a state to develope the embryos of
new life, as a fowl sitting on eggs in order to bris, but to the
hatch them. From the Anglo-Saxon bredan, ffiaelic.Bruth, to bruise, to crush ;
to nourish.Worcester.
Connected with the Welsh brwd, warm. bruthadh, a bruise, a contusion ; bris, to
Chambers. break ; briseadh, breaking, bursting ;
ffiaflic.Bru, the belly, the womb; bride, splintering, broken ; bruis, frag
bru-iorrack, pregnant. ments, splinters ; bridle, bruised,
BROOK.The overflow of a fountain broken.
that forms a stream.
BRUIT (French).A noise.
Brook, Anglo-Saxon, broca, abrook ; Welsh,
brwclie, the bubbling or springing up of Bruit.To spread a rumour or re
water ; Gaelic, bruich, to boil, seethe, simmer, port, as in the phrase, " it is
from the murmuring noise, Greek, fipv\a, to
roar, fipva, to spring.Wedowood. bruited abroad."
(KaeXiC. Bruich, to bubble up or And the king's rouse the heavens shall bruit
again,
boil over, Bespeaking earthly thunder.
UnmrtC.Brwch, brwehan, ferment, Shakspeabe, Hamlet.
bubbling. Low Latin, brugai, Greek, $pvxt to roar,
probably imitating, like the Latin rugio, to
BRUIN.A familiar name given to roar.Chambers.
the bear in fairy tales. ffiaeltC.Briot, briotail, the mingled
A cant term given to a bear.Woecestee. cry of a multiplicity of birds; a meeting
The brown animal.Chambers. or company where every one is speak
But as bears are not of necessity ing ; idle tattle, chatter.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 57

BRUNNEN (German).Spas, or wells Gaelic.Baobh, a wizard, a wicked


of medicinal, or supposed medicinal woman; baobhail, wicked, wild, mad,
waters, most of them known for their mischievous.
fetid odour.
BUCK.The male of the deer, the
Gaelic. Breun, putrid, rotten, fetid ;
rabbit, the hare, the goat, &c.
breunadk, rottenness.
Gaelic.Boc, a he-goat (French,
BRUTE.An animal, a beast ; applied bouc) ; beothach [Ik silent), a beast, an
contemptuously to a rude uncultivated animal; beuc, to roar.
and ferocious man ; Latin, briitus,
dull, barbarous, irrational. BUCK.A dandy, aswell, a macaroni ;
Brutal.Inhuman, cruel, savage, for by all these names the idle man
beastly. of fashion has been called by the
The ancients living in cities, in which vulgar within the last hundred years.
all civilization was supposed to be con (Gaelic.Buadkach {bua-ach), vic
fined, as the etymology of that word torious, brave, having good qualities.
implies, attributed all rudeness and bar The word first used in seriousness, was
barism to the country people. afterwards adopted in derision to denote
Gaelic.Bru (obsolete), the country, a pretender to the qualities he did not
the wild country ; bruth, a cave, the possess.
habitat of a wild beast; bruaidh, a
peasant, a boor. See Boor. BUCK-BASKET.A basket to con
vey clothes to the laundry.
BUBBLE.Adishonest project to cheat Buck, to steep or soak in lye, a process in
the public, generally supposed to be bleaching. German, beuchen, Danish, byge,
Gaelic, bog, to steep ; also given from the
derived. from a bubble on the water, German buche, the beech-tree, because lye
a soap bubble, that only glitters for a was made of the ashes of the beech.Cham
time, and then bursts. But this de bers.
rivation is not wholly satisfactory. Gaelic.Buac, htachar, dung used
Nares defines " bubble, to cheat," and in bleaching ; the liquor in which cloth
describes it as " a word of some anti is washed ; also, linen in an early stage
quity, although its origin is not of bleaching ; buackadair, a bleacher.
clear." Poor Robin, 1731, speaks of
BUCKIE (Lowland Scotch).A fellow,
one " who was foolishly bubbled out of
a lad.
his money." Shakspeare in Macbeth
Buckie-ruff. A wild or rude lad.
makes Banquo say of the "Witches,
Devil's Buckie, De'il's Buckie.An
The earth has bubbles as the water hath ; ill-tempered fractious boy.
And these are of them.
This at first sight would seem to Gaelic. Bo-ffille,,a. cowboy; bu-
help the derivation from the globules achaille, a shepherd, a cowherd, a lad
of air, formed by the commotion of that tends cattle.
water, but as the earth cannot form
BUCKRAM.Coarse linen cloth.
such globules, it would seem as if a pun
were intended on another meaning of Coarse cloth, stiffened with glue, originally
having open holes or interstices. Italian
the word. And this is found in the buckerame, buca, a hole.Chambers.
I
5S THE C1AEHC ETYMOLOGY
Italian, bucherame, French, bougran,bou- Buffktier.An attendant at the
carar, Mid-Latin, boquerianus. It u ex
plained as if the stuff was made of goats' hair. side-board, whence, by corruption,
The reference to Italian bucherare, to pierce the English " beefeater," an in
holes, is doubtless fallacious.Wedgwood. ferior officer in a great household.
(Gaelic. Buac, unbleached linen Buffet signifiait dans l'ancien francais un
cloth ; raimhe, reamhar, thick, coarse ; conp sur la joue. II est difficile de passer
whence buckram, coarse unbleached par la. a 1'acceptation que nous occupe.
Littbe.
linen. The primary sense of buffeler seems to
have been to take the vent-peg out of a cask,
BUCOLIC. Relating to pastoral pur and let in the air necessary for drawing out
suits, and the rearing or tending of liquor. Buffeler, to marre a vessel of wine
by often tasting it. Bufetarium, the duty
cattle ; a pastoral poem. paid for retailing wine in taverns.Wedg
Latin, bucolicus, Greek, |3otoXntor, /3ou- wood.
KoXor, a herdsman ; from jSov, an ox, and (Gaelic. Buadh, food, sustenance,
xoXfu. Latin, colo, to tend.Worcester,
Chambers, &c. refreshment ; buadha, precious, valuable.
(Gaelic.Bo, a cow, an ox ; gille, a
lad ; buachaille, a shepherd. BUFFOON. A coarse and vulgar
jester.
BUFFALO.The wild bull. Buffoonery.Coarse fun.
liuff, buffie, buffalo, Latin, bubulus, Rus Bouffe (French).A word applied
sian, buivol, French, buffe, &c. Cotgrave. to a coarse comic opera, or Opera
The name of the heast seems taken from
a representation of his voice. Lithuanian, Bouffe.
bubenti, to bellow, Magyar, bufogni, to give Bufo (Italian).A toad.
a hollow sound.Wedgwood.
Bufonite. In geology, the toad-
(Gaelic. Bo, a bull; allu idh, wild ; stone.
bo-alluidh, the wild bull ; buabhull, a
French, bouffon, a jester, from Italian buffa,
buffalo. a puff, or blurt from the mouth made at one
in scorn. A puff with the mouth is probaUy
BUFFER (Slang).A contemptuous indicative of contempt, as emblematically
epithet applied to a man, sometimes making light of a subject.Wedgwood.
The name of the toad is generally taken
used as synonymous with a " fellow," from the habits of the animal in puffing it
as a " good old buffer" a " good old self up with wind. So, Greek, <f>vaaa>, to
fellow." blow, to swell ; (pvcraXos, a toad ; Latin, bufo,
a toad ; Magyar, bufa, a toad, a man with
Buffer, a navy term for a boatswain's mate, swollen cheeks; Danish, tudse, a toad.
part of whose duty it is to administer the Wedgwood.
cat o' nine tails. In 1737 a buffer was a Among the coarser Romans, we find the
rogue that killed good sound horses for the bufothe Italian buffo, the Spanish bufa,
sake of their Bkins by running a long wire and our own buffoonthe toad-like droll
into them. The term was once applied to who, while somebody piped or chanted for
those who took false oaths for a consideration. him, diverted the company with antic gestures,
Slang Dictionary. extraordinary contortions, and hideous gri
(Gaelic.Buaf, a toad, any ugly maces.Article on Opera Bouffe, Daily
Telegraph, December 12, 1874.
creature or person ; buafach, virulent ;
buafaire, an adder, a viper; buafa, a The writer in the Daily Telegraph
serpent. See Buffoon. hints at the true root of the word, origin
ally applied to the lowest kind of comic
BUFFET (French).A side-board for actors, from the custom of padding out
the display of eatables and drinkables. ! their dress to enlarge the figure, and
Of THE ENGLISH t..VNT,UAOK.

swelling themselves out as the toad during the wars of the last century ;
does when alarmed or excited. some from " humpback," something not
Gaelic. Buaf, a toad ; buafach, straight or well-formed ; some have
poisonous. contended that its origin is to be traced
to the word " bug," which indeed seems
BUG (Obsolete).A ghost, a frightful to be the true root. In Welsh or
object. Kymric, bwg signifies a goblin or fright
Buoaboo.An object of unreasonable ful object; whence by an easy transition
terror. the word has come to signify a decep
Buobeaii.An object of aversion. tion, a cheat, a fraud ; something set
Humbco. A deception. up to frighten people, like the scooped-
The word "bug " used by Shakspeare, out turnip on the top of a pole, with a
signified an object of terror or aversion. candle inside, formerly used to scare
In the Third Part of King Henry VI., children by the mischievous fools of a
Act v. Scene 2, he makes King Edward village, and which, being discovered,
say, " Warwick was a bug that fear'd lost its terrors, and could no longer
us all," and again in Cymbeline, Post- deceive any one. The same word occurs
humus exclaims, " Those that would with a different orthography in the
die or e'er resist, are grown the mortal Garlic. Bocan, a goblin, an evil
bugs of the field ;" and a third time, spirit, a frightful apparition ; uime,
" The bug which you would fright me about, around.
with I seek." "Bugbear," a person intntlC. Urn, that spreads around
or thing causing fright or terror, is a or about; bwg, a goblin. Thus "hum
well known word from the same root. bug " would be a deception circulated
" Bugaboo " is of similar origin. or disseminated abroad or around, but
The word "humbug," signifying a discovered at last.
wilful deception, a wilful deceiver, The word " bugaboo " that seems an
either on a great or small pretence, or abbreviation and corruption of " bug-
for a great or small object, is compara about," lends support to the derivation
tively modern. It is not in Johnson's of " humbug " from the Kymric urn-
Dictionary, nor in those of any of his hog and the Gaelic uime-bocan. The
predecessors and contemporaries. The Scottish bogle, a ghost, and bogie, the
word was used by Fielding in 1751, but devil, all come from the same root.
did not commend itself to the lexico Descending further into the depths of
graphers. It does not even appear in language and superstition, we find the
Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulvar French bouc, the English buck, the
Tongue, 1785, though he uses it inci Gaelic boc, a he-goat ; a shape in which
dentally in his explanation of " hum/' the arch-enemy of mankind was re
which he says is to "humbug," to presented in the middle ages, and in
deceive, or be guilty of a jocular im which he appears in Burns's immortal
position. Many controversies have been Tarn o' SAan/er.
waged as to its derivation. Some have
derived it from Hamburg, a city BUGGER.This odious anddisgusting
whence false news was often propagated word if used in the sense usually
\ >
CO THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

assigned to it, and which is con It, was formerly written in English to hylic.
" That city took Josue and destroyed it, and
stantly in the mouths of the vulgar, cursed it and alle hem that bylled it again."
appears to have a more innocent Sir John Mandeville.Wedgwood.
origin than is generally assigned to ffiaellC. Baile, a town, a village ;
it, and to be derivable from one of bailie, villages, towns, cities ; baile mot,
many words in the a great city, a metropolis, the Old Bailey
(Rafll'r.Baoghaire, a fool; buaghair, in London, i. e. the old town.
a herdsman, a shepherd, a cowherd ; BULGE.To swell out, to belly out
bagaire, a greedy glutton, also a beggar ; like the sail of a ship in a fair wind.
buagharra, vexatious, disagreeable, a This word is connected by Wedgwood with
disagreeable person; biogarra, mean, bilge, bulk, words which convey the notion
shabby ; bagart, a threat ; bagarrach, of something swollen, especially the sides of
a ship ; whence bilge, to let in water. Belly
one who is prone to threaten ; pogair, and billow with their numerous congeners
a kisser, from pog, a kiss. doubtless belong to the same cla<s, so far as
the remote and general origin of the word is
With all these words to choose from, concerned.Latham.
especially the last, it is time, if the word Old English, boxige, a cask; Anglo-Saxon,
cannot be abolished, which is too much baelg, bylig, belgan, to swell. Welsh, bwlg,
a round body.Chambers.
to hope for, that it should convey a
(Gaelic. Bolg, builg, balg, a bag, a
sense less offensive than the one which
belly, the womb ; balgan, a little bag
is commonly assigned to it.
or sack.
BUGLE, or Bugle-hokn.A wind in
BULK. Size, greatness, magnitude.
strument, originally made of the Bulk, a form of bulge.Chambers.
horns of cattle.
dyadic.Bale, a conspicuous boun
English philologists all agree in de
dary ; a ridge of earth between two fur
riving the word "bugle" from the
rows, a protuberance, a projection ; bolg,
French buffle, the English buffalo.
the belly ; bolgach, protuberant ; bal-
Hence bugle-horn, properly a buffalo horn,
then a horn for drinking, or on which notes canla, strong, brawny, muscular, bulky.
are played in hunting. Wedgwood. liinnttl'c. Balch, towering, superb,
Possibly, as buffaloes were unknown proud ; balchedd, pomp, pride.
in England at the time this word was
first used, the true etymon is the BULL.An Irish bull, a peculiar form
of blundering in telling a story, re
Garlic. Bo-gille, a cowboy ; bu-
peating a joke, or making a remark.
gail (Kymric), a cowboy, a cowherd;
The phrase is said by Grose in his
whence by a mixture of English with
Classical Diclionary of the Vulgar
Keltic, " bugle-horn," a cowboy's horn,
Tongue, to have taken its'origin from one
such as the Swiss herdsmen still use
Obadiah Bull, a lawyer in the time of
for calling the cattle from the moun
Henry VII., who was noted for his
tains.
blunders. But this is mere conjecture,
BUILD.To erect a house or other and does not explain the epithet Irish,
edifice. unless Obadiah, which is not stated, was
From Old Norse bua, Old Swedish boa, an Irishman. The true derivation ap
were formed bol, a farm, byli, a habitation. pears to be from the
OF THE EXGLISH LANGUAGE.

Gaelic. Beul-aithris (pronounced rived; and he states in support of his theory


that people of the name of Bull are almost
beul-airish), an oral tradition, a story always remarkable for their size or beauty.
repeated from age to age, and having Of this, indeed, I have myself witnessed
many examples. Letter to the Author.
no other foundation than talk, from When cattle throw up the hedges, they are
beul, the mouth, and aithris, a tradition. said in Yorkshire to bull them up.Halli-
When the phrase was inverted from well.
beul-aithris to Irish bull, is not discover Bull, an instrument for beating clay.
Halliwell.
able. Gaelic. Buille, a stroke, a blow, a
BULL-BEGGAR. Something terri thump; buille air son buille, blow for
ble, something to frighten children blow; builleach, one who is apt to
with. strike ; builleanach, giving blows and
Etymology very uncertain. Bold beggar, hard strokes.
which Skinner mentions, is not quite satis
factory. Nabes. BULLY FOR YOU! (Slang.)An
Gaelic.Buille, to strike ; bagaire, Americanism signifying high com
beggar, a man with the bag, i. e. a mendation or cause for triumph in
violent beggar, who used menaces. the person commended.
BULLION.A mass of precious metal, Gaelic.Buadhail (d silent), victo
as of gold and silver, as distinguished rious, triumphant; buadhalachd, triumph,
from small money and coins. ascendancy, superiority, mastery.
Originally the office where the precious
metals were made into stamped money ; gold BULWARK.A defence, a mound of
and silver simply regarded by weight as
merchandize. Low Latin, bullio, a mass (of earth ; and, in later times, a brick or
gold).Chambers. stone rampart encircling a town.
Gaelic. Buillion, a mass of any Boulevard (French). A street
material, but more commonly applied formed upon a previous rampart
to a mass of dough, to be converted or fortification, and encircling a
into bread, also a loaf; from buille, to town, or the nucleus of a town.
strike, something to be beaten into Espagnol, baluarte, Italien, baluardo, de
consistency and shape; buillionach, a l'Allemand bollwerk, defense, fortification ;
werk, ouvrage, ct bollen, lancer, a cause des
baker, or maker of loaves. engins dont etaient armes les boulevards ; ou
beaucoup plutot, de bohle, ais, planche.
BULLY, Bully-eook.A braggart; Littbe.
a low, coarse, violent, blustering, Bulwark, a defence originally made of the
overbearing, loud-talking man; also boles or trunks of trees ; French, by corrup
tion, boulevart, boulevard, primarily the
" bully," to intimidate. ramparts of a town.-Wedgwood.
Etymology uncertain. Skinner suggests Gaelic. Buil, complete; uir, uir-
burly and bull-eyed ; Webster, the Anglo-
Saxon bulgian, to bellow ; Richardson and each, mould, earth ; a mound or arti
others, the Pope's bull.Wobcesteb. ficial hillock of earth ; whence buil-
From the Dutch bulderen; Swedish, but uireach, a complete wall or mound of
ler, noise, clamour.Chambebs.
I observe that you derive bully from a earth, as a fortification or means of
Gaelic word signifying to strike. A friend defence.
of mine, who is a good hand at etymology,
derives it with greater probability, as it seems BUM.The bottom, the posterior.
to me, from the French bel, from which he
maintains that John Bull, Jean Bel, is de Bum-boat.A broad-bottomed boat.
0'J THE CAEI.IO ETYMOLOGY
From the Belgian bomme, a cover for a trace the origin of this word. Some
vessel. A noted author draws it from the
Belgian bodem, the fundament. Oazophg- have derived it from a supposed habit
laciitm Anglicanum. in pre-protestant times, of drinking in
From the Duteh bomme, the part on which a full glass to the health of the bon
we sit.Johnson.
This word was in common use with the pere, i. e. the Pope ; others have derived
Elizabethan writers, and with those of the it fram "bump," a protuberance, be
century following.Weight's Provincial cause in a "bumper" the liquor swells
Dictionary.
Who like so many inanimate statues sat or protrudes over the brim. The word
cross-legged, ar>d joined their bumms to the does not occur in Dictionaries prior to
ground, their backs to the wall, their eyes to Johnson. A hitherto unsuspected de
a constant object, not daring to speak to one
another.Herbert'* Travels, 1633. Ibid. rivation is supplied in the
From the Gaelic and Irish bun, and Danish Gaelic. Bun, the bottom ; barr,
bund, the bottom, the buttocks.Worces
ter. the top.
Gaelic. Bun, the bottom or founda If bun be for euphony changed into
tion of anything, also the root ; bun na bum, we have bnm-barr or bum-parr (b
craoibh, the root or bottom of the tree ; and p being alike in sound), or full
bun na beinne, the bottom of the moun from the bottom to the top, which is
tain. The word also signifies " confi the true meaning of the word. There
dence" and "dependence" resulting is no record that it ever was the fashion
from a firm foundation or faith or re to drink au bon pi-re to the health of
liance; bunag, bnnacli, a short, stout, the Pope either in France or in England;
stumpy person ; having a large seat or and there is no other instance, if this be
bodily foundation; bunadas, foundation; one, in which the English have borrowed
bmalUiaeh, firmly fixed in one place, a drinking phrase from the French. A
stationary, not to be removed. " bumper house," in theatrical parlance,
is a house full from the bottom to the
BUMBAILIFF.A vulgar term for top, from the pit to the gallery, which
a sheriffs officer. See Bailiff. accords with the Gaelic etymology.
Some say this term is derived from the
proximity which this gentleman generally BUMPKIN.A term of contempt for
maintains to his victims. Blackstone says an ignorant or stupid peasant or
it is a corruption of bound-bailiff.Slang
Dictionary. farm-labourer.
From the notion of a humming, droning, Bumkin (Nautical).A short boom
or dunning noise, the term bum is applied to or beam of timber, projecting from
dunning a person for a debt. The ordinary
explanation of a bound-bailiffis a mere guess. each bow of a ship.
No one ever saw the word in that shape. Probably from bump, one who does things
Wedowood. in a clumsy, awkward manner. Wkdowood.
Garlic.Beum, a blow, a calamity Gaelic. Bun or bum, the bottom, the
or misfortune ; hence the bailiff who breech, the fundament ; cean, the head ;
seizes one's goods or person in the last whence a term of contempt for a stupid
extremity ; the bailiff of the final mis head, a head without more expression
fortune or stroke. than the breech.
BUMPER.A full glass, a goblet. BUMPTIOUS (Slang). Insolent,
Many attempts have been made to saucy, quarrelsome, vainglorious.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 63

(SadiC. Buamaslair, buumasdair, a boya. There arc no such words as bone


vain boaster, a quarrelsome blockhead ; or boye in the Dictionary of the French
buamasdaireachd, vain boasting, bump Academy, 1718, although boue'e appears
tiousness. in some French Dictionaries of the pre
sent century. Mr. Wedgwood throws
BUNGLE.To spoil by bad manage
no light on the etymology. The de
ment or clumsy handling.
rivation seems to be the
Bungler.A bad workman, or per
ffiaflicBuidhe (dh silent), yellow,
former. the usual colour with which these
Welsb, bwngler, query bon y gler, the last
or lowest of the profession. Davies, floating casks were painted in the ports
Johnson. of the German Ocean and the North
Icelandic bongun, rude art; Old Swedish Channel.
bunga, banga, to strike.Chambers.
ffiaflicBuin, to touch, to meddle; BUR.A prickle, a small thorn.
buintinn, the act of meddling, or of in The French bourre, the prickly head of the
terference with that which one does not burdock.Johnson.
The prickly seed-case or head of certain
understand; consequently to bungle. plants which stick to clothes like a flock of
wool ; French, bourre, flocks of wool ; Italian,
BUNION, Bunyon.A callosity on borra, any kind of stuffing.Chambers.
the great toe. GaelicBior, a thorn, a prickle, a
Greek j3owos, a hill, a heap.Worcester. spit, a pin ; to prick, to goad ; biorach,
Gaelic. Bun, a root or stump; pointed, piercing, prickly ; bioraich, to
bunan, a little root or stump. sharpen at the point ; bioranach, abound
BUNNY. A familiar name for a rab ing in prickles.
bit, like puss or pussie for a eat. BURDEN. Of a song, originally the
Bun, the tail of a hare, Northern English. bass or accompaniment to the treble.
Weight's Provincial Dictionary.
French, bourdon, the buzz or hum of
Garlic. Bunag, a stumpy tail.
a bee; bourdonner, to buzz.
BUOSO (Italian Slang).Wine, drink. The word has no connexion with
This word js of the same origin as burthen or burden, a load ; as if the
the Lowland Scotch and Old English burthen of a song was the sentiment
bouze, corrupted in modern times into with which the song was loaded.
booze, and is from the Full loud he sang, Come hither, love, to me !
GaelicBus, the mouth, and thence, This sumpnour bare to him a stiff burdoun
Was never trumpe of half so great a soun.
drink, which is put into the mouth ; Chaucer.
See Bouse. Bourdon is the French for drone and foot;
undersong and burden mean the same thing,
BUOY. A floating cask or barrel, although burden was afterwards used in the
sense of ditty, or any line often recurring in
kept in its place by a weight at the a song.Chappell s Popular Music of the
bottom of the water, to which is Olden Time.
attached a chain. A buoy serves to Gaelic.Burd, a hum, a buzz, the
point out shallow water to passing drone of the bagpipe ; burdan, a hum
vessels. ming noise ; whence, metaphorically,
Johnson derives the word from the an under-current of sentiment running
French boue, or boyc, and the Spanish through and accompanying a song.
64 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

BUREAU (French).An office or place Burglar. One who commits a bur


for the transaction of business ; also glary.
a cabinet for the preservation of papers The Americans have recently coined
and correspondence. the word "burgle," to commit a bur
There is much doubt as to the origin glary. The Teutonic for the English
of this word; but bearing in mind that " burglar " is the compound word nacht-
" trade," " pecuniary," " merchant," are einbruchsd'ieb, i. e. a thief who breaks
all derived from the early civilization of in by night ; and the French render
mankind, when the exchange of pastoral " burglary " by vol de maison arte
for agricultural produce formed the only effraction. The current etymology points
commerce ; it is not difficult to trace to the Latin burgut, a town, and lalro-
this also to a commercial source. When cinium, a robbery, and to the French
men had cattle to sell or barter, the bourg, a town or castle, and larron, a
place where the sale or barter was thief, as the roots of the word. The law
effected, and the business transacted, books do not strictly confine the word to
derived its name from the housebreaking. Burrill quoted in Wor
Gaelic. Bitar, cattle; buar-aile, the cester, says, "its radical meaning is the
place, inclosure, or fold of the cattle; breaking into, with a view to robbery,
whence, by corruption, bureau, a place of any fenced or enclosed place, as dis
for the business of cattle-dealers. tinguished from the open country."
If the word were really from a Latin
BURGANET, BURGONET or Bar- root, it would most probably have been
gant.A kind of defensive head-dress adopted by some of the Latin nations,
or helmet. and not been confined, as it is, ex
And that I'll write upon tliy burqonet. clusively to the English. Notwith
Shakspeabe, Henry VI. Part II. standing the ingenuity of the derivation,
Upon his head his glittering burganet. it is probable that all the philologists
Spenseh, Faerie Queene.
who have adopted it, have been misled,
They rode . . . with burgant, to resist the
stroke of the battle-axe. CJbeene's Quip. and that its true source dates from the
Naees. Keltic period, and from a time when
<&arlic.Bcur, a point, a pinnacle ; there were few or no towns or bourgs to
cean-eudach, a head-dress ; whence leur- plunder, and that the word is from the
cean-eudac/i, i. e. " burgonet," a high atllC. Buar, cattle ; glac, to seize,
pointed hcad-drers, a helmet. to snatch, to lift; whence buar-glac, the
lilting or seizure of catfle (from an
BURGEON (French boitrgeonner) .To enclosed place) ; glacair, a seizer, a
sprout, to blossom, to swell. See robber, a thief; whence buar-glacair, a
Burly. cattle-thief or " burglar."
ffiatllC.Borr, to swell, to grow big liPinrtC.Buarlh, a cattle-yard, or
or proud. fold.
BURGLARY.The crime of forcible The derivation from buraich, to dig a
entry into a house at night for the burrow, and lar, the ground, suggesting
purpose of committing a robbery. the idea of breaking into a place by
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 65

undermining it, is possible, but not so it as " big, heavy, gross." The compiler
probable as that from buar-glacair. of Gazophylacium Anglicanum (1689),
is in favour of " boor-like " as the origi
BURGULLION." Supposed," says nal word, and says it means "one who
Nares, " to mean a bully or bragga hath a big, plump body." He also en
docio." deavours to reconcile " boor-like " with
AVho was Bobadil here, your Captain ? the German gebuhrlich, for the reason
that rogue, that foist, that fencing bur- (perhaps he was fat himself) " that fat
gullion.Ben Jonson, Every Man in his
Humour. men are generally the most comely."
(SSarll'r. Borb, turbulent wild; ffille, Mr. Wedgwood refers the word to the
a boy, lad, youth. French burgeon, to bud forth, and thinks
its primary origin, " as of so many
BURLESQUE. A ridiculous imita others signifying swelling, is an imita
tion of a serious work. tion of the sound of bubbling water,
Probably a modification of the root which preserved in the Gaelic bururut, a purl
gave the Old English board, ajest. Italian, ing sound or gurgling."
bur/are, to jest, to ridicule.Wedgwood.
(SflfltC.Buir, to roar, to bellow, to CUarltr.Borr, great, noble, splendid,
laugh loudly ; buirleadh, language of strong, majestic; borrail, swaggering,
ridicule, creative of boisterous laughter; haughty, proud ; borrghanta, swollen,
buirfe, a jest, a taunt, a jibe. Scottish, pompous, turgid.
bonrrl. The Lowland Scotch word buirdly is
of the same origin ; Burns speaks of
BURLY.Big, strong. " buirdly chiels and bonnie lasses."
Boueas. The North wind, a strong
wind. BURN (Lowland Scotch).A small
Bora (Italian).A strong wind. stream, a brook, a rivulet.
Bin (Lowland Scotch). Strength. Bourne.A bound, a boundary, a
Buiily Englishman.A stout,strong limit; also a brook or watercourse
Englishman ; one not too polished that often formed the boundary of
or refined, but big, honest, and a farm or estate.
genuine. (ftcUlir. Bum, water, fresh water;
Surly is probably from boor-like. Sir burnach, watery.
Thomas More writes boorely, from boor-like. Ni burn salach lamhar glan, Foul
Wobcestbk.
Boor is a Gaelic word that has crept into water will make a clean hand. Gaelic
our common colloquial language, and there is Proverb.
nothing more common than for a person to
say he will do anything with all his boor or
bir, i.e. with all his strength.Toland's BURROW.To dig under the earth.
History of the Druids. The same word with burgh, borough ; from
the Anglo-Saxon beorgan, to protect, shelter,
Johnson defines "burly"as blustering, fortify, save ; Dutch, berge, to hide. A rabbit
falsely great. Ash (1785), says the word burrow is the hole which the animal digs for
is of uncertain derivation, and renders its protection.Wedgwood.
it "tumid, bulky." Bailey (1731), de The true root is the
rives it either from " boor-like," or the (BSacltC.Bnraich, to dig; whence
Teutonic gehthrlieh, comely, and defines bury : the idea of protection and hiding
K
C6 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

is involved, and points back to the far a loud kiss, with a smacking noise;
distant ages, when men constructed busaire, a man with blubber lips.
their dwellings under, and not above the
ground. From the same root with the BUSY.Active, lively, occupied with
aspirate bhuraich (vuraich) comes the physical or mental work.
word " warren," a rabbit-warren. From the Anglo-Saxon biseg, bitgung,
occupation, business; French bexogne, busi
ness. The word is referred by Diefenbach to
BURY.To inter. the Gothic anabuidam, to enjoin (entbreten),
The root of this word is found in the whence anabutut, command, commission.
Wedgwood.
idea of a dwelling-place, a home, a city, From the Anglo-Saxon bysig, perhaps con
in which form it still exists in Bury St. nected with bid, to order.Chambers.
Edmunds, Aldermanbury, Canterbury, (SSafliC.Beo, alive; beosach, active,
and other words. To " bury " a body lively.
is therefore to place it in its long last
home. The rabbit "burrows" in the BUTT.To strike or push with the
ground, i. e. makes itself a home or city head, as goats, deer, and other
in the ground. English philologists animals.
from Johnson, the worst of them, to Gnfltr.Butadh, a push, a thrust,
Wedgwood, the best, prefer to derive a shove.
the word from the Anglo-Saxon beorgan,
to preserve, protect, keep. BY AND BY.Quickly, immediately,
very soon.
Giaelic.Buraich, to dig, to delve,
A corruption and duplication of the
to inter ; buraiche, a delver, a grave-
digger ; burach, a searching or turning (SafltC.Beo, quick ! lively !
up of the earth. BYE! BYE!An abbreviation and
BUSHEL.A measure of corn, vege partial reduplication of " good-bye."
tables, coal, &c. Also a nurse's or mother's exclama
tion to children when lulling them
Literally a little box.Chambers.
to sleep.
aflic. Bus, a mouth; iall, a The exclamation has not been ad
thong, i. e. a sack tied up at the mouth
mitted into the earlier or later Dic
with a thong or string. tionaries, from Bailey, Ash, and John
son, to Todd, Latham, Richardson,
BUSK (Lowland Scotch).To adorn,
Wedgwood, Worcester, Webster, &c.
to prepare, to dress, to make ready.
It is probably from the
tSarllC.Busy, dress, adorn; busgadh,
(ESafllC.Baigh, kindness, goodness,
dressing, adorning; ahead-dress; bus-
benignity (See Good-bye) ; an adjura
gainn, to decorate, to prepare, to dress.
tion to a good and beloved child to go
BUSS (Vulgar).A kiss; to kiss. to sleep ; baigh ! baigh ! mo lenabh, bye !
From the Belgian boesen, French baiser, bye ! my child.
Italian baciare, to kiss; all from the Latin.
Oazophylacium Anglicanum. BYRE (Lowland Scotch). A cow
ar ItC. Bus, a mouth ; whence house, a place of shelter for cattle.
to touch with the lips, to kiss ; busag, Barn, Barth.A place of deposit
OP TUB ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 07
for farm produce, or of shelter for Termed by Johnson a cant word, but
cattle. adopted by later lexicographers as a respect
able term. Said to have been first used by
GSarltf.Buar, cattle; buarach, a Arbuthnot. Slang Dictionary.
shackle for the hind legs of cows, to OfUltC Cabaich, to notch, to in
prevent them kicking when being dent, to make square or blunt by
milked. cutting off the end of anything.
ItgmtlC.Buarth, a cattle yard or CABE, CABOT (French Slang).A
fold ; buarlho, to fold cattle. snarling, ill-natured dog, that shows
its teeth on the slightest provocation.
Cabe-chien, corruption de clabaud, qui
avait la meme signification et qui a donned
c. naissance au mot clabauder, aboyer.
Michel, Dictionnaire d'Argot.
CA' ME, AND I'LL CA' THEE.A (SadlC.Cab, a large mouth ill set
proverbial phrase equivalent to " Do with teeth ; cabach, ugly mouthed.
me a good turn, and I'll do you
another." CACKLE.The sound made by poul
This was the English form, as may try to express activity or alarm ;
be seen in its frequent use by the applied metaphorically to the gossip
Elizabethan Dramatists, as quoted by of women.
Nares. The Scottish form, though also CHaeliC Gac, to cackle as a hen ;
used in England was " Claw me, and I'll gacail, cackling; gacan, gagan, noisy
claw you," t. e. " Praise me, and I'll speech ; gagail, stammering, spluttering,
praise you," from the Gaelic cliii, praise. lisping.
The phrase was sometimes varied to
"ca' and cob." CAD (Slang).A vulgar person.
In Kelly's Scottish Proverbs, " Kae me, Apparently from cadger, the old cant term
and I'll kae thee," has the marginal explana for a man. The exclusives at tho English
tion. Kae, invite ; spuken when great people Universities apply the term cad to all non-
invite and feast one another and neglect the meuibers. Slang Dictionary.
poor.Mares.
If you'll be so kind as to ca' me one good The well-known story of Beau Brum-
turn, I'll be so courteous as to cob you another. mel, who asked a nobleman to whom
Fobb, The Witch of Edmonton. the Prince Regent (George IV.) was
(Saclir. Cabhair, cobhair (pro speaking, "Who's your fat friend?"
nounced ca-air and co-air), to help, to suggests the sense in which the
assist ; whence " Ca' me, and I'll ca' Gaelic word came to be applied in
thee," meaning, " Help me, and I'll help English.
you." CSarllC. Cad (obsolete), a friend;
cadach, cadas, friendship, affinity.
CABBAGE (Slang).To steal; origin
ally and still applied to tailors and CADASTRE. A register of lands and
milliners, who are said to cut off for tenantry.
their own use pieces of the cloth, Cadastral. Relating to landed
silk, or other materials entrusted to property ; a public register.
them to be made up. Cadastre (French).The rank and
68 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
file or full number of a regiment Dick. Or rather of stealing a cade of her
or an army. rings.
Henry VI., Part II.
Catastro (Italian). The rent-roll of
But " cade " in this sense, as Nares
a manor or landed estate ; a public
asserts, is derived from the Latin cadits,
registry.
a measure of eighteen gallons. The
There is no etymon of this word in
true derivation of the word appears
the Teutonic or Latin sources of the
to be the
modern European tongues. It appears
to have sprung from the habit of the drafltr. Cead (cade), leave, permis
chiefs in the primitive ages of number sion, liberty. The name of " Cade " was
ing or otherwise registering their re probably applied by the Commons of
tainers, before going, as the American Kent to their favourite leader, because
Indians say, on " the war path," and he was for the liberty of the Commons.
to be traceable to the CADGE.To beg or steal by the way;
GSafltC.Calh, war, battle; aslair, whence a cadger, a tramp or vagrant.
a journey, an expedition ; whence cath- Cadging, begging with an eye to pilfering
astair, a warlike expedition. The mean when opportunity occurs. Slang Diclionaty.
ing may have been afterwards extended (SafltC. Gaid (gadj or cadj), to
to a register of the persons of which steal (more often but less properly
the expedition was composed. spelled goid.M'Alpine's Gaelic Dic
tionary) .
CADE.A pet lamb, one that is
brought up by hand ; a petted child, CADNAT."A word," says Nares,
unduly indulged. " to be found in the Perfect School
The designation seems taken from the of Instruction," 1682.
troublesome boldness and want of respect for
man of the petted animal ; Old Norse, kdtr, A sort of state covering for princes, dukes,
joyous ; Swedish dialect, kat, frisky ; Danish, or peers, at a great dinner.
kaad, frolicsome.Wedgwood. (BiacItC.Cadha [ca-ha), a porch or
(Ciarlir. Cead, leave, permission, entry; deithneas (dei-nas) , deilhneasachd',
license, favour ; ceadach, forward, li haste, speed ; whence a porch or entry,
centious, presuming on favour. made hastily in honour of a great
CADE, JACK. The name given personage, like a triumphal arch in
to the popular leader in the reign modern times.
of Henry VI., who called him CAGG (Slang). To abstain from
self John Mortimer, and who took liquor for a certain time.
it upon himself to redress by force
A military term used by the private soldiers
of arms the grievances of the people. signifying a solemn vow or resolution not to
He was sometimes called in Saxon get drunk for a certain time ; or as the term
is, not till their cagq is out, which vow is
parlance " John Amend-All/' but commonly observed with strictness, viz. :" I
his Keltic appellation was " Cade." have cagged myself for six months. Excuse
me th's time and I will cagg for a year."
The word rude, corrupted into keg, meant This term is also used in the same sense
a barrel, as in the phrase " a cade of herrings." among the common people in Scotland
Nabbs. where it is performed with divers cere
Cade. We, .John Cade, so termed of our monies.Grose's Classical Dictionary of
supposed father. the J'ulgar Tongue.
OK THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 69

CSaPllC. Cagail, to save, to spare, cu cain, a white or light coloured dog ;


to refrain, to economize ; cagailt, fru caineab, canvas or hemp, from its colour ;
gality, parsimony ; cagallach, miserly, a cain-ccloured beard, a hemp or canvas-
sparing, economical ; caoch, empty, coloured beard.
blind ; caochag, a blind nut, a nut with
out a kernel. CAIRD (Lowland Scotch).A tra
velling tinker, a gipsy.
CAG-MAG. Slanderous whisperings (GarlicCeard, a smith, an artificer,
among women, the tittle-tattle of a workman; ceardaich, a forge, a smithy,
servants (Slang). This word is some a blacksmith's shop.
times used for bad food, odds and
ends of victuals unfit to eat. CAITIFF.A term of personal con
Cag, to irritate, to affront, to anger. tempt, a mean scoundrel, a despicable
Slang Dictionary. villain.
Cag-mag, to quarrel and use slanderous
words; a Worcestershire word. Halliwell. Originally a captive. Italian, cattivo,
Latin, captious, capio, to take. Chambers.
afllC. Cag, to whisper; cagaire,
a whisperer; mag, to mock, to deride; The Italian cattivo signifies bad, and
whence cag-mag, to mock and slander is akin to the French chetif, poor, puny,
secretly or in whispers. miserable. The true root is the
flflif. Ca\th, to waste, to squan
CAIN-COLOURED.Light-coloured. der, exhaust, throw away recklessly ;
He hath hut a little wee face with a yellow cditheach, an idle spendthrift, a prodi
beard, a Cain-culoured beard. Merry gal ; caitheamh, reckless prodigality,
Wives of Windsor.
Yellow or red, a colour of hair, which, being waste.
esteemed a deformity, was by common consent
attributed to Cain and Judsis. Nabls. CAJOLE.To wheedle, to coax, to
In the old tapestries and pictures, gain over by fair words. French,
Cain and Judas were generally repre cajoler, cajolerie, cajoleur.
sented with yellowish red beards. This An upstart word from the French cageoler,
conceit was frequently alluded to in or cajoler, Italian gazzolare, and these from
the Latin graculus, a jackdaw. Gazophy-
early books. lacivm Anglicanum.
And let their beards be of Judas his own A low word from the French cajeoler.
colour.The Spanish Tragedy. Ash, 1775.
I ever thought by his red beard he'd prove Originally to lure into a cage, like a bird.
a Judas.The Insatiate Countess. Ohambebs.
Ited hair in men was considered French cajeoler, caioler, to prattle or
jangle, like a jay in a cage.Cotobave.
the proof of a bad disposition, as when The reference to the word cage hinted at
Dryden described Jacob Tonson, the by Cotgrave is probably delusive. It is more
oooksellcr,as a fellow "with two left legs likely a word formed like cackle, gabble,
gaggle, directly representing the chattering
and Judas-coloured hair." " Cain," cry of birds.Wedgwood.
however, signifying a shade of colour is (Gaelic Cad, a friend ; deal, (d
not derived from the name of the first pronounced as J), to suck; debihal,
murderer, but from the debghait, sucking, in these words the
(Sadie Cain, light-coloured, of a t and g are aspirated and therefore
yellow nearly approaching to white ; silent. If the Gaelic derivation cad
70 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
debl (pronounced cad-jebF) be correct, the earth and trees, and throw them
the French and English " cajole " selves into the water, thinking it dry
would signify to suck, or gain some land.
thing from a friend, by means of fair Spanish calentura, a fever ; calentar, to
words and flattering entreaties. heat ; Latin, calidus, hot.Wedgwood.
(SrarllC.Cealg, deceive, allure; ceal-
CALAMITY.Misfortune, loss, hurt,
gadh, alluring, enticing ; deception ; an,
detriment.
the; tir, laud; whence cealgadh-an-iir
Carlo, cadamitat, calamitas, an affliction
that has befallen any man. It was also by (quasi with the omission of the gut
the Latins used in the sense of calamus, a turals, cal-an-lir), a deception of the land.
reed or cane, and then calamitas signified
the lodging or laying of corn by reason of
heavy winds, rain, hail, &c. . . . According CALF.The fleshy hind-part or muscle
to Lord Bacon calamitas is first derived from of the leg.
calamus, which signifies straw; and since
calamitas is in the next place used to signify Most of the lexicographers, from the
that disorder by which corn cannot be got author of Gazophylacium Anglicanum
out of the stalk, it would be better to derive downwards to Johnson and later writers,
our word immediately from icaXa^ios, calamus,
a straw pipe or reed.Lemoh's English are content to trace the etymology of
Etymology. " calf," the young of the bovine species,
(finrllC.Call, loss, hurt, privation ; from Teutonic sources, and to place the
calldach, losing ; calldachd, loss, dam "calf" of the leg under the same
age ; mend, greatness, bulk ; whence heading, implying thereby a co-related
ealla-meud, a great hurt or loss, a etymology. From the Teutonic kalb
calamity. comes " calf," a young bull or cow,
says the Gazophylacium, hence the
CALE (French Argot or Slang).To "calf" of the leg. From this glaring
say of a man that he is caU, means specimen of the lucus a non lucendo, a
that he is rich, well-to-do, comfort study of Gaelic might have saved the
able equivalent to the English writer.
slang " warm."
From the Gaelic calpa, calba, or colpa na
Ce mot, que je derive de calle, espece de coise, the calf of the leg. The primary
coiffure, est synonyme de coiffe, qui figure meaning of the word seems simply a lump;
dans unc expression provcrbiale, dont le tens calp is riadh, principal(or lump) aud interest.
est lc nieme. Wedgwood.
Sainte Migorce ! nous sommes ne'es coif-
fees ! La Cumeilie des Proverbcs. Diction- CBiarllC. Calp, the flesh of the hinder
naire d'Argot, Michel. part of the leg, the " calf."
The French cale signifies a flat cap
worn by servants, and also a livery. CALF.The young of the bovine
Perhaps the true root of the word species, German, kalb.
should be sought in the CSrarltr.Dhamh (dA pronounced like
Q&aeltC. Cal, to get into harbour; the Greek the mh like/" or v),
calaidh, safe in harbour ; whence, meta caff, with the c guttural.
phorically, in the harbour of riches.
CALF OF MAN. A projecting head
CALENTURE.A disease of sailors land in the Isle of Man.
long at sea, who behold visions of This word has been assumed to be
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 71

a pun upon the limbs of "Man," the gala, finery ; Anglo-Saxon, gal, merry ; Old
English name of the island of Mona German, geil, proud.Chambkus.
(from MonadA, the mountain). As Gaelic. Gille, a youth ; galan,
the heraldic symbol of the island is a youth, a sapling.
composed of three legs, it was taken
CALLE (Spanish).A street, a lane.
for granted, that as a leg had a calf,
the " Calf of Man " was somehow or Gaelic. Cala, a street, a quay, a
other derived from this anatomical landing-place, a haven, a port; caol,
idea. The true root is the narrow.
Gaelic.Calbh (calv), a headland, CALLER (Lowland Scotch) .Fresh,
a cape ; whence the " Calf of Man," pure, in a natural state.
the headland or cape of the Isle of Man. "Caller herring," "caller baddies,"
and " caller '00," are well-known street
CALID. From the Latin calidus, hot, cries of the Newhaven fishwomen in
warm. Edinburgh. The word occurs in the
Caloric.Heat. beautiful song, " There's nae luck about
Caldron. A vessel for heating the house."
water. Sae sweet his voice, sae smooth his tongue,
Gaelic. Cal, to burn (obsolete). His breath's like caller air,
His very foot has music in't
When he gaes up the stair.
CALIVER.A gun, a musket.
Jamicson, who erroneously derives the
Skinner and others derive it from calibre,
which means only the bore or diameter of a word from the Iceland kalldur, cold,
piece. Its derivation is not yet made out. gives four meanings, " cool," " fresh,"
Nabes.
" the temperament of the body which
GafltC. Call, destruction, loss; indicates health, as opposed to hot and
oilrich, work, labour; whence call- feverish," and " the plump and rosy
oibrich, a "caliver," that works de appearance of health, as opposed to a
struction. sickly look." The root is the
CALK, CAWK.To fill up the seams Gaelic. Cail, disposition, temper,
between the planks of the deck of a strength, life, vitality, constitution,
ship with oakum. look, appearance, quality ; caileachd,
Gaelic. Calc, to ram, drive, push natural endowments, genius, energy,
in ; calcaicJt, to cram, drive, fill in a seam ability ; caileachdach, having natural
by pressure of an exterior substance, endowments, accomplished, possessed
such as oakum. of genius and ability, or high qualities.
The Latin qualitas is probably from
CALLANT (Lowland Scotch). A the same root.
youth.
Gallant.Attentive to the ladies, CALLET (Obsolete).A vulgar, vio
brave, polite. lent, or unchaste woman.
Gallantry. Courage, politeness, A beggar in his drink could not have laid
such terms upon his callet.Shakspeabe,
attention to the ladies. Othello.
Gallant, see Gala. Gala, show, splen A callet of boundless tongue.
dour, festivity. French, gala, bIiow ; Italian, Shakspeabe, Winter's Tale.
72 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
A ealat of lude demeanour.Chaucer. language. Though immediately de
From the French caillette, femme frivole rived from the French calme, its root is
et habillarde. Probably an unmeasured use
of the tongue is the leading idea. Northern to be found in the
English, collet, to rail or scold.Wedg (Gaelic.Calm, calma, brave, cool,
wood, 1871.
calm, collected, resolute and strong;
(Gaelic.Caile, a vulgar girl, a
calmadas, cool courage, calmness and
quean, a hussy ; caileag, a little girl,
self-possession in difficulty.
a lass.
CAM or Kam. Crooked. The river
CALLOW.Unfledged, destitute of
Cam, the crooked river.
feathers.
One of the few genuine Celtic elements in
Calvus (Latin).Bald, without hair English. Latham.
on the head. Sicinius. This is clean kam.
That it shall supply wings to the human Brutus. Merely awry.
soul in its callow efforts at upward flight. Coriolanut.
Mb. Gladstone on Ritualism. Clean kam, equivalent to rigmarole, rho-
domontade.Staunton's Shakspeare.
Latin, calvus, bald; Anglo-Saxon, calo,
caluw ; Dutch, kael, kaluwe, bald.Wedg (Gaelic Cam, gam, crooked ; whence
wood. the modern slang " a game leg," i. e.
(Gaelic. Call, loss, privation, desti " a cam or crooked leg ;" and " gam
tution ; caill, to lose, or sulFer loss ; mon " or " cammon," a piece of decep
cailleanacA, one who suffers a loss ; tion, a story that is not straight, but
calbh, bald. that has a lie or a crook in it.
CALLYMOOCHER (Obsolete). A CAMEL.A well known African and
term of reproach, " which," saj's Asiatic animal, used to bear riders
Nares, "requires explanation." or other burdens.
I do, thou upstart callymoocher, I do ! Literally, the hearer; Anglo-Saxon,c(Jme/7;
'Tis well known to the parish, T have been Old French, camel ; Latin, camelos ; Greek,
Twice ale-conner. Mayor ofQuinborough. naptjKos ; Hebrew, gamut ; probably from
Nabes. the Arabic chamal, to bear.Chambebs.
(Garlic.Cailleach, a coward ; nine, (Gaelic. Ceum, a step, a pace; ceu-
a pig; muiceanach, a mean person, a mail, stately in gait, walking slowly
swine, a pig; whence "callymoocher/' and sedately.
a cowardly pig.
CAMSCH AUCLED (Lowland Scotch) .
CALM.Still, quiet, not disturbed or Said of a person who walks lamely,
excited, mentally or physically. clumsily, and awkwardly.
Italian and Spanish, calma; French, calme, (Gaelic. Cam, crooked; seach(shach) ,
absence of wind, quiet. The primitive mean a sprain of the joint.
ing of the word seems to be heat. The
origin is the Greek xov/ia, from kcuco, to burn. CAMSTATRY, CAMSTERIE (Low-
The word was also written cawme in Old
English.Wedgwood. land Scotch) .Obstinate, quarrel
Espagnol, Portugais et Italien, calma; some, not to be convinced by argu
Hollandais, halm; Anglais, calm; origine
inconnue.Littbe. ment.
This word is not traceable either to Gaelic, comh-stir, striving together ; or
German kampf, battle, and starrig, stiff.
the Teutonic or Latin sources of the Jamieson.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 73

(Gaelic. Cam, crooked, perverse; CANON.An ecclesiastical rule or


stairich, noise; stairirach, a great noise; precept; a priest attached to a cathe
ttraighlich, noise, clash, uproar. dral, who takes part in the choral
service.
CANCER.A schirrous, livid tumor.
Prom Greek Kavn, Kavva, a cane, was formed
Canker. To corrode; a disease in naamv, a straight rod, a ruler, and, metaphor
trees and shrubs. ically, a rule, a standard of excellence. 1 fence
Latin canon was used by the ecclesiastical
Cankeked.Venomous, malignant. writers for a tried or authorized list or roll.
Cancer is so named from the resemblance of Again we have canonicus, regular, the canons
the large blue veins around a cancer on the or regular clergy of a cathedral.Wedg
breast to the claws of a crab.Dunglison. wood.
(Gaelic. Cangaruich, to vex, irri (Garlic.Can, to sing; fan, a tune;
tate, inflame, incense. whence cau-fkonn {/ silent, can-Ziuun),
a song, a precept.
CANDID.Free-spoken, clear.
Candidate.An applicant for an In the times of bardism all maxims,
whether political, moral, or religious, were
office, so called because it was the delivered and promulgated in verse.Aum-
custom at Rome for persons who steong's Gaelic Dictionary.
wished to serve the state, and ap
pealed to the suffrage of their fellow CANOPY.A curtain or other orna
citizens, to appear in white robes ; mental drapery over a bed or a
from candidus, white, and candeo, throne, or carried in state ceremonials
to shine. and processions over the head of a
distinguished personage.
(SadlC. Can, white; diadhaidh, The poets speak of " the canopy of
godly, pure-minded. heaven." The Germans call a " cano
py" a prachlhimmel, or "adorning
CANER (French Slang).To ease
nature, Aller a la sella. heaven," and sometimes use the word
baldacchin, from the Italian baldacchiiw.
(Garlic. Cain, tribute ; whence The French have canape, a certain kind
caner, to pay tribute to nature and of couch or sofa, which was originally
necessity. provided with drapery. The word was
probably adopted into English from the
CANNIE (Lowland Scotch) .Cautious, Keltic-French. The author of Gazo-
prudent, fair-dealing, fair-spoken, phylac'ium Anglicanum derived it from
fortunate ; applied to one who knows the Greek KMvunros, a gnat, fly, or mos
what he is about in all the affairs of quito, because a net or " canopy " was
life, in buying and selling, and the spread over the heads of sleepers to
general management of himself and keep ofr the flies. "With us," he
others. " A cannie Scot " is a pro added, "it is set up over princes' heads
verbial phrase in England. for a badge of imperial power," This
(Gaelic. Ceannaich, to buy; thence etymology was adopted in the eighteenth
to know how to buy ;fear ceannaichaidh, century by Bailey, Ash, and others,
a man who buys, a buyer; ceinnaiche, a and in the nineteenth has found accept
merchant, a buyer; ceaimaichle, bought. ance with Wedgwood, Donald, Stor.
i.
74 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

month and other lexicographers. John much as the hint of a suspicion that
son derived it from the Low Latin coiw- there may be doubts as to their cor
peum, a covering spread over the head, rectness. It is said, that once upon
hut made no mention of the gnats or a time there were two Scottish clergy
mosquitoes. As the word is peculiar men, the Rev. Oliver, and the Rev.
to France and Great Britain, where the Ezekiel Cant, " who preached with
sore affliction of mosquitoes is happily such a voice and manner, as to give
unknown, it is not prohahle that the their name of ' Cant ' to all preaching
word has any connexion with those and talking of a similar kind." It is
insects, or with their name in the also said that the name was originally
(Ircek language. The root is clearly derived from the Rev. Andrew Cant,
Keltic and traceable to the minister of Aberdeen in the reign of
ftSaflic. Ceann the head ; heart, Charles I., of whom Pennant remarks
an engine, a loom, a frame, a bundle, in his Tour in Scotland, that Andrew
a truss; clothing, covering; whence " canted no more than the rest of his
ceanna-bheart (rear/), a head-covering, brethren, for he lived in a whining
a framework, held over the head with age."
drapery, a " canopy." McLeod and " One can scarcely suppose Skinner, Pen
Armstrong in their Gaelic Dictionaries, nant, and others to be correct in deriving the
word from the Latin cantare, to sing, as our
both have ceann-bhrat, a head-cloth, a word ' cant ' does not imply a mere sing
" canopy." song tone, but rather a whining voice,
uttered by a person who you feel is attempt
ing, in a greater or lesser degree, to de
CANT. The secret language of va ceive you ; you are conscious of hypocrisy
grants and gipsies ; also the language being practised, whether the subject be re
ligion, politics, begging, or anything else.
of hypocrisy, or the peculiar morality Moreover if the word meant singing, the
and talk of a profession or business. Anglo-Saxon cantere, a singer, is a much
more probable source of origin than the Latin
Cantie (Lowland Scotch).Talka canto."Notes and Queries, Feb. 19, 1859.
tive and cheerful.
Cant, from the old French cant, Italian.
Philologists were long at a loss to ac canto, to sing; Latin canthus, an edge;
count for this word. It is only recently Greek icavOas, corner of the eye ; Welsh cant,
a border.Chambers.
that even a glimmer of the truth as
regards it has been found. In its Dr. Latham in his edition of Todd's
modern acceptation the word signifies Johnson, 1871, stumbles upon rather
in the first place, the secret or vul than discovers the truth, when he says
gar language of vagrants, thieves, and that the real origin of the word cant, is
gipsies; and in the second, the lan the Gaelic cainnt, language, applied to
guage of hypocrisy, or of the peculiar the special language of rogues and
morality and practice of a trade, beggars, which idea is shared by Mr.
profession or business. In one of the Wedgwood in his Dictionary of English
latest Slang Dictionaries by Ducange Etymology. The real meaning of the
Anglicus, London, 1859, all the old word is " language," without any refer
errors perpetuated by Johnson and ence to thieves, rogues, or beggars, as
other ignorant or prejudiced lexico appears from the
graphers are reproduced, without so (Sflflir. Cainnt, speech, language,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 75

talk; cainntcach (Lowland Scotch, can- Cantrip-time.The season for prac


tie), talkative; cainnlear, an orator, a tising magical arts or mischievous
speaker, a talker, a linguist, also a tricks.
babbler; canain, language, dialect, From the Icelandic gan, gand, witchcraft ;
speech. or kiaen, applied to magical arts, and trapp,
This word, the source of which has calcatio.Jamieson.
Coffins stood round like open presses
been sought everywhere but in the That show'd the dead in their la-st dresses,
right direction, is a striking instance And by some devilish cantrip slight
Each in its cauld hand held a light.
of the vitality of the Gaelic element in Bl'bks, Tam o Shanter.
the English language. The successive
Gaelic.Cean, the head, the chief;
invaders of England, Saxons, Danes,
drip, a snare meant for another but
and Normans, degraded and enslaved,
trapping the author of it, a mischievous
where they could not extirpate, the
trick; whence cean-drip (canlrijj), a
aboriginal Keltic inhabitants or Britons.
great and mischievous trick.
The aborigines retained their own lan
guage, which they spoke among them
CANVAS.A coarse, strong hempen
selves secretly. Hence the origin of
cloth used for sails, tents, &c.
the English word " cant/' as mean
ing a secret language ; not of necessity From the French canevas; Greek, unwafiis,
hemp.Chambers.
a language of vagrants, although those
belonging to the conquered and im Gaelic. Cainb [canav), canvas,
poverished classes habitually spoke it, hemp; aodach, cloth, whence eainb-ao-
perhaps because they knew no other. dach, or sackcloth.
From this ancient idea of secrecy, pro
ceeded the modern idea of " cant," the CANVASS.To discuss, to question,
secret or peculiar language of a trade to examine, to ask electors for their
or profession, whether lay or clerical. votes so as to examine the opinions
of a constituency.
CANTANKEROUS (Slang).Quar A metaphorical word from sifting a sub
relsome, light-headed, shallow-headed. stance through canvas.Stokmonth.
An American corruption probably of con Literally to sift through canvas.Cham-
tentious. A correspondent suggests can BEBS.
kerous as tbe derivation.Slang Dictio Johnson derives the word from the
nary.
French canabasser, which, however, is
Gaelic. Canran, grumbling, bicker
not to be found in that language. The
ing, scolding; canranach, incessantly
connexion with "canvas" or coarse
grumbling; but possibly from cean,
cloth is not clear. Probably the word
head ; Iana, shallow, thin ; cearr,
is a corruption of the
wrong : whence cean-tana-cearr, a shal-
low wronghead, or shallow wrong- Gaelic Ceasnaich, to examine, to
headed person. search out; ceasnachadh, an examina
tion by questioning, a scrutiny.
CANTRIP (Lowland Scotch). A
charm, a spell, an incantation, a CAPPERNOITY (Lowland Scotch).
mischievous trick. Crotchety, whimsical.
L 2
70 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

(Qncllf . Cabaire, a gabbler, a tattler; of cavalry or of a company of infantry.


nodadh, a wink, a nod. Also the commander of a ship, and
generally a leader.
CAPRICE (French and English).A The word is usually derived from the
slight or unreasoning fancy, a sudden Latin caput, the head, and the French
but slight desire to do or possess capitaine, as if it signified the head or
something. chief person. Without disputing the
Italian, caprizzio, from eapra, a goat. correctness of this etymology it may be
Diez.
noted as curious that a word very similar
Italian, raprirrio, a goat's leap, something
unexpected.LlTTltK. in sound occurs in the
Mr. Wedgwood, in a very long HiniUiC.Cad-pen, from cad, battle ;
dissertation, derives the word from and pen, the head or chief. This is
various languages, all tending to signify remarkably like the commonly used
trembling or shivering, but does not, as word of modern European languages.
he sometimes does, venture into the The modern Gael have borrowed the
Gaelic. Perhaps with a metaphorical English word which they spell carptin.
meaning latent in the word, as a light The ancient word was constructed on
breeze of fancy or intention, the true the same principle as the Kymric cad-
etymon is the pen, and was either ceann feadhna or
(GSnrll'f. Cealhair, a light breeze, a cean feachd, the head of the fight or
gentle breeze ; the state of being slightly battle.
intoxicated, and irresponsible to some
extent, for speech or action. CAPTIOUS. Quarrelsome, apt to take
offence.
CAPSIZE (Nautical).To upset, to Latin, captiosus, captio.Chambebs.
overturn.
(Gaelic. dap, to vex, to torment;
ProbabU' from cap, the head, and seize. ciapal, strife, debate ; ciapalach, conten
Stobmonth.
tious; ciapalaiche, a contentious, quar
Johnson, Bailey, Ash, and other early
relsome, captious person.
Dictionaries do not contain this word.
Mr. Wedgwood also omits it. Worcester
CAR, CHARIOT.A vehicleto ride in.
suggests no etymology, and Chambers
marks it with a ? The roots seem to (Gaelic. Cathair, a seat; roth, a
be the wheel; whence cathair-roth. a seat on
(Gaelic (Obsolete). Capat, the same wheels ; or it may be from ceither, four,
in Irish ; Latin, caput ; cap-fhlath, a roth, wheel, four wheels.
chief or head commander, a prince; call
(obsolete), the head; the same in Irish; CAR, CART, CARRIAGE (English).
sios, down. Either capat, cap, or calb Caroche, carouc/ie (Old English);
may be accepted as the root of the first carosse (French).
syllable; whence "capsize," the head All these words represent vehicles in
downwards. which a person or persons can be seated.
The root is the
CAPTAIN.The commander of a troop (Garlic Cathair (ca-ir), a scat;
OF THE ENGLISH LANCUAGE. 77

uacMair, elevated ; whence enroche, or of moaning, murmuring, or grumbling at


what is felt to be grievous.Wedgwood.
carouche, a vehicle with an elevated seat.
adit. Care, care, anxiety, distress
CARAVAN.A company or troop of mind (obsolete) ; citram, care, anxiety,
traversing the deserts of the East, and distress ; a charge, trust, office (cure) ;
banded together for greater security curamach, full of care, anxious, solicitous;
against enemies. Also a large car curamachd, solicitude, anxiety, care.
riage for the conveyance of goods.
CAREME (French).The season of
Persian, carvan, a trader ; Spanish, cara- Lent or Spring, from the German
vancra; French, caravane.Wobcesteb.
From the Persian kerwan.Wedgwood. Lenz, the Spring ; when the days
lengthen ; the triumph of Spring over
(Gaelic. A chaoradh bhan [caora- Winter.
bhari] , the white sheep. If this deriva Careme, from quaraniieme, the fortieth
tion be correct, the word was probably (or the forty days).Littee.
suggested to the nomadic patriarchs of (Garlic. Cath-reim [t silent, ca-rehii),
Chaldea and Phoenicia by the constant triumph, from cath, battle, and reim,
passage of flocks and herds to new order; quasi, the order of battle against
pastures, as in the days of Abraham and the lusts of the flesh, commanded in the
Lot. Scriptures.

CARCASS. A dead body, also applied CARESS. A gesture, or movement of


in contempt to a living body. fondness or endearment.
French, carquasse, the dead hody of any French, caresse; Italian, carezza; Latin,
creature. The radical meaning seems to bo cams, dear.Chambebs, Littbe.
something holding together, confining, con (Gaelic. Cairich, to soothe ; cairdeas,
straining; the shell, case, or framework. friendship, love ; caraid, a friend.
AVelsh, carch, restraint; Gaelic, carcair, a
prison.Wedgwood.
CARFAX.The local name of the
In Sanscrit karkasa signifies hard, church of St. Martin, with its vene
stiff, rigid, which are the proper epithets rable square tower, that stands at the
for a dead body. The word has come junction of four roads or streets in
into the English and French from the the city of Oxford.
jar lit. Cairbh, carcais, a dead body, Two derivations of the word are sug
a corpse;. gested, and both from the
(Gaelic.Cathair (t silent), a seat,
CARE. Heedfulness, anxiety, sorrow. a throne, a city, a cathedral ; faic !
Cark (Obsolete, but used by Spenser, behold ! see ! whence cathair-faic I be
Milton, and some of the Scottish hold the throne, city, or seat. The
poets).Care, great care, or fretful second is ceiihir (t silent), four; faich,
anxiety. a meadow, a green; whence ceilhir-
From the Anglo-Saxon care; Latin, cunts. faich, the four meadows (separated by
GazophylaciumAnglicanum. the cross roads).
Saxon, ccarc, care, anxiety.Johnson.
Anglo-Saxon, rear; Gothic, cara; Celtic,
far; allied to the Latin citrus.Chambebs. CARICATURE.A twisted or dis
Probably the origin of this word is the act torted resemblance.
78 THE GAET.TC ETYMOI.OOY
Italian, caricatura, an overloaded repre (Sadie.Cam, to heap up ; carnadh,
sentation of anything, from caricare, to to pile up stones on a cairn or earn ;
overload.Wedgwood.
Italien, caricatura, charge ; de caricare, whence, metaphorically, to pile up flat
charger.Littbe. teries and compliments with an object.
(SadlC. Car, a. twist, a turn, a bend,
a deviation ; carach, whirling, winding, CAROL.A song; to sing, to chant.
twisting; tur, sense, meaning, intention, Old French, carole; Italian, carola ; dimi
nutive of the Latin chorus, a choral dance.
whole, altogether; gu-iur, entirely; Cn.VMBEBS.
carach-gu-lur, altogether twisted, or a Properly a round dance; French, carole,
twisted and perverted sense. querole ; Bret, horoll, a dance ; Welsh, coroli,
to reel, to dance. Wedgwood.
CARILLON (French). A peal or (5aeltC. Coirioll, a cheerful note, a
chime of bells. song, a symphony, hilarity ; coiriolleach ,
Menage indique la vraie e'tymologie; un musical, cheerful. See Caiullon.
mot bas Latin quadrilio, signifiant un
quaternaire, a cause que les carillons se CAROUSAL.Revelry.
faisaient autrefois avec quatre cloches. The author of Gazophylacium Angli-
Littbe.
canum derived this word from the
(Saelic. Caireall or coirioll, the
German gar am ! which he supposed to
sound of distant music, harmony, melody ;
be a command to the guests to empty
cairealach, harmonious, musical.
their glasses "quite out," or in more
modern parlance, "to leave no heel
CARMEN (Latin) .A song, a poem.
taps." Johnson adopted this explana
Carmen, a verse, conies properly from carm tion, and most other etymologists,
or garm, which among the Keltics signified a
joyful cry, and the verses sung by the Bards and particularly Mr. Wedgwood, have
to encourage the soldiers before they went to deemed it satisfactory. But neither
battle; and this is so evident that even
X"PH-f *n Greek is the same as pugna and the Germans, nor any other of the
conftictus.Pezbon, The Antiquities of Teutonic languages, have adopted the
Nations.
phrase in the sense of a festival or
(Sadie. Gairm, a cry, a shout, a drinking assemblage; but have gelag,
joyful song. a banquet, and zechen, to drink deep,
and borrow karussell from the French
CARNACThe name of the great carrousel. The Place da Carrousel in
Druidical circle in Brittany, and of Paris, between the Tuileries atid the
an ancient city in Egypt. Louvre, was the spot where the knights
OfadtC. Caihair (ca-air), seat; aclid, and nobles held their tournaments, to
judgment; Another possible deriva which, except as spectators, the vulgar
tion is caihair, scat; naigheachd, news, were not admitted. LillrS. in his
intelligence, learning. French Dictionary, has
Carrousel. Tournoi ou des chevaliers
CARNEY (Provincial and Slang). partages en quadrilles distingues par la
To wheedle, to use hypocritical lan diversity des livrees et des habits, se livrant
a differents jeux et eicercises. On y ajoutait
guage for the purpose of persuasion, souvent des courses de chariots, des machines,
to insinuate one's self by flattery des re'eits, et des danses de chevauz.
into the favour of another. Thus the banquet, of which the
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 70
knights and nobles partook at the con carouse, and the French carrousel:Abh-
clusion of their sports, was corrupted stbong, quoted by Wobcesteb.
in English into "carousal," signifying
CARPET.A woollen or other cover
the feast and not the preliminary
ing for the floor of a room.
joustings. From " carousal," by another
From the Latin carperc, to pluck, to pull
corruption, sprang the verb carouse, in asunder, was formed the Mid Latin carpia,
which the primary meaning of the carpita ; French, charpie, lint.Wedg
wood.
original French was wholly lost. The
true root of the French carrousel, or (Sadie.Cas, the foot ; bral, a cloth ;
tournament, is the whence cas-bhrat, footcloth or carpet.
Sanscrit.Karpata,va\ old or patched
(Garlic. Cathair, seat, place, arena ; garment, a covering, a cloth.
nasail, gentle, noble, of high birth and
lineage; whence cathair (t silent) uasail, CARRE- FOUR (French).A public
the place for the nobles and gentles, who place, a place where four roads meet.
alone were admitted to the tourney and CBracltC. Cathair (car), a seat, a
the feast that took place afterwards. place ; buar, bhuar, cattle ; whence
carre-four, a market-place for cattle.
CAROUSE.To revel, to drink, to See Carfax.
feast. CARR1-WARY (French charivari).
Crouse (Lowland Scotch). Happy, A burlesque and insulting performance
vigorous, jolly. of rough music (sometimes called
Carouse, to drink, from the Trench ca- Marrow-bones and Cleavers), with
rousser.Johnson. which the common people celebrate
German, lcrau.se; Dutch, hruyse; English,
cruse, a drinking vessel.Chambers. an unpopular or objectionable mar
The derivation of carouse from kroes, a riage of a very old man with a very
drinking cup, is erroneous, and there is no young woman, or of a very old
doubt that the old explanation from the woman with a very young man.
German gar aus, all out, is correct. When
the goblet was emptied, it would probably be The noise of mock music made with pots,
turned upside down with the exclamation kettles, frying-pans, shouting, screaming, <tc.
gar aus.Wedgwood. Wheatley's Dictionary of the Redupli
cated Words of the English Language.
A " carousal," and to " carouse," and
Charivari. Mot d'origine inconnu qui no
the French carrousel, are not from the parait pas remonter au-dela du quatorzicme
same root, and represent different ideas. siecle. Scaliger le tire de chalybaria,
" Carouse " and crov.se are not associated chaudrons ; Ducange du bas Latin caria,
noix, a cause qu'on jetait des noix, et qu'on
with chivalry and tournaments, or the faisait tumulte le jour des noces.Littbe.
feasts of the noble and gentle, but ex (fSacllC. Car, caradh, a bend, a
press the idea of mere conviviality and twist, a turn ; carachd, wrestling, deceit-
deep drinking, and are from the fulness; carach, deceitful, that which does
<&acltC. Craos, a large mouth; not conform to its apparent intention.
craosach, wide-mouthed, deep drinking ;
CARROW.This word is used by the
craosaire, a wide-mouthed person, a deep
poet Spenser in his View of Ireland,
drinker ; a carouser.
and seems to mean a card-sharper.
Gaelic, craos, a wide mouth, revelry. From
craos arc evidently derived the English word Their carrows, which is a kind of people
80 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
that wander up and down to gentlemen's therefore considered peculiarly unlucky;
houses, living only upon cards and dice. . . .
They will play for much money, which if equivalent to the Scottish wilhershing.
they win, they waste most lightly, and if On this subject Dr. Armstrong in his
they lose they pay as slenderly, tut make Gaelic Dictionary says :
recompense with one stealth or another.
Spenseb, quoted by Naees. " Car-tual, car-tuath-ail, signifying an
There is among them a brotherhood of unprospcrous or fatal course, has its origin in
karrotces that prefer to play at cards all the a Druidical superstition. The Druids on
year long and make it their only occupation. certain occasions moved three times round
Holisshbd. the stone circles or temples. In performing
this ceremony (car deise) they kept the circle
(3rtflie. Caraiche, a cheat, a sharper ; on the right, and consequently moved from
east to west. This was called the prosperous
carach, deceiving, deceitful. course ; but the car-tual, or moving with the
circle on the left, was deemed fatal or unpros
CARRY.To bear, to transport, to perous, m being contrary to the course of the
sun."
move in the hands or arms, to bear on To be whipped round a circle wilher-
the back ; to convey. shint, or car-tual, would thus be con
Anglo-Saxon, cyren, to turn ; German, sidered peculiarly degrading and penal,
karren, a cart or wheel-barrow ; French,
charrier, to convey in a cart, and charrue, a and probably as the original meaning
cart, see Car ; Latin, carries, a cart.Woe- of Keltic words faded from the Anglo-
CESTEE. Saxon speech of the people, became
French, charrier, properly to convey in a
car.Wedgwood. corrupted into " Cart-tail " or " Cart's
Carry, is to convey on a car, to bear, to tail," in which form the phrase still
lead, or to transport ; carriage, a vehicle for exists.
carrying.Chambeiis.
Etymologists, in seeking the root of
this word, have been contented with CARWHICHET, CARWITCIIIT, or
the secondary instead of the primary Cabrawhichet."A pun or quibble,"
says Nares, " as appears clearly in
idea. Before a car, cart, or carriage
was constructed by man, the act of the first example. I can find neither
carrying was performed. Adam may fixed orthography "nor probable de
have carried a bunch of flowers or a rivation for this jocular term. Mr.
handful of fruit to Eve, in days when G. Mason fancied a French oritrin,
but with little success."
there were certainly no wheeled vehicles.
All the foul in the fair, I mean all the dirt
The true etymon is the in SmithHeldthat's one of Master Littlewit's
(Gaelic.Caraich, to move from one carwichcts nowwill be thrown at our banner
to-day if the matter does not please the
place to another, to turn ; carachadh, people.Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair.
moving, removing. He has all sorts of echoes, refuses, Sic,
besides carwichcts, clenches, and quibbles.
Butler's Remains.
CART'S TAIL.To be whipped at Sir John had always his budget full of
the cart's tail was a punishment for ptinns, conundrums, and carratcichets, at
which the king laughed till his sides cracked.
various petty offences. It is probable Aebuthnot.
that the phrase originated in a mis Carriwichet, a hoaxing, puzzling question
conception of the ancient druidical not admitting of a satisfactory answer, as,
"How far is it from the first of July to
and London Bridge?" and " If a bushel of apples
aclic. Car-tual, a movement con cost ten shillings, how long will it take an
oyster to eat its way through a barrel of
trary to the course of the sun, and soap ?" Slanj Dictionary.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

(BafltC. Car, a twist, a turn, a or honest man, is a proof that it means


trick; urge, a web; the twisting and thief, or sharper, and Pistol is the persou
spinning out of a poem or a story to an deservedly so called." But Shakspeare,
undue length, which sailors call a yarn. in Twelfth Night, makes Sir Toby de
signate Olivia as a cataian, an epi
CASCADE. A fall of water, from a thet, if it really means a thief or a
rock or ether height. sharper, he would not apply to a lady.
Italian, cascaia ; French, cascade; from Possibly the true root is the
Italian cascare, to fall. The radical sense of
the word seems to be to come down with a GclfliC. Cailh, squander, waste;
squash.Wedgwood. caitheach, caitheachac, a spendthrift, a
As Italian words not clearly traceable prodigal. This meaning would alike
to the Latin, arc for the most part of suit the text of the Merry Wires
Keltic origin and intermixture, a prior and of Twelfth Night ; Pistol might
source for cascata, which in the Latin be wasteful or prodigal of his money
is cataracta, from the Greek root must and credit, and Olivia of her charms.
be sought, and seems to be found in the
Gaelic. Uisgue, water; eas, fall; CATAMARAN.A violent and dis
cad, high ; vixgue-eas-cad, the fall of agreeable person ; most commonly ap
water from a height ; by the elision of plied to a scolding woman.
tut, gue-eas-cad, cascade. Gaelic. Cafh, a fight, a battle;
maireann, perpetual ; whence by corrup
CASSOCK.A long great coat. tion catamaran, one who lives in per
Prom casa, a hut, the notion of sheltering petual squabbling and reviling.
or covering being common to a house and a
garment.Wedgwood. CATE or KATE (Thieves' Cant).
French, casaque ; from the Latin casa, a A picklock.
cottage, that which covers.Chambers.
A rum hate, i.e. a clever picklock.
Garlic. Cas, the foot; casag, a long Gbose.
garment reaching to the foot, such as Gaelic. Ceutach (ca/ach), pleasant,
used to be worn by priests. excellent, well adapted, elegant ; whence
anything elegant and well adapted to
CATAIAN.This word, which Shak-
its purpose, such as thieves would con
speare uses, is according to Mr.
sider a clever instrument for picking
Staunton one of reproach, of which
the precise meaning is unknown. locks.
Mr. Halliwell says it signifies a CATERAN (Lowland Scotch). A
sharper. Highland robber who came down from
A Chinese. Cathaia or Cathay, being the the hills to plunder in the low coun
name given to China by old travellers. It was
used for a sharper, from the desperate thieving tries.
of those people, the Chinese. Nabes. Irish, ceaiharnach, a soldier.Jamieson.
I will not believe such a cataian, though
the priest of the town commended him for a Garlic. Cadran, contention, broil,
true man.Merry Wives of Windsor. quarrel ; cadranta, quarrelsome, obsti
" The opposition in this passage," nate ; calhaich, fight, contend ; cafh, a
says Nares, " between cataian and true, I battle, a fight. See Catamaran.
M
82 THK GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

CAT-IN-PAN.A renegade, a deserter, face of the unborn child, and that


a traitor to his party. sometimes comes into the world with
To turn cat-in-pan, to be a turncoat, to it at birth. The superstitious believe
desert.Halliwell. that the possession of a " caul " pre
A proverbial expression implying perfidy, serves the owner from all risk of
but of which it is not easy to trace the
origin. In the famous old song, " The Vicar drowning.
of Bray " When a child is born with the membranes
When George in pudding time came o'er, over the face, it is said to have been born
And moderate men look'd big, sir, with a caul. In the catalogue of supersti
I turn'd a cat-in-pan once more, tions this is one of the favourable omens.
And so became a Whig, sir. The caul itself is supposed to confer privi
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1 leges upon the possessor, hence the mem
1754, derives it from the Catipani, whom he branes are dried and sometimes sold for a
supposes a perfidious people in Calabria and high price.Dunglison, quoted in WoB-
Apuli, but in fact catapanus was in those ci stek.
countries the name of an office, and nearly Kell.A child's caul; any skin or
synonymous with capitaneus, a governor or membrane; hence any covering
prefect.Nabes.
like a net-work. A woman's calle
The true meaning of this obscure
was a species of cap or net-work
phrase is to go over to the enemy in
worn on the head.
battle, and is derived from the
Maydens wore calls of silk and thread.
tScUlicCat/t, a battle; iompaich, MS. Laud.
to turn, to convert; iompachan, a con Kell, the same as caul; of uncertain
vert, a renegade. origin, but signifying any covering, like net
work, or the omentum in the intestines; a
net for hair, also the cones of silk-worms.
CATKIN.The early efflorescence of Bury himself in any silk-worm's kell.
osier, willow, hazel, &c, that appears Ben Jonson. Nabes.
Sir John rofe my kell, said a young lady,
before the unfolding of the leaf buds ; describing the evils attendant on walking too
similar in its texture to the nap or well.MS. Cantab, Sfe., Halliwell.
pile of cloth or velvet. C5af ItC.Ceil, to cover, to hide ;
A loose cluster of flowers resembling a cat's ceileadh, covering, screening, hiding ;
tail, growing on certain trees,Chambers. ceille, covered. The French word del,
A kind of flower, long and slender, resem and the Latin cesium, the sky, heaven,
bling a cat's tail. Stobmonth.
Dutch, kattekens.Wobcesteb. or covering of the earth are from the
same root.
Ifrflelic. Caiiean, shag or nap of
cloth; caiteanach, nappy, ruffled, shaggy; CAULK.To stuff the seams of the
caitin, caithean, blossom of the osier, planks in a ship's deck with oakum.
hazel, &c. Caulker. One who caulks.
Caucus (American) .A private meet
CAUDLE.A driuk given to women ing of the leaders of a political
in childbed to produce sleep, a sleep party. A corruption of caulkers.
ing draught or anodyne. Skinner suggests the etymology in the
A warm drink ; Old French chaudel, from French calage, low; Minsheu, the Latin
chaud ; Latin, calidus, hot. Chambebs. calx, lime, from its use as a cement. Wedg
wood the Latin calco, to tread.Wobcesteb.
tCUellC. Cadail, sleep. It would sscm that these meetings, first
held in Boston, were in some measure under
CAUL. A membrane that covers the the direction of men in the ship business;
OF THE ENGLISH" LANGUAGE. 83
and I therefore thought it not improbable moving, acting, vital thing. The Ger
that caucus might be a corruption of caulkers,
the word meetings being understood . I was man for " cause," ursache, means the
afterwards informed that several gentlemen primary or original thing.
of Salem and Boston believed this to be the
origin of the word.Babtlktt's Dictionary a flic.Cuit, a thing, a cause, an
of Americanisms. affair, a case ; a state of affairs ; cuts na
ffiarlic. Calc, to drive, to ram, to corach, the cause of right.
beat in; calcadh, caulking; calcair, a
caulker, a rammer ; calcaireachd, the CAUSEWAY.The high road, the
trade or business of a caulker. beaten track.
From the French chaussie. This word
CAUSE. That which is antecedent to (cause;/) by a false notion of its etymology
and produces an effect or a thing; a has lately been written causeway, a way
thing which produces another thing ; raised and paved.Johnson.
French, chaussie, a paved road ; Medieval
an effect of a thing, or an effect pre Latin, calceata, calceta, a road ; calceata,
cedent to itself which produces another shod or protected from the treading of the
horses by a coating of wood or stone ; French,
thing or effect ; a circumstance which chausser, to shoe; Portuguese, calcar, to
produces a circumstance ; and so on shoe, also to pave ; calfada, the pavement ;
Dutch, kautsije, kaussidje, kassije ; via
ad infinitum till we reach the " great strada.Wedgwood.
first cause, least understood," and Latin, calceata, from calx, chalk, because
can go back no further. Mr. Richard strengthened with mortar.Chambebs.
son, in his Introductory Letter to ffinflic.Cas, the foot; casan, the
Mr. Lambrick, prefixed to his Critical foot-way ; rathad coise, road trodden or
Examination of Johnson's Dictionary, beaten by the feet; casan (Irish), a
is facetious on Johnson's definition path.
of this word. The French chausse does not signify a
Are you in search of a short and infallible shoe, but a leg and foot ; and is of the
recipe to write sheer nonsense? I will
present you with one. " The rigour of same origin as the Gaelic cas, with the
interpretative lexicography," says Johnson, interpolation of the h ; as in the ancient
" requires that the explanation and the word
explained should be reciprocal." Obey this French caul or cand, modernized into
rule in your use of his Dictionary and your chaud.
success is insured. I will give you an
instance ; that stumbling-block to all keen
metaphysicians, the word Cause. "Xcause is CAVALRY. Horse soldiers.
that which produces or effects anything. Cavalcade.An array of people on
To effect is to produce as a cause. To
produce is to cause." Substituting the horseback.
explanations for the word explained we Cavalier. One who rides on horse
have: "A cause is that which causes, or
causes as a cause, anything." Joy to great back.
chaos ! One of the ancient Keltic names for
Mr. "Wedgwood contents himself with a horse was pal or peall, a word that
giving the derivation from the Latin has been superseded in the modern
causa, and makes no comment. The Gaelic by each, from the same root as
French chose, the Italian cosa, and the the Latin eqnus. In Berthelet's Latin
Latin causa, like the Gaelic word which and English Dictionary, 1548, dedicated
is antecedent to them all, means a thing, to King Henry VIII., the word calallus,
and cause is no other than a living, is explained, "an horse, yet in some
M 2
84 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

parts of England called a cable." In French, chalanger, to claim, challenge ;


make title unto ; also to accuse of, charge
Gaelic capall signifies sometimes a with, call in question for an offence.Cot-
mare and sometimes a horse. The root gbave.
of the Latin caballtu, the Greek KaftaWes, To challenge one to fight is to call on him
to decide the matter by combat. From the
the French cheval, the Italian eavallo, forensic Latin calumniare, to institute an
and the Spanish caballo, is evidently action, to go to law. Wedgwood.
the ancient pal, or peal; but whence The French word chalanger is obso
comes the prefix ca or ha? It is pro lete, and its derivation from calumniare,
bable that the explanation must be is neither apparent nor satisfactory.
sought in the The French chalanger occurs in no
(BafltC. Cafh, pronounced ca, battle, French Dictionary, and must have been
and pall ; whence capall would signify derived from chalancl, a customer; cha-
a war-horse, a battle-horse; as distin landite, customers of a particular trader ;
guished from pal or peall, the ordinary achalander, to get custom, does not sup
horse employed in agriculture. port the warlike sense of the word.
The leading idea is battle, which may
CECITY (Latin cacitaa). Blindness. perhaps afford a clue to discover the
(fiaflic. Caoch, blind, empty; cao- true etymon. As calix in English, be
cJiad, blindness, emptiness; caochadh, comes chalice; kirk, church; huff, chaff ;
to blind, to make blind. camera, chamber; calk, chalk, &c. ; so
the
CELL.A cave, an apartment in a
prison, a covered place. (SVafllC. Calh (ca), battle, becomes
Ceiling.The roof or covering of a cha. This accounts for the first syllable.
room. The second seems to be derived from
filUfll'c. Cell, a cell, a church; now lann, a lance, a sword, a long knife ^
written in the names of places in Scot whence calh lann or cha lann, a sword
land and Ireland, as Kil, in Kilmoraek, battle or combat ; and thence by an easy
Kilmarnock, Kilpatrick, Kildare, &c. transition, an invitation to a sword
These churches were so-called from beino- battle, i. e. a challenge.
covered over, unlike the Druidical circles, CHANSON (French).A song ; lite
which were all open to the sky, and rally, an old song.
called clachan, or the stones. See Kaul
CSacliC.Sean (shan), old; seinn,
and Kell.
a chant, a song.
CHAFF (Slang).Vulgar, irreverent,
CHAOS.The supposed state of the
and impertinent joking; silly banter.
Earth before it assumed solid form.
GclfltC. Bia bheum (pronounced Greek, \aot, properly an opening, an abyss;
jarurn), to blaspheme, to talk irreve Sanscrit, kha, a cavity.Litthe.
rently. atllC. Ceo, a thick mist.
CHALLENGE.To defy to a trial of CHAQUE (French).Each; chacun,
skill or strength, to call on an oppo each one.
nent to settle a quarrel by a personal <&aflic. Gach, each ; gach-aon, each
encounter or a single combat. one.
OK THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 85

CHARIOT.A four-wheeled vehicle. All moveable property and also all


Etymologists generally refer the deri estates in land which are limited to a
vation of this word to " car," the Latin certain number of years or other
carrus, and French char, but do not seek determinative time. " Goods and
to explain the last syllable. There is a chattels" is a common phrase, though
difference of construction between a there is no real difference in the
" car " and a " chariot ;" a car may have meaning of the two words except in
only two wheels, a chariot has four ; so far that an estate in land may not
whence perhaps the true derivation of be described as goods. Horses, car
the latter word is the riages, and all removeable property
(Garlic. Ceilhir (t silent, cei-hir), may be either goods or chattels.
four ; roth, a wheel ; whence ceithir- Chattels, cattle; French, chatel, from
Latin cajntale, catallum, the principal sum
roth, four wheels, or, in modern English, in a loan, as distinguished from the interest
a four-wheeler. due upon it. . . . Catallum came to be used
in the sense of goods in general, with the
exception of land, nnd was specially applied
CHARM.To fascinate, to delight, to to cattle as the principal wealth of the coun
give pleasure, charming, fascinating, try in an early stage of society.Wedg
wood.
agreeable, delightful.
The Low Latin catalla is of unknown
Literally a song, an enchantment ; to etymology. It is but recently that the word
subdue by Becret influence, to enchant, to cattle has been confined to domestic quadru
delight. From the French charme ; Italian, peds as the most valuable of ordinary move
carme, earmo ; from the Latin carmen, a able possessions. Marsh's Lectures on the
song.Chambers. English Language.
The root of the Latin carmen is preserved ffiartiC. Cath, battle; diol, reward,
in the Anglo-Saxon ct/rm, noise, shout;
charm (chirm), a hum, a low noise of birds. pay, recompense ; whence cath-diol or
[Milton has the charm (chirm) of earliest cailh-diol, the spoil of battle, the re
birds.]Wedgwood.
ward of battle, cattle lifted from the
Garlic. Cearmanta, tidy, neat, trim, enemy.
agreeable; cearmantas, tidiness, neatness,
pleasantness. CHATJNT (French, chanter).To sing.
The word " chaunt," in English, as
CHARY.Sparing, frugal, reluctant, distinguished from sing, seems derivable
keeping behind, either in words or from the intonation of the prayers in
deeds. religious services. The Latin canere,
Anglo-Saxon, cearig, from cearain, to to sing, and the Gaelic cainnt, lan
care.Wedgwood and Chambers.
guage, spring from the same source in
A care/id man is not a chary man, the
and care and chare are not related.
CSSCliC. Can, to say, to sing ; canain,
Possibly the root is the
language, dialect, speech; cainnt, speech,
(Gaelic. Deire (jury), backward, language, conversation; cainntearachd,
behind, the end, the conclusion ; deire- oratory. See Cant.
annach, the hindmost (i.e. the most
chary). CHEiVRE, CHOURE.Nares defines
the first of these obsolete words as
CHATTELS (in Low Latin, caialla). " look, air of countenance," and the
so THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

second as "to grumble or to mutter." CHEESE (Slang).That's the cheese.


He cites as examples : This vulgar phrase is sometimes
No sign of joy did in his looks appear varied to " That's the Stilton."
Or ever moved his melancholy chear.
Dbayton, The Owl. Anything good, or first-rate in quality.
The expression may be found in the Gipsy
With cheare as though one should another vocabulary, and in the Hindostanee and
whelme.Sonnet on lffndsor Castle. Persian languages. In the last, chiz means
Sukbey. a thing. Slang Dictionary.
But when the crahbed nurse Gaelic. Cuis, the side which one
Begins to chide and choure.
Tubbeeville's Ovid. takes in a game; a cause, matter, or
The two words are from the same subject of argument or controversy.
source, the
CHEESE.The curd of milk, com
Gaelic. Ciar, gloom, darkness;
pressed and salted.
ciaradk, the gloaming, glooming, or
Kebbuck (Lowland Scotch). A
dusk of the evening. For " cheare "
large cheese.
and "choure" read gloom, aud the
fense in the cited instances is complete. Garlic. Ce,che, cream ; caise, cheese ;
hoc, to swell, to puff out ; bochd, swol
CHEAT.To defraud. len.
Lexicographers have tortured etymology
for an original (for this word) but without CHEMIN (French).A way, a path.
success. Stevens, the learned commentator
on Shakspeare, acknowledged that he did not Garlic. Ceum, a step, a pace; tri
recollect to have met with the word cheat in cheumanan, three paces.
our ancient writers.Introduction to Hot-
ten's Slang Dictionary. UninttC. Caman, a way, a path.
The derivation, like many others that
have puzzled English philologers,isto be CHEQUE.An order of payment on
sought in the Keltic. The rootremem a bank.
bering the antagonism of the English ExcHEquEE.One of the four superior
to the guttural sounds, and the constant courts of law in England. Chan
change of ch, or final eg or gh, to d or t cellor of the Exchequer; one of
is probably the the Lords of the Treasury.
Gaelic.Ditheach (jee-ac/i, Angli There is some doubt as to the origin
cized into jee-at), a beggar, a poor man, of these words. The modern " cheque "
an indigent person ; one in the straits or " check " is supposed to be derived
of poverty. from its separation from the counterfoil,
In the Rogues' Dictionary, " chcte " by which means its accuracy can be
or " cheat," instead of meaning a poor checked or ascertained. Mr. Wedgwood
man, who cheats because he is very poor, says, " to check an account," is an ex
came to signify any man, person, or pression derived from the practice of
thing ; as, bleating chete, a calf ; crash the Court of Exchequer, where accounts
ing chete, a tooth ; cackling chete, a were taken by means of counters upon
fowl; lowing chete, a cow; hearing a checked cloth, i. e. a cloth with squares
chetes, ears ; prattling chete, a tongue ; of different colours, like a chess or
quacking chete, a duck, &c. draught board. Knight's Political
OV THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 87

Dictionary says, " the Latinized form French, charile ; Italian, carita; Latin,
caritas, from earns, dear.Chambeks.
of the word ' Exchequer ' is scaccarium,
Love and charity are used promiscuously
so called, according to Camden, from in the New Testament, and out of the sense
the covering of the table at which the of their equivalence are made to represent
one and the same Greek word ; but in modern
Barons sat being parti-coloured or che use charity has come almost exclusively to
quered, and on which, when certain of signify one particular manifestation of love,
the King's accounts were made up, the the supply of the bodily needs of others ;
love continuing to express the afTections of
sums were marked and scored with the soul.Tbench.
counters." As the court was established ffineltC.Seirc or seirg (sheirg), love,
for the collection of the king's dues and affection, benevolence, charity of thought
revenues, and as the judges under the as well as of deed ; seirceil, affectionate,
Norman kings, unlike the peers of par dutiful, benevolent, kind, loving, chari
liament, were learned and literate men, table ; seircean, a beloved person, a
it can hardly be supposed that they benevolent person ; seircire, a kindly or
kept their accounts by means of a table charitable person ; seirceag, a beloved
cloth, chequered or plain ; it would and affectionate woman or girl ; scircear,
seem that the etymology of the word a wooer, a lover; seircealachd, benevo
should be sought in another direction. lence, charitableness.
The derivation from the German schatz,
CHESS.This admirable game appears
a treasure, is not satisfactory. The fol
lowing possible roots offer themselves to have been known in Asia at a very
in the early period, and to have been brougiit
into Europe long before the Christian
OarllC. Cis, with the aspirate, chis,
a tax, a cess, an assessment ; teic, era by the Keltic immigrants, who
peopled Egypt and Phoenicia, and
due, legal, lawful, convenient, fitting.
Teic is sometimes written deic ; deach-afterwards Greece, Italy, Spain, Gaul,
and the British Islands. Much research
mhaith, to take tithe ; deachamh, a tithe,
a tenth. and ingenuity have been employed in
The last word, derived from deach orthe effort to trace the etymology of
the word, which some have derived
deic (pronounced jek, quasi ckek), ten, is
in all probability the true root of from a Chinese and others from a
"cheque." " Exchequer," in like man Persian root. The Rev. George
ner, may be cis-deachamh (pronounced William Lemon in his ingenious at
kis-checkav) , tax (and) tithe. Neithertempt to trace the English language
" cheque," " check," or " exchequer," to the Greek, London, 1783, quotes
is to be found in Herbert Coleridge's from Cltveland, " That the game is
Dictionary of the first or oldest Words of the very highest antiquity, and
in the English Language, from the semi-probably of North-Western Keltic
Saxon period of a.d. 1250 to a.d. 1300. origin, and that it must have been
carried with the ancientest Keltic
CHER (French).Dear. immigration into Asia." The mistake
Chakity.Love, affection, a feeling here is in imagining that the Keltic
of kindness and toleration for races immigrated into Asia, whereas
others. the Keltic races emigrated from Asia
88 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

into Europe, as all recent investi flight, to persecute, to harass ; ruagair,


gations tend to prove. Two roots a chaser, a hunter; ruagadh, a pursuit,
irreconcileable with each other a putting to Hight, a harassment.
have found especial favour with ety The word " pawn " has been explained
mologists; one, the Persian schach, in a variety of ways, from the Greek
the King or Shah, which finds itself 7ri"?, Latin pes, a foot ; the Italian pe-
reproduced with slight variation in iona, or pedona. a footman; and the
the Italian scacco, the Spanish saque, Old French pion (pieton) , a foot soldier.
and the German schach; the other Possibly the word paien is the
from chequers, the squares of two
ffiarllC.Buain, a foundation, be
colours into which the board is divided,
cause the pawns, like the rank and file
whence the French le jeu des echecs.
of an army, are the foundation of the
Recognizing as most probable the fact
contest.
of the Keltic origin of the game, a
Caisg, to restrain, has been suggested
Keltic root offers itself for considera
as a possible root of "chess," but
tion in the
that from cas, and chas, seems prefer
ffiaeltt.Cas, and in the aspirated able.
form, chas, a difficulty, a perplexity, a
dilemma. CHICKALEERY COVE.This is one
of the newest slang phrases of the
This derivation well explains the time (1875), and gives the title to
character of the game. The designation
a popular song received with applause
and values of the several pieces on the at the Music Halls. This strange
board have varied in different ages and
word is asserted to mean the district
countries. The king has always been
of London known as Whitechapel, so
the king, but the queen has sometimes
that a " chickaleery cove," or "bloke "
been called the general, while the bishops
as it is sometimes termed, is a " White
have been called elephants or alfins.
chapel man." But the derivation is
The castle still goes by the name of the
erroneous. So full of vitality under
rook, a fact that helps to confirm the
discouragement is the old Keltic lan
Keltic origin and nomenclature of the
guage of the original possessors of
game. A writer in Hone's Year Book,
the British soil, that words, of which
1831, says that "the name of rokh,
the derivation is utterly unknown to
which iscommon both to the Persians and
this presentand many previous genera
Indians, signifies a sort of camel used in
tions, crop up after twelve hundred
war, and placed at the wings of their
years, in the speech, or what is
armies by way of light horse. The
called the slang or cant of the lower
rapid motions of this piece, which jumps
people, and find no explanation except
from one end of the board to the other,
in the ancient and ignored tongue of
agrees with this idea of it. It was at
the Britons and the Gaels. " Chick
first the only piece that had motion."
aleery" offers a signal example of
With this explanation we may trace the
this fact. The word is not invented
root of Hook to the
by the roughs and vagabonds of our
(fiiUltC.Ruag, to pursue, to put to age, as this and many others of a
OP THE ENOLTSH LANGUAGE. 89
similar character are supposed to have Small birds with chirming and with chirping
been, but resolves itself into the changed their song Uavin Douglas.
At last the sky began to clear,
Garlic.Ditheach (See Jack), pro The birds to chirm, and daylight to appear.
nounced jeach, a beggar, a destitute Ross's Helenore.
person, and Hath (lee-a), grey; reorlh, Latin, carmen, a song ; Anglo-Saxon,
freeze ; frost ; whence ditheach (Jee-ach) cirm, a .charm.Wobcesteb.
liath (lee-ah) reodh {red), a beggar that Chirm, the melancholy undertone of a bird
previous to a storm.North. Chyrme or
goes out begging in the hard frost. churr as burdes doe. Hulvet. 1552.Hal
This class is well known in London liwell.
as the "frozen- out gardeners," who Gaelic. Seirm (theirm) , music,
sing and bellow lustily a ballad of melody, skill, dexterity, art ; seirmeach,
which the chorus is, " We have no work musical.
to do," work being the last thing they
require, and money the first. CHIZZLE (Slang).To cheat, to be
chizzledoutof anything; to be cheated
CHIEL (Lowland Scotch). A person, by a false pretence.
a fellow.
Garlic.Disle (Jisle), relationship ;
A chiefs amang ye takin' notes,
An' faith he'll print them. dislean, cousinship; whence the meta
Bcbns. phorical use of the word, to be cheated
Gaelic. Gille, a lad, a youth. by a person under the false pretence of
relationship or consanguinity.
CHILD.The young or new born of
the human species. Originally, ac
CHOUSE (Slang).To cheat, swindle,
cording to Mr. Halliwell, this word
defraud.
was schylden, to bring forth a child ;
puer, Anglice, a schi/le. In the year 1609 there was attached to
the Turkish embassy in England an inter
Anglo-Saxon, did; German, hind. A preter or Chiaous, who by cunning, aided
similar interchange of n and I is seen in by his official position, managed to clieat the
English, kilderkin ; Dutch, kindeken, a Turkish and Persian merchants then in
small cask. ... It is remarkable that the London out of 4000. From the notoriety
anomalous plural children agrees with the which attended the fraud, any one who cheated
Dutch kinderen. Wedgwood. was said to chiaous, chause or chovse, to do,
that is, as this Chiaous had done.Tbench,
The derivation from kind is not ad English Past and Present.
missible. Th'it from the Gaelic gille, a The word, notwithstanding this story
youth, is more to the purpose, but possi (See Bogus), is much older than the
bly the true root, somewhat corrupted, seventeenth century, and is probably of
is from the home growth and origin. The Turkish
GarltC.Siol {sheel), seed, progeny, etymology is only a coincidence, and a
issue, family, children ; a tribe, a clan ; resemblance to the original
siolack, having progeny ; sioladh, off
Gaelic. Diosg, a barren cow that
spring.
yields no milk (the d before i or e pro
CHIRM, Churm. The song of a mul nounced as/, and the guttural g at the
tiplicity of birds. Milton makes Eve end omitted for the sake of euphony),
speak of the " charm " of earliest pronounced jios or chios ; diosgadh,
birds ; a corruption of " chirm." the state of being dry or barren.
N
90 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

" Chouse " is correctly described in and fro, preparatory to throwing, sling
the Slang Dictionary, " to cheat out of ing, or casting ; sebgan, a pendulous or
one's share or portion and appears to swinging motion.
have been used metaphorically by thieves
and tricksters to signify a baulked hope CHUM (Slang). An intimate ac
of plunder, a barren job from which quaintance. To " chum " with any
nothing was to be got. one is to share the same bedroom.
Stated to be from the Anglo-Saxon cuma,
CHRISOME CLOTH.A white cloth a guest. Slang Dictiunary.
that was formerly swathed around the Many English words, derived from
body of a child about to be baptized, other languages beginning with k or
and worn during the month of bap the hard sound of c, take ch, as kirk,
tism. Mr. Halliwell says : church. It is probable that " chum "
" It signifies properly the white cloth in like manner is the
which is set by the minister upon the head
of a child newly anointed with chrism after (KarltC. Caomhach, a friend, a bosom
baptism. . . With this cloth the women used friend, an associate ; caomh, gentle, cour
to shroud the child if dying within the
month." teous, beloved.
The resemblance between chrisome, a CIELING.The roof or covering of a
cloth, and the Greek ypiafia, an un room.
guent, has led to the supposition that Ciel (French).The sky, the roof or
the two words were from the same root, covering of the earth formed by the
and that " chrisome cloth " simply atmosphere.
meant a cloth that had been anointed Conceal. To hide, to cover up
with chrism. However, that may be, (Latin celo, to hide).
a derivation of chrisome, in the sense of Cell.The retreat of an anchorite,
an encircling cloth, offers in the where he hides from observation.
CRaelic. Crios, a girdle, a band, a (BafltC.Ceil, to conceal, hide, shel
belt ; and uim, round, or round about. ter, cover; ceilte, secret, covered, hidden,
concealed; celtinn, concealment, cover
CHUCK (Colloquial).To throw. ing ; cill, a cemetery, a grave, a conceal
Chuckie Stane (Lowland Scotch) . ment of the corpse ; cillein, a secret
A pebble or stone that may be repository; anything concealed from
easily thrown from the hand. observation, buried in the ground. See
Jerk.To cast or throw with a Caul, Kell, &c.
sudden motion.
French, claquer, to clack. . . . Turkish, CIRE (French).Wax ; cire a cacheter,
chakil, a pebble. To chuck, in the sense of sealing-wax; cirage, blacking for
throwing, may be in the notion of a sudden boots ; cirer, to wax. During the
j erk.Wedgwood.
reign of the first Napoleon, who made
The vulgar word " chuck/1 if not a and unmade kings at his pleasure,
corruption of "jerk/' is probably from some French wag chalked on the
the walls of the Tuileries, " Fabrique de
acltC.Sebg (ske-og), to swing to cire."
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 91
Gaelic Ceir, wax ; eeir-chluat, the This word comes directly into the
wax of the ears ; ceirich, to cover or seal language from the Latin, but .the
with wax; ceireil, waxen. root of the Latin is in the
Garlic. Glaim, to cry out ; glambar,
CLACHAN (Lowland Scotch). A
or clamhar, clamour, outcry ; glamair,
village in which there is a church or
a noisy, contentious, clamorous person ;
place of worship.
glamaireachd, continual noise or outcry.
Garlic.Clachan, the stones. The
stones originally meant were those of CLAN. A tribe, a family. This
Druidical circles, which are numerous Gaelic word has thoroughly esta
in the Highlands. The earliest Chris blished itself in the English language,
tian churches were erected on the sites and no philologists dispute its origin,
of the rude Druidical temples or stones. except those who deduce it from
the German klein, little.
CLACK (Vulgar and colloquial) .Talk,
Garlic. Clann (clainne-cloinne) chil
loud talk. Hold your clack ! hold
dren, descendants; clannar, clannach,
your tongue ! prolific ; clann-mhor, greatly prolific.
Gaelic. Glagaire, a loud talker ; This word is never used except iu the
glagaireacM,\oud, foolish, or impertinent plural.
talk ; glagadaich, glagarra, garrulous ;
glaganach, noisy, rattling; glagan, the CLAP, CLIP. To fondle, to caress,
clapper of a mill. to embrace (obsolete). The word, in
another sense, is still employed in
CLADDER." A word," says Nares, vulgar English to signify venereal
" of uncertain derivation, probably no infection. Shakspeare uses " clip "
more than a temporary conversational in the Winter's Tale, and in King
term." Mr. Thomas Wright thinks John.
it means a general lover, who wanders
Clap, to fondle, to pet. Northern.
from one object to another. The Halliwell.
mention in the only passage in which Clapier, an old term for a house of ill
the word has been found (see Nares fame.Cotg bate.
and Wright) of " glovers " and " laun Garlic.Clapail, clapartmch, fond
dresses" suggests that it meant a ling, caressing, also the act of flapping
handicraftsman ofsome kind ; possibly the wings in birds.
from the
CLAPPER-CLAW (Lowland Scotch).
Garlic. Clad, to comb or card wool ;
To fight at arms' length, and with
cladaire, a wool-comber.
abusive words as well as fisticuffs.
CLAM.A shell-fish very common and Clapperclaw, to scold, abuse, or claw off
with the tongue.Grose.
much esteemed in America.
This word seems to be a partial re
Garlic. Glaim, a large mouthful.
duplication of the
CLAMOUR.Loud continuous up Garlir. Cl'abair, a mill clapper;
roar, noise ; an exclamation of voices. clabar, a garrulous person ; elabac/i,
N i
92 THE GAELIC ETYMOI.OOr

thick-lipped, prating ; clamhar (clavar), or things into groups or orders; an


wrangling, contention. assemblage.
Latin, classis, originally clasis. Identical
CLAQUE (French).An organized with Old Norse klasi, Swedish and Danish
body of men who are paid, in French Mast, a bunch, assembly, cluster.Wedg
wood.
theatres, to lead off the applause of
(BiarltC. Clas,clais,a play ; a furrow ;
the audience by clapping their hands
a melody ; anything arranged in a set
or shouting their approbation ; a loud
position or order ; glens, order, manner,
noise.
condition ; gleusadh, putting in order ;
Claqueur. One of the claque.
gleusadair, one who sets in order, who
Clack-box, a garrulous person, so called
from the rallle formerly used by vagrants to repairs or tunes.
make a noise and attract attention.Slang
Dictionary. CLAW (Lowland Scotch).To praise,
Clack, a tongue, chiefly applied to women ; to flatter. " Claw me, and I'll claw
a simile drawn from the clack of a water
mill.Geose. you," i. e. " Praise me, and I'll praise
Claque, coup du plat de la main. II n'a you."
guere d'usage que dans cette phrase, une This word was used in the same sense
claque sur les /eases (Seottiee, a skelp on
the donp).Dictionnaire de VAcadimie by Shakspeare and other Elizabethan
Francaise, 1718. Dramatists.
ffiatllC. Glac (or clad), the palm of Laugh when I'm merry and claw no man
the hand. The modern French claqiter in his humour.Mu?h Ado about Nothing.
is to clap the hands. (Gaelic. Cliu, to praise, to extol;
cUuiieach, praiseworthy. In Irish the
CLARION.A musical instrument, a same word appears as cloth {clo'), and
kind of trumpet. in Kymric as Hod.
Claiuonette.A wind instrument
sounded by means of a reed fixed CLEAN.Pure, unsullied.
to the mouthpiece. Glean. To clean up a cornfield by
Clairon (French).The clarion. gathering the dropped ears after
All these are wind instruments, of harvest.
which the name is supposed to be trace From the Welsh glan ; Anglo-Saxon,
able to the Latin clams, or clear. But clcene.Johnson.
the Kelts, who do not appear to have Anglo-Saxon, claen ; and the Welsh,
Gaelic, and Icelandic, glan, io shine, to
had wind instruments until a very late polish.Chamuers.
period, and to have depended almost ffiaflir. Glan, clean, pure, sincere,
wholly upon the harp until the intro clear, bright; glanadail, abstergent,
duction of the piob, or bag pipe, scarcely cleansing, purifying; glanadair, a puri
three centuries ago, had the root of fier, a cleanser, a gleaner; glanas, purity,
" clarion " in the cleanliness.
adit. Gar, a harp ; clarsair, a
harper, a minstrel ; clarsaireachd, harp- CLEAR. The Latin clarus,and French
music, or the business or profession of clair, pure, transparent, plain, differs
a harpist. in meauing and in derivation from
another word spelt in exactly the
CLASS.A distribution of persons same manner, which is now obsolete,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 93

but was used by the writers of the an unincumbered expanse or surface.


Elizabethan era, and later, when it Johnson cites twenty different shades
sometimes signified brave. of meaning for the word. Some of
Nor can so clear and great a spirit as hers them justify the derivation from the
Admit of falsehood.The False One. Latin and French, as in the quotation
Beattmont and Fletcher.
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth from Milton,
raise.Lycidas. Milton. Your eyes that seem so clear, but yet are dim ;
ffiaf lie. Cliar, brave ; a brave man ; and in that from Dryden,
full nan cliar, the blood of the brave. Clear up the cloudy foreheads of the great.
In another quotation from Dryden the
CLEAR.Evident, plain, palpable, free
Gaelic etymon is apparent and palpa
from obscurity or fault.
ble
Latin, clarus ; Old Norse, lclaar, clean,
pure. This is probably one of the words This one mighty sum has clear'd the debt ;
applicable to the phenomenon of sight that that is to say, has removed it from the
are primarily derived from those of hearing.
Irish (Gaelic), fflor, a noise, voice, speech ; place it occupied.
gloram, to make a noise; glur-mhor, glorious.
Wedgwood. CLEG.A gad-fly ; Latin, culex, a
Originally, well-heard, loud, distinct.
French, clair ; German, lclar ; Irish, glor ; fly.
Latin, clarus; Greek, kXvo> ; Sanscrit, cm, Flics, grasshoppers, hornets, clegs, and
to hear.Chambers. docks.I)u Barton (Nabbs).
Without disputing that these com ffiaflic Cuileag, a fly.
monly received derivations may be cor
rect, and that probably the word came CLIENT.One who employs a lawyer
into English from the French, through to hear his case or complaint, and aid
the Latin, or even through the Saxon, him in obtaining justice. Latin,
another root offers itself for consideration cliens, Greek, kXvco, to hear. The
in the dependants of a great chief or feudal
(Sac lit. Clar [plural clair, clair], superior were called " clients " be
any smooth surface ; a plain, or plane ; cause it was the duty of the chief to
any thing spread out ; the surface of a hear their complaints and redress
plank, or a table, a lid, a board ; clar- them.
feiorne, a chess-board, i. e. the smooth Clan ; Gaelic, clann, children, descendants
surface on which chess is played ; clar- of a common ancestor. The same word is
probably exhibited in the Latin clientes, who
ach, a floor; clar-aodam, the expanse of occupied a position with respect to their
the brow or forehead ; clar aodamach, patronus closely analogous to that of the
Scottish clansmen towards their chief.
broad-browed. Wedgwood.
This Gaelic derivation would explain, ffiatllC. Cluinn, hear, hark, listen ;
better than that from the Latin and iluinnle, heard (one who has been
French, such phrases as clear the way," heard) .
" clear the table," " a clear field and no
favour," " a clear conscience," i. e. a CLIQUE.A coterie of persons, who
conscience without anything on it to assemble together either to praise one
burden it, " clear of debt and liability," another, or to talk or write in favour
in all which the primary idea is that of or furtherance of some common object.
94 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

The word was originally borrowed encore, et sont bien baties et fort hautes.
Diclionnaire de VAcademic Francaise.
from the French, and is generally used
in a contemptuous or ill sense towards ffiaellC. Clock, a stone, a large stone ;
the persons designated. clochan, stones, the stepping-stones over
a stream ; a pavement, a causeway.
aeltc. CluichfjA&y, sport, a stage-
Another derivation is possible from clo-
play, a theatrical performance, a game ;
dach, dirt, filth, slime, ordure; ackadk,
cluicheadh, performing on the stage ;
a field, a place, whence, by abbrevia
having a game; whence, the French
tion, clo-acha, the place of filth.
clique, the persons who took part in
a game, or the body of actors engaged
CLOAK. A long garment falling from
in a play.
the neck to the hips or breech, and
sometimes to the feet.
CLISH-CLASH, Clish- ma -clavee
Neither the French, nor the Teutonic
(Lowland Scotch).Idle loquacity,
sources of the English offer any clue to
gossip.
this word.
Clish, to repeat an idle tale ; dish-clash,
idle discourse ; clash, to tattle ; claver, to Flemish, kloeke, toga, pallium, toga mu-
talk idly.Jamieson. liebris. Welsh, cockl, a mantle.Wedg
Clish-clash, to sound like the clashing of wood.
swords. " The weapons clish-clash, and the Old French, cloche; Low Latin, cloca, a
Captains now! now! now!"Wheatley. garment worn by horsemen. Chambebs.
Clash, imitative of the sound of weapons The Britons call a cloak cucul.Gbant's
striking together ; Greek, xXafo), to clash Thoughts on the Origin and Descent of the
any arms.Wedgwood. Gael.
The root of " clish," of which " clish- ffiaelic. Cul, the back, the back
clash " is both an augmentative and a part (French cul) ; ceil, to cover ; ceil-
reduplicative, seems to be in the idea of leach, a covering ; whence cul-ceilleach,
very rapid motion, as in the tongues of a covering for the hind or back parts,
over-talkative persons, and in a hand-to- abbreviated and corrupted into cul-each,
hand fight with swords, and is to be cul-ach, and cloak.
found in the
ffiaclic.Clis {dish), active, nimble, CLOCK.A time-piece with a bell
restless, lively ; clitneach, a tongue that strikes the hour.
never at rest ; na fir chlis, the nimble Literally that which clicks ; a variation of
clack; Anglo-Saxon, cluge.Chambebs.
or merry men, i. e. the Northern lights
The word clock is a variation of clack ;
or Aurora borealis ; clabar, a mill clap being derived from a representation of the
per; whence clis-mo-clabar, quick my sound made by a blow, at first probably on a
wooden board. Gaelic, clag ; Irish, clagaim,
mill-clapper ! applied to a too voluble to make a noise, to ring.Wedgwood.
woman.
ffiaelic. Clag, a bell ; to sound, to
make a noise ; clag-aite, clag-lann, bel
CLOACA (Latin). A large sewer,
formed of stone or brick-work, for fry, the place of a bell ; clagan, a little
carrying off the drainage of cities. bell.
Conduit fait de pierre et voute" par ou on CLOD.A lump of earth, a turf.
fait ecouler les eaux et les immondices d'une
ville. Les cloaques des Romains subsistent Sod. A turf, the grass.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 95

Clodhopper.Term of derision for Jtntntic. Clyd, warm, sheltering,


an ignorant boor or peasant. comfortable. German hidden, to clothe.
Danish, Mod; Swedish, Mots, a hlock, a
log ; Dutch, Jclos, a hard lamp of earth. CLOUT.A patch, a small piece of
Stobmonth. cloth, a rag; also to patch, to mend
Gaelic. Clod, a turf, a sod, a lump clumsily.
of earth ; to pelt with turf or clods ; to From the Anglo-Saxon clut, a little cloth ;
and the Welsh rlwt, a patch, and clytian, to
cover with clods or turf ; clodan, a little patch.Chambers.
clod ; clod-cheann, a stupid heavy dull- From the Anglo-Saxon clut, a patch. The
head ; clod-cheannack, clod-headed, primary sense is a blow, as when we speak
of a clout on the head ; from the Dutch
heavy-headed ; sod, the turf ; also a klotten, to strike. Thence applied to a lump
silly person ; French sot, a fool. of material clapped on hastily to mend a
breach.Wedgwood.
CLOSE.To shut. Garlic.Clud, a rag, a patch ; clu-
Enclose.To shut in. dair, a patcher, a cobbler, a mender;
Close (Lowland Scotch).A narrow cludath, patching, clouting.
lane or alley. Baby-clouts, dish-clouts, and other
Cloisters.The enclosed portions of words in which this root appears, have
a monastery or abbey, where the nothing to justify Mr. Wedgwood's
monks or priests took exercise. supposition of its derivation from any
root that means to strike.
From the Latin elaudo, clausum ; French,
clorre, clot, to shut up, close, enclose, finish ;
clot, a field enclosed.Wedgwood. CLOUT (Vulgar and colloquial) .A
slap or blow on the head. " I'll give
Gaelic. Clobh, a pair of tongs ;
you a clout on the head " (Street par
elobhsa, an enclosure, an area, a close
lance in London).
(Scottish), an entry, a passage.
Gaelic. Cliudan, a 6lap on the face ;
CLOSE (Slang).Keep close, be quiet, cliudanachd, a series of slaps on the
don't tell or divulge what you know. face or head.
Garlic. Clos, rest, stillness, quiet CLOVER."To be in clover," a fami
ness, sleep ; closadh, quieting, hushing, liar expression, to signify that a person
stilling, or keeping still ; closach, a dead is in a state of great comfort or plea
body, silent (in the grave). sure.
To be or live in clover, to live luxuriously.
CLOTHES, Clothing.Dress, gar Clover is the most desirable food for cattle.
ments, attire, habiliments. Gbosb.
Cloth.Woollen or linen stuff. Clover, happiness, lnck, a delightful posi
tion; from the supposed happiness which
Saxon, clath, the matter whereof garments attends cattle when they suddenly find their
are made.Bailey, Ash, Johnson, &c. quarters changed from a barren field to a
Anglo-Saxon, clath; German, Meid, con meadow of clover.Slang Dictionary.
nected with Latin claudo, to shut.Cham- Garlic. Clu-mhor, clo-mhor {mh pro
bees.
nounced as v), warm, sheltered, snug,
GafltC.Cloimh, wool ; cluthaich, cozy, comfortable.
to warm, to clothe ; clomhack, wool ;
clo, clothe, coarse, homespun cloth. CLOWN.An agricultural labourer.
96 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Contracted from the Latin colonus, a Gaelic. Glac, to seize, to grasp ;
husbandman, for such are of an ungenteel glacadair, glacair, a robber, one who
carriage. Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
The signification of a clod or lump, of seizes with violence ; glacaireachd,
thumping clumsy action, and of a rustic seizure, impressment.
unpolished person are often connected. . . .
The English clod is used in both senses of a CLY (Slang of thieves).A pocket;
lump of earth, and an awkward rustic ....
As the initial c is easily lost from man}' to steal.
words beginning with cl (compare clog, log, Gaelic. Cleilh, to conceal; cliabh,
clump, lump, chinch, lunch), it can hardly
be doubted that clown is identical with lown a hamper, a basket.
(or loon), and clout with lout.Wedgwood.
Charlie.Cluain, a field ; cluin, a COACH.A travelling vehicle.
farm, an enclosure. French, cache..Johnson.
Literally a couch; French, coche ; coucher,
CLOY.To satiate, to lose enjoyment to lie; from Latin colloco, to lay one's self ;
col and locus, a plan.Chambers.
by excess of indulgence, to glut. A carriage in which you may recline, a
From the French encloyer, to satiate. couch.Wedgwood.
Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
From clog.Junius. Latin, claudo, to Gaelic.Coisich, to travel, to go on
close ; French, clouer, to nail.Worcester. a journey.
From clog, a thick mass. French, encloyer,
to stop with a plug.Wedgwood.
COAL.A mineral fuel.
(nadir.Claoidh (the dh silent), to Fuel.Anything used for domestic
exhaust, to satiate, to cloy ; also to vex, or manufacturing purposes to pro
to afflict.Armstrong and M'Intyre's
duce fire.
Gaelic Dictionaries. Houille (French).Coal, fuel.
CLUB.A crooked stick ; a heavy From the Saxon, kol ; German, kole;
Dutch, kul.Johnson.
stick, with a knob or mass at the end. Latin, caleo, to be hot.Chambers.
Club-Foot. A deformed foot with a Ihre supposes the original of this word to
protuberance at the end like a have been fire, as in some districts of Sweden
kylla is to kindle ; kylle, dry sticks for
club. kindling.Wedgwood.
Welsh, clob, a boss or knob.Chambers. The words " coal " and " fuel " seem
Old Norse, klubba, a knobbed stick ; to be both traceable to the same root ;
Swedish, kluhb, a club ; klumpfot, a club
foot; Welsh, clob, a lump; French, clabosscr, the
calabousser, to splash with mud ; cliboter,
to tramp in the mud.Wedgwood. GfaeltC. Gual, coal; to burn ; guail-
ffiaelic.Cliol, an excrescence ; to lean, a red-hot coal, a cinder.
stumble ; cliobadh, any little extraneous *ailBCrit. G'val, to burn; whence,
appendage ; cliobaire, a clumsy awk " coal " and " fuel," that which wi 1
ward person, a stumbler, a man with a burn.
club-foot ; club, to bend, to incline. HgtntiC. Gawl. Sanscrit, G'ala,
light produced from burning.
CLUTCH.To lay hold of eagerly or
greedily. COAT.The upper garment of men.
Old English, clonch, akin to German Petticoat.A small coat, an under
kluppe, and Scottish cleik.Wedgwood,
Chambers. garment of women.
Or THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 07
From the Anglo-Saxon, cote; Belgian, ings in his Dictionary under " cock,"
kot. Gazopkylacium Angllean uni.
the male of the hen; a word derived
French, cotte, a coat or frock ; Italian,
cotta, any kind of frock, coat, or upper gar from the French cog, which has no
ment.Wedgwood. relation whatever to the English verb.
French, code; Low Latin, cottus, cotta, a Worcester, and other American and
tanic ; provincial English, cot, a matted
fleece; German, kotze, a matted covering. more recent English lexicographers are
Chambers. equally silent on the subject.
(Gaelic. Cola, an upper garment; Gaelic.Coc, to hold up, to erect,
cota-mor, a great coat ; cotag, a long to stick up; coc do hhonaidh! cock your
coat ; cotan, a petticoat ; cotaich, to cover bonnet.
with a coat. From this Gaelic word comes a
"cocked" hat, a hat stuck up on one
COAX.To wheedle, to win over by side, a cockade stuck on a hat, a cock
fair words, to cajole. horse, a prancing or erect horse, as well
A low word of uncertain derivation, to as the phrases applied to animals, cock
fawn upon, to wheedle.Ash.
Cogs, a kind of vessel used on the coast of ing the ear, cocking the tail, and perhaps
Yorkshire, or cogs-men, the crews which cock-Bare, erectly, stiffly, rigidly, proudly
navigated them, and who were notorious sure. From the same root comes the
beggars,Kichabdso.v.
Welsh, cocru, to fondle ; Spanish, cocar, cock of a barrel, a cock of hay ; cock-a-
to make wry facts, to coax. Websteh. hoop, stuck-up and impertinent, or in
The Old English cokes was a simpleton, a high spirits; a cock-eye, a squint. In
gull, probably from the French cocasse, one Scotland a " cock-laird " is a small
who says or does laughable or ridiculous
things. Trevoux. Cocasse, plaisant ridicule; landed proprietor or laird, who is as
cocosse, niais, imbecille.Mecart. To cokes proud and stuck-up as if he were a
or coax one then is to make a cokes or fool
of hiin, to wheedle or gull him into doing great one. Cockernonie, the ancient
something.Wedowood. name for the modern chignon, is false
The original signification of what Ash hair stuck prominently on the back of
calls " this low word of uncertain de the bead.
rivation," seems to have been to blind
a person by fair and flattering words, COCKADE.A badge or ornament on
and make him do what he otherwise the hat of the servants of military
might not have done, and to be trace officers ; formerly worn in the shape
able to the of bunches of ribbons by gallants or
partisans. The white cockade was
Gaelic. Caoch, blind ; caochadh,
the badge of the Jacobites, as in the
blinking, making blind.
song :
COCK.To erect, to cause to project My love was born in Aberdeen,
The bonniest lad that e'er was seen ;
or stand up stiffly, to stick up. But now he makes our hearts fu' sad,
To cock is to start up with a sudden action, He's ta'en the field wi' his white cockade.
to cause suddenly to project, to stick up. Gaelic. Coc, manifest, plain, to
Wedowood.
stand erect ; cocadh, standing erect.
Dr. Johnson does not attempt to ex See Cock, ante.
plain the etymology of this word,
which appears with its various mean COCKATRICE.Fabled to be a ser-
u
98 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

pent generated in a cock's egg, some by the Elizabethan Dramatists, the


times called a basilisk. name of the effect was jocularly applied
Johnson derives the word from "cock" to the cause.
and " adder." The French have coca-
COCKER.To pamper, to fondle, to
tr'ix and cocatrice. Basilisk is derived
nurture too tenderly.
from the Greek /SaertXeu?, a king-, and
Corker, cockney. The original meaning of
was so called, according1 to Pliny, from cockney is a child too delicately or tenderly
a white spot upon the head of the nurtured, applied to citizens as opposed to
creature, which resembled a crown. the hardier inhabitants of the country, and
in modern times confined to the citizens of
The "Cockatrice" was supposed to London. . . The Dutch kokelen, to pamper,
possess a fatal power of fascination, the equivalent of the English cocker, is
explained by Kilian "nutrire sive fovere
a glance of its eye being sufficient to culina " as if from koken, to cook, but this is
cause death. Shakspeare in Romeo and doubtless an accidental resemblance. The
French coqueliner, to dandle, pamper, make
Juliet speaks of " The death-darting eye a wanton of a child, leads us in the right
of cockatrice," and in Twelfth Night, has direction. This word is precisely of the same
form and significance with dodeliner, to
" They will kill by the look like cock dandle, loll, cocker, hu fondly, but primarily,
atrices." From this idea sprang the to rock or jig up and down ; dodelineur, the
rocker of a cradle ; dondeliner de la tete, to
use of the word, as applied to a beautiful wag the head, &c. The primitive meaning
and fascinating woman of bad character, of cocker then is simply to rock the cradle,
who led men to their ruin or moral and hence to cherish an infant.Wedg
wood.
death. It is more than once used in
How ingeniously wrong these sup
this sense in Ben Jonson's play of
positions are, and how hopelessly the
Cynthia's Revels, in which the gallants
writer missed the right track when he
speak of their mistresses as "cocka
was close upon it, appears from the
trices," and by other playwrights of the
time, some of whom employ the word adit. Cioch, a woman's breast;
as if it implied fondness and endear ciocar, greedy as a child for the breast;
ment rather than reproach. A recent ciocharan, an infant at the breast;
Dictionary (Stormonth's), derives the ciocharanachd, the condition of a suck
word from the Spanish cocalriz, a ling, the management of a suckling
crocodile. The similarity of the French child.
and English word shows a common
COCKLE,A small and well-known
origin, which is not Saxon or Teutonic.
shell fish.
The etymology adopted by Johnson is
evidently invented to suit the ancient ffiaellC.Cochull, a hull, a husk, a
fable. The true etymology may be cover, a shell ; Greek, /co^Kia ; Latin,
traced back to a very early period, and cochlea. The final s/llable of the Gaelic
is clearly derivable from the ancient words appear in the English hull ; the
serpent worship, and that of the Phallus. German hiille, a covering; in the Sans
crit hid, to cover ; and in the Kymric, a
C&afllC.Coc, to stick up, to stand cover, a coverlet; huliaw, to spread over.
erect ; cocadh (coca), standing erect ;
treise, power, strength, vigour; cocadh COCKLE, or Corn Cockle.A flower
or coca-ireise, that which stands power that grows among the corn ; the
fully erec\ In its application to women agrostemma gi/hago of botanists.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 90
Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and Garlic Cog, war, fight; cogail,
cockles instead of barley.Book of Job. cogac/i, warlike, quarrelsome, belligerent.
(ffiarllC. Cogall, cognll, tares, husks,
the cockle or corn cockle. CODDLE.To nurse a sick, ailing, or
old person, too fondly or constantly.
COCKLES (Slang).The cockles of Probably from the French chaud, or the
one's heart, i. e. the very innermost Latin calidus, warm.Chambebs.
heart, or " heart of hearts." Gaelic.Cadail, to sleep; codail, to
"To rejoice the cockles of one's heart;" a put to sleep.
vulgar phrase, implying great pleasure.
Also to warm one's cockles, said of any hot, CODE.A collection, digest, or sum
spiced drink, taken in cold weather. Cockles mary of the laws. The law, the un
altogether seem to be an imaginary portion
of great importance in the internal economy written code, i. e. the unwritten law
of tbe human frame.Slang Dictionary. (of honour, society, or man in a
Garlic. Coigill, a secret; coigille, primitive state).
preserved, 6aved alive ; coigil, to save Latin, coder, log, trunk of a tree, a book ;
alive ; whence " cockles," the secret the liomans writing on wooden tablets covered
with wax. Codicilles, the small trunk of a
heart, the action of which keeps a person tree ; codicil/i, writing tablets, memorials,
alive; the internal machinery of the Ac.Wedgwood.
human frame. Latin, coder, or caudcx, the trunk of a
tree, a tablet. Chambebs.
Garlic. Coda, law, equity, justice;
COCKNEY.A depreciatory epithet
cod, triumph.
formerly applied by country people
to the inhabitants of London, deri The Latin etymology of the word
sive of their ignorance of rural things " code " bus been so long and so gene
and occupations. rally received, that the totally different
Minsheu relates a silly story of a origin afforded by the Gaelic may not
Londoner in the country, who hearing meet with universal acceptance. But
a cock crow for the first time in his as law and justice existed in the world
life, exclaimed, " the cock neighs," and before men took to writing, either on
traces the word to that source ; which wooden tablets like the Romans, or on
has been accepted since his time by bricks of clay like the Assyrians, it is
other philologists. possible that the Gaelic coda and not
the Latin codex is the true root, and
Fuller tells us that a person who was that the similarity of sound between
absolutely ignorant of rural matters was
called a cockney, which is most probably the the two words is purely accidental.
meaning of the term in Lear, Act ii. Scene 4,
and is still retained.Halliwell.
CODGER (Slang).An old fellow, a
(Gaelic. Caoch, empty, hollow, void ;
good old fellow, a strange old fellow.
neoni, nobody ; whence caoch-neoni (or
Codgers, the name of a debating society,
formerly held in Bride Court, Fleet Street,
cockney), an empty nobody, an ignora
and still (18G4) in existence. The term is
mus. probably a corruption of cogitators.Slang
Dictionary.
COCKY (Vulgar and Colloquial). Codger, an eccentric old person, a miser ;
codgery, any strange mixture or composition.
Quarrelsome, saucy, pert. HaLLIWBXIi.
o o
100 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

(Sadie. Cuideachd (pronounced COIF.The wig of a sergeant-at law.


Icujj-aehg), company, society; cuideach- Coiffer (French).To dress the
dail, social, convivial ; cuideachdaire, hair.
a companion, . e. a " codger." Coiffure.A head dress.
A lady's head dress.Naees.
COFFINThe chest in which a corpse Say so much again, ye dirty quean,
is placed. And I'll pull ye by the coif.
Newest Academy of Compliments, Nares.
Coffer, coffin. Greek, Koqbivos ; Latin, Coif, a cap or covering for the head ;
cophinus, a basket ; Italian, cofano, any colli u, French, coiJJ'e ; Italian, cuffia ; Arabic,
cotter, chest, hutch, or trunk; Breton, kof, kujiyah, a head kerchief.Chambers.
hop, the belly ; Anglo-Saxon, cof, a cave,
cove, receptacle ; French, cofin, a coffin, a (SarllC Ciabh {kiaff), the hair; a
great candle ease, or any such close and great
basket of wicker.Cotohave, Wedgwood. ringlet, a lock of hair ; or-chiabhach,
having golden or yellow hair.
A more dignified and reverential root
of this word is the
COIL (Obsolete).Noise, tumult, con
(GafllC. Comhan (cof-an or cov-an), fusion.
a shrine. To see them keeping up such a coil about
nothing.Suckling.
COG.To lie, to cheat, to make use of The wedding being there to-morrow,
loaded dice. There's a great coil to-morrow.
Much Ado about Nothing.
Since you can cog I'll play no more with you. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.
Love's Labour Lost. Hamlet.
Cogger.A swindler, a cheat. Coil, noise, disturbance ; from the Gaelic
coileid, a stir, movement, or noise ; perhaps
At first a broker, then a petti-fogger, from goil, boiling, vapour, fume, battle;
A traveller, a gamester, and a cogger. goil-eam, prattling, vain tattle. The words
Harington's Epigrams, 1663. signifying noise anddisturbanceare commonly
Lies, coggeries, and impostures.Nab.es. taken from the agitation of water.Wedg
wood.
atltC.Caog, to wink, to connive,
to be in collusion with a confederate (dacltc Code, coileid, stir, move
for purposes of fraud ; caogadh, winking, ment ; coilchean, water gurgling or
conniving. gushing from an orifice; coileideach,
noisy confused, turbulent; goil, to
iSnmttC. Coegio, to trick.
rage, to boil ; goileach, raging, boiling.
COG (Lowland Scotch).A cup.
COIN.A piece of metallic money,
Cogie (Lowland Scotch). A little
copied and repeated from a die.
cup.
To coin money is to stamp money, from
I canna want my cogie, sir, the Latin cuneus, French, coin, quin, the
I canna want my cogie, steel die with which money is stamped ;
I canna want my cogie, sir, originally doubtless from the stamping
For a' the wives in Bogie. having been effected by means of a wedge,
Duke of Gordon. cuneus. . . . Muratori endeavours to show
Quaich (Lowland Scotch). A drink that the word is really derived from the
Greek hkov, an image, whence the Latin
ing cup of horn or wood, for taking iconiare, in the sense of coining money. So
a dram of whisky. from the Welsh bath, a likeness, arian bath,
coined money, and bathu, to make a likeness,
CRaeltf.Cuach, a cup. to coin.Wedgwood.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. ]01

fi&atlt'C Cuineag, a copy; cuinn, a COKE. Coal, kilr. -burnt and dried,
coin ; cuinneadh, coining, copying. and emptied of its moisture.
(ft a rite Caoch, empty, blind, hollow,
COISTERED." This," says Nares, dried up ; caochag, an empty shell ;
" is an uncommon word, known only caochad, emptiness, blindness, cecity.
in the following example where it
seems to mean, coiled up into a small COKES.A fool, a simpleton.
compass. The attempts to^ find a Why we will make a cokes of this wise master
derivation for it have not been very We will, my mistress, an absolute fine cokes.
Ben Jonson.
successful."
Go ! you're a brainless coax, a toy, a fop.
I could have carried a lady up and down, Beaumont and Fletchee.
at arm's end, in a platter, and I can tell Skinner's attempts towards a derivation of
you, there were those at that time, who to this word are very unsatisfactory ; but from
try the strength of a man's back and his arm it is unquestionably derived to coax, meaning
would be roistered.Malcontent, Old Play. to make a fool of a person, the usual object
Nabes. of coaxing.Nabes.
Coistered, French, inconvenienced.
Halliwell. Garlic. Caoch, empty, hollow ;
Coulter, ill-tempered, Northern.Weight. whence an empty-headed person, a fool.
The French cuistre is a word of con See Coax.
tempt for a low or worthless person,
and cannot be the origin of the English COLE PROPHET. " This word,"
" coistered," as Mr. Halliwell supposes ; says Nares, " is sometimes written
the most probable root that fully meets col prophet and cold prophet. The
the sense of the passage quoted by origin of the term is very obscure ;
Nares is the but it seems from instances produced
by Tyrwhitt (Chaucer), that col, in
(ftndir. Cois/e, exhausted, spent,
composition, signified ' false/ "
worn out with exertion ; coisg, quell,
Nares cites several instances of the
extinguish, exhaust; coisgte, quelled,
use of the word by English writers
exhausted.
of the sixteenth century; among
COISTREL.Defined by Nares to others :
mean " a young fellow, probably an As he was most vainly persuaded by the
inferior groom, or a lad employed by cold prophets, to whom he gave no small
credit.Knolles, History of the Turks.
the esquire to carry the knight's Phavorinus saith that if these cold prophets
arms and other necessaries ; probably or oraclers, &c.Scot's Discovery of Witch
from constillier, old French of the craft.
Though Dr. Jamieson, as Nares says,
same signification."
suggests kail, cunning, Keltic and
He's a coward and a coystrel that will not
drink to my niece.Shakspeabe, Twelfth Cornish, as the origin of col, cole, and
Night. cold, which Nares thinks may possibly
You whoreson, bragging cogstril.Ben be right, the root seems to be the
Jonson.
ffiraeltC Can, coin, foot; triall, to Gaelic.Caill, call, loss, evil, detri
go, set out, depart, run, travel ; whence ment, calamity ; whence by corruption
coistriall, a running footman, or a foot " cold prophet," a prophet of calamity,
traveller. a Cassandra.
102 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

COLLIE (Lowland Scotch).A shep COMELY.Well-formed, handsome,


herd's dog. agreeable ; applied only to the human
The tither was a ploughman's collie. form.
**
His breast was white, his touzie back Mer-Cas draws it from the Greek Kappas,
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black. i.e. neat. I had rather deduce it from our
Burns, The Twa Dogs. word become. Oazophylacium Anglica-
num.
CSatliC.Colg, the hair or fur of an From become, or from the Saxon cueman,
animal ; colgach, hairy, shaggy ; colgail, to please.Johnson.
Becoming, pleasing, convenient.Cham-
smart, brisk, active ; calg, hair. bebs.
COLOMBE (French) .A dove. Latin, (GarltC. Cuma, shape, form; cuma-
columba. dail, shapely, well-formed, finely pro
(Garlic.Colman, caiman, a dove, a portioned ; cumachdail, shapely, comely.
pigeon ; colman-tighe, a house or domes COMFORT.Ease, well-being, con
tic pigeon ; colman-coille, a wood pigeon; solation.
columan, a dove. The attempts made to trace the pecu
liarly English word to its source have
COMART."A word," says Nares,
not been wholly successful. In the
"only found in the old quaito
French, where Mr. Wedgwood finds
edition of Hamlet, but restored by
comforter, to comfort, the word is com
Warburton as better suiting the sense
paratively modern, and is written con-
than ' covenant/ which had been
forier, and signifies to strengthen. It
substituted. It may very analogically
is traced by him and Mr. Donald in
mean bargain or covenant between
Chambers' Etymology to the Latin con
two."
As by the same comart and fortis, strength. A different origin
And carriage of the articles design'd is traceable in the
His fell to Hamlet. (LVirlir.Furtach, relief, aid, con
Shakspeabe, Hamlet.
If the previous lines of Horatio's solation; furtachail, yielding relief
speech are carefully read, it will appear and consolation; furtachd, comfort;
from the sense that "comart" is not furtachd aige an Dia, consolation with
necessarily a covenant, and that in the God; furtaiche, a comforter, a helper.
doubt, Warburton was right to restore This word with the prefix conih, the
equivalent of the English con, co, and
the original word. The frequent use
the Latin con and com, signifying parti
of Keltic colloquialisms by Shakspeare
cipation or fellowship, as in such words
suggests a scrutiny into that source of
as comrade, co-equal, and others, yields
much of the English language, and
the compounds, comh-fhurtachd, comfort,
here is found the
consolation, help ; comh-fhurlair, a com
ffiarltC.Comhard, coimheart, a com
forter; comh-fhurtaich, to aid, to com
parison. " Comparison " meets all the
fort.
requirements of the context, and Shak
speare having in the same passage used COMPANY. Society.
the word " compact " or " covenant," Companion. An associate.
seems to employ a different word for a These words belong wholly to the
different shade of meaning. Keltic languages, and have been traced
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 103
no lower than to the Mid Latin com- Garlir. Ceal, ceil, Death, Heaven;
panium, from whence it has been sup to hide, to conceal, to cover.
posed are derived the French compagnon,
the Italian compagnia, the Spanish com- CONEY.A rabbit.
paiio, &c. Garlic. Coinean, coinein, a rabbit;
Formed from com and pants, bread. Keltic French (conin).
Wedgwood.
Companion, literally one who cats bread CONJUROR.A wizard, a professor
with another; one who keeps company, or of the ait of legerdemain, a presti-
frequently associates with another; an asso
ciate or partner. Company, literally a num digitateur.
ber of companions, any assembly of persons This word is evidently of a different
or number of persons associated together for
trade.Chambers. origin from conjure, conjuro, to swear
This derivation is not satisfactory. together, to conspire, to unite under an
Another clue to the real etymology oath, or to implore earnestly. To say
suggests itself in the of a man derisively that " he is no con
juror," means that he is a fool.
Garlic.Pannal, a hand of men;
Gaelic. Cainntearackd [caint-jear-
(the English panel, a list of persons
achd), oratory, eloquence, power of per
liable to serve on a jury, whence to em
suasion.
panel a jury) ; companelach, companach,
a companion ; companachd, companion CONTECK. Argument, allegation,
ship ; companas, partnership. affirmation.
It appears from this, that pannal, not Conteck, for contest. In Chaucer conteke.
panh, is the root of the idea of com Retained by Spenser. Tyrwhitt marks it as
Saxon, but no such word is found in that
panionship. language. Skinner supposed it only a cor
ruption of con test. Gasgoignc has:
COMRADE.A companion. I found some conteck and debate
This word is usually derived from In regiment where I was wont to rule.
Nabes.
the Trench camarade, which in its turn
Garlic.Contagair, affirm, allege ;
is derived from the Italian camera, a
confagairt, an affirmation ; conlar, a
chamber, and is held originally to
doubt.
have signified a chamber-fellow. Mr.
Wedgwood favours this etymology, but COODIE (Lowland Scotch).A tub.
as comrades and companions do not Garlic.Cudainn (a tub) ; clach na
always occupy the same apartment, it cudainn, in Inverness, the stone of the
is possible that another derivation may tub before the town hall ; a " clach na
be sought; as in the cudainn " boy, an Inverness man.
Garlic. Comaradh, help, assistance ;
COOP. A barrel or other receptacle
comaraich, protection, aid, assistance ;
made of bent wood.
whence perhaps "comrade," he who
Cooper.A barrel maker.
helps or assists another.
Coop up.To confine in a small space
CONCEAL.To hide, to cover up. like that of a barrel ; to courb or
Ceiling.The roof or cover of a curb ; French, courber, to bend, to
room. restrain within small space. All
Ciel (French).Heaven. these words are more or less from the
104 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

(SVarltC.Cub, to stoop, to bend, to Arian languages. The primary idea


yield, to lie down ; Spanish cuba, a in both is that of roundness; the
cask ; ciibair, a cooper, a barrel or cask roundness of the sun, the moon, and
maker. the heavenly bodies ; a circle, which
ought to be pronounced kirkle, and
COPIOUS.Plentiful. is itself a corruption of the Greek
Cornucopeia. The horn of plenty. tup/cos, and which reappears in the
Copiousness.Plenty. Latin cir, circulas, and scores of other
Copy. A transcript that may be words that fill several pages of
made plenteous by multiplication.
Worcester's Dictionary.
French, copieux ; Latin, copiosus ; copia,
plenty; co, intensitive, and ops, opis, power, (Garlic Cor, a state or condition,
property, wealth.Chambers. a circular motion, a circle ; coron ;
These Latin words have their original whence corona, signifying a crown ;
root in the corp, the Latin corpus, pronounced
(Gaelic Cob, plenty, abundance. cor by the French, the body, alive or
A great number of English words dead ; cor reel, to bring right within
are traceable to the Gaelic cob, among the circle (of obedience and duty).
others :cob-nnt, a large and very full The word coir, first applied to the
nut ; cob, a wealthy person, a full man, sacred circle of the solar worship, is
a miser ; eo5-castIe, a house that over the root of court, the court of the
tops, and is larger than its neighbours ; temple, the king's court, a court of
cob-cosXs, large lumps of coal ; cob, a justice, and was afterwards applied
stout, strong horse ; cob-loaf, a large to the maxims or doctrines inculcated
loaf; cob-stone, a large stone; cob or by the priests, and signified justice,
corn-cob, the spike or staff on which equity, probity, right, law, and all
grow the heads of Indian corn or maize ; things within the circle of human
cob-nut, a hazel nut very full. duty.
COQUETTE. A girl or woman who CORRIDOR Originally a circular
flirts and gives herself airs to attract hall or gallery in a great mansion,
attention. from which there opened many doors
French, coqueter, a cock to call his hens, into the interior apartments.
or to cluck as a cock among hens, to swagger
as a cock among hens ; hence coquette, one French, corridor; Italian, corridore, a
who lays herself out for the admiration of runner; a long gallery, terrace, walk, or
the male sex as the cock does for the female. upper deck of a ship.Wedgwood.
Wedgwood. A gallery round a building; Spanish,
corredor, a runner; Latin, corro, I run.
(Garlic Gog, nodding, wagging of Stobmonth.
the head ; gogaid, a silly, vain woman Alle*e le long des chamhres ou des apparte-
who nods to the men, a "coquette;" ments d'une maison. Cette porte donne sur
le corridor. . . . Galerie e"troite que tourne
gog-cheannach, light-headed, giddy, frivo autour d'un batiment. Etymologie: Espagnol
lous; gogaideach, coquettish. corredor, de correre, courir ; l'endroit ou Ton
court, ou Ton passe. Littbe.
COR, COIR.These two Gaelic roots Corridor, in architecture, a gallery or
passage round a quadrangle loading to the
enter into the composition of a vast several chambers connected with it.
number of words in nearly all the Latham's Todd's Johnson.
OF THE EiVfiLLSlI LANGUAGE. 105
There is something very noble in the on wicker-work. The same kind of boat was
amphitheatre, though the high wall and cor used by the ancient Egyptians. Wobcesteh.
ridors that went round it are almost entirely Passing through a labyrinth of rocks his
rained.Addison, Travels in Italy. (St. Columba's) boat was received into a
(Gaelic.Coire, a circle, a ring, a creek which to this day retains the name of
Port na CAuraich,the Port ofthe Corracle.
girdle, a circular enclosure; dorus, a Iona, by the Duke of Argyll, 1871.
door; whence "corridor," a circle of (QrafltC.Curack, a wicker boat
doors. covered with hides or skins, a corracle ;
CORN.Eatable grain of all kinds, curac/tan, a little corachan.
particularly the grain, or seed of CORSAIR.A pirate.
wheat. Literally one who scours or ranges the
The English corn is the Gothic kaurn. ocean ; French, corsaire, from the Latin
In Latin we find granum, in Sanscrit we cursus, running, and curro, to run.Cham-
may compare jirna, ground down; Old High bebs.
German, chorn.Max MOlleb.
(Sadie. Corsa, the coast of a coun
Gaelic. Cuir, to sow seed ; whence try; corsair, a coaster or coasting vessel.
that which has been sown, the seed,
par excellence, for the food of the people. CORVETTE.A small ship of war,
Compare this with caor, a berry; and next in size to a frigate, and carrying
caoran, berries or seeds. not more than twenty guns.
French, corvette; Spanish, corbeta; Latin,
CORNED (Slang).Intoxicated. corbita, a slow-sailing ship, from corbis, a
Possibly from soaking or pickling one's basket. Chambers.
self, like corned beef.Slang Dictionary. adit.Carbh {can), a ship; carbA-
(SadlC.Cora, a drinking horn or anach, the master or captain of a ship;
dip; thence applied by the Keltic- carbhadach, a sailor. Thus from the
speaking English to the condition of a Keltic carbh, a ship without reference
person who has drained the " corn " or to its size, the French would appear
horn too frequently. to have formed carvetle, thence " cor
vette/' a little ship.
CORNER.The angle where two sides
meet ; a snug, a comfortable place. COSSACK. One of a Tartar tribe in
From the Latin cornu, a horn, and French the Russian Empire.
cornier, angular.Wobcesteh.
An angle ; a place enclosed by two walls Cossack is a Tartar word meaning vaga
or lines which would intersect each other if bond, and was applied to a small outpost of
drawn beyond the point where they meet. Russians who settled on the banks of the
From the Welsh cornel, and French cornier. river Don some three or four centuries ago.
Jonssos. Letter from St. Petersburg in Daily
Telegraph, October 27, 1874.
Latin, cornut ; French, come, a horn.
Wedgwood. (SadlC. Cos, a foot, a leg; cosach,
(SadlC. Curr, cearn, a corner, a casach, footed, legged, having feet or
quarter ; cearna, a quadrangle, a square ; legs, applied to wanderers, moving from
ceilAir, four. place to place.

CORRACLE.A small boat of wicker COST.Expense, the price of anything.


work. Latin, constare ; French, couster, coaler,
to stand one in, to cost. Wedgwood.
From the Welsh ctcrtcgle, a fishing-boat
used iu Wales, made with leather stretched <Gae((C.Cusd, to spend, to expend;
p
IOC THE OAEl/IC ETYMOLOGY

eotifail, costly, expensive ; cosdas, cos- Finnish, leoti, a dvrcllinjr-plnce, a bouse ;


kola, a poeir house, cottage, kitchen
dalachd, expense, cost. Esthonian, koddo, a house.WEDGWOOD.
These words are also written cosg and Cote, Welsh, ctct, a cot. hovel, styo ; cwtt-
mi'ch, a hog-stye.KlcuABDS, quoted by
cosgail. Gaelic verbs ending in g Wedgwood.
preceded by a consonant, change the CJarlif.Coit, a corracle, a fishing-
g into I, when adopted into English ; boat.
such as tilg, to overthrow, which be ItrnuiC.Cwtt, a cavity, a shelter.
comes lilt, and toasg, to pour out,
Possibly in the ruder times when the
which in its preterite toasgte becomes
Keltic inhabitants of these islands had
toast, a glass poured out for the drink
few houses, a boat or corracle, past ser
ing of a health. See Toast.
vice, was turned keel upwards and used
as a shelter or cot.
COSTARD.The head; a high or
abundant head of hair. COTQUEAN. A man who busies
I'll try whether jour costard or my bat be himself with or interferes in women's
the stronger.King Lear.
work or affairs.
Well, knave ! an' I had thee alone,
I'd surely rap thy costard. Probably a cock quean, a male quean.
Gammer Gurton. Nahes.
ffincll'r. Cos, the hair of the head, CSarlt'r.' CotJiaich, to compete, to
or of the height ; ard, high, height ; strive; coinne (obsolete), a woman.
whence with the t for euphony, cas-
COTTON (Vulgar). To agree, to
lard or costard, a hairy head ; high with
consent; " I can't cotton with him,"
much hair. I can't like, agree, or be familiar
with him.
COSY, COSIE, COZIE (Lowland
To cotton to a roan : to attach yourself to
Scotch). Warm, snug, comfortable. him, or fancy him : literally to adhere to
This word, though now common in him as cotton would. Bartlett claims it as
English conversation, is not admitted an Americanism. Halliwell claims it as an
archaism. Sla ng Dictiona ry.
into Johnson's, Todd's, Latham's or
Garlic Coimh (pronounced C0),and
Richardson's Dictionary ; Worcester
comh (pronounced co), a prefix corre
admits it, but attempts no etymology.
sponding to the English and Latin con;
Gaelic, roiseag, a snug corner; French, tionail, gather, to come together; whence
causeur, talkative, chatty.WbbstKB.
From the same root as cosh, protected coimh-thionail, to come together, to
from the cold ; Icelandic, kios, a small place assemble, to consort ; the English
wi ll fenced.Jamieson. " cotton," to consort, to agree, to
aelir. Cos, a recess, a hollow, a associate with ; coitinn, coilchion, com
nook, a corner (/. e. a comfortable mon, general ; coitinneas, coitchionneas,
place); ciosacA, calm, quiet; ciosaich, the state of having things in common.
to calm, to appease ; cioseach, a warm,
quiet corner. COUNTRY.A territory; the habi
tat of a nation or people; a rural
COT, COTTAGE.A small house, a district as distinguished from the
hut in a rural district. town or city.
OF TI1E ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 107
From the French contrie, Italian contractu ; Courrou? ; ancien Wallon, coroche ; Pro
q.d. Latin, conterrata, i. e. one land joining vencal, currote; Itilien, corruccio. Etymo-
to another. Gazophylacium Anglicanum. logie difficile. On a indiqu<S le Latin
coruscat e, hriller; mais le sens ne convienf
This etymology, which dates from pas. Diez le tire de cholera, propremeut bile.
1G89, has been accepted by all subse Littb.
quent Dictionaries, but we have still CSarllC. Corruich, wrath, indigna
to inquire whence came the French tion ; " Na corruich gheir" in bis fierce
word, from which the English is evi anger.
dently borrowed, and which is in cer
tain senses so inferior to the Latin COURT. A court of justice, a place
putrid, the French patrie, and the Ger where the judges sit to administer
man vaterland, as expressing the land the law; also the residence of a sove
or " country " of one's birth and affec reign, who is the fountain alike of
tion. Possibly the word was applied justice and of honour.
by the early Phoenician mariners and French, four; Italian, corle; Latin, coliors,
cohortis.Latham's Johnson.
merchants, when they first explored
Western Europe, to the land as seen Courtesy. A courteous (therefore a
from the water, when they sailed along right) demeanour.
the coasts. Courteous. Of a polite (therefore a
proper and rightful) behaviour to
GSacltr. Cuan, the sea; and treigh,
others.
the shore.
Court.To solicit a woman's favour
Diez explains the Italian eontrada and affection (by rightful, honour
(contra-ata), the district which lies able and proper means) .
opposite, as in the German gegend, a
(ffiarltC. Coir (genitive corac/i,
situation. The Gaelic derivation lends
coiri), right, justice, equity, probity,
itself to the same idea of oppositeness,
integrity, also vicinity, contiguity ;
as of land seen from or opposite to the sea.
duine coir, an honourable man, a just
COURAGE. Bravery, valour, hero man, a correct man ; coir, a circle, a
ism, strength of body and mind. Druidical circle, where justice was ad
No attempt has been made by phi ministered. See Cor and Coir.
lologists to trace this word to any other
COUSIN.One collaterally related.
source than the Latin cor, the heart ;
The child of a father or mother's
from whence they also derive cordial,
brother or sister.
hearty, which has a meaning by no means
From the French cousin; Italian cugino;
the same. Possibly the etymon is the
or from the Latin consanguinem,:M signifying
the same thing. Gazophylacium Angli-
(Sarlir. Cur, power, strength; cu-
canum.
raidh, a hero, a champion, a warrior ;
French, cousin ; Italian, cugino ; Latin,
consohrinus ; whence Orisons, cusdrin,
curanla, heroic, courageous ; curantachd,
cusrin ; Spanish, sobrino. Wkdgwood.
curaisd, courage, bravery ; curaisdeach,
Latin, consohrinus ; con, connexion, and
courageous. subrinus from sororinus, applied to the chil
dren of sisters; soror, a sister. Chamukhs.
COURROUX (French). Wrath, Gaelic.Comk-thinfe, from comh and
anger, indignation. sin (pronounced co-shin), extended to
p 2
108 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

gether in a parallel direction not in the And alle that are of here coveyn
Alle she bringeth to helle peyne.
direct line of descent, but in the parallel MS. Marleian. HaLLIWELL.
line. (Jrarlic.Coimh (coi), the English
COVE (Slang).A man, a person, a and Latin prefix co or con ; buin, bkuln
fellow. [buin), touch, meddle, deal ; buidkinn,
Ancient cant, originally [in temp. Henry gain, profit, win, acquire, i. e. to deal
VII.] cofe, or cuffin, altered in Decker's time together, or acquire together in an evil
to cove. See Witt's Recreations, 1654, sense.
"there is a gentry cove here." Probably
connected with cuif, which in the North of
England signifies a lout or awkward fellow. COW.To intimidate.
Slang Dictionary. Cower.To shrink from terror or
QSiRtlit.Caomh (caov), mild, gentle, intimidation.
courteous; i. e. a gentle person; just as Coward.One who is easily intimi
in English the word "gent" from "gen dated, who is without proper cou
tleman," is a slang synonyme for a rage or spirit.
"cove." Cow. Danish, hue, to subdue, to keep
under, cower ; literally, to sit in a corner ;
COVENANT.An agreement, a bar Welsh, civrian, cwr, a corner; German,
gain. kauchen, kauern, to squat, from kau, a
narrow confined place, a hut. Coward, one
This word is derived by all English who turns tail; French, couard; Latin,
etymologists, from the Latin convenire, cauda, a tail.Chambers.
to come together; and the French con- Provencal, coart ; Espagnol et Portugais,
cobarde; Italien, codardo, du Latin Cauda,
venir, to agree. Yet it is possibly of queue ; qui est de la queue, e'est-a-dire, qui
anterior origin, and from a different se tient en arriere, ou qui porte la queue
basse comme les animaux qui ont peur.
root, and employed before any admix LlTTBE.
ture of either French or Latin in the The words "cow," "cower," and
language of the British people. " coward," all seem to be derived from
CRarlie.Ctmhnant (pronounced cuv- the
nant); cumha (cuva), a condition, a sti fi&aeltC.Cu, a dog, whence "cow,"
pulation ; aont, an agreement, a licence ; to treat like a dog, and " cower," to
whence cumha nan aont, a condition of slink or crouch like a dog when he is
the agreement; comh-aonla, consent, beaten. Cu-ard, a high or chief dog,
agreement ; comh-aontach, consenting, an utter dog, a thorough dog, applied
covenanting, agreeing. as a term of contempt by a warrior to
COVIN or Covine. A law term one who would not fight. The old
signifying a fraudulent agreement or Keltic French couard, is almost su
conspiracy between two or more perseded by poliron and lache, and
persons with the view of injuring seldom heard. The Dictionary of the
another. French Academy translates " il est cou
Latin, conventum, an agreement; Low ard," il vieillit, which would seem to
Latin, covina; Old French, covin.WoB- imply that cowardice is the result of
CESTEE. old age.
Old French, covine, from convenir; Latin,
convenire, to meet together.Stobmonth. COW-CLINK (Lowland Scotch).A
Covin. Latin, conventum ; Low Latin,
covina; Old French, covin.Worcester. harlot.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 109
Perhaps from cow, and clink, money, one with a quotation from Shakspeare,
who prunes the purse.Jamieson.
which he misinterprets.
A corruption of the
Cozier, one who sews, probably from the
(Gaelic.Caochail, to change ; caoch- Spanish coser, to sew; or cousu, French.
ladh, change, alteration ; caochlaideach, Dr. Johnson interprets it as tailor ; Stevens
fancied cottager.
changeable, variable, fickle, i. e. one Do you make an alehouse of my lady's
who may be changed, or is likely to house, that ye squeak out your cozier's
catches, without any mitigation or remorse
change for another. of voice?Twelfth Night.
COWP (Lowland Scotch).To over The " cozier " in the alehouse or inn
turn, to tilt over, to upset. is evidently a foot-traveller, and not
(Sadie.Cop, to capsize, to over as Johnson supposes a couseur, or one
throw. who sews, a word which was never used
by the French for a tailor.
COXCOMB.A vain, silly, conceited
(Gaelic. Coisear, a pedestrian ; cois-
man, overfond of dress and personal
eachd, pedestrianism ; coise, feet.
display.
I suppose this word is corrupted from the CRAB. A windlass for raising
French cochon, an hog, for we often call a
fool, a silly hog. But seeing it signifies one weights.
that hath high thoughts of himself, I may as The Spanish calva ; a goat was used as
well draw it from cock and comb.Oazo- the designation of a machine for throwing
phylacium Anglicanum. stones ; cabria, a crane ; French, chivre, a
From the comb resembling that of a cock, goat, and also a machine for raising weights.
which licensed fools wore formerly in their Wedgwood.
caps.Johnson.
Coxcomb, a fop, from the hood worn by a (Gaelic.Craobh, a tree; cabar, a
fool or jester, which was made in the shape stake, a pole, a rafter, the trunk of a
of a cock's comb.Wedgwood. young tree ; cabhair, help, aid, assist
(Gaelic.Caoch, empty ; com, the ance, deliverance.
cavity of the chest, the trunk of the
body ; whence " coxcomb," empty- CRABBED. Cynical, sour, austere,
hearted, a body with nothing in it. morose, ill-tempered.
Etymologists have usually derived
COZEN.To wheedle, to cajole, to
this word from the well-known crus-
gain one's end by flattery.
taceous animal the crab (which was
From the noun cousin ; i. e. to deceive
through pretence of relationship.Minsheu. originally grab, from the formidable
Anglo-Saxon, costnian, or cosiian, to claws with which it grabs its food or
tempt, to try.Richardson. defends itself), though it is not worse-
Scottish, cozain, to exchange* to barter. tempered than any other inhabitant
Jamieson.
German, kozen, to talk, caress, make love ; of the sea or the land. " Crab " in
allied to the French causer, to talk. Old English signified to offend, and a
Chambers.
"crabbed" man would thus seem to
(Gaelic.Coisinn, to gain, to win, to
have been one who had received an
earn, to obtain ; coisneadh, profit, ad
offence, and who showed his sense of it
vantage ; used in a good, and not in a
by his behaviour. A " crab " apple is
bad sense, like the English cozenage.
a sour uncultivated apple of the poorest
COZIER.This word occurs in Nares, sort; but in this sense no satisfactory
110 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

attempt has been made in the English She was bred and nurst
On Cynthus' hill, whence she her name did
Dictionaries to trace the etymology of take,
the word, which seems to have no Then is she mortal born howe'er ye crake.
possible affinity with "crab," or SpeNSEtt'B Faerie Queene.
These barking'whelps were never good biters,
" grab/' the shell-fish. A root for the Nor yet great erakers were ever great fighters.
consideration of philologists is offered in Damon and Pythias. Nakes.
the (Gaelic. Crac, to talk; cracaire, a
(Sarll'C. Craohh, a tree ; whence talker; cracaireachd, talk, gossip, con
crab-apple, a tree-apple growing wild, versation, chat.
not cultivated in an orchard ; crabkach, To " crack a bottle " is a colloquial
a devout, austere, or very religious per phrase, signifying to talk when drink
son, a worshipper in the groves, or ing its contents. To " discuss a bot
under the trees, a Druid ; crabhachd, tle " is a phrase sometimes substituted.
crabhadh, religion, devotion, worship in To "crack a thing up/' is to boast unduly
the groves; crabaiche, a recluse, a devo of its value. A " crack " article is a
tee, a person austere in his outward look thing extravagantly praised.
and behaviour.
CRACKED (Colloquial).Mad, im
CRACK (Vulgar).A blow. "I'll paired in intellect, eccentric, crazy.
give you a crack on the head," i. e. a The syllable " crack " has many
painful blow. meanings in English (see ante) . It seems
(flSacltC. Crad, pain; cradhaick doubtful however whether " cracked,"
(pronounced era-hack), to pain, to vex, as applied to describe the condition of a
to hurt. person whose intellect is deranged, is
derived from " crack," to break, in the
CRACK (Lowland Scotch).To talk, sense in which the word is used when
to converse. spoken of any brittle ware, or whether
Cracker (English Slang) .A lie. it has any common root with such
Cracker (French Slang).To talk ; different applications, as to "crack" a
(ordinary French), to spit. mirror, to " crack " a joke, to " crack "
Crake (Old English).To boast, to a bottle, a " crack " horse, to " crack "
talk. up, a "cracker." The most probable
II n'est point rare que ceux qui font l'un derivation of " cracked " in the sense of
(parlent) fassent l'autre (crachent) en meine disturbed and disordered in intellect is
temps. Je penso toutefois que ce mot vient the
de la constants habitude des mauvais sujets
do dire des crocs ou mensonges.Francisque Ha&tUt.Cradh, cradhaich [dh silent),
Michel, Dictionnaire d'Argot.
to vex, to torment, to pain; cradhaichie
Crack, in the sense of excellent, and crack
up, to boast or praise, were not considered {crackt), tormented, vexed, very much
vulgarisms in the time of Henry VIIL pained or annoyed.
Introduction to Slang Dictionary.
Perhaps the word is allied to the German
krakken; Belgian, kracken, to make a CRACKLE (diminutive of Crack) .To
noise.Jamieson. make a short, sharp quivering sound,
Those that crake of their love and have as in the burning of green wood.
no modestie.Lily, Fuphucs and his
England. flRoeliC. Crath, shake, shiver, trcm
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Ill

ble, quiver; crafhach (cra-ac/i), shaking, Amaist as soon as I could spell


I to the cramho-] ingle fell.
shivering, crackling. Burns, Epistle to John Lapraik.
A' ye wha live by soups o' drink,
CRADLE.An infant's bed, or basket. A' ye wha live by cramho-c\\\\k,
A' ye wha live an' never think,
From the Anglo-Saxon cradan.Johnson. Come mourn wi' mo.
Crate, cradle. A crate is an open case Burns, On a Scotch Bard gone to the
made of rods of wood wattled together. West Indies.
Latin, crates, wicker or hurdle work ;
craticius, wattled ; Gaelic, creathag, under GilfltC. Cam, crom, crooked; cam-
wood brushwood; creathall, Anglo-Saxon, bogha, crom-bogha, crooked bow.
cradal, a cradle.Wedowood.
<fiarltr.Craldhleag, a basket, a creel. CRAMP.A contortion or crookedness
of the muscles.
CRAFT. Skill, cunning. Crum.A crook.
Crafty.Sly. Crump. Crooked.
Graft (Slang). Work. "What Cramp-shouldered,camel-hacked or crooke-
graft are you at ? " i. e. what are backed.Noiienclator in Nares.
you doing or working at? atllC. Crom, crooked.
All etymologists derive this word
from the German kraft, and Anglo- CRANE.A machine for raising
Saxon craeft, which however mean weights.
strength, rather than skill. In handi From the Greek yepavot, a species of
heron ; Anglo-Saxon, cran. A machine for
er^//!, for instance, the word means not raising or lowering heavyweights; so called
only strength, but the skill to employ from a fancied resemblance between its pro-
jicting arm and the neck of a crane.
it usefully. Worcester.
CriUlIC Gniomh (pronounced griqf'; Welsh, garan, a crane, a shank, from gar,
a leg.Stohmonth.
see Grieve and Grkff[er), a deed, an
action; gniomhach, active, busy, indus (Saflir. Cran, a tree, a mast of a
trious; gniomhaich, to act, to do, to ship ; cran-deiritlh, the mizen-mast ;
cran-meailhn, the main-mast ; cran-
perform.
iogalaeh, a lifting tree or mast; Anglicc,
CRAG.A steep, bare rock. a crane.
Crag is in British a rough steep rock, and
is used in the same sense in the Northern CRANK (Slang and Cant).Sickness,
counties to this diiy. Johnson. epilepsy.
Gaelic, creag, a rock ; Welsh, careg, a Krank (German).Sick.
stone ; caregos, pebbles.Wedgwood.
Krankiieit.Sickness.
acllC. Craig, a rock, a cliff; craig-
Those that do counterfeit the crank ha
each, rocky. sorry knaves and harlots and deeply dis
Brochardus in his description of the Holy semble the falling sickness.Harmon's
Land has the following words, " Transibis Caveat for Cursiturs.
terram Moab usque ad petram deserti qua (SrafllC. Crann, to wither, to decay.
crac nunc dicitur." In Cilicia also there is
a rock called Cragus.Abmstkong's Gaelic
Dictionary. CRANNIE.A crevice, a corner; a
place of retreat, or concealment.
CRAMBO (Lowland Scotch). Frencli, sren ; Latin, crena.Johnson.
Crooked. Literally, a rent, a chink, a secret place.
112 THE GAELIC ETYMOMKIT
French, cran ; German, krinne, a rent, a Which others for cravats have worn
channel.Cuambebs. About their necks and took a turn.
Butler, Hui/ibras.
Gatlic. Cran, a tree; crannag, a With eager beats his Mechlin cravat moves.
cross-tree, a branch on which a man Pope, Basset Table. Latham.
can sit; a pulpit, a coigne of vantage; There is nothing to prove that the
a corner, a recess. fashion of wearing a tie or cloth round
the neck by men was derived from
CRAPAUD (French).A toad. Croatia, or that it was not common
(fiarliC. Cnapan (crapan), a lumpy in France, Britain, and other European
object. countries for centuries anterior to 1636.
The Ancient English names for this
CRASS. Densely ignorant, gross, article of attire prior to that of neck
vulgarly obscene and sensual. cloth, were chin-bow-dash, and beard-dash,
Crassitude.Coarseness, grossness. dash signifying ribbon, . e. the ribbon
Latin, erattut, coarse, thick.Chambees. under the chin or beard. It is probable
<fiaflic.Craois, sensuality, gluttony, that when the fashion of stiffening the
vulgarity ; cracisaire, a sensualist. neck-cloth was first introduced, a fashion
that is still remembered by people who
CRATE. An open basket or receptacle, are not old, the name of cravate came
rudely formed of sticks or twigs, used into use in France, and thence crossed
for the package of crockery or the Channel to England, and that the
other articles. real origin, fancifully attributed to Cro
Cradle. The bed of an infant, atia, is the
originally made of basket or wicker-
Gaelic. Cruaidh (dh silent), stiff,
work.
hard, firm; brat (with the aspirate
Creel.A fish-basket.
bhrat), a cloth, a rag; whence cruai-
Gaelic. Creatach, a hurdle ; creat-
brat, or vrat, corrupted for euphony into
hach, brushwood ; creatha.il, a cradle
cruai-vrat, a stiff cloth, or rag.
(French ere/7), a basket. See Cradle.
CRAVE.To ask earnestly, to have
CRAVAT.A necktie, a neckcloth.
an earnest desire for food or pleasure.
This word, now commonly used, was
borrowed from the French. Philolo Literally, to ask with crying; from the
Anglo-Saxon crajian, to ask; Welsh, crefu,
gists have gone far afield to trace its to cry, to beg earnestly. Chambers.
origin, and have all settled it in Croatia. Gaelic.Cnamh (crav), to corrode, to
Cravat, formerly written crabat, and consume; to pine, to waste away with
spoken of by Skinner, who died in 1607, as a
fashion lately introduced by travellers and unsatisfied desire.
soldiers. The fashion is said to have been
brought by Menage in 1636 from the war, CRAVEN.A coward, a poltroon.
and to have been named from the Crabats,
or Cravats, as the Croatian! (and after Derived by Skinner from crave, as one
them a kind of light cavalry) were then who craves his life. Perhaps it comes ori
called. The French had a regiment de ginally from the noise made by a conquered
royale cravate. Piatt Deutsch, krabaten, cock.-Johnson.
kravaten, Croatian.Wedgwood. Originally cravant, the cry of one beaten
Less delinquents have been scourged in single combat ; from the old French
And hemp or wooden anvils forged, cravanter, to overthrow.Chambers.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 113
Gaelic. Cnamh (crur), to corrode, to cial and Halliwell's Archaic Dictionary,
consume, to waste away; cnamhag (cra- but finds no place in Nares' Glossary.
rag), wasting away slowly, hence applied ffiarlic. Greigh, graigh, a herd or
to one whose courage was so wasted or flock. Latin, grex. See Gregarious.
consumed as to ask his life of his enemy
rather than die bravely on the field of CREATE.This word and its deriva
battle. tives, "creation " and "creature," are
immediately derived from the French,
CRAY.A small vessel. through the Latin. To create is to
A corruption of crare or crayer, ft snrt of form, as in the original act of the
sinull vessel ; craiera, Low Latin ; crater, formation or creation of the world,
Old French.Nabks.
Oh melancholy ! and is defined by Mr. Wedgwood,
Who ever yet could sound thy bottom ; find " to beget, to give birth to, or give
The ooze to show what coast thy sluggish
crare rise to, to produce." The root of the
Might easiliest harbour in. Latin creo and French creer, is the
Shaksp are, Cymbeline.
Some shell or little crea Gaelic. Cruth, a form, a shape, a
Hard labouring for the land, on the high- figure, a person ; cruthach, having shape
wrecking sea. or form ; cruthachadh, formation, crea
Dbayton, Polyolbion.
tion ; the act of forming, shaping or
Garlic. Crc, a keel, whence a ship
creating ; crnlhaich, to form, to create ;
or boat having a keel. In the New
cruth mo ghoil, the form of my love.
castle song, " Merry may the keel row,"
the keel signifies the ship. The idea of shaping and forming,
out of pre-existing materials, as the act
CRAZY. Of unsound mind, mad. of creation, distinguished from the defi
From the French icrasi, crushed.Cot- nition of Mr. Wedgwood of the Latin
grave. creo, to beget, to give birth to, is not
From a representation of the noise of peculiar to Gaelic, but appears in all
crushing a hard substance. Danish, krtise,
knaxe, \o crackle; Swedish, kraxlig ; Swiss, the Teutonic languages. The German
chrarhelii), crazy, feeble, decrrpit, poorly. schopfen, from whence is derived the
The English crazy applied to the mind is
equivalent to cracked, cracky, crack-brained. English shape, means to create. Die
V( EDQWOOD. Schdpfnng der Welt, the shaping (or
Gaelic. Cras, narrow, limited ; creation) of the world is the title of a
eradh, pain, mental anguish ; crad- German epic poem by Klopstock.
haichle, pained, vexed, tormented ; era-
CREED.Belief, profession of faith.
idhte, pained, afflicted; cradhteachd,
affliction, misery. This and the kindred words, credible,
credit, credulous, and others, probably
CREACHT.A herd of cattle. found their way into the English lan
This obsolete word appears in the guage from the Latin. But there can
Dictionaries of Johnson and Ash, but be no doubt that the Latins derived
not in that of Bailey and previous com credo, to believe, from the Keltic.
pilers. Johnson and Ash both declare The root cri (cridhe), the heart, is expres
sive of its tremulous vibratory motion ; hence
it to be an Irish word. It appears crith, to shako, to convulse ; and creid, to
without etymology in Wright's Provin believe, the heart being the supposed seat of
Q
114. THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
that power.History of the Keltic Lan Lithuanian, kruwa, a heap of stones or
guage by L. Maclean. people.Wedgwood.
Creed. Anglo-Saxon, creda ; from Latin Crew is connected with crowd, and curd.
credo, I believe; akin to Sanscrit crat, faith. Stobmonth.
Chambbbs.
ffiafltC. Cro, a circle, a hut, a
ffiafltc. Cridhe, the heart; creid, group ; croth, to confine in a house, hut,
to helieve with one's whole heart ; creid- coop, fold, pen (or ship) ; cruach, a
heamh, creideas, faith, credence ; creid- stack, a mass.
slnn, belief; creideasach, credible, worthy
of belief. CREWEL.String, worsted, formerly
much used for fringes, garters, and
CREEK.A little bay, formed by the
embroidery.
confluence of a river with the sea, or
An old hat
of a small stream with a large one. Lined with vellure, and on it for a band
In America, every stream not impor A skein of crimson crewel.
tant enough to be dignified with the Ben Jonson.
The word often occasioned puns from its
name of a river, is called a " creek." resemblance to the adjective cruel.Nabes.
French, crique; Dutch, kreeJc ; Swedish, Fool. Ha ! ha ! he wears cruel garters.
hrik, a bending nook, corner, a little inlet of King Lear.
the sea. Crick represents in the first instance The same quibble on cruel and crewel is
a sharp sudden sound, and is then transferred found in many old plays.Staunton's
to a sudden turn or movement.Wedgwood. Shakspeare.
(Gaelic.Crioch, a boundary, a fron ffiacttC. Cruaidh, stiff, firm, hard;
tier, a border; criochnaich, to finish, eruaidh cheangail, to bind or tie firmly.
complete, set bounds to.
As brooks, streams and water- courses CRIB (Slang).A house, an abiding
are the obvious and usual boundaries of place, a home.
estates and landed possessions, it is pro A house, public or otherwise; lodgings,
bable that this idea, and not that sup apartments. Slang Dictionary.
posed by Mr. Wedgwood, is the root of (EkatUt. Criobh or craobh, a tree,
the English word. whence a tramp or beggar accustomed
to sleep by the wayside, or in fields, or
CREEN.To grow small. in the hollow of a tree, in default of
Creen, to pine (Devonshire) ; creeny, small, better accommodation, would speak of
diminutive (Wiltshire).Halliwell.
his nightly resting-place as a criobh, or
(Saflic. Crion, small, dry, withered,
tree. See Doss.
to dry, to wither, to fade, to decay ;
crionach, a withered tree, decayed brush CRICKET. An insect that infests
wood. bakehouses, kitchens, and other warm
CREW.A ship's company. Also ap places, and makes a creaking, dis
plied to a company of persons met agreeable sound, louder and more
convivially, a merry crew, a boister painful than that of the grasshopper.
ous crew, &c. CSradiC. Crlochan, a querulous, dis
Anglo-Saxon, cread, or cruth.Wob- agreeable sound, a creak.
CESTEB.
A crowd, a clump of people. Welsh, n-wd,
a lump.Cham bees. CRINK (Provincial). A very small
Anglo-Saxon, cread, a company, a crew ; child, one not likely to live.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 115

fiSrrtCllC. Crion, small; crionach, a QSiatUt.Crock, saffron, red ; odhar,


withered tree or plant; anything wi dun, dappled ; dil, dile, heavy rain,
thered. deluge, inundation ; i. e. the dun red
(reptile) of the flood or river.
CRINKLE.To shrink like the flesh
in old age, and leave small folds or CROCUS.One of the earliest flowers
wrinkles on the skin ; also to shrink of the spring, of a saffron or reddish-
like an elastic garment when sub yellow colour. Latin, crocus, Greek,
mitted to extreme cold, or like a KpoKos, saffron.
damp sheet of paper, submitted to (SarltC.Crock, red-yellow, saffron.
too rapid a heat ; to shrink as a leaf. See Crockery.
To run into flexures, to go in and out ;
from the Dutch krukelen, diminutive of CRONE.An old woman, a witch,
crine.Johnson.
Crine, to pine away, Northern English. one who chants or sings her spells
Weight's Provincial Dictionary. and incantations.
(Sadie. Crion, to grow small, to Crony (Lowland Scotch).A com
wither, to fade, to shrivel, to shrink ; panion, a very old friend or ac
crionach, withered leaves or branches, quaintance.
firewood. CRarliC. Crbnan, a dull, murmuring
sound, as of charms or incantations;
CROAK (Slang).To die.
crbnanack, humming, buzzing.
Croak, to die ; from the gurgling sound a
Serson make* when the breath of life is CROON (Lowland Scotch, but lately
eparting.Slang Dictionary.
beginning to be used by the best
This vulgar word seems not to be
English writers). To sing a low,
derived from the gurgling sound of
monotonous, melancholy song, alone
" croak/' but from the
or in concert ; to keep time in a dirge,
(Gaelic.Crock, to hang ; crochadair, or funeral ^chant; to keep lime in
a hangman ; crochte, hanged. music.
CROCKERY. Earthenware of the ffiarliC Cron, (obsolete, the same
commonest kind ; pots and pans in Irish), time; Greek, ypovo^ ; cro-
of red earth. nack or coronack, a dirge at funerals;
From the Dutch kruik, any vessel made cronan, any low, murmuring, monoto
of earth.Johnson. nous sound ; the humming of a bee, the
Prom crock (obsolete), a narrow-necked bass in music, the sound of the drone of
earthen vessel or piteher ; crockery, a num
ber of crocks; Anglo-Saxon, croc; German, the bagpipe, the monotonous murmur
krug; Welsh, crochan, a pot; Gaelic, crog, of a running stream or a waterfall;
a pitcher.Chambers.
cronanach, murmuring, lulling to sleep
elf ItC.Crock, of a saffron or dull with monotonous music. See Crone.
red colour, the colour of baked earth.
CROSS (Colloquial). Ill-tempered,
CROCODILE.A large amphibious out of humour.
reptile of Asia and Africa, called in Crusty. Apt to be ill-tempered.
America the alligator; Latin, cro- Cross, transverse, oblique, lying across, to
codilm, Greek, upoKoZeihm, a lizard. thwart.Chambers.
Q
116 THE GAELIC ETTTMOLOGY
Crusty, having the nature of a crust ; gether, or collecting of many into a
having a hard or harsh exterior, hard, snappy, small space.
surly.Chambeks.
(SarllC. Crosan, an ill-tempered CROWN.A golden circlet worn in
person ; crosanach, perverse, obstinate; stead of other head covering, on state
crosanta, perverse, ill-tempered ; croxda, occasions by monarchs, as a symbol
perverse, peevish ; crosdach, perversity, of their sovereignty.
crossness, ill-temper. Coronet.A small crown worn by
CROUP.The buttocks of a horse, nobles as symbolical of their rank.
the place behind the saddle. a?lC Cminn, a circle, a sphere,
a round ; cntinne ce, the round earth,
CROUPIER (Lowland Scotch).A the globe ; cruinnead, rotundity ; cruu,
vice-chairman of a public meeting; a crown, a circle ; cruinfe, crowned as a
one who is in the second place. king, encircled with the badge of
Crupper.To ride crupper, i.t. be royalty ; crunadh, a coronation ; crun
hind another person, who sits on easpaig, a bishop's crown, a mitre.
the saddle.
Crtjppen (Lowland Scotch) .Bowed, CROYDON - SANGUINE. "Sup
or crouched down with old age. posed," says Nares, " to be a kind of
sallow colour."
CiacIIC. Crub, to sit, squat, crouch;
Of a complexion inclining to the oriental
cruban, a crouching attitude. colour of croydon-sanguine.Anatomic of
the Metamorphoses of Ajax, quoted by
CROWD (Obsolete).A fiddle or violin. Nabes.
Crowder (Obsolete).A fiddler. By'r ladie, you are of a good complexion,
A right croydon-sanguine, beshrew me !
The crowd or fiddle was recognized by the Damon and Pythias. Nabes.
Romans as a British instrument. Irish,
cruit, a harp, also a crowd or fiddle. Gaelic, The first of these two conjoined words
cruit, a harp or fiddle.Wedgwood. seems to be compounded of the
(3*afItC. Cruit, a harp, a lyre, a Oaelic. Crulh (eru), complexion,
fiddle, a stringed instrument; crttitair, expression of countenance; donn, brown.
a crowder, a fiddler, a harpist ; cruiteag,
a little harp ; cruitealachd, liveliness, as CRUEL. Hard of heart, without
of music, or the playing of harps ; crui- mercy, compassion, or tenderness.
teil, lively, musical. The immediate source of this word is
the French cruel, derived from the
CROWD.A large assemblage of peo Latin crudelis.
ple ; to press together in numbers too Latin, crudus, bloody, raw, unripe, unfeel
great for the space to be occupied. ing; crudelis, bard, cruel, severe ; crucntus,
bloody, cruel ; cruor, blood.Wedgwood.
Anglo-Saxon, cread or crud, a multitude,
swarm, throng.Wobcesteb. The ultimate root of the Latin and
Perhaps the radical image may be a ball French is the
or lump, from whence the notion of pressing
may be derived. Anglo-Saxon, cruth, a dSsHtliC. Cruaidh (Irish cruad/i),
press of people.Wedgwood. hard, stiff, severe, merciless, narrow -
arltC Curr, a corner, a small hearted; cruadal, courage, bravery,
space, a pit; curradh, a crowding to- hardihood; cruadalach, brave, unyield
OF THE KNGMSH LANGUAGE. 117

ing, desperate, cruel, calamitous; cru- CUB (Slang).A term of contempt


ad/iachas, cruelty. applied to an unmannerly, rude, vulgar
boy or young man. The phrase, an
CRUET.A small bottle, now of glass,
" unlicked cub," is sometimes used.
but formerly of earthenware, for hold From the tradition that a bear's cub has
ing vinegar and sauces, or other con no shape or symmetry until its dam licks it
diments for the dinner table. into form with her tongue. Slang Dictio
nary.
From the French cruchctte.Wobcesteb. Keb, a villain ; a Yorkshire word.Hal-
From the Dutch kroiche.Johnson. LIWELL.
(BrflfllC. Criot, an earthen vessel or aElt'C. Caob, to bite; caobach,
bottle ; crio/ail, earthen, made of clay. biting, applied to a surly, ill-conditioned,
biting dog, that has not been properly
CJtUG (Slang).Food, a great abund
trained.
ance of food, a feast.
aeltC. Cruach, a pile, a heap. CUB.The young of the dog. Applied
also to the young of the lion, the
CRUMB.A small piece or morsel of
bear, and other animals.
bread, the inner portion of a loaf as
Of uncertain etymology. Minsheu sug
distinguished from the outer portion gests the Latin cubo, to lie down.Wob
or crust ; a small piece of anything, cesteb. ,'
as " a crumb of comfort." Icelandic, kobbi, a sea], a sea-calf.Cham-
debs.
Cuumpet.A thin cake used for
breakfast or tea. arltC. Cu-beag, a little dog, a
young dog.
(BrarllC.Criom, a morsel, a piece;
to nibble; crioman, criomag, a small or CUBIT.A measure of length, from
dainty morsel, a small piece ; erioma- the tip of the middle finger to the
gaich,to crumble, to break into small bits. bend of the elbow.
CRY.To utter a sound, as of one in Latin, cubitus, the elbow or bending of the
arm. From a root cub, signifying crook or
pain, or distress of body or mind ; bend, seen in the Gaelic cub, to stoop;
to call out, to weep. cubach, bent, hollowed ; in the Greek, Kimro,
to stoop ; Latin, cubare, to lie down, properly
Italian, gridare; French, crier; German, to bow down.Wedgwood.
tchreien, imitation of a shrill sudden exertion
of the voice. As a shrill cry is the natural CSaeltC. Cub, to bend ; cuba, a bed,
expression of a high degree of pain, the word a place to bend or lie down on; cubadh,
passes on to signify the shedding of tears,
the most general expression of pain of any a bending ; cubach, bent, hollowed out.
kind. In like manner the verb to weep
comes from the Anglo-Saxon wop, the pri CUCKOLD.A husband whose wife
mary meaning of which is simply an outcry. is false to her marriage vow.
Wbdowood.
(Garlic.Craidh (dh silent), to tor French, cocu. The Italian cuculo, a
cuckoo, gives us the verb cucol, without the
ment, to vex, to pain, consequently to terminating d, as the common people rightly
cause to " cry ; " cradh, pain, anguish ; pronounce it, and as the verb was formerly
and should still be written.
cradhach, the act of tormenting or caus I am cuckolled, and fooled to boot too.
ing pain; craifeach, intensely painful, Beaumont and Fletcheb.
causing to cry or weep ; craiieachd, To cucol is to do as the cuckoo does, . e.
deposit its eggs in the nest of other birds.
painfulness, anguish. Hobne Tooke.
118 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Home Tooke seems to have settled the Welsh, cudio, to hide.Todd's Johnson. '
etymology of this word very clearly.Rich- Teutonic, kudden, to come together.
aedson. Jamibson.
Notwithstanding the authority of aellC. Cadail, cadal, sleep, slum
Tooke and Richardson and other lexico ber, rest in bed ; cadalach, drowsy, leth
graphers it seems that the English people argic ; cadallachd, sleepiness.
had no necessity to borrow this word I maun be up to get the Edinburgh carrier,
from the Italian, or to make it meta this morn's morning by scriegh (break) of day.
Where am I to cuddle (to sleep) ?
phorical of the habits of the cuckoo. The Galt, Sir Andrew Wylie. Vol. i. page 76.
true root is the
CUDGEL.A stick or thick piece of
(EtacltC. Caochail, to change ; caoch- wood that may be held in the hand,
ladh, change ; caochailte, changed. In and used as a weapon of offence or
accordance with this derivation, a defence, less massive than a club.
" cuckold " is a man whose wife has
The Welsh cogel, from cog, a lump of
changed him for another. In this de Wood.WEB8TEB.
rivation the final consonants of the From the Dutch kudte, koote (Skinner and
English word are accounted for. Junius), and the Scotch cud.Richardson.
Cud, to cudgel, a strong staff.Jamieson.
CUD.A portion of food reserved by ffiafllC. Cuid, a piece (of a tree?) ;
ruminating animals for a second cuideachadh, assistance.
mastication.
CUIDANCE (French). Pride, con
Quid.A piece of tobacco for chew
ceit.
ing.
Odtee-cuidance.Presumption.
Both of these words are usually
ffiaelic. Cuideil, proud, conceited,
derived by etymologists from chewed,
forward ; cuideal, cuidealas, pride, arro
anything that is chewed or masticated.
A more probable derivation offers in the gance.
CSadlC.Cuid, a part, a portion, a CUISSE (French). The leg, the
small piece. thigh.
ffiaeltC. Cat, chat, a foot, a leg;
CUDDEN, CUDDY (Vulgar and near
ecus, the ham, the thigh, the hip.
ly obsolete).A boor, a rustic, a
farm-labourer, a donkey driver. CUL (French) .The back part, the
A low,Jbad word, without etymology; a breech, the fundament.
clown, a stupid rustic, a low dolt.Johnson. This word was odious to Voltaire,
Cuddy, a three-legged stool used as a ful
crum in lifting or laying railroad blocks. who proposed that the common French
Wobcesteb. word, cul de sac (in which there was
fiVaelic.Cuidich, to help, to assist no offence to true decency, although he
in the labour of the farm or the stable ; thought there was), meaning a lane
cuideachadh, assistance. or street through which there was no
passage, should be changed to impasse.
CUDDLE.To lie close, to squat, to Cul de sac means the end or hindermost
put the arms round another on going part of a bag, and is very descriptive of
to sleep ; to sleep. See Coddle. a non-thoroughfare. The root is the
A low word, I believe without etymology.
Johnson . (ffirarlic Cuil, cul, the back, the
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGB. 119

hindmost part of any person, thing, (Sadie. Caora, a sheep. This word
place, or territory. applied by shepherds to a dog which
was himself no better than a sheep, and
CULL, CULLY (Slang).A man, or unfit to tend the flocks, became syno
a young man ; especially one who is nymous with a worthless animal. The
duped by a woman, in order that he French have the expression, " bete
may be robbed by the woman's asso comrae un mouton." Another possible
ciates. etymology is offered in cearr, perverse,
Call, a man or boy ; old Cant.Hotten. ill-tempered; geur, ill-tempered, sharp,
Cull, a man, honest or otherwise ; a bob
mil, a good-natured fellow ; cully, a fop or acrid, sour; gearr, to cut or cut off,
fool, also a dupe to women. Gbosb. carve, hew; also short, deficient; ge-
(ffiafltC. Gille, a young man, a lad; arrta, cut, shortened, but the derivation
cede, c/ieile, a husband, a spouse. from caora is preferable.

CULVER.A dove. (Latin columba). CURB STONES.The skirting or


Like as the culver on the bared bough outward stones of a pavement.
Sits mourning for the absence of her mate.
Spenseb. CSacIlC.Cearb, a fringe, a skirt.
(QtacltC. Caiman, colman, a dove.
CURDS.Coagulated milk, the cheese
3$nuittC. Coloman, a dove. part of milk as distinguished from
CUMBER.To heap up inconvenient the whey or watery part.
ly, to incommode, to impede. Curdle.To turn sour or thick;
Incumbrance.A load, a weight, metaphorically, the blood is said
an inconvenient burden, an im to curdle with fright or horror.
pediment. Curd, from crudle, a word of uncertain
etymology, to coagulate.Johnson.
(SartlC. Cumraich, cumraig, to cum By the common metathesis ofr.from crude,
ber, to impede; comhrachadh, an incum which is from the Latin crudus, raw, cur
dle, the diminutive of curd.Wobcesteb.
brance.
ffiatltC. Gruih, curds; grntkach,
CUR.A word of contempt applied to coagulated. " Cho gheal's an gruth," as
a dog ; a dog that is worthless to a white as curds.Armstrong.
shepherd. From the same root comes the Low
Much philological ingenuity has been land Scottish croiedie, a preparation of
wasted in the endeavour to trace this meal and water, or meal and milk. The
word to its original etymon. Johnson English gruel is apparently from the
derives it from the Dutch korre, in same source.
which he is followed by Worcester. Mr.
Wedgwood goes no further than the CURMUDGEON.A surly, discon
Dutch word. The editor of Chamber*' tented, disagreeable man.
Etymological Dictionary finds the root From the French cceur mechant (wicked
heart).Johnson.
in the Kymric cor, a dwarf, anything Literally, a corn merchant ; an avaricious,
small of its kind ; forgetting that a ill-natured, miserly fellow. Old English,
large dog may be a cur as well as a corn mudgin, a corruption of corn merchant,
because they were supposed to keep up the
small one. The true root is possibly the price of corn by their avarice.Chambkbs.
120 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
German, kurmede, right of the landlord to cireadh, combing ; cir d' fhall, comb
the best cattle or goods of a tenant. From your hair.
claims of this kind might easily arise an
application to him who made them, similar CURSE.To imprecate evil, to inflict
to that of miser or griper.Todd's Johnson,
Anglo-Saxon, ceorl, churl, and modigan, evil.
minded, *. e. churl-minded.Wokcesteb. Anglo-Saxon, cursian, curs, a curse, from
the root of cross.Chambebs.
ffiaellf. Cearr, wrong, wrong- Anglo-Saxon, corsian, to execrate by the
headed, perverse ; muig, a scowl, a sign of the cross.Wedowood.
frown, a discontented expression of the The word cross in English is derived
face ; muigeaii, a churlish, disagreeable from two separate sources, and has two
person ; whence cearr-muigean, or separate meanings : the one signifying
" curmudgeon," a wrongheaded, per the placing of one pole or beam of
verse, and disngreeable person ; muigean, wood athwart another, thus forming
a mean, sordid person. the cross, which has become the
emblem of Christianity; the other, a
CURRANT (Vulgarly pronounced cur- misfortune, and as an adjective, the
ran).A common European fruit of state of mind produced in the unfortu
three varieties, red, white and black. nate or displeased person. The Eng
Raisins de Corinthe, the dried small grapes lish curse is apparently derived from
of the Greek Islands ; thence applied to our cross in the sense of a misfortune or
own sour fruit of somewhat similar appear calamity, whence the verb, to imprecate
ance.Wedowood.
misfortune or calamity, which is not ne
Literally, a Corinth raisin, from Corinth
in Greece.Chambebs. cessarily to be derived from the other
cross on which the Saviour was crucified,
<ft arlic. Caor, a berry; caoran,
or to imply an imprecation by that
berries, especially the red berries of the
symbol.
mountain ash or rowan ; caor bheirteach,
bearing or producing a berry ; Fion- (BSafltC.Crois, a misfortune, mis
chaor, the grape or currant of the vine. chief, obstacle, obstruction, disappoint
The same word is the root of the ment ; a thwarting of one's wishes ;
English cherry, and the Greek Kepaaiov, crosach, hindering, thwarting, crossing;
crosan, a peevish man, what English
the Latin cerasum, and the German
ladies would call " a cross man ;" crosa-
kirsch. The change of the English k
into ch, as in the analogous instance of nac/i, cross, perverse.
church from kirk, occurred at an early CURTAIL FRIAR."The meaning
period of the language. of this word," say Halliwell and
Wright in their edition of Nares,
CURRY.To comb or clean the hide " has not been clearly explained."
of a horse. Carry me over the water, thou curtailfryar.
Curry-comb The implement with Or else thy life's forlorn !
Robin Hood and the Curtail Friar.
which grooms curry a horse.
atl'C. Cuairt, a circle, circuit,
French, corroyer; Italian, correvare ; or
from Latin, eoricum, a skin or hide. circumference. Probably the old Eng
Chambers. lish word curtail is from this root, and
ttarltf. Cir, a comb, to comb; simply means the tonsure, or round
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 121

shaven spot on the head of a priest or The Lowland Scotch word cutty or
friar. cuttle, short, is from the same root.
" Cuttie pipe," a short pipe ; " Weel
CUSHLOVE, CUSHLA.-Terms of
done, Cutty sark!" the exclamation of
endearment or coaxing used to a cow,
Tarn o' Shanter when so highly de
to induce it to stand still to be milked.
lighted with the dancing of the witch
(GafllC.Cuisle mo cridhe {Cushla mo in the short sark or shift, is a well
cree), a phrase of affection among; the known instance of the employment of
Scottish Highlanders and the Irish, sig the word. The French coufcau (knife),
nifying the "artery or principal vein of an instrument for shortening or cutting,
the heart," the main spring of existence. is not the root, as Johnson supposed,
CUSKIN.A drinking-cup. but a derivative.
Any kind of'pot to drink in; a cup, a CUT (Slang).To run away.
CUskin. NoMENCLATOB.
Cut Capers (Slang).To behave in
Crusky, cruskyn, a drinking-cup of earth
frequently mentioned in inventories of the a ridiculous or improper manner.
14th century.Weight's Provincial Dic (Gaelic. Cuite, to quit; cuidhte, to
tionary.
go away, to depart. Cabar, a word
As the Gaelic and Irish cruisgean
rarely used according to Armstrong's
signified a lamp rather than a pitcher,
Dictionary, but signifying a league or
it is possible that the English cruskyti had
confederacy ; whence to " cut capers "
the same meaning, and that ciisk'm is the
meant to quit or leave a confederacy,
Garlic.Cuach, a jug or cup; uisge, and so be guilty of a breach of honour
water; whence cuach-nisge, and by ab or of faith.
breviation and corruption cuskin.
CUT YOUll STICK, or, Cut Stick
CUT.To penetrate or separate a sub (Slang).Decamp! run away! be off!
stance with a sharp instrument, and sometimes varied into "Cut and run."
diminish its bulk or length; to lop, Cut youtt Lucky (Slang).To run
to curtail, to shorten. away.
Probably from the French coulcau, a knife. This phrase by way of surplusage of
Jonsso.v. slang, is sometimes rendered by the
Swedish, kata, to cut small, to work in
wood, to whittle ; Old Norse, kuta, to cut; vulgar jocosity " Amputate your tim
Swedish dialect, kuta. kytti, a knife ; Welsh, ber," or translated into French," Coupez
cwtt, catl, a little piece ; Turkish, kat, a
cutting.Wedgwood. votre baton." The derivation is the
Irish, cutaich, to curtail.Chambebs. (Gaelic. Cuile, cuidhte, quit, leave,
Whence and when this word was intro depart; agus abbreviated into 's, and
duced into English, no lexicographer has yet
been able to determine. It is neither derived teich, flee, run ; whence cuite agus letch,
from the Anglo-Saxon, the French, the Greek, or cuite 's teich, " cut your stick," or
nor the Latin, and is probably Keltic.
Blackwood's Magazine, September, 1869. " cut stick,"
Article on " Lost Prclerites.' Cuite, to quit, to run ; lorg, the
(Gaelic Cutach, short, diminutive; track ; lorgaich, to track, to pursue ;
cutaich, to shorten, to dock, to lop, lorgair, a pursuer ; whence " lucky," a
to curtail ; cutachachd, curtailment, corruption of lorgair; and "cut your
abbreviation. lucky," to run away from your pursuer.
it
122 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
CUTTLE.A comrade, a companion. From the Old French (lain, or daim, a
doe, whose flesh is much esteemed by all
Probably a corrupted form of cutter (a nations. Minsheu takes it from the Latin
swaggerer, a bully, a sharper) ; for an allusiondente, the ablative of dens, a tooth ; whence
to the cuttle fish and its black liquor is muchmay come our saying, " He hath a sweete
too refined for the speakers in the scene toothe." Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
where Doll Tcarsheet says to Pistol,
" By this wine, I'll thrust my knife in your Welsh, dain, fine; dantaidd, a delicacy;
mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle from dant, plural daint, a tooth ; Latin,
with me."Henry IV, Part II. Nabes. dens, dentis, a tooth.Chambers.
Welsh, dant, a tooth ; dantiadd, as En
iUll'C Cutalaiche, comrade, com glish, toothsome. . . . Old English, daunch,
panion or bedfellow. donch, fastidious, over-nice.Wedgwood.
Dandy. Le mot Anglais dandy. Homme
recherche dans sa toilette, et exag^rant lea
modes jusqu'au ridicule.Littbe.
D. The word may have originated in the
Court of Queen Anne and George of Denmark,
DACH (German). The roof of a danne in Danish meaning form, educate,
bring up; and en dannde mand, an accom
house, whence the English thatch. plished person.Latham's Johnson.
(Da dir.Teach, a house. He felt an arm thrust in his, and a dandy
little hand in a kid glove squeezing his arm.
DACHA (Slang and Cant).Ten. Thackebay, Vanity Fair.
Dacha- one.Eleven pence. The philologists who adopt dent, a
CSacltr.Deich, ten; Greek, Sea. tooth, as the root of this word, have
overlooked a much more probable and
DAFT (Lowland Scotch) .Wild, ex palpable derivation. When Shakspeare
cited, crazy, silly. speaks of the "dainty" Ariel, the idea
Gaelic. Bailh {daif), (obsolete), of toothsomeness is not involved ; and
drink ; daibhte {dai/te), drunk, excited when a man admires the " dainty "
with drink. feet or " dainty " fingers of a beautiful
woman, or talks of a " dainty " song
DAGGER.A short sword or knife, a
the idea is not derived from any as
poniard.
sociation with the teeth or palate. The
French, dagne ; Italian, daga; Welsh, true root is the
dager ; Irish, daigear.Chambebs.
The syllable dag or dig represents a sud atlic. Beanta, complete, per
den thrust, then the instrument with which
the thrust is given, or anything of similar formed, perfectly finished. This idea
form. Breton, dagi, to stab ; Old English, of perfection would afterwards very
dag, to pierce.Wedgwood. easily apply to a well-cooked dish or
aellC. Beaghair, swift, nimble, any other delicacy agreeable to the
sudden, alert ; whence, on Mr. Wedg palate, and by an obvious transition, to
wood's reasoning, an instrument that fastidiousness in eating or drinking.
might be used suddenly, swiftly, or Untune.Bain, fine, delicate, pure.
conveniently ; in which respects the
dagger would be preferable to the sword.
DAIRY.A place for the production
DAINTY.Delicate, well made, agree or sale of milk, cream, cheese, or
able, fastidious, over-nice. butter.
Dandy.A dainty man in his attire Dairy Farm.A farm that depends
and manners. more upon its cattle and their
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 123
produce, than upon corn or the French, dais, or daiz, a cloth of estate,
products of agriculture. canop3' or heaven that stands over the heads
of princes' thrones ; also the whole state, or
Dairyman. One who keeps cows seat of estate.Cotgravb.
for the sale of their milk. Gaelic.Dais, a heap, a mow of hay
From the French derriere, q. d. an house or corn, anything raised up above the
backward ; where cheese is usually made. surface.
Minshep, quoted in Gazophylacium Angli-
canum. DALLY. To linger, to procrastinate,
From dey, an old word for milk.John to delay unnecessarily.
son.
Dey, the servant who had charge of the From the Belgian dollen, dolen, to play
dairy.Weight's Provincial Dictionary. the fool. Dr. Th. H. taketh it from the word
Z)ey-wife, a dairy woman.Palsgrave. "dela}'." Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
M.Gothic, daddjan, to milk; Icelandic, From the Dutch dollen, to trifle.John
deggia, to give milk ; Swedish, dia, to milk ; son.
deja, a dairy maid.Worcester. The radical idea seems to be to talk im
The dey was a servant in husbandry, perfectly like a child ; then to act like a child,
mostly a female, whose duty was to make trifle, loiter. German, dahlcn, dallen, to
cheese and butter, attend to the calves and stammer.Wedgwood.
poultry and other odds and ends of the farm j Gaelic.Dail, delay, procrastinate;
the dery, deyry, or dairy was the place
assigned to her.Wedgwood. dailich, to procrastinate, to delay from
It will be seen that philologists dif enhancement of pleasure, as in "amor
fer very much as to the origin of this ous dalliance," in the lines of Milton:
word. It is probable that the true root Yielded with coy submission, modest pride
is the And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Paradise Lost.
Gaelic.Hair, the pairing or breed
ing of cattle, to pair, to rut ; daradh, DAMNONII.A British tribe or race
pairing, rutting, breeding; tigh, a inhabiting the south-west of England.
house; with the aspirate thigh (t silent) ; Damni. A British tribe inhabiting
whence dair-thigh (dair-igh), the house Perthshire, Argyleshire, Stirling,
or building on the farm where the cat and Dumbartonshire in Scotland.
tle were protected and tended; "dairy The name of a pastoral people ;from
man " or " dairy-maid " would signify the
the man or woman who looked after Gaelic Damh, an ox; duine, a
the cattle, and milked the cows in the man ; dhnine (d silent.) ; whence gra
dair-igh. The Gaelic deire, the back ziers, herdsmen, or men of oxen ; dam-
part, behind, supports the old derivation hail, appertaining to oxen.
of Minshcu. DAN (Obsolete).A title of respect
DAIS.A raised floor in a banqueting formerly given to priests and learned
hall, where the table of honour was men in England.
placed, and where the most dis Dominie (Lowland Scotch) . A
tinguished of the guests were ac schoolmaster.
commodated. Dominus (Latin).A lord, a master;
From the French dais, a canopy.Bailet, whence dominate, to rule, and do
Ash, &c. minion, lordship, mastery, rule.
Old French, dais; Low Latin, discus, a Don (Spanish).A title, equivalent
table, a quoit, or any thing of that shape.
Chamuers. to Sir or Master.
I! I
124 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

Donna.A lady, the feminine of Don. French ballet, a musical entertainment


Duenna. An elderly woman set in which dancing forms the principal
over a young one to guide or re part, may be cited as from the Italian
strain her. ballare, to dance ; from whence the
This word (Dan), the Dom of the Benedic English and French words ball and bal,
tines, originally applied to monks, was after a dance ; and ballad, and ballade, a
wards extended to persons of all respectable
conditions. It is common in Chaucer and song, originally sung to persons danc
used by Spenser and Shakspeare. After it ing, when instrumental music was not
began to grow obsolete, it was used like
other words so circumstanced, in a kind of obtainable.
jocular way, as Dan Cupid, &c.Nabes.
DANDER (Slang)."To have one's
GitrltC.Ditiue, a man; duineil,
dander up/' to be incensed, to be
manly; duineuasal, a gentleman; du-
angry, resolute, or fierce.
ineachan, a mannikin; duineadas, man
Gaelic.Dan, warlike, fierce, bold;
liness.
danackd, boldness; dananachd, stub
DANCE.To keep time with the feet bornness ; danadas, boldness, presump
to music, to move the body joyously tion, obstinacy.
in sympathetic action with the rhythm
of musical instruments. DANGER.Exposure to injury, loss,
Philologists in their endeavours to hurt, or death.
trace this word beyond the French dan The Middle Latin damnum was used to
signify a fine imposed by legal authority.
ger and the German ianzen, have made The term was then elliptically applied to the
no satisfactory discovery. The author limits over which the right of a lord to the
fines for territorial offences extended; and
of Gazophylacium Anglicanum derives then to the enclosed field of a proprietor. . . .
the word from land, a fantastical inven Damage then acquired the sense of trespass,
tion. Mr. Wedgwood maintains intrusion into the close of another, as in the
legal phrase damage feasant, whence the
" That the original meaning was doubtless French damager, to. distrain or seize cattle
to stamp, in which sense danse and dandse found in trespass. From this verb was
are still used in South Denmark. So in apparently formed the abstract domageriitm,
Latin pedihus plaudere clioreas. ... A signifying the power of exacting a damnum
like connexion is seen between the Anglo- or fine for trespass. . . . Then as damage is
Saxon tumbian, to dance, and the Piatt written damge in the laws of William the
Deutsch, dumpen, to stamp ; also the Devon Conqueror, the foregoing doniigerium and
shire word dump, to knock heavily, to stump, the corresponding French domager or dama
also a kind of dance." ger would pass into damger, or danger, the
Notwithstanding Mr. "Wedgwood's last of which is frequently found in the
peculiar sense of damnum and dommage
high authority, it is clear that the above explained. "En ladite terre et au
primary idea of dancing is to he sought dangicr du dit sire se trouva certaines bestes
des dits habitans." "Icelles bestes se boute-
not in stamping or stumping, but in rent en un dangier, ou paturage defendu."
music. The true root is the Carp. a.d. 1373.
Narcissus was a bachclere
ffiilCltC.Dan, a poem, a musical That Love had caught in his daungere.
composition ; danach, metrical ; damn, Chauceb, Bomaunt of the Rose.
Wedgwood.
to dance, to skip in unison with music ; This word in Scottish, according to Jamie-
dannsadh, dancing, a movement of the son, signifies peril, power, dominion, doubt,
hesitation. In Chaucer it signifies peril and
body to musical sounds. coyness, sparingness or oustody.Wobces-
In confirmation of the Gaelic origin TEE.
of " dance " from dan, a poem, the CfiarliCDun, a hill or fort; dei
01' THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 125

readh, the rear or hindmost part; liore-darg, a piece of work done not for
whence dun-dei readh (pronounced dun- hire, but for affection. Darg-A&y, cottars
were formerly bound to give the labour of a
jara), the rear of a strong place or certain number of days to the superior in
lieu of rent, which were called darg-iays.
fortress; deireannach, the last, behind Jamiesox.
(the Trench derriere), whence to he in
" danger," would signify to be in the (Gaelic. Dearg, severe, intense, hard.
place of last resort in extremity of peril.
DARGISONor Dabgason.The name
DANTON (Lowland Scotch) .To over of a dance and a dance tune, which
awe. Mr. Chappell, in his Popular Music
Daunt.To intimidate, to overawe, of the Olden Time, says was known
to discourage, to frighten. long prior to the Reformation.
Old French, danter; Modern French, In this dance, the men and women
dompter; Latin, domito ; Sanscrit, dam, to at the commencement stood in one
tame.Chambkbs.
From Latin domito, frequentative of domo, straight line, the men together, and the
to subdue.Wedgwood. women together. Like similar dances
(Gaelic.Dan, bold, daring, intrepid; called " The shaking of the sheets," and
danachd, boldness, presumption ; dan- the "Cushion Dance," it does not appear
aich, to defy, to dare, to challenge ; to have been more decent than, but
danarra, bold, resolute, overbearing, very similar in some respects to, the
presumptuous, proud, haughty ; danarr- modern Can-can. Nares, who says it
achd, haughtiness, pride, presumption. is an " obscene word or name," cites
Ben Jonson in the Tale of a Tub :
DAPPER. Little, but brisk, active,
But if yon get the lass from Dargison,
neat. What will you do with her ?
Dutch, dapper; German, tapfer, brave.
JonNSON, WoBcrsTEB, Websteb, &c. He also cites from the Isle of Gulls,
Dapper in English seems to have been a comedy by John Day :
first used in the sense of pretty, neat ; dapyr,
elegant. Dapper, propre, mignon, godin. The girls are ours,
Palsgrave. Godinct, pretty ; dapper, indif We have won them away to Dargison !
ferently handsome. Cotgrave. Applied to a and again :
man, it signifies small and neat.Wedgwood.
An ambling nag, and adowne, adowne,
(Gaelic.Damhair (davair), earnest, We have borne her away to Dargison.
keen, eager, zealous ; damhaireachd, Gifford, in a note on Ben Jonson's
keenness, diligence, industry, perse use of this term, says :
verance. " In some childish book of knight errantry,
which I formerly read but cannot now call to
DARBIES (Slang).Fetters, hand mind, there is a dwarf of this name who
cuffs, manacles. accompanies a lady of great beauty and
(Garlic.Dairlih, doirbh, hard, pain virtue through many perilous adventures as
her guard and guide. I have no great faith
ful, difficult ; bac, hindrance. A manacle in the identity of this personage, but he may
is also called in Gaelic a bac-lamh or serve till a better is found."
hinder-hand. Under the name of " Dargison," un
suspected by the Saxon-speaking Eng
DARG. A hard day's work. lish of the period, were concealed two
Daurg, a day's work, Northern. Keltic words, well known to the un-
Wbight's Obsolete and Provincial Eng
lish Diclionari/. literary stratum of the people, and
126 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

which when' applied to the dance aud DASTARD.One easily made afraid,
the tune, were suggestive and provo a coward, a poltroon.
cative of sexual desire, like the Can-can The final syllable in such English
of our days. words as dastard, coward, and in such
(ffiarltC. Dair, sexual intercourse French words as bavard, bayard, babil-
(See Dairy) ; geas, geasan, charm; en \ard and others, is an intensitive par
chantment, delight. ticle, equivalent to the Gaelic ard, high,
the Greek apx, as in archbishop.
DARK.Without light, obscure. Garlic. Tais, fainthearted, weak,
From the Saxon deorg.Johnson. timorous; iaisead, taiseachd, faintheart
Anglo-Saxon, deorg; Gaelic, dorcha, the
opposite oisorcha, light.Chambebs. edness.
Garlic. Dorch, dark; dorchadas, DAUB. To smear, to lay on the
darkness ; dorchadh, growing dark. A colours too thickly.
bhrbn a' dorchadh, his sorrow darkened.
From dabble, to work in wet materials;
Ossian. hence daub, clay; dauber, a builder of walls
with clay or mud ; Spanish, tapia, a mud
DARRAIGN (Obsolete).To arrange wall.Wedgwood.
an army, or set it in order of battle. Gaelic.Bob, to plaster, to cement,
Royal commanders, he in readiness, to smear ; dbbadh, plastering ; dbbair,
Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
Shakspba.be, Henry VI. Part II. a plasterer.
Redoubted battle, ready to darraine.
Spenser, Faerie Queen. DAUPHIN.A name formerly given
Of uncertain origin.Naees. to the eldest son of the kings of
Gaelic.Tarruing, to advance, to France.
draw near, to approach. This word, from its identity of sound
and orthography with " dauphin " or
DASH (Vulgar and Colloquial) ." To " dolphin," a fish, has been connected
cut a dash," to make a great display. with a story to fit it, as is customary
Dashing.Showy, gaudily dressed, with such etymologists as are led away
adorned with finery ; " The dash by cheating resemblances. But the
ing white sergeant." connexion between "dolphin" and the
This word is not from the same root heirs to the French throne, is not more
as " dash," to knock violently, to throw sustainable than would be a supposed
down, or the " dash " or beat of the connexion between a " whale " and the
waves on the shore, but from the Prince of Wales.
Gaelic.Beas, fine, fitting, sym Titro attache" a certaines seigneuries.
metrical, handsome; deise, a suit of Dauphin d'Auvergne. Grand Dauphin,
titre donnd quclquefois au Dauphin, fils de
clothes, finery. The old English words Louis XIV. Dauphini, nom de province,
berdash, and chinbowdash, meaning, the derive" du nom de ces seigneurs qui avaient
pris pour leurs armes trois Dauphins.
first, the cravat or neckcloth worn by a Littbe.
man under the beard ; and the second, The true etymology is from the
the ribbons round the neck of a woman,
Gaelic.Ba fionn, doubly or twice
derive their last syllable from this root.
Sec Haberdasher. fair or beautiful.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 127

DAWDLE.To trifle, to linger, to the German theil, a part, a portion, a


waste time. division ; but the Germans do not use
Johnson used this word, "Come, some it in the sense of trade or trading, and
evening1, and dawdle over a dish of tea render dealer by handelsmann, a trades
with me," but did not admit it into his man, or kaufmann, a merchant. The
Dictionary. Worcester admits it, but true etymon is the
ventures upon no etymology. arltC.Bail, credit, trust ; dailich,
Scottish, daddle, or daidle, to be slow in to deal, to buy and sell ; deilig, business,
motion or in action; to daddle, daidle,
daudle, to trifle, to move lazily. Piatt to transact business ; deiligeadh, having
Deutsch, dodeln, to be slow, not to get on dealings, transacting business.
with a thing.Wedgwood.
ffiafltc.Babhdail, to saunter, to DEAN.A clerical functionary in a
loiter ; dabh, sauntering ; daoi, daoidh, cathedral.
feeble, spiritless. Doyen (French).A deputy bishop.
DAY. The period from the rising to Literally, the chief of ten men ; a superior ;
a dignitary in a cathedral or a collegiate
the setting of the sun. church who presides over the other clergy.
This word in various forms pervades The President of the Faculty in a college.
nearly all the languages of Europe and Old French, dean; Latin, decanus, decern,
ten.Chambers.
Asia, and dates from the era of the
QSarltC.Bean, to do; deanadach,
early religions, when men worshipped
laborious, industrious ; deanamh, doing,
the Sun, or the day, as God. Hence the
acting, performing ; whence the English
words Theos, Bens, in Greek and Latin,
dean, applied to the working or active
the Gaelic Bia, the French Dieu, and
member of the cathedral clergy, who
the Italian and Spanish Deos and Bios.
performs the work that the bishop is
In Sanscrit, daha signifies light or
unable to do.
redness in the sky. In Gaelic, dalh or
da is brightness and colour. The Latin
DEAR.The common acceptation of
dies and the German tag are clearly
this word is costly, the opposite of
from the same root, so that all these
cheap. It was used in a different
languages, ancient and modern, con
sense by the Elizabethan writers and
centrate the ideas of Light, Day, and
by Shakspeare in the following
God into one focus. The Sanscrit da
passages :
is to give ; whence the Latin and Italian
So I made lame by fortune's dearest spite,
dare, in which the same fundamental Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
idea seems to prevail ; that the daha, Sonnets.
or day, or Sun, or Deus, or Dia, gives, Let us return
And strain what other means are left to us
and is the great giver of light and At our dear peril.Timon of Athens.
fertility and all other blessings to the Would I had met my dearest foe in Heaven,
world. Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio !
Samlet.
In dear employment.Borneo and Juliet.
DEAL.To traffic in commodities, to What dure and "cruell penance doe I
sell. sustaine for none offence at all.Palace of
Dealer.A merchant. Pleasure. Nabes.
This word is commonly derived from Ben Jonson in Catiline says,
128 THE GAELIC etymology
Put your known valours on so dear a busi Derne usurie, dcrne shrift. Piers
ness, Ploughman.
Aud have no other second than the danger. By many a derne and painful perch
Nares says that Of Pericles, the painful search
Is made.SHAKsrEABE, Pericles.
" Extension seems to have been the first They heard a rueful voice that dearnty cried.
sense, whence it was applied to anything Faerie Queetie.
valuable or beloved. . . . By another appli
cation of the original sense it came also to Who wounded with report of beauty's pride
mean excessive, high, or anything superlative, Unable to restrain his derne desire.
even superlatively bad." Tragedy of Wars of Cyrus. Weight.
From the Saxon dyrnan, to hide; so
The explanation given by Nares is Tyrwhitt explains it in Chaucer.Naees.
scarcely satisfactory. It is suggested aell'c.Beur, deuran, a tear; deiir-
that "dear/'' in the sense in which ach, deuranach, tearful melancholy, sad.
Shakspeare and Ben Jonson employ it
in the above passages, is that of the DEBAUCH.To corrupt with lewd
English dire, the Lowland Scotch dour, ness.
hard, cruel ; the French dur. Debauchery.Riotous living, excess
in meat or drink, or in the indul
.iflie.Dur, hard, unbending; du-
gence of lust.
aira, stern, unyielding, unamiable ;
This word is traceable to the French
dnraufa, morose, churlish ; durantachd,
debaudier, but, in that language, handier
churlishness, bad temper. The substi
without the affix is no longer existent.
tution of the word " hard " for " dear "
The root of handle is the
in all the passages quoted from Shak
speare and Ben Jonson would exactly (Sarlir. Baois (pronounced haotih),
convey the meaning that seems to have lewdness, lust. Possibly the affix "de"
been intended by the writers. is from deidh (del'), great desire, pro
pensity or longing ; whence deidk-baois
DEAR.Beloved, cherished, precious; (dei-baois), a great propensity for lust
costly in price, expensive, not cheap. or lewdness.
In French, German, English, " dear," DECOY-DUCK. A bird tamed or
beloved, and "dear," costly, are gene taught to allure others of its species.
rally rendered by the same word, but Properly duck-coy, Icooi, Icotcr, Iceu, a
the Keltic nations established a differ cage; vogel-hooi, a bird-cage, decoy, apparatus
ence between the two ideas. for entrapping water fowl. English dialect,
coy, a decoy for ducks, a coop for lobsters.
tfSarlir.Baor, expensive, costly; Forby. The namo was probably imported
daoraich, to raise the price, to enhance with the thing itself from Holland to the
fens.Wedgwood.
the value ; daoradh, the act of making Latin de and coy, Old verb, to entice.
more costly, of enhancing, or advancing Chaiibebs.
the price of anything. " Dear " in the (LVlflir ~ Coimh-deach (coi-deadi) ,
sense of beloved is rendered by gaolach, safe, secure ; coimh-ea-dach, watchful,
gradhach, and many other words. vigilant; coimheadaiche, an inspector, a
scout, a spy ; coimheadadid, a convoy,
DEARNE or Derne.Lonely, melan a watching, an inspecting. When or
choly, solitary, strange, grievous. why the prefix de in the English word
Dearnely, Dearnful. In a melan was added to the Gaelic root is difficult
choly manner. to explain.
OK THB ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 129

DECREPIT.Feeble. The Gael call Noah's deluge, the


Cripple.One lame in the foot or leg. "Dile ruadh/' and " Ruadh thuile,"
Cki tch.A support for the lame. the " Red flood/' It is not easy to sug
Creep.To move slowly. gest a reason, unless one may be found
Decrepilus, Latin, very old, worn out, hereafter in the cuneiform inscriptions
infirm ; derivation uncertain.Wedgwood. and druidic legends of the tablets of
fiSaflic. Orion, wither, fail, decay; Assyria.
criopag, a wrinkle or sign of decay and
old age. DEMOGORGON.A mysterious deity
of Mid Mythology, unknown to the
DEDUIT, Faire le (Slang and collo ancients. Milton in Paradise Lest,
quial French). Co-ire. speaks of " the dreaded name of
ffiaeltC. Dead/i, excellent; dit.it, Demogorgon."Book II., lines 960
with you. 970.
linilUlC. Dedwydd, great enjoy A formidable deity, by some supposed to be
ment ; dedwyddan, to beatify. the grandsire of all the gods, made known to
modern poetry by Boccaccio. Hetitley on
Milton says contemptuously, " Buccace, I
DELAY.To defer, to linger, to rest suppose, was the first that invented this silly
in action, to procrastinate. word, Demogorgon." . . . Spenser, in the
French, delai, from Latin, differrc, dila- Faerie Queene, says of Night,
tum, protract, defer; dilatio, delay; Old Thou wast begot in Demogorgon 's hall,
French, dilayer, to delay.Wedgwood. And sawest the secrets of the world unmade.
ffiacltc. Bail, dailich, to delay, to Ben Jonson apparently with the same notion
procrastinate. that Bcntley afterwards took up, has
Boccace's Demorgorgon, thousands more,
Hjjnuic.Dal, to detain, to arrest, All abstract riddles of our store.
to stop. See Dalliance. All the learning on this subject is accu
mulated in Heyne's Opuscula Academica.
DELL (Cant of beggars and gipsies). He supposes it derived from Demiurgos, and
A female child ; a girl, a young drawn from the Oriental systems of magic.
The very mention of this Deity's name was
woman not arrived at marriageable said to be tremendous. . . . Tasso alludes to
age. the awful name without mentioning it.
Naees.
(SaeltC. Deal, to suck; deolach,
This "dreaded" name does not seem
sucking, suckling ; deothal (I silent),
to have been that of a deity, but, as
a suckling.
will appear hereafter, an exclamation or
DELUGE.A flood of rain. prayer for protection against a parti
Diluvian. Pertaining to rains or cular evil. The roots are all Keltic,
floods. and if Boccaccio understood that ancient
Latin, diluvium, diluo, to wash away; tongue, he may, as Bentley ignorantly
Spanish, diluvio; French, diluge.Wok- supposed have invented the word. But
CKSTER.
Latin, Invo, latum, to wash ; diluo, to there is no proof or even supposition
wash away.Wkdowood. that he knew Gaelic or any other branch
(fiaflic. Dil, dile, heavy rain, an of the Keltic, and the probability is
inundation, a deluge; dilinneach, inun that he found the word current and
dating, flooding ; dileanta, rainy ; luil, adopted it without clearly understanding
a flood. its purport. Turning to the Creek
130 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Gorgon, we find a clue that may help inhabitant, a citizen ; one entitled by
us to the meaning. The three Gordons, age and position to the privileges of
of whom the best known in mytholo citizenship.
gical fable is Medusa, were of such From dinasdynn, Welsh, a man of the
frightful appearance, that the horror city, a free man, one enfranchised.Johnsox.
they excited was sufficient to paralyze Welsh, dinas, a city; Cornish, dinas, from
dir, a place of strength. Dinesydd in Welsh
or turn into stone all who looked upon is a citizen. Good authorities give the Old
them. A trace, and probably the origin, French, deinsein, as the origin, but the word
of Gorgon is to be found in the is more probabty a corruption of the Kymric.
Nicholas, Pedigree of the English.
(Garlic. Gbrag, a mad woman; gon, Denizen is a British Law term which the
Saxons and Angles found here, and retained.
to hurt or wound with an evil eye, to Sib John Davies, quoted in Latham's
wound sorely, to destroy by enchant Todd's Johnson.
ment, whence gbrag-gon, and by abbre ttarll'rDuine, a man ; sean, old ;
viation Gorgon. Bearing this in mind, whence duine sean, an old man, a sena
we have, as the roots of " Demogorgon," tor, a city father.
dion, defend, protect, save : mi, me ;
gbrag, a mad woman; gon, enchantment DERRICK.An apparatus for lifting
by the evil eye. Thus dion mi gorag gon, heavy weights, called in America an
becomes by a slight corruption easily " elevator."
accounted for by the lapse of time, and Derrick was the name of the common
by the ignorance of the illiterate people hangman at the time when some of our old
plays were produced.
of the sources of the language which " He 1 ides circuit with the Devil, and Der
they spoke, " Demogorgon," an excla rick must be his host, and Tyburn the inn at
which he will light."Bellman of London.
mation meaning " Save or protect me 1G16. Nares.
from the witch, hag, or mad woman with It is likely that the name of Derrick
the evil eye!" was popularly given to the hangman
This superstition of the Evil Eye is, from a grim jest at his occupation of
and always has been prevalent in Italy, hoisting or raising criminals on the
Greece, France, Arabia, and in fact all gallows.
over the world. McAlpine, Gaelic Dic
CSiirllC.Dirich, to climb, to mount,
tionary, under the word gon, a hurt with
to hoist; direach, straight; eiric/i, to
the evil eye, appends a note.
raise, to lift ; dh'eirich, did raise, lift or
" Tlie Arabs pray that an evil eye may not hoist.
hurt their favourite horses and hence the
learned Dr. Clarke argues that the Irish and
Scotch Gael must have derived this supersti DERR1ERE (French).Behind ; the
tion from the East." breech, the podex.
Upon the former prevalence of this Du Latin de, et retro, qui a subsisted
gloomy belief in Scotland, there are dans l'ancien Francais riire.Littbe.
some curious particulars to be found (Gaelic.Dcire, the end, the rear,
in the work of John Graham Dalzell, the back part of anything ; the stern of
The Varker Superstitions of Scotland, a ship.
Glasgow, 1835. DEUCII (Lowland Scotch).A drink.
Deuch, tench, a draught, a potation;
DENIZEN. An inhabitant, an old I German, tog, haustua, potantium ductus ;
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 131

from tog-a-trahere. Teutonic, feByie.haustus. supply, it is probable that the word


Jamieson. is a corruption of the
Gaelic.Deoch, a drink. Garlic. Tog, to raise, to lift; tog
do cridhe, lift up your heart, be of good
DEVIL. The spirit or god of evil,
cheer.
the arch enemy, the foul fiend, Satan,
The Gaelic tog appears in English as tug,
Apollyon the destroyer ; diable to strive to lift or drag a heavy weight; tigh
(French) ; teufel (German) ; diavolo (Nares), a chain for dragging ; and tick, to
fondle, to lift a child or young person on
(Italian) ; diabolus (Latin). the knee. IIaliiwell.
This word is derived by nearly all
philologists from the Greek Sia/SoXo?, DICKENS. A vulgar exclamation;
with its various forms in the languages " What the dickens is this ?"
of modern Europe. Without impugn Synonymous with devil, What the dickens
are you after? i.e. what the devil are you
ing the accuracy of this derivation, it doing? Shakspeare uses it in the Merry
may be interesting to the student of Wives of Windsor. . . . The word was some
times spelled diconce.Slang Dictionary.
language to compare the following
It is very probable that the exclama
possible etymons from the
tion dates from the pre-Saxon age in
GafliC. Dith mhill (dee-vil), to de England, and that it is but a Saxon
stroy; dith mhilltar, dith mhilUeach, a corruption of the
destroyer. Dith, signifies destruction, (garlic. Di-chiumhne [di-chiu-ne),
and mill, with the aspirate mhill, to lay forgctfulness ; di-chiumhneach, forget
waste, injure. So that the word dith ful. Thus " what the dickens are you
mhill is an augmentative of " destroy " doing?" means "what in the name
and " destruction." of forgetfulness are you doing?"
Dm, a god; buail, bhuail, to strike,
to smite, i. e. dia-buail, the god who DICKER.The quantity of ten, of any
strikes, who wields the thunderbolt. commodity ; as a dicker of hides,
ten hides ; a dicker of iron, ten bars
DICII.An obscure word in Timon of of iron.
Athens, used by Apemantus after Behold, said Pan, a whole dicker of wit.
his cynical grace before meat, and Pembroke, Arcadia.
when he has eaten and drunk. Possibly from the Latin decas.Nabes.
aflic.Deich, ten; deichnear, ten
Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus !
Mr. Charles Knight passes the word persons.
over without remark. Nares conjec DICKEY (Slang).A false shirt-front,
tures from the sense that it means worn to make it appear that the
" may it do," and Mr. Staunton explains wearer has clean linen.
it as " do it." Nares says
acltc. Dichioll, a forlorn effort,
" Though this has the appearance of being
a familiar and colloquial form it has not been a last attempt.
met with elsewhere, which is rather extra
ordinary ; nor is it known to be provincial." DIDDLE (Vulgar and Colloquial). To
If not a misprint of some word which cheat, to cozen.
it is now difficult and impossible to No etymology of this word is sug-
2
132 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

gested by Latham, Webster, or Wor Die-Sinkku. A maker of dies for


cester ; Richardson makes no mention metals.
of it. (Hiarltr.Bilh, to press, to squeeze,
In German, dudeln is to play on the bag to compress, to impress.
pipe, and the ideas of cheating and piping
seem to have been much connected.Slang DIEL (Lowland Scotch).This word
Dictionary.
From dodder, didder, to move rapidly is usually supposed to be a contraction
backwards and forwards; then to use action of the English devil, the German
of such a nature, for the purpose of engaging
the attention of an observer while a trick is teufel, the French diable, the Italian
played upon him. To deceive by juggling diavolo, the Latin diabolus, Sec. In
tricks.Wedgwood. this sense the word means a destroyer ;
arltr.Bidil, great love or kind but the Scottish diel may be wholly
ness, the affectation of great love or unrelated to these.
kindness to serve a purpose. The same
(GarltC.Dial, to avenge; dioladh,
in Irish, dideil, act of looking slyly,
vengeance, or requiting of evil for evil ;
peeping ; did, a sly peep.
diolair, an avenger. This idea of the
DIE.To cease to live, to expire. infernal character is more consonant
Death, The extinction of life. with the office attributed to Satan than
Anglo-Saxon, death ; Belgian, dood ; Teu that of a destroyer. The Devil of theo
tonic, todh. Mer-cass deriveth die from the
Greek 8u<u, Svva, to inter; Minsheu from the logy cannot destroy, he can only avenge
Greek 8eiSa>, to fright, whence Death is called or torment.
the King of Terrors. Dr. T. H. takes it
from the French de irer, and this from de DIET.Food, provision.
ire, which signifies as much as to depart this
life. Gazophylaeium Anglicanum. The mode of living with especial reference
Anglo-Saxon, death: German, tod, con to food. The French, diete; Italian, dieta ;
nected with Greek Bavaros.Chambees. Greek, hiana; Latin, diaita.Cjiambebs.
From the Anglo-Saxon dedian.Johnson. (GarltC.Bio/, a meal ; diot mhor, the
From the Gothic dauthjan ; Anglo-Saxon, great meal, i. e. dinner.
deadian ; Dutch, dooden, to kill; German,
tbdten, to kill ; and French tuer, to kill. DIGNITY. -Nobility of look, manner,
WoBCESTEB.
It will be seen that nearly all the roots or conduct.
suggested for the English word " die " Dione (French).Worthy.
signify to kill, whereas one may die The words " dignity, dignified, indig
without being killed,die by natural nant," &c, found their way into the
decay. The true root appears to be the English language either through the
Norman French, or directly from the
(Garlic.Diot/i (obsolete, Armstrong'a
Gaelic Dictionary), to die ; diothadh, Latin. The root of the Latin seems to
death, decay; dith, want, defect, de be the
struction ; dithich, to extirpate, to de (SrafltC. Bagh, greatly or nobly
stroy, to put to death; dilh-mhill, to good, as distinguished from maith, good.
destroy unto death ; difh-laraich, to de The word in the Irish Gaelic is deag, as
vastate or destroy dwellings and habita deag duine, a worthy good man.
tions. The usual word maith, Irish mait, good,
follows the noun and goes through the three
DIE. The stamp used for impressing degrees of comparison ; but deag precedes the
noun, and is rarely compared. Deag conveys
coins or metals. the idea of inherent goodness or moral worth,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 133
which mailh does not.Rev. UlickBoubke, have words for this important meal of a
Gaelic Irish Grammar.
totally different derivation, such as the
DIKE. A stone wall; a defence against Latin prandeo, and the Italian pranzare,
the encroachments of the sea or a to dine. Mr. Wedgwood derives the
river. French, digue, a trench, a English "dinner," and consequently the
ditch, a boundary wall. French diner, from the Latin desinere,
CSatltr.Dig, a dike. to cease, the " dinner " being the meal
taken at the noon-tide cessation from
DILLING (Obsolete). A lover, a labour. The Gaelic which has borrowed
sweetheart, a darling. so little from any modern language is
The same as darling, a favourite, but used not likely to have been indebted to the
rather for the female, and seems to be a kind
of fondling diminutive. Minsbeu explains French for this word. It is most pro
it as a wanton, but there is nothing in its bable that the root is Keltic, and com
origin to convey that meaning, even if with
him we derive it from diligo. mon both to the Gaelic and the French.
Whilst the birds billing The Gaelic for " dinner " is dinneir, of
Each with his diUinn, which the root, not signifying rest from
The thickets still filling
With amorous notes.Drayton. labour as Mr. Wedgwood supposes, but
To make up the match with my eldest protection and fortification against hun
daughter, my wife's dilling, whom she longs ger is to be found in the
to call Madam.Eastward Ho ! Nabes.
(GarlicDiall, attachment, fondness; arllC. Dion, dionadh, protection,
dile, love ; dileas, faithful, fond, true, defence. Two other derivations, which
affectionate, beloved; deidheil, very fond are possible, but not so probable, offer
of; dileag, beloved. themselves for consideration. The one
is din, pleasant, agreeable; which a
DILL-WATER.Extract of aniseed, "dinner" most certainly is to most
very often improperly given to infants people ; the second is dinn, to cram,
by ignorant or unfeeling nurses or to stuff, to eat plentifully. Any one
mothers to produce sleep. of these derivations, all Keltic, seems
(CrilfllCBile, aniseed. to be preferable to that from desinere.
It is suggested by M. Little that diner
DINNER. The principal meal or is a corruption of di-cccnare, to sup a
repast of the day. second time, from cana, a supper or
Dine.To partake of dinner. repast.
English and French etymologists
have been unable to account for this DIRE, Painful, dreadful.
word, or to trace it beyond the Keltic All English etymologists, without
French diner, from whence it is imme exception, derive this word from the
diately derived. Neither the Teutonic Latin dims. As this is itself traceable
nor the Latin owes it any paternity. to the Keltic it is more probable that
The Germans call dinner the Midday the word came into English through
meal, or the Mid-day eating, " Mil- the Keltic than through the Latin.
tagamahl, or Mittagsessen." The Italian The Lowland Scotch dour, severe, and
and other modern languages derived dourly, without mercy or kindness, sug
from the Latin (the French excepted) gests the same root in the
134 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

CSratltC.Daor, doom, sentence, pun tadh fola, bloodshed, or the spilling of


ishment, imprisonment, slavery; Daor- blood.
Tigh, the House of Doom, a prison.
DISCANDY.This word occurs twice
DIRGE. A mournful song, or piece of
in Antony and Cleopatra.
music; a funereal hymn, a requiem
for the dead. German, trauengesang; The hearts
That spaniel'd me at heels, to whom I gave
French, hymne fanebre ; Italian, can Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
zonefunebre. On blossoming Cresar.Act iv. Scene 10.
Dirige, a solemn service in the Romish Till by degrees the memory of my womb,
Church ; a hymn beginning Dirige grcssus Together with my brave Egyptians all,
metis. Hence probably our dirge, though it By the disrandying of this pelleted storm,
has been disputed, and the hymn Dirige is Lie graveless.Act iii. Scene 11.
not exactly a dirge ;yet any other etymo Nares says the whole passage is ob
logy is more forced.Nabbs.
This is not a contraction of the Latin scure, but interprets "discandy" to
dirige, as some pretend, but is from the Teu melt away from the state of being can
tonic dyrkc, laudare, to praise and extol ;
and our dirge was a laudatory song to com died, like sugar, or anything of that
memorate and applaud the dead. Verstegan. kind. Mr. Staunton in his Glossary to
B;icon apparently derives it from dirige.
Johnson. Shakspeare renders " discandy " to li
quefy. But if the word be derived from
If " dirge " were really derived from
the Gaelic, as is most probable, it means
the Latin dirige, direct, guide, lead;
the very reverse of "liquefy," and
the French, Italian, German, or other
has nothing whatever to do with
European languages that enter into the
"candy."
composition of English would likely
have borrowed their synonym from the atllC. Biosg, barren, dry; said of
same source. But this is not the case. a cow that gives no milk ; diosgan, dry,
There is no such word in the Teutonic to dry up ; diosgadh, dry, barren.
languages as di/rke, cited by Johnson Studied by this gloss, the two pas
from Verstejran. The German tranen- sages become intelligible. " The hearts
gesang suggests the true etymology in to whom I gave their wishes do dry up
the (to me) and melt their sweets on Caesar."
ffiafllC. Deur, a tear; deurach, The "discandying of the pelleted storm,"
mournful, tearful, sorrowful. means the drying up, or cessation, of
the storm.
DIRT.Foulness, filth.
Dirty. Foul, not clean. DISHED (Slang). Ruined, con
Prom the Belgian, drift ; Teutonic, dreck, demned, done for, fated.
filth, dung. Gazophylacium Anglicanum. Gaelic. Disne {tlishne), a die, a
From the Dutch dreyt, the Icelandic drit, cube, dice ; disnein, a dice-box. If this
mud, mire, filth, any thing that sticks to the
clothes or the body.Johnson. be the origin of the vulgar expression
From the Anglo-Saxon gedritan; Scottish, "to be dished" it may signify that
drile, to ease one's self.Chambebs. the person has thrown the die and lost
aeltC.Doirt, to spill, pour, shed ; when he expected to win. In Sanscrit
dortach, to spill, apt to spill or make a dishta signifies fated, doomed, one who
mess; dortadh, shedding, spilling; dor- has lost the hazard.
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 135

DISMAL.Gloomy, sad, sullen, dark. arllC.Maoim, terror, fear, fright.


Philology has failed to trace this Possibly if de, and not dis, be the true
word to its root. The difficulty lies in prefix the word may be derived from
the prefix dis, which seems to be, but Dith (pronounced de), to die; from
cannot be, the Latin privative dis. whence dith-maoirh, or demay, to be
Without this prefix the root may be the dismayed, to die of terror.
(SarltC.Maoladh, &u\ness, stupidity, DISPLAY.To spread out for show, to
barrenness, gloom ; maoim, panic, great exhibit ostentatiously.
terror, sudden terror. From the French desploger, or dSploj/er.
Dismay and dismal in Gaelic are Johnson.
severally oillt and oittteil, showing a Old French desjylo;er, des or dis negative ;
Latin, plico, to told; plogcr, same as jilier,
connexion of idea, and suggesting that to fold.Chambres.
possibly the English dismal, is formed CVkI'CSpleadh, ostentation, vain
from dismay. Possibly the prefix dis glory, boasting, falsehood told with a
is a corruption of the Gaelic tais, faint view to flattery; spleadhach, ostentatious,
hearted, weak ; whence tais maoladh fictitious, making a display; spleadha-
(dismal), weak stupidity; tais maoim dair, a teller of marvellous tales, to
(dismay), weak terror. make a sensation and display himself.
Perhaps the first syllable in the word
DISMAY. Great terror. "display" is like the second from the
In Herbert Coleridge's Dictionary of Gaelic, and may be derived from deise,
the Oldest Words in the English Lan readiness ; whence deis-spleadh, readi
guage, " dismay " anpears as demay. ness to show off", ostentation.
The word does not appear to be derived
from either a Teutonic or a Latin root ; DIZEN.This word according to Mr.
the French translate it terreur and Halliwell means in the North to dress,
epouvante, the Germans hiingigkeit and to adorn. Though obsolete in this
furcht, signifying anxiety and fear. form, it still remains current with
Johnson, Ash, Bailey, and the earlier the augmentative be, as bedizen, to
English dictionaries derive it from the dress out inordinately.
Spanish desmayo, which is certainly far This word seems corrupted from dight.
fetched, as the English hadtoolittle inter Johnson.
course with Spain to be indebted to it for Of uncertain etymology, and used only in
familiar or droll style; to dress, to trick out,
such a word. The author of Gazophyla- to deck.Ash.
ciumAnglicanufndoes not notice the word Bedizen, possibly from the French badi-
at all. Worcester and other modern gconner, to load with ornament, to dress with
unbecoming richness. Wedgwood, Stob-
writers suppose it to be derived from mojjth.
magan, to be able, with the privative CSrilflfC. Deas, handsome, trim,
dis, signifying want of power; which agreeable to look at ; deise (comparative
is not altogether the idea conveyed by of deas), a suit of clothes; deiseachd,
" dismay." It is difficult to account dress, elegance.
cither for the prefix dis, or de, in this
word, but the main root appears to be DO.The emphatic auxiliary in English
the of every other verb, as in the instances
136 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

" do speak to me," " do love me," " do falsehood ; dean firinn, make truth, or
not deny me." speak the truth. In these and other
This word differs in its origin and similar instances, the words could not
uses from " do," to make, perform, or be translated into English by the
finish, as in "do your duty." "Do" Anglo-Saxon and German form of
in the first sense, which is a form of " do," but would compel the use of the
expression peculiar to the Gaelic and other Teutonic synonym of perform or
the English, is derived from the Gaelic act, namely " make," from makken and
dean. " Do " in the second sense is de machen.
rived from the German thtin, and is al DOATED. Beginning to decay;
ways synonymous with the Latinfare&w\ chiefly applied to old trees. Halli-
the French /aire. Thus " do " when well.
employed with another verb to empha
Doited (Lowland Scotch). Dried
size and strengthen it is of Gaelic origin,
up, sapless, worn out, beginning
but " do " when used with a noun is
to decay, stupid.
Teutonic. " Do not send to me." Here
aeltr.Doite, dried, burnt up, de
the " do " is Gaelic. " Do me the plea
siccated.
sure." Here the " do " is Anglo-Saxon
and German. Dr. Latham's Edition of DOCK.A small artificial basin or
Todd's Johnson contains eleven different harbour, into which a ship is lifted
definitions of these two verbs, which, in by the tide, or artificially, for refuge
common with all English philologists, he and security, and out of the way of
considers to be but one. As a necessary the traffic of a river or shore.
consequence of this elemental confusion A place dug ; an artificial harbour ; the
box in a court of justice where the accused
of ideas, h.2 fails in rendering any clear stands; i'rom the root of dig, ditch.Cham-
interpretation of the essential divergence be us.
between the two. In the English Flemish, docke, a bird cage.Wedgwood.
form of the Gaelic dean, the verb admits [See his dissertation on the three forms of
this word, and compare it with tog,
of no future tense. To say " he does Gaelic]
love me," or " he did love me " is cor (BUfltCTog, to lift.
rect; to say "he will do love me" is This derivation meets the opposite
incorrect. But the Anglo-Saxon " do " cases of the ditch dug, (a dock near a
is declinable through all its tenses, past, river or shore) by which the vessel is
present, and future. lifted by the tide, and dock, in a court of
acllC.Bean, to do, to make, to justice, which is not dug, but lifted up,
perform. In Gaelic, this verb becomes so that the accused may be seen of
not only an intensitive, but a part of judge, witnesses, and jury.
another action to which it is applied, DODDY-PEKE, or Hoddy-peke.
and signifies to make; as dean cabling, According to Nares a ludicrous term
make haste; dean oran, make or com of reproach generally equivalent to
pose a song ; dean reile, pacify or make fool ; perhaps originally synonymous
peace ; dean fadal, procrastinate, delay, with hodmandod, a snail.
make long; dean Iron, make sorrow or
Art thou here again, hoddg-pealce ?
mourn; dean breug, make a lie, tell a Gammer Gurton.
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 137
What, ye brainsick fools, ye hoddy-peakes, The English name for "dog" seems
ye doddy foules, do ye believe him? are you
seduced also ?Latimeb's Sermons. to have been bestowed originally upon
Her husband, that hoddy-peke.Nash's the bull-dog or other savage animal of
Anatomie qf Absurdities. the kind, 1'rom the root of doganta.
(Gaelic.Dodach, peeviah ; beag, lit
tle, short, diminutive ; whence dodach- DOG-BOLT.This mysterious word,
leag, a little peevish person ; corrupted used by some of the Elizabethan
into doddy-peke, and hoddy-peke. Dramatists, has never been satisfac
torily explained.
DODGE.A trick, an evasion, a con Nares thinks it a term of reproach
trivance. nearly synonymous with "dog," only
This originally slang word has long more contemptuous. He quotes from
been in colloquial use, and has finally Ben Jonson in the Alchemist :
made good its claim for admission into I'll not be made a prey unto the marshal,
literature. For ne'er a snarling dug-bolt of you both.
Anglo-Saxon, deogian, to colour, to conceal. He also quotes from Beaumont and
The tidy dodge as it is called by street folk, Fletcher :
consists in dressing up a family clean and
tidy, and parading the streets to excite com To have your own turn served, and to your
passion and obtain alms. A correspondent friend
suggests that the verb to dodge may have To be a dog-bolt.
been formed from dog, . e. to double quickly His only solace was that now
and unexpectedly as in coursiug.Slang His dog-bolt fortune was so low,
Dictionary. That either it must quickly end,
To dodge is literally to follow a person Or turn about again and mend.
like a dog ; to start aside, to evade an argu Butleb's Iludibras.
ment, to quibble ; an evasion, a trick. Nares adds that no compound of
Chahbbbs.
"dog," and "bolt," appears to afford
(Garlic.Doid (doidj), the hand, a
turn of the hand ; doigh, method, man an interpretation of the word.
ner; doigheil, systematic. It is likely that the word was cant
or slang in the seventeenth century,
DOG.To follow on the track vindic and that its roots are the
tively. (Gaelic. Dochainti, to injure, to hurt;
Dogged. Sullen, morose, vindictive. dochann, injury, harm, damage, hurt ;
This word is erroneously supposed to iuaille, struck ; whence dochann-Ouailte,
be derived from the faithful animal, Anglicized into " dog-bolt," struck with
which has received and deserved the injury and harm.
title of " the friend of man." The dog
is called in Gaelic cii, and is always DOGGEREL.Bad verse, a disagree
mentioned with favour by the Gaelic able or intolerable attempt at poetry.
bards. The origin of the English words A sort of loose or irregular kind of poetry ;
" to dog," and " dogged/' is the see under Dog.Stobmonth.
CSaellC. Dogantadh, revenge; do- The connexion between the faithful
galtach, revengeful, vindictive ; doganta, animal, the dog, and bad verse is not
fierce, morose, revengeful, thick-set; apparent. Another derivation offers
dog, coarse, thick ; dogha, an opinion itself in the
stubbornly maintained; Greek, Soy/xa. (Gaelic. Do-ghradh, disagreeable,
T
138 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

unacceptable, unpleasant; docair, bad, heavy ; i. e. " doldrums," the dull


painful, intolerable. heavies. Another possible derivation
may be suggested in dolas, grief;
DOG-LATIN. A barbarous Latin dolasach, melancholy ; dolasachd, "grief,
formed in the Middle Ages, by the vexation, melancholy ; dblum, dblumach,
addition of Latin terminations to surly, morose, wretched ; dream, to sulk,
Keltic roots, sometimes called Neo- to snarl, to gloom ; whence dbl-dream,
Latin, and Low-Latin. the state of sulking, snarling, or being
WliC. Bochair, injury, hurt, disagreeable to others from the feeling
damage; docair, hard, grievous, pain of one's own wretchedness.
ful, intolerable ; whence " dog- Latin,"
painful or intolerable Latin. DOLEFUL.Full of sorrow or grief.
Dool (Lowland Scotch) . Sorrow,
DOGMA.A received opinion, an ar
lamentation, grief.
ticle of faith.
Deuil (French).Mourning.
From Greek, oWa>, to think, judge; 8oi,
it seems good ; hthorrai, it has been resolved, To thole the dool, to bear the evil conse
decreed.Wkdowood. quences of any thing ; to sing dool, to lament,
to mourn ; from the French deuil, grief,
ffiaell'C.Bogh, an opinion; doigh, mourning.Jamieson.
manner, method ; docha, a probability. These words all come into English
immediately from the Latin doleo, to
DOG'S NOSE.A drink among the
suffer pain, and its derivatives ; but
English populace, composed of beer
they have a deeper root in the
and gin.
Dug's nose, your committee find upon a flicBolas, grief, woe, as op
inquiry to be compounded of warm porter, posed to solas, comfort, solace ; dolasach,
moist sugar, gin, and nutmeg. C. Dickens, grievous, mournful ; duadhal (d/i silent),
The Pickwick Papers.
Dog's nose, gin and beer, so called from the hard, difficult, laborious; duilichin, grief,
mixture being cold, like a dog's nose.Slang vexation.
Dictionary.
(Bat lie.Beoch, drink; nos, custom; DOLL.Any miniature image or repre
nosag, customary, usual; whence, by sentation of a child, given to children,
corruption dog's-nose, the usual drink. especially to girls, as a toy. Greek,
DOLDRUMS (Colloquial).To be in ei&wkov, whence idol and idolatry.
the " doldrums," to be in low spirits, Properly, a bunch of rags. Frisian, doll;
German, docke, a little bundle as of thread ; a
to be dejected, melancholy. wisp of straw, a doll ; Banffshire, doll, a large
Difficulties, low spirits, dumps j a sea term. lump of any thing.Wedgwood.
Slang Dictionary. A corruption of idol, or more probably of
Dold, stupid, confused. Anglo-Saxon. A Dorothy.Chambebs.
person half stupid is still said to be in a A contraction of Dorothy.Johnson. It
doldrum. Devonshire.Halliwell. may have been adopted from the Old French
We appear to have drifted into a political dol, trumpery, a trick, or it may be an abbre
region like that North and South of the viation of idol.Todd. Perhaps from the
equator, known to sailors as the Doldrums, Dutch dol, stupid, senseless, or Anglo-Saxon
where vessels rock lazily on the glassy dedolian, to deceive.Richardson. Welsh,
surface, and not a cat's paw ruffles the sleeping delw, an image.Wobcesteb.
sea.Daily Telegraph, January 22, 1875. <Br3fliC.Bealbh, an image, form,
Stilt. Ball, blind, dull; irorn, shape; dealbhaic/i, to form, shape, make,
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 139

mould, construct ; a representation of "thaler." The ancient "talent," a


the human figure; dealbhach, symme measure or weight of silver or gold,
trical, shapely. seems traceable to the same root.
UgmtiC.Bull, form; delw, an image.
DOLLY-SHOP (Slang).An illegal
DOLLAR, or Thaler.The name of a pawn-shop, where the poor pledge
coin, or of a paper representative of smaller and more perishable articles
value, in Germany, Spain, Canada, than would be accepted at a legiti
the United States, Mexico, and the mate place of business.
southern States of Spanish America. CSacIlC.Biolain, illegitimate, ille
From the Belgian talen; Teutonic, zahlcn, gal.
to pa}-. Martinius derives it from the Teu
tonic thai, a valley, it being first coined in
the valley of Joachim in Saxony. Gazophy- DOME.A cupola, the hill-shaped roof
lacium Anglicanum. of a large building; Latin, domus, a
More probably from theil, a part.Cham- house ; Greek, Bca/ia, a roof.
bees.
Anglo-Saxon, docl, a portion ; being a part ffiatllC. Tom, a hill, a hillock;
or portion of a ducat.Skinner. whence that portion of a building which
Swedish, daler, from the town of Dale or
Daleherg, where it was coined.Thompson, is shaped like a hill.
quoted by WoRCESTEB.
Said to be so named from having been DONE FOR (Colloquial).Ruined; I
struck at Joachimstkal in Bohemia.Wedg will " do for " you, I will ruin you,
wood.
or, I will murder you.
Notwithstanding the plausibility of
It may be doubted whether this
all these derivations, the old author of
vulgar phrase is derived from the verb
Gazophi/lacium Anglicanum came nearer
to do, to make, to perform ; or from the
to the true root than any of his modern
successors. The German words zahlen, GErflCltC.Baon, to ruin, to demolish.
In Armstrong's Gaelic Dictionary
to pay, and zdhlen, to reckon or enu
this word is marked as obsolete, and as
merate, have their roots in the Keltic
the same in Irish.
and
CSafltC.Sail, to give, deliver, deal, DONKEY.A common colloquialism
distribute; whence afterwards, to pay for an ass.
by the dealing or distribution of coined The dun-coloured animal, from'efen and the
money. diminutive key. Worcester, Chambers.
ligmric Talu, to pay ; laladwg, jThere is no such English diminutive as
key, though there is kin, as mannitn,
payable ; lal, pay, reward, value. pip&tn, lambAWn, &c]
Owen's Welsh Dictionary, 1826, has From the German dick-kopf, thick head.
Latham's Todd't Johnson.
talu, to pay. The same author in his [The German dumm-kopf, stupid head,
Welsh Grammar, 1803, gives the phrases would have been a better guess than
Mi a dalav, I do pay ; Mi d daler, I am dick-kopf.]
paid ; Mi tii thaler, I am not paid, &c. nclic. Bona, bad, contemptible,
From the idea of payment the word inferior; each, horse; eachan, little
came to express a piece of money, the horse; whence dona-each, or dona-eachan,
thing' or coin with which the pay an inferior horse, or an inferior little
ment was made, whence " dollar " and horse.
T 2
140 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

DONSIE (Lowland Scotch) . Unlucky. doirbhe, doirbheachd, peevishness, ill-na


Tlipir donsie tricks, their black mistakes, ture.
Their failings and mischances.
Br/BN8, Address to the unco Guid and DORTY (Lowland Scotch).Proud,
rigidly Righteous.
Donsie, dunce-like. But perhaps donsie as haughty, insolent.
signifying unlucky is from the Irish and Then though a minister grow dorty
Gaelic donas, misery, distress, ill-luck. And kick your place,
Jamiesoit. Ye'll snap your fingers poor and hearty,
acIIC. Donas, ill-fortune, hurt, Before his face.
Bubns, Cry and Prayer.
mischief ; donasach, unlucky.
acItC.Boirbh, difficult, peevish ;
DOOKIN (Slang) . Fortune-telling, doirionta, sullen, dogged, insolent ; dor-
the black art, necromancy. rack, harsh, austere ; dorgania, churlish,
sullen.
CBfatltC.Bnbh {dii), black; cinnte,
assurance, certainty.
DOSNELL or Dasnel."A word,"
says Nares, " which I have found
DOOR.The ordinary entrance to a
only in the following proverb, and
house or other edifice.
cannot exactly interpret."
Greek, 6vpa; Gothic, daur; German, thor,
thiire; Sanscrit, duar.Wedgwood. The dosnell dawcock sits among the doctors.
Dure or durh. Now a door, it is as much Witham's Dictionary, 1634.
to say as through, and not improper, because The dasnel dawcock sits among the doctors.
it is a durh fare, or through passage.Veb- Ray's Proverbs, which he illustrates by
bteqan, quoted in Richabdson. Corchorus inter olera.
CSacltC.Dorus, a door; deoch an In the Old Black Letter Biclionarie
doruis, a drink at the door, a stirrup of Latin and English, dedicated by
cup j dorus-mor, a principal or front Thomas Cooper to King Henry VIII.,
door ; dorus-cul, a back-door. and published in 1548, "Corchorus inter
olera," "Chickweed among potherbs,"
DOR (Old English).A fool, a person is explained as " a proverbe notyng one
without light, one of darkened intel that is of no estimacion, and yet will
lect. Also a drone or beetle that flies be counted amongst the wysest." A
in the dark. "To give the dor," light is thrown on this obscure word
says Nares, " is a cant phrase for to by the
make a fool of." " Next door to a (SiaeliC.Basannach, dasunach, cun
fool," is probably synonymous with ning, wily, presumptuous ; whence the
" almost as dark as a fool." proverb would mean the wily and pre
ffiaeltC.Borch, dark. sumptuous jackdaw sits among the
doctors.
DORBELLICAL, DORBELISH.
DOSS (Slang) .A bed, a resting place ;
Clumsy.Halliwell and Wright's
also to sleep.
Nares.
Doss-Ken.A tramp's lodging house.
I have read once thy sheepish discourse. . .
It was so ugly, dorbellical, and lamish. Doss, a bed, probably from doze. Mayhew
Nash, Pierce Pennilesse, 1692. thinks it is from the Norman dossel, a hang
ing or bed-canopy. Doss, to sleep, was
(GSacliC.Boirbh, peevish, ill-natured; formerly spelt dorse, perhaps from the phrase
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 141

to lie on one's dorsum, or back.Slang Dic eagerness; deotliasacJi, eager, desirous,


tionary. fond.
The system among the vagrant population
of London of obtaining surreptitious slumber
(by sleeping under arches, on door-steps, dark DOUGH.Flour and water duly pre
entries, &c), is known as " doing the doss." pared and arranged for baking, the
Daily Telegraph, August 24, 1875.
material of bread before it is baked.
GVirltr.Bos, a bush, a hedge, a
Saxon, dah.Johnson.
thicket (under which very often the Anglo-Saxon, dak, deawain, to moisten ;
tramp or beggar found his only possible Icelandic, deig.Chambebs.
bed or resting place) . (Gaelic.Boigh, condition, state, or
der, proper arrangement; doigheil, well
DOT.A small point. arranged, properly mixed.
Jot.A small portion, a very small
portion. DOWDY (Colloquial). Slovenly, care
Dot, literally, what closes up ; any small less in dress, paying no attention to
mark made with a pen or sharp point ; Anglo- the fashions or appearances of the day.
Saxon, dyttan, to close up. Jot, a point, the
least quantity assignable. The smallest The fundamental idea is torpor, sloth ;
letter in Hebrew, yod; in Greek, urra. while that of carelessness in dress is an inci
Chambers. dental application. Scottish, dawdie, a dirty,
slovenly woman ; to dawdle, to be indolent or
(Dcirltc.Bad, a dot, a small point ; slovenly. For the ultimate origin, see deaf.
dadmunn, a mote, an atom; dadum, a Deaf, the meaning of the Gothic daub,
daup; German, taub; English, deaf, seems
mote, a jot, a whit, an atom. founded in the notion of stopping an orifice.
Wedgwood.
DOTE.To dote upon a woman, to ffiaclic.Baoidh, worthless, feeble,
love her over fondly. weakly, foolish.
To " dote " upon a person, or be over
fond, and to be a "dotard," are ideas 3WFF, DOWIE (Lowland Scotch).
from a different source, and from words Forlorn, melancholy, dejected, dark,
of a different root. A young man may dreary, spiritless.
dote, but only an old man can be a Sore and long may their sorrow last
That wrought them sic a dome cast.
dotard. Cotgrave, and after him Mr. Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.
Wedgwood, derive the latter word from There needs na be so great a phraise
the French do/ter and radoter, to dote, Wi' dringing dull Italian lays,
I wadna gie our ain strathspeys,
rave; dotard, an old doting man, and For half a hundred score o' em ;
figuratively a decayed tree. Mr. Wedg They're douf and dowie at the best,
Wi' a' their variorum.
wood further traces " dote/' from dutten, Skinneb, Tullochgorum.
to doze, slumber. Mr. Donald, in (Garlic.Bulk, black, dark, lament
Chambers, defines dote, to be silly, from able; duibhe, blackness; dubhach, sor
Dutch doten, to be silly, and Scotch rowful, sad; dubkair, to darken, to
doited, stupid. But the word in its overshade with grief or dejection.
better sense, and used without reference
to age, decrepitude, decay, and loss of DOWLE (Obsolete). Supposed to
the faculties, as in " dotard/' appears to mean a feather, a particle of down.
be traceable to the Diminish one dowie that's in my plume.
(Gaelic. Beothas, desire, longing, The Tempest.
142 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Perhaps only a corruption of down. "When daffodils begin to peer
Nares. Sing hey the doxie over the dale.
Halliwcll's Archaic Dictionary con The word was very generally adopted
tains donl, a feather, down (of birds) ; by the writers of Shakspeare's time to
and doule, which he renders thick, signify a lady-love or mistress. Perhaps
dense, and quotes from an Ashmolean the word dale in this stanza ought to
MS. " As in the woddis for to walke be dell ; in which sense it would signify
under doule sehadis." The quotation the preference of the singer for a mar
lends itself to another interpretation in riageable over an unmarriageable girl.
the See Dell.
CSracItc.Duille, a leaf, or spray ; In the West of England the women fre
" doile shadis," i. e. leafy shades ; duil- quently call their little girls doxies, in a
lich, to sprout, to open into leaves, after familiar or endearing sense. A learned
divine once described orthodoxy as a man's
the fashion of the vanes, or beards of own doxy, and hetcrorfv:ry as another man's
the quill, that forms the spine of the doxy.Slang Dictionary.
feather. No etymological root for this word
has hitherto been traced. It is probably,
DOWN.The reverse of up, to go if not certainly, the
down, to descend, to go from a higher
CBracIiC.Dochas, doigh, hope, confi
to a lower place.
dence; docharach, hopeful, confident;
Anglo-Saxon, a duna, from a higher place the woman in whom the man has hope
to a lower.Johnson.
or confidence for the time being.
arlic.Domhain, deep, profound.
Another derivation is supplied in
The Celtic root is don ; Hebrew, adon, a
bottom ; Arabic, douna, under ; Greek, Svva, deoch, to embrace tenderly; deochaidh,
to sink; English, down.Armstrong's shallembrace (obsolete); whence "doxie/'
Gaelic Dictionary.
one to be embraced, a sweetheart.
DOWNS.Bare hills, without trees,
so called in the South of England, as DOYLT (Lowland Scotch).Stupid,
at Brighton and Hastings, and Ban- stupefied.
stead Downs, near Epsom. A poor doylt drunken hash !
From the Anglo-Saxon, dune; Belgian, Burns, Scotch Drink.
duyne, a heap of sand. F. Jun. deriveth all of ffiacltc.Doille, doillead, darkness,
them from the Greek dtv, an heap. It may
be better drawn from the Greek tovvoc for blindness; doilleir, obscured, dimmed,
fiovvos, a bill. Gazophylaeium Anglicanum. confused ; doilleirichle, confused, per
Tracts of hilly land used for pasturing
sheep. From the Saxon dun, a hill. plexed, stupefied.
Chambers.
{fiiarlk.Dun, a hill, a fortification ; DOZE.To sleep, to slumber.
dunan, a little hill or fort ; dun mohr, a Gothic, dwala, dull ; Anglo-Saxon, dwoes;
great hill or fort. Dutch, dwaas, dull, stupid.Worcester.
Bavarian, dosen, to keep still, to listen, to
DOXTE (Cant).The female companion slumber; Danish, dose, to doze, to mope.
The fundamental image is probably the deep
or paramour of a tramp, gipsy, beggar breathing in sleep, represented by the syllable
or thief. The vagrant Autolycus in dus, tut.Wedgwood.
the Winter's Tale sings : Gaelic.Dusal, sleep.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 143

DRAB.A low, vulgar, dirty, and im literally a fire-stone; drag-bhuid, the


modest woman. constellation of the Lesser Bear; lite
One that prostituteth her body for gain ; rally, the fiery tail.
from the Anglo-Saxon and Belgian drabbe,
coarse, common, or the refuse of anything.
Gazophylacium Anglicanum. DRAKE.The male of the duck.
From the Anglo-Saxon and Dutch drabbe, Not unlikely from the Belgian dreck, dirt,
dregs and lees of liquor.Woecestee. because it loves to feed in dirty places.
Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
ffiaelic.Drab, a spot, a stain, a
Dr. Latham says, EnglishLanguage, second
blemish ; drabaire, a dirty fellow, a edition, page 214, that drake is derived from
6loven ; drabag, a sluttish woman ; a word with which it has but one letter in
common, the Latin anas, a duck. . . . This
drabasda, dirty, indecent, and obscene, is a violation of the legitimate rules of etymo
in speech and conversation; drabhas, logical deduction.Maesh's Lectures on the
English Language.
dirt; drabhasach, dirty. The lord or male of the duck. Swedish,
DRAFF.Hogwash, food for pigs, andrake ; Anglo-Saxon, ened ; Old German,
rih ; Gothic, reiks, ruler, chief.Chambers.
remnants of the kitchen and scullery This word is of uncertain etymology.
preserved for the swine. Johnson.
The origin is probably exhibited in drabble, (SarllC.Brae, a drake.
draggle, to dabble, paddle in the wet and
mud. Gothic, drobjan, to stir up, to trouble. If the Gael borrowed the word
Wedowood. drac, draia, dracan, from the English
Anglo-Saxon, drof' akin to drabbe; see "drake," it might be supposed that
drabbe, dregs. Chambers.
they would also derive the name of the
Gaelic.Drabh, grains of malt, after
female bird from the same source. The
brewing, draff; drabhag, sediment, dregs,
duck in Gaelic is tuunag, and the pro
refuse; drabhas, filth (also applied to
bability is that drac is as purely Gaelic
filtbiness or obscenity of speech). See
in its origin as tunnag. The derivation
Drab.
from drech, dirt, would apply to the
DRAGON.A large serpent, a fiery male as well as the female bird, and
serpent, a fabled monster, vomiting that from reiks, a ruler or chief, as
fire. suggested by the Editor of Chambers
A huge fabulous animal, celebrated in the would be more probable if it were
mythology of many nations, and generally applied to the male of all birds, and
represented as an enormous winged serpent.
Fairholt. other animals.
Greek, 8paxav; Latin, draco.Worces
ter and Wedgwood. DRAM.A small glass of spirits.
The root of this word seems to be It is commonly supposed by lexico
anterior to the Greek and Latin idea graphers that this word is derived from
of the fiery monsters of mythology, and the Greek Spa^ie, a weight of sixty
to be no other than the personification grains, as if the spirit had originally
of a flash of lightning, in the shape of been measured or weighed out by an
a writhing serpent. It will be found apothecary. This derivation however
in the is open to doubt. The Lowland Scotch,
Gaelic.Brag, fire, a fiery meteor, who first introduced the word, and some
a thunderbolt; lualhas na draig, the say the practice, into England of drink
speed of the meteor; dragart, a flint, ing small quantities of raw spirits as
144 THE GAELIC etymology

whets to the appetite, have the word Drants.To be in the drants ; to be


drammack, a mixture of meal and water, in a bad temper.
which was afterwards applied to a mix But lest you think I am uncivil
ture of meal and whisky. The origin To plague you with this draunting drivel.
Bubns, Poem on Life.
of this Lowland Scottish word is the My weel tocher'd aunts,
(Gaelic.Dramaig, a mixture of meal To wait on their draunts.
Idem, The Tarbolton Lasses.
and water in a quantity sufficient to be
drunk off at one gulp ; a small quantity ttarlir.Draint, peevishness, snarl
of whisky or other spirit. ing ill-humour ; drand, drandan, a
Mr. Wedgwood, who cites, but does complaint; drandanack, querulous,
not positively support the Greek ety peevish, ill-humoured ; drannduil,
mology, states that in Normandy, the dranndan, grumbling, snarling; drann-
term drame is applied to a pinch of dan-teallaich, grumbling, quarrelling in
snuff. In Gaelic, a similar idea of the house ; domestic jars.
smallness in quantity applies to the DRAWL.To speak or sing in a
words dreamag and dreaman, a handful, tediously slow, uninteresting manner.
as of hay, grass, &c. The Sanscrit Some etymologists suppose that this
dram, signifies to pour out, or to word is derived from draw, and that
flow. drawl signifies to draw out at undue
length, but the final I in this sense is
DRAT IT ! Drot it ! Drat you ! Drot
not justified by analogy, on the ordinary
you!Vulgarimprecations, more used
structure of the language.
by women than by men ; and gene
I am inclined to believe that the word is
rally supposed to be corruptions of derived from drabble, or dribble, drivel, to
God rot it ! or God rot you ! The let fall drop by drop, by little and little.
word drat or drot has, however, a Wedgwood.
less offensive derivation in the CRatliC.Dragh, vexation, wearisome-
fiUacltC.Brock, evil, mischief. The ness; draghail (gh silent or guttural),
guttural ch, rejected by the Anglo- troublesome, wearisome, tedious, long
Saxon, and softened into t or d, as fre drawn out; draoluin, tediousness, de
quently occurs in Gaelic words that lay, inactivity ; draoluinneach, tedious,
have remained in the English vernacu wearisome, drawling ; dreal, to loiter,
lar, would make this word drot or drat, dreallaire, a loiterer, a lounger.
as the vulgar pronounce it ; and dratyou, DRAZEL, DROSSEL.A slut, a
or drot you, would signify "Mischief on hussy, a lewd woman.
you," or " May evil befall you droch- That when the time's expired, the drazels
cainnt, bad language; droch-rait, an For ever may become his vassals.
evil saying ; droch-ainm, an evil name ; Sudibras.
Now dwells each drossel in her glasse.
droch-guidhe, an evil wish, an impreca Warne's Albion's England. Nahes.
tion. (ffiaflic.Drus, druis, lust ; druiseil,
druiseach, libidinous.
DRAUNT (Lowland Scotch). To
groan to drawl ; also peevishness, and DREGS.The last drops or sediment
ill-natured caprice. of a liquid.
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 145

Drug. The concentrated or last DRILL, or Droll.An old English


drops of any herb or substance dis word for an ape or baboon.
tilled, or extracted for medicinal Nares gives several examples of its
purposes. use, and adds that it does not occur in
Gaelic.Driog, to drop, to distil. any Dictionary. The word seeems to
have originally meant a dwarf, or an
DREGS.The refuse, the sediment; ugly dwarf, and to have been afterwards
the dregs of the people, the rabble. applied to the monkey tribe.
Icelandic, dregg ; German, dreck ; excre Gaelic. Broick, Iroich, a dwarf;
ment, mud ; allied with Greek rpv, rpvyot,
the dregs of wine; rpvya, to dry.Chambers. droicheil, dwarfish; droll, drollaire, an
ungainly, clownish, boorish person.
GaelicBroch, bad, evil; the dregs
of the people, are the bad people ; the
DRILL.To educate a soldier into
dregs or sediment of a liquor, is the bad
military manoeuvres and discipline,
portion that subsides.
to instruct in military exercises.
DRESS.To attire, to clothe ; to orna The primary signification is to shake, to
move to and fro; then as vibration and
ment with clothes. revolution are characterized by the same
From the French betrescher ; and both rapid change of direction, to move round and
perhaps from the Teutonic tracht, which may round ; and thence to bore a hole (to drill).
be interpreted the fashion of a suit of clothes. The Dutch drillen was specially applied to
Davis draws it from the Cambro-Briton the brandishing of weapons ; hence drillen, to
trurio, to adorn or deck.Gazophylacium drill soldiers or make them go through their
Anglicanum. exercise.Wedgwood.
French, dresser, to make straight; from Gaelic. Bruil, to twirl, to roll
Ijatin dirigo, directum, to direct.Johkson, together, or mix by rolling together,
Wedgwood, Chambers, &c.
i. e. to mix a new recruit with other
This derivation of " dress," from the
soldiers, and teach him how to conform
Latin dirigo, is scarcely satisfactory ;
to the manoeuvres necessary to be
and that from the French dresser (to
known by those who would act together
make the bed, dresser le lit) is equally
in war.
objectionable. The inability of the
English to pronounce the guttural ch,
DRIP.To fall in small drops, like
and their constant modification of that
water or other liquids.
sound, in words adopted from other
languages, suggests that in the native Drop.A globule of that wliich
etymology the true root is to be found, drips.
and that it is the Dreep (Lowland Scotch).To drip.
atllC.Breach, to dress, adorn, Dribble.To pour out in small
clothe, figure, delineate, shape. As a drops.
substantive, the word signifies form, The Teutonic languages have " drop,"
figure, shape, comeliness, beauty; "drip," and "tropfen;" the French have
dreachail, comely, beautiful, highly no word of a similar sound to express
adorned, and pleasant to look at; full the same meaning. The root seems to
and beautifully dressed. The Sanscrit be the
has dreach, to form. Gaelic. Brnabag, a small drop;
u
146 THE GAELIC

druaip, lees, dregs, sediment; druaipeach, Oh, who would droil


Or delve in such a soil,
addicted to tippling, or taking small Where gain's uncertain and the pain is sure?
drops; dmaipeir, a tippler, a dram- Quables' Emblems.
drinker, a drunkard ; drua'ipeireachd, (GnrtiC. Broil, an idle, inactive,
drunkenness, the habit of tippling or clumsy person ; droilean, a slow, un
dram-drinking. See Dregs. handy, unwilling person ; droibheil,
hard, grievous, difficult.
DRIVEL.To talk incoherently or
DROLL.Eccentric, curious, out of
nonsensically, in a hurried and in
the common way, laughable, funny.
consequential manner.
A droll, from the French dr/ller, is one
fijrnrlt'c.Drip, bustle, hurry ; dri- whose business it is to raise mirtli by petty
tricks; a jester, a buffoon, a jack-pudding.
peil, confused, embarrassed, indistinct. Johnson.
Playing the droll, making a fool of any
DRTZ (Slang).Lace. one.Halliwfll.
In a low lodging-house this autograph in French, drole; German, drollig, funny;
scription appeared over the mantelpiece: trolle, awkward ; Icelandic, Irol, a giiint, a
"Scotch Mary, with driz, bound to Dover sorcerer.Chambers.
and back, please God." Slang Dictionary. French, draule, drole, a wag or merry
gvi^; Plait Deutsch, draueln, to speak or
TVtz-fencer, a person who sella lace. behave in a childish manner ; see drivel.
Idem. AVedgwood.
(SrcUliCJJris, a thorn. The word Drole. Le Gaelique droll, qui signiCe un
homme lourd et gauche.Littbe.
appears to have been applied to lace
CSacltC.Drol, a stratagem, a trick;
from the points or prickles of the
droll, an idle, inactive person ; one
edgings.
who would rather do anything than
work. See Drill.
DRIZZLE (See Mizzle) .A thin, fine,
misty, unpleasant, cold rain. DROMEDARY.A species of camel
Provincial German, drieseln, for rieseln, with one large hunch upon its back.
to drip ; Swiss, droseln, to fall with a
rushing noise; Danish, drasle, to patter. From the Greek 5ptfia>, to run ; Latin,
Chambers. dromedarius, a running Camel, a swift camel
for riding.Wbdowood, Chambebs, Wor
GtineltC.Droch, bad, disagreeable, cester.
unpleasant; sil, rain; to rain, to fall in Italian, dromedare, a sort of camel so called
from its swiftness, because it is said to travel
drops. a hundred miles a day.Johnson.
ffiflflic.Droma, a back, a great
DROIL.A person who works lazily back ; druim, the back of animals, a
and without spirit or intelligence; ridge ; droman, a dromedary.
also to work hard and hopelessly.
A droil is a drone or sluggard ; by Junius DRONE.The largest tube of a bag
understood to be a conniption of drivel. pipe, which emits a continuous mono
Johnson. tone, caused by the passage of the
Mr. Lemon deduces it from Tpij3a, tero, wind without modulation.
but his etymologies are often made as if for
sport to try the patience of his readers. It JWlic.Drothan (dro-Jtaii), a current
may possibly be formed from draw, but I of wind, a light breeze ; drolkanach,
have no great confidence in the conjecture.
Nakes. windy.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. U7

DROOKIT (Lowland Scotch) .Wet, | was drogue, and that in the Keltic
wet through, drenched. language the word has no resemblance
(SSarltC. Bruchd, dew, wet, ooze, to or connexion with "dry," which is
profuse perspiration, also a tear; druch- seac in Gaelic, and in French sec and
dac/t, dewy, oozy, wet. secfie, they would not have insisted
upon the Anglo-Saxon derivation. The
DROOP.To bend, to grow weak
etymology favoured by Mr. Wedgwood
from sickness, or as a plant from ex
is equally erroneous. Both the French
cessive heat or want of moisture; to
and the English words are derived from
fall away in health ; to sink gradually
the small quantities or drops in which
into the sleep of death.
drugs were employed in medicine,
(5 elflie. Drub, an inclination to
and from the
sleep ; drubanta, drowsy, sleepy ; drub-
shuileach, having sleepy, drowsy, or <Sarlic.Brudhag (d silent, drug or
drooping eyes. dru-hag), a small drop; druc/idan, a drop;
druc/ul, to fall in drops, to percolate.
DRUDGE. To work overmuch, to
work very hard. DRUID.A priest of a bygone reli
Draghan, to carry. Dutch.Johnson. gion, probably of Assyrian, Baby
To drug, to drag, to do laborious work. lonian, and Egyptian origin, which
Irish, drugaire, a slave or drudge ; Manx,
drug, a drag ; English dialect, drug, a timber prevailed over the whole of Western
waggon ; drugeous, huge.Wedgwood. Europe and the British Isles until
(CiacIlC. Dreuc/id, to labour in low displaced by Christianity.
offices, to labour over-hard; driuch, The Greeks, who inherited the philo
energy, activity ; driuchaire, a patient sophy and mythology of the Egyptians
plodder, a drudge. without thoroughly understanding
either, derived " Druid," from drus, an
DRUG.A vegetable or mineral sub
oak, supposing that the Druids worship
stance used in small drops orquantities
ped exclusively under the shadow of oak
for medicinal purposes, and in larger
trees. This was an error. The Druids
quantities for dyeing, tanning, &c.
worshipped in rude temples or enclosures
Salmasius draws this word from the Persian
drwa, a savour or smell.Gazophylacium of stone, as well as under trees, and if
Anglicanum. under trees, were not particular whether
Past participle of the Anglo-Saxon drigan, the trees were oak, beech, or yew, or any
durgun, to dryjHobnb Tookk.
An herb dried for use as medicine. other that the country afforded. At
Chambers. Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and at
A more likely origin is the Italian treggea; Carnac in Brittany, as well as in other
Spanish, diragea ; Modern Greek, rpayaka,
rpayrifia, sweetmeats ; French, dragie, a kind places celebrated in Druidical worship,
of digestive powder, prescribed unto weak there were neither oaks nor any other
stomachs after meat, and hence any junkets,
comfits, or sweetmeat* served in the last trees. The Greeks misunderstood the
course for stomach closers. Cotgrave. Ar word " Druid," and as was common with
ticles of such a nature seem to have been the them in all mythological questions, ac
principal store of the druggist or apothecary.
Wedgwood. commodated the alien language to a
If Home Tooke and others had meaning of their own. The root of the
remembered that the French for drug word is the
V 2
148 THE GAELIC ETTMOLOOT

Gaelic Drud, an enclosure; druid, DUD.A rag.


to enclose, to surround, to shut in, to Duddie (Lowland Scotch).Ragged.
encircle; druid/t,a Druid, one admitted Dudman. Corrupted in modern
to tlie enclosure or inner circle ; a priest, English into deadman, a scarecrow.
a philosopher, one initiated into the The term for a rag is commonly taken
inner mysteries, also a magician or from the image of something hanging or
conjuror; druideachd, Druidism, priest shaking in the wind. Hen'-e the English
dodder, dudder, to tremble, shiver.Wedg
craft, enchantment, secret philosophy, wood.
the mystery of the inner circle. GaelicDud, a rag; dudag, a little
A name given to the Druids hy the rag, a ragged child ; dudacli, ragged.
Greeks was Saronides, a Greek rendering
of the DUDGEON.Resentment, ill-will or
GaelicSar, excellent, princely or ill-humour on account of offence
lordly; and dhuine (d silent hefore the given. To take a thing in "dudgeon,"
aspirate), men; i. e. the excellent men, to be indignant overtly or covertly.
the Druids. Butler in Hudibras uses the word
in two senses
DRUM (Slang).The high road.
When civil dudgeon first grew high,
Drum as applied to the road is doubtless And men fell out they knew not why ;
from the Wallachian gipsy word drumri,
derived from the Greek Spoftot, a course, where it implies strife, the result of
running.Slang Dictionary. offence given or taken ; and again
Gaelic.Druim, the ridge of a hill, It was a serviceable dudgeon,
a road on the hill, or over the hill. Either for fighting or for drudging j
where it signifies an offensive weapon.
DRUMLY (Lowland Scotch) .Dark
Johnson derives the word from the
and heavy, like running water after
German dolch, a small dagger; and it
copious rains, when the stream is
would appear, that before the time of
laden and discoloured with earthy
Butler, a " dudgeon-dagger " was a
particles.
common expression.
Troubled, having a gloomy aspect, confused
as to mind; confused, as applied to public From the Anglo-Saxon dolg, a wound, and
affairs.Jauieson. this a dolendo, from grieving, q. d. to bear
an injury impatiently. Oazophylacium
Gaelic.Trom, heavy, dejected, me Anglicanum.
lancholy, perturbed in spirit ; trom-liche, Dudgeon, a dagger ; to take in dudgeon,
a weight on the heart or spirits, a heavy to take a thing so ill as to draw the sword
(or dagger) to be avenged.Bailey.
grief or tribulation. From the Welsh dygen, anger; dygn,
painful.Chambebs.
DRURY (Old English).Courtship, Welsh, bidogan ; Gaelic, biodag, a dagger j
love, gallantry, also lewdness. Welsh, dygn, malice ; German, degen, a
sword. Bishop Wilkins defines dudgeon-
Gallantry, courtship.Hebbebt Cole- dagger, a small sword whose handle is in the
bidoe, 1862. root of the box ; and Nares defines dudgeon
Druery sometimes means a mistress, ap as a peculiar kind of handle to a dagger, and
parently also the results of love.Halli- he says dudgeon seems to have been used for
well. brevity's sake, instead of dudgeon-dagger.
Gaelic.Drus, druis, lust; druiseach, Wobcesteb.
libidinous ; drulk, a lewd person ; drut- Gaelic. Diff, a dyke, a ditch, a
hach, obscene ; drukeir, a libertine. 1 fosse ; digit, a rampart, a mound of
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 149
earth ; dion, refuge, security, defence ; OafltC. Bubh (du), black j feile,
whence dighdion (di-jiou), a mound or cloth, also a kilt or other garment of
dyke of security, a place to retire to in cloth ; Jill, a fold, a plait.
the last resort for defence against an
enemy. Thus among the ancient Kelts, DUFFY (Slang).A ghost, a spirit.
a person who took a thing in " dudgeon," (Gaelic.Taibhis, iaibhse, a ghost, a
took such offence at his foe, that, fearing spectre.
an attack, he retired to his " dudgeon " or DUG. The teat of a female among
dighdion, to defend himself against the lower animals, from which the
eventualities. See Dungeon and Dan young suck nourishment.
ger. From digh-dion is probably de Minsheu draws it from the Belgian dugght,
rived the name of the city of Dijon in a faucet, for milk is sacked thereout, as
liquor through a faucet ; or from the Hebrew
Burgundy. dod, dodin, a pap or te&t.Oazophylacium
Anglicanum.
DUE.Owing, owed, that which is Icelandic, deggia, to give suck.Johnson.
owing. Swedish, daegia, to give suck.Wedg
wood.
During the discussion of the Alabama Swedish, dagga ; Danish, dagge, to suckle
Claims, before the tribunal of Arbitra a child.Chamber s.
tion at Geneva in 1872, considerable (Gaelic.Dioghail, to suck closely;
difference of opinion existed as to the dioghladh, sucking.
meaning of the words due diligence, DUKE.A title of nobility, commonly
which Great Britain was accused in derived from the Latin dux, a leader.
the American case of not having ex The word exists in the Spanish,
hibited. None of the authorities traced Portuguese, French and Italian lan
"due" to any other source than the guages, as duca, duque, and due. As
French du, the past participle of devoir, these languages all partake of a Keltic
to owe. There is however, another deri origin, it is probable that its true ety
vation that presents a different shade of mon is to be sought in the
meaning in the
(Gaelic.Buth, natural, hereditary;
Garlic.Dulh (du), what circum duthaich (du-haich), a country, a region;
stances warrant, befitting one's case or duthchas (duchas), hereditary right, pa
position, natural, hereditary, native ; triotism; duthchasach, hereditary, whence
duthrachd, durachd, diligence, earnest " duke," one ruling by hereditary right
ness ; durachdach, diligent, earnest. over a considerable tract of country.
DUFF (Slang).A black, or blood DUKE.French due, a bird of prey,
pudding. usually says Nares, "explained to
(Saelt'C.Bubh, black. mean the horned owl."
She doth not prey upon dead fowl for the
DUFFLE, DUFFEL.A thick, coarse likeness that is between them; where the
eagles, the dukes, and the sakers do murther,
cloth used for padding, mostly black kill, and eat those which are of their own
or dark grey. kind. Nobth's Plutarch. Romulus.
All the cabin walls are doable lined with Probably this word was applied to all
felt and duffle, to keep the warmth in, and birds of prey with crooked beaks.
the cold out.Daily Telegraph, on the
Arctic Expedition, March 24, 1875. (Gaelic Tuagha, hooks, crooks.
150 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

DULCARNON, or Dulcaenanb. I Play me some merry dump to comfort me.


"This word," says Mr. Halliwell, "has Romeo and Juliet.
More of their devil's dumps!
set all editors of Chaucer at defiance. Must I be ever haunted with these witchcrafts?
A clue to its meaning may be found Beaumont and Fletchbb, Woman Pleased.
in Slani/turtt's Betcriplion of Ireland. Davies of Hereford has a singular poem
entitled " A Jump upon the Death of the most
' These sealie soules were as all noble Henric, Earle of Pembroke."Nabes.
dulcarnanes for the most part are,
" To be in the dumps," is still a collo
more to be terrified from infidelitie
quial phrase, meaning to be melancholy.
through the pains of hell, than allured
The received derivation of this last
to Christiauitie by the joys of
phrase is the Dutch domp or damp, sig
Heaven.'"
nifying vapour, fog, gloom, &c, but
(Gaelic. Ball, dark, dull, blind, it does not correspond with the idea
ignorant ; cealhairneach, a peasant, a of music, whether light or plaintive,
boor, a kerne or kern (see Kern), sad or joyous. The Shakspearean word
whence by corruption, and in English seems to be a corruption of the
orthography " dulcarnen," ignorant
peasants. (Gaelic.Buan, a song, a poem, an
ode, a ditty ; also a rhythmical oration
DULL. Gloomy, dark, unhappy, in praise of the dead ; duanach, poetical,
weary, not bright in mind or lively musical ; duanag, a little song, glee,
in spirits. sonnet, catch, &c. ; duanaire, a song
Welsh, dwl; Saxon, doll; Dutch, dol, ster, a rhymer, a poet ; duantachd, poe
mad.Johnson. try; duan-mor, an epic poem, literally
From the Anglo-Saxon dol, dteoliaa, to a great poem.
err ; Dutch, dol, mad ; German, toll, mad.
Chambebs.
(Garlic. Ball, blind, darkened ; DUN.Of a dark or brownish colour.
dalladh, darkening, blinding, mislead Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunne&t smoke of hell.
ing ; dallag, any little blind creature, a Shakspeabe.
mole. From the Saxon dun, a colour partaking
of brown and black.Johnson.
DULLARD.A person of slow and Originally written donne ; "and white
things woxen dimme and donne'' Ch. in It.
heavy intellect. Wedgwood.
A dull and stupid person, a dunce ; Anglo-
Saxon, dol, dwolian, to err; Dutch, dol, (Gaelic. Bonn, brown, dusky, dark
mad ; dolen, to wander, to rave ; German, coloured ; each donn, a dark brown
toll, mad.Chambers. horse; nighean donn, the brown-haired
(Garlic.Baolair, a lazy, sluggish,
girl or " the nut-brown maid."
inactive man ; a mean grovelling person ;
ltj:mrtC.Bwn, dusky, dark.
daolaireach, sluggishness, meanness, in
activity. DUNAKER.A cant term, says
DUMP (Obsolete).A tune, whether Messrs. Halliwell and Wright in
grave or gay, melancholy or merry, their edition of Nares, " for a stealer
an elegy. of cows and calves."
The quotations show that the defini
As their instruments tune a deploring dump.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. tion is a mere guess. The word occurs
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 151

among twenty others in Poor Robin, torre de omenagem, the tower of homage,
because it contained the reception-room in
1693, all descriptive of various kinds which fealty or homage to the lord was
and degrees of thieves, tramps, and dis pledged ; and this is not improbably the
source of the French word and our own.
reputable characters. The true meaning Lectures on the English Language by G. P.
of "dunaker" seems to be a needy, March, 1860.
hungry man, apt for robbery, from the Originally the principal building of a dis
trict or fortress, which, from its position or
(Barlic.Duine, a man, a person ; structure, had the command of the rest ; from
acrach, hungry, needy ; acrasach, hun the Latin dominio.Wedgwood.
gry-looking, greedy, poverty-smitten. The true etymology of this disputed
word is not far to seek, though not a
DUNCE.An unhappy person who single lexicographer has hitherto dis
cannot learn, however much he may covered it, and may be found in the
strive.
(SiirltC. Dun, a hill, or eminence on
A dullard, a dolt, a tbiokskull. A word of
uncertain etymology, perhaps from dum, which it was usual to build all feudal
Dutch for stupid.Johnson. castles and fortresses ; and clion, shelter,
GiaellC. Donas, bad luck; a sorry defence, security; whence dun/lion (d
creature. pronounced as J), the hill or fort of secu
The ancient Gael appear to have rity; "Fit dkion do sgeilh," under the
looked upon born and incurable stu shelter or security of thy wing; dion
pidity as a misfortune, and " dunce " and aite, a place of refuge ; "dion thu fein,"
" unfortunate " became synonymous defend thyself.
words. The less imaginative Saxons and Before Dr. Johnson came to breakfast
Anglo-Saxons took a lower view of the Lady Lochbuy said "he was a dungeon of
wit," a very common phrase in Scotland to
subject, and selig, happy, became the express a profoundness of intellect.Bos-
root of silly. The Lowland Scotch, well's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides.
[When the true etymology of the word is
steering a middle course between these remembered, it will be seen that Lady
two opposing ideas, affirms the idiot Lochbuy intended to pay Dr. Johnson
to be an innocent, because he knows a very high compliment.]
not right from wrong. DUPE.To deceive, to cheat, to take
DUNGEON.A prison, a cell in a in.
Dupery.Deception, swindling.
prison where the captive is confined,
originally donjon, the place of security From dupe, duppe, a hoopoe, from somo
tradition of the habits of that bird of which
in a media)val castle or fortress. we are ignorant.Wedgwood.
From the French dongeon, a dark, strong The root of this word is apparently
and fenced place. Or perhaps it may be so
called because of its nastiness, being all defiled the
with the excrements of the imprisoned. (SafltC.Diibhailck, vice, wicked
Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
From the French dungeon, or probably ness ; dubhailteach, vicious, wicked ;
from the English dung, because of its nasti dubhailteachd, dissimulation, duplicity,
ness.Bailey, 1731.
cheating.
The same language (the Portuguese) sug
gests a possible etymology for the obscure
word dungeon. The dungeon, dongeon, or DURINDANA.The name given to
donjon keep (Low Latin, dunjo, domgio, the sword of Orlando in early Keltic
domnio), was originally the principal tower
in a feudal castle. It is called in Portuguese poetry and romance.
152 THH GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
You talk of Murglay, Excalibur Durin- the word back to a period before the
dana, or so. Tut ! I lend no credit to that
is fabled of them. I know the virtues of mine use of tents, when the people slept or
own !Ben Jonson, Eoery Man in his dwelt under the shelter of trees.
Humour.
CSaeliC.Bur, eager, keen ; datia, DYE.A colour, as " the rose's dye."
bold, valiant.
From the Saxon deag, a colour.Johnson.
DURRYNAKE (Slang).A beggar. From the Anglo-Saxon deagan, to die;
Danish, dygge, to sprinkle with water ; pro
Durrynakin.Begging. bably akin to the Latin tingo ; Greek, rtyyo,
to wet.Chambebs.
(fia flic. Beirc, alms, charity ;
deircire, a beggar; neach, a person. aclif .Bali, a hue, a colour ;
dathachachd, colouring, dyeing, staining.
DUSK.The fading of the daylight
into dark. DYVOUR (Lowland Scotch). A
From the Dutch dusten..Johnson. bankrupt.
Swedish, dusk, dull weather; Danish, Jamieson derives this word from the
dulsk, dull.Chambers. French devoir, which means either
(SiaeliC. Buhh (du), black; dulh- "duty," or "to owe." But one who
achas (du-acAas), melancholy, gloom, owes is not necessarily a bankrupt, but
duskiness; duibhe, blackness, darkness. merely a debtor, in French debileur.
The true root is the
DUST.Fine particles of matter at
rest or in motion. fi&aclic. Bith-fhear (explained as
From the Saxon dust; Erse, duust. fear brisle, a broken man), from d'dh,
Johnson. deficiency,/!?^, a man ; thus signifying
Anglo-Saxon, dust; German, dunst; Dutch, not only a debtor, but a man deficient
donst, vapour, flour.Chambers.
in the means to pay his debts, a bank
From the Gaelic dus.Wobcesteb.
Norse, dust ; Gaelic, dus, duslach ; Ger rupt, a man of broken fortunes.
man, dunst, vapour, exhalation; Dutch,
donst, vapour, dour, flour, dust.Wedgwood.
(SrtlCltC.Bus, duslach, dusal, dust
or dustiness ; duslachail, dusail, dusty.
E.
DWELL.To abide, reside, inhabit.
EAR (Obsolete and Poetical).To
Dwelling-place. A place of abode.
plough, to cultivate. " Ears of corn,"
Danish, duelger, to abide ; German, dwa- corn that is eared or cultivated.
len, to wander, because our ancestors once
lodged intents, which they removed from The word occurs many times in Shak-
place to place.Bailey, 1732, adoptedfrom speare, and is prominently introduced
the Gazophylacium Anglicanum, 1683.
Danish, dvale, torpor, suspended life ; in his dedication of Venus and Adonis
dvoele, to dwell, linger, loiter ; Old Swedish, to the Earl of Southampton, in which
dvala, torpor, decay.Wedgwood. he declares that poem to be " the first
ffiacllC. Duille, a leaf; duillach, heir of his invention," and says that
foliage ; duilleagach, leafy, abounding " if it prove deformed, he shall be sorry
in leaves. it had so noble a godfather," and that
SangCttt.Bala, a leaf. he will never again "ear so barren a
This derivation, if correct, would trace land."
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

Garlic.Ar, to plough, to till, to (orient and oriental) . Another possible


cultivate j Greek, apoco; Latin, arare; derivation is ur, fresh, new, recent,
Teutonic, aeren; Syrian and Hebrew, young ; urla, the new or young day ;
haras. Aran, the Gaelic for bread, or sus urall, fresh-looking, flourishing; ura-
tenance, is evidently from the same root. lachd, freshness, youthfulness.
EARINE.A word used by Ben Jon- EARN.To acquire by labour, to work
son, and said by his editor, Mr. Gif- for daily bread.
ford, to be derived from a Greek From the Anglo-Saxon ernian, or the
word signifying the spring. French arnon, to get or deserve ; this perhaps
from the Anglo-Saxon are, a stipend or salary.
Garlic.Earrach, the spring. Minsheu draws it from the Greek apvvfiai, to
receive or acquire. Gazophylacium Anyli-
EARL.An English title of hereditary canum.
nobility, second in rank below a To earn, seems to be to reap the fruit of
one's labour, from Dutch arne, erne, harvest ;
Duke, and next in degree to a Mar amen, ernen, to reap.Wedgwood.
quis. Gaelic.Ar, to plough, to cultivate,
JEorl, Saxon ; eoryl, Erse.Johksoh. to till; aran, bread, the fruit of cul
Iar-fhlath, pronounced iarla, is literally a
secondary noble or chief ; and hence is evi tivation ; whence the English " earn,"
dently derived the word earl, which is certainly to acquire one's daily bread by labour ;
not of Danish origin. Among the Northern earran, a share, a portion ; to share, to
nations the dignity of iarla, or earl, was
next to that of king, and appears to have partake, i. e. of the fruits of one's
been La existence in the time of the Fingalians. labour, to earn; earranaich, to share;
Ahmstbo.vo's Gaelic Dictionary.
earrat, goods, property, profits.
(Gaelic. Iarla, from iar, after,
second in order, next, and fialh, a EARNEST.Sincere, desirous, striving
prince; iarla (contracted from iar-fhlath, hard to obtain anything.
fh and t silent), next to the prince, This word is commonly derived from
a viceroy, a lord-lieutenant, an earL the German ernsl, or from gern, in the
same language, or georne, Anglo-Saxon,
EARLY.The beginning, or near the
which means gladly, willingly. But
beginning of a day, or a season, or a
the English " earnest " implies no idea
year, the opposite of late.
of gladness, but rather of gravity.
Anglo-Saxon, aer, before; soon, with re
spect to something else, as in the morning Gaelic. Urnuigh, prayer, supplica
with respect to the sun ; in time, with respect tion.
to creation.Johssox.
Anglo-Saxon, ar, before; aera, ancient, EASE.A state of comfort, qnietness,
early; aerlice, arlice, early; aedre, quick,
immediately.Wedgwood. rest, absence of pain or difficulty.
The true etymon of this word, as From the Anglo-Saxon eath, gentle ; ead,
Johnson hints without being aware of prosperity; French, aite; Latin, olium.
Chambkb.3.
it, may be sought in connexion with French, aite; Italian, asio, agio. The
sunrise, and the light of day streaming Romance languages probably received it from
from the East. a Keltic source. The Gaelic adk, prosperity ;
adhau, athait, leisure, ease, prosperity.
GarltC.Ear, east, eastwards ; an- Wedgwood.
ear, to the east ; an earrich, the spring Garlic. Ada, prosperity; adha*
time, the early time; oir, the east (obsolete), good, proper ; athait (I
x
154 THE GAEUC ETYMOLOGY

silent) , ease, leisure, idleness ; athaiseach, (SadiC.Ath, the prefix of repetition,


slow, leisurely, idle. Bheil ihu air d' foir, help, aid, deliverance ; whence ath,
alhais ? are you at leisure ? (a) foir {a-foir), renewed help or deliver
ance, springing from a man's own
EAT.To consume food for the nourish exertions.
ment of the body.
All the varieties of this word in the lan EGYPT.Etymology has long been
guages of Europe are from the Latin edo, employed in searching for the origin
and the Greek taa>.Gazophylacium Angli- of this word, which does not appear
canum.
From the Saxon etan; the Gothic itan; to have been a name given to it by the
and the Erse (Gaelic) rich.Johnson. ancient inhabitants of that celebrated
From the Sanscrit, ad,io eat.Chambebs. land. The Hebrews called the coun
(SraeltC.loth, ith, to eat, consume, try Misraim, the Egyptians called it
devour, corrode ; also corn ; iolh-lann, Chetnia or Chame.
a corn field ; itheadh, to eat ; eating ; The most common opinion is that the Greek
" aran ri itheadh" bread to eat. Aiyimror is composed of aia, from yaia, land,
and yvm-os, or rather koktos ; and that con
Sangctit.Ad, to eat. sequently Egypt signifies the land of hopt, or
the koptic land. Others derive it from aia and
ECHO.The duplication of a sound vims, the black vulture, the colour of that
bird being, according to them, characteristic
by refraction. of the soil or its inhabitants. Mede conceives
Latin, erho ; Greek, ex, a sonnd.Wedg the primitive form to have been Aia cuphti,
wood, Chambers, Ac. the land of cuphli; while Bruce says that
Y Crypt, the name given to Egypt in Ethio
ffiacltc.Eigh, a shout, a call, a cry, pia, means the country of canals.Anthon's
a sound; eigheach, an earnest cry, an Classical Dictionary.
entreaty. Whether either of these derivations
be correct, it is difficult to decide, but
EDDY.A back flow or current of the following etymons, which may pos
water, a circular motion in the water sibly throw light upon the matter, are
caused by a back-flow, a running to be found in the
back.
(Gaelic.Ai (obsolete, see McLeod
attic.Ath, the prefix of repetition and Dewar), land or territory; cib, ciob,
equivalent to the Latin and English food, long grass for the sustenance of
" re ;" teich, to flee, flow, run ; whence cattle ; gibeach, a sheaf of grass or corn;
ath teich (a tei, t and c silent), an cob, plenty.
" eddy," or after-course of the waters.
Egypt, as all history shows, was
EERIE (Lowland Scotch).Dismal, known to the ancients as a land of
ghastly, dreary. plenty, and all readers will remember
.Eerie-some, causing fear, that especially the sentence in the book of Genesis,
which arises from the idea of the supernatural. "There is corn in Egypt." Without
Jahieson. insisting that this is the true deriva
a cite.Eire, a burden ; eireirich, a tion, it may be admitted that this sug
sitting up, a night-watch with the dead. gestion is quite as plausible as any of
EFFORT.An attempt. the solutions of this etymological diffi
^efforcer, to put force or strength to any culty which have hitherto found favour.
thing.Wedgwood. It is curious that the Hebrew Misraim
OP TUB ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 155

might also be resolved in Gaelic into a Ainsworth (Latin Dictionary) hints that
corroborative idea, in meas, fruit ; ream- it may come from cresco, to grow, because
ha, fatness, abundance. all things grow out of the elements;
but the gulf of difference between the
EITHER.One of two, or of many. words cresco and elcmentum is scarcely
From the Anglo-Saxon aegther, idem ; to be bridged over by this supposition.
and this from the preposition aec, also, and
ther, afterwards. Gazophylacium Angli- The ancients reckoned but four elements,
canum. air, earth, fire, and water. Perhaps the
From the Anglo-Saxon aegther, or the first of the four provides the root of this
Scottish anther.-Johnson.
mysterious word, and is the
Gaelic.Eadar, between.
Gaelic.Aileadh, the air, the atmo
EKE, or Eke out.To lengthen, to sphere, the pervading and surrounding
stretch, to supplement. element without the aid and concurrence
Eke, adverb; Saxon, eae ; Dutch, ook, of which fire could not burn, water be
also, likewise, moreover; eacan, Saxon, to liquid, or earth produce or sustain the
increase.Johnson.
slightest life upon our planet.
Gaeliclc, to supply, to lengthen,
to eke ; also to cure, to heal, i. e. to sup ELF (Obsolete).To twist and entangle
ply the remedy to cure a hurt or an the hair in rings and knots.
illness; iceach, supplementary, remedial. Elf all my hair in knots.
Shakspeabe, King Lear.
ELDRITCH (Lowland Scotch).Un And cakes the e/-knots in foul sluttish hairs.
earthly, frightful, ghastly, horrible. SHAK8PEAHE, Eomeo and Juliet.
His eldritch squeel and gestures. Gaelic.Ailbheag (bh as v or /, elf-
Burns, The Holy Fair. ag), a ring, a curl ; ailbhcagach (el/agach),
The creature grinn'd an eldritch laagh.
Buens, Death and Doctor Hornbook. full of rings or curls.
Gr a el IC. Eillteil, oillteil, dreadful;
ELL.An ell was originally the length
oilltich, to frighten ; oillt, dread, terror ;
from the third or longest finger to
oillt-chrith, trembling with terror ; oillt-
the crook of the arm, called the ell-
chritheach, trembling from terror, caus
bow, from the bow or bend which it
ing to tremble.
makes with the shoulder.
ELEGANCE.Beauty or delicacy of Gaelic. Uillean, an elbow
form, appearance, or expression.
This word, derived from the Latin ELSE.Other, another, otherwise.
and French, has its deeper source in the This word formerly written alles, alys,
alyse, elles, ellus, ellis, els, and now else, is
(Garlic.Aluin, beautiful; ailleag, a no other than the Anglo-Saxon ales or alys,
the imperative of alesan or alysan, dimittere.
jewel, a beautiful young girl ; ailleagan,
John Home's Letter to John Dunning.
a term of affection for a beautiful young Greek, aXXot; Latin, alius.Wedgwood.
girl ; ailleach, beautiful ; aille, most El is the old nominative of which else or
beautiful. elles is the genitive used absolutely.Cole-
BIDoe's Oldest Words, Sfc.
ELEMENT.A first principle.' Gaelic.Eile, another; duine eile,
The root of this word has not been another man; co-eile? who else? eile-
traced beyond the Latin elemeiUum. thir, another country, a foreign country.
x 2
156 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

EMBARRASS.To throw a difficulty vacancy ; vacuus in Lntin having a like im


port, and meaning not only empty, but open
in the way. or at leisure to receive. A connexion with
Embarrassed. Suffering from diffi the Latin emo, so that an ampt, or place, is
"idquod emptum est,"is probable.Latham's
culties, mental or physical. Todd's Johnson.
The most obvious type of hindrance is a (KarllC.Taom, to pour out; taomte,
bar which stops the way to anything.
Wedgwood. poured out, emptied ; taomte, or with
Literally to put a bar, or difficulty in the the aspirate thaomte, which, by the
way.Chamdebs. initial mutation peculiar to the Gaelic
The word with its prefix came into
language, effaces the sound of the t,
the language from the French. The
and is pronounced aomte, is evidently
root is. the root of the Anglo-Saxon aemti.
ffinrttC.Am barr, the high place, The Saxon or German word is leer,
the summit to be surmounted ; barr, a empty; and verleeren, to empty, or
high place; to be in embarassment is make empty. The river Thames derives
therefore to have to pass overor surmount its name from taom, the outpourer.
a high or difficult place.
ENOUGH.Sufficient.
EMBEZZLE.To defraud, to appro All English etymologists are content
priate to one's own use the property to trace this word to the German genug.
of another, entrusted for other pur A nearer approach is to be found in the
poses. ffiarltC. Inich, sufficient, enough;
Of uncertain etymology.Johnson, Ash. gu K'inich, sufficiently.
From the obsolete bezzle, to drink hard,
to squander; according to Wedgwood, from an ENTICE.To lure on by excitement,
imitation of the sound made in greedy eating
and drinking.Chambees. and heating of the passions or the
Old French, embesler.Worcester. imagination; French, alliser, to stir
CtatltC.Bern, moral quality, honesty, the fire, to heat.
integrity, virtue ; an-bheus, immorality, The origin is the hissing sound by which
dishonesty; an-bemail, dishonest, im dogs are incited in setting them on to fight
with each other or to attack another animal.
moral, unvirtuous. These sounds are represented in English by
the letters ss, st, ts, being doubtless imitations
EMPTY.Void, vacant. of the angry sounds of a quarrelling dog. . . .
Philologists have been contented to The idea of provoking to anger must be taken
as the original image.Wedgwood.
trace this word to the Anglo-Saxon
aeltC.Teas, heat ; teasaich, to
aemti, or aemfig, and no further. The
heat; alh-teasaich, to re-heat, or heat
author of Gazophylacium Angiicanum
again.
not quite satisfied with this derivation
suggests the Anglo-Saxon emete, which EQUERRY. One who has the care
he translates, "without meat, or hungry.'" of the horses in a royal or princely
Anglo-Saxon, aemtig; in the German, leer; establishment.
in the Norse languages, torn is the equivalent Ecurie (French).A stable for horses.
to the word in its English sense, its English
sense being exceptional. The meaning in From old High German scur, scura,sciura,
Germany and Scandinavia is connected with, a pent-house, out-house, barn, must be ex
or relating to, an ampt, meaning court, office, plained the Mid Latin scura, scuria; French,
or jurisdiction. For an office to be held by dcurie, barn, stables; German, sc/ieur,scheuro,
one person, it must have been left empty by pent-house, loft, barn. The form equerry
another, so that ampt, void, to fill up a corresponds with Mid Latin scurarius, Wal
OP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.* 157
lachian, scAuraria, the dfficer in charge of wind from the stomach by the throat,
the barn or stables.Wedgwood. from the Latin eructare.
(Gar lie.Each, a horse' (Latin, equus); Gaelic.Ruchan, the throat, a noise
curat*, trust, charge, care, office, or or wheezing in the throat; ruchanach,
employment. wheezing; ruchd, a grunt, a wheeze, a
belch.
EQUIP.Originally, to supply with
horses as a preparation for a journey ; ESCALIBUR or Excalibub. The
afterwards, to supply with necessaries, sword of King Arthur, renowned in
accoutrements, &c. Keltic romance, given to him by the
Equipment.The trappings of horses, Lady of the Lake. The swords and
or the necessaries for a journey. other weapons of all the legendary
Equipage.A carriage and horses. Keltic heroes had usually names de
In French Equipage has come to scriptive of their qualities. See
signify the crew of a ship, the men Moeglay and Duiundana.
necessary to equip and work her. Garlic.Ais, back; cail, a shield;
French, iquiper, to furnish for a horseman ; beur, shrill, sonorous, giving a loud
iauipage, furniture for a horseman j a car sound; whence by corruption and eu
riage of state, a vehicle ; attendance, retinue.
Johnson. phemism Escalibur and Excalibur, " re
From Old Norse, sleipa, to arrange ; Anglo- turning upon the shield with a loud or
Saxon, sceapan, scyppan, to form ; German, violent sound."
schaffen, to create, provide, furnish.Wedg
wood. ESCAPE. To free one's self from
Dr. Johnson was on the right track difficulty, danger, or imprisonment;
for the root of this word, though igno to run away.
rant of the Keltic derivation of the French, ichapper ; Italian, scappare ;
French Squiper. It is clearly traceable English, ship.Chambebs.
to the Diez resolves escape, the Italian scappare,
into excappare, to slip out of one's cloak or
Gaelic.Each, a horse; uidkeam, cape, in the hurry of flight ; and the syno
nymous scampare into ex-campare, to quit
furniture, accoutrements, trappings, the field. This separation of the two forms
dress ; uidheamach, furnished, accoutred, is wholly unnecessary. The radical idea is
simply that of slipping away.Wedgwood.
provided, &c.
Garlic.Sgap, scatter, spread, dis
ERECT.To raise, to lift, to build ; to perse, escape ; sgapadair, a scatterer, a
stand straight on end, perpendicular. disperser; sgapadh, dispersing; tgapta,
Latin, erectus, from erigo, to set upright; dispersed, escaped.
e, out, and rego, to make straight.Chambebs.
From e, out of, and rectus, straight or up ESCROC (French).A swindler, a
right, to set up, to build.Stokmonth. rogue.
Garlic.EiricA, to rise; eirigh,eiridh, Escroquerie.Cheating, swindling.
rising, act of rising. Garlic. Crock, to hang; crochaire,
a villain, a rogue, a swindler, one who
ERIN.Ireland.
deserves to be hanged; crochadair, the
Garlic.Iar-innis, The Isle of the hangman.
West.
ESQUIRE.A title of courtesy used
ERUCTATION. The belching of in addressing letters to gentlemen.
158 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

Squire.An abbreviation of "es maturity, when it commences to


quire/' signifying, in country decay.
parishes and rural districts, the Dutch, avend ; German, abend, the sinking
principal landed proprietor, if he of the day ; Swiss, ab'.n, to fall off, decrease,
be not a Peer or a Baronet. fail ; es abet, it draws toward evening, the
day fails.Wedgwood.
These words are usually traced to the
Gaelic.Abuich, mature.
French escu, or ecu, a shield ; and escu-
yer, a shield-bearer; formerly, and in EVERMORE. For ever, everlasting,
the feudal ages, in attendance upon a in unending continuity.
knight, and a candidate for elevation to The final syllable of this poetical
that dignity. word is not satisfactorily accounted for
.Iflie. Sgiath, a shield ; sgiathadair by the supposition that it is identical
(skeeadair) , a shield-bearer. with "more," the comparative of "much"
and "many." Mr. Donald (Chambers)
EUROPE.The name of one of the has it that " evermore " is " more for
five great continents of the earth, ever," an explanation that cannot be
generally supposed to be derived from accepted, and in which the word "more"
that of a fabulous nymph in Grecian would be wholly unnecessary. Dr.
mythology, whom Zeus, under the Worcester and Mr. Wedgwood offer no
form of a bull, carried on his back solution. Dr. Johnson is of opinion
across the sea to the island of Crete. that "more" is an expletive accidentally
Europa is supposed to have been the added, " unless it signified originally
daughter of the Phoenician king from this time, as always henceforward,
Agenor. but this sense," he adds, " has not been
The name of Europe is not found in the strictly preserved." The true explana
Iliad or the Odyssey, and first occurs in the tion is found in the
Homeric Hymn to Apollo, where it indicates
the mainland of Hellas. The origin of the Gaelic.Mair, to last, to endure, to
name is doubtful, but the most probable of exist ; lasting, enduring, continuing,
the numerous conjectures is that which sup
poses that the Asiatic Greeks called it Europa existing; hence the Lowland Scotch
from euros, broad, and the root op, to Bee, evermair, and the English evemors,
from the wide extent of its coast.Smith's
Classical Dictionary. lasting, or enduring for ever.
It is more probable, however, that the EVIL.The reverse of good ; harmful,
Asiatic tribes who overran and peopled wicked, injurious.
Egypt and Phoenicia, and who after
German, iibel ; Gothic, ubils ; Dutch
wards spread themselves as population ovel, evel.Weduwood.
increased over the great western regions Gaelic.Aimh (av or ev), a prefix to
of Europe, named it from the substantives, signifying negation, de
Gaelic.Eu-ropach, unravelled, un privation, or contradiction, like the
tangled; signifying a country unknown, Latin ne, and the English and German
vast, mysterious. ; leas, good, fitness, benefit, improve
ment; whence aimh-leas (evles), bad
EVE.The ripening of the day. ness, unfitness, wickedness, evil, hurt,
Evening.The day at its fullest harm, mischief, ruin ; aimhleasach, un
OP TJTB ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 159

fortunate, mischievous, ruinous; aimh German, aar, an eagle; and suffix ry, de
noting a collection ; or French, aire ; Low
leasachd, misfortune, evil. Latin, atrea ; Latin, area, an open space ;
or from aer, the air. Chambers.
EWE.A lamb, a female sheep. (Gaelic.Eirich, to ascend, to mount,
Anglo-Saxon, eowu ; Latin, avis; Greek, to rise to a high place ; eiridh, a rising,
oir; Sanscrit, avi, a sheep.Chambers. an ascension, a mounting to a high
(fficiellC. Van, a sheep, a lamb. place.
EXTINGUISH.To put out a fire or
a light; French, eteindre.
Latin, extinguo ; ex, from, used intensively, F.
and stinguo, to quench.Worcester.
Literal!}', to prick or scratch out, to quench, FA' (Lowland Scotch).This word is
to put an end to ; from the Latin ex-stinguo, not the same as fa', to fall. In the
from root stig, to prick.Chambers. phrase, " Gude faith he maunna fa'
Extinguish, from the Latin stinguo,
stinctum, to put out; from the root stig, that," in Burns' "A man's a man
sting, signifying to prick ; the passage from for a' that," the interpretation " fall"
which to the idea of putting out is not clear.
Wedgwood. does not render the meaning. It is
It is singular that no philologist, possible that the real word is the
especially Mr. Wedgwood, who seems (JSacIiC.Fa' or fath, cause, reason,
dissatisfied with the derivation of ex object, attempt; and which used as a
tinction from the root of prick or sting, verb in the Lowland Scotch, would,
and who in many instances has looked in its last signification of "attempt,"
into the Gaelic, should not have dis clear up an otherwise obscure passage.
covered the true root of this word, both
FAA or Fae.A name assumed by a
in Latin and in French, namely in the
tribe of gipsy vagrants who came
ffiaeltC. Teine, fire; thence the into Britain from the Continent in
French eteindre, to put out the fire; the reign of James I. "Johnnie
eteinte, extinguished. See also the Faa " is the title of a popular Scottish
words Tinder and Tingle, where the ballad, which describes the elopement
same root appears. of the Countess of Cassilis with the
EYOT.'A name given to small islands Gipsy King.
in the upper reaches of the Thames Fey (Lowland Scotch and Old Eng
above London. lish) .Fated, in the power of the
Fates, doomed.
CRaellC.Aite, a place.See Ait.
Let the fate fall upon thefeyest.
EYRIE.An eagle's nest, usually built Take care of the man that God has marked,
for he's no fey.Allan Ramsay's Scottish
on the mountain crags or inaccessible Proverbs.
rocks. The Romains for sadness rushed to the
erth, as they fey were.Morte Arthur.
Teutonic, ey, an egg, the place where birds Halliwell.
of prey build their nests and hatch ; an aerie.
Worcester. Fairy.An imaginary being that
Erroneously explained in the first edition mingles in the affairs of men and
as from eggery, really from the French aire,
an airie or nest of hawks.Wedgwood. predicts the future.
Literally, an eggery ; or Anglo-Saxon, ari; Fee (French).A fairy.
160 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

" Fairy " and " fee/' the gipsy name Fade (French).Stale, tedious.
of Faa, and the ancientfey, all appear <i arllf. Fad, long, tedious ; fadaich,
to be from the to spin out, to stretch out, to lengthen
ffiaelt'C.Faidh, a prophet, a rhapso- tediously.
dist, one inspired, a soothsayer, a for
FADDLE.To trifle, either in talk or
tune-teller. Sanscrit, vadi, a prophet;
action, to be tedious or dilatory, to
Latin, vates.
dawdle.
FA! FE! FI! FOl FUM !These Fiddle-Faddle.A duplication of
mysterious syllables occur in the " faddle," with the same meaning.
popular story of Jack the Giant From the French fade or the Latin/atfwtt*,
a fool ; and fiddle, q. d. to draw the stick to
Killer, so dear to all British children. and again hastily ; or from fiddle and the
Fa,fe,fi,fo,fum ! Teutonicfaden, a thread, i. e. a tiddle-string ;
I smell the blood of an Englishman ! and to this day when we show our dislike of
Let him be living, or let him be dead, anything, we say, a fiddle-stick. Q-azophy-
I'll grind his bones to make my bread. lacium Anglicanum.
Corrupted from fiddle, to play with the
The antipathy expressed to an Eng fingers; a low word.Johnson.
lishman or Saxon points to a time for She said that her grandfather had a horse
this version of the story when the con shot at Edgehill, and that their uncle was at
the siege of Buda, with other fiddle-faddle
quered Keltic population, having no of the same nature. Spectator.
other means of expressing their detesta The root of this word is evidently
tion of their invaders, vented it in faddle and not fiddle, reduplicated on a
rhymes and fairy stories. principle common to most languages.
It has been supposed that these alli ffiaellC. Fad, length ; fadal, tedious,
terative sounds were mere inventions lengthy, prolix; fadalach, wearisome,
without meaning, but researches into tedious.
the Keltic language at the early, almost
primeval time, when the fascinating FADGE.To suit, to fit, to answer the
story first charmed the youths and purpose intended; as, "it won't
maidens of our remote ancestors, show a fudge," i. e. " it won't do." (Slang.)
derivation which gives sense to an other We will have, if this fadge not, an antic.
wise incomprehensible string of jargon. Shakspeabe, Love's Labour Lost.
aelic.Faigean, a sheath ; the
QfrarltC.Faich {fa!), behold! see!
Latin vagina. " This won'tfadge," i. e.
fiadh (fee-a), food ; fiu, good to eat,
"this will not fit into the sheath or
worthy ; fogh (fo), sufficient ; foghair,
scabbard, this will not suit or answer
to suffice; feum (French faim), hunger;
the purpose."
whence faich, fiadh, fiu, fogh, feum, or
" fa, fe, fi, fo, fum ! " " Behold food, good FAG.To work hard ; also a word at
to eat, sufficient for my hunger ; " the public schools to designate a smaller
exclamation of the Keltic giant, who, boy, made a slave or servant of by
without being a cannibal, would have one larger or older, to do his behests,
been glad to devour the Saxon. a el IC.Faigh, to get, obtain, acquire.
FADAISE (French).A long, old, FAG-END.The end of anything, a
worn-out story ; a silly repetition. term of depreciation.
i

OF THE ENOLIiil LANGUAGE. 161


The latter and meaner part of anything. one who has failed in truth, a worthless
Johnson.
Tlie inferior or remaining part, the refuse. man ; featt-gniomh, a deceitful or false
Slang Dictionary. action; feallsa, false, mendacious ; feall-
Faggot, a term of opprobium used by low tair, a traitor. The same idea runs
people to children and women. Originally a
term of contempt for a dry shrivelled old through the kindred words foitt, deceit,
woman, whose bones were like a bundle of treachery, foul play; foilleil, deceitful,
sticks, only fit to bum.Idem.
fraudulent, failing to perform a promise;
Fagot, a bundle of sticks ; from the French
fagot and Italian fagotto; from the Anglo- fuillein, a cheat, one who makes a dis
Saxon fegan, to join.Richakdson. honest failure. The word " fell," signify
Gaelic.Fag, to leave, abandon, re ing fierce, cruel, bloody, brutal, as when
linquish ; whence that which is left, Shakspeare says "fettest foes," or
abandoned, relinquished, as of no ac Thomson in the Seasons, " the keeu
count or value. hyena, fettesl of the fell," seems trace
able to the same root. See Felon.
FAIL.To make default, to be de
ficient, to decay, to attempt unsuc FAIL (Lowland Scotch).A dyke, a
cessfully. wall of turf.
Failure.An unsuccessful attempt. In ayont yon auld fail dyke
I wot there lies a new slain knight.
Felt,.Cruel, bitter. The Twa Corbies.
These words in various forms occur (SSacltf.Fal, a pen fold, a circle, a
through most of the languages of wall, a dyke, a hedge, sods and turves.
Western Europe, and may be clearly
traced in Greek, Latin, German, French, FAIN.Willing, desirous.
Italian, and Spanish. Johnson cites To be fain to do a thing is to be glad to
thirteen different meanings for " fail," do it. But there is a curious resemblance in
the expression to the old French, avoirftim,
but only derives it from the French tor ftim, hunger, to be desirous (or hungry)
faittir, and the Welsh faeln. The of something. Wkdgwoop.
author of Gazopftylacium Anglicanum (SSafllC.Fan (obsolete), prone, pre
says " the word is from the French pense.
faittir; Italian, fallare ; Teutonic,
FAINT.Weak, deprived of strength
fahl, a defeat; all of them from the
from want of food, over-exertion, or
Latin fatto, to disappoint, frustrate."
diminution of the powers of life.
The first root is to be sought in the
French, finer, to fade as flowers do in the
original language of Western Europe, heat of the sun.Gazophylacium Angli
where it is used in a variety of senses, the canum.
chief being one that implies falsehood, French, faner, to fade ; s'ioanouir, to faint
away ; Latin, vanus, empty ; Gaelic.yann.
or unsuccess in the performance of a Cuamjjebb.
duty imposed by honour, or integrity. GVncItC.Fann, weak, feeble; duine-
CHacIiC.Featt, to deceive, to betray, fann, a weak man ; fannaich, to grow
to fail; featt, treason, treachery; fealladh, weak, to debilitate. From the same
failure, desertion; feallan, a felon, a root comes the Latin vanesco, the French
traitor; one who in his falseness to his t'vanouir, and the English vanish, to
neighbour or his sovereign has com fade away from sight, to disappear.
mitted a crime ; feall-duine, a false man, It may be questioned whether the
Y
162 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

words "fancy," "fantasy," and "phan best, most preferable. In the sense
tom," the French fantome, are not from of light-complexioned or beautiful the
this root, rather than from the Greek root is Fair, the rising or setting of
<f>aiv(i), to appear; and <pavTao-/xa, an the sun ; faire, the dawn, the break of
image, to which they are generally as day, the brightness of the morning.
signed. The idea of weakness, shadowi-
ness, faintness, and unreality, underlies FAIR.A periodically appointed mar
them all, as in ket for the sale of cattle and agri
cultural produce, to which by degrees
Phantasy (Greek). A vision, a
was added the sale of commodities
fancy.
likely to find purchasers among the
Phantom, Fantome (French). A
crowd that attended. Sports and
phantom, a shade, an unreality.
amusements were also provided for
C&acltC.Fainne, weakness; taom, the evening or the intervals of busi
empty ; i. e. phantom, an empty weak ness. French foire.
ness, an unreal appearance; fann-tai6Ase, Latin, feria, holidays; then like Italian,
a dim ghost or apparition. Fantome, feria, French, foire, applied to the market
according to Halliwell, signifies in old held on certain holidays.Wedqwood.
English, faint, weak ; andfantome corn, Connected with festive.Chambers.
unproductive corn ; afantome fellow, a The word came into English from
weak light-headed person. See Infant. the French foire, and not from the Latin.
The Germans call a fair ajahrmarkt or
FAIR. Beautiful, light-complexioned, messe, the Belgians and Dutch kermis
just, equitable. and kermesse. The derivation from
Johnson cites seventeen different the Latin favoured by Mr. Wedgwood,
shades of meaning to this word, which supposes that the market was established
is probably derived from different roots. on a saint's day or holiday; whereas
Thus a man may be fair in complexion, the holiday on the day of a fair was
yet unfair ill conduct. Johnson derivrs consequent upon the market, and had
it from Anglo-Saxonfaegen, and Danish no connexion with the festivals of the
favr, in which course he has been church. The root of the French foire
followed by all his philological suc and the English fair is the .
cessors, and in which he himself but
followed the author of Gazophylacium (Gaelic.Foir, foire, a crowd of
Anglicawum and Bailey. He also de people, people crowded together (as at
rives "fain," "willing," "glad," from fair time) .
the same Saxon root. These etymolo FAITH.Calm trust and reliance in a
gies are not satisfactory. The Danish person, a thing or doctrine; undis-
favr (almost favor), not faur, means puting and implicit belief.
handsome, agreeable, without reference
Latin, fides; Italian, fede; French, foi.
to lightness of complexion. Possibly Wedgwood.
the true roots of " fair " in the sense of Old '&xi%\itih,feith,fayeth,fay. . . . Con
equitable, is the nected with Greek n-ci&o, to persuade.
Cham bees.
(ffiaclic.Firinn, the truth ; firean, a flic.FeatA, calmness, tranquil
righteous, just, true; or fearr, better, lity, knowledge; whence tranquillity
OF TOE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 1C3

of mind as the result of knowledge; FALSE. Untrue. Latin, fahits;


feathail, quiet, tranquil; feathambhuil, French, faux; German,falsat.
quiet, calm in the faith. ffiaelic. Fallsa, false, deceitful,
treacherous ; fallsachd, treachery, false
FAKE (Slang).A word of various
hood; falhan, a sluggard, deficient in
meanings among thieves and the
energy and vigour, not a true man.
swell mob, most commonly signifying
to get, to acquire, to obtain, to lay FALTER.To hesitate in purpose or
hold of, to steal. in speech, like a guilty man ; also to
(Gaelic.Faigh, to find, get, receive, walk feebly.
acquire, obtain. From the root offault, or formed from the
halting or stammering sound.Chamuebs.
FALCHION.A crooked sword like a (Gaelic.Feall, deceive, betray, fail;
scythe. fealllair, a traitor, a perfidious person.
Faulx (French).A scythe. See Fail and Felon.
(Gaelic.Fal, a scythe, a spade;
FAME.Reputation, honour, the ap
faladair, a mower, a wielder of the
plause of the people.
scythe ; faladaireachd, the operation of
Latin, fama; Italian and Spanish, fama :
mowing. Greek, <f>rnit, from <pw, <f>ao-6ai, to speak.
Bichabdson.
FALLOW.Untilled land ; a portion (Gaelic.Fuaim, sound, noise, echo ;
of land in which no seed is sown for fuaimeir,fuameil, sonorous, loud, noisy ;
a whole year or a longer time. fiiaimneach, a great noise; fuaimnich,
Unsowed; left to rest after the year of to blow. The figure of Fame blowing a
tillage (supposed to be so called from the
colour (yellow) of naked ground).Johnson. blast on a trumpet in the old allegorical
There is no coming at the radical of this representations is familiar to most
word by the sound. It depends entirely on people.
the sense which arises from one of the an-
cientest customs. The Mallum or Mallow FAMINE.Scarcity of food.
was in Britain nearly what the Campus
Martius was to the Romans. The Mallow- Famishing.Hungry, in great need
mot or assembly of the principals of the land of food. Latin, fames; French,
was on the commons either adjacent to the
Caer (town), or appropriated to that purpose faim, hunger.
by the people. This spot of ground was so
inviolably privileged as never to be enclosed (Gaelic.Fewn, to be in want or
or cultivated as private property. Hence need ; feumach, needy, in great want.
the word mallow became applied to grounds
that lay unsown. The m in this ancient FAN.An instrument used by ladies
word deflecting into f became fallow.
Cleland, quoted in Wobcesteb. in temperate, and by men as well as
(Gaelic.The root of this word that by women in tropical climates, to
has so puzzled and led astray the lexico agitate the air near their faces so as
graphers is the Gaelic falamh {faluv), to produce temporary coolness, and
empty; and is applied not only to prevent fainting from heat. The
fallow or empty land, but to anything word is generally derived from the
that can be left bare and unoccupied, Latin ventm and the French vent, the
as tigh falamh, an empty house ; air wind.
aiie falamh, in an empty space. (Gaelic. Faun, fannan, a gentle
2
161 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

breeze, a breath of air; fann, faint, Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman
had drunk himself out of his five senses, and
weak, oppressed with heat; fannanta, being Jap, he was, as they say, cashiered.
fainting, enfeebled; /a/an, a gentle Act i. Scene 1.
breeze ; /a/anach, breezy. It has been attempted to derive this word
from vappa, but that, as Mr. Douce observes,
is too learned. I have not met with it in
FANFARE (French). A flourish of any glossary. It was probably a cant term.
trumpets, formerly used to direct at Names.
tention to the approach of a royal or The derivation from vappa is adopted
other great personage, and still used by Halliwell, Wright, and Staunton.
for the same purpose at the theatres ; Possibly the root is the
a flourish of trumpets to proclaim the OncliC. Faob, a protuberance, a
reveille or awakening in a camp or swelling; whence swollen with drink ;
barrack. having a large stomach from intempe
Fanfaron.From /a n/are, a boaster, rance.
one who blows the trumpet of his
own praises. FARDEL. Generally supposed to
Fanfaronade.Boasting, vainglori- mean a burden, and to be' derived
ousness. from the French, /ardeau, the Low
Fanfare, air dans le mode majeur ct d'un Latin /ardellus, and the Italian /ar-
mouveinent vif et bien rhym6 execute par dello.
des core ou des trompettes. Ancieu espagnol
fanfa, vanterie. Diez croit que e'est un mot Who would fardels bear,
cr&6 par onoinatopde. Le fait est qu'on ne To groan and sweat uuder a weary life ?
lui trouve pas do racine.Littbe. Hamlet.
Though M. Littre found no root for The word in Shakspeare, is capable
" fanfare " and its derivations, he might of other interpretation than that of bur-
have done so had he looked into the den, and seems traceable beyond the Low
Keltic. The roots of "fanfare " are the Latin, which was merely a Latinized
(fin flic. Fonn, music, an air, a form given to various Keltic words, to
strain, a tune ; /air, the break of day ; the
/aireach, an awakening or arousing from (fiacliC.Fardal, delay, hindrance,
sleep; also wakeful, watchful, attentive. obstruction, detention ; /ardalach, ob
Hence /onn-/air, or /onn-/aire, the structive, slow, tardy.
music of awakening, the reveille, usually
FARM.An extent of laud in cultiva
produced by trumpet sound, and also
the music of attention or heed, to give tion.
Fakmer. A cultivator of the land.
notice to the soldiers in the camp of
the approach of the king or leader. French/erme and fermier.
From the same source come the Gaelic Farm, literally, food, entertainment; after
wards rent, the land rented, ground let for
/aireadh, a sentinel or watchman, and cultivation, or pasturage, &c. Anglo-Saxon,
the Greek (f>apos, a lighthouse ; the feorm,fearme, food ; feormian, to feed, rent
being originally paid in kind. The word
idea of both of which is "heed" or fearme, Latinized into firma, was next ap
" attention." plied to the money paid, and then to the
land rented.Chambers.
FAP.A word that occurs in the ffiatlic. Fearann, an estate, a farm,
Merry Wives of Windsor. a land, a country ; /earann saor, a free
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 165
estate, a freehold ; fearannach, of land, Latin, /actio, a making or doing; French,
fafon.Woecesteh.
pertaining to land.
(SiaeltC.Fas, growth, increase ; to
FASCINATE.To enchant, to charm. grow, to increase, to rise into favour
These ancient words have been so and acceptance ; fasan, that which has
worn down in the service of prosaic risen into favour and acceptance; the
modern ages, as to have lost their " fashion ;" fasanta, fashionable: fas-
original strong signification, which was antachd, the state of being fashionable.
the act or the art of a magician, wizard,
conjuror or diviner. " Fascinating," FAST.llapid, quick, the opposite of
"charming," "enchanting," are epithets slow.
applied indifferently to objects animate From the Welsh ffest, quick.Joiinson.
or inanimate, to works of nature or of Mid Latin, fast?, immediately, without
interval. It rains fast, i. e. the drops lall
art, without reference to the occult close on each other. Thus the idea of close
sciences, or the devices of the soothsayer. ness passes into that of rapidity.Wedg
wood.
The word " fascinate " is immediately
There are three of these words in
from the French fasciner, and the Latin
English of the some sound and ortho
fascino, both of which are sometimes
graphy ; fast, quick ; fast, steady,
derived from the Greek fiaoicaivas, to
firm fixed, or rooted ; and fast, to ab
bewitch; and formerly meant, and in
stain from food; all of different ety
special cases still means, to bewitch or
mology. The second is of German,
vanquish by the power of the eye, as
the third of Latin origin. The true
the snake fascinates a small bird or
root of the first seems to be the
other prey. In ancient times the pro
phets were magicians, and pretended QSf&tUc.Fas, to increase, to grow ;
to foretell the future by incantations i. e. a fast movement is an increasing or
(enchantments), charms, and other growing movement.
weird devices. The true source of the
FAST.To go without food, which no
Latin fascino is to be traced to the
one does unless from illness or want
following related words from the
of appetite, or in performance of a
ffiaeltC.Fiiidh, a prophet; faisin- religious vow, or presumed religious
neachd, a prophecy; faisnick, prophesy, duty.
foretell; faisniche, a prophet; fahti-
Here, as in the Latin abstinence, the idea
neach, a wizard, a diviner, afascinator. may be holding back from food, but if the
word be of ecclesiastical origin it may be
FASHION.The prevalent custom or better explained by the Gothic fastan, to
keep or observe, viz. the ordinances of the
favour of society, in dress or manners, Church. Wachter remarks that observarc
style of living, &c. and jejunare are frequently used as syno
nyms by ecclesiastical writers.Wedo-
This word has been borrowed from wood.
English by the French and Germans, A fast is an observance to which
and sometimes does duty for the old a person binds or pledges himself for
expressions, la mode and die mode. a certain season, and its root is the
From the French facon, and Latin facere, dSatliCFastadA, fasimdh, to bind
to make, the form and make of a thing.
Wedgwood. one's self, to engage ; fastaich, to bind,
166 TIIE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

to secure, to make fast ; fastaichte, unduly submissive; to wait upon a


bound, secured, engaged. great man's humour.
Of uncertain origin ; perhaps a contraction
FAUBOURG.A suburb. of the French fanfan, a term of fondness for
A word recently introduced into children.Johnson.
From the Anglo-Saxon,/ayrneawt, to rejoice,
English from the French, and especially to flatter.Wobcesteb.
used in reference to the suburbs of Paris. From the Anglo-Saxon fandian, to tempt,
Fauxhoura est une alteration de forbourg or entice ; or perhaps from the English fain,
prononce' fobourg (Ie parler vulgaire ayant willing.Oazophglacium Anglicanum.
quelquefois supprime' IV) puis finalement ffiafliC.Fan, to wait, to dance
pris pourfaux-bourg. Littbe.
attendance ; fanachd, waiting, tarrying
(Sadie.Fo, under; borg or burg, a (for a favour).
town or fort; literally, suburb.
FAWSONT (Lowland Scotch).
FAUGH !An exclamation of disgust Decent, seemly, respectable ; in accor
or abhorrence. dance with custom and fashion.
Past participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb A creditable stock
fian, to hate.Hoene Tooke. Of decent, honest,fawsont folk.
I think he had better have left faugh ! Burns, The Twa Dogs.
fie ! and fo ! in the class of brutish inarti
culate interjections.Barclay. Beaumont aelt'C.Fasanta, customary, ha
and Fletcher have faugh as an exclamation bitual, respectable, fashionable; fasan-
of abhorrence.Worcester.
tachd, fashion, custom, use, propriety.
The interjection, I believe, represents the
lengthened emission of the breath with See Fashion.
screwed-up mouth, and lifted nostrils, which
aims at the rejection of an offensive smell. FEALTY. Allegiance for benefits
It will be observed that the syllable fu, or
pu, is used in many languages as the root of conferred.
words signifying to blow, as in Greek <pv<raa; This word is generally supposed to be
English, puff; Scottish, faff; Sanscrit,
phut, Sfc. Wedgwood. derived from " fidelity " or " faithfulness;"
but possibly as there was no reason for
afltC.Fuath, hatred, aversion ;
fidelity between inferior and superior,
fuathag, hateful, abhorrent; fuathaich,
unless in return for benefits, the word
to hate, detest, abhor, loathe. McAlpine's
may have had a different origin. The
Pronouncing Gaelic Dictionary gives the
vassal for protection, bounty, liberality,
pronunciation of the last word asfua-ach,
gave his allegiance in return.
which is as nearly as possible the English
faugh I ratltC. Fial, generous, liberal,
bountiful; fial,feile, bounty, hospitality,
FAVORTS (French).Whiskers, usu liberality ; Jiallach, a champion, a gene
ally supposed to be derived from rous hero (fromfial and laock) ; fiallachd,
"favourite," or because it was the knight-errantry, chivalry, the practice
favourite fashion to wear them. of bravery, generosity, and hospitality.
(ffiracltC. Fabhraidh (favrai), the
FEAR.Terror.
eye-lashes, the hair on the side of the
face, the whiskers; also a fringe or Johnson derives "fear" from the
curtain. Anglo-Saxon fearan; Richardson from
the Latin vereor, or the Anglo-Saxon
FAWN.To natter, to cajole, to be foeran, afoeran, and these from faran,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 167

to go, or cause to go away, and hence This word is apparently from the first
from the motion to the feeling which syllable of the
caused it. Mr. Wedgwood thinks "the CVafltC.Feas-traeh, to muzzle, to
radical idea is shown in the Swiss fasa, bridle, to put a bit in the mouth ; feasag,
to shudder at, to he amazed at, the final feusag, the beard, the moustache above
8 changing into r, as in Latin, honos, and below the mouth. All the quota
honor ; and in the German hase, English tions in Nares correspond with the idea
a hare." Mr. Donald in Chambers refers of muzzling or bridling.
it to the German gefahr, and Swedish
fara, danger. The correctness of all these FECK (Lowland Scotch and North of
derivations may be questioned. "Fear" England) .Worth, power, value.
is the cold sensation that pervades the Feckless.Powerless, worthless; of
frame when a person is suddenly con no account ; without feck.
fronted with a great danger. It is a Feckpul.Brave, full of worth.
common phrase to say that " the blood Feckless folk are aye fain of one another.
ran cold with horror," or that a cold Allan Ramsay.
perspiration seized upon one in the Spiritless, feeble ; perhaps a corruption of
effectless.Todd's Johnson.
extremity of a sudden peril. The French Poor devil ! see him o'er his trash,
have the word peur, and the Germans Asfeckless as a wither'd rash.
Bckns, To a Haggis.
furcht, and these words, as well as Offeck, of value ; any feck, any considera
the English "fear," are traceable to tion ; feckful, having the appearance of
the wealth.Jamieson.
(KaeltC.Fuar, cold. (GtafltC.Fiach, worth, value; fiachail,
worthy, virtuous, of high position;
Another etymology presents itself for
fiachalachd, worthiness, value, dignity.
consideration in the
(fiacllCFiadh (pronounced fee-a), FEEBLE.Weak, deficient in energy;
wild, untamed, timid, afraid of man ; a immediately derived from the French
deer, which is among the shyest of faille, formerly writtenfoible.
animals ; fiadhach,fiadha, wildness, shy The common derivation from the Latin
ness, fearfulness, timidity; fiamh, fear, Jlebilis, lamentable, is unsatisfactory.
Wedowood.
reverence, awe. The English word
" fear" is pronounced almost exactly the (GaelicFo-bhuile, an understroke,
same as the Gaelicfiadh, and the addition a weak movement.
of an r to the root is common to many
FEED.To eat ; or pasture for nourish
words in the English vernacular.
ment.
FEASE, FEIZE, PHEESE.Nares Food.That which is eaten, or good
defines this word "to chastise, to to be eaten.
beat." Fodder.Food for horses or cattle.
I'll pheeze you, i' faith. Pood; Anglo-Saxon, foda, fode, food,
Shakspeabe, The Taming of the Shrew. nourishment; Dutch, voeden, to feed, to
bring up ; Danish, fode, to feed, and also to
An' he be proud with me, I'll pheeze his give Dirth to. The ideas of giving birth to
pride.Troilus and Cressida. and feeding are connected in other cases, as
Come, will you quarrel, I'll feize you, sirrah. in the Gaelic alaich, to bring forth, to
Hes JoHSOif, The Alchemist. nourish. Fodder, the Mid Latin foderum.
I6S THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
fuilrum, was especially applied to the demand shepherd. In Egypt the peasants or
of provisions for man and horse, made under
cover of prerogative, or seignorial rights, or tillers of the soil are called fellahs, which
by an army iu an enemy's country.Wedg is probably from the same ancient root.
wood.
ffiatttC.Fiadh, meat, food, venison, FELON.A criminal.
deer ; fodair, to give food or provender Felony.A crime.
to cattle ; fodar, provender, fodder ; Prom the French fellon; or the Italian
biadh, to feed, to bait cattle. felonv ; and all from the Anglo-Saxonfelen :
Teutonic, fehlen, to offend. Gazophylacium
Anglicanum.
FELLOW.An associate, a companion, Felon, cruel, rough, untractable ; felonie,
a person, a man ; sometimes used as anger, cruelty, treason ; any such heinous
offence committed by a vassal against his
a term of contempt, as a " low lord, whereby he is worthy to lose his estate.
fellow." Cotgeave.
Dicz rejects the derivation from the Latin
Quasi, to follow, Minsheu. From^e, faith, fel, gall; but his suggestion from the old
and lag, bound, Saxon ; Scotch, fallow. High Germanfillo, a skinner, a scavenger or
Johnson. executioner, is not more satisfactory. The
Old English, felaw; Old Norse, felagi, true origin is probably to be found in the
a partner in goods ; sam-fie-lag-skap, part Keltic branch, either in Welsh or Gaelic
nership, or laying together of goods ; from Wedgwood.
fe, money, goods; and lag, order, society, Various derivations of this word have been
community.Wedgwood and Chambers. suggested. Sir Henry Spelman supposes
Anglo-Saxon, felaw, a companion.Todd. that it may have come from the Teutonic or
Junius and Spelman say from fe, faith, and German fee (fief or feud), and Ion (price or
lag, bound, but Hickes, Minsheu, Skinner, value), and from the Saxon feelen, to fall, or
and Richardson, from Anglo-Saxon folgian, offend.Knight's Political Dictionary.
to follow ; Gothic, felag, companionship.
Wobcestee. How much time and research have
CSafltC.Balach or balaoch, a lad, a been wasted over this word by etymo
youth, a clown ; conjoined with an logists and lawyers, ignorant of the
adjective, the word takes the aspirate primitive language of Great Britain
after the initial consonant and becomes may be surmised from the following
bhalaoch, falaoch, or valaoch (fellow), as derivations from the
sgon bhalaoch, a bad, lumpy, heavy, lazy GiaeltC.Feall, treason, treachery;
fellow ; droch bhalaoch, a wicked fellow. feall, to deceive, to betray, to fail ;
Ball, in Gaelic also signifies a servant, a fealladh, deceit, desertion, failure;
lad ; and with the aspirate becomes bhall feallan, a felon, a traitor ; feall-dhuine,
or vail, whence the Keltic-French valet. worthless men, traitors, deceivers ;feall-
Another possible etymon of the Eng gniomh, a deceitful action ; feall-leigh, a
lish wordfellow is the Kymric or Welsh quack doctor, i. e. a traitorous and
felaig, a prince ; the same as the Gaelic therefore cruel doctor; feall-dhuine,
flath, and the Irish fal ; but the deriva d silent before the aspirate, bad men,
tion from balach and balaoch is prefer i. e. felons.
able. FELT.Coarse, unwoven wool or hair,
The word balaoch is derived by some used in the manufacture of hats,
from ba, cattle, and laoch, a boy, a lad,
wadding, and other articles.
a youth; whence balaoch, a young
herdsman. This wordfellow in ancient Cloth made of wool, without weaving ;
German, filz, woollen cloth ; allied to Greek
English law books is said to mean a nCKos ; Latin, pilots.Cjiambebs.
OF THE ENOUSlf LANGUAGE. 109
arllCFait, hair, matted hair; FENNEL.A well known herb, "sup
fallan, a hair-belt. posed," says Nares, " to have been an
emblem of flattery."
FELL. To turn down a seam. It was one of those offered by Ophelia
To fell a seam, to turn it down, is from in Hamlet to the courtiers, "joining it "
the Gaelic Jill, fold, wrap, plait; Swedish,
falla, a hem.Wedgwood. adds Nares, " with columbines, to mark
CJacltf.Fill, to fold, to plait. that though they flattered to get favours,
they were thankless after receiving
FEM.This word occurs in Messrs. them." Among the quotations is
Halliwell and Wright's edition of Flatter, I mean, lie ! Little things catch
Nares's Glossary, and is described as light minds, and fancy is a worm that feedeth
" apparently for a female/' first upon fennel.Lylt, Sappho.
Which are three ills that mischief men In the modern "language of flowers"
To know dost thou desire ? the columbine signifies folly, and when
Have here, in few, my friend exprcst, we trace the word " fennel " to its
The fern, the flood, the fire.
Kendall's Floxcers of Epigrammet, 1557. root, we find the
It is possible that the explanation is (Sa el it.Feineil, self-love, scl fishness.
correct, but " woman and flood and This interpretation would lend new
fire" would be so much more forcible, point to Ophelia's line :
as well as so much more intelligible,
There's fennel for you, and columhiue.
than " fern," as to suggest another de
rivation. Perhaps it may be the That is to say, " There's selfishness for
you, and folly;" as if the two were
(Garlic Feum, need, necessity (from
combined.
the same root as famine). The three
ills, with this explanation, would be
FERE, FEERE, PHEARE, PHEER.
famine, flood, and fire, which would
All these words are defined by
preserve both the alliteration and the
Nares to mean " companion, partner,
sense.
husband, or lover." The derivation
FEN. A low lying or swampy piece is given " from the Saxon gefera."
of ground. And swear with me as with the woeful fere
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame.
(Sadie.Feannag, a ridge of ground ; Titus Andronivus.
feanndagach, a place where nettles and But faire Clarissa to a lovely fere
weeds grow. Was link'd.Spenseb, Faerie Queene.
But pomp and power alone are woman's care,
FENCE (Slang).A receiver of stolen And where these are light Eros finds afeere.
Bykon, Childe Harold.
goods ; the shop where stolen goods
are bought. (ffiatlicFear, a man, a husband;
Latin, vir.
(Garlic Faigh, to get, obtain,
acquire ; faighinn, get, obtain ; faigh- The word, though originally sig
neacAd, asking, obtaining; faignich, to nifying a husband, afterwards came
ask, i. e. to ask a price and get it, or to signify a lover of either sex, and was
a portion of it, without any questions applied to a woman, as appears from
being asked in return. the following epitaph :
z
170 THE GAELIC ETYMOT.OGY
Howe ! Howe ! who is heare ? ern). To arrange, put in order, fix,
I Robyn of Doncaster,
And Margaret my feare. prepare.
That I spent, that I had ; Fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next.
That I gave, that I have ; Romeo and Juliet.
That I left, that I loste a.d. 1579. This word {fettle) does not occur again in
Hunter's South Yorkshire. Shakspeare, and curiously enough it has
been overlooked in this passage by every
FEROCTOUS. Fierce, angry, savage, editor from Itowe downwards, modern editors
derived in the first instance from the all reading settle.Staunton's Shakspeare.
Latinferox, and theTrenchferoce, but When the sheriff saw Little John bend his bow,
He fettled him to be gone.
traceable to the Percy's Seliques.
Gaelic.Fearg, anger, rage, fury ; Gaelic.Food, must, may j feud
feirg, feargach, angry, passionate, furi {fet), to be able; feudar, shall be able;
ous, ferocious ; feargaich, to provoke or feath, skill, knowledge; a calm; feat/tail,
incite to anger. calm, quiet, fixed.
Fieh (German), cattle, deer, wild
animals. FEU (French).This word applied to
Latin, ferox, ferocis, fierce.Wedgwood. the dead when speaking of them, as
Gaelic.Fiadh, a deer, a wild ani "feu, mon pore," my late father, has
mal ; fiadhaich, wild, untamed, savage, never been satisfactorily traced by
ferocious ; fiadhaiche, a hunter of wild French philologists.
animals; Jiadhain, wild, savage, fero Funt; Latin, functus, difunt ; Italien,
cious. fu, il fut (ou, il dtait). Mais d'ou vient le
vieux francais feu ou fata, qui est la forme
la plus ancienue? Ce mot dissyllabique
FERTIG (German).Ready, prepared. representerait une forme barbare faduches ou
Garlic.Beartach, energetic, ready; fatulus ; est-il permis de conjecturer qu'il
provient irregulierement dc fatum, et qu'il
heart, a weapon ; beartach, ready with a signifie, qui a accompli sa destinde PLittre.
weapon for defence. On the well-known principle embodied
FERTILE. Productive, capable of in the Latin phrase "de mortuit nil nisi
produce. bonum," it seems as if the true origin
Latin, fertilis, from fero, to bear. is the
Chambers. Gaelic.Fiu, worthy, estimable, so
Gaelic.Feart, virtue, efficacy, en that "feu mon pere," or, my late father,
ergy ; feartach, efficacious, fruitful, ener would signify, my worthy father.
getic ; feariail, virtuous, efficacious.
FEUD.A quarrel, an ebullition of
FETCH.To bring, also to acquire,
ill-will or hatred.
obtain; as in the phrase, "to fetch
Foe. An enemy.
and carry." The attempts to trace
this word to the German fassen, to German, fehde; Anglo-Saxon, fian, to
hate.Chambers.
seize, and to other Teutonic sources, Foe; Anglo-Saxon, fah, fa, an enemy;
have not been satisfactory. Old Norse, fia, to hate (see fiend).Fiend,
from fian, to hate, which itself is formed
Garlic Faigh, obtain, find, lay from the interjection fie J expressive of
hold of, acquire. disgust, reprobation, displeasure.Wedg
wood.
FETTLE (Local, principally North- Garlic.Fuath, hate, aversion; fu
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 171
athaclt, hateful, abhorrent ; fuaihaich, "is identical with the German viek, cat
to hate, to abhor; fear-fuaiha, an tle. Adopted into the Romance tongues,
enemy, an hated man. the word became the Provencal feu and
fieux, and the French fief. When it
FEUDAL. Pertaining to feus, or assumed a Latin dress the word became
fiefs ; or lands held of a superior, feudum."
under the obligation of military ser So sorely pressed have been not only
vice whenever required in defence of the etymologists, but the lawyers, to
the landlord, or of the state. trace the origin of this not very mys
Philologists have been much puzzled terious wordthat one, in Knight's
to account for this word. Feu in the Political Dictionary, while denying that
Scottish language signifies, to let on there were such Low Latin words as
building leases, and formerly described feudum and feodum, is of opinion that
a tenure in which the tenant paid rent the true root isfevdum orfeftum, which
in grain or money. Some have derived he imagines to be file/ or phitef, and
the word from the Low Latin feudum, that again to be a colloquial abbreviation
feodum, and the French fief, and others of emphyteusis, pronounced empliylefsis,
from the Irish fuidhur ; fuidh signifying a term of the Roman imperial law for
in the Brehon laws, a stranger who en an estate not granted to be held abso
joyed land within the territory of a lutely. All this is but confusion worse
clan, and the tenure by which he held confounded, and makes a darkness only
it. The true origin of the word is to to be removed by the clear light thrown
be sought in the pastoral ages, when on it by the original language of the
the chief wealth of the people was in Keltic people.
their flocks and herds, and when an
ownership of the land, either on the FIACRE (French).A hired vehicle,
part of the chief or on that of the whole hackney cab or coach, let out for the
clan had been established, the rendering journey or for the day.
either of rent or personal service for the Un nomme Sauvage <5tablit le pvemier en
use of the land for grazing purposes. 1G40 les voitures de louage, dites d'abord
carosses a cinq sous (on ne payait que cinq
This points unmistakeably to the sous par heure) rue St. Martin, dans une
grande maison nominee L'Hotel St. Fiacre ;
(BartiC.Feudail, cattle, herds, flocks; parcequo une image de St. Fiacre y etait
feudaileach, abounding in flocks and pendue. Do L'Hotel le nom passait aux
voiturts.Littbe.
herds. It will be new to many readers to hear of
Mr. Wedgwood was on the track of St. Fiacre, or St. Cab, who seems to be wor
shipped in France. Tuesday was St. Fiacre's
the right idea, but did not pursue it to day, and the coachmen of Paris celebrated it
its legitimate conclusion. He says, with the proper honours. Have our cabmen
any tutelary Saint to whom they render
" The importance of cattle in a simple state reverence in the chapcl-liko shelters which
of society, early caused an intimate connexion are springing near to so many stands in
between the notion of cattle and that of London P Do they retire thither to ask his
money and wealth." intercession? Perhaps the fearful condition
of our cabs is to be attributed to the neglect
This should have led him to the of St. Fiacre in this country.Daily News,
Gaelic, but he got no further than the September 2. 1875.
Gothic faihu, possession, which he says ffiarltC.Fiach, value ; giulain, to
i 2
172 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

bear, lo carry ; fiach-gtulaii, fare or hire FIDGE.To be restless in small mat


for bearing or carrying a passenger. ters.
Fidget.A restless, uneasy person.
FICKLE.Apt to change in mind and Fidge, to make light involuntary move
purpose, changeable. ments, to be unable to keep still; Swiss,
filsrhen, to flutter to and fro.Wedowood.
Anglo-Saxon, Jicol ; German, jicken, to Fidget, literally to make quick movements ;
movo quickly to and fro ; seefidget.Fidget, Swiss, fitxehen ; German, figgen, to move to
to make light involuntary movements ; to and fro ; connected with fickle.Chambebs.
fidge about, to be continually moving up and
down.Wedgwood. Etymology uncertain. Todd says Gothic
fika, to move quickly ; Richardson says
Gaelic. Faicill, caution, watchful probably from the same word as fag and
feague.Wobc E8TEB,
ness, care ; faicilleach, cautious, watch A cant word ; it implies in Scotland agita
ful, on one's guard, wary. tion.Johnson.
This seems to be the true root of the Gaelic. Fidir {fidjir), to ponder,
English word" fickle," which originally to search narrowly, to be unsatisfied
signified only a cautious person, and without strict inquiry ; fidileir, a rest
was subsequently applied to persons so less person ; fidileirachd, fidgetiness,
over-cautious as to be continually restlessness.
changing their minds. FIER (French).Proud.
There is a difference in meaning in
FICTILE. Woven, or appertaining
French, in the position in which this
to the process of weaving. adjective is placed ; as " e'est un fier
Fictile, fiction ; see feign.Feign, to cochon ;" or " e'est un cochon fier."
make a fashion; French, feindre ; Latin,
fingOffictum, to form.Chambebs. The root is the
Fjction.A story that is woven or Garlic.Fiar, beut, perverse, crook
constructed from the imagination ed, unjust; also to bend, to twist, to
of the writer. pervert; fiarach, fiaradh, out of the
Gaelic.Figh, to weave ; figheach, straight line, perverted, twisted.
weaving; figheadhair, a weaver; fighle, FIERTE (French).Proper pride.
woven. Gaelic. Feart, virtue, manliness,
FIDDLE-FADDLE (Colloquial). an inherent quality.
Tediousness, prolixity, nonsense, to FIG (Vulgar)."I don't care a fig,"
cause delay by trifling. " I would not give a fig for it.
This word is used in Pierce's Superero Afigo for thy friendship !Henry Y.
gation by Gabriel Harvey, 1593.Wheat- Fig's-end, a thing of small value. " I would
ley's Dictionary of Reduplicated Words not give afig's-end for it." Withall Dictio-
in the English Language. narie, 1634.
Leave these fiddle-faddles. Wit without Figs were never bo common in England as
Money. Beaumont and Eletcheb. to be proverbially worthless.Nabes.
" Fiddle-faddle " seems to be a redu The doubt suggested by Nares points
plication of the to the true derivation of the word in the
Gaelic. Facial, length, prolixity; Gaelic. Fuigh, fuigheach, a rem
fadalach, tedious, prolix ; fadalachd, nant, a paring; fuighleach, remnants,
tediousness, prolixity. See Fidge. parings, leavings, refuse, rubbish.
OF T11E ENGLISU LANGUAGE. 173

In Thomson's Etymons of English of an animal, the pelt, a sheep-skin ;


Words, 1826, Fieo is explained as a whence to filch or pilch, originally
sign of contempt, made by placing the signified to rob an animal of its skin,
point of the thumb between the two and was afterwards applied to every
forefingers. Worcester explains it as other species of mean robbery. An
" a snap of the fingers contemptuously other possible derivation is feallcaidh,
expressing, ' a fig for you.' " knavish ; feallcaidheach, knavery. See
Felon.
FIG (Vulgar).To be in full fig. To
be in full dress.
FILE (Slang). A clever person; a
The expression is supposed in the
knowing file, a very clever or cunning
Slang Dictionary to be derived from the
person.
fig-leaves of Adam and Eve, which
A deep or artful man ; a jocose name for a
formed for awhile their wbole attire. cunning person. Originally a term for a
It is more probable that the root is the pickpocket, when to file was to cheat or rob.
File, an artful man, was used in the thir
CSaellC.Figh, to weave, to plait; teenth and fourteenth centuries.Slang
fighe, that which is woven, i. e. clothes, Dictionary.
attire ; figheadair, a weaver. CSatliC.File, fileadh, filidh, a bard,
a poet, an accomplished person ;fileanta,
FILCH.To steal.
ready-worded, speaking with fluency;
Filou (French).A pickpocket, a
fileantachd, fluency, ornate and poetic
thief.
language; filidheach, poetic; filead-
He whofilches from me my good name
Bobs me of that which not enriches him, heachd, poetry.
But makes me poor indeed.
Shakbpeaee. Among the Druids the poets ranked
Originally a cant word, derived from the high, and, as in all early ages and among
filches or hooks which thieves used to carry all peoples, were held to possess the
to hook clothes or any portable articles from
open windows. It was considered a cant or gift of prophecy as well as of song.
gipsy term at the beginning of the last That the original idea of the modern
century. Harman has fylche, to robb.
Slang Dictionary. slang "file" was associated with the
To steal small matters. Swiss, feoke, poetic feeling, and with power of speech
subducere, clam auferre.Idioticon Bernense to convince or animate, appears from
in Deutsch. Mundart. Northern, pilka ;
Scottish, pilk, to pick. " She has pitkit his the following passage and extracts from
pouch."Jamieson. Northern, plikka, to Nares :
pluck.Wedgwood.
Perhaps connected with pluck, and Scotch To file was used for to polish, and was
pilk, to steal.Chambers. very often applied to the tongue of a delicate
Of doubtful etymology, but supposed to be speaker.
connected in its origin with pilfer.Wob- Tho sly deceiver, Cupid, thus beguiled
cesteb. The simple damsel with hisfiled tongue.
Fairfax, Tasso.
Pilchee (Thieves' Slang). A steal Thereto his subtil engins he does bend,
er, a flicker of fogies, a pickpocket, His practick witt, and his lairfyled tongue.
a stealer of pocket-handkerchiefs. Spenseb, Faerie Queene.
Ben Jonson therefore prays that the king
The initial consonants in Jilcher and may be delivered
pitcher are interchangeable. The root From a tongue without a file,
of both is the Heaps of phrases and no style.
dSt&tlit.Peallaid (jieallaif) , the skin From these instances which Nares
174 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

cites, it seems that the English word FIRCUG.A slang word that occurs
file, now obsolete in this sense, con in Beaumont and Fletcher, but which
veyed the idea of the Gaelic file and has not hitherto been explained.
fileanla, poetic eloquence and fluency. It evidently meant somethiug dan
The word occurs in the same sense in gerous.
Shakspeare's Sonnets, lxxxvi., in the March off amain within an inch of afircug,
Passionate Pilgrim, and in Ben Jonson's Turn me on the toe like a weathercock,
Kill every day a sergeant for twelve months.
Commendatory Verses. Wit without Money, Act ii. Scene 2.
Fire-cock and fire-lock have been con
FIN BEC (French).An epicure, a jectured; either is better than nonsense.
Nabbs.
judge of good eating and drinking.
(StartlC.Fior-cuig, a true five ! an
CSarllf.Beackd, perception, judg
old expression for a closed fist uplifted
ment ; fein, self; whencefein bheachd,
to strike. In the United States, the
self-conceit.
closed fist is called " a bunch offives."
FINE. Resplendent, delicate, soft, FIRE. French, Jen, German, Jeuer,
beautiful. the combustion of wood, coal, or
Diez adheres to the derivation of this word other materials. Italian, J'uoco.
from the Latin jinitus, finished, perfect. A
more probable derivation may be found in ffiSCltC.Faire, to watch, to kindle
the Welsh gtvjt/n, white, fair, pleasant ;
Gaelic, fionn, white, sincere, pleasant, true. beacons on the hills, a watch-fire.
The idea of white passes readily to that of
pure, unsullied, as in fine gold. In the sense FISHY (Slang)Suspicious, not to
of small and delicate the word may arise
from the application of the term to fabrics, be touched without due inquiry and
where smallness of parts is an excellence, or investigation.
it may be a separate word from the Welsh
main, slender, thin, small.Wedgwood. ffiaellC. Fios, knowledge; fiosail,
(ffiaelit.Fionn, white, pure, shiny ; knowing, expert ; fiosachd, fortune-tell
finealta, fine, elegant, handsome ; fineal- ing, augury; whence by corruption
tachd, elegance, handsomeness ; finne " fishy," something to be known more
(comparative offionn) . about hereafter, not safely to be under
taken at the present time, and in igno
FINEW.Mouldiness, mustiness. rance of the facts.
attic.Fineag, fionag, a mite, an
animalcule. FIT.This is a word of many mean
ings and derivations, as in the sen
FINNICKING (Colloquial).Affect tence, " His coat is a good ; but it
ed in small matters, over dainty in is noi fit that he should have a fit of
manner, speech, or behaviour, like passion, of drunkenness, or of apo
a small creature with a small plexy, or that he should be fitjul in
mind. his temper, or do things by fits and
Finical. Affected precision in trifles. starts." Fit and fitting, as applied
(SadiC.Fionag, fineag, an animal to adjustment, physical or moral,
cule, a mite, a cheese-mite ; fionagach, is generally derived from the French
abounding in mites or animalcule ; also Jait, the Latin Jactus, accomplished
niggardly, miserly. or done; but fit in the sense of a
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 175

sudden attack of disease or temper, CRaelic.Flalh, a hero, a prince ;


and its derivations fitful and fitful Jlulhag, flathack (I silent), heroic.
lies*, are evidently from another
fcourcc. FLACQUEll (French Slang).To re
A sudden attack of pain or illness ; Swedish lieve the bowels, " allcr a la selle."
dialect, futt, a moment, a very short interval Ce mot est emprunt6 a notre langago
of time ; Bavarian, alle pfitz, every moment ; populaire, ou il signitie jeter, lancer avec
Suabian, jfitzen, to move with a sudden bruit.Fbancisqoe Michel, Dictionnaire
start, to disappear.Wedgwood. d'Argot.
A fit is a sudden sharp attack of disease Gaelic. Flaiche, a gust of wind;
like a stab ; a sudden attack hy convulsions,
as apoplexy, epilepsy, &c, a passing humour. flaicheach, windy, gusty.
Italian, filla, a stab or sharp pain ; from
Latinfigo, to pierce, or from root offight. FLAM (Slang).A lie, a deception.
Chambers.
Fits, q. d. fights, they being the conflicts Fullams.False dice.
between the disease and nature. Gazophy- A Kentish and Anglo-Saxon word.Slang
lacium Anglicanum, Skinner, Bailey, and Dictionary.
Ash ; but rejected by Johnson. Etymology
uncertain.Wobcesteb. If it prove a lie, a flam, a wheedle, it will
out ! I shall tell it to the next man 1 meet.
It is possible that the primary idea, Sedley's Bellarmina, quoted by Nabes.
at the root of this obscure word, is that Gourd, fullam, high-men and low-men,
were professional terms for false dice.
of the sudden starting with fear or mis Howabd Staunton, Notes to the Merry
trust of a wild or shy animal, or the Wives of Windsor.
sudden change of a storm, and that it (EVacliC.Falamh, written also fo-
may be traced to the lamh, empty, worthless, void (of truth).
arllC. Fiadh, shy, wild, fitful; FLASH.A sudden burst of light.
Jiadhaidh, boisterous, wild, fitful as the
Greek, <f>\os, a flame. Junius. From
weather; fiadhanla, shy, wild ; fiadh-aite, blaze.Skinner. From the root of fly.
a wilderness, a wild place. Bichardson.Wobcesteb.
A representation of the sound made by a
The well-known phrase "fits and dash of water or a sudden burst of flame. A
starts" supports this derivation, and flash is a rush of water from the locks on the
likens the idea to the starting of a shy Thames to assist the barges in their descent.
Grose. A shallow temporary pool of
animal. water is called a flash or a plash. So from
French flaquer, to dash down water, flaque,
FIT, FYTTE.A portion of a poem, a a small shallow pool.Wedgwood.
canto. Mr. Wedgwood's onomatopeia would
Among the Druids, the Prophets refer more appropriately to flush than
and Bards intoned or sang their com to flash ; the word seems to be derived
positions. This suggests the possible from the
derivation of this word from the (EafliC.Flaiche, a sudden burst or
arttC. Faidh, a prophet (the gust of wind; or of sunshine in a
Latin vales) ; faidheachd, prediction, storm. A Gaelic scholar suggests the
prophecy ; the verse sung by a bard wordflailheas (t silent), heaven; whence,
when prophesying to the people. metaphorically, the light of heaven as
the primary idea.
FLACCUS.A celebrated andcommon
Roman patronymic, borne among FLASH. Ancient name for Slang.
others by the poet Horace. Also any thing or person more than
176 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY

usually fine or showy, a favourite, a the Latin flato, to blow. Junius thinks it
flash man or flash girl, a paramour. may have been formed from flat. Perhaps
from the Latin lactare, to entice, to wheedle,
A person is said to be dressed flash when by prefixing /as in flagon.Sullivan. So
his garb is showy but without taste, when he fleech, to flatter or cajole, &c, may have
apes the appearance or manner of his betters, had in the preterite and past participleflaught,
or when he is trying to be superior to his like reach, raught, teach, taught, etc., and
friends and relations. Flash also means dropping the guttural flaughter would be
fast, roguish, counterfeit or deceptive. Vul come to flatter.Barclay.Wobcesteb.
gar language was first termed flash in the ffiafltC.Blad, a big mouth, a loud
year 1718 by Hitchin, author of The Regu
lation of Thieves, tifc, with an Account of mouth ; bladair, a fellow with a loud
Flash Words.Slang Dictionary. mouth, a flatterer, a sycophant ; blad-
Flash ken, a house that harbours thieves ;
flash lingo, the canting or slang language. aireachd, sycophancy, flattery, fulsome
Gbose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar adulation ; blad, with the aspirate be=
Tongue. comes bhlad [vlad or fiad).
(Garlic. Fleasgach, a youth, a
bachelor, a fine fellow, a hero ; a FLAUNT.To display finery in dress.
swell, applied ironically; fltasg, some Flaunts. Finery, ribbons, gaudy
thing fine and showy ; a ring, a crown, adornments.
a garland. Fleasg oir, a crown of gold; Johnson gives no etymology, but
tfeasgan, a treasure; flea*gach fir na definesfiaunt, to make a fluttering show
bainnse, the bridegroom's best man at in apparel, and a fiaunt, as anything
a wedding; flathasach [t, silent), stately, loose and airy.
elegant, fine, princely (whence, ironically, Bavarian, flandern, to wave to and fro ;
flashy). German, fladdern, to flutter.Stobuo.vth.
Of uncertain etymology. Richardson
FLATCH (Slang)."I do not care a thinks from Anglo-Saxon fleon, to flee ; Ice
landic, flana, to rush headlong.Jamieson.
flatch," i. e. " I do not care at all." Wobcesteb.
I do not care a flatch, as long as I've a tatch, (Dar lie. Flann, red ; whence,
Some panem for my chest, and a tog on.
Song of the Chichaleerie Cove, flaunts, red (or gaudy) ribbons.
London, 1868.
(Brarllt.Flaiche, a sudden gust of FLEG (Lowland Scotch).A sudden
wind. blow, a box on the ear, a stroke.
Fortune ;
FLATTER. To praise unduly, to She's gi'en me mony afleg.
praise with a selfish object. Bcbns, Epistle to Lapraik.
Wi' unco' kintrafleg
From the French flatter, to soothe with O'er Pegasus I'll fling my leg.
compliments, to please with blandishments, Bcbns, Epistle to Graham ofFinlray.
to gratify with servile obsequiousness, to
gain by false compliments.Johnson. (Gar lit.Flaiche, a sudden squall or
To stroke, and so to make flat, to soothe gust. See Flatch.
with praise and servile attentions.Cham
bers. FLETCHER (Old English).A maker
The wagging of a dog's tail is a natural
image of the act of flattering or fawning on of arrows, from fleche (French),
one. . . . Old Norman fladra signifies both arrow. The name is still preserved
to flatter and to wag the tail ; German, in that of a London guild or com
flattern, toflutter; Y)ntcn,vledderen,fleddren,
to flutter, to flap the wings.Wedgwood. pany.
Flatter, Teutonic,fletsen ; Dutch, vleijen; (SaellC.Fleisd, an arrow; fieisdeir,
Icelandic, fladra; French, flatter. The
French flatter is derived by Menage from an arrow-maker.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 177
FLEW.A Northern word ; washy, a mean person, a toady of the great, a
tender, weak.HalliweU. hanger-on and parasite.
(fiarlic.Fliuch, wet. (CV firI If.Flann,flannach, blood-red ;
cas, a leg ; Jlannach-cais or fann-cais ;
FLTQUE (French Slang).A police
red-legs, a derisive name given to
agent; a word employed by loose
liveried servants when first introduced
women to commissaries of police
into Scotland, from the colour of
whose silence or favour may be pur
the plush integuments, with which it
chased by a drink.
is the pleasure of many of their em
dStUtlie.Fliuch, wet, moistj^/Mc^are, ployers to make them look gorgeous.
a drop of any liquid, a drink. Vlonk, the Anglo-Saxon for haughty,
FLOG.To lash with a whip, to ad saucy, has also been suggested as the
minister a shower of blows. root.
From the sound of* a blow, represented by Red-shanks, a contemptuous appellation
the sellableflag, flak; Latin, flagurn, flagel- for Scottish Highlanders and native Irish.
lum, a scourge.Wedgwood. See Harrison's England, page 6.Halli-
WELl.
Flog, to whip ; cited both by Grose and
the author of Bacchus and Venus as a cant Was it in hurling back this epithet
word. It would be curious to ascertain the that the Highlanders called the Eng
earliest use. Richardson cites Lord Chester
field. Slang Dictionary. lish flann-chas, red-legs or flunkies ?
Flic el flac, to express the noise made by
blows with a stick or the flat of a sword upon FOB.A small pocket for a watch,
a person's shoulders. These imagined (in
vented) words serve also to represent the when watches were worn with chains
brisk, sharp, short blows inflicted on any and seals, dependent from the waist
one. " II lui a donne* deux ou trois soufflets,
flic etflac, sur la joue." He gave him two or band of the trowsers.
three slaps, flic et flac, on the cheek.Lb Provincial German, fuppe, a pocket.
Rocx, Dictionnaire Comique. Chambers.
Possibly the idea is derived from an (SacltC.Faob, a projection, a lump
old Keltic and forgotten expression, (the projection made by the watch in
signifying rain and wind or storm, and the pocket).
metaphorical of a rain or storm of
blows. FOBEDAYS. A word half Gaelic,
aclic. Fliuch, wet, rain, sleet; half English, and signifying days
fiaiche, a storm or gust of wind. that pass rapidly in joy or merriment.
Apparently mysteries or feasts. " Likewise
FLOOR.The part of a house or room Titus Livy writeth that in the celebrated
on which we walk or stand. times of the Bacchanalian fobedays at Rome.
Rabelais Englished."
(BrilfliC.Fo, under; lar, the ground; Ozell says upon this : " If this be a Scotch
folar, the under ground. word for holidays, be it so." The word there
fore was Sir. F. Urquhart's, but Dr. Jamieson
has it not. Perhaps it was from fou, quasi
FLUNKEY (Lowland Scotch). A drunken days.JJaees.
servant in livery. (SaeliC.Fobha {/ova), rapid.
This word has of late years made
good its footing in English, and sig FOG.To hunt in a mean or surrep
nifies not only a liveried servant, but titious manner, whence
a a
178 THE GAELIC etymology

Fogger.Unduly ardent in the pur Dickens's Oliver Twist, where the Jew
suit of business ; whence Fagin teaches his young pupils how to
Pettifogger. A low lawyer who steal pocket-handkerchiefs in the deft
hunts up cases. est manner, and without exciting, by
A soldier says to a lawyer in Dryden's any motion or sound, the attention of
Miseellanies, the person robbed, will possibly admit
" Wer't not for ns, thou swad," quoth he the derivation of the word from the
"Where wouldst thoufog to get a fee?",
Nabes. (SarltC.Foghlum, learning.
Pettifogger is corrupted from the French
petit, small, and voguer, to swim.Johnson. FOGO (Vulgar).A stench, a very
Petty, and Provincial English fog, to
practise in small cases.Chambers. bad smell.
(SaeltC.Fogair, chase, hunt, pur (fiaclic.Fualhach (fu-hach), hateful,
sue ; foghail, plunder, spoil, results of noisome.
the chase.
FOIL.A button on the point of a
FOGIE or Fogey (Colloquial and vul sword used by fencers and actors, to
gar).A word applied in contempt prevent accident, to blunt the thrust
to an elderly person who does not and render iv harmless.
sympathize with the tastes, ideas or (&aelic.Foil, gentle, soft.
amusements of a younger generation.
Foggie (Lowland Scotch). A gar FOIN.A term in fencing, used by
rison soldier, as distinguished from Shakspeare, and supposed by Mr.
one on active and more brilliant Staunton and other commentators to
service. mean a " thrust," or to " thrust."
Mr. Keightley says, "fogie, i. e.folkie, the Skinner derives it from poindre, to prick ;
Dutch vuU-je, comes as surely from folk-, as Junius from <f>ovtva, both very improbably.
lassie from lass, or any other diminutive from It seems more likely to be from fouiner, to
its primitive." Old fogie is a term long push for eels with a spear. Nabes.
Bince used in Ireland and Scotland for old arltC.Foiurch, foighnich, to in
soldiers and old men in the hospital.
Notes and Queries. quire, to ask; to make a tentative effort
Grose says it is a nickname for an invalid or feint, to discover the weak point in
soldier, from the French fourgeaux. Fogger
is an old word for a huckster or servant. an antagonist ; fuinnich, a weapon.
Slang Dictionary.
The word, in the metaphorical sense FOLK.People.
signifies one banished from the company This word, though a noun of plu
by his own want of taste, or by infirmity, rality, is sometimes doubly pluralized by
and is from the the vulgar, who speak of gentle-folks.
It is usually derived from the German
(Karlic.Fogair, to banish ; fogairt,
volk, Anglo-Saxon folc ; and by some
banishment, exile ; fogarrach, an exile, a
from the Latin vulgut, the people, the
fugitive; one out of tbe'paleone "sent
vulgar. The original roots, both of the
to Coventry."
Latin and the German, are the
FOGLE. (Thieves' Slang).A pocket- OarllC.LucJid, the people; fo, un
handkerchief. der; whence fo-lucM, corrupted into
Those who remember the scene in ' " folk," the under or lower people, or as
OP THB ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 179

the French say, le bas peuple. The or fao-ail) ; the same as the Welsh ffol,
word luchd, without the prefix, is com a fool.
monly used by the Gael, in the Eng
POP.A person swollen with conceit,
lish sense of "folk," as luchd-tuarais,
or vain of his personal appearance,
travelling folk ; luchd-eolais, learned
in modern parlance, a swell.
folk ; litchd-aileachaidh, farming folk,
Derivation unknown.Ash.
&c. The German leute, and the Anglo-
Etymology disputed and doubtful. Rich
Saxon lede, leode, are probably from ardson alleges the root to be the Dutch pof,
the same root, with a softening or a puff. A man of small understanding and
much ostentation, fond of dress, a coxcomb,
omission of the guttural ch. a beau, a dandy.Woecesteb.
(SracltC.Faob, to protrude, to swell.
FOND.Tenderly attached.
Fondling.A little, beloved object. FOR GOOD.Are you leaving for
Foolish, from fou ; quasi fanned, which good ?
may be found in Wicliffe. Fond therefore Boys who are leaving school for good.
in the modern sense of tender evidently im Daily Neic.*, July 31, 1875.
plied in its origin a doting or extravagant
degree of affection. . . . Fondling was also Whence is the derivation of good in
used in the sense of an idiot or fool.Nabes. such phrases as this? The meaning
As freshly then thou shalt feign to fonne
and dote in love.Chauceb. seems to be " finally," or " altogether."
Gaelic, faoin, vain, foolish, idle, empty ; Probably the word is from the
faoin chean, an empty head ; Latin, vauus,
empty.Wedgwood. Gaelic. Chaoidh, or a chaoidh, for
5arlic. Fonn, delight, pleasure; ever (the ch pronounced hard and with
delight in excess. the guttural, like the Greek
FORAGE.Food for cattle ; to forage,
FOOL.A person without any sense, to go about, like soldiers in an ene
or without sufficient to guide his my's country, to provide food for the
actions prudently. army or the horses.
From the French fol ; or the Italian folle, Low Latin, foragium; Italian, fodero.
folie, and follia. Menage derives it from Chambers.
the Latin follis, a pair of bellows; q. d. a
fellow full of nothing but wind. Skinner Junius and Richardson derive this word
derives it from the German faul, a sluggard. from the root offodder.Wobcestee.
Gazophylacium Anglicanum. ffiaeltC. Few, grass, herbage ; feu-
From the Welsh ffol.Johnson.
rach, grassy, abounding in grass or
Welsh, ffol; Brton,/b, mad. The funda
mental meaning seems to be a failure to hay ; feurachadh, feeding on grass ;
attain the end proposed, a wandering from feurakh, to graze, to pasture, to feed
the straight path. It would thus be con
nected with the root of the English fail, and on grass.
the Latinfallere, to deceive.-Wedgwood.
French, fou, fol; Italian, folle ; Low FOREST (French fore!).A wilderness
Latin, fallere, to be inflated with air ; follis, of trees, also a large uncultivated
a wind-bag.Chambers. tract of territory, that may be moor
(fiaelir. Baolh, foolish, unwise; land, or mountain-laud without trees.
baolhail (t silent), silly, foolish, giddy. The English word " forest " is a British
With an adjective prefixed, the word adaptation of the base Latin forenta, which
baolhail takes the aspirated form and first occurs in the Capitulars of Chaelk-
maone, and is itself derived from the Ger
becomes bhaolhail (pronounced vao-ail man forsl, signifying the same thing. Vos
a 2
180 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
sius, we believe, and Spelraan refer it to the made its way from the stables to
Latin fort's, aa being extra urbem et agros.
The Hour, August 31, 1875. polite society in 1872, and perhaps
" Forest," is a certain territory or circuit earlier, signifying manner, fashion,
of woody grounds and pastures, known in behaviour. It does not appear in
its bounds aa privileged for the peaceable
being and abiding of wildbeasta and fowls of the first edition of the Slang Dictio
forest chase and warren, tohe under the King's nary, published in 18G1-. It appears
protection for his princely delight ; bounded in the second edition, 1 874-, as fol
with irremovable marks and works, either
known by matter of record or prescription ; lows :
replenished with beasts of venery and chase,
and great coverts of vert for succour of the " In good form, or in bad form refers to a
said beasts ; for preservation whereof there man's or horse's state of being, in the sporting
are particular laws and privileges belonging world. Form has also had a moral signifi
thereunto.Manwood (quoted in the Hour). cance of late years, and is extensively used
in general conversation, as ' it was bad farm
What is called base, or Low Latin, of Brown to do that,' or ' that article was bad
is but Keltic with Latin inflexions and form.' "
terminations, and the wordforest was not (ESarllC. Fttirm, manner, fashion,
a British adaptation as the writer in the condition.
Hour supposes, but a Latin corruption
of the FORM.A long seat, in a school or
elsewhere, on which several persons
CKarltC.Fridk, a forest, an open, can sit.
uncultivated space. The various steps
of the word appear to be from the origi ajlic. Farm, a stool.
nal Gaelic fridh, to the Anglo-Saxon
FORTUNE. That which happens,
frith or firth, the German ford, the
whether good or evil.
French foret, a forest, and the Low-
This word is immediately derived
Latin foresia. The Gaelic also has
from the French through the Latin,
fridhire, a forester. A related word
and no English etymologist has traced
isfraoch, a heath, and the heather that
it further back than to the Latin fors,
grows upon a heath, or large open
luck, chance.
space of uncultivated ground.
dSadiC.Forfait, strong, brave, bold;
FORGETIVE.This word occurs in fortan, fortune ; fortanach, fortunate ;
Shakspeare, Henry IV., Part II., fortachd, comfort (in the security of
Act iv., Scene 3. strength) ; fortalachd, strength, bra
very.
Make it apprehensive, quick, forgetive,
full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes. The well-known adage that "Fortune
Nares derives it from forge, in the favours the bold " seems to support
sense of to make, and translates it this derivation rather than that from
" inventive," full of imagination. fors, chance.
Possibly the unusual word is from the
atltC. Forgan, keenness, anger, FOUL.False, unfair, as " foul play,"
impetuosity, which would meet the a different word from the Saxon foul,
sense of the passage. dirty, impure, loathsome, the Teu
tonic faul.
FORM.A slang word that suddenly ffiatltC.Foill, deceit, fraud, trickery,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 101

treachery, wrong; " Ri foill," playing scoff," a word of contempt, as in the


passage of Shakspeare, Henry IV.,
unfairly.
Part II.
FOUND.To establish on firm ground. A foutra for the world and worldlings base
Foundation.Theground, or the part Foo/y, fouter, and foufy, occur in
of a building that rests immedi Halliwell, and are interpreted as words
ately on or under it. of contempt, or as signifying something
Founder. To sink, as a ship under mean, paltry, and contemptible. In the
the water, to theground or bottom. most odious sense of the term, the de
The Funds.The funded debt, the rivation seems to be the
debt guaranteed by a government Cfiarlt'c Fuath, hatred, aversion ;
on the security of the nation. fuathasach, frightful, horrible ; fualha-
Dumb-founder (Lowland Scotch). dar [fua-adar),fuatliach, a monster.
To fall speechless to the ground In its milder sense the root is the
with astonishment. (Sarlir.Fudaidh, mean, contempti
All these words are traced to the
ble, vile, worthless.
Latin fundus, the bottom, the depth.
The French havefond, the bottom, the FRAG.Low, vulgar people; a low
foundation ; and fonder, to establish. woman .Halliwell.
Provencal, funs ; Espagnol, fondo,fundo . Frake, Freke.A man (Wiltshire
Italien, fondo ; Latin, fundus; Ancim haut and Warwickshire) .Halliwell.
Allemand, bodam ; Sanscrit, budhun. Frau (German). A woman.
Littre.
arliC.Frag, a woman; fraigein,
The original root is the a little active man ; freacadan, attend
CUarllC. Fonn, the ground, the ants, the guard, the watch. Another
earth, the land, the soil, i. e. that on suggested Gaelic derivation of the Ger
which everything in this world is many/aw, is mna, pronounced mra, and
grounded or founded. sometimes mhra {vra), genitive of bean,
a woman ; mnatkan, mhrathan (vraan),
FOUDRE (French).The lightning,
women.
the lightning stroke, a thunderbolt.
FREAK.A sudden outburst of folly
acll'C. Fuadar, suddenness; fua-
or anger.
darack, quick, rapid. Prom the Teutonic frech, a petulant fact ;
or Anglo-Saxon fraec, an action Showing the
FOUTRE (French Slang).A very discomposedness of mind to be voluntary, not
common word, but not admitted forced.Gazophylacium Anglicanum.
The origin is the verb fregare, to rub, to
into the Dictionaries. It is the move lightly to and fro, expressing the rest
most opprobrious word that a French less condition of one under the influence of
strong desire, as in Prench frililler, to wag,
man can use. To be "foutu," stir often, wriggle, trickle, to itch to be at it.
means to be utterly ruined and un Cotorave.
done. The word fouira in English, Gothic, froint, a freak ; German, frech,
impudent, bold ; Icelandic, freka, to hasten ;
has a more innocent meaning than Anglo-Saxon,/}vc, overbold.Worcester.
the obscene French expression ; and Italian, fregare, to rub; frega, a longing
is interpreted by Johnson as " a fig, a desire.Chambers.
182 THE GAELIC ETYMOLOGY
Freak, like caprice, expresses an act with material are crossed and recrossed,
out apparent motive, and is therefore referred
to a violent internal desire. Italian, frcga, a leaving small open spaces between.
longing desire or urgent lust ; fregola, long (Gaelic.Frith, small, trifling.
ing, fancy, desire.Wedgwood.
The original meaning of this disputed FREE MARTIN."If a cow has
word seems to have been a fit of anger twin calves of different sexes, the
or ill-temper, and to be traceable to the female is termed a free martin, and is
said never to breed."Halliwell.
(Gaelic. Fraoch, anger, an outburst
The application of the word martin
of wrath or petulance ; fraochan, a
to a calf is explained by the
slight fit of passion ; fraochanach, pas
sionate, petulant, full of freaks of ill- Garlic.Marl, a cow; martun, a
humour. little cow or calf.
The prefix " free " is not so easily
FREAK (Lowland Scotch). Stout, explicable unless it be the
firm, healthy, a word generally ap (Garlic.Frith, small.
plied to old people who are in robust Fye-Marten.A term of reproach.
health. Halliwell.
(Gaelic.Fraigeasaich, a lively little 1582, Feb. 22. We went to the theatre to
man ; fraigeil, ostentatious of personal Be a seurvie play set owt, al by one virgin,
which then proved a jye-marten, without
strength ; fraigein, a lively active per voice, so that we stay'd not the matter.
son. See Frag. MS., quoted by Halliwell.
(Gaelic.Fiadh, wild; marlan, calf;
FRECKLE (Diminutive of the obsolete i. e. the writer's opinion of the singer
word freck) . A spot on the skin, a was that she had no more voice than a
6treak of colour. Milton has " pansy wild calf.
freaked (orfreckled) with jet."
Brucket (Lowland Scotch).Freck FREET.A proverb, an idle observa
led. tion, rumour.
Freck in this sense is from the Italian (Garlic.Abh (av), dexterous; raite,
fregare, to streak ; frego, a dash, stroke, a saying, a proverb ; whence abh-raife,
touch, line. . . . Freckle, the Gaelic breac,
speckled ; Welsh, brith, party-coloured. and with the elision of the initial a,
Wedgwood. bhraile, pronouncedfraite, a " freet."
Old English, freken, frecken; German,
flecken, to spot.Chambers. FRESH.Uncorrupted, cool like the
(Gaelic. Breac, with the aspirate atmosphere during or after rain.
(bhreae pronounced freck) ; speckled, Refresh.To reinvigorate the earth
spotted, variegated in colour ; breacadh- with rain, man with food, drink,
seunain, freckles on the skin. or repose.
Anglo-Saxon, fersg ; Italian, fresco;
FREDONNER (French).To trill, to French, frais, fraiche. The original sense
make small embellishments or ca is probably to be sought in the English
frisk, indicating lively movement ; exertion
dences in music and song. for the mere pleasure of the thing.Wedg
wood.
Fret-Work.Work in which bars Literally, frisking, or in a state of activity
and lines of wood, iron, or other and health. Anglo-Saxon, verse; Dutch,
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
versch; French, fraxche ; Italian, fresco; FRICASSEE.A dish in French cook
Icelandic, friskr; whence also the French
frisque, lively.Chambebs. ery, consisting of fowls, rabbits, &c,
cut into small pieces, and served up
A derivation, differing from all of the
in a savoury sauce.
above, and suggesting alike the ideas of
pleasant coolness and fertility, offers A dish made of fowls cut into pieces and
fried. Latin, frigere, frixum, to fry, akin
itself for acceptance in the to Greek, ippvya.Chambebs.
(Siaelic. Fras, a shower, a fall of A fricaxxee is not a fr