An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language

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Macmillan, 1882 - English language - 799 pages

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Page 175 - If we had that liberty, we should be as' weary of one set of acquaintance, though never so good, as we are of one suit though never so fine. A fool and a doily stuff Would now and then find days of grace, and be worn for variety.
Page vii - Webster, or Wedgwood. A little research revealed far more curious pieces of information than the citing of words in impossible or mistaken spellings. Statements abound which it is difficult to account for except on the supposition that it must once have been usual to manufacture words for the express purpose of deriving others from them. To take an example, I open Todd's Johnson at random, and find that under bolster is cited " Gothic bolster, a heap of hay.
Page xii - ... surpasses them all, for it practically comprehends them all. The work of the philologist is to trace the ancestry of words back to their roots. It has never given a single green twig or shoot to language. It multiplies books and not literature. Skeats, the greatest of the philologists, acknowledges that " the speech of man is in fact influenced by physical laws, or, in other words, by the working of divine power.
Page 56 - BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL, so called from having been originally the hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem. A royal foundation for the reception of lunatics, incorporated by Henry VIII. in 1546.
Page 87 - English pounds. There is one advantage about this currency, it is not easily stolen." — F. Boyle, Adventures among the Dyaks, p. 100. To the word catties the author subjoins a footnote as follows : — ; Tea purchased in small quantities is frequently enclosed in boxes containing one catty. I offer a diffident suggestion that this may possibly be the derivation of our familiar tea-caddy.
Page 38 - From Arab, hashishin, drinkers of hashish, the name of a Sect in the I3th century; the 'Old Man of the Mountain' roused his followers' spirits by help of this drink, and sent them to stab his enemies, esp. the leading crusaders.
Page 65 - Camillo [a lousy slave, that within this twenty years rode with the black guard in the duke's carriage, 'mongst spits and dripping-pans !] — Cam.
Page xxi - Murray. of its language. When an early English word is compared with Hebrew or Coptic, as used to be done in the old editions of Webster's Dictionary, history is set at defiance; and it was a good deed to clear the later editions of all such rubbish ". This is curiously parochial, yet it seems to have been seriously accepted by etymologers.
Page xxi - ... 8. Mere resemblances of form and apparent connection in sense between languages which have different phonetic laws or no necessary connection are commonly a delusion, and are not to be regarded.
Page xiv - History tells us that our relations with the Netherlands have often been rather close. We read of Flemish mercenary soldiers being employed by the Normans, and of Flemish settlements in Wales, ' where (says old Fabyan, I know not with what truth) they remayned a longe whyle, but after, they sprad all Englande ouer.

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