« PoprzedniaDalej »
'Fariboles, fond tattling, idle discourses, trifles, flimflams, whywhaws" (Cotgr.). Here the synonymes flimflam, whimwham, whywhaw, guigaw, gewgaw, although they cannot be supposed to spring from a common root, yet are manifestly formed on a similar plan, the principle of which is, I believe, to represent light movement to and fro, as opposed to steady continuance in a fixed direction. Hence the signification of something done without settled purpose, trifling, child's play, as opposed to serious work. Pl. D. wigelwageln, to go wigglewaggle, is to waver to and fro. And hence we pass to wigwag, whywhaw, guigaw. "In Suffolk, one ploughing unskilfully, would be said to woo-waw about" (Moor). In German nursery language gickgack, a clock, represents the ticking of the pendulum. Swabian gugen, to move to and fro. 66 Gugen und gagen wie ein wagend rohr," shillyshally like a waving reed (Schmeller). Pl. D. gigeln, to fiddle, is from the action of the bow to and fro over the strings. On the same principle a jew's harp, which is played by a jigging movement of the hand, continually striking the tongue of the instrument, is called a gewgaw in the N. of England. E. giggajoggie, to shake or rattle (Florio). G. gygampfen, to move up and down (Sanders). We pass to the idea of trifling, in Swiss gäggelen, to trifle, toy; gäggeliwerk, gäggelizeug, playthings, toys, trifles. E. gig, a silly flighty person; giggish, trifling, silly, flighty (Halliwell).
Go to pot: The origin of this expression has lately been discussed in "Notes and Queries," where it was explained as signifying that the thing in question was put into the pot and boiled up for consumption. But, properly understood, the expression has, I believe, a more forcible signification. Sw. dial. putt or pott is pit or water hole; vatten pott, a puddle. Then a dark hole, an abyss, the pit of hell. Far te putten! go to hell. At pyttes, to the devil. Há gick å pyttes, that turned out ill, was fruitless; exactly as one would say, it went to pot.
Tadpole: The young frog, in the first stage of its life after its exclusion from the egg, when it seems to consist only of a globular head or body and a mobile tail, is called tadpole,
bullhead, polhead, Sc. powhead, polliwig, pollwiggle, porwiggle, porriwiggle. There can be little doubt that the first element of the name tadpole is toad, but the question is, what is the pole, poll, por that appears in all the designations of the animal? Mr. Atkinson in his excellent "Cleveland Glossary" argues against understanding this element in the sense of poll, the head, from the tautology, on that supposition, of the form polhead. Regarded as a toad, the tadpole would be characterized by the possession of a tail, which is lost in the mature condition of the creature, and the young animal should rather be called a tailed toad than a headed one. In fact, we have an example of such a designation in Da. haletudse, from hale tail and tudse toad. Now Mr. Atkinson observes that the tail of the otter is technically called the pole, and thence he would explain tadpole as equivalent to Da. haletudse; polehead as implying that the animal is made up of a head and a tail, and polliwig, pollwiggle as expressing the waggling action of the tail by which all the movements of the creature are effected. Against this explanation I would urge, that if pole is the technical name for the tail of an otter, like the brush of a fox or the scut of a deer, it is extremely improbable that it would have been diverted to signify the tail of an animal so unlike in every particular as a tadpole. It was the pride of those who used the technical terms of the chase to confine them strictly to the particular animals to which they were appropriated, and certainly nothing could be more incongruous than the application of the term pole to the wriggling tail of a tadpole. Moreover, the words poll and head are not simply synonymous. Poll signifies rounded top, the rounded top of the head, and thence head in general. Pl. D. pol, polle, rounded top of a tree, head of cabbage, crown of a hat, the head. The word indeed seems a mere modification of Du. bol, a ball, globe, convex body, crown of a hat, the head. The radical signification, then, of polehead would be globular-headed, agreeing with W. penbiol, a blockhead, a tadpole, from pŵl, blunt; or Gael. pollcheannan, ceannphollag, a tadpole, compared with pollacheannach, jolt-headed (Armstrong); pollcheannach,
lump-headed, stupid; pollach, lumpish, stupid (Macleod). The p of poll changes to a k in O.N. kollr, a rounded top, crown of the head, head in general; kollóttr, Da. kullet, kuldet, a polled cow or sheep, an animal without horns. Sc. coll or cow, to poll or cut the hair. To cow the head, to poll the head, to reduce it to a smooth round ball. The same modification of the root is found in G. kugel, kaul, kul, kulle, a bowl or globular body, the combination of which with words signifying head, and with others signifying frog or toad, supplies designations of the tadpole, exactly corresponding to polehead and tadpole respectively in the sense above explained. Corresponding to polehead we find kaulhaupt, kulhaupt (Diefenbach, Supplement), kullkopf (Idioticon v. Kur Hessen), while in kaulpadde, kaulfrosch (Sanders), kúlpogg (Danneil), the element signifying round headed is joined with a word signifying frog or toad, as in tadpole. The essential identity of G. kaul or kûl and E. poll is evidenced by the fact that the tadpole in some parts of the Altmark is called kúlpogg, in others pulpogg. The same principle of nomenclature is exhibited in Fr. chabot (equivalent to Latin capito, bighead), the little fish called a bullhead or miller's thumb, also the little water vermin called a bullhead (Cot.). Another Fr. name for both animals is têtard, the tadpole being distinguished as têtard de grenouille (Trevoux), a complete translation of E. tadpole.
VII.-ON SOME OF THE SUFFIXES OF GREEK AND LATIN PREPOSITIONS. By T. HEWITT KEY, ESQ.
THERE is no portion of the domain of language which gives more trouble to the Philologer than that of the Prepositions; and this chiefly because no class of words is more subject to corruption. I propose then on the present occasion to draw attention to them, and begin with a renewal of my protest against the speculations of Bopp and his followers, who have
thought that they found a solution of some of their difficulties in the theory that simple prepositions are the produce of a special class of roots, called by them pronominal. But the result of their labours is I think enough to discredit their theory. They tell us with truth that the chief duty of prepositions is to designate the relations of place,—the whence, the where, and the whither; and then they point out that the special office of the pronouns of the third person is to mark the here and the there, so that there is a natural connection, they contend, between the two classes of ideas. But here they ignore two of the three notions which prepositions represent, dealing indeed with the where, but leaving out of view the other notions of the whence and the whither. Perhaps however they would ask whether the Latin pronominal adverbs inde, ibi, and eo do not comprehend the three varieties of meaning; and of course such a question must be answered in the affirmative. But this admission will not serve their purpose, since the three adverbs so called add to the root of the pronoun certain case-endings, which are needed to represent the full idea; and these case-endings, having all the power of prepositions, claim to be treated as such, with the one exception, that their position rejects the term, so that they must be called post-positions. This however is altogether an idle distinction. But over and above this fatal difficulty, the theory that prepositions have their origin in pronominal roots finds its condemnation in the very facility with which Bopp assumes all conceivable changes of form, at the same time that he avoids all discussion of meanings. Thus, starting from a pronominal root a 'this,' he brings his reader to a-ti 'over' and a-dhas under' (§997); to a-bhi 'to' ($997) and a-pa 'from' (§ 1007); to the Greek aπo, which denotes absence, and παρα for α-παρα, with the meaning of presence (§ 1009), to the Latin re and pro (§ 1009), two words which are as thoroughly opposite as can well be conceived; and certainly they have lost in their alleged descent from a all likeness to their parent; but this is a difficulty which he complacently surmounts on the theory, that the original a first produces a derivative a-pa, and
this again a second derivative apara-, which, decapitated, gives para, and by a second decapitation ra, which we may admit is something not unlike the Latin re. Similarly the S. pronoun ana (=Germ. jener, our yon) has for one of its children the Slav. na 'up,' and for another the Germ. nie-der 'down.'
And this extraordinary theory is built up to save us from the asserted impossibility of deducing prepositions from verbal roots; and yet one of Bopp's most enthusiastic disciples tells us in his lectures (1st Series, p. 221) that "the instrumental (in Chinese) is formed by the preposition ŷ, which preposition is an old root meaning to use;" and I have myself drawn attention to the fact, that the Skr. prep. ni 'down' appears in Chinese as a verb, meaning 'to descend;' while the Lith. nu of the same power is identical with the theme of the Greek verb vev-w 'lower.' It may be objected, that I have no right to import into a discussion about the Indo-European family of languages what is so utterly foreign to the stock as a Chinese verb. I might demur to this assumption, but there is no need to do so, for whether the Sanskrit ni and the Ch. ni be akin in blood or not, the logical difficulty vanishes as soon as it is admitted that there may be an affinity in meaning between a verb and preposition.
I shall assume then that av, the stem of the Greek ava, meant 'ascent,' and also that the Greek ev, Latin in, had for its power the opposite idea of 'descent,' and so accounts for the meaning of ev-epot those below,' and the Latin imus (inεντεροι imus) 'lowest.' As I give a preference to the monosyllabic av and ev over the forms ava and evɩ, so also to the monosyllabic forms ob, sub, ab of Latin over the corresponding επι, ύπο, απο of the Greek ; and to the Greek παρ over παρα, as also to the Greek ex over the Latin ex, and conversely to the Latin am (Germ. um), over the Greek appi.
But whence the additions which appear in the longer forms ? whence the : of ενι, επι, and αμφι, the o of ὑπο and απο, the final a of παρα, the s of εξ ?
I would here first call attention to the fact that in the