Category Archives: My Muse

Top 21 Pet Peeves

  1. Locked doors
  2. People who interrupt or talk over you constantly
  3. People who do not listen
  4. People who are slow (slow talkers, slow drivers, slow reasoners)
  5. Unnecessary disorder (hoarders, for example)
  6. Cables
  7. Idle talk (repeated questions, stating the obvious)
  8. People who are stupid or inexcusably ignorant on a matter
  9. Irrational thinking (feelings masquerading as analysis)
  10. Noise and intrusions (loud clubs, concerts, deaf people watching television, constant interruptions)
  11. People who are overly ceremonial on trivial things
  12. Deception (failing to honor your contracts, deceit, hypocrisy)
  13. Cats
  14. People who are inert or perpetually distracted or disoriented (accommodating misery, lack of ambition)
  15. Posers
  16. Transitions
  17. People who are imprecise
  18. People who are unimaginative (not creative)
  19. Bureaucrats & bureaucracies
  20. Overlords (people who promote political theories, religious models, or social systems designed to dominate people: Marxism, communism, socialism, Regressive Left, fascism, racism, chauvinism, Darwinian theory, false religions)
  21. Unwanted watchers (people who don’t want to participate but just watch you do something: design, working out, reading, whatever—go the &^#$ away)

Concise Diction of Middle English – A.D. 1150 -1580

By the
Rev. A. L. Mayhew, M.A.
Of Wadham College, Oxford
&
Rev. Walter W. Skeat
Litt. D.; LL.D. Edin.; M.A. Oxon.
Erlington & Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon
in the University of Cambridge

“THESE our Ancient Words here set down, I trust will for this time satisfie the Reader.”
R. VERSTEGAN, Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, ch. vii (at the end)

“Authentic words be given, or none!”
WORDSWORTH, Lines on Macpherson’s Ossian

Oxford
At the Clarendon Press
MDCCCLXXXVIII
All rights reserved

PREFACE

The present work is intended to meet, in some measure, the requirements of those who wish to make some study of Middle-English, and who find a difficulty in obtaining such assistance as will enable them to find out the meanings and etymologies of the words most essential to their purpose.

The best Middle-English Dictionary, that by Dr. Mätzner of Berlin, has only reached the end of the letter H; and it is probable that it will not be completed for many years. The only Middle-English Dictionary that has been carried on to the end of the alphabet is that by the late Dr. Stratmann, of Krefeld. This is a valuable work, and is indispensable for the more advanced student. However, the present work will still supply a deficiency, as it differs from Stratmann’s Dictionary in many particulars. We have chosen as our Main Words, where possible, the most typical of the forms or spellings of the period of Chaucer and Piers Plowman; in Stratmann, on the other hand, the form chosen as Main Word is generally the oldest form in which it appears, frequently one of the twelfth century. Moreover, with regard to authorities, we refer in the case of the great majority of our forms to a few, cheap, easily accessible works, whereas Stratmann’s authorities are mainly the numerous and expensive publications of the Early English Text Society. Lastly, we have paid special attention to the French element in Middle-English, whereas Stratmann is somewhat deficient in respect of words of French origin1. The book which has generally been found of most assistance to the learner is probably Halliwell’s Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words; but this is not specially confined to the Middle-English period, and the plan of it differs in several respects from that of the present work.

The scope of this volume will be best understood by an explanation of vithe circumstances that gave rise to it. Some useful and comparatively inexpensive volumes illustrative of the Middle-English period have been issued by the Clarendon Press; all of which are furnished with glossaries, explaining all the important words, with exact references to the passages wherein the words occur. In particular, the three useful hand-books containing Specimens of English (from 1150 down to 1580) together supply no less than sixty-seven characteristic extracts from the most important literary monuments of this period; and the three glossaries to these books together fill more than 370 pages of closely-printed type in double columns. The idea suggested itself that it would be highly desirable to bring the very useful information thus already collected under one alphabet, and this has now been effected. At the same time, a reference has in every case been carefully given to the particular Glossarial Index which registers each form here cited, so that it is perfectly easy for any one who consults our book to refer, not merely to the particular Index thus noted, but to the references given in that Index; and so, by means of such references, to find every passage referred to, with its proper context. Moreover the student only requires, for this purpose, a small array of the text-books in the Clarendon Press Series, instead of a more or less complete set of editions of Middle-English texts, the possession of which necessitates a considerable outlay of money. By this plan, so great a compression of information has been achieved, that a large number of the articles give a summary such as can be readily expanded to a considerable length, by the exercise of a very little trouble; and thus the work is practically as full of material as if it had been three or four times its present size. A couple of examples will shew what this really means.

At p. 26 is the following entry:—

Bi-hestesb. promise, S, S2, C2, P; byheste, S2; beheste, S2; byhest, S2; bihese, S; biheest, W; bihesepl., S.—AS. be-hǽs.’

By referring to the respective indexes here cited, such as S (= Glossary to Specimens of English, Part I), and the like, we easily expand this article into the following:—

Bi-hestesb. promise, S (9. 19); S2 (1a. 184); C2 (B 37, 41, 42, F 698); P (3. 126); byheste, S2 (18b. 25); beheste, S2 (14a. 3); byhest, S2 (12. 57, 18b. 9, [where it may also be explained by grant]); bihese, S (where it is used as a plural); biheest, W (promise, command, Lk. xxiv. 49, Rom. iv. 13; pl. biheestis, Heb. xi. 13); bihese, S (pl. behests, promises, 4d. 55).—AS. behǽs.’

In order to exhibit the full meaning of this—which requires no further viiexplanation to those who have in hand the books denoted by S, S2, &c.—it would be necessary to print the article at considerable length, as follows:—

Bihestesb. promise; “dusi biheste” a foolish promise, (extract from) Ancren Riwle, l. 19; “and wel lute wule hulde þe biheste þat he nom,” (extract from) Robert of Gloucester, l. 184; “holdeth your biheste,” Chaucer, Introd. to Man of Law’s Prologue, l. 37; “biheste is dette,” same, l. 41; “al my biheste” same, l. 42; “or breken his biheste” Chaucer, sequel to Squieres Tale, l. 698; “þorw fals biheste,” Piers Plowman, Text B, Pass. iii, l. 126; “to vol-vulle (fulfil) þat byheste” Trevisa (extract from), lib. vi. cap. 29, l. 25; “the lond of promyssioun, or of beheste,” Prol. to Mandeville’s Travels, l. 3; “wiþ fair by-hest,” William and the Werwolf, l. 57; “þe byhest (promise, or grant) of oþere menne kyngdom,” Trevisa, lib. vi. cap. 29, l. 9; “y schal sende the biheest of my fadir in-to ȝou,” Wyclif, Luke xxiv. 49; “not bi the lawe is biheest to Abraham,” Wycl. Rom. iv. 13; “whanne the biheestis weren not takun,” Wycl. Heb. xi. 13; “longenge to godes bihese” Old Eng. Homilies, Dominica iv. post Pascha, l. 55.’

We thus obtain fifteen excellent examples of the use of this word, with the full context and an exact reference (easily verified) in every case. And, in the above instance, all the quotations lie within the compass of the eleven texts in the Clarendon Press Series denoted, respectively, by S, S2, S3, C, C2, C3, W, W2, P, H, and G.

The original design was to make use of these text-books only; but it was so easy to extend it by including examples to be obtained from other Glossaries and Dictionaries, that a considerable selection of interesting words was added from these, mainly for the sake of illustrating the words in the Clarendon text-books. These illustrative words can be fully or partially verified by those who happen to possess all or some of the works cited, or they can safely be taken on trust, as really occurring there, any mistake being due to such authority.

A second example will make this clearer. ‘Brantadj. steep, high, MD, HD; brent, JD; brentestsuperl. S2.—AS. brant (bront); cp. Swed. brant, Icel. brattr.’

Omitting the etymology, the above information is given in two short lines. Those who possess the ‘Specimens of English’ will easily find the example of the superl. brentest. By consulting Mätzner’s, Halliwell’s, and Jamieson’s Dictionaries, further information can be obtained, and the full article will appear as follows:—

Brantadj. steep, high, MD [brantbrentadj. ags. brand, arduus, viiialtus, altn. brattr, altschw. branter, schw. brantbratt, dän, brat, sch. brent, nordengl. Diall. brant: cf. “brant, steepe,” Manipulus Vocabulorum, p. 25: steil, hoch.—“Apon the bald Bucifelon brant up he sittes,” King Alexander, ed. Stevenson, p. 124; “Thir mountaynes ware als brant upritȝe as thay had bene walles,” MS. quoted in Halliwell’s Dict., p. 206; “Hyȝe bonkkes & brent,” Gawain and the Grene Knight, l. 2165; “Bowed to þe hyȝ bonk þer brentest hit wern,” Alliterative Poems, ed. Morris, Poem B, l. 379]; HD [brant, steep. North: “Brant against Flodden Hill,” explained by Nares from Ascham, “up the steep side;” cf. Brit. Bibl. i. 132, same as brandly?—“And thane thay com tille wonder heghe mountaynes, and it semed as the toppes had towched the firmament; and thir mountaynes were als brant upriȝte as thay had bene walles, so that ther was na clymbyng upon thame,” Life of Alexander, MS. Lincoln, fol. 38]; JD [brentadj. high, straight, upright; “My bak, that sumtyme brent hes bene, Now cruikis lyk are camok tre,” Maitland Poems, p. 193; followed by a discussion extending to more than 160 lines of small print, which we forbear to quote]; brentestsuperl. S2. 13. 379 [“And bowed to þe hyȝ bonk þer brentest hit were (MS. wern),” Allit. Poems, l. 379; already cited in Mätzner, above].’

The work, in fact, contains a very large collection of words, in many variant forms, appearing in English literature and in Glossaries between A.D. 1150 and A.D. 1580. The glossaries in S2, S3 (Specimens of English, 1298-1393, and 1394-1579) have furnished a considerable number of words belonging to the Scottish dialect, which most dictionaries (excepting of course that of Jamieson) omit.

The words are so arranged that even the beginner will, in general, easily find what he wants. We have included in one article, together with the Main Word, all the variant spellings of the glossaries, as well as the etymological information. We have also given in alphabetical order numerous cross-references to facilitate the finding of most of the variant forms, and to connect them with the Main Word. In this way, the arrangement is at once etymological and alphabetical—adapted to the needs of the student of the language and of the student of the literature.

The meanings of the words are given in modern English, directly after the Main Word. The variant forms, as given in their alphabetical position, are frequently also explained, thus saving (in such cases) the trouble of a cross-reference, if the meaning of the word is alone required.

An attempt is made in most cases to give the etymology, so far at least as to shew the immediate source of the Middle-English word. Especial pains have been taken with the words of French origin, which ixform so large a portion of the vocabulary of the Middle-English period. In many cases the AF (Anglo-French) forms are cited, from my list of English Words found in Anglo-French, as published for the Philological Society in 1882.

The student of English who wishes to trace back the history of a word still in use can, in general, find the Middle-English form in Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary, and will then be able to consult the present work in order to obtain further instances of its early use.

The relative share of the authors in the preparation of this work is easily explained. The whole of it in its present form (with the exception of the letter N) was compiled, prepared, and written out for press by Mr. Mayhew. The original plan was, however, my own; and I began by writing out the letter N (since augmented) by way of experiment and model. It will thus be seen that Mr. Mayhew’s share of the work has been incomparably the larger, involving all that is most laborious. On the other hand, I may claim that much of the labour was mine also, at a much earlier stage, as having originally compiled or revised the glossaries marked S2, S3, C2, C3, W, W2, P, and G, as well as the very full glossarial indexes cited as B, PP, and WA, and the dictionary cited as SkD. The important glossary marked S was, however, originally the work of Dr. Morris (since re-written by Mr. Mayhew), and may, in a sense, be said to be the back-bone of the whole, from its supplying a very large number of the most curious and important early forms.

The material used has been carefully revised by both authors, so that they must be held to be jointly responsible for the final form in which the whole is now offered to the public.

1. A new and thoroughly revised edition of Stratmann’s Dictionary is being prepared by Mr. Henry Bradley, for the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Note On The Phonology Of Middle-English.

One great difficulty in finding a Middle-English word in this, or any other, Dictionary is due to the frequent variation of the symbols denoting the vowel-sounds. Throughout the whole of the period to which the work relates the symbols iand y, in particular, are constantly interchanged, whether they stand alone, or form parts of diphthongs. Consequently, words which are spelt with one of these symbols in a given text must frequently be looked for as if spelt with the other; i.e. the pairs of symbols i and yai and ayei and eyoi and oyui and uy, must be looked upon as likely to be used indifferently, one for the other. For further information, the student should consult the remarks upon Phonology in the Specimens of English (1150 to 1300), 2nd ed., p. xxv. For those who xhave not time or opportunity to do this, a few brief notes may perhaps suffice.

The following symbols are frequently confused, or are employed as equivalent to each other because they result from the same sound in the Oldest English or in Anglo-French:—

iy;—aiay;—eiey;—oioy;—uiuy.

ao;—aæeea;—eeoie;—ouou;—(all originally short).

aæeaeee;—eeeeoie;—ooooa;—uouui;—(all long).

These are the most usual interchanges of symbols, and will commonly suffice for practical purposes, in cases where the cross-references fail. If the word be not found after such substitutions have been allowed for, it may be taken for granted that the Dictionary does not contain it. As a fact, the Dictionary only contains a considerable number of such words as are most common, or (for some special reason) deserve notice; and it is at once conceded that it is but a small hand-book, which does not pretend to exhibit in all its fulness the extraordinarily copious vocabulary of our language at an important period of its history. The student wishing for complete information will find (in course of time) that the New English Dictionary which is being brought out by the Clarendon Press will contain all words found in our literature since the year 1100.

Of course variations in the vowel-sounds are also introduced, in the case of strong verbs, by the usual ‘gradation’ due to their method of conjugation. To meet this difficulty in some measure, numerous (but not exhaustive) cross-references have been introduced, as when, e.g. ‘Bar, bare’ is given, with a cross-reference to Beren. Further help in this respect is to be had from the table of 183 strong verbs given at pp. lxix-lxxxi of the Preface to Part I of the Specimens of English (2nd edition); see, in particular, the alphabetical index to the same, at pp. lxxxi, lxxxii. The same Preface further contains some account of the three principal Middle-English dialects (p. xl), and Outlines of the Grammar (p. xlv). It also explains the meaning of the symbols þ, ð (both used for th), ȝ (used for y initially, gh medially, and gh or z finally), with other necessary information.

Continued…

From Gutenberg: Concise Dictionary of Middle English

I find this completely fascinating.

I should have been a linguist.

50 Very Simple Ways to be Romantic

@kevonr_photography 88

Ok, so maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t for another month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your partner some special attention now. In fact, I invite you to join me in this experiment. The plan is to show your love for your partner in a small and different way each day for a whole month and see what magic happens.Here are a list of 50 things you can do to express your love. If things aren’t good between you and your partner right now, this might be just the thing to slowly melt the ice between you both. If things are already good, this will strengthen your relationship further. By the way, there is nothing expensive on this list so there is no excuse not to give this a shot.

  • Write “I love you” in the steam on the bathroom mirror after he takes a shower.
  • Offer a back massage with some good smelling lotion.
  • Write a poem. Then use Google Translator to translate a poem into either French or Italian. Then handwrite it out with the translation on the back side. Or better yet, greet your partner at night and read it to them with passion and then hand them the translation.
  • While in public, declare “I love you, Matilda!” (not Matilda, but your partner’s name.)
  • Make a CD with a few songs that are meaningful to your relationship.
  • Invite him to take a bath complete with bubbles, champagne, candles, and maybe a little Barry White. (the music, not actually Barry White in your tub.)
  • Surprise her at work and take her out to lunch, maybe take-out food in the park or maybe to a little diner, for a midday romantic interlude.
  • Put together a little gift on his pillow: chocolate and a note that says “Your love is like chocolate: sweet and delicious.”
  • If your partner has a work presentation at an off site location, have flowers and a note of support delivered there.
  • Dedicate a song to him on the radio and send him an email telling him when to listen.
  • Cook a special love meal of your partner’s favorite foods. Play his favorite music and turn the lights low for a romantic dinner.
  • Give your partner a pedicure and foot rub.
  • Send a text message or email that says “I love you!”
  • Mail a card and inside write down the top 10 things you love about your partner.
  • Give him a picture of you for his wallet that says “I love you.”
  • Leave a love note in her car telling her to have a great day.
  • Carve your initials in a tree.
  • When your partner least expects it, give him a great big kiss, even if it’s in public!
  • Go see a romantic movie, sit in the back row, hold hands, and cuddle.
  • King for a Day/ Queen for a Day. Declare that you will dedicate a particular day just to your partner to do whatever they want. Maybe start with breakfast in bed.
  • Buy a tree and invite your partner to plant it with you explaining that this tree represents the love between you both that will grow over the years.
  • In the midst of talking about how your days went, the chores that need to be done, etc. interrupt and say “I have something important to tell you. I love you and here’s why.” Then list 5 things (or more) that you really appreciate about your partner. Finish with a kiss and say, “Ok, so you were talking about the water heater.”
  • Write an old fashioned love letter and mail it. Be romantic and lavish. Have some fun with it.
  • Before going to a party together come up with some secret code words you can use during conversation. You can be telling each other “I can’t wait to get you alone tonight!” without anyone knowing!
  • Find a hotel that has a jacuzzi and book it for a one night getaway somewhere close but fun.

Don’t stop now because there are more tips for being romantic ahead.

  1. Place an ad in the classifieds declaring your love. Then take the newspaper, wrap it in a bow, and put a little note on it saying what page to look on.
  2. Blindfold surprise. Blindfold your partner and drive them to the place where you had your first date, and have that date all over again!
  3. Write a love poem for her.
  4. Make an early valentine. Cut out some paper in the shape of a heart. Write something sweet on it in red and put it in her purse or his briefcase.
  5. If your partner is going on a business trip secretly hide a love note inside their luggage.
  6. Offer to help them with some dreaded chore they must complete and make it into a fun time maybe with some music. (cleaning out the basement, raking the leaves, shoveling after a big snow storm, giving the dog a bath, washing the car, etc.)
  7. Do something romantic and spontaneous, like picking a flower and giving it to her right on the spot.
  8. Invent a meal and name it after him or her.
  9. Buy some body paint and write your love message on your body.
  10. Record yourself reading a romantic love poem for your honey. Then give your partner a CD and tell them to play it in the car on their way to work.
  11. Make a small postcard sized love collage. Then cover it with clear packing tape. Write a love message on the other side and mail it!
  12. Keep a box with mementos of fun things you’ve done together. Later when the box is filled, arrange them on a board and have it framed.
  13. Buy some underwear with special messages on it. Or buy your own and paint a special picture or message with fabric paints.
  14. Make a donation to charity in the name of your love for your partner. Give your sweetheart a card that tells how grateful you are to share your life with her.
  15. Keep a box with special cards, letters, photographs, and other mementos. On your anniversary or on Valentine’s day take a little time to share fond memories together as you review the contents.
  16. Create a mindmap of all the things you love about your partner and make it into a card.
  17. Take a walk on the beach together. Run up ahead and write a message in the sand, and then call your partner to see what you “found.”
  18. Say “I love you” often, slowly, and with feeling.
  19. Play hooky together. You work hard. Now today take a day to work easy at just sharing some fun time together. Call it an “I love you day.”
  20. Send an e-card to your sweetie to brighten his day. Here are free e-card resources: BlueMountainHallmark.
  21. Make little “I love you” posters with either crayons, markers, collage, paint, whatever. Post them in surprising places: the bathroom, the closet, the car, under her pillow, on her pillow.
  22. Create a small website or blog dedicated to your partner. Write a short love message each day for a month…or forever.
  23. Complete that chore or favor that your partner has wanted you to do for a long time.
  24. Be super kind for a whole day. Act like you would with a new love, a child, or a frail person. Show lots of kindness, generosity, and love no matter what for a whole day.
  25. Take an interest in your partner’s interests. For a woman it might be watching a football game with your guy. And for men it might be going to see a chick-flick. Do it with a spirit of enthusiasm and love. Have fun.

Print this out and do one each day. Make up your own. You don’t have to tell your partner that this is something you are doing. Just do it. Who knows, maybe you’ll establish a positive habit of expressing your love on a daily basis.

Original article: 50 Romantic Ideas