Notes and Queries, Number 16, February 16, 1850 by Various


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Page 2

Such is Mrs. Bray's account of these very curious circumstances. The
ghost story inserted in Gilbert, as mentioned above, is altogether so
much in the style of De Foe, that a doubt remains whether, after all, he
may not have been the author of it. Can "D.S.," or any of your readers,
throw further light on the subject?


[Footnote 1: Of Landulph, Cornwall, the author of _Discoveries in
Asia Minor_, and the well-known _Visit to the Seven Churches of
Asia_. Mr. Arundell is now dead.]

* * * * *


"Mary" is informed that "Polly" is one of those "hypocorisms," or
pet-names, in which our language abounds. Most are mere abbreviations,
as Will, Nat, Pat, Bell, &c., taken usually from the beginning,
sometimes from the end of the name. The ending _y_ or _ie_ is often
added, as a more endearing form: as Annie, Willy, Amy, Charlie, &c. Many
have letter-changes, most of which imitate the pronunciation of infants.
_L_ is lisped for _r_. A central consonant is doubled. _O_ between _m_
and _l_ is more easily sounded than _a_. An infant forms _p_ with its
lips sooner than _m_; papa before mamma. The order of change is: Mary,
Maly, Mally, Molly, Polly. Let me illustrate this; _l_ for _r_ appears
in Sally, Dolly, Hal _P_ for _m_ in Patty, Peggy; vowel-change in Harry,
Jim, Meg, Kitty, &c; and in several of these the double consonant. To
pursue the subject: re-duplication is used; as in Nannie, Nell, Dandie;
and (by substitution) in Bob. Ded would be of ill omen; therefore we
have, for Edward, Ned or Ted, _n_ and _t_ being coheir to _d_; for Rick,
Dick, perhaps on account of the final _d_ in Richard. Letters are
dropped for softness: as Fanny for Franny, Bab for Barb, Wat for Walt.
Maud is Norman for Mald, from Mathild, as Bauduin for Baldwin. Argidius
becomes Giles, our nursery friend Gill, who accompanied Jack in his
disastrous expedition "up the hill." Elizabeth gives birth to Elspeth,
Eliza (Eloisa?), Lisa, Lizzie, Bet, Betty, Betsy, Bessie, Bess;
Alexander (_x_=_cs_) to Allick and Sandie. What are we to say of Jack
for John? It seems to be from Jacques, which is the French for our
James? How came the confusion? I do not remember to have met with the
name James in early English history; and it seems to have reached us
from Scotland. Perhaps, as Jean and Jaques were among the commonest
French names, John came into use as a baptismal name, and Jaques or Jack
entered by its side as a familiar term. But this is a mere guess; and I
solicit further information. John answers to the German Johann or
Jehann, the Sclavonic Ivan, the Italian Giovanni (all these languages
using a strengthening consonant to begin the second syllable): the
French Jean, the Spanish Juan, James to the German Jacob, the Italian
Giacomo, the French Jacques, the Spanish Jago. It is observable that of
these, James and Giacomo alone have the _m_. Is James derived from
Giacomo? How came the name into Scotland?

Of German pet-names some are formed by abbreviation; some also add _s_,
as Fritz for Frieds from Friedrich, Hanns for Hann from Johann. (To this
answers our _s_ or _c_ in the forms Betsy, Nancy, Elsie, &c.) Some take
_chen_ (our _kin_, as _mannikin_) as Franschen, Hannchen. Thus Catskin
in the nursery ballad which appears in Mr. Halliwell's Collection, is a

smooth-tongued Normans. The harsh Saxon Schrobbesbyrigschire, or

are still used.


Shrewsbury, Feb. 2. 1850.

* * * * *

If your readers are not already as much disgusted with Spartan Black
Broth as Dionysius was {243} with the first mouthful, I beg leave to
submit a few supplementary words to the copious indications of your
correspondents "R.O." and "W."

Selden says:--

"It was an excellent question of Lady Cotton, when Sir Robert
Cotton was magnifying of a shoe, which was Moses's or Noah's, and
wondering at the strange shape and fashion of it: 'But, Mr.
Cotton,' says she, '_are you sure it is a shoe?_'"

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