Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/344

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338


NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii s. ix. APRIL 25, 1914.


Sheep fed upon unlimited clover fall ill' and are locally said to be " rotting " or "rotten." Tarred. <; Tarred over with the surgery of our

sheep." * As You Like It,' III. ii.

The word " tarred " still prevails here in connexion with sheep. Worthless peasants. " So worthless peasants bar- gain for their wives, As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse."

4 1 King Henry VI.,' V. v.

The cattle market at Stratford -on- Avon has continued uninterruptedly for many centuries, and occasionally a farm labourer is found selling his wife. Not many months ago a man disposed of his better half for 3s. one Saturday night, evidently under the impression it was a legal and proper trans- action.

Poor pelting^ villages, sheep-cotes, and mills. ' King JLear,' II. iii.

A faithful picture in little of typical Warwickshire hamlets, whose trade partly consists of sheepskins, &c.

Stratford-on-Avon. WILIJAM JAGGABD.

AYLOFFE (11 S. ix. 191, 252, 297). William Ayloffe, who was created Serjeant-at Law, 1577, was a great-grandson of William Ayloffe, whose monument stands 'in the parish church of Hornchurch, Essex, who died 10 Aug. 1517. This ancestor had a son Thomas, who married Isabel, daughter of Sir E. Walsingham. Their son William was the father of William who became Sergeant. As Isabel was the name of his grandmother, he probably named his daughter after her.

My kind friend Mr. Chancellor, author of

  • Sepulchral Monuments in Essex,' sends me

these particulars, which tend further to elucidate the original question.


Barking, Essex.


W. W. GLENNY.


0n Si oaks,

A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.

Edited by Sir J. A. H. Murr&y.Shastri-Shi/ster.

(Vol. VIII.) By Henry Bradley. (Oxford,

Clarendon Press, 5s.)

THIS is an enlarged double section, which runs to 160 pages, with a total of 3,670 recorded words, illustrated by 20,109 quotations. The initial digraph excludes words which come directly from Greek, Latin, French, or Old Norse. Of the first arid last of these there is no example in this section ; from Latin four words are derived, and from French come " shawm " and " shock." It is, then, English words that predominate, and they include among them several " sheriff," "shire," "shilling," "she," "shunt," "sheen," "sheet," to take a few at random which for their historical, etymological, orV* sense " peculiarities are of great interest.


The Dictionary, while giving a concise account of explanations proposed, commits itself more or less to the derivation of " she " from the O.E. fern, dem. pron. sio, seo, sie, used instead of the regular fern. pron. heo f because in the twelfth and thir- teenth centuries this had become indistinguish- able in pronunciation from he. The article as a whole has many good things ; we may mention an instance of the use of " she " for an army from T. Washington, 1585, and two examples (which it is suggested may possibly be misprints) of " she " used for the sun one from * The Golden Legend ' (1483), the other (1588) from Parke's translation of Mendoza. The first instance given of "shawl " is from J. Davies's translation of Olearius, 1662, where it is spelt " schal " ; it was also varied tx> " scial," and aid not establish itself in its present spelling till well on in the eighteenth century. A "sheaf" as a bundle of 24 arrows is tolerably familiar, but its use in the fourteenth and follow- ing centuries fora bundle of iron or steel containing a definite number of gads, and still more its use for glass a sheaf of glass being so many plates will be new and curious to many readers. Th& latter is an even harsher distortion of its original sense a bundle of stalks than the " sheaf " of telegraph forms quoted from Miss Braddon. "Shear" furnishes some half a score of columns of very interesting matter ; and another g&od article,, well arranged, and with its several instructive obsolete senses well illustrated, is " shed," v 1 . In " sheer-hulk " (it should properly be " shear-hulk ") and "sheet-anchor" we have two nautical terms, which in figurative use have almost been despoiled of sense. Most people, one may suppose, connect "sheer-hulk" with 'Tom Bowling,' but though no doubt it was dimly present to the mind of Dibdin the full meaning of the word, " the hulk or body of an old disused ship fitted with shears^ &o., for hoisting purposes," would seem to them, if they caught it, rather oddly beside the mark. " Sheet-anchor " remains of uncertain origin. The first quotation for it is " Ankers called shutte," from the Naval Accounts of Henry VII. (1495). If its origin is obscure, its meaning is clear enough,.

"a large anchor used only in emergency"; and

the compilers have found in a modern medical book an amusing instance of its singularly inappropriate use in metaphor. " Bleeding," says this curiously inept writer," is our ' sheet anchor ' in this disease." Under "sheepshank," in its nautical sense of "a knot cast on a rope for temporarily shortening it," there is a rather amusing account of how in Man- wayring's ' Seaman's Dictionary ' (1644) the ex- planation of the word and the heading of the following article "sheeres" disappeared, with the result that those who consulted the dictionary learnt that "sheepshank" means "two poles set across where a block is hung."

We always look with interest at the definitions- given in the Dictionary of quite familiar things : the one for " shelf" seems to us defective, for *' a slab of wood (or other material) fixed in a hori- zontal position to a wall, or in a frame, to hold books, vessels, ornaments, &c.," does not properly distin- guish a shelf from a tablet, which might be thick enough to support things.

"Shelter," remains a word still unexplained. Can it, as suggested, be " sheld-ture "in imita- tion of " jointure " ? The first instance of it comefr from late in the sixteenth century. As "a plac& of temporary lodging for the homeless poor'