Page:Omniana.djvu/306

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288
OMNIANA.

honours by an ancient custom (through ignorance what the title of mayor doth signify) have an addition, and are intituled by the name of lord mayor, when mayor simply pronounced by itself signifieth no less than lord without any such addition (Vol, 2, p. 298, ed. 1807). This is going a long way for an etymology which is to be found so near home. Even if it had travelled to us from the east it would more likely have come from the arabic mir or emir. Perhaps the old Leonese word merino is a mongrel diminutive of this title, likely enough to have been formed when the two languages were as it were running into each other. Mirquebir, the augmented title, was in use at Ormuz. Merino would be sufficiently explained by supposing it a diminutive grade. The opinion that it is derived from the sheep quasi marino I have elsewhere shown to be unfounded.

Mayor I supposed, as the reader will have perceived, came to us from Magis-