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WORDS CORRUPTED BY COALESCENCE OF THE ARTICLE WITH THE SUBSTANTIVE.

A.

A—AnThe. In popular speech the article frequently coalesces so closely with its substantive, especially when it begins with a vowel, that the two virtually become one word, and it sometimes happens, when the two are sundered again in being committed to writing, that a fragment of the agglutinated article adheres to the substantive, or a portion of the substantive is carried away by the article. This especially applies to unusual or learned words. Speak to a rustic of an amethyst, an anagram, an epic, an oxytone, and it is an even chance whether he does not, on being required, write those words a namethyst, a nanogram-, a ncpic, a noxyione. It is equally doubtful whether, on the other hand, a narcotic, a narwhal, a nimbus, a nuncio, will not be to him an ascetic, an arwhal, an imbus, an undo. Similarly aluminum, Y amalgam, alarum, apothecary, academy, sound to uneducated ears undistinguishable from aluminum, a tray, a malgam, a larum, a pothecary, a cademy.

Many of these popular errors are now stereotyped in the language. Everybody writes a newt instead of an ewt, which was originally the correct form; a nickname, instead of an ekename; and again, by the opposite mistake, an adder instead of a nadder, an auger instead of a, nauger, an apron instead of a napron, an orange instead of orange, an umpire instead of a numpire.

Similar coalitions of the article are

observable in French and other languages.

In old texts and MSS. these phenomena are of frequent occurrence. For example, Palsgrave (1530) has: "Hec insula, a nylle; hec acra, a nakyre; hie remus, a nore; P ancors, a nankyre." In Wright's Vocabulari** we find: "He can romy as a natee;" "he can lowe as a noxe " (p. 151); "hoe pollicium, a nynche, hie oculus, a nit" (p. 206); "hec auris, a nere; hoc ostrium, a nostyre" (p. 179); "hec simea, a nape ; hec aquila, a neggle; hie lutricius, a notyre" (p. 220); anguilla, a necle.

In William of Palcrne we find no neii, no negg, for non ei$, none egg; thl narmes for thine armies ; a noynemenf for an oynement.

In the Three Metrical Romance* (Camden Soc.) we meet a nayre = at heir, a nanlas = an anlas, a smoke = an oak.

In the Holdemess dialect t\ the definite article, commonly becomes blended with the word it accompanies. And so with the indefinite article; not only such forms as "a mad man" (an old man I may be heard, but even occasionally "two nawd men" (Holderness Glctsary, Eng. Dialect Soc. p. 5). In infantile speech the same is observable. A child informed that he might have <i» egg for breakfast, begs that he may have "twoneggs." compared the following:— The tother was Salowere thcue the 3>lke at a naye. Morte Arthure, 1. 3883 (E.E.T.S.).

(Ce, an aye, an egg.]

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A tui/>i/s mow men snyne he makes.
The Hoke of Cnrtasue tin It'aj/, Prompt.
Parv. p. ;S46).

[i.e. an ape's mouth.]

To here of Wisdome thi here& be halfe defe, Like a Muse that lysteth upon an Harpe. Hermes Bird (Ashmote, Theatrum Chemicum, p. 828).

The 15th century MS. (Ashmole, 48) has A narrowe, A narcliar, A nowar, for An archer, arrow, hour.

"He set a napyll upon ayron yarde" (hence the name of NapUs!).—Thorns, Early Prose Romances, ii. 49. On the other hand, p(7ro)iiawci/(fornegromancy) occurs Id. p. 52.

A nother way.—Manndevile, Voiage, p. 126 (ed. Halliwell).

He sente to hem a nother seruaunt.— Wyclifl'e, Mark xii. 4.

"Bake hem in a novyn.MS. in Way, Prompt. Parv.

VVhenne thys werre ys at A nende.

Sege of Rone, Lgerton MS. (Percy Folio MS.

iii. p. xliv.).

"What 'ave you got there? " asked Mac. "A herring! " said Benny.—Froggv's Little Brother, p. 62.

It was the boast of an Oxford guide that he "could do the alls, collidges, and principal hedifices in a hour and a naff" (Adventures ofMr. Verdant Green, pt. i. ch. v.).

Coalitions of this description are not uncommon in the Manx dialect of the Keltic Beside' the borrowed words "aim, an uncle, for y ears, old Eng. aneam; naunt, an aunt; neeinfan, an infant, we find nasiee, a gift, for yn astee; neean, the young of birds, for yn eean; Nerin, Ireland, for yn Erin; Niar, the East, for ye ar; noash, a custom, for yn oash; noi, against, for yn oai, the front; nest, the moon, for yn eayst; and, on the other hand, yn edd, a nest (as if an est), for yn nedd (Gaelic nead); yn eear, the West, for yn neear; but niurin, hell, for yn iurin.

Compare in Italian aspo and naspo, ahisso and Nabisco' s and nastro, inferno and ninferno, astrico and laslrico; Catalon. ansa and nansa; old Span. teste, for teste, the East (Minsheu); Wall, egrimancien, from necromancien (Diez).

The name of the village of Nezero in Northern Greece is derived from zero.

the Bulgarian word for a lake, near which it is situated, together with the prefix n, which is the termination of the accusative case of the Greek article attached to the noun. Similar instances are found in Nisvoro, the modern form of the ancient Isboros, Negropont, from Egripo, the corruption of Euripus, the full form having been iq rbv "E&pov, is rbv'lajiipov, &C. ; Stanco, is riv KG, Stalimene, is -n)v At)p.vov, the modern names of Lemnos and Cos.

Again, in plural names, the g of the article becomes prefixed, as in Salinas, formerly the ordinary name for Athens, i.e. is rdc 'A&jvac, while here again the full form may be seen in Otovs Otvxovs, the peasant's name for the remains of the Temple at Bassae, in Arcadia, i.e. The Pillars (Tozer, Researches in the Highlands of Turkey, vol. ii. p. 42).

It is owing to a similar cause, probably, that in modern Etruria many ancient place-names beginning with a vowel now are written with an initial ne.g. Norchia, anciently Orchia, Horchia, and Oracle, so Nannius for Annius, Nanna for Anna (Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, vol. i. p. 204, ed. 1878).

§ The "natural vowel" «, as in "th£ book," pronounced very quick (Glossic dhu), may be e, a, or u in print (Dr. J. A. H. Murray, Grammar of W. Somerset, E.D.S.); and so any short vowel at the beginning of a word might come to be mistaken for the indefinite article a (e.g. old Eng. ydropsy for a dropsy, isciatica for a sciatica), or to be merged in the definite article the, which preceded it (e.g. old Eng. the sample, sample, e sample).

Thus old Scotch bism, bysyme occur in G. Douglas for abysm, Fr. abysme.

The Duchess of Norfolk, writing to Pepys in 1681, speaks of "ten or a leven peses" of Scotch plaid (Pepys' Correspondence).

"Your papa ain't a 'Piscopal," says the New England speaker in Mrs. Stowe's Poganuc People, "he don't have a 'luminaiion in his meeting-house." Compare old Fr. Ii vesque for li evesques, It. vescovo, from episcopus. Barouna and Burgeis * and Bonde-men also 1 sau3 in fat Sembte • as 3e schul heren heraftur. Vision of P. Plowman, A. Prol. 1. 97.

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A sembife of Peple.—Maundevile, Poiage and Travaile, p. 3 (ed. Halliwell).

Ruspicerix [i.e. aruspices] are |»o [at loken to horis or tymis.— Apology for Lollards, p. 95.

The Sun and ihe Mune was in the clips betwixt nin and ten in the morniug and was darkish abut three quarters of a nour.—Register of St. Andrew's, Newcastle, Sept. 13, 1699 (Burns, Parish Registers, p. 19SJ).

To the same cause perhaps is due the loss of an initial vowel in many mod. Greek words, e.g. To orpidi, the oyster, for oiarpiStov; To fill, the snake, for 6<t>idwv; rb \d$i, the oil, for i\aSiov; ii fiSa, the goat, for alyilwv; £We, vinegar, for o&ciov; airm, house, for 6amTiov, Lat. hospitium (compare old Eng. spited for hospital). Compare Italian nemico, pitajw, ragno, vangelo, vena, oats (Florio), for inentico, epitaffio, aragno, evangelo, avena.

§ The agglutination of the definite article, the, le, with its substantive, was so complete in old English and old French that the two were generally written and printed as one word. For example, in a letter of " Edward par la grace de dieu Boi Dengleterre Seigneur I >i rli.' iiinlr- et Dues Daquitaine " to "le Priour de Labbaye de Westmoster," directed against vagabond monks, and dated "le xxiij jour de May ton de nostre regne tierz," we find lestat (zi Veiat) and leyde (—la, aide).—Quoted in Stanley, Memoirs of Westminster Abbey, p. 637.

The title of a book published about 1508 is—

Les presentes Heures a lusage de Rouan . . . auec . . . les figures de lapocalipse, . . . et aultres hystoires faictes il lantiqut (in Nisard, Hist, des Livres Pttpitlairef,ii, 290).

In the Oregon jargon spoken along the Columbia River, lamestin, medicine, is from Fr. la medicine; lalan, tongue, for la, langue; litan, teeth, for les dents; lakks, for la grasse; lawie for la vieille (Wilson, Prehistoric Man, vol. ii. pp. 687,588).

Caxton has thincarnacion (Polychronicon, 1482, p. 1); thapostles (Id.); thende, thabbay (Godfrey of Boloyne, last page); thangel, tliadvent, "thabyte of a monk," thentent, therthe, thepyphanye, thistorie, thotwur, thospytal, &c.

Talde la$ht, th' old law, occurs in Orminn, about 1200, vol. ii. p. 280; "towd hen." the old hen, was a popu

lar name for the eagle of the lectern ia Chester Cathedral.

Nowe let the women also praye after ikaample of the men.—AT. UdaU, Trans. Paraph, of Erasmus, 1549.

"You would have vs uppon thipf, would you?" [i.e. the hip]. — Sir Thomas More, MS. Earl. 7368, fol. 8. Tusser (1580) has tttencrea#e for the encrease, thsnd for the end.

Chaucer speaks of " Daniel in thorrible cave" (Man of Laws Tale, 1. 4893, ed. Wright), which recalls the song of "a norrible tale," popular some twenty years ago.

The Cumberland folk say " Tvclher an' ttorupa hes spoilt o' trosps" [the weather and the wasps have spoiled all the rasps].—Dickinson, Glossary, p. vi.

The natives of the Teme Valley, Herefordshire, commonly pronounce the as thun. Thus "thun Orchard," "thun Ash," "thun Oak," "thun Hole," farms which have since become "the Norchard," "the Nash," "the Noke," and "the Knoll" farms (N. and Q. 5th S. ii. 197).

So "Atten ale."— Vision concerning Piers the Ploteman, Pass I. L 43, Text C. (in some MSS. atte nale, and at the naif occurs in Chaucer, Cant. Tales, 6931), is to be analyzed into at,ten(oi then),Oie dative of the article, and ale (— alehouse). So at tlie nende is for at then end; and compare surnames ]ikeAttenborought atte note, atte norchard, are also found for at then oke, at then orcharde.

A similar corruption is the ton?, the tother, from that one, that other, where t is the sign of the neuter gender, as in tha-t, i-t (of. Lat. d in i-d, yuo-d, ittu-d). —Skeat, Notes to Fieri the Plowman, p. 8, and p. 118.

•§ The initial letter changes in Celtic words, it has been pointed out by Lord Strangford (Letters and Papers, p. 182), were merely phonetic originally, and now have been raised to a grammatical value by the art of writing, which fixed them. That acute philologist remarks: "An Irish' eclipse' is merely this: suppose modern Greek unwritten, and taken down for the first time as Irish was once taken down, row rorov, nj» wo\iv, tondopo, timb6li, ortodtyo, tiboli, if you choose, for no Greek conceives the

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alternatives to be other than the same thing. Literary fashion may separate them, when first written, as to ndopo, ti mboli; and grammarians, improving on it, and seeking to show the original letter and the pronunciation at once, may write to d-topo and ti b-poli; thus people would ultimately cease to recognize the d and b as part of the article. This is a pure, genuine Irish eclipse. So, in Welsh, you may call pen, a head, fy mhe.n, my head, grammatical permutation; but it is really merely phonetic in origin, min or mim mhen for min pen (meina penna); which min, I believe, is actually found."

Lord Strangford remarks that in Albanian imiri, tmirit, tamirana, &c, are inflectional forms of the word mir, good, and that these initial changes cannot possibly be other than "the stiffened dead remains of a prefixed article, once a separate word" (Letters and Papers, p. 145).

§ A curious instance of two words, when pronounced, running together and leading to a misunderstanding, occurred a few years ago in the House of Commons. A member, in supporting the Royal Titles Bill, spoke of "this legitimate and reasonable proposal." The Speaker, catching the words as "legitimate an drea^onabh," and thinking, with Soto in the play (Women Pleased, iv. 1)—

There's a strange parlous T before the reason, A very tall T, which makes the word hightreason,—•

promptly called the honourable member to order for using the word " treasonable." The member explained, amidst loud cheers, that the word he used was "reasonable." In fact, he was unconsciously a victim to agglutination. The following miscellaneous instances of the influence of popular pronunciation upon words in this way may be noted:—

"The werlde es thy noirene" (Morte Arthure, 1.1806), i.e. The world is thine own.

"Wei bruc pu Fin evening" (King Horn, 1. 206), a miswriting for pi nev.ening, " Enjoy well thy naming" (as if in Mod. Eng. " thine aming ").

We even find in Wycliffe, " Prestis scien n>j5» masse1' Net works,

E.E.T.S. p. 836), "Priests say high mass," where the n of the previous word has got attached to hy$p.

In an inventory of 1519 occurs "fuschan in appuhs " for "fustian o' Naples" (Peacock, Church Furniture, p. 200).

The colloquial French phrase, etre en age, to be in a great perspiration, stands for etre en nage, as if "to be in a swim" (Larchey, Scheler).

In the Creole patois, similarly, zanneau is for des anneaux; zebe for des heroes; zoreie for des oreilles; divin, wine, for du vin (J. J. Thomas, Creole Grammar).

Tawdry, originally gaudy like the goods sold at St. Aiodry's fair, has allpropriated the t of Saint, as in the old church- and street-names, Tabb's (St. Ebb's), Tann's, (St. Ann's), Tantolin's (St. Antholin's), Toolcy (St. Olave).

So to before the infinitive is in old English often agglutinated.

He ne myghte out of his herte throwe This merueillous desyr, his wyf tassaye, Needlees, god wot, he thought uir for tajfruve.

Chaucer, Clerkes Tate, 1. 450.

In Vision of P. Plowman, A. ix. 20, one MS. has a torn for at home, at home.

In the same poem we read of

A Castel of Kuynde I-mad ■ ofjoure skynnes binges.

Pass. X.l. t(MS. H. 2).

i.e.foures kynnes, of four kinds of things.

The surname Nolt was originally atten-holt, At the wood, like Atwood, Atwell, Attenborough; Nash for attenash, N alder for atten-alder; so Tash from "at th'Ash," Thynne from "at th'Inne" (Bardsley, Romance of the London Directory, p. 45).

The plain of Nasor (1 Maccabees xi. 67) is a mistake for Asor (:= Hazor), due to the final n of the preceding word in the Greek (LXX.) version, " ro iriliov Na<r<ip," having become attached to it (Bib. Diet. ii. 466). Similarly Eusebius has ioriv 'OopaQ for tan 'NoopdO, "it is Naarath" (Id. p. 453).

Lough Corrib, in Ireland, would be more correctly Loch Orrib, but the two words got glued together, and, when parted, one carried away a portion of the other (Joyce, i. 158).

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To trickle, Prof. Skeat holds, was once to strickle, O. Eng. strikelen (from O. E. striken, to flow), but the word being almost always used in the collocation " tears trickle," "teres strikelen," the initial 8 was merged in the preceding word and finally lost.

Abacot, a word given in almost every Eng. dictionary, from Phillips downwards, with the meaning, "a cap of estate in the form of two crowns worn by the kings of England," and so in Spelman, Qlossarium, 1664, and Baker, Chronicle, 1641, who apparently took it from Holinshed (ed. A. Fleming), 1587. Dr. J. A. H. Murray has shown that this abacot is a corruption (probably under the influence of Lat. abacus, Fr. abaque) of an older form abococket (in Hall, 1550), which again is merely a bococket, run together into one word, or rather a bycocket or bycoket (Fabyan, Chron. 1494, p. 654). Old Eng. bycocket is from old Fr. bicoquet, biquoquet, a military cap, a diminutive of old Fr. bicoque. Compare Sp. bicoquin, a cap with two points {The Atlienxum, Feb. 4,1882, p. 157). These latter words are perhaps akin to cock, a projection; then abacot would be just "a bi-cocked" (hat).

Abee (Fr.), the aperture through which the water flows that puts a mill in motion, has originated in la bee, the opening (from beer, to be open), being mistaken for Her (Schelerj. Compare Prov. Fr. (Berry) "mettre a la coi" (in shelter) for a I'acoie, or a Vecoi (Littre, Hist, de la Langue Francaise, i. 127).

Abrostino (n.), a sort of wild grape, is for lalrostino, from Lat. labruscum (Diez), the I being dropped as if belonging to the article.

Adder stands for a nadder (Scot, a nether), misunderstood as an adder, old Eng. naddere, neddere, A. Sax. rmdre, Icel. nair, x, nadrs, probably derived from Lat. natrite (swimmer), a water-snake, whence also Ir. natliair, a snake, Welsh nadr (see W. Stokes, Irish Glosses, p. 46). Benfey connects the word with Sansk. root sna, to bathe, which is, indeed, common to Lat. nare, to swim, and nalrix.

Neddyr, or edilyr. Serpens. — Prompt. Parv.

Robert of Gloucester says of Ireland:

Kedres ny ojier wonnes ne mow p*r be no3t.— Chronicle, p. 43.

Agosta, or aragosta, a name in the Adriatic for the langouste, or cray-tyi (Palinurus vulgaris), the initial 1 "being mistaken for the article. See LoseOyster, p. 222.

Albatros, formerly spelt algain*, Sp. alcairass, a sea-bird, originally the pelican, in the sense of a "watercarrier," stands for Arab, al-qaitk, "the-watervessel," from (Arab.) i/.the, + (Greek) kudos, a water-vessel (Devic).

Alcove, Fr. alcove, Sp. alcoba, Portg. alcova, from Arab, al-qobba, "the closet." Etymologically, therefore, if we say "the alcove," the expression is tautological; just as " an alkali" (Arab. al-qali) is equivalent to "an the-kali.'' and "the Alcoran" (Arab, al-qorm, "the reading ") is " the the-Coran."

Similar formations involving the Arabic article are Alchemy, from Arab. al-kimid; Alcohol, from Arab, al-koh! ,Alembic, from Arab, al-anbik; AlGebra, from Arab, al-jabr; Almanack, apparently from Arab, al-manakh.

The Arabic article al is latent in Sp. achaque, illness; acibar, aloe-tree; <i.kfar,brass; azogue, quicksilver; azuc&n, lily. It appears more plainly in Sp. alacran, scorpion ; alarde, a review ; albornoz, mantle; alboroto, riot; alcal-ila. alcaide, &c.

Alligator contains a coaleseent article, formerly spelt cilagartcx:, standing for Sp. el lagarto, " the lizard."

Alumelle (Fr.), old Fr. alemell*, owe their initial a to the article, and should properly be la lumelle, la leme7le (misunderstood as Valemelle), from Lat. lamella, i.e. larminula, a dimin. of lamina (Scheler). See Omelet below.

Ammunition, an Eng. form of old Fr. amunition, which seems to be due to a popular misunderstanding of 2a wsi*tion as Vamunition (Skeat, Etutn. Die. p. 777).

Amproie (Prov. Fr. Wallon), a lamprey, is from Fr. lamproie (understood as Vamp-oie), Sp. and Portg. himprm. It. lampreda, Lat. lampetra (Littre).

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