Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Mon Jul 22 14:24:18 UTC 2002

On Mon, 22 Jul 2002, Rick H Kennerly wrote:

        [attribution lost:]
#|o| I wouldn't say the jury was out at all. There are certainly a number of
#|o| people who believe that picnics took place at the sites of lynchings and
#|o| that the word has its origin in this practice.
#The photographic record is pretty clear that people did picnic at
#lynching/hangings.  So far the attitude seems to be, if we don't know about
#this use of the word, then it can't be true.

By "this use of the word" do you mean the proposition that picnics took
place at lynchings? That's a practice, not a word usage; it's horrific
and I see why some would deny it, but is such denial relevant to the
etymythology?  And "the attitude" = whose attitude? I don't think anyone
is saying that picnics took place at lynchings but weren't called
"picnics", which would indeed be an issue of usage. The main question is
whether that was the origin of the word, and the evidence already cited
in this thread has definitively proved that it wasn't.

# True or not, however, I'd think it interesting to know where & how
#that it got started, like the H in Jesus H Christ.

"It" being the etymythology?

To follow the digression: I think the "H" comes from the symbol sequence
"IHC" for "Jesus". That was originally a Greek abbreviation, Iota Eta
Sigma for the Greek form of the Hebrew name (Yeshuah), the Greek being
"Iesous" (long e) in transliteration and approximately IHCOYC (C is a
written form of capital sigma; Y here stands for capital upsilon)
graphically. I believe the same sequence was later read as the Latin
IHS, which was expanded in such meaningful ways as "Iesus Hominum
Salvator" 'Jesus, Savior of Men/Humans'.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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