beyond the pail [sic]

David Bergdahl einstein at FROGNET.NET
Wed Mar 12 01:47:17 UTC 2003

I think the pal[ing] = post meaning is the literal mark of a settlement and
the "beyond the pale" meaning an abstract extension but I don't know abt the
usage John Baker pointed out (I can't get the OED at home, only at school
[with its site license]).  Still, M-W gives a 12th-C meaning, which suggest
to me that since the Anglo-Norman knights settled Ireland soon after the
Conquest, that perhaps the Irish sense is the original.

M-W says: Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French pal stake, from
Latin palus -- more at POLE
Date: 12th century
1 archaic : PALISADE, PALING
2 a : one of the stakes of a palisade b : PICKET
3 a : a space or field having bounds : ENCLOSURE b : a territory or district
within certain bounds or under a particular jurisdiction
4 : an area or the limits within which one is privileged or protected (as
from censure) <conduct that was beyond the pale>
5 : a perpendicular stripe on a heraldic shield
"Raffiniert ist der Herr Gott, aber Boshaft ist er nicht"
--Albert Einstein

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