meaning of Shakespeare line-'ungnem'

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Feb 29 20:59:22 UTC 2004

>OED cites under 'Latin' , specifically bad Latin, dog Latin, etc.
>    1588 Love's Labors Lost, V. i. 83  "Oh I smell False Latine, 'dunghel'
> for 'ungnem.'
>I assume 'dunghel'= dung hill
>What does 'ungnem' mean?

Looks like German "angenehm" = "pleasant". Just kidding.

It's a typo. for "unguem", used in the Latin expression "ad unguem" =
"perfect", from "unguis" = "fingernail".

In the passage, somebody has used "ad dunghel" for "ad unguem" ...
apparently the "d" in "ad" has become attached to the erroneous "unghel" to
make "dunghel". Maybe it's meant to = "dunghill" for a joke? Maybe a
Shakespeare concordance or some such book would explain it.

-- Doug Wilson

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