A beast, the lusetan or ounce?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jul 14 20:38:15 UTC 2006

Except that "ounce" is an old and respected name for a lynx.  OED2,
from 13..; and the often-quoted 1592 Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's
Dream "Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare, Pard, or Boare with bristled haire."


At 7/14/2006 04:16 PM, you wrote:
>On 7/14/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
>>On 7/14/06, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>> >
>> > What word today is lusetan, as in "the beasts of the country are
>> > bears, lusetans or ounces [etc.]", from 1720?
>>OED gives "luseran" as a variant of "lucern", an archaic term for the lynx.
>So it would follow that "ounces" is a possible misprint/scanning error
>for "lynces"/"linces".
>--Ben Zimmer
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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