An early "cock"?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 29 18:52:18 UTC 2006

>That's assuming, of course, that OE "wæpnedmann" really DID
>mean, literally, "bepenised person"--and not simply "armed
>person" and by extension :) "guy with a metaphorical weapon
>between his legs"!  How can we KNOW?

No, you're absolutely right of course, and I
almost (and shoulda) hedged my "lit."  After all,
I wuzn't dere, Charlie.


>Surely lexicographers have formulated explicit policies to
>determine when (or whether), for purposes of inclusion in a
>dictionary, a stock metaphor becomes a denotative sense of a
>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 13:26:53 -0400
>>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>Subject: Re: An early "cock"?
>>as opposed to "member", "tool", "weapon", etc.
>>But it does seem to be something of a slippery
>>slope.  (Recall that one of the earlier English
>>designators for 'man' (i.e. 'male human' or
>>'vir'), back when a "man" was just a generic
>>human, was "wæpned man", lit. 'weaponed/penised
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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