believe you me in oed

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 24 01:03:25 UTC 2011

Victor Steinbok
> it's a "translation"--leif==believe;

Thanks for your response Victor. There is another edition (GB date
1781) that presents the text without the inline word "believe".
Instead, it uses a footnote at the end of the line to give the meaning
of "leif". I do not have ready access to EEBO (Early English Books
Online). Perhaps a search for "leif thou me" might find a useful match
in an original edition.

And saide, Alexander leif thou me, [footnote y]

[footnote y] Believe

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: believe you me in oed
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> Not only is it a later addition, it's a "translation"--leif==believe;
> nolde==would not, etc. But, I guess, you are trying to figure out whether
> it's an exact copy of the 1781 edition or if "reprint" means something was
> added (likely in 1870/71 which is the date of comparable reprints). In this
> case, "reprint" clearly does not mean facsimile because of long Ss. Here's a
> 1870 copy that GB dates 1778 and it has no long Ss either (which were not
> phased out until about 1808):
> But, in reality, it actually pushes the date much further back, as the
> original "Alexander leif thou me" would have been in the original text. So,
> although it cannot be dated exactly to 1778, it actually comes from an
> earlier poem that Warton claims had been written in the reign of Henry VI.
> VS-)
> On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 5:31 PM, Garson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at>wrote:
>> There is another "earlier" match in GB that is difficult for me to
>> analyze. Believe is bracketed and might be an insertion at a later
>> date. The date is unclear. Here's a link.
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