[Ads-l] Heard: "Hey, is this one of ?_ours's_/?_ourses'_ birthdays?"

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 24 14:02:21 EDT 2016

JAL:  << What worries me is how Jacob (Hebrew /ya 'kov/) became James (the
adjective for King James I is "Jacobean" unless you mean the KJV; the
adjective for James II is "Jacobite") >>

WB:  As I dimly recall, in the Middle Ages, the Latinate forms were
<Jacobus> and <Jacomus>; maybe the b > m being the result of an Irish
monk's mutation?? Anyway, <Jacomus> (keeping in mind the <J> = <I> thing)
gives us Spanish <Jaime>, Eng. <James> --> Ir <Seamus>; Fr <Jacques>, Sp
<Sant-iago> from the <c/k> variant. Catholics relied on the Vulgar Latin
New Testament, with <Jacomus>; Protestants went back to Hebrew sources,
whence <Jacobus> --> Jacob (Lee J. Cobb will fit in here nicely: ne' Leo
Jacoby). And so, the k~m variants enrich our lexicon and give more grist
for the spelling bee mill. Okay, go ahead & fact check it. "On the other
hand ... I could be right." (Professor Irwin Corey?)

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list