[Ads-l] "old boy" = the devil

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 21 15:31:32 EDT 2016


Clearly I meant to write more ...

"Sate" is surely "sat"; adding a terminal e was common, I think.  "Old nick or else old craften sate over ye bedshed" must be "old nick or else old craften sat over the bedstead".  In my decaying memory are old tales and pictures (nightmares? encounters?) with witches, succubi, lamias, etc. perched on bedsteads.


OED under sit (v):  1818   Byron Childe Harold: Canto IV i. 3   Venice sate in state, thron'd on her hundred isles.

"Bedshed" is not in the OED.  Perhaps it's a misreading of "bedsted"?


Joel



      From: Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 3:08 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "old boy" = the devil
  
"Sate" is surely "sat":  "


      From: Benjamin Barrett <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "old boy" = the devil
  
http://www.blue-moon-manor.com/faq.html#2 uses the word “crafter” to describe someone who uses witchcraft. FWIW. BB

> On 20 Sep 2016, at 20:53, Benjamin Barrett <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 1. The Boston Globe is happy with “cratten.”
> 
> http://bit.ly/2csPajG
> What the Salem witch trials taught us about language
> by Britt Peterson
> 
> ——
> The documents feature obsolete words and words that have shifted their meaning, including “silly,” to mean ignorant; “paragon,” a wool or silk fabric; “old cratten,” the devil; “burling,” meaning whirling or twisting; and “behaged,” meaning bewitched.
> ——
> 
> I’m not convinced, however. The “crafty” meaning seems at least likely.
> 
> 2. http://bit.ly/2cSZoHm
> The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, Part 5
> ed. William Dwight Whitney
> 
> craft < ME craften, play tricks. 
> 
> 3. cræft (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cræft)
> 
> a device, especially magical
> wæs æfre unbegunnen Scyppend, se ðe gemacode swylcne cræft: the Creator, who made such a work, was ever without beginning.
> deceit, fraud
> cræfta gehwilc byð cealde forgolden: all deceits will be forgotten coldly
> 
> 4. The word appears in an ME dictionary at http://bit.ly/2cl60gR.
> 
> FWIW, it seems also possible that the final letter is an “r” though I did not find anything convincing on Google Books.
> ——
> 
> However, the text seems to be differentiating the devil from the craften: old nick or else old craften sate over ye bedshed
> 
> I suppose “else” could mean “that is to say.”
> 
> Also, what does “sate” mean? I looked at the jpeg, and it seems to be more likely to be “safe” (is she not worried because Old Nick/Old Crafter is safe over the bed, i.e., watching over her?) but I never read these sorts of documents. 
> 
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> 
>> On 20 Sep 2016, at 20:29, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
>> 
>> For "crafter" instead of "craften":
>> 
>> 
>> How about La'y'amons Brut, or Chronicle of Britain, a poetical semi-Saxon ..., Volume 2By Layamon:  Glossary, p. 543.  craeft, craft:  craft, guile; pl. craften.  Perhaps the 1692 deposition is meant to be "crafter", guiler, deceiver, the Devil??  Or is this reaching at straws too?  Google Books, full view, (which I have not enlarged), https://books.google.com/books?id=bmQIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA543&dq=craften&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiloYGdvp_PAhUj64MKHX3XD1QQ6AEITzAJ#v=onepage&q=craften&f=false
>> 
>> 
>> Joel
>> 
>>    From: Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 11:09 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "old boy" = the devil + OED antedating of "Old Roger".
>> 
>> Only if "craften" or "craffen" or "cratter" lead nowhere also.
>> 
>> Joel
>> 
>> 
>>      From: Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 3:24 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "old boy" = the devil + OED antedating of "Old Roger".
>> 
>> Could it be a mis-hearing on the part of the person writing the words down
>> originally?  Or am I grasping after straws?
>> 
>> RH.
>> 
>>> 
>>>    On 20 September 2016 at 19:24 Hugo <hugovk at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that the term used
>>>> was actually "cratter", and the sense was "old creature".
>>> 
>>>> JB: I've looked only at the two 1890's transcriptions, and the
>>>> manuscript Hugo provided to the list. But in the manuscript I did not
>>>> look further than the portion that used "old man", and I don't know
>>>> whether Hugo's scrap shows "cratten".
>>> 
>>>    http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/archives/ecca/medium/ecca1157r.jpg
>>> 
>>>    http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/swp?term=cratten÷_id=n69.5&chapter_id=n69
>>> 
>>>    It's the fourth line from the end, fourth word along (above "mother").
>>>    Looks like an "n" in the manuscript, and distinct from other "r"
>>>    letters. If not "cratten", it could be "craften" or "craffen", but I
>>>    don't think those are any more helpful.
>>> 
>>>    Hugo

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