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

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed Sep 21 18:12:42 EDT 2016


re "sate" -- perhaps should be interpreted "was seated", and pronounced to rhyme
with "fate".

"y" -- clearly representing "th" for thorn, as Joel expands -- but how was it
written in the original  MS (which I guiltily confess I haven't got round to
looking at yet)?  Were seventeenth century New Englanders already into Ye Olde
English Tea Shoppe?

"bedshed" = "bed's head" = "head of the bed".

Having looked at the MS scrap (finally), the scribe uses "y" [sic] to represent
the (both voiced and voiceless, but only ever at the beginning of a word?) "th"
sound.

___________________

Question for paleographers/ historians of printing:  

Earlier THORN and WYNN (for "th", and in the written or printed text, a
positional rather than a phonological variant) and YOGH (for both "y" and "g")
caused problems for printers from the get go.  English printers [Scottish
printers developed different solutions] simply disambiguated YOGH as either "g"
or "y", and (for a period, I'm not quite sure how long) represented an original
THORN as "y[superscript]e".

This obviously shows up most clearly [can't think of anywhere to point to
off-hand, sorry] when printing a manuscript written pre-1400 (roughly) in the
period post-1600 (maybee) -- thus problems with the text of La3amond's [3=YOGH]
_Brut_ that Joel adduced earlier.

Anyway, the use of the glyph "y" in a late seventeenth century MS caught my eye,
and I'm hoping someone on the list may be able to fill in the details around
this.  

HEALTH WARNING:  I'm well outside my zone in the comments above, so I may have
screwed up quite considerably in the account I give.  I'll be more than happy to
stand corrected.  I'm not sure my remarks are good enough even for government
work ...

Robin Hamilton

> 
>     On 21 September 2016 at 20:31 Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> 
>     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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