Q: "lanechtskipt" -- perhaps "lanDechtskip[e]t"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 11 19:12:36 UTC 2013

Stephen Goranson wrote
>wild guess: lynx cat

Perhaps, but I have no evidence for or against.

W Brewer wrote:
>WAG from left field: Norwegian
>(1) Looks Germanic.
>(2) skip-et means 'the ship' in Norwegian.
>(3) <the ship ...> sc. of the desert = camel.
>(4) lanecht (?)
>(5) Did the Vikings have camels? :)  (This is definitely more
>plausible than Haitians.)

Interestingly, the historian whose manuscript cites the one and only
appearance of lanechtskipt also supposes "camel", but does not write
why he so supposes.  (I will ask him.)  In the vein of Germanic,
"echt" can mean "genuine, true"; but what about "lan"?

The primary source must be the manuscript record of a meeting of the
Boston Selectmen in 1735, and therefore subject to either
mispronunciation or misspelling by the petitioner or misspelling or
mistranscription by the clerk.

Thus might the original have been "lanDechtskip[e]t" (confusing
pronunciation of "nd" with "n"?) = "true ship of the land (earth,
soil -- desert?)"?!  Google Translate detects Dutch, but does not
translate "landechtskip[e]t" into English.  Perhaps a nonce
word.  Dutch for "camel" is "kameel", which must long antedate the
18th century.  Google Web and Books do not find "landechtskip[e]t".

In passing, Haitian Creole is perhaps more plausible than
Norwegian.  A camel visiting Boston in February 1739 (perhaps the
same beast as the "lanechtskipt" of 1735?) was advertised as "bound
for the West Indies" in March; perhaps it had been in Haiti in
1735.  Of course, the advertisement may merely have been a come-on to
induce visitors; a minister from Westborough visiting family in
Boston went to see the camel the very next day.

Why Dutch?  Like Norway, few camels resident. But a Dutch ship
captain might have picked up a camel on a voyage to the Mediterranean region.

hw gray wrote:
>On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > "lanechtskipt"

"Country servant"?  No, a lanechtskipt must be a somewhat exotic
animal (at least for Boston in the early 18th century).


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