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

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Mon Nov 11 19:48:14 UTC 2013

"LanDechtskip(e)t", from Dutch?  No way.

1.  In Dutch, like the rest of the Germanic group, adjectives precede nouns.  Therefore, the "echt" wouldn't modify "lan(d)" but "skip(e)t".  With a few inflectional endings missing, you'd have, at best, "land of the true ship".  What the -t would signify is anyone's guess.  It's a good 3rd person singular verbal ending, but doesn't join to nouns.  No post nominal articles here, just forms of "de" (and "die" in dialects) and "het/'t" (and "dat" in dialects).
2.  There are dialects like Gronings that turn -nd > -n (as does Frisian), and "skip" instead of Standard "schip" could be Gronings too (& cf. English skipper), but again, what's the "-t".  Some sort of hypercorrection by an English speaker who turns -pt to -p?  Or someone who usually says "oncet, twicet"?
3.  Whatever it is, it's something severely mangled in translation.

Paul Johnston

On Nov 11, 2013, at 2:12 PM, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Q: "lanechtskipt" -- perhaps "lanDechtskip[e]t"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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"
>> "Landesknecht"?
> "Country servant"?  No, a lanechtskipt must be a somewhat exotic
> animal (at least for Boston in the early 18th century).
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list