Q: "lanechtskipt"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 11 23:46:24 UTC 2013

George, very important findings and questions!

1)  As an aside, I blundered with "black and whight hare"; it's
"bare" (bear [likely a plural], the "whight" bear being a polar bear,
known to have been exhibited in Boston in 1733).

2)  "limbs" vs. "times" -- George, where did you find the
interpretation "[times]"?  I don't see it.

In any case, "times" is correct and "limbs" makes no sense.  (More
evidence that there was mistranscription by the transcriber of the
manuscript record into the printed volume of the Reports of the
[Boston] Records Commissioners.)  The petitioner -- Burlesson -- was
being warned out of town, denied permission to exhibit his puppets,
and was reminding the selectmen that his animals had been permitted
to stay "as long as they pleased".  (In Boston theatre performances
were discountenanced; animal exhibitions were tolerated.)

3)  The three items clearly were all animals.  I've been reminded by
a correspondent that the only exotic animals known to have been
exhibited in Boston before 1735 were the lion, the camel, and the
polar bear.  So it's natural to associate the second of Burlesson's
three "items" with the camel.

4)  The original manuscript may indeed be enlightening.  I do not
know whether it is still accessible (presumably at the Massachusetts
Archives), but I will inquire.

5)  Instead of a model of a Viking "long ship", one might imagine a
"moving picture" that showed the long boat sailing away from the
shore, engaging in a battle, and sinking in flames.  I don't think
I'll follow that path.


At 11/11/2013 04:37 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>What (if anything) does the expression "that had their limbs as long as
>they pleased" mean? One instance at G-books shows "[times]" following
>"limbs", as if a correction or interpretation by someone. I still don't
>know exactly what the phrase means, but (especially if there were
>originally no limbs mentioned) maybe the item doesn't have to be an animal.
>Burlesson apparently showed puppets as well as animals, and maybe he
>showed other things.
>As an example of a wild speculation which is of little or no value in
>isolation, one might postulate that there was (along with a lion and
>some sort of bear[s]) a fine tabletop model of a Viking ship on display,
>labeled with a grotesque 'word' based on a misheard Scandinavian
>pronunciation of "long-ship" ("langskip" or so). If "white" was spelled
>"whight" then I suppose a "ch" or so could be similarly deployed?
>Couldn't a "t" be added (as a definite article or whatever) here or
>there (rightly or wrongly)?
>By imagining different errors, different scenarios can be entertained.
>The original manuscript might be enlightening.
>-- Doug Wilson
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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