"Terrible Robin"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Oct 4 20:55:07 UTC 2014

I think Dan Goncharoff's suggestion of Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck) 
suffices amply.  He might be said to terrify at least some ("[he] 
That frights the maidens of the villagery", to quote the Bard), and 
certainly was a leader astray ("with echoes and lights in nighttime", 
the Bard again).  Cf. "red herring" as something misleading or false 
in the Thomas Brown quotation.


At 10/4/2014 02:16 PM, Robin Hamilton wrote:
>Might it be Aniseed (Water) Robin, so called since he sold aniseed 
>water, a.k.a. gin, in the streets of London?  A famous/notorious 
>hermaphrodite, who was around London in the 1650s and later (I 
>think) and is referred to pretty frequently, among others by Daniel 
>Defoe.  His name would probably still have been familiar in the 
>early 1700s.  I don't know whether he was ever called "terrible", 
>but he was certainly notorious.
>Robin Hamilton
>-----Original Message----- From: Joel S. Berson
>Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2014 6:23 PM
>Subject: Re: "flounder", "red-herring", "magic glass", 1703 -- for the OED
>---------------------- 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: "flounder", "red-herring", "magic glass", 1703 -- 
>for the OED
>At 10/3/2014 11:14 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>>When I read Terrible Robin I think Robin Goodfellow.
>I also wondered (and as well about Robin Hood, who might have been
>called "terrible" by the sheriff) but lacked contemporary quotations
>for "terrible Robin" with useful context.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list