[Ads-l] _wag_ "tote"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 30 00:03:29 UTC 2016

The History of the Church of Malabar, from ... - Page 7
Michael Geddes
London, Prince's Arms, 1694
"There was also found an ancient Record of St. Thomas's having converted
the King of Meliapor (who it's like[ly] was the Prince that gave him the
aforementioned Grant) by drawing a great piece of Timber ashore, which the
King and St. Thomas both pretended a right to, after all the King's
Elephants, and all of the Wit of Man were not able so much as to _wag_ it."

This is the earliest instance that I have found in which _wag_ clearly has
the meaning of "move"- if not necessarily "carry" - a cumbersome object.

DARE notes that _tote_ is masculine and that _wag_ is its feminine
equivalent. Whoa! That is in precise conformance with my own, personal
experience, But I was not consciously aware of it, before.

When you were a baby, I used to tote you on my back.
When you were a baby, I used to wag you in my arms.

Go 'head, DARE!

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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