[Ads-l] spin-span-spun

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 6 13:20:15 EDT 2020


In more modern usage, it's obvious that Adam was the gentleman.

Sheesh.

JL

On Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 11:20 AM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> I only know it from that rhetorical question,
>
> When Adam delved and Eve span,
> Who was then the gentleman?
>
> I see on a quick dive that the couplet is associated with John Ball and
> the Peasants’ Revolt.  Who knew?
>
> LH
>
> > On Aug 6, 2020, at 8:10 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> > Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix has at least three instances of
> “span” as the past tense of “to spin.”
> >
> > I have the 2003 First Canadian Edition.
> >
> > p. 715 in The Only One He Ever Feared
> > … as the centaur’s arm, holding its bow, span off and landed with a
> crash on the floor...
> >
> > This occurs at least twice more.
> >
> > The OED gives span and spun as equal past forms of the verb to spin.
> 1882 is the most recent citation for span.
> >
> > Lexico does not mention span (https://www.lexico.com/definition/spin <
> https://www.lexico.com/definition/spin>)
> > Merriam-Webster does not mention span (
> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin <
> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin>)
> >
> > Wiktionary says span is archaic (
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spin#Verb <
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spin#Verb>)
> >
> > Word Hippo says span is archaic or nonstandard (
> https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-past-tense-of/spin.html <
> https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-past-tense-of/spin.html>)
> >
> > Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
> > Formerly of Seattle, WA
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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