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#171647 - 11/26/07 05:23 PM Re: So many altered words [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Pla ce bo,
Who is there, who?
Di le xi,
Dame Margery;
Fa, re, my, my,
Wherfore and why, why?
For the sowle of Philip Sparowe
That was late slayn at Carowe,


Latin placebo 'I shall please'; Latin dilexi 'I have loved, appreciated'.

Quote:
Skelton’s originality is more evident in Phyllyp Sparowe, a poem addressed to Jane Scroupe, a young lady who was a pupil of the black nuns at Carow, and whose pet sparrow had been killed by a cat. The bird is pictured at great length and its mistress’s grief described in exaggerated language. All the birds under the sky are summoned to the burial, and each one there is appointed to its special office.


[From Cambridge History of English and American Literature III.iv.7.]
Boards can be tables (as in side-board). Also of note that, in the OED1, there's an entry for bourd (sometimes borde) 'jest, jape' from French bourde. And, covered could mean hidden at the time.
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#171648 - 11/26/07 05:28 PM Re: So many altered words [Re: zmjezhd]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd

Boards can be tables (as in side-board). Also of note that, in the OED1, there's an entry for bourd (sometimes borde) 'jest, jape' from French bourde. And, covered could mean hidden at the time.


so maybe the humor is all obvious, and vulgar? think Lenny Bruce?
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#171651 - 11/26/07 06:09 PM Re: So many altered words [Re: BranShea]
themilum Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...
Originally Posted By: BranShea
By-the-by:

" Note.- The text of the poems is taken from Dyce's edition and has been left unchanged exept for some minor spelling alterations in which some letters such as j.u,and v, have been adapted to present day use. I am grateful to Miss Joan Pye for her great help in this book."

"Present day"was 1949 when this booklet was Edited by a Roland Gant in London =, but Printed and bound by Mouton and Company in Holland (of all places) The hague. They are fragments of longer and some short poems. Only 64 pages thick.

What meaneth covered 'rugs'?

Bye-the-Bye Bye?



Well! If you must ask, rugs cover bare boards in which the absence of indicates the hard times at hand in John Skeleton's poem.

So many gay swordes, (here, the meaning of "swordes" is suspect.)

So many altered wordes, (here, wordes means words but doesn't rhyme with bordes.)

And so few covered bordes. (few could afford to cover their boards with de rigueur rugs.)

--Sawe I never (that's what he had seen never before.)

In the sweet by and by: You can find an in-text discussion of the meaning of John Skeleton's use of the term "bordes" in Dyce's edition which is used as an example beneath a poem which mentioned painting ship's "bordes" with pictures of the creatures as they boarded Noe's Ark.




Edited by themilum (11/26/07 06:14 PM)

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#171653 - 11/26/07 09:24 PM shulchan arukh [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
So many gay swordes,
So many altered wordes,
And so few covered bordes.
Sawe I never:
So many empty purses,
So few good horses,
And so many curses,
Sawe I never:


An interesting text. First, this poem is only attributed to Skelton, but it seems much like his other work. Second, I looked through his other poems to see how he used the word borde.

Quote:
Forsothe, quod she, how euer blowe the wynde
Fortune gydeth and ruleth all oure shyppe:
Whom she hateth shall ouer the see boorde shyp;

The Bowge of Courte ll.110-3.

By God, quod Heruy, and it so happen myghte;
Lete vs therfore shortley at a worde
Fynde some mene to caste hym ouer the borde.

Ibid. ll.306-8.

Wyth that came Ryotte, russhinge all at ones,
A rusty gallande, to-ragged and to-rente;
And on the borde he whyrled a payre of bones,
Quater treye dews he clatered as he went;
Now haue at all by saynte Thomas of Kente!

Ibid. ll.344-8.

But harke, my frende, one worde
In ernest or in borde:
Tell me now in this stede
Is mayster Mewtas dede
The kynges Frenshe secretary,
And hys vntrew aduersary?

Why Come Ye Nat to Courte? ll.781-6.

She sayde neuer a worde,
But rose from the borde
And called for our dame,
Elynour by name.

Elynour Rummyng ll.590-2.


He uses board in the sense of table, both for dining and gambling, and jest. He also uses it in the sense of the side of a ship, in somebody being tossed overboard. He (and John Gower) seemed to like coupling worde and borde, which in their time and English was a rhyme. Third, I wondered how the Bard might have used the word covered, and imagine my delight at finding this exchange of dialog:

Quote:
Lorenzo: Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner.

Launcelot: That is done too, sir; only 'cover' is the word.

Lorenzo: Will you cover then, sir?

Launcelot: Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.

Lorenzo: Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray tree, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Launcelot: For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.

Merchant of Venice III.v.


Context suggests that so few covered boards means so few tables set (or prepared) for dinner. There's not much food or rides going round, but no shortage of hot air, posturing, lack of funds, and swearing.
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#171658 - 11/27/07 07:16 AM Re: so many altered words [Re: zmjezhd]
BranShea Offline
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Thanks for your thinking and writing I was reading up on his life, much of which has been kept in records.

tsuwm
Quote:
borde is obs. thieves' cant for a shilling, says OED -- OTOH, it says "? a transf. use of bord, BOARD ‘shield’."

The Vulgar Tongue (1785)gives borde: A shilling. Half borde:sixpence, but it does not fit in the context,I think.

eta
Quote:
the floor would be covered (or not) with rugs, Bran
so maybe the humor is all obvious, and vulgar? think Lenny Bruce?

Although Skelton was a well esteemed scholar, tutor of the children of Henry VII and a priest he was a sharp critic,
satirical of Court life , Church corruption (Cardinal Wolsey banished him),he had a family in spite of his being a priest. He was on good foot with the vulgar. Elynour Rummynge The Ale House Wive (Ads.warning)

themilum
Quote:
Well! If you must ask, rugs cover bare boards in which the absence of indicates the hard times at hand in John Skeleton's poem.

Yes, these are only 3 couplets of 12. This one is clearly about the downhill quality of life and his words can have double meanings.Borde I think means table. Poor meals and drinks on the tables.There were tapistries on walls mostly.Floors, certainly of inns were covered with chaff, straw, sawdust.

zmjh
Quote:
Context suggests that so few covered boards means so few tables set (or prepared) for dinner. There's not much food or rides going round, but no shortage of hot air, posturing, lack of funds, and swearing.
(Yes, flagrant evidence)
I too think bordes are tables.



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#171659 - 11/27/07 08:22 AM Re: so many altered words [Re: BranShea]
AnnaStrophic Offline
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And borde survives today in the expression "room and board."

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#171662 - 11/27/07 10:43 AM Re: so many altered words [Re: AnnaStrophic]
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
and the idiom 'groaning boards" (for a table covered with platters of food (one the 'groans' under the weight of food)

and while a rug in american english is a floor covering,(or in slang, a toupe or wig, especially a poor quality one) in British english is a covering (a blanket, a table cloth, a fancy cloth draped on a piano) which, occationaly, can be used to cover the floor!
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#171668 - 11/27/07 12:30 PM Re: so many altered words [Re: of troy]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5283
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
He's got something for you too, Helen.
He describes the outfit of the Ale House Wive on a Sunday:

Her huke of Lyncole grene, It had ben hers, I wene, More then fourty yere; And so doth it apere, For the grene bare thredes Loke lyke sere wedes,Wyddered lyke hay, The woll worne away:
And yet I dare saye She thynketh herselfe gaye (Hey! gay means pretty or beautiful) Upon the holy daye, Whan she doth her aray,
And gyrdeth in her gytes Stytched and pranked with pletes;
Her kyrtel Brystow red, With clothes upon her hed That wey a sowe of led, Wrythen in wonder wyse, After Sarasyn gyse, With a whym and a wham, Knyt with a trym tram Upon her brayne pan, Lyke an Egyptian........

(I wrote it like proza so as not to use miles of space) :)interesting ; Lincoln grain or would it be green? and Bristol red? Groaning boards sounds good!

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#171679 - 11/27/07 05:37 PM Re: so many altered words [Re: BranShea]
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
i would guess lincoln green and bristol red.. (local plants that were common dye stuff...

a kyrtel is a form of a skirt..

I am guessing...(in parens)

With clothes upon her hed (with clothes upon her head)
That wey a sowe of led, (That were sewn with lead (the metal)
Wrythen in wonder wyse, (?(woven in/worked in)? in Wonder ways)
After Sarasyn gyse, (After the Islamic *guise)
With a whym and a wham, (with a whim and wham)
Knyt with a trym tram (Knit with Trim tram(?))
Upon her brayne pan, (Upon her brown head**)
Lyke an Egyptian. (Like an Egyptian)

or a hat, upon her head, in the islamic style, with metal woven in, to trim it, that she wore on her brown head/hair and looked exotic, like an egyptian!

*guise (like disguise) a word for a style/manner

(**pan or pot or tea kettle is often used as slang term for a head, (as in noggin!)

and yes, a groaning board is like a, um, a "rice table" --the sort of wonderful feast one could order in a dutch/indonasian restaurant years ago!
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#171684 - 11/27/07 08:01 PM Re: so many altered words [Re: of troy]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
pan or pot or tea kettle is often used as slang term for a head

Yes, in fact Latin caput, capitis, was replaced in many of the Romance languages with the Vulgar Latin testa, testae, 'pot; head'. (Though it survived in French with a slightly modified meaning: chef.
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