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The origin of the word/name Penelope

Posted By: Penelope E.

The origin of the word/name Penelope - 05/17/07 11:48 PM

Long ago in a college course on classical mythology, the professor--Dr. Leichty (but that may be misspelled)--discussed the origins of the name Penelope. According to him, it derived from an earlier story about the birth of the woman who would later be the wife of Odysseus. Briefly, the story was that her father considered her to be an unwelcome newborn and decided, according to the custom of that ancient place, to "dispose" of the baby by flinging her far out off the island's high cliffs to fall to the rocks edging the sea far below. To his surprise, a flock of "small purple pin-striped ducks," of a breed that nests in the seaside cliffs, suddenly flew up in a tight formation, caught the falling child on their backs, and bore her back to the cliff top, depositing her at the feet of her astonished father. Being no fool, he decided that this child must be a favorite of the gods and should be brought up accordingly. She was given the name Penelope because, I was told, that was the archaic Greek name for the breed of little ducks that had rescued her.
Posted By: BranShea

Re: The origin of the word/name Penelope - 05/18/07 09:15 PM

Hello Penelope,

I have several things on the subject for you:

Online Etymology
1. Penelope
fem. proper name, name of the faithful wife in the "Odyssey," from Gk. Penelopeia, probably related to pene "thread on the bobbin." Used as the type of the virtuous wife (1581) as it was in Latin.
2. Bobbin
1530, from Fr. bobine, small instrument used in sewing or tapestry-making, probably connected with bobbinet "cotton net," or perhaps from L. balbus (see babble </index.php?term=babble>) for the stuttering, stammering noise it made.

Webster Online Dictionary
3a. (Greek mythology) the wife of Odysseus and a symbol of devotion and fidelity; for 10 years while Odysseus fought the Trojan War she resisted numerous suitors until Odysseus returned and killed them.
3b. A genus of guans (turkey-like arboreal birds valued as game and food birds).

First two are from online Etymology.
Three, a + b are from Webster Online.


There seem to be some incoherences.

Etymology leaves out the bird connection at all and
Webster's Dictionary mentions a different kind of bird.

There seems to be some melting together of things, both in the definitions and the story.
I can't think of any ducks that live in trees. Or are there?
Posted By: Maven

Re: The origin of the word/name Penelope - 05/21/07 08:36 PM

Penelops are a species of duck, and do not live in trees. There is some connection, maybe, since it was thought that ducks were monogamous. But, depending on how much faith you have in Wikipedia entries:

Quote:

Her name is close to the Greek word for duck but is usually understood to be a combination of the Greek word for web or woof (πηνη) and the word for eye or face (ωψ), very appropriate for a weaver of cunning whose motivation is hard to decipher.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penelope
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of the word/name Penelope - 11/17/07 09:10 AM

Penelopes Web, A work that never progresses. Penelope, the wife of Ulysses, being importuned by several suitors during her husband's long absence, made reply that she could not marry again, even if Ulysses were dead, till she had finished weaving a shroud for her aged father-in-law. Every night she pulled out what she had woven during the day, and thus the shroud made no progress toward completion.-Greek Mythology.
The French say of a work "never ending, still beginning," c'est l'ouvrage de Penelope.


I prefer Penelope Lapham, a vivacious, but not too pretty daughter of Silas Lapham (1812-1887). Ultimately, Penelope wins the love of her sisters' suitor, despite her sister's skin-deep beauty. This unintentional conquest brings painful complexity to herself, and anguish to her sister. Finally, she yields to her sister's magnaminity, and to the persuasions of her suitor, Tom Corey. Ultimately, Penelope weds Tom.
This is from W.D. Howelles, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1887).

I hope this helped.

Tom
Posted By: varaha

The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/17/07 03:08 PM

Howelles

What a coinkydinky. There was another book, also called The Rise of Silas Lapham, that was written by a William Dean Howells but published two years earlier.
Posted By: BranShea

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/17/07 04:16 PM

The dingycoinky is a that it is William Dean Howells' The rise of Silas Lapham 1885. Hi, never mind.
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/18/07 05:03 PM

Originally Posted By: varaha
Howelles

What a coinkydinky. There was another book, also called The Rise of Silas Lapham, that was written by a William Dean Howells but published two years earlier.


How serendipitous! As I was searching my source I found a wonderful print of Mr. Pecksniff, " architect and land surveyor". -C Dickens, Martin Chuzzelwit(1843)

Yes, I had too many e's. My source is: The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D, Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction, and the Drama, vol.v, M C M I I

The entry on page 181, under Penelope Lapham footnotes, -W. D. Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham, (1887).

Perhaps the good Reverend made a mistake and Wikipedia is correct.
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/18/07 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: BranShea
The dingycoinky is a that it is William Dean Howells' The rise of Silas Lapham 1885. Hi, never mind.


Duplicitous word fungo!! I love it!!
Posted By: varaha

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/18/07 05:42 PM

Perhaps the good Reverend made a mistake and Wikipedia is correct.

Perhaps, but my reference was the William Dean Howells Society chronology page. (I see that Wiipedia agrees with them, and they could be correct part of the time if only by chance.) And, for what it's worth, my dead-tree, 11th edition Britannica (1910) gives 1885 as the publication date, but then they could very well be wrong, too. Caveat lector!
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/18/07 06:46 PM

Ye Gads, Ebenezer! This is bigger than the bofus!

The editor is Marion Harland. I would supply a link but I am too lazy to learn how to do this. Besides, it's a Wiki.
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/20/07 04:14 PM

Originally Posted By: BranShea
The dingycoinky is a that it is William Dean Howells' The rise of Silas Lapham 1885. Hi, never mind.

As if the day could be more grey, I was stunned to discover that my favorite little family-owned pharmacy had been purchased by the Rite-Aide, pharmaceutical chain. The crawling ad on the shiny new parking lot sign read: Budweiser 18-packs, $14.99.

I thought....what a dingycoinky is a this?!
Posted By: R. Eastcourt

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 11/20/07 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: BranShea
The dingycoinky is a that it is William Dean Howells' The rise of Silas Lapham 1885. Hi, never mind.


........waiting breathlessly for (b:)

never mind
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Origin of the name Penelope - 12/19/08 06:48 PM

\\

Check out on Google/Yahoo:

The Etymology and History of First Names.

terrific resource.
Posted By: Myrmhgki

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/25/11 02:43 PM

Πηνελόπη =

from the ancient greek words πήνη (thread) + λέπω (unwind), meaning she who weaves
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/25/11 03:15 PM

WELCOME MYRMHGKI
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/27/11 03:12 AM

Penelope – from pen-: almost + elope: to run away from one's husband with a lover

Odysseus was gone so long that his wife was tempted on many occasions to run away with men who courted her, yet she always thought better of it.

Also derived from her name: the slip-on shoes she wore were called Penelopers, which over the centuries was corrupted to penny-loafers.

Sorry, I'm running a bit of a fever.

Peter
Posted By: tsuwm

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/27/11 02:47 PM

>penny-loafers

and (who knew?) the original penny-loafer medallion actually featured an image taken from a Greek bust of Penelope!
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 09:20 AM

She had sole, and could make love last. She was quite a vamp, but she wouldn't go out with heels.
Posted By: BranShea

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
She had sole,
and could fry it fast.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 03:06 PM

fish and chips???
Posted By: BranShea

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 04:36 PM

Ah the sole, the sole is too uppity class for fish and chips. It's quisine. Sole Picasso, Sole à la Meunière. Fish with capitals.
Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 06:06 PM

well, this is the plaice for that.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/29/11 06:09 PM

Living 1000 miles from any ocean I wouldn't know one from another,
other than in a market.
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/30/11 01:15 AM

Here it's about a mile as the raven flies, and mostly halibut and salmon. And usually a gift from friends. No complaints.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 04/30/11 02:47 PM

Checked a slab of salmon (about 16 inches,frozen) at the market
yesterday. Cost: $15.88. I'd not complain either. Lucky you.
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/01/11 01:16 PM

Cost: $15.88.

That's less than a dollar an inch.

[Corrected by order of the Avoirdupois Police.]
Posted By: tsuwm

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/01/11 03:15 PM

actually, that's less than a dollar an inch.
-joe (yours for better math) friday
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/01/11 03:34 PM

I thought you had me on "ignore". You certainly paid
attention to that posting.
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/01/11 04:29 PM

actually, that's less than a dollar an inch.

So it is.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/01/11 05:25 PM

Believe me, I'm not fretting. I don't have the problem.
Posted By: BranShea

Re: raven seagull sparrow crow - 05/01/11 08:57 PM

'Here it's about a mile as the raven flies'
Random quotes:

"similar to those found at Calamity Butte which is located about 8 miles as the raven flies"

"Situated 1 mile as the seagull flies from Porth Beach"

"on the beach at Oregon Inlet on the OBX, about 20 miles as the sparrow flies from Alligator River NWR"

"And I won't wait for morning light. I'd come straight as the crow flies ..."


"Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies"
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: raven seagull sparrow crow - 05/01/11 11:37 PM

Hereabouts "as the crow flies" is what is heard the most.
Posted By: Zed

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/02/11 06:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
Here it's about a mile as the raven flies, and mostly halibut and salmon. And usually a gift from friends. No complaints.


Here it is as the crow flies. I have never heard of as the salmon flies, let alone the halibut.
Posted By: Faldage

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/02/11 10:42 AM

You know how it is, Zed. In the words of the old song, "Birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly."
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/03/11 11:28 AM

"I gotta love one woman till I die."

Edit: It's "as the crow flies" here, too. Poetic license: I actually have one on my wall.

Edit 2: Sorry, Faldage, I was thinking of "Sharks gotta swim, bats gotta fly."
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/03/11 02:41 PM

A crow on your wall??
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/04/11 02:14 AM

Uh, that would be the poetic license.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/04/11 02:41 PM

Reminds me: "he was a poet, but did not know it, but his feet
showed it, they were longfellows".
Posted By: Tromboniator

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/05/11 07:14 AM

Yes, I've gotten my Wadsworth out of that over the years.
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: The origin of Pierre Menard - 05/05/11 03:17 PM

For some of us, "back in the day" is further back than so many
others. I've not heard it in a very long time.
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