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#80617 - 09/22/02 03:42 PM Re: tjree sheets in the wind  
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
So there are three sails, right? And the sails aren't sheets, right? But there is a rope that's not called a rope, but a tack that secures the sail and there is another rope, not called a rope, but a sheet, that is adjusted. And if this adjusted sheet is maladjusted and the sail flaps about in the wind, the sheet is to the wind. Multiply that by three sheets (i.e., ropes) that are very loose, then you have three sheets to the wind and a drunk ship.

Got it!

I always thought sheets were sails. Learn something every day.


#80618 - 09/22/02 03:53 PM Re: three sheets in the wind  
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Dear WW: I too always though "sheets" meant the sails. I wonder if this is a case
of the part being named for the whole. "sceat" is old Germanic word for piece of cloth.
Sails had to have corners where lines were attached re-inforced by a piece of strong
fabric before the "sceatline" could be attached.


#80619 - 09/22/02 05:18 PM Re: usher  
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Brewer:
Usher means a porter. (Old French, muisher, a door; whence huissier, an usher; Latin, ostiarius.) One who
stands at the door to usher visitors into the presence. (Scotch, Wishart.)
And ostiarium is from ostium=door, from os, oris = mouth. Remember Ostium, port of Rome, was
at the mouth of the Tiber.


#80620 - 09/22/02 05:40 PM Re: valkyrie  
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Brewer:
alkyriur or Valkyries. The twelve nymphs of Valhalla. They were mounted on swift horses, and held drawn
swords in their hands. In the mêléc of battle they selected those destined to death, and conducted them to
Valhalla, where they waited upon them, and served them with mead and ale in cups of horn called skulls. The
chief were Mista, Sangrida, and Hilda. Valkyriur means “chooser of the slain.”

I never knew this before. As mnemonic, "val = fall", "kyr"=kur=choose, select


#80621 - 09/22/02 05:49 PM Re: venison  
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Brewer:
Venison Anything taken in hunting or by the chase. Hence Jacob bids Esau to go and get venison such as he
loved (Gen. xxvii. 3), meaning the wild kid. The word is simply the Latin venatio (hunting), but is now restricted to the flesh of deer.


#80622 - 09/22/02 07:15 PM Re: walnut  
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Brewer:
Walnut [foreign nut ]. It comes from Persia, and is so called to distinguish it from those native to Europe, as
hazel, filbert, chestnut. (Anglo-Saxon, walh, foreign; hnutu, nut.)


#80623 - 09/22/02 07:24 PM Re: wan  
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Brewer:
Wan means thin. (Anglo-Saxon, wan, “deficient”; our wane, as the “waning moon.”) As wasting of the flesh is
generally accompanied with a grey pallor, the idea of leanness has yielded to that of the sickly hue which attends
it. (Verb wan-ian, to wane.)



#80624 - 09/22/02 07:40 PM Re: warlock  
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Brewer:
Warlock A wandering evil spirit; a wizard. (Anglo-Saxon, woer-loga, a deceiver, one who breaks his word. Satan
is called in Scripture “the father of lies,” the arch-warlock.)



#80625 - 09/22/02 07:48 PM Re: Watling Street  
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Brewer:
Watling Street A road extending east and west across South Britain. Beginning at Dover, it ran through
Canterbury to London, and thence to Cardigan. The word is a corruption of Vitellina strata, the paved road of
Vitellius, called by the Britons Guetalin. Poetically the “Milky Way” has been called the Watling Street of the
sky.

“Secunda via principalis dicitur Wateling-streate, tendens ab euro-austro in zephyrum
septentrionalem. Incipit ... a Dovaria ... usque Cardigan.”- Leland.


#80626 - 09/22/02 07:57 PM Re: Welsh rabbit  
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Brewer:
Welsh Rabbit Cheese melted and spread over buttered toast. The word rabbit is a corruption of rare-bit.

We had a lot of discussion of this, which concluded that above was a canard. Odd that Brewer
should have favored this definition.


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