Sunday, August 15, 2010

nuncle, ningle, neumes

There is a natural development from bilingual dictionaries to dictionaries of “hard words” (Hüllen calls them “crypto-bilingual”), and eventually to comprehensive monolingual dictionaries. | […] an ingle, defined in dictionaries from 1598 through 1658 as a subservient boy hired or kept for sodomy […] In short, neither the “hermaphrodite” nor the “ningle” in Satiromastix has any force as evidence to support the reading “Wellbeck, where my gossip made fat Harry Ogle his mistress” describes Jonson initiating a homosexual relationship with a corpulent sixtyish subordinate blood relative of his aristocratic hostess. | […] where even the most intellectually stumbling character can pronounce the word “honorificabilitudinatibus”. (TLS Oct 9 2009)