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as on the Left-hand of the Judge, Christ shall rip up all the
benefits He bestow'd on thee.'

The Practice of Piety, L. Bailey, p. 56 (1743).

In Gaelic rdc signifies to repeat as well as to rake.
So far, I trust, all is plain. Our i hearse ' is

1 Spelman, Gloss, s.v. Arabant.

hoe. 227

traceable to the Latin Ziirpex, a harrow. If we
inquire, however, what is the origin of the word
hirpex itself, the answer is by no means equally
easy. It has been imagined by some to have been
borrowed from the Greek hdrpax (apiraf?) ; but, to
say nothing of the difficulty that the two words agree
neither in form nor in meaning, it is highly im-
probable that the Latin husbandman should have
been indebted to foreigners for the name of so
common an implement.

Before suggesting a derivation of my own, I
would premise that in many languages instruments
which are used in cleaving or grubbing up the
earth have been likened to animals which rend
and tear their victims — the teeth of the hoe, the
harrow, and the plough, as they wounded and
scarified the ground, not unnaturally suggested
the fangs of a beast of prey, the tusks of the boar,
the sharp incisors of the ravening wolf — and those
tools received names accordingly. For instance,
our ' hoe ' is the Goth, koka, a plough (< the tearer '),
and exactly represents in a modern shape the Sans.
koka, a wolf (' the tearer '), Kuhn. So the San-
skrit word vrika designates alike the wolf and the
plough, and in Icel. vargr hqfs, ' the sea- wolf,' is
a poetical name for a ship, no doubt from its cleav-
ing and ploughing up the waves. The Sanskrit
krntatra, Kourde kotan, Lat. culter, i coulter ' (the
instrument that cleaves the earth), the plough, are

228 porcus.

near akin to the Russ. krotu, Pol. hret (the animal
that cleaves the earth), the mole, Lith. kertus (the
shrew-mouse), all coming from the same root krt,
to cut or cleave. 1

Similarly the German scker, sckermaus, 0. Ger.
scero, the mole, with which Pictet 2 compares our
shrew-mouse, A. -Sax. screawa, owns kinship with
scaro, the plough-share, both coming from seer an,
to cleave or tear.

In Greek 6 the digger ' (skalops) is a name for
the mole. 3 The Sans, potra signifies at once a
pig's snout and a ploughshare, from the idea of
grubbing up the earth being common to both ;
and so Pictet explains the Greek hunnis (vvvis), a
ploughshare, to have originally been i swine's-
snout,' from Ms (£?), a pig.

The Latin porcus, a pig, seems to have meant
originally the beast that roots up and scatters the
earth, and to have come from the Sanskrit root
pre, to scatter. 4 Porca, on the other hand, was

1 Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. vol. i. p. 452.

The Sanskrit kira, a boar, and the Persian Iciraz, a harrow, are
traced to the root Jcf, har, to scatter, from their both scattering
about the earth (Ibid., vol. ii. p. 9Q).

2 Ibid., vol. i. p. 41.

3 It may be doubted whether ' mole ' is for mold-warp (mould-
caster), as all the dictionaries give it. It is rather the German
maul-xverf, i.e., mouth-caster, from its habit of burrowing with its
snout. Our 'coney,' Wei. owning, Irish coinin, Lat. cuniculus (1, a
rabbit ; 2, a burrow, mine), is cognate with Lat. cuneus (what cleaves,
a wedge), and comes from the Sanskrit root khan, to dig. Hence
also Sans, Jchanaka, ' the miner,' a name for the rat.

4 Compare Egyptian ferk,forlc, to tear, Heb. prk, Arab, phrq, to


the name given to the ridge of earth thrown up by
the iron snout of the ploughshare, and is the same
word as appears in German asfurcke, A.Sax. fur/i,
our i furrow,' 0. Eng. furg} i Farrow,' to bring
forth a litter of pigs, being a derivative from
A.-Sax. fearh, 0. H. Ger.farA, Dut. varken, a pig,
words which are immediately akin to porcus, we can
see that ' furrow ' and ' farrow ' are not connected
together by a mere superficial resemblance, but by
a radical and fundamental identity.

The north of England soc, Fr. soc, L. Lat. soccus,
the ploughshare, is the Irish soc, Cymric swch,
which mean a snout and a ploughshare. 2 On the
other hand, the projecting bone of the nose, by a
play of fancy, has been termed the vomer by anato-
mists, on account of its resemblance to the share.

Now, as the transition of meaning from a rend-
ing or grubbing animal to a rending or grubbing
instrument of tillage is not unusual, I do not think
I will be risking too fanciful a suggestion if I
venture to bring hirpex, irpex, the harrow, with
its grim array of iron teeth, into connection with
the old Sabine word hirpus, 2 or irpus, a wolf, just

divide. Birch, Bunsen's Egypt, vol. v. Similar is the radical
meaning of Sans, hira, ddraha, bhuddra, as names for the pig,
viz., the tearer or grubber (Pictet, vol. i. p. 371).

1 0. E. Miscell., p. 13. Compare Fr. veau, a calf, also used to
denote ' a baulk untilled between two lands or furrows ' (Cotgrave).

2 Surely we may compare the A.-Sax. eorp, Icel. erpr, Scand.
irpa, a wolf, though Pictet denies this.

Hirpus (i.e., virpus, vripus), represents the Sans, vrihas, Lith.
vilkas, Gk. (v)lukos, Lat. {v)lupus (vulpus), Goth, vulfs, 'wolf.'


as the synonymous word lupus was applied to
sundry things furnished with many sharp points
and indentations, e.g., a handsaw, and a jagged
bit for hard-mouthed horses.

< Wolf,' according to Wright's Provincial Dic-
tionary, has the latter meaning in English; and
xirgull in Icelandic, a halter, is akin to vargr, a
wolf, and German wiirgen, to throttle, ' worry.'

It may be remarked in general, that engines and
machines which served for carrying, supporting,
and lifting, or for purposes of attack in war, were
often designated by the names of animals which
seemed to have similar powers and functions, and
were called ' ram,' ' horse,' ' ass,' ' sow,' ' cat,' &c,
according as some fanciful analogy might occur to
the parties using them. For example, when the
rebels besieged Corfe Castle, Mercurius Rusticus 1
states that ' to make their approaches to the wall
with more safety, they make two engines, one
they call the sow, and the other the boar.'

1 K. Edward the first with an engine named the warwolfe,
pierced with one stone . . . two vauntmures. As the ancient

Yrika is a plough. Hirpus : vrikas : : hirpex : vrika. All come
from the Sans, root vrask', to tear. This root also may be traced in
the name of another agricultural implement for tearing the earth, if
Mommsen (vol. i. p. 21) and Pictet be correct (vol. ii. p. 90) in iden-
tifying ligo, a hoe, Gk. lach-aino (XaxeuVw), to dig, with our 'rake,'
A..-Sax. racian, Ger. rechen, Gael. rac. For these words can scarcely
be separated from lac-er, Gk. lak-os, rak-os, 'rag,' which contain the
root vrask'. Hence also ulcus, Gk. helkos (?Xkos), a wound, holkos
(oXkos), sulcus, a furrow. Cf. Ferrar, Comparative Grammar, p.

1 Southey, C. -P. Book, vol. i. p. 527.


Komans had their Crates, Vinece, Plutei ... so had the Eng-
lish in this age their Cathouse and Sow for the same purpose.
The Cathouse, answerable to the Cattus, mentioned by Vegetius.
. . . The sow is yet usual in Ireland.'

Camden, Remaines (1637), p. 201.

' This Mouse or Mantelet was defended by our men out of
the brick tower' (Lat. musculus).
Edmonds, Casar's Commentaries of the Civ. Wars, p. 54(1655).

I subjoin a list of animals whose names I have
met thus employed: —

It. asinone, a great ass. Also ' an engine to
mount a piece of ordinance ' (Florio).

It. caualetto, 6 any little nagge or horse. Also
any tressel, 1 or saddlers or Armorers woodden
horse ' (Florio). Fr. ckevalet, Eng. ' horse,' a
stand for towels, clothes, &c.

6 Easel,' a painter's tressel, Ger. esel, Lat.
asellus y a little ass. Gk. killibas (iaX\lj3a<;) , of the
same meaning, is from killos (/aXXo?), an ass. Gk.
onos (ovo<s), an ass, also a windlass.

Sp. and Port, muleta, a crutch, from mulus, a
mule. It. bordone, Fr. bourdon, a pilgrim's staff,
from burdo, a mule.

Sp. potro, a wooden stand, Fr. poutre, a
cross-beam, same as Sp. potro, It. poledro, L.
Lat. poledrus, pulletrus, a colt, Gk. polos.
Hence also Ger.folter, a rack (Diez).

Of the same origin is 'pulley,' 0. Eng.
< poleyn,' Fr. poulie, Sp. polea y polin, identical

1 With ' tressel, ' Prov. Eng. dressel, may perhaps be compared
Icel. drosuU, a horse.


with Fr. poulain, a colt or foal, also a pulley-
rope (Cot grave), Prov. poll.

'Gauntree,' a frame to set casks upon, Fr.
chantier, is the Latin cantherius, a pack-horse, also
a prop, a rafter.

Lat. equuleus, a young horse, also a wooden rack.

Fr. bourriquet, a handbarrow, is from bourrique,
Sp. and Port, burro, an ass, L. Lat. buricus, a nag.

0. Eng. somer, 1 a bedstead, is the French somier,
sommier, a sumpter-horse, also a piece of timber
called a summer ; Prov. sauma, a she-ass, from the
Lat. sagmarius, a pack-horse. The Persian bahrak
denotes a cow, and also a clothes-horse ; bakarah,
a pulley.

Ger. bock, a buck or he-goat, also a trestle or
support ; the c box ' of a coach. So Pol. koziel, a
buck, kozly, a trestle (Wedgwood).

Sp. cabra, Fr. chevre, (1) a goat (Lat. capra),
(2) a machine for raising weights, &c, a ' crab.'

' Chevron] Fr. chevron, Sp. cabrio, a rafter, from
chevre, &c, a goat. ' Calibre,' 0. Eng. caliver, Fr.
calabre, a machine for casting stones, 0. Sp. cabra,
all from cabre, a goat (Wedgwood). Compare
aries, a battering-raw.

* Capstan ' is the Spanish cabrestante, a wind-
lass ; literally a standing goat.

1 Vide the poem of 'Body and Soul,' Appendix to Mapes' Poems
(Camden Soc), p. 334, 1. 18 j < K. Alys,' 1. 827.


c Cat,' on board ship, is a ( tackle for drawing
up the anchor.' 1

It. gatto, l a hee-cat, Also an engine of warre to
batter walles ' (Florio). Gattus, i machina belli '
(Spelman Glossary), c a werrely holde that men
call a barbed catte ' (Caxton's Vegecius). 2

In Irish jid/ichat, l wooden-cat,' is the ingenuously
constructed term for a mouse-trap, a quaintness
exactly reproduced in the Icelandic trd-kottr, of the
same meaning : and in French, a copying-machine,
from its imitative powers, is styled an c ape,'ww singe.

Lat. sucula, a little sow, figuratively a winch
or windlass.

Sp. ciguena, a crane for raising water, &c, is
from the Latin ciconia, a stork..

Fr. crone j is the machine which we call a
c crane,' Gk. geranos, &c.

Gk. korax { K 6pa^) — {\) a raven, (2) a grappling
iron. Compare our 6 crow.'

By a similar sort of personification many uten-
sils and mechanical contrivances are familiarly
called by the same appellations as those human

1 Falconer, Marine Dictionary.

2 Quoted in Wright's Prov. Diet., s.v. Similar is the use of
* camels' (hydraulic machines), fire -dogs, Lat. testudo, Gk. chelone
(tortoise), Fr. levrault (Cotgrave), &c.

Camden remarks that most fire-arms have their names ' from ser-
pents or ravenous birds.' Instances of the former are the ancient
basilici, dracones, drakes, culverins ; while among those named after
birds are the falcones, luscinice, musquets, sakers, esmerillons, ter-
zeruolos, 0. Fr. cranequin, moineau, &c. (Remaines Concerning
Britaine, p. 203, 1637 ; Spelman, Glossary, s.v. Bombarda).


agents whose labours they economise, or whose
functions they discharge. Thus a small movable
rack or bracket affixed to the bars of a grate, for
the purpose of holding toast, a tea-pot, or any-
thing of that nature, is styled a c footman.' An
old-fashioned piece of furniture, once much in
vogue in the dining-room, which kept plates, &c,
in readiness for the different courses, was termed
a i dumb waiter.' A weight which, suspended be-
hind a door, serves to shut it after one, and a hold-
fast or cramp, are alike in French called un valet.
An arrangement of tapes for holding up a lady's
dress when walking, in the language of milliners is
a c page ; ' while a pocket-book that always has a
needle and thread in readiness is a ' huzzif ' or
' housewife.' A bureau adapted to keep one's
papers and accounts in orderly arrangement is
known as a ' secretary ' {tin secretaire).

1 Mr Boffin always believed a Secretary to be a piece of fur-
niture, mostly of mahogany, lined with green baize or leather,
with a lot of little drawers in it.'

Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, vol. i. p. 135.

A contrivance for turning the spit before the
fire, and so relieving the cook of that part of her
duties, is a ' jack ;' while an implement that
helps one off with his boots is a ' boot-jack.' The
Germans call it a c boot-boy' (stiefel-knecht).

In the dialect of the peasantry, a washing-
beetle or churn-dash is a ' Dolly ; ' an instrument
affixed to a tub in washing, in order to let the


clothes drain through, is a ' Betty ' (Northamp-
ton) ; a species of mop, used to sweep a baker's
oven, is 'a maukin,' i.e., Mollikin, or little Molly.
Perhaps the housebreaker's ' Jemmy,' and the busy
* spinning- Jenny,' should have a place here too.

With a satirical allusion, and indeed bigoted
innuendo, a vessel of hot water employed as a bed-
warmer was sometimes called a ' nun,' sometimes
a c damsel,' 1 being supposed to discharge the same
good office that the fair Shunammite did for the
aged King of Israel, when ' they covered him with
clothes, but he gat no heat,' and she consented to
cherish him (1 King i. 1-4). Southey, by a play-
ful turn of the phrase, suggested that the same
comfortable adjunct of the bedchamber, when em-
ployed by a lady-friend, should be nominated the
1 friar.' With these we may compare the grim and
ghastly humour of such expressions for instru-
ments of torture or execution which receive their
guests into a deadly embrace, as the ' maiden,'
the c scavenger's daughter,' the 'widow' (la veuve).

Among other ceremonious marks of respect to
the dead, formerly much more freely paid than now,
which were sometimes combined with the hearse
in its primitive form of a catafalc or cenotaph,
was the ' hatchment.' This was an escutcheon
erected, over the door generally, when a person of
distinction had died. Its name is a corruption of

1 Southey, C.-P. Book, vol. iv. p. 434.


' achievement,' or, as it used to be spelt, c atchieve-
ment,' which was an heraldic term, Bailey informs
us, for i the coat of arms of any gentleman, set out
fully with all that belongs to it ; ' and the hearse,
according to the same authority, used once to be
hung with these i atchievements.' It may be sup-
posed that the coat-of-arms was originally so called
from its commemorating some remarkable exploit
or achievement 1 performed by the person to whom
it was first assigned — crescents, for instance, re-
calling the part he had borne in the crusades
against the Saracens, or cockleshells his pilgrim-
age over sea to the shrine of St Jago of Compos-
tella. At all events, ' hatchments ' are nothing
else but ' achievements ' slightly in disguise.

Very similar is the history of another word. The
Spanish losa, Prov. lauza, Port, lousa, 0. Fr. lauze,
originally signifying praise (Lat. laus), was applied
afterwards in a specific sense to an epitaph on the
dead, owing to the proverbially laudatory style of
such inscriptions ; then, by a natural transition of
meaning, it came to denote, not merely the epitaph,
but the tombstone itself; and finally, losing all
remembrance of its origin, any square flag-stone.
Compare the Spanish lauda, a tomb-stone."

Remarkably parallel, too, is the course which

1 'Achievement,' from Fr. achever (q.d., a-chef-ment) is something
brought to a head, or consummated, a success, the opposite of Fr.
mechef, meschef, Eng. ' mischief,' a headless and unfinished under-
taking, or one that comes to an unhappy end, a misfortune.

8 M. Scheler, Diez.


has been run by another word, nearly related to
this last. The Old French losenge, lozenge, It.
lusinga, Pro v. lauzenga (from lauzar, to praise,
Lat. laudare), denoted first of all flattery, com-
mendation; then the praises, devices, or arms of
a family depicted and emblazoned on a shield;
then the shape of a shield abstracted from all
consideration of its contents, a quadrilateral or
diamond-shaped figure <^>. ' Lozange or spancle
(spangyl) lorale' (Prompt. Parvulorum). 'Lozenge,
a little square cake of preserved herbs, flowers, &c. ;
also a quarrel of a glasse window ; anything of
that form.' How little conscious we are, as we
suck the neat, little, sugary tablet of the confec-
tioner — the only meaning that ' lozenge ' has now
for most men — that its name was once a word of
dignity that called up images of heraldic splendour
and sepulchral pomp. 1

We may compare with this the word 6 blazon,'
the shield on which a coat-of-arms is displayed

1 The confusion we here see arising, and transition of meaning
from the honour due to the dead to the mere figure or outward
material form which that honour at times has assumed, may per-
haps help us to explain Spenser's use of ' herse ' in the sense of
ceremonial generally in those verses of the Faerie Queene where,
during the solemn service of the church —

' The faire Damzel from the holy herse,
Her loyesicke hart to other thoughts did steale' (III. ii. 48) ;

unless, indeed, the poet in his own mind connected that word with
another, which he also employs, 'hersall,' for rehearsal, or with the
verb hery, to honour or worship. ' heavie herse,' in the Shep-
heards Calender (November, 1. 61), is explained in the contemporary
annotations of his friend Edward Kirke, to be ' the solemne obsequie
in f uneralles.'


(Fr. blason, Prov. blezo). It formerly meant the
armorial bearings themselves, as the means by
which the honour and rank of the family are
blazed or blazoned forth, their praise or commen-
dation, with an oblique allusion, perhaps, to the
warm and glowing tints in which the arms were
limned or illuminated. Cotgrave defines blasonner
1 to blaze Armes ; also, to praise, extoll, commend ;
or, to publish the praises, divulge the perfections,
proclaime the vertues of.'

And not unlike is the history of the French word
timbre, a postage label. It formerly denoted a
shield impressed with a device or coat-of-arms ;
earlier still, it signified a coat-of-arms, and espe-
cially a helmet, Sp. timbre ; and the helmet itself
was so termed from its resemblance to a brass
bell or kettledrum, utensils which would serve
that turn at a pinch, as well as Mambrino's famous
helmet. Timbre, in the sense of a bell, is akin to
timbon, l a kind of brasen drum ; ' tympan, a ' tim-
brel ' or ' tabour ' (see Cotgrave, s.vv.); Lat. tym-
panum, Gk. tumpanon, a drum.

' Halo.' — This name for the misty circle which
sometimes forms around the moon and the sun has
come to us, as is well known, from the Greek. In
that language holds (a\a>s), or aloe (aXcorj), was used
to denote any enclosed plot of ground, especially one
enclosed for a thrashing-floor. This holds, or floor,
from the constant revolving motion of the oxen

HALO. 239

employed in thrashing out the grain, naturally as-
sumed a circular shape ; so the word, from the as-
sociated idea of rotundity, came to be transferred
to the discs of the sun and moon, and finally, in a
specific sense, to the bright encircling ring which
we still call a ' halo.' I mention this now in
order to direct attention to the curiously similar
way in which synonymous terms have arisen in
other languages. In German, hof, which is the
ordinary word for an enclosure, plot, or courtyard,
is used also for a halo, and for a dark circle round
the eyes. A common north-country word for a
halo is burr, which is also found under the forms
brugh, brough, bruff} Proverbial sayings are — ' Far
burr near rain ; '

' About the moon there is a brugh,
The weather will be cauld and rough.' 2

This, however, is only a derived sense of the
word brugh, which is applied to circular forts or bar-
rows. It is the Anglo-Saxon burh, beorh, or burgh, 3
a court, fortress, or castle. Brother Geoffry the
Grammarian, in his ancient i English-Latin Dic-
tionary ' (about 1440), gives ' burwhe, sercle (bur-

1 Fide'Ferguson, Dialect of Cumberland,p. 16; Jamieson, Forby, &c.

2 Swainson, Weather Folk-Lore, p. 186.

3 The change of pronunciation from brugh, burgh, to bruff, is not
uncommon — e. g., ' bethoft ' is an old spelling of bethought,
'thof' of though, 'faff of fought. 'Furlough' is the Dutch
verlof. Ancient forms are trow = trough, cowe — cough, rowe
= rough. In provincial dialects buff = bough, plufF = plough,
bawft = bought, thoft = thought. In old writers we find taught
rhyming with aloft, and daughter with after.


rowe), orbiculus,' 1 as well as ' burrche, towne
(burwth, burwe, burrowe), burgus.' In Arabic,
ddrat, meaning a bouse, dwelling, circular place,
or round beap of sand, is used also for a balo
round tbe moon. This brigbt pbenomenon was
called by tbe Romans area — a word wbicb runs
exactly parallel witb tbe Greek holds, meaning,
(1) a plot of ground, (2) a thrashing-floor,
(3) a balo round one of tbe beavenly bodies. A
similar luminous appearance encompassing tbe
bead of a saint in Cbristian art is termed an
i aureole,' mediasval Lat. aureola. Tins is gene-
rally imagined to represent tbe classical Latin
aureola (sc. corona), a diminutive of aurea, and to
mean ' a golden circlet,' as indeed it is generally
depicted. It is bigbly probable, bowever, tbat,
not aureola, but areola (a little balo), 2 a diminutive
of area, is tbe true and original form, and tbat tbe
usual orthography is due to a mistaken connec-
tion with aurum, gold, just as for the same reason
urina became, in Italian, auri?ia; 3 It. arancio be-
came Fr. orange, L. Lat. 2 ooma cairantia ; Gk.
oreichalcos became Lat. aurichalcum. This is cer-
tainly more likely than that it is a diminutive of

1 Promptorium Parvulorum. The burr of a lanc\ a projecting ring
to protect the hand, is no doubt the same word (vide Way's note s.v.)
The 0. Eug. term was ' trendel.' ' Wunderlic trendel weaiS ate-
owed abutanpare sunnan.' A.-Sax. trendel, a circle, Dorset trendel,
a round tub.

2 Areola [in anatomy] is the circle of the Pap or Teat ' (Bailey).

3 ' From its yellow colour ' (Florio), q.d. aurea aqua.


aura, a luminous breath or exhalation, which is
the view put forward by Didron in his ' Christian
Iconography' (p. 107). He quotes a passage from
an apocryphal treatise, ' De Transitu B. Marias
Virginis,' which states that ' a brilliant cloud ap-
peared in the air, and placed itself before the
Virgin, forming on her brow a transparent crown,
resembling the aureole or halo which surrounds
the rising moon ' (p. 137). Here, obviously, areola
would have been the more correct word to have
employed, and it is the one which recommended
itself to De Quincey. He writes —

1 In some legends of saints we find that they were born with
a lambent circle or golden areola about their heads.'

Works, vol. xv. p. 39.

So correct a writer would not have applied the
superfluous epithet of ' golden ' to this i superna-
tural halo,' as he subsequently terms it, if the
word were to him only another form of aureola.

The aureole and nimbus must not be considered
peculiar to Christian symbolism, as they existed,
not only amongst the Greeks and Romans, 1 but even
amongst the Hindus and Egyptians. 2 Mr Paley, in
his commentary on iEschylus (Suppl. 637), sug-
gests a curious origin for the nimbus which
surrounds the heads of the saints. He maintains
that it is identical with the metallic plate called

1 Didron, Christian Iconography, p. 132.

2 Ibid., p. 146 seq.


meniscus, which was placed over Grecian statues,

originally for the purpose of protecting them from

the defilements of birds, 1 afterwards as a mere

customary adornment. Clement of Alexandria,

when arguing with the heathens, taunts them with

this fact, that the swallows were in the habit of

perching most unceremoniously on the statues of

their gods, paying no respect either to Olympian

Zeus, or Epidaurian Asclepius, or even to Athene

Polias, or the Egyptian Serapis, and he marvels

that this had not taught them the senselessness of

images. 2 In the apocryphal Epistle of Jeremy

the same argument is directed against the idols of

Babylon —

' Upon their bodies and heads sit bats, swallows, and birds,
and the cats also. By this ye may know that they are no
gods : therefore fear them not.' 3

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