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respects to the petty constable, and the name is still con: tinued in Kent, though King Ælfred's establishment is now grown obsolete.
This was formerly made of the shrub of that name, but is now applied to implements of the same use, though inade of birchen twigs, or hogs bristles.
Napier's, or Neper's BONES. These are an instrument, invented by J. Neper, Baron of Merchiston, in Scotland, for the purpose of expediting the multiplication and division of large numbers; and they keep the name of bones, though they are usually made of bos'; the first set, no doubt, as made by his Lordship, were of bone.
The bakestone used in the north for baking of oat-cakes was at first of stone, and thence took its name.
It is now sometimes made of sow metal, but nevertheless is still called a bake-stone; though it must be acknowledged, that stones are now more commonly used for the purpose.
BONFIRE. This is so called according to Mr. Bagford, in his letter to T. Hearne, (Leland's Collection, I. p. LXXVI.) because it was originally made of bones. See also Bourne, Antiq. Vulg: p. 215. and T. Hearne’s Præf. ad Gul. Neubrig. Hist. p. LXXII
. However, there appears to me to be some doubt about the occasion of this name, since Stowe says, (Survey of London, p. 307. edit. 1754) speaking of bontires in the streets, and the tables there set out with sweet bread and good drink, “ 'These were called bonfires, as well of good amity amongst neighbours, that, being before at controversy, were there by the labour of others reconciled, and made of bitter enemies loving trends; as also for the virtue that a great fire hath, to purge the infection of the air.” He intimates in the same page, that these fires were usually made of wood. Let the reader judge; but I must observe, that, if bones were foru.erly used as the fuel, they are now universally left ori, though the name remains.
CANDLESTICK. This was once also called candlestaff; and it is certain, that, before metals and better materials were used, nothing but a stick was employed. I have seen a stick slit at one end for the purpose of holding the candle, as also three nails stuck in a stick for the same use; and we still call this utensil a candlestick, though it may be made of silver, brass, glass, &c.
CHRIST-CROSS-Row, The alphabet is commonly so called, though now it is often printed without a cross being prefixed as formerly.
CARD, or SEAMAN'S CARD. This means the mariner's compass, the points being delineated on a card anciently, whatever they are now, and so it is called a card still,
HORN, and FRENCH HORN. At first, horns were used both for blowing and drinking, and the name continued, though both the drinking-horn and the blowing-born were made of better substances, ivory, silver, brass, &c.
An IRON, or SMOOTHING-IRON. These were made at first of hammered iron, but now are generally made of sow-metal, but are still called irons.
KERCHIEF, and HANDKERCHIEF. The kerchief, as the French word couvrechef imports, 'was originally worn on the head, but now, though it keeps the name, it is commonly worn about the neck or in the pocket, and so there is an impropriety in terming it an handkerchief.
LEAF. This answers to the Latin folium, which was applied to books, because the ancients wrote on the leaves of trees or plants. The Latin liber in like manner took its name from the bark on which they wrote. We, though we write on paper, still keep calling the constituent parts of books, leaves.
Pot. A pot is properly, and in strictness of speech, a vessel made of earth; hence a potter and a pottery; but it is now applied to utensils for boiling, though they are composed of very different materials, as brass or iron; as also to vessels for drinking, though they consist of silver (as the coffeepot), or pewter. By a pot of beer we also mean a quart.
POLE, or PERCH. This is now a certain measure of sixteen feet and a half, forty poles making a quarter of an acre: the reason of this name is, that, though land may be now measured by a chain, the custom formerly was to do it by a pole of this length. The case is the same with a rod of work, which no doubt was measured at first by a rod or pole; as likewise with the yard, the length of three feet, which was adjusted by a yerde or virga, of that length. Yerde and rod seem to me to be the same word, by a metathesis of letters, as common in our language. Hither also may be referred the cord, meaning a certain and determinate quantity of wood, when stacked, namely as much as was usually measured at once by a cord or string.
PASTEBOARD. The covers of books were anciently made of boards; many are now remaining in their original binding made of that material. Folds of paper were afterwards pasted together for covers; and this substance, though so different from the former, preserved the name of board, being called pasteboard.
POKING-STICK, or SETTING-STICK. This is now commonly made of bone or steel, but for, merly was really a stick.' V. Stowe, Chronicle p. 1038,
STIRROP. It is evident from various monuments of antiquity, that at first, people rode without either saddles or stirrops; and when the latter began to be used here in this island, espe. cially by our Saxon ancestors, a rope was applied for the purpose of mounting, and was termed a stigh-rope, from stigan, ascendere. That this is the true etymology of the word is evident from the Saxon name of the thing, stigerapa, słapia. There is no rope, however, used at this day about the modern stirrops. Of this, and sallet-oil, I may say more to you perhaps hereafter; at present I go on.
SCABBARD. The sheath used for a sword, of which Junius gives this etymon: “ Videtur esse a Teut. Schap, promptuarium, theca. V. quæ infra annotamus in Scep, cumera. Gawino Episc. Dunkel. in Scot. translatione Virgiliana, circa ini. tium xi. Æneid. evore scalvert dicitur eburnea vagina.” I think it very plain from this passage of Gawin Douglas, that the true orthography is sculbord, corrupted since to scabbard Now scalbord implies a board, or rather two pieces of board, hollowed for the reception of the blade of the sword, and then fastened together with glue. The two pieces would be called scales, just as the two laminæ in the handle of a knife are termed by the cutlers, scales. In short, the sheath of the sword was formerly, as I apprehend, made of wood, though it is now composed of leather. Mr. Ed. Lhuyd, in Archeol. Brit. p. 15, writes it sgabard.
A STONE. A weight of 141b. in some places only of 81b. The reason of the name is, that weights at first were generally made of stone, Deut. xxv. 13, and we see some few of the sort now; but most commonly they are made, the larger ones especially, of lead, but still go by the old name.
STONE-Bow. This is the cross-bow. Wisdom of Sol. v. 22. and Littleton's Dict. in voce. The French call it pierrier. The reason of the term in both languages is, that formerly the bullet, discharged by the cross bow, was commonly made of stone.
STEAN-POT. This should, by the etymon, be made of stone, but is usually earthenware.
TOUCH-HOLE. Our fire-arms were at first discharged by applying a lighted match to the touch-hole, and consequently by touching the hole, as is now done in firing great guns. And though that method is now left off, by means of the later improvement of the lock, the hole still keeps its old
TREACLE. Onpiarn, Theriaca, corrupted afterwards to theriacal, was originally a medicine, or compound, good against the bite of a serpent. From this theriacal comes the modern word treacle; and though the treacle of the apothecary, and the grocer's treacle which is the molasses, are not now used with any such intention, they still keep a name borrowed from the first intention of the medicine or antidote.
THIRDBOROW. This is a corruption of headborow, the same in the north as tithingman, or borsholder in the south. See borsholder.
UPSHOT. Though archery is now so much disused amongst us, the term upshot (for which see Stowe's Survey of London, J. p. 302), in the sense of the end or conclusion of any business, is still retained.
WINDOW. The windows of houses and churches were either entirely open, or filled with lattice-work, formerly. Hence Judges V. 28. we read, 66 The niother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattess." These apertures were commonly the places were the wind entered the buildings, and so took the name of window, though now, being closed with glass, nothing of that nature attends them; on the contrary, they are now so contrived as to exclude the wind.
WARD. A term relative to a forest, and still used in places to which forests extended, though such forests are now no more. The same may be said of forests themselves, which are still so called, though they are not now properly forests.
These, Mr. Urban, are all the instances I can recollect at i present; many more, no doubt, will occur to others, who
perhaps may not be displeased to be put into a way of thinking on a subject that is sure to afford them some amusement. Yours, &c.
T. Row. MR. URBAN, I HERE beg leave to add, as a supplenient to what I advanced in your late Magazine on the word stirrop, that, in