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A Middle English Vocabulary Challenge
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SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 23 2012, 12:53am

Post #1 of 34 (980 views)
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A Middle English Vocabulary Challenge Can't Post

Greetings!

Welcome to another instalment of "A Middle English Vocabulary Challenge," a word game drawn from two of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle English glossaries:

A) A Middle English Vocabulary, by J.R.R. Tolkien, as published in Sisam, Kenneth, ed. Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose, London: Oxford University Press, 1955; and

B) Tolkien & Gordon ed. Sir Gawain & The Green Knight, London: Oxford University Press, 1963.

--
Good news!

In order to play you require neither glossary as this is a game of guessing, reasoned or otherwise. We ask that those who do have access to the glossaries to wait until after you post to look up the words! As always please no answers in subject lines

Unto the Challenge

For each of the following words, please state its definition and/or a contemporary equivalent word as you deem appropriate.

1. moue
2. ilyke
3. bewty
4. romaunce
5. nayted
6. dredles
7. lofers
8. gruchyng
9. prufe
10. cheryche

There you go, have at them! And tarry not -- answers to follow in a few days.

Some parting advice from NZ Strider via NEB: "Try reading Middle English aloud while looking at the text. A few words that your eye misses your ear will catch."


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 23 2012, 12:56am)


Ardamr
Valinor


Oct 23 2012, 1:05am

Post #2 of 34 (320 views)
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Looks fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Moo - this is what a cow says.

2. I like - Well I like lots of things.

3. Beauty - looks like it's spelled in Hill Billy.

4. Romance Heart

5. Naked - another word for birthday suit.

6. Yeah I got nothing on this one.

7. Lofers - I used to love putting pennies in these.

8. Grouchy - how I am without Mountain Dew.

9. Proof - it's in the pudding.

10. Cherokee - a tribe of Native Americans.

As you can tell, I should have been a linguist! Cool

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Oct 23 2012, 2:50am

Post #3 of 34 (323 views)
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Hazarding (definitley the right word!) a few guesses: [In reply to] Can't Post

1. moue move or more
2. ilyke alike
3. bewty beauty
4. romaunce romance

???????????

9. prufe proof
10. cheryche church or cherish

More efforts when I've got more time.Smile



Eye's on Guard
Lorien


Oct 23 2012, 4:57am

Post #4 of 34 (322 views)
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I'll give it a try [In reply to] Can't Post

1. moue - my
2. ilyke - alike
3. bewty - beauty
4. romaunce - romance
5. nayted - knighted
6. dredles - dreidels
7. lofers - loafers
8. gruchyng - crouching
9. prufe - proof
10. cheryche - cherish


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 23 2012, 9:21pm

Post #5 of 34 (321 views)
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Some great guesses so far, even some bingos! [In reply to] Can't Post

But we need more players.


Ardamr
Valinor


Oct 23 2012, 9:55pm

Post #6 of 34 (300 views)
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I'll have you know [In reply to] Can't Post

All mine were legitimate guesses. Unimpressed

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 23 2012, 11:23pm

Post #7 of 34 (296 views)
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No doubt [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh

Some were quite good at that.


Ardamr
Valinor


Oct 23 2012, 11:49pm

Post #8 of 34 (317 views)
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I'll be surprised [In reply to] Can't Post

If any of them were correct!

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


Morthoron
Gondor


Oct 24 2012, 5:16am

Post #9 of 34 (307 views)
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Recalling my English lit. classes from last century... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. moue - grimace, pout
2. ilyke - alike
3. bewty - beauty
4. romaunce - deeds of a hero, Romaunce is a story or poem
5. nayted - celebrated
6. dredles - fearless, dreadless
7. lofers - runners
8. gruchyng - reluctant, grudging
9. prufe - proof
10. cheryche - comfort

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 25 2012, 3:10pm

Post #10 of 34 (274 views)
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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

... wait, you know what? Imma leave this for a few more days in case people haven't had a chance to get off their horses and play.


Phibbus
Rohan


Oct 26 2012, 1:17pm

Post #11 of 34 (222 views)
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My guesses... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. moue = move
2. ilyke = alike or likely
3. bewty = beauty
4. romaunce = romance
5. nayted = denied
6. dredles = things you spin during Hanukkah
7. lofers = lovers
8. gruchyng = grudging
9. prufe = proof
10. cheryche = cherish, savor

Nifty game, Sir Dennis Smile

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 26 2012, 1:23pm

Post #12 of 34 (256 views)
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I had peaked at the answers already [In reply to] Can't Post

Blush

But for the record, I wouldn't have got many of them! Cool

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Phibbus
Rohan


Oct 26 2012, 1:45pm

Post #13 of 34 (294 views)
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I'm gonna change [In reply to] Can't Post

my guess for 9 to "prove" instead of "proof"... I think it would be the verb instead of the noun.

(and I see Eyes On Guard already beat me to "dradles" Laugh... I'll change it to "fearless")

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

(This post was edited by Phibbus on Oct 26 2012, 1:47pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 26 2012, 8:10pm

Post #14 of 34 (257 views)
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Answers, this time trwly. [In reply to] Can't Post

With Phibbus' almost perfect offering (across two posts) I thought it time to bring this contest to a close.

Here are the answers:

1. moue = move
2. ilyke = equal (alike captures it I think)
3. bewty = beauty
4. romaunce = romance
5. nayted = celebrated, enjoyed
6. dredles = fearless
7. lofers = lovers
8. gruchyng = grudging
9. prufe = prove (.5 awarded for the n. proof)
10. cheryche = cherish

"U" seems to be a wild card, especially when "f" can be used in place of "v" (a throw back to the English language's Germanic roots, pre-dating it's relatively more Old French-i-fied Middle period).

Given the definition Tolkien provided for "nayted," knighted seems to me a close relative -- and a logical guess -- though I wonder if it is not more closely related to "feted," (modern) French meaning celebrated. It would depend on how the "n" is handled maybe?

Morthoron's answer for moue was quite sensible... it also means pout, from the French moue. (+0.5)

Anyway, further musings and observations are encouraged! Before I go though, here are the results, out of a possible 10.

Phibbus: 9
Morthoron: 7 (the only one to get "celebrated")
Ethel Duath: 5.5
Eyes on Guard: 4.5
Ardamire: 3 (+ .5 for injecting levity into a potentially dry game.)

See, that wasn't so bad Daniel. I'm sure there are many eureka's and "oh I knew that's" among our readers just now. Smile

Now Phibbus, you are awarded one free pass out of the next serious debate on the Hobbit Board.

Thank you to everyone else who had a chance to play!


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 26 2012, 8:18pm)


Ardamr
Valinor


Oct 26 2012, 9:08pm

Post #15 of 34 (233 views)
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Woohoo! 3.5! [In reply to] Can't Post

But I had no "eurekas." Tongue

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


Phibbus
Rohan


Oct 27 2012, 12:27am

Post #16 of 34 (228 views)
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Woot [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Given the definition Tolkien provided for "nayted," knighted seems to me a close relative -- and a logical guess -- though I wonder if it is not more closely related to "feted," (modern) French meaning celebrated. It would depend on how the "n" is handled maybe?

Interesting word. Regrettably, I don't have a copy of A Middle English Vocabulary, but my copy of Sir Gawain glosses the word as you say. I seemed to recall "nayt" being used as an variant of "nat" (= "not") in some texts and being related to "nay", hence my guess. Not having any luck locating examples off the top of my head, though. Something to keep an eye out for next time I dig into the old stuff. Wink


In Reply To
Now Phibbus, you are awarded one free pass out of the next serious debate on the Hobbit Board.

Hopefully this is akin to a "Get foot out of mouth free" cardwhich would be of great personal benefit Blush

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 27 2012, 1:34am

Post #17 of 34 (229 views)
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Makes sense [In reply to] Can't Post

The word nayted was from Tolkien's glossary at the end of Sir Gawain. However in Tolkien's A Middle English Vocabulary (in Sisam) there's a listing for "nay(e)" meaning "nay." The listing then goes on to offer a phrase "withoutten nay" which means "undeniably" (though to me it looks like "without a doubt"). So it would appear that your answer was in the ballpark at least.

Give yourself another 5% and one of those cards you mentioned.*


* In troth, I almost awarded you a "Get foot out of mouth free" card -- scary coincidence that -- but figured you'd never use it. Like any gift card the benefit evaporates the longer you go without using it.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 27 2012, 1:36am)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 27 2012, 1:35am

Post #18 of 34 (240 views)
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Yes, good show Ardamr ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Morthoron
Gondor


Oct 27 2012, 2:12am

Post #19 of 34 (254 views)
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In my defense... [In reply to] Can't Post

4. romaunce - deeds of a hero, Romaunce is a story or poem.

The word "romance" has a much different meaning currently than to Chaucer when he used the word "romaunce":

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=romance


Quote
c.1300, "story of a hero's adventures," also (early 14c.), "vernacular language of France" (as opposed to Latin), from O.Fr. romanz "verse narrative," originally an adverb, "in the vernacular language," from V.L. *romanice scribere "to write in a Romance language" (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from L. Romanicus "of or in the Roman style," from Romanus "Roman" (see Roman).


In fact, many chivalric "romaunces" have very little "romance" whatsoever. Wink

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 27 2012, 3:19am

Post #20 of 34 (239 views)
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No defence needed [In reply to] Can't Post

You were awarded a full point for the answer you gave... not only did its form fit the criteria of a proper answer according to the rules (such as they are), as far as I'm concerned it's also correct.

Further to this, the listing in the Sir Gawain glossary simply says "romaunce n. romance 2521 [OFr. roma(u)ns.]" with no further explanation (i.e. whether "story" or "love affair" is meant). The number refers to line 2521 of the poem: "As hit is breued in [th]e best boke of romaunce." It is not clear from the context which meaning to take either... though I'm leaning more toward your definition than "love affair."

In any event, I'm glad you spoke up because I think you are owed an additional point for "cheryche = comfort." The listing in Sir Gawain says "v. to treat kindly; to salute graciously." It is clear from that why I accepted "cherish" as the correct answer (aka definition) but I think the v. "comfort" is contained in Tolkien's definition as well. (Now you are at 8 out of 10... very well done!)

For the record, there are five words from each glossary on the list. For some reason though, we seem to have zeroed in on the Sir Gawain words moreso than the others.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 27 2012, 3:28am)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 29 2012, 12:45am

Post #21 of 34 (167 views)
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These are fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

And always amaze me, with how words have changed - or not! My guesses:

1. moue - looks like "move"
2. ilyke - "similar to"? This word has the same feel as "yclept" ("I am named...")
3. bewty - "beauty"? But maybe this is "bounty"!
4. romaunce - "romance", as in type of novel
5. nayted - I'll guess "knighted"
6. dredles - Similar to "dreidel", would this refer to the spinning part of something?
7. lofers - "lovers"
8. gruchyng - "growing"
9. prufe - The lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock! "Prove".
10. cheryche - "cherish"

Okay, let's take a look at the answers...Not bad, a "7", but that may depend on whether my definition of "romance" holds! Sir D, do you know to what kind of "romaunce" the word refers?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 29 2012, 12:50am

Post #22 of 34 (172 views)
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Ah, I see that Morthoron has provided the details [In reply to] Can't Post

of "romaunce". Thank you!

And could I have .5 for "knighted"? Angelic


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 29 2012, 3:38pm

Post #23 of 34 (228 views)
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Weeelllll [In reply to] Can't Post

knighted for nayted does make sense according to the advice from NEB and NZ Strider. I suppose too that being knighted makes one celebrated.... wow that's some stretching though without context it could be an adjective....
hmmmm okay just as an object lesson on the subjective and arbitrary nature of judging performance, you and Eyes on Guard can adjust your score upwards 5% each.

Kny[gh]t is one of few key words to appear in both glossaries -- which is why I include both, for a more complete picture of Tolkien's work with Middle English -- but in Sisam it also appears as Knight(e), Knyght(e), Kny[gh]te, and Kniht. So you can see for yourself that nayted =/= knighted. (P.S. "[gh]" is used instead of yogh [Ȝ] which doesn't always render correctly for me.)

I'm wondering if nayted might have been pronounced hyeted?

Anyway dernwyn, I thought you might appreciate this. While flipping through A Middle English Vocabulary just now, I came across "Ioie" which means "Joy." Do you think this might be how Ioreth was named?

ETA: I also found "Nat=not" in Sisam which further bolsters Phibbus' claim to 5%.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 29 2012, 3:46pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 29 2012, 4:03pm

Post #24 of 34 (245 views)
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Speaking of context, here is the line nayted is used [In reply to] Can't Post

In Sir Gawain line 65: "Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte:" which clumsily translates to: Noel celebrated anew, named full often;" (This is from the top of the story, as Arthur's court was celebrating Christmas and the coming new year, just before the Green Knight shows up.)


Phibbus
Rohan


Nov 1 2012, 5:07am

Post #25 of 34 (317 views)
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More about nayt than anybody wants to know [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
ETA: I also found "Nat=not" in Sisam which further bolsters Phibbus' claim to 5%.


In Reply To
n Sir Gawain line 65: "Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte:" which clumsily translates to: Noel celebrated anew, named full often;" (This is from the top of the story, as Arthur's court was celebrating Christmas and the coming new year, just before the Green Knight shows up.)

The word continues to intrigue me, and I think there might be something interesting, here. I have a suspicion that Tolkien & Gordon's original gloss may make a bit of an overreaching contextual assumption and that Tolkien may have later corrected himself.

I don't want to bolster my own guess, because I think it's wronghowever it does appear others have made the same assumption. It seems there's an old 1913 Webster dictionary entry for "nayt" that has it as an obsolete form of "deny" (which can be found by googling,) but I have a feeling it's spurious. There's also this Wiktionary entry for "nait" which gives it as derived from Old Norse "nita" (= "deny" or "refuse") in the first definition. And the OED gives "nayt" in one sense as a Middle English spelling of "naught."

The trouble is, none of these give an example of actual usage, and I'm still not finding any. The closest I can come is one instance in the Chaucer's Parson's Tale which looks like it's a late copy error and should actually be "nay" (which is what my standard edition has.) In any case, none of these indicate any past tense of "nayted", as given, and none have meanings would pertain to the usage in the Gawain line.

OK, so the interesting bit: The Gawain gloss has the word as derived from Old Norse "neyta", which appears to be a past tense of the verb "njta", which means "enjoy" in the sense "have the use of". I suspect Tolkien & Gordon may have added "celebrated" based primarily on the association of the word with Christmas in this particular context. But they don't give a note on the usage in the text itself, which they often do for words with uncertain Old Norse etymologies, making it seem a matter of course.

However, in his ca.1950 translation of the poem, Tolkien renders "nayted" as "announced":


Quote
With loud clamours and cries both clerks and laymen
Noel announced anew, and named it full often;

It may be that he massaged the translation a bit in the absence of a suitable word for "celebrate" that would maintain the alliteration on the 'N's (which would have been quite important to him.) However, this sense agrees closely with the OED's own third (rare) usage of the word "nait" as "recite" or "repeat", itself using the Gawain line as an example (I'm going to stretch a bit and paste the whole entry, since it's interesting, and some won't have access):


Quote
nait, v.2

Forms: ME nait, ME naite, ME natte, ME nayt, ME nayte, ME naytte, ME neyte, ME (18 Sc.) nate; Eng. regional (north.) 1618 nate, 18 nait.

Etymology: < an early Scandinavian weak verb (compare Old Icelandic neyta , Norwegian (Nynorsk) nyta , Old Swedish nta (Swedish nta )), cognate with Old Frisian n&#275;ta < an ablaut variant of the base of the Germanic strong verb represented by Old English n&#275;otan to use, have the use of, enjoy, employ (cognate with Old Frisian ni&#257;ta , Middle Dutch -nieten (in prefixed form genieten , ghenieten (Dutch genieten )), Old Saxon niotan (Middle Low German n&#275;ten ; also gen&#275;ten ), Old High German niozan (also giniozan ; Middle High German niezen , geniezen , German genieen ), Old Icelandic njta , Old Swedish niuta (Swedish njuta ), Norwegian (Bokml) nyte , Norwegian (Nynorsk) nyta , Danish nyde , Gothic niutan ), probably ultimately < the same Indo-European base as Lithuanian nauda use, profit, advantage, Latvian nauda money. Compare geneat n., neat n.1, note n.1 Compare nait n.

In later use Eng. regional (north.). Obs.
1. trans.

a. To make use of, use, employ; to exert (one's strength). Also refl.: to exert oneself.
c1400 (1380) Cleanness (Nero) (1920) 531 Uche fowle to e fly&#541;t at fyerez my&#541;t serve, Uche fysch to e flod at fynne coue nayte.
c1440 (1400) Sir Perceval (1930) 185 Oer gudez wolde scho nonne nayte, Bot with hir tuke a tryppe of gayte.
c1450 (1400) Wars Alexander (Ashm.) 2468 Getis &#541;ow a name & naytis &#541;our strethe [read: strenthe].
c1450 (1400) Wars Alexander (Ashm.) 2968 He..naytis him to ryse, Buskis him vp at a braide.
c1540 (1400) Gest Historiale Destr. Troy 10940 Telamon..Gird hym full graidly with a gay sworde, Bad hym nait hit nemly.

1677 W. Nicolson Gloss. Cumbrian Dial. in Trans. Royal Soc. Lit. (1870) 9 316 Nate, to use.
1807 J. Stagg Misc. Poems (new ed.) 48 Then brouce about nor tek sec preesin, To nate your awn.
1894 R. O. Heslop Northumberland Words, Nate, to use, to make use of.

b. To want, need, desire.
a1425 Medulla Gram. (Stonyhurst) f. 8, Aueo, to neyten.
a1500 (1460) Towneley Plays 260 Loke that we haue that we shuld nate, ffor to hald this shrew strate.
c1540 (1400) Gest Historiale Destr. Troy 6031 All necessaries for e night at ai naite shuld.

2. trans. To repeat, recite. rare.
c1400 (1390) Sir Gawain & Green Knight (1940) 65 Loude crye watz er kest of clerkez & oer, Nowel nayted o-newe, neuened ful ofte.
a1500 (1400) St. Erkenwald 119 Ser Erkenwolde..welneghe al e ny&#541;t hade nattyd his houres.

Could it be that he changed his mind about the word having the "celebrated" connotations in the interim between the two treatments of the work? Although I suppose "announced", taken more strongly in the sense of "proclaimed" or "heralded", could fall somewhere between "recited" and "celebrated" and indicate a compromise.

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

(This post was edited by Phibbus on Nov 1 2012, 5:17am)

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