Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/19

This page needs to be proofread.

10 s. xii. JULY 3, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


Bible-backed. Hump - backed, round- shouldered. In the Tichborne trial the following evidence was given : " Was he a big lad?" "Yes.... He was humpy or bible-backed " (4 S. xii. 227). The allusion appears to be to the adaptability of such a sloping back, like a lectern, for resting a Bible upon it while reading.

Caly. Would " smooth caly ground " perhaps be ground so level as to be suitable for playing jthe game of cales (skittles or nine- pins) on ? " Kails " are sometimes so spelt.

Cradley. " To mow corn with a cradle scythe." See the art of cradling corn, Ellis, ' Mod. Husb.,' 1750, V. ii. (quoted in

  • E.D.D.'). A cradle (in mowing), " Machina

lignea falci afnxa [ut seges demessa melius componatur]," (Elisha Coles's ' Eng. Latin Diet.,' 1755.

Dandles. Coles has to dandle, " indulgeo, manibus gestare super genibus agere." Hence the hands readily become the " dandles."

Devil's tail. Possibly there is some connexion between the part of a printing- press so named and the saying " to pull the devil by the tail," meaning to go to ruin headlong, and to be reduced to one's last shift :

"The immense disproportion between the solid assets and the liabilities of the enterprise made experienced Parisian financiers say from the first that the company was pulling the devil by the tail, and a perusal of M. Monchicourt's report must con- firm this view." European Mail, 2 Aug., 1890, p. 30, col. 2.

" So fond of spending his money on antiquities that he was always pulling the devil by the tail." Bentham, ' Works,' x. 25.

Diving hooks. " Diver " is a slang name (or was) for a pickpocket (see ' Dictionary of the Canting Crew,' by B. E., Gent.). "Hooks" are fingers, and to hook is to steal. In the Northamptonshire dialect " hook-fingered " is dishonest.

Drawboy. A boy employed by weavers to pull the cords of the harness in figure weaving, hence probably a fabric thus woven ; or more likely the superior fabrics marked at a low price which some shopkeepers placed in their windows to attract customers. These were called drawboys because they were not intended to be sold, but only meant as decoys.

Duke. A Cornish term for a tea-kettle (' E.D.D.'). J. HOLDEN MACMICHAEL.

Elbow-Room was the nickname of General Burgoyne. . When Boston was besieged he arrived with reinforcements from England and is said to have expressed great astonish

ment at the garrison allowing themselves to be shut up in the town, adding, " But we '11 soon get elbow room." If a clergyman was also called Elbow-Room, then two public men living at the same time must have had the one nickname.

Fanny Wright was an Englishwoman. She married a Frenchman named D'Arusmont ; passed most of her life in America, where she was the first advocate of Woman's Rights ; and died at Cincinnati in 1852. The * D.N.B.' gives a full account of her.

M. N. G.

Buffer. See " buffard " in Halliwell's and Stratmann's dictionaries. An A. N. word of imitative origin.

Caly. Apparently a form of " callow," bald.

Dandles. An error for " daddies " ? See Halliwell and the ' Slang Dictionary,' and cp. " Dalles " in the ' Towneley Mystery Plays.'

Drawbacks. Perhaps akin to drawgloves (Nares), and the jerk-finger game so popular with the gamins of Italy, Malta, &c.

H. P. L.

Floreat. The coin inquired about is that known as Dublin money, or more commonly St. Patrick's halfpenny and farthing. These bear on the obverse King David kneeling and playing a harp ; a crown above ; legend FLOREAT BEX. The reverse has St. Patrick. My specimen has a piece of brass inserted (the metal of the coin being copper), and this is, I believe, a usual characteristic of the coin. Dr. Aquilla Smith considers they were issued in Dublin between the Restora- tion and 1680, when the Regal copper coinage was established. A quantity of the Irish money was shipped to America. WILLIAM GILBERT.

8, Prospect Road, Walthamstow.

SEETHING LANE (10 S. xi. 485). It may interest PROF. SKEAT to learn that the ancient name of this lane occurs, at least once, as " Syfethenlane " in the Husting Rolls of the City. I made a note of it some years ago, and have just now consulted the original Roll to see if the name could be read " Syfechenlane " ; but I am bound to adhere to the former spelling.


The Guildhall, B.C.

JAMES INGRAM, PRESIDENT OF TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD (10 S. xi. 429). The obituary notice of Dr. Ingram in The Gentle- man's Magazine for November, 1850, states