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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/333

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10 s. XIL OCT. 2, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


necessary to distinguish between a number of features similar in kind. The original name, of course, is often lost and replaced with a newer one. A single familiar example will serve as an illustration.

The name Helmsdale in the above list was applied by the Scandinavian invaders to the river and valley previously called Avon Ullidh and Strath Ullidh by the Gael. We may suppose that change to date from the eighth or ninth century, when the Norse Jarls occupied Caithness and Sutherland. The old name fell into complete disuse, but still it clings to the soil, for the craggy hill below which the Helmsdale runs near the sea is still called Bun-Ullidh, or the foot of Ullidh river.

If farm-names were taken into account, the list of those identical with stream names might be made of indefinite length, and most of our older towns and villages had for a nucleus a farm (tun) or a church.

Sometimes the obsolete name of a river remains as the name of a town, as Camelon in Stirlingshire, on what is now called the Carron Water. HERBERT MAXWELL.

HIGH WYCOMBE VAN DYCK (10 S. xii- 108). There is apparently no group by Van Dyck such as that shown in the picture described by Mr. SHORTER. At least Mr. Lionel Oust does not describe any such pic- ture in his great book on Van Dyck, nor do I find it mentioned in any other available work on that artist. Van Dyck's portrait of Philip, Lord Wharton, is in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg ; and that of Jane, Lady Wharton (second wife), belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. It is of course conceivable that Van Dyck painted the group as repre- sented in the High Wycombe picture, but it is hardly conceivable that such an important picture should have passed completely unnoticed. W. ROBERTS.

"CORRECT TO A T " (10 S. xii. 227). Guessing is very hazardous, and I have nothing better to offer. "Right to a T" means correct in every particular, to the minutest detail, so it may be a colloquial rendering of "right to a tittle," and the T used as initials are frequently used to-day in many cases intelligible only to the initiated, as in the Law Courts and on the Stock Exchange ; in others with a dubious origin, if O.K. represents " Orl Korrect."


Will it assist SIR JAMES MURRAY if he considers the kindred expression " right as a trivet " ? In the olden" days of open

Dearths the trivet required some careful adjusting among the cinders and ashes before it was safe to put the kettle or plate of hot buttered toast upon it.


Probably of Hebrew origin, T representing j"l, the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet. WALTER SCARGILL.

The obvious point of minute exactness is a tittle, which is equivalent to the crossing of a t. There must be quotations in which " correct to a tittle," or " suiting to a tittle," occur. Is not t an abbreviation of tittle ?

A. T. M.

Although unable to answer the query propounded by SIR JAMES MURRAY as to the actual origin of the above, I venture to bring to his notice a suggestion made now many years ago, by Mr. Henry Kemp, who was my schoolmaster at Camden Schools, Peckham. After my schooldays were over we constantly met and talked over many matters, and I remember that once, if not more than once, this phrase was mentioned. He always held the opinion that it was an abbreviation of, say, " Correct to a tittle," and gave some illustrations of this. These I unfor- tunately have forgotten, but I know that some of them belonged to Yorkshire, of which he was a native.



"THE" PREFIXED TO PLACE-NAMES (10 S. xii. 68, 116, 173). In 'A Choice of Emblemes, and other Devises,' by Geffrey Whitney, imprinted at Leyden, 1586 (fac- simile reprint, edited by Henry Green, 1866), p. 177, is an " embleme " of the phoenix on the fire. The heading is " Unica semper avis. To my countrimen of the Namptwiche in Cheshire." One of the stanzas underneath is as follows : Which when I wayed, the riewe and eke the Guide? I thought vppon your towne destroyed by fire : And did in minde, the new NAMPWICHE behoulde, A spectacle for anie mans desire :

Whose buildings braue, where cinders weare but late,

Did represente (methought) the Phoenix fate.

In the notes, p. 372, the editor says :

"As we have seen in the Introductory disserta- tion, it was in the parish of Acton, by which Nanf wich is nearly surrounded, that Whitney was bom, yet 'the Namptwiche' is a term which compre- hends the district round, and the people truly were the poet's ' countrimen.' "

One remembers " The High," " The Broad," and " The Corn " at Oxford.