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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/452

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xii. NOV. 6, im

Lurky. If this term is related to " lerkes " in ' The Destruction of Troy ' and to the " lirkes " of the countenance referred to by Allan Ramsay, then it may be relevant to say that it has" kinship with the " lirk " denot- ing depression that is still in use in Scotland. A literary example occurs in the second stanza of Principal Shairp's fine ballad,

  • The Bush aboon Traquair ' :

Arid what would ye do there,

At the bush aboon Traquair? A lang driech road, ye had better let it be ;

Save some auld skrunts o' birk

I' the hill-side lirk, There's nocht i' the warld for man to see.

This lyric appeared first in ' Kilmahoe, and other Poems,' published by the author in 1864, and secondly in the posthumous volume, ' Glen Desseray, and other Poems,' edited in 1888 by F. T. Palgrave.


Jubator. " Myrmacophaga jubata," ante, p. 271, should be, I think, " Myrmecophaga jubata." It is the scientific name of the " great ant-eater," thus " englished " by Mr. Punch, " Mummy cough-ague Jew- beater " ! NORTH MIDLAND.

Hide - and - coop. The ' N.E.D. ' gives under " coop," v. int. :

"2. Coop or coop and seek (U.S.): the game of ' hide and seek.' Coop is the call of the hider when he is ready. 1884, J. N. Tarbox in Chicago Advance, ' And then we play at coop and seek.'"


"BOURNE" IN PLACE-NAMES (10 S. xi. 361, 449 ; xii. 130, 191, 272). I have so much respect, and indeed admiration, for SIR HERBERT MAXWELL in every branch of his Protean activities that I do not wish to be misunderstood by him. I should not think of dismissing any place- or river- names from consideration because they are of Celtic origin ; on the contrary, I think such names are of the highest significance. All I said was that I could offer no opinion on them because I was unfortunately ignorant of Gaelic. The list of names of towns and villages situated on streams of the same name, which is given by SIR H. MAX- WELL, is very valuable and important, and it would be interesting to learn why in some cases the name of the town has been trans- ferred to the river, while in others the river- name is the older. However it may be in Scotland, I think that such cases of identity are rare in England, and rarer still on the Continent.

The original names of rivers are, I believe, generic, such as the numerous Avons and

Esks in the British Isles, and in the case of smaller streams, the Bournes and the Brooks. The specific names probably came later, when, as SIR H. MAXWELL says, it became convenient to distinguish between a number of features similar in kind.

The subject of our river-names is a very fascinating one, and I hope to return to it when I have a little more leisure.


I should be thankful for information to help to explain the place- or field-name Bourne Beck, in the parish of Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire. The name seems to imply a repetition of the word " stream,'* unless it means a boundary.

In a lease of land adjoining, from the Earl of Hertford to William Benett in 1606, the stream Holbrook, which flows past the field, is mentioned as a boundary. The stream at the present day is little more than a ditch, which, according as it is cleaned out, can be made to drain the water towards the Thames on the north-east, or towards the Avon to the west, and it is virtually on the water- shed.

The land in question was always described as " part and parcel of the tithing of Midge- hall in the parish of Lydiard Tregoze," once the property of the Cistercian Abbey of Stanley, Wilts, and to this day tithe-free in consequence. T. STORY MASKELYNE.

  • Scandinavian Britain,' by W. G. Colling-

wood, asserts the derivation of Closeburn (ante, p. 272) to be " Kil-Osbjorn " (from Cella-Osburni) ; so it has no connexion with " burn," a strame. CAIUS.

COWPER : DOWLING : THEIR PRONUN- CIATION (10 S. xii. 265, 335). There is endless confusion between cooper and couper. The ' New English Dictionary ' explains everything, as usual. There was a cooper, variant of coper, a chapman ; whilst cowper, couper, were variants of cooper, a maker of tubs. The former is of Dutch, the latter of Low German (ultimately of Latin) origin. How one is to decide correctly in all cases I do not know.

As to Dowling, we require forms much earlier than those of the seventeenth century. WALTER W. SKEAT.

The reason for the pronunciation of Cowper as Cooper is that proper names have a special power of resisting change, and readily retain an archaic pronunciation or orthography. In common nouns we do not sound ow as oo, but in proper names it is per-