Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/167

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11 8. XL FEB. 20, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


The compiler of ' The Comic Latin Grammar,' published in 1840, cannot have been the originator of the distich quoted Try MR. WAINEWRIGHT. In Padre de Isla's

  • Fray Gerundio de Campazas ' (Madrid,

1804, vol. i. p. 186) the first line is thus printed :

Consternabatur Constantinopolitanus, and given as a perfect hexameter formed of two words. Padre de Isla died in 1781, many years after the first publication of his book. JOHN T. CURRY.

' The Comic Latin Grammar ' was written by Percival Leigh (" Paul Prendergast "), known to his colleagues on the staff of Punch Sir Frank Burnand relates as "The Professor." Perhaps some of your readers can inform me, by way of reciprocity, who was the author of ' The Comic English Grammar,' which also came out in 1840, illustrated by John Leech. In a ' Bio- graphical Sketch of John Leech,' by Fred. G. Kitton, published in 1883 by George Tried way of 12, York Street, Covent Garden, there is a useful chronological list of works illustrated wholly or partly by John Leech, which includes ' The Comic English Gram- mar,' therein stated to be by Gilbert a Beck- ett. But in 'The a Becketts of Punch,' "by Arthur William a Beckett, published in 1903, the Comic Latin and Comic English Grammars are both attributed to Percival Leigh. Which is correct ?


[Ma. B. A. POTTS and MR. ARCHIBALD SPARKE thanked for replies.]

" SCOTS " = " SCOTCH" (11 S. xi. 108). This variant may be traced to its origin in the difference between the Northern and Southern dialects of English. The plural in s was restricted in Southern English to masculine nouns ending in a consonant, but in Northern English was soon applied to nouns of both genders, prefixed by a con- necting vowel e, i, or y. This vowel, originally sounded as a distinct syllable, soon became slurred, except in nouns ending in a sibilant, but was retained in Scottish writings as late as the seventeenth century, long after it had ceased to be heard in speech. Thus when Barbour (c. 1360) wrote

How we ar out of our cuntre Banist throu Inglismenis mioht, And ifc that ouris suld be of richt,

the metre shows that while " Inglismenis " (Englishmen) was sounded as four syllables,

  • ' ouris " (ours) was a monosyllable. So a

hundred years later, although the Auchenleck

Chronicler wrote " All gud Scottis men war rycht blyth of that accordance," he probably spoke of " Scotsmen," the plural noun having merged into the adjectival form. We may assume, therefore, that Inglis, Scottis, and Erse (from Eire = Ire- land) were the original Scottish forms of the adjectives, just as Franceis, Spanis, Norreys, &c., were those denoting other nationalities. In Southern English the final sibilant became aspirated, and appears as English, Scotch, Irish, French, and Spanish, but it is retained in its original form in Norse. The form " Scottish " is a hybrid arrived at by adding the English aspirate to the early Northern orthography " Scottis."

S. R. C.'s query brings to mind a neat sally by the Hon. Frederick Lambton in the House of Commons. We were dis- cussing some Scottish matter, I forget what, and in the course of his speech he used the term " Scotch." A Radical below the gang- way on the other side called out, " Scottish, not Scotch ! " " Oh, I beg the hon. member's pardon," rejoined Mr. Lambton ; "it is rather a puzzle to an Englishman to know what is the right word. One hears of the Scots Guards and the London Scottish ; but if I were to go into a place of refreshment and ask for a glass of Scottish, I might get something I did not want. I have always been led to believe that the Scottish people preferred the spirit to the letter."

I quote from memory, not knowing whether the mot is recorded (as it certainly ought to be) in Hansard. HERBERT MAXWELL. Monreith.

There is no " wrong " in the matter ; all are right. See ' N.E.D.' under ' Scotch, adj.'

J. T. F.

The use of " Scots " in lieu of " Scotch " or " Scottish " is a corruption that crept into use during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Previously it was merely the legal form of the word as, for instance, " Scots law," in which an ancient general use may have survived. The change was largely, I think, brought about by R. L. Stevenson, always in search of curious words, who probably picked up the idea during his brief period of walking the floor of Parliament House. His pre- ference for "Scots" would suffice to influ- ence a generation of litterateurs who looked to him as a model ; especially newspaper men, always keenly alive to any new word or phrase with which to make their plati- tudes seem more piquant. We may be thankful that R. L. S. was content with this