Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/511

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9 th S. X. DEC. 27, 1902.]



had also contributed men and money, were recognized in "The Imperials," which was wide enough to cover all claims. When the official title was decided the regiment was immediately initialled "The C.I.V.s." The purists would eliminate the "s" as being superfluous, and have them go down in the book of nicknames which has to be written, by the way as " The C.I. V." Again, these initials, being also Roman numerals, prompted another designation " The 104th"; but this, since a line battalion already bore the number, and because exclusiveness is as necessary as appropriateness in nick- names, was passed over after a short trial. Later they acquired another title, and one which, as our American cousins would say, "fills the bill" "The Gallant Free- men," a nickname, according to the pronun- ciation, as applicable in peace as in war.

During the progress of the South African war, in which they bore an honourable part, they received the name of "The Convoy Guard," because they had that unsatisfactory, but very necessary duty to perform during their period of novitiate. The Imperial Yeomanry were collectively called " Innocent Youths," but, unless I am mistaken, the term was first applied to this regiment by some cynical neologist. What may be called initial nicknames were the most frequently given during the late war, and consequently they often lack the crispness many of the old regimental nicknames possess. The pro- Boers, not to be behind in name-making, exercised their wits, and the result was " Chamberlain's Innocent Victims." I am not aware that this body of volunteers had a greater liking for preserves than the average man, yet they were dubbed " The Jam Carts." This nickname must be approached with due circumspection, as they are very "touchy" about it. Tommy Atkins with a rough wit transformed the initials into "Can I Venture?" not that he supposed they were deficient in personal courage, but from his natural spirit of raillery, in which possibly there was a tinge of jealousy. An alternative theory of this opprobrious nickname is that an officer in command of a section, in considering the advisability of storming a kopje, made use of the unfortunate phrase, which some by- stander forthwith attached to the whole regiment. Yet another uncomplimentary pseudonym " Covered In Vermin " was given, without reason, I hope.

These last two nicknames are included with some diffidence, and for the sake of completeness, but I should say I have a great respect for the corps as a body of citizen

soldiers and brave Britons who voluntarily stepped forward to fight the country's foes in the hour of need, regardless of their own prospects, of possible privations, of wounds, or of death. FEED. LEE CARTER.

Whitley Bay.

OPTICIANS' SIGNS. (See dnte, pp. 169, 292.)

WITH regard to the " Bull and Spectacles," concerning which an inquiry was made ante, p. 169, the latter half of the sign was, without doubt, derived from the old- fashioned barnacles, or springless nose- grippers in the original arms of the Com- pany of Spectacle -Makers, whose chartep dates from -1629, and whose arms were Argent, three pairs of spectacles vert, garnished or. The arms of the present com- pany date, according to Hazlitt's 'Livery Companies,' from 1739, and, as borne on their common seal, are Azure, a pair of compasses, chevron-wise, between two pairs of spectacles, in chief or, and a terrestrial globe in base proper, the frame and band of the secondĀ ; in the centre chief point the achromatic prisms open, also proper. The crest is. On a wreath of the colours, two arms embowed vested azure, each charged with three etoiles argent, cuff of the last, the hands support- ing a serpent, the tail in the mouth, proper, encircling the sun in splendour. I have given these, the arms of both the old and the present companies and the crest of the latter, in extenso, because from them a fact, I think, hitherto unnoticed have sprung a number of London trade signs. The authors of the 'History of ^Signboards,' 1884, do not seem to have con'sidered these arms in their ex- planation of opticians' signs. For instance, they are at fault in supposing that in the sign of "The Archimedes and Three Pair of Spectacles " one pair had been added " in the hope of filching some of a rival optician's customers." Now the sign of this rival, John Marshall to wit, king's optician, was "The Old Archimedes and Two Golden Spectacles " not two pair of golden spectacles, as might be supposed, but one pair of two glasses or " spectacles," as is evident from a representa- tion of Marshall's sign among the Bagford Bills, where it consists of one huge pair of spectacles. The original arms of the Spectacle- Makers would readily account for "Three Pair of Spectacles " as a trade cognizance. Evidently from the present arms is the Globe and Sun," the old sign of Messrs. Newton & Co., the Fleet Street scientific instrument makers, whose manufacture of