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286


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9< s. XL APRIL 11. 1903.


registered by the lexicographer. Shakespeare has "self-bounty," "self -breath," and selt- charity," which have all gone out of fashion ; but both these and Walton's "self -end


OUb UUl/lJ tlJDOO emu f? OAi/v/i.1. o *~ i~

might well have remained and served ^ their purpose, as well as " self-conceit,' sell- control," and "self-defence," and even ' self- help " and " self-will." THOMAS BAYNE.

"YAFFLE." In Baumann's ' Londinismen ' 1902, p. 284, this word is marked obsolete. I should like to state that it is no such thing, for I have heard it used recently, and by a resident of Bermondsey, who I should hardly think had culled it from Grose or the 4 Slang Dictionary ' and revived it. It was used thus: " Yaffle = eating or a meal." "Yaffler" was used to imply one who was rather a large eater. F. MARCHAM.

MAIZE, ITS NATIVE COUNTRY. (See 8 th S. iii. 348 j iv. 53 ; xi. 466.) It is, I believe, almost certain that maize is one of the plants which Europe, Asia, and Africa owe to the New World. It may be well, however, to note that William Cobbett, who was most anxious to induce the farmers of this country to grow it, held a different opinion. Mr. Albert Julian Pell, in his excellent paper on Cobbett, which appears in the recently issued Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, vol. Ixiii., says that in his ' Treatise on Cobbett's Corn ' (1828), which was a dwarf variety of maize, the author argued "that many Scriptural references to ' corn ' relate to maize, and not to wheat or other cereal." In this Cobbett was probably wrong ; but the serious opinions of such a man are always worthy of attention, if not of acceptance. EDWARD PEACOCK.

"KUMASCOPE" is the latest contribution to " scientific slang," and Dr. Fleming, this year's Cantor Lecturer, is responsible for the monstrosity. It is intended for the name of a coherer or receiver in wireless telegraphy, and is supposed to be derived from /cu/xa, a wave, and CTKOTTOS, a watcher or spy ; but in that case kymatoscope would surely be the correct form. We may exclaim, " Quis custodietipsos custodes 1 " Coining such bad words is a " sort of crime," and Dr. Fleming had cause to apologize for it. L. L. K.

" MAMMOTH." In the ' Century Dictionary' this is said to be " from Russian mamantu^ so called by a Russian named Ludloff in 1696." This statement is a series of blunders. The Russian word intended is mamant (two syllables), from which our "mammoth" could not possibly be derived, for one thing because mamant is more modern, old Russian o when


unstressed changing to a. The person in- tended is Ludolf, not Ludloff ; he was a Ger- man (born at Erfurt), not a Russian ; and he called the animal mammot, not mamant. The reference is to his ' Grammatica Russica,' 1696, p. 92. It is from this old Russian mammot that our " mammoth " comes. We meet with it again in Witsen's 'NoordenOostTartarye,' where it is written indifferently mammoot and mammout. See the index to the edition of 1705. Intermediate between old Russian mammot and modern Russian mamant there is a form mammont. The intrusive n seems to be due to confusion with the Scriptural Mammon ; at any rate, Witsen (p. 742) calls the animal "Mammout anders Mammona," and Bell ('Travels in Asia,' 1763 \ perhaps the earliest English traveller to notice it, always calls it the Mammon. JAMES PLATT, Jun.

"A" OR "AN" BEFORE "H" SOUNDED-

(See 9 th S. x. 497.) The rule given by MR. MOSELEY from Sullivan's * Grammar ' does not cover all the ground. Even with respect to words accented on the first syllable usage still varies, and it is not easy to formulate a rule applying to all cases. For example, in the A. V. of the Bible we find consistently " an humble" (Prov. xvi. 19), "an hundred" (Gen. xi. 10 et passim), "an hungred" (Matt, xii. 1, &c.), and so on ; but the R.V., though it reads "an hungred," yet has always "a hundred," and the reading of the A.V. in Heb. xi. 16, " an heavenly," has been altered by the Revisers to "a heavenly."

ALEX. LEEPER. Trinity College, Melbourne University.

WM. GILBERT'S 'DE MAGNETE.' The ap- pearance of so rare a visitor to booksellers' catalogues as the original edition of Gilbert's great work, printed in London by Peter Short, 1600, should be recorded in * N. & Q.' Mr. Tregaskis offers a copy in limp vellum for 20. in his catalogue of 9 March. At the foot of an interesting note on the author and his works, the compiler states that there are only two copies recorded as sold at auction during the past ninety years : the Roxburghe in 1812, and the Buckley in 1894.

C. DEEDES.

Chichester.

BATTLE OF WATERLOO, AND HOW ROTHSCHILD GOT THE NEWS. Mr. Leopold de Rothschild, at the Newspaper Press Fund dinner last Saturday, stated that " traditions have been circulated in various forms with regard to the news of Waterloo coming to my grandfather. The authentic story will appeal to you as pressmen, for the news really came through