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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/20

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the minority. If those who take an interest in the preservation of Manx will communicate with me (Canon Savage, St. Thomas's Vicarage, Douglas), I shall be pleased to give all the information I can, and to forward a report of the annual meeting of the Society held last month. In such a case as this outside interest would greatly help to strengthen our hands ; for we are looked upon by many here as unpractical enthusiasts who are simply hunting a shadow. It ought to stir up half- hearted Manxmen to see the efforts that intelligent people elsewhere are making to prevent the language from dying out.

Manx is spoken far more than people know ; but not before strangers. When going "after the herrings " in some of the Peel luggers not a word of English is spoken by the crew from the time they leave the harbour to the time of their return next morning, every order being given in Manx. Dr. Clague, of Castle- town, an excellent Manx scholar, has told me that in many houses that he visits in the south of the island all the directions as to the treatment of his patients are given in Manx, and frequently no word of English is spoken during his visit ; so that it is a living language, and more young people are able to speak it than is commonly known. We have asked to have the ages of those who can speak Manx specified in the census returns, which will give us accurate figures, if they are published.


St. Thomas's Vicarage, Douglas.


S. yiii. 422). Considering the frequency with which the word "beetle" occurs in pro- verbial phrases, like "Deaf as a beetle," 1 Blind as a beetle," "Between the beetle and the block," and the employment of the "beetle" or mallet as an implement of in- dustry, not only in washing, but in manv other occupations, it is highly probable that the saying implies merely a wish for pros- perity, in the same way that " God speed the plough" applied to the pursuit of agricul- ture. A large sledge -like implement for driving wedges was known as a " beetle," ana there is a curious tavern-sign survival of the Beetle and Wedge." " To cleave a tree with a beetle without a wedge" (Fuller, ' Holv War, m. xxiv., 1840, 162). The phrase "Ar cleat as a beadle " is sometimes used instea( 01 As deat as a beetle," meaning, of course the implement so called, since nothing coul well be more inanimate ; whereas deafness an affliction that would at once disqualify beadle tor a post where the constant use of

lealthy sense of hearing is a sine qua non. There is no more conceit in him than there s in a mallet" (' Hen. IV.,' Part II., Act II. c. iv.) ; and Halliwell has " beetle-headed," .e., wooden-headed, thick-headed. We meet gain with the tendency to mispronounce ' beetle " in " black-beadle."


" SHIMMOZZEL" (9 th S. vi. 266, 371 ; vii. 10 ; dii. 471). I am glad to see this interesting ,opic is still to the fore. The opening letter )f the correspondence stated that shimmozzel lever occurred in print. In reply I quoted a modern novel, and I have just met with it in mother, viz., 'The Golden Tooth,' by J. Maclaren Cobban (" If Will comes out of this shemozzle," p. 170). This may reach the eye >t* Mr. Farmer, whose address I do not mow. Of the terms cited by MR. BRESLAR, wff was explained in a letter to the Academy, 16 February, 1901. A synonym is shickster, which will be found in Hotten, and must not )e confounded with shicker, which means ntoxicated. Moskinner, pledger, is better mown in English under the forms moskeneer and mosker. The latter was once the subject of an article in the Daily Telegraph, 9 July,

1883 ("The Mosker is, in slang vernacular,

one who makes a living by taking advantage of the business incapacity of persons engaged in the pawnbroking trade "). Readers desirous of enlarging their acquaintance with Anglo- Yiddish should get A. M. Binstead's collection of short stories, ' Houndsditch Day by Day ' (Sands & Co., 1899). JAS. PLATT, Jun.


S. viii. 324, 426). Readers are too apt to base their comments upon the manners and cus- toms of the time in which they themselves live, and fail to associate themselves with the fashions of the period of which their authors are attempting delineation.

In Mrs. Gamp's time the majority of the retail liquor shops in London openly and without interference carried on business as gambling resorts, nearly every licensed victualler announcing at the advent of every important sporting contest that a sweepstake might be joined on application at his bar ; and in the thoroughfares nearly every purveyor of penny pies (such as the itinerant tradesman cited by Mr. Samuel Weller, a decade before Mrs. Gamp's first appearance, whose announcement was para- phrased by Sam as, " Fruits is in and cats is out," and who was credited by his critic with ingenuity, by judicious " accommodation " of seasoning, in passing off a mutton for a kidney, or vice versd, confection) and brandy