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little, and is appended only to words of A.-Saxon or Norse origin, and that such a mode of composition is justified by

analogy. IV. That the decomposition of this latter termination into el

and et would be against analogy, as involving the union of

suffixes of alien descent. V. That as diminutives are formed by successive aggregation,

and not, except possibly in the case of words used as appellatives, 'per saltum,' it is necessary, if let is to be considered as a double diminutive, that the actual existence of a first stage of diminution in the words bearing this termi

nation be demonstrated, which cannot be done. VI. That it is open to very great doubt whether the termina

tion le was ever used in English to create diminutives derived from roots of A.-Saxon or Norse origin; and further, that even in the A.-Saxon and Norse it is not satisfactorily established that the terminations el and ill possessed any sensible diminutive influence at all, except perhaps in a few words, which may probably be referred to the period of the decline and modernization of the latter language.


[Read March the 5th.] In my paper on Diminutives* I was led to class this word with those which have the compound suffix ling (el + ing); but it was inconvenient within the limits of that paper to discuss the origin of the word. I propose therefore to deal with the question in a separate form. “A faint suspicion' about anything, language is apt to represent under a figure borrowed from the sense of smell. Thus subotet mihi is the favourite mode of expressing this idea with Plautus and Terence, as, for example, in the Phormio, numquid patri subolet? The medium by which the scent is conveyed is of course the air ; and thus we have the phrase to 'wind,' meaning, 'to catch a scent of anything,' so also 'to get wind of,' or, as the Germans

* Philological Society's Transactions, 1856.

say, wind davon haben. This premised, let us examine the forms by which the movement of air is expressed. The Greek a Fnue has its radical portion in the central syllable Fn or fa, which corresponds pretty accurately with the German weh-en, to blow.' But the same root not unfrequently appears with a concluding nasal, as in the German wann-en, 'to blow or winnow corn,' in this very word winn-ow, and in the Latin ventus, as well as our wind, Dorsetshire wín. But the initial w in this, as in perhaps all words, is apt to disappear, so that we find av-euo-, 'wind,' in one of the classical languages; an-ima, 'breath,' in the other; and, with a change of the consonant from one dental to another, in the Greek at-Mo-, 'vapour,' and German ath-em, 'breath. In the German wett-er, 'weather,' we have our root still retaining the digamma, and, like athem,'breath,' preferring the tenuis to the liquid dental. Again, in some of the words intimately connected with wetter, the Germans sometimes prefer a vowel i, as ge-witter, 'a tempest, a storm'; un-gewitter, the same (un having its original sense of bad,' in place of its later negative power). So also witterung, weather, temperature. But this noun also signifies a trail,' 'a scented bait,' while the verb witter-n, from which it is directly formed, is translated in the dictionaries 'to scent,' 'smell,' and metaphorically, 'to get an inkling of'; thus bringing us to the very word we started from.

But the German language has the same word in a much simpler form, corresponding exactly with the initial syllable of the words already quoted, av-Euo-, and an-ima. I refer to the phrase es ahnet mir, 'I have a presentiment,' and to the sb. ahnung, 'a faint suspicion.' The h in such a word is of course solely a graphical expedient for denoting a long vowel, and is wanting in the corresponding Danish vb. an-e. I believe the word inkling then to have been built up by the addition of three diminutival suffixes to this verb an-, the vowel of the verb undergoing the process denominated by the word umlaut, viz. än-ick-el-ing=inkling. But in Yorkshire, I am given to understand, a form inkle prevails. This will differ solely in having two diminutival suffixes in place of three, as än-ick-el=inkle. Moreover we have now an intermediate form from which inkl-ing is deduced.


[Read March the 19th.] The custom of employing a broker in the purchase of goods arises from the advantage of having a skilled intermediary, capable, from long practice, of forming a critical judgement of the goods in question, of pointing out their latent defects, and rejecting whatever falls below the degree of excellence called for by the circumstances of the case. Το find fault is accordingly recognised in Piers Plowman as the specific duty of a broker :

Among burgeises have I be
Dwellyng at London,
And gart Backbiting be a brocour

To blame mens ware. On this principle, the German designation of the office is mäkeler from makel, a blur, stain, fault; mäkeln, to criticise, censure, find fault with; [and thence] to follow the business of a broker, buy and sell by commission (Küttner).

Now in most of the Teutonic (especially the Low German) and Slavonic dialects we find the root brak or wrak, in the sense of rejection, refuse, vile, damaged, faulty, giving rise to a verb signifying to inspect, make selection, sort, try out, reject, cast out. To take the Slavonic languages first, although it may be thought that the word is probably borrowed by them from their German neighbours, we find : Russ. brak, refuse; brakovat, to pick and choose, to sort; brakovanie, rejection, inspection; Bohem. brak, rejection, refuse; brakovati, to cast out as bad of its kind; Pol. brak, refuse, want, lack; brakować, to garble, to pick, to be wanting; Lith. brokas, a fault, weak place, matter of blame; brokoti, to criticise, to blame. In the Teutonic class :-Suabian bracken, to select, to try out; bracken waar, refuse; Du. brack, rejected, damaged; braeck goed, goods damaged by sea-water, Kil.; Pl.D. braken (primarily doubtless to cast out the refuse, but now generally), to garble, inspect, try; wraken, wroken, to pronounce unsound, to reject; wrak, anything


rejected as unsound; wrak-good, wrak-hering, wrak-kese, refuse goods, -herrings, -cheese. Dan. vrage, to reject, find fault with, to sort goods; Pl.D. eenen wrack drin smiten; Dan. slaae vrag paa, to throw blame upon, to find fault with: where it is seen how the capacity of signifying fault arises from the idea of rejection, which would seem the logical consequent; rejected because faulty. From the same radical notion (and not from the verb break, to which it is commonly referred) must be explained the O.E. brack, a blemish :

You may find time out in eternity,
Deceit or violence in heavenly justice,-

Ere stain or brack in her sweet reputation.-B. & F. The idea of rejection is developed in a somewhat different direction in the Romance dialects; Prov. brac, refuse, filth, mud, ordure, matter : and as an adjective, vile, dirty, abject ; It. braco, brago, mud; Prov. bragos; O.Fr. brageux, defiled, dirty, noisome. 'La ville où il y avait eaues et sources moult brageuses,' (Monstrelet). I have quoted the last expression for the illustration it affords of the E. brackish, of which the meaning is water rendered nauseous or spoiled for drinking by a mixture of salt water, the reference to salt as the special cause of nauseousness being purely accidental. Compare Du. brack-goed, merces salso corruptæ (Biglotton, Kilian).

The word broker seems to have come to us from the shores of the Baltic, the seat of the 'Easterlings, with whom our early commerce was chiefly carried on, and the reason why the word is not found in the languages there spoken in precisely the same sense which it bears in English, may be that in those countries it has passed on to designate public inspectors appointed to classify goods according to their quality, and to reject the damaged and unsound. We are informed by Adelung that in the mercantile towns of Lower Germany public inspectors of goods exposed to sale are appointed under the name of braker, bracker or wracker; Dan. vrager, an inspector of goods, usually of eatables. In Petersburgh the price of tallow is quoted with or without brack, the term brack signifying the official inspection of sworn brackers or sorters.Tooke's Catherine.'

If we advance another step in the inquiry, and seek the origin of the term brack in the sense of refuse, rejection, we find a satisfactory origin in an imitation of the sound of hawking or spitting, which has given birth to G. brechen, Du. braeken, to vomit; G. brech-mittel, an emetic; 0.E. parbreak, vomit; Prov.E. whreake, tussis, screatio, Junius; wreak, a cough, Halliwell; Icel. hraki, spittle; A.S. hraca, a cough, spittle; Dan. harke, to spit; E. (with the w softened down into an r), to hawk, to cough up, to spit; Fr. raquer, racher, cracher, to spit. The act of spitting out affords the simplest image of rejection and the liveliest expression of disgust and contempt for the rejected object; G. auswurf, signifying outcast, refuse, is often used absolutely in the sense of spittle. Icel. hraki has given rise to a numerous class of derivatives expressive of contempt and rejection; hrak, any refuse matter; hrakadr, gravissimo contemptu receptus; hrakinn, propulsus, vexatus (to be compared with A.S. wræcca, an outcast, exile, whence E. wretch); hrak-nytr, vilissimus; hrak-ordasamr, convitiosus, foul-mouthed. From Fr. raquer, to spit, is formed racaille, refuse, and Prov. raca, an old worthless horse, analogous to Bohem. brakyne, an outcast or rejected sheep. The Languedoc brumo, phlegm, spittle, has exactly the force of the Teutonic brack in the expression 'brumos de boutigo,' marchandises de rebut, refuse wares; G. brack-gut. The same metaphor is employed in the Latin respuere, to cast out, expel, reject, refuse, contemn; exspuere, to cast out, banish, remove. The sea is said ' exspuere in littus purgamenta,' and so in E. the obsolete wreak is to cough or spit up;—wrack or wreck, the remains of weed or broken ships vomited up upon the beach. Another application of the same image, not commonly suspected, furnishes the expression of wreaking one's vengeance, as illustrated by Lat. evomere iram in aliquem, to vomit a man's wrongs upon him, to visit him with their consequences.

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