Read Like A Writer

There are two ways to learn how to write fiction: by reading it and by writing it. Yes, you can learn lots about writing stories in workshops, in writing classes and writing groups, at writers' conferences. You can learn technique and process by reading the dozens of books like this one on fiction writing and by reading articles in writers' magazines. But the best teachers of fiction are the great works of fiction themselves. You can learn more about the structure of a short story by reading Anton Chekhov's 'Heartache' than you can in a semester of Creative Writing 101. If you read like a writer, that is, which means you have to read everything twice, at least. When you read a story or novel the first time, just let it happen. Enjoy the journey. When you've finished, you know where the story took you, and now you can go back and reread, and this time notice how the writer reached that destination. Notice the choices he made at each chapter, each sentence, each word. (Every word is a choice.) You see now how the transitions work, how a character gets across a room. All this time you're learning. You loved the central character in the story, and now you can see how the writer presented the character and rendered her worthy of your love and attention. The first reading is creative—you collaborate with the writer in making the story. The second reading is critical.

John Dufresne, from his book, The Lie That Tells A Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction


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Monday, April 17, 2017

An Outline of English Speech-Craft by William Barnes (1878)

The cover image was produced by the transcriber, and is placed in the public domain.




Præsens Angli sermonis forma magis magisque recedit a stirpe antiquâ’—Lexicon Frisicum, by Justus Halbertsma, under ‘Dunsi’




(The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved)



This little book was not written to win prize or praise; but it is put forth as one small trial, weak though it may be, towards the upholding of our own strong old Anglo-Saxon speech, and the ready teaching of it to purely English minds by their own tongue.

Speech was shapen of the breath-sounds of speakers, for the ears of hearers, and not from speech-tokens (letters) in books, for men’s eyes, though it is a great happiness that the words of man can be long holden and given over to the sight; and therefore I have shapen my teaching as that of a speech of breath-sounded words, and not of lettered ones; and though I have, of course, given my thoughts in a book, for those whom my voice cannot reach, I believe that the teaching matter of it may all be put forth to a learner’s mind, and readily understood by him, without book or letters. So, for consonants and vowels, as letters, I put breath-pennings and free-breathings, and these names would be good for any speech, of the lettering of which a learner might know nothing. On the grounds here given, I[iv] have not begun with orthography, the writing or spelling of our speech, or of any other, while as yet the teaching or learning of the speech itself is unbegun.

I have tried to teach English by English, and so have given English words for most of the lore-words (scientific terms), as I believe they would be more readily and more clearly understood, and, since we can better keep in mind what we do than what we do not understand, they would be better remembered. There is, in the learning of that charmingly simple and yet clear speech, pure Persian, now much mingled with Arabic, a saddening check; for no sooner does a learner come to the time-words than he is told that he should learn, what is then put before him, an outline of Arabic Grammar. And there are tokens that, ere long, the English youth will want an outline of the Greek and Latin tongues ere he can well understand his own speech.

The word grammar itself seems a misused word, for grapho is to write, and graphma, worn into gramma, means a writing, and the word grammatikē meant, with the Greeks, booklore or literature in the main, and not speech-teaching alone.

Whether my lore-words are well-chosen is a question for the reader’s mind. I have, for better or worse, treated the time-words, and nearly all the parts of speech, in a new way. I have clustered up the time-words as weak or strong on their endings, rather than on their headings, which had nothing to do with their forshapening or conjugation. Case I have taken as in the thing, and not in[v] the name of it, as case is the case into which a thing falls with a time-taking, and case-words (prepositions) and case-endings are the tokens of their cases. The word preposition means a foreputting, or word put before; but then from and to, in herefrom, and therefrom, and hitherto, and thereto, are postpositions.

I have tried, as I have given some so-thought truths of English speech, to give the causes of them, and hope that the little book may afford a few glimpses of new insight into our fine old Anglo-Saxon tongue.

To any friend who has ever asked me whether I do not know some other tongues beside English, my answer has been ‘No; I do not know English itself.’ How many men do? And how should I know all of the older English, and the mighty wealth of English words which the English Dialect Society have begun to bring forth; words that are not all of them other shapes of our words of book-English, or words of their very meanings, but words of meanings which dictionaries of book-English should, but cannot give, and words which should be taken in hundreds (by careful choice) into our Queen’s English? If a man would walk with me through our village, I could show him many things of which we want to speak every day, and for which we have words of which Johnson knew nothing.

Some have spoken of cultivated languages as differing from uncultivated ones, and of the reducing of a speech to a grammatical form.

What is the meaning of ‘cultivate’ as a time word about[vi] a speech? The Latin dictionary does not help us to its meaning, and it might be that of the French cultiver, from which we should have, by the wonted changes, to cultive. The Romans said colere deum and colere agrum, but not agrum cultivare; and we may believe that colo, with deus or ager, bore the same meaning, ‘to keep or hold (with good care),’ and a speech is cultivated by the speaking as well as by the writing of it, and a speech which is sounding over a whole folkland every moment of the day cannot be uncultivated. ‘Not with good care,’ it may be said. Yes; most people speak as well as they can, as they write as well as they can, from the utterer of a fine rede-speech (oration), and the clergyman who gives unwritten sermons, down to the lowly maiden who dresses as finely as she can; and to try to dress herself well is a token that she will try to express herself well.

King Finow, of the Tonga Islands, gave a fine speech, as Mr. Mariner tells us, at his coming to the throne; and it may be well said that he made it, as he had made it in thought, ere he came to the meeting.

What is meant by the reducing of a speech to a grammatical form, or to grammar, is not very clear. If a man would write a grammar of a speech, of which there is yet none, what could he do but show it forth as it is in the shape which its best speakers over the land hold to be its best? To hold that a tongue had no shape, or a bad one, ere a grammar of it was written, seems much like saying that a man had no face, or a bad one, till his likeness was taken.



Free Breathings1
Word-strain and Speech-strain3
Thing Mark-words:
Outshowing Mark-words10, 12
Pitches of Suchness13
Time-taking and Time-words14
Cause Time-takings15
Words in -ing17
Strong and Weak Time-words18-26
Sundriness of Time-taking26
[viii]Helping Time-words, can, may, shall, must27
Person, Tale, Mood, Time27, 30
Historic Time-wording30
Way-marks and Stead-marks33
Thought-wording, Speech-wording35
Twin Time-takings35
Odd Wordshapes42, 43
Hard Breathing44
Mark Time-words (Participles)45
Words of Speech-craft, and others47
Power of the Word-endings83
Goodness of a Speech86



Speech-craft (Grammar), called by our Saxon fore-fathers Staef-craeft or Letter-craft, is the knowledge or skill of a speech.

The science of speech in the main, as offmarked from any one speech (Philology), may be called Speech-lore.

Speech is the speaking or bewording of thoughts, and is of sundry kinds of words.

Speech is of breath-sounds with sundry breathings, hard or mild, and breath-pennings, which become words.

(1) A freely open breathing through the throat, unpent by tongue or lips, as in the sounds A, E, O, OO, which are pure voicing. The main ones in English are—

  • 1. ee, in meet.
  • 2. e, in Dorset speech.
  • 3. a, in mate.
  • 4. ea, in earth.
  • 5. a, in father.
  • 6. aw, in awe.
  • 7. o, in bone.
  • 8. oo, in fool.

Besides this open speech-breathing there are two kinds of breath-penning.

(2) The dead breath-penning, as in the sounds AK, AP, AT, AG, AB, AD, which end with a dead penning of the sounding breath.

In AK and AG it is pent in the throat.


In AP and AB with the lips.

In AT and AD on the roof.

K, P, T are hard pennings; G, B, D are mild pennings, the breathing being harder in the former and softer in the latter.

Then there are half-pennings of the sounding breath, which is more or less but not wholly pent, but allowed to flow on as through the nose in

  • AMH,
  • ANH,
  • AM,
  • AN,
  • ANG;

as in the half-pent sounds—

ALL (Welsh),AL,
ASH,AJ (French),

half-pent by the tongue and mouth-roof.

For a hard breathing the mark is H, as and, hand; art, hart.

Dead Pennings,
Dead Pennings,
(1) C, K(Throat)(5) KH German and Welsh(14) G(18) GH
(2) NK in ink(6) F(15) NGH like NG in finger, not singer(19) NG
(3) P (Lip)(7) MH(16) B(20) V, BH Irish
(4) T(8) TH in thin(17) D(21) M
(9) LL Welsh(22) TH in thee
(10) RH Welsh(23) L Welsh
(11) S(24) R Welsh
(12) SH(25) Z
(13) NH(26) J French
(27) N


Words are of breath-sounds, and some words are one-sounded, as man; and others are tway-sounded, as manly; and others many-sounded, as unmanliness.

There is word-strain and speech-strain.

The high word-strain (accent) is the rising or strengthening of the voice on one sound of a word, as man´ly.

The high speech-strain (emphasis) is the rising or strengthening of the voice on a word of a thought-wording.

The voice may both rise and fall on the same sounds, as .

In English and its Teutonic sister speeches the strain keeps on the root or stem-word, as man, man´ly, man´liness; though in clustered words, with their first breath-sounds the same, the strain may shift for the sake of clearness, as ‘Give me the tea´pot’—the teakettle is given, and thereupon the bidder may say ‘the teaPOT´,’ not the teaKETTLE.

In Greek the accent shifts in word-building, and likes mainly to settle at about two times or short breath-sounds from the end of the word; and in Welsh it settles mostly on the last breath-sound but one, as eis´tedd, a sitting; eistedd´fod, a sitting-stead; eisteddfod´an, sitting-steads, or bardic sessions.

Besides the word-strain (accent) and the speech-strain (emphasis), there is a speech-tuning (modulation) of the voice (voice-winding), which winds up or down with sundry feelings of the mind, and with question and answers and changes of the matter of speech.

Things may be matterly (concrete) or bodies of matter, as a man, a tree, a stone; or


Things may be unmatterly (abstract), not bodies of matter, as faith, hope, love, shape, speed, emptiness.

It is not altogether good that a matterly and unmatterly thing should be named by the very same word, as youth, a young man, and youth, youngness.


Things are of many kinds, as a man, a bird, a fish; an oyster, a sponge, a pebble; water, air, earth; honey, gold, salt.

The names of things may be called Thing-names.

But there are one-head thing-names (proper names), the names each of some one thing of its kind; as John, the miller; Toby, the dog; Moti, the lady’s Persian cat.

With Christian names may be ranked the so-called patronymics, or sire-names, taken from a father’s name, as William Johnson, Thomas Richardson; or in Welsh, Enid Verch Edeyrn; or in Hebrew Jeroboam Ben-nebat.

Thing Sundriness and Thing Mark-words.

Mark is here to be taken in its old Saxon meaning, mearc—what bounds, defines, describes, distinguishes.

The Welsh call the adjective the weak name or noun, enw gwan.

Sundriness of Sex, Kindred, Youngness, and Smallness.

Marked by sundry names or mark-words, or mark endings.



The stronger or carl sex, as a man; the weaker or quean sex, as a girl; the unsexly things, as a stone.


In Saxon the sexes in mankind were called halves or sides, the spear-half and the spindle-half.

Kindred, Youngness, or Smallness.
Small Things.

By forlessening mark-endings:

-y, -ie.




-el, -l.

Butt,bottle (of hay).

By mark-words:

A wee house, a little boy.

For bigness the English tongue wants name-shapes.


We have bul, horse, and tom, which are mark-words of bigness or coarseness.

  • Bulfinch.
  • Bullfrog.
  • Bulhead (the Miller’s Thumb. Pen-bwll, Welsh).
  • Bulrush.
  • Bulstang (the Dragonfly).
  • Bullspink.
  • Bulltrout.


  • Horse-bramble.
  • Horse-chesnut.
  • Horse-laugh.
  • Horse-leech.
  • Horse-mushroom.
  • Horse-mussel.
  • Horse-tinger.
  • Horse-radish.


  • Tomboy.
  • Tomcat.
  • Tomfool.
  • Tomnoddy.
  • Tomtit.

The words bul and horse are not taken from the animals.

Sundriness in Tale.

By tale mark-words, as one, five, ten, and others onward.

Sundriness in Rank.

By rank-word, as first, fifth, tenth, last.

An, a, the so-called indefinite article, is simply the tale mark-word an, one.

Saxon,an man.
Ger.,ein mann.
West Friesic,in.
East Friesic,en.
New Friesic,ien.


We use a before a consonant, and an before a vowel, as a man, an awl. But it is not that we have put on the n to a against the yawning, but it is that the n has been worn off from an.

The Frieses and Holsteiners now say ien man and en mann.

The mark-word an, a is of use to offmark a common one-head name, as ‘I have been to a white church’ (common); or, without the mark-word, ‘I have been to Whitechurch’ (one-head), the name of a village so called. ‘He lives by a pool’; ‘he lives by Pool’ (a town in Dorset). ‘He works in a broad mead’; ‘he works in Broadmead’ (in Bristol).

As the Welsh has no such mark-word, it might be thought that it cannot give these two sundry meanings; and the way in which it can offmark them shows how idle it is to try one tongue only by another, or to talk of the unmeaningness or uselessness of the Welsh word moulding.

Llan-Tydno would mean a church of Tydno, but the parish called ‘The Church of Tydno’ is in Welsh Llandydno, which, as a welding of two words, hints to the Welsh mind that Llandydno is a proper name, and so that of a parish.

Hoel da would mean a good Hoel; but to Hoel, the good king, the Welsh gives as a welded proper name Hoel dda; and to Julius Cæsar the Welsh gives, as one welded proper name, Iolo-voel, Julius-bald, whereas Iolo-moel would mean some bald Julius.

One sundriness of tale, the marking of things under speech—as onely (singular) or somely (plural)—is by an[8] onputting to the thing-name for someliness a mark-ending, or by a moulding of the name into another shape or sound.

By mark-endings, -es, -s, -en, -n.


By for-moulding, as foot, feettooth, teeth; or by both word-moulding or sound-moulding and an ending, as brother, brethren.

When the singular shape ends in -sh, -ss, or -x, -ks, it takes on -es for the somely, as lash, lashes; kiss, kisses; box, boxes.

And surely, when the singular shape ends in -st, our Universities or some high school of speech ought to give us leave to make it somely by the old ending -en or -es instead of -sfist, fisten, fistes; nest, nesten, nestes.

What in the world of speech can be harsher than fists, lists, nests?

It is unhappy that the old ending in -en, which is yet the main one in West Friesic, should have given way to the hissing s.

Where common names with the definite mark-word become names of places they are wont to lose the article, as The Bath, in Somerset, is now Bath; The Wells, in Somerset, Wells; Sevenoaks, not The Seven Oaks, in Kent.

In our version of Acts xxvii. 8, we have a place which is called The Fair Havens, instead of Fairhavens without the mark-word, as the Greek gives the name.

Other thing mark-words offmark all of the things of a name or set from others of another name or set.


All birds, or all the birds in the wood; or all taken singly, as each or every bird; or somely, as set or share; some few or a few; many or a many birds.

Another or others beyond one or some under speech.

Any one or more of a some, either apple or any apples.

Both, for the two without others; or

Much or little grass.

Many mark-words were at first thing-names.

Many was a menge, a main or upmingled set; and a great many men would mean a great set or gathering of men.

Few was feo, which seems to have meant at first a cluster or herd; and a few men was a few (cluster) of men.

Some was a sam or som, a set or upmingled mass; and some men was a sam or som of men.

Now if the speech is about the set, it may be onely, as ‘There is a great many,’ ‘there is a small few,’ or ‘a few’; but if the speech is about the bemarked things, the mark-word may well be somely—‘many men are’; ‘few men are’; ‘some men are.’

In the queer wording, ‘many a man,’ ‘many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,’ it is not at all likely that a is the article. It is rather a worn shape, like a in a-mong (an-menge), or a-hunting (an-huntunge), of the Saxon case-word an or on, meaning in; and it is not unlikely that man has, by the mistaking of a for an article, taken the stead of men—‘an maeng an men,’ a many or mass in men; as we say ‘a herd in sheep,’ ‘a horde in gold.’ So far as this is true the mark-word[10] may be somely—‘many a man or men,’ ‘a main in men are.’

None (Saxon na-an, no one) should have a singular verb—‘None is (not are) always happy.’

Some mark-words are for a clear outmarking (as single or somely) of things outshown from among others.

Outshowing Mark-words.
(Near things.)
This man.
These men.
(Farther off.)
(Still farther off, or out of sight.)

The so-called definite article the is a mark-word of the same kind as this, that, these, and those.

The word the in ‘the more the merrier’ is not the article the—to a name-word. It is an old Saxon outshowing mark-word meaning with that (mid þy). ‘The more the merrier’; þy (with that measure), they are more; þy (with that measure), they are merrier.

In the wording ‘the man who’ or ‘the bird which was in the garden,’ who and which are not the names, but are tokens or mark-words of the things—who of the man, and which of the bird.

A thing may be marked by many mark-words, as ‘the (never to be forgotten) day,’ ‘the (having to me shown so many kindnesses) man is yet alive.’

A long string of mark-words may, however, be found[11] awkward, and so we may take a name-token who for the man, and, instead of the words ‘having to me shown so many kindnesses,’ say, ‘who showed me so many kindnesses.’

Who or that is the name-token for menkind, and which or that for beings of lower life or of no life, as ‘the man who’ or ‘the bird or flower which was in the garden.’

Who and which are used in the asking of questions—‘Who is he?’ ‘What is that?’

The name-token should follow close on the forename for the sake of clearness. ‘Alfred sold, for a shilling, the bat which William gave him,’ not ‘Alfred sold the bat for a shilling which William gave him,’ if it was the bat that was given to him by William.

These mark-words take the stead of thing-names, and are Name-stead words, and clear the speech of repetitions of the names. The baby may say ‘Baby wants the doll,’ but at length learns to say ‘I want the doll’; or ‘Papa, take baby,’ and afterwards ‘You take me’; or ‘Give baby the whip—the whip is baby’s,’ for ‘It is mine.’

A man may be beholden to the speech in three ways:—

  • (1) He may be the speaker, called the First Person;
  • (2) He may be spoken to, the Second Person (the to-spoken thing);
  • (3) He may be spoken of, the Third Person (the of-spoken thing);

and some mark-words are for the marking of things[12] without their names, both in tale and their sundry beholdenness to the speech:—

1st Person.
2nd Person.
Thou.Ye, you.
3rd Person.
He,    she,    it.

Here the sex is marked.

It is sometimes put for an unforeset thing-name of an unbodily cause or might, as ‘it rains’; ‘it freezes.’

For a child or an animal of unknown sex we may take the neuter (or sexless) mark-word it. ‘It (the child) cries.’


and mark-words or mark-wording of suchness, as good, bad, long, heavy.

Suchness may be marked by one word, as ‘a white lily,’ or by a some or many of words, as ‘a very white lily,’ or ‘a most dazzlingly white lily,’ or ‘a lily as white as snow.’

Things are marked as having much of something, as hilly, stony, watery; or made of something, as golden, wooden, woollen; or having some things, as two-legged, three-cornered, long-eared, or loved or hated; of the same set or likeness of something, as lovely, quarrelsome, manly, childish; wanting of something, as beardless, friendless.


Pitches of Suchness.

The Suchnesses of Things are of sundry pitches, which are marked by sundry shapes or endings or bye-words of the mark-words, as ‘My ash is tall, the elm is taller, and the Lombardy poplar is the tallest of the three trees’; or ‘Snow is whiter than chalk,’ or ‘Chalk is less white than snow,’ or ‘John is the tallest or least tall of the three brothers.’

These Pitch-marks offmark sundry things by their sundry suchnesses, as ‘The taller or less tall man of the two is my friend,’ or ‘The tallest man is less tall than the tree,’ or ‘The least tall man is taller than the girl.’

The three Pitches may be called the Common Pitch, the Higher Pitch, and the Highest Pitch.

The Welsh has a fourth Pitch-word, called the Even Pitch, as pell, far; pellach, farther; pellaf, farthest; pelled, as far (as something else).

Younger may mean younger reckoned from young, or younger reckoned from old; as ‘Alfred at 80 is younger than Edward at 85.’ In this case we may well say less old.

Worse (wyrse) is shapen from wo, wa, we, a stub-root which means wrong, atwist, bad in any way, and is our woe.

The r in weor is most likely of a forstrengthening and not a comparative meaning—weor, wyr, very bad; weorer, wyrer, still more strongly bad. But, not to double the r, men might have put a strengthening s, and so had weors.



You cannot behold a thing in your mind otherwise than in or under some doing or in some form of being.

Every case of being or doing is a taking of time, as ‘the lily is white,’ ‘the man strikes,’ ‘the bird flies or was hit.’ For though the being white, or the striking or flying or hitting was only for the twinkling of an eye, it took time; for the eyelid takes time, however short it may be, to flit down and up over the eyeball. Thence the word commonly called the verb may be called the Time-taking word or Time-word, as it is called by the Germans Das Zeitwort; or, as it is the main word of the thought and speech, it is the Thought-word or Speech-word; or, as it is called in Latin and other tongues, the Word.

Welsh speech-lore has called the verb the soul[1] of the thought-wording.

Among the thousands of sundriness of time-taking there are some wide differences which should be borne in mind.

Unoutreaching or Intransitive.

Time-takings, which must or may end with the time-taking thing, as

To be. John cannot be another man.

To sleep; to walk. John cannot sleep or walk another man.


Outreaching (Transitive).

Time-takings that may begin with the time-taking thing, and reach out to another, as

To strike; to see. John may strike or see another man.


If a man, A, takes time against another, B, as to see B, we should more truly say of B that he gives, not takes, the time which A takes.

The time-words for unoutreaching time-takings may be called Unoutreaching; of the outreaching ones, Outreaching; of the time-givings, Time-giving.

In some cases there is between the time-taking thing and the time-giving thing a middle one—the thing, tool, or matter with which the time is taken, as ‘John hit William with a stone’ or ‘a cane.’ But then, again, this wording is shortened by the putting of the name of the mid-thing as a time-word, as ‘John stoned or caned William.’ And this brings in a call for the marking of two sundry kinds of time-words—the strong or moulded, and weak or unmoulded time-words.

A time-word, when it tells a taking of time by one thing against another, is in the outreaching (active) voice—‘John strikes the iron.’ When it tells of the giving of time, it is in the time-giving (passive) voice. When it tells of an unoutreaching time-taking it is in the middle voice.

For the causing of another thing to take time some tongues have set shapes of the time-word, as, in Hindustani, durna, to run; durāna, to make another run.


We have hardly any of such words, though such are—

  • Lie, lay.
  • Sit, set.
  • Rise, raise.

Time-takings for becoming or making another thing become otherwise are marked by the ending -en on the mark-word, as

  • To blacken.
  • To whiten.

Misdoing by the fore-eking mis-:—

  • Mistake.
  • Misread.

Longer-lasting time-takings marked by the ending -er, as

Chat,chatter (to chatter much or long).

Short or small time-takings by endings such as

-ock, -ick.

whinnick (to whine smally).

-el, -l.


A time-taking, taken as a deed or being without any time-taking thing, is taken as a thing, and its name is a Thing-name, as to write.

As in Greek the Infinitive mood, tò gráphein, the ‘to write’; and in Italian, il scrivere, the ‘to write’ (the deed of writing or a writing), so the Infinitive mood-shape of the Saxon time-word was taken as a thing-name after the preposition to, to or for, as to huntianne (to or for the deed to hunt or hunting), as ‘Why does Alfred keep those dogs?’ ‘To huntianne.’


Thence we have our wording—

  • ‘Any chairs to mend?’ (any chairs to or for the deed mending),
  • ‘A house to let,’
  • ‘Letters to write,’
  • ‘A tale to tell,’

which is all good English.

It is an evil to our speech that the thing-shape now ending in -ing should be mistaken for the mark-word ending in -ing.

Unhappily two sundry endings of the old English have worn into one shape. They were -ung or -ing and -end.

Singung is the deed of singing, a thing. Singend is a mark-word, as in the wording ‘I have a singing bird.’

Sailing and hunting, in the foregiven thought-wordings, are thing-names, and not mark-words. Sailing is segling, as ‘ne mid seglinge ne mid rownesse’ (neither with sailing nor rowing).—Bede 5, 1.

Wunigende ofer hyne’ (woning [mark-word] over him).—Matt iii. 16.

‘Sy wunung heora on west’ (be their woning [thing-name] waste).—Ps. lxviii 30.

‘Ða genealaehton hym to Farisaer hyne costigende’ (then came near to him the Pharisees tempting [mark-word] him).—Matt xix. 3.

‘Ne gelaede þu us on costnunge’ (lead us not into tempting [thing-name]).—Lord’s Prayer.

So ‘haelende,’ Matt v. 23; ‘haeling’; ‘bodigende,’ Matt. x. 35; ‘bodung,’ Luke xi. 32.

‘Waere þu to-daeg, on huntunge?’ (not huntende) (wert thou to-day on or in hunting?)—Aelfric’s Dialogue.


‘Hwaet dest þu be þinre huntunge?’ (not huntende) (what dost thou by thy hunting?)—Aelfric.

The CALLING of assemblies I cannot away with.’—Isa. i. 13. Not ‘calling assemblies,’ which, if calling were a mark-word, would mean assemblies that call.

The right speech-trimming with the thing-names in -ing is to trim them in the old English way as thing-names in their cases; as,

‘We are the offscouring of all things unto this day.’—1 Cor. iv. 13. Not ‘We are the offscouring all things.’

‘For that righteous man, IN seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul.’

‘By the WASHING of regeneration and (the) RENEWING of the Holy Ghost.’—Titus iii. 5. Not ‘He saved us by the washing regeneration and renewing the Holy Ghost.’

The ending -er of the time-taker (deeder, name-word) is, not unclearly, the Celtic, Welsh gwr, or in word-welding -wr, the Latin -or; as,

Welsh, barn, doom; barnwr, a doom-man.
Latin, canto, to sing; cantor, a sing-man.

Thence -er seems a far less fitting ending for a tool-name than the old Saxon -el; and a tool for the whetting of knives would be more fitly called a whettel than a whetter. Choppel, chopper; clippels, clippers.

All new time-words now taken or shapen from other tongues must be unmoulded.

We say shoot, shot (not shooted); but loot, looted (not lot), loot being the Hindustani lootna, to rob or plunder.

So time-words, which are known English words,[19] of another kind, names or mark-words, are mostly unmoulded.

The shapening of the time-words hangs rather more on their endings than on their headings.

The oddest are those which end in the throat-pennings—NG, NK, K, G; and those ending in roof-pennings—T, D.

Because the -d of the roof-penning -ed is so unlike a throat-penning, which cannot easily stand with it: and because the T and D are like d as roof-pennings, and (see Table) they may run into them.

-ING Root-words (strong).

The wording of a time-taking (predicate) with its speech-thing (subject) is a Thought-wording (proposition).

Strong or moulded time-words are such as, for a time-taking of foretime, are moulded (without any out-eking) into another shape or sound, as

I sing,I sang.
It flies,it flew.

The weak or unmoulded time-words take on, unmoulded, an ending such as -ed, as

He stones,he stoned.
He canes,he caned.

All time-words that are known names of things are unmoulded, as



Very many of our time-words are unmoulded from the same cause—that they are names of things; although such names of things, having become worn more or less out of shape, or having fallen out of use, may not show themselves to our minds what they are.

To hunt makes hunted; why? From hound, to hunt, meaning at first to seek with a hound.

It may, however, be said, ‘Is to hunt from hound, or hound from to hunt?’

Such a point is, in very many cases, cleared out by the Anglo-Saxon, in which ‘to hunt’ is hunt-i-an, not hunt-an; and the i, a worn shape of ig, shows that huntian is from hund, hound, and so hound is not from hunt.

The time-word from the thing hunt-ig-an, hunt-i-an, is to houndy, to take time with a hound.

We say

Cling, clung.
Fling, flung.
Sling, slung.

But we should say ‘he ringed (not rung) his pig’; ‘he stringed his harp’; ring and string being things.

The strong or moulded time-words are nearly or quite all words ending in one single breath-penning, and of a close sound (1, 2, 3, or 4 of the Table), as


Other time-words, name-words, or stem-words, and broad-sounded ones (5, 6, 7, 8 of the Table), are nearly all weak or unmoulded.



The ending -NG in broad-sounded words—


-NK, Broad.


And in


-K, Broad, Long Stem-words (weak).


Make was heretofore maked:

‘For aevric rice man his castles makede.’—Sax. Chron. MCXXXVI.

K wore out, whence

Maked,    ma-ed,    maed,    made.

-K, Short.


-G, Short.


All but dig, dug. What a pity to put it out of keeping with all of the others! It is digged in the Bible.

-T, Long Stem-words.


-T, Short Stem-words.





-T, Short (weak shortened).


The wear of these words was thislike:

  • Let-ede.
  • Let-de.

The mild penning, d, after a hard one, t, became hard, t. Whence lette, let, with the two tt run into one. A pity!

So were shapen feed, fedde, fed; lead, ledde, led; read, redde.

Weak -D (long).


Weak -D (short).


-L, Broad Sound (long).


A few of them are shortened, as feel, feeld, felt.

-N, Long.


-N, Short Stem-words.



-R, Broad Sounds.


Dare now makes durst; but in Friesic it is unmoulded—‘and ne thuradon nâ wither forskina’ (and dared not to show themselves again).

-R, Short.


-S and -Z, Long.






-P, Long.


-P, Short.



Weak -B (short).


-V, Long.


-F, Short.


-M, Long.


All but come, came.


Time-words ending in an open breathing. Most of them are weak:—


A few of them are moulded:—


All those that end in two or three sundry breath-pennings are weak:—

(All but cast, formerly casted.)

A few time-words ending with a throat-penning mark the heretofore time by some oddness of shape; as,


They were opened in sound, and also took the ending ode, od (our ed), and then came into our shapes by sundry wonted changes:—

-ing (as of bring) became -ong.
-ing-edbecame(1) -ong-ed.
-ong-ed(2) -ong’d.
-ong’d(3) -onk’d.

Then the d, a mild penning after a hard penning (k), became hard, t:—

-onk’dbecame(4) -onk’t.
-onk’t(5) -ok’t.
-ok’t(6) -o’t,


as k and t are harsh together. Whence—

Bringbro’t (brought).
Buy (bycg, A.S.)bo’t.
Seek (sec, A.S.)so’t.
Teach (taec, A.S.)to’t.

Our gh as in taught is the now unuttered (though still written) throat-penning.

Time-takings or time-givings may be taken as thing-marks, as ‘the hunting dog’; ‘the hunted hare.’

The sundry moods of time-takings are marked by sundry shapes of the time-word, or by bye-words or mark-words—shall, will, can, may, must.

The timings of time-takings are marked by sundry shapes of the time-word, and by bye-words or mark-words to it, as ‘the bird flies’ or does fly, or flew or did fly, or will fly.

Under-Sundrinesses of Time-takings.

Time-takings are of sundry kinds, under sundry names, as to be, to walk, to strike.

Under-time-markings may be by single words, as ‘to write well or ill, slowly or quickly’; or by two or three words, as ‘he runneth very swiftly’; or by clusters of words, as ‘he runs with most amazing speed’; or ‘he works in a very skilful way.’

Fitting of the Time-word to all the cases of Person, Time, and Mood.

In this fitting the time-word is helped by sundry bye-words or under-mark-words.


Can, from the Saxon cun-n-an, to ken, know, to know how. ‘I can write,’ I know how to write.

The heretofore time-shape of Ic can was Ic cuðe, for which we have now I could, with an l which was never in the root of the word, and for which there is not any ground.

May.Mag-an, the stem of maht, might, means to strongen, to be or become strong (Lat. valere), as is shown by cases of its use in Saxon and other Teutonic tongues.

In an old Friesic good wish at the drinking to the health of a bride and bridegroom we find ‘Dat se lang lave en wel mage,’ that they long live and well may (strongen, bene valeant); and in Saxon, ‘Hu maeg he?’ how mays he? (strongens or valet).

Shall.Sceal-an, meant, as a stem, to offmark, distinguish, or to skill in the meaning of 1 Kings v. 6—‘Ic sceal dón,’ I offmark or skill to do; as what I am bent to do.

‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ Thou markest or clearly seest to love the Lord thy God.

‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Thou markest this. Not to steal.

Must.Mot-an, most-an, is most likely a stem of the word mag-an, to strongen (valere).

The -st would strengthen the meaning of mag (may) as it does in -est of longest. So ‘I must go’ (Ic moste gán) would mean ‘I am overmighted by another’s might to go.’

Time-words are fitted

To Person, as
I am.Thou art.He is.
[28]To Tale, as
I am.
We are.
Thou art.
Ye are.
He is.
They are.
To Time, as
I am (now).I was (heretofore).
I shall be (hereafter).

To Mood, as

I write, or shall write.
I may or can write, or might or could or should write.
If I write, or if I had written.

Things and Time-takings.

Timing of time-takings is the marking of their times, as now, heretofore, or hereafter.


Now or hereat.
I am, or I love, or am loved.

Heretofore done.
I was, or I loved, or was loved.

Heretofore ongoing.
I was, or I was a-loving or I did love.

Now ended.
I have been, or I have loved, or have been loved.

Heretofore ended.
[29]I had been, or I had loved, or had been loved.

Heretofore ongoing, ended.
I had been a-loving.

Hereafter doing.
I shall be, or I shall love, or shall be loved.

Hereafter ongoing.
I shall be a-loving.

Hereafter ended.
I shall have been, or shall have loved, or shall have been loved.

Hereafter ended, ongoing.
I shall have been a-loving.

Single and stringly time-takings of the same name, as ‘Mary sold me some apples yesterday.’ There was a single selling; but under the wording ‘Mary formerly sold apples in the market,’ it is clear that under the same word sold is meant a string of sellings.

So under the wording ‘Write your name’ is understood a single writing; but under the wording ‘If you would write readily, write every day,’ the same word write implies a string of writings.

Some tongues (as the Greek and Russian) have two shapes of the time-words for these two cases of time-taking; as, Greek—

‘Take thy bill and write fifty’ (γράψον, aorist).—Luke xvi. 6.

‘Jesus, stooping down, wrote on the ground’ (ἔγραφεν, imperfect, ondoing shape, wrote on).

But Acts xxv. 26, ‘About whom I have nothing[30] certain to write’ (γράψαι, aorist, to write off once for all).

See the Greek text of the 3rd Epistle of John v. 13—‘I had many (things or many times?) to write (γράφειν, ondoing shape), but I will not with pen and ink write (γράψαι) to thee’ (aorist, offdoing form).

An understanding of the difference between the aorist and ondoing shapes is of weight in the reading of the Gospel. ‘To make intercession, to intercede for them.’—Heb. vii. 25. To intercede once for all, at the doom-day? No. To intercede on always; for the word is not in the aorist shape, but in the present ondoing form, to be interceding.

Historic Time-wording.

A time-shape of a time-word used in an unwonted way for the telling of a string of deeds, as, in English, the present time-shape is so used for deeds of foretime, as ‘He opens the door, walks in, coolly takes a chair, sits down, and tells the maid he wishes to see me.’

So ‘Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him,’ &c.—John i. 45.

The Moods of Time-takings.


The wording of the time-taking may be; as,

(1) Now or heretofore true, or hereafter sure, as ‘He is, or was, or will be’; ‘He sings, or sang, or will sing.’ The Truth Mood.


(2) That it may or can, or could or might be so taken, as ‘He may or can go.’ The Mayly Mood.

(3) Or that it is to be wished that it may or might be taken, as ‘I wish,’ or ‘Oh that I could go.’ The Wish Mood.

Or that it is a hinge time-taking on which another hangs, as ‘If you ask (hinge), you will receive (on-hang).’

Or as bidden to be taken, as ‘Go thy way.’

Stead-marks and Way-marks of Time-takings.


Things named in speech, so as to mark the stead of the beginning or end, or of the way of the time-taking at any point of its length or outreach in time or room, are Case-things.

There are, however, two cases which are speech-cases and not stead-marks or way-marks:—

(1) That of the of-spoken thing (nominative), the thing of which the speech speaks, as ‘The bird flies’; and

(2) The to-spoken thing (vocative), as ‘O sing, sweet bird.’

Cases are marked by shapes of thing-names or by case-words, or by the setting of the case-word either after or before the time-word, as ‘The dog drove out the cat,’ where the dog is the beginning of the time-taking; or ‘The cat drove out the dog,’ where the dog is the end of it, and is shown to be so by the setting of its name after the time-word.



‘The bird flew from, or off, or out of the tree.’

‘He died of or from intemperance.’

The tree and intemperance are source-marks of flew and died.

End or Aim.

‘John loved George.’

‘He went to or towards London.’

‘Edwin worked for wages, or strolled along by the stream.’

The Stead Case.

‘John was in the field or at the church.’

The Tool.

‘Alfred wrote with a pen.’

‘The bird flew before, behind, over, under, above, below, by, around, or through the gate-turret,’ which is the way-mark of flew.

There is a Source-mark which is a source of the time-taking, not as being only that thing, but as being a thing then in some shape or kind of time-taking.

‘(a) The wind being against us, (b) we made but little way.’ a is the source of b, ‘we made but little way,’ not from the wind simply as wind, but as also being against us.

‘You being my leader, I shall overcome.’

This is commonly called the absolute case (allfree case); though the wind is not free of a time-taking (being against us). It may be called the ‘thing-so-being’ case.


Some tongues mark many of the cases by sundry endings of the thing-name, but we have in common names only one ending for case, the possessive, as ‘the horse’s mane,’ ‘John’s house.’

In name-tokens we have three case-forms, as thou, thy, theethy for the possessive, and thee for all the other cases.

‘The bird flew from the apple-tree in the corner of the garden, through the archway, and under the elm by the barn, round the hayrick, and on over the stream just below the willow, and above the bridge, and then to the stall, and on towards the wood, and into an ivy-bush.’

Here the sundry named things are way-marks which mark the place of the flying in its beginning and end, and at sundry points of its length.

Such stead-marks or way-marks may be taken as in either of one or two or three cases, as they may be either stead-marks or way-marks, and as their beholdingness to the time-taking may be reckoned to it or from it to themselves.

‘The bird flew over or under or by the tree.’ The flying at first reached on nearer towards the tree, and then reached off again farther from it, so that the tree was at first in the case of a toness, and then in the case of a fromness, with the flying.

But under the wording ‘the roof is over the floor,’ or ‘the floor is under the roof,’ the time-taking is is a staid and not an ongoing one, and either the roof or the floor may be in the fromness or toness case, as the height may be reckoned from it to the other, or to it from the other.


A housemother may say ‘We live near (to) Fairton’ (toness case); yet an hour afterwards she may say ‘We live too far from Fairton (fromness case) to step in readily for errands.’

Her abode may be four miles from Fairton, so that the time-taking live is as far from Fairton in one case as the other; and yet it puts it in two sundry cases.

‘If Alfred gave to Edred a field,’ the time-taking gave ended in the mid-thing, the field (the endingness case), but it put the field to Edred, as his, in the toness case.

The place of a time-taking may be shown by one place-mark, or by two or three, of which a latter may mark the place of a former, as ‘The rooks build in the elms, above the house,’ where the elms mark the place of the building, and the house marks that of the place-mark (the elms).

But some case-words are made up of a smaller case-word and a thing-name, as ‘Alfred sat beside the wall.’ Beside being ‘by the side,’ and the side of the wall (whereof case).

The figure for case-shifting, or the changing of the case-tokens, is called in Gr. enallage as

‘I have ten sovereigns in my purse’; ‘My purse contains ten sovereigns.’

The pump has a new handle’; ‘There is a new handle to the pump.’

‘The carpet in the hall’; ‘The carpet of the hall.’

‘The brother of or to that lady.’

‘John likes cricket or is fond of cricket.’

‘Greedy of gain or for gain.’

‘Think of me or on me.’


‘He was killed by a blow of a club or with a club.’

‘He spoke in the balcony or from the balcony.’


is the setting of words or a bewording of thought or speech (syntax).

A thought-wording (proposition) is a bewording of the case of a thing with its time-taking. ‘The boy is good’ or ‘the boy plays.’

A thought-wording may have more thing-names and time-words, as ‘The boys and girls read and play.’

Thought-wordings (propositions) may be linked together in sundry ways, though mostly by Link-words (conjunctions). ‘Men walk and birds fly’; ‘I sought him, but I found him not’; ‘I waited at the door while Alfred went into the house.’

Twin Time-takings.

The Hinge Time-taking, on which the other hangs, and the Hank Time-taking which hangs on the Hinge one, as ‘If ye ask (hinge), ye shall receive (hank).’

There are sundry kinds of hinge time-takings, as one or the other or both of the time-takings may or may not be trowed or true or sure.

(1) Hinge and hank, trowed—‘As ye ask (as I trow you do), so ye receive (I trow).’

(2) Hinge, untrowed; hank, trowed—‘If ye ask (I trow not whether ye will or no), then ye will receive (I trow).’


The hinge-word put down as trowedly untrue, and the hank one trowed, as ‘If ye asked (as I trow you do not), ye would receive (I trow)’; or ‘If ye had asked (ye have not), ye would have received (I trow).’

The hinge time-taking trowed, and the other untrowed, as ‘Ye ask (I trow), that ye may receive (I trow not that ye will).’


The putting of speech into trim; trim being a truly good form or state. To trim a shrub, a bonnet, or a boat, is to put it into trim.

1. The first care in speech-trimming is that we should use words which give most clearly the meanings and thoughts of our mind, though it is not likely that unclear thought will find a clear outwording; and either of the two, as clear or unclear, helps to clearen or bemuddle the other.

With most English minds, and with all who have not learned the building of Latin and Greek words, English ones may be used with fewer mistakes of meaning than would words from those tongues; though Englishmen should get a clearer insight into English word-building ere they could hope to keep English words to their true sundriness of meaning.

The so-seeming miswordings (solœcisms) of writers in the Latinised and Greekish speech-trimming are not uncommon or unmarkworthy.

One man writes of something which necessitates another, though Latin itself has no necessito to back[37] ‘necessitate’; another gives eliminate as meaning elicit, or outdraw; a third calls a failure of a rule an exception from it. There is no EXCEPTION to a rule but that which is excepted from it at and in the downlaying of it. If a man gives a simple rule ‘that if it rains on St. Swithin’s day it rains forty days after it,’ and it did not so rain last year, the case is a breach or failure of the rule, and not an exception to it. He gave no exception.

Some say ‘Mrs. A. has had twins’ or ‘Alfred was one of twins.’ A twin is a twain, a two, or a couple of things of the same name or kind; and twins of children must be at least four. I should say ‘Alfred was one of a twin.’ In the latter case it would be correct to say ‘There IS one or a twain of fat men,’ &c., in which is would match both.

One has written ‘ideas are manufactured.’ By whose hands? Another talks of ‘a dilapidated dress’; and a third has ‘found the stomach of a big fish dilapidated.’ What are lapides? and what means delapido?

A man has written of an old Tartar that he was ‘a tameless gorilla’—a gorilla without a tame! as if tame were a thing-name.

Another says ‘It imposed absolute limits upon the choice of positions.’ What are absolute limits if absolute (from absolvo, to offloosen) means offloosened from all check and all limits?

A man writes of ‘a photograph reproduced by a new permanent process.’ Is it the process or the sunprint that is permanent?

Preposterous, foreaft, as when what should be præ, foremost, is put post or behind; whereas a writer gives[38] a structure as ‘preposterously overgrown,’ as if ‘preposterous’ meant only very much, vastly.

One takes irretrievable as nohow amended. If ‘retrieve’ is the French retrouver (to find again), ‘irretrievable’ would mean not to be found again; and ‘the irretrievable defeat of the whole nation’ would be one which they could not find again, as most likely they would not wish to find it.


From want of words in English, or of care, our wording may seem to bear two meanings, as ‘John played with Edwin, and broke his bat.’ The bat of which boy?

‘One Robert Bone of Antony shot at a little bird sitting upon his cow’s back, and killed it—the bird (I mean), not the cowe.’—Carew.

Word-sameness (Synonyms).

Words of the same meaning are less often so than they are so called; and we sometimes give lists of synonyms showing the differences of their meanings.

A twin of words of one very same meaning is rather evil than good; and if they are not of one very same meaning they should not be given as such.

It may be that from a misunderstanding of the word tautology, as the name of a bad kind of speech-trimming, men have often shunned the good use of words.

The bad tautology from which speakers have been so frayed seems to be the giving twice or many times,[39] within one scope of thought-wording, the same matter of speech in the same words.

It is true that it would not be good wording to say ‘John has sold John’s horse’ for ‘his horse’ since the name-tokens are shapen to stand for foregiven names.

But where the same foreused word would give a very clear—if not the clearest—meaning, there seems to be little ground against the use of it.

‘I bought a horse on Monday and a donkey on Tuesday, and sold the horse again at a gain on Thursday.’ Why should not the word horse take the latter place as well as the word steed, or equine animal, or ‘more worthy beast’—or why should I not as well say, ‘An ass I want, and an ass I will buy,’ as ‘An ass I want, and a donkey, or it or him, I will buy’?

It seems that much wrong is done to the Greek of the Gospel by the putting, for the same Greek word, sundry English ones at sundry passages; and by what right do we try an Evangelist’s or an Apostle’s wisdom in the use of the same word, by which he must have meant to give the same meaning? or why should we make him to mean by κρίσις, at one time, a trying of a soul, and at another time a fordooming of him?

It is not any tautology to use near to each other a thing-name and a mark-word which are only fellow stem-words, as ‘As free, and not using your freedom for a cloke of wickedness.’

2. Another care in speech-trimming is the choice of words for their sound-sweetness (Gr. euphony) or well-soundingness, or for speech-readiness.

Past, with the hissing s with t, is less sound-good[40] than after; and aqueduct, with ct, is less well-sounding than waterlode; nor is cataract softer than waterfall.

The hereunder given wordings were lately heard in a law court:—

‘I can give you one or two instances of remarkable intelligence in the cases of fat men’; and

A Juror—‘There are one or two fat men on the jury (laughter).’

Dr. K.—‘I don’t think there are.’

How should these cases be treated? In the first case, ‘one instances’ is a breach of word-matching, as would be ‘two instance’; and in the latter, the word one calls for man, and two for men. May we not better say, ‘I can give you at least one instance,’ or ‘I believe more instances than one’?

‘A man who has already, and will still, render such services will be,’ &c. Rendered is understood after has; but how may the thought be worded without the two puttings of the word render? Thus: ‘a man who will still be, as he has already been, found to render,’ &c.

Penetrate means insink, inpierce. M. Gambetta writes, ‘After the heroic examples given by open towns, and by villages only guarded by their firemen, it is absolutely necessary that each town, each commune, shall pay its debt to the national defence, and that all alike be penetrated by the task which is imposed upon France.’ It seems a queer speech-wording to take a task as a thing that penetrates, though it might be undertaken.

A bad wording is often found with mark-words of the higher pitch, as ‘Alfred was more clever, but not so good, as John.’ ‘Not so good’ is an inwedged word-[41]cluster, but the word-setting is bad, as ‘more clever’ calls for the word than, not as; and ‘so good’ wants as, not than. It would be better to say ‘Alfred was more clever, but less good, than John.’ To try the word-setting take out the wedge-words (‘but not so good’), and you will have ‘Alfred was more clever as John.’

Dislike seems a bad word-shape. Mislike is the old and true English one. Like is from lic, a shape, as lich, the body of a dead man. ‘It liketh (licað) me well’ is ‘it shapes itself (looketh) to me well.’ ‘It misliketh me’ is ‘it misshapes itself to me’ (looks bad).

To seem is from the thing-name—sam, seam, seem, body or mass—and ‘it seems to me’ is ‘it bodies itself to me.’ ‘That ship seems to be a French one,’ or ‘that man seems to be ill,’ bodies itself or himself to be a French one or ill.

‘The house and the goods were burnt’; but ‘the house with the goods was (not were) burnt,’ since it is only the house that is in the speech-case, as the goods are in the mate-case. ‘The house was burnt with the goods.’

One of the children are come.’ No—is come. The one only is come.

In our taking of time-words from the Latin in the shape of the past participle, we get at last a queer shape of word. Take the Latin reg- of rego, to reach or straighten, as a line, and our word reck. From reg comes regtus, rectus. Here the t answers to our d (German t of ed and et). Then rec-t answers to reck’d. Now put on ed to each, and rec-t becomes rec-t-ed, as in direc-t-ed; and reck’d becomes reck-d-ed, showing that directed is truly[42] direg-ed-ed, and too like reck-ed-ed, as ‘He reck-ed-ed nought.’

We may often hear a man who is careful to speak good English say ‘This rose smells very sweetly,’ for sweet. The rose smells (gives out smell) as being itself very sweet, not as smelling (taking in smell) in a sweet way. To find which to use, the thing-markword or the under-markword, put ‘as being’ after the time-word, as ‘This rose smells (as being itself) sweet,’ not sweetly.

‘Can you smell now? you had, the other day, lost your smelling?’ ‘Yes, I smell very nicely.’ Not I smell as being myself very nice. A rose cannot smell any other thing, and so cannot smell it nicely.

‘Mary sings very charmingly,’ but ‘Mary looks very charming.’

‘John looks pale,’ but ‘John looks very narrowly into that gold-work.’

‘I can taste well,’ ‘That peach tastes good.’

To have seen a man at a bygone time would mean that the seeing was before that bygone time; but we sometimes hear a man say, ‘I should (yesterday) have been very glad to have seen you (if you had called yesterday).’ That is, by wording, ‘I should have been very glad (yesterday) to have seen you (at a time before yesterday),’ not to see you yesterday; and yet that is what the speaker means. ‘I should have been very glad (yesterday) to see you (yesterday),’ or ‘I should be very glad to-day to have seen you yesterday.’

3. Odd word-shapes are not in the main choice-worthy.

Our time-word go is of unwontsome conjugation, as[43] its foretime shape went is not shapen from go, but is a shape of another word, wend.

So the forlessening name, leveret for a hareling, and cygnet for a swanling, are unwontsome, as being words of another speech.

4. There is a greater or less freedom of word-shifting (Gr. anastrophe, up-shifting or back-shifting), as up in ‘Fasten it up well,’ ‘fasten it well up’; or back in ‘He brought back the saw,’ or ‘he brought the saw back’; ‘There is none to dispute my right,’ or ‘my right there is none to dispute.’

Why should not English, like other tongues, more freely form words with headings of case-words, as downfalls, incomings, offcuttings, outgoings, upflarings, instead of the awkward falls-down, comings-in, cuttings-off, goings-out, flare-ups; or offcast (for cast-off) clothes; or a downbroken (for a broken-down) schoolmaster; outlock or outlocking (for a lock-out); the uptaking beam (for the taking-up beam) of an engine?

Oddly-shapen or Oddly-taken Words.

Mongrel (hybrid) words, or words partly from one tongue and partly from another.

Twy-speechwords are a sore blemish to our English, as they seem to show a scantiness of words which would be a shame to our minds; as,

Sub-warder for under-warder.
Pseudo-sailor for sham-sailor.
Ex-king for rodless or crownless king.
Prepaid for forepaid.
Bi-monthly for fortnightly or every fortnight.


Wordiness (Verbosity).

As ‘The train ran with extraordinary velocity,’ for ‘the train ran very fast.’

‘Alfred did the business with perfect fidelity;’ for ‘Alfred did the business faithfully.’

Thence much of the wordiness of our written, if not spoken, composition.

The ‘New York Times’ thus explains how it was that the flames got to the roof in the burning of the Fifth Avenue Hotel:—‘Fire always is aspirant, the sole exception being where incandescent masses fall down, and so act as a medium of ignition.’

The hard breathing (aspirate) is often wrongly dropped or misput by less good speakers; but, while the upper ranks laugh at them for their mistakes, they themselves, like our brethren of Friesland and Holstein, often drop it from words to which it of right belongs, and mainly from the hard-breathed W or the Saxon HW (our WH).

What,wat (Hols.)
When,wanne (Fri.)
Where,wâr (Fri.)
Wheel,weel (Fri.)
Whelp,welp (Fri.)
While,wile (Fri.)
White,wit (Fri.)
(It is bad.)

Shall we soon hear ‘Wet the ’ook with a wetstone’ for ‘Whet the hook with a whetstone’?

Some Englishmen would say, ‘The ’ammer is on the hanvil’; and some have been known to say, ‘’enry ’it ’orace with the ’ollow of ’is ’and,’ for ‘Henry hit Horace with the hollow of his hand.’


English mark-timewords (participles) are of two kinds—one of an ongoing time-taking, as ‘the rising sun’; and another of the ended time-taking, as ‘the risen sun’; and they are of a few sundry shapes, some ending with -en, -n, as broken, and others ending with -ed, -d; and some without an ending, as cut.

1. In -en, those which are of one breath-sound, and moulded so that the bygone time-shape takes the sound (7) o[2]:—


2. Some one-sounded and moulded time-words, of the sound (8) in the shape for bygone time, take -en, -n; as,


Unmoulded time-words take -ed, but a few of them take -ed or -en; as,



These following, as is shown by the Saxon, ought to take -ed rather than -en:—

  • Hew.
  • Rive.
  • Show.

Shape, shave, and swell were in Saxon moulded, and thence took -en.

There is a set of time-words which were weak, but are now endingless in their mark-word shape. They ended with a roof-penning -t or -d, and the roof-penning of the ending -ed ran at last into the roof-penning of the stems in the way shown on p. 22, and their mark-word shapes are the same as those for bygone time.

  • Cast.
  • Cost.
  • Cut.
  • Hit.
  • Let.
  • Put.
  • Rid.
  • Set.
  • Shoot.
  • Shut.
  • Split.
  • Spread.
  • Shed.

Shortened Shapes (p. 23).

  • Bred.
  • Crept.
  • Dealt.
  • Fed.
  • Fled.
  • Left.
  • Lost.
  • Slept.
  • Sped.
  • Spilt.
  • Swept.
  • Wept.

One-sounded root time-words are mostly endingless in their mark-word shape:—




Ablative (fromness case). The case of the source of the time-taking.

Abnormal. Unshapely, queer of shape, odd.

Abrade. To forfray, forfret. For for- see For- hereafter.

Absist. Forbear.

Absorb. Forsoak.

Absolute. Checkless, freed or loosened from checks.

Absolve. To forfree-en, forloosen.

Abstract (in speech-craft). Unmatterly, not of matterly form.

Accelerate. To onquicken, quicken.

Accent. Word-strain, a strain of the voice, higher or lower, on a breath-sound.

Accessary. A bykeeper, deedmate.

Accidence. The forshapenings of words for case, tale, time, mood, or person.


Accusative (case). End-case, the case of a thing which is the end or aim of a time-taking.

Acephalous. Headless.

Acoustics. Sound-lore, hearing-lore.

Active. Sprack (Wessex), doingsome, doughty.

Active (time-taking). One that can reach from the time-taker to another thing; as, ‘to strike.’ John can strike another thing.

Acute. Sharp or high in sound.

Adjective. Thing-markword, mark-word.

Adulation. Flaundering, glavering.

Adverb. An under-markword.

Adversative. Thwartsome.

Aerology. Air-lore.

Aeronaut. Airfarer.

Affirmation. Foraying, or a foryeaing, not a fornaying; as, ‘Yes, he is.’

Agglutinate. To upcleam, to cleam up.

Aggregate. The main, whole.

Allative (case). A name given by some writers to that of a thing at which the time-taking is aimed (the aim case).

Alienate. To unfrienden.

Allegory. A forlikening.

Alliteration. Mate-pennings (i.e. Breath-pennings).

Alone. All-án, all-one:—‘Nen manniska buta God al ena.γράψον’—W. Friesic. ‘No man, but God all-one (alone.)’


Altercation. A brangle, brangling, brawling.

Ambiguous. Twy-sided, twy-meaning:—‘Alfred was struck as he was walking with a stout stick.’ Struck or walking with a stick? (twy-sided.) ‘Those shoes were made before the man that made them.’ Before in time, or before not behind?

Amicable. Friendly:—‘We have lived in amicable relations’ (friendly, in friendliness).

Amphibious. Twy-breath’d, twy-aired: by lungs and gills.

Amphibology. A twy-casting, a wording of two meanings.

Amphimacrum. Long sidelings, long end-sounds. A foot (in verse) of one short sound between two long ones, or of a low sound between two high ones; as, Tó and fró.

Amputate. Forcarve.

Anachronism. A mistiming.

Anagram. A letter-shuffling; as, out of ‘name’ to
Anagram. A letter-shuffling; as, out of ‘1234
make ‘mane,’ or of ‘march’ to make ‘charm.’
make ‘3214

Analysis. A forloosening or unmaking of a word or wording, or any thing, into its sundry clear pieces.

Anastrophe. A word-shifting; as, ‘Fasten it up well,’ ‘Fasten it well up.’ ‘He brought back the horse,’ or ‘He brought the horse back.’ ‘There is none to dispute my right,’ or ‘My right there is none to dispute.’

Anastrophe affords a case
Of the shifting of words from place to place.


Ancestor. Fore-elder, kin-elder.

Animate. To quicken.

Annals. Year-bookings.

Annihilate. To fornaughten.

Anniversary. Year-day.

Annuity. Year-dole.

Antanaclasis. Twy-hitting on a word:—‘If shape that was which had no shape.’ ‘It is the best art that conceals art.’

By antanaclasis is heard
Aloud once more a former word.

Anodyne. Pain-dunting, pain-dilling. (Dill, -n, to dunt, to soothe.)

Anomalous. Odd-shaped, oddly shapen.

Antepenultimate (breath-sound). Last but two.

Anticipate. To foreween, foretake.

Antique. Ancient, foreold, ereold. Old for things in being, foreold or ereold for things forgone.

Antithesis. An atsetting.

Antonomasia. Name-shunning, the marking of a man by other words than his name; as, ‘The honourable member for A.,’ instead of ‘Mr. B.’

Aphæresis. Foredocking of a word; as, pothecary for apothecary, nob for knob.

Aphorisms. Thought-cullings.

Apocope. End-lopping; as mortal for mortalis, send for send-an.


Apodosis. The hank time-taking to a hinge one (protasis):—‘If ye ask (hinge), ye shall receive (hank).’

Aposiopésis. A tongue-checking; as, ‘Do you think——but I reck not what you think.’

Apostrophe. An offturning.

Appellative (name). A call-name.

Appendix. Hank, hank-matter.

Apposition. A twy-naming, a putting of two names for one thing; as, ‘The dog Toby.’

Aptote. Casemarkless.

Aqueduct. Waterlode.

Arbitrator. Daysman (Job ix. 33).

Armistice. A weapon-staying, weapon-stay, war-pause.

Articulation. Breath-penning.

Aspirate. A breathing, hard breathing.

Assimilate. To make of the same sam (form of matter) or lic (bodily form of a thing). To assimilate food, to forselfen it, to make it into a man’s self.

Asylum has with us widely shifted its first meaning. An asylon was a sanctuary where a man was asylos, not to be pulled away (from a, sylao) by a foe. Now it often means a place whence a man cannot get away.

Asyndeton. Linklessness. The putting of words without link-words; as, ‘Faith, hope, charity,’ for ‘Faith and hope and charity.’

Asyndeton puts side by side
Strong words, by ne’er a linkword tied.

Atmosphere. Welkin-air.


Attraction. A fordrawing, a drawing of a word out of its true case or tale by another word to which it is nearer than to the one which it should match; as, ‘Neither of the men are (for is) come.’ Where the time-word would most likely have been drawn into the somely shape by its nearness to men.

Attraction may be misdrawing.

Augment. An eking, eking on or out.

Auxiliary. Outeking or helping.

Be- (a fore-eking, meaning by, to, about). Bebutton a coat, to put buttons to it; becloke school-children, give them clokes; becloud, obnubilate; beflood, inundate; behem, bebound or circumscribe; bereek, fumigate.

Belligerent. War-waging.

Bibulous. Soaksome.

Bicornous. Twy-horned.

Bidental. Two-teeth, two-teethed.

Bilateral. Two-sided:—‘These articles would be considered a public bilateral contract, and would form the subject of an agreement with the Powers having Catholic subjects.’ Bilateral contract is put for bipartite, a contract by or between two sides, or of men of two sides; but it would seem that the Romans did not call the two sides in a contract or cause latera, but partes—‘Parte utrâque auditâ.’—Plin. Jun.

Latera are the sides of a body or space.

Binocular. Two-sighted.

Bipennated (as an axe). Twy-bladed.


Botany. Wortlore.

Cardinal (numbers). Tale-numbers; as, one, two, three.

Catachresis. A misuse (of a word); as, an iron milestone; a parricide for one who has killed his mother; dilapidated for a ragged coat.

Chemistry. Matter-lore, the science of matter.

Chronology. Time-lore.

Cinereous. Ash-grey.

Circular (a trade-circular). A touting-sheet or -bill.

Circumference. Rim, rimreach.

Circumflex. A roundwinding, a winding of the voice up and down again.

Clause. A word-cluster in a thought-wording.

Cognate. Kin, akin. Cognate breath-pennings; as, T, D, both on the roof.

Collective (name). That of a cluster or a many or a body of single things; as, a club, a herd.

Colon. Gr. kōlon, a limb or member. A mark for a limb, or marked share of a thought-bewording.

Colophon. Book-end.

Comma. Gr. komma, a cut or share. A mark for the offcutting of small shares of a discourse.

Complement. An upfilling or outfilling in words.

Compound. Clustered or a cluster, a clustered word, as horseman, or a thought-wording of two or more smaller ones.


Concord. A matching.

Concrete. Matterly.

Conditional (mood). Hinge-mood (p. 34).

Conjugation (of a time-word). The forfitting of it, the fortrimming of it.

Conjunction. A link-word.

Conjunctive. Linked, byholding.

Consonant. A letter for any breath-penning.

Construction. A word-setting, speech-trimming (see p. 36).

Contraction. An updrawing:—I’ll for I will, sinn’d for sinnèd.

Co-ordinate. Rank-mate, row-mate.

Copula. A link or bond.

Correlative (words). Mate-words.

Crasis. Sound-blending, sound-welding.

Dactyl. Gr. daktylos. A foot (in verse) of one long and two short sounds, or of one high and two low sounds, as cheerily.

Dative. Giving.

Deciduous (plant). Fallsome. (Does it mean that only the leaves fall, or that the whole stem falls?) An elm is summer-green or leaved, and winter-sear. Holly is ever-green or winter-leaved. Parsley or the nettle is summer-stemm’d and winter-fallsome.

Decimate. To tithe:—‘Breech-loading rifles would so decimate columns.’ Decimate (decimo, from decem, ten,[55] in Latin) was to take for death every tenth man of a body that had behaved very badly. The word decimate is now used very loosely, as meaning to cut up.

Defective. Wanting of something of its kind.

Defective (verb). Wanting of some time-shapes, as quoth, must, go. The foretime shape of go (gang) would be, as that of an unmoulded time-word, goed; and goed, a worn shape of the older ‘gaode,’ is found in northern folk-speech, with yowed (Saxon eode.) Gang makes ganged.

Deficiency. Underodds. Excess, overodds.

Define. L. de, off; finio, to mark. To offmark.

Demagogue. Folk-leader, folk’s-ringleader, folk’s-reder.

Democracy. Folkdom.

Dental. L. dentes, teeth. A dental breath-penning is one more or less on the teeth; as, eth, ef.

Dependency. Beholdingness:—‘As if one member would continue his wellbeing without beholdingness to the rest.’—Carew.

Depilatory. Hairbane.

Depletion. Unfullening.

Depopulate. Unfolk, forwaste.

Deport. Behave.

Deposit (of money). Earnest, pledge, bewaring.

Deprave. Forshrew, forwarp.

Depraved. Wicked.


Desecrate. Unhallow.

Desolate. Forloned.

Deter. Forfray.

Deteriorate. Worsen.

Develop. Unfold, unroll.

Diacritical. Offmarking, offskilling, sunder-clearing.

Diæresis. An outsundering or outopening, or foropening or forsundering, of a sound into two; as, L. sylva, syl-wa, into syl-u-a.

Diæresis splits sounds in two,
As if for true you said tri-u.

Diagram. A draught, offdrawing.

Dialect. A sunder-speech, a folk-speech, a fortongueing.

Diaphanous. Thoroughshining, thoroughshowing.

Dictionary. A word-book.

Didactic. Teaching, teachsome.

Disease. The Saxon-English had about fifty pure Teutonic names of diseases, to the main of which we now give Latin names. They were ranked under some few head-words.

Cwealm (qualm) meant mostly a deadly or many-killing epidemic, as the plague or cholera, which they would call a mancwealm (manqualm). Of this word we have left only qualm with qualmish.

Adl (our addle) was another main word for disease, as an unsoundness. From this word we have addle-headed and an addled egg.


Coða, coðe, was another main word for a disease. Hence (Dorset) a cothed sheep.

Weorc, werc (our wark), was a disease of pain or achingness, as the gout or colic.

Seoc, syc, meant any sickness in which a man sinks down on his bed or is off his legs.

Braec or breach was also given for some ailings.

To these words were set others of the parts of the body which they took, or of some other marks.

Stic-adl, stitch.
Sid-adl (side-addle), pleurisy.
Lengten-adl, lent-adl, typhus.
Hip-werc (hip-wark), sciatica.
Hrop-werc (bowel-wark, belly-wark (York)), colic.
Fylle seoc, falling sickness.
Lifer seoc, liver sickness.
Lifer-adl (Aelfric), liver-addle.
Milte-seoc (Aelfric), milt-sickness.
Lenden-wyrc (Aelfric), loin-wark.
Mete-afluing (Aelfric), atrophy.
Wylde-fyr (wildfire) (Aelfric), erysipelas.

Dissipate. Forscatter.

Distribution (of prizes). Outdealing, fordealing, outgiving:—‘Uetdieling fen da pryzen.’—Frs. (outdealing of the prizes.)

-dom (an ending). It is our word doom, from deem, and means a state or outreach of free judgment or power; as, kingdom, freedom.


-dom. ‘The scoundreldom and the rascality of a great city.’ Scoundrelhood. Dom (from deman, to judge or rule) would be good for kingdom, popedom, sheriffdom, or mayordom. Scoundreldom would mean the might of scoundrels as ruling or judging.

Domicile. Abode, wonestead.

Ecthlipsis. An outcasting or outstriking, as of a sound; as, ‘Sing th’ Almighty’s praise’ for ‘the Almighty’s,’ or ‘I’ll go’ for ‘I will go.’

Ecthlipsis happens where one leaves
Out sounds, or for the eaves says th’ eaves.

Elative (case). The fromward case; as, ‘He came from the house.’

Electricity. Matter-quickness; not speed, but liveliness. The word electricity means, as a word, only amberishness.

Ellipsis. An outleaving, as of a word understood; as, ‘I went to St. Paul’s’ (church).

Ellipsis is of any word
Well understood, but yet not heard.

-el (an ending). It means smallness or slightness:—Dazzle, to daze; fraze, frizzle; nose, nozzle (p. 18).

Embrasure. Gun-gap, cannon-gap.

Emphasis. Speech-loudening, speech-strain.

Emporium. Warestore.

Enallage. Case-shifting, an onchanging, as of a word or case into or for another; as, ‘He was father to[59] (or of) the fatherless.’ ‘The child took the toy in (or with) her hand.’

Enallagē takes word or case,
To put it in another’s place.

-en-ing (an ending). It means a becoming such; as, blacken, to make or become black; blackening, the becoming black.

The ending -en-ing differs from -ness, -en-es, as in blackness, which means the having become such.

Enthesis. An insetting.

Epenthesis. An inputting or inthrusting or infoisting of a sound or clipping into a word.

Epenthesis, for little good,
Infoisteth aught, as l in could.[3]

Epithet. A mark-word put to a thing; as, ‘The far-shooting Apollo,’ ‘the white-blossom’d sloe.’

Equilibrium. Weight evenness.

Equivalent. Worth evenness.

-er-r (an ending). It means outeked in size or time:—Chatter, to chat much; clamber, to climb much; wander, to wind about (pp. 18, 59).

Esculent (plant). Meatwort.

Etymology. Word-building, word-making, word-shapening.

Euphemismus. A fair wording, or the putting of bad or unworthy things in a fairer light by words of less[60] evil meanings; as, ‘I did time’ for ‘I was in prison.’ ‘A government man’ for ‘a convict.’

By euphemismus men are glad
To make a bad case seem less bad.

Euphony. Sound softness, sound sweetness.

Exalt. Forheighten:—‘Sa hwa him selma forheaget’ (whoever himself forheightens).—Friesic (Matt xxiii. 12).

Excrescence. Outgrowth.

Exegetical. Outclearening.

Exordium. Outsetting, outset.

Expansion. Outbroadening of wild or overwrought fullness readily becomes a bad kind of wordiness:—‘Farmer Stubbs drank beer,’ ‘The votary of Demeter, who rejoiced in the name of Stubbs, indulged in potations of the cereal liquor’; or ‘He received me with the most lively indications of amity’ for ‘He received me very kindly’; or for ‘He owes ten thousand pounds,’ ‘He is in a state of indebtedness to the extent of ten thousand pounds’; ‘He warned the hunters off his land,’ ‘He conveyed to the votaries of Diana a strong admonition that they would not be permitted to prosecute their sport within his domain.’

Faculty. Makingness.

Filiaceous. Threaden.

Flexible. Bendsome.

Fluctuate. Waver.

Foliate. Leafen.

For-. The fore-eking of forgive, forbear, is a most[61] useful one. It is the Anglo-Saxon for, the German ver, and the Latin per, and means off or away.

For-go, per-eo, to go off or away.

Per-suadeo (L. suadeo, from suavis), to soften or sweeten off.

Foreshorten and forego should be forshorten and forgo.

Forceps. Tonglings, nipperlings.

Fore- (a fore-eking). Foredoom, predestinate; fore-token, portent, omen (p. 61).

Fossil. A forstonening.

Frangible. Breaksome.

Garrulity.[4] Wordiness, talksomeness.

Genealogy. Kin-lore, kinhood-lore.

Genitive (case). The offspring case (p. 30).

Genuflexion. Knee-bowing. Much has been said (in the law trials about posture in the administration of the Holy Communion) of genuflexion. A genuflexion is any knee-bowing, but all knee-bowing is not kneeling, which is knee-grounding.

Glossarist. A word-culler.

Glossary. Gr. glossa, tongue, speech. A word-list or word-list:—‘Mei en lyst vin oade spreckworden’ (with a list of old saws).—Friesic.

Grandiloquent. High-talking.

Gratuitous. Out of kindness. Gratia is good will,[62] free kindness; and gratuitus is freely bestowed of gratia, without hire or reward. But a writer says that an attack of slander on a woman’s purity ‘was gratuitous,’ or of gratia or good will, without hire or reward, as if gratuitous meant without grounds of malice.

Hendiadys. One-in-twice. A wording of one thing at twice, or as two things; as, ‘I heard shouting and men’ for ‘shouting of men.’ ‘An arm and strength’ for ‘a strong arm.’ A fortwaining.

Hendiadys will give you two
Clear words where one alone would do.

Hexameter. Gr. hex, six; metron, measure, metre. A metre in Greek and Latin verse, lines of six feet.

-hood (an ending). It means a state of being, rank, or standing among other things:—Childhood, manhood.

Horizon. Sky-sill, sky-line.

Hybrid (word). L. hybrida, a mongrel.

Hydrophobia. Water-awe.

Hyperbaton. Gr. hyper, over; baino, to fare, go. An overfaring, an overshifting of words out of their more wonted or better ranking; as, ‘What for,’ for ‘For what.’ A ‘speaking out’ for an ‘outspeaking.’

Hypallage. Word-shifting, case-shifting; as, ‘We gave wind to our sails’ for ‘our sails to the wind.’ ‘The men were put to the sword,’ though also ‘the sword was put to the men.’


Hyperbolē. An overcasting or overshooting of the truth; as, ‘The train went as swift as lightning.’

Hyperbolē, less right than wrong,
O’ershoots the truth with words too strong.

Hyphen. A tie-stroke.

Hysterologia. A foreafter wording, forebehind or hinderforemost wording; as, ‘He earned a florin, and worked all the day,’ whereas he worked first, and so earned the florin.

Hysterologia’s careless mind
Puts last for first, and fore for hind.

Iambus. Gr. A foot (in verse) of one short or low and one long or high sound; as, ago, a low-high twin.

Idiom. Gr. idioma, from idios, one’s own. A folk’s-wording, a set form of words of any one speech or set of men; as, ‘How do you do?’ Fr.: ‘Comment vous portez-vous?’ (How do you bear yourself?) ‘I have just dined.’ Fr.: ‘Je viens de dîner’ (I come from to dine).

Imperative (mood). The bidding mood.

Impersonal (verb). A time-word without a thing-name; as, ‘It lightens,’ ‘it thunders,’ ‘it freezes,’ ‘it thaws.’ A thingnameless or a deederless time-word.

Impertinence may be meddlesomeness in what non pertinet, does not belong to one, or meddlesomeness in a deed or speech which non pertinet, does not hold by the matter under thought, unbyholdingness.

Impertinent. Meddlesome, unbyholding.

Inarticulate. Unbreathpenned.


Incandescent. White-hot, heat-whitened.

Inceptive (verbs). Belonging to ontaking or beginning. Becomesome time-words; as, L. albesco, to become white; English whiten, to become or make white. In Greek the ending of the becomesome words is -iz or -z. Orphanízo, to make or become elderless, or an orphan.

Indefinite. L. in, un; finio, to offmark, outmark. Unoffmarked, unbounded.

Indicative (mood). The surehood mood.

Infinitive (mood). L. in, un; finitus, bounded, marked. The unboundsome thing-free mood of a time-word free of anything; as, to love, to see.

Initial. Word-head.

Injury. Injuria is a moral wrong (summum jus summa injuria). Do we not wrest its meaning in such wording as ‘The wind has done much injury to my house-roof’ or ‘injured my flowers’? How can the behaviour of the wind be made out to be a moral wrong, even if it be a hurt?

Instrumentive, instrumental (case). The tool-case or means-case, that of the tool or means of a deed; as, ‘He cut the wood with a knife.’

Interest (of money). Money-rent, loan-meed, loan-pay.

Interest. Care:—‘I do not take any interest in him or it.’ ‘I do not becare him or it.’ ‘Wha kara unsis?’ (what care to us) (Mœso-goth).—Matt. xxvii. 4.

What a word to be taken as a thing-name is interest, ‘it is of odds’! The folk-speech, ‘It is of no odds to me,’ gives the meaning of ‘meâ non interest.’


Intransitive. Not overgoing, as time-takings that do not reach forth to another thing; as, to sleep.

Inversion. L. inverto, to turn up. An end-shifting:—‘Thee at morn, and Thee I praise at night,’ for ‘I praise Thee at morn, and Thee at night.’ A shifting of the ends of a wording.

Irony. Gr. eirōneia, from eiron, a shammer. A good wording for a bad meaning, mock-praise; as, ‘That was a good shot,’ meaning a very bad one. ‘He is a nice man,’ meaning the reverse of nice. ‘How glorious was the king of Israel to-day!’ meaning how inglorious.

-ism. The stump -ism of the Greek -ismos seems to be used very loosely. -ismos is from the ending -izō of ontaking or inceptive time-words, and where there is no time-word ending in -izō there is not, I should think, any thing-name in -ismos; as, chloros, green; chlorizō, to become green; chlorismos, a becoming green. So, if liberalism is a becoming liberal, conservatism is a becoming conservat, which might seem to mean conservatus, one conserved, rather than a conserver. Is chartism a becoming a chart? and what is Londonism, a becoming London or a Londoning? and, if so, what is a Londoning?

We have for -ismos some English endings, as -ening, in blackening; besides -hood, -ship, and -ness, and many others of sundry kinds.

For -ism, taken in names bestowed with very slight praise, we may take -ishness; as, Hebraism, Hebrewishness; Grecism, Greekishness; Latinism, Latinishness; Londonism, Londonishness; solœcism, folkswording. (On ‘Solœcism,’ see Aul. Gell. v. 20.)


Iterative. Going over again and again. Iterative time-words, that mean to take many shorter times in time-takings of the same kind; as, to chatter, chat much; clamber, wander.

Labial (letter). L. labium, lip. A lip breath-penning.

Laxative. Loosensome.

Lecture. A lore-speech.

Lenis. L. soft. The soft breathing is an unaspirate one, such as a in and, not ha in hand.

Letter. L. litera; Sax. bóc-staf, a book-staff. It is bad that the same word letter should be used for a letter of the alphabet and an epistle, the old English word for which is a brief, as it is in German and West Friesic. It was also the name of the king’s letter for gathering of help-money in the church; though now it is the name only of a barrister’s letter of instruction.

Lingual. L. lingua, the tongue. Belonging to the tongue.

Literature. Book-lore.

Lithography. Stone-printing.

Locative (case). L. locus, stead, place. The stead or stow-case; as, ‘In London,’ ‘At church.’

Logic. Redelore.

-m, -om, -um. A word-ending, a form of the Greek one -ma, as in prag-ma, from prasso; and of the Latin -men, as in flu-men, from fluo. Words so ended meant mostly the outcome of the time-word, and were at first thing-names; and so as time-words they[67] were, as most of them yet are, weak ones. From roots ending, I believe, in -ing came[5]

Cling (root)Clome (clay or clayen pottery), clam, climb.
Cring (root) (to bend)Crome (a dung-pick with bent prongs).
Dunt, ding(root)Dam, dim, dumb, damp (fire).
Go (with quick stirrings), —ging (root)Game.
GlowGleam, gloom.
GrowGroom (a growing or now full-grown youth?).
HollowHaulm, helm, helmet.
Lose, lithe, (ling r.)Limp, limb, lime, loam.
Slack,—sling (root)Slam (a slackness or looseness in matter or going; slam of a gate; a slack swing, as unguided by a hand).
SlackSlime, slim.
[68]Stiff or stoutStem.
Stray or Stretch onStream.[6]
Tang, ting (reach on)Team, time, and timer, timber (a very ontanging stick).
ThickThumb (the thick finger).

Machine. An old English word for a machine is ginny or jinny which seems to be a fellow-stem to gin, and to mean to go, not as in onfaring (locomotion), but as in the way of a machine.

Magnificent. High-deedy, high-doing.

Magniloquent. High-talking.

Mechanics. Matter-might.

Metalepsis. Gr. metalambano, to take over. A use-shifting of a word, a taking of a word over from its common to another meaning; as, ‘Seven harvests ago’ for ‘seven summers or years.’

Metaphor. Gr. metaphora, from metaphero to carry over. A figure of speech, the overcarrying of a name from a thing to which it belongs to another to which it does not belong; as, ‘The Shepherd of Israel’ for ‘the Lord.’ ‘The father of the people’ for ‘a good king.’ ‘Eos Cymru’ (the Welsh nightingale) for ‘a fine Welsh songstress.’ ‘A man burning with anger.’

Metathesis. Gr. meta, with or against; thesis, a putting. A penning-shift, as that of putting each of two[69] pennings in the stead of the other; as, waps, wasp; haps; hasp; though the first of the two shapes is the older in English.

Metathesis is where a word
Shifts pennings, as in crud for curd.

Meteor. Welkin-fire.

Metonymy. Gr. meta, off; onoma, a name. An offnaming, name-shifting, a wording that puts for a thing-name the name of some belonging—whether cause or effect or aught else—of the thing; as, ‘He reads Horace’ for ‘his works.’ ‘He lives by the sweat of his brow’ for ‘work.’ ‘Land holden by the Crown’ (Queen). ‘The power of the pen’ for ‘writers.’

Miosis. Gr. meiōsis, a forlessening. A wording by which a thing is lessened off; as, ‘Will you give me a crumb of bread and a drop of drink?’

Miōsis, a lessening,
Makes of a great a smaller thing.

Monitor. A warner. Ware-en-er, who makes ware.

Monosyllable. A breath-sound.

Multiloquous. Wordy, talksome.

Negative (word). L. nego, to deny. Fornaysome.

Nomenclature. Benaming, name-shapening.

Nominative. L. nomen, a, name. The name-case, speech-case.

Noun. L. nomen, a name; Fr. nom. A thing-name, thing-word, name-word.

Objective. Objective case. A name commonly given to the time-giving thing when it is not the speech-case.


Onomatopœia. A mocking name. The making of words from sounds; as, to hiss, a peewit or cuckoo from the sound it makes.

Optative (mood). The wish mood; as, ‘Oh! that I had wings.’ ‘May you be happy.’

Out- (a fore-eking). Outban, exile; outfaring, peregrination, exodus; outhue, outliken, depict or draw.

Over- (a fore-eking). Overbold, audacious; overhang, impend; overweigh, preponderate.

-p, -b, -f (endings). They mean small in kind or short in time:—Poke, pop, poke quickly; dip, a small dive; slip, a small slide; rip, to rive quickly.

Palindrome. Gr. palin, back; dromos, a running. A set of words which read the same backwards as forwards; as, ‘Lewd did I live, evil I did dwel,’ or ‘Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.’

A palindrome’s the same as read
From head to tail, or tail to head.

Palpitate. Throb.

Panacea. Allheal.

Paradigm. Gr. paradeigma, an offshowing, outshowing, a plan. A table of word-shapes.

Paragogē. An outbringing or outlengthening of a word.

A paragogē will be found
Where words are lengthened by a sound.
‘Such a sweet pett as this
Is neither far nor neary.
Here we go up, up, up;
Here we go down, down, downy.
Here we go backwards and forwards,
And here we go round, round, roundy.’
Old Song.


‘In playhouses, full six-o,
One knows not where to fix-o.’
Old Song.

Paragraph. An offwriting, a wording-share; such a share of a piece of writing as, if it were offwritten, would not want anything of a full meaning.

Paraphrase. New bewording; a turning of a piece of writing into other words, often more if not clearer than those of the writer. A paraphrase, while it is meant to clearen, may falsen the paraphrased matter. The following paraphrase from an old written sermon of (as I believe) an old Dorset divine, may be a good sample of new bewording:—

‘God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’

Expanded or paraphrased:—

‘With great gratitude, O God (said the Pharisee), I contemplate my own superior attainments. How free is my mind from a variety of black offences which invade the consciences of others! Extortion, injustice, and adultery are crimes (said he, striking his breast) which have no harbour here. Who can lay to my charge the neglect of any religious duty? Are not my tithes paid with cheerfulness, and my fasts observed with sanctity?’

‘And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’

‘The Publican, on the other hand, with every mark of the deepest contrition, stood abashed in a corner of[72] the temple. Conscious of his own demerits, he was afraid to raise his eyes to that Being who sees the least degree of impurity with offence. After many ineffectual struggles to form the sighing of a contrite heart into the language of prayer, his efforts ended in this one exclamation, God be merciful to me a sinner.’

Parenthesis. An inwedging of a sentence within another:—‘Thou sayest—but they are but vain words—I have strength for the war.’

Parody. A song-mocking.

Paronomasia. A kind of play on words of more or less like sound, though of sundry meaning; as, ‘Though last not least.’ ‘Non amissi sed præmissi’ (said of friends deceased), ‘Not forgone but foregone.’

Paronomasia is found
In pairs of words of some like sound.

Participle. A thing-marking shape of the time-word.

Particle. A wordling, a small shapefast word.

Patronymic. Gr. pater, father, and onoma, name. A surname or sirename of a man taken from the forename of his father; as, John Richardson, Dafydd Ap-hoel, Patrick Mac-Duff, Jeroboam Ben-Nebat.

Pedigree. Kin-stem, forekin-stem.

Penultimate. Last but one.

Perambulator (the child’s carriage). Push-wainling.

Perfect. Fordone, forended, full-ended.

Period, in rhetoric (redecraft) and speechcraft, is so[73] called, as a speech-ring or speech-round, a full round of thought-wording, in which the speech-meaning is kept uphanging and more or less unclear, till the last word or word-cluster by which it is clearly fulfilled; as, ‘(1) That among the sundry changes of the world (2), (3) our hearts may surely there be fixed (4): (5) where true joys are to be found (6).’ The whole thought-wording is a period or speech-round. From (1) to (4) is a limb (called in Greek a kōlon) and has a meaning, though not a full one beyond which the mind awaits nothing more. The word-cluster from (1) to (2) yields no full meaning, and is called in Greek a komma (kopma), a cutting or shareling. Thence we see the source of the names and uses of the stops—the period (.), colon (:), comma (,). The period marked the end of the period; the colon that of the kolon; and the comma that of a comma, or cutting of a colon.

The word seems to be often misused. A period (Gr. periodos) of time or wording is rightly a running of it round again to its like beginning; as, a week—from Sunday round to Sunday; or a year—from January to January.

A straight stretch of time or words is not truly a period; as, a man’s life from birth to manhood is not a ring-gate, beginning anew at childhood.

Periphrasis. Gr. peri, round; phrasis, a speaking. A roundabout speaking of a thing instead of an outright naming of it, a name-hinting; as, ‘The gentleman at the head of Her Majesty’s Government’ for Lord B.

Personal (time-word); not an impersonal one; as, ‘It[74] rains.’ ‘It snows;’ but one with a named time-taker, as ‘John rides.’

Perverse. Wayward, froward.

Pervious. Throughletting.

Petrify. To stonen, forstonen.

Philology. Speechlore.

Phonetic. Soundly.

Phonography, phonotypy. Sound-spelling. Surely a photograph should be a phototype. Graphō is to graze or grave along a body, but a photograph is given by a plumb downstriking of rays of light—a typē and not a graphē. With graphē and typē we may set a glyphē (from glyphō), an outsmoothing of a shape, as that of a figure from a block of stone. Glyphō is a fellow stem-word to glykys, smooth, soft, or sweet.

Phrase. Gr. phrazo, to speak, say. A word-cluster, a word-set, a cluster or set of byhanging words.

Pirate. Sea-robber, weeking, wyking, wicing (Gloss. 11 cent.). The wicings or weekings or vicings were so called as lurking about in the bays, wicas, weeks, wykes, or wiches.

Plagiary. A thought-pilferer.

Pleonasm. Gr. pleonazo, to fullen or overfullen. An overwording; as, ‘A great [thing of a] boar’ for ‘a great boar.’ ‘What [ever in the world] are you doing?’ ‘Never [in all my whole life] have I seen the like.’

A pleonasm oft is heard
To strengthen speech by word on word.

Plocē. Gr. plokē, a twining or folding. A twining[75] or folding of a foregiven name, of one meaning the same name, in another; as, ‘Then Edwin was Edwin (or himself) again.’ Worthy of himself. ‘Coal is now coal,’ i.e. scarce and costly.

By plocē you inweave a name
Once more with meaning not the same.

Plural (number). The somely (number).

Polyptoton. Gr. poly, many; ptotos, case. The inbringing of fellow stem-words or root-words in sundry cases or ways:—‘He, friendless once, befriended friends.’

Posterity. Afterkin.

Postposition. A hinder case-word, a case-word put after the thing-name; as, in Hindustani, panee-main, water in; panee-sae, water from; panee-ko, water to. Showing the source of case-endings.

Potential (mood). L. potentia, might, power. Mayly.

Predicate. The wording of the time-taking; as, ‘John walked twenty miles.’

Prefix. A fore-eking, a forewordling; as, be-set, for-give, out-run.

Preposition. A case-word.

Preterite. Bygone, past.

Programme. A foredraught.

Pronoun (personal). A name-token, a stead-word. Pronoun Adjective, mark-word.

Proper name. A one-head name.


Prosopopœia. Gr. prosopon, face, person; poieo, to make. The putting of an unmatterly or impersonal thing as a person.

Prosopopœia shows your mind
Unlive things doing as mankind.

Protasis. The hinge time-taking.

Prototype. Foreshape, forepattern.

Punctuation. L. punctuatio, from puncta, points or stops. The skill of the putting of stops, or of the marking of voice-stoppings in speech. Bestopping. (See ‘Period.’)

Radicle. Rootling.

Reciprocal (verb). L. re, back, fro; ci, to this way. To and fro verbs; as, ‘They helped each other.’

Rectify. Righten.

Reflective. Back-turning, as a time-taking which comes back to the source of it; as, ‘John cut or hit himself.’

Regimen. Government, overwielding of a thing by another.

Religion. Faith-law.

Religious. On the true meaning of religiosus see Aul. Gell. Noct. Att. iv. 9. He makes it mean withholden, backbound from some uses. Religiosa delubra, a shrine hallowed from common use; religiosus dies, a day withholden, as unlucky, from great undertakings. A religious man is one who is withholden by his faith and conscience from bad deeds.

Restrain. Inhold, forhold.

Result. Outcome, outworking, backspring. Result[77] (from resilio, to spring back) is neither in sound nor meaning a better word than outcome or outworking or froming, fromming.

Rhetoric. Rede-speech.

Rhythm. Gr. rhythmos, number, as number of clippings or sounds in a line of verse. Metre, which meant at first tale of sounds rather than sound matching, which we call rime. Rime is not come to us from the Greek, but is the Saxon rim or hrim, tale or number.

‘Manâ and misdædâ ungerím ealrâ’ (a tale, beyond telling, of all wickednesses and misdeeds).—Sermo Lupi ad Anglos.

‘Deer naet in da rime was’ (who was not in the number).—Old Friesic Law.

Salubrious. Healthy, halesome.

Satellite. Henchman.

Scintillate. Sparkle.

Semi-detached houses. Twin-houses, a house-twin.

Sentence. L. sentio, to think, deem, feel. In speech-craft, an uttering of a thought, one thought-wording.

Septuple. Sevenfold.

-sh (an ending). It means quickness and smartness; as, clang, clash; crack, crash; fly, flash; go, gush; hack, hash. In markwords it means somewhat such;—blackish, boyish.

-ship (an ending). It means a shape or form of being:—Friendship, mateship.


Solœcisms. Gr. soloikismos, from the bad Greek of the Soloikoi in Cilicia. A miswording, barbarism, or, as an old Saxon gives it, ‘a miscweðen word,’ or a misquothing, a misqueathing.

We in a solœcismus find
Miswording of a loreless mind.

Solstice. Sunsted. A.S. Sunanstede.

-some. The ending -some in such words as aimsome, matchsome, yieldsome seems, as we look to its true first meaning, to be a fitting one. A sam or som (some) meant at first a body of mingled matter or things. In its stronger meaning lumps of suet melted up into a soft body would be a sam or som; and potatoes boiled and mashed up would be a sam; and dough, if not flour itself, is a sam or som.

In the wider meaning of the word an upgathering of things, and even men, into a body or set is a sam or som. Thence we have our word same as well as the ending -some and the markword some:—‘Some in rags, and some in jags, and some in silken gowns’ (a set or body in rags, a set or body in jags, &c.).

Aimsome, yieldsome would mean of the aim or yield or aiming or yielding set or body.

Sam or som gives our words same and so. ‘The same man’ means the very man in sam or body or being. ‘Are they Hebrews? so (same) am I.’ Of that sam (am I). The Latin se is most likely a word of the same root:—‘Lucius se amat’ (Lucius loves same or his sam); and this is the meaning of our word self.

The Latin similis would mean of the sam or same[79] kind; and ‘to summon (samen) men’ is to call them up into a sam, ‘Suma êlanda thêr im likte’ (some islands that pleased him).—Oera Linda Book.

Sophist. Wordwise.

Sophistry. Rede-guile, rede-cunning.

Spell. Sax. spellian, to tell, utter forth a word or a set of words.

Spell. A message or bewording, as in Godspel (Gospel), ‘the good message.’

-st (an ending). It strengthens the meaning, as it does in blackest; blow, blast; brow, breast.

Stereography. Bulk-drawing.

Stereometry. Bulk-meting.

Stereotype. Block-type.

Subject. The speech-thing or thing under speech.

Subjunctive (mood). The hinge-mood; as, ‘If ye ask, ye shall receive.’

Suffix. A wordling put on at the end of a word; as, man-hood, good-ness, kind-ly. End-eking, an on-eking, a word-ending.

Superlative. The highest pitch.

Supposititious. Underfoisted, undersmuggled.

Syllepsis. Gr. syn, up, together; lēpsis, a taking. An uptaking, upmating, comprehension, as of a second or third person with a first; as, ‘I (1) and my brother (3) (we) learn Latin.’.

Syllepsis takes I, you, and he
As first persons, and all called we.


Synalœpha. Gr. syn, up; aleipho, to smear. Sound-welding. The welding up of two sounds into one, or the end of one word into the head of the following. In Latin verse—‘Conticuere omnes,’ ‘conticue͞r omnes,’ ‘conticuere‿omnes’—uttering the e and om in the time of one syllable. So in Italian—‘In prato‿in foresta,’ ‘Sia l’alba‿o la sera,’ ‘Se dorme‿il pastor’—the o i, and a o, and e i are uttered as one syllable. In English—‘Before the‿Almighty’s throne.’

By synalœpha breath-sounds run
A couple to the time of one.

Syncope. The cutting of a penning from within a word; as, ‘He ha-s’ for ‘he haves,’ ‘Gospel’ for ‘Godspel.’ The outcutting is truly an outwearing of the clipping.

A clipping’s lost by syncope,
As subtle’s sounded minus b.

Synecdoche. Gr. syn, up; ek, out; dochē, a taking. An outtaking or outculling, as of a share of a thing for the whole, or the matter for the thing; as, ‘a hundred heads’ for ‘a hundred men’; ‘twenty hands’ for ‘twenty workmen’; ‘a cricketer’s willow’ for his ‘bat.’

Synonym. Gr. syn, together; onyma a name. Synonyms are words or names of the same meaning, twin-words; as, rabbit and coney, volume and tome, yearly and annual, letter and epistle. Twains of words are, however, less often synonyms than they are so called.

Syntax. Speech-trimming. A trim is a fully right or good state of a thing, the state in which it ought to[81] be; and ‘to trim’ a thing is to put it in trim, or fully as it ought to be. ‘To trim a boat,’ to set it as it ought to be—upright, not heeling. ‘To trim a bonnet or dress,’ to put it fully as it ought to be. And so ‘to trim a hedge’: a man may think that, because much of the trimming of a hedge is done by cutting, a trimming is therefore a cutting. ‘I am out of trim’; ‘to trim,’ as a man in politics, albeit it may not be to set himself morally as he ought to be, is to set himself as he thinks that he ought to be for the nonce.

Tautology. Word-sameness, a saying over again of the same thing or words.

Technical. Craftly.

Telegram. Wire-spell. (See Spell.)

Telegraph (the electric). Spell-wire.

Telescope. Spyglass.

Tense. Time.

Termination. A word-ending.

Tmesis. A word-cutting or splitting or outsundering; as, ‘The child has overthrown the flower-pot.’ By word-cutting or outsundering—‘The child has thrown the flower-pot over.’

By tmesis you may oft outshare
A word’s two word-stems here and there.

Transitive is overfaresome; intransitive, unoverfaresome.

Triphthong. Gr. tri, three; phthongos, sound. A threefold sound.


Uncial. L. literæ unciales, text letters. Capital letters.

Under. Undersea, submarine; underspan, subtend; underslinking, subterfuge.

Up-. Upclashing, collision; upthrong, congregate.

Upmating. The upmating of the persons, called in Greek syllepsis, touches the use of the personal pronouns. A second or third person upmated with the first is reckoned as first, and a third upmated with the second is reckoned as second; as,

‘That boat belongs to my brother (3) and me (1). We (1) bought it.’

‘That is known only to you (2) and me (1). We know it.’

‘I saw you (2) and your brother (3). You (2) were there.’

But persons are upmated as well from kindliness or civility as from the calls of speech-craft. Thus a speaker will often upmate himself with a hearer or another, as a mother may upmate herself with her child by we, instead of thou or you; as,

Here we go up, up, up;
Here we go down, down, downy;
Here we go backward and forward;
And here we go round, round, roundy—

though the going is only that of the child.

A young man may say to a girl friend, ‘How proud we are,’ meaning ‘you are’; or a man may say of others who might not be very brisk at work, ‘We are not very strong to-day’; or a footman may upmate himself with the heads of the house with such wording as ‘We do not treat our guests so unhandsomely.’


Vocabulary. L. vocabulum, a word. A word-list, word-book, word-store.

Vocative (case). L. voco, to call. The call-case.

-y, -ig (an ending). It means eked with something:—Snowy, with snow; dirty, with dirt.

Zeugma. Gr., a yoking. A yoking of two things as to one time-word which would fit only one of them, another being outleft; as, ‘The house which my own money, and not which my father bequeathed,’ supply bought after ‘money.’

The Power of the Word-endings.

Some of the small word-endings end themselves with a dead breath-penning, and others with a half-penning. The dead pennings seem to betoken, mostly, an ending, or shortening, or lessening, in time or shape; while the half-pennings do not seem to bound, or shorten, or lessen, the meaning of their body-words.

Dead Pennings.

-ock. Hill-ock.

-ed. I walk-ed (the time-taking ended).

-ig, now -y. Wind-ig, wind-y (an eking of wind).

-op, -p; -ob, -b. Flap, flip, a quick flying; heap, hop, hip, small highenings, or humps; pop out, to poke out quickly; clap the hands, to close them quickly; stub, a small stump; wallop, to wallow or well (roll) lightly, and so as water from a spring, or in boiling. We may think that we have two very fine words in envelope and develope, whereas they seem to be nothing better than the[84] Teutonic inwallop and unwallop, to roll in and unroll. With wallow set the Latin volvo (walwo), to roll.

-t, -et. Forlessens.



do not so strongly, if at all, betoken endingness, or shortness, or smallness.

-m. A stem is of any length, but stump is short.

-en, -n. Golden, eked wholly in gold; blacken, to eke on freely in blackness.

-ing, as in walking, does not betoken any ending or shortening of a time-taking.

-er, -r, betokens eking out much in shape or time, as:—


It so happens that while we have a dead penning, -ed, for the ended time-taking, as, ‘he walked,’ we have a half-penning for the ongoing time-taking, as, ‘he walketh.’ It is true that -en, a half-penning, is put for -ed, as an ending of some mark-time words, as brok-en, and that -el, -l, a half-penning, may seem to mean either much or small, as prate, prattle (prat-el). Time-words with these endings in full length are weak.

  • Bloss-om-ed,
  • Black-en-ed,
  • Wall-op-ed,
  • Chat-er-ed,
  • Flitt-er-ed,
  • Pock-et-ed,
  • Prat-el-ed
  • (prattled).


s strengthens the meaning of some root-heads, as:—


So, as an ending of the somely thing-name, it stretches its meaning from that of one to some ones, as a hand, hands—hands being more than a hand.

In the word-ending -st of black-est, the half-penning s freely forstrengthens black, and the dead-penning t seems to check its force, so that blackest means black strengthened, though not unboundedly so, but blackest of all the things taken with it.

-st has, I suppose, this meaning also as an ending of thing-names or time-words, as ‘to boast,’ the meaning of which is betokened by some other tongues to be to bow out much the breast or fore-body, the token of pride and boasting, as it is so often shown to our sight.

Bogan, to bow (Anglo-Saxon and Friesic), means ‘to boast.’

Friesic—‘Thi mâgy bogade uppa sinra snôdhed.’ (The mâgy boasted (bowed) on his cunning.)—Oera Linda Book.

‘Hia bogath ìmmer over geda êwa.’ (They boast (bow) ever over good laws.)—Oera Linda Book.

The old British bard, Llywarch Hên, had in mind the same token of pride:—

—gnawd dyn
Bronrain balch

(It is common for a proud (or boasting) man to be[86] bow- or bulge-breasted); and in the Holderness (Yorkshire) folkspeech they say ‘as bug (proud) as a dog wi’ two tails,’ and yet, to show that bug means a bow or bowedness, they say ‘as bug as a cheese.’

The Goodness of a Speech.

The goodness of a speech should be sought in its clearness to the hearing and mind, clearness of its breath-sounds, and clearness of meaning in its words; in its fulness of words for all the things and time-takings which come, with all their sundrinesses, under the minds of men of the speech, in their common life; in sound-sweetness to the ear, and glibness to the tongue. As to fulness, the speech of men who know thoroughly the making of its words may be fullened from its own roots and stems, quite as far as has been fullened Greek or German, so that they would seldom feel a stronger want of a foreign word than was felt by those men who, having the words rail and way, made the word railway instead of calling it chemin de fer, or, going to the Latin, via ferrea, or than Englishmen felt with steam and boat, to go to the Greeks for the name of the steamboat, for which Greek had no name at all. The fulness of English has not risen at the rate of the inbringing of words from other tongues, since many new words have only put out as many old ones, as:—


(no saving of time here),



I have before me more than one hundred and fifty so taken English law-words which were brought into the English courts with the Norman French tongue; but English speech did not therefore become richer by so many words, because most of them thrust aside English ones. Judge took the stead of dema; cause of sác; bail of borh; and the lawyers said arson for forburning; burglary, for housebreach; and carrucate, for ploughland; and King Alfred gave to English minds the matter of Gregory’s Pastoral with a greater share (nearly all) of pure English words, than most English scholars could now find for it.

On clearness, it is to be feared that, notwithstanding the English may be clear in breath-sounds to the ear, there is often a want of clearness to the mind from the many pairs of words which have worn into the same sound, such as:—


and others; and from the use of Latin and Greek and other foreign words, which are used in other than their true first meanings, or the meanings of which the common folk do not understand.

Teleology is a word which I have just seen in a Dorset paper, as for the matter of a lately given lore-speech, ‘the examination or the discussion of the purposes for which things are created.’ Now, in English the word[88] end means both a forending, or termination, and a purpose; but I do not think that telos (end) or teleosis, in Greek, means a purpose. Prothesis would most likely have been put for it by a Greek.

The Latinish and Greekish wording is a hindrance to the teaching of the homely poor, or at least the landfolk. It is not clear to them, and some of them say of a clergyman that his Latinised preaching is too high for them, and seldom seek the church.

Swan is a clue to the meaning of swanling but none of cygnet; and if a man knew that kyknos was the Greek for swan he might still be at a loss for the meaning of -et, which is not a Greek ending.

For sound-sweetness or glibness, we should shun, as far as we can, the meeting of hard dead breath-pennings of unlike kinds. We have in our true English too many of them, and some of them from the dropping of the e from the word-ending -ed, as in slep’t and pack’d (lip and roof, and throat and roof pennings, and in both cases hard dead pennings); and then, as if we had not enough of them, we have brought in a host more of such ones from the Latin, as in act, tract, inept, rapt.

Now, forbend is a softer-sounded word than deflect, since ct (kt) are hard throat and root pennings, very unhandy together, and the n of -nd is a mild half-penning, and d is a mild dead penning. So dapper is better sounded than adept, since p is a single hard penning between two free breathings, and pt are a hard lip and a hard roof breathing, unfollowed by any softer breathing.

It was against such harshness of hard unlike breath-[89]pennings that Celtic speech took its markworthy word-moulding.

As a token of the readiness of two kindred breath-pennings to run into one, we may give the words of the Liturgy, ‘Make clean our hearts within us,’ for which a clergyman will hardly, without a pause and a strong pushing of the breath, help saying ‘Make lean our hearts within us.’

There came out in print some time ago a statement wonderful to me, that it had been found that the poor landfolk of one of our shires had only about two hundred words in their vocabulary, with a hint that Dorset rustics were not likely to be more fully worded. There can be shown to any writer two hundred thing-names, known to every man and woman of our own village, for things of the body and dress of a labourer, without any mark-words, or time-words, or others, and without leaving the man for his house, or garden, or the field, or his work.



Absolute case, 32, 47

Accent, 3

Adjective, 10, 12

Adverbs, 26, 48

Aorist (time), 28

Article, 6, 10

Attraction, 52

Be-, 52

Big things, 6

Breathings, 1, 44
— free, 1
— hard, 2, 44

Breath-pennings, 1, 2

Can, 27

Case, 30
— absolute, 32
— words, 31

Colon, 73

Comma, 73

Conjugation, 26

Conjunction, 35

Defective (time-words), 55

-dom, 57, 58

-ed, 19, 83

-el, -l, 18

-en, 16, 45, 59, 84

-ening, 59

-er, 59, 84

-et, 84

Expansion, 60

For-, 60

Fore-, 61

Goodness of a speech, 86

Hinge and hank time-takings, 35

-hood, 62

Imperative mood, 31, 63

Impersonal time-words, 63

Inceptive time-words, 64

Indicative mood, 30

Infinitive mood, 16, 64

-ing, 17, 84

-ism, 65

Iterative time-words, 29, 66

Kindred, 5

[92]Link words, 35

-m, -om, -um, 66, 67, 84

Mark-words (thing), 4

Mark time-words, 45

May, 27

Mis-, 16

Miswording, 10

Mood, 30

Must, 27

Nominative case, 31

-ock, 16, 83

-om, -um, -m, 66, 67, 84

-op, -p, 70, 83

Optative mood, 31, 70

Paraphrase, 71

Participles (Latin), 40

Period, 72

Person, 11, 26, 27

Personal time-word, 73

Pitches, 73

Potential, 31

Preposition (case-word), 31

Proposition, 35

Qualities, 12

-r, -er, 16, 59

Seem, 41, 78

Sex, 5

-sh, 77

Shall, 77

-ship, 77

Small things, 5

-some, 78

Sound-softness, 38, 88

Speech, goodness of, 86
— strain, 3
— trimming, 36, 80
— wording, 35, 40-44

Stops, 72

Suchness, 12
— pitches of, 13

Syntax, 35, 80

Tale, 6, 10, 28

Thing mark-words, 4
— names, 4
— sundrinesses, 4

Thought-wording, 35

Time, 28

Time-giving, 15

Time-taking, 14, 25
— historic, 18, 30
— long, 27
— short, single, and stringly, 29
— transitive, 15

Time-words, 19
— strong, 20
— weak, 19, 20, 26

Twin, 39

Under sundrinesses of time-takings, 25

Word-endings, powers of, 83

Wordiness, 44

Word-sameness, 38

Word-strain, 3





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Forthcoming Volumes.

Prof. W. Kingdon Clifford, M.A. The First Principles of the Exact Sciences explained to the Non-mathematical.

W. B. Carpenter, LL.D., F.R.S. The Physical Geography of the Sea.

Sir John Lubbock, Bart., F.R.S. On Ants and Bees.

Prof. W. T. Thiselton Dyer, B.A., B.Sc. Form and Habit in Flowering Plants.

Prof. Michael Foster, M.D. Protoplasm and the Cell Theory.

H. Charlton Bastian, M.D., F.R.S. The Brain as an Organ of Mind.

Prof. A. C. Ramsay, LL.D., F.R.S. Earth Sculpture: Hills, Valleys, Mountains, Plains, Rivers, Lakes; how they were Produced, and how they have been Destroyed.

P. Bert (Professor of Physiology, Paris). Forms of Life and other Cosmical Conditions.

Prof. T. H. Huxley. The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoology.

The Rev. A Secchi, D.J., late Director of the Observatory at Rome. The Stars.

Prof. J. Rosenthal, of the University of Erlangen. General Physiology of Muscles and Nerves.

Prof. A. de Quatrefages, Membre de l’Institut. The Human Race.

Prof. Thurston. The Steam Engine. With numerous Engravings.

Francis Galton, F.R.S. Psychometry.

J. W. Judd, F.R.S. The Laws of Volcanic Action.

Prof. F. N. Balfour. The Embryonic Phases of Animal Life.

J. Luys, Physician to the Hospice de la Salpétrière. The Brain and its Functions. With Illustrations.

Dr. Carl Semper. Animals and their Conditions of Existence.

Prof. Wurtz. Atoms and the Atomic Theory.

George J. Romanes, F.L.S. Animal Intelligence.

Alfred W. Bennett. A Handbook of Cryptogamic Botany.


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Volume XVII. of The International Scientific Series.

JONES (Lucy).

Puddings and Sweets. Being Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Receipts approved by Experience. Crown 8vo., price 2s. 6d.

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Socialism: Its Nature, its Dangers, and its Remedies considered. Crown 8vo. Cloth, price 7s. 6d.


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KING (Alice).

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Vol. XXIII. of the International Scientific Series.

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Volume XVIII. of The International Scientific Series.

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LOTHIAN (Roxburghe).

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Volume XI. of The International Scientific Series.

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Volume VIII. of The International Scientific Series.


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Mazzini (Joseph).

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MIRUS (Maj.-Gen. von).

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MIVART (St. George), F.R.S.

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MOLTKE (Field-Marshal Von).

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NICHOLAS (Thomas), Ph. D., F.G.S.

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Volume VII. of The International Scientific Series.


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Volume XII. of The International Scientific Series.


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Volume XX. of The International Scientific Series.

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[1] ‘Enaid yr ymadrod yw’r ferf.’

[2] See Table of Sounds, p. 1.

[3] From cuðe.

[4] The Welsh shows the source of this word in gair, a word; gair-ol, wordy.

[5] The words of the latter row are not shapen, at once, from those of the first one. Such of the first as are not roots in -ing are fellow stems to the others. As, stem from the root sting, to be more or less stiff or steadfast: sting, a stang, a stake, a stick. Steg-me (Gr. stigma), stegm (stem). Stem is not from stick, but from the root.

[6] In Welsh avon, a river, is from a time-word meaning to go on.

‘Mi av i’r avon vawr rhag llosgi.’
(I will go into the great river ere I be burned.)
Welsh Song.

Transcriber's Note

The Heads of Matter does not correspond directly to the headings in the text.

The following apparent errors have been corrected:

  • p. vii "Transitive" changed to "Transitive 15"
  • p. 4 "and Smallness" changed to "and Smallness."
  • p. 5 "bottle (of hay)" changed to "bottle (of hay)."
  • p. 5 "wants name-shapes" changed to "wants name-shapes."
  • p. 6 "in Tale" changed to "in Tale."
  • p. 6 "ien" changed to "ien."
  • p. 12 "cries)" changed to "cries"
  • p. 25 "consist" changed to "Consist"
  • p. 84 "Half-Pennings" changed to "Half-Pennings."
  • Catalogue p. 1 "Dutch Republic." changed to "Dutch Republic.”"
  • Catalogue p. 29 "Ice and and Glaciers." changed to "Ice and Glaciers."

Many punctuation errors in the catalogue have been left unchanged. In addition, the following possible errors have been left as printed:

  • p. 61 omen (p. 61).
  • p. 61 A word-list or word-list
  • p. 75 Pronoun Adjective, mark-word.
  • Catalogue p. 15 "Crown 8vo. Cloth, price" was printed with no price.

The following are used inconsistently in the text:

  • Ben-nebat and Ben-Nebat
  • folkspeech and folk-speech
  • linkword and link-word
  • markword and mark-word
  • speechcraft and speech-craft
  • Speechlore and Speech-lore

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