« IndietroContinua »
-ric 316. The first group consists of those in which the termination is a mere letter or syllable of which we can give no further account, but only notice the obscure appearance of a formative value.
Forms in -w-arrow, barrow, borrow, harrow, mallow, marrow, meadow, morrow, sallow salh, shadow, sinew, sorrow, sparrow, tallow, widow, yarrow gearwe.
When traced back to Anglo-Saxon, these will fall into two or more groups. 388. Assimilated is the Danish fellow.
Edmund Spenser, Maye, 130. Forms in -1:-apple, awl, bubble, bundle, bushel, churl, cradle, earl, evil, fowl, girdle, hail hægol, handle, hurdle, kernel, kettle, kirtle, ladle, maple, nail, nettle, nipple, ripple, rundle, sail segel, settle a bench, sickle, skittle, snaffle, snail snegel, soul, shovel, spindle, spittle, stubble, thimble, tile, treadle, weevil, whistle.
Assimilated : --myrtle, French myrte, Latin myrtus.
Forms in-m:-arm, barm, beam, besom, bosom, farm, fathom, gleam, helm, qualm, seam, steam, stream, swarm, team.
Forms in -n :-awn, beacon, blain, brain brægen, burden, chicken, even æfen, heaven, maiden, main mægen, morn, rain, raven, stern, steven Ch, thane þegen, token, town, wagon, weapon, welkin wolcen.
Forms in -r:-acre æcer, bower, brother, clover, cock-chafer, daughter, father, feather, finger, hammer hamor, hunger, leather, liver, mother, shower, silver, sister, stair stæger, summer, tear, thunder, timber, tinder, water, winter, wonder.
317. Forms in -t:--bight, blight, fight, flight, gift, height, light, might, right, sight, sleight, thought, thrift, weight, wight, yeast.
bight. Cross-examination resumed.—'I got the bight of the handkerchief behind the boy's head, and laid hold of the two corners of it. All this time prisoner was trying, as well as I, to get the boy in. I was lying down and so was prisoner, reaching across the water.'
Forms in -th:—breadth, dearth, filth, growlh, length, lewth Devon, mirth, ruth, sloth, spilth Sh, stealth, strength, troth, warmth, width.
Here also belongs math in Tennyson's 'after-math,' from the verb to mow.
Assimilated :--faith, which was formed upon the French foi, anglicised fey. The two words fey and faith went on for a long time together, with a tolerably clear distinction of sense. Fey meant religious belief, creed, as in the exclamation By my fey! while faith signified the moral virtue of loyalty or fidelity : and this signification it still bears in the phrase in good faith.
In -k, producing a termination -ock, an ancient diminutival form-as, bullock, hassock, hillock, tussock.
In-kin, properly k-en, Platt-Deutsch -ken, German -chen, a widely prevalent diminutival, of which we have but a few and those rather obscure examples—as, bodkin, catkin, grimalkin, ladkin, lakin = ladykin Sh, lambkin, napkin, kilderkin, pipkin. 377.
318. In -ing; as king cyning, lording, shilling, sweeting Sh, and the Saxon execrative nithing.
This termination nowhere shews the simplicity of its original use better than in apple-naming, as, codling, pippin (i. e. pipping), sweeting, wilding. In German the formative -ling is numerous in the naming of apples and of esculent fungi : Grimm 3. 376 and 782.
A childe will chose a sweeting, because it is presentlie faire and pleasant.R. Ascham, Scholemaster i. Ten ruddy wildings in the wood I found.
John Dryden, Virgil, Ecl. iii. 107. This -ing became the formative of the Saxon patronymic, as Ælfred Æbelwulfing, Alfred the son of Æthelwulf; Æbelwulf wæs Ecgbryhting, Æthelwulf was son of Ecgbryht.
The old Saxon title Ædeling, for the Crown Prince, was thus formed, as it were the son of the Ædel or Estate. About the year 1300, Robert of Gloucester considered this word as needing an explanation :
Ac pe gode tryw men of þe lond wolde abbe ymade kyng
Ed. Hearne, i. 354. TRANSIATION.—But the good true men of the land would have made king the natural heir, the young Chyld, Edgar Atheling. Whoso were next king by birthright, men call him Atheling : therefore men called him so, for by birth he was next king.
In some of these instances we see -ing added to words ending in L; and as this repeatedly happened, there arose from the habitual association of this termination with that letter a new and distinct formative in -ling, as changeling, darling, falling, firstling, fondling, foundling, gosling, hireling, nestling, nurseling, seedling, stripling, slarveling, underling. 377.
comlyng. Hyt semeþ a gret wondur houz Englysch patys þe burb-tonge of Englyschemen y here oune longage y tonge ys so dyvers of soon in þis ylond, the longage of Normandy ys comlyng of anoper lond, y haþ on manere soon among al men þat spekep hyt aryzt in Engelonde.—John Trevisa, Higden's Polychronicon, A.D. 1387.
weakling. His baptisme was hastned to prevent his death, all looking on him as a weakling, which would post to the grave.—Thomas Fuller, Franciscus Junius in • Abel Redevivus,' 1651.
Even this secondary formative is of high antiquity, and its standing in our language is only imperfectly indicated by the observation that it is in German as in English far more frequent than its primary in -ing. The word silverling in Isaiah vii, 23 is after Luther's Silberling.
Here we must also include the abstract substantive in -ing, Saxon -UNG, as blessing bletsung, twinkeling : and two which are oftener seen in the plural, innings, winnings.
The new ideas of peace, retrenchment, and reform’ got their innings, and amid much struggle, and with a few occasional episodes, have ruled the national policy from 1830 till 1875.-W. R. Greg, Nineteenth Century, Sept. 1878; p. 395.
This -ing (-ling) originally signifies extraction, paternity and descent. It has figured very largely in names of places, as Reading, Sandringham, Fotheringhay. In such instances it is sometimes patronymic, that is to say, it was the name of a family from a common ancestor; and sometimes merely connective with the locality, as we might say 'he of'— the man of.' It slid into a diminutival function in many instances :—of which below, 377.
319. In -er Saxon -ere; becere baker, boceras Scribes in the Gospels, literally bookers. From this source we have
also ale-conner, binder, dealer, ditcher, fiddler, fisher, fowler, grinder, harper, hater, listener, miller, -monger, runner, skipper, walker, Webber.
The area of this termination was vastly enlarged by the confluence of the French -ier, 338; and now it is one of our most apt and ready formations :
believer. Cromwell was not an ordinary Puritan, and is not to be mixed up with his class. He is a man sui generis He rises out of the Puritanical movement, and receives its mould, but he is a user of Puritanism full as much as, and rather more than, he is a believer in it.-J. B. Mozley, Essays, i. 251; "Carlyle's Cromwell.'
It is this -er which we see in such descriptions as Londoner, Northerner, Southerner.
It was necessary to illustrate my method by a concrete case ; and, as a Londoner addressing Londoners, I selected the Thames, and its basin, for my text.-T. H. Huxley, Physiography, p. viii.
320. -ness, from -NIS Or -NĖS, which in oblique cases made -nesse ; and this oblique form it was that became traditional, and that explains the double-s in present orthography. We can analyze -Nis into n-is, the is being the original formative, M.G. -assus, while n is an attachment like L in -ling.
In the Mosogothic Lord's Prayer (15) we see thiudin-assus, and the formative is assus. The frequency of a similar contact with n seems first to have made ness a formative; but its attraction proved so powerful that it everywhere superseded the pure form. Such a diversion intimates that the new form approved itself to the mind of the speakers, and brought more satisfaction than the old. Grimm bewails this seduction of the speech-genius from the true path ; but he admits that the error, as he calls it, pervades the earliest Old High German remains. The avidity of this acceptance I explain by reference to Ness a headland. That particular explanation may or may not be the real one; but these