Allus  in Blunderland.

I was reading Margaret Drabble’s TLS review (November 20, 2020) of The Walker: On finding and losing yourself in the modern city by Matthew Beaumont when I was driven to post by the following paragraph:

The most entertaining chapter in the volume, on the Big Toe, takes as its starting point a fragmentary essay on the mouth by the surrealist philosopher Georges Bataille, from 1930, which ranges widely through iconography, anthropology, the history of bipedalism, the French physician de la Tourette’s analysis of human gait, and the novels of Thomas Pynchon and Carlo Emilio Gadda. It is full of puns, and thoughts about the nature and meaning of punning. Gadda’s “late modernist masterpiece”, That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana (1957) contains, we are told, “an elaborate pun on la luce (meaning ‘light’) and l’alluce (meaning ‘big toe’)”, and introduces us to the feet of various painted saints, with their “flocks” or “herds” of toes. It speaks of the magnificence and hideousness of big toes, which we must stare at, Beaumont admonishes us, “unflinchingly, affirming our fear, horror and hilarity, to celebrate their humanity and inhumanity alike”. Gadda’s puns lead us, mysteriously but inexorably, to the thought that “It is as if creation itself is a ridiculous, Beckettian accident caused by a slip of the tongue”. Beaumont’s own contribution to the rich world of puns comes in a discussion of the opening scene of Coriolanus, where the aristocratic Menenius memorably addresses the rebellious First Citizen as “The great toe of this assembly”. This leads Beaumont, via Bataille and Roland Barthes, to declare that “Bataille, it might be said, calls for the dictatorship of the toeleprariat”.

In the first place, la luce and l’alluce make for a lousy pun, because the latter is stressed on the first syllable (and frankly I’m not impressed by “toeleprariat” either, but then I haven’t read Bataille and Barthes). But l’alluce sent me on a confusing etymological quest. Wiktionary says “From Late Latin (h)allucem, from Latin hallus/allus,” and the hallus entry says “Uncertain; probably a borrowing from a non-IE language. hallux is the only form that suggests an Indo-European structure.” What does that last sentence mean? And how did Italian go from hallus (genitive hallī) to alluce, as if from hallux? Well, there is a hallux, and it’s in the OED — “The innermost of the digits (normally five in number) of the hind foot of an air-breathing vertebrate; the great toe”; unfortunately, the entry is unchanged since 1898, and the etymology is not very helpful: “modern Latin, corrupted < allex (allic-) the great toe (Isidore Gloss.), found once in Plautus in phrase allex. viri a ‘thumb of a man’, a thumbling.” I turned to my Oxford Latin Dictionary and looked up hallus: “see allus.” That took me to:

allus or hallus, m. (app.) The great toe (cf. allex).

The “app.” stands for “apparently”; does that refer to the “m.” or the definition? And allex says “see hallec.” But (h)al(l)ec is a fish sauce! If anyone can bring any order to this mess, I’ll be grateful.

Her last paragraph annoyed me:

I end with a footnote on the phrase “industrial sublime”, a term applied by Beaumont to the Waterworks Tower on Camden Hill, which featured on the jacket of The Napoleon of Notting Hill. I wonder when this was coined? It is certainly now in common usage, and I had a notion that I might have coined it myself, in my book on landscape, A Writer’s Britain (1979), but I see that although I have a chapter on the subject, with many allusions to Burke and the Sublime, to viaducts and cooling towers and slate mines, I don’t actually use it as a phrase. I skirt about it, and clearly needed it, but it’s not there. I do use it, however, in my afterword to the reprint of 2009. It must have become an accepted category at some point in the past thirty years, but I’ve no idea when. Beaumont also uses the evocative term “edgelands”, but I think we do know when that was first used. We think it was Marion Shoard in 2002. It’s a very good word.

For heaven’s sake, have you ever heard of the internet? A moment’s search showed that the phrase “industrial sublime” was coined by David E. Nye in his 1996 American Technological Sublime (ch. 5: “The Factory: From the Pastoral Mill to the Industrial Sublime”) — for all I know it may have occurred earlier, but that’s where people who have used it since source it (Zoltán Simon: “Chapter 5 is devoted to one such new category, which Nye refers to as the industrial sublime”). And “edgelands” was certainly not first used by “Marion Shoard in 2002,” since a Google Books search instantly turns up several occurrences in the Feb. 1993 Field & Stream (“The region’s two distinct but closely related cottontail rabbit species, the Eastern and the New England, are highly adaptable and prefer the ample edgelands, open meadows, and mixed second-growth forests of southern New England”), as well as a 1974 New Hampshire Draft Environmental Impact Statement (p. 12: “A section of the ‘edge’ presently existing will be taken during highway construction with new ‘edgelands’ being created to the east of the northbound barrel as cutting and clearing for construction occurs”). You don’t have to idly wonder about this stuff, people; it’s all out there for your edification!


  1. J.W. Brewer says

    Happy to learn that Margaret Drabble (now apparently poshified to either Dame Margaret or Lady Holroyd, as you may prefer) is still around and writing. I’m pretty sure I first became vaguely aware of her as an adolescent in the late Seventies in of all things a punk-rock context, because either Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs or both invoked her in trying to explain something about the U.K. milieu from whence the Sex Pistols had sprung.

  2. on MIT Press’ page for Nye’s book, they credit Perry Miller for coining the term:

    which led me to a Sabine LaBel essay on UMass’ website, where LaBel says Miller uses the concept in his book ‘The Life Of The Mind In America’ (link to pdf):

    though they credit Leo Marx with expanding on it, not Nye! i expect the concept, if not the term, to go back to the early days of industrialism (among those not working the factories, at least)

  3. David Eddyshaw says

    It’s hallux in medical usage.

    It never occurred to me that it might not be Proper Latin. But then, big toes don’t come up much in Virgil or Livy.

  4. on MIT Press’ page for Nye’s book, they credit Perry Miller for coining the term


  5. David Marjanović says

    “Uncertain; probably a borrowing from a non-IE language. hallux is the only form that suggests an Indo-European structure.” What does that last sentence mean?

    That hallux is the only form that looks like an IE root + suffix + ending, while hallus is harder to make sense of. I wonder if (h)allux is influenced by pollex “thumb”.

  6. J.W. Brewer says

    Big toes do come up in Holy Scripture, e.g. Judges 1:6 (in the KJV “But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.”). Interestingly enough, however, St. Jerome seems to have put it as Adonibesec (as his name is more Latinly spelt) losing the “heights” or “summits” of his fingers and toes: “Fugit autem Adonibezec: quem persecuti comprehenderunt, cæsis summitatibus manuum ejus ac pedum.”

    I don’t know whether e.g. “summitatates manuum” was an idiom just meaning “thumbs” rather than more literally “tips of all 10 fingers.”

  7. Walde, Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch:

    hallus ‘pollex pedis scandēns super proximum, dictus ā saliendō’ Paul. Fest. 102 (allus Paul. Fest. 7; allux, allex Gloss. nach pollex): Et. unsicher. Vl. nach J. Schmidt Pl. 183 aus *hal(o)-doik-s „große Zehe“ (vgl. pollex : polleō, abg. palъcъ „Daumen“); *halo- „groß“ zu ksl. golěmъ „groß, hoch“, lit. galiù, galēti „können, imstande sein“, kymr. gallu ds., korn. gallos „Macht“, bret. gallout „können“ usw. (-ll- aus -ln-), so daß die Wz. danach als *ghal-, nicht *gal zu bestimmen ist; *-doiks zu digitus (vgl. oben S. 351). Doch ist sicher nicht von hallūx, sondern von hallus als ursprünglicher Form auszugehen, so daß hallus aus *ghal-nos (vgl. die kelt. Wörter) abzuleiten ist, falls nicht für älteres *halus nach pollex.
    Nicht überzeugend Petersson Språkl. upps. 136 (Gl. 9, 258): zu ai. ghuṭa- „Fußknöchel“. — Walde-P.I 539.

    Ernout & Meillet, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine:

    *hallus, hallux (allus, allux, allex): orteil. Mot de glossaire : P. F. 91, 1, hallus: pollex pedis scandens super proximum, dictus a saliendo; et 7, 15, allus pollex scandens proximum digitum, quod uelut insiluisse in alium uideatur, quod Graece ἅλλεσθαι dicitur. Les formes allux, alux, allex ont été influencées par pollex. Rien de commun avec (h)allec, (h)allex; dans Plt., Poe. 1310, hallex uiri ne signifie pas «tom pouce», comme le traduisent les dictionnaires, mais «sentine d’homme», comme le démontre le contexte.
    Comme pollex, nom de partie du corps, de type «populaire», à consonne géminée. Sans correspondant connu.

  8. J.W. Brewer says

    FWIW, Wycliffe does not seem to have understood the Vulgate’s phrasing as an idiom for thumbs and big toes but has the verse as “Forsothe Adonybozech fledde, whom thei pursueden, and token, and kittiden the endis of hise hondis and feet.” (An “end” of an extremity is presumably the same as a “tip,” just viewed from a different direction.)

  9. “konnen” -> “können”, “uberzeugend” -> “überzeugend”. The phone rang just as I was starting to correct the post.

    de Vaan summarizes, much too briefly:

    (h)allus/x ‘the great toe’ [m.?] (Paul. ex F., gloss.)
    The original form is unclear (probably hallus or hallux); hallux would have a unique suffix, only hallus has a structure that might be IE. But no etymology is available.

    Here it’s clear that it is the gender that is unclear, presumably for lack of examples of agreement.

  10. I wonder if (h)allux is influenced by pollex “thumb”.

    Seems likely.

    Thanks for the etymologies, Y! (I made the corrections for you.)

  11. J.W. Brewer says

    Here’s another Old Testament passage (Exodus 29:20) where St. Jerome does have pollex but not hallux, maybe tending to confirm that they do indeed mean the “late” in Late Latin: “Quem cum immolaveris, sumes de sanguine ejus, et pones super extremum auriculae dextrae Aaron et filiorum ejus, et super pollices manus eorum ac pedis dextri, fundesque sanguinem super altare per circuitum.” (KJV: “Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.”) The plural “pollices” tends to suggest that “pollex … pedis” meant “big toe” (contrasting with “pollex manūs” emphasizing the usual sort of thumb) while they were still waiting for “hallux” to arrive and take over that niche in the lexicon.

  12. J.W. Brewer says

    Esperanto apparently has “halukso” for big toe, contrasting with “polekso” for thumb, although perhaps that’s in a more learned register because you also have the option of the more compositional “pieda dikfingro,” which I take it is “foot’s thickfinger.”

  13. January First-of-May says

    For what it’s worth, AFAIK I have only ever previously encountered the word allus “big toe” in someone’s attempt to translate the Addams family motto (whereas the aforementioned translator claimed that this word provided the only way to make it grammatically correct Latin at all). Unfortunately I don’t recall very much about the rest of that “translation”.

    I vaguely recognize the biological/anatomical term hallux but couldn’t tell you what it meant. (I would probably have guessed, from my vague memory, that it was some kind of finger.)

  14. David Marjanović says

    ksl. golěmъ „groß, hoch“

    And there I was thinking the whole time that the word, with its three consonants, was Hebrew…

    “foot’s thickfinger.”

    Sort of; -a is the adjective ending.

  15. J.W. Brewer says

    So “footish thickfinger”?

  16. David Eddyshaw says

    Kusaal for “big toe” is nɔbdaʋg, which as far as the literal meaning of the components is concerned is “male foot/leg.” However, daʋg “male” often occurs in the sense “big” rather than “male” whenever the gender meaning would make no sense, as in e.g. Nwaddar “Venus” (“big star”), and the specific meaning “big toe” is presumably parasitic in some way on that of nɔbbil “toe” (“little-foot.”) “Thumb” and “finger” work the same way, respectively nu’uraʋg “male hand/arm” and nu’ubil “little-hand.”

  17. January First-of-May says

    ksl. golěmъ „groß, hoch“

    Modern Bulgarian голям. What does “ksl.” stand for – Church Slavonic?

    And there I was thinking the whole time that the word, with its three consonants, was Hebrew…

    It is, of course (Wikipedia provides the etymology), but I’m sure Ben Bezalel would have known enough Church Slavonic to recognize the pun and (probably) consider it auspicious.
    (…Somewhat less auspicious in the Chelm version of the legend, where this feature became a major problem.)

  18. ksl. is Kirchenslawisch, i.e. Church Slavonic. Old Church Slavonic is abg., Altbulgarisch.

  19. David Eddyshaw says

    Book Two of William Carlos Williams’ Paterson (“Sunday in the Park”) tells us

    Walking —

    The body is tilted slightly forward from the basic standing
    position and the weight thrown on the ball of the foot,
    while the other thigh is lifted and the leg and opposite
    arm are swung forward (fig. 6B). Various muscles, aided

    I seem to be the only person still breathing who has actually ever read Paterson, which may explain why I also seem to be the only person left who thinks it’s a terriific poem. (This specific passage may not help in making my case particularly, admittedly …)

    Anyhow, keep yer Beaumonts, I’m with Bill Bill.

  20. I’ve read Paterson. Well, a lot of Paterson, anyway — I can’t be sure after all this time that I ever finished it. But I went to Paterson the city to read it amid what it celebrated. Bill Bill is one of my fave faves.

  21. J.W. Brewer says

    Perhaps _Paterson_ reads even better if translated into ksl. or abg.?

  22. David Eddyshaw says

    Perhaps _Paterson_ reads even better if translated into ksl. or abg.?

    It may be so. We need to find an Old Bulgarian with an interest in American Modernist poetry.

  23. golěmъ is only “голям” in the post-1945 Bulgarian orthography: previously “голѣмъ”; and /goljam/ /golɛm/ and /golæm/ are still common realizations, depending on regional accent. I’d say the first two are split about evenly, with the third comparatively rare now (it was my grandmother’s native reflex of that vowel, I have /ɛ/.

  24. A different allus, namely, the variant pronunciation of always (per Wiktionary, Northern England and Southern US): what kind of weird reduction is that? I can’t think of any parallels.

  25. Gunnel? Bo’sun?

  26. Hm. Indeed. Where do these nautical pronunciations come from?
    The Dictionary of American Regional English gives examples from all over, but especially New England.

  27. David Marjanović says

    So “footish thickfinger”?

    I’d go for “pedal thickfinger”, if not “pedal pycnodigit”.

  28. For allus= always; loss of w as the initial element of the second part of a compound is quite common (see placenames like Norwich, Welwyn; the nautical bosun < boatswain etc are just special cases). Shortening of the vowels in early syllables of compounds is also relatively normal.
    Loss of secondary stress leading to full reduction of the unstressed vowels seems fairly common as well. And final -s of inflectional endings used to be [ s ] rather than [ z ] ; for retention of the s pronunciation where the inflection is not identifiable anymore, see "once". Given all this, "allus" seems less surprising, and the normal current form represents a re-formation based on the individual elements.

  29. David Eddyshaw: Where could we possbily find a person with knowledge of Old Bulgarian who is also interested in American modernist poetry?

  30. That was a joke.

  31. There is a apparently a musical setting of Paterson, composed by an admirer:

    Dr. Frederick Adler, composer and medical doctor, has since adolescence seen Dr. William Carlos Williams as a sort of mentor,* inspiring the possibility of combining a serious artistic life with the practice of medicine. He responds to the poem Paterson in a symphonic work for orchestra and piano.

    The relevance of William Carlos Williams’ career as a physician to his poetry is a somewhat debated topic, but the particular passage quoted above from “Sunday in the Park” certainly shows evidence of his medical training.

    * I wonder if any dictionaries have noted this extended, metaphorical sense of mentor. I’ve seen it before, but it’s not in the OED.

  32. languagehat: That was self-deprecating? I have a strange confluence of interests.

  33. Oh, sorry! My bad.

  34. I finally got to less than twenty tabs.

  35. J.W. Brewer says

    I should think it obvious that however small the Venn-diagram overlap between the sets of American-modernist-poetry-fanciers and Old-Bulgarian-knowers might be, the odds that anyone who falls into the overlap is following comment threads at this blog would be significantly greater than chance and greater than 99.9%+ of other locales on the internet.

  36. Can’t argue with that!

  37. The edgelands of Shoard don’t have anything to do with edgelands used by rabbits, except maybe by analogy. I feel confident that the term grew out of the thinking around the book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, and may even have been coined there. I doubt very much that anyone had in mind a rare word for a border natural habitat when they began using it. It’s a simple extension of the idea of an edge city.

  38. loss of w as the initial element of the second part of a compound is quite common


    Old English
    Alternative forms

    (morning star): ēarendel


    From Proto-Germanic *Auziwandilaz, from *auzi (“dawn”) + *wandilaz (“fluctuating, variable, wandering”), perhaps via the intermediate forms *Ēarwendel or *Ēarwandel.

    IPA(key): /ˈæ͜ɑː.ren.del/

    Proper noun

    Ēarendel m

    1. A male given name
    2. personification of the morning star

    WHL0137-LS, also known as Earendel (“Morning Star” in Old English), is the most distant known single star.[2] Imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, the star was observed through a gravitational lens. It was determined to have a 6.2±0.1 redshift. Light from the star was emitted 900 million years after the Big Bang and took 12.9 billion years to travel to Earth.[1][3][4] Due to the expansion of the universe, the spot from which the light was emitted is now 28 billion light years from Earth.[5] WHL0137-LS was probably a massive star, likely more than 50 solar masses.[6] Due to its large mass, the star likely exploded as a supernova just a few million years after emerging.[6][7] Earendel’s composition was probably hydrogen and helium (Population III star).[2]

  39. PlasticPaddy says

    @anhweol, juha
    The evolution of lw might be a bit more complicated. The ME form calwe developed to callow. There are a lot of similar forms (some with original OE g instead of w). So one could perhaps expect *aloweges at some point, where the g is or becomes a semi-vowel, the w drops out and then the unstressed vowel mess at the end simplifies to a schwa.

  40. @J.W. Brewer

    > I should think it obvious that however small the Venn-diagram overlap between the sets of American-modernist-poetry-fanciers and Old-Bulgarian-knowers might be, the odds that anyone who falls into the overlap is following comment threads at this blog would be significantly greater than chance and greater than 99.9%+ of other locales on the internet.

    Well, I know several people who are in the intersection of that Venn diagram, but they don’t post here.

  41. David Eddyshaw says

    More research is needed.

  42. Stu Clayton says

    In the 2010/2011 edition of Kürschners Deutscher Literatur-Kalender there is a list of “literature translators” by language handled. Under altslawisch there is only one name: Norbert Randow. Unfortunately he was gathered unto his fathers in 2013.

    This is not looking good, venndiagrammtechnisch.

    In other news: don’t you just hate it that Eng. “calendar” is Ger. Kalender ? And Eng. “calender” is Germ. Kalander ?

  43. Well, It’s people in our late thirties, mostly, currently.

  44. In other news: don’t you just hate it that Eng. “calendar” is Ger. Kalender ? And Eng. “calender” is Germ. Kalander ?

    I wish you hadn’t told me that.

  45. Huh, I never noticed either.

  46. From Proto-Germanic *Auziwandilaz, from *auzi (“dawn”) + *wandilaz (“fluctuating, variable, wandering”), perhaps via the intermediate forms *Ēarwendel or *Ēarwandel.


  47. David Marjanović says

    Yes. The Vandali ~ Vandili ~ Vanduli are so called because they wandeln “ambulate”.

    (The modern German pronunciation that stresses & lengthens the second a is a quite silly hypercorrective guess at the Latin form.)

    Norbert Randow. Unfortunately he was gathered unto his fathers in 2013.

    No doubt he’ll be replaced by some rando.

    In other news: don’t you just hate it that Eng. “calendar” is Ger. Kalender ? And Eng. “calender” is Germ. Kalander ?

    Fortunately, Eng. “colander” is Ger. Nudelsieb. Rāmen.

  48. The name “Waindell College” in Nabokov’s Pnin has some innuendo attached (because it must), but I don’t know what it is. Maybe it has to do with wandeln?

    Naturally, Pnin himself pronounces it “Vandal”.

  49. Eng. “colander” is Ger. Nudelsieb
    I know that as Durchschlag. Such household items are notorious for having various regional names.

  50. «Дуршлаг» или «друшлаг», как правильно писать?

  51. Stu Clayton says

    I know that as Durchschlag. Such household items are notorious for having various regional names.

    Is that from Northern Germany ? Duden tells me the Austrians have Tropfrein. <kicher>

    From juha’s link:

    # Это сло­во заим­ство­ва­но из немец­ко­го язы­ка и зву­чит как

    дуршла́г [д у р ш л а к]

    Stress on the last syllable ? Either more research is needed, or this is just a minor flub-up. In my day, зву­чит как meant what it says and no fooling around.

  52. Is that from Northern Germany ?
    I wouldn’t be able to say where exactly that’s from – my family is a mixture of Rhein-Ruhr, East Prussia and Thuringia, and I grew up in Northern Germany, so the only thing I can say with confidence that it’s not Southern German.
    Concerning the position of the stress in Russian, stress on the final element in compounds loaned from German is normal in Russian (shlagbáum, buterbród, kurórt, ryukzág etc.)

  53. Stress on the last syllable ?

    In Russian. If it were in German, it would say “Es klingt wie.” <kicher>

  54. ryukzág

    S/b ryukzák (рюкзак). (Endings are stressed: genitive ryukzaká, etc.)

  55. My maternal grandmother, with her very limited Russian, always said друшлаг, which prompted me to google for it.
    Of course, I know that the correct spelling is друшлаг.

  56. Heh. Would you like me to fix that last word, or is it a joke?

  57. ryukzak
    Sorry, you’re right, of course.

  58. PlasticPaddy says

    Drushlag sounds to me like druzhba + lager’, either an international summer camp run by cheerful Pioneers or a euphemism for a less cheerful kind of camp….

  59. S/b
    I’ve been looking for such a standard abbreviation for years. Thank you, Mr. Copy Editor.

  60. My pleasure!

  61. Stu Clayton says

    stress on the final element in compounds loaned from German is normal in Russian (shlagbáum, buterbród, kurórt, ryukzák etc.)

    Russian stressotactics to the rescue.

  62. shlagbáum

    I can’t be sure that the rules for stress can not be affected by the hiatus. But cf. baúl, Naúm.



  63. David Marjanović says

    Duden tells me the Austrians have Tropfrein.

    I didn’t know that one, but it makes sense: rather than having anything to do with herein, it refers to this Rein.

    (…which I didn’t know full-sized either, only in the diminutive, which, however, generally refers to full-sized dishes.)

    Russian stressotactics to the rescue.

    French, rather: it was the default foreign language, so everything foreign got pronounced as French to some extent.

  64. Stu Clayton says

    … it refers to this Rein.

    Huh. Choked by my own giggle. Ils sont choux, ces Autrichiens.

  65. Yes. The Vandali ~ Vandili ~ Vanduli are so called because they wandeln “ambulate”.

    They do. This comment byWiktionary is useful:

    For the semantics of the second element, compare Ancient Greek πλάνης (plánēs, “wanderer; planet”).

    Indeed, this property “can change position relative to stars, wanders” must be striking for someone in a more or less traditional material culture.

  66. *Auziwandilaz

    From *auzi (“dawn”) + *wandilaz (“fluctuating, variable, wandering”). The first element from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ews-, cognate with Latin Aurora, Ancient Greek Ἠώς (Ēṓs) (compare *austraz, *Austrǭ).[1] For the semantics of the second element, compare Ancient Greek πλάνης (plánēs, “wanderer; planet”).
    Proto-West Germanic: *Auʀiwandil
    Old English: Ēarendel, ēarendel
    Old High German: Erentil, Orentil, Auriwandalo (Lombardic)[2]
    → Medieval Latin: Horuuendillus, Horvandillus
    Old Norse: Aurvandill[2]
    Gothic: 𐌰𐌿𐌶𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌹𐌻 (auzandil)

    Are there other attestations of *auzi?

  67. Stu Clayton says

    Are there other attestations of *auzi?

    At etymonline I found this pleasant, to-me-unknown derivation of “yowza”:

    # colloquial form of yes, sir, 1934, popularized by U.S. bandleader and radio personality Ben “The Old Maestro” Bernie (1891-1943). #

  68. David Marjanović says

    Are there other attestations of *auzi?

    It is at this point [end of section 3] that another potential example of the Vernerian treatment of medial *-sr- can finally be introduced: I suggest that the form *áu̯s-ro- developed a variant with *-zr-, preserved in the compound *h₂au̯sro- + *u̯óndʰelo-s > *auzra-wanðilaz ‘dawn-traveller (~planet)’ > *aurawanðilaz. Apart from its use as a proper name (whose astronomical connotations are at best extremely vague, as in the case of OIc. Aurvandill) the meaning ‘Venus, the morning star’ is supported by the celebrated Old English reference to Ēarendel in Crist A 104. The present analysis does not require the postulation of a special compositional form of the word for ‘east, dawn’ (PGmc. *auza/i- or the like) or an archaic “Caland” variant with *-i- replacing the *-ro- extension. One and the same form *h₂au̯sro- accounts for Germanic *austra- and *auza- equally well. The difference results from the fact that the accent in the endocentric compound in question was originally placed on the agent noun used as the deuterotheme, enabling Verner’s Law to affect the first member. As the syllable preceding *-zr- was already heavy, the loss of *z did not cause any compensatory lengthening.

    That doesn’t fit the Gothic auzandil, if that’s real.

  69. David Marjanović says

    …aaaaactually, none of the words used to exemplify *-zr- > *-(ː)r- have Gothic reflexes mentioned in the paper or in Wiktionary. So maybe this is a Northwest Germanic innovation, and East Germanic instead turned *-zr- into *-(ː)z-, or at least *-wzrw- (resulting from a round of syncope that I think is regular in Gothic) into *-wz-.

  70. PlasticPaddy says

    munþs unsar usluknoda du izwis, Kaurinþius, hairto unsar usrumnoda.— τὸ στόμα ἡμῶν ἀνέῳγεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, κορίνθιοι, ἡ καρδία ἡμῶν πεπλάτυνται:— O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
    usrumnoda = enlarged
    This is confusing because Wilhelm Streitberg’s Gothic primer gives urredan = “urteilen” and urruns = “Ausgang” as illustrations of a law that usr > urr when us is the preposition.
    Maybe you know a newer treatment that explains this.

  71. PlasticPaddy says

    I looked again; usrumnoda is only in the B manuscript, which also has the related urrumnaiþ with r instead of s. There are 134 extracts with “urr” in Wulfila. Apart from fidurraginja “tetrarch” and urrumnoda and the related urrumnaiþ, (almost) all of these are forms related to urraisjan “arise” and urrinnan “go forth”. There is also jah andstaurraidedun þo ” and they murmured against her”.

  72. Lars Mathiesen says

    less than twenty tabs — would anybody be interested in a tampermonkey script to autoclose tabs that haven’t been looked at in, say, 3 months? On the theory that you probably won’t get back to them before switching to another browser…

  73. Lars Mathiesen says

    Also, dørslag. Which sounds like something you beat doors with. An eggcorn except it’s allus been like that (in print 1797).

  74. @PP: I’m no expert on Gothic, but re-introduction of unassimilated forms in a productive process like prefixing can always happen, either as occasional forms / mistakes or, when frequent enough, as a new layer in the language.

  75. PlasticPaddy says

    Thanks. Since it is only one example in one manuscript, it probably is not significant. Was sr > rr not active in WG or were ausreden, ausrichten, etc. reintroduced later (or based on forms with tr instead of sr)?

  76. The /s/ in aus goes back to Germanic /t/, see English out, Dutch uit etc. IIRC, the cognate to Gothic us- is German ur-/er-.

  77. David Marjanović says

    Maybe you know a newer treatment that explains this.

    No; I haven’t even read Streitberg’s works for that matter.

    the cognate to Gothic us- is German ur-/er-.

    That I can confirm, though.

    On the theory that you probably won’t get back to them before switching to another browser…

    What? Why would I ever switch to another browser? I’m only aware of one with good adblockers. Plus, the list of open tabs can be exported anyway.

  78. Lars Mathiesen says

    A very large percentage of the people who swore they’d never switch from Netscape Mosaic — unless you hold that Firefox is essentially the same. [That sentence no complement, because lazy]. But per contra Heraclit, we now do call it by another name.

    But yeah, you can export the tabs. You do lose context like half-written Casa Hat comments, though, and probably all of per-tab history. (I still think it’s magic when I can restore a tab that I’ve closed and ALT-left a few times, and it still remembers what I typed in the textareas. Next — context trees so clicking a link doesn’t discard forward history but creates a new branch instead. If git can do it, why not FF?)

    Obling: er- (unstressed) is a cran-morpheme in Danish, since North Germanic punted on inseparable (unstressed) prefixes, only leaving as evidence metri causa a semantically unmotivated um/umb/of that looks like a separable prefix except the composite verb never existed.

    ár skal risa / sás annars vill / fé eða fiör hafa / sialdan liggiandi ulfr / lamb um getr / né sofandi maðr sigr (Song of Hár, 58 / *bigetaną).

    MLG to the rescue, so now we have erfare and erklære and a host of others, clearly related to stems like far- and klar-, albeit with obscure semantic connections, but nothing productive.

  79. @Lars Mathiesen: Mosaic was released by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, not by Netscape. In spite of its name, the NCSA was a major contributor to the consumer market for Internet software; prior to the Mosaic Web browser, the NCSA had created the most popular Telnet application, which was free and and open source (before the term open source had been coined). Netscape Navigator was the next natural development of Mosaic, however. Netscape was founded by the main creators of Mosaic, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, who wanted to turn their Web browser into a proprietary project.

    Mozilla Firefox is further descendent of the same lineage. The name “Mozilla” is a portmanteau with the “Mo-” taken from “Mosaic” and “-zilla” obviously for their dinosaur mascot. (You doesn’t see the Mozilla dino much any more, except when Firefox won’t load and you can play a game that involves him jumping over cacti and dodging pterodactyls while you wait for your Internet connection to come back.) Netscape spun Mozilla off when they realized that there were not going to be able to make money off their browser and wanted to return to the open source model. Their mail program was given the fairly reasonable name of “Thunderbird,” and as a riff on that theme, they named the revised Web browser “Firefox.” Shortly after the release of Firefox, I predicted that their next project would be named “Iceweasel” (fire, lightning/thunder, and ice being the basic magical damage types in a lot of computer role-playing games, including Final Fantasy). And, lo and behold, Iceweasel soon came to be. (It isn’t actually a new Mozilla software product, but a Debian Project clone of the Firefox source—but it’s close enough that I’ll take the win. However, my next software name prediction, “Tornadostoat,” is still vaporware. There are also Mozilla “Sunbird” and non-Mozilla “SeaMonkey,” as well as additional Debian clones, “Icedove,” “Iceape,” and “Iceowl.”)

  80. Lars Mathiesen says

    Oops, yeah, NCSA Mosaic. My first browser. And I know FF is the moral successor, but calling it “the same browser” is such a stretch that I will claim that people did switch even if they switched to Navigator and then to FF. I was reading mail in elm, I think, so I didn’t keep up with the Thunderbird side.

  81. A friend of mine will be giving a lecture about the history of science in medieval Bulgaria at a conference at the Summer school at the University of Turnovo, my late aunt’s Alma Mater. Aneta Dimitrova, EDIT: that’s the lecture: “Scientific Language in Medieval Bulgaria”.
    The workshop is “Scientific” Description in Medieval Bulgarian Literature”

  82. David Marjanović says

    Ah, I’m barely old enough to remember Netscape. I remember a cartoon where Netscape is portrayed as a steamroller, Internet Explorer as a much larger one, and the EU Commissioner for Competition as a much larger one again…

    In German, erklären is transparent: klar “clear”, klären “clarify”, erklären “clarify to successful completion” > “explain”. But erfahren and erleben, both “experience” with various connotations, are much less so; erfahren seems to require the modern English sense of fare rather than “move on wheels, by ship, to hell or up into heaven”.

    However, my next software name prediction, “Tornadostoat,” is still vaporware.

    And Sharknado is a movie franchise.

  83. Aneta is the second person I loaned Generation П to when it was translated into Bulgarian after I had read it.

    EDIT: David; I’m really tired. You don’t remember the browser wars?

  84. Lars Mathiesen says

    David (M) is a babe-in-arms compared to Stu and Hat and that ilk (and Other Dave, I think, but it’s different for aliens). For me myself I’ll join the old retired codgers in eight years or so. I’m only practicing “get off my lawn” yet.

  85. Lars Mathiesen says

    Danish erklære is bleached of the explanatory / clarifying sense and just means ‘state’. We have klargøre for that.

  86. PlasticPaddy says

    Re modern English sense of fare, I believe this exists in (West?)Franconian for fahren, but I don’t have a reference.

  87. PlasticPaddy says

    DWDS has
    umgangssprachlich ⟨(mit etw., jmdm.) gut fahren (= (mit etw., jmdm.) gute Erfahrungen machen)⟩

  88. Danish erklære is bleached of the explanatory / clarifying sense and just means ‘state’
    That (“state, declare”) is also one of the meanings of German erklären.

  89. David Marjanović says

    Yes to erklären “declare”, not so much “state”; that’s rather feststellen.

    You don’t remember the browser wars?

    Hardly. I remember Netscape being everywhere, then suddenly Internet Explorer being almost anywhere and Netscape vanishing into thin air, then Opera and Mozilla popping up, then Chrome taking over.

    I’ve only used Chrome to download Firefox. “Acceptable ads” are still too much.

    umgangssprachlich ⟨(mit etw., jmdm.) gut fahren

    Oh, yes, except I only know it from reading and have never seen it applied to people.

  90. “Acceptable ads” are still too much.

    Hear, hear.

  91. Lars Mathiesen says

    declare: And obviously the Romans had the same idea. Checking, they had a broader sense so either the French or the English narrowed it like erklære in Danish.

  92. Lars Mathiesen says

    Early versions of IE were from Microsoft’s “Standards, pah, we’ll make our own” era, where it was very hard to make a web page that displayed the same in IE and Mozilla without conditional code, at a minimum the “This page may not display properly unless you use Internet Explorer 3” banner. Cf MSN.

    And of course IE 3, 4 and 5 were incompatible among themselves as well.

    There are still people using non-standard extensions to the extent that my previous work mail refused to load in anything but Edge and Chrome on Android, because it wanted to connect to some app to check for rooted phones vel sim. — it still didn’t work, and I wasn’t being paid for checking work mail on my phone anyway. The problem was solved by getting another contract.

  93. David Marjanović says

    Ah yeah, MSHTML.

  94. Yes to erklären “declare”, not so much “state”; that’s rather feststellen.
    FWIW, erklären is the translation I’d rather use for cases like “the defendant stated that she is X years of age”, and there are many cases where both “erklären” and “festellen” are valid translations.

  95. David Marjanović says

    Yes, feststellen is wrong here.

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