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I go to the syege.
August 18, 2014 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Speke latyn lyke a scoler!
“I am almoost beshytten”: A 16th Century English to Latin Textbook
Here is a direct link to the start of the phrasebook
posted by Joe in Australia (25 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
You gotta beshytten me.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:29 AM on August 18 [7 favorites]


I've lost count of the times I've been dyspoynted of an hors.
posted by pipeski at 6:35 AM on August 18


Pipeski, you're supposed to be in the Richard III thread down below.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 7:08 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


Thank you! I was looking through the earlier pages of the book for this stuff, to no avail, and thought someone was beshytten me.
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:20 AM on August 18


Wꜧyðer goeſt tꜧou 𝕯uo tendis
posted by XMLicious at 7:26 AM on August 18


The fatte stycket to te rofe of my mouthe.

A phrase, when used in context, sounds almost exactly as written!
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:29 AM on August 18 [4 favorites]


"Thou spekest many words to me but nothynge to the porpose," said the whalle to the fysche.
posted by tempestuoso at 7:32 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]


I've lost count of the times I've been dyspoynted of an hors.

My naïve reading of that line was "I have been disappointed by a horse," but the book translates it as defraudor equo*, "I am defrauded of [or cheated out of] a horse." That probably makes more sense in the 16th century context, especially given the other examples, which are mostly (and awesomely) about drinking, insults, and bar fights.

* Assuming I'm reading it correctly. There's something on the end of defraudo; could be an -r, could be a diacritical mark indicating that it's defraudō, could be something else. My grasp of Latin is too tenuous to be sure what was meant.
posted by jedicus at 7:48 AM on August 18


Thou spekest many words to me but nothynge to the porpose.

This seems like it might have been the most used comment on MetaFyltr, back in the daye.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:05 AM on August 18 [11 favorites]


I keep looking for "My hovercraft is full of eels." It's got to be in there somewhere.
posted by adamrice at 8:09 AM on August 18


Goo Hens
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I came across 'disappointed' in a curious usage in an 1820's captain's journal from a voyage of exploration. It stood out rather, as nearly everything else was much closer to 21st century English.

I can't find the exact quote immediately, but it was along the lines of "we were expecting a rough landing, but were disappointed of the idea by the weather being clement". The context made it fairly clear that disappointed meant dispossessed - without necessarily negative connotations.
posted by Devonian at 8:54 AM on August 18


This seems like it might have been the most used comment on MetaFyltr, back in the daye.

As opposed to AskeMe, which was, even then, mostly: "Canst I ete this?"
posted by The Bellman at 9:42 AM on August 18 [8 favorites]


"Canst I ete this?"

I havve a joynt of Beefe, left in ye cup-board since this Michaelmas past. Is yt stille faire to ete? When wyll we standardyze owr spellynge?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:17 AM on August 18 [22 favorites]


Not the prescryptifist vs descryptifist agrument again!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:22 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Chaucer Doth Tweet.
posted by JohnFredra at 11:27 AM on August 18


What the deuyll doest thou here?
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:13 PM on August 18


"Canst I ete this hors?"

This will get very different answers depending on how people interpret the last word.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:17 PM on August 18


I think I get "I go to the syege", but what's the Latin word that's being used there?
posted by cacophony at 1:48 PM on August 18


I had to compare to the rest of the text to figure out one of the letters - the Latin word corresponding to 'syege' turns out to be forica (I have a degree in classics, but don't remember encountering the word before -- based on Googling, it appears to mean 'a public toilet'). I don't recall ever seeing 'siege' used for that either, but looks like that checks out.
posted by janewman at 7:49 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Yes, "siege" was (back then) a fancy way of referring to a formal sort of seat, like a throne. For instance, the "siege perilous" in Malory was the mystically dangerous seat reserved for the utterly-pure Sir Galahad. I think its use here was a bit of common irony; I have seen a similar joke in Hebrew/Yiddish.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:26 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


"Siège" is French for "seat".
posted by Wolof at 9:17 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's a good example of the commonplace rule that the more prestigious English synonyms are the ones that come from French. Coming back to Malory, I notice that Galahad got to sit on the Siege Perilous, Arthur had his throne, but the knights generally had their "seates". So in this example, "siege" seems to have been a French word (therefore prestigious, used for "important" seats), used jokingly for a degraded seat, the sort found in a privy or outhouse. In that regard it's like the formerly-common euphemism "throne", used for a similar purpose.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:02 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


So, what we have learned is that modern bathroom humor hasn't really progressed since the 16th C. To be fair, it probably probably hasn't progressed since the 3rd millennium BC, although they were probably making jokes in Chaldean (French being some time in the future) or something.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:24 AM on August 19


"siege" seems to have been a French word (therefore prestigious, used for "important" seats), used jokingly for a degraded seat, the sort found in a privy or outhouse.

Now I need to write a short story called "The Siege of Vicksburg."
posted by gauche at 7:50 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


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