A Conversation for Ask h2g2

So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16781

Recumbentman

I read somewhere that all mammals can swim (even cats, though they avoid it). At some stage in their evolution it was a critical advantage.

The only way to get cattle on and off the Aran Islands in the west of Ireland used to be to tow them to and from a ship. A man in the rowing boat held them by a rope tied around the head. That way he could keep their heads above water if they weren't good swimmers. They were thrown roughly from the ship, from an opening several feet up, and made quite a splash.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16782

Gnomon - time to move on

Yes, it was one of the Aran Islands I was talking about, a few postings back.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16783

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - erm
smiley - offtopic
Funny innit how the names of the islands of our youth
are often lost in the mists of fuzzy memories. Can any
one remember the name of the island in The Island of
Doctor Moreau - it sure wasn't Moreau. Or how about the
island in Lord of the Flies. OK, now try for the real name
of Stevenson's Treasure Island. Or Robinson Crusoe's.
smiley - offtopic
smiley - island

smiley - pirate
~jwf~


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16784

Cheerful Dragon

I don't think I've ever read The Island of Doctor Moreau, so I can't even guess that one. We did Lord of the Flies at school, but that was longer ago than I care to admit and the chances of me remembering the name of the island are nil. I thought the island in Treasure Island was Hispaniola, but that was the name of the ship - the island was just Treasure Island (I checked that one). I can't remember if Robinson Crusoe's island had a name, only that it was off the coast of South America, somewhere near the Caribbean (I think).


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16785

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - biggrin
You get a half point for South America but "Crusoe's island"
is on the Pacific Coast. And the story is based on a true story;
the Caribbean (near Trinidad) locale is an attribute by the author.

Wiki:
>> The story is widely perceived to have been influenced by the life
of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years
on the Pacific island called "Más a Tierra" (in 1966 its name was
changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile. <<

Crusoe himself of course refers to it as The Island of Despair.

Also found this:
>> They say that Robert Louis Stevenson modelled his classic novel
Treasure Island on the lives of Owen and John Lloyd, brothers born
in the town of Rhuddlan, North Wales... believed to have sailed to the
West Indies and went on to bury 52 chests of Spanish silver pieces of
eight on the deserted Norman Island, part of the British Virgin Islands.
<<
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2021178/Treasure-Islands-Long-John-Silver-based-real-man-WELSH.html#ixzz332AGPkBx

smiley - biggrin
~jwf~


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16786

Cheerful Dragon

Like I'm going to believe anything that's printed in the Daily Mail!smiley - rolleyes

Besides, I thought you wanted Robinson Crusoe's island, not the one the story was based on. The one in the story was off Brazil or Venezuela - definitely Caribbean coast rather than Pacific coast as I recall.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16787

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - ok
Indeed, in the book and most imaginations it was off Trinidad
swept in the offshore currents of a large South American river.
Many now believe the story was based on a real life 1750 adventure
that saw 5o odd chests of Spanish silver looted from the Carolinas
and buried on one of the British Virgin Islands.

http://www.treasureislandtheuntoldstory.com/

smiley - cheers
~jwf~


Back to basics

Post 16788

rodentraiser

I am new here and I know this subject was brought up back at the beginning of May, but I had to throw in a response to this:

"Coming here from 2legs' journal, because he was talking about the bathroom ceiling etc., and I found myself asking - why do we say ceiling?

If it came from the French "ciel" surely it would be spelt that way? At least that's what I thought.

Well, this is the internet, full of information, and I have found this explanation.

>>ceiling (n.) mid-14c., celynge, "act of paneling a room," noun formed (with -ing) from Middle English verb ceil "put a cover or ceiling over," later "cover (walls) with wainscoting, panels, etc." (early 15c.); probably from Middle French celer "to conceal," also "cover with paneling" (12c.), from Latin celare (see cell). Probably influenced by Latin caelum "heaven, sky" (see celestial). <<

Lots of hypotheses there - does anyone have any more accurate explanation? I don't see the connection with "To conceal" or "cell" as ceilings, especially way back when, were definitely way above the floor and often very elaborately painted."


I have a collection of "Little House" books (Little House in the Big Woods, etc), and in one of the volumes, Laura's father says he's going to .."ceil the walls." And that's how it's spelled. I would have thought that that was just a fanciful way of spelling "seal" except for its close spelling to "ceiling". I'd never seen or heard the word before or since used in any way, so it's interesting to me.

There's also the French word for sky: "ciel" which could have been transposed to "ceil" in English because of the i before e rule. If ceilings then were painted, they may have been painted to look like the sky, or heaven.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16789

Gnomon - time to move on

Hi rodentraiser and welcome!

There's not as much uncertainty as you might think. The word ceiling definitely comes from the old verb "to ceil" which means to cover over with panelling.

The tops of rooms would originally have been beams with the floor of the room above on top. If you could afford it, you could get the beams "ceiled" with "ceiling". But you could also ceil the walls.

What is uncertain is where the word "ceil" comes from, but it seems unlikely that it came from the French "ciel", because the word was used for walls as well as for what we call the ceiling. Although the derivation from "conceal" is not definite, it is likely.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16790

Recumbentman

Well you've hit on a very interesting word!

I looked it up in OED online; they say it can be spelt ceil or ciel, but does not appear to come directly from the French; more probably direct from the Latin celare, to hide or cover up, as Gnomon says.

Here is the whole paragraph about ceil (the verb):

Etymology: Of ceil v. (recorded of date 1428) and the derived ceiling (1380), ceiled , with the cognate noun found as cyll n. in sense of ‘canopy’ c1500, celure, found as syllure, sylure ?a1400, the derivation is doubtful. The group is not very old in English, and traces of it in French are scanty.
Three sources have been suggested: (1) Latin c&#275;l&#257;re , French celer (11th cent. in Littré) to hide, conceal, cover up; (2) Latin cael&#257;re to carve, engrave in relief; (3) Latin caelum sky, vault of heaven. If Latin c&#275;l&#257;re could be shown to have acquired in late Latin or Romanic the simple sense of ‘cover’, it would suitably explain the English words in all their uses; but such is not the case, and in particular, French celer does not appear to approach the required sense. In favour of Latin cael&#257;re (compare cieler Godefroy) there are certainly early quotations (see sense 1, and ceiling n. 1) in which ‘carve’, ‘carving’, is a possible sense; but nothing of the kind occurs under celure n., and if ceil ever meant ‘carve’ this sense evidently soon entirely gave way to one congruous with that of celure n. On the other hand we have the known fact that medieval Latin caelum , Italian cielo , French ciel , acquired the sense of ‘canopy, vault, roof, tester of a bed, etc.’; and there are traces of a derived verb cael&#257;re to canopy or vault, whence cael&#257;tum , coel&#257;t&#363;ra , in senses identical with or derived < caelum . Difficulties are that while ceil v. and celure were so common in 15–16th cent. English, and can hardly be connected with Latin except through French, their occurrence in Old French itself is extremely rare: a single instance of cielee past participle (with variants celee , chelee , couverte ) has been noted in Chrestien de Troyes, Ywain (ed. Förster 964). It is possible that *celeüre , *celure < Latin cael&#257;t&#363;ra was common in Anglo-Norman, and thence passed into English, but the whole subject remains for the present beset with conflicting difficulties; the apparently certain point being that we cannot separate the English words < caelum , ciel , canopy. See celure n.
--
Celure is defined as 'A canopy covering a bed, dais, altar, etc., or carried above the Host during a procession. Also the hangings of a bed, the tapestry of a wall, a screen of drapery. '


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16791

Recumbentman

Aaghh, the letters with accents in OED are not coming out right (in my browser, they may be OK in yours or in Pliny).

Here it is without accents:

Three sources have been suggested: (1) Latin celare , French celer (11th cent. in Littré) to hide, conceal, cover up; (2) Latin caelare to carve, engrave in relief; (3) Latin caelum sky, vault of heaven. If Latin celare could be shown to have acquired in late Latin or Romanic the simple sense of ‘cover’, it would suitably explain the English words in all their uses; but such is not the case, and in particular, French celer does not appear to approach the required sense. In favour of Latin caelare (compare cieler Godefroy) there are certainly early quotations (see sense 1, and ceiling n. 1) in which ‘carve’, ‘carving’, is a possible sense; but nothing of the kind occurs under celure n., and if ceil ever meant ‘carve’ this sense evidently soon entirely gave way to one congruous with that of celure n. On the other hand we have the known fact that medieval Latin caelum , Italian cielo , French ciel , acquired the sense of ‘canopy, vault, roof, tester of a bed, etc.’; and there are traces of a derived verb caelare to canopy or vault, whence caelatum , coelatura , in senses identical with or derived < caelum . Difficulties are that while ceil v. and celure were so common in 15–16th cent. English, and can hardly be connected with Latin except through French, their occurrence in Old French itself is extremely rare: a single instance of cielee past participle (with variants celee , chelee , couverte ) has been noted in Chrestien de Troyes, Ywain (ed. Förster 964). It is possible that *celeure , *celure < Latin caelatura was common in Anglo-Norman, and thence passed into English, but the whole subject remains for the present beset with conflicting difficulties; the apparently certain point being that we cannot separate the English words < caelum , ciel , canopy.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16792

Recumbentman

No it was you who said hide or cover up. Gnomon said cover the beams, which makes sense.


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16793

Maria

don´t know if this can add something useful to this, but...

Celosía in spanish means the wooden cover (see picture) that used to be on some windows so that people could see through them but couldn´t be seen by those in the street. It was called celosía in relation to celos, jelousy, one of the reasons for the use of that kind of windows: women couldn´t be seen. ( I think that gossip and heat are also good reasons to cover the windows that way.)

That use is dated in the XV.


http://es.images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KLktl.eotTyFYAVhiV.Qt.;_ylu=X3oDMTIzbTJ1azM1BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZANlZTQ4MzE3NGUyYTBkYjkyOWViYTRjNjMyYWJlYmMwZgRncG9zAzE0BGl0A2Jpbmc-?back=http%3A%2F%2Fes.images.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3F_adv_prop%3Dimage%26va%3Dcelos%25C3%25ADas%2Ben%2Bventanas%26fr%3Dyhs-iry-fullyhosted_003%26hsimp%3Dyhs-fullyhosted_003%26hspart%3Diry%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D14&w=3284&h=2296&imgurl=www.sarfotostock.com%2Fimages%2Fportales%2FPOR_0005.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sarfotostock.com%2Fpuertas-ventanas%2Fventana-con-celosia-de-madera-p-388.html&size=1025.0KB&name=Ver+cesta+Realizar+pedido+Mi+Cuenta&p=celos%C3%ADas+en+ventanas&oid=ee483174e2a0db929eba4c632abebc0f&fr2=&fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_003&tt=Ver+cesta+Realizar+pedido+Mi+Cuenta&b=0&ni=64&no=14&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=12l7m8ebd&sigb=15b33t6nj&sigi=11hps0b9p&sigt=113vb66un&sign=113vb66un&.crumb=ClS5WIUyhmQ&fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_003&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003&hspart=iry


So long, I'm putting the kibosh on you

Post 16794

You can call me TC - so relieved the site is back up again

The German word for those slatted blinds is Jalousie (lifted from the French jalousie = jealousy) and I'd never thought about why till now. Thanks Maria.

Reading Recumbentman's OED definition out loud, I am also reminded of the word "sill" which could also be broadly called a kind of canopy, "roof" or cover.


Wool over your eyes

Post 16795

ITIWBS

Re: post 1,

smiley - applause


Wool over your eyes

Post 16796

You can call me TC - so relieved the site is back up again

Are you applauding our longevity? Or just WS's witty comment?


Wool over your eyes

Post 16797

ITIWBS

Both, really. smiley - erm


Wool over your eyes

Post 16798

Cheerful Dragon

That made me check out post 1. It referred to the original British English thread being over 4000 posts. I think we deserve a pat on the back and maybe some smiley - bubbly for over 16000 posts.

I can guarantee some party-type smileys when we pass 20000!smiley - biggrin


Wool over your eyes

Post 16799

Gnomon - time to move on

Since there have only been about 50 posts in the last 6 months, it could take us another 128 years to reach 20,000 postings.


Wool over your eyes

Post 16800

Cheerful Dragon

Well, including this post, there have been six posts in one day.


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