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NOTES AND QUERIES.

Oleuon Laws are laws relating to maritime affairs. They are so called because they were sanctioned by Richard I. at the isle of Oleron in Aquitaine. Jephtiiah’s Daughter. —The commonly received notion that the life of Jepthah’s daughter was sacrificed in pursuance of his vow is not warranted by the sacred text. All that is meant is that whatever, or whoever, came forth to meet Jephthah should be “ consecrated ”to God. The vow was kept by the daughter being dedicated to a life of perpetual virginity. This is obvious from the verse, Judges xi., 37. where she asks for two months in which to bewail her “virginity”: and by v. 39, where we are told that, according to his vow, she “knew no man,” which was in consonance with a “custom or statute (chohj in Israel.”

Knighthood.— Up to the reign of George IV. there was a clause in the patent of every baronet giving his eldest son the right, upon attaining his majority, to claim knighthood. This right is, of course, still in force in the case of baronetcies existing before that period, but from about IS2O the clause has been omitted, so that in recent baronetcies there is no such right attaching to the position of the eldest son of a baronet. A claim of knighthood on behalf of the eldest son of a baronet, created ante 1820, was made and allowed in 1871. Jaw.— The ancient spelling was “jowe,” “ thi jowes.” (‘ Reliq. Antiq,,’ p. 157). The word “ jowl” has an allied meaning. The smoke-dried half of a pig’s face is called a “chawl” in many parts of England. Joe Miller, who has given his name to so many jokes and jests, was a comic actor in London, and was in great request among the tavern frequenters of his day as a sayer of witty things. He was born in London in 1684, and died in 1738. A tombstone to his memory stands in the churchyard of St. Clement Danes, in the Strand. The compiler of the jest book which goes by his name was John Mottley, a playwright of no great celebrity, who brought ont ‘ Joe Miller’s Jest Book ’ about a year after the jester was dead, Mottley died in 1750. Lag. —This is an Indian word, signifying the number 100,000. It is seldom or never used, except in reference to money; the phrase “a lac of rupees” being the only form in which the word is met with. The value of English money in a lac of rupees is about L 12.000. Cocksure.— This appears to be a corruption of the French phrase “A coup cur,” which means “certainly,” “indubitably,” “to be sure.” Isabel.— This Christian name is a corruption of Elizabeth. It was first corrupted as a compliment to Queen Elizabeth, who was called Eliza delta. Afterwards the first syllable was dropped. In Spain, Isabel, or Isabella, is always used ; Elizabeth never. Ivaniioe, Waverley.— Sir Waller Scott took his title “ Ivanhoe ” from the manor of that name in Buckinghamshire, and “ Waverley ” from Waverley Abbey, near Farnham. There seems to have been no other reason for the choice than' a fanciful liking for the names. Freemason.— This is a corruption of the French frere-maeon, brother mason. Originally Freemasons were really connected with the building craft, and the members hound themselves together somewhat after the manner of the modern trades unions, with a view to protect the interests of their trades. Their interference with the wages of labor caused considerable jealousy on the part of the Government, and at length, in 1493, an Act of Parliament was passed (3 Henry VI.) prohibiting “ the Chapters and Congregations of Masons, intituled lodges,” under the penalty of being “judged for felons, and punished by imprisonment and fine, and ransom at the King’s will.” Coolies are a distinct tribe of aborigines inhabiting the hill country in India. Through many of them being employed as laborers in Bombay, the name is now used by Europeans in Hindustan to denote laborers in general, whether natives or emigrants from China or other tropical or semi-tropical countries. Flour, Flower.— Originally flour wasspelt flower. The French still say fleur de faring, i.e, flowers, or blossom of meal. In chemistry the word flower is used to signify the fine impalpable powder thrown off in sublimation. We still speak of flower of zinc, flower of sulphur, etc. Congregation.— The largest congregation ever assembled to listen to a preacher was on October 7, 1857—the day appointed as a fist at the time of the Indian Mutiny—when the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon preached at the Crystal Palace to 23,000 persons. Contagion means disease communicated by contact either with the diseased person himself or bis clothing, or something that he lias been in contact with. Infection is disease propagated by contamination of the atmosphere by malaria ; by the effluvium from the bodies of diseased persons, or from decaying or putrid animal or vegetable matter. Conundrum. —This word appears to have formerly had a wider signification than at present, Bailey defines it as a quaint expression, word, or sentence. Comme il Faut. —No French phrase is more commonly heard in England than this. It means “as it should bo.” Thus we say “ She behaved with the greatest propriety ; quite comme il faut.” Commodity.— This word originally meant convenience, advantage, benefit, or profit. Thus Ben Jonson speaks of the “commodity of a footpath,” and Hooker says “ Men seek their own commodity.” Comrades.— This word, from the Spanish, is a military term, camarades, meaning men who sleep in the same camera, or chamber. Coke, —Coke is to coal what charcoal is to wood. In both cases the gaseous and aqueous fluids, and the bituminous elements, are driven off by heat in close chambers, until nothing but the carbonaceous base remains. Coal produces coke to the extent of 55 to 75 per cent, of its weight.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890914.2.31.15

Bibliographic details

NOTES AND QUERIES., Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

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984

NOTES AND QUERIES. Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

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