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Archive for October, 2010

“Davis was a man, too, by all accounts,” said Silver.  “I never sailed along of him;  first with England, then with Flint, that’s my story; and now here on my own account, in a manner of speaking. I laid by nine hundred safe, from England, and two thousand after Flint.  That ain’t bad for a man before the mast — ‘all safe in bank. ‘  Tain’t earning now, it’s saving does it, you may lay to that.  Where’s all England’s men now?  I dunno.  Where’s Flint’s?  Why, most on ’em aboard here, and glad to get the duff — been begging before that, some on ’em.  Old Pew, as had lost his sight, and might have thought shame, spends twelve hundred pound in a year, like a lord in Parliament.  Where is he now?  Well, he’s dead now and under hatches;  but for two year before that, shiver my timbers! the man was starving.  He begged, and he stole, and he cut throats, and starved at that, by the powers !” (86)

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

lay,

v.t. and i (laid)

I laid7. v.i. (vulgar, but also nautical). = LIE³; that is on your oars, stop rowing but kept oars out.

you may lay to that 2. v.t. Deposit; place in recumbent posture (lay to sleep or rest, literally and figuratively = bury; lay one’s bones, be buried in specified place) ; (of hen) produce (egg) ; put down (amount, one’s head or life, etc.) as wager, stake, announce readiness to be (that lay)

N.C. Wyeth, Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver and his Parrot (1911)

[Old English, legan, Old Saxon leggian, Old High German legen or lecken, Old Norse leggja, Gothic lagjanall from Germanic *leg- and *lag, see LIE³]

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The Adventure of English,

Melvyn Bragg travels through England and abroad to tell the story of the English language. These videos are the series’ first part, Birth of a Language:

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