Do Aubrey & Maturin affect how you speak?
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Wishing someone joy is such a great phrase -- I wish it were still current today.
I used the term "wipe their eye for them" once and had to explain myself.
I once used the expression "Are you equal to the task?" in a forum, but since I am in Germany I rarely get the opportunity to slip in Aubreyanisms into my conversations.
Oh, and "wishing someone joy of something" is now my standard congratulatory phrase (mostly written, rarely spoken).
And, whenever any of the cadre of us who've read the books makes a bad pun, we always say that Jack would be proud.
You got me interested in the origin of "time out of mind," since I've read only one of the Aubrey & Maturin books, but have known the phrase for as long as I can remember. Searching on the web, I found that the phrase was recorded in the British Parliament Rolls in 1432.
It is almost identical in meaning to another phrase “from time immemorial.” . . . By the time Edmund Burke was writing, in 1782, the phrase had pretty well become a cliché.
The other day I caught myself thinking "that's the sorrow and the pity of it" which I remember Brigid Maturin saying at one point. Having quite a bit of Boston Irish blood, I'm very receptive to Stephen's expressions and speech patterns. They sound very familiar to me, even with with my grandmother and greataunts dead for a good 30 years (God rest their souls!).
Maybe in England?
After a dose of Shakespeare, I want to say "I come anon." :-)
14newyorkmichele Eerste Bericht
There, that should wipe their eyes.
You are to be commended, sir, at making such a strong, nay, bold statement. I am certain you are not to be trifled with, by any means.
If you Google with "bespoke site:.ie" you get thousands of hits for software, tailoring, etc., (bespoke = "made to the client's individual specification") but I didn't see any in the first hundred or so using "bespoke" in the O'Brian sense of "spoken for".
Resolved: From now on the only author whose prose I will incorporate into my own speech will be David Mamet.
I think you're reading it a bit too narrowly. I'd say "engaged" in the more general sense that you have made a promise to do something for someone: it could mean engaged to be married, but it could also mean that you have an arrangement to meet someone, or they have reserved a dance with you, or whatever.
The Shorter OED has examples up to the early 20th century of things like bespeaking a taxi.
"Bespoke" in the modern business sense apparently originates in the mid-18th century, and has obviously killed off more general use of the verb. In Aubrey's time both uses would have been current.
(This is interesting -- I'll have a look in the full OED if I get time at work.)
Indeed it could, but the "as in to be married" came from wiktionary. Its not my inference. Of course, no one would hold wiktionary up as the final word on anything. I hope you are right.
When I was in graduate school, my History of the English Language Prof passed arround a book club ad that had a 2 volume copy of the OED for something like 30 bucks. He suggested we should all buy it. I thought 30 bucks! No way, I don't have that kind of money. I could kick myself for not buying it then.
The OED online subscription is $295 for an annual or $29.95 per month. I think to buy the CDs or the print version is about a thousand. But I crave those 20 volumes sitting on their very own bookshelf. I did spring $1500 for a leatherbound Ency. Brit. some 15 years ago (the better part of an annual bonus) and have never regretted it, but for some reason I just can't bring myself to fork over for the OED, despite my improved finances.
On a more O'Brianish note, I have a reprint of an 1811 dictionary of British slang, should we need to press it into service. (Don't you love how navy idioms have survived in our vernacular?)
5. To speak for; to arrange for, engage beforehand; to ‘order’ (goods).
1583 STANYHURST Aeneis II. (Arb.) 68 Theare doe lye great kingdooms..bespoken For the. 1602 Return fr. Parnass. III. v. (Arb.) 46 A lodging bespoken for him..in Newgate. 1688 in Ellis Orig. Lett. II. 367. IV. 143 The six thousand pair of Shoes which he bispoke at Exeter. 1709 STEELE Tatler No. 16 2 She bespoke the Play of Alexander the Great, to be acted by the Company of Strollers. 1712 ARBUTHNOT John Bull (1755) 2 His tradesmen..waited upon him to ..bespeak his custom. 1793 SMEATON Edystone L. §255 A new set of chains was bespoke. 1839 DE QUINCEY Murder Wks. IV. 43 You may have..bespoken a murder.
b. To stipulate or ask for (a favour or the like).
1677 Quest. conc. Oath of Alleg. 11, I must humbly bespeak your pardon. 1786 T. JEFFERSON Writ. (1859) II. 69, I bespeak, beforehand, a right to indulge my natural incredulity. 1818 COBBETT Pol. Reg. XXXIII. 54 With the view..of bespeaking a friendly reception for himself. 1846 GROTE Greece II. xxiv. 572 Whose patience I have to bespeak.
c. To request or engage (a person) to do (something). Obs.
1590 SHAKES. Com. Err. V. i. 233 Then fairely I bespoke the Officer To go in person with me to my house. 1667 PEPYS Diary (1877) V. 35 Who I feared did come to bespeak me to be Godfather to his son. 1670 WALTON Lives IV. 293, I must..bespeak the Reader to prepare for an almost incredible story. 1764 SMELLIE Midwif. III. 80, I was bespoke..to attend a woman in her first child.
With whom else could I share that moment? ;-)
What about "there's not a moment to lose!" which was the bane of Stephen's onboard existence?
Once or twice I've almost used the formula "Allow me to name ..." when making an introduction but chickened out. Back in the day "the quality" were a lot more persnickety about who was introduced to them.
36caroleriley Eerste Bericht
It is a while since I reread the books and I find that the expressions fade out over time, but the two that linger on are "there's not a moment to lose" and "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!"
I was passing a second-hand shop today and saw a faded clock with the words "Old pirates never die, they just drift away from the shore" but I know that drifting IN to the shore is far worse!
> 38 Yes, I forgot about "all ahoo" which is MOST useful.
"Question and answer is not a civilized form of conversation" I almost inserted, once.
So obviously, "all ahoo" is used regularly in my household. I think I could get away with "allow me to name..." because I work in a rather formal academic environment, but I don't quite have the courage to do it. I've wished joy to people, but only verbally to my husband and fellow Aubrey-Maturin fan... never had the guts to say it out loud to others.
I don't recall off-hand which volume it was in, but there was a passage wherein Sophie and Diana (?) are described as going to their meal like 'a pair of ogresses' which sent me into gales of laughter and still inspires snuffles and snorts when I think of it.
It's my considered opinion that the reading and re-reading of Mr. O'Brian's wonder series has improved my conversation and writing at leas ten-fold; reading his elegantly crafted language is inspirational!
And I actually heard someone -- not, to my knowledge, an O'Brian fan -- use the "which it is" construction a couple of years ago, to my great delight. I thought it had died out!
The cat is the whip for flogging a seaman, and the bag is a red bag in which it was kept prior to the flogging. Readers in this group don't need that explanation, of course.
I am annoyed when I see "Tow the line" in print, when the writer should know that it is "Toe the line."
There is also Harbors and High Seas, which is an imperfect guide to the geography of the series. I thought it was a bit light on maps, and could have been more inclusive and detailed, but 'twill serve. The 3rd (current) edition covers only through The Commodore. Buy it used.
It wouldn't be the first time that the Navy has been unfairly saddled with the origin of a phrase, eg "a square meal" doesn't refer to the shape of the plate.
Without a doubt I never would have used such verbage before entering the world of POB.
I have recently taken to use the valuable term 'in parentheses' in my rare ventures into longer verbal speech-making.
Which it seems to work best in bars, when a friend has been brought by the lee.
Your Most Humble & Obdt., etc., etc.
Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year.
"A willing foe, and plenty of sea-room." H. Nelson.
"Your cousin is a man of inferior parts."
"That cove needs a shove in the eye with a dried stick."
"These shoppers are as thick as penny whores around a barrack's gate."
"Bloody hell fire! I have been practiced upon! Proceed at your peril."
"Your gift is beyond my desserts."
"Clap the stopper on that mutter."
"Do not excite a resentment I cannot govern."
"You speak handsomely, sir. I must crave your name."
"I must say, your brother is not overburdened with principles."
"Pray entertain yourself. I must retire to the seat of ease."
I've made a glossary of them.
. . . and "anchors away" instead of "anchors aweigh."
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