[Spellyans] Box

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Oct 9 15:30:55 BST 2010

On 9 Oct 2010, at 21:14, nicholas williams wrote:

> Where did the antiquarians get the word from?
> If they saw it written <kist> they would have pronounced it short.
> For it to have a long vowel it would have had to be written <keest>.

Kist is a word used in the North and in Scotland. OED:

[Northern form of CHEST n.1; either directly from Scandinavian, or owing its form to Norse influence; cf. ON.kista, Sw. kista, Da. kiste; also Du. kist, Ger. kiste. With the various senses, cf. CHEST 1, 3, 4, 5.] 

1.a. A chest, box, coffer. (In Sc. the specific term for a servant's trunk.)
c1300 Havelok 2018 Al þat he milhen [= hy mihten] fynde Of hise, in arke or in kiste. 

13.. E.E. Allit. P. C. 159 Ouerborde bale to kest,..Her kysttes & her coferes. 

c1420 Sir Amadace (Camden) xliv, Kistes and cofurs bothe ther stode,..fulle of gold precius and gode. 

1535 STEWART Cron. Scot. II. 21 All tha buikis tha kist hes brocht till. 

b. Applied to the ‘ark’ of bulrushes in which Moses was placed; and to Noah's ark. Obs.

a1300 Cursor M. 5614-17 (Cott.) A rescen [MS. An esscen] kyst [Gött. a kist of rises] sco did be wroght,..In þis kist þe barn sco did. 

13.. E.E. Allit. P. B. 449 ‘Now Noe’, quoth oure lorde, ‘..Hatz þou closed þy kyst with clay alle aboute?’

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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