[Spellyans] Box

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Oct 9 15:34:36 BST 2010

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

> Where did the antiquarians get the word from?

In Craig's sense:

 4. a. A coffin; a stone coffin or sarcophagus.

a1300 Cursor M. 21018 Siþen was his bodi..laid in kist o marbil stan. 

c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 3439 Þar ligges a kist on þe north syde. 

a1555 LYNDESAY Tragedie 266 Thay Saltit me, syne cloist me in ane kyste. 

 b. Archæol. = CIST1, KISTVAEN.

1853 PHILLIPS Rivers Yorksh. viii. 208 In a conspicuous barrow..The kist contained a female skeleton. 

1866 LAING Preh. Rem. Caithn. 45 This kist contained an extended male skeleton with a rude flint spear-head. 

1868 G. STEPHENS Runic Mon. I. 255 In this kist lay four glazed pots or urns..full of ashes and bones and charcoal.

Compare CIST:

(sɪst, kɪst)  [ad. L. cist-a, a. Gr. κίστη box, chest. See CHEST, KIST. But in sense 1, app. taken immed. from Welsh cist in cist faen stone coffin: see KISTVAEN.] 

    1. a. Preh. Archæol. A sepulchral chest or chamber excavated in rock or formed of stones or hollowed tree-trunks; esp. a stone-coffin formed of slabs placed on edge, and covered on the top by one or more horizontal slabs.

1804 Archæol. (1806) XV. 340 These oval pits, or cists..about four feet long..were neatly cut into the chalk, and were, with the skeletons, covered with the pyramid of flints and stones. 

1848 LYTTON Harold II. ii, In various cysts and crypts. 

1851 D. WILSON Preh. Ann. (1863) I. iii. 80 A small chamber or cist of undressed stones. 

1861 Sat. Rev. 7 Sept. 253 A cist was found, not at the base, but nearly at the top of the tumulus.

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

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