[Spellyans] "Public house"

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 3 17:33:16 IST 2011

On 2011 Est 3, at 13:52, nicholas williams wrote:
> Nance 1938 gives *dewotty 'drink-shop, ale-house', which is based on Welsh dioty 'ale-house'... 
Nance, in his usual meticulous way, marks this entry in his 1938 dictionary with the notation (W.), meaning that it's a loan from Welsh.  He also offers 'tavern', and cites 'Beunans Meryasek' 3308 (and Middle English) as the source. His 1955 offers 'ostelry' with no origin marked (given that the head-word is 'hostelry' he may have felt it was superfluous to do so). Thus, he offers his readers a fairly informed choice between the 3 words

By contrast, Williams 2006 seems to offer us only  'dewotty' and 'tavern', with no mention of '(h)ostelry' that I could find. His dictionary, as usual, doesn't mark any of his coinages or his sources, and does not offer his readers an informed choice at all.

> Nance presumably coined *dewotty on purist grounds.
Really? How can that be, when he offers his readers 3 informed choices, instead of Williams's uninformed 2? I see no 'purism' there—the boot's on the other foot, if anything!

Nicholas's argument is specious, and his lexicography is less scholarly than that of Nance.

Eddie Climo

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