[Spellyans] sickle/scythe

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 17:07:32 GMT 2009

It is likely that Lhuyd's filh is indeed a plural in origin. I should
recommend falgh f., plural fylgh, fylghyow. Voulz is almost certainly
a different word (though from the same Latin etymon). In KS it would
be written fâls, with a circumflex to show that the etymological a was
raised and rounded. In SWF I can't say.

By the way both falgh/fylgh and fâls refer to the scythe. This has a
shaft with two short handles attached and a curved blade at right
angles to it. The scythe is still used in Ireland to mow hay (grass).
The scythe is traditionally held by Death as the reaper.

 A sickle is much smaller and has a handle for one hand only and a
semicircular blade. In Cornish this is crobman, cromman (Lhuyd's
krobman). It was widely used to reap corn. For example in Stubbs'
famous picture of the Reapers where the man on the right near the
horseman is using a sickle. The sickle crossed with the hammer was the
device used by communist parties and states.

I have used both scythe and sickle. They are very different and should
not be confused.
Falgh and Fals refer to the scythe, not the sickle.


On 11/6/09, Owen Cook <owen.e.cook at gmail.com> wrote:
> There's surely an argument to be made for 'fowls' alongside 'fylgh',
>  on the strength of that evidence.
>  ~~Owen
>  2009/11/4 Daniel Prohaska <daniel at ryan-prohaska.com>:
> > Nance gives falgh and the plural fylghyow, George falgh, fylghyer; based on
>  > Breton falc’h, filc’hier. This appears to derive from Latin falcem
>  > (Deshayes’ “Dictionaire Étymologique du Breton”). Lhuyd’s fîlh, filh appears
>  > to be a singular form, possibly derived from a plural form. Lhuyd’s voụlz,
>  > voulz, vɐụlz may be from Old French falz (George). No plural appears to be
>  > attested.
>  >
>  > In my dictionary I have given falgh, but also included fylgh as a Late
>  > Cornish based form. Maybe Lhuyd’s fîlh is a plural.
>  >
>  > Dan
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > ________________________________
>  >
>  > From: j.mills at email.com
>  > Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:51 AM
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > “Lhuyd (1707) gives the following words for 'scythe': fîlh [58b]; filh
>  > [293a]; voụlz [58b]; voulz [293a]; vɐụlz [241a]. George (GKK) follows Nance
>  > (1938) and gives "falgh". How should we spell this word.
>  >
>  > Ol an gwella
>  >
>  > Jon”
>  >
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