Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Meaning: charitable; related to charity, alms or alms-giving

Usefulness: 2 ('eleemosynary works' could be listed as an impressive hobby, or it could be used to obscure political arguments - see below.)

Logofascination: 1 (it's the double e, I think)

In the wild: Shirley, the book that gave me some hope that the Bront√ęs weren't completely mad: "Eleemosynary relief never yet tranquillized the working-classes." Too right; that's why we invented television.

Degrees: 2

Connections: eleemosynary - alms (alms is from Greek via Old English, eleemosynary is from the same Greek but via Latin) or elemosynes - see update below.

Which is used in: G&P, Second Book, XXX: How Epistemon, who had his head cut off, was finely healed by Panurge, and of the news which he brought from the devils, and of the damned people in hell. As previously mentioned, this is a hell of boring jobs, but it is also one where those who were poor in this life have a good time, including Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, responding here to Cyrus begging for his supper:
"No, no, said Epictetus, I do not use in my almsgiving to bestow farthings. Hold, thou varlet, there's a crown for thee; be an honest man." 

Update: in writing up supererogate, I discovered this quote in 2:VI:
Nevertheless, it is veriform, that because Mammona doth not supergurgitate anything in my loculs, that I am somewhat rare and lent to supererogate the elemosynes to those egents that hostially queritate their stipe.

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