Friday, April 5, 2013


Meaning: Etymologically, the song of the billy-goat. No, really. Here's Cotgrave with a more traditional* definition:
a statelie Play whose conclusion is dolefull, and doubtfull.
Usefulness: 2 (Very useful, but downgraded due to overuse.)

Logofascination: 1 (I'm sure some of you knew this etymology already, but it's just such a great story. Plus, goats. The OED entry refers to Mr Flickinger's article from 1913, available here if you're after 20 pages of philology on the matter. It should be pointed out that the OED entry hasn't been updated since 1913, so there may well be more recent scholarship on the matter.  For those of you who haven't heard it before, tragedy is from the Greek for male goat - tragos - and song, but no-one can really agree on the reason for this.)

In the wild: See if you can find a newspaper that doesn't use it.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: Ekskybalauron; I hate to break it to you, but the Admirable Chrichton has a tragic end. I'll try not to spoil the details, but Sir Thomas says that:
the story of the former night's tragedy was related, and that he had solemnly vowed he should either have his son hanged, or his head struck off for the committing of a so ingrate, enormous, and detestable crime;

*I am getting a bit worried about my attachment to Cotgrave. I may need to rename the blog. 

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