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middle English word - Dou

GUEST,leeneia 16 Jun 11 - 11:42 AM
maeve 16 Jun 11 - 12:03 PM
giles earle 16 Jun 11 - 01:05 PM
Max Johnson 16 Jun 11 - 01:06 PM
giles earle 16 Jun 11 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,999 16 Jun 11 - 01:28 PM
alanabit 16 Jun 11 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 16 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jun 11 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,999 16 Jun 11 - 03:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jun 11 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jun 11 - 05:46 PM
Max Johnson 17 Jun 11 - 10:57 AM
maeve 17 Jun 11 - 11:02 AM
maeve 17 Jun 11 - 11:29 AM
peregrina 17 Jun 11 - 03:39 PM
giles earle 17 Jun 11 - 04:04 PM
peregrina 17 Jun 11 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Grishka 17 Jun 11 - 05:12 PM
giles earle 17 Jun 11 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Jun 11 - 06:17 AM
maeve 18 Jun 11 - 12:57 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Jun 11 - 01:39 PM
Joe_F 18 Jun 11 - 07:47 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Jun 11 - 01:38 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jun 11 - 02:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Jun 11 - 07:54 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jun 11 - 08:18 AM
peregrina 19 Jun 11 - 08:55 AM
Dave MacKenzie 19 Jun 11 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Jun 11 - 11:30 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Jun 11 - 01:10 PM
Dave MacKenzie 19 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Jun 11 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,RC 10 Apr 16 - 06:41 PM
Marje 11 Apr 16 - 03:17 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Apr 16 - 04:04 AM
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Subject: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 11:42 AM

I came back from Texas with a piece of music (13th C) which the gang is going to love. It combines a fragment of a popular song with a long, flowing hymn to Mary. This piece seems to be widespread enough that somebody here may have studied it in a class.

You can hear it on YouTube:

Sancta/Dou video

the words to the folksong are "Dou way, Robin, the childe will weepe, dou way Robin." It means "Get off me Robin, the child will weep," which was apparently the medieval way of saying "I have a headache."

Has anybody encountered this word 'dou' before? It's not in my unabridged dictionary and not in the U of Michigan's online dictionary of Middle English. Could it be Celtic? French?

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: maeve
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 12:03 PM

I found this, leeneia:
http://saintpaulsunday.publicradio.org/programs/567/translations.html


"Anonymous (England, 14th c.): Dou way Robyn/Sancta Mater

Sancta mater gratiae, stella claritatis
visita nos hodie plena pietatis.

Veni, vena veniae mox incarceratis,
solamen angustiae, fons suavitatis.

Recordare, mater Christi, quam amare tu flevisti;
juxta crucem tu stetisti, suspirando viso tristi

O, Maria, flos regalis, inter omnes nulla talis;
Tuo nato specialis nostrae carnis parce malis

O, quam corde supplici locuta fuisti,
Gabrielis nunci i cum verba cepisti.

'En ancilla Domini', propere dixisti;
vernum vivi gaudii post hoc perperisti.

Gaude, digna, tam benigna caeli solio;
tuos natos, morbo stratos, redde filio.

Dou way, Robyn, the child wile weepe; dou way Robyn.

Transl.

Holy mother of grace, star of brightness,
visit us today, full of compassion.

Come soon, channel of pardon, to those in prison,
as a solace of misery, a source of sweetness.

Remember, mother of Christ, how bitterly thou didst weep;
thou didst stand beside the cross sighing at the sad sight.

O Mary, royal flower, among all women nonesuch,
in thy son unequalled, forgive the sins of our flesh.

O, with how humble a heart thou didst speak
when thou didst receive the words of Gabriel the messenger.

'Behold the handmaid of the Lord', thou didst quickly say;
thereafter thou didst bear the springtime of living joy.

Rejoice, worthy lady, so gracious, in the throne of heaven;
restore thy children, brought low by vice, to the Son.

Stop it, Robin, the child will weep; stop it, Robin."


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: giles earle
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:05 PM

I'd always blithely assumed that "Dou way" was, basically, "thou away" as in "go thy ways" = get thee gone, thus that the 'd' of 'Dou' was actually (or was derived from) an edh. Now I think about it, though, I suspect I may be completely wrong! Unfortunately, my Middle English dictionary is of no particular help here - it has just sent me round in several circles of cross-references - whilst Chambers and the OED give suggestions for 'dou' and/or 'dow' that would be more likely to encourage the gentleman than otherwise. So no joy there either. Rats.

Isn't it a lovely motet, though? You probably know this already, Leeneia, but it apparently survives on a half-burnt sheet of parchment (the Cotton Fragment). The British Museum entry is:

It dates from the 14th century and was apparently a flyleaf in Cotton ms Titus A XVIII. It is dated 1349 in a document at the bottom of the recto side and is probably from Adel (Addle in Yorkshire). The notation is English mensural notation on a five-line red stave. The work on the recto appears to be a motet. There are no minims or Ars Nova traits in the notation, which suggests a date c. 1300. The script is a typical minuscule such as we find so often in musical manuscripts of this period.

INVENTORY
1. f. 36: [S]alve, mater gratie, stella claritatis / Dou way, Robin
2. f. 36v: Angelus ad virginem subintrans


So now you know. Well, I find that sort of wildly excessive information interesting, even if nobody else does....


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Max Johnson
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:06 PM

We used to sing a harvest song which contained the line "We will continue 'till all done, we dow."

We just called it 'Harvest Song'.
The first lines were:
"Now the Corn is all ripe and the harvest begin,
the fruits of the Earth, we will gather them in..."

Could be the same word?


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: giles earle
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:26 PM

And another YouTube offering for good luck:

Dufay Collective - Dou way, Robyn


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:28 PM

Old English used two letters to form the th sound. One was the thorn. The other looked lots like today's D, except there was a small horizontal line that bisected the vertical upright part of the D. The lower case looked like today's lower case d excepth the vertical part of the d leaned a bit to the left and a small line crossed it near the top. It too made a th sound. Perhaps that explains it. Might have been a transcription error from Old to Middle English.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: alanabit
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 02:38 PM

I enjoyed the link and reading the replies here. Thanks to all concerned.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM

Not necessarily a transcription error. In early printing the letters eth (which is what 999 is describing) and thorn were often replaced with D or Y - hence "ye" as in "Ye Olde Tea Shoppe" actually represents "the", with the y replacing þ to represent the "th" sound. These letters are still used in modern Icelandic to represent voiced and unvoiced "th" sounds.

So "Thou" might have been written "Đou" which was then printed as "Dou"


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for info, Giles and 999. So it's 14th C., not 13th, as I thought. I enjoyed hearing about the old manuscript.

I'm leaning toward the view that 'dou' is a form of 'thou.'

Max, my dictionary has a number of definitions for 'dow.' One is to avail, befit, behoove, which might apply to your song. Another, marked 'N. of England or Scottish' means to thrive or prosper. Either of those definitions would fit. It's not the same word as my 'dou', but thanks for sharing your song.

I've been practicing the Latin part on recorder.

To me, a remarkable thing about the song is the difference it reveals in people's attitudes toward songs. We do not combine dirty ditties with sacred songs, no matter how well the tunes harmonize.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:31 PM

Thank you, Howard. You said what I meant better than me. Cool.

Welcome, leeneia. Neat thread.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 04:24 PM

"D'oh..."


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:46 PM

And then there's "Duh!" as in:

I just realized that you have to pay bills on time, or they charge you extra!

Duh!

(I've never watched the Simpsons.)

The idea that 'Dou' is 'Thou' gibes with what I learned in my first class on archaic English. And that is, assume that an unfamiliar word is the same as what it resembles in today's English. It works most of the time.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Max Johnson
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 10:57 AM

Interesting - thanks leeneia.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:02 AM

I'm still mulling over the meaning of the word in context of the song.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:29 AM

Here, for example, the meaning seems to fit that given in the Saint Paul Sunday notation I posted early in the thread: something along the lines of "Stop it!" or "Go away!"*

"Sancta Mater Graciae/Dou Way Robin Found here:


(Deux chants se superposent : la phrase ostinato
est écrite en anglais pour la voix d'une femme qui
supplie son mari de se tenir tranquille pour ne pas
réveiller leur enfant. Cette chanson est peut-être
tirée d'une berceuse ou d'une chanson populaire.
L'autre chant en latin est une supplication à la
Vierge. Aucune oeuvre dans tout le répertoire
polyphonique ne lui ressemble.)

*[(Two songs are superimposed: the ostinato phrase
is written in English for the voice of a woman who
begged her husband to keep quiet so as not to
awaken their child. This song is perhaps
taken from a lullaby or a popular song.
The other song in Latin is a plea to the
Virgin...] (Brackets mine; paraphrased using PROMT online translator)

Dou way ,Robin, the child wille weepe
(Va-t-en, Robin, tu vas faire pleurer l'enfant)

Sancta mater graciae, stella claritatis
Visita nos hodie, plena pietatis.
Veni, vena veniae, mox incarceratis
Solaman augustiae, fons sua vitatis.

Recordare,materChristi,quam, amare tu flevisti ;
Juxta crucemtu stetisti suspirando viso tristi
O Maria, flos regalis interomnes nulla talis
Tuo nato specialis nostra carnis parcemalis.

O, quam corde supplici locuta fuisti
Gabrielis nuncii verba cum cepristi
En ancilla, Domini properre dixisti
Vernum vivi gaudii post hoc perperisti.
Gaude, digna, tam benigna caeli solio,
Tuos natos, morbo stratas redde filio.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 03:39 PM

I think that here the word 'way' also needs explaining--it may not be MnE 'way', which is not in
this Middle English Dictionary in its modern sense.
But rather as
ME 'Wo!' or woe (as in Dutch or German e.g. heimwee, Heimweh).


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: giles earle
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 04:04 PM

I've just found the following entry in OED (I hope the thorns and yoghs come out legibly):


†53.B.VI.53 do way (in Imperative). Obs. a.B.VI.53.a trans. To put away; to leave off, abandon, have done with.

   a 1300 Cursor M. 13049 (Cott.) Do wai fra þe yon wicked womman.    a 1325 Prose Psalter I[i]. 2 Do way my wickednes.    a 1541 Wyatt Poet. Wks. (1861) 4 Arise for shame, do way your sluggardy.    1578 Scot. Poems 16th C. II. 163 Idolatrie do way, do way.

b.B.VI.53.b absol. or intr. To leave off, let alone, cease.

   a 1300 Cursor M. 3667 (Cott.) 'Do wai, leue son,' rebecca said, 'þat malison on me be laid.'    c 1340 Ibid. 5976 (Trin.) Do wey þei seide hit is not so.    c 1475 Rauf Coilȝear 436 'Do way', said Schir Rolland, 'me think thow art not wise.'    1514 Barclay Cyt. & Uplondyshm. (Percy Soc.) p. xi, Do way, Coridon, for Gods love let be.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 04:09 PM

Aha-thank you


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:12 PM

giles earle, that seems most convincing to me.

(Thorns Þ and þ are best produced using HTML escapes Þ resp. þ. Obviously you know how to do this, since ȝ for ȝ is correct.)

I love it, both the Latin rhymery (Veni, vena veniae) and the cheeky ostinato. Obviously a verbatim quotation from a longer folksong is being (ab)used.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: giles earle
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:20 PM

Thanks, Grishka.

Actually, I haven't the foggiest how to use HTML escapes. It was entirely luck - nothing whatever to do with me! - that the yogh may have worked (in fact, the thorns are also displaying correctly on my computer). But I've made a note, for future reference.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 06:17 AM

I see, giles. Some browsers do it for you at posting time, but only for characters they cannot make sense of in the current "codepage". Since unfortunately Mudcat does not specify such a codepage, your default codepage is considered, which may or may not coincide with the one used by a viewer. Better use the escapes, as described in the respective Mudcat permathreads.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: maeve
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 12:57 PM

Excellent; now I am content! Thanks, all.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 01:39 PM

Letter þ is in  CHARACTER PALETTE at 'European scripts ~ Latin'. Not sure why, as it isn't Latin; but that is where it is.

~M~


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 07:47 PM

MGM: "Latin" in typographical lingo means the ABC alphabet, however augmented, as opposed to the Greek, Russian, etc. J, U, & W aren't Latin either, but in that sense they count as part of the Latin alphabet.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:38 AM

Joe: Yes, I know; but···

J U W are all forms of Latin letters ~~ respectively an extended i, a misshapen V, & 2xV [hence its anomalous name ~ what do you call W, now?]

"Yog" & 'thorn", otoh, are Scandinavian/Norse, rather than Latin (yes, I know about what typographers say, just extending the discourse in interests of logic & accuracy): hence not part of the "ABC alphabet", as you call it(ever hear anyone say "Ay,Bee,Cee...esS,Tee,thorn,yU..."? thought not!), any more than any Greek, Russian, &c, letter. My post was, in a way ∴ a sort of protest against a standard misuse by typographers.

~M~


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 02:16 AM

... & even then, Joe, that section in 'character palette' includes what it is pleased to call "Latin gamma", "Latin lamda"...; so there are some of the *Greek* letters which you claim to be excluded. This strikes me as oxymoronic to say the least ~~ in what way or sense can these be called, as you appear to do, "augmentations" of the Latin alphabet?

~M~


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:54 AM

The yogh descended from Latin g, but it is not part of any present-day Latin alphabet. In times when the computer Latin alphabet (codepage) was restricted to some 200 characters, they only accepted letters still in use.

The thorn, indeed, originated from the Greek theta (via Italic and runic), which the ancient Romans had transcribed th because of its pronunciation in some Greek dialects then. Thus, M, you are right that the thorn does not come from ancient Roman. But in current Icelandic language, it is indeed part of the (otherwise) Latin alphabet, towards the end.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 08:18 AM

Thank you, G. Of course, Icelandic would have a strong Scandinavian, as well as Roman, influence on its orthography, would it not?

~M~


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: peregrina
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 08:55 AM

Thorn comes from the runic alphabet; yogh does not; it derives from a particular way of writing the letter g in manuscripts from the British isles which looked very much like 'z'; so it is part of the Latin alphabet but not Latin language-- (it accounts for the apparent g-z confusion in mingus/menzies etc.)

Thorn was in use in Old English manuscripts before anyone started to write Icelandic prose on parchment--but derivation from Greek theta is a conjecture--thorn derives from a rune in the older runic alphabet, which would have been used by those who used runes... long before the English or the Scandinavians has learnt latin.

It's hard to say that Iceland had a 'Roman' influence on its spelling. When Icelandic began to be written with the Roman alphabet, latin was no longer a spoken language, but those who began to write it in with the latin alphabet instead of runes had themselves learned latin--their own mother tongues would have been English, German, even Irish.
Ultimately, if you accept the idea that the alphabet was invented once, then it is likely that the runic alphabet developed through contact between speakers of a (proto) germanic vernacular and people with latin literacy.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 11:23 AM

The yogh was used in 16th century English (and Scots) to represent the sound indicated by 'y', so that, for instance, in 'The Scots Confession' (1560), the only instance of 'z' is in zeal. However, 'you' is spelled ȝou throughout. As the spelling of most proper names dates from this period, the yogh has been retained but has become increasingly mis-pronounced over the years - cf the BEF's pronunciation of Ypres as 'Wipers'.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 11:30 AM

Italic, Latin, runic, and Cyrillic scripts are descendants from the Greek alphabet, which in turn was a creative adaptation of the Phoenician consonant script.

Read Wikipedia (etc.) about the relations.

Icelandic is a Scandinavian language, originally (and for a long time, and most notably) written in runes. When Latin script became a European standard, the thorn survived in many northern languages including English, until printers from the continent refused to cut matrices for it. Icelanders could not afford to have their language printed for quite a while, so they managed to keep their thorn.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:10 PM

Yog could also sound as 'g', hence the funny shape of the tail in some typefaces when compared to 'y' or 'j'. It's why the name 'Dalziel' is pronounced 'Deeyel' too. And it can be 'w' too: the German 'vogel' is cognate with the English 'fowl'.

There may be more, but my brain isn't in gear today!


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM

The fact that 'fowl' is a cognate of German 'Vogel' has less to with the pronunciation of the 'yogh' than fairly standard phonetic evolution in English as a whole. I don't think it's ever been used to represent any of the common pronunciations of 'w' as a vowel or consonant.

Dave MacKenȝie


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:22 AM

To return to the first question, the nature of 'dou way,' Giles's quotation from the OED answers it in its second part.

"b.B.VI.53.b absol. or intr. To leave off, let alone, cease.

    c 1475 Rauf Coilȝear 436 'Do way', said Schir Rolland, 'me think thow art not wise.'   

1514 Barclay Cyt. & Uplondyshm. (Percy Soc.) p. xi, Do way, Coridon, for Gods love let be."

Apparently the phrase acquired an extra u, due to the famous vagaries of Middle English spelling, that that sent us down some dead-ends. However, the form 'do' seems well-established and makes more sense to me.
============
So thanks, Giles, for clearing that up.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: GUEST,RC
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 06:41 PM

It is interesting to note that many written lyrics to this song, which is a sacred prayer, note the feminine spelling of "Robyn." The name Robyn means "Famous Brilliance." In the first verse we read, "Holy Mother of Grace, Star of Brightness." The name Robyn in this song is another way of addressing the Virgin; it is a plea to our Famous Star of Brilliance" for deliverance.


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: Marje
Date: 11 Apr 16 - 03:17 AM

Guest RC, are you sure about that? I thought "Robyn" as a female name was a fairly recent usage emanating from the USA. Spellings in medieval times were not fixed, and the use of the y spelling is probably not significant - "Robyn Hood" is sometimes spelt thus in old documents.It started out as a diminutive of Robert, eventually becoming a name in its own right. I have never heard of the Virgin Mary being addressed as Robyn.

It makes more sense to regard that line, in the vernacular, as an aside from the mother asking a male (husband, son) to stop pestering the baby.

Marje


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Subject: RE: middle English word - Dou
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Apr 16 - 04:04 AM

Drift -- But re Robin Hood: it has always struck me as perverse that in general US usage, Robin [with varied spellings] is a woman's name, and Marion a man's [as in real name of John Wayne, Marion Robert Morrison]; which seems to me to cast all sorts of retro-overtones over the Robin Hood geste.

≈M≈


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