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words themselves, and bathhouses

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  • Sandra Dodd
    I thought some people might be skipping over the Flemish headrail topic if they didn t feel like wrapping something around Flemish style. Most people won t.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2006
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      I thought some people might be skipping over the Flemish headrail
      topic if they didn't feel like wrapping something around Flemish
      style. Most people won't. I veered off into language anyway, so
      thought i should just start a topic for that.

      Although I've been a Mistress of the Laurel for a long time, I have
      the unfortunate circumstance of having interests that aren't
      photographable, so while most Laurels can show websites full or
      examples of works, I've worked with words in ceremonies and on scroll
      texts and the forms of oaths, and with ballads and side music both of
      which, like words, might show on paper but they're dull there, and
      might sound forth wonderfully, but then they fade out hearing and
      it's done.

      Still, I love finding the moments when an older word comes to life
      again, for a moment.

      (and now another post from another topic, brought here for the
      "bathhouse" and Flemish bits)

      -=-What is the definition of headrail? Is that the word that would have
      been used, or are we putting a word on something we know existed, but
      don't know what it was called?

      Probably the other way around. The term is really old, but people
      are trying to figure out what was meant by it.

      Between the 13th and 17th centuries, by examples in the OED under
      "rail," rail meant to array, arrange, adorn (and lots of other
      things in other definitions, but to wrap things around one has its
      own entry).

      Under "head-rail" in the OED the exact references are 19th century,
      but they're both about translations of the Saxon haefodes ragel
      (hædfodes rægel, which might not come through the e-mail)
      or weafles

      Quote from 1834, Planche "British Costume..."
      The headdress of all classes is a veil or long piece of linen or
      silk wrapped around the head and neck.

      There is no language more similar to Flemish than English. I had
      read that, and got a movie in Flemish to watch and there was one
      whole sentence that was JUST like English and lots more that were close.

      I saw an Norse saga movie once in Icelandic I think that had English
      subtitles and when they said their word for "bathhouse" that sounded
      just about like our word for "bathhouse" and I got all excited, the
      subtitle said "sauna." NO WAY they took a perfectly good English
      compound medieval word and replaced it with a recent borrowing!
      Others cared more about the swords and buildings, and I shot bolt
      upright in my theater chair about an unfortunate word replacement in
      the subtitles.<bwg>)


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