"Last straw"/Clochandichter

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Re:

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon May 04, 2009 2:23 pm

oops better say no more as one must never disagree with ones superiors .. must one ?? ..
WoZ quivering in the corner
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re:

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon May 04, 2009 10:42 pm

That was the feeblest of puny cop-outs.
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Re: Dight

Post by Shelley » Fri May 08, 2009 1:23 am

splendid300 wrote:
Erik_Kowal wrote:I can think of one instance where the word 'dight' occurs in a modern Standard English setting, slightly modified, namely in Dorothy Parker's poem Rondeau Redouble (and scarcely worth the trouble, at that):
In cerements [i.e. wax-impregnated winding sheets] my spirit is bedight;
The same to me are sombre days and gay.
I live in North East England and the word 'dight' is still used (mainly by elderly people) in spoken English. I am not sure what you mean by 'Standard English' but if your standard includes the spoken English of Northumbria then 'dight' is not as obscure as you seem to think. In current usage, 'to dight' is a verb and means to repair, clean, tidy up. I don't know the origins but if this word is used in Scotland then I assume it comes from Anglish.
Finally! An answer to a lifelong puzzle! In the following lullaby, there was a word my mother sang that I never understood as a word. I never asked, and over the years just continued singing these two syllables without understanding what they meant:

Lullaby, and good night
With roses bedight.
Guardian angels overhead
Guard a wee one's trundle bed.
Close your eyes now and rest
May your slumber be blessed.
Close your eyes now and rest
May your slumber be blessed.

Always a reason to keep showing up here.
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Re: Dight

Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 08, 2009 9:49 am

Always a reason to keep showing up here.
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's always gone too long
Any time she goes away
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re:

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri May 08, 2009 9:57 am

Shelley,

Things are not quite so straightforward.

If you look up 'bedight' in Chambers 20th Century Dictionary (yes, I know, that's sooo-o-o last year), you will find the following definition:

(arch. or poet.) v.t. to equip, array, furnish: adorn. -- pa.t. and pa.p. bedight.

(So this verb stays the same in both the present tense and in the past tense and past participle forms.)

According to the same dictionary, 'dight' (alternatively spelled 'dicht') means pretty much the same.

From the context, in both the Parker poem and your lullaby 'bedight' seems to mean 'furnished' or 'adorned'.

Now, in the Northumbrian dialect 'dight' may well have the meaning 'to repair, clean, tidy up'. But that specific sense does not appear to be the pertinent one in relation to those works.

By way of comparison, it is evident from the Chambers Concise Scots Dictionary (Scotland and Northumbria are geographically adjacent) that in Scots, the verb 'dight'/'dicht' has numerous, sometimes overlapping and sometimes locality-specific meanings, including array, dress, dress oneself, make oneself ready, put in good order, finish off, decorate, prepare a meal, prepare wood by a special process, wipe or rub clean or dry, clean up, polish, clean by sweeping or tidying, sift or winnow grain, dress a wound, scold, reproach, thrash.

It is tempting to speculate that had Mark Twain turned his attention to The Awful Scots Language instead of The Awful German Language, he might have regarded 'dight' similarly to the German Schlag and Zug -- in other words, as a kind of non-specific general-purpose word that one could press into service whenever the occasion demanded.

I wonder whether in the multiple universes of New York that I suspect you inhabit, you could not reconstitute this very useful-looking little verb and apply it in a variety of different situations -- simply, as it were, by mixing this new item in your vocabulary with cappucino latte?

(And ain't Bob sweet?)
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Re:

Post by Shelley » Fri May 08, 2009 2:28 pm

Count on me, Erik -- everything is updight, outta sight.

(Aw shucks, Bobinwales . . . )
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Re:

Post by bearneb » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:50 pm

Clochandighter
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Re:

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:46 pm

Is there a word for "the one after the last straw"?
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Re:

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:10 pm

The postultimate straw?
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Re:

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:24 pm

As used after 'last orders' has been called?
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Re: Clochandichter

Post by D00dler » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:21 pm

I stumbled upon this thread searching for “clochandichter”. Weirdly, I stay in an area called Gight, pronounced like the similarly sounding “dicht”. Dicht is a very commonly used Doric expression in NE Scotland meaning ’wipe down’ ... as in, ‘gee it a dicht wi’ a cloot min’.

The term ‘clochandichter’ was frequently used by my late father-in-law and his pals to mean ’the one before the one for the road’. I always thought it to be a particularly sociable word as a ‘deoch -an-doris’ has a finality about it whereas one could have as many clochandichters as required before the one-for-the-road.

I’ll most certainly be doing my best to keep this tradition alive :-)
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Re:

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:05 pm

John Barton wrote:
Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:53 am
...CLOCHANDICHTER, to which I can find only one unhelpful Google hit. ...
Maybe searching for helpful Google-hits would help.
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