green with envy / eggcorn

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:53 am

.. surely the fact that bile, from the liver, is green is a connection in itself ?? .. it is a short step from the colour associated with the organ to the emotions said to be controlled by that organ .. as always good old Will gets credit for merely popularising something that was , in all probability, already written .. a worthy pursuit but it is too bad that authors in his day did not have to quote sources to prevent lawsuits ..

WoZ as always the disbeliever
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Richard Fineman » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:10 am

Thank you for your welcome and your cordial responses. But what's that, you want me to defend my beautiful hypothesis? All right, let me humour you. The question suits me; I'm a melancholic INFP, according to the Keirsey humour spectrum.

First, how important was the doctrine of humours to the Elizabethan mindset? Let me quote an account of the age, from the unattributed "Hippocrates, Galen, and the Four Humours":

"In a similar fashion, almost every aspect of comportment was informed by the theory of the humors. And it was not simply a preoccupation of the elites. Falstaff knew about Galen, referring to him in Henry IV, I. ii. 133, one of five references to Galen in Shakespeare. These explicit references prove what the whole opus demonstrates, which is the absolutely dominant role of Galenic doctrine in the popular understanding of the body during the Elizabethan era. Both Shakespeare and Chaucer make explicit use of the doctrine of the four humors (and related astrological lore) for characterization, including physical appearance, goals and motivations, social position and profession, behavior under stress and other components of characterization. The doctrine had become a primary metaphor for the understanding of human life (Draper, 1970)."
http://paei.wikidot.com/hippocrates-gal ... our-humors

Next, can the colour green be linked to one of the humours, specifically the envious gall bladder? Here, the hypothesis founders. What colour is bile? Some say it is not gall, but _phlegm_ that is green, and I find it hard to argue with that. Others say that green bile is a mix of yellow and black bile (the latter in the form of blue - ahem). In the end, I'm afraid my only resort is to open myself up with a short sword to check. Yes ... it is green ... [exeunt all].
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:06 am

Dr. Feynmen and Wiz: I think you misunderstood my above statement or I didn’t make myself clear. What I said was:
<“Yes, Shakespeare had made the green/envy connection in several instances and appears to have been the first to put the idea into print.”>
Dave (a.k.a. Richard Fineman), Wiz and I have been having a related argument for about a decade now (but I still love him). When I speak of first used, I mean ‘first used in print,’ and I try to say this when it is not completely obvious. On the other hand, Wiz likes to think of ‘first use’ as the first time a word or phrase has passed through the lips of a human being (usually an English-speaking one). In many cases – maybe most – it might be true that an expression appeared earlier in speech than in print, but most of us have no way offering up records of unrecorded history, so I stoop to the sloppy behavior of the-easy-way-out.

The subject of the four humours/humors has been discussed many times on this website, even by my humble self. And many of us are aware of 1) Choleric / Yellow bile / Spleen / Fire / Violent, Vengeful, Volatile, Ambitious. 2) Melancholic / Black bile / Gall bladder / Earth / Introspective, Sentimental, Apathetic. 3) Phlegmatic /Phlegm / Lungs / Water / Sluggish, Lazy, Cowardly. 4) Sanquine / Blood / Liver / Air / Amorous, Generous, Carefree, Optimistic; as well as the wet, dry, moist, cold hot, blah, blah, blah. But I don’t believe that in any of this there is a direct in-print connection made between the said beasts, green and envy until Shakespeare himself wrote it down.

One of my projects has been to try to consolidate under one posting all the various postings on the same topic, but I’m afraid that I might need an extra lifetime to finish this. In its place, folks interested may use the Wordwizard site, and search on four humours and four humors and click the “Post subjects and message text” button (since the subject has cropped up in all sorts of postings over the years). Or, one can just look up four humors on Wikipedia, which provides the standard, detailed fare on the subject.
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Ken – December 3, 2011 (It’s not that easy being green!)
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Richard Fineman » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:59 pm

Ken, I see your point. It became clear to me quite quickly that all of your remarks were unassailable and I had just been shooting from the lip. But I couldn't just _admit_ that, now could I.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:22 pm

aaa
Doc, More important than scholar, which I suspect you are, you are a gentleman. And this makes my second welcome more heartfelt than my initial one. So, welcome squared (provided my first was a number greater than one).
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Ken – December 4, 2011
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:19 pm

aaa
Speaking of egghorns I woke up this morning with a headegg and got up and took two aspirins. After all these years a vestige of my youth in Brooklyn (NYC) lives on. Yes, unlike normal folks, we had headeggs and not 'headaches.' (see here for further discussion on eggcorns)
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Ken – November 28, 2015
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:53 pm

Is there anyone you need to call in the morning? ;-)
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Wizard of Oz » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:39 pm

Ken does it make a difference to the intensity of the headegg if it is scrambled, poached, fried or as an omelette?

WoZ cheffing
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

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