green with envy / eggcorn

Discuss word origins and meanings.

green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Shelley » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:36 pm

Hi, guys. I'd like to add another Shakespearean verse which may further illuminate the envy=green connection: (from Romeo and Juliet)
Rom. He jests at scars, that never felt a wound. [JULIET appears above at a window.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? 4
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she: 8
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
,
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. . .
I guess Romeo was contemplating a moon made of green cheese.
The green-eyed cat playing with its food is undoubtedly the intention in the Iago quote, but I'd like to suggest that eyes as "windows (to/on/of?) the soul" imagery might also apply. If one's soul is tinted a jealous green, it will certainly come out at the eyes, no? If R&J was the first play in which Shakespeare linked the color green with envy, then the moon's hue might be the source for the cat's eye metaphor.

P.S. I knew you were joking, Erik!
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green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:49 am

Erik, I guess after my initial 2002 impression that you might not be serious I made the false assumption in 2006 that you added the word EGGCORN to classify what the phrase was, and not what it wasn’t! Silly me. But now I know a hell of a lot more about the history of the IVY LEAGUE – so who can complain? (<:)

When I first read the Brewer’s statement on jealousy it just didn’t ring true to me and I said to myself, “What’s love got to do with it?” Hmm. I wonder if Tina Turner read Brewer’s. Anyway, I didn’t mention it because I didn’t understand what they were talking about, but now your explanation does make it somewhat plausible, although I do believe that love is a second hand emotion!
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Shelley, Very, very nice find. Romeo and Juliet was written before Merchant of Venice and so this is probably where Shakespeare first connected GREEN and ENVY, if that is what he did. And no source that I checked ever had Shakespeare specifically being the first to connect the two, if that is what he did. In fact, your find now tells me that Facts of File might have gotten it wrong and hadn’t considered the lines you pointed out in Romeo and Juliet connecting the two, if that is what they do, when they said the following in their spiel on GREEN WITH ENVY:
<“. . . the color GREEN came to symbolize ENVY as well [[as ‘jealousy’]], although somewhat later [[than Shakespeare’s time]].”—Facts on File Dictionary of Clichés>
But there are a few flies in the ointment which I glossed over. First, is the GREEN in RJ due to ‘sickness and grief’ or ‘envy’? Or does ‘envy’ bring on sickness and grief and they’re all related. “Her vestal livery is but sick and green.” Is that sick and green with envy, or is it green from sickness and grief! Oy vey! Or is that EN VEY!

Also, in my previous discussion I was equating JEALOUSY with ENVY, knowing that they are really not quite the same thing, but thinking that since Shakespeare had only related GREEN with JEALOUSY, then that was the best I could do. However, if you think about it JEALOUSY and ENVY do differ, although most dictionaries have them overlapping in some senses. JEALOUSY is a feeling of resentment against a PERSON (as Erik pointed out above) who enjoys success or an advantage, or who is a rival. ENVY, on the other hand, is more a feeling of covetousness with regard to someone’s possessions or advantages – THINGS. It was nice to find out that Shakespeare did actually relate ENVY to GREEN, if that is what he did, although it is hard to say if he would make any distinction. Should the moon have been ENVIOUS or JEALOUS of Juliet? One could say the moon was ‘jealous’ of a ‘person,’ Juliet, as a rival. Or, one could say that the moon was ‘envious’ of a thing, Juliet’s fairness. Double oy vey! or EN VEY!

And now that I’ve cleared that one up let me move on to the true origin of IVY LEAGUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (&lt)
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Ken – October 31, 2006
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:58 am

Dave Wilton very nicely characterized the EGGCORN here as follows (Note: The posted to Language Log link contains the original communication in which the word was coined in 2003 – very interesting. History in the making!):
<2007 “An eggcorn is an error in usage where the word is altered to a more familiar form that sounds nearly the same; acorn becomes eggcorn or in high dudgeon is changed to in high dungeon. An eggcorn differs from a folk etymology in that the former is an error by a single individual while the latter is a usage adopted by a wider group. An eggcorn could develop into a folk etymology as it gets wider use, as may be happening with hone in on in place of home in on. Eggcorns are similar to mondegreens.

The term eggcorn was coined in September 2003 when linguist Mark Liberman posted to Language Log asking for a name for this phenomenon. He used eggcorn/acorn as an example. Fellow linguist Geoff Pullum responded with the suggestion that they be called eggcorns. (Source: Language Log.”—Wordorigins.org (hosted by Dave Wilton)>
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Here is a brief description of some of EGGCORN’s relatives:

FOLK ETYMOLOGY (one of its two meanings) – The transformation of words so as to give them an apparent relationship to other better-known or better-understood words as the change of chaise longue to chaise lounge, shamefaced for the earlier shamfast, bound by shame, or bridegroom for the earlier bridegome.

MONDEGREEN – Series of words that result from the mishearing or misinterpretation of a statement or song lyric. For example, I led the pigeons to the flag for I pledge allegiance to the flag

MALAPROPISM –Ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound, such as Lead the way and we'll precede

SPOONERISM – The transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.
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Ken – June 29, 2009
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:00 am

Speaking of spoonerisms, the well-known BBC radio presenter James Naughtie suffered an entertaining verbal lapse yesterday which The Independent dutifully reported. (The page also contains an audio clip of the incident.)

As well as mixing up his initial letters, it seemed to me that Mr Naughtie was also having a surprising degree of trouble distinguishing coughing from laughing.

The fun continued in the comments section of the page, where I found the following little tongue-twister:

Mrs Puggy Wuggy has a square-cut punt.
Not a punt cut square,
Just a square-cut punt.
It's round in the stern and blunt in the front,
Mrs Puggy Wuggy's square-cut punt.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:40 am

That link didn't work for me. TRY THIS ONE
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:24 am

Sorry Bob, I inadvertently truncated the URL from *.html to *.htm. I've now corrected the error -- thanks for drawing it to my attention.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:11 pm

Would that be a webcorn?
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:32 pm

That question deserves a blast from my webhorn.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:06 pm

Are you playing chicken, or is that a leghorn?
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:23 pm

Making manifesto promises which must then be sacrificed to expediency may be cleggfawn.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Richard Fineman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:00 pm

Green with envy wasn't original to Shakespeare. It's more than a thousand years older. Here's an excerpt from the Greek Medicine site.

"Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, which makes these two organs vulnerable to negative Choleric emotions like anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, jealousy and envy."

Shakespeare had uses for greenth other than bilious envy. It also referred to youth, and in particular, virginity. Capulet brands Juliet as "green-sickness carrion," a condition believed at the time to be cured by "a lusty young man." See also Gordon Williams's extraordinary documentation of the connotations of green, here:http://books.google.ca/books?id=2XtWDhg ... 22&f=false.

(Forgive me, I've not yet learned to format responses on this board.)
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:51 pm

I'm amazed the Greek medics had a website.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Richard Fineman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:15 pm

Did I say Greek? I meant Geek.
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Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:34 pm

Richard Fineman wrote:Shakespeare had uses for greenth other than bilious envy. It also referred to youth, and in particular, virginity. Capulet brands Juliet as "green-sickness carrion," a condition believed at the time to be cured by "a lusty young man." See also Gordon Williams's extraordinary documentation of the connotations of green, :here
Being able to do that is a privilege that comes when the system knows you are good and reliable and not one of those pests that comes on the forum to try to sell us rubbish. It is a bit of a nuisance I know Richard, but the time passes quickly.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: green with envy / eggcorn

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:59 pm

aaa
Richard, Welcome. Your contribution to this discussion is appreciated. Also, thanks for the Gordon Williams reference, A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature. That is quite an amazing piece of work, which I’m sure I will be using in the future.
Richard Fineman wrote: Green with envy wasn't original to Shakespeare. It's more than a thousand years older. Here's an excerpt from the Greek Medicine site.
Yes, Shakespeare had made the green/envy connection in several instances and appears to have been the first to put the idea into print. We have the ‘green sickness’ of Anthony and Cleopatra mentioned in the above 2002 posting, as well as Shelley’s (2006) and your Romeo and Juliet references.

But, to draw any definite conclusion as to whether a thousand years before Shakespeare the Greeks had originated the idea, I think we would need a specific piece of proof (what/where/when?). The fact that the Greek Medicine website (Edwin, that’s the contemporary one!) says that this is a ‘traditional notion’ of Greek medicine – what's the birth date of Greek medicine's traditional notions? – doesn’t convince me that it had been around that additional millennium.

Note: Those wanting to see the source of your above Greek Medicine quote may look here
under the heading Liver, Gall Bladder.

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Ken – December 3, 2011
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