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Latin Translation
Posted: 24 April 2007 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Another translation problem. This time I can’t make heads nor tails of it. From the OED entry for tinkler, n.:

c1175 Carta Willelmi Regis in Liber Ecclesie de Scon (1843) 30 [Terra] que iacet inter terram serlon incisoris et terram Jacobi tinkler

“Serlon incisoris” is what’s throwing me.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Could Serlon be the Frankish-French name Sarlo? And incisor could be engraver. I’ve seen it glossed that way in German (Incisoris / Stechers) via Google. So like Jacobi Tinkler, it could be the genitive of a personal name.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree (in my admitted ignorance): probably Jacob the tinker and his neighbor Serlon the cutter, right?

It’s not entirely obvious to me what an “incisor"/"cutter" did.

Maybe engraving/inscribing/carving, which would be suggested by the Classical Latin application of “incidere”.

However, “inciseur” in French (says the book) first meant “surgeon” ... but that’s ca. 1500.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Eileen Gooder’s Latin for Local History (an invaluable book for anyone trying to read this kind of text) has in its word list:

Serlo, -onis (m.)—Serlo (proper name)

So it’s definitely ‘the land(s) of Serlo the cutter,’ whatever exactly an incisor was.  (The Norman name Serlo, incidentally, gave rise to the family name Searle.)

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Posted: 24 April 2007 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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If Dave’s initial question relates to his Big List entry for “tinker”, I’ve always heard “tinker’s cuss”, which I see is heavily outgoogled by “tinker’s damn”.

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Posted: 27 April 2007 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The blog entry for which Dave make the above inquiry has been posted, and in it he translates Que iacet inter terram serlon incisoris et terram Jacobi tinkler as “And the lands of Serlo the engraver and the lands of James the tinkler.” As I’ve admitted on many previous occasions, I’m no Latin scholar, but I have to wonder if que iacet inter really translates as “and”.  Shouldn’t that be “Which lies between...”?

[ Edited: 27 April 2007 05:29 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 27 April 2007 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes.

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Posted: 27 April 2007 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I was wondering if there is any connection between “tinker” and tin (the metal).  The OED thinks not, but a tinker was an itinerant metalworker and the only ancient way of joining two pieces of metal, apart from forge-welding, which was done by a blacksmith, was soldering and solder is a mixture of tin and lead.  Thus tinkers would have needed tin to carry on their trade.

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Posted: 28 April 2007 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Shouldn’t that be “Which lies between...”?

The correction has been made.

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Posted: 30 April 2007 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sorry to be late to this party — not that I’d have been much use for all this mediaeval stuff — but I’d just like to confirm that DrT is of course right in saying that que means quae here and must be translated as ‘which’, or possibly ‘that’ (impossible to tell without context, and few people observe the distinction between the words in English in any case). I’m fairly sure the mistake, or variant, is fairly common in Latin of this period. In the sense of ‘and’, -que is enclitic; i.e. it must be attached to the preceding word.

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Posted: 30 April 2007 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris

Ah, memories!

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Posted: 30 April 2007 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Before I disappear completely in this thread*, I’ll just add that “terram” should really be “land” singular not “lands” plural.  It’s more likely that an engraver and a tink(l)er would each have had a small plot of land rather than a huge estate.

*I’m never sure whether to wear a tarn-cap or a mantle.

(More editing after aldi’s post below): Both of which are necessary to hide my modesty.

Also I think I should have written “strip” rather than “plot” as that’s how land was often allocated - in the north, anyway.

[ Edited: 30 April 2007 01:13 PM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 30 April 2007 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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ElizaD - 30 April 2007 12:33 PM

Before I disappear completely in this thread*, I’ll just add that “terram” should really be “land” singular not “lands” plural.  It’s more likely that an engraver and a tink(l)er would each have had a small plot of land rather than a huge estate.

*I’m never sure whether to wear a tarn-cap or a mantle.

That’s a good point; lands does sound rather too extensive for such folk. And while I’m at it, I don’t recall coming across the form tinker’s damn before now. Always cuss. (That last not meant as advice, although it’s not a bad method for relieving stress.)

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Posted: 30 April 2007 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Tinker’s damn is overwhelmingly more common in the US.  First time I heard “tinker’s cuss” was in Monty Python’s “Architect Sketch”, as I recall.

And of course “tinker’s damn” leads to the ”dam or damn?” issue

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Posted: 30 April 2007 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I don’t recall ever having heard “tinker’s cuss.”

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Posted: 30 April 2007 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Then you’ve never seen or heard “The Architect Sketch”?!  Poor blighter!

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