the first autobiography ever written in English? 
Posted: 20 March 2014 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Margery Kempe, in the Guardian.

A reader supplies this link.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Completely trivial, but it always cheers me up when I see Wynkyn de Worde’s name. I don’t quite know why but it did the trick again today.

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Posted: 01 April 2014 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My sentiments exactly. One of two things that interested me was the place Mystic Marge went on a pilgrimage to: Santiago de Compostela. From my schoolboy Spanish I think -ela is a diminutive as in Ciudadela (small town) on Menorca which I went on holiday to once as a teenager, so what is the story with Compostela? 

compost
a n compost m , fertilizante m orgánico
♦ compost heap n montón m de desechos para formar el compost

potting compost n compost m para macetas
Translation English - Spanish Collins Dictionary

Maybe it has a Catholic meaning rather than where a larger town kept its manure or some place referred to dismissively as a midden.
Also Santiago sounds like Saint Iago who never existed even mythologically so was Shakespeare being ironic with his villain’s name? Othello is set in Italy anyway. I vaguely remember reading Iago was from Latin but couldn’t find anything online.
lionello?

When Mystic Madge calls herself “this creatur”

opening her story by telling of how after the birth of her first child she became ill and believed herself to be surrounded by devils. Forcibly restrained, she tore at her skin and bit her hand so hard she retained the marks for the rest of her life, before Jesus appeared to her in a vision and she grew calm.

does she mean definition 3 or 4 below or both?

3. a human being; person: used as a term of scorn, pity, or endearment
4. a person who is dependent upon another; tool or puppet

ie dependent on Christ. Being someone’s creature has had negative connotations for a long time but how about in medieval times? We can’t doubt her self-effacement either way. We still say creature comforts.

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Posted: 01 April 2014 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It’s quite likely she meant to say she was Christ’s servant or vassal. A male mystic could express this quasi-feudal sense of being bound to service by calling himself ‘Christ’s man’, but ‘Christ’s woman’ doesn’t have an equivalent meaning!

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Posted: 01 April 2014 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Santiago would be the Spanish for Saint James.  Compostela derives from campus stellae, at least according to legend.

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Posted: 01 April 2014 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Also Santiago sounds like Saint Iago who never existed even mythologically...

Iago is another name for James.

This article about the name of the city, San Diego, sheds some light on various Spanish names for Jacob.

FWIW, “Diego” is a common nickname in the barrio I’m familiar with for guys named James.

[ Edited: 01 April 2014 05:10 PM by happydog ]
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Posted: 01 April 2014 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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my name is James (Seamus my sainted grandmother called me) and it goes through a rather odd filter through Latin.

The development Iacobus > Iacomus is likely a result of nasalization of the o and assimilation to the following b (i.e., intermediate *Iacombus) followed by simplification of the cluster mb through loss of the b. Diminutives include: Jim, Jimmy, Jimmie, Jamie, Jimbo, and others.

My family (and no one else) calls me Jimmy. All others of close acquaintance call me “Jim.”

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Posted: 01 April 2014 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jacob (Hebrew Ya’akov) is rendered familiarly in Yiddish as Yankel, with its diminutive Yankeleh ( like Jim and Jimmy)

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Posted: 02 April 2014 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m a Yankel driedel dinye

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