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Putus. This word means "pure," as may be seen in many passages. "Putum pro puro dixisse antiquos." (Festus, p. 217, ed. Miiller). It seems to be a perfect participle from the root pu, which no longer occurs as a simple verb in Latin, but which still exists in Sanscrit, where pH signifies "to purify." The adjective pw-rus comes from the same root.


The root of 6-<j>pi-s is <f>pv, as appears from the Sanscrit bhrti, "an eyebrow," the old German brawd, and the English brow. The short o at the beginning will create no difficulty, if we bear in mind

such words as «XA<» and o«XAa>, 6<rra<pls, d(rra(pls and oratpis, o|9«Xos

and /SAor, ddipofim and Sipopm, 68oCs, 686vtos, and dens, dentis, O-kopa and no-men. In a-vjp also the vqp seems to be the root, as we have the Sanscrit nri or nor, " a man." In the same manner the o in 3-wf, S-mx-os, is no part of the root, as appears from the Sanscrit nakha, "a nail," the German nagel, and the English nail. In our language we have lost the guttural, as usual.


which is frequently used in the sense of a "mistress," is the same as the Sanscrit patni, "a mistress." There is also in Sanscrit the masculine form pati, " a master;" and both are derived from the rootjoa, "to defend" or "preserve." The latter part of dco-wdnjt and bfa-iroiva also contains the same root.


The root of yaa-njp would seem to be ghas, which does not occur in a simpler form in the Greek. It is found, however, as Bopp has remarked, in Sanscrit, in which ghas signifies "eat," and also appears in the Latin gus-to, the German ge-gess-en and gas-t, and the English gues-t.

William Smith.



And when he came to the lady's chamber,

He thrild upon a pin.
The lady was true of her promise,

Rose up and let him in1.

On this passage Percy remarks: "This is elsewhere expressed 'twirled the pin,' or 'tirled at the pin', (see Book n. s. 6. v. 3); and seems to refer to the turning round the button on the outside of a door, by which the latch rises, still used in cottages." Dr. Jamieson, in the Supplement, to his Scotch Dictionary, has a similar observation on the same expression: "It has occurred to me (he says) that to tirl at the pin, is probably the same with the English twirl, 'to turn round, to move by a quick rotation.' This idea has been suggested by the notice in Gl. Antiq. 'Tirling at the door-pin, twirling the handle of the latch.'"

If this was the meaning of the expression in question, we should expect the construction to be 'to tirl the pin,' not 'at the pin:' as in Chaucer—

When you list to riden any where,
Ye moten trill a pin, stant in his ere,
Which I shall tellen you betwixt us two8.

And when ye come there, as you list abide,
Bid him descend, and trill another pin3.

Or if you list to bid him thennes gon,
Trille this pin, and he wol vanish anon
Out of the sight of every maner wight4.

It appears moreover from many passages, that to thril or to tirl, is to knock; and that the custom was to knock on the fastening of the door, which was the signal that the person outside wished to be admitted. If to tirl at the pin was simply to raise

1 Glasgerion, v. 37. Percy's Reliques, I 2 Canterbury Tales, v. 10629-31. Vol. in. p. 47. I 3 Ibid. 10634-5. * Ibid. 10641-3.

or turn the latch, the person outside could have let himself in, which, as is evident from the passage in Glasgerion, and others which will be quoted, was not the case.

The following is the example referred to by Percy:

There came a ghost to Margaret's door,

With many a grievous grone;
And aye he lirled at the pin,

But answer made she none5.

Which is well explained by the following passage from another ballad in the same collection:

And when he came to fair Margaret's bower,

He knocked at the ring:
And who so ready as her seven brethren

To let sweet William in0?

Where the person desirous to gain an entrance knocks on the metal ring, instead of the wooden pin.

This expression occurs frequently in the Scotch ballads, where its sense is equally obvious. Thus in the ballad of Burd Helen:

When he cam to the porter's yett,

He titled at the pin,
And wha sae ready as the bauld porter

To open and let him in7?

Again, in the Lass of Lochryan:

And she's gane to the castle hie,
And tirled at the pin:
"Oh open, open, love Gregory,
Open, and let me in!"

Lang, lang she knockit, and sair she ca'd,

And lang she dreed the rain;
Lang, lang she knockit, and sair she ca'd,

But answer got she nane".

At length a person gets up, and after speaking to her, refuses to let her in.

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From the ballad of Fair Janet it likewise appears that the latch was raised by the person inside:

“O open, open, dear mother,

O open, and let me in:

For I hae my young son in my arms,
And I fear his days are dune.”

With her fingers sae lang and sma'
She lifted up the pin ;

And with her arms sae lang and sma'
She took the babie in”.

Again, in Young Huntin:
When he came to his lady's bower,
He tirled at the pin;

And wha sae ready as the lady hersell
To open and let him in”?

Nearly the same words occur in Sir Roland:
When he came to his ain luve's bouir,
He tirled at the pin;
And sae ready was his fair fause luve
To rise and let him in".

In the ballad of Young Johnston, the person who tirls at the pin is immediately answered from within : But he's awa to his sister's bouir, And he's tirled at the pin. “Where hae you been, my dear brother, Sae late o' coming in"?”

In Johnie Scot, of a band of armed men:

But when they came to Earl Percy's yett,
They tirled at the pin,

None was so ready as Earl Percy himsell
To open and let them in”.

Lady Marjorie:
When he came to Strawberry Castle,
He tirled at the pin :

Chambers, p. 249. * Ibid. p. 294. to Ibid. p. 252. * Ibid. p. 259. la Motherwell's Ballads, p. 208.

Nane was so ready as the gay lord himsell,
To open and let him in14.

The same traditional form of expression also occurs in more familiar songs. Thus in the song, "Saw ye my father, &c."

Up Johnie rose, and to the door he goes,

And gently tirled at the pin.
The lassie taking tent, unto the door she went,

And she opened and let him in".

Likewise in the famous Jacobite song, "Charlie he's my darling:"

As he was walking up the street,

The city for to view,
O there he spied a bonnie lass,
The window looking thro'.

Sae lights he jumped up the stair,

And tirled at the pin,
And wha sae ready as herself

To let the laddie in".

Also in the more serious, but modern song of Donoght Head:

Keen blaws the wind ower Donoght Head,
The snaw drives snelly thro' the dale:

The gaberlunzie tirls my sneck,
And shivering tells his waefu' tale17.

The ballad of Willie and May Margaret is of itself sufficient to explain the meaning of this expression:

And he came to May Margaret's door
When all were fast asleep.

O he's gone round and round about,

And tirled at the pin;
But doors were steekit and windows barred,

And nane wad let him in.

"O open the door to me, Margaret,
O open and let me in."

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