The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 101 of 249
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"an aitch-bone" is a misunderstanding of the older form a nache bone a word derived
through old French from the Latin natis buttock.
As the word "belfry" is now written, it is perhaps excusable to see some reference to
the "bells" that hang therein. This however is the result of a corruption. The original
spelling of the word was berfrey and berefreid meaning a "watch-tower" and tower of
defence, adopted from the old German bergan "protect" and fridu "peace". The Italians
manufactured a different form of the same word, associating the belfry with the "striking"
either of a bell or clock, hence the Italian battifredo.  It is our own unestablished
speculation that the term "bats in the belfry" may have arisen from this peculiar turn in
the spelling of the word.
"A pretty kettle of fish" means to most of us a perplexing state of affairs, but the
"kettle" has no reference here to the pot in which the fish may be cooked, it refers to the
keddle, a net fixed with osier stakes, old French quidel, and so an enclosure alive with
floundering fish. We are not likely to perpetuate the definition given in a learned German
publication "A fort, is a place to keep men in, fortress to keep women in".
Not far from the Chapel of the Opened Book is the Church of St. Giles, Cripple-gate.
Most guides assure us that the gate was so called because of the cripples who begged
there.  Stowed says that "the postern of Cripplegate was so called long before the
Conquest".  The postern itself was the original crypel otherwise creep, a low arch
opening through which there was a passage. A crypel-geat in Wiltshire is mentioned in
the Domesday Book, and the word is used in Yorkshire for a low opening in a fence or
"Who", says Dr. Smythe Palmer, "would not feel confident that the verb `to adjust', to
arrange and settle, was a derivative of the Latin ad and justus, and meant to make just or
even, to set right?" The word however is derived from the old French joste and the Latin
juxta, which means to bring things "near" and so to harmonize or match them. So arises
the ambiguity of our phrase "It is just twelve" which may either mean "It is nearly
twelve, but not quite" so following the original idea of juxta or "it is exactly twelve" so
following the mistaken original, the Latin juste. When being shown over an old house,
visions of cream and golden butter come before the mind when the guide says "This is
the buttery". The word is derived from "butt" which meant a cask.
It is universally assumed that the Trade Winds are so called because they are
serviceable to shipping and so encourage trade. This however is but an accidental
connexion. The original word "trade" meant a "course" with which we should compare
the Saxon trod, a track, or the Sussex trade, a ro+++. As Shakespeare makes
King Richard II say:
"I'll be buried in the King's highway,
Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
For on my heart they tread now whilst I live" (Rich. 2: 3: 3. 158.).