[Milton-L] help meet

Derek Wood dwood at stfx.ca
Thu Jan 8 16:00:12 EST 2004


Margaret,
             Are you sure it wasn't simply the OED? It refers to the verses
in Genesis and observes that the two words were 'first improperly hyphened
and then taken as one word.' The first gloss offered is 'a suitable helper.'
The date suggested is 1673, earlier than 'helpmate' 1715. If you do discover
another 'source,' I hope s/he has acknowledged the Dictionary appropriately!
    Best wishes,
    Derek Wood.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Margaret Thickstun" <mthickst at hamilton.edu>
To: <milton-l at richmond.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] help meet


> Friends--recently I read a critical discussion of the Genesis verse
> "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet
> for him" which took issue with the later conflation of "a help meet
> (of 'fit') for him" into "a helpmeet."
>
> Alas, I cannot remember where I read this....



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