[Milton-L] Strange word

Hannibal Hamlin hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 18:08:37 EDT 2012


Wow. That does sounds like quite an interesting event (how to judge it?).
I'm guessing though that this is a variant spelling of "quoit," a ring that
you toss. OED lists also "to quoit" or "to play at quoits."
Hannibal


On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM, Nancy Charlton <nbcharlton at comcast.net>wrote:

>  I wonder whether someone could solve this puzzle.
>
> The OED has been choosing words related to the Olympics in its daily Word
> of the Day email, and today's is "pentathlon."  Pretty straightforward
> until it came to this usage example:
>
>  1603  P. Holland tr.  Plutarch *Morals* (Gloss.) at *Pancratium*, The
> practise of all the fiue feats of activity, which is called Pentathlon and
> Quinquertium: to wit, buffetting, wrestling, running leaping and coiting.
>
>
> Buffeting must be akin to boxing; wrestling, nothing new there.  Is a
> comma omitted in "running leaping" thus perhaps like the broad jump, or is
> it a series "running, leaping"?
>
> But "coiting"?  This must be an example of extreme change of meaning! Well
> beyond the Great Vowel Shift!
>
> I think we've discussed Milton's involvement in sport, or lack of it, but
> I can't help wondering what he'd think of contemporary Olympics.  Beach
> volleyball?
>
> And BTW, the pentathlon events are scheduled for this weekend, according
> to its web site, http://www.london2012.com/modern-pentathlon/about/.  I
> don't know whether NBC will bother broadcasting any of it.
>
> A Gold to all,
>
> Nancy Charlton
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Hannibal Hamlin
Associate Professor of English
Editor, *Reformation*
Co-curator, *Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King
James Bible*
http://www.manifoldgreatness.org/
The Ohio State University
164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
Columbus, OH 43210-1340
hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
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