[Milton-L] Strange word

Emily Griffiths Jones holysonnet at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 18:06:20 EDT 2012


My guess would be that it's an alternative spelling of "quoiting," or
playing quoits--basically, ancient ring toss:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quoits

Fun question!

Emily Jones
Boston University

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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