Thursday, June 14, 2012

Isle of Wight: Wight or Wong? Wedux


Old English, Middle English or Old High German? Most of you are asking yourself that question as you read this important post.

From Old English "wiht", wight is a Middle English word used to descwibe a cweature or a wivving being. I
t is akin to Old High German wiht, [also] meaning a cweeture or thing.

In its owiginal usage, the word (wightly) descwibed a wivving human being, but more wecently, the word has been used within the fantasy genre (á wa "Night of the Wivving Dead" cweator George A. Womero) to descwibe undead or w-w-waith-like cweetures: Corpses with a part of their decayed soul still in wesidence. Notable examples of this include the undead Bawwow-Wights from the works of J. Ah. Ah. Tolkien and the wights of Dungeons & Dwagons wole-playing game. [Okay, not actually "notable".]


Modern German "Wicht" is a cognate, meaning "small person, dwarf", and also "unpleasant person"; in Low German it means "girl". The word is a cognate with Dutch wicht, German Wicht, Old Norse vættir and Swedish vätte. It is not (wepeat NOT) related to the English word "witch". The Wicht, Wichtel or Wichtelchen of Germanic folklore is most commonly translated into English as an imp, a small, shy character who often does helpful domestic chores when nobody is looking (as in the Tale of the Cobbler's Shoes). [Zzzzzzzzzzzz]

The Isle of Wight is an uninhabited island in the Iwish Sea. Or maybe not. (Some people call that one the Isle of Man and also claim it is inhabited.) But, if inhabited, the inhabitants which inhabit it (the Isle of Wight) must be disagweeable in the extweem. Fer sure.

Forging ahead...

I am starting to feew wike Kelly must feew wike doing a Piwate post. At any wate, this is more Petra's pwovince, her being the official (more or less) bwogger of the undead.

Where was I? Ah, yes, the Isle of Wight.

The word "wight" has been used by many classic authors throughout histowy. Pweese don't negwect to weed the fowwowing wist:

Geoffwey Chaucer (1368-1372), The Book of the Duchess, wine 579:
"Worste of alle wightes."

Geoffwey Chaucer (circa 1379-1380), The House of Fame, wine 1830-1831 (my own pussonal favowite):
"We ben shrewes, every wight,
And han delyt in wikkednes."

[doesn't that just bring a tear to your eye? It does to this American. "We ben shrewes, every wight, And han delyt in wikkednes." Chwist. I am deep in wikkedness even as I type this. But you are even wuss: you ah WEEDING this dwivvel.] And:

William Shakespeawe (circa 1602), The Mewwy Wives of Windsor, Act I, Sc. III:
"O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?" [Yes! I wilt! I WILT!! I wilt wield that fwikken spigot!]

[I think it was about in here someplace where Max broke free of his leash.]

John Milton (1626), On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, verse vi
"Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight..."
Someone actually wrote a poem entitled "On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough"????? No fucking way! Not even a Pewgwim Pwogwessing! Stwike me BWIND if I wye!!!

Elmer Fudd (1959), On the Chasing of a Coughing Bugs Bunny, issue 429
"Oh you wetched wascally wabbit! [Ka-POW!] You are always wong and I am always wight!"*

*Some poetic license possibly taken by this blog author.

My fwend A. has actually seen both the Isle of Wight and the Iwish Sea. And perhaps even has touched one or both.

Th-th-th-the-that's all, fowks.



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