Monday, September 27, 2010

The Word-Hoard: Priscianist


"A grammarian." (Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914)

"To break Priscian's head, to outrage the rules of grammar." (Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922)

"The phrase 'Priscian a little scratched' [from Love's Labor's Lost] is a paraphrase of a common expression, 'diminuis Prisciana caput,' which was applied to such as speak false Latin. It may be fairly said that from the...sixth century until recently Priscian has reigned over Latin grammar." (John Phin's Shakespeare Cyclopedia and Glossary, 1902)

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