Worms from Lind

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Tue May 23 00:14:34 EDT 2000


In a message dated 5/22/00 6:16:35 PM, cme at MIT.EDU writes:

>Another thing kind of like lindworms is the word 'Thule'.  This is an old 
word for England, used by the Byzantines (among others, I think, and Idon't 
know the derivation, alas) -- and I've noticed it tends to pop up an awful 
lot in sf.

An old word for England? Really? My association is with the phrase "Ultima 
Thule" which I first found defined (In Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field, 
fwiw) as:
"Ultima Thule ... is the farthest bourne. It is the horizon of man's 
universe: farther than he can go, very nearly farther than he can see, and 
exactly as far as he can think." I do know that it is a concept that is 
within the popular mindset, or used to be. I've encountered it in other 
places than sf. For example, in one or other of Georgette Heyer's murder 
mysteries (set in the '40s, I'm pretty sure) one of the periphrial characters 
was one of those energetic and rather twee middle-aged ladies who breeds 
lapdogs whose kennel was named Ultima Thule (the dogs all had names what 
began with U. Ullysses, Ursula, etc). So appears that the term would have 
been something that could have been tripped over in a standard middle or 
upper-middle class education of the period.
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