[DWJ] Misled

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 8 11:10:15 EDT 2010


Alison wrote:

> I have read Regency slang that uses "mizzle" as a verb from misled - a
> synonym for mislead I guess.
>   

I think that the word "mizzle", which has a good and respectable
history, is either a dreary sort of Scotch-mist weather with rain not
quite heavy enough to be drizzle, not light enough to be mist, or else
it is a verb meaning to have it away on one's legs: "Mizzle sharpish!
It's a rozzer!"

The "misled" meaning for it is not in any dictionary I have access to,
including the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.  The 1933 Shorter
Oxford gives the other two: mizzle for slight rain going back to 1483,
mizzle for decamp going back to 1781.

Are you absolutely sure that the Regency slang is an impeccable source,
and not a misunderstanding by somebody?  I mean written between 1811 and
1820?  I know that I don't really need to ask that of someone on this
list, but there are places in which sub-Heyer "Regency"-speak gets taken
as the real thing, and I am made edgy as a result.  (She included one or
two deliberate bloopers in her work just to see whether she was being
copied, at one point, and sure enough, she was.  No prizes for guessing
whom she caught out doing it...)

> Also I have heard "dour" read as doer (doo-er).  

That's how I would say it north of the border.  It certainly shouldn't
be like the open-and-shut "door" as far as I am concerned.

Speaking of pronunciation north of the border, Hawick and Penicuik, anyone?

Minnow





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