Re: "Buried" at sea...
- From: "Peter Duncanson (BrE)" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 02 May 2011 15:57:37 +0100
On Mon, 02 May 2011 11:32:53 -0230, Cheryl <cperkins@xxxxxx> wrote:
On 2011-05-02 10:03 AM, MC wrote:
...the phrase always strikes me as odd. For me, burial of a person
triggers images of digging a hole and filling it in, or a building
collapsing. If I were to hide a treasure chest underwater I don't think
I'd use the term "burial."
It's one of these things that sounds odd if you stop and think about it,
but which is in fact a routine term for the procedure. Maybe 'burial' is
to be understood as 'final disposition of remains', and the associated
idea that this means digging a hole is extra. Either way, the body is
covered by something, earth, water. I think you can be buried in caves
or sarcophagi or crypts or mausoleums, too, as well as under collapsed
houses or in mines.
The OED says:
Etymology: Old English byrgan weak verb < West Germanic *burgjan
(of which the only other trace is the Old Saxon derivative burgisli
n. = buriels n.), apparently < burg- ablaut-stem of Old Germanic
*berg-an strong verb to protect, cover: see bergh v. The Scotch
forms beryss, berisch, appear to follow the analogy of words from
French like peryss, perisch.
a. To deposit (a corpse) in the ground, in a tomb; to inter. Hence
to commit (a corpse) to the sea, with appropriate funeral rites.
[None of the quotations mentions burial at sea.]
a. To put under ground for the same purposes as a corpse,
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Jer. xxii. 19 As an Asse shall he be
a1616 Shakespeare Tempest (1623) v. i. 55 I'le breake my
staffe, Bury it certaine fadomes in the earth.
a. Without restriction of purpose: To deposit or hide under ground;
to cover up with earth or other material.
c1340 Cursor M. (Fairf.) 16919 Þe Iewis..beried [tho crossis]
fro Crysten men in a preuy stede.
1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 451/1 It is the propertye of
a dogge to burye his meate in the grounde.
Peter Duncanson, UK
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