Re: Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey

Alan Crozier wrote:
"Peter Alaca" <P.Alaca@xxxxxx> wrote in message
Alan Crozier wrote: news:Ch%Sf.48883$d5.205086@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Peter Alaca" <P.Alaca@xxxxxx> wrote in message
Alan Crozier wrote:
"celia" wrote
Peter Alaca wrote:

Tomorrow should be fun, I intend to translate
'Pipineale' not as 'Pimpernel'

Do you mean Scarlet Pimpernel or Yellow Pimpernel?

The scarlet pimpernel is very much more common here.

but as 'Salad Burnet'

There are two burnets. the Great (Sanguisorba
officinalis) and te Salad (S. minor, sometimes
called Poterium sanguisorba). Their Dutch names
are Grote Pimpernel and Kleine Pimpernel.
The 'kleine' (minor) is the most common.

I find your Dutch names reassuring; the more
I looked into this the more I came convinced that
it wasn't the plant we commonly call 'pimpernel'.

OED agrees with you. Pimpernel is defined (in
order) as:
1. Great Burnet and Salad Burnet
2. Burnet Saxifrage

Pimpinella saxifraga or P. major, but Anise
is also a Pimpinella (anisetum)

3. Anagallis arvensis, i.e. Scarlet pimpernel

Any idea what 'Ramgealla' could be ?
The dictionaries give 'Ramgall', I've never
heard of it. Have you?

This is a case of the dictionaries defining the unknown by
unknown. Ramgall can't be found in the OED.

Bosworth Toller defines it as Menyanthes trifoliata
(buckbean or
bogbean). Grigson doesn't seem to be convinced by this.
Buckbean he writes: "Unless it was the OE ramgealla, 'ram
it seems to have had no English name until Lyte turned the
bocks bonnen, 'goat's beans', into Buckbean."

Is it possible that it was bocks _bonen_? And 'bock'
(modern 'bok) is a male goat ('ram'). The general
name and the name for the females is 'geit'.
I don't know the name 'bocks bonen' (bokkebonen)
for Menyantes. It is now called 'Waterdrieblad'
(Water three leaf, cf 'trifoliata')

Sorry, I mistyped. The book says "bocks boonen" with the
"goat's beans". And we're talking about a translation by
Lyte in
1578 from Dodoens, so it's not modern Dutch.

No, that was clear. Therefore there was the choise
between 'boonen' and 'bonen'

>> BUT there is no part of Menyanthes resembling
buckbeans ('kloten van de bok'), and bean/boon
is not related to gal/gall/gealla/gale/galle/galli/
(gallar), meaning swelling, inflammation of the
skin, ailment, illness.
So I see no reason to call Menyanthes 'Ramgealla'
or bocks bon(n)en. On the other hand is there also
no reason to call it Buckbean. Part of the solution
there is its other, and slighly more suitable, English
name 'Bogbean', but the bean remains a problem.
And I can't believe the name is taken from the Dutch
for Menyanthes.

That's what Grigson says: buckbean is the older form, later
altered to bogbean, from its habitat.

If you Google for "bocks boonen" you get (a) etymologies for
buckbean; (b) the original form in Dodoens Cruydt-Boek,
you will understand better than I can.

The gothic script is the biggest problem.

You already said that the 'bean' is after the
leaves "die van de Boonen ghelijck". I agree
with Broadbean.
The woodcut on page 921 clearly shows Menyanthes.
He writes that the old Dutch name is Bocke-boonen,
in Latin Faselus hircinus, but that the scientist now call
it "Trifolium palustre", which means 'Water-klaveren'
(water clovers). In German it is called Biberklee, in Latin
Castoris trifolium or Trifolium fibrinum (sibrinum?)
He thinks that it probably is the same plant as the 'Isopyron'
(and Phasiolus) of the old writers.

I fount no explanation for the 'bocke' part.
And I still don't know why 'Ramgealla'
is Bogbean

I don't think anybody knows why. I don't know who made that
suggestion in the first place. It might partly be because no one
knows what bogbean was called in Old English, combined with the
fact that no one knows what OE ramgealla meant. Putting these
two unknowns together must have seemed like a possibility to


I didn't realise until I looked it up that in England
the word 'bog' is early modern.
it was adopted from the Irish.