Friday, February 17, 2006

Thingers rather than thinkers II

Thing, Old English, assembly, council, suit, matter, thing; Old High German ding, public assembly for judgement and transaction of business; Modern German ding, affair, matter, thing; Old Norse {th}ing, public assembly, meeting, parliament, council; also in pl., objects, articles, valuable things.

[Note council (thing) is different than judgement (ding). Council comes from Latin concilium, a convocation, assembly, meeting, union, connexion, close conjunction; sometimes an assembly for consultation, in which sense it became confused with consilium an advisory body.]

thing, v. (obscure)

1. To plead a cause, supplicate, intercede, make intercession; to bring to reconciliation.

2. To represent by things, i.e. concrete objects. Hence thinger

In 1883 G. Massey wrote in Nat. Genesis I. i. 16

"Symbolism was not a conscious creation of the human mind; man..did not begin by thinging his thoughts in intentional enigmas of expression. Things were pourtrayed before thoughts by those who were thingers rather than thinkers."

thing, n. (obscure)

1. A meeting, assembly, esp. a deliberative or judicial assembly, a court, a council

2. A matter brought before a court of law; a legal process; a charge brought, a suit or cause pleaded before a court.

3. That with which one is concerned (in action, speech, or thought); an affair, business, concern, matter, subject; pl. affairs, concerns, matters. (In early use sometimes sing. in collective sense.)

4. That which is said; a saying, utterance, expression, statement; with various connotations; a form of prayer; a story, tale; a part or section of an argument or discourse; a witty saying, a jest.

thing, n. (current)

1. That which exists individually (in the most general sense, in fact or in idea); that which is or may be in any way an object of perception, knowledge, or thought; a being, an entity.

2. Used indefinitely to denote something which the speaker is not able or does not choose to particularize, or which is incapable of being precisely described; a something, a somewhat. Also (often with initial capital) applied to some particular supernatural or other dreadful monster (i.e. the Thing).

3. That which is signified, as distinguished from a word, symbol, or idea by which it is represented: the actual being or entity as opposed to a symbol of it. in thing, in reality, really, actually (opposed to in name = nominally).

4. A being without life or consciousness; an inanimate object, as distinguished from a person or living creature.

Thing, n. (current)

1. In Scandinavian countries (or settlements, as in parts of England before the Conquest): A public meeting or assembly; esp. a legislative council, a parliament; a court of law.

1a. Thing-day, a day on which a Thing is held; Thing-dues, fees payable to a chief who presides at a Thing; Thing-field, -hall, -hill, -stead, a field, hall, hill, or place where a Thing meets, Thing-man.

Source: OED


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