Monday, May 09, 2005


Latin and Greek

Robert Burns, Epistle To J. Lapraik, An Old Scottish Bard (April 1, 1785):
What's a' your jargon o' your schools--
Your Latin names for horns an' stools?
If honest Nature made you fools,
What sairs your grammars?
Ye'd better taen up spades and shools,
Or knappin-hammers.

A set o' dull, conceited hashes
Confuse their brains in college classes!
They gang in stirks, and come out asses,
Plain truth to speak;
An' syne they think to climb Parnassus
By dint o' Greek!
a' = all
sairs = serves
taen = taken
shools = shovels
knappin-hammers = hammers for breaking stones
hashes = oafs
gang = go
stirks = young bullocks
syne = then

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