Observation about ducdame
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0679 Wednesday, 10 October 2007
From: Joseph Egert <
Date: Wednesday, 10 Oct 2007 11:20:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0674 Observation about ducdame
Comment: Re: SHK 18.0674 Observation about ducdame
Don Bloom writes: "the possibility [of ducdame's meaning] is certainly
open to ingenious speculation. But that it is a phrase in Welsh is certain."
Enter Robert Graves. In his WHITE GODDESS (1948, p.29), Graves notes
Jaques' magical invocation "ducdame" may derive from the formulaic
introduction to riddling Welsh magic-drenched tales: "dychymig dychymig"
("riddle me a riddle") or "dychymig dameg" ("a riddle, a riddle").
Shakespeare may be recalling a favorite joke of his "Welsh schoolmaster,
remembered for its oddity."
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