The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0674 Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Date: Monday, 8 Oct 2007 12:25:27 -0500
Subject: 18.0669 Observation about ducdame
Comment: RE: SHK 18.0669 Observation about ducdame
Whatever else it may be, ducdame (a three-syllable phrase to match "come
hither") is Welsh and means something like "come with me."
Whether Shakespeare was playing on the Welsh phrase and meant for his
audience to catch it, or was doing so and didn't care if they got it, or
didn't himself know what the Welsh meant but had heard it somewhere, we
can't tell. He may have meant something quite different than what the
Welsh phrase means (something Latin or Greek, for example), and the
possibility is certainly open to ingenious speculation. But that it is a
phrase in Welsh is certain.
(It would, of course, be spelled differently in modern Welsh
orthography, but the same applies to English.)
PS: If he'd said "commitmeer," and been asked the meaning of this
strange phrase, he could likewise have said it was a "Greek invocation
to call fools into a circle."
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