"Every word in human language has its pedigree."—The Duke Of Somerset.
-de. Murray, Late Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Edinburgh
blood, is destructive to life.
French, poison, from Latin, polio, a drink; Mid-Latin, impolionnare, to poison. Diez points out a similar euphemism in Spanish, zero ; Portuguese, erva, a herb, thence a poisonous herb; and in German, gift, originally a dose, what is given at once, the poison. —Wedgwood.
If the derivation from polio were correct, it would apply to fluid poison only, and some support of its correctness
ought to be found in Latin; but the only words for poison in that language are venenum, toxicum, and virus. The German gift and giflig,signifying poison and poisonous, have no connexion with gift, in the English sense (for which the words are gabe and geschenk~\. The root is more probably the
(Gaelic.—Puinsean, poison, virus, venom; pninseanach, poison, vindictive, revengeful; puimeanlas, poisonousness, vindictiveness; puindeanaich, to kill by poison.
POLTROON. — A coward (French, positron) .
Italian, poltrone, from poltrare and poltrire, to loll and wallow in sloth; to be lazy in bed; French, paillard, a lie-a-bed, is an analogous form, from paillc, straw, thence a rascal, scoundrel.—Wedgwood.
On a donniS trois etymologies. 1. Pollex truncus, pouce coupe a cause que les hommes qui voulaient cchapper au service militaire se coupaient le pouce. 2. Menage a pris pour radical l'ltalien poltruccio; Fr. poulre, jeune jument, animal jcuue et delicat. 3. Polxten, lit, ancien Haut Allemaud. Cetto derniere e'tymologie parait la vraie.—Littbe.
(Gaelic.—Pollack, lumpish, stupid; from, heavy; one too heavy and stupid to fight in his own defence.
POLLUTE (Latin, polluo).—To deteriorate, impair, or adulterate the purity of a thing or a person. (Gaelic.—Poll, a pool; stagnant or
impure water, as distinguished from
water that is clear and runs.
5K»mriC.—Paw, a ditch, a pooli a pit filled with stagnant water.
POLT FOOT.—A club-foot; or, a lame foot.
This word is most commonly applied to Vulcan.—Nakks.
Venus was content to take the blacksmith with the poll foot.—Lyly's JSupkues.
Anywhere to escape this polt-footid philosopher.—Ben Jonson.
Few English Dictionaries contain this word, and none, as far as observed, hints at the etymology. It is probably a softening and corruption of the
OilCliC.—Pliut, a clumsy foot, a clubfoot; pliulair, a clumsy-footed or clubfooted person ; ploc, a club; pliutaireachd, clumsiness, awkwardness or inelegance in walking.