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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) hus (onomastics)
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 09:19:11 

On Sat, 2 Dec 2000, Robert Borski wrote:

> "Hus is a little embarrassing. It's an old word for house. (A hussy was a
> kept woman: a house woman, like a house dog, rather than a housewife--a
> woman who was shacking up.) When I started the book, I wanted to combine the
> house-pet idea with the wild-boar idea, and called Babbi a hushhog. I hadn't
> gotten very far before I realized that most readers would see the word as
> hush.og and my characters began referring to him as "hus." So I left it at
> that."

"hush.og"?  Looks like a website for librarians.  I suppose that's
supposed to say "hush og"?  And I guess you mean that the orignial word
was 'hushog' (one 'h' in the middle) pronounced "hus hog"?  Took me a
minute to figure that out - more confusing than the Matera Mint typo in

> Robert Borski (who still doesn't understand how a "a half-grown hus" can
> look like "a cluster of boys, or two men upon their hands and knees," but I
> guess that's me.)

I think it's just trying to capture the oddity of eight legs.  Maybe our
perceptions are so used to two/four legs that seeing eight legs would
initially register as more than one critter.  


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