"Hist" and Six Degrees of LOTM again

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Posted by Sarah on August 28, 1998 at 22:30:41:

In Reply to: Re: Uncas' Mother ... Shhhh! posted by Elaine on August 28, 1998 at 16:42:52:

: : For some reason I was never able to figure out, the word "hist" was used as a warning, meaning "ssshh!". In the case of Wah Ta Wah, as I remember, it had to do with the softness of her voice - alternately described as soft as a whisper and the song of a wren. Howsssever, from the way Cooper described it, it sounded more like somebody with a punctured lung.

: : Gayle

: Gayle,
: For shame! You stop trashing Cooper ...
: I always thought of the "Hist-O-Hist" being a variation of the Scottish *whist*, which means "hush."
: Wah-Ta-Wah was gentle and soft spoken, like a lullabye ... whist, whist, whist ...

: Punctured lung, indeed!

Back in the 18th and well into the 19th century, "hist" was used softly and quitely to shush someone, to request quiet. Somewhere,that became hush and then the ssshhh we now use.

And now, for additional fun with Six Degrees of LOTM:

1. Uncas' mother's name meant quiet or softness (have I that right) and Uncas was played by someone who's last name means silence. Hmmm.

2. Dr. Seuss (who appeared on this board some time ago), went to Dr. Wheelock's school also, which by that time was Dartmouth College. Don't know the connection really, though, since I didn't follow those posting!

3. The moto of Dr. Wheelock's School (and now of Dartmouth) was always "Vox clamatis in deserto" -- a voice crying in the wilderness. Into the Wilderness? Elaine alone in the wilderness?

OK -- it's past midnight, whadya expect? Deep thinking?


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