Congat??

Does anyone know this word congat as a term of abuse? It’s in the Bardi texts recorded by Gerhardt Laves, and is a metacomment on someone who uses the word arajama ‘sweetheart’ to refer to “the other sweetheart” (i.e. the guy in the story has two sweethearts, and he’s using this term of endearment to talk about the one to the other). I guess it means something like “cad”, “bounder” or “dipstick”.

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7 responses to “Congat??

  1. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  2. I’m looking at the photocopy again and it’s almost certainly “congat”, but could also be “cangat” or “congot”. Or what about “can get” and he’s just written them very close together so that the pen never lifted from the paper? Not that “another sweetheart from the present one (you can get)” makes a whole lot more sense than “congat”…

  3. Nicholas Ostler

    The initial c without following h makes it a non-German word. Evidently Laves must have known Latin, and perhaps even expostulated in it. (We schoolboys always used to enjoy the points in the commentaries on our Latin texts where the commentator would break off with VETAT PUDOR ‘shame forbids’. So could it be CORRIGAT ‘may he correct it’ (viz his caddish behaviour)?

  4. Laves was American and had just finished at the University of Chicago. He does make notes in German but most of them are in English (by far the majority). He has a cursive r he uses for trills, but it’s fairly clearly an n here. Also, his j sometimes likes like a j.

    Nick did you see the older Loeb edition of Martial where the really scandalous bits are translated into Italian?

  5. David Marjanović

    Huh? German? Not remotely like anything in German.

    Also, his j sometimes likes like a j.

    ?

  6. A speecho, David, I’m guessing.

  7. No, that was a brain-o, unfortunately! His j looks like a g was what I meant to say…

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