Thursday, September 09, 2010

Avast!


I'm still plugging away at Moby-Dick and I'm up to chapter 85. I will probably have a weeks worth of post when I'm finished, but for now I'm fascinated with the language used in the book that is no longer used today. One word in particular, "Avast." It keeps popping up during the voyage. Since it's a word I rarely have ever heard until the I started using Avast virus protection on my computers I figured I'd look it up to get the real meaning because the word is used so freely in the book it could mean anything.

Avast means to hold in place or stop and the entomology probably comes from the Dutch phrase "houd vast" which means hold fast.

5 Comments:

Anonymous auntie said...

Yaaaaar, though knows it be a famous pirate word, me hearty. Avast! Prepare to be boarded!

6:25 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

It's one of those words that only exists in the classics and crossword puzzles.

7:58 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

Halt!

1:04 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, will you be visiting?

Darev, it triggers my spell checker.

Rich, I will, I promise.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the good fortune to read Moby Dick while fishing Albacore in 1980. We were 1000 miles out for several weeks. I felt a kinship to the cockles of my soul. Sure the boats were newer but the sea and its contents are much the same as the 1840's or whatever. We even had some whales following the boat for a few days and the dolphins put on a world class show when ever the mood strikes them. When my folks took a cruise to Patagonia I recommended they take Moby Dick along. They did and loved it.

10:15 AM  

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