(quyn) (s.xivin)

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(quyn) (s.xivin)

[ gdw]

[ FEW: ; Gdf: ; GdfC: ; TL: ; DEAF: ; DMF: ; TLF: ; OED: ; MED: ; DMLBS: ]

The word quin is attested in Continental French in a unique sixteenth-century attestation with the apparent sense of ‘monkey’ (cf. Gdf 6,515a). The FEW includes the word among the ‘Materialien unbekannten oder unsicheren ursprungs’, and suggests that it must be the basis for the more common expression faire la quine, which it interprets as ‘to mock someone by grimacing or making hand gestures like a monkey (FEW singe 21,218 and grimace 22,56), and the related adjective quinaud. The etymology of this word remains, however, unclear (cf. Kurt Baldinger, Etymologien, Volume 1, 604 singe)

Such an interpretation is not only chronologically unlikely (Bozon’s use is more than two centuries earlier) but is also at odds with the way Saint Margaret’s executioner is presented as innocent of any crime. Therefore, rather than calling him an ‘evil/bad monkey’ (re-interpreted rather loosely by the editor and translator of the text as ‘luckless fellow’), it is more likely that these two words are nothing more than a variant (perhaps representing an accusative form) of the executioner’s name (‘Malchus’ or ‘Malquin’), erroneously presented by the scribe or editor as two separate words.


1(misrepresentation of the name Malquyn)
( s.xivin; MS: s.xiv1 )  Ceo ke avint de celi mal quyn (=Malchus, the executioner of St. Margaret, who initially refuses to behead her) (l. Malquyn) Jeo ne ay pas trové en mon latin  41.303
This is an AND2 Phase 4 (N-O/U-P-Q) entry. © 2013-17 The Anglo-Norman Dictionary. All rights reserved. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom.