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Headword: *ke/rkos
Adler number: kappa,1402
Translated headword: tail
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the tail[1] of reptiles, and of any animal. [Derived] from the [verb] to skip (skairein) and to crawl (herpein).[2]
Aristophanes [writes]: "look, take this hare's tail."[3] [Meaning] the tail of the hare.[4] For the fur of the hare is soft and tender, so as to be used instead of a sponge,[5] so as "to wipe clean the eye crust";[6] that is, to wipe off, to sponge away.
Greek Original:
*ke/rkos: h( tw=n e(rpetw=n ou)ra/, kai\ panto\s zw/|ou. para\ to\ skai/rein kai\ e(/rpein. *)aristofa/nhs: i)dou/, de/xou ke/rkon lagw/. th\n ou)ra\n tou= lagw|ou=. e)/sti de\ a(palo\n kai\ trufero\n to\ e)/rion tou= lagw|ou=, w(/ste a)nti\ spo/ggou xrh/sasqai, w(/ste ta\s lh/mas periyei=n: toute/sti katama/ssein, a)pospoggi/zein.
[1] The Attic word ke/rkos is glossed with ou)ra/, which survived into the Modern vernacular. So also in kappa 1403.
[2] skai/rein is used in a number of folk etymologies by both Ancient and Byzantine authorities (ska/ros, skardamu/ttein, skirtoi/, skalmo/s, skirtw=) -- as well as the accurate skarqmo/s, eu)/skarqmos. The Suda cites the derivation of skardamu/ttein in sigma 538. This particular derivation, though, is unique to the Suda, and is stretched even by Byzantine standards.
[3] Aristophanes, Knights 909 ("[...] to wipe clean your eyes"); cf. pi 1354.
[4] Again, ke/rkos is glossed with ou)ra/.
[5] Cited from the scholia vetera on the passage.
[6] The Suda conflates the scholia vetera here. Aristophanes has "to wipe clean the eyes", tw)fqalmidi/w, and does not mention sleep crust. The scholia vetera introduce sleep crust in explaining the passage, continuing from their previous sentence with: "because [the fur] is soft enough to wipe clean eye crusts. wipe clean: to wipe off, to sponge away". The Suda conflates the last word of one scholion ("wipe clean") with the word being glossed in the next scholion.
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; medicine; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 5 November 2008@07:56:27.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another x-ref; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 6 November 2008@03:33:45.
Catharine Roth (fixed note number) on 2 January 2012@23:10:55.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 19 February 2013@03:28:52.


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