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Headword: *tu/kos
Adler number: tau,1148
Translated headword: (wedge-shaped) pick or hammer; pick or other stone-working tool
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A certain tool, with which they cut all around stones and shape them. From this also [comes] the [verb] 'I was hewing and shaping [sc. stone]', standing for I was shaping [sc. by sculpting or polishing], I was cutting. Aristophanes in Birds [writes]:[1] "the krekes[2] were shaping these [stones] with their beaks."
Greek Original:
*tu/kos: e)rgalei=o/n ti, w(=| tou\s li/qous periko/ptousi kai\ ce/ousin. e)/nqen kai\ to\ e)tu/kizon, a)nti\ tou= e)/ceon, e)/kopton. *)aristofa/nhs *)/ornisi: tou/tous d' e)tu/kizon ai( kre/kes toi=s r(u/gxesi.
Notes:
This tool was also spelled tu/xos (Hesychius tau1763, cf. LSJ, web address 1; the name was also used for a stone-breaking wedge), and is probably from the same root as teu/xw, te/tuktai, etc. (tau 375, tau 435, tau 1149, cf. tu/xh, tau 1232-34). If that is true, it is compelling evidence that this root was used in Greek before Homer's day for the accuracy required in a craftsman for hitting and shaping stone, leather and metal. It would be closely related to Homer's name Tychios for a craftsman making a shield of leather (Iliad 7.220, tau 1238).
For the character and shape of this tool see omicron 647 (o)/ruc) and the notes on Pollux 10.147 cited in bibliography.
[1] Aristophanes, Birds 1138 (web address 2), in the description of building the birds' city. The stones worked by the birds in question (water-rails? See next note) had been brought from Africa by the cranes.
[2] Evidently a large and powerful species of bird but unidentifiable. See the discussion in Dunbar ad loc. (p.598).
References:
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995).
Pollux, Julius, Onomasticon, ed. J.H. Lederlinus & T. Hemsterhuis, with notes by G. Jungermann, J. Kühn et al. (Amsterdam, 1706) vol 2, p.1331 notes 80, defending at length the emendation by Salmasius of tei/xei to tu/koi at 10.31.147.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: art history; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 16 May 2003@09:46:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords; cosmetics) on 18 May 2003@06:11:34.
Robert Dyer (added x-ref and refs to Pollux) on 28 May 2003@06:27:54.
David Whitehead (my previous vetting should read: modified note 2 and corresponding translation) on 10 June 2003@03:45:05.
David Whitehead on 16 January 2014@06:01:04.

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