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Headword: *ko/nos a)rtocu/h|
Adler number: kappa,2045
Translated headword: konos artoxuei, donkey scratch[es] back (?)
Vetting Status: high
A proverb [used] in reference to those exchanging benefits.
Greek Original:
*ko/nos a)rtocu/h|: paroimi/a e)pi\ tw=n a)ntapodido/ntwn.
As transmitted, the headword phrase is meaningless. It appears in the Appendix Proverbiorum (3.56) -- and nowhere else -- but with a different noun (kw=nos, "pinecone") and with a different version of the verb form (a)rtocu/ei, i.e. indicative rather than the Suda's subjunctive).
Bernhardy commented: de quo proverbio nihil constat. Perhaps (nevertheless) the verb is a corruption of a)nticu/ei (or the subjunctive a)nticu/h|) "scratches in return". There is a proverb about donkeys, saying in effect, "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours": see tau 767 (also xi 91). Perhaps also ko/nos -- which as it stands could be a variant, attested elsewhere, of ko/nnos, "trinket" (kappa 2047) -- hides an original o)/nos "donkey" (with kai\ in crasis?).
The corruption would have to have occurred earlier than the common source of the Suda and the Appendix Proverbiorum. If this interpretation is accepted, the gloss makes sense.
Keywords: daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; proverbs; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 4 February 2009@16:31:38.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (expanded aspects of note; more keywords) on 5 February 2009@03:46:29.
William Hutton (augmented headword) on 5 February 2009@11:16:31.
Catharine Roth (augmented note) on 24 February 2009@00:25:00.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 11 March 2013@07:57:19.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 23 March 2015@23:29:13.
David Whitehead (coding) on 2 May 2016@04:59:48.


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