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Headword: *ploi=on h)\ kunh=
Adler number: pi,1815
Translated headword: boat or hat?
Vetting Status: high
In reference to dubious matters. Aristophanes in Birds [uses the phrase]. Insofar as Iris was flying in, and her wings were stretched out like oars. Because she wore a broad-brimmed hat on her head.
Greek Original:
*ploi=on h)\ kunh=: e)pi\ tw=n a)mfibo/lwn pragma/twn. *)aristofa/nhs *)/ornisi. kaqo\ e)pte/rwto h( *)=iris, kai\ ta\ ptera\ diate/tatai w(/sper kw=pai. o(/ti ei)=xe perikefalai/an to\n pe/tason.
From scholiastic comment on Aristophanes, Birds 1203, where a two-part question is addressed to Iris, messenger of the gods (iota 599): "What is the word for you? Boat or hat?". Dunbar ad loc. cites other cases of "the joke-type proposing two unlikely alternatives" (e.g. Wasps 1509, an owl or a mole) and provides evidence on Iris and her hat.
On the pe/tasos, see pi 1387.
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Keywords: clothing; comedy; definition; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 24 October 2001@06:58:15.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 23 July 2004@16:46:37.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 23 July 2004@16:48:33.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 25 July 2004@09:50:07.
David Whitehead on 20 October 2011@07:19:09.


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