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Headword: Ὀνυχίζεται
Adler number: omicron,411
Translated headword: trims the nails
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning he/she/it] is precise with language. So Aristophanes [sc. uses the word].[1]
But in the customary usage [it means] to be deceived with the result of some harm.[2]
Also [attested is the phrase] "I will scratch out [ἀπονυχιῶ ] your food in the Prytaneum with my nails."[3] Meaning I will remove [it]. From a metaphor of having one's nails trimmed. I will remove, he is saying, the food-allowance. They use ἀπονυχίσαι rather than ὀνυχίσαι .
Greek Original:
Ὀνυχίζεται: ἀκριβολογεῖται. οὕτως Ἀριστοφάνης. ἐν δὲ τῇ συνηθείᾳ τὸ ἐπὶ βλάβῃ τινι ἐξαπατηθῆναι. καί, ἀπονυχιῶ σου τὰ 'ν πρυτάνῃ σιτία: ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀφαιρήσομαι. ἀπὸ μεταφορᾶς τῶν ὀνυχιζομένων: ἀφαιρήσομαι γάρ, φησί, τὴν σίτησιν. ἀπονυχίσαι μᾶλλον λέγουσιν ἢ ὀνυχίσαι.
[1] Aristophanes fr. 834 Kock (866 K.-A.). Same entry in Photius (omicron367 Theodoridis).
[2] Artemidorus, Interpretation of Dreams 1.22; from an extended passage about dream-related nail-trimming and other personal grooming, explaining the differences in meaning between his usage of ὀνυχίζεται and previous usage in Aristophanes. In Artemidorus' work, ὀνυχίζεται is the literal act of nail trimming, while Aristophanes, as we see, used it as a metaphor. See also epsilon 1802, epsilon 3885.
[3] A commentator's rough transcription of Aristophanes Knights 709 (web address 1); from alpha 3461.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; food; imagery; poetry; rhetoric
Translated by: Amanda Aponte on 17 December 2009@12:04:36.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweaks, cosmetics, cross-references) on 18 December 2009@01:08:51.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 December 2009@03:42:11.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 4 July 2013@06:30:14.


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