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Headword: Πυγή
Adler number: pi,3110
Translated headword: butt
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The part around the anus.
Aristophanes [writes]: "as for me, I exercise, and I leap up to my butt."[1] For in their exercizes they used to leap, and the feet of the person leaping would make contact with their butt. And [there is] a proverb: "to look into a dog's butt".[2] In reference to those suffering from bleary eyes, or indeed in reference to those suffering from pinkeye,[3], they used to say "look into the butt of a dog and of three foxes."
Greek Original:
Πυγή: τὸ περὶ τὸν πρωκτὸν μέρος. Ἀριστοφάνης: γυμνάζομαί γε καὶ ποτὶ πυγὴν ἅλλομαι. ἐν γὰρ τῷ γυμνάζεσθαι πηδᾶν εἰώθασι καὶ οἱ πόδες τοῦ πηδῶντος ἅπτεσθαι τῆς πυγῆς. καὶ παροιμία: ἐς κυνὸς πυγὴν ὁρᾷν. ἐπὶ τῶν λημώντων τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, ἤτοι ὀφθαλμιώντων ἐπέλεγον, ἐς κυνὸς πυγὴν ὁρᾶν καὶ τριῶν ἀλωπέκων.
Notes:
[1] Aristophanes, Lysistrata 82 (web address 1), with material from the scholia thereto. The quotation is spoken by the Spartan character Lampito in Aristophanes' version of the Lakonian dialect (Henderson 1987: xlv-l; Colvin 1999). The Suda uses the standard Attic and Koine form for the words translated here as "exercise", and "butt" (γυμνάζομαι and πυγήν respectively), whereas the mss of Aristophanes have the Lakonian forms γυμνάδδομαι and πυγάν . The word used here (and in the mss of Aristophanes) for 'toward', ποτί is consistent with Lakonian, and inconsistent with Attic/Koine, which would use πρός . Unlike the other Lakonian forms, however, ποτί would have been quite familiar from literary Doric texts (tragic choruses, for instance) and from Homer. This may explain why it is the only non-standard form preserved.
[2] Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae [Assemblywomen] 255 (web address 2); cf. tau 844. For more on looking into a dog's nether regions, see pi 2950.
[3] Or perhaps, "those who cast an envious eye".
References:
S. Colvin, 1999. Dialect in Aristophanes and the Politics of Language in Ancient Greek Literature. Oxford.
J. Henderson, ed. 1987. Aristophanes Lysistrata. Oxford.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: athletics; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; geography; medicine; poetry; proverbs; women; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 10 January 2007@12:59:11.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 10 January 2007@18:40:30.
David Whitehead (another x-ref, another keyword; cosmetics) on 11 January 2007@03:32:54.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 1 December 2011@07:50:51.

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