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Headword: Skaios
Adler number: sigma,548
Translated headword: left, gauche, crooked
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] left, mute, bad.[1]
This is what they used to call ignorant people and stupid people and fools: from the left [hand]. Aristophanes in Clouds [writes]: "I never saw such a rustic man anywhere, nor [so] incompetent, nor [so] gauche, nor [so] forgetful."[2]
And elsewhere Aristophanes [writes]: "he was not a stupid man, but he knew how to eat up the travel-money of a lewd old woman." Meaning to flatter and to eat up her expenses.[3]
And elsewhere: "in his manners he was gauche, but in his deeds very much the opposite, he was gentle and had sufficient shrewdness."[4]
Also [sc. attested is] skaio/qen ["from the left"], an adverb.[5]
Also used is skaiosu/nh ["gaucherie"], in Aristophanes.[6]
Greek Original:
Skaios: aristeros, aphônos, kakos. houtôs ekaloun tous amatheis kai dusparakolouthêtous kai tous môrous: apo tês skaias. Aristophanês Nephelais: ouk eidon houtôs andra agroikon oudamou, oud' aporon, oude skaion, oud' epilêsmona. kai authis Aristophanês: ou skaios ên anthrôpos: all' êpistato graos kaprôsês taphodia katesthiein. anti tou kolakeuein kai esthiein ta analômata. kai authis: ho de en men tais enteuxesi skaios ên, en de tais praxesi kai mala es tounantion êpios kai to anchinoun apochrôntôs echôn. kai Skaiothen, epirrêma. legetai kai Skaiosunê para Aristophanei.
[1] Same or similar glosses in other lexica (references at Photius sigma264 Theodoridis); and cf. sigma 546, sigma 549, sigma 550.
[2] Aristophanes, Clouds 628-9 (web address 1), with scholion.
[3] Aristophanes, Plutus/Wealth 1023-4 (web address 2), with scholion.
[4] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 260 Zintzen (285 Asmus).
[5] Extant attestation only in Theophylact Simocatta, Histories 2.12.9.
[6] Not in extant works of Aristophanes, but, as Bernhardy noted, in Sophocles (Oedipus at Colonus 1213: web address 3).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; gender and sexuality; historiography; imagery; tragedy; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 10 January 2011@00:53:40.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaaks) on 10 January 2011@03:10:38.
David Whitehead on 29 December 2013@07:25:00.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 30 December 2013@00:30:43.


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