I’m halfway through the novel now. As the story unwinds, I get more and more wrapped up in it and the translating becomes easier. When I say ‘easier’, I mean you get into a flow until the next word that needs looking up or in the case of a 17th-century setting, takes some serious research. But that’s part and parcel of the job. And still native phrases and turns of expression are coming back to me, sometimes because I beg them to and sometimes of their own accord.
This week, for instance, it was ‘lackadaisical’, closely followed by ‘Alas and alack’, both expressions from the 17th century. Though as it turns out, they came into existence the other way around. ‘Lack’ in Middle English meant failure, shame, loss so people would say ‘Ah, lack’. This evolved into ‘Alack the day’ and was subsequently abbreviated to ‘lackaday’ from which came the adjective ‘lackadaisical’. Another one this week was ‘let it lie’ as in ‘I couldn’t let it lie’ meaning ‘I couldn’t just do nothing about it’. Some 17th-century words could come in useful nowadays. What about ‘gillie-wet-foot’? Old Scottish for a swindling businessman or someone who gets into debt and then legs it. Plenty of that around!
Maybe we could reintroduce ‘Lackaday’ for Thursday which would make TGIF much more effective.😊