20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 20


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SILL—There arises the need for a new word applicable;only to the hunter—the man, not the horse—and others whose pastime is of a similar nature.

I am no, etymologist, but beg, to suggest that " furrocks " might answer the ,purpose. Should the word be adopted, I am convinced that etymologists of the next century would widely disagree as to its derivation. Some would maintain that it is a hybrid from " fur "—referring to the wild beast, and the Greek On denoting the steel trap with sharp teeth, in which the furor the beast was caught. Others, not without reason, would protest that the root was the Latin " ferox," the hunter and not the hunted being referred to. Those maintaining the Latin origin would support their argument by pointing out that as a rule words denoting activities of the mind only are borrowed from the Greek, such as" philosophy," "psychology," &c., whereas terms denoting physical violence, such as " pugnacious," " sanguinary," &c., almost invariably have a Latin origin.

To trace the history of words and hunt for their origin is a fine sport—the more patchy the scent the- more exciting the