6 JANUARY 1912, Page 25


[To TILE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.") SIR,—Admitting some force in Professor Skeat's suggested Dutch origin and phonetic corruption of " under " in the term "under way," I still think that there is reasonable ground for ascribing simple English as its foundation. (Of course " uncle,:

weigh" is a misspelling.) We have, independently, such phrases as "under steam," "under sail," "under bare poles," as if to connote the source of the impetus or " way " of the vessel. We also have the terms "give way" and "way enough "—from coxswains to oarsmen—(on salt water). Possibly, since we say "in motion," it might be correct to say "in way "; but at the same time, in view of application of the. preposition "under" to progress per steam or sail, it seems conceivable that, of old, nautical phraseology might have been content to allow " under " to apply generically to all forms of nautical progress through water.--I am, Sir, &c.,


Farrar's Buildings, Temple, B.C.