“O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,”*

*William Shakespeare, “The Comedy of Errors” (Act III, scene ii); first performed 28 December 1594.

Image: (Wikipedia): “The Little Mermaid (Danish: Den lille Havfrue) is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid becoming human. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark. Based on the 1837 fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since its unveiling in 1913.”

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

“train (n.)

early 14c., “a drawing out, delay;” late 14c., “trailing part of a skirt, gown, or cloak;” also “retinue, procession,” from Old French train “tracks, path, trail (of a robe or gown); act of dragging,” from trainer “to pull, drag, draw,” from Vulgar Latin *traginare, extended from *tragere “to pull,” back-formation from tractus, past participle of Latin trahere “to pull, draw” (see tract(n.1)).,

General sense of “series, progression, succession, continuous course” is from late 15c.; train of thought is attested from 1650s. The railroad sense “locomotive and the cars coupled to it” is recorded from 1820 (publication year, dated 1816), from the notion of a “trailing succession” of wagons or carriages pulled by a mechanical engine.

train (v.)

“to discipline, teach, bring to a desired state by means of instruction,” 1540s, probably from earlier sense of “draw out and manipulate in order to bring to a desired form” (late 14c.), specifically of the growth of branches, vines, etc. from mid-15c.; from train (n.). Sense of “point or aim” (a firearm, etc.) is from 1841. Sense of “fit oneself for a performance by a regimen or exercise” is from 1832. The meaning “to travel by railway” is recorded from 1856. Related: Trained; training.”

From Merriam-Webster.com:

“…the line of black powder that in cartoons leads an unfortunate character to a soon-to-explode cache of dynamite—the “fuse” as it’s more often called—also had the word train applied to it…

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the word train is that there is an entirely unrelated English word train that most of us have never heard of. The obsolete train meaning “scheme, trick” also dates to the 14th century and traces back to the Latin word tradere, meaning “to hand over, deliver, betray.” And it has nothing to do with clothing or comets or cartoons.”

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