Saturday, September 7, 2013

Random-ise: Thomas Nashe, mummianize, tympanize and other -ize verbs

This is part of an investigation I've been doing into the use and spelling of -ize suffix verbs and their spelling (-ize or -ise) in British English. For more details, related posts and the methods I've used, see the -ize / -ise page.


The earliest -ize verbs to enter English did so from Latin verbs ending in -izare, which had in turn often got them from Greek verbs with the suffux -izein. Some of the very earliest, like recognise, appear to have originally adopted the Old English suffix -isen, as the letter z hadn't yet been adopted into English (from French). Some came directly from Latin, others via French, for example realise.
If we look at the most common -ize verbs today, however, many of them don't owe their derivation to Latin or Greek verbs, but simply started by somebody adding the -ize suffix to existing nouns and adjectives, whose own derivation may or may not be Latin. Examples include stabilise, finalise and a raft of business buzzwords, including incentivise.
This practice seems to have started quite early on. By the late 16th century, such verbs as equalise, memorise, epitomize and apologise had appeared, all of which seem to have originated by merely adding the -ize suffix to existing words.

Thomas Nashe 1567 - c.1601

Traditionally, or at least according to the OED (and perhaps also the gentleman in question), the first person to do this was Thomas Nashe (or Nash), a pamphleteer, playwright, poet and satirist in late Elizabethan England, who, writing about reactions to his own writing style, said:
'The ploddinger sort of unlearned Zoilists about London exclaim that it is a puffed-up style, and full of profane eloquence; others object unto me the multitude of my boisterous compound words, and the often coining of Italianate verbs which end all in -ize, as mummianize, tympanize, tyrannize'
Epistle to the Reader, introduction to the 1594 second edition of Christ's Tears over Jerusalem
The word ploddinger seems to be an invention of Nashe's, Zoilists were imitators of Zoilus, a Greek grammarian, Cynic philosopher, and literary critic from Amphipolis in East Macedonia famous for his carping cryticism. Nashe seems to be claiming tyrannise as one of his neologisms, but Online Etymology Dictionary has it as late 15c., from Middle French tyranniser (14c.).
I'm pretty sure, however, that we can credit him with mummianize and tympanize, as well as alchumise and paradize from The Unfortunate Traveller (1593), which don't seem to appear in any dictionaries.
For the late William Safire, writing in the New York Times, Nashe seems to have been held single-handedly responsible for the modern tendency of creating new verbs and their derivatives by adding -ise/-ize to existing nouns and adjectives, which, far from being something new, has been going on for four hundred years or so. You can read more about this at the New York Times and Language Log links at the end of the post.
You can find lots of information about Nashe, with a complete list of hs works and links to other websites, encyclopedias etc at - 'An Anthology of English Literature'. They also have links to the title pages of his books. (Link below)
Here I look for -ize suffix verbs and French-based -ise verbs in just three of his works:
  • The Unfortunate Traveller 1594
  • Christ's Tears over Jerusalem 1593
  • Pierce Penniless 1592

Nashe's prolific use of -ize verbs

As well as apparently inventing quite a few -ize verbs, Nashe seems to be have been very fond of using existing ones as well. The use of -ize verbs was quite rare at the time. Shakespeare only uses about thirty, and there is only one, baptize, in the King James Bible.
Yet in Christ's Tears alone, we have more than in the whole of Shakespeare, and in The Unfortunate Traveller, the number of -ize suffix verbs is almost equal to that of French-based -ise verbs, which was highly unusual for that time. This delight in -ize verbs doesn't seem to appear again until the middle of the eighteenth century.
Here are some of the stranger -ize verbs he uses. Those asterisked are probably his own invention. Links are to OneLook Dictionary (A dictionary of dictionaries, and even then some don't appear):

Other words attributed to Nashe

Nashe is also listed in the OED as being responsible for the earliest occurrence of the word jobbernowl - A stupid or foolish person; an idiot, a numbskull.
  • Gaffer Iobbernoule, dost thou? (Strange Newes 1592)

The Unfortunate Traveller 1594

In the opening phrases of his dedication of the The Unfortunate Traveller to the poet, the Lady Elizabeth Carey, Nashe includes a word apparently of his own making - mummianized. The word preludately also seems pretty well unique to Nash:
Excellent accomplished court-glorifying Lady, give me leave, with the sportive sea-porpoises, preludiately a little to play before the storm of my tears, to make my prayer before I proceed to my sacrifice. Lo, for an oblation to the rich burnished shrine of your virtue, a handful of Jerusalem's mummianized earth, in a few sheets of waste paper enwrapped, I here, humiliate, offer up at your feet.
As well as somewhat strange -ize verbs, Nashe uses niggardise (meaning niggardliness) a couple of times. This is now listed as obsolete, and is usually referenced to Nashe's contemporary, Spencer. Nashe possibly also coined armourwise and siring-wise, as they don't appear in any of the dictionaries at OneLook.
and another that had bent a couple of yron dripping pans armourwise
& charged siring-wise with searching sweet water,
were for meere niggardise
He was dame Niggardize sole heyre

A note on the Project Gutenberg version

The Project Gutenberg version is taken from an edition published in 1892, with an essay on Nashe's life and times by Edmund Gosse, and published in London by C.Whittington. It appears to keep to the spelling of the original.

Searchable editions at Google Books

Unfortunately there don't seem to be any Full View versions at Google Books, but there are at least four versions with a limited search function. Occasionally the word shows up in search but isn't visible.

Suffix -ize verbs - 18 instances of 14 verbs

OneLook Dictionary, which links to hundreds of other dictionaries, finds no definitions for alchumize or paradize.

French -ise verbs - 19 instances of 10 verbs


Showing all instances of -ize and -ise as shown in Project Gutenberg

get mee, to canonize your name to
nutriment of whose authorized commendation they may
quart pots to authorize it, it were
pots, I came disguised vnto him in
men Roman histories canonised, was not borne
they must liue despised and in miserie
sparke of Adams paradized perfection yet emberd
none more contemned. Despised they are of
it is that exercising his empire in
my eyes, hath exorcized and cleane coniured
continued deserts will eternize me vnto thee,
a knight arrant, exercised in the affaires
into their kandes, deuised the meanes to
For in deede they were meere temporizers
he determined to tyranize. Nere a line
blushing Sabine maids surprized on the sodain
my defence lesse authorized. It will be
it did he anatomize these bodie-wanting mots,
when hee was aduertised of to the
this did hee characterise a man desirous
he could not deuise which waie to
Florence yelded. To particularize their maner of
passe. Should I memorize halfe the myracles
their heeles againe. Disguised as they go,
were all those organizing implements obscured in
a notable Bandetto, authorized by ye pope,
her braine doates? Deuise with your selues
pure deceasing spirite despise me when we
chastisement, is to chastise our selues in
the art of epicurising, the art of
off, hee would alchumize an oyle, that
vnder my side, deuising what a kinde
little did I surmise that fortune reserued
discontentment, and other supervising espialls, to plye
for me to epitomize his impietie, as
as I stood deuising how to frame
my selfe I deuised how to plague

Christ's Tears Over Jeruasalem 1593

First search was done with a plain text at EBooksRead and checked with an 1815 version at Google Books.
In an effort to bestow some gravity on Christ's Tears, Nashe clutters its style with huge and compound words, with coinages ending in -ate or -ize, and with alliteration. Readers must make their way among preludiately, mummianized, gross-brained formallity, purely pacificatory suppliants, assertionate, oblivionize, and luciferious passionate-ambitious.

Suffix -ize verbs - 47 instances of 44 verbs


French -ise verbs - 33 instances of 18 verbs


Showing all instances of -ize and -ise as shown in the EbooksRead version, with links to the edition published in London in 1815

words might not comprise thy fame.
a handful of Jerusalem's mummanized 1 earth (in
you. To the eternizing of the heroical
supportive perpetuating of your canonized reputation wholly this
must and will memorize more especially, for you
soever I have scandalized the meanest. Into
not to be despised or disannulled. Next this,
tribulation that shall exercise or try thee,
hath his texts to authorise him. Nothing doth
for pride of despising the preaching of
repent and be baptized, but thou wouldst not
thou hast been chastised but with wanton whips;
woman, child, he shall unmortalize and mangle ;
her gall, all are carrionized and contaminated with
let thy deep-entering dart oblivionize their memories.
fast-fortified prayer, and ear- agonizing invocation, I have
impressive heart, and mirmidonized mine eyes, that
Seneca I should tragedize myself, by bleeding
a subject to royalize your Muses with. Of
seminarized this hope of signiorizing and freedom amongst
perplex pale paper, rumatize my reader's eyes, with
had repining victual-scanting masters, tyrannizing nevertheless for their
already slain Til anatomize and embowel, the more
re-tranquillized and rejoiced it,
sin shalt thou clean circumcise, by this one
yet, that it may memorize against you ;
Two thousand by this covetise slept their last.
into his hands unauthorised. Thou sufferedst him
substance of, by canonizing such a multifarious
ere this hast disparadised our first parent
that the spirit of monarchizing in private men,
; as riches or covetise there is nothing
at sea, or disasterly soldierized it by land,
us, than the nectarized aqua calestis of water-mingled
; learn to despise the world, despise
despise the world, despise vanity, despise thyself,
world, despise vanity, despise thyself, to despise despising,
vanity, despise thyself, to despise despising, and, lastly,
despise thyself, to despise despising, and, lastly, to
and, lastly, to despise no man. If
a man is so tympanized with prosperity, and
they cannot grossly palpabrize or feel God with
kings to walk disguised amongst their subjects. He
and yet is Diagorized 1 , will
will never be Christianized. University men, that are
of Terence is oraculized, Patres aquum censer e
blessing hath he warrantized.
senses, he will despise you and flout you.
their eyes with spiritualized distillations? Why tip
suck up that adulterised sinful beauty, wherewith she
our royalty, we cannot equalize one of the
await, for wanton disguising thyself against kind,
covets nought but gold covetise. None, in a
into thee and surprise thee. Watch and
thou be not surprised. In vain is
a form-shifting devil, disguised in man's likeness. Utterly
their cheeks you behold superficialized, is but Sir
The devil to enfranchise them of hell,
Awake, you wits, grave authorized law distributors, and
in her apparel citizenized, she is the
any price. God is despised in comparison of
mortality but to covetise.
Let covetise be enlarged out
sleep, so we ( surprised with a lethargy
the apostle, " despise not the chastisement of
V The Lord's chastising we think to
to escape by despising it. Quod in
of all is despised. Est tentatio adducens
us not to despise the chastising of God,
to despise the chastising of God, so he
Hath God chastised or scourged such
for in his chastising, he hath shewed more
a few days chastise us at their
and chastise us, yet cannot
transitory chaff, they tyrannise and reign over
is to be chastised of the Lord
wherein Adam was unparadised, and the fruit-fostering summer
pleasant sportive wits have devised to gull them
in thine anger, neither chastise us in thy

Pierce Penniless 1592

I did my original search in an HTML version of the 1592 original available at Luminarium, an excellent website for early English literature, and then checked it with a reprint of this edition at Google Books, as well as a later reprint (1964).
The 1592 version at Google Books is reprinted in a later edition of 'Miscellaneous Tracts' (date unknown), which also includes the much longer 'Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Prayse of the Old Asse' of 1593, a critique of Nashe by Gabriel Harvey, as well as a piece by Harvey critical of Nashe called 'A New Letter of Notable Contents'. This accounts for the greater number of instances of some -ise words.
Nashe and Harvey had a long-standing literary quarrel, which you can read about in an article at Elizabethan Authors and in the entry for Gabriel Harvey at Wikipedia, both linked to below.

Spelling idiosyncracies and discrepancies

There is another problem, in that the s in -ise words sometimes shows up in search as an s and sometimes as an f, and in the case of devise, both (in the Google Books version).
At this time the letters u and v were often interchanged, for example the full title of the piece is printed in both the Luminarium version and the 'Miscellaneous Tracts' version of the 1592 edition as:
Pierce Penilesse
to the Deuill
But there are also spelling discrepancies between the two versions of the same edition, with Luminarium going for s rather than f, but also for u instead of v and the Miscellaneous Tracts version doing the opposite, which is shown by what follows the title:
LuminariumMiscellaneous Tracts
printed by Abell Iesses, for
I.B. 1592.
Printed By Abell Jeffes, for
Iohn Busbie. 1592
A priuate Epistle of the Author to the PrinterA Private Epiftle of the Author to the Printer
This all makes searching and checking rather a hit-and-miss process.

Suffix -ize verbs - 5 instances of 5 verbs

anatomizing(1)1 1
canonized(1)1 1
gurmandise(1)1 0
monarchizing(1)1 1
moralizing(1)1 1

Nouns ending in -ize and -ise

cowardize(1)-ize -ice
niggardize(1)1 2

French -ise verbs - 27 instances of 14 verbs

despise(3)1 + 13
deuise(7)5+(12) + 211

Showing all instances of -ize and -ise as shown at Luminarium

that if any such lewde deuise intrude it selfe to their
Other news I am aduertised of, that a scald triuial
is odious, specially, in this moralizing age, wherein euery one seeks
vnfruitfull studie, or seeme to despise the excellent qualified partes of
a most false and iniurious sumise. There is nothing that if
losse, my vulgar Muse was despised & neglected, my paines not
young maisters doe nothing but deuise how to spend and aske
vpon, and he could not deuise how to wrest an odde
On the other side, Dame Niggardize his wife, in a sedge
walls of Roan. Hee will despise the barbarisme of his own
Latine. You that bee wise despise it, abhorre it, neglect it;
all points as might be deuised; and the grunting Dogge somewhat
lookes? The Poets were ill aduised, that fained him to be
soules would not need bee canonized for Martyrs, that on the
not. Be aduertised Master Os fœtidum, Bedle of
the Blackesmithes, that Lawyers cannot deuise which way in the world
of vices, and mother of cowardize, alledging many examples, how there
much encouragement, as hee should surmize his superficiall arguments had shaken
Smithi. the Muses, queintlie couldst thou deuise heauenly Ditties to Apolloes Lute,
water, or beene at the anatomizing of the Skies intrailes in
And whereto tends all this gurmandise, but to giue sleepe grosse
Drinking super nagulum, a deuise of drinking new come out
long doth not amisse to exercise the eies withall. Fat men
Vinterns, Alewiues, and Victuallers, who surmise if there were no Playes,
sits melancholie in his Chamber, deuising vpon felonie or treason, and
degrees greater than he was, aduised him to digge a pit
so customablie practised, that often exercise had quite abrogated the opinion
wife, but first askt their aduise, nor pare his nailes, nor
one daie, as these two Deuisers were plotting by themselues how
in force fraile men to enterprise all wickednesse that maie be,
maleuolence and enuie. Such a monarchizing spirit it was, that said
to be such as first deuised cards and dice, and I
was licensed by God, nor exercise his tyranie ouer Iob till
to steale a horse, should deuise by the waie as he
my vnable pen should euer enterprise such a ccontinuate taske of
Because few words might not comprise thy fame.

Links - Thomas Nashe - biographies etc

Links - Thomas Nashe - controversies and a quarrel

The Unfortunate Traveller

Christ's Tears

Pierse Penniless

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