M to MacGregor

M This letter represents the wavy appearance of water, and is called in Hebrew mem (water).

M Every word in the Materia more Magistralis begins with the letter m. (See C and P.)

M (initial of manslaughter). The brand of a person convicted of that offence, and admitted to the benefit of clergy. It was burnt on the brawn of the left thumb.

M in numerals is the initial of mille, a thousand.

“Whosoever prayeth for the soul of John Gower be shall, so oft as he so doth, have a M and a D days of pardon”- Gower's Tablet.
M to represent the human face. Add two dots for the eyes, thus, `M'. These dots being equal to O's, we get OMO (homo) Latin for man.

“Who reads the name,
For man upon his forehead, there the M
Had traced most plainly.”
Dante: Purgatory, xxiii.
M The five M's: Mansa, Matsya, Madya, Maithuna, and Mudra (flesh, fish, wine, women, and gesticulation). The five forms of Hindu asceticism.

M' i.e. Mac. A Gaelic prefix meaning son. (Gothic, magus, a son; Sanskrit, mah, to grow; Welsh, magu, to breed.) The Welsh ap is Mac changed to Map, and contracted into 'ap or 'p, as Apadam ('Ap Adam), Prichard ('P Richard).

M or N in the Catechism. M is a contraction of NN (names); N is for name. The respondent is required to give his names if he has more than one, or his name if only one.
   In the marriage service, M stands for mas (the man) or maritus (the bridegroom), and N for nupia (the bride).
   There are some who think M stands for Mary, the patron saint of girls, and N for Nicholas, the patron saint of boys.

M. B. Waistcoat A clerical cassock waistcoat was so called (about 1830) when first introduced by the High Church party. M. B. means “mark of the beast.”

“He smiled at the folly which stigmatised an M.B. `waistcoat.'”- Mrs. Oliphant: Phoebe Juno, ii. 3.
M.D The first woman that obtained this degree was Elizabeth Blackwell, of the United States (1849).

M.P Member of Parliament, but in slang language Member of the Police.

MS. manuscript; MSS., manuscripts; generally applied to literary works in penmanship. (Latin manuscriptum, that which is written by the hand.)

Mab The “fairies' midwife”- i.e. employed by the fairies as midwife of dreams (to deliver man's brain of dreams). Thus when Romeo says, “I dreamed a dream to-night,” Mercutio replies, “Oh, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.” Sir Walter Scott follows in the same track: “I have a friend who is peculiarly favoured with the visits of Queen Mab,” meaning with dreams (The Antiquary). When Mab is called “queen,” it does not mean sovereign, for Titania was Oberon's wife, but simply female; both midwives and monthly nurses were anciently called queens or queans. Quen or cwén in Saxon means neither more nor less than woman; so “elf-queen,” and the Danish ellequinde, mean female elf, and not “queen of the elves.” Excellent descriptions of “Mistress Mab” are given by Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, i. 4), by Ben Jonson, by Herrick, and by Drayton in Nymphidea. (Mab, Welsh, a baby.)

MacAlpin It is said that the founder of this famous family was named Halfpenny, and lived in Dublin in the 18th century. Having prospered in business, he called himself Mr. Halpen. The family, still prospering, dropped the H, and added Mac (son of), making MacAlpen; and Kenny MacAlpen called himself Kenneth MacAlpin, the “descendant of a hundred kings.” True or not, the metamorphose is ingenious.

MacFarlane's Geese The proverb is that “MacFarlane's geese like their play better than their meat.” The wild geese of Inch-Tavoe (Loch Lomond) used to be called MacFarlane's Geese because the MacFarlanes had a house and garden on the island. It is said that these geese never returned after the extinction of that house. One day James VI. visited the chieftain, and was highly amused by the gambols of the

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