Measure One's Length on the Ground to Meissonier-like Exactness
Measure One's Length on the Ground (To). To fall flat on the ground; to be knocked down.
If you will measure your lubber's length, tarry.- Shakespeare: King Lear, i. 4.
Measure Other People's Corn To measure other people's corn by one's own bushel. To judge of others by oneself. In French, Mesurer les autres à son aune; in Latin, Alios suo modulo metiri.
Meat, Bread These words tell a tale; both mean food in general. The Italians and Asiatics eat little animal
food, and with them the word bread stands for food; so also with the poor, whose chief diet it is; but
the English consume meat very plentifully, and this word, which simply means food, almost exclusively
implies animal food. In the banquet given to Joseph's brethren, the viceroy commanded the servants
to set on bread (Genesis xliii. 3l). In Psalm civ. 27 it is said of fishes, creeping things, and crocodiles,
that God giveth them their meat in due season.
Mec (French). Slang for king, governor, master; méquard, a commander; méquer, to command. All these are derived from the fourbesque word maggio, which signifies God, king, pope, doctor, seigneur, and so on, being the Latin major. (There are the Hebrew words melech and melchi also.)
Mecca's Three Idols Lata, Aloza, and Menat, all of which Mahomet overthrew.
Meche (French). Il y a mèche, the same as Il y a moyen; so the negative Il n'y a pas mèche (there
is no possibility). The Dictionnaire du Bas-langage says:
Dans le langage typographique, lorsque des ouvriers viennent proposer leurs services dans quelque imprimerie, ils demandent s'il y a mèche- i.e. si l'on peut les occuper. Les compositeurs demandent `s'il y a mèche pour la casse,' et les pressiers demandent `sil y a mèche pour la presse.' - Vol. ii. p. 122.
Soit mis dedans ceste caverneMedamothi (Greek, never in any place). The island at which the fleet of Pantagruel landed on the fourth day of their voyage, and where they bought many choice curiosities, such as the picture of a man's voice, echo drawn to life, Plato's ideas, the atoms of Epicuros, a sample of Philomela's needlework, and other objects of vertu which could be obtained in no other portion of the globe. (Rabelais: Pantagruel, iv. 3.)
Medard (St.). Master of the rain. St. Médard was the founder of the rose-prize of Salency in reward of
merit. The legend says, he was one day passing over a large plain, when a sudden shower fell, which
wetted everyone to the skin except himself. He remained dry as a toast, for an eagle had kindly spread
his wings for an umbrella over him, and ever after he was termed maître de la pluie.
Sil pleut le jour de S. Médard [8th June]Mede'a A sorceress, daughter of the King of Colchis. She married Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, whom she aided to obtain the golden fleece.
Medea's Kettle or Caldron, to boil the old into youth again. Medea, the sorceress, cut an old ram to
pieces, and, throwing the pieces into her caldron, the old ram came forth a young lamb. The daughters
of Pelias thought to restore their father to youth in the same way; but Medea refused to utter the magic
words, and the old man ceased to live.
Get thee Medea's kettle and be boiled anew.- Congreve. Love for Love, iv.Medham [the keen ]. One of Mahomet's swords, taken from the Jews when they were exiled from Medina. (See Swords .)
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