Y to Yellowhammer
Y A letter resembling y was the Anglo-Saxon character for th (hard); hence etc., are sometimes made to stand for the, that, this.
Y See Samian Letter .
Yacoub ebn Laith surnamed al Soffar (the brazier), because his father followed that trade in Seistan, was captain of a bandit troop, raised himself to the sovereignty of Persia, and was the first independent monarch of that country of the Mahometan faith. (873-875.)
Yacu-mama [mother of waters ]. A fabulous sea-snake, fifty paces long and twelve yards in girth, said to lurk in the lagunes of South America, and in the river Amazon. This monster draws into its mouth whatever passes within a hundred yards of it, and for this reason an Indian will never venture to enter an unknown lagune till he has blown his horn, which the yacu-mama never fails to answer if it is within hearing. By this means the danger apprehended is avoided. (Watcrton.)
Yahoo A savage; a very ill-mannered person. In Gulliver's Travels the Yahoos are described as brutes with human forms and vicious propensities. They are subject to the Houyhnhnms, or horses with human reason.
Yama Judge of departed souls, the Minos of the Hindus. He is represented as of a green colour, and sits on a buffalo.
Yamuna A sacred river of the Hindus, supposed by them to have the efficacy of removing sin.
Yankee A corruption of English. The word got into general use thus: In 1713 one Jonathan Hastings,
a farmer at Cambridge, in New York, used the word as a puffing epithet, meaning genuine, American-
made, what cannot be surpassed, etc.; as, a Yankee horse, Yankee cider, and so on. The students of
the college, catching up the term, called Hastings Yankee Jonathan. It soon spread, and became the
jocose pet name of the New Englander. Since then the term has been extended to any American of the
Northern States. (Indian corruption of Anglais or English, thus: Yengees, Yenghis, Yanghis, Yankees.)
Nankee Doodle came to town upon his little pony,The brigade under Lord Percy marched out of Boston playing this air by way of contempt, but were told they should dance to it soon in another spirit.
Yarmouth Bloater A red herring, for which Yarmouth is very famous. (Lex Balatronicum.)
Yarmouth Capons Red herrings.
Yawn Greek, chaino; German, gahnen; Anglo-Saxon, gan-ian.
Yea, Yes Yea and nay are in answer to questions framed in the affirmative; as, Art thou a prophet? Yea or nay. Yes and no to questions framed in the negative; as, Art thou not a prophet? Yes or no. (George P. Marsh: Lectures on the English Language.) (See his note on the celebrated passage of Sir Thomas More, who rebukes Tyndale for using no instead of nay, p. 422.)
Year Annus magnus. The Chaldaic astronomers observed that the fixed stars shift their places at about
the rate of a degree in seventy-two years, according to which calculation they will perform one revolution
in 25,920 years, at the end of which time they will return to their as you were. This revolution of the
fixed stars is the annus magnus. The Egyptians made it 30,000 years, and the Arabians 49,000. (See
Abulhasan's Meadows of Gold.)
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