Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 11:33:11 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: The skinny on PROVE, thanks to my colleague Carl Berkhout Thanks very much, Rudy (and indirectly Carl). I didn't know that, and was in fact like probably most of us operating in effect with a second-order folk- etymology, as with the classic cases of "Welsh rarebit" (which really was originally "Welsh rabbit") or "journey-cake" (which really was something closer to Johnny-cake) or, I would argue, "spit and image" (which, if not from "spittin' image", was as far as I can tell originated as "spitten [past part.] image"). On the same subject, Carl B's reference to "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" as an instance in which proof/prove really DOES refer to 'test' rather than 'demonstrate' reminds me of the curious variant of this expression: "the proof is in the pudding". This illustrates a kind of loss of transparency also found in "happy as a clam" (originally, if the standard references are correct [and I'm beginning to wonder!], < "happy as a clam at high tide"). I'm sure someone is going to produce evidence that it really WAS "happy as a clam", with evidence from Sanskrit. But if not, can anyone think of other opacified proverbs like "the proof is in the pudding" or expressions like "happy as a clam"? Larry