Title Background

Middle English Cammede ‘Bowlegged’ in Swarte Smekyd Smethes.

Middle English Cammede ‘Bowlegged’ in Swarte Smekyd Smethes.

Cammede in line 5 of the early fourteenth-century alliterative satire on smiths is most likely of Welsh origin (cam, “bowlegged”) and does not derive from camus, “snub-nosed”. Welsh cam is a cognate of Greek skambos, “bandy-legged”; as such it accords well with the practical reality of a strong, lame man, handicapped for farming, becoming a smith.

Volume

N&Q 239 (1994): 148-50.

Author

Breeze, Andrew.