Times Subs!

We may be tiring of tales about the outraged shock and awe of us non-key workers mewed at home with family, wifi and slightly restricted shopping opportunities.

Mewed? Some derivation of, or neologism building upon, mewling and puling? Would be fun it if were but rather more likely a typo for immured, no?

(Spotter, Chris M)

17 thoughts on “Times Subs!”

  1. What TMB said. Dryden, 1693: “Close mew’d in their Sedans, for fear of air.” G. Pettie, 1581: “You cannot goe to visite the sicke..if you remaine alwaies mewed vp.” Ignorance is strength, eh, Tim?

  2. Sorry Tim, but wasn’t it “mewling and puking”?
    Wm. Spokeshave, “Seven ages of man”.

  3. It’s hawks, Tim, that get mewed up in a mews. Of course they’re hooded and tethered, too, for extra confinement.

  4. View rom the Solent

    Tim,
    As you spotted this, I guess that you are a regular reader of The Times. Haven’t you noticed that most (every?) week one of the columnists slips in a word that is either not in common use or whose meaning has changed over the centuries.
    And on Saturday there’s a columnist (can’t remember her name – she’s on the page after the Editorial) part of whose job seems to be commenting on the fallout.

  5. “As I am subtle, false and treacherous this day shall Clarence be closely mewed up”

    Dick 3–Rocco Siffredi wasn’t it?

  6. ‘mewed’in the sense of ‘confined’ is archaic (from falconry, apparently), and normally occurs in the form of ‘mewed up’. I bet nobody (even among the erudite types on this blog, in whose ranks I modestly include myself) was already aware of this non-feline meaning of ‘mewed’. If it was really intentional, and not a misprint for ‘immured’ (or the poetic form ‘mured’), then it’s an unusual lapse from journalistic clarity for Libby, whose writing I admire.

  7. “I bet nobody (even among the erudite types on this blog, in whose ranks I modestly include myself) was already aware of this non-feline meaning of ‘mewed’.”.

    Hey, I didn’t read ‘H Is For Hawk’ for nothing!

  8. It’s where ‘mews’ as in a close collection of buildings comes from, originally from stable buildings, previously from falkconry buildings – small and close-collected.

  9. Given that it’s Libby Purves I am quite prepared to believe that she meant this and knows exactly what it means.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Chris,

    If it was really intentional, and not a misprint for ‘immured’ (or the poetic form ‘mured’), then it’s an unusual lapse from journalistic clarity for Libby, whose writing I admire.

    She used to have a gig with one of the sailing magazines (might still, I haven’t checked recently) and I always used to enjoy her column.

  11. Libby kindly replied to my comment at The Times (kudos to the many Times writers who take the trouble to do this), and said it was done deliberately because she likes the word. I congratulated her on sneaking it past the subs.

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