- hearse:  The ancestor of hearse seems to have been a word in an ancient Italic language meaning ‘wolf’ – Oscan hirpus. The salient feature of wolves being their teeth, the Romans took the word over as hirpex and used it for a ‘large rake, of the sort used for breaking up fields’. It passed via Vulgar Latin *herpica into Old French as herse, and by now had moved another semantic step further away from its original sense ‘wolf’, for, since agricultural harrows in those times were typically toothed triangular frames, the word herse was applied to a triangular frame for holding candles, as used in a church, and particularly as placed over a coffin at funeral services.
This was its meaning when English acquired it, and it only gradually developed via ‘canopy placed over a coffin’ and ‘coffin, bier’ to the modern sense ‘funeral carriage’ (first recorded in the mid-17th century).
- hearse (n.)
- c. 1300 (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), "flat framework for candles, hung over a coffin," from Old French herse, formerly herce "large rake for breaking up soil, harrow; portcullis," also "large chandelier in a church," from Medieval Latin hercia, from Latin hirpicem (nominative hirpex) "harrow," a rustic word, from Oscan hirpus "wolf," supposedly in allusion to its teeth. Or the Oscan word may be related to Latin hirsutus "shaggy, bristly."
The funeral display is so called because it resembled a harrow (hearse in its sense of "portcullis" is not attested in English before 15c.). Sense extended to other temporary frameworks built over dead people, then to "vehicle for carrying a dead person to the grave," a sense first recorded 1640s. For spelling, see head (n.).
- 1. And then Captain Charles sings, "Don't ever laugh when a hearse goes by or you will be the next to die."
- 2. The boy remained as dismal as a hearse.
来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
- 3. It was a big black battered hearse -- like automobile . There were three men in it.
- 那是一辆破旧不堪的黑色大车,活象一辆柩车. 车里坐着三个人.
- 4. I need a hearse at Vera Smith's house.
- 5. Until after hearing hearse to go, just sleep again.
- 直到听到灵车走了以后, 才又睡下.
[ hearse 造句 ]