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    #1

    An explanation on the word "Newelty"

    Hello,


    By these days I'm managing a study on the literature of the 1700s, particularly I'm reading a work of Samuel Richardson and I've ran into a word, the only one until now, that I can't find in any dictionary. To say the truth I've found it, but the definition doesn't correspond to the context. Rather I think this word is either a mispronunciation of the author, as he demonstrated in some other case (i.e. with the verb 'to show' that he wrote to shew, shewn, shewn that it seems an influence of Dutch language) or some kind of archaism.
    The word in question is NEWELTY, I write you the whole sentence: "He believed he kept no particular mistress; for he had heard newelty, that was the man's word, was every thing with him".
    Is it possible which this word stands for "novelty"? I even don't know if it is a noun or an adverb.


    Thank you very much

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    re: An explanation on the word "Newelty"

    Quote Originally Posted by NovalisNova View Post
    Hello,

    By These days/At the moment, I'm managing a study on studying the literature of the 1700s. particularly I'm currently reading a work of by Samuel Richardson and I've ran run into a word, the only one until now, that I can't find in any dictionary. To say tell the truth/To be honest, I've found it, but the definition doesn't correspond to the context. Rather I think this word is either a mispronunciation of the author, as he demonstrated in some other case (i.e. with the verb 'to show' that he wrote to shew, shewn, shewn that it seems an influence of Dutch language) or some kind of archaism.

    The word in question is NEWELTY. I write you Here is the whole sentence: "He believed he kept no particular mistress; for he had heard newelty, that was the man's word, was every thing with him".

    Is it possible which this word stands for "novelty"? I even don't even know if it is a noun or an adverb.

    Thank you very much.
    According to this link, it is a dialect version of "novelty". I think it is used as a noun. I think the meaning of the whole thing is "He believed that he did not just have one mistress, he had more than one. He had heard that the man liked novelty". Ignoring the morals or ethics of the whole thing, having one mistress presumably becomes rather boring. Having more than one mistress keeps the interest and the excitement going and presumably each time he gets a new mistress, he experiences new things and new feelings. In this way, he fulfils his liking for novelty.

    You have to bear in mind that you are reading pieces from the 1700s. Spellings have changed a lot and become more standardised. "Shew" would have been a perfectly acceptable and understandable word in those days. See here.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #3

    re: An explanation on the word "Newelty"

    Thank you very much for the answer and not less for the revisions! Your contextual analysis and interpretation are very illuminating.
    Have a nice day!
    Last edited by NovalisNova; 12-Jan-2014 at 21:57.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: An explanation on the word "Newelty"

    Quote Originally Posted by NovalisNova View Post
    Hello,


    By these days I'm managing a study on the literature of the 1700s, particularly I'm reading a work of Samuel Richardson and I've ran into a word, the only one until now, that I can't find in any dictionary. To say the truth I've found it, but the definition doesn't correspond to the context. Rather I think this word is either a mispronunciation of the author, as he demonstrated in some other case (i.e. with the verb 'to show' that he wrote to shew, shewn, shewn that it seems an influence of Dutch language) or some kind of archaism.
    The word in question is NEWELTY, I write you the whole sentence: "He believed he kept no particular mistress; for he had heard newelty, that was the man's word, was every thing with him".
    Is it possible which this word stands for "novelty"? I even don't know if it is a noun or an adverb.


    Thank you very much
    The word "newelty" may have arisen as a portmanteau word, a word formed from parts of two words to form a word with a combined meaning.

    Examples of more common portmanteau words are "brunch" (breakfast + lunch), "motel" (motor + hotel), "smog" (smoke + fog). "Newelty" appears to be a combination of "new" and "novelty". Portmanteau words are created frequently. Some last and some don't. In politics today, we have "affluenza" (affluence + influenza) and "gundamentalist" (gun + fundamentalist"). Advertising creates many of them. One rather recent invention is "Travelocity" (travel + velocity).

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    #5

    Re: An explanation on the word "Newelty"

    Thank you for the insights, Mike, I've found them very interesting. And thank you all, you are very gentle.

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