LAY , a word of several meanings . Apart from obsolete and dialectical usages, such as theEast Anglian word meaning " pond," possibly cognate with
See also:Lat. laces,
See also:pool or lake, or its use in
See also:weaving for the batten of a
See also:loom, where it is a variant
See also:form of "
See also:lath," the chief uses are as follows: (I) A
See also:song or, more accurately, a
See also:short poem, lyrical or narrative, which could be sung or accompanied by
See also:music; such were the romances sung by minstrels . Such an expression as the " Lay of the Nibelungen " is due to mistaken association of the word with Ger . Lied, song, which appears in Anglo-Saxon as MO . " Lay " comes from O . Fr. lai, of which the derivation is doubtful . The New
See also:Dictionary rejects
See also:Celtic origins sometimes put forward, such as Ir. laoidh, Welsh llais, and takes O .
See also:Mid. and High Ger. leich as the probable source . (2) " Non-clerical " or " unlearned." In this sense " lay " comes directly from Fr. lai (laique, the learned form nearer to the Latin, is now used) from Lat. laicos, Gr . XaIK6s, of or belonging to the
See also:people (Xahs,
See also:Attic AeWS) . The word is now specially applied to persons who are not in orders, and more widely to those who do not belong to other learned professions, particularly the
See also:law and
See also:medicine . The New English Dictionary quotes two examples from versions of the Bible .
See also:Douai version of 1 Sam. xxi . 4, Ahimelech tells
See also:David that he has " no lay
See also:bread at
See also:hand but only
See also:holy bread "; here the Authorized Version has "
See also:common bread," the Vulgate laicos panes . In
See also:Coverdale's version of Acts iv . 13, the high
See also:priest and his kindred marvel at
See also:Peter and
See also:John as being " unlearned and lay people "; the Authorized Version has " unlearned and ignorant men." In a
See also:cathedral of the
See also:Church of England " lay clerks " and " lay vicars " sing such portions of the service as may be performed by laymen and
See also:clergy in minor orders . " Lay readers " are persons who are granted a commission by the
See also:bishop to perform certain religious duties in a particular
See also:parish . The commission remains in force until it is revoked by the bishop or his successors, or till there is a new incumbent in the parish, when it has to be renewed . In a religious
See also:order a " lay
See also:brother " is freed from duties at religious services performed by the other members, and from their studies, but is bound by vows of obedience and chastity and serves the order by
See also:manual labour . For " lay impropriator " see APPROPRIATION, and for " lay rector " see RECTOR and
See also:TITHES; see further LAYMEN, HOUSES OF . (3) " Lay " as a verb means " to make to lie down," " to place upon the ground," &c . The past tense is " laid "; it is vulgarly confused with the verb " to lie," of which the past is " lay." The common
See also:root of both " lie " and " lay " is represented by O . Teut.
See also:leg; cf . Dutch leggen, Ger. legen, and Eng .
" ledge."' (4) " Lay-figure " is the name commonly given to articulated figures of human beings or animals, made of
See also:papier-mache or other materials; draped and posed, such figures serve as
See also:models for artists (see MODELS, ARTISTS) . The word has no connexion with " to lay," to place in position, but is an adaptation of the word layman," commonly used with this meaning in the 18th century . This was adapted from Dutch leeman (the older form is ledenman) and meant an " articulated or jointed man " from led, now lid, a joint; cf . Ger . Gliedermann .
SIR WILFRID LAWSON
JEAN LOUIS LAYA (1761-1833)
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