Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 708 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUAGMIRE, a bog or marsh, a piece of ground so saturated with water that it cannot support any weight. The word is composed of " quag " or " quake " (O.E. cwacian; cf. " quaver," " quiver ") and " mire, " mud (Icel. myri, Swed. myr). Skeat suggests that quag may be connected with the root seen in " quick," and quotes (Etym. Dict. 1898) Piers Plowman, c. xxi. 64, of an earthquake, the earth " quook as it quyke were," i.e. shook as if it were alive.traced to the Highlands; it was not until the end of the 17th century that they became popular in such large centres as Edinburgh and Glasgow. The silversmiths of such local gilds as Inverness and Perth frequently mounted them in silver, as may be seen from the hall-marks on the existing examples. They are found, of silver and pewter, in use as communion cups in various parts of Scotland; four, with the Edinburgh hall-mark for 1722, belong to Ayr parish church; and a large one with the same hall-mark for 1663–1684 is used as an alms-dish at Alvah, Banffshire. The loving cup at Donaldson's hospital, Edinburgh, is a large silver .quaich, with the Edinburgh stamp for 1724, which belonged to the founder of that hospital. The finest collection of these vessels is in the possession of the marquess of Breadalbane. (E. A. J.)
End of Article: QUAGMIRE

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