Tuesday 15 March 2011

The Mark of Smith

Cain, as in Cain and Abel, means smith. So the second man on earth was Mr Smith.

It rather changes the feel of the thing, when the murderer has a common-or-garden name like that. The Mark of Smith, doesn't sound quite as harrowing. Raising Smith seems quite a civilised upbringing.

Incidentally, Cain had a yellow beard, symbolic of his villainy. It's mentioned in The Merry Wives of Windsor:

MISTRESS QUICKLY Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?

SIMPLE No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.

It should be noted that the Hebrew q-y-n could mean Smith, and could also mean he who was created. I am following Sir James Frazer here, which I rarely do.

As Jack Charlton asked when told to play in goal for England: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

An all-too-common scene

1 comment:

  1. Why not continue with Abel being an Assyrian name meaning meadow and we have an early report of the civilized folk killing off the pastoralists.