A glasse or two of wine extraordinarie

< Previous | Next >

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi,

I'm translating a quote by Nicholas L'Estrange (1661–1724). It goes like this,
"A glasse or two of wine extraordinarie would make a man praise God with much alacritie."

This is Early Modern English, but easy to understand. My question is about "wine extraordinarie." It's "extraordinary wine," right? Was it a rule then to have the adjective after the noun?

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    In English, the adjective almost always precedes the noun. So in ordinary speech we would say "a glass or two of extraordinary wine." But we can mess with word order almost as much as we want, particularly in poetry or other super-formalized kinds of speech and writing. This quote has two rhyming alexandrines, so my guess is that L'Estrange inverted noun and adjective so that the ends of the two alexandrines would rhyme (extraordinary / alacrity).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    This "French" form of "extraordinary" is still sometimes used after the noun so this sentence is not that strange in modern English other than the spelling.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    extraordinaire
    : extraordinary —used postpositively <a chef extraordinaire>
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Myridon - the word isn't "extraordinaire," it's "extraordinarie​," i.e. the archaic spelling of "-y" as "-ie."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The French order was used particularly with French words (durance vile, court martial, attorney general survive as standing phrases); and it may have been especially favoured with this word by thinking of it as a preposition phrase 'out of the ordinary'.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Right, etb, you have a good point there regarding "out of the ordinary."
    Also, I didn't know that the French style of adjective after noun (which has a lot of exceptions) was used with French words in particular! Thank you for the info.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I'm translating a quote by Nicholas L'Estrange (1661–1724). It goes like this,
    "A glasse or two of wine extraordinarie would make a man praise God with much alacritie."
    The author of this is not Nicholas L'Estrange, 4th baronet (died 1724), but his grandfather Nicholas L'Estrange, 1st baronet (died 1655). It is from his booklet "Merry passages and jeasts".
     
    Last edited:

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    The author of this is not Nicholas L'Estrange, 4th baronet (died 1724), but his grandfather Nicholas L'Estrange, 1st baronet (died 1655). It is from his booklet "Merry passages and jeasts".
    Really? I got the quote and info from a great book of wine quotes, wonderfully edited (or so it seemed). Thank you so much fdb!
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    The book was published for the first time in Salzburg 1974 (it had previously been considered too "coarse"). You can find your quotation on page 60 of the edition.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    There is also the influence of the French language, which was great at that time. The French adjective usually follows the noun, as in 'vin ordinaire' ('ordinary' table wine).
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    But there's no French word here, and there's no need to appeal to French when we have a perfectly English answer available: to fit rhyme and meter, nouns and adjectives can be inverted in English.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Just to explain: my post somehow got delayed, I answered well before most of the other posts. I only mentioned the influence of French. I accept all the other good points.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi Elwintee, a lot of words have French roots, and the look of English at the time does point to French. But going back to adjective order, I sort of thought it went like this, the French way, at the time but then realized I never knew that for sure. Etb suggests it was true only in certain instances, but now I'm not clear on whether he was actually talking about the past or the present (as in "court martial").
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top