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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-11-10 18:39
Subject: [words] "Stock and stone"
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Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:curious
Music:the child doing things
Tags:help, language, words, writing
I'm trying to run down the precise sense of the word "stock" in the phrase "stock and stone." I believe it refers to wood, or more generally to plants. My Google fu is failing me this evening. Anybody have a cite?
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Ross E. Lockhart
User: lossrockhart
Date: 2007-11-11 02:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The phrase appears in "The Golden Bird," by the Grimm brothers.

The first definition of "stock" in the OED is "A trunk, a stem." The root is: [Old English stoc(c) = Old Frisian stokk, Old Saxon, Middle, & mod. Dutch stok (German stock, stick), Old Norse stokkr trunk, block, log, from Germanic.]
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-11 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ooh, thanks. So it sounds like my instinct is (roughly) correct.
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.: hhw :.: cat and girl and librarian
User: hhw
Date: 2007-11-11 17:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cat and girl and librarian
The online OED entry (which you can access with your MCPL card #), includes the phrase in one of its usage examples:

1. a. A tree-trunk deprived of its branches; the lower part of a tree-trunk left standing, a stump. Obs. or arch.
In this sense (also in b and c) often associated with stone.

1837 CARLYLE Fr. Rev. II. IV. vii, Over cliffs, over stock and stone.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake: jay-electrode
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-11 03:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:jay-electrode
Wow!!! That's cool as hell, but I'll be snookered if I know what it means...

KJV has:

And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

In context, it seems to be a metaphorical discussion of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, but even granting that interpretation, it doesn't actually do a hell of a lot to unpack the intended sense of the phrase.

It does strongly suggest a Biblical origin for the phrase, regardless of original or later meaning.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-11 03:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, yeah!

(And if one committed adultery with stocks, could you sell shares?)
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Ross E. Lockhart
User: lossrockhart
Date: 2007-11-11 03:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Working with the NRSV (HarperCollins Study Bible) here, but it appears that Jeremiah 3:9 echoes the "stone and tree" of an earlier verse, Jeremiah 2:26-27: "As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed - they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, who say to a tree, 'You are my father' and to a stone, 'You gave me birth.' For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of trouble they say, 'Come and save us!'"

My translation includes the following note: "Tree and stone refer to Canaanite fertility worship. Normally, Asherah (an earth mother goddess) is associated with a tree, while a male deity like Baal is represented by a matzebah (Hebrew term for an upright stone serving as a phallic symbol). Jeremiah sarcastically reverses the sexual imagery."

Edited at 2007-11-11 03:18 am (UTC)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-11 03:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Matzebah is a cool word to have in one's vocabulary, by the way.

Interesting stuff. I find it fascinating that this term can be pejorative, even condemnatory, in this context, and yet become a routine pastoralist reference to nature two centuries later.
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floatingtide
User: floatingtide
Date: 2007-11-11 07:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know why but "The Lightness of her Whoredom" sounds like a jay lake title to me.

Or maybe a pastiche.
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J.K.Richárd
User: neutronjockey
Date: 2007-11-11 03:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You pronouncing that stock or stalk?

:) j/k

The Oxford English Dictionary confirms that stock is 'Applied contemptuously to an idol or a sacred image, chiefly in the phrase stocks and stones = ‘gods of wood and stone’.' The OED gives examples of the expression 'stocks and stones' with dates from AD 1000 to AD 1875.


Circa early 1600s (see subtext at bottom of page)

Cached page from Roget's

(by the way some dude name Jay Lake...well his LJ now pops up as the #1 google for "Stock and Stone".... ;) )

Milton

Dialect of Folk-lore of Northhamptionshire

...and lastly I found a semi-supported cite in the Codex Regius where stock and stone is used in reference to woods and mountain.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-11 04:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Circular self-referentialism is on special this weekend. Just ask yourself for the asking price.

(and thank you)
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timalyne: avocado
User: timalyne
Date: 2007-11-11 04:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:avocado
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/words.html

stock the trunk or stump of a tree; stock and stone inanimate things
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The Green Knight: Words
User: green_knight
Date: 2007-11-11 12:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Words
'Stock' in German means stick - it's a solid piece of wood as in a walking stick, or something you throw for a dog. It's also used to refer to wood in construction, as in 'part of a door frame.'

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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2010-11-11 12:36 (UTC)
Subject: stock and stone
Seke hir suth I sall And nouthir stynt nor stand for stok no stone

This is a quotation from the fifteenth century Scottish poet Robert Henryson: he is talking about the determination of Orpheus not to give up seeking Euridice for anything: the 'stok no stone' means 'neither stock nor stone'. The stock refers to the basic trunk of a tree so stock and stone refers to wood and rock - the essential elements, what is most basic in life, he won't give up for anything - I hope that helps. I am Marace Dareau and was for many years the Editorial Director of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (www.dsl.ac.uk). I am now Principal Editor of the new edition of the Concise Scots Dictionary which is in preparation.
I was looking for 'stock and stone' in an English source and had so far failed to find it in the Oxford English Dictionary in either entry, stock or stone - but I came across your request!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-11-11 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: Re: stock and stone
Well, thank you. I've seen the phrase used in English, primarily as a deliberate archaicism in fantasy fiction. (Which, I believe, is what I was using it as when I went looking for the deeper sense.)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2010-11-30 15:14 (UTC)
Subject: Re: stock and stone
I was just looking for this myself. "Stock and stone"... were markers indicating sacred or political meeting places, border crossings and the like.

Somewhere towards the end of the Lord of the Rings Treebeard uses the phrase in speaking with one of the Eldest of the Elves... contextually, I think he was saying "You guys never go to church unless you have a problem." Also with Gandalf: "Wood and water, stock and stone I can manage, but there is a wizard to deal with here." which, I think, means "I can do rural and urban combat, but YOU get the magic stuff, boffin."
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