Tuesday’s Word of the Week 10-10-2017



-At full gallop; at top speed.

pl. tan·tiv·ies
-A hunting cry.
-A fast, furious gallop; top speed.
-The sound of a hunting horn in imitation of a galloping horse


Rather than face death and the death-fear, in an attempt to flee the unfleeable he had thrown every other consideration to the winds, and ridden tantivy into the unknown.
Ultima Thule

Ten minutes later, everyone was back in their seats and Tom, who had purloined the horn from the long basket attached to the side of the guard’s seat, blew a tantivy into the night and Duncan, muffled from neck to heels in the big coat, set the horses in motion.
The Last Gamble

Is it strange that I became known as the wildest tantivy boy that rode with the King?
The Tavern Knight

He then put his horn to his mouth, and blew such a loud and long tantivy, that the giant awoke, and came towards Jack, roaring like thunder: “You saucy villain, you shall pay dearly for breaking my rest; I will broil you for my breakfast.”
The Fairy Book The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew

Friar John began to paw, neigh, and whinny at the snout’s end, as one ready to leap, or at least to play the ass, and get up and ride tantivy to the devil like a beggar on horseback.
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Illustrated, Book 4

Did You Know?

Tantivy is an adverb as well as a noun that refers to a rapid gallop. Although its precise origin isn’t known, one theory has it that tantivy represents the sound of a galloping horse’s hooves. The noun does double duty as a word meaning “the blare of a trumpet or horn.” This is probably due to confusion with tantara, a word for the sound of a trumpet that came about as an imitation of that sound. Both tantivy and tantara were used during foxhunts; in the heat of the chase, people may have jumbled the two.


The origin of ‘tantivy’ is unknown, but it may come from the sound of a hunting horn or echo the noise of galloping hooves.



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