Posted by James Briggs on February 01, 2011 at 11:56
In Reply to: Fixed a bound posted by Alexandra on February 01, 2011 at 08:58:
: What does 'fixed a bound' mean? And what are its origins?
: I have come across it in Wordsworth's "The Danish King"
: 'He (god) rules the roaring sea, And fixed a bound it should not pass By his divine decree'
: It is also in Augustine's confessions Book II 'Oh for one to have regulated my disorder, and turned to my profit the fleeting beauties of the things around me, and fixed a bound to their sweetness, so that the tides of my youth might have spent themselves upon the conjugal shore,'
: It is seemingly some archaic turn of phrase, but my library is not giving me any answers... Can you help?
Here's what my Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology says in one of its entries for Bound.
"Bound: landmark xii; boundary; pl. territory; limit of action xiv. - AN. bounde, OF. bun(n)e, bunde, bonde, earlier bodne :- medL. bodina, earlier butina, of unkn. orig. Cf. BOURN'. Hence bound vb. limit xiv; form the boundary of xvii. boundless xvi."