Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Masonic Word Riddle (Emulation Ritual)

'Hill' photo (c) 2006, Kevin Saff - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/I am a humble word.
I appear twice in the first degree.
Twice in the second.
Thrice in the third.
Can you find me?

Scroll down for the answer!


The word "Whence"
whence   [hwens, wens]
1.      from what place?: Whence comest thou?
2.      from what source, origin, or cause?: Whence has he wisdom?
3.      from what place, source, cause, etc.: He told whence he came.


It is derived from Middle English which is the English that was common roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century.
whennes, from earlier whenne (from Old English hwanon, of Germanic origin) + -s3 (later respelled -ce to denote the unvoiced sound)

'Castle Front' photo (c) 2010, Ben Becker - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Usage note 
This word is used in very formal settings and sometimes criticized as redundant on the grounds that “from” is implied by the word whence, but overall, it is considered well established, and standard. 

Here are some examples of how its has been used by some famous authors: 

  • The King James Bible: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."
  • Shakespeare: "Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?"
  • Dryden: "Whence but from heaven, could men unskilled in arts In different nations born, in different parts, Weave such agreeing truths ? Or how, or why, Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie ?"
  • Dickens: "whence, on further tracing it, it seemed to shine."