20 June 2017

Old Harry Rocks

"Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England. They mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 There are various stories about the naming of the rocks. One legend says that the Devil (traditionally known euphemistically as "Old Harry") had a sleep on the rocks. Another local legend says that the rocks were named after Harry Paye, the infamous Poole pirate, whose ship hid behind the rocks awaiting passing merchantmen.[3] Yet another tale has it that a ninth-century Viking raid was thwarted by a storm, and that one of the drowned, Earl Harold, was turned into a pillar of chalk."
But why is the Devil called "Old Harry"?

Photo credit in the watermark.

1 comment:

  1. Etymology: There are several explanations, but here are two from the reliable sources.

    1) Henry VIII has been said to be the original ‘Old Harry’ or ‘Lord Harry,’ for his cruel deeds caused his people to regard him as the Devil incarnate.—American Notes and Queries, Vol. 3, page 16; also Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang

    2) Probably from the personal name but perhaps with some allusion to the word ‘harry,’ meaning to plunder, harass, lay waste, [[torment]] from which comes the old ‘harrow,’ as in the title of the 13th century mystery play, the Harrowing of Hell. (Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable)

    My source for this was wordwizard.com. I felt it important to add my source since I didn't use any when writing my article about Iran you posted earlier.


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