> Have you looked up "tra�tre" itself?
I hadn't, and thanks for doing so.
> "Traistre(sse)" is attested much later (1700's), I guess under the
> influence of "maistre(sse)" where the -s- is etymological (and was probably
> not pronounced at the time).
This reminds me of a joke about an English student in France many years
ago, whose hostess complimented him on the sharpness of his trouser-crease
(presumably knowing that students could not afford to have their clothes
ironed by professionals). He replied that he kept his trousers "sous
ma ma�tresse", by which he merely meant "under my mattress"!
Which leads in turn to the purely anglophone jest "A mistress is something
between a mister and a mattress."
John Cowan http://ccil.org/~cowan co...@ccil.org
We want more school houses and less jails; more books and less arsenals;
more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more
leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of
the opportunities to cultivate our better natures. --Samuel Gompers