is the Arabic al manac (the diary). Verstegen says it is
the Saxon al-mon-aght (all moon heed), and that it refers to
the tallies of the full and new moons kept by our Saxon ancestors. One
of these tallies may still be seen at St. John's College, Cambridge.
Before printing, or before it was common:
Solomon Jarchi in and after 1150
Peter de Dacia about 1300
Walter de Elvendene 1327
John Somers, Oxford 1380!!
Nicholas de Lynna 1386
First printed by Gutenberg, at Mentz 1457
By Regiomontanus, at Nuremberg 1472–3
Zainer, at Ulm 1478
Richard Pynson (Sheapeheard's Kalendar) 1497!!
Stöffer, in Venice 1499
Poor Robin's Almanack 1652
Francis Moore's Almanack
between 1698 and 1713
Stamp duty imposed 1710, repealed 1834.
The Man i' the Almanac stuck with pins
(Nat. Lee), is a man marked with points referring to signs of the
zodiac, and intended to indicate the favourable and unfavourable times
of letting blood.
I shan't consult your almanac
(French), I shall not come to you to know what weather to expect.
reference is to the prognostications of weather in almanacs.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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