M

This letter represents the wavy appearance of water, and is called in Hebrew mem (water).

M

Every word in the Materia more Magistralis begins with the letter m. (See C and P.)

M

(initial of manslaughter). The brand of a person convicted of that offence, and admitted to the benefit of clergy. It was burnt on the brawn of the left thumb.

M

in numerals is the initial of mille, a thousand.

“Whosoever prayeth for the soul of John Gower be shall, so oft as he so doth, have a M and a D days of pardon” —Gower's Tablet.

M

to represent the human face. Add two dots for the eyes, thus, `M'. These dots being equal to O's, we get OMO (homo) Latin for man.

Who reads the name,
For man upon his forehead, there the M
Had traced most plainly.

Dante: Purgatory, xxiii.

M

The five M's: Mansa, Matsya, Madya, Maithuna, and Mudra (flesh, fish, wine, women, and gesticulation). The five forms of Hindu asceticism.

M'

i.e. Mac. A Gaelic prefix meaning son. (Gothic, magus, a son; Sanskrit, mah, to grow; Welsh, magu, to breed.) The Welsh ap is Mac changed to Map, and contracted into 'ap or 'p, as Apadam ('Ap Adam), Prichard ('P Richard).

M

or N in the Catechism. M is a contraction of NN (names); N is for name. The respondent is required to give his names if he has more than one, or his name if only one.

In the marriage service, M stands for mas (the man) or maritus (the bridegroom), and N for nupia (the bride).

There are some who think M stands for Mary, the patron saint of girls, and N for Nicholas, the patron saint of boys.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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