yed in the game. Shall we view nick as allied to the E. v. signifying 'to touch luckily'?"
Now, there is no such seeming derivation in the first part of the word. The Neive, though employed in the game, is not the object addressed. It is held out to him who is to guess--the conjuror--and it is he who is addressed, and under a conjuring name. In short (to hazard a wide conjecture, it may be), he is invoked in the person of NIC NEVILLE (Neivie Nic), a sorcerer in the days of James VI., who was burnt at St. Andrew's in 1569. If I am right, a curious testimony is furnished to his quondam popularity among the common people:
"From that he past to Sanctandrois, where a notable sorceres callit Nic Neville was condamnit to the death and brynt," &c. &c.--The Historie and Life of King Jame the Sext, p. 40. Edin. 1825. Bannatyne Club Ed.
J. D. N. N.
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