THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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FORTY, the cardinal number equal to four tens. The word is derived from the O. Eng. feówertig, a combination of feówer, four, and tig, an old form of “ten,” used as a suffix, cf. Icel. tiu, Dan. ti, ten, and Ger. vierzig, forty. The name “The Forty” has been given to various bodies composed of that number of members, particularly to a judicial body in ancient Athens, who tried small cases in the rural districts, and to a court of criminal jurisdiction and two civil appeal courts in the Venetian republic. The French Academy (see Academies) has also been known as “The Forty” or “The Forty Immortals.” The period just before the repeal of the corn laws in the United Kingdom is frequently alluded to, particularly by the free trade school, as the “hungry forties”; and the “roaring forties” is a sailor’s name for the stormy region between the 40th and 50th latitudes N. and S., but more particularly applied to the portion of the north Atlantic lying between those latitudes.
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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