Reply To: Meaning of the word ‘Gise’

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Frank Scott

    The On-line Oxford English Dictionary (OED) shows ‘Gese’ as a verb that refers to to the grazing of cattle – obviously no connection with your quotation. However, chasing a few other lines it does seem possible that it is a another variant spelling for ‘joist’. From the OED:
    JOIST, noun (1): Forms: . 4 gieste, 4-6 gyste, geste, gyest, 5-6 giste, (5 gyyst), 6 geist, gyst, 6-7 geast (e, 7 geest) 7-8 gise (pl. gises, gise, 7 jyce). 5-6 iest(e, 6- 7 ieast, 7 Sc. jest, jeist. . 5-6 ioyste, 6-7 ioyst, 7 ioist, 7-8 joyst, 7- joist. . 6 ioyse (ioysse), 6-7 ioise, ioyce, 7 ioice (iuice), joyse, 7-8 joyce (pl. joyces, joyce), 8 joice. [ME. giste, gyste, a. OF. giste, one of the beams supporting a bridge, in mod.F. gîte one of the small beams supporting a platform for artillery, a bed of mineral, etc., f. OF. gesir (mod.F. gésir):L. jacre to lie.

    The later form joist has parallels in HOISE, HOIST, FOIST n.3, and JOIST n.2 These developments of ‘oi’ from ‘i’ are of earlier date than the interchange of (a) and () in boil, bile, etc., and their phonetic history is as yet obscure.

    1. One of the timbers on which the boards of a floor or the laths of a ceiling are nailed, and which themselves stand on edge parallel to each other stretching horizontally from wall to wall, or resting on supporting beams or girders; also, A timber which similarly supports the floor of a platform, a bridge, or other structure.
    In a large floor the main joists (binding joists) are sometimes more widely apart, and are crossed by smaller bridging joists which bear the boards of the floor; in such a case there may be light joists beneath to bear the laths (ceiling joists).