Clearly there were a lot of divers and they needed help with their wetsuits.
September 9, 2007 4:53 PM   Subscribe

What is meant by the phrase "divers others" at the bottom of this page.
posted by 517 to Education (15 answers total)
The short answer:

Divers = diverse = various.
posted by sueinnyc at 4:56 PM on September 9, 2007

Or maybe not = diverse, though that is how I always thought of it.
posted by sueinnyc at 4:58 PM on September 9, 2007

Yes, divers is how they used to spell diverse. It is amazingly confusing the first time you see it, I relate completely... I don't feel so bad now for reading the same sentence from one of Samuel Pepys' letters (or whatever it was) about 30 times in a row trying to figure out why everyone had suddenly gone diving.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:59 PM on September 9, 2007

Response by poster: That was what I was thinking but I was looking for something more specific. Did it mean indentured servants, women or something else?
posted by 517 at 5:00 PM on September 9, 2007

Perhaps it means diverse other occupations. Maybe many insignificant occupations. To many to mention.
posted by JayRwv at 5:11 PM on September 9, 2007

Coming on the left rather than the right column, I assume it is not talking about occupations but rather people. In other words, there were a bunch of people who were far too "unimportant" to have their names recorded, but we know that the people listed weren't the only ones.

The original redshirts.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:13 PM on September 9, 2007

Ah, I see that the last listing actually takes up both columns. Curses. My answer still makes sense though -- random people, of unknown name AND occupation.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:14 PM on September 9, 2007

Servants, the indentured, apprentices, boys under 14, etc.
posted by orthogonality at 5:28 PM on September 9, 2007

Best answer: I thought divers meant "several."
posted by jayder at 5:40 PM on September 9, 2007

It will cost you a lot of money to find out what each colonist did.
posted by tellurian at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2007

Absolutely; it means everybody other than white men over 21.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on September 9, 2007

(and Boyes)
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on September 9, 2007

Best answer: Sundry is the best synonym I can find. "Many and different" (also from linked entry) isn't bad either.
posted by fogster at 7:41 PM on September 9, 2007

To look at "divers" in other contexts, here are the occurrences in the King James Bible. Just to get a handle on how the word was used 400 years ago.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:10 PM on September 9, 2007

Best answer: It is not the same word as diverse, though they have the same origin in Old French. The OED says:
The spelling was in ME. indifferently divers and diverse. The stress was orig. as in OF. on the last syllable, but in conformity with English habits, was at a very early date shifted to the first, though, as with other words from French, both pronunciations long co-existed, esp. in verse. After 'divers became the established prose form, esp. in sense 3 ["Various, sundry, several; more than one, some number of. Referring originally and in form to the variety of objects; but, as variety implies number, becoming an indefinite numeral word expressing multiplicity, without committing the speaker to ‘many’ or ‘few’."], in which the word is always plural, the final s came, as in plural nouns, to be pronounced as z, and the word to be identical in pronunciation with the plural of diver.
posted by languagehat at 6:52 AM on September 10, 2007

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