June 4, 2023

“NOT WHETTED.. BLUNTED.. rendered permanently blunt” will be the direct translation of our topic or title today.
BECAUSE OF THE Eg NEG (Negative) marker, the first expression Eg nai obol is ‘universal’ – meaning all speakers of Nabaloi use it – there is no alternate or substitutable term for it.. unlike engirel.
ENGIREL, HOWEVER CAN be rendered variantly as: engurel, angurel, angurul; even ehdohbeg. All of the three aforecited term-expressions (cf- title) are physical descriptions of an implement, first sharp at edge or tip, then made not-sharp, blunted, etc., e.g. an arrow, a spear tip, an ax, a bolo.. or big knife.
IT IS THIS big knife (or bolo) which is often described in ‘these Heights’ as either: eg nai obol, engirel, or ehdohbeg – when seen, held, or worn (sideways) by the owner.. and noticed or commented upon by the observer, who says:
EG NAI OBOL ita ettak mo, singa ettak ni esarot! (Tran1sl. “not whetted is your bolo, it is like the bolo of a lazy one!”).
IN THIS CONTEXT, the speaker is as if saying: but it can be whetted; it is not hopeless, [Ergo] it can be made sharp again!” Or,
ENGIREL MA ITA ettak mo, ayshi ma itan! (Transl. “Blunted already is your bolo, not [a bolo] it is now!”).
WHAT CAN BE deduced as meant, in the utterance are e.g. “Your bolo is not possible to use anymore, because it has been blunted!” or, “Discard your big knife, [look at it] it’s unwhettable!” Or, even, “Your bolo cannot be honed anymore for effective use!”, and so on.
EHDOHBEG MA ITA ettak mo, itdom ma para am-am! (Transl. “Severely blunted already is your big knife, keep it now (in a safe place), that’s but good already for ritual/ceremonial purposes!”
THIS COMMENT IMPLES that the bolo is ‘beyond repair’.. ‘beyond honing’, ‘beyond bringing back as a knife.. so, it is better relegated to or be kept and safeguarded now as a ritual artifact.. like those safekept and brought out only during offerings and the like.
“TO RECAP, WE are saying that we can only apply the’ EXPR engirel to things physical that are originally sharp – thus from there, made: blunt, etcetera?”, you may ask. And our answer is:
‘YES, THOSE THAT are by nature of their name-and-utility: sharp – i.e. sharp-edged or sharp-pointed like the sword, the saw, the plainer, and so on.
‘WE CANNOT APPLY same to originally-blunt things like: a hammer, a gun, a fiddle, etc., but: metaphorically? Yes! let’s say – to non-concretes.
‘WE CAN SAY eg nai obol, engirel, or ehdohbeg referring to things “abstract” like: the mind, the character, even his/her “ways”.
IF ONE SAYS for instance: Singa engirel e ugadi to! (Transl. “Blunted it seems her character!”), he also means to imply: 1) that formerly, she was not like that; 2) that the ‘change’ or ‘shift’ to what she’s manifesting now can be due to some factors or unavoidable stimuli; 3) that in fact, we can help her – or she can help herself: to go back to her natural self and character!
ALL THESE THREE Implicata embedded as contents or meanings by the mere use of the EXPR Engirel!
AND EHDOHBEG – APPLIED in the non-literal sense?
YES! RENDERED PERMANENTLY blunt.. which means: not originally that; not really that obtuse.. as to merit the description of one not able to think clearly or understand the obvious.
RATHER, FROM ‘SHARP’ – or close to that, the Ehdohbeg is now rendered severely blunt because of Use and Disuse.
THE IOWAK-IBALOIS OF old Binga(an) have a derived but present term: Subeg-dubeg which is =int (equals by interpretation) the inveterate antonym of the quick, obedient, keen, and sharp alisto or tarahi.
OLD FOLKS THEREAT say though: subeg-dubeg he may be, but he could still be ‘reformed’ or honed, i.e. only (and still) by himself!” Ayo, Ayo inuh.
Collatio tomi/Postscript: The subeg-dubeg is the culmination of the: eg nai obol, engirel, ehdohbeg, and daged progression.