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Etymologies

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Examples

  • These marks are called "patterans;" there are three patterans in common use.

    The Art of Travel Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries

  • They were signs in gypsy language, lost patterans.

    Do You Think That Your Fathers Are Watching? That They Weigh You in Their Ledgerbook? There Is No Book and Your Fathers Are Dead in the Ground « Gerry Canavan

  • More five-fingered ferns to be had for the reaching, more branches of redwood and laurel brushing his face as he rode, invited him to continue the manufacture of patterans, which he dropped as he fashioned them.

    The Little Lady of the Big House, by Jack London

  • Zincali, "that" once in the south of France, when he was weary, hungry, and penniless, he observed one of these patterans or Gypsy trails, and, following the direction pointed out, arrived at the resting place of some

    George Borrow The Man and His Books

  • The third of the gipsy patterans is of especial use in the dark: a cleft stick is planted by the road-side, close to the hedge, and in the cleft, is an arm like a signpost.

    The Art of Travel Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries

  • I imagined that I saw Ursula tracing her husband, Launcelot Lovel, by means of his patterans; I imagined that she had considerable difficulty in doing so; that she was occasionally interrupted by parish beadles and constables, who asked her whither she was travelling, to whom she gave various answers.

    The Romany Rye

  • I believe I slept soundly for some time, thinking and dreaming of nothing; suddenly, however, my sleep became disturbed, and the subject of the patterans began to occupy my brain.

    The Romany Rye

  • By following these patterans, or trails, the first Gypsies on their way to Europe never lost each other, though wandering amidst horrid wildernesses and dreary denies.

    The Pocket George Borrow

  • Once in the south of France, when I was weary, hungry, and penniless, I observed one of these last patterans, and following the direction pointed out, arrived at the resting-place of 'certain Bohemians,' by whom I was received with kindness and hospitality, on the faith of no other word of recommendation than patteran.

    The Pocket George Borrow

  • I imagined that I saw Ursula tracing her husband, Launcelot Lovell, by means of his patterans; I imagined that she had considerable difficulty in doing so; that she was occasionally interrupted by parish beadles and constables, who asked her whither she was travelling, to whom she gave various answers.

    The Romany Rye A Sequel to 'Lavengro'

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  • these are a way of showing a long route so a track can be retraced or people found if we go in to unexplored teritories. Patterans must be made from natural objects placed in a way that is cearly recognised. Patterans can be made from pinecones, stones, sticks, nuts, pebbledash stones, matches, or marks in the mud or soil. take care not to place patterans where they may be spoiled by other people walking on them. Small pieces of paper can be used if they are a natural colour and are no bigger that 10mm by 40 mm. These can be prepared in advance, and kept in plastic bags ready for when they are needed.

    "They began to come upon from time to time small cairns of rock by the roadside. The were signs in gypsy language, lost patterans." --from "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy.

    April 19, 2007