Ich hab' gerade keine Zeit, das alles durchzulesen, aber in dem umfangreichen OED-Artikel findet sich sicher etwas zur Erklärung. Jedenfalls hat es nichts mit Shakespeares unterstellter Schwerhörigkeit zu tun :-)
Brit. /ˈpɔːkjᵿpʌɪn/ , U.S. /ˈpɔrkjəˌpaɪn/ , /ˈpɔrkiˌpaɪn/
Forms: ... (Show More)
Etymology: < Middle French porc espin, Middle French, French †porc espi, †porc espic, French porc-épic porcupine (c1230 in Old French as porc espi ; also in Middle French as porc d'espine: see note), ultimately < classical Latin porcus hog, pig (see pork n.1) or its Romance descendants + classical Latin spīna thorn (see spina n.; compare classical Latin spīnus thorn-tree) or its Latin or Romance derivatives (compare Italian spino used attributively in names of plants and animals (e.g. in pescespino , uvaspina ), although this is first attested comparatively late (16th cent.)), apparently ultimately after Byzantine Greek ἀκανθόχοιρος hedgehog < ancient Greek ἄκανθος thorn (see acanthus n.) + χοῖρος pig (see cherogril n.).
Compare Old Occitan porc espi (c1350; Occitan pòrc espin), Catalan porc espí (1647; compare earlier porc crespí (1428)), Spanish puerco espín (a1348; also as puerco espino, puercoespín), Portuguese porco-espinho (15th cent. as porcos spins, plural; also as porco-espim), Italian porcospino (a1367 as porco spino; compare earlier French porches spin (plural) in Marco Polo (1298)), Middle Dutch porcaspijn ( < French). Compare also post-classical Latin porcupina (1432 in a British source), although the form and sense are uncertain.
The exact relationship between the Romance words is uncertain and problematic; the French word is usually assumed to derive directly or indirectly from the Italian, although this is apparently first attested later.
Old French, Middle French porc espi (perhaps compare the α form porcapie ) was apparently associated with Middle French espi , French épi (c1170 in Old French; < classical Latin spīcus , spīcum , doublets of spīca spike n.1). Middle French porc espic (French porc-épic ; compare ε forms) is influenced by pique- , stem of piquer (see pick v.1).
The forms portepyne , portpen (see β forms) perhaps ultimately reflect Middle French porc d'espine ; however, compare French porte-épines (although this is apparently first attested later (1776; now rare)), the first element of which has been influenced by porte- porte- comb. form.
Some of the β, γ, and δ forms perhaps go back to forms with mute c in French, e.g. the β form porpyn . However, forms such as the β form porpapyne clearly show assimilation taking place within English.
Some forms apparently reflect folk-etymological alteration within English: the γ forms are influenced by point n.1 (perhaps via a form with excrescent t ); the δ forms are apparently after -entine (in e.g. serpentine n., turpentine n., etc.); the forms porcupig , porky pig (see ε forms) are after pig n.1
The form porpentine in later use occurs chiefly in allusion to quot. 1603 at sense 1aδ. .
In quot. ?a1425 at sense 1aα. after Middle French porcz spinous, plural (second half of the 14th cent. in the passage translated). Compare also Italian porco spinoso porcupine (14th cent. in a translation of Marco Polo; now apparently regional; compare earlier spinosa in the same sense (a1306)), Spanish (rare) puerco espinoso (1494; perhaps obsolete in this sense).
In sense 2 after Middle French porc espic (1493 in the source translated in quot. 1503 at sense 2).
a. Any of various large herbivorous rodents having the body and tail covered with defensive erectile spines or quills, and belonging to the families Hystricidae (of Africa, Asia, and south-eastern Europe) and Erethizontidae (of the Americas). brush-tailed, Malayan, tree-porcupine, etc.: see the first element.
?a1425 (▸c1400) Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 193 Wee clepen hem Porcz de spyne [v.rr. porcs espinoys; pors espis; Fr. Porcz Spinous].
c1425 in G. R. Owst Lit.& Pulpit Medieval Eng. (1933) 459 (MED), Suche men bethe likned to..a porke-despyne, that is bred in Ynde and is covered with scharpe pynnes of horne.
c1440 (▸?a1400) Morte Arthure 183 (MED), There come in at þe fyrste course..Pacokes..Pygges of porke despyne.
▸?a1500 R. Henryson tr. Æsop Fables: Trial of Fox l. 904 in Poems (1981) 38 Otter, and aip, and pennit porcupyne [v.r. porcapyne].
c1500 (▸?a1437) Kingis Quair (1939) clv, The lyoun..The werely porpapyne.
1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 256/2 Porkepyn a beest, porc espin.
1538 T. Elyot Dict. Histrix,..a beaste hauyng sharpe prickes on his backe, called a porkpine [1545, 1548, porkepyne].
1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World I. 215 The Porkpen hath the longer sharp pointed quilles, and those, when he stretcheth his skin, he sendeth and shooteth from him.
1607 E. Topsell Hist. Fovre-footed Beastes 588 The Porcuspine or Porcupine.
1613 S. Purchas Pilgrimage 831 Here are store of Deare, Hares, Conies, Hogs,..Porkepines.
1676 Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 11 714 That Porcupins kill Lions, by darting into their body their quills.
1701 Fable of Cuckoo 4 [The eagle] skreek'd, like one possest with raging Fumes, Shaking, like Porcupines, her ruffled Plumes.
1745 Philos. Trans. 1744–5 (Royal Soc.) 43 271 Some time ago there was found, on an Island adjacent to this, a large Snake, dead, with a Porcupine in its Belly.
1796 R. Southey Joan of Arc vii. 179 Heavy, thick-bristled with the hostile shafts, Even like a porcupine.
1817 N. Amer. Rev. May 21 On my way to Tombuctoo, and in its vicinity, I saw wolves, foxes, rabbits, antelopes, wild hogs, porcupines and elephants.
1872 C. Darwin Expression Emotions Man & Animals iv. 93 Porcupines rattle their quills and vibrate their tails when angered.
1924 M. H. Mason Arctic Forests 132 The porcupine leaves a footprint very like a miniature bear.
1961 W. P. Keller Canada's Wild Glory iv. 194 Some authorities feel we have protected porcupines too long to the serious detriment of some fine forest.
1994 Harrowsmith Mar. 48/1 A porcupine has few natural predators. However, wolverines, bobcats and, in this area, fishers are specialists at porcupine flipping.
c1450 Jacob's Well (1900) 154 Lyche a beeste of Inde þat is clepyd a portepyn.
1483 (▸1413) Pilgrimage of Soul (Caxton) iii. viii. 55 These sowles..were al ful of pryckes lyke to a portpen.
?1488 Caxton tr. Laurent Ryal Bk. lvi. sig. f vij v, Suche folke resemble the porpyn whiche is al ful of pryckes and sharpe poyntures.
1552 R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum Porpyn beaste, hauinge prickes on his backe, histrix.
1570 P. Levens Manipulus Vocabulorum sig. Liii/1, A Porpin, histrix.
1620 I. C. Two Merry Milke-maids v. i. sig. N4 b, But finding my selfe aboue ground, and hunger tumbling like a Porpin in my Maw, and doing the Somerset in my Guts, I smelt a Surloine of Beefe hot from the Spit.
▸1440 Promptorium Parvulorum (Harl. 221) 394 Perpoynt [?a1475 Winch. Porpoynte], beest, Histrix.
▸1440 Promptorium Parvulorum (Harl. 221) 409 Poork poynt, beste, histrix.
1530 in Ancestor (1904) xi. 180 Prestwich..beryth to his creest a porpantine in his kinde.
1545 R. Ascham Toxophilus i. f. 5, Nature gaue example of shotyng first, by the Porpentine, whiche doth shote his prickes.
1562 W. Bullein Bk. Simples f. 80v, in Bulwarke of Defence What is the nature of a beast..called the Porpintine?
1585 R. Greene Planetomachia i. sig. F3, The enuious Porcuntine, who coueting to strike others with her pennes leaueth her selfe void of any defence.
1589 G. Puttenham Arte Eng. Poesie ii. xi. sig. ij, The Purpentines nature is, to such as stand aloofe, to dart her prickles from her.
1603 Shakespeare Hamlet i. v. 20 Each particular haire to stand an end Like quils vpon the fretfull Porpentine.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 2 (1623) iii. i. 363 And fought so long, till that his thighes with Darts Were almost like a sharpe-quill'd Porpentine.
1657 J. Howell Londinopolis 24 Leopards, Linxes, and Porpentines.
1776 T. Pennant Brit. Zool. (ed. 4, octavo) I. i. 79 Henry I. had his lions, leopards, lynxes, and porpentines (porcupines) in his park at Woodstock.
1889 New Eng. Mag. Nov. 279/1 Which made their hairs to stand on end, like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
1898 N. Amer. Rev. Nov. 688/1 In moods which give forth such words, Carlyle seems to write with a quill plucked from the fretful porpentine.
1936 T. S. Eliot Coll. Poems 1909–35 147 How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot! With a bobtail cur In a coat of fur And a porpentine cat.
1987 Washington Post (Nexis) 11 Oct. g2 He sees great soup plates of scarlet and white and purple, he sees softball-sized smaller flowers quilled like the fretful porpentine.
1561 J. Hollybush tr. H. Brunschwig Most Excellent Homish Apothecarye f. 13, They cluster together lyke porkenpickes.
1600 J. Pory tr. J. Leo Africanus Geogr. Hist. Afr. ii. 90 Their game were hare, deere, porcupikes.
1613 S. Purchas Pilgrimage 750 Pater nosters and chaines, enterlaced made of the haire of the Porkespicke died of diuers colours.
1677 E. Coles Dict. Eng.-Lat. A Porcupike, Porcupine, Hystrix.
a1700 Dragon of Wantley 84 in T. Percy Reliques (1765) III. iii. xi. 283 You would have thought him for to be, Some Egyptian porcupig.
1890 Amer. N. & Q. 5 68 Porcupig, this old name for a porcupine [Fr., porc-épic] is familiar to many from the old comic ballad of 'More of More Hall.' It is pleasant to find in one of John Burroughs' books, that the mountaineers about the head-waters of the Delaware still call the porcupine by this old name.
1967 in Dict. Amer. Regional Eng. (2002) IV. 289/1 [Michigan, New York] Porky pig.
1975 J. Gould Maine Lingo 215 Porkpick, Mainer's woodland condescension for the porcupine, from the French porcpique, but reserved mainly for porkpick stew.
b. An image of a porcupine used as a device or design. Order of the Porcupine n. [apparently after French ordre du Porc-épic, although this is apparently only recorded later in dictionaries of French (2nd half of the 18th cent.)] an order of knighthood established by Louis XII of France in 1394; hence Knight of the Porcupine.
?a1549 Inventory Henry VIII (1998) 273/2 Eight peces of hanginges of clothe of gold paned with crimson vellat embraudered with L in porpetynes and Rooses crowned.
1578 in T. Thomson Coll. Inventories Royal Wardrobe (1815) 250 Ane uther cannon..markit with the porkpik.
1589 G. Puttenham Arte Eng. Poesie ii. xi. 118 He gaue for his deuice the Porkespick.
1615 E. Grimeston tr. P. d'Avity Estates 1188 Charles, Duke of Orleans..erected the order of the Knights of the Porcupine, carrying vpon their baudricks or belts, the figure of this beast.
1725 J. Coats New Dict. Heraldry (rev. ed.) 279 Lewis [XII] of France..in the year 1394..instituted this Order of the Porcupine, which he had before chosen for his Device.
1798 W. Seward Anecd. Distinguished Persons (ed. 4) III. 416 His device was a porcupine with this motto: Vires agminis unus habet. One man possesses the power of a whole troop.
1862 Atlantic Monthly Dec. 712/1 One of these devices is a large image of a porcupine on an heraldic wreath, being the crest of the Lords de Lisle.
1893 Scribner's Mag. May 502/1 Her device..is scattered over the walls..curving round the royal porcupine, the badge which Poet Charles had given to the Orleans family.
1952 J. Evans Dress Mediaeval France iv. 42 Louis d'Orléans at the baptism of his eldest son Charles in 1394 founded the Order of the Porcupine or the Hood.
1978 16th Cent. Jrnl. 9 16 An ingenious combination of cerf-volant (a symbol of France), porcupine (the Orleans family heraldic symbol), and entwined serpents swallowing human figures (the Visconti family crest).
c. fig. A person or thing resembling or reminiscent of a porcupine, as being prickly, difficult to deal with, etc.; a prickly mass of things.
1594 1st Pt. Raigne Selimus sig. K, What are the vrchins crept out of their dens, Vnder the conduct of this porcupine?
1609 Shakespeare Troilus & Cressida ii. i. 27 Ther. Thou art proclaim'd foole... Aiax. Do not Porpentin [1623 Porpentine], do not, my fingers itch.
1855 J. S. C. Abbot Napoleon at St. Helena xxviii. 415 And what sort of a subject would that one be? An absolute porcupine, on which he would find it impossible to lay a finger.
1861 W. J. Fitzpatrick Life Dr. Doyle (1880) II. 7 This letter to Lord Farnham drew forth a porcupine of pens.
1899 Bradford County (Pa.) Republican 30 Mar. 7/4 In appearance the sponge was a veritable porcupine, long, needlelike spicules standing out all over it.
1916 Times 29 Sept. 8/1 The village..was a veritable porcupine, with prickles in all directions.
1994 R. Davies Cunning Man 85, I bought a clinical thermometer—the first of a porcupine of such things I have owned—and took his temperature."