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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus
(1889)

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29


Page 18

18 A TRIP THROUGH THE EASTERN CAUCASUS. 
reviling him to his face. There could be no harmony 
where he formed one of the party, but I had to put 
up with him until I had tried Mejid. 
When I went to see M. Selefko about an inter- 
preter he unwittingly afforded an instance of how 
prepossessions and theories influence one's pronunci- 
ation of words, and give rise to folk-etymology. He 
said the village of Vartashin, about forty versts to 
the south-east of Nukha, was inhabited by a people 
called Yudin, who spoke a peculiar language; that 
they were Jews originally, and once a rich Jew spent 
a whole year in acquiring the language, to see what 
connection it had with Hebrew.       It was also a 
remarkable fact that there were Tatar, Armenian, and 
Georgian Yudin. By turning to the last chapter the 
reader will see that the correct name of the people is 
Ud or Udi, not Yudin, and that their language has 
no comection whatever with Hebrew. I mentioned 
that Schiefner had written a grammar of the Ud 
language, and that I had a copy of it at home, but 
M. Selefko had never heard of it. 
The main object in coming to Nukha had been to 
purchase horses suitable for a tour in the mountains. 
So the morning after our arrival David and Akim 
were despatched to visit the Lesgian quarter and see 
what they could find. For the next three days horses 
were either being brought to our quarters for me to 
look at, or I went to the caravanserai to see a treasure 
that Akim had heard about. For the most part they 
had good fore and hind quarters, but large heads and 
ewe necks. Eventually, after an immense deal of 


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