coscinomancy

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Most of these are erroneous and are not in use:

Etymology[edit]

Ancient Greek koskinomantis, "a diviner using a sieve", from koskinon, "a sieve".

Noun[edit]

coscinomancy (uncountable)

  1. Divination by the use of a suspended sieve sometimes from tongs or shears. The movement of the sieve when a person's name or word is spoken is interpreted.
    • 1603 Christopher Heydon A Defence of Ivdiciall Astrolgie
      And as for Hydromancie, and Choschinomancie, they could vanish as superfluous, as were evident and ridiculous even to the ignorant.
    • 1660 Urquhart tr. Rabelais Gargantua & Pantagruel iii. xxv.
      By Coscinomancy, most religiously observed of old, amidst the Ceremonies of the ancient Romans. Let us have a Sieve and Shiers, and thou shalt see Devils.
    • 1913 Halliday Greek Div. x.
      To the same species of divinatory rites [i.e. those involving a swinging pendulum] belong the koskinomancy of Theokritos, familiar in England as the consultation of the sieve and shears, and the minor rites of axinomancy and sphondylomancy.