an interested bystander (eigi) wrote in linguaphiles,

American secret society oath spoof

I am reading the book Penrod and Sam (1916). There is an episode where the protagonists, 12-years-old American boys, organise a secret society and develop the initiation ritual based on what they know of secret societies; the ritual reflects their limited understanding of the language involved. In particular, their oath sounds "I solemnly swear to keep the secrets in infadelaty and violate and sanctuary". Can anyone comment on it? Does infadelaty mean infidelity? Is it just a random combination of words or is it based on some known oath?
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  • 4 comments

atdelphi

March 19 2014, 19:29:24 UTC 4 months ago

I would guess it's a garbling of "in fidelity inviolate and sanctity," which I don't think comes from any one oath (or not to my knowledge) but is the sort of wording that comes up in marriage vows and other oaths of the time.

houseboatonstyx

March 20 2014, 00:00:13 UTC 4 months ago

Agree.

eigi

March 24 2014, 01:56:51 UTC 4 months ago

Thank you.

eigi

March 24 2014, 01:56:29 UTC 4 months ago

I think it makes sense. Thank you!