Hack/Hackney. [OE. haceney, hacenay; cf. F. haquenée a pacing horse, an ambling nag, OF. also haquenée, Sp. hacanea, OSp. facanea, D. hakkenei, also OF. haque horse, Sp. haca, OSp. faca; perh akin to E. hack to cut, and orig. meaning, a jolting horse.]
1. A horse for riding or driving; a nag; a pony. - Chaucer.
MOTH: No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your love perhaps a hackney.
- Love's Labour's Lost Act 3, Scene 1
2. A horse or pony kept for hire.
3. A coach or carriage let for hire; particularly, a a coach with two seats inside facing each other; a hackney coach.
"On horse, on foot, in hacks and gilded chariots." - Pope.
4. A bookmaker who hires himself out for any sort of literary work; an overworked man; a drudge.
"Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, Who long was a bookseller's hack." - Goldsmith.
<<Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote's horse, in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra. Rocín in Spanish means work-horse or low-quality horse ("nag"), but also illiterate or rough man. There are similar words in French (roussin; rosse), Portuguese (rocim) and Italian (ronzino). The etymology is uncertain. The name is, however, a pun. On the first order, the Spanish ante means "before" or "previously". On the second order, it also translates as 'in front of'. On the third order, the suffix -ante in Spanish is adverbial; rocinante refers to functioning as, or being, a rocín reflexively. As such, Cervantes establishes a pattern of ambiguous interpretations present in many words in the novel. Another further explanation comes from the text itself: nombre a su parecer alto, sonoro y significativo de lo que había sido cuando fue rocín, antes de lo que ahora era - "a name, to his thinking, lofty, sonorous, and significant of his condition as a hack before he became what he now was" (the gender of Rocinante is not actually specified).
As the narration of the novel reads at the beginning of the book, Don Quixote thinks of a name to give to his steed in order to set out on his adventures, and chooses 'Rocinante' to establish the horse as no longer a nag.>>
Then did he presently visit his horse, who (though he had more quarters than pence in a sixpence, through leanness, and more faults than Gonella’s), having nothing on him but skin and bone; yet he thought that neither Alexander’s Bucephalus, nor the Cid his horse Balieca, were in any respect equal to him. He spent four days devising him a name; for (as he reasoned to himself) it was not fit that so famous a knight’s horse, and chiefly being so good a beast, should want a known name; and therefore he endeavoured to give him such a one as should both declare what sometime he had been, before he pertained to a knight-errant, and also what at present he was; for it stood greatly with reason, seeing his lord and master changed his estate and vocation, that he should alter likewise his denomination, and get a new one, that were famous and altisonant, as became the new order and exercise which he now professed; and therefore, after many other names which he framed, blotted out, rejected, added, undid, and turned again to frame in his memory and imagination, he finally concluded to name him Rozinante, a name in his opinion lofty, full, and significant of what he had been when he was a plain jade, before he was exalted to his new dignity; being, as he thought, the best carriage beast of the world. The name being thus given to his horse, and so to his mind, he resolved to give himself a name also; and in that thought he laboured other eight days; and, in conclusion, called himself Don Quixote; whence (as is said) the authors of this most true history deduce, that he was undoubtedly named Quixada, and not Quesada, as others would have it.
- ________ Don Quixote, Part 1.
I. Wherein Is Rehearsed the Calling and Exercise of
the Renowned Gentleman, Don Quixote of the Mancha