In 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells, there is a sentence;"Wait till the summer," said Mrs. Hall sagely, "when the artisks are beginning to come. ..."

Mrs.Hall is the wife of Mr.Hall, who is the owner of the inn where the invisible man(whose name is Griffin) is staying. Mr.Hall does not like Griffin so whenever he can, he expresses that they should evict him. The quoted sentence is the response of the wife when Mr.Hall said so in the late April.

What is 'artisks'? Why is there the definite article 'the'?

  • I think just as Dogs become Dargs, and other changes, it just might be that artists are called artisks. Because it is as pointed out below, unlikely to be a typo. Jan 4, 2018 at 7:31

2 Answers 2


You may differ, finally, but my take on that use of 'artisks' by that character in that work is that it's a malapropism springing from 'artists' via the lips of the sage Mrs. Hall. If you read on, I expect you'll find that the artists do indeed come to the inn in the summer, and that Mrs. Hall has a vaguely disapproving yet tolerant attitude toward those same artists.

Of course, it could just be a typo in an ineptly proofed edition.

  • In the Project Gutenberg edition at gutenberg.org/files/5230/5230-h/5230-h.htm artisks is present. If the OP is reading this edition I would consider a typo/OCR error missed in proofreading. If it's common to 2 editions (and note that other free online texts are often derived from Gutenberg) your first suggestion is more likely. Anyway +1.
    – Chris H
    Jul 30, 2015 at 7:09
  • @ChrisH, thanks. I read the book at least a quarter century ago, but the idea that 'artisks' is a malapropism jives with my dim memories. Also, it's meaningless I suppose, but the Irish translation (amara.org/en/videos/7aiBK2KNwThe/ga/171004 33:31-33:35) retains both "artisks" and "sagely".
    – JEL
    Jul 30, 2015 at 7:17

Well, point out that Mrs Hall is speaking 'sagely' but at the same time is quite perplexed whether there would be some guests at the inn. So the word 'Artisks' is a result of her paradoxical mental state.

  • 1
    Your response doesn't seem to offer any explanation about what artisks means in the novel. The character's mental state, though potentially relevant to her word choice, is not especially pertinent to the question of what exactly she means by the word.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 3, 2015 at 2:18

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