In a 1789 English translation of Frederick II 's eulogy on Voltaire it is written:

He passed whole nights in new modelling his work

What does the "in new" part mean?

(Also, if anyone has the eulogy in the original language, that would be helpful because I don't have it.)

  • 2
    Looks like a bad translation. Most likely it should be He passed whole nights remodeling his work. Certainly current Enhglish doesn't allow to new model to be used as a "compound verb". Commented Apr 24 at 11:17
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    @FumbleFingers oh, like revising his work, makes sense, thanks.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 24 at 11:19
  • 1
    yes - revising is more natural here than remodeling (however spelt! :) Commented Apr 24 at 11:23
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    @FumbleFingers - Not a 'bad' translation, just one using the English of the late 18th century! Commented Apr 24 at 12:59
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    @FumbleFingers I didn’t know what it meant until you said “remodeling”. Instead, nude modeling kept entering my mind and I couldn’t think beyond that.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 24 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


new modelling means remodelling:

He passed whole nights in remodelling his work

From the OED:

new-model verb
Now rare.
transitive. To remodel; to arrange in a new way. Cf. new-modelize v. 1647–
Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)

  • 2
    You can find the original online here. The relevant passage is: "il passa des nuits entières à refondre son ouvragez," and refondre means recast (both literally for casting metal and figuratively for other things). Commented Apr 25 at 3:18
  • @PeterShor — And a model is a mould in metal casting. Commented Apr 25 at 14:46

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