If she does not know the answer to a question, she guesses with mischievous assurance.
The identification of them with the jewels of the breastplate and on the shoulders of the high priest (which apparently has the authority of Josephus) is unwarranted; other ancient guesses are equally baseless.
Varro's etymologies could be only a priori guesses, but he was well aware of their character, and very clearly states at the outset of the fifth book the hindrances that barred the way to sound knowledge.
Though very far from being hampered by any dogmatic philosophical or religious system of the past, his mind, until near the end, found sufficient satisfaction in the Christian view of life to make it indifferent to the restless, inquiring spirit of the present, and disinclined to play with any more recent solution of life's problems. He had no sympathy with either scepticism or formal dogmatism, and no need to hazard rash guesses respecting man's destiny.
Altare, from altos, high; some ancient etymological guesses are recorded by St Isidore of Seville in Etymologiae xv.