Friday leftovers: “He jirbles a dram . . .”

Cover of "The Word Museum: The Most Remar...

                   

Reblogged from Death and Taxes:

Here are 18 uncommon or obsolete words that we think may have died early. We found them in two places: a book called The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk, and on a blog called Obsolete Word of The Day that’s been out of service since 2010. Both are fantastic— you should check them out.

Snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Pussyvan: A flurry, temper — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Wonder-wench: A sweetheart — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Lunting: Walking while smoking a pipe — John Mactaggart’s “Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

California widow: A married woman whose husband is away from her for any extended period — John Farmer’s “Americanisms Old and New, 1889

Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them – www.ObsoleteWord.Blogspot.com

Jirble: To pour out (a liquid) with an unsteady hand: as, he jirbles out a dram — www.Wordnik.com

Curglaff: The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water — John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Tyromancy: Divining by the coagulation of cheese — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef. — John Phin’s “Shakespeare Cyclopaedia and Glossary, 1902

Queerplungers: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each, and the supposed drowned person, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, is also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket. — The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk

Englishable: That which may be rendered into English — John Ogilvie’s “Comprehensive English Dictionary, 1865

Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects — www.ObsoleteWord.Blogspot.com

Bookwright: A writer of books; an author; a term of slight contempt — Daniel Lyons’s “Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

Soda-squirt: One who works at a soda fountain in New Mexico — Elsie Warnock’s “Dialect Speech in California and New Mexico,1919

With squirrel: Pregnant — Vance Randolph’s “Down in the Holler: A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech,” 1953

Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon — Maj. B. Lowsley’s “A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases,” 1888

                   

Okay. Let me just pause here. Tyromancy, the divining by the coagulation of cheese? Does this mean that I can take a tub of cottage cheese, pour it onto a table, and see into the future? This seems just as foggy as Professor Trelawney’s crystal balls. And queerplunger? People used to make money by pretending to drown?

Admittedly, I have groaked before, or is that been a groak? But the most perfect one of all? Hands down, it’s Resistentialism! You all know of my penchant for anthropomorphism, so it’s nice to know that another words describes the persnickety nature of inanimate objects.

More later. Peace.

*Note on text: I don’t know if some of the references are articles or books. If in fact the titles are referring to books, there should be no quotation marks, only italics; if the titles are referring to articles, then quotations marks are used with the comma falling inside the quotation marks. In US punctuation, the comma and period always fall inside the quotation marks. I have made corrections accordingly.

Music by Martha Wainwright, “Question of Etiquette”

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“They are the efforts of someone who, overarced by stars that are human handiwork, and who . . . goes with his very being into language, reality-wounded and reality-seeking.”

Reblogged from apoetreflects:

apoetreflects:“Only one thing remain[s] reachable, close, and secure amid all losses: language. Yes, language. In spite of everything, it remain[s] secure against loss.”—Paul Celan

“Only one thing remain[s] reachable, close, and secure amid all losses: language. Yes, language. In spite of everything, it remain[s] secure against loss.”

~ Paul Celan

                   

I Can Still See You

I can still see you: an Echo,
to be touched with Feeler-
Words, on the Parting-
Ridge.

Your face softly shies away,
when all at once there is
lamp-like brightness
in me, at the Point,
where most painfully one says Never.

~ Paul Celan

                   

Music by Alison Krauss, “Can’t Find My Way Home”

“Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.” ~ William Shakespeare

Yes, I’m cheating, doing a bit of back posting to fill in days on which I was unable to post. This time, I’m using words found on a new site that I discovered: Other Wordly, which is filled with strange and lovely words, not all from the English language. And you know how I do love my words.

Enjoy.

“We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods.” ~ Virginia Woolf

From Other Wordly:

 

“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.” ~ Paul Watzwalick

  

                The Fuhrer Quartett: German Card Game Featuring 32 Despots . . .                 Updated Version of Go Fish

 

Harris Poll (March 2010) found that
67 percent of Republicans polled believe that Obama is a socialist
45 percent believe Obama was not born in the United States
38 percent say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
24 percent believe that Obama is the antichrist, a biblical figure who foretells the end of the world.

You have probably noticed that I have a problem with the misuse of words, the bastardization of language, the misrepresentation of terms. I believe that if I am going to use a word, I should at least have a passing acquaintance with its definition and application, and most certainly, that should be the case with anyone. Therefore, I feel a pressing need to expound on the word tyrant and its companion word tyranny.  

Tyrant is being bandied about willy nilly by many politicians, would-be politicians, and politicos, and I fear that most of those using the word really do not know what it means. Tyrant derives from the Latin tyrannus, meaning “sole ruler.” The term did not have a negative connotation until 5th century Athens, at which time democrats identified tyrants as those with uncontrolled power. “They easily became violent and mean despots, surrounded by sycophants. Democracy, in this philosophy, was the exact opposite: people were free to speak and power was controled and balanced” (Livius).  

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy” ~ Charles de Montesquieu
Mao Card in The Fuhrer Quartett

In its most basic sense, a tyrant is a person who seizes power without the means of constitutional or hereditary power. In the classic sense, Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as  “one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others.”  

A tyrant places the interests of an oligarchy over the interests of the general population. To clarify, an oligarchy exists when power resides in a small, elite segment of society that wields control for selfish purposes; the oligarchy may be members who are tied by wealth, bloodlines, religious disposition, or who are members of the military, not to be confused with a democracy, which is rule by smaller groups representing the masses by winning power through public support (elections). The main difference between an oligarchy and a democracy is that power can be challenged in a democracy. Aristotle used the term oligarchy negatively to refer to a debased form of aristocracy in which power was in the hands of a few corrupt individuals.  

Historically, several names instantly come to mind when speaking of Tyrants: Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Pol Pot. The main thread that ties these rulers together is death. I read one article that compared Mao, Stalin and Hitler by the number of people who died under their regimes:

  Deaths Killings Murders
Mao 40 million 10m 10m
Hitler 34 million 34m 15m
Stalin 20 million 20m 20m

  

However, these numbers have factors that affect the totals. For example, under Mao’s rule, almost 30 million people died from famine. Hitler’s totals include those who were casualties of WWII. Statistics on tyrants vary widely. Take Idi Amin, better known as The Butcher of Uganda: The number of people who were killed, tortured, and/or imprisoned by the dictator is listed at anywhere from 100 to 500,000. That’s quite a variance.  

Different sources contend that Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge, killed anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians from 1974 to 1979. Pol Pot’s attempt to form  a Communist peasant farming society resulted in the deaths of 21 to 25 percent of the country’s population from starvation, overwork and executions.  

“It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice.” ~ Henry A. Wallace

Okay, why the history lesson? I think that opening today’s news and reading Boehner’s declaration that a “political rebellion” akin to the American revolution of 1776 is brewing kind of set the tone for my day. I mean, every single day I read yet another quote calling President Obama, Democrats, and progressive Republicans tyrants. Take this gem:  

“If you are one of those pastors who willfully allow yourself to be used as an agent by some hypothetical tyrannical government to enable an illegal government to carry out their tyranny against the American people you will be guilty of treason . . . What Obama, the Democrats, and the willing weak Republicans are doing is the same as many of the things the King of England was doing. They are enemies of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A final word – Resistance against tyranny is not rebellion. It is righteous!”   

Or this:  

“I’m interested in saving our republic from tyranny, ‘Obamacare’ tyranny, any kind of tyranny.”  

Or this:  

“Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill along with numerous other actions and proposals are no different than the tyranny from the Crown of England against our forefathers. He and his Marxist allies in Congress and the media need to be quickly retired.”  

Marxist allies? Wait. Is he a socialist or a communist? They aren’t the same thing, you know. No wait. You obviously don’t know.  

end of part one . . .

  

Music by Ray Charles, “Drown in My Tears”