March 31, 2009


I had no idea these words existed, let alone their meaning. I didn't think I was that sheltered! How about you, do you know them?

"A" IS FOR ASSUMPSIT - an action for the recovery of damages by reason of the breach or non-performance of a simple contract, either expressed or implied, and whether made orally or in writing.

”B" IS FOR BUMBO - a delicious punch made by combining rum, sugar, nutmeg, and water; a name borrowed from the Italian word that children use for drink.

"C" IS FOR COCKAIGNE - Good gawd you're thinking, this must have something to do with roosters. Well, it might be if you live in a barn yard, but more likely it has everything to do with a 13th century French expression for an imaginary place of ease (no I'm not talking about the loo). This "land of plenty" is the equivalent of Big Rock Candy Mountain, Shangri-la, or Nirvana...where everything is hunky-dory, sweet, and utterly loverly!

"D" IS FOR DOLLY VARDEN - It's a large char or trout (Salvelinus malma) to be exact, that more often than not can be found having a 'whale of a time' in the streams of western North America and Japan.

"F" IS FOR FUZZING - to shuffle a deck of cards with extreme care.

"G" IS FOR GLOP - an old English verb meaning to swallow greedily, to stare at in wonder or in alarm.

"H" IS FOR HUCKLE MY BUFF - a hot beer, egg, and brandy beverage.

"J" IS FOR JIPPO - a term meaning a lady's foundation garment (a stay), or a waistcoat.

"L" IS FOR LIGUSTRUM VULGARE - its the scientific name for a hardy bush called a "European Privet", (shame on you for thinking it's a euphemism for a continental can as the Americans might say, or a lovely little loo as the Brits might say).

"M" is for MUCKENDER - this winsome word has more in common with a bib or handkerchief (something which appears to be in rather short supply today at formal dinner parties).

"N" is for NUDE CONTRACT (NUDUM PACTUM) - is any verbal or written agreement that is non-binding and may be avoided, or an agreement that is not executed by one of the parties to it.

"P" IS FOR PIS ALLER - It is a 17th French noun meaning to "go worst" i.e. expedient, last resort; something done or accepted for lack of anything better; less desirable alternative.

"Q" IS FOR QUEER BUNG - it's an 18th century term meaning an empty purse.

"S" IS FOR STINKING HELLEBORE - a perennial frost-resistant flowering plant found in Europe grown for decorative and medicinal purposes, and, on the odd occasion, it is employed by witches for who knows what.

"T" IS FOR TITIVIL - Rather, this charming little word that rolls off the tip of the tongue is the name for the devil. More to the point, it is the mischiefmaker who steals words dropped during the recitation of a services so the name can be used later against the offender; a knave or a tattler.

"V" IS FOR VIEW HALLOO - a hunter's cry during a fox hunt to signal that the animal has been seen breaking cover.

"W" IS FOR WENIS - It is the name for the patch of the rough skin on the outside of the elbow.


  1. LOVe all these words and phrases, Jan. The only one I'd ever heard of was "stinking hellebore" but I tend to be a flower geek. ;-)

    I've heard of a blog being hijacked once to someone in Portugal. I can't imagine why anyone would do that and I feel terrible that it happened to you!

  2. Ah, I learned the joys of the wenis from my teenager who thought it was hilarious. We often joke about our wenises. Please send help.

  3. That sounds really bad that your blog got hijacked! I hope it is not completely lost. I'm rather new in blogger world so I never heard about a thing like that.

  4. Some of those are hilarious!

  5. Brrrr HUCKLE MY BUFF, hot beer, egg, and brandy that must taste disgusting :=)
    Of the french words I only recognize "aller" which means to go and pis could come from "pisser" to piss. So it would meen go to piss,lol


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