7 Aug 2018

And Then Those Words...

Further to the recent post regarding my discovery that there are in excess of forty-seven thousand English words that have become ‘obsolete’, there was a lovely comment by the good Caratacus last night wot is pasted below;

Had a bit of a squint at the list you linked to ... and I'm intrigued to see just how many of those supposedly archaic words figure largely in the Caratacus lexicon. My son-in-law finds it hugely amusing when his eleven year old daughter comes out with stuff like, "Avaunt, sirrah - be about your business lest I place this stick where it will inconvenience the bishop" (even I am a bit uncomfortable about being responsible for that one), and so forth. At the archery field, and I swear this is true, she will draw her bow, vouchsafe her old grandad a conspiratorial eye and say, "'ware ye the Frenchies, Grandad" .... can't think where she gets it from.

The pertinent bit of that quote is this; “...how many of those supposedly archaic words figure largely in the Caratacus lexicon.” Now as much as I enjoyed the comment and as much as I’m sure Caratacus enjoyed composing it, he may regret it after reading wot follows.

Do you have a large Scotch to hand? Then I’ll begin.

Sir, your lexicon is indeed impressive so get a bit of this. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to compose a post entirely comprised of those obsolete words. A light-hearted essay relating to some event, such as  archery blunders you’ve possibly encountered? The only rider being it must be humorous. A daunting task I’m sure you’ll agree but I’m absolutely certain your grand daughter will prove to be a most able co-author.

To help you in your task, should you accept it, you may have need to refer to this site and get the PDF file. Another site of interest is here. Check-out Dictionary of Obscure Words and Lost Words. Grandad, you seen those sites? Let’s not forget The Meaning of Liff...

No time pressure, but wouldn’t it make a wonderous Christmas posting? Bet you wish you’d clicked ‘Delete Comment’ instead of ‘Post Comment’ now eh?

Quote;  Marshall Lumsden.

“At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer.”


Caratacus said...

You flatter me once again, Mac! Challenge duly accepted but the finished article may have to wait until next week ...

Until then let me attach the following from "Rude Tales and Glorious". It tells of the Feat of Sir Bohort and I recommend it as a superb piece of writing:

(Sir Bohort was one of the knights who attempted to draw the sword,
Excalibur, from the stone. He did not do this out of any ambition to
be king, mind you, but simply because his friends asked him to, out
of admiration for his prodigious bulk and strength).

Sir Bohort finished off a whole roast chicken he held in one meaty paw,
then he grasped the sword with both hands and tugged. Eventually,
Bohort climbed the stone, planting both feet firmly on either side of the
sword, grabbed the crossguard with both hands and gave a mighty pull
with every ounce of his strength.

It was at that point that Sir Bohort performed the Feat for which he
is so justly remembered.

The Feat of Sir Bohort -Nicholas Seare

With every sinew straining
and teeth set in a growl,
there came a roar like thunder
from deep in Bohort's bowel.

The grass beneath his noble feet
turned yellow, sere, and rust
and leaves did flutter from the trees
all withered from the gust.

And passing birds fell from the sky
and waddled, drunk and dazed,
among the feet of noblemen,
who staggered back and gazed

With horror on the greenish fog
that soon would them o'erwhelm.
And panic gripped the bravest men,
the stalwarts of the realm.

Although they fled right willingly,
a few did cough and fall
and writhe upon the ground
and clutch their throats and call

To have their torments ended
with a kindly coup de grace
as swirling vapour etched and rusted
armour, sword, and mace.

An plowmen, working in the fields
a league or more away,
did stop and sniff the air and frown
and to their fellows say

"Rude Piers, hast thou no shame at all,
that thou wouldst grin and feign
that I, not thee, besmirched myself
and made this rueful stain?"

Then God, in all His mercy,
made a breeze come from the east
to clear the air and spare the lives
of maiden, man, and beast.

But Ireland did suffer sore,
with stunted men and lame.
The weather in that blighted isle
has never been the same.

Great though the damage was and vast,
it might have been more dire
if nimble-witted servants
had not doused the cooking fire.

Grandad said...

I am lost for words.

Mac said...

Please take all the time you need. Weeks? Months? It really doesn't matter does it?

As for Rude Tales and Glorious, it's now on my list. Thhanks.

Mac said...

I really don't believe that...
The dictionary of redundant words is hard going but you know what would be nice? A reverse dictionary. Look-up the word in use to find its obsolete brother. No, I'm not going to attempt that. I may try searching for one though.