Life lessons in blowing your own horn! – You Don’t Say – by Ray Hudson

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Ray Hudson

Vol. 67

Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

This past week I came upon my article when I ran into some very peculiar names of medieval musical instruments, and before long I was looking for other old or archaic words that sound rude and funny and should be rehabilitated back into daily use.

The musical instrument that started it was a brass instrument with a slide, sometimes called a slide trumpet, or more commonly a sackbutt.  There’s an elegant name for you. Rolls right off the tounge. Imagine being a sackbutt virtuoso.  In fact the instrument looks like a trombone and therein lies the conundrum. Bad enough it was called a sackbut, but taking it to trombone in English wasn’t a great improvement. However, in Italian Tromba meaning trumpet and one (ohnay) meaning large, translated as a large trumpet. This could be a serious problem for Professor Howard Hill however.  Even Buddy Hackett would have trouble finding the proper words to rhyme with “76 suckbutts in the big parade and 110 wurstfagotts right behind” (not to mention crumhorns, cornamuses and kortholts).

This sent me spiraling into the depths of antiquity, exploring other words that have fallen into disuse, and I submit, need desperately to be returned to active duty, particularly since most of the population has taken to using the “F” word (to the point of boredom) for every type of adjective. Lets find something new.

How about jargogle. It means to confuse or bamboozle. Don’t ya just love the thought of being able to jargogle and bamboozle someone you don’t particularly like?

You might seek out someone suffering from logorrhea, meaning running off at the mouth (talking too much) one who has taken bloviation to new heights. To bloviate refers to someone whose words are empty and have no meaning, one who talks too much, inflating their stories to make themselves sound better. It’s enough to make one contumelious (scornful or arrogantly rude) with the potential of becoming a clatterfart. Which does refer to wind, although it’s the hot air of gossip.

All this is likely to leave others in the vicinity feeling very crapulous (what a wonderful word) meaning to feel ill after excessive eating and drinking, and risking falling into a state of peniaphobia, the fear of poverty.

Such is the way of the Cockalorum (a little man with a high opinion of himself) who being a nincompoop by nature would indulge in public groaking (silently watching someone eating, hoping to be invited to join them).

It clearly urges one to excogigate, which is to plot and devise a plan to escape the beef-witted  (stupid as a bovine)  bumfiddler, (one who would pollute or spoil something, in particular by scribbling or drawing on a document to make it invalid) and apply the quantum zenzizenzizenzic (power of eight explained in the16th century as “[it] doeth represent the square of squares squarely” and vanish into the haboob (an Arabic word meaning a “blustering” or “blowing” dry wind that blows across deserts and dustbowls) perhaps back into a modern dimension where one could apply all these wonderful words to the consternation and confusion of those around you, as you entertain them with your Humpenscrump “a musical instrument of rude construction” like humstrum, celestinette or wind-broach, otherwise known as a hurdy-gurdy.

Now, if I could only find my monkey!