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Unread 12-09-2020, 12:43 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Default Blatherskite's Lexicon

In this thread, post interesting words in any language, and/or brief poems that they inspire you to write.

~~~~~

Entry #1:

blatherskite
(also bletherskate)

~~~~~

I ran across the following Spanish word in an article about a sonnet by Quevedo. The sonnet in question is full of nonsense words, lampooning the tendency of Quevedo's rival (Góngora) to include highfalutin new coinages in his poems.

Entry #2:

jitanjáfora

Quote:
(My translation of the DAE entry):

1. feminine noun. Text lacking sense, whose esthetic value is based on sonority and on the evocative power of the words, real or invented, that comprise it.

(Origin)
From jitanjáfora, the last word of the third verse of a poem full of vocalizations without meaning, but with great sonority, which the Cuban poet M. Brull composed in 1929, and of which the Mexican humanist A. Reyes (1889-1959) took advantage to designate this type of utterance.
A quick search turned up the poem in question:

Quote:
Filiflama alabe cundre
Ala olalúnea alífera
Alveolea jitanjáfora
Liris salumba salífera.
Olivia oleo olorife
Alalai cánfora sandra
Milingítara girófora
Zumbra ulalindre calandra

Mariano Brull
That seems closer to glossolalia than to amphigory. Which could be entries #3 and #4 in Blatherskite's Lexicon, I suppose.

~~~~~

And glossolalia puts me in mind of bondieuserie, which makes Entry #5.

Someone else's turn now!

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 12-09-2020 at 04:33 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 06:19 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I incorporated a bunch of "real" words that are likely to be unfamiliar to anyone these days when I translated a poem by Baltasar de Alcázar. The original Spanish did a riff on ancient and obsolete words in Spanish (and these were obsolete already back in 1600), and so I chose in my translation to dig up an old dictionary of ancient and obsolete words in English as well. Some of these are so obsolete they are no longer in dictionaries from the past century. In either the Spanish or the English, the words are "real" but not meant to be understood by the reader. Here's the relevant piece of the poem:

You see, the fact that I’m advanced
in years means often I
write prose in ancient words I learned
in days and times gone by.

Words like eftsoons, whoreson, lief,
cocklebread, piscarius,
fuxol, cockloft, cockmate, cronge,
peever, vaginarius.

Diffibulate or galantine,
quister, drenge, rotarious,
brightsmith, brownsmith, burgonmaster,
currydow, pannarius.

Hostler, mayhap, emerods,
swoopstake, usward, thole,
hawker, maugre, hatcheler,
fletcher, rantipole.


(The rest of my translation is here).
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Unread 12-09-2020, 06:23 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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It also seems apropos to mention here that the current contest in the Washington Post Sytle Invitational asks for short poems employing various new words that were included in the Merriam-Webster dictionary this year. The rules, how to enter, and a list of the words can be found here. The deadline is December 14th.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 01:38 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Honeymoons
end eftsoons.


See, I'm inspired already! Thank you, Roger! And thanks for reminding me of your delightful translation, too--I needed a smile today.

~~~~~

If anyone needs a very small unit of measurement, I propose, from the Swabian dialect of German:

Muggeseggele

(My son-in-law spent a year as a foreign exchange student in Germany, and came back speaking fluent German...but with such a strong Swabian accent that German-speakers can't help laughing out loud in astonishment. Fortunately he's a good-natured soul.)

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 12-09-2020 at 03:50 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 04:12 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Julie and Bob,

You're both very entertaining!

In this thread, post interesting words in any language, and/or brief poems that they inspire you to write.

Another German word I love is funkelnagelneu, which is our equivalent of 'brand new', but which in translation is more like 'shiny nail new'.

(I can't say that 'funkelnagelneu' has inspired me to write a poem, though! )

Jayne
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Unread 12-10-2020, 12:22 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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This one was published in Snakeskin. Not wholly compliant with the rubric, but I'll toss it in for now while I work on a new one.

Meshantador

A silly word, a surreptitious joke
between old ladies. From a French description
of a Napoleonic prison ship:
méchant odeur, tainting the onshore wind.

Why do the young suppose the old don’t know
that vintage craft give off an emanation
that hints at obsolescence and demands
an instant, arbitrary change of purpose?

Tant pis. Let’s downgrade slowly, you and I,
equip ourselves for further voyaging,
test our unshivered timbers while we may
on seas that still invite us into action.

Still fighting, still avoiding tell-tale talc
and anything suggesting lavender;
taking on board the Oeillet Mignardise,
Rive Gauche, Chanel,
and white camellias.

After a last quick check for rogue whiskers
one of us asks the all-important question:
"Meshantador, darling?" "Nah, you’re OK."
and two fine ships set sail into the street.
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