Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB
Do you love goofy, old words? I do. I used to tell my obstreperous high school students to “go stuff your flatchet!” They were usually so startled, they’d stop doing whatever they had been doing, even though it only meant “put your sword away.” I got those words from a lovely book called Poplollies and Bellibones: A Celebration of Lost Words by Susan Kelz Sperling. Enjoy (and use) the ones below:
- Too much hum can make a man’s head quop.
- Hum: a strong liquor combination of ale or beer with spirits; quop: to throb.
- All that hum may induce the man to long to hold his loved one’s feat.
- Feat: a dangling curl of hair.
- A woup with the feat of an elephant inside is considered lucky to wear, but larger woups could even anchor one’s feet at the base of a gofe.
- Woup: a simple metal hoop or ring, not set with stones; gofe: a pillory.
- Such a gofe would normally be erected on the wong where everyone could see it.
- wong: a meadowland, used as a commons where cows were taken to graze.
- Nowadays, a public wong is covered with nesh plantings and lush trees.
- Nesh: fresh, delicate or soft, such as vegetables, foliage or fruit should be.
- Braiding one’s hair with nesh flowers makes a beautiful kell.
- Kell: a woman’s headdress, such as a close-set net or cap, or a even a fancy wig to don for a party.
- A lady’s kell is more elaborate if she is going to a ball where hum is served.
(If you ever go to such a party, and drink too much hum, be sure to stuff your flatchet in a safe place, so as not to injure anyone . . . including yourself!)
See you day-after-tomorrow for Saturday’s Softcover!