Thursday, August 3, 2017

A collection of words

Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
~Samuel Johnson

Next week I'll share some poems from the summer swap, but in the meantime I have entries from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755). They're not poetry, but they are poetic, and they make me want to use them in poems. For instance, did you know that "anthology" once meant "a collection of flowers"?

Anthology. n.s. [ἀνθολογἰα, from ανθος, a flower, and λέγα, to gather.]
A collection of flowers.
A collection of devotions in the Greek church.
A collection of poems.


Daggersdrawing. n.s. [dagger and draw.]
The act of drawing daggers; approach to open violence.

They always are at daggersdrawing,
And one another clapperclawing.
Hudibras, p. ii. cant. 2.


Afterlove. n.s. [from after and love.]
The second or later love.

Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If but the first, how heinous ere it be,
To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.
Shakesp. Richard II.


Fopdoodle. n.s. [fop and doodle.]
A fool; an insignificant wretch.

Where sturdy butchers broke your noodle,
And handled you like a fopdoodle.
Hudibras, p. ii.


Camelopard. n.s. [from camelus and pardus, Lat.]
An Abyssinian animal, taller than an elephant, but not so thick. He is so named, because he has a neck and head like a camel; he is spotted like a pard, but his spots are white upon a red ground. The Italians call him giaraffa.


Grubstreet. n.s.
Originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called grubstreet.
I'd sooner ballads write, and grubstreet lays.
John Gay.
[What's a temporary poem? I guess it must not have been very well-regarded...]


Blatteration. n.s. [blateratio, Lat.]
Noise; senseless roar.


Anybody want to make a sentence or poem with one in the comments? Mainely Write has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Donna!


michelle kogan said...

What fun Tabatha, thanks for sharing this wonderful dictionary with us! Here's a short ditty with a few of these fun- loving words:
I spy a spry camelopard
cried the funny, fair, fopdoodle.
Nay, they all sang, you're no bard
expand your noodle, fopdoodle
the whole darn kit and caboodle!
© 2017 Michelle Kogan

Mrs. Wyman said...

You got me thinking about prose that is also poetic. Need to start writing some of that down. "Noise. Senseless roar" is wonderful. -- Christie @

Irene Latham said...

Not a poem, but I am enamored of one of these words and keep thinking "cockadoodle flopdoodle." :) I love the thought of an anthology also being about flowers somehow -- a blooming book. xo

Linda B said...

Wonderful to read about these words. I did know about the meaning of anthology because I've had students create their own anthology of favorite poems and prose at the end of the year, and so we "gathered flowers" to keep. Thanks, Tabatha. You've shared some gorgeous words!

"It's time to stop the 'blatteration' -
to wise-up in our contemplation
of important nation-tending
and work today in enemy-mending."

Jane @ said...

Perhaps those temporary poems written on Grubstreet were filled with blatteration!

Oh, the joy of language! It really is fascinating to see how languages evolve over time, as new words are added, old words disappear, and meanings change, sometimes completely!

Donna Smith said...

There was a young man, a fopdoodle,
Whose afterlove was a maid prudle;
Because she was sweet
He was banned to grubstreet
For his blatterations so crudle!

I LOVE "blatteration", and that an anthology is a collection of flowers.

Rebecca Herzog said...

These are so wonderful! I especially enjoy daggersdrawing. I'll have to teach my kids "fopdoodle". If they are going to insist on bickering, at least I'll be entertained.

Jeanne said...

I wrote a dissertation on one of the kinds of "temporary poems" he's talking about--topical satires. They were often published as broadsides and largely forgotten by the next week. it can be fun to dig them up.

Tabatha said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all! The poems are a kick. Jeanne, that's so interesting! I appreciate you weighing in.

Mitchell Linda said...

Oh, what fun! I am enamoured of fopdoodle. Let's see....

Even though George dressed well, spoke well and learnt his manners to impeccable precision, he could not overcome his the impression his peers still had of him as a fopdoodle from his first year of boarding school. Of course, glossing the lips of your mummy's photo before kissing it at bedtime was new to the boys of Pearington School for Boys....

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Such fun words! Thanks for sharing, Tabatha...although I thought Grub Street was our local writing center: ;)

Violet Nesdoly said...

Your collection of fun words reminds me of a site I used to follow... and I just found it again: The Word Spy: The word-lover's guide to new words. It has entries like "fearnomics" - negative impact of fear and anxiety on economic activity, "chumbox" - websites full of essentially clicbait and many many more. It's here:

Tabatha said...

Linda, I think that would be new to ANYONE :-)
Whaddayaknow, Matt! I guess they were reclaiming "mean production" :-)
Violet, thanks for the link. I have been having fun looking at "bozo explosion," "unread bestseller," etc. I discovered that giving something a "Washington read" means checking the index to see if you are in it! Ha.

Mary Lee said...

Love jumping from Sam J's 1755 dictionary entries to the ones in the link Violet left. (I am SO subscribed!) You always find (and share) the best stuff, Tabatha!

There is a certain fopdoodle whose blatteration brings me to daggersdrawing.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I leave your posts so much better educated! Blatteration is definitely entering my classroom vocabulary, and I love the Grub Street history. I was going to guess that temporary meant occasional, but how fab that Jeanne knew what it really is. Word Spy here I come!

Brenda Harsham said...

I love quirky words, and inventing new ones.

Gloatrage is a new one at Word Spy, implying we are gloating that our President is as bad as we thought he would be and enjoying our own outrage too much.

One of my favorite words: Popty Ping, which is Welsh for popcorn.