Current Essays




Here is a collection of notes to various really, really obscure references and puns and other stuff in the essays that, if either of us had a life, I wouldn't be writing and you wouldn't be reading.

-Enjoy! RHB

Angelica Puce Related Essay (313)

1Angelica Puce
"twentieth century sinning..." No that is not an error, and it's certainly not something I want to discuss here.

Related Essay (313)
anglicity Related Essay (386)

1[ad. mod.L. Anglicitāt-em, f. Anglic-us, after Latinus, Latinitāt-em, Latinity: see -ITY.]
English quality, as of speech or style; English idiom.

2[Variant of the Scots CURFUFFLE n. (perh. influenced by KER-?), now the general form in colloquial use.]
1946 F. SARGESON That Summer 94, I bet it [sc. the domestic row] ended up in a good old kafuffle. 1959 J. FLEMING Miss Bones xiv. 150 The kerfuffle over the stolen jewels last week. 1960 E. W. HILDICK Jim Starling & Colonel viii. 62 Butcher said he didn't know what all the kerfuffle was about. 1960 A. WYKES Snake Man iii. 38 After this kufuffle was over and we were on our way again. 1965 New Statesman 30 Apr. 693/3 After..some abortive backstage kerfuffles at the National Theatre, Wedekind's Spring Awakening has scraped past the Lord Chamberlain. 1968 'B. MATHER' Springers xii. 130 In the kerfuffle of the last half hour I had forgotten the poor soul's personal needs. 1973 K. AMIS Riverside Villas Murder ii. 40 A lot of our readers are going to think all this kerfuffle over an old skeleton being snatched is..a bit of a joke.

3 Sc. rare. [onomatopœic.]
   trans. To throw into disorder; to jerk about; to hustle, treat with contumely. Hence fuffled ppl. a. Also fuffle n., violent exertion, fuss.
1536 LYNDESAY Answ. Kingis Flyting 54 That feynd, with fuffilling of hir roistit hoch, Caist doun the fat. 1635 D. DICKSON Pract. Writ. (1845) I. 177 Thou must be content instead of favour to be fuffled. 1801 HOGG Sc. Pastorals 14 When muckle Pate, wi' desp'rate fuffle, Had at Poltowa won the scuffle. 1819 W. TENNANT Papistry Storm'd (1827) 66 He saw the Vicar..In fuffel'd garb, and plicht ungainly.

Related Essay (386)
Animal Rights Berks Related Essay (229)
1 Foxiphage
"... recent headline" As it has become less recent Reuters seems to have hurled it onto the trash-heap of history---so
I'm preserving it!

December 01 2004 at 12:45PM London - Forget the soiled bedsheets and pickled animals, British art has taken another outrageous turn in an example of the unspeakable swallowing the uneatable. Performance artist Mark McGowan, who counts among his feats pushing a peanut along the road to Tony Blair's Downing Street home with his nose, has eaten a fox, in protest at the public fixation with a government ban on fox hunting. He described the roast fox, which he ate in public, as quite tasty, although he admitted to nearly vomiting at times. "It was a bit like rack of lamb," he said on Wednesday. "The trouble was the retching noises from the other people in the room." Too much attention is paid to fox hunting, he believes. "One million people marched against fox hunting and another million marched for it. The housing estate where I live is full of crack-heads but no one marches to help them," he said. "Everyone gets really worked up about a furry animal, but no one cares about each other." McGowan plans to repeat the performance at an exhibition in London's Docklands on December 15.

By the way, although I suppose Foxiphage is a less regular formation than say Alopephage, it's a lot more fun.

Related Essay (229)
Anthropomorphic Zo Related Essay (244)
1 Badgers
"... this thing about badgers" I have not, so far, been able to determine whether her thing is for the Eurasian (presumably specifically British) badger Meles meles or the American badger Taxidea taxus. I'm sure it can't  Zopossibly be the Stink badger, so we won't go there.

Related Essay (244)
Arrow of Time Related Essay (96)
1 Youthful Georgione
"... as we used to call her, for reasons too obscure" Not too obscure at all really. It's from John Betjeman's burlesque of Longfellow...
Longfellow's Visit to Venice
(To be read in a quiet New England accent)
Near the celebrated Lido where the breeze is fresh and free
Stands the ancient port of Venice called the City of the Sea.

All its streets are made of water, all its homes are brick and stone,
Yet it has a picturesqueness which is justly all its own.

Here for centuries have artists come to see the vistas quaint,
Here Bellini set his easel, here he taught his School to paint.

Here the youthful Giorgione gazed upon the domes and towers,
And interpreted his era in a way which pleases ours.

A later artist, Tintoretto, also did his paintings here,
Massive works which generations have continued to revere.

Still to-day come modern artists to portray the buildings fair
And their pictures may be purchased on San Marco's famous Square.

When the bell notes from the belfries and the campaniles chime
Still to-day we find Venetians elegantly killing time

In their gilded old palazzos, while the music in our ears
Is the distant band at Florians mixed with songs of gondoliers.

Thus the New World meets the Old World and the sentiments expressed
Are melodiously mingled in my warm New England breast.
Gerry Denn (with whom I was working at the time) and I were both somewhat ardentish about Betjeman, so I'm not sure which of us deserves the blame for this onomastical extravaganza.

Related Essay (96)
Asked Related Essay (422)
1  Not a misspelling, but a totally different chap who's not as likely to sue me as old 'Lavatory' Cheney would be were it a reference to him*.

  They ASKED me!!

* Which, of course, it isn't!

Related Essay (422)
Asymptotic Taxes Related Essay (221)

1 Asymptotic
"... preferably asymptotic taxes" Real progressive taxes: taxes that stop those bastards at the top getting to have that third yacht while there are people around having to get that third minimum wage job.



Related Essay (221)
Attila the Hon Related Essay (87)
1 One should note that this was only after having to fight my youngest daughter Rowena Margaret Nancy Sarah Hroþwyn Howland-Bolton for the priviledge.

Related Essay (87)
averse Related Essay (360)
1  "rhyme of the poet..." bloody Longfellow yet again, The Day is Done (vide: this note to Lives of Great Men All Remind Us )

Related Essay (360)
Backward and Abysm Related Essay (278)
1 Prospero .... What seest thou else            60
In the dark backward and abysm of time

The Tempest Act I. Scene II.

Related Essay (278)

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