Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In defense of the term 'rabbity'

To those who protest the use of the word 'rabbity' as an adjective describing old underwear, as used in my previous post:

Yes, this represents some degree of poetic license. But heed the following and I shall win you over. I intend to demonstrate that 'rabbit' relates to old underwear in regards to the state of being thinned down and prone to holes. That anything thinned down and breached with holes may be called

As witness I shall call upon Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. It's a lovely 1563-page hard-cover tome published 1987 - thus it is hardly 'New' anymore, granted. We shall concern ourselves only with page 969. It's a delightful page, bearing illustrations of a quoin and a raccoon and a highly decorative giant 'R' that marks the beginning of the R-word section.

R-words 14 through 20 all relate to the word rabbit. Webster and I agree, as I'm sure you will also, that rabbity means one thing and that is - rabbit-like. Resembling a rabbit. And how may rabbit be defined? As follows:

As a noun:

1a: any of various lagomorphs that are born naked, blind, and helpless, that are sometimes gregarious, and that include esp. the cottontails of the New World and a small Old World mammal (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that is the source of various domestic breeds.

1b: hare

2: the pelt of the rabbit

3: Welsh Rabbit

4a: a figure of a rabbit sped mechanically along the edge of a dog track as an object of pursuit.

4b: a runner on a track team who sets a fast pace for a teammate in the first part of a long-distance race.

As a verb: To hunt rabbits (and one who does such is a rabbiter).

The remaining definitions refer to words or terms rabbitbrush, rabbit ears, rabbit fever, rabbit punch and rabbitry (a rabbit-raising enterprise) - none of which appear relevant to this debate.

Okay. Got all that? Now to relate 'rabbit' to the state of being thinned down and prone to holes. Let's explore Webster's definitions.

Rabbits are sometimes gregarious. I confess I didn't actually know that about rabbits 'til now. So what else is gregarious? Radio Disc Jockeys, Dalmatian puppies, Don Cherry, everyone's favorite aunt, and my good pal - Roanoke Robb. Agreed? Okay. Let's put that information on hold for a moment.

What other connections can we make? 'Cottontails of the New World'. Underpants are often made of cotton and are worn in the New World. But that's just a minor piece of the puzzle, I realize.

What else? Welsh Rabbit. What the flying ---- is that all about? That's just stupid. If someone didn't know what rabbit meant I couldn't tell him "Oh - it means 'Welsh rabbit'. Now do you get it?"

"Oh - you don't know what sigmoid-flexure means? Let me explain. It's easy. It means Siberian sigmoid-flexure. Now you understand? Is that clear?" Jumpin' jehosifats! I assume this will have been corrected in the Websters Tenth Even-Newer Collegiate Dictionary or at least in the latest edition - the Websters Twenty-Eighth So-Goddam-New-You'll-Shit-A-Brick Collegiate Dictionary.

What else we got? Ah-Hah! Here's the ticket! A figure of a rabbit sped mechanically along the edge of a dog track... Now this concept - as is common knowledge I'm sure - derived from the ancient mouse races in which a cheese or artificial cheese was propelled along the track - made famous at the Bern Mouse Olympics of 17th century Switzerland.

You get it now? Switzerland! Cheese! Is Swiss cheese not thin and prone to holes?

Ah, but of course. Now you understand. We shall require no jury deliberation. Case closed. Those of you who claimed that I merely miss-spelled the word rabbety, meaning 'beaten down, reduced' can go fuck yourselves. Apology accepted!


1 comment:

Dave said...

my cat's breath smells like cat food.