Wednesday, April 03, 2013

C is for Curmur

Curmurring: A low rumbling sound, akin to a murmur, but in motion with the bowels, produced by flatulence. One of many rhythmical terms applied to the art of flatuosity for which our ancestors apparently shared a peculiar fascination.

Not to be confused with curmudgeon; a nasty bad-tempered person. Of course, if his foul demeanor were due to gas…

Source: Century Dictionary and Cyclopaedia (1889) William Whitney
Google hits: 28,400

Cook, slut & butler: A common expression for one who does all the turns of work in a household.

The second term surely refers to it's 15th century meaning: kitchen maid. Likely an ancestor of the modern term chief, cook & bottle-washer. How the butler became chief, I do not know. Is the butler considered the chief of all servants?

As a former facilities officer at a Bank of Montreal operations centre, I often protected my budget by doing various repair type work personally, rather than hiring an expensive vendor to do the work, or purchasing a new replacement article. I thus earned the occasional nick-name Rich-of-all-trades.

Source: Glossary of North Country Words (1825) John Brockett
Google hits: 600

Curglaff: The shock felt when bathing and one first plunges into cold water.

Curgloft, confounded, and bumbaz'd,
On east and west by turns he gazed.
As ship that's tost with stormy weather,
Drives on, the pilot knows not whither.
- William Meston, 1767

Source: Etymological Scottish Dictionary (1808) John Jamieson
Google hits: 1400

Ghosts ARE corporeal! They can get their hands stuck in cracks like anyone else!

1 comment:

OT Ebby said...

Amazing words! Good luck for the rest of the A-Z Challenge.