BLACKADDER THE THIRD: A DICTIONARY
Jay Random


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Editorís Note: The Blackadder TV series is one of the classics of British comedy. Jay Random did a little riffing on an episode of Blackadder the Third, which we think deserves a place among the series' DVD Extras. Fans will remember Blackadder crossing pens with Dr. Samuel Johnson, author of the eighteenth century English Dictionary:

Blackadder: "Allow me to be the first to offer Dr. Johnson my most sincere contrafibularities! I am anaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused him such pericombobulation."

The truly hilarious thing, of course, is that all those un-words very nearly mean something.

Contrafibularities: Obviously from contra, against, + fibula, the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Means 'pulling one's leg'.

Anaspeptic: From ana. back or up, + peptic, pertaining to the stomach. Obviously refers to some form of upchuck.

Frasmotic: Possibly a portmanteau word, frazzled + spasmodic. So frazzled that one goes into a spasm.

Compunctuous: A variation of compunctious, slightly influenced by contemptuous. Having a bad conscience because one has harmed somebody one really despises.

Pericombobulation: From peri-, around, + discombobulation. Disturbance and confusion because someone has been running circles around one.

Easy peas. Stephen R. Donaldson's rococo stylisms, by comparison, are downright hermeneutogenic.

You may visit the author at his slightly twisted website http://www.bondwine.com/jayrandom/

October 2003

 

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