03 November, 2006

Sharp objects

The most recondite words in the lexicon, just for the indolent hell of it, three pointy comfits from the OED:

[f. Algonkin wigwas birch-bark (canoe) + -ING.]
The spearing of eels or fish from a canoe by torchlight.

[ad. It. spadone large sword.]
An imperfectly developed feather taken from a young ostrich in its first year.

[F. (1690 in Furetière), diminutive of tringle]
A pointed stick used to open the cames or grooved leaden bars which hold the panes in fretwork or diamond-paned windows (Knight Dict. Mech. 1877). (In Fr. also, the piece of glass in such a pane, Littré.)


Anonymous said...

Reminds me a little of some of the words in Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff. Now there's a dictionary that no sensible person should be without.

Conrad H. Roth said...

Agreed. I liked 'sturry'.

Anonymous said...

Tringlette? Hum... that doesn't seem very far from pornography. And it rhymes with levrette.

Conrad H. Roth said...

Female greyhound? You'll have to forgive me, my blue French is stuck with Rabelais. Calibistri, anyone?

Anonymous said...

I think it evolved a little bit* since Rabelais. (Though I have never met any “calibistri” before, nor any “callibistrys” — or maybe I didn't notice. You may however find some juicy equivalents here, and in many other places I believe.)
It shouldn't be specific to greyhounds but, yes, doing it “en levrette” (or “dans la position de la levrette”) is something of a doggy business.
When it comes to the “pointed stick”, look for the verb tringler.

(Oh, God! tell me why [we] I enjoy having fun with those titillating expressions? Pure intellectual masturbation, undoubtedly.)
* a word that may be used in countless puns

Conrad H. Roth said...

From the Trésor, readers, on tringler:

"Arg[otique]. Posséder sexuellement. 'Oh! tu sais, des femmes qui aiment se faire tringler, je suis sûre qu'il n'y en a pas une sur cent : c'est un genre qu'elles se donnent, par snobisme' (BEAUVOIR, Mandarins, 1954, p. 95)."

You dirty little boy, Sutor. (I love it.)

Anonymous said...


Incidentally, in case you don't know about it already, if you want to use a more direct version of this precious Trésor (a simplified one though), you can use this URL:
(It's in the top part of the list in my “favourites”.)

It can also be used to point directly to an entry:
Maybe humour helps to overcome some of the hardships of life. Or at least it tries to.