Friday, August 31, 2012


Meaning: an Egyptian word - a figurine of a dead person, buried with them to do their chores in the afterlife.

Usefulness: 1 (I might be confusing the word with the thing here, but I don't see why you should have to be dead to have an ushabti, and of course it makes a nice, subtle insult for the workplace*)

Logofascination: 3

In the wild: I think I found this word in a Viennese museum, so I was probably looking at an actual ushabti.

Degrees: 2

Connections: ushabti - Egypt

Which is used in: G&P 42 times (which of course means that 'how many times does Egypt appear in G&P?' is possibly the Ultimate Question) but in the Third Book, I: How Pantagruel transported a colony of Utopians into Dipsody, it appears as an example of fine government.
"Thus Osiris, the great king of the Egyptians, conquered almost the whole earth, not so much by force of arms as by easing the people of their troubles, teaching them how to live well, and honestly giving them good laws, and using them with all possible affability, courtesy, gentleness, and liberality."

*for the record, I don't actually insult people at work.  I just think about how I might. 

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