Sunday, August 19, 2012


Definition: the science of fermentation, which, as we all know, reaches its highest form in brewing.

Usefulness: 2

Logofascination: 3 (Zymurgy doesn't sound like it'd be that well known, but it is the sort of word that is written up over bars.)

In the wild: Written up over the bar in Mrs Parma's, a bar that makes, unsurprisingly, parmas.

Degrees: 4

Connections: zymurgy - metallurgy - panurgy (via -urgy: action or process) - Panurgic (i.e like Panurge.)

Used in: We first meet Panurge in Gargantua and Pantagruel, Second Book, IX: How Pantagruel found Panurge, whom he loved all his lifetime, and as you might expect from that title, he shows up quite a bit from then on. In one story, Panurge takes revenge on a bloke by buying one of his sheep and throwing it into the sea, at which the rest follow, being sheep, and are lost - sheep, shepherds, master and all. This story led to a French expression concerning the sheep of Panurge, and ultimately to some rather useful words - panurger and panurgique - which give you a posh way of calling someone a lemming. (I like my metaphors like my martinis: stirred, not shaken.)  An interesting diversion for panurge, which for most of its life meant able to do everything or making mischief at everything.

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