Sunday, September 30, 2012


Meaning: a gun; more detail here, if you're into that kind of thing.

Usefulness: 3

Logofascination: 2 (it's a perversion of donderbus, Dutch for thunder-gun, and the OED backs up Looper in suggesting that blunder comes into the name by way of "some allusion to its blind or random firing". A defining feature: "capable of doing execution within a limited range without exact aim." It's always nice when a scriptwriter has done their research.)

In the wildLooper, which also adopts 'Gat' for another future-gun, and Gats as the name for the blokes who use them.

Degrees: 2

Connections: blunderbuss - gun

Which is used in: G&P, First Book, XXVI: How the inhabitants of Lerne, by the commandment of Picrochole their king, assaulted the shepherds of Gargantua unexpectedly and on a sudden. The shepherds have taken cake from bakers by force, and the bakers respond.
"At dinner he despatched his commissions, and by his express edict my Lord Shagrag* was appointed to command the vanguard, wherein were numbered sixteen thousand and fourteen arquebusiers or firelocks, together with thirty thousand and eleven volunteer adventurers. The great Touquedillon,* master of the horse, had the charge of the ordnance, wherein were reckoned nine hundred and fourteen brazen pieces, in cannons, double cannons, basilisks, serpentines, culverins, bombards or murderers, falcons, bases or passevolins, spirols, and other sorts of great guns." 
We also see here a cousin of the blunderbuss, the arquebusier or harquebus.

*Rabelais has Lord Trepelu, which Cotgrave defines as "A poore tattered rogue; a base, bare, and beggerlie wretch," so Sir Thomas is obviously attempting to suggest the tatterdemalion. Frame calls this chap Lord Paltry. 

** This is pretty much what Rabelais has, but Frame translates this as Blowhard.

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