Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Meaning: a book-burier - usually used metaphorically of someone who hides books or locks them away.

Usefulness: 2 (A name for someone who is obsessed with keeping their books immaculate.  If you spend time in rare book rooms and the like, you could use it of certain librarians. Carefully, if you'd like to continue spending time in rare books rooms.)

Logofascination: 1 (see that -taph on the end? That's the same taph that's in epitaph and cenotaph; making those connections is enormously satisfying. Well, for me.)

In the wild: indirectly - I found this while ransacking dictionaries for taphophile (lover of tombs and cemeteries), a word used over at Gleeful recently. Unfortunately it seems that taphophiles are not yet recognised by lexicographers, but we can work on that.

Degrees: 2

Connections: bibliotaph - epitaph

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, V: How Pantagruel altogether abhorreth the debtors and borrowers. Pantagruel and Panurge have spent several chapters debating borrowing and lending, Pantagruel's position being obvious from the title. He generously offers to clear (quit) Panurge's debts, if he won't get into them again. Panurge, while terribly grateful, explains that he won't know himself if he doesn't have debts, and since when people fart they (apparently) say:
"Voila pour les quittes, that is, For the quit. My life will be of very short continuance, I do foresee it. I recommend to you the making of my epitaph; for I perceive I will die confected in the very stench of farts. If, at any time to come, by way of restorative to such good women as shall happen to be troubled with the grievous pain of the wind-colic, the ordinary medicaments prove nothing effectual, the mummy of all my befarted body will straight be as a present remedy appointed by the physicians; whereof they, taking any small modicum, it will incontinently for their ease afford them a rattle of bumshot, like a sal of muskets."
In case you missed it, Panurge's logic, such as it is, is that if farts are for the quit, and he is quit (of debt), he will get all the farts and die horribly. Cotgrave defines quittes as "Discharged, quit, freed, released, forgiuen, absolued, set cleere aboord."

1 comment:

  1. Confected in the very stench of farts! My befarted body! A rattle of bumshot! Teehee. This reminded me of the time my brother and I looked up fart in our ancient, yellowed, disintegrating dictionary and it said "an explosion from between the legs". Much mirth ensued.

    Thanks for the link. I learnt 'taphophile' via the blog Taphophile Tragics (http://taphophile-tuesday.blogspot.com.au/).