Friday, October 19, 2012


Meaning: Cotgrave tells us:
To grow hairie about the privities; also, to be as lascivious, or smell as ranke, as a goat; also, to be bookish, or, to read much in old bookes.

Usefulness: 1 (Too. many. jokes.)

Logofascination: 1 (And I'm not just being childish*. This French word apparently still means bookish, with an emphasis on old books, and may retain lascivious as a second sense. Here's my best theory; please bear in mind that I am now venturing into French etymology based almost entirely on wiktionary.** While the French have livre for book, they also borrowed from the Dutch to come up with bouquin, little book or old book, depending on whether you are feeling diminutive or pejorative. Meanwhile, bouc, meaning male goat, became the pejorative bouquin, old goat, and, voila, bouquiner means bookish or buckish, as you please.)

In the wildLes bouquineries des quais de paris - the second-hand booksellers of the Seine - will never be quite the same again, even though bouqineries are technically feminine, and therefore couldn't be bucks.

Degrees: 2

Connections: bouquiner - buck

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Third, XII: How Pantagruel doth explore by the Virgilian lottery what fortune Panurge shall have in his marriage. Panurge and Pantagruel are speaking of Jupiter, and in the process confirm the unfortunate reputation of goats, and a few other animals besides:
He did always lecher it like a boar, and no wonder, for he was fostered by a sow in the Isle of Candia, if Agathocles the Babylonian be not a liar, and more rammishly lascivious than a buck; whence it is that he is said by others to have been suckled and fed with the milk of the Amalthaean goat.

*All right, maybe a little. I have to admit that neither Rabelais nor Sir Thomas used this word, and it's not even English, (although bouquinist is, according to the OED) but this might be my best chance to post this definition. Rabelais, Cotgrave and Sir Thomas were clearly kindred spirits.

** I am, as ever, happy to be corrected or clarified. 

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