Sunday, October 7, 2012


Meaning: Cotgrave tells us this means "wagging or shrugging".

Usefulness: 2 (technically, we should speak of Gallic jectigation rather than the Gallic shrug; shrugging is English, whereas jectigation came to us via French.)

Logofascination: 2 (Etymologically, it's related to pretty much anything that has ject in it, and a number of other words besides.  Although he didn't invent it, Sir Thomas has the first two citations for this in the OED.)

In the wild: Stephen Fry tweeted about it once, so no.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, XIX: How Pantagruel praiseth the counsel of dumb men.  As you may recall from chironomatic, a Roman chap is described as talking:
"not without a chironomatic Italianizing of his demand, with various jectigation of his fingers and other gesticulations as yet customary amongst the speakers of that country"
Interestingly, Urquhart has elsewhere translated jectigation as shrugging, but used jectigation here where Rabelais merely said "gesticulations Italicques". My personal theory is that Sir Thomas quite liked jectigation and chironomatic and saw a good opportunity to use them.

No comments:

Post a Comment