Saturday, October 20, 2012

The feat of the loose-coat skirmish

Meaning: One of the things I like about this one is that it's reasonably obvious.

Usefulness: 2 (could be handy for when people are stuck for words: "It turns out that all along they were, well..." "Performing the feat of the loose-coat skirmish?" "Yes. Yes, that's it.")

Logofascination: 2 (I think this might be one of Sir Thomas' phrases - I can't find any citations for it outside G&P, and Rabelais had chosette, a much less interesting euphemism.)

In the wild: no.

Degrees: 0 (I've attributed it to Sir Thomas, but it may well have been slang used at the time.)

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, XVIII: How Pantagruel and Panurge did diversely expound the verses of the Sibyl of Panzoust.  This particular passage, in praise of the quickie, gets a little warm; it should be noted that Sir Thomas has taken Rabelais' 100 words and expanded them to 186.
Because, when the feat of the loose-coat skirmish happeneth to be done underhand and privily, between two well-disposed, athwart the steps of a pair of stairs lurkingly, and in covert behind a suit of hangings, or close hid and trussed upon an unbound faggot, it is more pleasing to the Cyprian goddess, and to me also --I speak this without prejudice to any better or more sound opinion--than to perform that culbusting* art after the Cynic manner, in the view of the clear sunshine, or in a rich tent, under a precious stately canopy, within a glorious and sublime pavilion, or yet on a soft couch betwixt rich curtains of cloth of gold, without affrightment, at long intermediate respites, enjoying of pleasures and delights a bellyfull, at all great ease, with a huge fly-flap fan of crimson satin and a bunch of feathers of some East-Indian ostrich serving to give chase unto the flies all round about; whilst, in the interim, the female picks her teeth with a stiff straw picked even then from out of the bottom of the bed she lies on.

*tumbling over; likely to get now has its own post

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