Saturday, November 10, 2012


Meaning: the urge to wander as a psychological condition; used figuratively to describe wanderlust. 

Usefulness: 2 (I prefer fernweh, which captures both the wandering spirit and the sharp pangs one experiences back home, without the suggestion of psychosis)

Logofascination: 1 (Thanks to dromos being Greek for course or running, it is part of a spectacularly diverse etymological family which includes the dromedary, palindrome, syndrome and hippodrome.)

In the wild: the erudite Michael Williams used it while interviewing the adorable Michael Palin. I'm sure he was using it in the figurative sense.

Degrees: 2

Connections: dromomania - dromedary

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, XIII: How Pantagruel adviseth Panurge to try the future good or bad luck of his marriage by dreams. Rabelais has Pantagruel mention the noises of nine animals (they're discussing preparations for sleep), and in one of his more spectacular expansions, Sir Thomas has 71 in his translation.  Full texts further below for the terribly keen, but here is the relevant extract for those of you with better things to do on a Saturday:
buzzing of dromedaries, mumbling of rabbits, cricking of ferrets, humming of wasps, mioling* of tigers, bruzzing of bears, sussing of kitlings...

Full list 

abayent les chiens, ullent les loups, rugient les Lyons, hannissent les chevaulx, barrient les elephans, siflent les serpens, braislent les asnes, sonnent les cigalles, lamentent les tourterelles

Urquhart (I've highlighted a few favourites):
barking of curs, bawling of mastiffs, bleating of sheep, prating of parrots, tattling of jackdaws, grunting of swine, girning of boars, yelping of foxes, mewing of cats, cheeping of mice, squeaking of weasels, croaking of frogs, crowing of cocks, cackling of hens, calling of partridges, chanting of swans, chattering of jays, peeping of chickens, singing of larks, creaking of geese, chirping of swallows, clucking of moorfowls, cucking of cuckoos, bumbling of bees, rammage of hawks, chirming of linnets, croaking of ravens, screeching of owls, whicking of pigs, gushing of hogs, curring of pigeons, grumbling of cushat-doves, howling of panthers, curkling of quails, chirping of sparrows, crackling of crows, nuzzing of camels, wheening of whelps, buzzing of dromedaries, mumbling of rabbits, cricking of ferrets, humming of wasps, mioling of tigers, bruzzing of bears, sussing of kitlings, clamouring of scarfs**, whimpering of fulmarts***, booing of buffaloes, warbling of nightingales, quavering of mavises****, drintling of turkeys, coniating of storks, frantling of peacocks, clattering of magpies, murmuring of stock-doves, crouting of cormorants, cigling of locusts, charming of beagles, guarring of puppies, snarling of messens*****, rantling of rats, guerieting of apes, snuttering of monkeys, pioling of pelicans, quacking of ducks, yelling of wolves, roaring of lions, neighing of horses, crying of elephants, hissing of serpents, and wailing of turtles******
** dialect for cormorant or shag
*** a type of petrel
**** a thrush
***** a small dog, a lapdog
****** should probably be turtledoves

I do wish Blogger had a proper footnote option.

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