Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Meaning: the small pot used by apothecaries in times past to hold ointments and so forth. Extended to mean hard or difficult words such as those used by apothecaries, and, Grose tells us, people who are "as superficial in their learning as they are pedantic in their language."

Usefulness: 1 (While doing my best to avoid superficiality, this blog is proudly dedicated to gallipots, gallipotions and everything gallipotionesque.)

Logofascination: 1 (A cousin to ink-horn terms, of which this blog is even more fond - still being coined today, as evidenced over at LTA. Many 'new' words today are lazy portmanteaus, and ugly ones at that.)

In the wild: Still used in medicine, apparently.

Degrees: 2

Connections: gallipot - ointment

Which is used in: G&P, Second Book, XXX: How Epistemon, who had his head cut off, was finely healed by Panurge, and of the news which he brought from the devils, and of the damned people in hell. Here's how Panurge did it, in case you ever find yourself in such a situation:
Then cleansed he his neck very well with pure white wine, and, after that, took his head, and into it synapised some powder of diamerdis*, which he always carried about him in one of his bags. Afterwards he anointed it with I know not what ointment, and set it on very just, vein against vein, sinew against sinew, and spondyle** against spondyle, that he might not be wry-necked--for such people he mortally hated. This done, he gave it round about some fifteen or sixteen stitches with a needle that it might not fall off again; then, on all sides and everywhere, he put a little ointment on it, which he called resuscitative.

*Cotgrave defines this as: "A confection of turds, pilgrims salve; also, a shitten fellow." Can't be picky if you've had your head cut off, I suppose.


  1. Greetings from an icy mid-winter Scotia - Six Degrees of Septentrional Frost as I type. Enjoying the blog.

    If it's ink-horn terms you're fond of, allow me to draw your attention to my own very recently published and modest lexicographical endeavour -'Inkhorn's Erotonomicon: An Advanced Sexual Vocabulary for Verbivores and Vulgarians', where among other dubious delights you'll find a definition for 'hirquitalliency' much in line with your own musings on this mystery-word earlier in the blog.

    I think the book's available in Australia only as print on demand, though it can be viewed on Google Preview or ordered through the publishers at Amazon also lists the title with its similar Look Inside preview facility.

    I hope you and your readers find the Erotonomicon of some interest - you'll find numerous instances of Sir Thomas's comic-erotic erudition scattered throughout its pages.

    Oh - and keep the words coming!

  2. Hi Paul - thanks for the suggestion; bonus points for agreeing with me, and for excellent alliteration in that subtitle.