Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Meaning: It's a Rabelaisian invention, which Frame says is literally "to pass through a narrow passage such as that of a cornet". Thanks to its context (see below) Cotgrave defines it as "to plod or dunce upon, to beat the brains about" - trying to force information into one's brain faster than it is able to go.

Usefulness: 1 (I can always do with more words for cramming, and this has the added benefit of sounding quite rude.)

Logofascination: 1 (Rabelais was quite the logodaedalist, but in French, obviously, so it's always nice to find one of his originals. Sir Thomas adapted it from incornifistibuler to incornifistibulating, but otherwise left it alone. I also find it interesting as it indicates that Rabelais and Sir Thomas sometimes formed words on similar principles - stringing together as many Greek or Latin elements as are required to achieve the desired effect.)

In the wild: No, and I don't recommend getting too carried away with searching; apparently Google also thinks it sounds like a rude word.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Third, XXXVI: A continuation of the answer of the Ephectic and Pyrrhonian philosopher Trouillogan. Panurge is at a dinner, and has consulted a priest and a theologian on the question of whether he should marry - he then spends several chapters attempting to converse with a philosopher, who is appropriately subtle.

Pan. O the good God help us! By the death of a buffle-ox*, I sweat with the toil and travail that I am put to, and find my digestion broke off, disturbed, and interrupted, for all my phrenes**, metaphrenes, and diaphragms, back, belly, midriff, muscles, veins, and sinews are held in a suspense and for a while discharged from their proper offices to stretch forth their several powers and abilities for incornifistibulating and laying up into the hamper of my understanding your various sayings and answers.
**the midriff: Rabelais has only "phrènes, metaphrènes, & diaphragmes", and as usual, Sir Thomas is unable to resist improving a list, so adds the English terms and a few more for luck. 

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