Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Meaning: Cotgrave:
deflowre, take the maidenhead of, depriue of her maidenhead.
Usefulness: 1 (Useful as a fancy version of popping the cherry, used symbolically of so many things.)

Logofascination: 1 (From the French pucelle, meaning young girl or maid, Sir Thomas translates this as the un-maidening. Compare depudicate, which is from a different Latin root entirely and is, etymologically, the de-chasteing.)

In the wild: It is honoured with an entry in the always delightful Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form, which contains more useful information, and, of course, a limerick.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, La Tiers Livre, VI: Why new married men were privileged from going to the wars. In the middle of a characteristically bawdy discussion as to why this might be, Panurge diverges onto the topic of second marriages. I'd like to stress that the opinion below does not reflect that of the management, or, for that matter, of Pantagruel:
the like mischief also befall the Friar Charmer, who, in a full auditory making a sermon at Pereilly, and therein abominating the reiteration of marriage and the entering again in the bonds of a nuptial tie, did swear and heartily give himself to the swiftest devil in hell, if he had not rather choose, and would much more willingly undertake the unmaidening or depucelating of a hundred virgins, than the simple drudgery of one widow.
For the record, Pantragruel's opinion: "A plague take such preachers!" 

Frame translates the Friar's name as Sheathing-it - the French text has 'Enguainnant,' which Frame has presumably linked to engainant, or sheathing. I'm not quite sure what Sir Thomas had in mind. It is perhaps a connection to guigne, or jinx, and thus the Charmer in the sense of one who casts charms, or evil spells, rather than one who is charming in the modern sense.  Sir Thomas has also added unmaidening as an in-text translation and synonym of depucelating.

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