Thursday, January 24, 2013


Meaning: divination by names, particularly by the letters in a given name (usually by assigning numbers to the letters).

Usefulness: 2 (I have a vague memory of doing this in primary school; I think there was a way you could do sums with your name and someone else's name and divine how well the whole thing would work. I'm not sure what that meant at 10 years old, but it was interesting.)

Logofascination: 1 (A bit obscure - even for this blog - but there is discussion in the OED citations and a few other places about whether this is onomancy or onomatomancy. A couple of citations suggest that onomancy means divination by ass, which is technically correct, but I think they're being sarcastic and mocking the user's lack of Latin. Some people take them seriously, however, but do not provide details on exactly how one would perform divination by donkey.)

In the wild: Oh, the -mancy pages I have discovered. At the end of this series I think there will be a post on some of the more weird and wonderful forms of divination, and the Very Special parts of the internet that hold them. So, err, yes, but you'll have to wait until then.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, the -mancy chapter, which, in case someone stumbles across this for the first time (if that's you, tyromancy seems to be quite popular) is in the Third Book, XXV, in which Panurge and Herr Trippa engage in some banter about divination.
By onomatomancy. How do they call thee? Chaw-turd, quoth Panurge. 
 Where Sir Thomas has Chaw-Turd, Rabelais has Maschemerde and Frame Crunchcrap. 

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