Thursday, February 14, 2013


Meaning: among other things, to wrinkle one's nose at someone or something.

Usefulness: 1 ("Don't nivel at me, young lady!" "In my day, there'd have been none of your nivel; we'd have loved a nice bit of brains, my word.")

Logofascination: 2 (I'm a little surprised that this died out; I can't think of another word for this particular movement. It should be pointed out that nivel can also cover grimaces, and may be related to snivelling, or to an old word for brow or forehead.)

In the wild: No; I'd like to bring it back.

Degrees: 2

Connections: nivel - snivel

Which is used in: G&P Book the First, XI: Of the youthful age of Gargantua. Rabelais on toddlers - apparently between the ages of three and five Gargantua:
spent that time like the other little children of the country, that is, in drinking, eating, and sleeping: in eating, sleeping, and drinking: and in sleeping, drinking, and eating. Still he wallowed and rolled up and down himself in the mire and dirt--he blurred and sullied his nose with filth--he blotted and smutched his face with any kind of scurvy stuff--he trod down his shoes in the heel--at the flies he did oftentimes yawn, and ran very heartily after the butterflies, the empire whereof belonged to his father. He pissed in his shoes, shit in his shirt, and wiped his nose on his sleeve--he did let his snot and snivel fall in his pottage, and dabbled, paddled, and slobbered everywhere--he would drink in his slipper, and ordinarily rub his belly against a pannier.
Kids, eh?

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