Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Meaning: Cotgrave:
Northerlie, of or in the North.
Usefulness: 1 (OK, it might not be that useful, but it's a ten dollar word you can bandy about, and it sounds good: septentrional. I'm proposing it as the antonym for Antipodean; anyone north of the equator is a septentrionan.)

Logofascination: 1 (From the Latin for seven plough-oxen, referring to Ursa Major or Minor - the OED has Major, so I'm going with that.  Either way, it's because those stars can help you find North... if you're in the Northern hemisphere, of course. The Southern Cross is the southern equivalent; it can be used to find south if you're ever below the equator.)

In the wild:  Digging about in Trove, (don't blame me if you get lost in there) I found a rather lovely piece from 1911 on the British Navy coming to Cromarty, and how much Sir Thomas would've appreciated it. As if his writing on the subject were not enough to mark him one of the logofascinated, our anonymous Englishman's casual use of a word like septentrional in his second-last paragraph is a dead giveaway.

Degrees: 2

Connections: septentrional - septenary

Which is used in: Ekskybalauron. Sir Thomas cites some cases from the Greeks:
that Anacharsis, although a native of Scythia, which was then a more savage country then at this time it is, albeit now it be the seminary of a wilder people then ever Scotland did bring forth, was by Greece, the most judicious nation in the world,* with great applause inrolled in the sacred septenary of the most highly renowned men for prudence and true wisdom that ever lived there; 
The logic, in case you missed previous instalments of Ekskybalauron, is that Sir Thomas should be given money, but you shouldn't assume he only wants it because he's a Scot (since this might prevent you giving him money) - rather look to the Greeks, who took in chaps even more barbarous than the Scots and put them on important lists**.

*The views, opinions and positions expressed by Sir Thomas do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of The Management.
**The fascination with lists is apparently timeless.

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