Monday, April 15, 2013


Meaning: exuding sweetness, overly sweet.

Usefulness: 1 (With a suggestion of artificiality, it's a useful way to describe those who are, well, artificially sweet.)

Logofascination: (Ezra Pound coined it for one of his Cantos, consigning the saccharescent to an eternity in glucose. It was written just after World War I, which was apparently, when saccharin became more widely used. The artificiality of saccharin and the abstract chemistry of glucose against the absent sugar; it's a modern Hell that Pound is imagining.)

In the wild: In Canto XV, which is particularly Boschian, so I'd only look it up if you're feeling strong-stomached and / or cynical.  If you're after something a bit lighter, I found it in this quiz.

Degrees: 2

Connections: saccharescent - sugar

Which is used in: Gargantua (Book the First), XXXVII: How Gargantua, in combing his head, made the great cannon-balls fall out of his hair. Gargantua and Pantagruel are giants - when it suits the narrative - which Rabelais conveys through things like the size of their supper:
This said, they made ready supper, and, of extraordinary besides his daily fare, were roasted sixteen oxen, three heifers, two and thirty calves, three score and three fat kids, four score and fifteen wethers, three hundred farrow pigs or sheats soused in sweet wine or must, eleven score partridges, seven hundred snipes and woodcocks, four hundred Loudun and Cornwall capons, six thousand pullets, and as many pigeons, six hundred crammed hens, fourteen hundred leverets, or young hares and rabbits, three hundred and three buzzards, and one thousand and seven hundred cockerels.

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