Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Meaning: this side of the teeth

Usefulness: 2 (I'm having trouble putting it in a sentence: "You might want to eat some chocolate while some of it remains cidentine" doesn't specify whose teeth it is on 'this side' of. Its opposite, tradentine, meaning beyond or on the other side of the teeth, might be more useful. "Where'd that chocolate go?" "It's already tradentine." Suggestions welcome.)

Logofascination: 1 (Invented by Sir Thomas; the Alpine comparison - see below - makes me wonder if he had made this joke before.)

In the wild: Not really; Sir Thomas seems to have been the only person to use these words, which fortunately hasn't stopped the OED including them.

Degrees: 0

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Second (Pantagruel), XXXII: How Pantagruel with his tongue covered a whole army, and what the author saw in his mouth. Pantagruel is in his largest stage (which varies according to narrative requirements) and the author spends six months exploring inside his mouth and throat, discovering not just people and towns, but entire countries:
I perceived well that, as we have with us the countries Cisalpine and Transalpine, that is, behither and beyond the mountains, so have they there the countries Cidentine and Tradentine, that is, behither and beyond the teeth. 
Rabelais had: "A quoy ie congneu que ainsi comme nous avons les contrées de deça & de delà les monts, aussi ont ilz deça & delà les dentz." Sir Thomas has taken the alliterative de deca & dela and transformed them in to the cis- words we see above. Cisalpine is this side of the mountains - the Italian (Roman) side - and transalpine is, obviously, the other side.

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