The totally useless equipment guide No. 7:
TAC regulars will need no reminder that a good supply of really big words is essential before venturing out on the hill. TAC21 alone furnished us with such classics as pursuivant, terpsichorean and the ever-popular zeitgeist. Carefully articulated at regular intervals, such words will keep the user cool in summer, warm in winter, and midge-free at all times.
We have, of course, all heard stories of people who survived for days in a snow-hole, sustained only by such monosyllabic utterances as Oh no! or Help! This sort of tale has given false reassurance to a small minority of hillwalkers who set out, often in atrocious weather conditions, without knowing a single word longer than three syllables, or perhaps equipped with just a few pages torn from a school dictionary. With the increasing availability of cellular telephones, the rescue services now receive many time-wasting calls from walkers who, lost in the mist, find that they cannot even recall such a straightforward phrase as Poucher's much-famed Regard the effulgent iridescence of the circumambient nebulosity.
As a service to its readers, therefore, TAC provides the following ten handy words, together with suggestions for their easy use in a hill setting:
Contubernal (n): The person with whom one shares a tent
If you're going to be my contubernal, you can put those baked beans down right now.
Retrogenuflexophobia (n): A morbid fear of the knees bending backwards
He got a wee touch of the retrogenuflexophobia on the Aggy Ridge. We needed a rope to get him down.
Septentrional (adj): Pertaining or tending to the north
This compass seems to have lost all idea of septentrionalism. Did you leave it on top of the loudspeakers or what?
Smaragdine (adj): Emerald green
So he was completely smaragdine by the time we got him off the Aggy Ridge. Or: Watch and not step on the smaragdine moss. Whoops! Boggy, isn't it?
Pandiculation (n): The involuntary stretching motions associated with yawning
Pandiculate in my ear one more time, and it's the last time you'll be my contubernal.
Retromingent (adj): Capable of urinating backwards
See those one-piece ski-suits? You've got to be bloody retromingent to wear them.
Preantepenultimate (adj): Fourth from last
He wasn't actually on his last legs when we got him down, but he was on his preantepenultimate legs, for sure.
Floccinaucinihilipilification (n): The act of estimating as worthless
She just sits in the pub floccinaucinihilipilifying anything under three thousand feet.
Molendinarious (adj): Pertaining to the arms of a windmill
Just you stand there and go molendinarious with your arms till the helicopter spots us.
Meupareunia (n): A sexual act gratifying to only one participant
(Use of this word is left as an exercise for the interested reader. When you need it, you'll know.)
TAC 22 Index