The Angry Corrie 22: Mar-Apr 1995

The totally useless equipment guide No. 7:
Big words

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.)

Grant Hutchison

TAC 22 Index