The Angry Corrie 43: Oct-Nov 1999

TAC 43 Index

Useless Equipment, No.10 - Even More Big Words

Little more than a year has passed since last I offered TAC readers the fruits of my lexicographic lucubrations (TAC36, p20). Surely (I hear you cry), to revisit the topic so soon is at best supererogatory, if not actually otiose? For it is well known that the regular TAC readership are logodaedalists of the first order - the merest glance at the letters pages reveals words such as 'biblion', 'crepuscular' and 'flavescent', many of them used in an appropriate context.

But I make no apology. There are still people setting off into the hills who cannot utter a single word of more than seven syllables. This, despite the now well-established fact that one or two big words, uttered quietly and rhythmically, can abolish fatigue, rewarm the extremities, and raise the blood sugar by an amount equivalent to 300g of Kendal Mint Cake. Not to mention the effect on the knees. Why, only last week I encountered a Young Person, sheltering in an isolated bothy, who was close to collapse as a result of simple lack of vocabulary. Had I not been at hand to teach her the meaning of 'meupareunia', heaven alone knows what might have become of her.

And so it is for Young People like her that I offer the following list of big words, together with suggestions on how they may be rapidly deployed in a hill context.

Havelock (n): A cloth sunshade on the back of a hat or cap
'It was that hot, we were making havelocks out of wet T-shirts.'

Antigropelos (n): A set of waterproof leggings
'And then when I get there, there's only one Yeti gaiter in the car boot. Like, what use is half an antigropelos?'

Castrametation (n): The laying-out or planning of a camp
'He's just hopeless at castrametation - I near slid out into the river, the tent was on that much of a slope.'

Matutolypea (n): Ill-humour in the morning
'The secret is not to talk to her at all until you've been walking for at least an hour. She's a martyr to the matutolypea.'

Quaquaversal (adj): Falling away in all directions
'So we're on this big quaquaversal lump, in the mist, and he says, 'I thought you'd brought a compass ...''

Oikofugic (adj): Given to obsessive wandering
'It's not her that's slow - it's waiting for her bloody oikofugic dog that takes the time.'

Elapidation (n): Clearing away stones
'First rule of castrametation - elapidation.'

Zumbooruk (n): A small cannon fired from the back of a camel
'So then the guy brings out this shotgun the size of a zumbooruk, and goes, 'And I say you're not walking any farther. Now get off of my land, and be quick about it.''

Podoscaph (n): A boat-shaped shoe, intended for walking on water
'It's not antigropelos we need in this bog, it's bloody podoscaphs!'

Gynotikolobomassophilia (n): A love of nibbling women's earlobes
(As usual, we leave the appropriate use of one word as an exercise for the interested reader.)

Grant Hutchison

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