Friday, February 8, 2008


Debellish. When I collapsed next to her sparkling languid frame I called upon Shelley and Coleridge and Ovid and Virgil and O’hara and Miller and Penthouse Forum and every French film I saw growing up to get something back to you and…and…every line I composed simply debellished the beauty at hand. Nope, this one was for me and me alone, my friends. My words could do it no justice. No, no mortal soul could relay that info back without the transfer suffering brutally from flawed debellishments. However, when word finally leaked to Veronica and I was subjected to answer that question amidst the assault, “Was it fun!? Well I hope you at least had fun, you scumbag!” how blessed I was to have debellishments and all the lackings that come with them on my side, “No, no, please, Jeez, it really wasn’t. I hated every minute of it.”

-- Chris Leo

Desceltic or (di)celcian words are proud and free. They refuse all constraints of icons, phonetics, and borders, yet one way or another their point is always clear. Like shadows that move with stealth from one object to the next, Herodotus believed they came from caves. Like galleys, galleasses, gales, and the bile from the gall, they are both fluid like wind and calloused by toughened skin. When they are runes on rocks in Cork they are Keltic. When they are drunks and goons in Boston they are Seltic. When they are Milanese secessionists who draw their lineage ultimately from Czech they are Cheltic. When they were Keltoi in Greece they used another alphabet entirely. The Mandarin name for China is even Wade-Giles, like Wales-Gael. Like Smurfs they smurf smurfingly. They may conspire ("with spirits")at one moment, then turn and conspire ("against the steeple")the next, returning "Eiffel" to "I fell" and abscond on schooners like scoundrel pirates. And speaking of Pirates, Christopher Colombus' boat the Santa Maria was originally named the Gallega yet no one called it that. The Vulgate Bible misprinted certe ("certain, forever") as celte and it stuck. They knew. Though they are of one blood, they are from Gaul, Gall, Gael, Galatia, Gaia, Galicia, and Portugal and once spoke some form of Gaelic or Goidelic. When they gallivant in Paris they smoke Gauloise. The sound galno itself once meant “strong” in all of these hamlets, yet the word gall also meant "stranger" in all the same households -- yes, all those words are related. If it can be agreed that words mutate fastest on streets and ports, then it’s also worth noting that the Spanish word for “street”, calle, comes from Callaeci, the ancient Celts of the port that became Porto. These stubborn words have gall.

Diselltious often comes from the Italian “scegliere” which means “to decide” which when then translated back to Latin means “cut off” which when then translated back to English any wise soul should interpret as “stay out of it, this word remains savage, protean, and ubiquitous”.

"Goccia" is Italian for a "drop" and may have come from "Galicia" or the Portuguese Indian colony in Goa or both. In Galicia a drop is a "morriña" which is also their word for "saudade", the longing for something distant and unattainable. It's roots are said to lie in the missed feeling sailors experienced after returning home during the age of the great Portuguese discoveries. Not officially all out tears, but a few melancholic drops. These dicelcian words even move away from themselves.

-- Chris Leo

Dethrowned reigns leisurely at both the peak and valley of the bell curve, yet it can never be dethroned. In Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diaries a young reporter takes a job in San Juan to write an editorial on why so many Puerto Ricans leave the tropics for NYC. Puerto Ricans, having the world's most priveledged duplicitous status of neither sovereignty nor statehood, neither Latinos nor gringos, have chosen only one other exclave as their own, New York City. One Million Puerto Ricans live in New York. Why? Should we not pay attention to the choices of a people graced with a wisdom that comes with such a sweet situation? Why New York then when they could just stay on their better beach and kick it? By the book’s end the only answer Thompson comes up with is “want” -- but if only he went bike riding with me that day last summer when outside of George Washington High in Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan I stopped the dirty ice cart to grab a cup of tamarindo and the perfect Puertoricana who learned something in 17 years women on Madison Ave never learn in 70, that nothing looks hotter than tight jeans and a wife beater in July, asked me what I was doing in the barrio, Thompson may have arrived at a slightly different conclusion and we may therefore have never received The Rum Diaries. I told her I was “fuggin’ diggin’ the fact that between the GW Bridge and GW High in GW Heights our man GW got what he wanted on the same piece of land he was once defeated: nobody speaking the Queen’s English in his rebel state. You know, he was hoping it would be German or French we spoke. If you had told him then it was gonna be Spanish!…shit. So after this I’ll ride back downtown, try and write something smart about it, sell it, and go buy a margarita with my hypothocized earnings, you?” To which she replied, “…White guys, why you always trying to make something of yourselves?” To which, as defeated as Washington once was on this very street corner, I then hopped back on my bike consumed like a skipping record trying to think of a rebuttal for that crafty cunt all the way from Washington Heights to the Gowanus. Upon arrival at home I couldn’t write that smart essay I had hoped to. Upon margarita to my lips I could not put the needle back into the groove. Eventually the breaking rebroke when I looked at my skinny man’s pancha caused by necessary margaritas to keep me in this party I'm always trying to leave and coughed up soot I ingested while trying to get healthy and productive and I got my answer: time to move to Italy and plant my feet. A "throne" began in Proto-Indo-European as “to hold firm”, yet something which is "thrown" is not held firmly at all. An ascent up the social ladder is generally seen as a good thing, but when it comes at the expense of your accent, when every cent gained is but a seed for a more reputable nascent grade, and every July sunset is not spent with your family, cousins, and friends outdoors in the best city in the world, it is proof that your long questions should start coming in shorter sentences. She dethrowned me.

dethrowned = relax, wait here and it will come...that is, if you're waiting for it at all. But still, so why New York? If waiting nets the same results moving does, and Puerto Ricans can see things others can't, then what better place to wait than a city where everyone's moving? Don't mix moods though, dethrowning Puerto Ricans does not make them deseatful. On the contray, it is the anxious deseated mover and shaker who's more likely up to some form of deceit or another.

-- Chris Leo

dissert, from the Latin dis "apart" + the French servir to "serve", is one dessert with two spoons for one couple, which is most likely similar to the original dessert which meant "to clear the table", to "deserve". There's an easy rule to follow with new words: if it doesn't sound like the word it represents it is not a new word. "de-serve"Therefore, be careful not to dissect dissert, keep it beautiful, don't desert the goal. Or, if that poses a problem but the old word's grown as stale as a desert and you're looking for something new, try mixing Italian with Italian for "the true dessert," dulcerto (dulce for "sweet" + certo for "correct"). Just be sure to make no room for impostres (im for "not" + the Spanish postres for "dessert" = things like pizzert), or have we already disserted (think dissertation) on the topic at length.

-- Chris Leo

Divisionary verbs are auxiliary verbs that once supported primary verbs using “have” but now use “of”. They are semi-realized prodigals whose future evolution is obvious though the elder and middle stages are still the only versions in use. “Should have gone”, “might have known”, “could have taken” have become “should of gone”, “might of known”, “could of taken.” “Should of gone” literally means “the should part of gone” as if every verb already holds all possibilities within them. There is a should part of gone, a might part of gone, a could, would, am, was, has, and possibly even a got part already integral to “gone”. Basic verbs (be, give, have, take, keep, etc) being the most ancient verbs means relentless usage through the ages has exposed them to more mutable elements than newer verbs. In every language these verbs are never regular and therefore neither are the sentences and idioms they operate within. Though without fail the mutations of the basic verbs are gorgeous and playful, there’s an ebb and flow that in English is currently drawing them in to a gradual and temporal unirregulation (which is never quite a reregulation, but just a pull back in rather than a push out). Soon these divisionary verbs will close the bridge between the verbs they support thereby antiquating the main verbs while assuming positions of verbs proper themselves. Shouldgone, couldgone, wouldgone, and gotgone etc will solidify their previous slices of the “gone” pie into autonomous actions. Pioneering paths idioms like “how (does it) come?”, “what (does it) gives?”, “I (have) never (heard or anything like that)!” take are referencable for insight into the future evolution of these divisionary verbs before they push back out again.

-- Chris Leo

Downstate is not a word. Crack open the frizzy chiznazz and celebrate with River Plates because it is one rare decade indeed when you'll finally here us say, "no." There is the south, down south, down there, lowlands, meridianale, extremadura, and the rainbow of other colorful words we romanticize all things "south" with (the best of course being "Upper Egypt"), but downstate? No. Put downstate in the same skinny folder with mainlining heroin and studying yoga with the sole goal of autofellatio: things not to do. Please, we will rarely ask you to draw a line. Here, draw a line.

-- Chris Leo

Drawer in linguistics is an historical back-formation. An historical back-formation is a back-formation that continues to dig deeper and deeper into the past rather than plow ahead into the future in search of its lost soul. In this case, a drawer is someone who necessarily betrayed someone so the story could progress, or so he’s rewritten. Without betrayal and treason the plot can not curve, he pleads. We need him, the letch whines. Naturally, a drawer feels like a traitor and a traitor feels like a piece of churned mud. What to do then to appease your inner peace while the masses about loathe you, you traitor, you traducer, you plotter! Ration it out. Find the root of the reason for your t-reasoning ("t" as a symbol of the Cross) and reduce. Benedict Arnold hands it over to the crowd, “You tell me! You tell me! Why then did I do it? What drives a traitor to be a traitor?” “Traitor”, he argues, comes from the same source as “tract”, “trattoria”, and even “dates” and “tradition” as well as “traducer”, “plotter”, and “dare”. From the Latin “tradere” (“to hand over, to draw out”) do we not kill the fruits of the earth so that we can survive and our story grow? Do we not betray with every full tray served? Is to serve not therefore to survive? In French a traître is a caterer. The drawer keeps going back in his quest for absolution, to the Holy Lands and the Coptic Bible! There would be no resurrection without the most selfless of all saints, Judas Iscariot. Forget not that the “jew” sound of both Judas and Jesus is from the beginning of the almighty Yahweh. Of course the dip (from Old English dyppan, “to baptize”) into the hummus (“earth, clay, mud” out of which He molded us in His likeness) happened amongst trays. What a different course history would have taken if Jesus called himself a "Coward of Men" (as a British surname, from "cow herder") rather than a "Shepherd of Men" (from "sheep herder")! The very sound are, the English verb “to be”, in Proto-Indo-European initially meant “to plow”. The drawer, poor guy, therefore simply drew the shortest straw; and “straw” of course comes from the Proto-Indo-European stere, “to spread”, to help our story spread. And the drawer's draws, poor guy, are also often as muddied as this field tilled.
i.e. “Oh man, this thing was starting to write itself -- boh-ring --I had to be the drawer so we could get to the next episode.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t follow.”
“Oh well I just figured, fine, I’d be the scapegoat and rat you out to Sylvia so this thing could progress y’know? No one else had the balls to be the bad guy for the sake of movement. The ease at which you fibbed was losing its excitement to all of us, man? So for the sake of everyone I drew, I drew man, you get it now, no?”

-- Chris Leo

Drungry, a relative of hangry, comes from Dubai and refers not only to the mysterious equation that colories from alcohol create a need for complimentary calories from food after, but also to the type of late night/early morning cuisine you might find to satiate said need: "A'ight, I'd like some aloo motor drungry and my sister would like a bowl of whatever it is you got stewing down there in the drungry."

Folk etymoligists may try and tell you that "the drungry" was the lowest hold on pirate ships of the Arabian Sea where they kept their contraband hidden, but when the need actually hits, anyone living through it can assure you that the history of this word is much more direct.

drunk + hungry = drungry

(for more information on the current baby boom of words from Dubai, we recommend
-- Chris Leo

Dustriousness is a poster child for back-formations. A back-formation happens when a new word is formed by shortening a longer word when integral syllables mistaken for affixes are removed. The most confusingly disastrous back-formation occured when Prudence raced so hastely through a "below-job" it never grew bigger than "blow job" again. In this case the logic went: if a busy person is industrious then the opposite would be formed by simply removing the negating "in". When the new word looks like "something which collects dust" you light one up, call your assumption a fact, and kick back all dustriuoslike.

industrious - in = lazy lazy lazy

-- Chris Leo

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