Friday, February 8, 2008


Farfalling is the only way to drop. If the far falling is imminent and you've been crawling on 1,000 feet your whole life and suddenly you wake up instead with wings you don't know how to use and but a few weeks left to live, the only option is to get drunk on exsquisite nectar, lay some eggs, make a child happy and young lover's blush, and flutter with and then against the wind all the way down down down.

"farfalling" comes to us from the Italian word for "butterfly", "farfalla."

(For more poesie on entomology etymology I highly recommend which will have you thinking of caterpillars as chatepelose which translates to "hairy cats" in French even though the French call them chenille for "little dogs".)
-- Chris Leo

Fiasco. This isn't so much a new word as it is a correction I refuse to make when Laura asks, "Chris, did you pack the fiasco?"
"Always babe, always."

Proving yet again that they know things, "fiasco" in Italian is both a flask and a fiasco proper. In accordance with flasks and fiascos both generally bringing about weird lapses of memory, "fiasco" is a word that went the rare direction of Germany ("flasche") to Italy and then up to us, arriving in England several hundred years after "flask" was already in use. "Flush" redness of the face shares the same root. From the chemical reaction that occurs when alcohol from a flask sends blood to the extremities or from the embarrassement that hits you in a flash the morning after a fiasco?

-- Chris Leo

Forange is one way at falsifying false friends. “Straniero” and its weird relatives in most Latin based languages simply means “foreigner”, not “strange.” "Forange" minces no thoughts: you’re not from here, you’re a creep. Erudites, poets, and testy Catalans have argued that "forange" is in fact a dialectal slur of "Falange", the old fascist party of Spain, while the rest of us know there is a world beyond Franco's dominion ripe and ready with political romance not simply limited to Iberia or Hemmingway -- not that this word has anything to do with romance (unless the opposing force of romance is also considered part and parcel). During an Anglo-American debate on who "Asians" techincally are, Chinese or Indians, a local was overheard saying, "why can't we just call all these forangers Chindians?" Forench is the alienation a Parisian experiences in his own city, where even at the top of Montmarte it's common to feel a longing for the Paris missed. The game is to then locate the Eiffel Tower (easy) and create an internal dialogue with the foreigner atop also seeking Paris: "You are looking for Paris from there, I am looking from here, and yet neither one of us can quite secure it." This is not to be confused with a Greek Gringo. A Forenchy is archetypically French, whereas a Greek Gringo is a tourist even amongst tourists. Greek Gringo is a combination of synonyms for bombastic effect: "It's all Greek to me" for "unintelligible speech" + "gringo" which comes from "griego" which means "Greek" in Spanish which means "unitelligible speech" = t-shirts that signify where you've been, or worse, where you are. Worth noting, The Spaniards nicknamed the Cretian painter Dom√©nikos Theotok√≥poulos the Italian "El Greco" rather than their own "El Griego" because he studied and lived in Venice and Rome before moving to Toledo; apparently "Greek", like "tourist", is one very verby noun. Also worth noting, "Grig" is an antiquated British word for a light and lively person. One was often "merry as a grig" which also came from "Greek" which oddly enough also meant "grasshopper" and through transmutations not only leaves us with "Jiminy Cricket" but brings us back close to "Greek" -- a cricket is "grillo" in Italian. This is getting weird so back to beard: Bizeard, "bizzare" + "beard", is another word that combined synonyms to add stress to the barbaric impression left by foreigners. In Cockney slang a beard is called a "strange and weird" but the word beard already encompasses both ideas. "Beard" comes form the Basque "bizar" (English only takes the bizarre words from the bizarre people) and "barbarian" comes from the Latin "barba" for "beard". In Maine, where it is common for most men to have beards, a very large beard is called a "beared", as in "someone who has turned into a bear". Dutch slang for mustache is "de befborstel" which comes from "beffen" which they claim differs from the Latin "cunnilingus" (a "combing of the tongue" and hence the bastardized "womb grooming") because it refers only to clitoral stimulation. The dutch word for "beaver" is "bever" which comes from the Proto Indo-European bhru for "brown"; as if to say "stimulate only in the brown, not the pink". Geographically, this would make the beard attached to said mustache an anal stimulant. Summing up, it is therefore simple to hypothesize a future melding of "forange" and "bizeard" into one very eccentric weard, which would be really weird considering both "weird" and the suffix "ward" already stem from an Old English word "weard" which once meant to "turn toward", not away from as it is typically thought weird things do.

foreign + strange = forange

-- Chris Leo

Freelapse is a get-out-of-jail-free-card relapse because it happens in spite of one's best intentions. A freelapse does not alter the course of one's recovery or abstinence from a certain substance or behavior, as long as it's acknowledged as an unexpected (not neccessarily unwanted) gift. When a recovering boozer's on a date with a hoozy who shows her boos for his schmoozy with a drink across his beauty, though on the road to recovery, if this guy feigns a "what's with the doozy, booty?" while actually being ps-ps-psyched for the opt to lap the sap off his lips cracked from the sauce lacked and skip merrily on his soberish way back, he's officially in the clear to relish this freelapse for all it's worth. And we are free to cheer him on.

free + relapse = frappes with hidden snaps

-- Patrick Brennan, Chris Leo

Fromage (1) may be French cheese, but in English it means fortified cheeze. They say there’s no word for “irony” in Chinese or politics, there’s also no word for “cheezy” in any language except English. So when Deng Xiaoping, feeling Western Society encroaching, commissioned publicly painted love poetry about “Red (Workers) Hearts”, it’s understandable if one was too confused to laugh. He was doubley hit. I felt the same way when Matt called me up to check out Chico’s new mural on the corner of D and Houston, “Dude you have to make a pilgrimage with me to the gorgeous fromage Chico just spay-painted for us! For us, man! All of us standing together! Chinese, Blacks, Latinos, Slavs, the elderly, the children, everybody, all standing together working seriously and reverently for the team!”

Fresco + homage = deliriously daily work with iron minus delicious dairy on walks with idling. See chezy entry.

-- Chris Leo

Fromage (2). I swear I saw palm trees, coconuts, sugar cane, giant blue agaves harvested by little men who then found beautiful women with roses in their jet black hair to stomp on the pulp naked up to their wastes because the enzymes on their skin helped ferment it better…no…in fact, it was just a fromage. I’ve made this mistake before. Just because there are palm trees and sand in Morocco and Algeria does not mean Francophones can make a drinkable margarita, and any Newyorker takes his margarita as seriously as they take their wine. Not funny. Very sad. Sadder yet when it gets drunken down regardless.

Frozen margarita + mirage = wrong desert, wrong continent, terrible joke, mean, cruel

-- Chris Leo

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