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Etymology Evasion

11 Mar

Good old “Bilgewater” and the “Dauphin” are experts at evasion.   Even verbal evasion.   I love Chapter 25, where they are knee-deep in their swindle and the king is enjoying the sound of his own voice, going on and on about funeral orgies.   The duke realizes that this probably isn’t the correct term, so he passes the king a note saying “Obsequies, you old fool!”   The king is so smooth, he decides to make orgies the new proper term and works the etymology right into his speech.

Obsequies ain’t used in England no more now – it’s gone out.  We say orgies now in England.  Orgies is better, because it means the thing you’re after more exact.   It’s a word that’s made up out’n the Greek ‘orgo,’ outside, open, abroad; and the Hebrew ‘jeesum,’ to plant, cover up; hence ‘inter.’  So, you see, funeral orgies is an open er public funeral.

At this point the crowd is so taken in, that only one person actually questions this hilarious definition.    Got to give you kudos for being quick on the uptake, king!  Now to hope this doesn’t come into my head the next time I’m at a funeral.

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3 responses to “Etymology Evasion

  1. Christina Joy

    March 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

    This reminded me of my freshman year in high school when we put on the musical “Bye Bye, Birdie.” I was the teenaged girl Ursula, and one of my few lines was “Let’s have an orgie!” but the script directed me to pronounce it with a hard ‘g’ to show my youthful ignorance. I was torn over whether I should follow the instructions or not, fearing that the mispronunciation would be perceived as my ignorance rather than Ursula’s. Had I know it meant a funeral I might not have lost so many pressure teen hours of sleep over that one.

     
    • Christine

      March 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      When Andy and I were in the pit for that musical the school chose to omit that particular line. Whew!

       
  2. Jeannette

    March 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    What a first-child dilemma! I can totally empathize w/your angst.

     

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