Tuesday, February 14, 2017


A Rabelaisian List

Rabelais is famous for his comical lists, e.g. the catalogue of books in the Library of Saint Victor (II.7), containing such imaginary works as the Ars honeste petandi in societate (The Art of Farting Politely in Public). See W.F. Smith (1842-1919), "Lists, Blazons and Litanies," Rabelais in His Writings (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1918), pp. 200-211, and Eric MacPhail, "Lists," The Rabelais Encyclopedia, ed. Elizabeth Chesney Zegura (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004), pp. 145-146.

But it is possible to make other sorts of Rabelaisian lists, for example by collecting words scattered throughout Rabelais all referring to similar objects or actions. One such list was compiled by Raymond C. La Charité, "An Aspect of Obscenity in Rabelais," Renaissance and Other Studies in Honor of William Leon Wiley, ed. George Bernard Daniel (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968 = Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, 72), pp. 167-189, who collected words and phrases used by Rabelais to describe copulation.

Quoted definitions in the list below are La Charité's, unless otherwise indicated. Harrap = Harrap's New Standard French and English Dictionary (London: Harrap, 1980).
  1. badouiner: "to copulate with reference to donkies [sic, read donkeys]"
  2. beliner: "Breed: (of ram, or ewe), to tup" (Harrap, s.v. béliner)
  3. beluter: "(1) to sift, to pass through a sieve; (2) to separate while sifting; (3) to agitate; (4) to examine attentively"
  4. besoingner: "to work hard" (Harrap, s.v. besogner)
  5. biscoter: "to hop or to jump about"
  6. bouter: "to put, to place, to drive"
  7. bragmarder: to engage in sword-play, to fence. "The braquemart was a short, stubby sword..."
  8. brimballer: "to swing, to dangle"
  9. bubajaller: to enjoy like a buffalo. L. Sainéan, La Langue de Rabelais, Vol. II: Langue et Vocabulaire (Paris: E. De Boccard, 1923), p. 310: "Une contamination de bubaler, faire comme les buffles, et de jaller (forme réduite de galler), jouir."
  10. chevaucher: "to ride (on), straddle" (Harrap, sense 2)
  11. coingner: "to hit, to strike"
  12. décrotter: "to expedite, to do ... something rapidly"
  13. depuceller: "to deflower" (Harrap, s.v. dépuceler)
  14. embourrer: "to stuff, pad" (Harrap)
  15. estoupper: "to stop up (crevices, etc.) with tow, oakum" (Harrap, s.v. étouper, sense 1)
  16. faire la beste à deux dos: to make the beast with two backs (cf. Shakespeare, Othello I.i.14)
  17. faire la combercelle: "to bend one's back (namely that of the woman) in the form of a saddle"
  18. fanfrelucher: "to garnish with baubles, trifles, or trinkets," i.e. to play at trifles
  19. farbouller: to stuff (farcir) the ball (boule), or to stuff the cabinet (boulle)?
  20. fretinfretailler: to perform "the sexual act in terms of both sound and the repeatedly short and rapid movement or agitation which creates it." A portmanteau word perhaps made up of freter ("to rub"), fertailler ("to strike"), and fresteler ("to make noise").
  21. frotter son lard: to rub one's bacon
  22. gimbretiletolleter: to jiggety-jog (cf. M.A. Screech's translation of IV.prol.).
  23. jocqueter: "to go to roost, to perch" (Harrap, s.v. jucher)
  24. jouer des manequins à basses marches: to play "the stiff lowdown in-and-out game" (cf. Douglas Frame's translation of II.21).
  25. jouer de quille: to play skittles. A quille is a "ninepin, skittle(pin)" (Harrap, sense 1.a).
  26. jouer du serrecropière: to play "at squeezing one's rumps together"
  27. labourer: "to till, esp. to plough" (Harrap, sense 1)
  28. lanterner: "to trifle; to dilly-dally" (Harrap, sense 1)
  29. rataconniculer: "to reiterate leacherie," i.e. lechery (Randle Cotgrave, A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues)
  30. roussiner: act like a war-horse, charger, stallion
  31. sabouler: "to jostle; to pull (s.o.) about" (Harrap)
  32. sabourrer: "to ballast or to weigh down a ship"
  33. saccader: "to jerk (a horse's rein)" (Harrap)
  34. sacsacbezevezinemasser: "to stuff and to go back and forth in a noisy, jerky way"
  35. tabourer: "(1) to beat the drums, (2) to make a loud noise, and (3) to strike..."
  36. talocher: "to cuff; to clout (s.o.) on the head; to box (s.o.'s) ears" (Harrap, sense 2)
Happy Valentine's Day!

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?