Friday, January 14, 2011

Forgotten English - Assishness and The Feast of the Ass

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love words and I'm "crazy for calendars." Most of my writer friends are too.

One of my New Year's gifts to myself was a new calendar: "Forgotten English," by Jeffrey Kracirk. My nifty new book of days is a "365-day calendar of vanishing vocabulary and forklore for 2011." If you click on the link on the left you'll find out it's available on Amazon--and half price at that.

The word for January 14 is "assishness: asinine quality; stupidity; blockishness."

Today is also "The Feast of the Ass, anciently celebrated in the French town of Beauvis every year on the 14th of January to commemorate the flight of the Virgin into Egypt with the Infant Jesus. . . Parts of the service were terminated by imitation of the braying of an ass and hymns were sung in praise of the Ass." Who knew?

A few other gems for this month:

"scurryfunge"- A hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time she knocks on the door.

"gone to Texas" - An American expression for one who has decamped, leaving debts behind. It was not unusual for a man to display this notice "G.T.T." on his door after he had absconded.

"married all o'er" - Said of women who after their marriage become miserable looking.

So, don't be "married all o'er" when "assishness" neighbors come calling unexpectedly. Instead of "scurryfunging," around, just put up a note: "G.T.T. Gone to Texas" and maybe your caller will go away and celebrate the Feast of the Ass.


  1. These are great! I especially like "scurryfunge" - although when I first saw it, I thought it was going to mean " a scary, furry fungus or mold." :)

  2. Wow, try saying assishness 10 times fast. LOL

  3. Hi Madeline,
    Scurryfunge is a strange one. No matter it went out of style.

    Hi Jennifer,
    I couldn't get past twice.


  4. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

  5. Language is fascinating, isn't it? I am guilty of scurryfunge everytime the doorbell rings! Great topic, Donna!

  6. Hi Stacy,
    Scurryfunging must be a common affliction among women writers.

  7. Tee-hee! Those are some quite interesting phrases. Wonder if scurryfunge could be short for scurryfungus? (That's how I'd describe my place looking far too often)


  8. Donna, You always have such interesting and informative posts. This one was fun.

  9. What a fun post. I'm a Texan, so I especially like G.T.T. :)

  10. Donna--Do you set a goal each day? "I must use 'assishness' least 7 times today," or something similar,to ensure these forgotten words are recussitated, and rise up like a phoenix? (I think you should.)

  11. Ooh Donna, your fun words made my brain spark. Very interesting, I think I know some of those brayers. GTT (I wish)

  12. Awesome! I've been scurryfunging and didn't even know it!!! :)

  13. Surely there is somewhere those braying hymns can be found. Their return to a midnight service would be interesting.

  14. Hi Donna, Thanks for stopping by my blog and leading me to yours. This is a fun post! I'm following now and look forward to more. In the meantime, I've got to attack my abode -- no scurryfunging for me today. It's time for some serious cleaning!

  15. Hi Pat,
    You could be right about scurryfunge.

    Hi Barb,
    Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Carol,
    I like the G.T.T. one too.

    Hi Sioux,
    Hahahahaha. I love words, but not that much!

    Hi Jemi,
    You're welcome. Scurryfunging seems to be a common plight of busy writers.

    Hi Sally,
    Bet you're right. I would be fun to participate in one.

    Hi Katie,
    Same here. That's one job that never seems to get done.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. I'll have to post more forgotten English entries soon.


  16. I plan to use assishness in the future. How long do think it'll take before someone provides me with the perfect opening?


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