We Are To Imagine That Petekurous Ate Mostly Wasa Crackers And Meat Tea, I Suppose?
October 26, 2010


today i stumble across some forgotten, preliminary notes for an Archaic Food Words post, and so, in deference to the paucity of detail in the original, i reproduce them here:

under the cryptic, what i can assume to be a note-to-self, “Tell someone about QUAG” we have:


obligurate (v.) “prob. to spend time feasting,” “to spend time in belly-cheere”

petecure (n.) modest cooking, cooking on a small scale (contrasted w/ epicure)



the only comment i can offer is despite my initial excitement about so delicate and intentional a term of opposition to epicure, it quickly occurred to me that it was unlikely, given that ‘epicure‘ is derived the man, or at least the followers of the man, Epikouros.

“Those Sots…Flask After Flask Ingurgitate, Til Drown’d In Their Own Spews, They Wallow On The Ground.”
September 20, 2010

well, if sot is the worst i am called before This Is All Over…


ingurgitate (v.) a. to swallow greedily or immoderately (food, or, in later use, esp. drink) to glut or gorge oneself. (fig.) to engulf. (from L. ingurgitare – to pour in [like a flood].)

b. to eat or drink to excess; to gormandize, guzzle.

c. to gorge, to cram with food or drink.


If You Wanted To Be Specific, You Could Say It Was “Disgustingly Ingustable” (but then everyone would hate you)
September 2, 2010

i realize this most recent Archaic Food Word must have been a long time coming because i can’t even remember the last time i typed or thought of typing AFW (because it always reminds me of DFW- David Foster Wallace, who often acronymised [totally a word] things in his writing, for, i believe, both style and convenience).


ingustable (adj.) – alternately “not fit to be tasted” and “incapable of being tasted; not perceptible by the sense of taste.” that’s an interesting little double meaning, i think, because it comes close to being a word which in its polysemy contains its own opposite. not quite, but close, because “not fit to be tasted” may mean it tastes so bad (which may mean so much, ie: so intensely), which is not like not tasting at all, at all. people could get so confused!

say for example you’re at a party and someone’s like “Hey, How’s That Artichoke Dip?” and you say “Ingustable.” that leaves them being like “Wait, Did He Mean Inedibly Bad, Or Was That A Sarcastic Exaggeration Of How Lacking In Flavour It Is?”

who wants to put people in that kind of situation? geez.


one could argue that something that is not finished being seasoned is ingustable because it is not yet ready to be tasted, but i don’t think that’s how the word is used.

i mean, was used. which is probably, like, never.

except in 1646, by Browne: “the body of that element is ingustable, void of all sapidity.”

sapidity btw, just means taste – the having of taste. oh, oh, wait, it also means (like, presumably, gustable) having pleasant taste, ah ha!

i was hoping to find that vapid was somehow related, but i think it may be coincidental. while it can mean “lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat. as in: vapid tea.”, i don’t think -rhyming- holds a lot of weight, etymologically. (admittedly they are not unrelated – vapid can be traced back to vapour, sapid to sapereto taste [latin], and we know [now] that aroma and taste are inextricably linked, in terms of the interactions between volatile particulate matter and our sensory reception, but i don’t know that it’s any way constitutive a relation)

and that’s alls i know.

I Haven’t Felt This Covered With A Good Crop Of Corn in a While…
January 22, 2010

.69euro/1L wine = another reason why it's best Italy's all the way over there and we're all the way over here
first Archaic Food Word(s) of the era!

well corned – ‘exhilarated with liquor’

which is to say, stoked on liquor. although my OED does not draw this comparison, Shea notes the antonymy of the term “barleyhood,” meaning specifically drunk and mean. i’m not sure if that’s a noun or an adj., but i prefer it nominally, as in “Don’t even talk to Sherman right now, he’s got his barley hood up,” or, “Back in the careless and bellicose days of my barleyhood, i smashed glass and burned bridges with joyless abandon, lo.”


rypophagy – ‘the eating of filth or disgusting matter.’ see above (photo).

good stuff i’ve happened to stumble upon within hours of each other in Mark Kurlansky’s Choice Cuts and Sador Katz’s Wild Fermentation, about the cultural (as opposed to chemical) specificity of ‘rottenness,’ which hopefully i’ll filter down/out to you lot once i spend a little more time…rypophaging it. has triggered a profound craving for natto that i don’t know that i’ll get around to satisfying anytime soon, lamentably.

Yeah, I Would Say That.
October 4, 2009

sandwhich! i don't recall of what make, however.

– an excessive or irrational liking for something.

from French, obviously, and i think rarely spoken in English, but what is interesting is the double meaning in French: both the above sentiments favorables et excessifs que l’on conçoit sans grande raison pour quelqu’un ou quelque chose,” and a more literal meaning of “an obstruction or blockage in the throat.”

i’m curious about the equation of having something stuck in your throat with an irrational fondness for something, but on some very hard to pin down level, it has a sort of underlying resonance, i think.

i like the idea of qualifying a preference or desire as both irrational and excessive. is this a liking to be distinguished/divorced from taste (taste as sense, not as predilection) itself? speaking specifically of food, could one have an engouement for a food the taste of which they do not actually appreciate? is this wherein the irrationality lies?

or, considered another way, do i have an engouement for chips? which are admittedly delicious, but my habit of eating way too many and the inevitable sickness and self-loathing which follow should, thinking rationally, steer me away from their consumption. still, i persist.

could it be said of an inappropriate reason for liking something? that one likes a dimension of something that does not ultimately serve as sufficient grounds for that liking (according to, you know, Them)?

but i guess we say this sort of thing all the time. “I like ______ way too much, considering they’re not actually that good,” etc.

i’d like to think that liking something out of spite figures into this conversation somehow.

Two Archaic Food Words for the Price of One. Well, One’s More of a Halfie.
September 15, 2009

killcrop an “insatiate brat,” popularly thought to be a faery that has been substituted in place of the original child.

i can only assume that this sort of rationale was meant to serve as a defence against infanticide, along the lines of “you can’t blame me, that wasn’t even my kid, that was some manner of interloping hobgoblin.”

anyway, i love the word.

unrelated, i can’t think about Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, without it conjuring associations with a 2 month period i spent living with S. on his girlfriend’s couch. we were very “productive” in that period (this being the first and last time that we were threatened with legal action by Fred Perry), the first of us to rise taking it upon hisself to brew some tea and make (inevitably) some pasta for breakfast, while the other trucked off down the street to the little wine shop that always had some wine-related literary quote on their sandwich board. the proprietors were nice, i seem to recall, and this being long before i gave to shits about wine, i would just grab the cheapest white and they’d uncork it 3/4 open for me. it was a happy existence, i believe, and i remember the very same week i first read A Moveable Feast there was a quote from it (i don’t remember what, alas) on their sign. it seemed altogether too much of an endorsement (however indirect) for our way of life, and i’m reasonably sure we were shortly thereafter evicted from the girlfriend’s couch and bed, respectively. not due to some cosmic connivance, i assure you – it was our just deserts.

just the other day i noted that in the first chapter Hemingway refers to a poivrotte, as “a female rummy.” is anyone familiar with the term, because thus far i’ve had no luck on the internet or among francophones (Quebecois, under the age of 40, admittedly). i’m curious about the currency or origin of the word. not that it seems hard to suss out: poivre = pepper, women of ill repute = spicy. perhaps it is just some ephemeral Left Bank argot otherwise lost to successive generations.

oh god, no pun intended.

Archaic Food Word Number Whatever
September 4, 2009

paneity – the quality or state of being bread.

i am exactly the type of asshole who delights in knowing a word like paneity, but am also, thankfully, the type who has the good sense never to use it. the exceptions being here, on this blog, and this weekend while playing scrabble when i was like, one goddamn letter away from knocking everyone’s socks off with my sexy lexicographical prowess, right?

and i think the word is special that way, like a little talisman that you hold close to your heart and take out only from time to time to look at an appreciate, because i do love the way it sounds and what it conjures up (there’s something in the ei that to me evokes the tenderness and elasticity of the glutenous), and in spite of, or perhaps directly connected to this specialness, it seems vulgar and annoying when someone actually uses the word, outside of the most extenuating of circumstances.

this is in part because i think the word breadiness does just fine for the purpose. i do not resent that an obscure official word exists, but i think to use it in common parlance is unnecessarily portentous, if not downright pretentious.

that said, had i left my investigation of its meaning solely up to Mr. Ammon Shea, i would not have known that there is also a specific theological aspect which he entirely neglects in his (the above) definition (see: Reading The OED).

because within the context of discussions of con/transubstantiation (the process whereby the bread and wine of the eucharist becomes the body and blood of Christ), paneity refers to the state of being merely bread. how about that, hey?

how about that.


seriously. i feel just, indistinctly happier that i know that. you should probably all avoid me at parties for a while.

another Archaic Food Word!
July 27, 2009

gramaunger(e) – a large or superb meal.

obviously from french in some way (grand/big, manger/to eat). interestingly, Kuhn & Kurath’s Middle English Dictionary also note its figurative use to denote “an overambitious enterprise.” i wonder if that refers to the enterprise of preparing or consuming such a meal?


oh! oh! oh! but oh man, that gives me (faint, possibly false) insight into Ammon Shea‘s discovery of the amazing note in the OED definition: “not from the original FR, which has ‘do you think that you can eat up all the pagans by yourself?’

because that, certainly, would be an overambitious enterprise, no?

okay, faint and false. fine.

Enter the 36 Chambers. of Dinner.
May 30, 2009

don’t let anyone tell you that a deipnosophist is someone who is skilled at the art of dinner conversation (which it is), because what it really means (by really i of course mean also) is someone who is learned in the art of dining itself, of which conversation is but one of many facets. damn it.

i was once accused of sophistry (only once. i know!), in effing fucking Barcelona* no less, and it’s stuck with me ever since, particularly as i feel it was slightly inaccurate and unfair, but (and i know this is like, a totally different thing), were the accusation of deipnosophy i would have been elated!

upon further consideration, had deipnosophy the same connotations as sophistry, but with a dinnerary bent, i would not feel elated at all, but rather defeated and quite like someone had my number, because while i am absolutely a lover and student of dinner, if we take all facets into account, i am pretty bad at it. i can’t maintain conversation while cooking, am easily flustered, generally mismatch food and drink, and almost without exception eat to the point of crapulent self-hatred.

one would think that so essential and inborn a skill as eating might be easier to keep honed to a fine and efficacious point, but apparently i have shit the bed on that one , because i can’t even eat good.
thus ending today’s edition of Archaid Food Words,
yours, poorly but with gusto,


* a propos of nothing. just swearing for its own sake. i don’t know shit about Barcelona or its history of sophistry.

Archaic Food Word #2
May 11, 2009

gulchin a small glutton.

i’d like to point out that this specifies not someone who is slightly gluttonous (because really, defined by excess as it is, wouldn’t that be a counterproductive condition?), but a glutton who is specifically diminutive in stature, such as a child, dwarf, or i suppose, voracious goblin of some description.

probably derived, as with gulch from the middle english gulchen, meaning “to gush forth” or “to drink greedily”, in an interesting inversion. i think what happened here is that gulchen became gulch (meaning “to gulp,” in some English vernacular), and thus gulchin as a diminutive thereof.

like how we get munchkin from munchk, meaning “a large annoying elf.”