AFL Round 9 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: An unbeef-witted account from a spermologer

I was out lunting the other day and suggested to the wonder-wench that we take a Saturday drive. She was in quite a pussyvan when the drive terminated at Footy Park in time for the Port v Cats match, despite the fact she was accompanied by a fine upstanding snoutfair. We took our seats among the beef-witted queerplungers and found ourselves adjacent some old cove who wouldn’t stop groaking at us as we munched on our gourmet hotdogs. Carnport he screeched as the game got underway, which was something Englishable I’m sure, but he soon lost interest in on-field activities as his team spent the first quarter practising resistentialism. Next thing he was jirbling some port from a hip flask into his coffee cup in the manner of that old spermologer Uncle Bryan and, after a sip or two,  confided in the wonder-wench that Port would come back – he knew because his grubby jar of coagulating cheese told him. The wonder-wench leapt from her seat in a state of curglaff (she has no time for tyromancy), clambered over the zafty beef-witted queerplungers in the rows behind us and ran from the stadium crying that she’d rather be a bookwright, soda-squirt or even with squirrel than come to Footy Park. So I’m glad they’re moving the footy to the Adelaide Oval otherwise I’d be off lunting to the footy alone with the wonder-wench at home a California widow.

Glossary: 18 uncommon or obsolete words which never should have gone out of style

Snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Pussyvan: A flurry, temper — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Wonder-wench: A sweetheart — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Lunting: Walking while smoking a pipe — John Mactaggart’s “Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia,” 1824

California widow: A married woman whose husband is away from her for any extended period — John Farmer’s “Americanisms Old and New”, 1889

Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them –

Jirble: To pour out (a liquid) with an unsteady hand: as, he jirbles out a dram —

Curglaff: The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water — John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Tyromancy: Divining by the coagulation of cheese — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef. — John Phin’s “Shakespeare Cyclopaedia and Glossary”, 1902

Queerplungers: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each, and the supposed drowned person, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, is also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket. — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

Englishable: That which may be rendered into English — John Ogilvie’s “Comprehensive English Dictionary”, 1865

Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects —

Bookwright: A writer of books; an author; a term of slight contempt — Daniel Lyons’s “Dictionary of the English Language”, 1897

Soda-squirt: One who works at a soda fountain in New Mexico — Elsie Warnock’s “Dialect Speech in California and New Mexico”, 1919

With squirrel: Pregnant — Vance Randolph’s “Down in the Holler: A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech”, 1953

Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon — Maj. B. Lowsley’s “A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases”, 1888



  1. Beachcrave says

    Gorgeous. Thanks Julian – loved it.

  2. Lord Bogan says

    Love it Julian, creative, entertaining and unnervingly informative.

    Next game I’m going to yell: “You’re nuthin’ but a Beef-witted, Resistential Queerplunger” at the umpire.

    Very funny.

  3. Magnificent.

    Photocopiers suffer badly from Resistentialism.

  4. Rocket Nguyen says

    Love your work JMoro!

  5. Stephen Kernahan says

    For a man who suffers from both debilitating scourges of wardrobe-creep and drives-to-the-mailbox, I read this before I had recovered from my daily dose of coffee-face and had a spit-take; laughing, post digestion of this content.

    Wardrobe creep: The gradual yet unstoppable process by which your wife or girlfriend’s clothes take over your wardrobe. It often begins by the male partner naively agreeing that he will temporarily host a single garment because of a short term capacity issue in the female wardrobe. From this point on the male no longer has control of his wardrobe.

    spit take: A visual gimmick used in film and on stage where a person is surprised or taken aback by another’s actions or words while drinking, and spits or sputters that liquid.

    coffee face: That ugly face people have in the morning before they drink their coffee.

    drives to the mailbox: Describing of a person of unfathomably great laziness. Looks for every opportunity to get out of work. Even trivial chores are too much of a finger lift for them. So called because they will get into their car, turn the key, adjust the mirrors, put on their seatbelt, and drive to the mailbox that is at the end of their driveway.

  6. Neil Anderson says

    Not too happy about ‘Bookwright’ meaning showing slight contempt for a writer. Sounds a bit close to playwright. Then again, there is a bit of contempt or at least suspicion about writers and playwrights in this land of kangaroos, meatpies and Holden cars. Not from Almanackers of course!

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