Absquatulate & ach y fi

September 20, 2006

My thanks to Keith De La Rue over on the ever interesting and eclectic ACT KM Forum for introducing this delightful word as part of a satirical email disclaimer. It includes the wonderful phrase

This email is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour, or irrational religious beliefs.

I think I need to post this as a warning for the odd reader of this blog who does not appreciate irony, takes themselves too seriously or is eagerly awaiting the predicted events of 2012. I had a vague recollection of it but no idea what it meant. So I hunted it down to discover its meaning summarised as follows: They dusted, vamosed the ranch, made tracks, cut dirt, hoed it out of there. It comes from that creative period in American Literature in the early part of the Nineteenth Century that saw its peak in Mark Twain. It is part of a tradition that includes wonderfully expressive words, where meaning is in the sound of the word being said, as much as the dictionary definition: skedaddle and hornswoggle are other great examples.

A similar word where the sound tells you the meaning, used by the Anglo and Welsh speaking Welsh alike is ach y fi (pronounced ych-urr-vee with a disgusted twist of the mouth) used as a general expression of disgust. My thanks to Sharon, newly appointed Director of Learning & Network Development here at Cognitive Edge as ever for assistance with spelling. More on Sharon in a future post …

Either way, with that I am all dumfungled and wanged out for the day, its still an hour or so before I can head off for the Walla Walla for an important business meeting ….

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