Nockandro
Posted: 23 September 2007 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Urquhart, in translating Rabelais, often uses this term for buttocks, anus. I thought it high time that I checked the etymology.

Here’s OED:

nockandro, n.  < NOCK n.1 + -andro, of uncertain origin, but perh. < ancient Greek andr-, man (see ANDRO- comb. form), in order to distinguish it from a woman’s nock.

1611 R. COTGRAVE Dict. French & Eng. Tongues, Cul,..[a] tayle, nockandroe, fundament. 1653 T. URQUHART tr. Rabelais Wks. II. xix. 139 Panurge put one finger of his left hand in his nockandrow.

Nock, 2a The cleft in the buttocks, the anus. (Also 2b, slang. A woman’s external genitals; the vulva.) Originally “either of the small tips of horn fixed at each end of a bow and provided with a notch for holding the string. Later: such a notch cut in this or in the bow itself”. The origin is ‘uncertain’; of course, one thinks instantly of notch, but OED says, “ This word corresponds closely in form and sense with both NICK n.1 and NOTCH n., although no etymological relationship with either word has been established.”

Lovely word, and to my delight OED has a modern citation

1993 Los Angeles Times (Nexis) 16 July E1/2 Madonna is well-known for her muscular nockandro and most other parts of her anatomy.

However I fancy that it’s being used as a conscious archaism there. Googling provides no evidence of general usage.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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In a list of efficient cleaning methods for this part of the anatomy, one finds using the neck of a goose leaves behind (!) a lovely sensation. I wonder if goose neck in modern plumbing terms can be traced back to Rabelais. If so, it makes me pine for Christmas when I’ll play ‘general knowledge’ games with my brother.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Liza - 23 September 2007 11:40 AM

In a list of efficient cleaning methods for this part of the anatomy, one finds using the neck of a goose leaves behind (!) a lovely sensation. I wonder if goose neck in modern plumbing terms can be traced back to Rabelais. If so, it makes me pine for Christmas when I’ll play ‘general knowledge’ games with my brother.

I love that chapter! I’ve just passed through the windy island, the Island of Ruach, where “they neither Exonerate, Piss nor Spit ..... but to make amends, they belch, fizle, funk and give Tailshots in abundance. ................ They all die of Dropsies, and Tympanies, the Men farting, and the Women fizling, so that their Soul takes her leave at the back-door.”

A tympany is a ‘drum-like distension of the stomach’. The use of exonerate took me aback but OED has the answer:

exonerate, v 2. To discharge the contents of (the body, an organ), esp. by evacuation. to exonerate nature, oneself: to relieve the bowels. Obs.

Thinking about it now, one can see onus in the word, illuminating the oldest sense of exonerate, To take off a burden from.

[ Edited: 23 September 2007 12:00 PM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 23 September 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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have to remember that one. “The cat crept craftily into the crypt, exonerated, and craftily crept out”.  Hasn’t quite the sturdy Anglo-Saxon alliteration of the original, but it does have a certain unexpected quality.

(BTW: “Ruach” is a Hebrew word (resh-vav-het) meaning “wind” or “spirit")

Has anybody read H.G. Wells’s “THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY”? That charming novel has a delightful, hilarious description of the discovery of “Raboloose” in the Public Library, by a group of early 20th century English “lower-middle-class” youths.

I wonder if anybody (apart from serious SF buffs, if there are any still living) reads Wells nowadays.

Edit: On reflection, i think it’s “Kipps” that i have in mind. Forgive an old codger’s soggy memory cells.

[ Edited: 23 September 2007 12:19 PM by lionello ]
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Posted: 23 September 2007 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Ages since I read Wells. I devoured his books and stories as a youth but never did get round to Mr Polly. I must read it, Wells worked at one of our local department stores (then called the Landport Drapery Bazaar, a name which, as LDB, lasted until the 60s, when it was taken over by one of the big chains, who, of course, caring little for literature or history, imposed their own name). Wells incorporated his experiences into the novel.

The old sense of exonerate is delightful, isn’t it? “Ladies and gentlemen, I really feel the need to exonerate myself before this distinguished gathering”.

[ Edited: 23 September 2007 12:31 PM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 23 September 2007 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I shall never be able to read “exonerate” with a straight face again, after that.

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