Monday, September 26, 2011

rebus



rebus [ˈribəs] n.

1.) An enigmatical representation of a name, word, or phrase by figures, pictures, arrangement of letters, etc., which suggest the syllables of which it is made up. In later use also applied to puzzles in which a punning application of each syllable of a word is given, without pictorial representation (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: adoption of French rebus, or Latin rēbus, ablative plural of rēs thing. The precise origin of this application of the Latin word is doubtful. It is variously explained as denoting 'by things', from the representation being non verbis sed rebus, and (in Ménage) as taken from satirical pieces composed by clerks in Picardy for the annual carnival, which dealt with current topics, and were therefore entitled de rebus quæ geruntur 'about things which are going on'.

"For whereas a Poesie is a speaking picture, and a picture a speechlesse Poesie, they which lackt the wit to expresse their conceit in speech, did use to depaint it out (as it were) in pictues, which they called Rebus, by a Latine name well fitting their device" (Remaines, Concerning Britaine 2nd Ed., William Camden, 1614).

(Sketch of the Rebus of Bishop Oldham, Unknown Artist, 1911)
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Ian Rankin fans (my dad is a huge one) might be especially interested in this one. But now it's time to announce the winner of this week's challenge. Surprise, surprise, it's...Lemons Don't Make Lemonade! She wrote:
"It is invidious of the king to reward the Duke of Albertine a bejeweled sword when he refuses to give his other subjects even a few sacks of silver!" Lady Elizabeth's angry tones could be heard from across the room and I hastened to quiet her, for fear that we will both be accused of treachery against the king. "Hush, sister!" Moving towards her, I whispered: "The king is wise - the incipient jealousy of the nobles will breed disunity among them. And you know how paranoid his majesty is. Furthermore, you cannot fault the king for being partial to the duke...not after the duke's panegyric at court last Thursday. As opposed to your husband's megillah, which, to be honest, came across as redundant, fabulously boring, and lasted an entire hour!" Elizabeth frowned, but her lips twitched. "It is all very well for the duke to slake the king's thirst for flattery with a jug of oenomel, but we all know that King Henry's reign is not 'a paragon of virtue and sagacity to barbaric nations across the world.'"
Normally, I'd be impressed that you used 6 words instead of the required 5. But this week shari happened to have submitted this doozy:
E, are you mad at me for being a wild gardener? Is it because I choose to create my own fata morgana in the midst of my verdant oasis? Please forgive my intransigence, as I find the lushness and vim of unbridled greenery to be an oenomel to my soul. It seems that my love of chaotic gardening is invidious to those who crave order. Perhaps my panegyric ramblings on "Natural Gardening" will somehow spark an incipient love in you of uncontrolled proliferation? If not, it will still not slake my desire of writing my own megillah bombast for your blog.
10 of them! You would have won easily (I hadn't considered the possibility of being written into my own contest-paragraphs before!), shari, except that you used "megillah" as an adjective. Still, that's quite a paragraph: surprisingly readable, given all the inkhornisms! Okay, for next week, let's use (5 of!) fata Morgana, aegis, olla podrida, soupcon, avuncular, telos, and fecundity. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

22 comments:

MRanthrope said...

lemons vs shari....their epic wordplay has left the blogger world reeling.

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Shari's paragraph is truly impressive.

As for mine, I was going to remove "slake" because it was an extra word but I guess I forgot.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Both entries are stunning!

meandmythinkingcap said...

Congrats to LDML and Shari.
I do henna-temp tattoo? There I usually hide some words or intials in the design. This could come in handy. I could develop some deigns and name then Rebus and patent it.

Mai Yang said...

unfamiliar word explained with another unfamiliar one..great! hahahaha!

kudos to Lemons Don't Make Lemonade!

D4 said...

Holy s***f***, ladies. Congrats! Geeze.

Henry said...

I could have used a few more examples on this one. (___%)7

jos xx said...

well done lemons! great paragraph!

jos xx

Shutterbug said...

This is a word I've heard of! I love puzzles! ;)

Angela Felsted said...

Interesting.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I know this one, I used to have these puzzle books as a kid.

Aulus Agerius said...

One of my earliest memories is of a rebus, a storybook with pictures substituted for some words, given to me at Christmas - I think it had to do with Chicken Little

Meri said...

Oh I love these- Lone Star Beer has a rebus on the underside of each cap. I remember when I was a kid there was always puzzles like this at school on little worksheets.

It'sJodie-Ann,Bro. said...

Wow. Shari's is amazing. :O

Hasidic Plumber said...

That's even more impressive considering that english is not her mother language. She is a robot.

shari said...

Thanks! Would have loved to win, but now I see how I used Megillah incorrectly. Lemons story was great! congrats, girl! Way to go!!

JayJay said...

Both amazing entries...once again I'm glad I didn't enter my mere scribble.

As for this word - it's a very interesting one. I think the image truly elps the understanding of it - well, for me it does!

Michael Westside said...

Ha! I knew this one!

Laughing Vault said...

i love solving rebuses :D

Intraman said...

happy to see i'm still in the race :) give me a little time to think about this week's contest and I'll try to get to first place!

HiFi said...

Awesome word dude.

Dear Girl Wallflower said...

Hey, i am loving this blog aha..so i now subscribed, i need to enhance my writing vocabulary and wow, I am so astonished of how these two guys composed their submission!....keep this up, i am sure there are a lot out there thanking you .

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