Monday, October 24, 2011

legerdemain



legerdemain [ˌlɛdʒərdəˈmeɪn] n.

1.) Sleight of hand.
2.) A show of skill or deceitful cleverness: "financial legerdemain" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Middle English legerdemayn, from Old French leger de main: leger, light (from Vulgar Latin leviarius, from Latin levis) + de, of + main, hand.

"Like as the fouler on his guilefull pype
Charmes to the birds full many a pleasant lay,
That they the whiles may take lesse heedie keepe,
How he his nets doth for their ruine lay:
So did the villaine to her prate and play,
And many pleasant trickes before her show,
To turne her eyes from his intent away:
For he in slights and jugling feates did flow,
And of legierdemayne the mysteries did know" (The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser, 1596).

(De goochelaar, Hieronymus Bosch, ~1510)
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Hi, all. After a two-week hiatus it's time to announce the winner of this week's "Climbing the Mountain" challenge. It's...shari! She wrote:
Typically, I enjoy most cabbalistic festivities, but this party lacked the oneiric quality that I was longing for. I broodingly sat on the sofa, holding my bottle of lager and gazed about at the abderian nitwits John seemed to always invite to his parties. Taking off the bottle cap, I flipped it over to solve the rebus stamped inside. Most of these garish jezebels wouldn't be able to figure out the first symbol, I muttered to myself.... a bee, representing the letter B. A B and an image of an icicle. Bicycle. I stretched out my legs and took a large gulp of my beer. Bicycle built for two. So many perfumed and sweaty dancers gyrating in front of me... The miasma of eau-de-floozy wafted about me. I got up, festina lente, and in a final beau geste, gave my still cold and unfinished beer to a passing party-goer, then made my way out the front door and into the fresh autumn night air.
Great stuff, there, shari. Not sure about your use of "cabbalistic", but you definitely made up for it with the other words. (You do realize you only need to use 5 of the 7, don't you?) Okay, so for next week let's do beau geste, distaff, reculer pour mieux sauter, penseroso, fecundity, garrulous, and ersatz. Thanks for reading!

19 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

"The miasma of eau-de-floozy wafted about me." Brilliant! Your win is well deserved, shari!

D4 said...

I absolutely love this word.

And congrats to shari! Impressive. :)

Melanie said...

kinda like penn and teller...

Interwebs Fails said...

Just learned something new. (:

Mai Yang said...

wow.

Kudos to Shari! ^__^

Bibi said...

Love you for using a Jeroen Bosch painting! Though I like his monster-creatures better.
Also: eau-de-floozy.. nice one.

ryc: I've been reading the wrong things then. Thanks for making me feel better! ^^

HYDRIOTAPHIA said...

Browne likes this word, using it twice in his Religio Medici - 'Of all the delusions wherewith he deceives mortalitie, there is not any that puzleth mee more than the Legerdemain of Changelings'; ...

and - 'there is not any that puzleth mee more than the Legerdemain of Changelings; I doe not credit those transformations of reasonable creatures into beasts', ...R.M.Part 1:30

Sonia said...

This is great!

DEZMOND said...

this one would be difficult to use, I think.

i_love_weed said...

this word is fukin weird :O

Shutterbug said...

Congrats to Shari!

Flippy Doodle said...

I like learning these new words. But I wonder how weird I would sound if I started using these in everyday conversation.

Michael Westside said...

i'm going to use this word all the time now

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I like this word. It will come in handy for me, for sure.

And I'm amazed by Shari's skills. That's dedication. :)

Henry said...

Huh. I suppose but sleight of hand will come easier to me than this phrase. Nice to learn a single word for a phrase though. Like psithurism.

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

Ah, lots of French. I'm proud to say I know what the French-derived words mean. >:D

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

congrats, Shari!

Great work. :D

MRanthrope said...

not trying to sound boastful but I think this word describes me quite well. mua ha ha ha

shari said...

Thank you to all... I'm sorry I've been out of the loop lately. Too many hours at work!

Yeah, I was feeling a little iffy about the usage of cabbalistic, but I had an idea in mind for the challenge, so I just went for it. I'm glad it made good marks! :-)

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