Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Sunday, February 08, 2004
 
A right ful wlonk post from Sasha Volokh reminding me of the wonky glories of Law French which I think should be revived immediately. Also worthy of revivification is the fourteenth century dialect of Cheshire, so unfairly eclipsed by the boring London speech of Chaucer. One of my favourite* passages from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is this, starting at line 2020:
...To thonk.
He had upon uch pece,
Wypped ful wel and wlonk,
The gayest into Grece;
The burn bede bryng his blonk.
It's something about each piece of our hero's armour being polished full and nobly until he was the best-looking knight this side of Greece. Then some chap brings his horse, which is what "blonk" means, not "white" like all you clever-clogs thought.

And what of "wlonk" you cry? (If sober. If drunk "whlat of wonk" or "lot of plonk" is the best you can manage.) It means noble, fine, glorious. A wlonk blonk is a splendid horse, but this admirable adjective cries out to be used in a modern context. For instance a wlonk wonk is a person whose excessive studiousness does not detract from his essential nobility. A wlonk wonk would never bonk anyone...

...Listen, chum, it was a humorous word meaning "hit on the head" until I was eighteen. HONY SOYT QUI MAL PENCE as the poet puts it in rather peculiar French and not Latin like these guys appear to think.

*Thus I imply that I know more than one. And so I do. I know the whole next line: While the wlonkest wede he warp on himselven.