Not only have I picked the most unusual Word of the Week ever, it’s also a mystery (wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma, to misquote Winston Churchill). And if you think this word is sheer nonsense, wait til you read this post!
A society existing in 1748.
A not-so-quick search of the internet led to a disappointing nothingness and, not being Penelope Garcia, my investigation came to a screeching halt.
So what do we (think we) know?
Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians has 27 letters. The alphabet used to have 27 letters until the middle Victorian era, the 27th letter having been the humble ‘&.’
Was this a clue? Did the mystery society fade into obscurity along with the ampersand’s inclusion in the alphabet?
Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians also shows up in an academic essay entitled “Third Edition of Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: Bookseller’s Hackwork or Posthumous Masterpiece,” from the light reading tome Ashgate Critical Essays on Early English Lexicographers: The Eighteenth Century Volume 5, but at $374 and change, I had to pass on this coffee table treatise. Please note I included the link just in case someone needs to pad their Christmas list.
Finally, mayhap we could split Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians up into smaller words and find some reference to the society’s study subject.
Hugot on the on biquiffinarians ~ Could “Hugot” be a contracted form of Hugenot, hence the group studies persecuted 16th Century French Protestants and what they called their homeland – Biquiffinarian?
Hugot on the onbiquiffinarians ~ again, supposing the premise that “Hugot” is the contraction for of Hugenot, we can now surmise this secret society discovered the persecuted 16th Century French Protestants found a way to escape their Catholic tormentors via a new contraption called the onbiquiffinarian, invented by that ultimate Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. It could have happened.
Hu got on the onbiquiffinarians ~ A bloke named Hugh got on the misspelled omnibus. Those ffs used to be esses, you know.
Hugot on theon biquiffinarians ~ The Game of Thrones version, hence the inclusion of Theon Greyjoy’s name. And when GoT is involved, nothing makes sense.
I don’t know. By the look on Mr. Grose’s face, I’m thinking the mystery surrounding this evidently secret society is the whole point. Not illuminati secret, just jovial and cupshot secret.
And based on the universal rules of clubs, the first rule about Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians is you don’t talk about Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians.
- This week’s bewildering and bewitching slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Pascal Bonefant yielded the same stingy results, darn him.
- Of one thing we can be sure from this ridiculous post: there are tons of cool Doctor Who gifs. Find some at Who-lligan and Giphy.