Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 7 February 2015

"WUP". "Dishabell". "Mulligan's Tawny".

A friend has kept Zephyrinus amused for a long time by inadvertently using a litany of Malapropisms and abstruse words. Some are recorded, below, for Readers' delectation.

Dorothy Green (1886-1961) is seen here in Einar Nerman's cartoon as Mrs. Malaprop,
in Sheridan's "The Rivals", which opened at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, 5 March 1925,
with a distinguished cast, including Claude Rains as Faulkland, Isabel
Jeans as Lydia Languish and Angela Baddeley as Lucy.
Image: VandA

The word "Malapropism" comes ultimately from the French "mal à propos", meaning "inappropriate", via "Mrs. Malaprop", a character in the Richard Brinsley Sheridan comedy 
"The Rivals" (1775), who habitually misused her words.

Malapropisms also occur as errors in natural speech. Malapropisms are often the subject of media attention, especially when made by politicians or other prominent individuals.

"Mulligan's Tawny"
instead of

10-month-old baby Micah can’t help laughing when his daddy,
Marcus McArthur, ripped up a job rejection letter.
His hysterical laughter is so infectious
that the video had 750,000 hits (2011).
[UPDATE: Now 75 million hits.]
Available on YouTube at

instead of
[1. (Clothing and Fashion): The state of being partly or carelessly dressed.]
[2. (Clothing and Fashion): Clothes worn in such a state.]

instead of
"Washing-Up Liquid".
(For use in writing down on a List of things to be purchased)

An oft-used abstruse word
meaning (U.S. slang) a politician who cares more
for personal gain than serving the people.

An oft-used abstruse word
meaning a bad-tempered or surly person.

"Good King Wences
last looked out".
A novel Christmas Carol.

"We Three Kings of Orien Tar".
Again, a novel Christmas Carol.

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