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1960.  Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:33 am Reply with quote

Review of "Sex and Friendship in Baboons: With a New Preface"
by Barbara B. Smuts:

In this marvelous book Smuts draws from years of painstaking field research in which she followed around a flange of chacma baboons in the Mateti Game Park in Zimbabwe. Her findings inspired the plot of When Harry Met Sally.

s: Online store

2226.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 9:21 am Reply with quote


2231.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Speaking of boogie - what about the bogie-man?

Bogie-men are the angry form of the archetypal house spirit, the brownie, which does household chores. If angered, though a brownie can become a boggart (for which bogie-man is the short form). In Wales they are called Bwca and in Scotland the Bodach.

One should leave a bowl of milk and a bum for the brownies, but traditions vary. They are usually invisible, but can take any shape they want.

A boggart will act somewhat like a poltergeist, and can their actions can range from mischievous (hiding the car keys and so on) to evil, depending how badly they are offended. If the action is merely mischievous, asking politely out loud to get your missing possessions back is enough.

There are some children's stories about brownies, such as the Elves and the Shoemaker. Rumpelstiltskin was more of a boggart though.

Brownies were known to the ancient Romans as Lares et Penates - the Household Gods. A Brownie is the spirit of the house itself, in the same way that a Dryad is a spirit of a tree and a Naiad the spirit of a stream.

2272.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 4:59 pm Reply with quote

(Wide-open) beaver , a the technical term in the prn trade known I'm sure to all of yous

2530.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:50 am Reply with quote

Barlafumble n.

(Obs., Scot) A call for a truce by one who has fallen in wrestling or play.

(The first part of the word is a corruption of 'parley')


Last edited by JumpingJack on Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:50 am; edited 1 time in total

2532.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:11 am Reply with quote

Barnard n.

The member of a gang of swindlers who acts as a decoy; a lurking scoundrel; a sharper.

Also bernard.

Variant of berner 'one who waits with a relay of hounds to intercept a hunted animal', an attendant in charge of a pack of hounds.

Originally derived from either brenerie, the duty to provide bran for the dogs of a feudal lord, or from mediaeval Latin bernarius, a keeper of a berne or bear.

s: OED

2539.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:13 am Reply with quote

ballhooter n
a lumberjack who rolls logs down a hill.
s: MBD

bdellotomy n
the act of cutting a sucking leech to increase its suction
s: MBD

baxa, baxae n
(LATIN) a kind of sandal woven from twigs,vegetable fibres or leaves, worn by stage comedians and philosophers.
s: MBD s: ALD*/Baxa.html

bechic adj
s: MBD

fortune-telling by means of arrows
s: MBD

fear of pins and needles
s: MBD

a two-toned dog

Your classic belton is a white English Setter with colored markings, named after the village of Belton, Northumberland. Preferably, the color is distributed in flecks throughout the coat, giving it a marbled look. A dog with black flecking is called a blue Belton; a dog with orange flecking is an orange Belton. A tricolor dog is a blue Belton with tan markings on the muzzle, over the eyes, and on the legs.
s: MBD

2556.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:47 am Reply with quote

Belomancy links to:

    Babylon, where it was practised
    Thomas Browne, who described it (Pseudoxia Epidemica, v, 23) and
    the Bible, which mentions it (Ezekiel xxi, 21)

2569.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:11 am Reply with quote

I'm struggling to think of how arrows can be used to tell fortunes. Although I imagine if they're sticking into you that would foretell something pretty unpleasant.

This thought led me to investigate Saint Sebastian, in case there was a B connection (there isn't, alas). However, at least some of you may be interested in Saint Bernardine of Siena, who is the patron saint of advertisers, advertising, against hoarseness, chest problems, communications personnel, compulsive gambling, diocese of San Bernardino California, gambling addicts, Italy, lung problems, lungs, public relations personnel, public relations work, respiratory problems, and uncontrolled gambling.

This Saint Bernardine is not to be confused with Saint Bernardine of Feltre, who is the patron saint of bankers and banking. Since bankers are also covered by Saint Matthew the Apostle and St Michael the Archangel, they should be pretty safe.

These and other fascinating details on this website, which I think should be immediately added to the QI database if it hasn't already been:

See also

2575.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:28 am Reply with quote

You attach bits of paper with various possible solutions to your dilemma onto the arrows (eg "dump him" "poison his mother" "push him over a cliff on a dark night" etc), then you shoot all the arrows and see which one goes furthest. Then you do whichever you feel like.

2613.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:31 pm Reply with quote

Barbeques were originally sleeping platforms. It comes from an Arawak Indian word (they live mostly in Suriname), barbacoa. The word passed into Spanish and in Arawak means a wooden framework on which people slept, cooked and stored their belongings. IKEA for indigenous folk. It wasn't until 1931 that the word was used to desribe the outdoor grill we know and love.

2618.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 3:57 am Reply with quote

So are we refuting the version which says that it comes from the practice of roasting a goat on spit which pierced the animal's body from beard to tail (barbe a queue, with an accent over the a)?

2622.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 5:03 am Reply with quote

Well, Flash, I guess we are.
The alleged French, barbe a queue 'beard to tail' is an absurd conjecture suggested merely by the sound of the word.

That's OED in uncharacteristically forthright mode. I quote the first recorded use:
And lay there all night, upon our Borbecu's, or frames of sticks, raised about 3 foot from the Ground

Dampier, Voyages (1697)

2623.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 5:33 am Reply with quote

"Absurd conjecture"? That might make a General Ignorance question, then. We need a focus group so that we can check whether these misconceptions are sufficiently widely-held to work as a trick question. I mean, I would have gone with the absurd conjecture but maybe most people don't care enough about etymology even to do that?

2641.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:27 am Reply with quote

Most people probably think it's to do with a queue for the bar, since alcohol seems an intrinsic part of barbecues.


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