Thursday, 12 August 2010

Is your name Neep?

Is your name 'Neep' or 'Turnip'?

by 'Nomenclator'

I expect you're oh-so-well used to sundry folk sniggering as you pass by 'There's a distinct neep in the air this morning'. And you don't turn a hair. You don't mind a bit, do you? In fact you're quite gratified to find people taking any notice of you. Like in the pub, for instance, when you're sitting alone in a quiet corner nursing your Guinness with grappa chaser, you don't care if they say, nudge-nudge-wise, 'Fancy a neep of whisky, squire?' or 'I'm just going tur nip round the corner to point Percy at the porcelain'. (See explanatory diagram above: the small black hole centre left houses a photo-electric beam which activates the flush when the 'customer' momentarily breaks the beam as he approaches the porcelain sanitaryware. Please do not 'aim' at it, men, however great your neep need: wait until the recommended forward stance is achieved.)

No, no, friends, you're used to being ribbed and joshed. And you can take it. That's because you have all the moral strength and historic stature of one of Europe's most ancient races. Originally from Catalonia, where 'Nap' is the original version of 'Neep', your seed has blown before the wind to all quarters of the continent, even to the furthest reaches of Scotland, where your name is cognate with a certain toothsome and nutritious root vegetable.

('Cognate' is a technical word we folk-taxonomists sometimes use. It's just our homely jargon for 'born with a toothed wheel'. If we didn't exercise the vocabulary of our mystic craft no one would take us seriously, would they?)

But there's a distant echo of your Catalan origins in your family motto, one of the longest in all the motto-rich land of the condes and hidalgos, flies and practices:

Si, Señor, dere dago - fortelor resin aro; demsis nolor res, demsis trux fulla causan hensan dux

(Translation: Yes, Mister, if you look like a - turnip, they'll treat you like one.)


Next week: 'Nomenclator' asks 'Is your name Elsanol™?'


dinahmow said...

Thankyou so much, Christopher, for this explanation.
Many years ago, when I endeavoured to instil classical wisdom into the minds of students, we worked from a
similar (though, clearly, earlier) text:
"Ci vile, si ergo. Fortibus es in ero. "

"Noses, mare, Thebe trux."

"Vatis inem?"

"Causan dux."

Rog said...

I think you'll find Neep was a friendly Geordie term of affection for members of the tiny Japanese community in Wallsend. They came over to work in the Sturmey Archer gear factory, supplanting many native workers and giving rise to cognitive dissonance.

Dave said...

I bet Rog had to gear himself up to post that pun.

Spadoman said...

Drain the lizard, Tap a kidney, See a man about a horse, Visit the porceline palace, Take a leak. Not to mention, Dropping the kids off at the pool.
That does look inviting as it seems like an outside biff.
Good stuff!


Christopher said...

Thank you, DM. A richer text than mine. But I wonder if Caesar and Brutus have got over their travel nausea?

Rog: Was that where these Japanese finally gave themselves up at the cessation of hostilities?

Dave: He nets them off his dons, you know. They've been trained to the pun.

Spadoman: Lem Putt the Specialist, thou should'st be living at this hour.

('Biff'. Never heard that before. Amazing. Thanks. And peace, of course.)

Vicus Scurra said...

Damn! I must have done summat wrong. I left a comment here yesterday, but obviously didn't do it properly.
I said something like:
No, my name is not Neep, nor is it Turnip.

mig said...

Well at least they aren't all calling you a tattie. (Or is that just too earthy to contemplate)

Anonymous said...

Reckon you're "takin the piss"; or; to be less working class "extracting the urine" with that view of an auto-cleen urinal. If one considers the constant breaking of the beam, especially during busy visitations, doesn't 'the breaking' for want of a desperate micturation unnecessarily over-flush...therefore...waste precious eau de toilette?

Anonymous said...

...By-the-by...What about that other 'small black hole centre left' (everso left) by the door. What happens when that is broken umpteen times with all the 'comings and goings'? Let's guess...A digital tannoyed voice (en français) exclaims with entrées and selected recalcitrant sorties "Please wash your hands after using our lovely modern awfully clean pisoir. Do 'make a call' again soon. Merci!"

Christopher said...

So sorry to be so long in replying, Anon. - I just had to go and answer Dame Nature's call. Yes, there was indeed a second black hole, but I didn't want to get drawn into comparing and contrasting this black hole with those in the depths of space, feeling that a much more succinct conclusion might be found in the post that followed this one.