NABOKV-L post 0017402, Fri, 28 Nov 2008 14:45:11 -0500

Last remarks on Skoramis
EDNOTE. I suggest that we hereby end this thread, which although
interesting seems to be moving away from VN. -- SES]

Mary B/A Bouazza: thanks for the clarifications. All that remains is to
pin down exactly what Aristophanes meant, in context, and what L&S mean
by “night stool!” Browning & VN used skoramis as a donnish euphemism for
“piss-pot” in lieu of the mundane euphemisms “commode” or “chamber-pot,”
often reduced to the childish “po!”

“Where e’er I go I take my Po
“And a little bit of last-night’s Echo.
“And when I’m done, I wipe my bum
“With a little bit of last-night’s Echo.” [Scouse skipping song. Echo
refers to the leading Merseyside newspaper: The Liverpool Echo]

Mary’s note that skoramis is related to skor/skatos (dung/faecal)
indicates that the vessel (if such it be) would serve for both solid and
liquid forms of night-time excretory emergencies (“numbers one and two”
in infantspeak.)

HOWEVER, the English “night stool” requires disambiguation. It can be
taken as (i) a lavatorial sitting-device (stool) for night use, e.g.,
commode or (ii) a stool or TURD produced at night. Google “night-stool”
and you’ll find it’s in the medical dictionaries as a synonym for
cecotroph (soft fecal pellets, ingested by rabbits directly from the
anus during the night and early morning.)

All of which warns us of language’s “slings and arrows.” And of the
problems involved defining “euphemisms” and “pornography.” English is
blessed (cursed?) with parallel Anglo-Saxon and Latin/Greek word-sets
for all the nasty body parts and functions. There’s nothing inherently
obscene or “illiterate” in the Anglo-Saxon versions. To VN’s ears,
though, the shorter, blunter forms seemed lazy, uncreative, and almost
deliberately belligerently “in your face.”

PS: Liverpudlian’s will understand my misspelling. Billy LIDDLE was a
god-like striker for Liverpool Football Club!

Stan Kelly-Bootle

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