Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fancy Mancy

There are an awful lot of ways of predicting the future. You can, for example, follow the ancient Roman method of observing birds. The Latin for bird was avis, and this, with the V changed to G, appears to be the origin of the augur, the official soothsayer. The augur was summoned whenever a new project was begun, and thus you get inaugurations.

However, you can also use fish (ichtiomancy), mirrors (catoptromancy), or fig leaves (sicomancy). Anything you want, really, so long as you know the name. And the best way to learn the names is to read the Mancy chapter in Thomas Urquhart's translation of Rabelais. And the best way to do that is on the fantastic Six Degrees of Sir Thomas Urquhart blog, where the whole chapter has been annotated so you can click on a mancy and get the meaning.

The chapter also contains the word sercroupierizing, which means having sex with several people in succession. A must for any CV.


  1. I would love to have 'and a well-known sercroupier' in my CV......

    Laurie -

  2. As a child, I always confused augur with auger, which is a piece of farm machinery.