Monday 6 June 2011


There is a damned fine reason
for this picture.
A bathometer is, so saith the OED:

A spring balance of peculiar construction for ascertaining the depth of water without actually measuring the sounding line.

And can therefore be used to measure the depth of your bath. The odd thing about this is that there is No Connection Between The Words. Bathometer comes from the Greek bathos (meaning depth), and bath comes from the Old English baeth (meaning bathe).

Bathos has made a good little career in the English language. Alexander Pope used it to mean the art of sinking in poetry. I've already written a blog post on bathypelagic. But I have never mentioned (and I very much doubt that you already know) the beautiful and buxom word bathycolpian.

Bathycolpian means deep-bosomed is an absurdly oblique and beautiful way of saying that a lady has voluptuous and luxuriant boobies.

The advantages of describing a lady in such an incomprehensible manner will be evident to anyone who has ever been slapped or released on strict parole.

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge didn't put it:

A damsel with enormous breasts
In a movie once I saw:
It was a bathycolpian maid,
Who in the Trevi Fountain played,
Each bosom like Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Those mammaries so proud,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music long and loud,
I would build those domes in air,
Those happy domes! so round and nice!
And all who heard should see them there
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his flowing hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
It is too late to intervene,
For he Fellini's films hath seen,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

1 comment:

  1. Doubt not! I have know the word bathycolpian for some time now, and searching for it on the web has led me to your site. I amuse myself endlessly by calling other girls bathycolpian, or, for those of us more interested in the back, callipygian.