Mograbia, scanxiety and Katy Cat: Lucy Mangan takes on your new word submissions
Posted by Lucy Mangan @ Wednesday 20 August 2014
I am always grateful for the chance to add another brick of knowledge to the wall guarding me against inadvertently ordering something disgusting in a restaurant and so I must thank moneill for supplying me with “mograbia”, which apparently is the proper name for giant couscous. Mmm, giant couscous – for when the gritty, flavourless bobbles skittering around your mouth just aren’t big enough. Bleeurgh. Join me, readers, won’t you, in my continued fight against menu misdirection? I have strong feelings about “velouté” (just how velvety are we talking? I need some texture or else I think my mouth has gone numb and start panicking) and believe there should be legislation in place requiring whether and to what degree a kedgeree is spiced and just how prominent a role capers are to play in each dish. Also – if it’s offal, just call it offal. The people who want to eat offal aren’t going to be put off eating it under its proper name. But the people who don’t will become very upset, emotionally and gastrically, when a “slow-cooked boule de viande oubliee en croute” turns out to mean “None-too-well-disguised stewed viscera in a pastry casing that’s fooling no-one.” Also, stop saying “roundel”. It’s not necessary. Using parsley, ditto.
I’m sorry. I realise I have strayed from the brief somewhat. But it’s hard not to proselytise when you have such a passion.
Tommy submits the rather useful “scanxiety” – the anxiety you feel while waiting for the results of a medical scan to arrive. This is a valuable addition to the British tradition of obfuscation around health matters. They are to be skated over as quickly as possible, so that nothing by way of interesting, helpful or personal information pertaining to bodily matters may ever be exchanged between family members, friends and, most importantly, patients and doctors. Euphemism may be fatal but so can embarrassment be.
RobertG gives us “Katy Cat” which is apparently the moniker by which fans of Katy Perry are known. Katy Perry’s own cat, however, is named Katy Purry – which is almost equally pleasing. “Katy Cats” stacks up pretty well against, but I think does not displace, the Beliebers’, who remain in bronze position (I am talking only about names, of course. I am sure the love they bear for their respective idols is equal and outdone in fervour only by my wish to stay undeath-threated by any of them). Taking the silver is the faction of Ed Sheeran’s who call themselves the Sheerios (not placed, I’m afraid, are the Sheeranators. Ed himself prefers the former term) but of course the gold must go to the Bey Hive. In the matter of fan names as in so much else Beyonce – known, of course, by her acolytes as Queen Bey - effortlessly outstrips the competition. But again, kudos to you all and please don’t kill me.
Speaking of fans, Fredstar007 submits the rather neat “fanmade”, which pertains to all those things made by – yes, you’ve guessed it! – fans of celebrities, TV programmes, particular books, particular books about shiny vampires/dying teens/brutal dystopias/boy wizards or anything else. There are, courtesy of talented Whovians fanmade knitted Ood out there, cakes that express undying love for Harry, Edward, Peeta, Gale and Katniss, voodoo dolls that express the exact opposite for Tris, Hermione, Bella and (amongst fans of Wuthering Heights) Stephenie Meyer, handdrawn (fandrawn?) maps of Panem and painstakingly pieced-together floorplans of the apartments belonging to Frasier, the Friends, Carrie Bradshaw, Will & Grace and countless other testimonies to the capacity for human creativity, imagination, obsession or loneliness. Delete as you see fit and I’ll see you next time.
Previous columns by Lucy Mangan: