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Diabolically Arcane

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Pot Roast

11 February, 2011

Linguist and TV regular, Kate Burridge throws down a gauntlet in her entertaining read, Gift of the Gob. The challenge is gob-related in fact, and I quote: Cannibalism is the ultimate of all our food taboos, if not society’s ultimate taboo. But where are the euphemisms?

Seems every other cultural delicacy, from bathroom breaks to death, has a string of phrases to mask the unpleasant details. But not cannibalism.

In campus circles, the practice is dubbed anthropophagy, but that won’t wash as a fudge-term in general conversation. So what will?

Hannibal Lecter, perhaps the most infamous human-muncher, delights in the phrase of having dinner with an old friend. Which must get the prize so far. But can you out-phrase the cannibal? Feels like a comical column in the making – all we need is some succulent suggestions. How can we ‘name’ cannibals or cannibalism with style? From facetious to ingenious, all ideas welcome – and I’ll pass the cream onto Kate as well!


Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

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Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

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Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

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Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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