'Moby-Dick' and a word worth reviving

'Moby-Dick' and a word worth reviving
Source: Reusableart.com

I don't know whether "words worth reviving" will become a category of its own as I continue reading "Moby-Dick." But I've found a word I want to get out and use, so I'll call it "worth defending" for now, even though it may need some reviving.

That word is nappishness. Here's how Herman Melville uses it at the beginning of Chapter 11, "Nightgown."

Ishmael, the narrator, has become good friends with the harpooner Queequeg (himself a great friend in real life to cruciverbalists needing to use up Qs, but I digress).

Because of cramped conditions in their inn, they are forced into sharing a bed, but nerves are soon overcome for these friends. Ishmael tells of a night in Chapter 10 and 1 1 when they couldn't exactly sleep, but they kept napping and talking, until

"at last by reason of our confabulations, what little nappishness remained in us altogether departed, and we felt like getting up again, though daybreak was yet some way down the future."

It's quite a word that will get me to ignore another great word, namely "confabulations," in its favor.

Sorry I read this yesterday and only got to write about it today. You see, I was feeling a bit nappish. Ah, it works without the -ness.

More to follow, Actually, I'm in Chapter 24 already!

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Filed under: Words Worth Defending

Tags: Moby-Dick


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  • That seems to work, as the only synonym of which I can think is tiredness.
    Now, if they are a bit peckish.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you, Jack. I;m glad you like it. I'm not sure of the age of "peckish," but I'll be on the lookout for it.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    At least Monty Python "The Cheese Shop."

  • In reply to jack:

    ??? OK, off my research goes on a side channel... namely, YouTube.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Found it. Thanks, but now I'M in need of cheesy comestibles... i.e., it's lunchtime.

  • In reply to jack:

    I've always fantasized about being 'Gregory Peckish".

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Hmm. I knew I like how you think.

  • You've gotten me to reread Moby-Dick with you. The first time I read it all the way through was on the Archer 62 bus during my college days, and at the law office I worked part-time for some loose change.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Wonderful -- but let's not consider it a race.

  • BTW, M-D is filled with words to revive. I recall the word "flense". It means to strip a whale (a dead one) of skin and fat. Perhaps, the diet industry could adopt it for its very much alive customers.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Hmm, flense sounds good -- but maybe the diet folks wouldn't like its association with, er, whales.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    The PETA types, not either.

  • Just to prove that poetry is contagious, here's a simple one:

    Please look out for me if I'm nappish;
    When I don't sleep, I tend to get snappish!

  • Margaret - I like both "nappish" and "nappishness"! Like "Serious Questions" and "Words With Defending," - and of course your chats with RLS - I would get a kick out of reading your new feature category "Words Worth Reviving."

  • In reply to folkloric:

    I'm glad you like the words, folkloric. I shall keep an eye out for more "worth reviving." (As for the chats with RLS, there's a messy sort of meeting going on that I haven't quite been able to transcribe yet... there, now I need to.)

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