W4W: Why a lady should beware rabbits and flattery

rabbit-30534_1280

Image: Pixabay

 

I’m pretty rubbish at flattery.

I enjoy dispensing compliments, don’t get me wrong. If I see a fellow human of the female persuasion and she looks particularly glorious, I’ll tell her so – spread the love about her fetching scarf / jacket combo. I don’t do this with men, though – no man wants a forty something woman telling him she likes the snug fit of his suit. That would be creepy.

There are times I have to remind myself to say something complimentary if it’s expected of me …

For instance, when my son was a baby, several people said we should take him to a modelling agency – the kid loved the camera and he photographed well. Is he good looking? Well, I’m his mother, so couldn’t possible give you an unbiased opinion on that one.

We never did take him to an agency – we found the idea of selling our baby’s looks a little distasteful – but when other parents said something along those lines (‘Ooh, he’s going to be a heartbreaker, isn’t he?’ ‘Watch out for that one when he gets older,’ etc) I’d feel under pressure to reciprocate.

The parent would fix me with a cool eye, as if to say,

Well, come on, then. Tell me mine’s gorgeous too.

Sometimes this was easier than others. A lot of babies are okay – some are adorable. And yet others are …

Jeez! Let’s hope you have a FANTASTIC sense of humour, kid.

And I’m a rubbish liar. Faced with a tasteless frock, a laughable hairdo – or a pig ugly baby – I’ll mumble something unconvincing, give a pale attempt at a smile and run away, claiming I’ve left the gas on or have to go shave my legs before a race of small mammals mistake my body hair for a cosy thicket.

I am no

HONEYFUGGLER

According to the Dictionary of Regional American English, it means to ‘deceive by flattery’. Other variations include

honeyfackle

honeyfugle

and honeyfogle all of which are equally amazing.

The dictionary states it could be from the English

Connyfogle.

Now I knew coney was an old word for rabbit. But according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, connyfogle is a play on how similar coney sounds to an old word for female genitalia. The only meaning I can find for fogle on its own is an antiquated term for handkerchief (Fogle hunter being a pick pocket.)

But connyfogle  has nothing to do with lacy nose wipers (or for wiping any other part of the body, you’ll be relieved to learn) as it means

 “to deceive in order to win a woman’s sexual favors”.

Yeah. Never been any good at that one either.

***

With thanks to Kat, the originator of W4W

 

29 thoughts on “W4W: Why a lady should beware rabbits and flattery

      1. You have clearly never been to a baby group 😀 – I never paid much attention to them before I had one myself and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are more ugly babies than good-looking ones… How’s that for wicked 😈

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Most men would take it as a come-on if congratulated on the snug fit of their suit — though possibly it’d be harrassment, depending on who says it! I can see why the term was euphemised as ‘honeyfogle’, otherwise listeners of a sensitive disposition would do the correct thing and have a fainting fit …

    Great post, Lynn, very enlightening. Now pass the smelling salts …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chris. Yes, definitely think it’s inapropriate for me to compliment men on their looks – especially as so many I meet in the shop are young enough to be my son!
      Funny how culture has introduced so many euphemisms now . I don’t need to tell you how keen the Romans were on phalluses as decoration and I remember reading about a street in London during the Middle Ages known for it brothels that had the most lurid name I couldn’t possibly repeat here. Our ancient and medieval ancesters were much more up front about these things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That “lurid name” (which began with ‘grope’) appeared in many medieval English towns (as I just confirmed from an interesting Wikipedia entry) with the first element often retained and bowdlerised as in Grove or Grape Lane.

        Less objectionable was the River Piddle in Dorset: in its upper reaches a couple of placenames long kept this spelling (viz Piddletrenthide and Piddlehinton) but downriver settlement names were changed, as in the famous Tolpuddle of Martyrs fame, before it entered the sea at Poole.

        Victorian anxiety about using the word ‘piddle’ is, I guess, reflected in the well-known nursery rhyme:
        “Doctor Foster
        went to Gloucester
        in a shower of rain.
        He stepped in a puddle
        right up to his middle
        and never went there again.”

        As a kid that puddle/middle rhyme never worked for me …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! I had a feeling you’d know exactly the name I was referring to! Interesting how the names have changed over the years – I’ll look for Grape Lanes in a whole new light now. There’s part of me that admires the honesty of it. Love the River Piddle – how very English of us to mention wee but not quite 🙂 And you’re so right about Doctor Gloucester – what a nonsense that rhyme was.
        Some road names are fantastic – could study maps all day just looking for unusual ones. We have a Zed Alley in Bristol, and of course the famous Christmas Steps which I love. There’s one near us in Bedminster – Little Paradise – off a dismal shopping street filled with pound shops. Used to be a slum near tanneries and paint works – love that Bristolian sense of irony. Favourite street name goes to one in Hull – the splendidly named Land of Green Ginger!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. All great monikers, aren’t they! Ah, and do you know if the much-nicked road sign There And Back Again Lane is still there, just off Berkeley Square behind where Blackwells used to be (Jamie Oliver eaterie now, I think)? Hobbit fans used to *ahem* have it out on permanent loan.

        And I think we’ve talked about miching mallecho / Malago before, haven’t we, a good ol’ Bemmy placename.

        There’s even a Robin Hood Alley in High Kingsdown, if I remember right — my favourite daft theory was that it was evidence of Ancient Egyptians, Robin Hood really being the god Ra Bennu, though I suspect there may have been a pub of that name somewhere nearby rather than that England’s favourite outlaw hung out there!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ve never seen There And Back Again Lane and I pass Berkely Square every time I go to work! Bless those Hobbit fans 🙂 Love the idea of the Ancient Egyptians pitching up in Kingsdown – that, of course would be before the Aztecs built Montpelier … That Robin Hood gets around, doesn’t he? Road names are even better than pub names – Llandoger Trow, anyone?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ah, Llandoger Trow, there’s a story! As I’m sure you know a trow was a tyoe of flat-bottomed boat common on the River Wye, especially from near Llandogo above Tintern, whence it voyaged across the Bristol Channel and up the Avon.Llandogo is, as we all know, from Llaneuddogwy (Welsh: the church of St Oudoceus) founded in the Dark Ages…

        All much more interesting than quirky modern concoctions like The Pipe & Slippers and its firkin ilk. (A firkin of course is a small cask or barrel, I hasten to add.)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes, you need an old, original pub name for it to be interesting. I had heard of the boats and isn’t it supposedly the pub Robert Louis Stevenson used as the basis for the Admiral Benbow? Supposedly. Wonder how many extra pints they’ve sold on that story

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Men don’t find it creepy, but I can assure you it’d be taken the wrong way. You’d mean to pay a compliment and any man would misinterpret it as an invitation. Think I’m kidding? Try and let me know how it works out.

    Thanks for the links. Saved me the trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’m in a library and laughing this loud is frowned upon. In fact, I’m getting waggling eyebrows now and I’m sure I’ll get the finger in a moment. No, not THAT finger…the pointer finger, applied to lips with a “SHHHH!”

    What is this W4W? I must know. Word for Wednesday? How have I never heard of this? May I join? SO. FUN.

    I’m also rubbish, as you say, at complimenting women for sexual favors. Perhaps I’ll practice on Hubby. He’d probably like that…

    Also, I’ve been meaning to tell you…I read your blog with an accent. Should it be Yorkshire, Wales-ish or more Cockney? I’m trying to stay away from “My Fair Lady-ish.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Love the image of you getting disapproving looks for your sniggering – how fantastic. W4W is a thread I joined a way back, started by blogging pal kat. http://k1kat.com/
      We pick interesting words and write a post about them. It’s been very good fun over the last year :).
      Also love the idea of you reading the blog with an accent in your head – lovely! My own is a mish mash as I’ve roamed around the UK a bit. Basically it was similar to the people speaking here, but now it’s had the edges rubbed off and has more Southern English touches with a hint of Bristolian. http://sounds.bl.uk/Accents-and-dialects/BBC-Voices/021M-C1190X0012XX-0101V0

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So do you pick your own word or does everyone write about the same word?

        I tried to play the link but it won’t work. Might be the internet quality…I’ll have to try later. I love accents. I attended school with TONS of internationals and used to just sit and listen. About a month ago I was at a store and heard a guy talking. “Are you from South Africa?” He was. And he was shocked. 🙂 I love guessing right.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We pick our own and ping back. The only rule is doing it every Wednesday.
        Accents are good fun and there are still so many, despite some of the regional variations being eroded. I lived in the East of England in a county called Suffolk for a while and the old people there have a very distinct, quite odd accent, which is indescribable. Whereas the younger people sound more like Londoners. Nice to keep hold of the subtle differences while we can.
        Try this link.
        http://k1kat.com/2016/03/02/word-for-wednesday-w4w-56/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, I got the W4W link; I couldn’t get the accent link to play for some reason.
        I plan to join the wording fun tomorrow. 🙂 THANKS! I love words. I’m such a geek. (Oh, wait…that makes you one, too…ha ha ha.)

        Liked by 1 person

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