a maze of words leading to …?


Encyclopaedia Avalonia Vol. VII …

GlastonSpeak – The Essential Guide was compiled by a reader in mytho-linguistics at the University of Avalon.

Its original release into the public sphere was marred by confusion and controversy, as some of the publisher’s more unscrupulous sales staff sold copies into Tourist Information Centres on the false premise that the book was actually called Glaston’s Peak, an essential guide to the famous hill (Glastonbury Tor) that rises spectacularly above the surrounding Vale of Avalon.

Several law-suits were only narrowly avoided, especially when copies were purchased by a group of American tourists from the Bible Belt. These had not really wanted a book on mytho-linguistics in the first place. Indeed, several of them had great difficulty reading any text not peppered with words like “begat”, “sin” and “struck down” (AE editor’s note: we would say “liberally peppered”, but this seems inappropriate in the circumstances).

Although most of the text was beyond them, said tourists did strenuously object to an entirely whimsical entry under “American” which ran as follows:

“Originally, American was pronounced Amohican, derived from A Mohican, but that was before the national gene-pool declined.

Thus the popular term ‘red-neck’ refers to Americans who are either deeply embarrassed by the post-Mohican national decline, or else striving hard to gain a Mohican colouring.

The term is also used to describe the condition of those who’ve been soundly beaten about the upper shoulders with a Bible Belt.”

Litigation was only prevented when solicitors acting for the publishers claimed that the book was actually the work of the devil, and thus retribution – or “striking down” as the lawyers cannily put it – was best left in the thunderbolt-wielding hands of Jehovah. The Bible-Belters relented, saying it was the first piece of common sense they’d heard in a long while.

A few other excerpts from GlastonSpeak run thus:

  • “Half a mix” (colloquially, “Arf a mix”). This is a shouted public request / invitation, which translates as: “someone please give enough hashish for this next communal joint / pipe / chillum.” Though the origins are somewhat obscure, it is believed to refer to a half-and-half smoking mixture of cannabis sativa and tobacco.
  • “Blag”: beg, borrow or (if these fail) steal.
  • “Blim”: a little bit of hashish, or else a large bit, or else almost all the hashish that someone may have.
  • “Blag a blim”: obtain enough for the next joint / pipe / chillum. “Blim” in this context is a contraction of “Blimey”, which in turn is a contraction of “Blim me”. Originally, as in “well Blim me!”, it was an expression of astonishment that someone had actually given enough hashish for the next joint / pipe / chillum. Some scholars, however, argue that this declaration of amazement usually came after smoking the next joint / pipe / chillum.
  • “Blim a blag” means nothing at all. It’s a nonsensical expression used to confuse outsiders.

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