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Callipygian

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Callipygian

Postby tcward » Sun Apr 17, 2005 8:26 pm

Pronunciation: kæ-lê-pi-j(ee)ên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Having or otherwise pertaining to well-proportioned, shapely buttocks

Notes: Today we have another felicitous means of expressing our localized appreciation of the human anatomy (see another recent one in the next section). Not only is this word a polite way to refer to this alluring physiognomic characteristic but a euphonious (pleasant-sounding) one, to boot. If you don't think this adjective is good enough for you, try callipygous [kæ-lê-pie-gês]; not nearly as euphonic.

In Play: This is a word we can all use fearlessly, "The ever-observant Maud Lynn Story lingered on in the library to more fully notice the callipygian young man reaching for the book high on the shelves." Age can damage or improve this characteristic of our bodies, "The passing years had remolded her figure into that of a zaftigwoman of enviable callipygian luxuriance."

Word History: Today's Good Word is based on Greek kallipygos, from kallos "beauty" + pyge "buttocks". The roots of these two words seem to have come from no where. It is hard to see how kallos could be related to Latin callus "hardened skin" and although it resembles English hallow, most etymologists (word historians) think them unrelated. Since PIE [*p] became [f] and [*g] became [k] in English, if pyge were related to any English word, it would be a common obscenity in our beloved language. However, because this word is obscene, it would not have been printed, making tracing its history impossible.

–Dr. Goodword, Alpha Dictionary
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Postby Apoclima » Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:56 pm

This has got to be one of the funniest words we've had.

I can't imagine complimenting a woman with it.

My, but aren't you callipygian!

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby KatyBr » Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:54 pm

Apoclima wrote:This has got to be one of the funniest words we've had.

I can't imagine complimenting a woman with it.

My, but aren't you callipygian!

Apo

um, APO, you should not notice so it would not be a compliment......

Katy
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Postby Apoclima » Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:29 am

Well, Katy, I never stare, mind you, but it is hard not to notice if a woman has a nice collection of callipygian junk in her trunk!

Right, not that I would say anything!

Or as the ancient ascetic said when they asked him if he'd seen a young girl pass by his way:

"I saw nothing, but teeth and a skeleton."

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby anders » Fri Apr 22, 2005 7:38 am

Apoclima wrote:This has got to be one of the funniest words we've had.

I can't imagine complimenting a woman with it.

My, but aren't you callipygian!

Apo

Have a look at Venus Kallipygos at, for example, http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibiti ... tatues.htm , and then you should have no problems.

Just take care that you don't mix up callipygian, cacopygian (having ugly buttocks), and steatopygian (having an unusually large accumulation of fat in the buttocks, common among Khoi, formerly "Hottentot", women).

If you want to research the subject, please be ware that White woman no clothes call pornography, black woman no clothes call ethnography.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:33 am

To add yet another to the two definitions - of «pornography» and «ethnography», respectively - that you present, Anders, I did like the one given by the Tate site to which you so kindly provided a link :
... However, these protruding buttocks were widely seen as vulgar, and, when the painter Frederic Leighton went to the Naples Museum to study it, he found it kept in a reserved hall, with access granted only under surveillance. ...

Thus we derive «vulgar : the defining quality of an object to which access can only be granted under surveillance». Lovely !...

Henri
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Postby gailr » Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:42 pm

And what an interesting career path: officially surveilling those who petition to view reserved objets d'art (hmmm, subveiled or just veiled?) which are identified by the Taste Police as unreserved and vulgar. One wonders, who is guarding the guards?

gailr

Peer behind the veil of the roots of sur veillance here.
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Postby KatyBr » Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:43 pm

Ah, 'tis the fox who is always called upon to guard the chickens, or mayhaps the fox just thinks tis so?

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Postby mbx_pdx » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:18 pm

I love the manner in which this word rolls off the tongue, as well as its somewhat lubricious tendencies.

I use it often as a term of endearment. "Thou art callipygian, my fair, delightful love!" It adds a somewhat Jacobean elegance to what would normally be a banal topic.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:58 pm

mbx_pdx wrote:...

I use it often as a term of endearment. "Thou art callipygian, my fair, delightful love!"


If you can get away with elocution of that order in an intimate situation, mbx_pdx, you must have something going for you - or your callipygian friend must be extraordinarily forgiving. In any event, welcome to the Agora !...

Henri
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:38 pm

Does she know you are caling her a fat-a$$?

Kt
maybe she's prettier than she is savvy.
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Postby mbx_pdx » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:42 pm

He actually loved it once I told him the meaning. After all, its etymology is "beautiful," and "shapely," not "large." I'd go into specifics, but let's just say that it was in romance, not necessarily intimacy.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:07 am

mbx_pdx wrote:... After all, its etymology is "beautiful," and "shapely," not "large."...


Mbx_pdx is quite right. The word of which Katy probably was thinking is «steatopygous» (or «steatopygic»)....

Henri
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