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FLUMMOX

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FLUMMOX

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:24 pm

• flummox •

Pronunciation: flê-mêks • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To confuse, befuddle, addle to the point of frustration.

Notes: The adjective from today's word, flummocky "confused, befuddled", like the etymology (see History below) suggest that we are spelling it all wrong. These clues suggest that it should be spelled flummocks; however, please don't spell it that way until we all agree on it.

In Play: Life today is getting so complicated, people find themselves flummoxed more and more frequently: "When Steve Adore asked Alga Witham to marry him, he was flummoxed by her response that she would if he would sign a prenuptial agreement giving her all his money in case of divorce." As work becomes more complicated, opportunities for today's Good Word multiply: "The responsibilities of his new job were so far above Newton's head that he was flummoxed at the outset and lasted only a month in the new position."

Word History: Flummox comes to us from the dialectal recesses of Merry Old and reached London around the 1830s. Dickens wrote in the Pickwick Papers (1837) "He'll be what the Italians call reg'larly flummoxed." Well, what the Dickens was Dickens thinking? He must have been flummoxed by the origin of the word—it certainly didn't come from Italian. According to the OED, it is probably of dialectal origin, coming from flummocks "to maul, mangle," flummock "slovenly person," or flummock "to make untidy, to confuse, bewilder". How it got into the dialects of UK English, however, still has us all flummoxed. (We are so happy that Susan Lister was not flummoxed by what to do with this word and sent it directly to us to share with you today.)
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Postby Perry » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:57 am

The Online Etymology Dictionary suggests that flummox is "onomatopoeic, expressive of the notion of throwing down roughly and untidily."

I tried to see if this is perhaps a compound word built upon mock, but that seems to be a washout.
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Re: FLUMMOX

Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:54 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: . . . "When Steve Adore asked Alga Witham to marry him, he was flummoxed by her response that she would if he would sign a prenuptial agreement giving her all his money in case of divorce." . . .


While I have no first-hand experience with divorce, I thought that this is what normally happens during the dissolution of the marriage contract.

"The secret to a long marriage is to remember that divorce is too expensive and murder is too risky; you can't afford the first, and can't afford to get caught for the second."
Regards//Larry

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Re: FLUMMOX

Postby Palewriter » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:08 pm

Stargzer wrote:
Dr. Goodword wrote: . . . "When Steve Adore asked Alga Witham to marry him, he was flummoxed by her response that she would if he would sign a prenuptial agreement giving her all his money in case of divorce." . . .


While I have no first-hand experience with divorce, I thought that this is what normally happens during the dissolution of the marriage contract.

"The secret to a long marriage is to remember that divorce is too expensive and murder is too risky; you can't afford the first, and can't afford to get caught for the second."


Lucky, practical Stargeezer.

A prenup to me always seemed a bit like going to buy a brand new car and asking the salesman what the wrecker would charge to haul it away. A sensible enough question, I'm sure, but kinda creepy.

A buddy of mine once ranted: "I'm not going to bother getting married again; I'm simply going to find a woman I hate and give her a house."

OK ladies, bring it on. :-)

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:27 pm

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from the movie Divorce, American Style:

Wife's lawyer: I've prepared what I think is a standard and fair division of the assets.

Husband's lawyer: Yes, this seems reasonable.

Husband (Dick van Dyke): Oh yes, this is reasonable! She gets the kids, I get the child support; she gets the house, I get the mortgage; she gets the car, I get the payments; she gets the uranium from the mine ...

Lawyers and wife: Mine? What mine?

Husband: ... I get the shaft!
Regards//Larry

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