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Farrago

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Farrago

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:59 pm

• farrago •


Pronunciation: fê-rah-go • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A disorganized assortment, hotchpotch, salmagundi, miscellany, clumsy mixture, gallimaufry, or jumble of odds and ends.

Notes: Back in the 16th century two adjectives emerged that I rather like: farraginous and farraginary. They have not stood up well against the tramping of time, but I can easily imagine a farraginous (or farraginary) speech made up of nothing more than bits and pieces from the speaker's life. An E is usually added to the plural, farragoes, but this bit of adornment may be foregone and we may write simply farragos.

In Play: If you think about it, the US is a farrago of cultures from all over the world: "We found ourselves to be such a farrago of nationalities, we decided to put together an international fair for the benefit of the entire city." We also find farragoes all around the house: "Dinner tonight will be a farrago of leftovers; I need to clean out the refrigerator."

Word History: Today's Good Word is simply Latin farrago "mixed fodder, a hodgepodge", removed from that language and served as is. This word was derived from far, farris "spelt", the Latin remains of Proto-Indo-European bhares- "barley". The root of the Latin word can also be seen in farina, also borrowed from Latin. In Old English this same PIE stem picked up a common suffix, -lik "like" (today -ly, as in friendly, commonly) and emerged as bærlic "barley-like", then went on to become barley itself. The name for the place for storing barley came to be Modern English barn. (We will offer no farrago of words but a pointed word of thanks to Ed Pellicciotti for suggesting today's Good Word.)
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Re: Farrago

Postby wurdpurrson » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:30 am

Today's goodword brought up an old and delightful memory for me. While living in Japan decades ago, I always was entertained by words and phrases found in advertising and other commercial print materials that were translated by a non-native English speaker. For example, a series of road signs in a construction zone was printed in both Japanese and English, and the translation was: sign 1. DAN; sign 2. GER; sign 3. ROAD UNDER CONSTRICTION; sign 4. PLEASE DRIVE SIDEWAYS (with an arrow pointing to the detour). What does this have to do with today's word? Nothing, save as an introduction to a menu displayed at a very nice restaurant catering to Western tourists, whose second page items were under the header VEGETABLES AND FARINACEOUS. It was pasta selections, of course. I love words.
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Re: Farrago

Postby MTC » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:59 am

Unlike wurdpurrson, I have no charming story about farrago to tell, nothing sage to add about its etymology, eccentricities, pronunciation, or usage, except perhaps for one thing worthy of note--there are a farrago of Farragoes. Everyone and their brother (and sister) apparently thinks farrago is cool: There are Farrago poetry journals, Farrago design firms, Farrago media and wainscoting companies, Farrago art galleries, Farrago handbags, Farrago restaurants, and Farrago forensics, to name but a few. A real farrago!
Last edited by MTC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Farrago

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:32 am

I use the word as a catch space on my computer for
olio and ort.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Farrago

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:01 pm

Andv don't forget Admiral Farrigo! ;-]
pl
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Re: Farrago

Postby Slava » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:35 pm

LukeJavan8 wrote:I use the word as a catch space on my computer for olio and ort.

I admit my ignorance: what is a catch space?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Farrago

Postby MTC » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:07 pm

Slava wrote: I admit my ignorance: what is a catch space?

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, "a space where things are caught;" the space between the jaws of an animal trap; the kill zone in an ambush; internet cafes where school kids play hooky; IRS form 1040; generally, a zone in which you would not want to be caught.

At least, that's the entry in the Apocrypha.
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Re: Farrago

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:34 pm

A veritable farrago of spaces. . . .
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Re: Farrago

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:22 am

Slava wrote:
LukeJavan8 wrote:I use the word as a catch space on my computer for olio and ort.

I admit my ignorance: what is a catch space?



Sorry: just a term I coined. On the left side of my email inbox
there are folders: spam, drafts, etc. And I can add others:
like things from various persons. I have a few named for words
I've learned here: farrago, rechauffe, gallimaufry, salmagundi.
They have various things in them, gallimaufry,i.e. has favorite
things about dogs.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Farrago

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:11 pm

You don't mean the Agora has a PRACTICAL use??!
#gasp
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Re: Farrago

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:54 pm

Beyone that not much that I can tell.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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