Tawdry Tuesday: Words You Didn’t Know You Need

Selections from the Comica Adespota

72 Aelian Historical Miscellany 13.15

“The comic poets say that there was a guy named Polydorus who was really thick in the head and had nearly impenetrable skin. There was also another person named Koikylion who used to try to count the waves of the sea because of madness. There is a tale that Sannurion was like this, a man who was looking for a ladder in a flask. They also say that those guys Koroibos and Melitides were stupid too”

φασὶ παχύτατον γενέσθαι τὴν διάνοιαν οἱ τῆς κωμῳδίας ποιηταὶ τὸ δέρμα ἔχοντα ἀδιακόντιστον Πολύδωρόν τινα, καὶ ἄλλον Κοικυλίωνα ὄνομα, ὅσπερ τὰ κύματα ἠρίθμει ὑπὸ τῆς ἄγαν μανίας. λόγος δέ τις καὶ Σαννυρίωνα τοιοῦτον γενέσθαι, ὃς ἐν τῇ ληκύθῳ τὴν κλίμακα ἐζήτει. καὶ Κόροιβον δὲ καὶ Μελιτίδην καὶ ἐκείνους ἀνοήτους φασίν.

The Loeb translates the phrase “ladder in a flask” as “tempest in a teapot”. I feel less than compelled by the translation in this context.

173 Etym. Gen. lambda 34

“Long-balls”: this means having big testicles. Aristokrates was mocked thus.”

λαπιδόρχας· ὁ μεγάλους ὄρχεις ἔχων. Ἀριστοκράτης δὲ οὕτω διεβάλλετο.

221 Eustathius ad Od. 1910.10

“Harsher than this is to be called a centaur in jest, one in comedy who pricks the ass [kent-orros]”

πικρότερον δὲ τούτου εἰς σκῶμμα τὸ εἰρῆσθαι κένταυρον, ὃς κεντεῖ ὄρρον τὸν παρὰ τῷ κωμικῷ.

511 Photius p. 192.12

“Laconian-ass-bandit: For Kleinias who had Laconian style anal-sex. They say that having sex with boys is to “act like a Laconian.” According to Aristotle, Theseus had sex with Helen this way.”

Κυσολάκων· ὁ Κλεινίας ὁ τῷ κυσῷ λακωνίζων· τὸ δὲ τοῖς παιδικοῖς χρῆσθαι λακωνίζειν λέγουσιν· Ἑλένῃ γὰρ Θησεὺς οὕτως ἐχρήσατο, ὡς Ἀριστοτέλης.

File:Plastic aryballos BM GR1888.6-1.660.jpg
Squatting man aryballos

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