Friday, March 29, 2013

A Medieval Latin Proverb

Thesaurus Proverbiorum Medii Aevi, ed. Samuel Singer, Vol. 4 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997), p. 131 (my translation):
Twelve farts are equivalent to one turd.

Duodecim bombi faciunt unum strontum.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Recueil General des Rencontres, Demandes et Responses Tabariniques, Vol. I (1622), p. 32, summarized by Barbara C. Bowen in "Tabarin the (Scato-)logician," EMF: Studies in Early Modern France 14 (2010) 32-40 (at 34):
Which is more worthy of reverence, a turd or musk?

A turd, because passers-by make a respectful detour in order to avoid it.
Hat tip: A friend.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Classification of Animals

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799), Philosophical Writings, tr. Steven Tester (Albany: SUNY Press, 2012), p. 95 (Sudelbücher, G 161):
The man was working on a system of natural history in which he ordered animals according to the form of their excrement. For this he created three classes: cylindrical, spherical, and cake-like.

Dieser Mann arbeitete an einem System der Naturgeschichte, worin er die Tiere nach der Form der Exkremente geordnet hatte. Er hatte drei Klassen gemacht: die zylindrischen, sphärischen und kuchenförmigen.
Hat tip: A friend.