American Judge and former US politician David R. Minge has taken a leave of absence from his judicial duties to launch a campaign aimed at “enriching the English language by reclaiming those words that have unfortunately gained new, offensive meanings.”
Speaking at a press conference this morning, The Honorable Minge explained: “In the same way that the N word and the Q word have been reclaimed by the Black and Belgian communities respectively, I hope to bring back common usage of such words as ‘nonce’, ‘fanny’, ‘knockers’ and ‘felch’, and in so doing remove their unpleasant new meanings for ever.”
Minge, who is an absolutely definitely real person (Google him if you don’t believe it) is married to Karen Aaker Minge of Gaylord (no, really), Minnesota, and is unable to recollect precisely why he first developed an interest in these words. He believes it may have been during a trip to the UK.
“I remember arriving at customs in Heathrow airport,” he recalled, “And exclaiming loudly that I was ‘here for the nonce, taking a break from my knockers in the USA, and couldn’t wait to sit down on my fanny and have a nice cool felch’, but after the security guards arrived it’s all a bit of a blur.”
Words such as these which can no longer be used with their original meanings are known technically as ‘flange words’, after the researcher who first identified the phenomenon and tragically realised that his own name had itself become a joke word. Dick Flange spent years categorising these shifts in lexical meanings, but was never himself able to achieve academic recognition due to all copies of his doctoral thesis being horribly vandalised.
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