Talking arse

Curiously, Joan Amades noted that Catalan parents used to terrify their children out of going to lonely spots on windy days by telling them that the breeze carried in it a ferocious and sequestracious demon called Cul Pelat, Cul Pelé in French, for which the only reasonable English equivalent I can imagine is Shaven Arse. This is curious because, in English, uncivilised let-fly-by-nights tend to be unshaven:

hairy-arsed Adj. Rough, primitive, unrefined, coarse. E.g.”I can’t imagine going out for a night at the opera with that hairy-arsed idiot.”

There’s a military version here, and keen researchers will also discover a rich selection of ghits, many of them relating to car mechanics, agricultural labourers and Welsh prop forwards; the artistic among you may well enjoy (and learn from) obscure classics like The Jungles of Uranus by Hairybloke and the Chip Shop Boys and Alouette, as sung by Ron & The Rude Boys (sound on) and included on John Mehlberg‘s phenomenal collection of musical filth (ring him up and sing him something dirty).

However, since this blog aims to create as well as to diffuse knowledge, it’s time to ask the big question: which is more modern, rasiert oder nicht rasiert, or, to put it in a way more Anglo-Saxon, does the induction by some long-forgotten quartet of barbers of Jeanie Without Light Brown Hair, Anywhere into the smoothie club mark a turning point in Western civilisation?

While mediaeval millennialists did a fair bit of devil’s arse-kissing, not one Cathar seems to have described the experience in detail. So – still not having figured out the OED access someone has very generously offered – I rang up a dear (and deaf) friend of mine who has just been appointed Associate Professor of Speculative Theology at the University of Southern Warakuma:

– Dr Gibson, I said.
– Call me Melvin, he said.
– Melvin, I said, what’s the origin of the phrase “hairy-arsed”?
– Well Triffid, he replied, Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary tells us that hairesis is a Greek word that most people think means heresy when really it just means choice, so Trepid, you just go ahead and think what you want, and don’t listen to all those idiots who have got together this movement to make out I’m intolerant or something. Barefaced cheek, that’s what it is.

Catalan readers may enjoy this account of simian posteriority experienced by a youthful Josep Pla during an excursion to Barcelona zoo

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Comments

  1. Another meaning of cul pelat is to be disabused of a lie, to be cynically realistic, as used by Maragall in parliament last year retorting to CiU members: “I have a shaven arse, and it was shaved by yourselves.”

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