ENGLISHWOMEN: Express surprise that they can have pretty children.
February 28, 2013 9:56 AM   Subscribe

You too can sound like tedious Second Empire bourgeois making small talk if you follow Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas! A satrical collection of cant, cliche, and "expected" opinions of the French middle-classes around 1870 - List Of Entrees alphabetical - List by subject.
posted by The Whelk (14 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, a link that goes to Robot Wisdom?!?

See also The Devil's Dictionary from Ambrose Bierce.
posted by OmieWise at 9:59 AM on February 28, 2013

DEICIDE Wax indignant over it, even though the crime is somewhat infrequent.

Flaubert just had to wait a few decades to play some JRPGs, there'd be plenty to thunder about there.

MELON Nice topic for dinner-table conversation. Is it a vegetable or a fruit?

Stalled conversations are a thing of the past!
posted by codacorolla at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2013

SQUARING THE CIRCLE Nobody knows what it is, but shrug your shoulders at any mention of it.

Actually, I could probably talk about this for 15 minutes. But everyone listening would just shrug their shoulders.

INFINITESIMAL Nobody knows what it means, but it has something to do with homeopathy.

...which is another thing nobody knows what it means.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on February 28, 2013

ANGER METAFILTER Stirs the blood: it is healthy to be angry now and then.
posted by Freon at 10:39 AM on February 28, 2013

IT: is what it is.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2013

METAFILTER A word used mostly by educated cranks to describe a plate of beans.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:59 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was the child of an English woman, and very pretty I was too. Then something went wrong. Something generally does, with English people. Our genes are wack. Fortunately we have our charm, humour and terrific bed skills to make up for it.
posted by Decani at 10:59 AM on February 28, 2013

I love this, i am so glad that it's online!
posted by PinkMoose at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2013

Squaring the circle:

Given any polygon, it is possible to construct a square with the same area as the polygon, using only a straightedge and compass. This is called squaring the polygon. Squaring the circle is doing this with a circle, but it is impossible to do with a straightedge and compass, because the square root of π is transcendental, and therefore not constructible.

And now you know.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:25 AM on February 28, 2013

CATS Cut off their tails to prevent vertigo.

Yours or the cats?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:34 AM on February 28, 2013

Does anyone else get the feeling that "Thunder against it." is code for something naughty?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:45 AM on February 28, 2013

The Barzun translation is magnificent, but if you read French there's nothing like the original. Team Flaubert 4 Lyfe!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:16 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

blue_beetle, "Tonner contre" is just Flaubert for "grar".
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:19 PM on February 28, 2013

COGNAC Very harmful. Excellent for several ailments. A glass of cognac never did anybody any harm. Taken before breakfast, kills intestinal worms.
posted by Wolof at 8:33 PM on February 28, 2013

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