Point of interest sir, it also means bloody
March 23, 2005 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Have you checked your humors today? Not the gunky jelly stuff in people's eyes, the other kind.

Are you melancholic, phlegmatic, sanguine, or choleric? Are you a salamander, gnome, nymph or sylph? Earth, water, air or fire? Elf, Ninja, Pirate or Dwarf? (arrrr! buckets of blood! flagons of phlegm and barrels of black bile!)

If nothing else, the theory of humors adds to one's arcane vocabulary.
posted by Capn (16 comments total)
I'm bilious.
posted by kenko at 2:30 PM on March 23, 2005

You know what that means kenko? It means it's time for THE LEECHES!
posted by Capn at 2:33 PM on March 23, 2005

posted by kenko at 2:46 PM on March 23, 2005

very humorous.

posted by wendell at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2005

The theory hang in there for a good many years and it is possible, and has been done, to examine the tragic figures in Shakespeare's tragedies as victims of various humours...

But more to the point--since medicine believed causes of illness were somehow in the blood, and that the specific illnesses were caused by imbalences in the blood, the use of blood letting became a standard of medical practicse for many years. Often to rid the body of blood, doctors used leeches, and thus even today doctors are often referred to as leeches, though what they go after is no longer blood.
posted by Postroad at 3:00 PM on March 23, 2005

I believe that i am an elven ninja...those that disagree probably will not wake tomorrow because i feel particularly bilious and am not fond of leeches.
posted by schyler523 at 3:04 PM on March 23, 2005

Well, I'm full of British phlegm right now. Much to the envy of my French chums. "Legendary" indeed...
posted by Decani at 3:13 PM on March 23, 2005

That gunky jelly stuff in the corners of yer eyeballs is properly called "shmutz." At least, it is where I come from.
posted by Dr. Wu at 3:28 PM on March 23, 2005


I'm an Elfy Pirate. The Boy is a Dwarfy Pirate.

The whole relationship suddenly makes all kinds of sense.
posted by Tomatillo at 3:56 PM on March 23, 2005

In t Magazine, Crawfurd Hill quotes, among others, Melvin Konner in Strictly Personal

""Who am I" is the most basic question we ask. Education and environment don't count, geneticists say. We are who we are when we are born and much more so. Words like personality are now being shaken by a biological revolution. Ancient and medieval ideas about our constitutional predisposition to certain character types (choleric/quick to anger, phlegmatic/unemotional) are rising again, with data to back them up."

The Several Humours was a chapter in Konner's The Tangled Wing - Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit, which is a wonderful book.

Jung, who thought humans are inclined to think in types of four, had his four ego-functions - Sensation, Thinking, Feeling, and Intuition, and Samuel Beckett had an affinity for the number four in his Waiting for Godot.
posted by y2karl at 4:25 PM on March 23, 2005

That's "Sleepy Dust" you're talking about Dr. Wu. I'm talking about the junk that's actually *in* your eye, check the eyes link
posted by Capn at 4:33 PM on March 23, 2005

So Capn, I'm assuming you're a pirate...

Sleepy dust or shmutz, I call them "skeefes". And the fuzz on your record player needle is called a "farfle".
posted by Specklet at 4:37 PM on March 23, 2005

Right you are, Capn!
I just like to say "shmutz."
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:52 PM on March 23, 2005

I would like to believe that I am an elven ninja, but I am almost perfectly balanced between Sanguine and Melancholic

I am focused on logical thinking, but I really cannot deny that I am totally hedonistic and aching to drown in sensual pleasure all the time.

Oh, I am so confused.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:21 PM on March 23, 2005

I actually do need my humours balanced...any recommendations? : >
posted by amberglow at 5:26 PM on March 23, 2005

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