Friday, April 22, 2011

Grandville and the codex seraphinianus

I just came across an engraving by Grandville who might have plagiarized in advance a drawing in the Codex Seraphinianus:

Théodore Grandville "Crime et expiation" in "le Magasin pittoresque",1847
Luigi Serafini, "Codex Seraphinianus", 1978

Word of the month: cockalorum

From Merriam-Webster:

"a boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow.

If cockalorum suggests a crowing cock, that's because cockalorum probably comes from kockeloeren – an obsolete Dutch dialect verb meaning "to crow."

Obsolete it is not, but misspelled it is. We don't combine c with k in Dutch, that's a typically English combination. The Dutch word is koekeloeren, and it means to snoop, to peep, or simply standing somewhere in vain with nothing in particular to do waiting for something to happen.
Which meaning might account a bit for the English adaptation.
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