Arabella’s Dictionary: The Letter P

A thoroughly modern, if irreverent, dictionary for your edification. In this edition: The Letter P.

Paligem (pal-i-jem): Busdriver who chants beatnik poetry under the lampposts of deserted streets after he gets off of work at midnight. The paligem wears a black beret with his city-issued blue jumpsuit that has ‘driver’ inscribed on its breast pocket. He clutches a book of poetry by Corso in his nonconformist left hand as a bohemian ballad jazzes out of his mouth. 

Panopapist (puh-naw-puh-pist): A panopapist is a doctor who specializes in removing thorns and quills from people’s bodies. Only the brightest stars on the cutting edge of medicine study panopapy. One calls a panopapist after rabidly kissing a cactus, carelessly flumping one’s behind down upon a porcupine or playing a fierce game of patty-cakes with a rosebush.

Pardle (par-dul): To pardle is to drive down the street with something hanging out the door of one’s car. The intent does not matter here – one can have something hanging out the door unknowingly, or very much on purpose. But when a coattail, seat belt, shopping bag or old t-shirt is seen at the bottom of a car door dragging helplessly down the street, the driver is pardling. And may be fined.

Patrush (puh-truhsh): A patrush is a lie a person who’s had plastic surgery tells about her facial scars. “I think Linda with the tight eyelids told a patrush when she said that the incision mark on her forehead was caused by shredding mozzarella cheese.”

Phantom Pepper: A Phantom Pepper is a vegetable that a ghost perceives himself to be eating.

Phragman (frag-man): A phragman is a bearded man who perches on the rooftops of shopping malls and shouts and snivels down at all the people coming in and out ‘Did you get me anything?? Nobody ever buys me anything.’ And it’s true, nobody does. For the shoppers all know that they may smile tolerantly up at the phragman, but must never indulge him and buy him his coveted gift as the results would be catastrophic.

Por Higge (poor hig-he): ‘For the love of my turtle’. When one is doing something that no one else can understand, her friends and family will say ‘why are you doing this nonsensical thing?’ The appropriate response is always ‘Por Higge – for the love of my turtle. That’s why.’

Pybash (pi-bash): Invisible lab beaker. Unperceiveable science equipment. Pybashes are to be stored in inconspicuous cabinets to the right of the emergency eyewash station in a chemist’s experimentation room.


Andrea Bock
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