G is for Gallimaufry

8 Apr

a-to-z-letters-gA mish-mash, hodgepodge, jumble. THAT is gallimaufry. And it sounds wonderful, too. Go ahead. Say it out loud. Listen to it roll off your tongue.

Apparently it also means a “stew” – throw everything into the pot.

I’d like to pretend I’ve always known this word, but it only came into my lexicon recently, when acclaimed British theatre company Cheek by Jowl did a production in Los Angeles  of  John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. (A 17th century tragedy). Told you I have a penchant for the dark theatre arts.

No great plot exposition today but any play that’s about incest… well, enough said. Yes?

So here’s the lines from ‘Tis Pity that made me say, “Wow, I must go look up that word. I THINK I can guess the gist of it from the dialogue, but I’d like to know exactly what it means.”

“Must your hot itch and plurisy of lust,
The heyday of your luxury, be fed
Up to a surfeit, and could none but I
Be picked out to be cloak to your close tricks,
Your belly-sports? Now I must be the dad
To all that gallimaufry that’s stuffed
In thy corrupted bastard-bearing womb?
Why must I?”

And yes, her brother knocks her up and yes her husband eventually discovers the transgression. Husband forgives  her, but yes, the poor teenager (yep teenager) lands up dead – murdered by her own brother. Okay, seriously, I promise not to write any more posts about creepy plays. I need to get a life.

Gina Bramhill and Orlando James in Cheek by Jowl's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore' (Credit: Cheek by Jowl)

Gina Bramhill and Orlando James in Cheek by Jowl’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore’ (Credit: Cheek by Jowl)

Nonetheless, I do LOVE the word gallimaufry. I challenge you to add it to  your vocabulary. You never know when you’ll need to deal with a whole higgeldy-piggeldy, mish-mash,  hodgepodge, jumble of things…


11 Responses to “G is for Gallimaufry”

  1. jesstopper April 8, 2013 at +00:00MonUTC #

    Great word – it’s one of those words that, once you know it, you can’t believe you lived without it. I have a ton of British friends that come out with some real zingers – my current favorite is “tickety-boo”, which is kind of their version of our “hunky-dory”.
    Words are weird. LOL
    Jess / Blogging on the Brink

  2. Deb Mc. April 8, 2013 at +00:00MonUTC #

    Love it! I’m going to start using gallimaufry whenever I can, what a fabulous word ;-D

    • Kelly April 9, 2013 at +00:00TueUTC #

      It is brill, isn’t it? Wish I’d known it earlier. But better late than never.

  3. Faye North April 9, 2013 at +00:00TueUTC #

    Hi, Kelly,
    I had to do a double take. One of my characters has a “word of the day” habit and gallimaufry is one of the words she pulled out of her dictionary.
    Faye at Destination: Fiction

    • Kelly April 10, 2013 at +00:00WedUTC #

      Really? Wow. Clearly, I already love your character. She’s one smart woman! She must have read Ford, too.

  4. http://expatbrazil.co.uk April 9, 2013 at +00:00TueUTC #

    It is such a good word, I’m English and we do have some corkers.
    maggie winter

    • Kelly April 10, 2013 at +00:00WedUTC #

      Can’t argue with that -‘corker!’ being one of them.

  5. jeremy bates April 9, 2013 at +00:00TueUTC #

    id love to use this word in scrabble 🙂

    • Kelly April 10, 2013 at +00:00WedUTC #

      That would be grand. You’d need two letters on the board already, though.

  6. Mommy's Angel In Heaven April 10, 2013 at +00:00WedUTC #

    That is one interesting word. It reminds of the word tomfulery (or however that word is spelled). It’s different and always nice to learn something new.

    • Kelly April 10, 2013 at +00:00WedUTC #

      I do love learning new words. After all, they are the tools of our trade!

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