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Re: OT: Humor: was Re: Profiles (WAS: Re: Conlang-to-body-shape connections)

From:Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2003, 10:28
At 20:02 16/04/2003 +0200, you wrote:
>En réponse à Pablo David Flores : > >>Isn't it used in the figurative sense? Spanish has "defenestrar" >>as a synonym for "destroying someone's career" or "dismiss >>and humiliate publicly" and so on (especially referring to >>politicians). > >No, French never uses this word in a figurative sense. It's *only* used in >the concrete sense. But hey, we French've never had a tradition of throwing >people from the windows. We rather cut heads ;))) . And indeed, "lui couper >la tête" ("to behead him/her", as it happens, the expression in this form >is epicene :) ) can sometimes be used to mean "destroy one's career". But >it's not common.
The practice of defenestration seems to have been characteristically Bohemian -- there was the famous incident of the Defensetrations of Prague in the 16th century, which I think led to the Thirty Years War. It seems to have been used on politicians who'd made too many enemies. Autodefenestrator - one who ejects himself from a window. A word I invented as an epithet for an acquaintance who did this when drunk. He suffered only minor injuries. Pete