Re: TERM: valentudinarian
- Odd that I came across this while trying to find a definition for the word, a consequence of having just read the M.R. James story noted!
For what it is worth, there is a rock song of that title - "Valentudinarian," i.e. with letter 'n' in the fifth position as in the James story - recorded and (apparently self-) released by a group named Mystery Pills; it can be played at this address:
Now if anybody has any ability to understand lyrics to rock songs when sung - I don't, my thing is opera and I have enough trouble with that! - perhaps listening to the song might give or imply a definition. Short of that I have to presume that James was using a word archaic in his own time (he loved to do that!) and long since gone from modern references. Anybody have the OED unabridged?
--- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:
> --- In Czechlist@y..., JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
> > In a message dated 3/17/02 3:03:43 PM, jirkabolech@y... writes:
> > >What is the "current American usage" of the word
> > >"valentudinarian" as hinted on near the bottom of
> > >http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/mr_humphries.html (item 1 in
> > >the list of Notes and References)?
> > The current American usage is that no one has ever heard the word or
> > what the heck it means. It is completely absent from my Random
> > unabridged dictionary, so I guess there isn't any current American
> > Unless someone proves me wrong.
> > Jamie
> I presume this 'valentudinarian' is meant to be an amusing
> country-bumpkin mispronunciation of 'valetudinarian' (as it is
> correctly spelt in the footnote). Don't know if the word has gained
> any special connotations in recent years but here is one dictionary
> definition that I found:
> valetudinarian \val-uh-too-din-AIR-ee-un; -tyoo-\, noun:
> A weak or sickly person, especially one morbidly concerned with his
> or her health.
> Of or relating to or characteristic of a person who is a
> valetudinarian; sickly; weak; infirm.
> [H]e is the querulous bedridden valetudinarian complaining of
> his asthma or his hay fever,
> remarking with characteristic hyperbole that "every speck of
> dust suffocates me."
> --Oliver Conant, review of Marcel Proust, Selected Letters:
> Volume Two, 1904-1909,
> edited by Philip Kolb, translated by Terrence Kilmartin, New
> York Times, December 17,
> She affected to be spunky about her ailments and afflictions,
> but she was in fact an utterly
> self-centered valetudinarian.
> --Louis Auchincloss
> My feeble health and valetudinarian stomach.
> Valetudinarian derives from Latin valetudinarius, "sickly; an
> invalid," from valetudo, meaning "state
> of health," "good health," or "ill health," from valere, "to be
> strong or well."