Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"Ectoplasms, Technocrats, Vegetarian, Freshwater swabs, Harlequin,Harlequin, Hydrocarbon, Polynesian, Gyroscope, Blackamoor, Anthracite, Coconut, ‘Fuzzy-wuzzy’, Anthropithecus, Anacoluthon, Invertebrate, Monopolizers, Turncoats, Ophicleides, Colocynths, Patagonian pirates, Fancy dress freebooter, Impersonations of Abominable Snowman, Iconoclast, Certified ignoramus, Second-rate son of a sword-swallower, Pithecanthropic mountebanks, Moth-eaten imitation camels, Tin-hatted tryant, Doryphores, Duck-billed platypus, Nitwitted ninepi, Fresh-water-spaceman, Certified Diplodocuses, Abecedarians, Anacoluthons, Prize Purple jellyfish, Carpathian Bashi-bazouks, Two-timing Tartar twisters, Odd-toed ungulate, Macrocephalic baboon, Phylloxera, Nyctalops."

Ah, Captain Haddock's insults. I'm going to call people Bashi-Bazouks (turkish horse-mercernaries) for the rest of the week.


grilly said...


i don't know if i'm more impressed by his vocabulary or herge's disregard for political correctness. you couldn't get away with using 'polynesian' as an insult these days.

it reminds me of sue peach, the farmer who lives next door to our mother, calling her dogs 'dirty arabs'. however, sue is from ashbourne, about seven miles away from where she now lives (*brief twinge as i remember rita's last visit before she died, and how she wanted to see sue*). sue, most likely, has never met an arab, let alone a polynesian. did haddock meet a polynesian that he didn't like? or was he just using the magnificent word? his status as a sailor suggests the former ('fuzzy wuzzy', anyone?). his choice of other words suggests the latter.

Grill said...

If we're going to go all academic...

(Puts on Professor Calculus Glasses)

You might note that Herge protrays Haddock as using solely nouns as insults. By Haddock's use of words that mostly a beyond a child's, let alone an adult's, comprehension (try and tell me what Nyctalops actually is, without mentioning Nyctalopia) and mostly words that sound glorious (try shouting anthracite), I don't feel he's meant to know what he's shouting means - he's just glorying in the words themselves.

Also; is shouting 'Polynesian' at someone actually an insult. We've no idea, and had no idea when we were kids, what the characteristics of a Polynesian are, whether positive or negative. It's not being racist towards Polynesians, but it may make children regard the word Polynesian as an insult. Personally, when I was kid, I just regarded the words as good fun and nonsense. Bashi-bazouk!

Toller said...

I believe that Haddock's usage of the term 'polynesian' may in fact be only be racist accidentally, and incidentally: the Captain was combining 'poly-' and '-nesian' to refer to someone with an inordinate number of knees, perhaps.

It does however take pure and deliberate genius to use the word 'gyroscope' as an insult, especially to someone called Allan.