Saturday, September 8, 2012

Word #2 - Onanist

Okay, so a few pages into A Confederacy of Dunces, I ran into the next word I'd like to showcase:

Onanist - Masturbator - Someone who masturbates.

Well, well. The definition I found doesn't say how often, but I guess no one can escape from this word. DON"T DENY BEING ONE. Ha ha.

It comes from a sentence where Ignatious J. Reilly describs the residents of New Orleans. He says,

"This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, Antichrists, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians, all of whom are only too well protected by graft."

I love this guy! He's a nutcase with visions of granduer and a superior education. The thoughts and declarations he comes up with are hysterical.

Plus, it makes one wonder why another word for masturbator is needed. Maybe the upper crust needed a way to say it without feeling so dirty and without having to whisper at cocktail parties. "I heard he's a practicing onanist." If someone had said that to me before today, I'd have to reply, "Oh, he's a musician? That's great."

Well, you can say he does play the organ.

Hard to work this one into your vocabulary because no one would get the joke or the insult and your friends might wonder how you know this word. You can only hope someone else uses it and then you can explain and garner a few laughs in the process.

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