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Weird Words

Thursday :  Bezoar - a small hard mass that sometimes forms in the stomachs of certain animals. These lumps were once thought to be an antidote for various ailments and conditions. They were either swallowed or rubbed on the afflicted part of the body.  Ewwwwwwww!  The term comes from a Persian word meaning antidote.

So those catlovers on my flist, you now know what to call hairballs. And you all can save those hairballs and eat them next time you have the flu.

Today:  Liripoop - The tail of a graduate's hood.  It hung down the back when the hood was off and it was wrapped like a bandage around the head when the hood was on. Hah!  It says the liripoop "is both intimidating to others and uncomfortable for the wearer."  Intimidating?  Really?  Sounds a bit silly to me.  I suppose it might have been intimidating if the wearer threatened to strangle me with it.


The bezoar also is mentioned in the latest Harry Potter. :-)
And the first one, actually. One of the three questions Snape asks Harry in the very first potions class is "Where would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?" Though it's specifically mentioned as being found in the stomach of a goat, so a hairball's not gonna cut it...
Also on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" a couple of weeks ago, in which the patient was an author who hated his novel so much that he ate it. It balled up in his digestive system and had to be surgically removed.
I presumed that liripoop was a typo and they meant liripipe, but I looked it up and it's an alternative spelling.
To see a web site with instructions for buying a medieval style hood with a liripipe, see
In my experience not liripoop but liripipe, and it was used generally in the Middle Ages.