11 July 2011

François Rabelais

[from François Rabelais, Gargantua, tr. Thomas Urquhart, Peter Antony Motteux, 1500s]

There he played at flush, at love, at primero, at the chess, at the beast, at Reynard the fox, at the rifle, at the squares, at trump, at the cows, at the prick and spare not, at the lottery, at the hundred, at the chance or mumchance, at the peeny, at three dice or maniest bleaks, at the unfortunate woman, at the tables, at the fib, at nivinivinack, at the pass ten, at the lurch, at one-and-thirty, at doublets or queen’s game, as post and pair, or even at the faily sequence, at the French tric-trac, at three hundred, at the long tables or ferkeering, at the unlucky man, at feldown, at the last couple in hell, at tod’s body, at the hock, at needs must, at the surly, at the dames or draughts, at the lansquenet, at bob and mow, at the cuckoo, at primus secundus, at puff, or let him speak that hath it, at mark-knife, at the keys, at take nothing and throw out, at span-counter, at the marriage, at even or odd, at the frolic or jackdaw, at cross or pile, at the opinion, at ball and huckle-bones, at who doth the one, doth the other, at ivory balls, at the billiards, at the sequences, at bob and hit, at the ivory bundles, at the owl, at the tarots, at the charming of the hare, at losing load him, at pull yet a little, at he’s gulled and esto, at trudgepig, at the torture, at the magatapies, at the handruff, at the horn, at the click, at the flowered or Shrovetide ox, at honours, at the madge-owlet, at pinch without laughing, at tilt at weeky, at prickle me tickle me, at ninepins, at the unshoeing of the ass, at the cock quintin, at the cocksess, at tip and hurl, at hari hohi, at the flat bowls, at I set me down, at the veer and turn, at earl beardy, at rogue and ruffian, at the old mode, at bumbatch touch, at draw the spit, at the mysterious trough, at put out, at the short bowls, at gossip lend me your sack, at the dapple-grey, at the ramcod ball, at cock and crank it, at thrust out the harlot, at break-pot, at Marseilles figs, at my desire, at nicknamry, at twirly whirlytrill, at stick and hole, at the rush bundles, at boke or him or flaying the fox . . .

François Rabelais, 1494-1553


  1. He must have been exhausted.

  2. Of course, my reaction is to research each item in the catalogue . . . perhaps convert a few to video games. What great words! Clearly, Rabelais was nuts in the best possible way.