Tuesday, March 25, 2008


HANDKERCHIEF, n. A small square of silk or linen, used in various ignoble offices about the face and especially serviceable at funerals to conceal the lack of tears. The handkerchief is of recent invention; our ancestors knew nothing of it and intrusted its duties to the sleeve. Shakespeare's introducing it into the play of "Othello" is an anachronism: Desdemona dried her nose with her skirt, as Dr. Mary Walker and other reformers have done with their coattails in our own day — an evidence that revolutions sometimes go backward.

2008 Update:  Civilization's own tiara, useful for incremental hygiene and strangulation, phonetically spelled and incorrectly pronounced according to custom.


Anonymous said...

A little square that I am using because I missed all the fun in Chicago...You did have fun?

In any case I am first.

Jamie Dawn said...

'Round here, we just call it a snot rag.


Anonymous said...

HANDKERCHIEF n. a large white square of pocket lint OC won't leave home without, and I use more often than he does.

Anonymous said...


1. An object you hanker for when something doesn't pass the smell test, or to dry crocodile tears.

2. What you sneeze into because you can't get to the handkerchief in time. A special trait of small children whom you must lead by the hand during flu season.

Tom & Icy said...

Like my pawkerchief.

Doug The Una said...

Mo'a, it was a blast. You come next time.

JD, handkerchief does sound kind of hoity-toity considering its use.

Quilly, that's how you know you've got a gentleman.

Amoeba, that's another good reason.

Icy, you are a delicate pup.

TLP said...

Unhygienic substitute for Kleenex.

tsduff said...

I could have used one after the crow left his/her greetings...

mireille said...

If I coyly drop it, will you gallantly pick it up? xoxo

Cooper said...

Handkerchief, n A vile harborer of deadly microscopic creatures and the reason disposable tissue was invented.

The Boy from S.A.C.A.D.A. said...

I herd that pritty girls drop hankerchifs so's that boys will pick them up. But im smart enuff to see thru that.

Doug The Una said...

That's true, Actonbell. Some things cloth should never be used for including blowing a nose, wiping off food or clothing.

TLP, kleenex is also good for dousing with rubbing alcohol and setting afire in the toilet.

Terry, strange that none of us had one. It's not like we didn't know there'd be birds.

Mireille, of course and I won't even use it before handing it back.

Cooper, I forgot about your germ concerns. I imagine this is why food is disposable as well.

Stay clever, boy.

Minka said...

"In seinem Löwengarten,
das Kampfspiel zu erwarten,
sass König Franz
und um Ihn die Grossen der Krone,
und rings auf hohem Balkone
die Damen in schönem Kranz.

A poem back from elementary school that features a handkerchief, a feisty woman and a modern knight!

Doug The Una said...

Alright, Minka! A German translation test. Here we go freehand:

In his liongarden,
To await the tournament,
Stood King Franz
And on him, the the largest crown
And from the highest balcony,
The ladies dropped their handkerchiefs?

How'd I did?