Thursday, February 12, 2009


GNOME, n. In North-European mythology, a dwarfish imp inhabiting the interior parts of the earth and having special custody of mineral treasures. Bjorsen, who died in 1765, says gnomes were common enough in the southern parts of Sweden in his boyhood, and he frequently saw them scampering on the hills in the evening twilight. Ludwig Binkerhoof saw three as recently as 1792, in the Black Forest, and Sneddeker avers that in 1803 they drove a party of miners out of a Silesian mine. Basing our computations upon data supplied by these statements, we find that the gnomes were probably extinct as early as 1764.

2009 Update: A member of the species Homo vicina, descended from dwarves with peculiar adaptions to the synonymous vineland, such as similar hats and habits. It is not known whether the presence of gnomes in plagiarist fairy-tales helped inspire Darwin's theory or merely proved it.


TLP said...

Have you ever seen a female gnome? No? Darwin would be amazed.

Ariel the Thief said...

LOL Doug! The Dalai Lama said, first we take the sentence "the fittest survives" as granted, then we decide what survived is the best. Now look at us. :)

Nessa said...

Happy Birthday, Darwin.

Nessa said...

We have a gnome living in our garden. They aren't extinct, they are just better at hiding.

Nessa said...

Aren't there gnomes in Alaska?

Anonymous said...

Funny how TLP says that as gnomes multiply rapidly in some front yards.

Tom & Icy said...

Are Gnomes Gnostic? And when they speak, does it sound like they are clearing their throats ready to spit on you?

Anonymous said...

It really bothers me when people send gnomes around the world so they can be photographed with it and it might win a Guiness record

Think that's the height of cute stupidity. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Honestly I never knew it bothered me before I saw the word here

Happy Birthday Darwin

The NYTimes devoted its Tuesday Science Times to a man before his time. I've never been so well informed as when I moved from NY--more mental energy to actually read

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Lincoln, who freed us from slavery, and Darwin, who reshackled us to a phylogenetic tree.

Tolkien originally called his tall, handsome, Black Irish High Elves "Gnomes", as they were the most learned (gnostikos, knowledgeable) Elvish caste. Presumably, he changed the name to Noldo(r) after receiving a "cease and desist" order from the Lawn Ornaments Guild.

Minka said...

gnome,n. a vertically challenged dwarf

Anonymous said...

At my "potted Ivy" alma mater, the grounds-maintenance people were dubbed, by the Studentin, "gnomies" - pronounced "guh-NOM-ies", and they got about that much respect.

One wore a military-style jacket, a souvenir of his deployment to Vietnam. Across the back, it was enscribed:

When I die, I'll go to Heaven. I've served my time in Hell.

I first saw him while he was cleaning up the spew from a drunken party in our dorm.

Years later, I discovered that "gnomie" had disappeared from the student body vocabulary. For once, PC wins a true victory.

Doug The Una said...

TLP, I want credit for what I'm not saying.

Ariel, his holiness makes a point.

Nessa, I have one in my desk.

Some miracle, huh, Jenn?

Gnomes gnash gnosticism, icy.

Pia, it's a treat when this site is therapeutic. Thank you for venting.

Amoeba, unions do evil even in Mordor.

Minka, that sounds really short.

Amoeba, here's to small favors.

Jamie Dawn said...

When in Gnome...

I just cracked myself up!

Good day to you!

Anonymous said...

Gnomes,a creation of man to honor God's little people--while still maintaining their religious dogma.

tsduff said...

I do enjoy the antics of gnomes. A friend sent me one from Texas - they are different just like people.

Unknown said...

Douglas, i just gknow you will come up with gnats and gnus next

notesi: a gnome trying to get attention

Jim said...

Wow! I almost overslept!

Oh well, those gnomes know me anyhow.

Anonymous said...

I believe the word today should have been "genome", given the birthday and all.

Doug The Una said...

JD, you cracked me up too, gnoman!

Bear, sounds like a dog to me.

Terry, people aren't so different.


Jim, a retiree and a college student are almost identical, aren't they?

Coop, that word antedates our lexicographer.

TLP said...

Okay. Full credit given. Smartie pants.

Anonymous said...

In the HARRY POTTER books, a disgruntled gnome is gilded, dressed as an angel, and used as a tree topper, thus reversing the devolutionary trend toward lawn ornaments.