October 30, 2016 | Author: Mircea Popescu

The title, in Romanian, contains a derogatory but still flattering assessment of the human quality, scholarly ability and cultural value of an entire field of spiritual preoccupation in that space. Piei de closca literally means "hen'si leather" and it originally worked as a derogatory epithet for merchantsii, but it seems to transfer quite well to philologists.

At issue is that in private conversation I used the Romanian wordiii hlizesc, present indicative masculine singular of a (seiv) hlizi. It means to find amusement in a rather solipsistic manner, for reasons and causes not readily understood by others. A sort of lunacy, if you will, but rather common, especially among young men.

Where does this word come from ? DEX 09, DEX 98 and the whole raft of copycats preciously indicate "bg. hlezjase" as etymology. Leaving aside that their definition is wrongv, Bulgarian doesn't have such a word, and to add to the amusement all known references to such a string come from... Romanian dictionaries. They're rewriting other peoples' languages out of sheer force of laziness, and the deep disinclination to learn anything whatsoever!

DER(1958-1966) indicates a whole raft of wondersvi. It's there supposed the word comes from "slavone", which is a language in the sense of the country of Africa, and to be typified by Bulgarian "hlĕzja" (which, needless to say, is not in Bulgarian) ; by "Ruthenian" "hluzuvaty", given as "a pune într-o situație ridicolă", to put in a spot, to expose to ridicule (which is funny seeing how Ruthenia is merely an exonym for the Kievan Rus', and хлузувати does in fact exist but it just means to jeer, sneer, scoff, that sort of thing) ; by Czech "iiziti se" which supposedly means "to smile" but everyone forgot to tell the Czechs themselves and so on. They, poor souls, still think it's usmát se, and evidently forgot to moveon.org and vote for change we can believe in. Tsk tsk.

None of their Eastern etymologies work, every time I do one of these articles I end up having to reconstruct etymology from scratchvii, like I were stooping to discuss philology in a barbaric tongue bereft of the first inkling of reflexivity (which is the pointedly truthful fact of the matter).


mircea_popescu filologi de piei de closca, nici unu' nu stie nici o limba afara de o frantuzeasca mincata de molii si ceva plattdeutsch de la buni.
diana_coman apai cine tu acum pe bune zi-mi si mie un lingvist roman pe bune fie si mort acum numai sa fi trait in ultimii 10 ani acolo. cum era aia "the dark ages following the demise of the empire" -probabil abia urmeaza si mai dihai.

Civilised world my foot.

  1. Really closca is a hen during her egg sitting period, as distinct from gaina, hen generally. I'm not aware of this distinction being made in English, but that's quite alright : Romanian doesn't distinguish between neck and throat - hunger will grab you by the same thing you'll hang by until dead in that language. []
  2. Who, especially in the medieval period, were ranked according to the preminence of their wares - it was more respectable to trade in silks than in wrought iron, and trade in inexistent items placed one squarely in the scummy bottom reserved for scammers, mountebanks et al. One notch below the bankrupts. You know, like Trump. []
  3. Common enough, well known and widely used. []
  4. Because it's reflexive, see. []
  5. No, it does not mean "hirjoni", ie, physical interaction driven by sexual desire or intent ; nor does it mean "cocheta", ie to play coy (roughly the female equivalent of the foregoing). []
  6. Via "Cihac, II, 139; DAR", whatever that may be. []
  7. The expression there, "anteriu de citarea", correctly translated on Trilema as "sytara surplice" is nevertheless mistakenly related by these idiots to some imaginary "çitāre" that obviously doesn't exist in Turkish. []